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An ambivalent war: Russia's war on terrorism

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Since 9/11 the Russian Federation has professed strong support for the US war on terrorism and claimed to be Washington's most reliable ally in its victory over Afghanistan. Closer examination of Russian actions, however, reveals a consistently ambivalent approach to combating international terrorism. Russian actions in Chechnya and elsewhere are better understood in terms of traditional interests unchanged since Soviet times. Domestic considerations too have sometimes dictated Russian actions. Moscow will use the conflict in Chechnya to divert attention from problems at home. Even were the Russian Federation willing to pursue a more consistent and aggressive policy toward terrorism, its security forces lack the capability to do so effectively. The current reorganization of Russian armed forces does not promise to improve this situation.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2003

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