Russia’s plans of military modernization are quite ambitious. They result from the operational needs determined by New Generation Warfare. In Putin’s own words “our responses are to be based on intellectual superiority. They will be asymmetrical, and less costly.” In other words, it’s about adapting hardware (the Armed Forces) to a new software (New Generation Warfare). One question, however, is if the sanctions are affecting the modernization plans. Accordingly to the numbers presented by the Russian MoD during session of the Board in March 11, the answer is a clear no. In 2015, 97% of the modernization was fulfilled. By now, 47% of the armament and hardware of the Russian Armed Forces are modernized.
Overall, the troops received around 4,000 major advanced weapons and military equipment, including 96 aircraft, 81 helicopter, 2 multi-purpose submarines, 152 anti-aircraft missile systems, 291 radars, more than 400 pieces of artillery and armored vehicles. These equipment are already in operation and were used in Syria. In details: Continue reading →
Aleksandr Dugin is one of the most radical Russian thinkers, one of the main ideologues of National Bolshevism and the Eurasian Movement. I was surprised to find he has a Youtube show in English. It’s interesting to listen to his conspiracy theories and distorted world views. He doesn’t have the degree of influence in the Kremlin as some Western analysts seem to believe. However, milder versions of his ideas are quite popular among Russian officials.
The Armstice in Syria
The European Military-Political Alliance (click on CC, then in auto-translate – English)
Another article from Stephen Blank. I very much agree with him.
Why Does Putin Surprise Us Again and Again?
From Great Britain to the Black Sea, Russia is waging a constant, unceasing information war against virtually every European government. This war takes many forms, but information war in essence entails what Peter Pomerantsev called the weaponization of information in the form of lies, misinformation, propaganda, exploitation of agents of influence, and reflexive actions inducing opponents to behave in ways they think benefit them but actually work to the enemy’s advantage. Among other things, numerous reports show that an army of so-called trolls exist in Russia who do nothing but defame honest reporters and reporting on Russia, and saturate the internet, television, newspapers, and other media with their misinformation.
I’m writing this post to react to many articles I’ve read trying to discuss what became known as Russian Hybrid Warfare. Although I’m glad people finally woke up, there’s still too much misunderstandings about what it is and what it is not. The latest article I’ve read is Michael Kofman’s “Russian Hybrid Warfare and Other Dark Arts.” It’s a good one. Although he lost the target by some centimeters, the article is good to stimulate discussion.
Overall (Kofmann excluded), the first mistake is to believe that the Russians used Hoffman’s framework to shape their own strategy. They didn’t. Instead, they’ve been learning from previous experiences of warfare, mostly from the WWII, the ones based on the concepts of Low Intensity Conflict, Network Centric Warfare, and General Slipchenko’s 6th Generation Warfare. Therefore, it might be characterized as hybrid, only if it means “mix of tools.” It’s completely wrong to believe that the Russian strategy is limited to non-linear, hybrid, call as you wish, methods. They part of it, but don’t define it. The main goal is to achieve the objectives with the minimum application of kinetic force. It should be self-evident, that force will be employed when necessary, including linear and conventional capabilities. See my paper discussing Russian New Generation Warfare. The phases I discuss are not mutually exclusive and can be operationalized simultaneously or independently. Continue reading →
General Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian General Staff, published a very interesting article on the “VPK – Voenno-promyshlennyi kur’er” (Military-Industrial Courier) entitled “On the Syrian Experience.” Although it is usually an obscure publication, in reality it is an important one. It is Gerasimov’s preferred publication, followed by the “Nezavisimoe voennoe obozrenie” (Independent Military Review). General Vladimirov, the vice-president of the Russian Academy of Military Sciences, also publishes there. Thus, it’s good to take a look.
I’m publishing below a bad spaghetti western English translation of the article made by a software. I changed only what was impossible to understand. The piece presents Gerasimov’s views on modern warfare and how Russia should defend itself. It also slaps the Russian Military Science.