This material is an attempt to systematize some approaches to the term “Hybrid War”, which is already quite popular today, taking into account the conceptual presentation by Army General Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia, at a general meeting of the Academy of Military Sciences on March 1, 2019
- What is a hybrid war?
The British Empire is the main historical enemy of Russia, the founder of the creation of a hybrid war methodology. She became an empire only with the help of intrigues and provocations, and then she hoped to preserve her world power, using a complex of various, including secret methods of warfare. The most prominent expression of the British imperial ideas in the 19th century were two people — this is Lord Palmerston and businessman Cecil Rhodes. In the 19th century, Russia entered into a geopolitical confrontation with England, which was very afraid of losing its colonies (India, etc.). Favorable conditions for the intervention of England created the Caucasian War, fettered the forces of Russia. The British financed the subversive actions of the Highlanders. In fact, it was then that the British launched a comprehensive hybrid war against Russia. It was England that financed the mountaineers of Chechnya and Dagestan, headed by the Avar Shamil.
The main organizer of the hybrid war against Russia was Lord Palmerston. For 35 years, Lord Palmerston served as secretary of foreign affairs, then as prime minister. On the European continent he was called Lord Pyro. His goal — to conquer the world to the will of London. At one of the meetings of the British Parliament, he said: “wherever the British are in the world, he can do anything, because the support of the royal navy is behind him”.
Russia was an exception — it led an independent foreign policy, without regard to the imperial habits of the British authorities. Palmerston decided to correct this situation and began preparations for the war with Russia, which went down in history as the Crimean War. Lord Palmerston skillfully organized the production of drugs in India and Afghanistan, which killed tens of millions of Chinese, then arranged “opium wars” with the Chinese empire. Only two nations remained unconquered and capable of opposition — the United States and Russia. Lord Palmerston becomes the ideologue of the split and the American Civil War. At the same time, he is organizing the incitement of an anti-Russian sentiment in Poland in order to send European bayonets against Russia. “How difficult it is to live in the world when no one is fighting with Russia” — these words of the British Prime Minister Lord Palmerston are still relevant. During the Crimean War (1853–1856), England, relying on a powerful coalition (England, France, Turkey, and in fact Austria), tried to restore the Caucasus as a buffer between Russia and the Muslim powers. The Crimean War, organized by the Russophobe Palmerston, went on in many theaters of military operations.
And more than 160 years have passed. Again, Britain is the organizer of the integrated hybrid war of the West against Russia. The virtual etching of S.Skripal is an incident that occurred on March 4 , 2018. in Salisbury (United Kingdom) with a traitor and his 33-year-old daughter, Yulia, a Russian citizen, who came from Moscow to visit her father. But already March 14, 2018 . British Prime Minister Theresa May officially accused Russia of attempting to kill Skrypal and his daughter. May announced that, in response to the poisoning, high-level bilateral contacts with Russia will be suspended and that 23 Russian diplomats will be expelled from the UK.
From our point of view, the ideology of the hybrid war began to be developed in the British Empire, which, using its tools, became the largest empire of the world, and then through the organization of two world wars was able to destroy all other empires (Russian, German, etc.). In the West, especially in Great Britain and the United States, for centuries there have been concepts and plans for using secret sabotage and terrorist and informational and ideological operations to inflict global geopolitical defeat on the enemy and, if possible, to overthrow the objectionable “regime” or ruin the country. Russia twice in the 20th century became a victim of these secret plans of the West — it was twice broken up into parts — in February 1917 and in 1991. Before the collapse of Russia-USSR, it experienced the impact of a complex of secret operations conducted both by Western intelligence agencies and and affiliated civil structures ( NGOs ) and other diverse events of the hybrid war, designed to exert complex pressure on our country (financial and economic, informational, ideological, political and diplomatic pressure, sanctions, price collapses and oil, etc.).
The February 1917 coup d’état , which led to the overthrow of the autocracy and the collapse of the Russian Empire, can be considered a successful operation of the hybrid war against Russia, carried out by the forces of Western Freemasonry and British intelligence MI6. It is no secret that the main performers of the February coup d’état (masons, liberals, and generals conspirators) were supported by the British and ruled from London. The modern Western strategy of the hybrid war began to develop in the framework of the so-called Cold War (1946–1991), launched against the USSR on the initiative of Winston Churchill. The Cold War was in fact a hybrid war led by the West against the USSR . During this war, large-scale subversive ideological and economic actions were carried out, the formation of “agents of influence” of the West in the Soviet elite was going on, the USSR was deliberately embroiled in a grueling arms race, in the war in Afghanistan, etc.
And now I would like to give my definition, which was first formulated in January 2016 , and then published on p.212 in the book “Hybrid War against Russia (1816–2016)”.
Hybrid war is a combination of methods of military-force, political-diplomatic, financial-economic, information-psychological and information-technical pressure, as well as technologies of color revolutions, terrorism and extremism, special services, special forces, public forces diplomacy, carried out on a single plan by the government bodies of the state, the military-political bloc or TNCs.
The goals of a hybrid war are the complete or partial disintegration of the state, a qualitative change in its domestic or foreign policy, the replacement of state leadership with loyal regimes, the establishment of external ideological, financial and economic control over the country, its chaos and subordination to dictate by other states or TNCs.
A feature of the modern stage of development of international relations is the powerful political, informational and economic pressure from the West against Russia, which is an integral part of the Western strategy of a hybrid war aimed at the disintegration of the Eurasian space, the creation of chaos and instability in Eurasia.
The hybrid war strategy has been developed by the US and NATO for many years. An increase in the influence on the preparation, course and outcome of a global war of combining elements of the military and irregular components is considered as a new element of war. The term “hybrid war” appeared in American military literature more than 10 years ago. In the United States in 2005, US General James Mattis, the former head of the Pentagon, and Colonel Frank Hoffman published a landmark article, “The Future of Warfare: The Rise of Hybrid Wars.” In 2010, in the concept of NATO, called NATO ‘s Bi-Strategic Command Capstone Concept, “hybrid” threats are officially defined as the threats posed by the adversary, which can simultaneously adapt traditional and non-traditional means to achieve their own goals. In 2012, the book “Hybrid hostilities: fighting a complex opponent from ancient times to the present day”, published by historian Williamson Murray and Colonel Peter Mansur, became known in narrow circles. American approaches gradually penetrated into NATO. In the final declaration of the NATO summit held in Scotland in September 2014, for the first time at the official level it was stated that it was necessary to prepare the alliance to participate in wars of a new type — hybrid wars. And in December 2015, a new strategy for waging hybrid warfare was adopted at the summit of NATO foreign ministers.
NATO’s hybrid warfare strategy involves the dominance of totalitarian propaganda and is aimed at disintegrating the Eurasian space, creating chaos and instability in the states neighboring Russia using the “color revolutions” technology, information war, terrorism and extremism, financial and economic pressure, and military coercion. An example of a hybrid war of NATO against Russia is the fact that on July 12, 2017, NATO representatives posted an eight-minute video on the Web, where the “forest brothers” are heroes engaged exclusively in the struggle for the independence of their countries from the USSR. The video authors also note that the spirit of the “forest brothers” lives in the modern special forces of the armed forces of the three Baltic countries.
2. Russian response
Russia’s military-political potential must fit into a combination of “soft power” and “hard power”: you must be able to interact with public diplomacy structures, non-governmental organizations, and international institutions that use the levers of political, economic and informational influence, including special operations forces. Part of the military-political elite of Russia understands the degree of danger of threats of a hybrid war against Russia. This is evidenced by the speech at the annual meeting of the Academy of Military Sciences on February 27, 2016, Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Army General Valery Gerasimov about the features of modern wars that are hybrid in nature, their integral part are color revolutions and soft power events. He drew attention to the fact that “indirect and asymmetric actions and methods of conducting hybrid wars make it possible to deprive the opposing side of actual sovereignty without seizing the territory of the state.” Hybrid wars began to affect all aspects of life, including the cultural and information sphere, and in the near future we should not expect any weakening of this process, Sergey Naryshkin, director of foreign intelligence services, said at the VI Moscow International Security Conference on April 27, 2017. At the same time, attention should be paid to the fact that systemic conclusions from the tragic lessons of the collapse of the Russian Empire in February 1917 and the USSR in 1991 have not yet been made.
March 4, 2019, Red Star published the full text of the strategic statement by General of the Army Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia, at a general meeting of the Academy of Military Sciences on March 1, 2019. Here are the key theses of the speech:
1. In modern conditions, the principle of warfare has evolved based on the coordinated use of military and non-military measures with the decisive role of the Armed Forces.
2. Currently, wars are expanding and their contents are significantly changing. The number of subjects involved in the armed struggle is increasing. Along with the armed forces of sovereign states, various gangs, private military companies and self-proclaimed “quasi-states” are fighting. The means of economic, political, diplomatic, informational pressure, as well as the demonstration of military power in the interests of enhancing the effectiveness of non-military measures are being actively used.
- The Armed Forces must be prepared to conduct new types of wars and armed conflicts using classical and asymmetrical methods of action.
- The United States and its allies have defined the aggressive vector of their foreign policy. They are developing offensive military actions, such as “global strike”, “multi-sphere battle”, using the technology of “color revolutions” and “soft power”. Their goal is the elimination of the statehood of unwanted countries, the undermining of sovereignty, the change of lawfully elected bodies of state power. So it was in Iraq, in Libya and in Ukraine. Currently, similar actions are observed in Venezuela.
- The Pentagon has begun to develop a fundamentally new strategy of warfare, which has already been dubbed the “Trojan Horse”. Its essence lies in the active use of the “protest potential of the fifth column” in the interests of destabilizing the situation while simultaneously attacking the WTO on the most important objects. I would like to note that the Russian Federation is ready to oppose any of these strategies. In recent years, military scientists, together with the General Staff, have developed conceptual approaches to neutralize the aggressive actions of potential adversaries. The basis of “our response” is the “active defense strategy”, which, given the defensive nature of the Russian Military Doctrine, provides for a set of measures to proactively neutralize threats to the security of the state.
It is the justification of the measures being developed that should constitute the scientific activities of military scientists.This is one of the priority areas of state security. We must be ahead of the enemy in the development of military strategy, go “one step ahead”.
6.Vot what he said on the issue of information confrontation. “An analysis of the nature of modern wars has shown a significant increase in the importance of such an area of confrontation as information. A new reality of future wars will consist in the transfer of military actions in this particular sphere. At the same time, information technologies are becoming, in fact, one of the most promising types of weapons. The information sphere, without having clearly defined national borders, provides opportunities for remote, covert influence not only on critical information infrastructures, but also on the population of the country, directly affecting the state’s national security. That is why the study of issues of preparation and conduct of informational actions is the most important task of military science. ”
- The main tasks of military science and their solutions
The main thing today for military science is that it is ahead of time in practice, continuous, purposeful research to determine the possible nature of military conflicts, to develop a system of forms and methods of actions, both military and non-military, to determine the directions of development of weapons systems and military equipment.
Thus, within the framework of the implementation of the national security strategy of Russia of December 31, 2015, it is important to take into account the tendency to erase the differences between the state of war and peace. Non-military informational and ideological methods of influence using the protest potential of the population are increasingly used.These means of struggle are complemented by covert military measures, including informational confrontation and the actions of special operations forces.
The specificity of the current situation is the rate of the West on social media, in which the total dominance of the West by the number of subscribers is obvious:
FB 1. State Department of the USA — the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation of the Russian Federation / the USA — 1 to 6
TWITTER 1. State Dept. of the USA — the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation of the Russian Federation / USA — 1 to 5
TWITTER of the global media of the Russian Federation / USA- 1 to 21
1. CNN (hot news) — 54.1 million
2.VVS — (hot news) — 38.1 million
3. RT - 2 , 66 million (in English )
The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation / USA — Twitter 1 to 32 (174 thousand and 5.7 million), FB — 1 to 7.6
The data of the company “Medialogia” about the rating of the most quoted media in social media for 2018 are also alarming.
|Top 8 most cited radio stations in social media|
|one||Radio Liberty (svoboda.org) USA|
|2||Echo of Moscow (echo.msk.ru)|
|3||Voice of America # Russian Service (golos-ameriki.ru) USA|
|four||Moscow says (govoritmoskva.ru)|
|five||Business FM (bfm.ru)|
|7||Love Radio (loveradio.ru) ( Vesti FM in 2017 )|
|eight||Radio 1 ( radio1.news)|
|Top 5 most cited Internet resources in social media|
|2||Meduza.io (Riga, Latvia)|
It should be borne in mind that Meduza . io was established on October 20 , 2014 in Riga, a month and a half after the establishment of the NATO Strategic Communications Center in Riga. 7 NATO countries participate in the work of the Center — Estonia, Latvia, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, and the United Kingdom. On this basis, it is possible to hypothesize that Medusa is an analogue of the special unit of British intelligence MI-6 “White Helmets”, operating in Syria and having prepared several informational provocations connected with the alleged use of chemical weapons.
3. Measures to implement the Doctrine of General Gerasimov
Under these conditions, within the framework of the implementation of the Doctrine of General Gerasimov, it is proposed to direct the efforts of the state structures of Russia in the following areas:
1. Creating a new organizational structure (Counter-hybrid War Bureau), which has advanced points for carrying out measures to counter (Smolensk, Pskov, Rostov-on-Don, Vladikavkaz, Sevastopol, Yekaterinburg, Vladivostok).
The main tasks of the Bureau:
BUT). Countering the use of information technology to destabilize the domestic political situation in Russia.
B) Neutralization of information and psychological impact, aimed at eroding traditional spiritual and moral values.
The activities of the global media in the Russian information space should be based on five basic principles:
- Dialogue of civilizations.
- Friendship of Peoples.
- Good deeds.
- Spiritual sovereignty.
- Dignity of the individual and the people.
WITH). Improving the efficiency of prevention of offenses committed using information technologies, and countering such offenses, primarily the manipulation of information flows, disinformation in order to distort the psychological and spiritual environment of society, the erosion of traditional cultural, spiritual, moral, ethical and aesthetic values.
D). Effectively counteracting the use of information technologies for military-political purposes contrary to international law.Blocking the transboundary dissemination of misinformation and the so-called “fake” information, contrary to the principles and norms of international law, as well as the national legislation of states
- Developing a strategy of counter-hybrid war of Russia.
- Forming the foundations of the state system for countering the operations of a hybrid war against the leadership and population of Russia. Creation of special operations units in the structure of forces for informational and psychological operations.
- The creation of national legislation aimed at countering the technologies of hybrid war, especially color revolutions.
- Identifying, diagnosing and blocking the activities of negative communicators seeking to undermine information sovereignty. Conducting continuous monitoring of the blogosphere and social networks in order to block the spread in the Russian information space of negative information aimed at promoting extremism and terrorism, interethnic and interfaith discord.
- Preventive blocking of all channels ( financial, informational, organizational) and structures of foreign and oligarchic assistance of the radical and extremist opposition.
- Systemic and targeted neutralization of hybrid war operations conducted against Russia.