Author Archives: Jānis

Russia’s Military Modernization 2015

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.

kl2015_final-en

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

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Dugin’s TV Show

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.

General Breedlove

The Armstice in Syria

The European Military-Political Alliance (click on CC, then in auto-translate – English)

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There is no Russian Withdraw from Syria

There is no Russian Withdraw from Syria

Dmitry Gorenburg and Michael Kofman

With characteristic deadpan delivery, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the sudden withdrawal of Russian forces from Syria earlier this week, declaring their campaign a success.  Before the day was through, Russian aircraft and crews were already departing from Hmeymim air base in Latakia.  Since this announcement, the media has been alight with speculation on the meaning of Russia’s sudden departure, its political and military implications, and the reasons for this seemingly unexpected move.  Much of the discussion has thus far missed the mark.  There is no Russian withdrawal from Syria, but rather a drawdown of the air contingent present in Latakia. Putin simply moved pieces on the board, without altering the equation.

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Why Does Putin Surprise Us Again and Again?

Another article from Stephen Blank. I very much agree with him.

Why Does Putin Surprise Us Again and Again?

Stephen Blank

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.

Read more: http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/why-does-putin-surprise-us-again-and-again

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“Weaponization” and Its Flaws

“Weaponization” and Its Flaws

By Edward Lucas

March 14, 2016

Military jargon makes language vivid and punchy. It is particularly tempting when the aim is to sound the alarm about Russia’s approach to its neighbors. But specialist terms in the wrong context can be misleading.

One much-used term is “hybrid warfare” — mixing conventional force of arms with other non-military means. Another favourite word is “weaponized.” Russia “weaponizes” everything from information to energy exports, via the targeted use of corruption, and even—according to General Philip Breedlove, the outgoing NATO military commander—migration.

Read more here: http://www.cepa.org/content/weaponization-and-its-flaws

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Art of Fortification

How the Kremlin uses military bases on the western flank to take the Russian population hostage

Author: Pavel Luzin
Deployment and modernization of large military bases near the Ukraine-Russia border, in the Kaliningrad Oblast (which continues to function as a huge Central and Eastern European fort) and the militarization of occupied Crimea are all part of Moscow’s logic of confrontation with the West. The aggressive war against a neighboring country is perceived by the Kremlin as a bloody, but not final, episode. However, it is abundantly clear that the Russian political regime is doomed to failure in the case of a conventional armed conflict with NATO countries. This is precisely why these military constructions, coupled with the nurtured threat of unpredictability, are intended to put pressure on the West without prompting all-out war. But these steps serve an additional goal: to take Russian citizens, whose loyalty to the political authorities will be guaranteed by something akin to Stockholm Syndrome, hostage.

– See more at: http://intersectionproject.eu/article/security/art-fortification#sthash.VtVE0lgL.dpuf

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Russian Warfare is not Hybrid

1394730896_1I’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

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Trapped

Trapped-1pThe series is set in Seyðisfjörður in eastern Iceland. The protagonist Andri, the police chief, is the real one who is trapped in his past, present and future. Very good Nordic-style crime series. I’m looking forward very much for a second season.

Directed by Baltasar Kormákur, Baldvin Z, Börkur Sigthorsson, Óskar Thor Axelsson
Starring Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Ilmur Kristjánsdottir, Ingvar Sigurðsson, Nina Dögg Filipusdottir

My rating: 5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars

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House of Cards IV

House_of_Cards_season_4_promoThe first and second season were very good. The third started to exaggerate. The fourth is too much. We all know there are dirty politicians, but this seems too much. Even as fantasy.

Starring Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, Michael Kelly
United States, available on Netflix

13 episodes.

My rating: 5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars

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Gerasimov, the Experience in Syria, and “Hybrid” Warfare

hqdefaultGeneral 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.

My comments are in green.

On the Experience in Syria
Valery Gerasimov

Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov: “Hybrid war requires high-tech weaponry and a scientific substantiation.”

The rapid development of science and technology changes the nature of warfare. Since the end of the last century, a concept that has been widely use is “high-tech war.” Continue reading

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