By Stephen Benedict Dyson, Matthew J. Parent

« Content analytics applied to open source material can assist in understanding, predicting, and influencing the behavior of foreign political leaders. We provide evidence to this effect by profiling Russian President Vladimir Putin, who remains a source of consternation to the academic, intelligence, and policy communities. We apply the operational code scheme to a corpus of over one million words spoken by Putin across his time in office, and use the results to adjudicate between the competing portraits of him in the extant literature. We find Putin to hold broadly mainstream beliefs about international politics, albeit qualified by hyper-aggressiveness toward terrorism and a startling preoccupation with political control. His approach is that of an opportunist rather than a strategist. These data represent a stream of information that must be combined with other sources and integrated, through policy judgment, into a comprehensive approach to a foreign political leader. »

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