In 1947, Pakistan’s army inherited the default position and strategy of British India in opposing Russian influence and inroads into Afghanistan and Central Asia. Now, for the first time in 200 years, they have reversed the old British policy of confronting the Russians for control over Central Asia. Pakistan’s army now sees the Russians as their strategic partners.
Recent increases in Russia’s military presence in Syria not only help reinforce a regional ally in opposition to the West, but also ensure Russia’s prominent role in Syria’s political future, with or without Assad.
Concerns over a Russian attempt to destabilise the Baltic States are valid, but should focus more on NATO’s need for deterrence rather than Russia’s strategic goals in Ukraine. Sarah Lain, Research Fellow at RUSI, examines NATO’s dilemma across the region.