Russian Military Chief Outlines Aggressive Anti-U.S. War Strategy

Valery Gerasimov

Valery Gerasimov / Getty Images

 

Gerasimov vows more non-military war against America

Russia’s large-scale military buildup is being augmented by greater use of non-military warfare against the United States, the chief of the Russian general staff revealed last week.

Gen. Valery Gerasimov, author of Russia’s use of “hybrid” warfare, announced the greater adoption of asymmetric warfare tools—cyber, space, and information weapons—in response to what he said are stepped up plans for information operations by the Pentagon.

“Under these conditions our armed forces must be prepared to wage wars and armed conflicts of a new type using classic and asymmetric methods of operations,” Gerasimov said in a speech March 2.

Gerasimov first outlined Russia’s new hybrid warfare in 2013 and implemented the plan a year later in using covert military forces to annex Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. The Russians invaded with “little green men”—special operations troops without military insignia.

By contrast, the doctrine put forth last week used even harsher terms to describe the United States as Moscow’s main enemy.

Gerasimov asserted the United States is using a combination of political warfare through so-called color revolutions and soft power combined with plans for precision guided missile strikes to force regime change.

Russia’s response will be “active defense” that includes “a set of measures for preemptive neutralization of threats to national security.”

“We must preempt the enemy in the development of military strategy and be a step ahead,” he said.

Two days after the major address, Gerasimov met the Marine Corps’s Gen. Joseph Dunford in Vienna, Austria, as part of regular consultations aimed at avoiding U.S.-Russia conflict in Syria.

A spokesman for Dunford would not say if Gerasimov’s non-military warfare doctrine was discussed in the meeting. Both generals agreed to keep the talks secret.

Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, however, told a Senate hearing several days after the speech that the new Gerasimov doctrine is a concern requiring greater U.S. and allied government efforts to counter the threat.

“We need to get greater focus and energy into actually a multi-faceted strategy to counter Russia,” Scaparrotti, the NATO and European Command commander, told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“As you know, Gen. Gerasimov just made another speech that underscored their view of indirect activity, use of whole-of-government activities as a part of their spectrum of warfare,” the general said.

“We have to approach this in a way that we can counter that, and I think specifically within information operations, challenging their disinformation and cyber areas that we need to continue to press.”

Gerasimov described the Pentagon’s strategy as a “Trojan horse” in the active use of “fifth column” infiltration—non-military personnel that are then backed by advanced conventional strikes with precision-guided cruise missiles and precision-guided bombs.

The Russians are pursuing strategic objectives that seek to avoid the use of direct military conflict with the United States and NATO through indirect action backed by coercive military threats.

“Such actions include questioning a government’s legitimacy, threatening a country’s economic interests, mobilizing fringe opposition groups, and utilizing proxies or armed civilians, such as private military contracting companies with opaque ties to the state,” he said.

Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Robert P. Ashely said during a conference in September that Russian GRU activities are increasing.

“The GRU has started to play a much more aggressive role, based on press reporting, based on some of these attacks that are happening around the world, which seem to be driven by the GRU as opposed to the FSB, the more traditional intelligence arm the Russian state,” Ashely said.

The activities are part of “the Gerasimov Doctrine of really nonlinear warfare and using all those instruments of power in statecraft to seek a nation’s national interest,” he said.

Full article: Russian Military Chief Outlines Aggressive Anti-U.S. War Strategy (Washington Free Beacon)

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