From the Abstract: "President Putin practices the Conservative school of political philosophy. The philosophy acknowledges the existence of a governing body, individual ownership of property, and the rule of law. These are balanced against the central concern of this school, which is the stability of the core governing body. Adherents guard against political or popular dialogue that could upend the existing government order. Seeking an alternative reality to Russia's profoundly conservative political philosophy will elicit an uncooperative and violent spirit. Three vectors of research and analysis balanced against Russia's persistent security dilemmas and employed across multiple historical periods supply the means to assess Putin's political philosophy. Poor geography, a harsh and restrictive climate, and distance plus time--the security dilemmas--each contribute to the maintenance or lack thereof of national accord, national pride, and national prestige, each core concerns of Conservative political philosophical thought. Putin's security decisions will reflect the same historical determination to mitigate or remove the risks associated with the dilemmas. Japan and China contest Russia's access to the Pacific Ocean; Putin will nurture his relationship with Beijing. Littoral states contest Russia's decision space in the Caspian Sea; Putin will prioritize Tehran. Putin will nurture his relationship with Ankara to undermine NATO and reduce Black Sea southern area threats. Beijing, Tehran, and Ankara are alliances of convenience."
U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. School of Advanced Military Studies