Deniability and De-Escalation: Russia’s Use of Military Contractors in Proxy Wars

Members Only Subscribe to read the full article

Bottom Line: Russia’s use of private military contractors in Syria lends the Kremlin deniability that becomes problematic when the U.S. tries to calculate how to retaliate against incursions again U.S. and coalition troops by the Assad regime. The problem reared its head earlier this month when the of U.S. conducted retaliatory strikes that, according to anonymous sources that spoke to Bloomberg,  reportedly killed some 200 Russian contractors near eastern Dier el-Zour province in what could amount to the most lethal clash between U.S. and Russian citizens since the Cold War. The strikes were in response to Syrian government forces – thought to have been embedded with Russia contractors – attacking U.S.-backed rebels that were accompanied by U.S. advisors.

Neither the Pentagon nor the Kremlin have confirmed or denied the reports, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov telling RT that “We can only operate data on the servicemen of Russian Armed Forces, who take part in the operation of the Russian Airspace forces supporting the Syrian Army. We don’t have information on any other Russians who might be in Syria.”

The Cipher Brief has become the most popular outlet for former intelligence officers; no media outlet is even a close second to The Cipher Brief in terms of the number of articles published by formers.” —Sept. 2018, Studies in Intelligence, Vol. 62

Access all of The Cipher Brief‘s national security-focused expert insight by becoming a Cipher Brief Subscriber+Member.

Continue Reading

Get access to all our briefs

Sign up Today

Categorized as:Tech/CyberTagged with:

Related Articles