The Kremlin’s ability to shape global affairs appeared decimated following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Coupled with the internal instability that gripped Russia in the 1990s, Moscow struggled to develop a coherent and effective foreign policy for almost a decade. But under President Vladimir Putin, Russia has steadily reemerged as one of the most significant countries in the world—and one that is increasingly willing to challenge the United States.
In Budget Superpower, geopolitics journalist John P. Ruehl explores how Russia has achieved this feat, despite its relatively limited economic strength. The book is divided into eight chapters, each exploring a tool or approach of the Kremlin’s and how and where it has used this method to maximize Russia’s influence. Each chapter also analyzes the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of Russia’s strategies, as well as cautious predictions for how they may evolve in the future.
Russia’s determination to confront the United States has become increasingly apparent over the last decade, culminating in the 2022 invasion of Ukraine. In addition to demonstrating how Russia has effectively undermined the American-led global order, Budget Superpower will help readers understand why Russia has committed to this policy in the face of increasing push back and globally destabilizing consequences.
John P. Ruehl is an Australian-American journalist living in Washington, DC. He is a journalist for the Independent Media Institute, a contributing editor to Strategic Policy, and runs the Geopolitics General channel at Roundtable Media.
List of Illustrations
List of Abbreviations
Chapter 1: Firepower and Force Projection
Chapter 2: The Special Services
Chapter 3: The Russian World
Chapter 4: Political and Information Warfare
Chapter 5: Irregular Actors
Chapter 6: Energy and Resource Politics
Chapter 7: Economic Influence
Chapter 8: Russia and the United States Order
About the Author