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Russia’s New Aerospace Forces: Effective at Countering the Kremlin’s Key Perceived Threats?
On August 1, 2015 Russian President Vladimir Putin signed decree No. 394. The document authorised the creation of a new branch of the Russian military - the Aerospace Forces (AF). The reformed structure is unlikely to deter threats to which the Kremlin thinks it is most vulnerable - hypersonic missile attacks and potential NATO airstrikes on Russian territory. However, its creation in part has spurred Washington to undertake a space resilience initiative. Both Russia and the U.S. could benefit from cooperation to counter a jointly perceived threat of Chinese ASAT weapons. However, such collaboration is likely to be stymied by Russo-phobic factors fuelling Washington’s space resilience effort.