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Russian MOD strategic review

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#1 Ssnake

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Posted 07 April 2018 - 0150 AM

Where would I be able to find (translated) whitepapers of the Russian MoD with their official review of Russia's strategic situation?

So far my simple attempts at Googling this have failed. But I suppose there are specialized web sites that collect such stuff.

 

In particular, I'm interested at papers published after 2010.


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#2 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 07 April 2018 - 0206 AM

Well there are some good documents on the Swedish Defence Research Agency website, that use Russian documentation for analysis. But there are no verbatim translations as far as I know.

https://foi.se/en.html

There were some good studies of Russia and the Arctic and on information warfare IIRC. Their overview of the Russian Armed Forces is probably about the best ive yet read.

 

There is 'Russian Nuclear Weapons- Past Present and Future' which gives some overview of the Strategic Picture, though again, probably not to the detail you want.

https://ssi.armywarc...les/PUB1087.pdf

 

There is also FMSO, which has some good analysis on various aspects of Russian foreign and military policy, including some interesting articles on Belarus and Crimea.

https://community.ap...tradoc-g2/fmso/

 

I suppose the closest to what you need would be Russia's own Military Doctrine which it publishes occasionally. This one dates from 2000, but there have been later ones. This one is the most notorious because it raises the spectre of 'De escalatory strike'.

https://www.armscont...2000_05/dc3ma00


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#3 carrierlost

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Posted 07 April 2018 - 0257 AM

Russian Military Doctrine

 

http://thailand.mid....sian-federation


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#4 BansheeOne

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Posted 07 April 2018 - 0300 AM

The Center for Security Studies of ETH Zürich has a collection of international defense white papers including Russia's 2010 Military Doctrine. The Russian Embassy in the UK helpfully has the 2014 update online; it's also on another Swiss website.


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#5 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 07 April 2018 - 0425 AM

Its also worth browing youtube. some of the discussions they host from Atlantic Council, CSIS and Brookings are particularly good. And they often invite Russian speakers in to give their perspective on whats going on.

https://www.youtube....AtlanticCouncil

Some of the discussions they had on military procurement and nuclear strategy from the Russian perspective have been genuinely interesting.

 

Going outside the remit, there is a very interesting book well worth reading called 'Black Wind, White Snow' by Charles Clover. It links the rise of Russian nationalism and its linkage to  geography (Eurasianism) back to White Russian Emigres, the work of Holford Mackinder, and the eventual rise of Alexander Dugin, specifically his work 'Foundations of Geopolitics' which it is alleged has been used in Russian military academies. Which when you read the basic gist, may give something of an overview of Russian strategic thought.

https://en.wikipedia..._of_Geopolitics

 

Its impossible to say how relevant that view is. But that it may be being indoctrinated into the Russian General staff is, to say the least, somewhat concerning. The most you can say for certain is that it proves intellectual axle grease for some of Putins policies.


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 07 April 2018 - 0429 AM.

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#6 Simon Tan

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Posted 07 April 2018 - 0548 AM

Write to the Russian Embassy in Berlin.
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#7 Roman Alymov

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Posted 07 April 2018 - 0803 AM

May be English language part of Rus MOD website could be useful

http://eng.mil.ru/en...forces/type.htm


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#8 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 07 April 2018 - 0952 AM

There are also some interesting articles on here. https://russiamil.wordpress.com/
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#9 Ssnake

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Posted 08 April 2018 - 0518 AM

Thanks everybody. Haven't yet found what I'm looking for - but it may not exist.


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#10 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 08 April 2018 - 1240 PM

You are basically looking for an assessment overview of the threats they face, from their perspective?

I doubt they would publish anything like that. The nearest ive seen was the discussion of Germany being a military threat, because it might take Kaliningrad back. So some of the assumptions are rather phantasmagorical.:)

 

Might be worth a look on RAND, ive not looked lately.


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#11 Ssnake

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Posted 21 April 2018 - 0214 AM

Well, a few years ago (around 2014/2015) the (generally most respected) German newspaper "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung") referred to a "Russian MoD's Whitebook" that allegedly listed the European Union as Russia's "strategic threat No. 1". I've cited this on a number of occasions but figured that I should try and verify it. Just in case. So I can point people directly to the source, if necessary.


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#12 glenn239

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Posted 21 April 2018 - 0753 AM

Thanks everybody. Haven't yet found what I'm looking for - but it may not exist.

 

Well, then, if Putin hasn't published we'll just have to spitball it ourselves.  Here's my first take -

 

The big four for Russia are, in order, the question of the global succession to the American century, the rise of China, and the future of the EU, Islamic militancy.  How does Russia fits these pieces of the puzzle together?  The fall of the US is first because, only the US is a truly dangerous foe, with a toxic mix of military capacity, overstretch and overlapping obligations, combined with a shit-don't-stink arrogance and a capacity for political corruption and ruthless information control that would make a Habsburg official blush.   The rise of China is longer term but may or will eventually surpass in importance the decline of the US.  Like the Islamic terrorism issue, China is part problem, part opportunity.  

 

My impression is that the Russians want and are fine with the EU, but a looser EU like what Poland and the UK are striving for.  The Americans they should see as dangerous meddlers that they would like to see at a distance from the EU.  Not because Russia has nefarious designs on Europe, but because they see the Europeans as too easily influenced and led astray against their own interests by the Americans, who have all sorts of institutions (such as the CIA) that are completely out of control, like the old Russian Asiatic Department.

 

On the military front, I bet they'll want Europe on ice, (Ukraine is a boat anchor around Putin's neck), China to be more assertive everywhere but against Russian interests, they want the Eu to be more wary of the US without caring about EU/NATO provided it advances no further east and does not target Russian exports, and they will want the US to be less reckless on the global stage, (the Americans are probably seen as both dangerous and stupid, probably in about equal measure)  The big question to my mind is whether Putin perceives time to be for Russia or against Russia.  Back in 2014 there was a stronger case to be made for "against".  But now, I think its increasingly clear that, because of the disintegration of the western order, the rise of China, and truly advanced generation of Russian weapons coming on line, and with Russia's economic performance, that time is on Russia's side.  (Russian demographic trends are irrelevant because they are a domestic trend).  If so, this means Putin will be willing to roll with US adventurism even while trying to curtail it.  

 

WMD's are a wild card - the Russians must fear either that some clown will use them or the West will increasingly play games to cause a showdown on the calculation that time is not on our side, (WMD's allow the west to ignore international standards on the use of force and attack anyone accused of their use, Salem style.) 


Edited by glenn239, 21 April 2018 - 0800 AM.

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#13 Ssnake

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Posted 21 April 2018 - 1118 AM

 

Thanks everybody. Haven't yet found what I'm looking for - but it may not exist.

 

Well, then, if Putin hasn't published we'll just have to spitball it ourselves.

 

That's NOT what I'm after. The point that the author of the article in the FAZ paper made when reporting about that whitebook was that specifically the European Union was listed as the strategic threat #1 to the Russian Federation. If true (!), for obvious reasons it cannot refer to a military threat here, but rather the entire concept of economically prosperous liberal western democratic republics as such. If true (!), it would also shape the perception of all overtures to Russia to spread wealth, liberality, and rule of law as a direct attack on the core values of the current Russian leadership. It would actually be a very good explanation for a lot of the seemingly irrational antics of the Russians, and their open hostility towards western soft power.

So, if this report of the FAZ can be verified, I think it would bear high significance in our understanding of Russian motives and intent. But much depends on whether that's actually true. If it isn't, if the EU is rather seen as one challenge among many, intents of the Russian leadership may be less sinister. The question is, are actions like in Salisbury hazardous bumbling of careless and inept agents over which the leadership has largely lost control and the ensuing PR disaster for Russia is a consequence of Putin andf Lavrov reeling from near-rogue actions of agents - or must it actually be seen as a highly malicious, premediated hostile action that in the pre-nuclear age would have been a clear casus belli. IOW, do the Russians use the implicit threat of their nuclear arsenal to expand the quality of openly hostile actions to shield them against serious consequences of their bellicose actions.


Edited by Ssnake, 21 April 2018 - 1121 AM.

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#14 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 21 April 2018 - 1134 AM

 

 

Thanks everybody. Haven't yet found what I'm looking for - but it may not exist.

 

Well, then, if Putin hasn't published we'll just have to spitball it ourselves.

 

That's NOT what I'm after. The point that the author of the article in the FAZ paper made when reporting about that whitebook was that specifically the European Union was listed as the strategic threat #1 to the Russian Federation. If true (!), for obvious reasons it cannot refer to a military threat here, but rather the entire concept of economically prosperous liberal western democratic republics as such. If true (!), it would also shape the perception of all overtures to Russia to spread wealth, liberality, and rule of law as a direct attack on the core values of the current Russian leadership. It would actually be a very good explanation for a lot of the seemingly irrational antics of the Russians, and their open hostility towards western soft power.

So, if this report of the FAZ can be verified, I think it would bear high significance in our understanding of Russian motives and intent. But much depends on whether that's actually true. If it isn't, if the EU is rather seen as one challenge among many, intents of the Russian leadership may be less sinister. The question is, are actions like in Salisbury hazardous bumbling of careless and inept agents over which the leadership has largely lost control and the ensuing PR disaster for Russia is a consequence of Putin andf Lavrov reeling from near-rogue actions of agents - or must it actually be seen as a highly malicious, premediated hostile action that in the pre-nuclear age would have been a clear casus belli. IOW, do the Russians use the implicit threat of their nuclear arsenal to expand the quality of openly hostile actions to shield them against serious consequences of their bellicose actions.

 

 

 

Well, even if it was sheer incompetence, both in the choice of weapon AND how it was used (and since the Russian Intelligence service seems to be widely incompetent, its always possible), they certainly have used the implicit threat of nuclear weapons to try and illustrate the consequences of pissing them off. Shortly after we pointed the finger at them they tested an ICBM. Then they had an exercise in the Baltic so aggressive the Latvians had to alter the path of civlian aircraft, according one source. So yes, both positions can be true, they can be incompetent, AND leverage their stockpile to avoid the consequences.

 

Ill look into it. I cant say I particularly notice the claims made, but I do have some links packed away that might elucidate it. No promises mind.


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#15 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 21 April 2018 - 1143 AM

Im not saying this is what you want, but Im just browing through some old links and it does touch on what you said above.

 

https://www.vox.com/...5913/russia-war


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#16 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 21 April 2018 - 1209 PM

 I didnt find reference to the EU being the number one threat, but I did find this from early 2016.

 

https://www.ft.com/c...47-e5e5bba42e51

Russia has designated Nato’s activities a threat to its national security and accused the US of pursuing a policy of containment towards it, in the latest sign of deteriorating relations between Moscow and the west.

The statements are contained in a paper on Russia’s national security strategy which was signed by president Vladimir Putin on New Year’s Eve, updating the previous version from 2009.

They echo increasingly anti-western rhetoric employed by Mr Putin in the past two years, as relations between Russia and the west have soured over the annexation of Crimea and war in east Ukraine.

The document lists a series of complaints against Nato, including “the intensification of military activities of member countries”, “further expansion of the alliance”, and “moving military infrastructure closer to Russia’s borders”, which it describes as a threat to national security.

Describing “new threats to national security which have a complex, interrelated character”, the strategy document accuses the US and its allies of “attempting to maintain their dominance in global affairs” by carrying out a “policy of containment of Russia”. This, it says, leads to “political, economic, military and informational pressure” on Russia.

The accusations against Nato and the US in Russia’s official national security policy are likely to further strain relations between Moscow and the west.

In an updated military strategy published a year ago, Russia stopped short of explicitly describing Nato or the US as threats or enemies. In the 2009 version of the national security strategy — developed under the presidency of Dmitry Medvedev, now prime minister — Moscow criticised Nato expansion and the US move to build a missile defence system in Europe, but did not designate these actions a threat to Russia.

The new strategy document sharply criticises the west’s position on Ukraine, accusing the US and Europe of supporting “an anti-constitutional coup” which it says “has led to a deep split in Ukrainian society and the emergence of an armed conflict”. It warns that Ukraine has now become “a long-term source of instability in Europe and on Russia’s borders”.

The west says Russia has been instrumental in supporting rebels in east Ukraine, something Moscow has largely denied, although Mr Putin in December appeared to concede that Russian special forces had been involved in the conflict.

The document repeats Russia’s criticism of the Arab spring and so-called colour revolutions in eastern Europe, saying that the “practice of overthrowing legitimate political regimes is becoming more widespread, provoking domestic instability and conflicts”. It blames the emergence of Isis on the “policy of double standards which some countries adhere to in the fight against terrorism” — an implicit criticism of western foreign policy in Syria.

 

Putin certainly HAS said similar things, such as saying an EU-Ukraine detail would be a major threat to the Russian economy.

http://www.bbc.com/n...europe-25108022

 

I shall keep looking.


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 21 April 2018 - 1210 PM.

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#17 Ssnake

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Posted 21 April 2018 - 1725 PM

Thank you, Stuart.


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#18 Leo Niehorster

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Posted 22 April 2018 - 0204 AM

Stupid question: have you contacted the FAZ?  :P


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#19 Ssnake

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Posted 22 April 2018 - 0352 AM

A friend of mine is pursuing that angle.


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