state vulnerabilities

  • Western Denial and Russian Control How Russia’s National Security Strategy Threatens a Western-Based Approach to Global Security, the Rule of Law and Globalization

    The Russian National Security Strategy of 2015 aims at achieving autarky from Western influences on global security, the rule of law and global trade. Russia aims at attaining this by applying a holistic mix of military, political and economic means to weaken the West and to strengthen its own role as a global player. The Russian approach builds on a strategy of reflexive control which as such is an old method, but the outcome of the application of this approach results in hybrid warfare which as such is a new emerging concept of warfighting. This short article looks at one particular aspect of this Russian strategy, namely using Hybrid, or non-linear, Warfare against its Western direct neighbours in particular and the West in general. We will discuss the underlying cultural logic in Russia’s actions and will reflect on the impact of Russia’s utilization of the existing cultural asymmetry as a form of warfare in regard to the West. The examples used in this text are taken from the context of the conflicts of Ukraine and Syria, but have to be seen as constituting a part of an on-going global conflict aimed at NATO and the EU. The text builds on years of research within the hybrid threat, warfare respectively, context by both authors. 

  • Hybrid Warfare and Deniability as Understood by the Military

    Russia and China are terraforming the maritime environment as part of their warfare. In both cases the actions are illegal and the performance is offensive to its actual nature. In the case of China, the practice is construction of artificial islands in the South Chinese Sea and in the case of Russia it is about the infamous bridge built over the Kerch strait, Ukraine. Neither Russia nor China expects an armed conflict with the West in the near future. That is a reasonable assumption, which is weaponized at the political-strategically level. The attack of this weaponized situation is that the trust in the West. Primarily the EU (European Union) and NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), is eroded for every day which these countries challenges the international system which the western democracies say that they present and defend. China and Russia offer their authoritarian systems as a replacement and there are a lot of pseudo-democratic or even out-right authoritarian regimes on the sideline watching this challenge unfold. The article highlights the difference for the NATO-countries in logic of practice when it comes to the political social field on one hand and the military political field on the other hand. The article uses material from a previously unpublished survey made on NATO-officers then attending courses at NATO Defense College (NDC).

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