Grading Gerasimov: Evaluating Russian Nonlinear War Through Modern Chinese Doctrine

SMALL WARS

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Grading Gerasimov: Evaluating Russian Nonlinear War Through Modern Chinese Doctrine

V. Morris

“Wars are not declared, and having begun, proceed to an unfamiliar template,” stated General Valery Gerasimov, the Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, during a closed speech at the Russian Academy of Military Sciences. The primary topic of this speech was “The Role of the General Staff in the Organization of the Defense of the Country in Correspondence with the New Statute about the General Staff Confirmed by the President of the Russian Federation.”

This speech given in late 2013 was crucial because it enumerated and elucidated the strategies that would develop Russian nonlinear military doctrine in 2014, which is known as “Gerasimov Doctrine”. Russian Foreign Policy Reviews, State Security Strategies and “Gerasimov Doctrine” combined with Russian political views codify nonlinear war as the emergence of a new kind of war. This new form of warfare is facilitated by 21st century technologies and multiple actors employing combinations of conventional and unconventional instruments. In short, “the very rules of war have been fundamentally changed” and, according to General Gerasimov, non-military means have surpassed the power of force to achieve strategic and political goals. The current situation in Ukraine and, to some extent in neighboring former Soviet republics (primarily Baltic States), highlights the application of nonlinear war.

Is it working?

In order to adequately assess current and future threats to European security and the methods to counter such threats, this article intends to “grade”, or evaluates, specific applications of nonlinear war in Ukraine based on Chinese military doctrine, geopolitical strategies and conflicts in Europe.

Russia’s Road to Nonlinear War: Cold War, 1979-Present

Unrestricted war is a war that surpasses all boundaries and restrictions. It takes nonmilitary forms and military forms and creates a war on many fronts. It is the war of the future.

-Colonel Qiao Liang and Colonel Wang Xiangsui, Unrestricted War, Beijing, 1998

“Gerasimov Doctrine” contains particular similarities to the Chinese doctrine outlined in Unrestricted Warfare published in 1999, and historical roots in previous Russian doctrine. Both strategies involve using proxies, or surrogates, to not only exploit vulnerabilities in low intensity conflict, but to also prepare for future operations, which may involve high intensity conflict. Other strategies involve applying both low and high tech asymmetrical means, and also engaging in several forms of war. For example, Unrestricted Warfare describes 13 forms of “total war” and methods to consciously mix “cocktails” on the battlefield, or to employ combinations of forms of warfare in order to find innovative and effective approaches. In Ukraine, the notion of consciously “mixing cocktails” to produce effective nonlinear strategies highlights the unpredictable effects that these tactics may have on the organs of government. Regardless of the particular nonlinear strategies applied, destabilization and exploitation of vulnerabilities are the results. Therefore, the assessment tool for this article is the effective application of warfare combinations in four categories to reach specific long-term political outcomes.

In continuing to approach this assessment within an academic metaphor, this article imagines Russia as a student. Russia has studied nonlinear war since the Cold War (called Active Measures) and Afghanistan through the 1980s, and continued these studies with interventions in Moldova and Lithuania in the early 1990s. Furthermore, from 1994 to 2009, Russia double majored in nonlinear war during the First and Second Chechen Wars. While completing Undergraduate degrees, Russia entered the workforce by engaging Georgia with espionage in 2006, conducting cyber attacks against Estonia in 2007, and completing “counterterrorism” campaigns in Chechnya in 2009. The Russo-Georgian War in 2008, however, is an exemplary case first, of the evolution of nonlinear or hybrid capabilities; secondly, of the application of indirect instruments in order to destabilize a country; and thirdly, of the volatile effects of such tactics that persist until today. Moreover, during and after this conflict, Russian tactics also combined cyber warfare with both informational and conventional means. Currently, through the lens of this article’s academic metaphor, Russia is further developing its nonlinear war practices by pursuing a Master’s Degree in Ukraine. This program involves subjects like gaining and maintaining popular support, military mobilization, refinement of nonlinear approaches to war and preparation for future unconventional conflicts.

21st Century Warfare

What we see in Russia now in this hybrid approach to war, is the use of all the tools that they have to reach into a nation and cause instability.

-General Philip M. Breedlove, Munich Security Report 2015

“New generation, ambiguous, hybrid, nonlinear, unrestricted, irregular, unconventional and asymmetric” are all terms associated with 21st century warfare. Warfare is typically defined in two general forms: Traditional and Irregular, where the latter can apply hybrid threat strategies to reach mutual benefitting effects. Irregular Warfare is defined as a violent struggle among state and non-state actors for legitimacy and influence over the relevant populations.  Irregular Warfare favors indirect approaches and asymmetric means. A central component of Irregular Warfare is unconventional warfare, which employs “activities conducted to enable a resistance movement or insurgency to coerce, disrupt, or overthrow a government or occupying power by operating through or with an underground, auxiliary, and guerilla force in a denied area”.  Another definition of Irregular Warfare outlines the achievement of “strategic objectives by avoiding an adversary’s conventional military strength while eroding an adversary’s power and will, primarily through the use of indirect, non-traditional aspects of warfare.” The former application of unconventional warfare relies on external parties aiding indigenous actors against governments. Some examples of aid involve training, equipping, advising and employing kinetic action to seize terrain or increase the advantage of irregular forces. The term “irregular forces” refers to State and non-State military or paramilitary forces. Nonlinear warfare directly or indirectly employs non-military and military instruments through the following means: diplomats, intelligence agencies, professional soldiers, special operations forces, insurgents, guerillas, extremist groups, mercenaries and criminals.

Contemporary hybrid warfare, hybrid threat and hybrid aggression have all been used to describe potent and complex variations of warfare in the 21st century. Although this type of warfare is not new, contemporary threat actors are redefining the application by employing 21st century technologies and combinations of diplomatic, intelligence formation, militaristic, economic and humanitarian means, and in various domains to include cyberspace. What further complicates this form of warfare is the persistent fluctuation and manipulation of political, informational and ideological conflict– key aspects of hybrid warfare which extend past traditional coercive diplomacy and unconventional war. This article utilizes the term “nonlinear war” in the same way as defined by Russian military doctrine: as a means to reach desired strategic orientation and geopolitical outcomes primarily using non-military approaches.

Making the Grade

Today’s wars will affect the price of gasoline in pipelines, the price of food in supermarkets, and the price of securities on the stock exchange. They will also disrupt the ecological balance and push their way into every one of our homes by way of the television screen

-Alvin Toffler

As previously outlined, the grading process considers the effectiveness of warfare combinations and their ability to reach their intended outcomes. In the case of Ukraine, probable intended outcomes are summarized first, as destabilizing both the region specifically and the European Union as a whole and secondly as preventing NATO military infrastructure near Russian borders, and thirdly as preventing NATO membership expansion. Political ideology involving Eurasianism and dividing the west are also possible objectives. The following assessments are based on how well the Russian Federation conducts various operations in conflicts with regard to four combination categories as outlined in Chinese unrestricted warfare doctrine: supra-national, supra-domain, supra-means and supra-tier.

Supra-national Combinations are a synthesis of national, international and non-state organizations.  In the 21st century, global powers must borrow multinational and non-state powers in order to expand their own influence. One of the most recent examples of this combination involves the creation of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and its competition with Ukrainian European integration, which eventually led to the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution. This union operates through supranational and intergovernmental institutions which include a mutual defense alliance. Possible Russian objectives for the EEU involve growth into a powerful, supra-national union of sovereign states analogous to the European Union in order to form a unilaterally beneficial bridge between Europe and Asia. Intermediate competitive objectives may involve enlarging the Customs Union to post soviet states, which could eventually involve breakaway regions of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine whose parent countries have already signed association agreements with the European Union. Ukraine is strategically important because it has the second largest economy of any of the 15 former republics of the Soviet Union. The EEU is the probable mechanism for waging current and future non-military forms of warfare with regard to international law, finance, economics and resources. This fact is made evident by the recruitment efforts of the EEU on one side, imposition of sanctions, northwestern European defense cooperation, and oil production by Middle Eastern States, on the other.

Another example of the concise application of supra-national combinations is the perceived manipulation of the world’s largest security intergovernmental organization, known as the Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). This organization is responsible for monitoring ceasefires in Ukraine, including the Minsk Protocol which collapsed in early 2015, and the ceasefire currently in effect. Historically, the Russian Federation has accused the OSCE of being a tool for Western states to advance specifically western economic and political interests. Recently, allegations have surfaced that the OSCE has a pro-Russian bias, which explains the organization’s failure to monitor the Minsk Protocol and the subsequent ceasefire and subversive combat operations. This view is consistent with the fact that International Warfare’s objectives are to subvert and sabotage the rule of law. Grade: D

Supra-domain Combinations involve employing or merging combinations beyond the domains of the traditional battlefield. Russia’s ability to overlap all domains to include activities in cyberspace to create political and military effects offers a prime example. The combinations that Russia has employed under this model involve: Media and Fabrication, Cultural warfare (defending compatriot diasporas abroad and leveraging historical memory), Psychological warfare, and Network warfare (dominating or subverting media). Additionally, Russia has emphasized influence operations in the informational domain to reduce the requirement for military forces, which is exercised through: subversion, disinformation campaigns and false narrative control, English and Russian language propaganda, protests and disruptive “trolling” and Twitter.com activities online. Although disinformation campaigns erode over time, employing a whole of government approach using information operations and attacks in the cyber domain supports the overall nonlinear, destabilization efforts in Ukraine as a key component of this type of new warfare.Grade: A

Supra-means Combinations unite aspects of military and non-military means to reach desired objectives. This category can be directly applied to the initial destabilization of Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea. The Crimea operation was a decisive application of nonlinear warfare for a variety of reasons. It illustrates nonlinear warfare phases involving initial destabilization, deception, information operations and limited military intervention, all with local population support. Supra-means Combinations are also visible in the current conflict in Eastern and Southeastern Ukraine involving pro-Russian conventional, irregular and special operations forces that employ blended tactics supported by a malicious information campaign. This initial assessment alone, however, does not adequately address the applications and compounding effects of the more complex combinations in this category. Combinations of technological, resource and economic aid warfare must also be assessed. The technological assessment focuses on having an advantage that involves superior conventional military equipment and weapons of mass destruction capabilities; Russia currently has both. Conversely, pro-Russian separatists currently do not have full control of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine and Sea of Azov access. Therefore, it is clear that this group is not completely successful in combining militaristic, cultural, resource and economic aid warfare at that level. This particular lack of success in turn affects the same combinations on the supra-national level, but with a different degree of intensity. These intermediate objectives involving territorial control may be further met through cease-fire agreements giving concession to separatists, or overt deployment of military forces into the Donbas region if recognized as a Russian State.

Conversely, the result may be a sustained de-centralized insurgency or “frozen conflict” with ineffective mission command from Russian military and political actors further destabilizing both countries economically. International military aid and assistance to Ukrainian security forces and internally displaced persons are also possible long term outcomes creating further instability in the region. Operating through the entire depth of the enemy territory is one of the specified objectives included in “Gerasimov Doctrine”, which ultimately results in territorial defense related political objectives. Grade: C

Lastly, Supra-tier Combinations melds all levels of conflict in each campaign. For instance, the Ukraine campaign for Russia melds tactical, strategic and operational levels of conflict in the region. This category’s assessment is based on “beyond-limits” war in Unrestricted Warfare, where both decentralized and man-machine combinations perform multiple functions. These functions span regional ground tactics to international political level effects. Conventional and unconventional operations involving naval fleets, commercial airliners, armed civilians, tanks, air defense and artillery weapons employment, drone operations, abductions, assassinations and electronic warfare are all examples of how, in Eastern Europe, tactics from this category continue to blur the traditional lines of war. Grade: B

Report Card Conclusion

The above grades are a snapshot in time or “academic term”, and undoubtedly fluctuate based on measures taken by domestic and international partners to counter nonlinear war in both Ukraine and in neighboring countries. This assessment is designed to highlight the approaches and combinations employed during nonlinear war, and more importantly, how these tactics are evolving to become more innovative and effective. By no means, does the article downplay the severity of the conflict in Ukraine and loss of life as a result.  If Russian doctrine and military modernization programs continue to evolve based on nonlinear war experience and limitation assessments, international actors will be presented with an increasingly unconventional threat in future conflicts. In order to counter nonlinear and unconventional approaches to war, and identify vulnerabilities, one must first understand and assess these approaches to preempt crippling and irreversible political effects.

References

  1. Unrestricted Warfare
  1. Counter Unconventional War White Paper (USASOC)
  1. Munich Security Report 2015
  1. JP 3-26 Counterterrorism
  1. TC 7-100 Hybrid Threat

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Comments

 

In order to understand this below one must fully understand exactly what the former KGB and GDR MfS Stasi mean with the term of “influence operations” WHICH means that there are very very few US grey beard types left alive that fully understand and have experienced that period of the COLD War and understand what and how the Soviet Union and GDR used “influence ops in those days”…so critical in understanding exactly what Russia is now doing.

US intel report: Vladimir Putin “ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election”
http://cnn.it/2il3jQj

There are two major German books that would contribute greatly to this debate ….one by a GDR Stasi COL who actually ran the GDR MfS “influence operations Department X” for over 25 years and one written by a former MfS Stasi officer a Major who was recruited and worked for the German BND before he was extracted in a day time op to bring him to the West…AND who led and recruited 25 West German economic espionage agents…9 who were arrested in a single day and another 15 who fled back to the GDR….

The exact same “influence ops TTPs” of the 80s is exactly what we are seeing today just updated due to the IT technology of social media…internet and hacking…..and a 24 hour news cycle coupled with “fake news and fake news sites”….

AFTER more Trump tweets today referencing WLs and Russian hacking being a “witch hunt”…it is important to bring back up comments taken from a 1992 German published book which concerned the GDR Stasi COL who headed the GDR Disinformation Warfare Dept X for over 25 years……

Stasi’s highly secretive “Department X” in charge of active measures [aktive Maßnahmen] was first presented internally in Belzig in 1986

Book in German
Auftrag Irrefuerhung
Wie die Stasi Politik im Westen machte
Publisher Carlson

Auftrag: Irreführung. Wie die Stasi Politik im Westen machte – Amazon.de
https://www.amazon.de/Auftrag-Irreführung-Politik-Westen-machte/dp/3551850038

Fits nicely with the Trump tweets…..

Stasi: “Conspiracy was widely practiced—most widely concerning the existence and responsibilities of the Active Measures Department [X]”
—‘Embarrassment’
—‘corrosion’ [Zersetzung]
—‘incitement’
—‘disruption’
—‘influence’
—‘discrediting’
“even combined into one active measure”

Stasi covert operator: “Active measures directed against [Western] intelligence agencies in Bonn were code-named JUNGLE”

Stasi memoirs: “[KGB] black propaganda used camouflage and deception in order to penetrate deep into the political structures of the West.”

Stasi, 1980s: “Black and white propaganda were not divided by some firewall. They were more like twins: information and disinformation”
Perhaps the most remarkable historical novelty when comparing 1980s Active Measures to the 2010s: this recurring tenet is no longer valid —
MEANING..in the 80s if the active measure was detected they would back off…NOW Russia in fact doubles down more.

A few details on how Russia’s KGB and East Germany’s Stasi cooperated on active measures and covert influence operations

“In the 80s we increased our support for the West German peace movement—at the same time we fought the pacifists in our own country”

Stasi HVA, 1989: “Western intelligence agencies simply didn’t have such a fine-grained disinformation apparatus in Europe.”

“We [Stasi] eventually learned that psychological warfare did not favor peace”

One of the most amazing details from an amazing book: Stasi active measures & disinformation targeted famous Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal
Always amazing what Stasi covert Active Measure operators said about Western journalists—not dissimilar assessments probably going on today

This is what I mean by being now in a true “war”…”a war on the invisible front” common phase during the Cold War used by GDR Stasi….KGB and GRU spies inside the West…..as well as Polish SB and the Czech BtS agents.

Major GDR Stasi operator: “Our ‘battle on the invisible front’—that is inside the West—was unencumbered by moral constraints vis-a-vis the ‘enemy.'”

GDR Stasi: “The disinformation we engaged in far surpassed everything that [Western] intelligence agencies did—in character, extent & intensity”

QUOTE
Stunning section—eg: “Among many journalists prejudices against their own intelligence agencies were predominant—thus facilitating our work”
UNQUOTE

QUOTE
Note that op isn’t over—it simply entered its next phase. Trump is inadvertently prolonging this active measure, making it *more effective*
UNQUOTE

“What would active measures be without the journalist?” asks Stasi’s head of active measures, reflecting on his trade after 25 years in 1986

Stasi: “journalism and intelligence have objectively entered a kind of marriage. Both complement each other and can’t let go of each other.”

“The press, radio, and TV are the ideal battleground for a Stasi operator focused on active measures.”

Stasi memoirs: “Active measures are a Soviet invention that didn’t just imply a ‘war of words,’ but also a specific intelligence structure”

“Often the truth served the lie.”

GDR Stasi active measures operator, 1992
Couple this mindset now with cyber/info warfare….and you have the “war” I am talking about….

Cyberwar for Sale

After a maker of surveillance software was hacked, its leaked documents shed light on a shadowy global industry that has turned email theft into a terrifying — and lucrative — political weapon.
By MATTATHIAS SCHWARTZJAN. 4, 2017
http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/04/magazine/cyberwar-for-sale.html

BTW…if you have been following me on the Ukrainian thread since Crimea you would have seen me post a tons of comments around this particular Italian software company….Hacking Team….they had a massive hack and millions of Megs of data..emails…sales contracts….actual hacking tools/software viruses and malware software was placed on the common internet…

I downloaded all 800M of their data and am still going through it for my customers especially the hacking tools side of the house and all Microsoft problems they spotted and successfully used when MS did not know they even existed……….they sidestepped EU export regulations when they sold their tools and software…

AND our new incoming President being as smart as he claims he is should have known all of this if he fully understands hacking as he claims he does….

This is from 1986 and from the major GDR Stasi officer mentioned above…..RECOGNIZE anything?????

Stasi, 1986: “For the man on the street it is getting harder to assess [news stories]. This is where we come in as an intelligence agency.”

East Germany’s Stasi created ‘active measures’ Department X after receiving KGB instructions to do so during a visit to Moscow in ~1961

THIS GDR Stasi officer was the master craftsman of his tradecraft….active measures for over 25 years …ie information warfare and disinformation…..

Stasi’s Wagenbreth: “A powerful adversary can be defeated only by carefully and methodically exploiting every crack within its own society”

NOW does everyone fully understand what drives the Russian non linear warfare at it’s core….
1. cyber warfare
2. information warfare including disinformation

AND this is what the former General Flynn and Trump seem to want to fully forget……WHY is that….simply put…both are fully and completely compromised by visits to Moscow and what occurred there…

QUOTED references are in German from the German book…English translation
MISSION: DECEPTION—amazing, eerily topical 1992 book on Stasi active measures in the West, by two former operators, one from “Department X”
Stasi’s highly secretive “Department X” in charge of active measures [aktive Maßnahmen] was first presented internally in Belzig in 1986

Large number of confirming documents reside in the German Federal MfS Stasi Document Center here in Berlin and is open for researchers of that period..

 

A second book on GDR Stasi Economic Espionage that I highly recommend since I debriefed Stiller in a record timeframe shortly before he departed Berlin as he was being extracted via the BND out of East Berlin to Munich….after his extraction the West German government arrested 9 GDR economic espionage agents and 15 fled back to the GDR….virtually wiping out in a single move the entire GDR Stasi HVA economic espionage department.

He carried out of East Berlin with him over 40,000 microfiche from the Stasi safe of his Department Chief a COL.

Stiller went on to be moved to the US under witness protection until the Wall fell and now he is back in Germany as he had been sentenced to death in absentia by the MfS.

Book:
In the Center of Spying
Werner Stiller
Im Zentrum der Spionage von Werner Stiller (Autor)
Broschiert – August 1994
In German

WITHOUT fully understanding both books one truly cannot understand and appreciate Russian information and cyber warfare as part of their political warfare aimed at the US…..

Actually has not stopped since the 80s when one thinks about it….

 

The interesting fact in all of this is …and the incoming administration seems..actually no…appears to not believe what Russia conducted was in fact non linear warfare….

While we have seen that the IC concludes Russian hacking occurred and was directed from the level of a Putin…what is not so clear is did in fact the hacking actually change votes..only a thorough analysis of the hacks on the three State databases and comparing paper ballots against digital counts is the only sure way to answer this….

BUT we do know and can prove as very effective information war was being driven as well and that did in fact change votes…..if we take one analysis….from a very good poller….the hammering on the Clinton emails tied to the FBI sudden investigation and the emails being released COST the Clinton campaign a sudden swing of 23-31% and that shortly before the election…

We also have proven that 33% of all proTrump English produced tweets came from a Russian owned Macedonian troll factory….

THIS does not include the massive fake news sites and the magnification of that fake news by alt right and neo conversation blogsites and websites..numbering in the hundreds..

And this by @maxseddon, the first reporter to dive into Russian troll operations in the US
https://www.buzzfeed.com/maxseddon/documents-show-how-russias-troll-army-hit-america?utm_term=.qb26RA29e#.aceO7BNMG

In some aspects information warfare is far more dangerous than hacking as it attempts through a number of varying narrative all previously placed into play via Moscow to change the views of the general public…

QUOTE
1/06/2017 —
WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), the Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement today after the release of a declassified intelligence report highlighting Russian hacking and interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election:
“Our elections should be decided by American citizens, not foreign hackers, heads of state, or their propagandists.
This report shows that Russian operatives actively manipulated our presidential election.  They left cyber fingerprints and the U.S. intelligence community unanimously concluded that Russia intervened with the intention of undermining Hillary Clinton and helping Donald Trump.  The report clearly states: ‘the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him.’
Regardless, as Senator McCain points out: this was an attack on all Americans because it undermines our democracy.
We know that Russia continues to engage in similar cyber campaigns and we need to take corrective action to put a stop to it.
This declassified report is a start, but it is not enough.  The American public has been given a glimpse of a few pieces of a much larger puzzle.  They deserve as much information as can be provided without putting our intelligence assets and techniques at risk.  And the most effective way to achieve that goal is through an independent, select committee to investigate Russian interference with our election.
There is hard evidence and broad consensus from U.S. intelligence officials on this matter, and there ought to be bipartisan consensus and action from Congress, too.
This is not about embarrassing the President-elect; it’s about protecting our democracy.  I realize this may be an uncomfortable situation for President-elect Trump, but the American people and the strength of our democracy should come first.”

 

At the heart of Russian non linear warfare are the two key cornerstones…cyber and information warfare……and Russia played these two very well during the US campaign and election….

SUPPORTED by the now President elect with his unending number of twitter storms….

Fun fact! The last time the President-elect held a press conference, he encouraged Russia to actively hack Secretary Clinton’s emails MAYBE that is why he holds no more press conferences.

Just a reminder that, if you were paying attention, Trump’s Russia links were perfectly clear last summer
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/how-a-trump-presidency-could-destabilize-europe/2016/07/21/9ec38a20-4f75-11e6-a422-83ab49ed5e6a_story.html?utm_term=.70633ddaa0a6

Also, Trump’s use of Russian narratives has been evident for many months
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/globa
l-opinions/why-is-trump-suddenly-talking-about-world-war-iii/2016/10/28/be44cc0e-9d24-11e6-a0ed-ab0774c1eaa5_story.html?utm_term=.6714df96c8c2

Use of “secret” information plus trolling has been standard Russian tool, used in European elections for years
Anne Applebaum: Russia does its best to elect President Trump

On a scale of one to five with one being the best score..Russia’s one is “winning” right now….

 

“Given the fact that Russian non-linear warfare is not so much directed at
winning wars but at undermining societies and political systems, Western strategy
should focus more on strengthening the resilience of post-Soviet countries.”

March 2016

file:///C:/Users/575222/Downloads/klein_russiamilitary_feb16_web.pdf

http://www.stratcomcoe.org/online_library

 

“Given the fact that Russian non-linear warfare is not so much directed at
winning wars but at undermining societies and political systems, Western strategy
should focus more on strengthening the resilience of post-Soviet countries.”

March 2016

file:///C:/Users/575222/Downloads/klein_russiamilitary_feb16_web.pdf

http://www.stratcomcoe.org/online_library

 

 

Unrestricted Warfare Author on Geopolitics 2016….

Source: Qiao Liang, “Major General: How Should China Contend Against the US,”China Military Online (in English), 6 January 2016.

To effectively contain the United States, other countries shall think more about how to cut off the capital flow to the US while formulating their strategies because that’s the way to control America’s lifeblood. Why could the 9/11 in 2001 hit the US so hard? Apart from political and mental impact, a much heavier blow was that it drove more than US$300 billion out of the country within a month.

If we connect and analyze all kinds of geopolitical events in this way, we must have a deeper understanding of geopolitics and currency-politics instead of simply emphasizing the importance of the former but ignoring the latter’s decisive influence on the world.

The US is the first financial empire in the world, and will be the last one as far as I’m concerned. There will be no more empire or financial hegemony after the US because the Internet age has arrived, in which currency has become highly electronic and online consumption and remote transaction are driving away paper money.

Then what is China faced with in a world when geopolitics and currency-politics still exist? I think it’s an age when the US dollar, Euro and RMB will all play a part. After that, currency will be replaced by a new model of denomination.

In this process, China should follow the trend and seize opportunities to realize its own interests. From geopolitics to currency-politics and to the current age that we can hardly name yet, only those who can adapt to changes will be the final winner.

 

History, doctrine, SOF employment, State as a System analysis, propaganda mechanisms, and Effects Based Operations.

http://sprotyv.info/en/news/10597-russian-hybrid-warfare-what-are-effect…

Russian Priorities of Warfare

1. Methodological priority: World view and methodology – changing the worldview and methodology of the individual as a means of warfare method (how a person sees the world) is the most potent from the sustainability point of view. That is why the Russian Orthodox Church and the creation of the “Russian World” as an all-encompassing worldview is of utmost priority for Russia in order to achieve its long-term goals.

2. Chronological priority, the warfare of history – to distort history and chronology in order to justify claims on new territories both for external and internal users as well as to brainwash external and internal victims with propaganda for them to regard Russian claims as legitimate.

3. Priority based on facts and their interpretations: ideology, technology, methodology. The examples: Russian Doctrine, ideology of Russia as Third Rome,AlexandrDugin’s ideology and hisEurasianism,Panslavism based on distorted historical interpretations (see above – 2nd chronololgical priority).

4. Economics priority: eсonomics and finance warfare (example – trade wars against Ukraine, use of the unjustified gas price as an instrument of war against Europe and Ukraine, Russian banking and finance system as warfare tool against Ukraine, currency speculations and throw-in of counterfeit local currency in order to destabilize Ukrainian currency and the Ukrainian monetary system, strategy to buy sovereign debt of victim country and then to request immediate debt re-payment etc.)

5. Ecological priority, “Genetics” warfare (alcohol, tobacco, environmental pollution e.t.c.) – to promote in the victim country a tolerance to abuse of alcohol, narcotics, to support environmental pollution, deliberately destroying the infrastructure and industrial capacities of the victim county e.t.c. In line with this priority Russia is making efforts to destroy the infrastructure of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblast. The terrorists mined the Stirol chemical plant, threatening to cause an environmental catastrophe in the Donetsk Oblast.

6. Military priority: conventional warfare. Military warfare was used by Russia in a new form of an undeclared hybrid war with a wide application of newly created Special Operation Forces (SSO) in combination with use of local residents brainwashed by the ‘higher’ priorities of warfare described above.

As we can see that information and network operation strategies are key and cover 5 priorities of 6 (Methodological priority, Chronological priority, Priority based on facts, Economics priority, Ecological priority) and only one priority is a conventional military priority.

Article was published in Euromaidan Press on November 5th, 2014










 

Victor,

I found your analysis interesting, but your grading criteria for the Russian doctrine too kind. Russia at best has developed a doctrine that gave them an “initial” edge in Ukraine, but now what? The conflict is looking more and more conventional to me, whether the combatants wear uniforms or not.

Theoretically this doctrine could be employed in other countries bordering Russia that have discontented Russia populations, but where else? I agree it gives them the advantage in the initial phases of the conflict, but then what? And since their hand has been exposed it would be much more difficult to pull this off in the future. To get a grade of C, much less an A, I would need Russian theorists to explain to me what they accomplished beyond inadvertently strengthening NATO, weakening the Russian economy,and making Russia an international pariah state. Hopefully they could provide something beyond increasing their nationalist, which is a sword that cuts both ways. Doctrine in the end should enable military and other forms of power to achieve the state’s policy goals. Is it really doing that?

To me Russia seems to be in a bit of a quagmire in Ukraine. Perhaps this is why they’re sending more conventional military support to Assad? Do they need a perceived win somewhere? I guess a win in this case would be anything that allows them to poke the West in the eye and get away with it? That is a pride win, not a long term interests win. However, we must recognize that pride can be dangerous, and proud men don’t always make what we consider to be rational decisions.

In Europe their new doctrine would probably fail “if” NATO pushed back, which is why it is being executed under a nuclear umbrella to deter NATO from pushing back. So the real risk isn’t their non-linear doctrine, but the risk that non-linear warfare could intentionally or accidentally lead to nuclear warfare. In many respects this form of warfare isn’t all that new, nor has it proven to be overly effective. Little green men without big green men and their armor and their nukes behind them would accomplish little in Europe beyond creating some instability. The advantage Russia enjoys is that the West desires to stay in the gray zone. They’re exploiting what they see as our political weakness, but only time will prove if NATO is weak or wise.

Also it is a bit of a stretch to confuse two Chinese COL’s writing an article on what they called unrestricted warfare as Chinese military doctrine. China may think about these things, but what we know is they’re modernizing their military to include their cyber capabilities. That would indicate that non-linear, unrestricted, and other forms of warfare executed by powerful state actors will still be dependent on credible conventional and nuclear capabilities to deter those targeted from quickly crushing the unconventional aspects of their doctrine.

The third off set strategy seems to be largely focused on high end technology, which will certainly be needed, but we’ll be remiss if it doesn’t address the irregular warfare aspect of war also. Despite claims to the contrary, the last decade of war really didn’t make us better at it. Also we’ll lose whatever skills we did gain if they’re not continued to be taught and practiced. This goes back to what Secretary Gates told DOD, they need to maintain a balanced portfolio of capabilities that isn’t too heavily slanted one way or the other.

 

Bill M,

Thanks for the comments and critiques. The “academic snapshot” has definitely changed in the last six months. I’ll re-visit some of your main points later, but just want to briefly address the “Chinese doctrine” comments. The revised version of this article referenced Unrestricted Warfare as unoffcial doctrine and highlighted China’s three warfare concepts which alot of other authors here have mentioned/analysed recently. Those concepts are: Psychological, Media and Legal. I agree with you that those concepts mutually support cyber, conventional and nuclear warfare.

 

Kudos on a very fine article, particularly the illumination of the connection between the Chinese approach to unrestricted warfare without boundaries, and the Russian implementation of the same idea, what the Americans and NATO are now calling hybrid warfare.

I am so very sad to say that I conceptualized all of this in 1989 for General Al Gray’s article, Global Intelligence Challenges of the 1990’s as published in the American Intelligence Journal (and easily found online by searching for the title).

In particular I distinguished between the Conventional Threat and the Emerging Threat as shown below, and called for “peaceful preventive measures” as a major aspect of integrated national security strategy.

Conventional Threat
Governmental
Conventional/Nuclear
Static Orders of Battle
Linear
Rules of Engagement (ROE)
Known Doctrine
Strategic Warning
Known Intelligence Assets

Emerging Threat
Non-Governmental
Non-Conventional
Dynamic or Random
Non-linear
No constraints (ROE)
Unknown doctrine
No established I&W net
Unlimited 5th column

Typically then, and still today, no one wanted to listen. Conventional war is profitable for the few, peace is profitable for the many, and intelligence is irrelevant to how Washington makes decisions. Our military is a spending machine, nothing more. Viet-Nam and Iraq were about “using up” our military so we would have to buy it again. Until we can establish the primacy of intelligence (evidence-based decision support to strategy, policy, acquisition, and operations) and restore integrity to counterintelligence (enabling the FBI to nail the known financial, religious, and ideological traitors in senior positions across the board) we will continue to be a corrupt ineffective nation unable to assure the security and prosperity of our public.

 

I appreciate the comments and SWJ’s continued professional and support. This article was written in early May (before my first trip to Ukr) and a lot has undoubtedly changed since then. I’m in Ukraine now, so I’ll try and add to the discussion later. I’d like to address tactical level hybrid formations and mission command systems on both sides. I agree with a lot of your recent assessments highlighting past non-linear wars and how quickly it has adapted and transitioned recently.

Additional Notes: 8 Phases of New Generation/Non-linear war doctrine
1-2.Non-military asymmetric warfare
3. Combination of steps 1-2
4. Arrival of polite green men
5. Indirect military action
6. Employment of direct military measures
7. Combination of targeted campaigns
8. Destroy points of resistance and surviving enemy units

 

Vicrasta—-if you are in fact in the Ukraine–then get as much info as the UAF will feed you on the following;

1. use of Spetsnaz as a led attack unit vs the perceived role as a SOF unit–but since this current ceasefire they have gone back to their original SOF role as sabotage, sniper and recon units AND heavily involved in the training of proxy sabotage units
2. integration of Russian officers in the C&C of the proxy mercenary units
3. gain all available experience of the UAF in a totally Russian controlled EW environment
NOTE: social media has reported that in the current largescale Russian exercise Center 2015–the Russians are deploying and using a fully automated EW system.
4. all UAF experience in a total denied airspace environment meaning no air/helio support of any kind
5. UAF workarounds in a total comms jammed environment
6. UAF experience in weathering massive shelling attacks both from artillery and MLRSs
7. counter battery success or failures–most of the time the UAF did not return fire out of fear of being accused of violating Minsk 2–but when they did social media has carried a number of reports on actual successes in stopping Russian fire
8. gain as much info as possible on the Russian heavy use of drones and how the drones were used to direct arty fire as well as surveillance–there were days of 25-30 in the air at one time.
9. how is the Ukrainian State Security layering the deep sabotage/terror fight that has been accompanying the ground fighting
10. gain everything possible on the Russian tactical battle groups–ie at the Company and BN levels—meaning TO&E and tactics–that is where they are maneuvering well and that is the future direction their are heading in
11. gain anything on any new weapon or weapons systems as the Russians have been liberally testing all their new equipment in battlefield conditions–it is as almost as if they do not care if we see them

As for MC—there has been virtually no reported MC coming back down from the UAF General Staff–actually the two major defeats–August 2014 and Debeltseve were detected by ground commanders who asked to pull out prior to the encirclements but were held in place by the GS. The ground fighting commanders have actually been rather good in the face of what is ongoing across from their units.

There is though one interesting note—during the early stages of the UAF ATO campaign in 2014–even as a rag tag group the UAF ground commanders broke into a shoot and scoot mindset and ran with it with no instructions from a totally incompetent UAF GS—in some aspects similar to Guerderian and ended up in August 2014 having almost beaten the mercenaries by enveloping them a number of times–this triggered the Russian invasion to rescue their proxies.

Question would be–was this actually MC as they knew their President’s intent–defeat the mercenaries and protect the Ukraine, was it just battlefield instinct and Us war movies or did it come out of their Russian doctrinal training days????

Also critical to look at is —-has the UAF actually stalemated the Russian army and her mercenaries as the current Russian doctrine is really still focused on a deep fight developing out of encirclements.

During this summer offensive which it was regardless of what the MSM/WH/Obama/Kerry say–the Russian forces led by Spetsnaz were stymied at every attempt to break through—this is critical– can in fact the Russian deep fight doctrine be stopped with a very early and aggressive attack on the one or both of the enveloping elements–meaning stop one and the other hesitates out of fear they have created a counter break through point and vice versa allowing the defender the chance to regroup and defend well.

Layered over all of this is a very aggressive weaponization of information war that is still very active and from our side–we have never been in the game–we have nothing similar to it–ie 700M USD invested for next year alone in their TV/radio global reach not counting their internet troll army.

Since you are from the JMRC–then you know that there is currently no DATE scenario that fits perfectly the Ukrainian environment–WHICH must become the standard if the training centers really seriously want to counter non linear warfare.

Even the one recently run at the NTC came nowhere close to it–they did not run it under total comms blackout/jamming, they did not have a massive enemy EW environment, they did not replicate the extensive and very heavy arty/rocket shelling 24 X 7 estimated at times to be over 200 tons fired at them daily, they did not replicate a denied airspace and or SEAD ops etc.

THEN on top of all of that one must factor in the now six single points of failure inside the Russian version of non linear warfare and at the same time factor in their adaption to these single points of failure in order to fully understand what is now ongoing in Sept 2015.

Then and only then will any US Army training scenario truly replicate the Ukrainian environment.

If you can succeed in replicating say 90% of the above then you have a scenario to be proud of–anything under 90% is failure in my eyes.

Let’s not even get into the current Iranian non linear version.

We claim for ourselves that the US Army is adaptive and agile–but the Russians are actually showing us that even in their structured top down system –yes it can be equally as adaptive and agile as well.

Having worked with them in Atlas Vision 2012/2013–that actually is a surprise for me as they in all the planning sessions in Germany and Moscow never did show us that side of them.

 

Outlaw 09,

Good rundown and I’ll see what I can do this week.

 

Remember this is all after the Russian non linear warfare crosses a known international border–I posted here awhile ago an interesting article from a NYC Professor who is extremely knowledgeable on the Russian military about what he called “non linear defense”–meaning what can a targeted country do when it sees non linear warfare building –meaning what does it do internally prior to combat ops to counter it from a legal, economic and political sense.

In some aspects this is extremely important–meaning can the target country defend itself in the build up phase that would block the aggressor before the fact.

An interesting concept—-

BTW–we talk as if non linear warfare is a one way street–but what if the aggrieved nation decides to flip it but in a non violent manner.

Even after a one year of war with Russia the Ukraine has not blockaded the Crimea–the Tartars who have suffered badly since the take over have started a non violent blockade of all roads leading into Crimea—the average daily food shipments were around 4-7 tons of food needed daily.

If that stopped CAN in fact Russia step in and provide that same services?

How does Kremlin handle #CrimeaBlockade while at the same time focusing on Syria? Which it is supplying via…Crimeahttps://twitter.com/olliecarroll/statuses/645543375698010112

THAT is one heck of non linear flip in progress–meaning can the Russian adventure into Syria be forced to come to a stand still due to having to focus on a non violent food blockade over their treatment of the Tartars in Crime????

Meaning the Ukraine can say to Putin–we are not behind this–it is your fault for your treatment of the Tartars so work it out with them–plausible denialability can be played two ways.

Km-long line of trucks at checkpoint in Kalanchak #Kherson region on entry to #Crimea @krymrealii pic.twitter.com/IvUjuUMmqJ

 

In all the articles written and published here in SWJ on the subject of Russian non linear warfare or the Chinese, Iranian and IS UW strategies we as readers seem/appear to have simply forgotten two critical items so necessary in the conversation–we act as if they are in fact there BUT and this is critical they are not there by any means.

1. the necessary and completely total whole of government approach needed to counter non linear warfare regardless of flavor of the month-simply stated we as a country, government and political/military leadership do not do whole of government well actually if AFG and Iraq are the best examples we have–then not at all. We talk a great game but when the rubber hits the road daily–nothing to be seen.

2. in order to fully counter all flavors of non linear warfare one must have a WH, NSC, DNI, DoD, DoS that has in fact developed a C-UW strategic national level strategy that is clear and concise that allows then one to implement a counter concept regardless and this is key regardless of flavor of the month or yes even multiple flavors of the month as we now see with Russia and Iran in Syria.

Sorry to say this President, his entire 700 person NSC staff and his DNI are not capable of creating one and they have actually had over three years to do it–as even social media saw this coming at them that long ago.
At least DoD has begun the discussion and formulations of one–but the political side and DoS are missing in action.

As proof that we have not even a single coherently stated foreign policy built around any strategic strategy here are a few examples of day to day reality this current WH has not even begun to address other than via tap dancing–so all the theoretical discussions on UW and or C-UW are a collective waste of time.

Wait, you mean eroding NATO forces has consequences? “The conclusion was that we are unable to defend the Baltics.” http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/09/18/exclusive-the-pentagon-is-preparing-…

As usual, the #Kremlin is not aware of anything. More vacationers, tourists and volunteers.
http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/a5f5117e-5e03-11e5-a28b-50226830d644.html…

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s senior military advisor says Russia is in sync with Iran regarding Syriahttp://www.criticalthreats.org/iran-news-round-september-18-2015

Syria: #Russia|n selfie soldiers’ locations @ProtestSPb pic.twitter.com/muEs6IpGPK

Russia’s soldiers aren’t only in Latakia & Tartus. Their selfies geolocated to Aleppo, Hama, Homs, Damascus. #Syria https://twitter.com/loogunda/status/644726066012143616

OR has any SWJ reader here seen a publicly debated US C-UW strategy come out of this WH in say the last 6 or so years–if it did I must have been sleep walking.

 

https://de.informnapalm.org/mark-gal…inearer-krieg/

While this is in German—highly recommend reading it as Mark is one of the leading global SMEs on the Russian military and his blog “In the Shadows of Moscow” is worth following—-and he has just released a thorough book on the Russian Spetsnaz.

Mark Galeotti: Die „Gerassimow-Doktrin“ und Russlands nicht-linearer Krieg

Der Autor, Dr. Mark Galeotti erforscht russischen Geschichte und Sicherheitsfragen seit den späten 1980er Jahren. Seine Ausbildung absolvierte er an der Universität Cambridge und der LSE. Heute ist er Professor für Global Affairs am „Center for Global Affairs“ der „School of Professional Studies“ an der New York University und ein assoziiertes Mitglied der NYU für Geschichte, Russisch und Slawistik. Bis 2008 war er Leiter der „History in the UK“ sowie Leiter der Abteilung für die Erforschung der „Organisierten Kriminalität in Russland und Eurasien“ an der Keele Universität.

Wie auch immer Sie es nennen, ob „nicht-linearer Krieg“ (was ich bevorzuge), „hybrider Krieg“ oder „spezieller Krieg“, die russischen Operationen, zunächst auf der Krim und im Osten der Ukraine, haben gezeigt, dass Moskau sich in Zukunft verstärkt auf neue Formen der Politik konzentriert. In vielerlei Hinsicht ist dies eine Erweiterung dessen, was ich an anderer Stelle als Russlands „Guerilla- Geopolitik“ bezeichnet habe. Sie geht von der Anerkennung der Tatsache aus, dass neue Taktiken benötigt werden, die sich auf die Schwächen des Gegners konzentrieren und direkte und offene Konfrontationen vermeiden. Um in einer Welt bestehen zu können, deren internationale Ordnung vom Kreml zunehmend als lästig empfunden wird und in Anbetracht der Mächte und Allianzen mit größerer rein militärischer, politischer und wirtschaftlicher Stärke. Um ehrlich zu sein, sind dies Taktiken, gegen welche die NATO – noch immer in letzter Konsequenz eine Allianz zur Bekämpfung und Abschreckung einer mit massenhaftem Panzereinsatz geführten sowjetischen Invasion – weder Wissen noch Erfahrung hat, damit umzugehen. (In der Tat könnte man den Standpunkt vertreten, dass das gar nicht Aufgabe der NATO ist, was allerdings auf einem anderen Blatt steht.)

Wie so oft weist uns die späte Einsicht eines raffiniert-scharfzüngigen Besserwissers dringend darauf hin, dass wir das hätten erwarten können wegen eines zu seiner Zeit unbemerkten Artikels des russischen Chefs des Generalstabs Valery Gerassimow. Der Fairness halber sei angemerkt, dass er in der Zeitschrift „Wojenno-promyshlenny kurier“, also dem Kriegsindustrie-Kurier erschien, den zu lesen nur wenige Menschen in der Welt das Vergnügen haben. Nichtsdestotrotz, stellt er die beste und am höchsten autorisierte Aussage dessen dar, was wir, zumindest als Arbeitsbegriff, die „Gerassimow Doktrin“ nennen (was nicht heißen soll, dass es notwendigerweise seine Erfindung war). Ich und jeder andere an diesen Entwicklungen Interessierte verdanken es Rob Coalson von RFE/RL, der diesen Artikel bemerkte und in Umlauf gebracht hat. Die folgende Übersetzung stammt von ihm (Dank an Rob für seine Erlaubnis, es zu benutzen) versehen mit meinen verschiedenen Kommentaren und Interpretationen.

Military-Industrial Kurier, 27. Februar 2013

(Die Kommentare des Autors sind eingerückt. Die Hervorhebung durch Fettschrift im Gerassimov-Text stammt ebenfalls vom Autor)

Die Bedeutung der Wissenschaft für die Vorhersage

General Valery Gerasimov, Chef des Generalstabs der Russischen Föderation

Continued……..

 

https://de.informnapalm.org/mark-gal…inearer-krieg/

While this is in German—highly recommend reading it as Mark is one of the leading global SMEs on the Russian military and his blog “In the Shadows of Moscow” is worth following—-and he has just released a thorough book on the Russian Spetsnaz.

Mark Galeotti: Die „Gerassimow-Doktrin“ und Russlands nicht-linearer Krieg

Der Autor, Dr. Mark Galeotti erforscht russischen Geschichte und Sicherheitsfragen seit den späten 1980er Jahren. Seine Ausbildung absolvierte er an der Universität Cambridge und der LSE. Heute ist er Professor für Global Affairs am „Center for Global Affairs“ der „School of Professional Studies“ an der New York University und ein assoziiertes Mitglied der NYU für Geschichte, Russisch und Slawistik. Bis 2008 war er Leiter der „History in the UK“ sowie Leiter der Abteilung für die Erforschung der „Organisierten Kriminalität in Russland und Eurasien“ an der Keele Universität.

Wie auch immer Sie es nennen, ob „nicht-linearer Krieg“ (was ich bevorzuge), „hybrider Krieg“ oder „spezieller Krieg“, die russischen Operationen, zunächst auf der Krim und im Osten der Ukraine, haben gezeigt, dass Moskau sich in Zukunft verstärkt auf neue Formen der Politik konzentriert. In vielerlei Hinsicht ist dies eine Erweiterung dessen, was ich an anderer Stelle als Russlands „Guerilla- Geopolitik“ bezeichnet habe. Sie geht von der Anerkennung der Tatsache aus, dass neue Taktiken benötigt werden, die sich auf die Schwächen des Gegners konzentrieren und direkte und offene Konfrontationen vermeiden. Um in einer Welt bestehen zu können, deren internationale Ordnung vom Kreml zunehmend als lästig empfunden wird und in Anbetracht der Mächte und Allianzen mit größerer rein militärischer, politischer und wirtschaftlicher Stärke. Um ehrlich zu sein, sind dies Taktiken, gegen welche die NATO – noch immer in letzter Konsequenz eine Allianz zur Bekämpfung und Abschreckung einer mit massenhaftem Panzereinsatz geführten sowjetischen Invasion – weder Wissen noch Erfahrung hat, damit umzugehen. (In der Tat könnte man den Standpunkt vertreten, dass das gar nicht Aufgabe der NATO ist, was allerdings auf einem anderen Blatt steht.)

Wie so oft weist uns die späte Einsicht eines raffiniert-scharfzüngigen Besserwissers dringend darauf hin, dass wir das hätten erwarten können wegen eines zu seiner Zeit unbemerkten Artikels des russischen Chefs des Generalstabs Valery Gerassimow. Der Fairness halber sei angemerkt, dass er in der Zeitschrift „Wojenno-promyshlenny kurier“, also dem Kriegsindustrie-Kurier erschien, den zu lesen nur wenige Menschen in der Welt das Vergnügen haben. Nichtsdestotrotz, stellt er die beste und am höchsten autorisierte Aussage dessen dar, was wir, zumindest als Arbeitsbegriff, die „Gerassimow Doktrin“ nennen (was nicht heißen soll, dass es notwendigerweise seine Erfindung war). Ich und jeder andere an diesen Entwicklungen Interessierte verdanken es Rob Coalson von RFE/RL, der diesen Artikel bemerkte und in Umlauf gebracht hat. Die folgende Übersetzung stammt von ihm (Dank an Rob für seine Erlaubnis, es zu benutzen) versehen mit meinen verschiedenen Kommentaren und Interpretationen.

Military-Industrial Kurier, 27. Februar 2013

(Die Kommentare des Autors sind eingerückt. Die Hervorhebung durch Fettschrift im Gerassimov-Text stammt ebenfalls vom Autor)

Die Bedeutung der Wissenschaft für die Vorhersage

General Valery Gerasimov, Chef des Generalstabs der Russischen Föderation

Continued……..

 

This is the perfect example of why we must get way, way past the theoreticial discussions on non linear warfare.

Even with the single points of failure it is morphing and adapting faster than we could have anticipated—in their UW strategy we have forgotten and or did not truly realize that UW is adaptive and agile.

We saw non linear warfare unfold in Crimea, then we saw the creation of a hybrid army in eastern Ukraine created after a conventional invasion.

NOW in Syria we are seeing a non linear war evolved via a hybrid invasion using now a hybrid army carrying out conventional warfare against a anti Assad force that in itself has evolved out of UW at initially the civil society level with a radical Islamist twist.

Here we are seeing a new form of hybrid warfare ie hybrid invasion on top of an hybrid army–BUILT via the experiences gained by the Russian military in eastern Ukraine—-and we assume the Russians are slow at adapting???

1000 #Iran(ian) Marines Join #Russia(n) Troops in Jablah Base to Fight #Syria(n) Rebelshttp://www.ibtimes.co.in/syria-1000-…-report-646283 … pic.twitter.com/DyPQVFDHhv

Russia will consider #Syria’s request to send troops if Damascus askshttp://syria.liveuamap.com/en/2015/18-september-russia-will-consider-syr… … via @Conflicts

 

I think this is a good assessment and answer to a question that was posed a few months ago when the article was written: “If Ukraine is the Master’s Program, what will Phd studies involve?” Syria may be a large part of the answer.

 

I would argue that currently the Russian nonlinear warfare is experiencing five specific single points of failure and the eastern Ukraine is not a frozen conflict as many seem to think which should drive a serious rethink as we see Russian military expansion into Syria.

In some aspects the Russian non linear warfare has now moved into conventional warfare which should have been at phase eight of their doctrine.

Secondly, the conversation must get back to the simple fact that all current UW strategies being used by Russia, China, Iran and yes even the IS have great similarities—as it is UW–but driven by the different cultural and historical aspects.

Right now there are two critical cornerstones of all the various UW strategies —weaponization of information and cyber warfare/cybercrime that the West is absolutely losing.

Added to this cornerstone mix is the new use of refugees –ie how to create them and how to use refugee flows.

We urgently need to get to an analysis of the failures in the Russian UW strategy as that will reflect on the UW strategies of China, Iran and IS.

 

Solid work by Mr. Morris. His perspective from JMRC provides keener insights than the average observer. Having endured many wet autumns at Hohenfels myself, I became very attuned to the security concerns and undercurrents in the European continent as we trained US and European allies at the Training Center.

I would submit a few additional areas for grading to Mr. Morris report. Following the theme of Supra-national and Supra-tier combinations. The first one is within the context of Putin’s previous annexation of Georgian territory as a rehearsal for Crimea and other parts of Ukraine. He leveraged Economic Diplomacy/Blackmail against a disjointed Europe with the threat of long winters without Russian Crude and natural gas to meet European countries heating needs. He compounded that via rhetoric and carefully manipulation of the fuel supply, as well as by obfuscating any alternative pipeline alternatives. He clearly used the Economic and Information elements of national power to fix his competitors and isolate them in both military and political terms. Because this approach has still worked until today, I recommend a B+ or A-.

The second area that merits a closer look is the use of maneuver or kinetic force as a supporting effort to the overall cognitive/informational effect. The annexation of Georgia and Crimea, with relative no cost to Russia was clear example of this. The fact that he could move Russia to do decisive military action; albeit at a level below the necessary threshold to “merit a significant response” from Europe, the US, or NATO certainly achieves a far greater cognitive effect in the perceptions of the Eastern, Central, and even some Western European audiences. A loud message intended to create doubt (Question more?)about the resolve, and capability of EU, and NATO to be a viable security and economic partner. After all; hadn’t the US and Russia “guaranteed” the security of Ukraine through the Budapest Memorandum of Assurances” upon Ukraine’s relinquishing it’s nuclear arsenal? Well the past two years had been clear witnessed to the contrary. Russia, one of the guarantors became the aggressor, and the US, well?! So in this area, Russia seems to have also a passing grade. They get a B- as they have to endure some economic backlash and internal grumblings.

Russian and Chinese tactics; while fascinating, making terms like “Hybrid Warfare” envogue, are not necessarily new. Genghis Khan is well known for employing a variety of options, often in escalating fashion, or by massing them to target the Chinese and then the Islamic Kingdoms all the way to the gates of Baghdad. He employed hit and run raids, made brutal examples of those threatening to oppose to dishearten dissent, pitched the white, gray, and black tent as part of his psychological ultimatum during sieges, and even catapulted dead bodies as a crude biological attack. Not to mention the economic activities that he did by interdicting commerce or by marrying his chieftains and sons to gain access and lines of communications. Alexander also used a mix of conventional and non-conventional approaches to meet his overall objectives. Even in the 20th Century, Western government and intelligent agencies used similar combination of tactics to a varying degree of success. The difference is that both the Russian and Chinese are able to do so through a centralized style of command and control that allows them to operate well within the decision model of their competitors. Democracy and consensus are great, but do not necessarily mobilize nations to be able to conduct warfare, particularly total warfare, as sometimes it may be required to do so.

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