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Russia's Amphibious Forces in the Context of Power Projection and Coastal Operations: Strengths and Vulnerabilities


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Russia may use its amphibious ships and naval infantry as a tool of national power, most likely in the Black Sea, in support of coercion of its neighbors and the potential seizure of territory in order to advance national objectives. Russias growing military capability and ability to project power have led to an increased readiness to use military force on its periphery in support of national objectives and perceived interests. Russia has a history of using its amphibious ships and naval infantry as a means of supporting high-priority military operations, as far back as the Second World War and continuing through Soviet times and into the post-Soviet era and the present day. This tool of national power, however, has its limitations and vulnerabilities. There are opportunities to work with Russias neighbors to guard against Russias current and projected amphibious capability, and to take advantage of its relative weakness in this area. In seeking to limit Russian military adventurism and territorial expansion, low-cost options exist for U.S. and NATO policy makers to bolster the coastal defense capabilities of Russias neighbors and dissuade Russia from using periphery seacoasts as avenues of approach.



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