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Thread: Russian Unconventional Strategy

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    Default Russian Unconventional Strategy

    http://www.defensenews.com/article/2...ussia-Doctrine

    Arab Leaders Briefed on New Russia Doctrine

    The doctrine holds that the US and its allies are engineering revolutions and uprisings in key areas around the world to destabilize governments and replace existing regimes in order to establish control and exploit natural resources. Furthermore, the doctrine treats the US as a dangerous nation that seeks to dismantle the Russian statehood.
    The best propaganda has a grain to truth to it, and we probably do have some activist diplomats encouraging uprisings in some locations. Is it part of a grand strategy by the U.S.? Maybe, but I have my doubts. Nonetheless if Russian theorists believe this it may explain their behavior.

    “The Russians are interpreting US interference in countries like Ukraine and across the Middle East like Egypt, Syria, North Africa and even Venezuela as operations to take their natural wealth and convert their population towards a western leaning oversight,” he said.

    “The Russians, by announcing this new doctrine in such clear terms, are announcing their intent to counter this activity [of destabilizing governments by popular uprising] by conducting additional research and analysis, ultimately coming out with counter policies,” he said.
    Later in the article they talk about countering our strategy with networks and information.

    “The failure of the West to impose a leadership after these operations is causing chaos and that is what we are seeing today across a number of different countries around the world,” Shoygu told the audience.
    If we or anyone is fomenting these uprisings I agree with the above comment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    Nonetheless if Russian theorists believe this it may explain their behavior.
    I doubt very much that they believe it, but I'm sure they see it as a marketable narrative. It may well be a marketable narrative, especially when they are preaching to the reflexively anti-American choir. Outside of that choir, perhaps less marketable.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

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    This is pot-kettle-black stuff... which I would consider an insult to the intelligence if I were an Arab.

    However, he is correct in this respect:

    “The failure of the West to impose a leadership after these operations is causing chaos and that is what we are seeing today across a number of different countries around the world,” Shoygu told the audience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    This is pot-kettle-black stuff... which I would consider an insult to the intelligence if I were an Arab.

    However, he is correct in this respect:

    “The failure of the West to impose a leadership after these operations is causing chaos and that is what we are seeing today across a number of different countries around the world,” Shoygu told the audience.
    He's absolutely incorrect in that respect, on two grounds:

    First, none of the cases cited are in any way American "operations".

    Second, the idea that the US has the capacity or the responsibility to "impose a leadership" in any other country, or that any such effort would serve the interests of the US or the country in question, is really pretty absurd, an absurdity compounded by the certainty that any American attempt to "impose a leadership" in any of these countries would be greeted by the Russians with an absolute howl of protest.

    The whole statement looks to be propaganda, and is unlikely to convince anyone who isn't already reflexively anti-American.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    I doubt very much that they believe it, but I'm sure they see it as a marketable narrative. It may well be a marketable narrative, especially when they are preaching to the reflexively anti-American choir. Outside of that choir, perhaps less marketable.
    Dayuhan---I would have agreed with you had this sentence been said and the Ukrainian events not occurred.

    But there is something going on and I have come to the conclusion that they truly do believe what they are writing and saying publicly.

    Take the 4 plus 2 agreements that were signed after the reunification of Germany that in fact state that NATO will not place any nuclear weapons into the new eastern countries if they join NATO nor will they build and base large contingents of troops in those countries.

    Something that by the way slowed down NATO decision making about the Ukraine as they actually debated for days what and how the treaties defined long term troop contingents.

    Thus the sending of "rotational troop contingents conducting exercises".

    There has been building a drum beat in the Russian media ie Interfax, TAS and RIA about NATO's shifting of troops and beefing up of AF assets in the eastern flank of NATO "potentially" forcing Russia to "adjust" it's defense posture towards the eastern flank. But the term used was "permanent" troop contingents.

    Today a sudden shift and the Russia media is now stating "permanent" long term bases is also being defined by them to mean "rotational" troop for exercises". Again an example of how Russia claims the right to interpret any treaty anyway they want to.

    Back on the Ukraine thread side I mentioned that Stalin once at a CP meeting in the 30s stated---treaties are treaties---and when and if necessary we can define them how we want to---his thinking has never died.

    See how the Russian are attempting to control NATO actions and decisions.

    So comments made about US actions that Bill points out are actually being believed inside Russia.

    I would not be as worried by these comments as I am about their New Generation Warfare which is a pure UW strategy and it has been successfully carried out in eastern Ukraine.
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 06-09-2014 at 04:31 PM.

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    This was from an editorial on The Moscow times that is intriguing referencing current Russian activities.

    http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinio...re/501783.html

    "Without exception, every empire of the past — from the Roman to the Soviet, from the Spanish to the British — collapsed for the same reason: the inability to bear what might be called "the burden of empire." Under President Vladimir Putin, Russia is now moving along its own neo-imperial path, and the rapidly mounting burden of that course carries serious risks for the country's future."

    The question arises is in fact the current new generation warfare based on a UW strategy---actually designed to support this "neo-imperial path".

    If so then all comments, actions, policy statements made by say Putin and or from the Russian Foreign Ministry is then in "support" of this neo-imperial path Russia is taking.

    Part of this neo-imperialism approach is the constant drum beat that NATO is moving closer to the direct borders of Russia and it is that reason that Russia annexed the Crimea. If they view themselves as being on a neo-imperialistic path then the argument of "spheres of influence" makes sense from their perspective thus the next argument NATO is to close makes also sense to them.

    This clashes though with the European view that the arguments about boundaries and spheres of influence were "settled" after 1990 and 1994 thus the no further need for a "block mentality" thus the European draw down of military expenditures and a slow down on NATO planning for any major future issues.

    In an editorial article today in the Voice of Russia the same theme is mentioned and if one reads down about half way through there is a single sentence that is highly interesting---the reason the militia in the east-south Ukraine are actually fighting is to keep NATO out of the Ukraine and to keep the Ukraine from being turned into a desert from shale gas drilling which from the geo testing seems to be quite large.

    No mention of "protecting the ethnic proRussian population" as the reasons for the "separatist militias" anywhere in the article. This view was recently reinforced in an interview with a proRussian separatist commander who claimed he was fighting the US for the Russians.

    http://voiceofrussia.com/editorschoice/
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 06-09-2014 at 07:48 PM.

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    Are Color Revolutions a New Form of War?
    By Alexander Golts Jun. 02 2014



    The most recent example occurred at the Moscow Conference on International Security, at which members of Russia's General Staff announced the appearance of a new form of warfare.

    When the conference agenda was initially set, the plan was to focus on regional security, with an emphasis on the problems that would inevitably arise when international coalition forces withdrew from Afghanistan. Prior to the Ukrainian crisis, the most pressing problem was the need for Russia and the West to work together to ensure at least a degree of stability in Central Asia.

    However, the Kremlin clearly issued orders that radically changed the focus of the forum. In his opening address before the conference, President Vladimir Putin emphasized that so-called "color revolutions," are now the main threat to peace.

    ...

    After all, if "color revolutions" are really a new form of aggression, the General Staff must urgently develop a strategy for combating it. In this sense, Russia's annexation of Crimea and the actions of separatists in Ukraine's east and south can be seen as a sort of "color counter-revolution."

    What is more, that approach paves the way for using military forces to combat internal threats because the Kremlin is convinced that the West is constantly looking for a way to organize a "color revolution" in Russia.

    This sets up a chain of faulty conclusions in which Moscow interprets any protest against the authorities as an attempt to stage a color revolution — an act that is now defined as an act of aggression against the state. And by this logic, the government can mobilize not only the police and internal security forces to crack down on political protestors, but also the Army.
    http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinio...ar/501353.html

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    kaur---if one looks at the legal changes that have occurred inside Russia since the Maidan I would agree that the Maidan is and was interpreted to be a "perceived" threat to Russia since they have had no color or Spring revolts.

    Prior to these changes Putin made comments at a Russian Security Council meeting that Russia needed to analyze why the Maidan occurred and take counter measures---then came the legal changes.

    My thoughts concerning the neo-imperialism drive that Russia finds itself in ---is this a true imperialistic drive to increase the size of Russia or is it being driven by neo economic imperialism---with the Crimea a massive gas/oil reserves for years to come, under central and eastern Ukraine massive shale gas reserves and the use of their coal for liquefaction for additional fuel reserves. The massive grain production is also needed by Russia to fulfill the food requirements for Russia itself since they have missed their own grain targets over the last few years.

    The Ukraine as well is the main military goods producer for the Russian military and without the Ukraine their reformation 2020 plans are null and void.

    Today armed separatists attempted to raid a military production plant that makes some great ECM and RCEID equipment under the guise of taking seven sets of the Mandate ECM system to Russia. This occurred after the Russian Defense Minister complained last week about the Ukraine is not delivering Russian ordered/paid military equipment. ECM equipment is high on the Russian Army agenda.

    http://inforesist.org/d-tymchuk-terr...pment/?lang=en
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 06-09-2014 at 08:43 PM.

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    I have no doubt that the Russians see these "color" and "spring" revolutions as threats, both because their preferred autocrats are among those being threatened and because they set an uncomfortable precedent for their own population.

    I expect that at least at the leadership level they know quite well that the US is not creating these revolutions, though of course the US will try to exploit them, just as the Russians will try to exploit any revolution against an autocrat allied with the US.

    Of course the Russians will blame any revolution against one of "their bastards" on US-sponsored subversion, just as the US once blamed any revolution against "our bastards" on Soviet subversion. That doesn't mean they believe the propaganda, it's just a convenient and sometimes even effective propaganda angle.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    I have no doubt that the Russians see these "color" and "spring" revolutions as threats, both because their preferred autocrats are among those being threatened and because they set an uncomfortable precedent for their own population.

    I expect that at least at the leadership level they know quite well that the US is not creating these revolutions, though of course the US will try to exploit them, just as the Russians will try to exploit any revolution against an autocrat allied with the US.

    Of course the Russians will blame any revolution against one of "their bastards" on US-sponsored subversion, just as the US once blamed any revolution against "our bastards" on Soviet subversion. That doesn't mean they believe the propaganda, it's just a convenient and sometimes even effective propaganda angle.
    Dayuhan---the outer messaging matches the internal messaging---it is designed to drive their foreign policy for a global end user but it is specifically designed to "radicalize" their own internal population which in the case of the Crimea worked massively well based on Putin's numbers.

    The external messaging is designed to reinforce the idea that Russia is back as an international player and the world is no longer unipolar.

    Russia wants to be a super power after feeling that they were relegated to a regional power after 1995.

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    Whether you believe the accusation that the U.S. promotes these uprisings or not isn't the most important point. It is a fact that some actors in the U.S. definitely promote these uprisings, but they don't appear to be associated with the U.S. government. Regardless, what I think we need to focus on is this:

    “The Russians, by announcing this new doctrine in such clear terms, are announcing their intent to counter this activity [of destabilizing governments by popular uprising] by conducting additional research and analysis, ultimately coming out with counter policies,” he said.
    What are the implications of this? Are we going to see a new type of confrontation between the U.S. and the USSR (oops I mean Russia), where Russia is engages states and the US engages populaces? Obviously the Russians desire to limit and even turn back the scale of U.S. influence globally, as does China. Will they form a coalition? Should the U.S. defense strategy change based on this?

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    I have not noticed that anyone has mentioned that this is already Russia's second attempt to fight "revolutions". Last time they used non-violent methods.

    https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ceelbas/worksh...lson_paper.pdf

    This time Russians answered with arms, which must be new level. Was this because of Arab spring or Bolotnaya square meetings?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    Whether you believe the accusation that the U.S. promotes these uprisings or not isn't the most important point. It is a fact that some actors in the U.S. definitely promote these uprisings, but they don't appear to be associated with the U.S. government. Regardless, what I think we need to focus on is this:



    What are the implications of this? Are we going to see a new type of confrontation between the U.S. and the USSR (oops I mean Russia), where Russia is engages states and the US engages populaces? Obviously the Russians desire to limit and even turn back the scale of U.S. influence globally, as does China. Will they form a coalition? Should the U.S. defense strategy change based on this?
    Bill---some interesting questions that require so thought before answering.

    Here is another take by a Russian editorial that came out today concerning the stoppage of the South Stream pipeline which was critical in the eyes of the Russians for a number of reasons---when one reads through it is becomes almost a list of accusations against the US from the last 40 or so years.

    http://voiceofrussia.com/2014_06_10/...gy-mafia-5346/

    One thing I have learned when dealing with Russians---they wear their emotions on their sleeves for all to see so what is released as a "political editorial" does in fact reflect the ruling elites thinking.

    And if one then looks at the recently released UW strategy and their 2010 nuclear strategy notice how the doctrine now matches the rhetoric both regionally and globally.

    Russia feels now capable of a full court press against the US/NATO/EU---politically, militarily, and economically---the question becomes have they through their own rhetoric and the missteps by the West in pushing back "mis-lead" themselves on their actual abilities.

    Will provide answers to the questions later after thinking it through.
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 06-10-2014 at 11:27 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    Whether you believe the accusation that the U.S. promotes these uprisings or not isn't the most important point. It is a fact that some actors in the U.S. definitely promote these uprisings, but they don't appear to be associated with the U.S. government.
    I think there needs to be a distinction between "promotes" and "causes". Certainly in some cases the US Government has encouraged revolutions, as have independent players within the US, but no amount of encouragement is going to conjure up a revolution where the conditions to support one do not exist. In other cases the revolutions have been entirely spontaneous with little effort or knowledge on the US side. After all the talk of how the Arab Spring caught US intel agencies napping it's a bit ironic to hear that those same agencies allegedly caused the revolutions.

    I don't think there's been a single "color" or "spring" revolution that could be reasonably claimed to have been caused by external intervention. I think that on the decision making level the Russians are well aware of that, though there is always the risk of falling for one's own propaganda.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    Are we going to see a new type of confrontation between the U.S. and the USSR (oops I mean Russia), where Russia is engages states and the US engages populaces?
    That's ironic in some ways... during the Cold War the US often found itself supporting autocrats and claiming that rebellion against those autocrats was caused by Soviet subversion. Now the roles seem to be reversed. I guess it's always easier to blame an ally's troubles on foreign subversion than to concede that your ally is an A-hole.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    Obviously the Russians desire to limit and even turn back the scale of U.S. influence globally, as does China. Will they form a coalition? Should the U.S. defense strategy change based on this?
    Russia and China cooperate, but it seems well short of a coalition, and they will go their own way as they see fit. Just for one example, Russia's relationship with China does not stop the Russians from selling fairly advanced weapons systems to Vietnam, which is not exactly on friendly terms with China. It's actually interesting that the Chinese have so little to say about those sales.

    Despite the cooperation, there remain areas of serious strategic competition between Russia and China, notably in Central Asia.

    Not sure the Russia/China relationship requires a change in US strategy, but it would certainly be wise for the US to be prepared for potential changes and evolutions in that relationship. Any number of things could happen and I don't think anyone can really predict how it will turn.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

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    Bill---to answer the following questions---these two paragraphs are to the point and go a little further than your questions.

    "Still, this will be a different cold war than the last one. For all its tough rhetoric, the Soviet Union of the Brezhnev era was a tired, conservative power. Putin's Russia is different. It is bursting with negative energy, hatred of the outside world and enthusiasm for confrontation.

    It's a throwback not so much to the cold war diplomacy of missile treaties and international alliances, as to the Soviet Union's revolutionary birth, when the new Bolshevik government in Moscow actively undermined its enemies in the West."

    The comments are actually very to the point.

    1. After the poor performance of the Russian Army in 2008 in Georgia there was a massive investment into the Russian military as a whole and today through their 2020 plans they are far better trained, equipped with new weapon systems that are superior to ours in many ways, have a professional fulltime standing expeditionary army backed by a draftee army.
    1a. They have become far more aggressive towards US military units in neutral zones---far more aggressive than under the Cold War days.
    2. They developed their new UW strategy for this force.-and it is clear and concise.
    3. They have completely modernized their nuclear forces and will add two heavy ballistic missiles in 2016 to the inventory and have violated the standing INF. US has an aging fore that is in need of modernization but Congress has shown an unwillingness to fund.
    4. They have a new 2010 nuclear use doctrine to support this force-and it is clear and concise.
    5. The have over the last 20 years used natural gas/oil as an economic force/weapon and built the pipeline delivery systems to support this economic weapons system. they are trying to get the EU to recognize their form of state run economics vs the EU free competition.
    6. They are now expanding their naval forces and acquiring berthing rights around the world.
    7. They are now flying into areas they never flew in during even the Cold War days and in a more aggressive manner.
    8. These Russian steps are actually being matched by the same type of military/political/economic moves by the Chinese who are especially focused on Africa.
    9. Both Russia and the Chinese are actively reinterpreting older treaties and agreements and are actually now simply declaring them null and void if it fits their interests something neither would have done 10 years ago---an interesting question would be why now? I think they both view the US as a waning power that has not backed up a single red line they have placed in the last 20 years

    Yes the Russians are approaching the rest of the world from a state to state perspective and the US from a population perspective---but does the rule of law and good governance outweigh cheap gas and the perspective on investing in Russian and Chinese economic development opportunities for economically less powerful but influential countries in say the ME or in the Far East. Or does Russian and Chinese investment in say Africa and the ME appear to be more attractive than western investments---yes it does.

    In some aspects while the rule of law and good governance resonate with populations in the end it still is all about economic development, employment, and personal security ---so yes the Maidan echoes those demands--but when implementing say the IMF and EU economic restructuring in exchange for billions of USDs those same populations will suffer and suffer badly until they adjust so in the end does the Russian/Chinese state economic systems appear more attractive to a state or the population or actually to both?

    I would argue they do especially in the ME and Africa.

    I would also argue that since both the Russians and Chinese view especially the US in the same light and with the same distrust they will in effect be nudged by world politics to work together which is why the initial gas deal between them is so important---it is about image/politics, and not about economics.

    I would though take it a step further and say Russia is also interested in neutralizing both the EU/NATO for different reasons that are not the same as with the US.


    What are the implications of this? Are we going to see a new type of confrontation between the U.S. and the USSR (oops I mean Russia), where Russia is engages states and the US engages populaces? Obviously the Russians desire to limit and even turn back the scale of U.S. influence globally, as does China. Will they form a coalition? Should the U.S. defense strategy change based on this?[/QUOTE]
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 06-10-2014 at 12:52 PM.

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    Default ‘Masterly’ Russian Operations in Ukraine Leave NATO One Step Behind

    A short FT article, the full edition is behind a registration "wall", that appears on a NATO website and starts with:
    In more than a dozen interviews, planners, security officials and members of the intelligence community have spoken of Moscow with universal, if grudging, praise.

    Tactically, they say, Russia has waged a dexterous and comprehensive campaign, and has been one step ahead at every turn. The Kremlin's operations on the ground have been "masterly", said one.
    Rightly the author ends with:
    With that in mind, it is ironic that for all of its accusations against Russia, it is Nato that is looking like it is stuck in the Iron Curtain era, as it tries to fly more planes, exercise more troops and sail more ships ever closer to Russia.
    Link:http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs...1s4skM.twitter
    davidbfpo

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    davidbfpo used word "masterly". I'd like to ask if this Crimea operation was easy to accomplish in military terms or was it hard? If you have located there your Black Sea Fleet since late 18th century. You had troops, GRU, military CI (KGB/FSB) present all the time. You knew a lot about Ukrainian officers, lot of them retired from Soviet fleet and joined Ukrainian. Crimea was favourite place to go retirement among Soviet officers, which means that best cadre (with Soviet nostalgia) was present. This means at least that you have quite nice overview what was going on there. Those smart and active young military pensioners are still capable to play the game. Then you bring in suitcases with cash to right people (like that Aksjonov guy, who got 4% votes with his party during last elections in Crimea), support with small group of special forces, bring in some thousand to close possible bridgeheads etc, etc, etc. Could it be "masterly" operation to occupy Guantanamo?

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    Bill M---based on your questions that is something that is often overlooked in all of this.

    We will be voting for a new President in 2016, Putin will easily get reelected and he is then in power until 2024.

    So what would a US Russian strategy look like under this WH and would it then be carried forward in a solid fashion or would Putin rightly assume it would not be and he could then force the US into a new strategy to his liking.

    Secondly ---any US strategy on Russia must be multifaceted as the current Russian foreign policy is developed and implemented by playing the four legs of a stool approach.

    There are four key players in the Russian FP game that we somehow tend to ignore; 1) Russian military and their industrial complexes, 2) the Russian security services, 3) the oligarchs, and 4) Russian criminal gangs ie Russian mafia.

    Layered over this is then the Russian Orthodox church.

    Russian foreign policy and doctrine can be modified in any way using any combination of these players---we the US have our own players but we cannot seem to develop the adaptiveness that Putin has been showing in recent months.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    Bill M---based on your questions that is something that is often overlooked in all of this.

    We will be voting for a new President in 2016, Putin will easily get reelected and he is then in power until 2024.

    So what would a US Russian strategy look like under this WH and would it then be carried forward in a solid fashion or would Putin rightly assume it would not be and he could then force the US into a new strategy to his liking.

    Secondly ---any US strategy on Russia must be multifaceted as the current Russian foreign policy is developed and implemented by playing the four legs of a stool approach.

    There are four key players in the Russian FP game that we somehow tend to ignore; 1) Russian military and their industrial complexes, 2) the Russian security services, 3) the oligarchs, and 4) Russian criminal gangs ie Russian mafia.

    Layered over this is then the Russian Orthodox church.

    Russian foreign policy and doctrine can be modified in any way using any combination of these players---we the US have our own players but we cannot seem to develop the adaptiveness that Putin has been showing in recent months.
    New administrations in the White House generally result in strategy changes, if not the ends, then the ways and means.

    Who are the major players (official and unofficial) in U.S. foreign policy? Federal government, State governments, Industry (to include the defense industry), NGOs, media, etc. All have an impact. The difference perhaps is unlike the Russians we're possibly not as synched in leveraging all these different players to achieve strategic ends. We do use them all and each has incredible capability and influence, so if we first understand what the Russians are doing and why, determine if any of these "really" threatens our national interests, if it does then get serious about addressing it.

    The ability to execute these operations on countries that border their nation is impressive, but not overly impressive. We have been astrategic for the past 10 years, so we're impressed with a nation that can actually think strategically (at least in the area of military and paramilitary arts). We have the capability to execute a global strategy globally, they don't, but we won't, etc., so their is some self-imposed strategic asymmetry here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    New administrations in the White House generally result in strategy changes, if not the ends, then the ways and means.

    Who are the major players (official and unofficial) in U.S. foreign policy? Federal government, State governments, Industry (to include the defense industry), NGOs, media, etc. All have an impact. The difference perhaps is unlike the Russians we're possibly not as synched in leveraging all these different players to achieve strategic ends. We do use them all and each has incredible capability and influence, so if we first understand what the Russians are doing and why, determine if any of these "really" threatens our national interests, if it does then get serious about addressing it.

    The ability to execute these operations on countries that border their nation is impressive, but not overly impressive. We have been astrategic for the past 10 years, so we're impressed with a nation that can actually think strategically (at least in the area of military and paramilitary arts). We have the capability to execute a global strategy globally, they don't, but we won't, etc., so their is some self-imposed strategic asymmetry here.
    Bill---would argue and some might not agree---right now the Russians are in fact implementing a global strategy the problem is we are not use to the game after about a 25 year hiatus of playing global games.

    They have had time to sit down and to rethink their collapse and they apparently learned from it and focused on a rebuild of the military and military projection powers, they definitely have played a great economic game using gas/pipelines and oil, and politically are now playing the UW card against NATO and attempting to split the EU from the US which they have in effect achieved to a degree.

    Back to the players---it makes Russian FP simplistic in nature when having to deal with five players especially if all the players are onboard ideology wise ie neo imperialism or neo economic imperialism cloaked under the guise of ethnic nationalism. We on the other hand in the last 25 years seem to have forgotten the old ideology war games ---we are so wrapped up in our own internal political right/left/tea party games for especially the last ten years we have simply "missed" what the rest of the world is thinking/doing.

    You are right the core question is Russian a national threat?---if one looks at the willingness recently to fly a SU29 30 meters in front of a RC135 and flash weapons then I would say they are already a national threat especially since that flashing had to be approved by the central flight controller of the SU, if they are scooping up all our "former" allies and are sponsoring new friends in the ME and Africa then they are a threat, if in fact they have modernized and added to their nuclear abilities and voided a portion of the INF then they are a threat, if they have power projection abilities equal to us then they are a threat, they now openly question and or void existing treaties anyway they feel like interpreting -then they are a threat. If one looks at the claimed joint efforts by the US/Russian in Syria, Iran, Palestine, NK --where has the Russian significantly contributed to a direct resolution of any of those problem areas--no that I can see.

    We could though take the high ground and via "soft power" look the other way stating they are not a threat but then what does the long term look like especially if Putin controls until 2024?

    A lot of this is IMO---- has an underlying not spoken about driver-economic survival of Russia at least in their eyes.

    This was taken from a new Russian SWJ article that goes to the point I am making about the threat.

    "Saudi Arabia has secretly offered Russia a sweeping deal to control the global oil market and safeguard Russia’s gas contracts if the Kremlin backs away from the Assad regime in Syria." The author quotes one reference but I had seen references to this in several Interfax press releases over the last four weeks and had wondered about it---nothing-nothing was mentioned in the US media and this is a threat as it impacts a really long term ME ally which has had strained ties with us the last several years by our all over the map foreign policy regarding Syria, Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood support.

    This newly released editorial today (below) in the Voice of Russian reflects a hardening in rhetoric I have not seen since 1989 especially if one really reads the reunification treaties 4 plus 2 and the Founding Act between NATO/Russia---they are virtually demanding the West accept their definition of those treaties, but then notice they ignored the Ukrainian treaty which they themselves signed. It should be noted that the 4 plus 2 treaties stipulate no nuclear weapons and no large scale permanent troops bases---not rotational exercise troops contingents.

    http://voiceofrussia.com/2014_06_10/...t-expert-3064/
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 06-10-2014 at 05:45 PM.

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