Chris Zawitkowski: East Central Europe. The Eye of Cyclone.

What Russia’s Military Doctrines tell US?

Where Russia is heading? What are their plans? I think it is going to be easier to comprehend our policy versus their doctrines.

In December 2014 the Kremlin released a new Military Doctrine. One should carefully review and compare it to those previously disclosed to Western media. Additionally, it has to be updated per turn of events of 2015. Moreover, even the last days’ events should influence our analysis.

Russia – Russian Federation

We all know the old Roman doctrine: “Divide et Impera”. It means in Latin: “divide and govern”. When I think about the Russian military doctrine I think this Roman one best suits it. What does the word “Impera” mean? I would say it means to govern, or better, to influence, or coerce, bully, scare, frighten, threaten, intimidate. In my view, the best description would be: “commingle”, anything that leads to subordination.13

Russian military guidelines are driven by a variety of factors. The key and most important are: geopolitics, history, resources – ethnicity in the first place, economic and technological issues. One should not forget the interests and ideological/political views of those who direct and develop the doctrine.

Since the Battle of Kulikovo (September 8, 1380) and later after finally defeating the Tartars in the Battle of Molodi (July 30-August 8, 1572) Russia expanded and absorbed, not always successfully, millions of square miles, with many nations/ nationalities. They renamed the “predatory neighbors” into “rebellious peripheries”. Russia grew, from the fifteenth century onwards, into a huge imperial structure, then, a series of such structures: from the late medieval Grand Duchy of Muscovy, through Tsarist Imperial Russia (1721-1917), to the Soviet Union (1922-1991).35

The latest of them was coupled with a very particular ideology, Communism, with total global ambitions and an exclusive kind of appeal. Russia always considered the West (Western Europe, North America) as the main enemy. The Soviet Union built the greatest military structure and used it effectively to broaden its imperial grip in Eastern Europe (since the World War II), Eastern Asia (Northern Korea, Vietnam), Africa, and even Central America. And yet the Soviet empire fell. The Communist ideology has been compromised, economic resources overspent. Outer provinces of the empire rebelled and the Russian core finally seceded too. The Soviet empire collapsed and ceased to exist.9

Anatoliy Golitsyn, an ex-KGB major, 22 years after his defection to the West, in 1984 claims that Russia is in the process of pupation, or as we call it in civilized way – transformation, restructuring. One might doubt it as an illusion, a grand deception.6

Comparison of Russia’s military doctrines:

 

ISSUE

1993

2000

2010

2014

Territorial claims of other countries against Russia, or her allies

 √

   √

   √

Real or possible sources of conflict or war in immediate neighborhood of RF

√

√

√

√

Possibility of the use of nuclear weapons by nuclear states

√

√

Proliferation of nuclear weapons and military high-tech

√

   √

√

Strategic un-balance, arms’ race, local wars

√

  √

√

Attempts and/or interference into internal affairs of RF and destabilization of internal politics

√

√

  √

√

Violation of the rights of Russian citizens in other countries

√

√

Acts of sabotage on Russian military installations in other countries

√

√

Enlargement of military blocks and organizations aimed against Russia

√

 √

√

International terrorism, national, ethnic or religious extremism and separatism, organized crime

√

  √

√

Accumulation of military resources by bordering countries of RF or her allies

√

√

Attacks on border installations of Russia or her allies

√

√

Preparation of armed forces on territories of other countries for an invasion of Russia, or her allies

√

√

Attempts to compromise functioning of Strategic Nuclear Forces, including Space Forces

√

√

Deployment of other military units on territories of Russia’s neighbors without approval of UN Security Council and without RF approval

√

√

 

Possible Russia’s military retaliation:

 

ISSUE

1993

2000

2010

2014

Conventional military act

 √

 √

Use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD)

Use of tactical nuclear weapons

Use of non-tactical nuclear weapons

Use of psychological warfare

Use of cyber attacks

Main enemy: NATO/USA

 

 

Russia’s Military doctrine of 1993 identifies several “potential” and “real” dangers. The possibility of the use of nuclear weapons is a clear violation of UN Resolution 38/75 of 1983. Russia declared compliance to this resolution. k

In the last months of his presidency, Boris Yeltsin’s team prepared and nominated his successor, Vladimir Putin, and approved the new doctrine in April 2000. Besides a few territorial claims upon the Russian Federation and interference in Russian domestic affairs, it mentioned such grave dangers as disregard for Russian concerns in international conflict resolution, and opposition to strengthening Russia as one center of a multi-polar world.

In September 2000, Putin cleared “The Information Security Doctrine of the Russian Federation”. It set forth the Information Security Doctrine with three major objectives: not just to protect strategically important information, but also to protect against “deleterious (lethal) foreign information” and to hammer “patriotism and values” in the peoples.

The previous Russian military doctrine –announced in 2010, was developed by an entirely new team. Who is on the team, we don’t know, but one should remember: among all ministers appointed between 2000 and 2003, 35 percent had a military or security background with a unique pervasion of the top institutions in Russia (ministers, Duma deputies, Kremlin apparatchiks, governors, etc) shows 40 – 78% of KGB/GRU/FSB/SVR – special security forces – functionaries.17 There is no other country in the world with such a ruling elite: ready to commingle, intimidate, manipulate, and eliminate adversaries, or enemies. Zbigniew Brzeziński comments: “Mr. Putin is trying to blend the traditions of the CheKa (BЧК – Всероссийская чрезвычайная комиссия по борьбе с контрреволюцией и саботажем при Совете народных комиссаров РСФСР), with Stalin’s wartime leadership, with Russian Orthodox Cherch’s claims to the status of the Third Rome”3

Russia’s new President, Dmitry Medvedev, issued the Russian National Security Strategy till 2020 in May 2009. The Strategy stressed, that new threats and challenges have grown, such as uncontrolled and illegal migration, the deficit of fresh water, as well as the more acute rivalry for energy resources, global and regional restructuring, with NATO plans to extend its military infrastructure closer to Russian borders, and attempts to endow NATO, as unacceptable to Russia, a number of leading foreign countries, directed at achieving predominant superiority in the military sphere, primarily in terms of strategic nuclear forces, but also by developing high-precision, informational and other high-technology means of conducting armed warfare, strategic non-nuclear arms, by unilaterally creating a global missile defense system. h

To accomplish the goal of transforming the Russian Federation into a world power, the Presidential document offers a concept of strategic deterrence. It presupposes the development and systemic implementation of a range of political, diplomatic, military, economic, informational and other measures, integrated with the use of the state’s economic resources, including support for the forces providing national security, by means of the development of a system of para-military and patriotic education of Russian citizenry. The Strategy approves the transition towards a qualitatively new profile for the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, while maintaining the potential of the use of strategic nuclear forces and improving operations and combat training, as well as improving the organization of interaction among different troops and forces, creation and modernization of arms, including means of communication, reconnaissance, electronic warfare and control. h

Russia identifies the U.S. as a main enemy and intends to cooperate with Europe to undermine American strategic preponderance, weaken NATO, and restore its own zone of influence in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Russia is oh her path, again..4,5

Russia announced the latest Military Doctrine in December 2014. Theoretically, the doctrine seems to be the same as 2010 with a little tougher language. Also, for the first time some of the former Soviet republics are named in it. One would understand why emphasis is put on the defense of the rights of ethnic Russians inhabiting those countries. The lack of reaction by the leaders of those countries lead to the actions against Ukraine. Who’s next? Nicolai Platonovich Patrushev, Secretary of State Security Council of Russian Federation, clearly indicates o

  • should NATO support Turkey in possible war with Russia (due to the violation of Turkish airspace by Russian fighters) Baltic states may pay a high price – “If the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance decides to support Ankara (in a possible war with Russia), on our part the answer will be the most logical – the invasion of the Baltic States. And all the Baltic States (are) ours; completely without any losses”, – said in an interview with “Rossiyskaya Gazeta” Secretary of Russia’s Security Council Nikolai Platonovich Patrushev. Thus, for supporting Turkey, NATO pays by losing the Baltic States, he added.
  • Patrushev did not rule out that in case of a war with Turkey, Russia – according to its military doctrine – could use nuclear weapons against that country. This will occur even if NATO will provide military aid to Ankara. Russia has over 2,000 sub-tactical nuclear warheads.
  • should Poland support Ukraine actively, Russia will also retaliate – “Generally, NATO has no means to fight us in Eastern Europe. It cannot put hope in aviation because of our very strong defenses. These are the systems that can destroy the entire NATO aviation,” he said.

Which direction is Putin’s Russia going to pursue to satisfy her military might, ambitions and plans? Russia’s population could fall below 125 million by 2025, and its GDP, estimated by the CIA as 47% of America’s in 1989, has declined to less than 15% in this comparison now, and could decline to between 5 and 10% of America’s in the next fifteen years. Many analysts make simple conclusions out of this hard data. There is no need to worry, they are ready to say. Illusions.34

Indeed, there is no way Russia would attempt in the foreseeable future any serious military conflict directly against the United States or NATO. It would be close to a suicidal attempt for Military or economic reasons. It’s beyond their capabilities. But Russia has plans for Europe, always had, even during communist times. Russia can gain regionally, close to her borders. This includes Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and others. Russia may target the “new” members of EU, isolate them with favoritism and isolation from the “real” West, which begins for Putin only with Germany.

Can Russia deal with the West? Does Putin need ICBM’s Strategic Aerospace Missiles and Borey-class costly toys? They are necessary to dissuade us and Berlin, Paris, Rome that no war with Russia is on the horizon. It is much easier to create a consensus in our Administration to plan a “new détente”, “reset”, “START”, or simply “being easier”. The loosening of ties, or downgrading the relations between the US and NATO allies is an inevitable bonus for Russia.14,18,19

20160206 Russian military doctrine today (PI)_html_36a5fe89

There is an additional element to consider, at a different level than the huge Bulavas or Topols, the so-called nonstrategic or tactical nuclear weapons (TNW: 2,000 to 4,000 warheads) and sub-tactical nuclear weapons (sTNW – less then 1kT). They never show up in the official documents and statements. It is possible to speculate after a statement of Nikolai Platonovich Patrushev, the secretary of the Security Council, who revealed that in the classified part of the Military Doctrine, conditions for the use of nuclear weapons for repelling aggression with the use of conventional weapons are … for regional or even local wars.1 The presence of these weapons is necessary to terrorize smaller neighbors of “near abroad”, without the risk of confrontation with the more powerful players of “the West”, i.e. France or Germany.

According to the 2014 Doctrine, it is better to serve the “non-military means”. Putin has a vast portfolio of those. How about downing the commercial airliner, or the plane with an official delegation? The world knows a long list of criminal acts performed by Russia in the last 300 years.13 Today’s Russia is no different than the one of Ivan IV the Terrible.

The result is always rewarding. The Persuaded West considers the encroachment of former Soviet Satellites as no danger or obstacle to a good “Russo-European partnership”. And, finally, that this partnership is obviously something much better than the old, transatlantic one, tying Berlin, Paris, or Rome to Washington…

Let us review some elements of this strategy, which are not mentioned in the text of the military doctrine, but actually form its core.

As Romans would say, “historia vitae magistra est” (history is a teacher of life). Let us learn from history. One can analyze how Russia conquered other countries. What were the steps they took? What was the strategy?

20160206 Russian military doctrine today (PI)_html_4270f9a3

 

In every case, whether it was Peter the Great, or Catherine, Nicholas, Lenin, Stalin, Brezhnev, or Putin, the strategy was the same. Let us use an example of Novgorod Velikiy and Ivan III (grandfather of Ivan the Terrible).

 

 

 

  1. Friendly contact.  Novgorod functioned as the key city of Ruthenians until prince Oleg set up Kiev as the capital of his state. Moscow didn’t exist at the time of 882 AD. (First mentioning of Moscow comes in 1147). Between 1148 and 1478 Novgorod existed as a Republic with a hired duke as the head of administration. The city prospered and the citizenry became wealthy. The republic spread north, south, east, and west. The cities maintained certain freedom of decisions and were run by mayors, assemblies, and maintained their own militia. Mongols refrained from capturing Novgorod, while Tver, Muscovy and Lithuania fought over control of this enormously wealthy state.
  2. Moscow rulers, Ivan Kalita, Simeon the Proud and others were often invited for state visits to the city.
  3. They started taking sides during political and economic disputes inside Novgorod state.
  4. The situation was very hot and it resulted … in annexation of the southern part of the state by Moscow (Dvina Lands).
  5. After defeating the “rebels” the opposition grew in strength. The widow of the head of the assembly (Posadnik) invited the Lithuanian prince to become her husband. The news reached Moscow.
  6. Moscow expedited forces defeating Novgorod. A large part of population was “relocated” to other parts of stardom and some new inhabitants were relocated to Novgorod.

MD3

One would say Moscow repeated this strategy many times later. We see it in Ukraine, today.

Nicolai Platonovich Petrushev, Secretary of the Security Council of Russian Federation in his interview with Rossijskaya Gazeta claims Russia has no plans for Donietsk and Lugansk, but what are 8,000 Russian troops doing there? They train “rebels/separatchiks” with heavy equipment and sophisticated weaponry…

The Kremlin clearly retains a desire to commingle in their affairs, whether through the injection of money into politics, through psychological warfare, through the abuse of energy and other trade ties, or even through military saber-rattling. […] An important message pertains to Poland’s and USA’s role.k

 

Books & Publications

  1. Baev, The Continuing Revolution in Russian Military Affairs: toward 2020, in: Russia in 2020. Scenarios for the Future, eds. Maria Lipman, Nikolay Petrov, Carnegie, Washington 2011
  2. Berezhnikov, VM and Mikheylev, At Stalin Side: …, Empire, 1994
  3. Brzezinski, Moscow’s Mussolini, „The Wall Street Journal”, September 20, 2004.
  4. Bugajski, Janusz, Expanding Eurasia. Russia’s European Ambitions, CSIS, Washington, 2008
  5. Bugajski, Janusz, Cold Peace. Russia’s New Imperialism, Praeger, Westport-London, 2004.
  6. Golitsyn, Anatoly, “New Lies for Old, Dodd, Mead & Company, 1984
  7. Gordijevsky, Oleg, KGB, The Inside Story, Harper Collins, 1990
  8. Grabowski, Tomasz W, Rosyjska Siła, Siły Zbrojne i główne problemy polityki obronnej Federacji Rosyjskiej w latach 1991-2010, Instytut Geopolityki, 2011, plus English abstract
  9. Helène. Carrère d’Encausse, The End of the Soviet Empire: The Triumph of Nations, New York: Basic Books, 1992
  10. Johnnie Herwarth von Bittenfeld and S. Frederick Starr: Against Two Evils: A German Diplomat-Soldier’s Struggle Against Stalin and Hitler during the Third Reich. Rawson, Wade, 1981
  11. Hosking, G, Russia: People and Empire. 1552-1917, London: Harper and Collins, 1993
  12. Johnson, LR, Central Europe: Enemies, Neighbors, Friends, Oxford University Press, 1996
  13. Kalinka, Waleryan, Sejm Czteroletni, Spółka Wydawnicza Polska, Kraków, 1895
  14. Kissinger, H, Diplomacy, Simon & Sschuster, 1994
  15. Kristensen and Norris, Russian Nuclear Forces, 2011, “Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists”, 67, no. 3 (May 1, 2011)
  16. Kristensen and Norris, Russian Nuclear Forces, 2012, “Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists”, 68, no. 2 (March 1, 2012)
  17. Kryshtanovskaya and White, Putin’s Militocracy, “Post-Soviet Affairs”, 2003
  18. Lenczowski, John, Soviet Perceptions of US Foreign Policy, Cornell University Press, 1982
  19. Lenczowski, John, Full Spectrum Diplomacy, Lexington Books, 2011
  20. Lenczowski, John, Counterintelligence: …, Lulu.com, 2005
  21. Leonard, Eric K, National Security Policy, Taylor & Francis, 2007 – (Russian Military Doctrine)
  22. Leonard, Eric K, National Security Policy, Taylor & Francis, 2011 – (Russian Military Doctrine)
  23. Litvinienko, Marina, Death of a Dissident, First Free Press, 2007
  24. Lucas, E, The New Cold War. How the Kremlin Menaces both Russia and the West, Bloomsbury, London 2008
  25. Magocsi, Paul Robert, Historical Atlas of East Central Europe, University of Toronto Press, 1993
  26. Marcel de Haas, Russia’s Military Doctrine Development (2000-10), in: Russian Military Politics and Russa’s 2010 Defense Doctrine, ed. Stephen J. Blank, Strategic Studies Institute, Carlisle, PA 2011
  27. Mark R. Beissinger, Ethnic Politics and Post-Communism: Theories and Practice, eds. Z. Barany, R. G. Moser, Ithaca, NY 2005
  28. Marshall I. Goldman, Petrostate. Putin, Power, and the New Russia, Oxford UP, 2008
  29. Miedviediev, D, Основы государственной политики в области ядерного сдерживания до 2020 года , 2/5/2010 – classified
  30. Nowak, A, personal conversations and professor’s speech at the Institute of World Politics on April 7, 2013
  31. Nowak, A, History and Geopolitics: A Contest for Eastern Europe, Polish Institute of International Affairs, Warsaw 2008
  32. Spiegel, Staff, Germany’s Disarmed Forces: …, der Spiegel, 09/30/2014
  33. Riasanovsky, A History of Russia, Oxford UP, New York 1977, 3rd ed.,
  34. Verheyen, Dirk, United City, Divided Memories? Cold War Memories, RowmanLittlefield, 2010
  35. Zamiatin and Zamiatin, Impierija prostranstva. Khrestomatiia po geopolitikie i gieokulturie Rossii (Imperial Spaces. An Anthology of Texts on/Extracts from Geopolitics and Geoculture of Russia), eds. D.N. Zamiatin, A.N. Zamiatin, Moskva 2003

Websites

  1. http:\\www.armedforces.co.uk/
  2. http://carnegieendowment.org/files/2010russia_military_doctrine.pdf
  3. http://john-lenczowski.com/2014/07/14/russian-agents-of-influence-and-the-war-on-fracking/
  4. http://rt.com/politics/future-soldier-felin-military-754/
  5. http://russiamil.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/putins-spells-out-national-security-strategy/
  6. http://russianforces.org/blog/2011/02/russia_to_spend_70_billion_on.shtml
  7. http://rustrans.wikidot.com/russia-s-national-security-strategy-to-2020
  8. http://www.naval-technology.com/projects/borei-class/borei-class1.html
  9. http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/russia/doctrine/russia-mil-doc.html
  10. http:\\NATO.int/
  11. http://www.potomacinstitute.org/attachments/article/1273/Russian%20Cyber%20Operations.pdf
  12. http://www.rferl.org/content/Behind_The_Estonia_Cyberattacks/1505613.html
  13. http:\\www.wikipedia.org/
  14. http://www.rg.ru/2015/12/22/patrushev-site.html

 

 

 

 

 



Categories: Security Policy