Small Wars Journal

Russia

Russia in Ukraine 2013-2016: The Application of New Type Warfare Maximizing the Exploitation of Cyber, IO, and Media

This case study for analysis focuses on Russian operations in Ukraine from 2013-2016. Russian decision-making in Ukraine has demonstrated the ability to use cyber and information warfare to influence operations to support military and political objectives, and continued preparation of the cyber environment to create a range of options for future action.

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Russian Operational Art, New Type Warfare, and Reflexive Control

Operational art provides the bridge between tactical actions and strategic objectives. It involves a systematic and deliberate campaign planning process for major operations in a theater of war. Since the beginning of the industrial age and the advent of large conscript armies, there has been a need to link tactical actions to strategic objectives. Russian operational art began in the 1920’s and has evolved to today’s New Type Warfare and the concept of Reflexive Control.

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US and Them

After WWII, Soviet Communists played an outsized role in American Intelligence operations, threat analysis, and defense budgets. If America didn’t have the Soviets or Russians as straw men, we probably wouldn’t have much of an “existential” threat to talk about at all. Throughout, we never seem to do any honest comparative analysis of American and Russian relative effectiveness in the worlds of intelligence threat analysis, operations, or policy.

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Russian Hybrid Warfare as Unconventional Warfare: Implementing a Counter-Unconventional Warfare Strategy

To date, there are dozens of scholarly articles speculating on the nature of Russian unconventional actions. This debate has only led to further inaction. Rather than debate over the appropriate response to a new generation of warfare, policymakers should recognize that the Russian government is conducting a form of warfare that has been firmly rooted in U.S. military doctrine for over 50 years.

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Russia is Not America’s Near-Peer Threat

The U.S. military has re-orientated its efforts to countering and deterring Russia abroad. While American counterintelligence and law enforcement has focused on information warfare from Russian assets both abroad and in country, the military has re-shaped its training and deployment to reflect near-peer armed conflict in Europe. Commanders have lost sight of counterinsurgency theory and counterterrorism, replacing it with understanding the Russian way of war.

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Let’s Make a Deal? – Examining Russia’s National Character

Citing a litany of abuses ranging from election meddling to targeted assassinations, Russia’s conduct over the last several years has clearly not been up to par with Western standards of democracy, human rights, and open markets. Diplomats, intelligence agencies, and pundits provide varying degrees of explanations for Russia’s conduct, some simple, some complex. But one dimension of causation is left almost entirely unexplored: national character.

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