Russias Syrian Campaign & General Gerasimov Foreign Military
Russias Syrian Campaign & General Gerasimov Foreign Military Studies Office Fort Leavenworth, Kansas Chuck Bartles [email protected] Ethics in the Russian Armed Forces Morally right vs. legally right The ends always justify the means in regard to the survival of the state No 1-strike policies, will accept risk
Colonel Yuri Budanov Former 160th Tank Regiment Commander Well suited for the Grey Zone General Gerasimov: Two very different examples Colonel General Vladimir Chirkin Former Ground Forces Commander-in-Chief Gerasimovs Article: in Context Role of the General Staff: force structure design, and operational art (not strategy) The Value of Science Is in the Foresight: New Challenges
Demand Rethinking the Forms and Methods of Carrying out Combat Operations (February 2013) The Academy of Military Science Nothing new in the theory, common thinking in Russia security elite Real intended audience? Domestic leadership, not foreign (speculative) Gerasimovs Article: Outline Explains Arab Spring & Color Revolutions are the new ways how wars are fought War shifts from primarily military to nonmilitary methods (DIME- 4:1) Info operations, social media, private military companies, robotics, no-fly zone,
naval blockades, SOF, Prompt Global Strike, Antiballistic Missile Defense So what is he talking about? Gerasimovs Article: What is Overlooked? It is necessary to recognize, that if we understand the essence of traditional military operations, which regular Armed Forces carry out, then our knowledge of asymmetric forms and methods is superficial. In connection with this the role of military sciences, which must create an integral theory of similar actions, is growing. The works and research of the Academy of Military Sciences could help in thisEconomic questions flow from this: what is modern war, for which it is necessary to prepare the army, and for which it must be
armed? Only having answered this, can we determine the direction of the force-generation and development of the Armed Forces in the long-term perspective. For this is it necessary to imagine precisely, what forms and methods of their use will be utilized... Gerasimovs Article: The Theory Decision is made to enact regime change Information Operations (mass media CNN/BBC, NGOs, social media, etc.) used to rile the population and/or disaffected minorities Antigovernment actions require strong government response, creating conditions for economic & diplomatic sanctions SOF, Private Military Companies, or any other available
forces are introduced to the conflict to create conditions requiring more aggressive government response creating a pretext for no-fly zones, blockades, and direct military action Government is toppled No requirement for all aspects, or any particular order Gerasimovs Article: Dialectic & Phases? Be very careful with the previous graphic Intended to be illustrative, not predictive Graphic shows evidence of dialectical thinking, not as conducive to our neat phases So what does Gerasimov say about models
in his article? Gerasimovs Article: What about Models? The renowned Soviet military academician Aleksander Svechin wrote: "It is unusually difficult to foresee the circumstances of a war . . . It is necessary to work out a particular line of strategic conduct for each war, and each war represents a partial case, requiring the establishment of its own peculiar logic, and not the application of some sort of
model. - General Gerasimov Gerasimovs Article: Conclusions Gerasimov/General Staff do not do strategy, they do operational art & force development He is describing the Operational Environment Not much new, just asking the Academy of Sciences to look into the topic Primarily interested in U.S. role in fomenting Color Revolutions and the Arab Spring, and ensuring it does not happen in Russia Probably messaging to leadership Gerasimovs Article: Still A
Concern? Journal of The Academy of Military Sciences Color Revolutions in Russia: Possibility and Reality Abstract This paper presents analysis of the political regime transformation technology known as color revolutions. The reasons, mechanisms and consequences of nationhood destruction are considered. Special attention is given to the U.S.s role in the artificial creating of cataclysms designed to
harm the security of single states and whole regions. Syrian Campaign: Russian Narrative Caused due to Arab Spring, which was caused by primarily U.S. State Dept funded Info operations (social media, mass media) and NGOs European Syrian refugee crisis direct result of U.S. sponsored Arab Spring After insurrection started in Syria, U.S./West decision made to topple regime SOF, covert operations, arms, and training Government response provides pretext for sanctions and
direct military intervention Only through Russian intervention, regime survived Syrian Campaign: Gerasimovs Model? Gerasimov did not intend for the graphic to be used as a modelbut it does work with Syria Syria probably in mind when article drafted Theory intended to explain new ways of toppling regimes (Color Revolutions/Arab Spring), not how to counter such activities Fits Syria very well, also Russian actions regarding Ukraine So, how might General Gerasimov see it???
Russian Perspective The Gerasimov model applied in Syria 14 3 5 16
6 8 7 2 12 9 13 1 4 10 11
15 1- U.S./West sponsored media and NGOs 2- Creating/Supporting anti-Assad opposition 3- Creation of European anti-Assad alliance 4- Movement of forces in VIC Syria to deter 5- UN resolution, diplomatic dmarches 6- 2012 EU sanctions on Assad family and other
personnel 7- Withdrawal of ambassadors, diplomatic isolation 8- Discussed, but never implemented 9- Opposition forces begin insurrection; introduction of SOF* 10- Alliance forces stage and prepare for operations 11- Airstrikes 12- ??? 13- Has not occurred
14- Promoted by the Arab League, the UN Special Envoy on Syria, Russia, and Western Powers, but NSA 15- TBD 16-TBD Syrian Campaign: Inverse Gerasimov? Theory intended to describe the U.S./West new way of toppling regimes, but could it help defeating such efforts? (Maybe?) Instead of looking at the U.S./Wests activities to destabilize regimes, would have to focus at
counteractions to these activities. Interesting how a third party (Russia) will fit into a theory that only envisioned the U.S./West and a beleaguered regime. So, how could it look in Syria? Russian Perspective 1- Russian mass/social The Inverse media (RT/twitter/etc) illegitimacy of Gerasimov 2-opposition touted alliance model 3-4- Russia-Syrian
Naval assets on coast; applied in S-400 emplacements to and create Syria Prevent No-Fly zones 14 3 5 16 6
8 7 2 12 9 13 1 4 10 11 15
5- Russian UN sponsored resolutions 6- Russia provides economic aid 7- Russia prevents complete diplomatic isolation of Assad 8- Russia prevents economic blockades 9- entry of advisors and private military companies*; Russia labels all opposition ISIS, tries to create
pretext for acceptable use of violence 10- Russian deployment 11- Airstrikes; Mission creep- ground mission 12- ??? 13- Has not occurred 14- Peace process favorable for Assad/Russia (Astana talks) 15- TBD 16- TBD Syrian Campaign: The Messaging
Shaping the narrative (IO) very important, not only to Syria, but allies and rest of world Russia is in it for the long haul, and will not abandon its allies U.S./West uses primarily SOF to topple, while Russia uses primarily conventional forces to supportRussia operates in plain view, while the U.S./West acts covertly The U.S./West forces its liberal-democratic values on others, but Russia preserves traditional values. Russian intervention model (supporting governments instead of toppling them) is more economical and sustainable Your Questions, My Two Cents What is the relationship between the Gerasimov model and the Soviet Subversion Model, and
how applicable is it to current Russian activities? Different intents, for different users Gerasimov (MoD)- describing the OE Bezmenov (intel services & GRU)- insurgency Is Gerasimovs theory currently applicable?-Yes, but Gerasimov is asking the Academy of Military Sciences about how to combat Color Revolutions, and what next theory (or evolution of warfare) could look like.
Your Questions, My Two Cents What Russian policy goals are directly related to Russian decision making in Syria? Prevent radical Islam from spreading North Preserve the Syrian Army (or whatever is left of it) Maintain port facilities at Tartus
Demonstrate efficacy or Russian equipment and tactics for deterrence and export purposes Show presence and building relationships in region Security/stability is better than chaos/democracy Build goodwill in the West (Ukraine) Demonstrate that the U.S. meddles and causes instability, while Russia bring strength and stability Your Questions, My Two Cents How do the cultural aspects of the Russian Ministry of Defense, intelligence, and other militarized security services affect the Russian view of private military companies (PMCs)? & How do Russian corporations factor into Russian Government support to the Assad regime? The Wagner PMC employs estimated 2,500 in Syria
Very contentious issue GRU loves, FSB hates Legally PMCs in limbo, legislation much discussed, but no progress No resolution in sight Your Questions, My Two Cents How does Syrias lack of a large ethnic Russian population affect Russian activities as compared to other Russian military interventions (like Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine) which all had significant Russian ethnic populations? Lots of Russians have married Syrians, (20,000) and stayed in Syria over the years. Many Russian citizens and their families have come to Syria to be with ISIS. Russian diaspora always a big concern in Russia.
Small Russian population, but a substantial Orthodox Christian population that is loyal to Assad. Not really a major concern, no desire to foment a disaffected (Russian) minorityThe Syrian Campaign is about supporting the regime, not building opposition in a particular minority group. Closing Thoughts/My The Russians conspiratorial view of U.S. democracy building Opinion.. activities is the impetus for the Arab Spring/Color revolutions narrative. Dont get too hung up on General Gerasimov, his crystal ball is as
cloudy as yours Gerasimov/The General Staff did not conceive of the intervention, it was a strategic decision made at higher levels (NSC). Although there were likely on-shelf contingencies, doesnt look like there was much time between decision to enter and deployment. Assad is a lesser evil than ISIS.
Russia has a lot more to lose/gain in Syria than we do. Russia has took initiative, entered the Syrian conflict, fought ISIS, and saved Assads regime. These facts have increased Moscows prestige. Aside from human rights concerns, this is not necessarily a bad thing. ? Foreign Military Studies Office Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
Chuck Bartles [email protected] Back-Up Slides Its Valery Gerasimovs fault The first person to blame for this mess is Russias chief of General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, and his oft-cited article in VPK, published in late February 2013 with the title The Value of Science in Prediction, outlining what he calls non-linear warfare. To be more precise, the problem was not his article, but the interpretation of it in Western circles. That publication did more damage to Western analysis of Russian military thought than any deception operation could. It was presumed to be a blueprint of Russian military thinking and doctrine, a Gerasimov Doctrine if you will (which is what some literally call it). Not only has it been overly convenient to believe that after barely a few months on the job Gerasimov wrote the Rosetta Stone for Russian military thinking, but even more puzzling is
the idea that within a year the Russian General Staff had moved this collection of observations off PowerPoint and into a brilliant hybrid warfare campaign in Ukraine. RUSSIAN HYBRID WARFARE AND OTHER DARK ARTS MICHAEL KOFMAN https://warontherocks.com/2016/03/russian-hybrid-warfare-and-other-dark-arts/ Russia and the Color Revolution A Russian Military View of a World Destabilized by the US and the West https://www.csis.org/analysis/russia-and-%E2%80%9Ccolor-revolution%E2%80%9D
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