chapter  3
21 Pages

Network- centric warfare as the undeclared aim of Russian defense reform: Russian perspectives and challenges

WithROGER N . McDERMOTT

The reform of the Russian conventional armed forces, announced in the aftermath of the Russia-Georgia war in August 2008 as part of an agenda that accidently became known as the “new look” cannot be properly assessed unless its fundamental drivers are defined. Overall, following Defense Minister Anatolii Serdiukov declaring the key features of the reform on October 14, 2008, the day he briefed a closed session of the Ministry of Defense (MoD) collegium, the reform agenda was guided by an effort to enhance the combat capabilities and combat readiness of their conventional armed forces, loosely centered on the paradigm of forming smaller, mobile and modernized forces. It made sense, given the operational failings of the Russian armed forces during the Five-Day War, and marked a consistent and determined campaign to drag the military out of its twentieth-century table of organization and equipment (TOE) to re-equip, restructure and train for the conflicts of the twenty-first century.1