Grad School Thesis – Sam Kessler

China-Russia Relations After Crimea:
Examining the Path Leading to a Formalized Alliance and the Threat to U.S. Soft Power Management
A Master Thesis
Sam Kessler
Completed: August 2017
Length: 74 Pages (2-3 hour read)

Chinese and Russian relations have reversed in the Post-Cold War era as they have spent the past quarter century improving their friendship status. As a result a gradual upward trend in friendly relations and agreements has occurred, including periodic upgrades that take it to the next level.  This gradual increase in relations can be seen as a precursor to a formalized strategic alliance as well as a reversal of the U.S.-China-Russia triangle balance of power that tilts it into their favor. Moreover, economic sanctions placed on Russia as a result of their annexing the Crimean region from Ukraine in 2014 has forced them to abandon most of their Western interests while pivoting them to Asia instead. We’re now seeing agreements and deals between Russia and China streamlined which indicates a formal alliance is in the making. To determine if this is the case, this paper utilized qualitative analysis as well as the realist theory in international relations and the rational choice theory. A comparative case study was also designed to look at reasons and circumstances that force governments to enter into formal alliances. Overall, the evidence indicates that an alliance to counter U.S. soft power projection is in the making.

  • A Master Thesis by Sam Kessler
  • Submitted to the Faculty at American Military University
  • In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the M.A. Degree in National Security Studies with Concentrations in Security and Intelligence analysis.
  • American Public University System, Charleston, WV
  • © Copyright 2017 by Sam Kessler All rights reserved.

Kessler-Final Paper-Capstone-NSEC699.pdf* Download Thesis Here.