BLUF

Russia is a declining power but still requires the west’s attention.

Summary

History demonstrates that declining powers, with less to lose, have traditionally caused significant conflict. Despite what Russian propaganda might wish you to believe, deeper analysis reveals a different story. Russia’s population is expected to fall over the coming decades, the economy is in poor shape, and many of their alliances are purported to be based on less than solid ground. Despite that, the author argues that even declining powers, especially those with nuclear weapons, need to be closely monitored. Though Russia is not within Australia’s region of interest it is still capable of sending Russian ships into Australia’s area of interest, as their joint exercises with China demonstrates. Monitoring how states behave in times of struggle offers insights into their priorities and influences their strategic military alliances.