European Deterrence for European Assurance: The United States and Russian Adventurism in Crimea   [open pdf - 519KB]

From the thesis abstract: "This monograph is a security strategy analysis of conventional deterrence, assurance, and coercion in Europe leading up to and beyond the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014. The purpose of this monograph is to examine historical concepts of deterrence, assurance, and coercion to determine whether the United States' European Reassurance Initiative, later relabeled the European Deterrence Initiative, was effective and sustainable in assuring allies and partners and deterring Russia. Deterrence of adversaries did not remain a centerpiece of US national defense policy as the threat of nuclear enabled assured destruction faded with the end of the Cold War in the late 1980s. Strategic assurance measures through extended deterrence gave way to an opportunity for the evolution of conventional assurance to partners and allies of the United States as global terror networks threatened them at the onset of the twenty-first century. However, as the Global War on Terrorism began to fade, a resurgent Russia began to seek a renewed regional hegemony in Eastern Europe. Russian actions in southeastern Europe forced the United States to reassure allies and rediscover a conventional deterrence theory to stabilize European fears. The seizure of Crimea required swift action by the United States to reassure allies and partners of its commitment to the security of Europe, but the assurances and deterrence of Russian adventurism came at a cost. The price America paid between 2014 and 2017 in terms of fiscal costs, military readiness, US Congressional support, and global influence was significant and unsustainable."

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