Fletcher in the News

Analysis: Putin’s Next Move: Dean Stavridis Weighs In

Voice of America

Dean Stavridis The Fletcher School

With Russian troops amassed on the Ukraine border, some observers are worrying about what is being called a “post-Crimea crisis.”

And as the West awaits Russia’s next moves, analysts are examining Russian President Vladimir Putin’s public statements for clues as to whether he plans to build on his successful land grab of Crimea by going after other territories with large Russian-speaking populations…

…That leads to the inevitable question: does Putin have the military might to roll into other Russian-speaking regions, such as the Baltic States, and annex more territory?

The answer is a firm yes, said Admiral James G. Stavridis, dean of the Fletcher School at Tufts University and former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe.

“They [the Russians] certainly can do it… they will begin to incur real costs and there will be a real fight,” he said.

“From a military perspective, the more territory you try and hold onto, the more complex your challenges become,” Stavridis said. “All of a sudden, 20,000 troops, 30,000 troops don't look like enough. Again, I think it's an unlikely move, but not an impossible one.”

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