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Europe's Exposed Right Flank: Countering The Bonds Between Russia And Europe's Radical Right

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Technical Report

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Air War College, Air University Maxwell AFB

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In recent years, radical right-wing parties have seen a surge in support across much of Western Europe and, in several countries, have threatened to break into influential government positions. These parties, though different in many ways, tend to share an anti-immigration and anti-European Union platform that looks to upturn much of the existing transatlantic order. However, perhaps just as dangerously, Russia also recognizes the influence of these parties, and there is growing evidence of direct links between Moscow and the radical right. Because of the increased influence of these parties and the pressure exerted on them from Moscow, the ability of the United States and European partners to cohesively counter Russian aggression is undermined. On a positive note, differences exist between these parties and in their links to Russia. While some have ideological affinity with Vladimir Putins world view, others are more pragmatic and opportunistic in their relations with Moscow. Moreover, significant differences exist in the platforms of these parties. Taken together, this means that opportunities exist to counter these parties and their Russian influence. This can be accomplished by exposing the links to Moscow, by exploiting the differences between the parties, and by lessening their popular appeal. In doing so, the Transatlantic Community can more effectively present a cohesive and unified front in enacting policies to counter Russia.


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