May 03, 2024

New CNAS Report Examines the Role of AI in Russia’s Confrontation with the West 

Washington, May 3, 2024 — Today, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) released a new report, The Role of AI in Russia’s Confrontation with the West, by Samuel Bendett, adjunct senior fellow for the Technology and National Security Program at CNAS.

The report offers key insights into Russia’s strategic approach to artificial intelligence (AI) in the military and civilian domains.

“Russian thinking about artificial intelligence development is consistent with that of other major powers that are seeking to respond to an evolving combat environment characterized by growing complexity and rapid technological change,” writes Bendett.

Key findings from the report include:

  • The Russian military establishment is actively investing in AI research, development, testing, and evaluation (RDT&E) to enhance its combat capabilities.
  • Russian military doctrine emphasizes the importance of human oversight (humans in the loop) in the near term.
  • Russia is prioritizing the development and application of uncrewed systems across air, maritime, and ground domains. Improving the capabilities of uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) through AI integration, particularly for command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) purposes, is a key area of emphasis.
  • The Russian government places significant emphasis on leveraging AI in information and cyber operations, including potential applications within its nuclear forces command and control infrastructure.
  • Despite facing challenges such as Western sanctions and export controls, Russia remains steadfast in its commitment to advancing AI capabilities within its military and civilian sectors. These efforts include import substitution initiatives, technological sovereignty programs, and collaboration with strategic partners such as China.

The report underscores the importance of continued scrutiny of Russia's AI development efforts and their implications for global security dynamics. Russia's sustained commitment to AI development signifies its intention to remain a formidable player in the technological arms race.

For more information or to schedule an interview with Samuel Bendett, please contact Alexa Whaley at awhaley@cnas.org. 

Transatlantic Security

The Role of AI in Russia’s Confrontation with the West

Executive Summary Russian thinking about artificial intelligence (AI) development is consistent with that of other major powers that are seeking to respond to an evolving comb...

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