Speaker: Meredith, S. (National Defense University)
Date: 23 April 2019
SMA hosted a speaker session presented by Dr. Spencer Meredith III (National Defense University) as a part of its SMA EUCOM Speaker Series. Dr. Meredith first explained that Ukraine is at the epicenter of Russia’s global strategy. He stated that Ukraine is also like a hybrid warfare laboratory for Russia—the tactics that we see there, we see exploited elsewhere. He then explained that Russia’s strategic warfare is both optimistic and futuristic, while highlighting the nation’s persistent vigilance and constant search for opportunities to increase its influence. Dr. Meredith outlined Russia’s historic hybrid warfare approach and stated that, for all of its strengths, Russia is not as complicated as it may seem. Furthermore, in spite of the dangers and existential threats that Russia poses, Dr. Meredith argued that if we focus instead on Ukraine’s promising path to reform, the US may be able to undermine the Russian paradigm in Ukraine—victory essential for winning in the global competition space. Ukraine’s epicenter position has advantages despite its dangers. The two primary vulnerabilities to Russian strategy are the recognition of Ukraine’s tremendous geostrategic importance and Russia’s core limits. The US can use these vulnerabilities, in combination with highlighting Putin’s disadvantages and strategically communicating with Ukraine, to combat Russian influence in the region. Dr. Meredith also outlined several areas of opportunity for the US to support victory in Ukraine, to help build resilience to Russian disinformation in Ukraine, and to reshape the population’s perception of corruption. To conclude, Dr. Meredith stated that “more than any other country, Ukraine can be the thorn in Russia’s side and rise from the ashes to greatness as a democratic success story.”
To access a recording of this session, please email Ms. Nicole Omundson (firstname.lastname@example.org).