This article was written by IWP M.A. candidate Jacob Bosen.
A year after Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, many analysts are reflecting on why Russia invaded and what Ukraine and others can do to counter the aggression. Much attention has been paid to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s miscalculation after Ukraine has shown its ability to fend off much of the Russian advances, but many have not considered what Putin could have done to outmaneuver the West. Russia could have led the United States intelligence services to believe it was planning a full-scale invasion, let these services continually claim an impending attack, and then completely pull back its military build-up and label its activities as an exercise. If Putin had calculated correctly, he would have engaged in political warfare against the United States to destroy the credibility of U.S. intelligence services and better serve his aims in Ukraine in the long run.