Category Archives: Papers

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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The Western Pragmatists Explain Russia

Interesting paper discussing how the so called Western pragmatists don’t understand Russia.

The Western Pragmatists Explain Russia

By the end of 2014 the pragmatists recognized that their narratives needed revising, but they still couldn’t recognize the sources of Russia’s deep domestic decay.

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Hybrid Operations as a New Kind of Military Confrontation

Interesting article. The Russians argue the West is doing Hybrid Warfare against them and try to understand it.

Gibridnye operatsii kak novyi’ vid voennogo protivoborstva (Гибридные операции как новый вид военного противоборства)

Author(s)
V. A. KISELEV, I. N. VOROB’EV
Voennaia mysl’, No. 5, April 2015, page(s): 41-48

SUMMARY. The authors consider a new type of warfare – hybrid operations, which contain annexation of a part of the state’s territory, and also show the main components of such a struggle, having a decisive influence on such operations’ conduct.

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