New Doctrine on Military Conflicts

The 2000 military doctrine had a very long section covering Russia’s views on both wars and military conflicts.  It spent considerable time on local, regional, and large-scale wars.  Most of the stuff was standard fare.  Conflicts could escalate to local, regional, or large-scale wars, strategic initiative in the beginning period of war is crucial, etc.  The section did mention noncontact and information war.

The new military doctrine, by contrast, is very concise in this regard, confining remarks to military conflict only, with this capacious term covering everything from the smallest armed conflict to large-scale war.

The 2010 doctrine describes 7 Characteristic Features of Modern Military Conflicts:

  1. Coordinated employment of military and nonmilitary forces and means.
  2. Mass employment of weapons systems and military equipment based on new physical principles and comparable in effect to nuclear weapons.
  3. Increased scale of employment of aero-space troops (forces) and means.
  4. Increased role of information warfare.
  5. Decreased time of preparation for conducting combat actions.
  6. Increased command and control efficiency through global automated command and control networks for troops (forces) and weapons systems.
  7. Permanently operating zones of military action on the territory of opposing sides.

Then we get to 4 Specifics of Modern Military Conflicts:

  1. Unpredictability in their occurrence.
  2. Wide range of military-political, economic, strategic, and other aims.
  3. Increased role of modern highly effective weapons systems, but also the reallocation of the role of various spheres of armed struggle.
  4. Timely conduct of information warfare measures to achieve political aims without military force, or to gain a favorable international reaction if force is used.

The new doctrine’s section finishes with three propositions.

Military conflicts will feature rapid flow, selectivity and large target destruction, quick maneuver of troops (forces) and fires, use of different mobile troop (force) groupings.  Holding the strategic initiative, preserving reliable state and military command and control, securing ground, naval, and aero-space supremacy will be decisive factors in achieving established aims.

The growing significance of highly accurate, electromagnetic, laser, infrasound weapons, information management systems, UAVs and autonomous underwater vehicles, guided robot armaments and military equipment will characterize military actions.

Finally, nuclear weapons will remain important in preventing nuclear and conventional military conflicts (regional wars, large-scale wars).  If a conventional conflict puts the state’s existence under threat, the possession of nuclear weapons could lead to escalation of the conflict into a nuclear one.

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