US Vs Russia – A New Kind of War

With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and support for Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, U.S.-Russian relations have plunged to their lowest point in modern history. In this new kind of war, Moscow’s naked aggression shows that it has no regard for human rights, nations’ sovereignty and territorial integrity, or the democratic choice of their people. It is clear that Vladimir Putin has imperial ambitions, and the transatlantic community must learn to counter them.

The US military’s globe-spanning force would clobber the Russian military in any toe-to-toe conventional fight, but modern wars are often not like that. In a war over territory, geography and terrain, one side’s advantage will be determined by a multitude of factors that cannot be readily accounted for by the conventional military balance of power.

Nevertheless, the US retains the advantages of superior technology and global reach that make it the world’s leading power. The US spends nearly 10 times more on defense than Russia. Among the world’s superpowers, the USA leads in research size and labor research productivity in all but five fields (Entomology; Physics, condensed matter; Materials science, characterization & testing; and Metallurgy & metallurgical engineering). These results suggest that the gap is due to the fact that the USA researchers have more funding, or because Russian journals do not receive as much coverage in WoS. Regardless, Americans remain deeply negative toward Russia: Older adults, Democrats and those who think the U.S. should take into account the interests of other countries are all more likely to have very unfavorable opinions of Russia.