14 April 2015
A strategic concept of “hybrid wars” or “non-linear wars” has reshaped the new doctrine of the Russian Armed Forces. While its underlying principles are still imprecise small states should study such ideas with an eye to how it might impact their national defence in the future.
In February 2013, the current Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia, and first Deputy Defence Minister, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, published an article in the Russian newspaper Military-Industrial Courier projecting the conceptual contours of future conflicts: the so-called “hybrid wars” or “non-linear wars.”
Underscoring Gerasimov’s concepts of “hybrid wars” are three mutually-reinforcing principles. First and foremost, it is the idea of the “permanency of conflict,” which blurs the boundaries between wartime and peacetime, space and time, as well as actors involved. In essence, ascertaining whether a state of war exists becomes increasingly difficult, particularly for the one under an attack. According to Gerasimov, 21st century conflicts in Africa and the Middle East show that prosperous and stable regimes can, within a short period of time – perhaps even in the space of a few days – transform into arenas of intense conflicts. These events may not reflect an official state of war, but their social, economic, and political implications for individual countries and their societies are comparable with the consequences of real wars.
… Michael Raska is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, a constituent unit of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Richard A. Bitzinger is Senior Fellow and Programme Coordinator of the Military Transformations Programme at RSIS.
GPO / IDSS / Online
Last updated on 23/11/2015