Paper Launch - By Parity and Presence: Deterring Russia with Conventional Land Forces

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Deterrence is a primary defence task for both the UK and NATO. However, the success of this mission is only observable by the absence of war, which limits awareness of how deterrence functions. 

Access the paper here.

Nuclear deterrence is underpinned by absolute consequences. Conventional deterrence functions along a sliding scale from warfighting to persistent competition. RUSI has completed a study of the requirements for UK land forces to deter Russia from undermining UK interests. The paper makes an assessment of Russia’s approach to deterrence, and the dependencies underpinning Russian policy. It also assesses the requirements for deterring Russia from adopting hostile courses of action, both against UK interests, and against NATO. The aim is to unpack the policies and capabilities that the UK and its allies require to maintain a credible deterrence posture in the land domain. 

At the launch the author – Dr Jack Watling – will set out the paper’s primary conclusions. This will be followed by a presentation from Major General John Mead OBE – Chief of Staff of the ARRC – reflecting on the paper. 


Dr Jack Watling is a Research Fellow at RUSI, responsible for the study of Land Warfare. He has recently published studies on the future of fires, and European allies in US Multi-Domain Operations. Jack's PhD examined the evolution of Britain’s policy responses to civil war in the early twentieth century. Prior to joining RUSI Jack worked in Iraq, Mali, Rwanda, Brunei, and further afield.



Maj Gen John Mead OBE is Chief of Staff of the ARRC. Previously, he commanded 1st Artillery Brigade in Tidworth, and 3 RHA in Germany and on operations in Afghanistan. He has held staff appointments with Joint Forces HQ, HQ ISAF, and Army HQ. He attended the Advanced Command and Staff College in Australia, and holds a Master’s in Management and Defence Studies from Canberra University.

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