Policy Memos

Quod Licet Iovi: Preemptive Use of Military Force in Russian Foreign Policy

Policy Memo:


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In August-September 2002, Russia appeared to have a short romance with the U.S. policy of preemption, which was annoucned months before and made official in the National Security Strategy issued by the White House in September 2002. A Russian pro-government Internet news service "Strana.ru" declared that "preemptive strikes against terrorists are the doctrine of common sense." Gleb Pavlovskii, who is widely assumed to have been one of the leading figures int he public relations campaign that propelled Vladimir Putin to the presidency in 2000, openly supported the revision of the Westphalia-Yalta principles of sovereignty. A Foreign Ministry statement of September 24, 2002, was not openly supportive but, in contrast to traditionally sharp criticism of U.S. policy, commented only that the effectiveness of unilateral actions was "low." The same statement emphasized that the National Security Strategy contained positive language on U.S.-Russian relations. [...]

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About the author

Senior Fellow
Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non‑Proliferation