Russian Defense

In World War II, Russia combined forces with Great Britain and the United States to defeat the Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler. After World War II concluded, the Soviet Union moved forward as an isolated actor and left these other allied forces behind. The Soviet Union stood out as a major source of power on the stage of political actors throughout the world.

Creation of the Iron Curtain

After World War II, Stalin had a sole vision in mind to create the Iron Curtain. The Iron Curtain is referred to as a collection of allied and isolated European countries that abided by the communist ideology of Stalin. Some of the borders surrounding countries contained in the "Iron Curtain" were the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie.

As a result of Stalin's belief in the communist ideology and development of the Iron Curtain, the United States and other countries in the West grew to distrust the Soviet Union. The Cold War ensued as a result of this distrust on the part of the West. In 1948, the Soviet Union eventually cut off the access of the United States to Berlin. Germany became divided into two parts as a result of the division. Eastern Germany was communist, and the Berlin Wall became a symbol for the hostility that existed between the Soviet Union and United States. These hostilities ultimately paved the way to the creation of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. Under NATO, a collective of countries made a pact to engage in a mutual defence operation to protect themselves from the influence of the Soviet Union. Countries included in the NATO pact include Canada, the United States, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Portugal.

Modern Defence Policies in Russia

After the reign of Stalin, the defence policies in Russia have taken a marked turn. In 2008, Russian officials signed the Arctic policy into law. The Arctic policy was developed by members of the Russian Security Council. The Act seeks to preserve the national interests of Russia in the global sphere. Other endeavors of the Act are to combat terrorism and illegal migration. The policy is a shift from the previous aggressive military policies that were once utilized by Russia. Scholars note that the language used in the Arctic policy indicate that Russia may be leaning toward a military policy that is more in tune with international law.

The new Arctic policy strays from former assumptions used in the 2001 Arctic policy, which is based upon notions of a zero-sum political game. In the 2001 document, other great powers in the world were viewed directly as a threat to the national security of Russia. However, the new document now maintains that Russia only need consider all acts that provide for strengthening of military infrastructure. Russia now contends that areas within 20,000 kilometers of the Arctic Ocean are within its own protection. The Arctic area remains the most important place for placement of the Russian navy.

In addition, it should be noted that Russia has taken measures to intensify naval and air activity in its military. Strategic bomber flights continue to be utilized by Russia. One of the key motivating factors that is driving security policy of Russia now happens to be access to energy resources. Russia is convinced that it will need to compete for energy reserves in the future, and it has asserted its stance in upholding a security policy shaped by this need. There has also been increased military protection of oil and gas reserves throughout Russia.

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