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Russo-US Mil-to- Mil Engagements: Russian Values and US Strategies to Enhance Efficacy

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Technical Report

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Air War College Air University Maxwell AFB United States

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In support of Department of Defense DoD and theater objectives, Combatant Commands COCOMs conduct Military-to-Military M2M training with partner countries in their area of responsibility. United States US European Command EUCOM had experienced a period of poor relations with Russia in the mid 2000s, but reinvigorated the M2M program following Presidents Medvedev and Obamas reset in relations. Three years after the reset, EUCOM has observed that the M2M execution rate remains low averaging 44 and has raised the question if the US is making progress in terms of achieving end-states or if the Command is just doing the same things repeatedly for the sake of engagement.The disconnect between the plan and outcomes is rooted in two issues. First, EUCOM lacks a structured intellectual mechanism by which to predict Russian interests in cooperation i.e. outcomes and second, EUCOM over-emphasizes volume of engagement as the primary metric of M2M success. Rather, the solution to both of these issues is to build an outcome focused work plan based on a thorough and contemporary understanding of Russian values.This research highlights three Russian cultural traits, as examples of the type of knowledge EUCOM planners need to possess in order to design meaningful work plans 1 Understand the importance of prestige to Russian decision making, 2 recognize Russia does not perceive commitments to obligations in the same way as the US, and 3 appreciate that although Russians embrace closer ties with the West, they simultaneously fear a change to their distinct Russian identity and that they may be perceived as dependent on Western assistance.This paper advocates a four-step approach to improving EUCOM work plan efficacy.1. Establish a robust staff process to develop Russo-savvy planners.2. Readdress the development of the work plan, with an expectation-based approach towards engagement selection.3. Track the outcomes of engagements in order to make a quality

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