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Russian Security Policy in the Asia-Pacific Region: Two Views

Authored by Major General (Retired) Anatoly Bolyatko, Peggy Falkenheim Meyer.
Edited by Dr. Stephen J. Blank.

May 27, 1996

41 Pages

Brief Synopsis

In May 1995, the British Ministry of Defence, the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College, the RAND Corporation, the Institute for National Security Studies of the U.S. Air Force Academy, and King's College, London, hosted a conference at King's College on "Russian Defense and Security Policy."

The participants at the conference discussed a wide range of Russian defense and security policies from civil-military relations to defense economics, and regional policies: Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia, and the Asia-Pacific Region. The two papers offered here, written by Dr. Peggy Falkenheim Meyer and Major General (Retired) Anatoly Bolyatko, reflect Western and Russian views on Russian policy in East Asia and its challenges. In this form, as throughout the conference, the intent was to juxtapose Western and Russian views on topical issues.


Since the conquest of Siberia, Russia has been an Asian and Pacific power. The end of the Cold War transformed this entire region's security structure, a transformation that accelerated when the Soviet Union fell apart and was replaced by Russia. Russia faces new security challenges in this most dynamic of regions, which still holds substantial possibilities of military conflict. But there has been a tendency in the West to overlook the new Russia's place in Asia.

Among the objectives of the London conference was the intention to remedy this gap in our perceptions and bring to our audience an understanding by both Russian and Western scholars of the threats and challenges Russia faces here and its efforts to deal with those challenges. Thus, these papers focus on Russia's relations with key Asian states and with its efforts to obtain a military detente with the United States and reduce the dangers and threats of nuclear war with the United States. These papers should help to improve our understanding of how Russian elites view Asia and the challenges Russia faces, while at the same time Russians learn how Western analysts view their policy. This enhanced mutual understanding should contribute to the debate and discussion that began in London and facilitate mutual understanding among Russian, Asian, European, and American observers and audiences.

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