On the faces of war | Valery Gerasimov


Valery Gerasimov

Even Clausewitz likened war with advanced combat, defining it as an act of violence, aiming to force the enemy to fulfill our will. A significant contribution to the development of the science of war was made by outstanding Russian and Soviet theorists of the early XX century Andrey Snesarev and Alexander Svechin. The subject of research are the main trends of warfare, which is the result of not only political but also economic and social relations. By the early 90s there was a steady understanding of war as a means of achieving political goals solely on the basis of armed struggle.

In the United States was formed classification, which includes conventional and unconventional war. And in the early twenty-first century American theorists have suggested supplementing it with a hybrid war. To her, they’ll take action in a period which is impossible in its pure form neither for war nor for peace.

In domestic science and practice a more balanced approach to the classification of contemporary armed conflicts. It takes into account a greater number of signs. At the same time in the international and domestic official documents, the definition of war is missing. In the Military doctrine of the Russian Federation it is named as a form of resolution of interstate or intrastate conflicts with the use of military force.

Active discussion on the clarification of the concept continues. Some scientists and specialists adhere to the classical interpretation. Others offer radically redefined the contents and the essence of the term “war”, believing that armed struggle is not a mandatory attribute. Currently, it is possible to meet such definitions as information, economic, hybrid warfare, and many other options.

The General staff pays attention to the discussion of this problem. In 2016 on the basis of the VA the General staff was organized the discussion of the essence of the concept “war” in the modern world. This issue was discussed at the session of scientific Council under the security Council. During the discussions, a common setup of the need analysis of the nature and characteristics of contemporary armed conflicts, identifying trends in their occurrence and development.

The hybrid was replaced by a contactless

Such conflicts of the late XX – early XXI centuries differ from one another in the composition of the participants used weapons, forms and methods of actions of troops. And at the same time, do not go beyond General content of the war, and include as an integral part of various types of combat and directly armed, political, diplomatic, informational, and other. Now he has shown new features. This change in the ratio of contribution of one or another kind of fight in the General political success of the war, the overwhelming superiority of one side in military strength and economic power.

For modern conflict characterized by several features.

The experience of the NATO operation in Yugoslavia, opened the era of so-called contactless or remote wars, not universal. The reason objective – to achieve the goals of the war restricted geographical and economic nature. Factor in the cost of armaments and war as a whole began to play an important role in the choice of methods of warfare.

A significant feature is the growing use of new robotic systems and unmanned aerial vehicles for various purposes and actions.

There are new forms of use of diverse forces and means. For example, during operations in Libya at the same time was established a no-fly zone, was conducted a naval blockade in conjunction with the joint actions of private military companies from member States of NATO and the armed opposition groups.

The concepts of application of armies of the leading States to win the information superiority is declared an indispensable condition for fighting. To solve this problem used media and social networks. At the same time involved the forces and means of information-psychological and information-technical influence. So, in conflicts in the middle East for the first time opened wide the possibility of mobilizing social networks.

A good example of the use of hybrid methods was the conflict in Syria. It also used traditional and non-traditional actions, both military and non-military nature.

At the first stage of the internal Syrian contradictions were transformed into armed opposition. Then, with the support of foreign trainers and active information support was given in an organized manner.

Subsequently, in a confrontation with government troops joined the terrorist group, supplied and directed from abroad.

Hybrid actions are being actively implemented, the United States and NATO countries in practice in the international arena. This is largely due to the fact that this option does not fall under the definition of aggression.

The combination of such techniques received in the Western media called “hybrid war”. However, the use of this term as established is premature.

A new perception of familiar words

The analysis indicates a number of trends, evidence of the transformation of the armed conflicts of the early twenty-first century. Today there was an obvious blurring of the lines between war and peace. The flip side of hybrid action becomes a new perception of peacetime, when the military or other open violent action against a state do not apply, but its national security and sovereignty are under threat and can be broken. Expanding the range of reasons and occasions for use of military force, which are increasingly involved to ensure the economic interests of States under the slogan of defending democracy or instilling democratic values in the country.

The emphasis in the content of methods of warfare is shifting towards broad use of political, economic, diplomatic, informational, and other non-military measures implemented with the connection of the protest potential of the population.

Non-military forms and means of struggle has received unprecedented technological development and acquired a dangerous and sometimes violent.

Their practical use could cause a collapse in the energy, banking, economic, informational and other spheres of the state. As example, the results of cyber attacks on the energy infrastructure of Iran in 2015.

Analysis of the characteristics, features and tendencies of development of contemporary conflicts reveals that all of them have a common feature – the use of military violence. And in some it is almost a classic armed struggle, as in the two wars against Iraq or in the course of the NATO operation against Yugoslavia. In other conflicts, like in Syria, the armed struggle waged by one party in the form of anti-terrorist operations and enemy – in the form of illegal actions of irregular armed groups and terrorist organizations. Thus, the main content of the wars in modern times and the foreseeable future will remain the same. But their main feature – the presence of the armed struggle.

However, the definition of the essence of war is not closed, it is topical and requires constant study and careful consideration.

To this end, in the scientific-business program of the international military-technical forum “Army-2017” in August of this year included a round table on “Modern war and armed conflict: characteristic features and peculiarities”. AVN scientists should take an active part. It is necessary to continue the work on interagency standardization of military-political and military terms and definitions.

The potential for conflict in the world underlines the relevance of a number of tasks in the field of defense.

Precision measures

Chief among them remains the same – guaranteed to repel any possible aggression against the Russian Federation and its allies from any direction. While in peacetime the implementation of measures of strategic deterrence is necessary to ensure the neutralization of threats to national security based on available forces and means. In this regard, increasing the role and importance of forecasting military dangers and threats that are to be undertaken in combination with assessment of the economic, informational and other calls.

Enhancing the capability of the Armed Forces is implemented through a balanced development of all species and genera of troops (forces), development of precision weapons and modern means of communication, reconnaissance, automated control and electronic warfare. Currently, there is large-scale equipment of the strategic Missile forces with the modern facilities. The Navy received the new nuclear submarines with ballistic and cruise missiles, which have no analogues in the world. Actively moderniziriruyutsya aircraft of strategic aviation, our legendary Tu-160 and Tu-95MS. This will allow up to the end of 2020 to bring the equipment of the strategic nuclear forces with modern weapons in General, up to 90 percent. The impact potential of precision weapons in the Armed Forces will be increased four times, to ensure the security of Russia around the perimeter boundaries. By 2021 the share of modern weapons and military equipment in the army will reach not less than 70 percent. In the aerospace forces will receive the new generation aircraft, which will increase the combat capabilities of aircraft in 1,5 times. In the Navy will be supplied with modern vehicles, equipped with high-precision missiles with great range.

A significant role in increasing the combat capabilities of the allocated robotics. An ambitious but reasonable application of RTK for various purposes will increase the efficiency of operations, ensure a substantial reduction of losses of personnel.

Science to pre-empt

Today, the Armed Forces acquire combat experience in Syria. They had a unique opportunity to test and experience in difficult climatic conditions of new samples of AME. We need to continue to generalize experience of application of means of warfare in the Syrian campaign, to draw lessons for their improvement and modernization.

We must remember that victory is achieved not only material but also spiritual resources of the people, its unity and the desire by all means to resist the aggression. Military-political leadership of the Russian Federation is making serious efforts to restore people’s trust in the army. Today the Armed Forces are on a new level of combat readiness and this finds full support in the society. In order to further enhance their credibility, it is important to develop the relationship between the army and society, and to improve the system of military training and Patriotic education of youth.

The decision of actual problems of defense of the country is impossible without a thorough and advanced study. In this regard, it is worth to focus on the priorities of the Academy of military Sciences.

First of all this study of new forms of inter-state confrontation and developing effective ways to counter them.

The actual problem is the formation of scenarios of long-term forecasts of development of military-political and strategic situation in crucial regions of the world. Need to quickly explore the features of contemporary armed conflicts. Based on them to develop methods of operation of military administration and operations in various conditions.

A separate study is required by the problems of organization and implementation of the regrouping of troops (forces) on the remote theater. Do not lose the relevance of the common tasks of military science, which need further elaboration.

Valery Gerasimov,

Chief of the General staff of the armed forces, General of the army

Stauffenberg was Right!

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