Tag Archives: Russia

Putin’s 2018 Address to the Federal Assembly

So, this is the part of Putin’s address to the Federal Assembly which frightened some people, with the videos. He has some valid points as the USA withdrawing from the ABM and announcing the deployment of new nuclear weapons, besides the perception of an increasing willingness of American officials in the Trump administration  to use them. Overall, his main audience was the Russian public. Since living conditions are deteriorating in Russia and elections are in March 18, he played the great power card. Overall, people shouldn’t be worried about it. The main issue with nuclear war isn’t the destruction and the causualities. The main problem is  the nuclear winter and the spread of radiation by winds, which is believed to extinct human life in the planet. Look:

The fact is that these weapons are still being tested or are projects. He didn’t mention other missile systems like Onyx, Kalibr, Tsirkon and Brahmos  which aren’t as incridible as the Sarmat II, but if real can cause great headaches for the Western defense planners. I’ll write more about them soon. Now to the speech:

Colleagues,

The operation in Syria has proved the increased capabilities of the Russian Armed Forces. In recent years, a great deal has been done to improve the Army and the Navy. The Armed Forces now have 37 times more modern weapons. Over 300 new units of equipment were put into service. The strategic missile troops received 80 new intercontinental ballistic missiles, 102 submarine-launched ballistic missiles and three Borei nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines. Twelve missile regiments have received the new Yarsintercontinental ballistic missile. The number of long-range high-precision weapons carriers has increased by 12 times, while the number of guided cruise missiles increased by over 30 times. The Army, the Aerospace Forces and the Navy have grown significant stronger as well.

Both Russia and the entire world know the names of our newest planes, submarines, anti-aircraft weapons, as well as land-based, airborne and sea-based guided missile systems. All of them are cutting-edge, high-tech weapons. A solid radar field to warn of a missile attack was created along Russia’s perimeter (it is very important). Huge holes appeared after the USSR disintegrated. All of them were repaired.

A leap forward was made in the development of unmanned aircraft; the National Defence Control Centre was established; and the operational command of the far maritime zone was formed. The number of professional service members has increased by 2.4 times, and the availability of equipment in the Armed Forces grew from 70 percent to 95–100 percent. The years-long queue for permanent housing was eliminated, and the waiting period was cut by 83 percent.

Now, on to the most important defence issue.

I will speak about the newest systems of Russian strategic weapons that we are creating in response to the unilateral withdrawal of the United States of America from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and the practical deployment of their missile defence systems both in the US and beyond their national borders.

I would like to make a short journey into the recent past.

Back in 2000, the US announced its withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. Russia was categorically against this. We saw the Soviet-US ABM Treaty signed in 1972 as the cornerstone of the international security system. Under this treaty, the parties had the right to deploy ballistic missile defence systems only in one of its regions. Russia deployed these systems around Moscow, and the US around its Grand Forks land-based ICBM base.

Together with the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, the ABM Treaty not only created an atmosphere of trust but also prevented either party from recklessly using nuclear weapons, which would have endangered humankind, because the limited number of ballistic missile defence systems made the potential aggressor vulnerable to a response strike.

We did our best to dissuade the Americans from withdrawing from the treaty. All in vain. The US pulled out of the treaty in 2002. Even after that we tried to develop constructive dialogue with the Americans. We proposed working together in this area to ease concerns and maintain the atmosphere of trust. At one point, I thought that a compromise was possible, but this was not to be. All our proposals, absolutely all of them, were rejected. And then we said that we would have to improve our modern strike systems to protect our security. In reply, the US said that it is not creating a global BMD system against Russia, which is free to do as it pleases, and that the US will presume that our actions are not spearheaded against the US.

The reasons behind this position are obvious. After the collapse of the USSR, Russia, which was known as the Soviet Union or Soviet Russia abroad, lost 23.8 percent of its national territory, 48.5 percent of its population, 41 of the GDP, 39.4 percent of its industrial potential (nearly half of our potential, I would underscore), as well as 44.6 percent of its military capability due to the division of the Soviet Armed Forces among the former Soviet republics. The military equipment of the Russian army was becoming obsolete, and the Armed Forces were in a sorry state. A civil war was raging in the Caucasus, and US inspectors oversaw the operation of our leading uranium enrichment plants.

For a certain time, the question was not whether we would be able to develop a strategic weapon system – some wondered if our country would even be able to safely store and maintain the nuclear weapons that we inherited after the collapse of the USSR. Russia had outstanding debts, its economy could not function without loans from the IMF and the World Bank; the social sphere was impossible to sustain.

Apparently, our partners got the impression that it was impossible in the foreseeable historical perspective for our country to revive its economy, industry, defence industry and Armed Forces to levels supporting the necessary strategic potential. And if that is the case, there is no point in reckoning with Russia’s opinion, it is necessary to further pursue ultimate unilateral military advantage in order to dictate the terms in every sphere in the future.

Basically, this position, this logic, judging from the realities of that period, is understandable, and we ourselves are to blame. All these years, the entire 15 years since the withdrawal of the United States from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, we have consistently tried to reengage the American side in serious discussions, in reaching agreements in the sphere of strategic stability.

We managed to accomplish some of these goals. In 2010, Russia and the US signed the New START treaty, containing measures for the further reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms. However, in light of the plans to build a global anti-ballistic missile system, which are still being carried out today, all agreements signed within the framework of New START are now gradually being devaluated, because while the number of carriers and weapons is being reduced, one of the parties, namely, the US, is permitting constant, uncontrolled growth of the number of anti-ballistic missiles, improving their quality, and creating new missile launching areas. If we do not do something, eventually this will result in the complete devaluation of Russia’s nuclear potential. Meaning that all of our missiles could simply be intercepted.

Despite our numerous protests and pleas, the American machine has been set into motion, the conveyer belt is moving forward. There are new missile defence systems installed in Alaska and California; as a result of NATO’s expansion to the east, two new missile defence areas were created in Western Europe: one has already been created in Romania, while the deployment of the system in Poland is now almost complete. Their range will keep increasing; new launching areas are to be created in Japan and South Korea. The US global missile defence system also includes five cruisers and 30 destroyers, which, as far as we know, have been deployed to regions in close proximity to Russia’s borders. I am not exaggerating in the least; and this work proceeds apace.

So, what have we done, apart from protesting and warning? How will Russia respond to this challenge? This is how.

During all these years since the unilateral US withdrawal from the ABM Treaty, we have been working intensively on advanced equipment and arms, which allowed us to make a breakthrough in developing new models of strategic weapons.

Let me recall that the United States is creating a global missile defence system primarily for countering strategic arms that follow ballistic trajectories. These weapons form the backbone of our nuclear deterrence forces, just as of other members of the nuclear club.

As such, Russia has developed, and works continuously to perfect, highly effective but modestly priced systems to overcome missile defence. They are installed on all of our intercontinental ballistic missile complexes.

In addition, we have embarked on the development of the next generation of missiles. For example, the Defence Ministry and enterprises of the missile and aerospace industry are in the active phase of testing a new missile system with a heavy intercontinental missile. We called it Sarmat.

Sarmat will replace the Voevoda system made in the USSR. Its immense power was universally recognized. Our foreign colleagues even gave it a fairly threatening name.

That said, the capabilities of the Sarmat missile are much higher. Weighing over 200 tonnes, it has a short boost phase, which makes it more difficult to intercept for missile defence systems. The range of the new heavy missile, the number and power of its combat blocs is bigger than Voevoda’s. Sarmat will be equipped with a broad range of powerful nuclear warheads, including hypersonic, and the most modern means of evading missile defence. The high degree of protection of missile launchers and significant energy capabilities the system offers will make it possible to use it in any conditions.

Could you please show the video.

Voevoda’s range is 11,000 km while Sarmat has practically no range restrictions.

As the video clips show, it can attack targets both via the North and South poles.

Sarmat is a formidable missile and, owing to its characteristics, is untroubled by even the most advanced missile defence systems.

But we did not stop at that. We started to develop new types of strategic arms that do not use ballistic trajectories at all when moving toward a target and, therefore, missile defence systems are useless against them, absolutely pointless.

Allow me to elaborate on these weapons.

Russia’s advanced arms are based on the cutting-edge, unique achievements of our scientists, designers and engineers. One of them is a small-scale heavy-duty nuclear energy unit that can be installed in a missile like our latest X-101 air-launched missile or the American Tomahawk missile – a similar type but with a range dozens of times longer, dozens, basically an unlimited range. It is a low-flying stealth missile carrying a nuclear warhead, with almost an unlimited range, unpredictable trajectory and ability to bypass interception boundaries. It is invincible against all existing and prospective missile defence and counter-air defence systems. I will repeat this several times today.

In late 2017, Russia successfully launched its latest nuclear-powered missile at the Central training ground. During its flight, the nuclear-powered engine reached its design capacity and provided the necessary propulsion.

Now that the missile launch and ground tests were successful, we can begin developing a completely new type of weapon, a strategic nuclear weapons system with a nuclear-powered missile.

Roll the video, please.

You can see how the missile bypasses interceptors. As the range is unlimited, the missile can manoeuvre for as long as necessary.

As you no doubt understand, no other country has developed anything like this. There will be something similar one day but by that time our guys will have come up with something even better.

Now, we all know that the design and development of unmanned weapon systems is another common trend in the world. As concerns Russia, we have developed unmanned submersible vehicles that can move at great depths (I would say extreme depths) intercontinentally, at a speed multiple times higher than the speed of submarines, cutting-edge torpedoes and all kinds of surface vessels, including some of the fastest. It is really fantastic. They are quiet, highly manoeuvrable and have hardly any vulnerabilities for the enemy to exploit. There is simply nothing in the world capable of withstanding them.

Unmanned underwater vehicles can carry either conventional or nuclear warheads, which enables them to engage various targets, including aircraft groups, coastal fortifications and infrastructure.

In December 2017, an innovative nuclear power unit for this unmanned underwater vehicle completed a test cycle that lasted many years. The nuclear power unit is unique for its small size while offering an amazing power-weight ratio. It is a hundred times smaller than the units that power modern submarines, but is still more powerful and can switch into combat mode, that is to say, reach maximum capacity, 200 times faster.

The tests that were conducted enabled us to begin developing a new type of strategic weapon that would carry massive nuclear ordnance.

Please play the video.

By the way, we have yet to choose names for these two new strategic weapons, the global-range cruise missile and the unmanned underwater vehicle. We are waiting for suggestions from the Defence Ministry.

Countries with high research potential and advanced technology are known to be actively developing so-called hypersonic weapons. The speed of sound is usually measured in Mach numbers in honour of Austrian scientist Ernst Mach who is known for his research in this field. One Mach is equal to 1,062 kilometres per hour at an altitude of 11 kilometres. The speed of sound is Mach 1, speeds between Mach 1 and Mach 5 is called supersonic, and hypersonic is above Mach 5. Of course, this kind of weapon provides substantial advantages in an armed conflict. Military experts believe that it would be extremely powerful, and that its speed makes it invulnerable to current missile and air defence systems, since interceptor missiles are, simply put, not fast enough. In this regard, it is quite understandable why the leading armies of the world seek to possess such an ideal weapon.

Friends, Russia already has such a weapon.

The most important stage in the development of modern weapons systems was the creation of a high-precision hypersonic aircraft missile system; as you already know for sure, it is the only one of its kind in the world. Its tests have been successfully completed, and, moreover, on December 1 of last year, these systems began their trial service at the airfields of the Southern Military District.

The unique flight characteristics of the high-speed carrier aircraft allow the missile to be delivered to the point of discharge within minutes. The missile flying at a hypersonic speed, 10 times faster than the speed of sound, can also manoeuvre at all phases of its flight trajectory, which also allows it to overcome all existing and, I think, prospective anti-aircraft and anti-missile defence systems, delivering nuclear and conventional warheads in a range of over 2,000 kilometres. We called this system Kinzhal (Dagger).

Video, please.

But this is not all I have to say.

A real technological breakthrough is the development of a strategic missile system with fundamentally new combat equipment – a gliding wing unit, which has also been successfully tested.

I will say once again what we have repeatedly told our American and European partners who are NATO members: we will make the necessary efforts to neutralise the threats posed by the deployment of the US global missile defence system. We mentioned this during talks, and even said it publicly. Back in 2004, after the exercises of the strategic nuclear forces when the system was tested for the first time, I said the following at a meeting with the press (It is embarrassing to quote myself, but it is the right thing to say here):

So, I said: “As other countries increase the number and quality of their arms and military potential, Russia will also need to ensure it has new generation weapons and technology.

In this respect, I am pleased to inform you that successfully completed experiments during these exercises enable us to confirm that in the near future, the Russian Armed Forces, the Strategic Missile Forces, will receive new hypersonic-speed, high-precision new weapons systems that can hit targets at inter-continental distance and can adjust their altitude and course as they travel. This is a very significant statement because no country in the world as of now has such arms in their military arsenal.” End of quote.

Of course, every word has a meaning because we are talking about the possibility of bypassing interception boundaries. Why did we do all this? Why did we talk about it? As you can see, we made no secret of our plans and spoke openly about them, primarily to encourage our partners to hold talks. Let me repeat, this was in 2004. It is actually surprising that despite all the problems with the economy, finances and the defence industry, Russia has remained a major nuclear power. No, nobody really wanted to talk to us about the core of the problem, and nobody wanted to listen to us. So listen now.

Unlike existing types of combat equipment, this system is capable of intercontinental flight at supersonic speeds in excess of Mach 20.

As I said in 2004, in moving to its target, the missile’s gliding cruise bloc engages in intensive manoeuvring – both lateral (by several thousand km) and vertical. This is what makes it absolutely invulnerable to any air or missile defence system. The use of new composite materials has made it possible to enable the gliding cruise bloc to make a long-distance guided flight practically in conditions of plasma formation. It flies to its target like a meteorite, like a ball of fire. The temperature on its surface reaches 1,600–2,000 degrees Celsius but the cruise bloc is reliably guided.

Play the video, please.

For obvious reasons we cannot show the outer appearance of this system here. This is still very important. I hope everyone understands this. But let me assure you that we have all this and it is working well. Moreover, Russian industrial enterprises have embarked on the development of another new type of strategic weapon. We called it the Avangard.

We are well aware that a number of other countries are developing advanced weapons with new physical properties. We have every reason to believe that we are one step ahead there as well – at any rate, in the most essential areas.

We have achieved significant progress in laser weapons. It is not just a concept or a plan any more. It is not even in the early production stages. Since last year, our troops have been armed with laser weapons.

I do not want to reveal more details. It is not the time yet. But experts will understand that with such weaponry, Russia’s defence capacity has multiplied.

Here is another short video.

Those interested in military equipment are welcome to suggest a name for this new weaponry, this cutting-edge system.

Of course, we will be refining this state-of-the-art technology. Obviously, there is far more in development than I have mentioned today. But this is enough for now.

I want to specifically emphasise that the newly developed strategic arms – in fact, new types of strategic weapons – are not the result of something left over from the Soviet Union. Of course, we relied on some ideas from our ingenious predecessors. But everything I have described today is the result of the last several years, the product of dozens of research organisations, design bureaus and institutes.

Thousands, literally thousands of our experts, outstanding scientists, designers, engineers, passionate and talented workers have been working for years, quietly, humbly, selflessly, with total dedication. There are many young professionals among them. They are our true heroes, along with our military personnel who demonstrated the best qualities of the Russian army in combat. I want to address each of them right now and say that there will absolutely be awards, prizes and honorary titles but, because I have met many of you in person many times, I know you are not after awards. The most important thing is to reliably ensure the security of our country and our people. As President and on behalf of the Russian people, I want to say thank you very much for your hard work and its results. Our country needs them so much.

As I have already said, all future military products are based on remarkable advances that can, should and will be used in high-technology civilian sectors. I would like to stress that only a country with the highest level of fundamental research and education, developed research, technology, industrial infrastructure and human resources can successfully develop unique and complex weapons of this kind. You can see that Russia has all these resources.

We will expand this potential and focus on delivering on the ambitious goals our country has set itself in terms of economic, social and infrastructure development. Effective defence will serve as a guarantee of Russia’s long-term development.

Let me reiterate that each of the armament systems I referred to is uniquely important. Even more importantly, taken together all these advances enable the Defence Ministry and General Staff to develop a comprehensive defence system, in which every piece of new military equipment will be assigned a proper role. On top of strategic weapons that are currently on combat alert and benefit from regular updates, Russia will have a defence capability that would guarantee its security in the long term.

Of course, there are many things that we have to do in terms of military construction, but one thing is already clear: Russia possesses a modern, high-technology army that is quite compact given the size of the territory, centred on the officer corps, who are dedicated to their country and are ready to sacrifice anything for its people. Sooner or later, other armies will also have the technology, the weapons, even the most advanced ones. But this does not worry us, since we already have it and will have even better armaments in the future. What matters is that they will never have people or officers like the Russian pilot Major Roman Filipov.

I hope that everything that was said today would make any potential aggressor think twice, since unfriendly steps against Russia such as deploying missile defences and bringing NATO infrastructure closer to the Russian border become ineffective in military terms and entail unjustified costs, making them useless for those promoting these initiatives.

It was our duty to inform our partners of what I said here today under the international commitments Russia had subscribed to. When the time comes, foreign and defence ministry experts will have many opportunities to discuss all these matters with them, if of course our partners so desire.

For my part, I should note that we have conducted the work to reinforce Russia’s defence capability within the current arms control agreements; we are not violating anything. I should specifically say that Russia’s growing military strength is not a threat to anyone; we have never had any plans to use this potential for offensive, let alone aggressive goals.

We are not threatening anyone, not going to attack anyone or take away anything from anyone with the threat of weapons. We do not need anything. Just the opposite. I deem it necessary to emphasise (and it is very important) that Russia’s growing military power is a solid guarantee of global peace as this power preserves and will preserve strategic parity and the balance of forces in the world, which, as is known, have been and remain a key factor of international security after WWII and up to the present day.

And to those who in the past 15 years have tried to accelerate an arms race and seek unilateral advantage against Russia, have introduced restrictions and sanctions that are illegal from the standpoint of international law aiming to restrain our nation’s development, including in the military area, I will say this: everything you have tried to prevent through such a policy has already happened. No one has managed to restrain Russia.

Now we have to be aware of this reality and be sure that everything I have said today is not a bluff ‒ and it is not a bluff, believe me ‒ and to give it a thought and dismiss those who live in the past and are unable to look into the future, to stop rocking the boat we are all in and which is called the Earth.

In this connection, I would like to note the following. We are greatly concerned by certain provisions of the revised nuclear posture review, which expand the opportunities for reducing and reduce the threshold for the use of nuclear arms. Behind closed doors, one may say anything to calm down anyone, but we read what is written. And what is written is that this strategy can be put into action in response to conventional arms attacks and even to a cyber-threat.

I should note that our military doctrine says Russia reserves the right to use nuclear weapons solely in response to a nuclear attack, or an attack with other weapons of mass destruction against the country or its allies, or an act of aggression against us with the use of conventional weapons that threaten the very existence of the state. This all is very clear and specific.

As such, I see it is my duty to announce the following. Any use of nuclear weapons against Russia or its allies, weapons of short, medium or any range at all, will be considered as a nuclear attack on this country. Retaliation will be immediate, with all the attendant consequences.

There should be no doubt about this whatsoever. There is no need to create more threats to the world. Instead, let us sit down at the negotiating table and devise together a new and relevant system of international security and sustainable development for human civilisation. We have been saying this all along. All these proposals are still valid. Russia is ready for this.

Our policies will never be based on claims to exceptionalism. We protect our interests and respect the interests of other countries. We observe international law and believe in the inviolable central role of the UN. These are the principles and approaches that allow us to build strong, friendly and equal relations with the absolute majority of countries.

Our comprehensive strategic partnership with the People’s Republic of China is one example. Russia and India also enjoy a special privileged strategic relationship. Our relations with many other countries in the world are entering a new dynamic stage.

Russia is widely involved in international organisations. With our partners, we are advancing such associations and groups as the CSTO, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and BRICS. We are promoting a positive agenda at the UN, G20 and APEC. We are interested in normal and constructive cooperation with the United States and the European Union. We hope that common sense will prevail and our partners will opt for honest and equal work together.

Even if our views clash on some issues, we still remain partners because we must work together to respond to the most complex challenges, ensure global security, and build the future world, which is becoming increasingly interconnected, with more and more dynamic integration processes.

Russia and its partners in the Eurasian Economic Union seek to make it a globally competitive integration group. The EAEU’s agenda includes building a common market for electricity, oil, petroleum products and gas, harmonising financial markets, and linking our customs authorities. We will also continue to work on a greater Eurasian partnership.

 

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Gerasimov: A World on the Brink of War

As every year, General Gerasimov’s address to the General Assembly of the Academy of Military Sciences was published by the VPK (http://www.vpk-news.ru/articles/35591), Military-Industrial Courier, Issue No 10 (674), 15th March 2017. Below is Mark Voyger from NATO LANDCOM’s brilliant translation. My comments are in green.

A World on the Brink of War

Tracking the current challenges is not enough, it is the future ones that must be forecast
Army General Valeriy Gerasimov, Chief of General Staff of the RF AF

This article is based on the report “Contemporary Warfare and the Current Problems of the Defense of our Country” presented by the ChoGS to the General Assembly of the Academy of Military Sciences.

It was Clausewitz who compared warfare to an expanded single combat, defining it as an act of violence whose purpose is to force the adversary into acting according to our will. The prominent Russian and Soviet theoreticians from the early 20th century Andrey Snesarev and Aleksander Svechin had their considerable contribution to the development of the science of warfare. The subject of their research became the main trends in the conduct of warfare that are the result of not only the political, but also of the economic and social relations. By the early 1990s a firm understanding had been formed of warfare as the means of attaining political goals based exclusively on armed struggle.

Svechin and Snesarev are very important Russian military thinkers.  The first was the first chief of the Soviet General Staff. 

A classification was developed in the USA that includes traditional and non-traditional warfare, and in the beginning of 21st century the American theoreticians posited that hybrid warfare should be added to it. They define it as actions taken during a period, which is impossible to define purely as either war or peace.

The concept of Hybrid Warfare was fully developed by Frank Hoffman, but I remember to see a Master Thesis from some USA’s military institutional calling similar strategies “hybrid” already in the beginning of the 1990’s.  It was mostly about developments of Low Intensity Conflict. If someone find it, please drop me a line. 

“The mobilization capacities of the social networks were first revealed during the conflicts in the Middle East”

Our country’s science and practice offers a more balanced approach to the classification of contemporary armed conflicts that accounts for a larger number of parameters. At the same time, the definition of warfare is lacking in the international and domestic official documents. The Military Doctrine of the RF calls it a form of resolving interstate or intrastate conflicts by using military force.

An active discussion is ongoing in trying to clarify the term itself. Some of the scholars and specialists adhere to the classical definition. Others propose a radical revision of the views on the content and substance of the term “warfare”, as they think that armed struggle is not one of its mandatory attributes. At present one can encounter definitions, such as information, economic, hybrid warfare, and numerous other variations.

The General Staff pays due attention to the discussion of the said problem. In 2016 a discussion was organized at the Military Academy of the General Staff on the meaning of the term “warfare” under the current conditions. The said issue was being discussed during the session of the Security Council’s scientific council section. In the course of the discussions a common position was elaborated on the necessity of analyzing the characteristics and features of contemporary armed conflicts, and of revealing the trends in their emergence and evolution.

This is most the result of authors as Chekinov. Bogdanov, Maruyev and others claiming for “futurology” to be recognized as a branch of Military Sciences. The Russian General Staff has great interest in the subject.

The No-Contact Warfare has been replaced by the Hybrid One

Such conflicts of the end of the 20th and early 21st centuries differ from each other in the composition of their participants, the types of weapons used, the forms and methods of troop actions. At the same time, however, they do not exceed the limits of the overall content of warfare, while they include as components various forms of struggle – the direct armed one, along with political, diplomatic, information, and others. New features have appeared nowadays. These include the change in the ratio of contribution of one or another type of struggle into the overall political success of the war, the overwhelming superiority of one of the sides in terms of military power and economic strength.

Basically, it is a development of Low Intensity Conflict. New technologies, etc., of course changed the character of warfare.

Contemporary conflicts can be characterized by a number of features.

The experience of NATO’s operations in Yugoslavia that ushered in the age of the so-called no- contact or distance warfare, did not gain universal distribution. The reason for this was objective since the limitations of geographical, as well as economic nature impact the attainment of the goals of war. The factor of the cost of armaments, and of the war as a whole, started to play an important role in the choice of methods for conducting military actions.

He is referring to Slipchenko’s discussion about 6th Generation Warfare. Also, Putin’s idea that warfare has to be asymmetric, as explained by him already in 2006. Besides, it is clear he knows Russia doesn’t have the money to afford engaging in long traditional wars. Russia isn’t a rich country.

An important feature is the increased use of the newest robotic systems and unmanned aerial vehicles of various purposes and actions.

New forms of application of the diverse forces and means have appeared. For example, in the course of the operation in Libya, a no-flight zone was created while simultaneously imposing a naval blockade in conjunction with the joint actions of private military companies from the NATO member- states, and the armed formations of the opposition.

Here it’s clear how the Russians see the West as a mirror. If they use private military companies as mercenaries in the orst sense of the word, of course  the US and NATO do the same.

The army operating concepts of the leading states postulate that achieving information dominance is an indispensable pre-requisite of combat actions. The means of mass media and social networks are used to perform the set tasks. Simultaneously, the forces and means of information-psychological and information-technical influence are activated. Thus, the mobilization capacities of the social networks were first revealed during the conflicts in the Middle East.

The conflict in Syria became a visual example of the use of hybrid methods. It involved the simultaneous use of traditional and non-traditional actions of military, as well as non-military nature.

It’s implicit that the Hybrud part was the proteste of the populaiton agains Assad. Of course it has to be Western interference… 

During its first phase the internal Syrian contradictions were transformed into armed demonstrations of the opposition. After that, they became organized in nature with the support of foreign instructors, accompanied by active information warfare.

It’s the West again. And the United States is to blame. The CIA, the illuminati, the Free Mansonry and Soros. :-))))))

Later on, terrorist groups supplied and directed from abroad entered the fight against the government forces.

The hybrid actions are actively introduced in practice on the international arena by the USA and the NATO countries. In many respects this is conditioned by the fact that this variation of activities does not fall under the definition of aggression.

In the Western media the combination of such methods has received the name “hybrid warfare”. However, it is still premature to use this term as an established one.

I agree, Sir.

The New Perception of a Common Term

The analysis indicates a number of trends testifying of the transformation of armed conflicts in the beginning of the 21st century. Nowadays the erasing of the boundary between the state of war and peace is obvious. The negative side of hybrid actions is becoming the new perception of peacetime, when no military or other overt violent measures are used against one or another state, but its national security and sovereignty are under threat and can be violated. The range of reasons and causes for using military forces is widening, as it is activated ever more often to secure the economic interests of states under the slogans of defending democracy, or the inculcation of democratic values into one country or another.

He’s clearing referring to the USA again, but he has a point.

The emphasis of the content of conflict methods is moving toward the wide application of political, economic, diplomatic, information and other non-military means, implemented by involving the protest potential of the population.

It’s post-modern Low Intensity Conflict. 

The non-military forms and means of action have experienced unprecedented technological development, and have acquired a dangerous, often violent nature.

Their practical use can trigger the collapse of the energy, banking, economic, information and other spheres of the state’s vital functions. The example can be adduced of the impacts of the cyberattacks against Iran’s energy infrastructure sites in 2015.

Or Russian attacks against Estonia…

The analysis of the characteristics, features and trends in the evolution of contemporary conflicts demonstrates that all of them share a common feature – the use of violent military means. At the same time, almost classical armed struggle is used during some of those, such as the two US wars against Iraq or the NATO operations against Yugoslavia. In other conflicts, such as Syria, for example, the armed struggle was waged by one of the parties in the form of anti-terrorist operations, and by the enemy – in the form of actions of the illegal armed formations and terrorist groups. This way, the essence of wars in modernity and in the foreseeable future will remain the same. Their main feature is the presence of armed struggle.

This is a very important point. It isn’t only asymmetric Low Intensity Conflict (Hybrid, if you prefer). Concentional military force is and will be part of the Russian strategy.

Along with that, the question of defining the nature of warfare has not been closed, it is still relevant and requires constant studies and a thorough development.

For this purpose, the scientific-business program of the international military-technical forum “Army-2017” to be held in August of this year will include a “roundtable” discussing the topic of “Contemporary warfare and armed conflict: characteristics and features”. The scientists from the Academy of Military Science must take the most active participation in it. It is necessary to continue working on the inter-institutional standardization of the military-political and military terms and definitions.

The rise of the world’s conflict potential underlines the relevancy of a number of tasks in the sphere of our country’s defense.

The High-Precision Measures

The main among those remains the same – the guaranteed repelling of potential aggression against the Russian Federation and its allies from any direction. At the same time, it is necessary to guarantee the neutralization of the threats to the security of the country by relying on the existing forces and means in the course of performing the activities of strategic containment in peacetime. In that regard, the role and importance of forecasting the military threats and dangers increases, as it is expedient to conduct it in conjunction with the assessment of economic, information and other challenges.

“The strike potential of high-precision weapons in the RF Armed Forces will
increase fourfold by 2021”

The improvement of the capabilities of the Armed Forces is implemented by means of the balanced development of all of the troops (forces) branches and services, the mastering of high-precision weapons and the modern means of communication, reconnaissance, automated command and control, and electronic warfare. At present, a large-scale re-armament of the Strategic Rocket Forces with modern systems is underway. The navy is receiving new nuclear submarines armed with ballistic and cruise missiles that have no analogues in the world. The strategic aviation airplanes, our legendary missile carriers Tu-160 and Tu-95MS are being actively modernized. This will allows us to re-arm the strategic nuclear forces with 90 percent of modern weapons by 2020. The strike potential of high-precision weapons in the RF Armed Forces will increase fourfold by 2021, which will allow for guaranteeing the security of Russia along the entire perimeter of our borders. By 2021 the share of modern weapons and military hardware in the Ground Forces will be no less than 70 percent. The Aerospace Forces will receive new-generation airplanes, which will increase the combat capabilities of the air force by 50 percent. The Navy will receive modern ships armed with high-precision long- range missiles.

It WILL. One day. The important point here isn’t about they having the capabilities or not at this moment. First, it is about the strategic changes on the Russian strategy, the way of fighting. Second, that they’re trying to catch up and sooner or later they might surprose the West with some new technologies.

A considerable role in increasing the combat capabilities is played by robotics. The large-scale and substantiated application of robotic systems of various purposes will increase the effectiveness of troop actions, and will guarantee the considerable reduction of personnel loss.

It’s like an Industrial Revolution in combat capabilities. 

The Science of Preemption

Nowadays the Armed Forces are gaining combat experience in Syria. They have had the unique opportunity to check and test the new models of weapons and military hardware under complex climatic conditions. It is necessary to continue summarizing the experience gained by using the means of armed struggle during the Syrian campaign, and draw lessons for their improvement and modernization.

We must remember – victory is always achieved by using not only the material, but also the spiritual resources of the people, its cohesion and its drive for resisting aggression by using all its strengths. The military-political leadership of the Russian Federation is exerting serious efforts to restore the nation’s confidence in the army. Nowadays the Armed Forces are reaching a fundamentally new level of combat readiness, and it is enjoying the utmost support of society. In the interest of increasing their prestige further, it is important to develop the linkages between army and society, and in order to achieve that we must improve the system of training of service members and of patriotic upbringing of the youth.

Solving the current problems of our country’s defense would be impossible without studying them in a thorough and preemptive fashion. In that regard, it is worth focusing the attention on the priority tasks of the Academy of Military Science.

The study of the new forms of conflict between states and the development of efficient methods to counter that stand above all.

In other words, Russian miltary scientists will look very closely to what the US and NATO do. They will reframe what they’ve seen within their own moral system, beliefs, etc., and that will become the new developments of Russian New Generation Warfare.

A relevant task is the development of scenarios, long-term forecasts of the evolution of the military- political and strategic situation in the most important regions of the world. It is necessary to study operationally the features of contemporary armed conflicts and based on them to develop the work methodology of military command and control and the troop actions under various conditions.

General Gareev, did you understand? Enough of your guys writing about WWII. It’s the second time he saying that.

A separate study is required of the problems related to the organization and conduct of regrouping of forces (troops) to distant theaters of operations. The standard tasks of military science have not lost their relevancy, as they also need further development.

Voyennaya Misl will start to publish such articles soon. I’m ready to bet. 

 

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Shoigu, the Economist

Explaining growth of the military budget Shoigu refers to founder of political economy Adam Smith saying that in his work “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations” he stated that defense of the country was more important than wealth and called the military art “the noblest of all arts.” Thus, Shoigu concludes that it is not worth arguing with Smith proposing an alternative “army or economy.”

Source: WPS Observer.

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Putin’s Recent Remarks on Geopolitics: Russia is not Going to Let Itself Get Intoxicated by Military Passions

I believe many people in the West use to project their views on other people. This might explain the failure when dealing with Russia. I’ve been arguing that Russia, including Putin, are very clear about their world view, including Geopolitics. Please, read the man:

– We see how some of our partners continue stubborn attempts to retain their monopoly on geopolitical domination. They put to use centuries of experience in suppressing, weakening, and setting opponents against each other, and turn to their advantage enhanced political, economic, financial and now information levers as well. By this, I mean, for example, the practice of intervening in other countries’ internal affairs, provoking regional conflicts, exporting so-called ‘color revolutions’ and so on. In pursuing this policy, they sometimes take on as accomplices terrorists, fundamentalists, ultra-right nationalists, and even outright neo-fascists. We see direct evidence of the harm this policy causes right on our borders. Two years ago, the list of regional hotspots got the addition of Ukraine, much to our regret, where the flames of internal conflict were fanned at the cost of human lives, destruction of economic ties, and streams of refugees, including into Russia.

– We are not going to let ourselves get intoxicated by these military passions. It seems that others are trying to nudge us this way, provoke us into a costly and futile arms race so that we divert resources and effort from our great socioeconomic development tasks at home. We will not do this, but we will always ensure our reliable defense and will guarantee the security of our country and its citizens.

– Syria has found itself at the epicenter of the fight against terrorism. It is no exaggeration to say that Syria’s future will be decisive not only for the future of the Middle East. It is in Syria that the fight against terrorism is being decided, the fight against this same Islamic State that has gathered terrorists and extremists of all stripes under its banners and united them in a desire to expand throughout the entire Muslim world. We know that they have set the goal of gaining strongholds in Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan, the countries of Central Asia, the regions along our borders. This is why we responded last autumn to the Syrian government’s request for help in fighting this terrorist attack. I would .like to thank once again our military service personnel, who did all they could to push back the terrorists, prevent an illegitimate external armed intervention in Syria’s affairs, and preserve Syrian statehood.

– Brexit was a decision of the British and Russia is not going to interference into this process although it will watch the divorce of London and Brussels attentively.

– Russia will accept any choice of the American people and will work with any new president of the US. We want is to work in close cooperation with the United States on international affairs, but we will not accept the approach of that part of the U.S. establishment that thinks they can decide themselves in which areas we will cooperate and in which areas they will turn up the pressure, including through sanctions. We seek a partnership based on equality and consideration of each other’s interests.

– We must put up strong resistance to the Western media’s information monopoly, including by using all available methods to support Russian media outlets operating abroad. Of course, we must also act to counter lies about Russia and not allow falsifications of history.

Source: Izvestia, July 01, 2016.

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V Moscow Conference on International Security 2nd and 3rd Panels (Video)

The Russian MoD has been very kind to make available the panelists’ speeches of the firsts day. Unfortunately, they didn’t make available the Q&A sessions. Below you can find the videos of the 3rd (Global security and military cooperation) and 4th (Problems of War and Peace in Europe: a new security system in Europe) panels in English and with Q&A. At this time, these videos are not available anywhere else.

Nikolay N. Bordyuzha’s speech and answers were very interesting (3rd panel). In the 4th panel, it was interesting to hear to the Belarussian minister of defense, but General Sergey Makarov was able to make a great resume of the Russian strategic view.

3rd Panel

4th Panel

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Program of the V Moscow Conference on International Security

Program of the V Moscow Conference on International Security
Moscow, April 27-28, 2016

TUESDAY, APRIL 26

10.00-19.00 / Arrival of participants, hotel check-in

13.00-15.00 / Lunch at the Lobby Restaurant

19.00-20.30 / Welcome cocktail hosted by the Deputy Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation Amb. Anatoly Antonov

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27

08.00-09.15 / Conference Registration

09.30-10.30 / Opening of the Conference

>> Welcome address by the leadership of the Russian Federation
>> Statement by the Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation Army General Sergey Shoygu
>> Statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov
>> Welcome address by the leadership of the United Nations

10.30-12.00 / PLENARY SESSION

Terrorism as a major threat to global security
>> Distinctive features of contemporary terrorism
>> Practicing defence cooperation in counter-terrorism
>> Exploiting terrorist organizations to achieve foreign policy goals
>> Role of international organizations in counter-terrorism

12.00-12.20 / Coffee break

12.20-14.00 / PLENARY SESSION

Security challenges and opportunities for international military-to-military cooperation in the Asia-Pacific
>> Building an architecture of security and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific
>> Politico-military environment in North-East Asia. Situation on the Korean Peninsula
>> Addressing regional security threats
>> Bilateral and multilateral military-to-military cooperation among regional states
>> Role of ASEAN mechanisms of strengthening security in the Asia-Pacific

14.00-15.00 / Lunch

15.00-16.30 /

DISCUSSION. Middle East, the tangle of contradictions
>> Modern security threats in the region
>> Stabilization efforts in the Middle East
>> Coordinating international assistance in resolving ongoing disputes in the region
>> Preventing military incidents among states fighting against terrorism
>> Legal framework for the use of military force against terrorism
>> Effectiveness of the cease-fire regime in resolving the situation in SyriaДискуссия.

DISCUSSION. Traditional and emerging international security challenges
>> Evolving nature and features of security challenges and threats
>> Ability to address modern challenges and threats through the existing international security mechanisms
>> Role of the international cooperation in countering traditional and emerging security challenges
>> Use of modern technologies in identifying and addressing security threats
>> Finding solutions to international security threats

16.30-16.50 / Coffee break

16.50-18.30 /

DISCUSSION. «Color» revolutions and regional security. Role of the armed forces in ensuring national stability
>> Expanding phenomenon of «colour» revolutions
>> Factor of the military force in «colour» revolutions
>> Implications of «colour» revolutions for global security and regional stability
>> «Colour» revolutions as a key factor in the outburst of global terrorist activity

DISCUSSION. Security in Central Asia
>> Assessing current situation and predicting politico-military changes in the region
>> Factors affecting security in the region
>> Defence cooperation on maintaining security in Afghanistan and Central Asia
>> Situation in Afghanistan. Implications for neighboring states security
>> Role of international organizations in promoting regional security

19.00-20.30 / Formal reception hosted by the Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation Army General Sergey Shoygu

THURSDAY, APRIL 28

09.30-11.00 / PLENARY SESSION.

Global security and military cooperation
>> Assessing security challenges and threats
>> Role of the military force in modern conflicts
>> Prospects for defence interaction in strengthening global security
>> Modern trends of international military cooperation: goals and tasks

11.00-11.20 / Coffee break

11.20-13.00 / PLENARY SESSION

Problems of War and Peace in Europe: a new security system in Europe
>> Effectiveness of the existing security mechanisms in Europe and the need for their modernization
>> Military interaction to maintain stability in the region
>> Role of international organizations in ensuring European security
>> Situation in the Middle East. Implications for European security

13.00-13.15 / Conference closing remarks

14.00-16.30 / Lunch

Departure of conference participants

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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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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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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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