Washington’s experts predict the emergence of a new Russian military strategy

MOSCOW, (BM) – Experts from the US scientific community, especially those who specialize in defense and security, continue to closely monitor military development processes in Russia, assess their condition and make predictions on various aspects of their future transformation and on changes in Moscow’s strategic approaches to the use of military force in short and long term.

On the website of the Pentagon’s brain trust, RAND Corporation, one of the main consultants of the Ministry of Defense of America, whose advice is almost always implemented by its leaders, the first few paragraphs of one of her experts’s discussions about the possible appearance of a new version of the Russian military strategy in 2020 appeared.

The message is accompanied by the words that the researchers of the corporation will use forecast estimates of Dara Massicot, who received a master’s degree in national security and strategic research at the Naval War College of the US Armed Forces and has long been involved in the issues of military development of Russia, with analysis and evaluations of the Kremlin’s strategic objectives for national security.

This article was published in full format in the American publication “War on the Rocks”, which is the platform on which US scientists, specialists from the world scientific community, military and politicians discuss issues of military construction.

In the first lines of his forecasts, the expert notes that the last military doctrine of Russia was published at the end of 2014. Since then, there have been many different events in which “Moscow was very busy,” including the war in Syria and the US election. The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation actively increased the potential of its forces, created and demonstrated to the West the latest weapons, including a cruise missile with a nuclear engine and a transoceanic torpedo.

In addition, the author writes, the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty) has collapsed, and the current agreement between the Russian Federation and the United States on measures to further reduce and limit strategic offensive arms START III, which will expire soon, has an uncertain future. Given all these events, the further deterioration of relations between America and Russia, as well as the wide operational experience that has pinned its forces in Syria and Ukraine, says the academic lady RAND, we can expect that Moscow will edit its military strategy.

Although Russian officials have not yet announced that the updated doctrine is in operation, Massicot points out, there are several reasons why its appearance is quite possible next year and that it is attempting to predict some changes that could occur in Russia’s military strategy “in this seemingly dry and almost legal document.” The expert also says that “no matter how subtle” these changes “they can” provide a deep and objective understanding of “the next evolution in Russian military thinking, planning and development.”

According to Massikot, 2020 has long been a reference stage for “Russian military planners,” their perception of the threat posed by the United States at the present stage has significantly increased “and Russia seems to be entering a cycle of updating several documents of the National Security Strategy”.

Since 2008, the Russian military has been carrying out large-scale reforms aimed at “replacing or modernizing 70% of armaments and military equipment (IWT) by 2020, increasing the number of draft personnel and overhauling the military-industrial base.” Massikot refers to the words of the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation Sergey Shoigu, who in one of his speeches said that he considers these reforms and a number of presidential decrees, also tied to 2020, will allow the Russian military “to reach a new qualitative level.”

According to the expert, most of these reforms have been successfully implemented. “The updated doctrine is likely to take into account qualitative improvements in the field of troop readiness and procurement of military equipment over the past decade and will be an important signal of a new stage in military development, if you look to the future – until 2030 and in the longer term,” the author of the article writes.

According to her, Russian leaders believe that certain negative trends – the use of economic sanctions, “color revolutions” and the likelihood of interstate conflict – are becoming more and more intense. Russian leaders “believe that the current US-led world order is coming to an end, while growing powers such as China, Russia, and others are challenging the existing order.”

“High-ranking officials suggest that Washington and its allies are trying to restrain or intimidate Russia. They cite as evidence the latest National Defense Strategy and the Nuclear Policy Review, the Pentagon’s renewed attention to the competition of great powers and the rotational presence of NATO forces in Eastern Europe. Some formulations in the updated military doctrine are likely to reflect this growing pessimism. The deepening mistrust of the West has become a prominent feature of the Russian National Security Strategy for 2015 and the Russian Foreign Policy Concept for 2016,” the expert says and adds that “from a purely bureaucratic point of view,” it’s “time for an updated military doctrine” of Russia.

She notes that over the past two years, the Russian government has been actively updating a number of strategic documents relating to national security and domestic policy. In July, Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, Massikot writes, Nikolai Patrushev said that Russia would adjust its national security strategy next year. “The previous two military doctrines were published in 2010 and 2014 as part of a combination of several other strategies related to national security, most of which were written“ before 2020. In fact, if the past is a prologue, then the updated military doctrine can be made public already at the end of December 2019, at the dawn of a new decade,” the author says.

The corporation’s expert claims that, “given the perception by Russian leaders of the emerging threats, their official statements, areas of modernization of the armed forces and participation in hostilities since the last military doctrine was published in 2014,” the following provisions will most likely be included in the new military doctrine of the Kremlin :

  • the predominant use of non-force methods before and during the process of military conflicts;
  • application of active defense strategies;
  • introduction of the concept of limited action;
  • the growing role of private military companies;
  • approaches to the formation of an arms control system in the future;
  • maintaining the principles of the use of nuclear weapons;
  • the need to equip the Armed Forces with new types of weapons, combat robotics and artificial intelligence systems;
  • definition of competition of great powers;
  • the abandonment of the United States and NATO in the category of “military danger”.

To what extent the predictions of a learned lady will correspond to reality, time will tell. In the meantime, the matter is not to stop the arms race, but only to its further increase.

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Editorial team
Source: Nezavisimaya Gazeta

The point of view expressed in this article is authorial and do not necessarily reflect BM`s editorial stance.