For U.S. readers, Gerasimov’s linking of the ArabSpring and “color revolutions” (and in later comments,the Maidan Movement) with military capability developmentmay seem odd. In order to put his commentsin context, it is necessary to look at the Russian view ofwarfare and forced regime change as it has developedsince the end of the Cold War....In the Russian view, the pattern of U.S.forced regime change has been as follows:deciding to execute a military operation;finding an appropriate NATO’s Yugoslavia intervention is one of militaryaction to prevent mass genocide, Russia has a much differentview. Most Russians generally view the NATObombing campaign as having been illegal because it wasconducted without the approval of the UN SecurityCouncil and believe that Serbia was simply beingpunished for engaging in counterterrorism operations,albeit with some excesses. The most egregious sin, fromthe Russian view, was the partitioning of Yugoslavia.This action set a precedent for external actors to makedecisions about the internal affairs and territorial integrityof sovereign nations alleged to have committedsome wrong. It is important to note that Russia wasdealing with its own Islamic insurgency at the sametime in the North Caucasus. This may have causedRussian concern about a similar NATO action takingplace inside Russia. One consequence of Westernintervention resulting in the destruction of Yugoslaviapretext such as to prevent genocide or seize weaponsof mass destruction; and finally, launching a militaryoperation to cause regime change (figure 1).
As a result, it follows that the main guidelines for developing Russian military capabilities by 2020 are:i. From direct destruction to direct influence;ii. from direct annihilation of the opponent to its inner decay;iii. from a war with weapons and technology to a culture war;iv. from a war with conventional forces to specially prepared forces and commercial irregular groupings;v. from the traditional (3D) battleground to information/psychological warfare and war of perceptions;vi. from direct clash to contactless war;vii. from a superficial and compartmented war to a total war, including the enemy’s internal side and base;viii. from war in the physical environment to a war in the human consciousness and in cyberspace;ix. from symmetric to asymmetric warfare by a combination of political, economic, information, technological, and ecological campaigns;x. From war in a defined period of time to a state of permanent war as the natural condition in national life.Thus, the Russian view of modern warfare is based on the idea that the main battlespace is the mind and, as a result, new-generation wars are to be dominated by information and psychological warfare, in order to achieve superiority in troops and weapons control, morally and psychologically depressing the enemy’s armed forces personnel and civil population. The main objective is to reduce the necessity for deploying hard military power to the minimum necessary, making the opponent’s military and civil population support the attacker to the detriment of their own government and country. It is interesting to note the notion of permanent war, since it denotes a permanent enemy. In the current geopolitical structure, the clear enemy is Western civilization, its values, culture, political system, and ideology.