The Russo-Georgian War: Russian Influence
SFC Adam DeKraker, MSG Christopher Hinen, SFC Bernard Iatauro & SSG Patrick Barense
SFC Charles Reno
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.
About this case study:
This case study is part of a larger body of work researched and produced by the students of the Military Information Support Operations (MISO) Program Design and Assessment Course (MPDAC) at Ft. Bragg, NC. This body of work examines conflict scenarios with emphasis on determining the Psychological Operations (PSYOP) efforts and activities employed by the various competitive actors in the area of operations. Each case study follows a basic format of presenting the relevant stakeholders, their goals, and the PSYOP or other influence activities they used to achieve their goals. Each case study examines the PSYOP efforts under the framework of U.S. doctrine concluding with a brief statement of comparison between the historical vignette and current doctrine to offer opinion where current U.S. doctrine has either strengths or weaknesses. The comparison, though based primarily on opinion, is opinion offered by U.S. PSYOP NCOs and Officers with first-hand experience under contemporary doctrine.
In August 2008, the Russian Federation executed a full-spectrum display of military dominance in defense of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in the Transcaucasia region of Georgia to protest them from an army assault and probable genocide at the hands of the Georgian army and its President, Mikheil Saakashvili (Ko, 2012). At least, that is the narrative that the Russians would prefer the world to believe while attempting to dominate the information space during the incursion of Georgia. However, Russia successfully synchronized the diplomatic, information, and military variables of its instruments of national power across the strategic, operational, and tactical levels of its operation before the world could understand the territorial grab and disruption of jointly held North American Treaty Organization (NATO) and Georgian security goals.