Putin will continue to target NATO members through disinformation campaigns and cyber attacks to divide the domestic societies and influence upcoming elections. A major thrust of this campaign will combine the full range of traditional diplomacy and disinformation to push Turkey away from NATO membership. In addition, Putin will likely amplify digital attacks and disinformation to expand Russia's sphere of influence across the Baltic members, forcing NATO countries to validate whether a digital attack truly falls under the collective defense principles in Article 5 of the group's treaty.
Elsewhere, Russia will continue to exacerbate tensions within the Middle East to undermine U.S. interests and destabilize Europe. In addition to its role in Syria, Russia has been linked to the hack that resulted in the regional boycott of Qatar. We can expect more of this combination of digital attacks and disinformation to augment tensions in the Middle East and distract the U.S. Finally, Russia will continue to exert greater influence over North Korea to undermine any potential détente between North Korea and the U.S.
The bottom line: Putin's future efforts will build upon the tactics that have proven successful and combine them into an expansive, global campaign that will either force NATO to evolve into a 21st-century alliance or completely undermine it.
- Evelyn Farkas, security analyst, Atlantic Council, and former U.S. assistant secretary of defense for Russia: Putin will strike Donbass
- Mark Rosenberg and his bot, CEO and his lead robot, Geoquant: Putin will go it alone, then carry out a purge
- Adrian Stones, intelligence analyst, Alaco, and former operative on Russia with MI6: Putin will try his hand at North Korea
- Peter Wilson, military historian and analyst, Rand: Putin will play possum