OPFOR, BLUFOR: A Comparative Analysis of NATO and the CSTO

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Justin Tomczyk


Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and turbulence of the 1990s, the Russian Federation has reemerged as a regional power in the greater Eurasian region. Through its participation in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the creation of the Eurasian Economic Union, Moscow has emulated the West’s usage of treaty organizations and regional bodies as a means of powerprojection. Among the many regional bodies encompassing the former Soviet Union, few are as relevant to Russian defense policy and Eurasian security as the CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organization). Like the Warsaw Pact before it, the CSTO functions as the security pillar of Moscow’s political reconstruction of Greater Eurasia. This paper will analyze the general function of the CSTO, compare the equipment and doctrine used by NATO and the CSTO, and contrast the CSTO’s Rapid Reaction Force (CRRF) to NATO’s Response Force (NRF), the Spearhead.

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