Sunday, September 7, 2014

Top Russian General Lays Bare Putin's Plan for Ukraine

Again, we really need to pay attention to Russia's political and unconventional warfare.  We fail to study these forms of warfare and fail to learn how to counter political and unconventional warfare at our peril.

Gerasimov writes about how "a perfectly thriving state can, in a matter of months and even days, be transformed into an arena of fierce armed conflict, become a victim of foreign intervention, and sink into a web of chaos, humanitarian catastrophe, and civil war."
This is achieved, Gerasimov writes, by "the broad use of political, economic, informational, humanitarian, and other non-military measures applied in coordination with the protest potential of the population." The goal is "to create a permanently operating front through the entire territory of the enemy state."
Gerasimov's article is of great interest to military specialists, but it is of broader interest as well. It reveals much about Russia's view of the West -- particularly the United States -- which the Kremlin believes carries out such operations regularly around the world. The view of global affairs presented in this article, I think, accurately reflects an important strain of Kremlin thinking. After all, it is presented in an obscure publication and its exposure to foreign audiences could not have been foreseen.
(I would take exception to the last sentence - if the Russians are as sophisticated in political and information warfare they are made out to be someone likely forsaw that this article would be exposed).


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Prague-based editor and writer for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Top Russian General Lays Bare Putin's Plan for Ukraine




Posted: 09/02/2014 12:19 pm EDT Updated: 09/03/2014 3:59 pm EDT
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PRAGUE -- When the crisis in Ukraine dramatically heated up last November and in the ensuing weeks, I was impressed by the ability of the Russian state to mobilize so many different tools in its bid to destabilize its neighbor. It became clear very quickly that Russian politicians, journalists, purportedly nongovernmental organizations, state companies, think tanks, the military, the courts, government agencies and the Duma were all working from the same instructions for the same goals. At the time I remarked on Twitter that the crisis showed the tactical effectiveness of the "unitary state" Russian President Vladimir Putin has been building since 1999.
In June, I came across a fairly obscure article by General Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the general staff of the Russian Federation, and was struck by how closely it mirrored my observations of the unfolding Ukraine crisis.
Gerasimov writes about how "a perfectly thriving state can, in a matter of months and even days, be transformed into an arena of fierce armed conflict, become a victim of foreign intervention, and sink into a web of chaos, humanitarian catastrophe, and civil war."
This is achieved, Gerasimov writes, by "the broad use of political, economic, informational, humanitarian, and other non-military measures applied in coordination with the protest potential of the population." The goal is "to create a permanently operating front through the entire territory of the enemy state."
Gerasimov's article is of great interest to military specialists, but it is of broader interest as well. It reveals much about Russia's view of the West -- particularly the United States -- which the Kremlin believes carries out such operations regularly around the world. The view of global affairs presented in this article, I think, accurately reflects an important strain of Kremlin thinking. After all, it is presented in an obscure publication and its exposure to foreign audiences could not have been foreseen.
It also presents a candid and fairly negative assessment of Russian military science. Gerasimov notes the field has been stymied in the past by "a scornful attitude toward new ideas," for which the Soviet Union paid "in great quantities of blood" during World War II. Reading between the lines, one might learn a lot from this article about relations between the military and the government and about competing schools within security structure itself.
Finally, I think this article offers a lesson for the West. The Russian government is intentionally shrouded in secrecy, but it is not nearly as inscrutable as the Soviet government was. There is a huge amount of important and revealing information to be found that needs to be researched, translated, and brought into the larger discussion of Russia's relations with the West and its role in the world. But very little of this information ever gets beyond a small circle of specialists. And that is proving to be a very costly mistake.
Here is my translation of key portions of General Gerasimov's article, which appeared on "Military-Industrial Kurier" on February 27, 2013
In the 21st century we have seen a tendency toward blurring the lines between the states of war and peace. Wars are no longer declared and, having begun, proceed according to an unfamiliar template.

The experience of military conflicts -- including those connected with the so-called colored revolutions in north Africa and the Middle East -- confirm that a perfectly thriving state can, in a matter of months and even days, be transformed into an arena of fierce armed conflict, become a victim of foreign intervention, and sink into a web of chaos, humanitarian catastrophe, and civil war.

The Lessons of the "Arab Spring"

Of course, it would be easiest of all to say that the events of the "Arab Spring" are not war and so there are no lessons for us -- military men -- to learn. But maybe the opposite is true -- that precisely these events are typical of warfare in the 21st century.

In terms of the scale of the casualties and destruction -- the catastrophic social, economic, and political consequences -- such new-type conflicts are comparable with the consequences of any real war.

The very "rules of war" have changed. The role of non-military means of achieving political and strategic goals has grown, and, in many cases, they have exceeded the power of force of weapons in their effectiveness.

The focus of applied methods of conflict has altered in the direction of the broad use of political, economic, informational, humanitarian, and other non-military measures -- applied in coordination with the protest potential of the population.

All this is supplemented by military means of a concealed character, including carrying out actions of informational conflict and the actions of special operations forces. The open use of forces -- often under the guise of peacekeeping and crisis regulation -- is resorted to only at a certain stage, primarily for the achievement of final success in the conflict.
(Continued at the link below)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-coalson/valery-gerasimov-putin-ukraine_b_5748480.html?utm_hp_ref=twzzz

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