Hybrid Warfare: Where’s the Beef?

April 23, 2015

For special access to experts and other members of the national security community, check out the new War on the Rocks membership.

“Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”

— Sun Tzu, The Art of War

“The backbone of surprise is fusing speed with secrecy.”

— Carl von Clausewitz, Vom Kriege

 

Lately, a lot has been said and written down on hybrid war and hybrid warfare. The hybrid war thesis has been advocated to depict the new reality of contemporary warfare. Although the concept is not a new one, it has been proposed that today we are witnessing some new features in warfare. Russia’s capture of the Crimean peninsula and its support to the separatists in Eastern Ukraine have been presented as the contemporary pinnacle of hybrid warfare. For many analysts of contemporary security and defense issues, the hubris around this buzzword seems to neglect the very basic principles of war that have been discussed and theorized for centuries. Namely, war is not — and has actually never been — a “pure” military matter that is executed only by military forces. When looking closely at the various attributes of Russian and separatist warfare in Ukraine that together are said to constitute hybrid warfare, it becomes clear that none of this is new or unique to a special kind of warfare known as hybrid.

War is War

It is true that the essence of war is related to the use of large-scale violence — military force. But to analyze war without its political context and the many spheres of human interactions that lie outside the military sphere, represents strategic myopia — a tendency to see war from a simplistic and mechanistic perspective. This way of conceptualizing war has been long dominant within the Western security community.

The technocratic Western understanding of war — looking at high-quantity violence through the prism of the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA), military transformation and network-centric warfare — has been challenged time and again in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and a number of other theaters where Western military superiority has not translated into politically defined goals.

The introduction of the Effects-Based (Approach to) Operations is indicative of what has been wrong in the post-Cold War Western understanding of war: Political goals (effects) should always dictate the execution of the operation. Military success on the battlefield does not automatically lead to desired (political) outcome. The old expression, “Winning the battles but losing the war,” highlights the need to devise a strategy, which takes into account what needs to be accomplished and then infers courses of action, which will lead to the desired outcome.

Many Western statesmen and strategic analysts have during the last 25 years become accustomed to the situation where no one challenges — or is capable of challenging — the principles of Western security and defense policy. During this time the West has redefined war on its own terms moving from large-scale mechanized war (and threats) to defend state and alliance territory towards expeditionary operations, with high-tech focus in operations that are only indirectly connected to the national security interests of the Western states. Because of the Western way to conceptualize war has been limited in its scope — relying too much on the “silver bullet” of high-technology — many statesmen and strategic analysts have become surprised by the crisis over Ukraine and the fact that not all states or other agents capable of generating military force will abide to the rules of war defined by the West (read: the United States).

In order to grasp what we are seeing in the behavior of Russia and the crisis over Ukraine today, we need a better understanding of the traditional concept of war rather than the concept of hybrid warfare.

The capture of Crimea

If one accepts the hybrid war thesis — that Russia has outsmarted the West in Ukraine with new means for which there have been no available countermeasures — one should be able to show what hybrid warfare elements have been used and how effective they have been. To date, this has not materialized to any serious degree.

First, the use of Russian Spetsnaz or “commandos” without clear insignia is not the reason why Russia was able to grab the Crimean peninsula. Russia already had some 20,000 soldiers in the military bases in Crimea. When the unidentified troops made their move against Ukrainian state authorities and military bases in Crimea in early 2014, there were no existing Ukrainian military forces that could have ousted these “green men” from the territory of Ukraine. Had there been even a rudimentary military capability in the hands of the Ukrainian authorities, some resistance to the masked Russian invasion forces would have made sense. So, it was not a question of the Russian forces being without insignia. It was a question of Ukraine having no tools to resist military force. The fact was — and still is — that in the twenty plus years of the post-Cold War era, Ukraine has not been able to build or maintain credible military forces against external military threats. Ukraine’s culture of corruption produced a failed state. In retrospect, it is easy to understand why Ukraine failed to hold on to Crimea and it had little to do with anything specific to hybrid warfare.

Information Campaigns and Cyber-attacks

Second, it has been argued that information campaigns and cyber tools at the disposal of Russia have had a significant influence on the crisis in Ukraine. So far no one has convincingly shown the real tangible effects of Russian information warfare, its army of internet trolls and the use of other cyber-attacks.

In fact, the reputation of Russia has plummeted during the Ukrainian crisis. No amount of information operations, political propaganda, cyber trolls, or anything like them is able to change the fact, which is obvious to all statesmen and political leaders around the world: Russia is supporting the separatists in Eastern Ukraine with men, material and military know-how. Publicly presented lies, half-truths and twisted facts do not destabilize the situational awareness among key strategic actors in world affairs. They may affect the way individual citizens view the world, the Ukrainian crisis or Russia. But this has no effect on the policies of Western states — or other actors, for that matter.

Trying to change the prevailing strategic narrative is not easy — and even when one is successful, it does not automatically change state or alliance policy. It is a question of how widely the alternative narrative is accepted, how many strategic decision-makers accept the new narrative and how willing they are to change state or alliance policy in accordance with the alternative narrative. Thus, being successful in information warfare requires much more than being capable of creating an accepted alternative narrative of events.

Much of Russia’s information campaign is directed towards Russians. There is no free press or true independent media in Russia. Putin’s regime controls much of what average Russians see or hear about different events and world affairs. This is authoritarianism, not hybrid warfare. There is nothing revolutionary about this.

In tandem, the concepts of cyber-attacks and hybrid warfare have become two of the most used buzzwords of the “military strategic industry.” Even before the latest rise of the hybrid war concept, cyber-attacks and cyber threats had made their way into the everyday parlance of statesmen and strategic analysts. Even though there is a lot of potential for change in the cyber domain, the “revolutionary” cyber-attacks that we have so far witnessed do not amount to much. In the case of Ukraine, there is even less to report.

The Economic Weapon and Using Proxies

 

It has been asserted that Russia has used economic weapons in order to achieve its strategic goals as a part of its hybrid warfare strategy. But this too does not indicate anything unique to hybrid warfare. Economic sanctions, embargos, economic extortion and bribes have been routine means used by a multitude of states in conflicts all around the world. Examples from history and present day international politics are easy to come by. If the combining of military operations and economic sanctions equals hybrid warfare, the West has been waging hybrid war for the majority of the post-Cold War era, if not since Prince Henry the Navigator first sent expeditions to the East to gain an advantage over other powers.

Fourth, the Russian use of proxies (read: the separatists) in Eastern Ukraine is an old technique. Proxy wars might be as old as war itself. Russian support to the East Ukrainian separatists does not make the war in Ukraine hybrid. This fact becomes apparent when looking at images from Eastern Ukraine’s battlefields — for example Donetsk. Large-scale, high-quantity violence has produced vast destruction and has caused thousands of casualties. It is clear that what we are witnessing in Ukraine is very traditional.

The Futile Hybrid War Concept

The hybrid war thesis has been advocated to depict the new reality of contemporary warfare — exemplified by the actions of Russia in Ukraine. Although the concept is not a new one, it has been proposed that today we are witnessing some new features in warfare. What the proponents of the hybrid war thesis are saying actually resonates with what in strategic studies has traditionally been conceptualized through the concept of war: using all means available — including large-scale violence by military forces — in order to achieve desired outcomes.

The post-Cold War era Western understanding of war and the use of military force has been based on the notion that there are no states capable of challenging the American “unipolar moment” and the associated military operations that the West has been conducting actively under U.S. lead. Although there has been a lot of discussion about the rise of China during the last decade, the war in Ukraine is the first large-scale war where Western definitions of co-operative security and the use of military force have become contested — by Russia. The five-day war in Georgia (2008) was a smaller-scale prelude to the Ukrainian crisis.

The Western multinational expeditionary operations tradition — called also “military crisis management” in the European context — has developed towards a comprehensive approach during the post-Cold War era. Now, in Ukraine, the Russian application of comprehensive approach to traditional warfare — combining economic, informational and military means — is supposedly something totally new, worth the name hybrid war. For years it has been crystal clear within the West that military operations must be planned and executed within a broader framework, including political, economic and cultural factors. The introduction of the term “comprehensive approach” is a case in point.

From a military perspective, a comprehensive approach is founded on not only a shared situational understanding, but also recognition that sometimes non-military actors may support the military and conversely on other occasions the military’s role will be supporting those actors … The importance of including from the outset those elements — diplomatic, civil, and economic — that are to be enabled by military success must not be underestimated. Failure to do so will at best lose the strategic initiative; at worst, it will result in strategic failure. This is the basic premise of a comprehensive approach, which NATO applies to its operations.

— AJP-01(D) ALLIED JOINT DOCTRINE, December 2010

Reverting to the concept of hybrid war in the West is understandable as a reaction to the surprise that Russia’s actions in Ukraine have caused. Seeing the world through the lenses of the traditional great power politics, Russia has contested the Western post-Cold War era tenets of security and defense policy. International politics is not only positive-sum outcomes in the globalized world. Nor is security policy only the management of common threats. Russia behaves like great powers have for centuries — using all means necessary in pursuance of the its national interest — however it is defined. This perspective is rather familiar to the number one great power of the world — the United States.

More than a new concept — hybrid war — we need better understanding of the traditional, centuries-old concept of war. Military analysts have understood war from a broad perspective for at least 2,500 years. Many Western statesmen and strategic analysts have during the last 25 years become accustomed to the situation where no-one challenges — or is capable of challenging — the principles of Western security and defense policy. At the same time, the traditional concept of war has been fading into the background. We have seen numerous “crisis management operations,” “campaigns” and other instances of the “use of military force,” but “war proper” has been on the decline. Now that Russia has stepped up and challenged the West by its actions in Ukraine, it is time to reinvigorate the discussion and debate on state-based threats and state-based war. Focus on hybrid war is a logical reaction by the Western analysts and statesmen. But it is also a telling example of the overwhelming surprise that Russia has managed to cause within the Western security community. States still wage war for desired outcomes.

 

Lt. Col. (GS), Dr.Pol.Sc. Jyri Raitasalo is Docent of Strategy and Security Policy at the Finnish National Defence University. Previously he has served as research officer, lecturer and head lecturer at the Department of Strategic and Defence Studies at the Finnish National Defence University.

We have retired our comments section, but if you want to talk to other members of the natsec community about War on the Rocks articles, the War Hall is the place for you. Check out our membership at warontherocks.com/subscribe!

9 thoughts on “Hybrid Warfare: Where’s the Beef?

  1. Could you just be splitting hairs about what the term ” hybrid” defines? Whether or not by hybrid warfare introduces new strategy or tacics is irrelevant – warfare has always adapted and evolved. Yet “hybrid war” is exactly what we are seeing in Ukraine today- state actors working with non state actors to achieve military and poltiical objectives. Thus hybrid is probably the best term to use when defining the threat. traditional western definitions are much more limited in scope and try to boil things down simplistically through military solutions – which as you noted, is a process without a purpose.

  2. Splitting hairs or not, it’s hardly new. “State actors working with non-state actors to achieve military and political ends” could just as easily describe British SOE and U.S. OSS operations with the French and Yugoslav resistance groups during WWII. The same applies to “economic warfare”. Sanctions or embargoes against adversaries, or aid to friends…even actions as direct as counterfeiting currency — all tried and true methods. While there’s no historical counterpart to cyber, “info ops” in the form of propaganda and deception is also older than the hills.

    Our trouble is we’ve fallen into the habit of calling military campaigns “wars”, even as we ignore the wider set of activities we engage in price-cutting them.

  3. If Clausewitz were alive today, he might amend his famous “war is a duel” maxim. War will always remain a duel, but perhaps Clausewitz would acknowledge a modern day protagonist has little to no knowledge of where or who his antagonist is or how the antagonist might strike him.

    The latest manifestation of man in this duel – the state – is no longer the sole (or preferred) vehicle for doing so. In the present day, alternative entities have capitalized on the state’s shortcomings by demonstrating their efficacy in performing many of the functions once assumed to be the sole domain of the state — including the safeguarding of security and the waging of war. The structural realities of the global political economy and advances in technology permit these entities to be of any scale and remain unknown. Furthermore, the duel no longer occurs on a distinct geographic battlefield, but a multi-dimensional battlespace that minimizes opportunities for retribution because the attacker can utilize tactics and/or weapons which preclude an immediate exercise of violent force in response.

    America will be unprepared for this next duel if the debate is between emphasizing conventional or counterinsurgency approaches or concludes that hybrid warfare is the wave of the future. Conventional approaches designed for warfare against states will have limited success against post-Westphalian opponents. Counterinsurgency stresses securing the population at the expense of destroying the enemy, akin to ignoring the duelist while focusing on the portion of the crowd cheering him on.

    Hybrid warfare attempts to simplify the debate by asserting future wars will feature a “blend of tactics”, which can be addressed with a “balanced” strategy, all the while ignoring the imperative of reordering Westphalian structures to battle a post-Westphalian enemy.

    In the end, a modern day protagonist like the United States can only know one thing — he is in a duel and comes bound by choices made before this duel started and new capabilities and attributes will be necessary to defeat his enemy.

    Regarding capabilities, America must re-focus military doctrine on the destruction of the enemy, whether it is state-based or non-state, no more, no less.

    Regarding attributes, America must consider the following – perfect security is unattainable, America (and nation-states in general) must embrace resiliency

    Achieving resiliency however will require the American national government relinquish a large number of the non-security responsibilities and authorities assumed since the nation graduated to superpowerdom, primarily because the American national government has assumed roles requiring the extraction and expenditure of resources far in excess of what is available. Advocating devolution is not a call for a national security state — devolution simply ratifies a division of labor future warfare will require.

    Historians regularly note George Kennan, the father of containment, never meant his thesis to provide the justification for the extensive militarization America undertook in the Cold War. However, George Kennan did understand the threat posed by international communism and encouraged the diligent application of American power worldwide and the initial reluctance to commit accordingly distressed him. In one policy paper, Kennan pointedly concluded, “[America has] been handicapped by a popular attachment to the concept of a basic difference between peace and war.”

    A true “hybrid” challenge if there ever was one…

    The post-Westphalia era means America can no longer afford the over-intellectualization of war or the pretensions of would be peacemakers.

  4. The “hybrid war” discussion and Russian operations in Ukraine reminded me of an article in the May-June 1970 Air University Review (http://www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil/airchronicles/aureview/1970/may-jun/detwiler.html). The author, Dr. Donald S. Detwiler, quoted from Hermann Rausching’s 1940 book, Gespräche mit Hitler (Conversations with Hitler). A few clips seem to continue to echo today: ” . . . What is war but cunning, swindle, delusion, assault and surprise? People have resorted to killing only when there was no other way to get ahead. . . . There is such a thing as strategy in an extended sense; there is war with intellectual means. What is the object of war. . . ? That the enemy capitulate. Once he does that, I have the prospect of destroying him entirely. Why should I demoralize him militarily when I can do it more cheaply and effectively in other ways. . . .

    “When I wage war. . . , one day in the middle of peacetime I will have troops in Paris. They will be wearing French uniforms. They will march through the streets. No one will stop them. Everything is prepared down to the smallest detail. They march to the General Staff Headquarters. They occupy the ministries, the parliament. Within a few minutes France, Poland, Austria, Czechoslovakia are robbed of their leading men. An army without a general staff. All political leaders taken care of. The confusion will be unprecedented. But long since I have been in touch with men who will form a new government—a government which suits me. We find such men. We find them in every land. We do not have to buy them. They come on their own. Ambition and delusion, party strife and intrigue drive them. We will have a peace treaty before we have war.”

    Not exact parallels with today, of course, but “hybrid” to its core.

  5. For the past 5+ decades, the U.S. military has been sent into (invaded) one country or location after another, occupied those lands, and often replaced by force or assassination its then current leader or government. Some of these occupations lasted for lengthy periods of time as in Vietnam, Iraq, and continuing in Afghanistan while others as in Somalia and Lebanon 1982 were of a shorter duration. A small number of these invasions (such as in Grenada, Panama, and most notably during the 1990-1991 Gulf War) succeeded. Interestingly, those invasion operations which were successful did not include a occupation component. The military carried out its assigned mission and then rapidly departed. Contrarily those invasions with a follow on occupation, intended or not and regardless of length of time, all resulted in this nation suffering costly strategic failures – and soon will in Afghanistan.

    It is the attempt at occupying a foreign land and imposing our will on the native peoples of the occupied lands that have consistently failed – and a forcefully occupied land relying almost totally on the most basic of ground war operations little different in style than that of the previous centuries. While the weapons occupying soldiers carry are more advanced in their rate of fire and gasoline powered vehicles and helicopters have replaced horse and wagons, these occupations are NOT high technology military operations. Today’s occupation forces conduct operations in much the same manner as their did their predecessors in the horse and wagon era.

    These consistently failed occupation missions have not in the least relied on the “silver bullet” of high-technology.” Instead, they have failed because those responsible for their occurrence have for decades failed to understand that those leading anti-occupation forces have developed a culturally based (low tech) approach to resisting invasions aimed at securing success by depleting the invading nation’s political will – not by defeating its military forces in low tech tactical engagements. And, those nations conducting offensive operations to advance their territorial control have similarly determined and employ strategies which nullify the conventional military power of the U.S. and (perhaps) that of other Western Militaries.

    The author has made and substantiated absolutely no connection between the claim that “statesmen and strategic analysts have become surprised by the crisis over Ukraine” due to the U.S. allegedly relying too much on the “silver bullet” of high-technology.”

    He is, however, quite correct that “the fact that not all states or other agents capable of generating military force will abide to the rules of war defined by the West (read: the United States).” And, therein lies much of the reason for this country’s successive record of foreign policy strategic failures.

    What this country’s National Security leadership (civilian and military) have failed / are failing to understand is that the leaders of other nations (countries) which are contending with the U.S. for local / regional supremacy, or who are leading elements of occupied peoples in opposition to an American occupation have carefully assessed America’s military capabilities and the weaknesses inherent in its political nature. They have grasped the fact that the U.S. military remains conventionally powerful, and that our forces possess and have at their disposal substantial (and often overwhelming) fire power. Thus they (America’s opponents) pursue anti-occupation or expansion strategies that nullify the seemingly operational strengths relied on by the U.S. / Western Forces – and have done so successfully for decades.

    As an example, they grasp the fact that this Nation (Western Nations in general) are not culturally suited for lengthy / protracted occupation campaigns from which this nation’s politicians and people can perceive no foreseeable gain worth the cost; and the anti–occupation forces know they cannot match U.S. firepower. Accordingly, they willingly sacrifice their manpower and local economy (such as it is) in order to draw the Western forces into battles where they can inflict continuing casualties (costs) on the Western forces, knowing that sooner or later the Western Nation will become politically and / or economically exhausted and withdraw from the effort – even if their military forces win (almost) every (low tech) tactical engagement. Un-phased by their seemingly defined tactical failures the anti-occupation forces retreat to repeat the process into eternity, i.e. as long as the occupation lasts. As Ho Chi Minh told the French, You will kill ten of us for everyone of you we kill, but you will tire of this first. That is not a concept of war an economically advanced country’s political and military leaders can grasp – thus they lose when having to contend with it.

    However, their initial reaction to such an anti-occupation effort is decidedly NOT high-tech in nature. Instead it is modeled in accordance with the low tech processes documented in the Army’s decidedly low tech COIN Doctrine.

    The Russians in the Ukraine and the Chinese in the South China Sea have employed strategies aimed at “slowly” taking control of those areas. The Chinese Salami Slicing “Three Warfare’s Strategy” has been well described for the DOD Office of Net Assessment and the resulting documented descriptions and analysis are available on line. The Russian strategy is somewhat similar, relying albeit on more violence, but at a comparatively low level and on both Russian Military forces and local ethnic (and pro) Russians Ukrainian residents.

    Both China and Russia have strategically maneuvered the U.S. into a situation where we would have to intervene in geographic locations thousands of miles from our shores and in the backyards of China and Russia – where they will have the advantage of local superiority and close at hand forces. Were we to intervene, the peoples of those countries would view us as the aggressor and they would overwhelmingly support their government. If the effort became protracted and costly, our opponents realize our population’s political support for the military effort would erode.

    The Russians, Chinese, and others realize that America’s Achilles Heel is our population’s cultural / political dislike for protracted wars thousands of miles from home from which they perceive no meaningful value. And, if the side which the U.S. plans to support using our combat forces is a Dictatorship or one with a corrupt government, the population’s support in this country will erode even faster.

    The strategic difficulty lies in the fact that the U.S. is attempting to impose its political will on the governments / peoples of distant foreign lands – and they view that effort as aggression and interference in their internal affairs — despite the U.S. viewing it as our need to protect the people’s and sea and air commons of the globe.

    America’s strategic problem isn’t that” it [has been] relying too much on the “silver bullet” of high-technology.” Instead, it rests on our failing to comprehend the societal and cultural views of (the peoples of) other nations which view our attempt to impose (through military force or economic sanctions) our political will on their society as unwarranted aggression, not as liberation. Our strategic problem also rests on the fact that we refuse to grasp that the peoples of seemingly weaker lands have developed cultural based methods of resisting our occupation against which we have no effective 20th / 21rst Century response.

    Again, this nation’s successive strategic failures have nothing to do with any alleged “reli[ance] on the “silver bullet” of high-technology,” but instead has resulted from our failure to grasp the changing political nature of the world in which we reside.

  6. To CBCalif — once again, you hit the nail on the head — thanks for the further insights.

    To which I’d add: in all these heated discussions about “American strategic failure and decline,” etc., I’d advocate keeping the whole thing in a global perspective.

    For instance, the fact the Russians recently (re)annexed the Crimea, and have effectively grabbed up a few square kilometers of the far eastern Ukraine, a slice of the Caucasus state of Georgia, etc., is held up as a sure and certain sign of the decline of America as a global power.

    I would counter that those places were/are all in Russia’s geo-strategic backyard. If they’d just seized Key West, or were sending special forces into Quebec to train separatists there, I’d be REALLY worried. Similarly, if the Chinese were maneuvering to take Catalina Island rather than the Spratly Islands, I’d again be getting terrified.

    Look at the GLOBAL map: it’s taking ALL the states opposed to us ALL their efforts to try to secure their own borderlands.

    That’s not what I’d call a strong claim to victory on their part (and I design military simulations for a living, in which the definition of victory is a key element).

    I’m not here trying to sound like some strategic Pollyanna; there certainly is a need to keep monitoring and frustrating these aggressor states; however, we also need to be able to assess a situation in all its contexts, including its global one.

  7. What is the object of war. . . ? “That the enemy capitulate. Once he does that, I have the prospect of DESTROYING him entirely. Why should I demoralize him militarily when I can do it more cheaply and effectively in other ways. . . .”

    On January 25, 1995 the Чегет (the Nuclear briefcase) was hurriedly brought to Boris Yeltsin who then ordered it activated. The unannounced launch of a Norwegian sounding rocket to study the Aurora Borealis over Svalbard appeared similar in speed and flight pattern to a submarine launched Triton missile… or so the operators of one of their early warning radar stations near Murmansk thought so and put the Russian nuclear forces on high alert. Having capitulated in 1991 they feared that we (the West) would destroy them entirely with a high-altitude nuclear EMP attack. Even then at a time when the internet and many of the “silver bullets of high technology” were just coming into reality they (Russia) understood the implications of just such an attack scenario: No functioning electric power grid means no modern civilization! Such a truth even more of an implicit reality today with all of our electric gadgets and devices we all depend on.

    For the Russia, Iran, North Korea and others it is the biggest bang for their bucks. As Hitler was quoted in that 1970 Air Force publication: “Why should I demoralize him militarily when I can do it more cheaply and effectively in other ways. . . .”

    Many of our would-be enemies now envision such EMP scenarios as falling outside of offensive nuclear war, but rather as an element in the escalation of a information and/or economic war. No functioning electric power grid means no economy which means they win in a thousandth of a second. And likely in the aftermath whatever was left of our population after a period of societal collapse would depend on their ‘generosity’ and technical assistance to rebuild. Wouldn’t that be the ultimate win for our enemies for them to be in charge of world economic order dictating terms to us rather then us dictating terms to them as it is now.

    During the Kosovo campaign in 1999 a group of Congressman met in Vienna with some of their Russian counterparts from the Duma:
    “Hypothetically, if Russia really wanted to hurt the United States in retaliation for NATO‟s bombing of Yugoslavia, Russia could fire a submarine launched ballistic missile and detonate a single nuclear warhead at high-altitude over the United States. The resulting electromagnetic pulse would massively disrupt U.S. communications and computer systems, shutting down everything.” (HASC Transcript On Vienna Conference, 2 May 1999)

    The Chinese have written of EMP devices as being key to victory in a conflict over control of Taiwan. In addition they conceive of them as being a crowning element in a ‘Total Information War’ that begins with the usual computer viruses and hacking.

    And last recently translated Iranian military documents detail implications of EMP attacks above 20 different geographic locations in the US with discussion on the pros and cons of each location in the end summing it up with the conclusion that such an attack is the ‘key’ to victory.

  8. The aim is not war but to avoid it. Think about Ukraine and compared to Finland. Why has Finland (and partly Sweden too) chosen different way to think Russia than Baltic countries? We have to go deep back to history of born of city of Sankt Petersburg some 300 years ago. Finns realized after weakening Swedish power that there is no way they should become some kind of forward pushed military basement for anti-Russian military power. It will be wiped out anyway.

    So the solution is much more simply. Finns deep in their minds understand pretty well to stay as long as possible neutral country defending their neutrality – that means securing Russia. It’s shocking reveal for younger generation but in reality independent neutral Finland favors interests of Russia. Only pro western propaganda machine is claiming the role of buffer of Russia as “shameful” for Finland.

    Russian policy makers are clever enough to realize that Finns themselves will never be their problem. The problem comes outside and Finland makes no exception: there will always been lackeys ready to become western puppets inside Finnish elite. After all Western Empire is paying them pretty well. So called silent majority Finns have always realized the inferiority complex of their ruling class (who wanted to be so “west”).