chapter  4
7 Pages

The Russian way of (real) war

WithMark Galeotti

In the furore of discussions specifically about hybrid war, relatively few Western analysts – though there are honourable exceptions as well as a whole body of conventional military studies – consider how the Russians themselves seem to expect wars to unfold. The Russian military spends a great deal more time and money preparing for conventional operations. All military doctrines are an evolution of previous ones, and influenced by the technical, political, social and economic forces shaping the battlefield at every level. The 1979–1988 incursion into Afghanistan had forced Soviet military planners to come to grips with asymmetric war, but many of the lessons were deliberately shelved at the time, the result of a foolishly optimistic assumption that Moscow would never again be embroiled in such campaigns. A new-generation war will be dominated by information and psychological warfare that will seek to achieve superiority in troops and weapons control and depress the opponent’s armed forces personnel and population morally and psychologically.