Such discrepancy is due, for example, to the fact that, according to some Russian political scientists, “there are no scientific criteria that would allow us to identify a war as a hybrid or to say that it is a revolution in military affairs.” And if so, then there is no need to deal with this problem. However, practice shows that the terms “hybrid wars” (like “color revolutions”) describe objective, real-life phenomena that have a noticeable effect on national and international security. Moreover, the qualitative evolutionary leap of these two phenomena occurred at the beginning of the XXI century.
DETERMINANTS OF REVOLUTION IN MILITARY AFFAIRS
It is known that the revolution in military affairs is associated with fundamental changes taking place under the influence of scientific and technical progress in the development of means of warfare, in the construction and preparation of the Armed Forces, methods of warfare and military operations.
The modern military revolution began after World War II due to the equipment of the Armed Forces weapons, electronic equipment, automated control systems and other new tools. Thus, technological changes were the determinants of the revolution.
The hybrid war did not bring anything like this. It was repeatedly noted that it does not require the development of new weapon systems and uses what is. Most likely, it is a model based on a slower evolution, in which technological progress plays a smaller role in comparison with organizational, information technology, management, logistics and some other general non-material changes. Thus, if a revolution in military affairs occurs, then there are no abrupt changes in the methods and organization of opposition, which includes non-military and military means. Apparently, modern science only “gropes” the criteria for this phenomenon, but the significance and necessity of this work cannot be overestimated. So the absence of revolutionary shifts is not yet a reason for refusing to study this phenomenon.
Moreover, one of the pioneers of the term “hybrid war”, an American military expert F. Hoffman, states that the 21st century is the century of hybrid wars in which the enemy “instantly and consistently uses a complex combination of authorized weapons, guerrilla war, terrorism and criminal behavior on the battlefield to achieve political goals. ” It is not far from such ambitious and bold predictions to the statement about another revolution in military affairs related to the development of hybrid technologies.
In the meantime, as a result of the existing uncertainty, the term “hybrid war” is widely used in scientific discussions, but in open Russian official documents and in speeches by politicians and the military almost never occurs. The vagueness of this term is noted by some Russian political scientists: the term “hybrid war” “is not an operational concept. This is a figurative characteristic of the war, it does not contain clear, unambiguous indicators that reveal its specifics. " This is followed by the conclusion that in today's military-professional discourse this term is counterproductive, and “focusing attention and effort on preparing for a hybrid war is fraught with forgetting the invariant fundamentals and principles of military strategy and tactics and, therefore, incomplete, one-sided preparation of the country and army to a possible war.
This is true on the understanding that it is impossible to prepare the country and the Armed Forces only for a hybrid war. That is why Russia's military doctrine, national security strategy and other doctrinal documents of Russia must be comprehensive and take into account the whole range of possible conflicts from the color revolution — the hybrid war — the large-scale conventional war and right up to the universal nuclear war.
However, not everyone agrees with the idea of not studying the problems associated with the hybridization of modern conflicts. Thus, political scientist Pavel Tsygankov, for his part, notes that "the prevailing point of view was the authors, whose authors believe that hybrid wars are a completely new phenomenon", they "become a reality that is difficult to deny and which actualizes the need to study their essence and possibilities to counter them in upholding the national interests of the Russian Federation. "
Such discord among domestic military specialists is one of the reasons why the concept of “hybrid war” is not found in the documents of Russia's strategic planning. At the same time, our opponents, under the guise of sophisticated information warfare strategies, on the one hand, are already using the term for Russia’s contrived accusations of treachery, cruelty and the use of dirty technologies in Ukraine, and on the other hand, they themselves plan and implement complex “hybrid” subversive measures against our country and its allies in the CSTO in Ukraine, the Caucasus and Central Asia.
Under the conditions of using a wide range of disruptive hybrid technologies against Russia, the prospect of transforming a modern hybrid war into a special kind of conflict that is fundamentally different from the classical ones and risks transforming into permanent, extremely cruel and violating all norms of international law, is quite real.
FUNNY BORDER BETWEEN MODERN CONFLICTS
In the confrontation with Russia, the United States and NATO are betting on the use of basic strategies of any kind of war - strategies of crushing and starvation, which were mentioned by prominent Russian military theorist Alexander Svechin. He noted that "the concepts of contrition and moderation extend not only to strategy, but also to politics, and economics, and boxing, to any manifestation of the struggle and must be explained by the very dynamics of the latter."
In this context, the strategies of contrition and starvation are realized or can be realized in the course of the full spectrum of modern conflicts that are interconnected and form a kind of multi-component destructive tandem. The components of the tandem: color revolution - hybrid war - conventional war - war with the use of the entire spectrum of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons.
The color revolution is the initial stage of destabilization of the situation and is based on the strategy of crushing the government of the victim state: the color revolutions are increasingly taking the form of warfare, are developed according to the rules of the art of war, while using all the tools available. In the first place - the means of information warfare and special forces. If the change of power in the country fails, then conditions are created for an armed confrontation with the aim of further “loosening” the objectionable government. It should be noted that the transition to the large-scale use of military force is an important criterion for the development of the military-political situation from the stage of a color revolution to a hybrid war.
In general, color revolutions are built primarily on non-military means of achieving political and strategic goals, which in some cases are considerably more efficient than the military in their effectiveness. In the framework of adaptive use of force, they are complemented by information confrontation measures, the use of the protest potential of the population, the militants training system and the replenishment of their units from abroad, hidden supply of their weapons, the use of special operations forces and private military companies.
If it is not possible to achieve the goal of a color revolution in a short time, at a certain stage a transition to open military measures can be made, which is another stage of escalation and brings the conflict to a new dangerous level - hybrid war.
The boundaries between the conflicts are rather vague. On the one hand, this ensures the continuity of the process of “overflowing” of one type of conflict to another and facilitates flexible adaptation of the political and military strategies used to the realities of political situations. On the other hand, a system of criteria has not yet been sufficiently developed to clearly define the basic characteristics of certain types of conflicts (primarily the “bundles” of the color revolution — the hybrid and conventional wars) in the transformation process. At the same time, conventional war is still the most dangerous form of conflict, especially in scale. However, conflicts of a different kind are more likely, with mixed methods of warfare.
It is for such a confrontation with Russia that the West is preparing the Ukrainian armed forces. To this end, conditions are being created in the south-east of Ukraine for the further escalation of violence from hybrid to full-scale conventional war with the use of all modern weapons systems and military equipment. The evidence of qualitative changes is the transition to the tactics of sabotage and terrorist actions on Russian territory. The authors of such a strategy seem to underestimate the threat of a growing local conflict provoked by them into a large-scale military clash in Europe with the prospect of its expansion to a global scale.
HYBRID WAR AGAINST RUSSIA ALREADY GOING. AND THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING ...
The intensification of the subversive actions of the West against Russia at the beginning of the 2000-s coincided with the refusal of the new Russian leadership to dutifully follow in the wake of US policy. Prior to this, the consent of the ruling "elites" of Russia to the role of a slave country for a long time determined the internal and external strategy of the state in the late 80s and in the final decade of the last century.
Today, in the face of growing threats, much more attention needs to be paid to multidimensional conflicts or hybrid wars (this is not the name) than has been done so far. Moreover, the preparation of a country and its armed forces for a conflict of this type should cover a wide range of areas and take into account the possibility of transforming a hybrid war into a conventional war, and later into a war with the use of WMD, including the use of nuclear weapons.
It is in this context in recent years that the CSTO allies of Russia are beginning to speak seriously about the phenomenon of hybrid war. Thus, the real danger of a hybrid war was noted by the Minister of Defense of the Republic of Belarus, General Andrei Ravkov, at the 4-th Moscow Conference on International Security in April 2015. He stressed that “it is the“ hybrid war ”that integrates in its essence the whole range of means of confrontation - from the most modern and technological (“ cyber war ”and informational confrontation) to the use of primitive in nature terrorist methods and tactics in the conduct of warfare, linked by a common plan and goals and aimed at destroying the state, undermining its economy, destabilizing the internal socio-political situation. ” It seems that the definition contains a fairly clear criterion that determines the difference between hybrid warfare and other types of conflicts.
Developing this idea, it can be argued that the hybrid war is multidimensional, because it includes in its space many other subspaces (military, informational, economic, political, socio-cultural, etc.). Each of the subspaces has its own structure, its own laws, terminology, development scenario. The multidimensional nature of hybrid warfare is due to an unprecedented combination of military and non-military measures against the enemy in real time, the diversity and different nature of which determines the peculiar “blurring” of the boundaries between actions of regular forces and irregular guerrilla / guerrilla movements, actions of terrorists that are accompanied by outbursts of indiscriminate violence and criminal actions. The lack of clear criteria for hybrid actions in the chaotic nature of the synthesis of both their organization and the means used significantly complicates the task of forecasting and planning preparation for conflicts of this type. Below it will be shown that it is in similar properties of the hybrid war that many Western specialists see a unique opportunity to use this concept in military research of past, present and future conflicts in strategic forecasting and planning the development of the Armed Forces.
IN FOCUS OF US AND NATO MILITARY PREPARATIONS
So far, there is no consensus on the issue of a hybrid war in US military circles. The US military to describe modern multidimensional operations, in which regular and irregular formations take part, use information technologies, conduct cyber warfare and other hybrid warfare-specific tools and methods, prefer to use the term “full-spectrum operations”. In this regard, the concept of "hybrid war" is practically not found in the strategic planning documents of the US Armed Forces.
A different approach to the problem of future conflicts in the context of complex non-traditional or hybrid wars is demonstrated by NATO. On the one hand, the leaders of the alliance argue that the hybrid war itself does not bring anything new and that humankind has been dating for thousands of years with various hybrid warfare options. According to the secretary general of the alliance, J. Stoltenberg, “the first hybrid war we know was connected with the Trojan horse, so we have already seen it”.
However, recognizing that in the concept of a hybrid war there is little new, Western analysts see it as a convenient tool for analyzing past, present and future wars and developing substantive plans.
It is this approach that led NATO’s decision to move from theoretical discussions on the topic of hybrid threats and wars to the practical use of the concept. On the basis of the far-fetched accusations of Russia in the conduct of a hybrid war against Ukraine, NATO became the first military-political organization to talk about this phenomenon at the official level - at the summit in Wales in 2014. Even then, NATO Supreme Commander in Europe, General F. Breedlove, raised the question of the need to prepare NATO for participation in wars of the new type, the so-called hybrid wars, which include conducting a wide range of direct hostilities and covert operations carried out according to a single plan by the armed forces guerrilla (non-military) formations and also include the actions of various civilian components.
In order to improve the ability of the Allies to counter the new threat, it was proposed to establish coordination between the ministries of internal affairs, to attract police and gendarmerie forces to curb non-traditional threats associated with propaganda campaigns, cyber attacks and local separatists.
Subsequently, the alliance made the problem of hybrid threats and hybrid warfare one of the central ones on its agenda. At the NATO summit in Warsaw in 2016, concrete “steps were taken to ensure their ability to effectively meet the challenges of the hybrid war, in which, to achieve their goals, state and non-state actors use a wide, complex range that combines closely interrelated conventional and non-traditional means, open and secretive military, militarized and civilian measures. In response to this challenge, we adopted a strategy and substantive implementation plans regarding the role of NATO in countering hybrid warfare. ”
In open access, the text of this strategy did not appear. However, an analysis of a fairly extensive reservoir of NATO research and documents on the issue of hybrid wars allows us to draw some preliminary conclusions on the alliance's approaches.
In the strategy of NATO, an important place is given to the question of how to convince the governments of the ally countries of the need to use all the organizational possibilities to counter hybrid threats and not to try to act only based on high technology. In this context, the special role of ground forces in a hybrid war is emphasized. At the same time, it is considered necessary to develop the potential for cooperation with non-military actors, to quickly build up civil-military relations, and to provide humanitarian assistance. Thus, it is planned to use the format of a hybrid war for a kind of play to increase and decrease, the use of technologies of "soft and hard power" on the blurred border between peace and war. Such a set of tools and methods makes available to the aggressor state new unique tools for putting pressure on the enemy.
One of the main objectives of the hybrid war is to keep the level of violence in the state of aggression below the level of intervention of existing international security organizations in the post-Soviet space, such as the UN, OSCE or CSTO. This, in turn, requires the development of new adaptive concepts and organizational structures for the creeping collapse and strangulation of the victim state and its own defense against hybrid threats.
TRANSFORMATION ASSESSMENTS OF NATO SECURITY THREATS
Challenges, risks, dangers and threats (PSRU) are the key, strategic factor of the current strategic concept of NATO, and the results of the analysis of the PSRI in the document “Numerous threats in the future” are the scientific and practical basis for strategic forecasting and planning of the military component of the alliance. Some of these threats have already become real.
According to analysts, the most significant are threats related to climate change, lack of resources and widening gap between countries with developed market economies and countries that have failed to fit into the processes of globalization and innovation development. Tensions between these countries will increase due to the growth of nationalism, an increase in population in poor regions, which can lead to massive and uncontrolled migration flows from these regions to more prosperous ones; threats related to underestimation of security issues by governments of developed countries. It is believed that many NATO countries are giving unreasonably a lot of attention to solving domestic problems, while the routes of supply of strategic raw materials are under threat or have already been violated, the actions of pirates at sea are intensifying, the drug traffic is growing; threats associated with the integration of technologically developed countries into a kind of global network, which will increase pressure from less developed states and authoritarian regimes in the face of increasing dependence on access to vital resources, increasing terrorism, extremism, aggravated territorial disputes. And finally, the threats associated with an increase in the number of states or their alliances that use economic growth and the proliferation of WMD production technologies and their means of delivery to pursue a policy from the position of strength, deterrence, energy independence and military capacity building. One or two superpowers will not dominate the world, it will actually become multipolar. This will occur against the background of a weakening of the authority of international organizations, the strengthening of nationalist sentiments and the desire of several states to raise their own status. It should also be noted that the threats in each of the groups are of a hybrid nature, although this term was not used in NATO documents at that time.
In recent years, alliance analysts have clarified the geography and content of the PSRU, which NATO is facing in modern conditions. These are two groups of strategic challenges and threats to security, the sources of which are located on the eastern and southern borders of the block. Threats are of a hybrid nature, due to different actors - the sources of threats, the scale, composition and density of the threats themselves. The definition of hybrid warfare is also given, which is viewed as “a combination and a mixture of different means of conflict, regular and irregular, dominating the physical and psychological battlefield under information and media control in order to reduce risk. It is possible to deploy heavy weapons to suppress the will of the enemy and prevent popular support of the legitimate authorities. ”
The unifying factor for the threat complexes is the likelihood of the use of ballistic missiles in the east and south against NATO forces and facilities, which requires improvement of the European missile defense system. At the same time, if there is an interstate confrontation in the east, in which the alliance deals with a fairly wide range of threats with different characteristics, then the threats in the south are not related to interstate contradictions, and their spectrum is noticeably narrower.
According to NATO military experts, the complex of threats on the "eastern flank" is characterized by a sophisticated, integrated adaptive approach to the use of force. Skillfully applied the combination of non-force and force methods, including cyber war, information war, disinformation, surprise factor, fighting with someone else’s hands and the use of special operations forces. Political sabotage, economic pressure are used, and intelligence is actively pursued.
As a strategic key task, NATO member states are required to promptly reveal subversive actions aimed at destabilizing and splitting individual members of the alliance and the entire bloc as a whole. At the same time, the solution of this task is primarily within the competence of the national leadership.
Threats on the "southern flank" of NATO are fundamentally different from the confrontation that is developing in the interstate format in the east. In the south, NATO’s strategy is aimed at preventing and providing protection against threats of civil war, extremism, terrorism, uncontrolled migration and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The detonators of these types of threats are the lack of food and drinking water, poverty, disease, the collapse of the management system in several African countries. As a result, according to NATO, in the arc of instability, which extends from the countries of North Africa to Central Asia, a pronounced "European branch" has emerged, which requires the alliance to increase its ability to react immediately. The most important tools to plan operations, taking into account the specifics of threats from the east and south, are the NATO Rapid and Superfast Response Forces, intended to be used in all areas from which hybrid threats originate. In the southern direction, to counter threats, it is proposed to further attract partners after their appropriate equipment and training.
NATO AND EU INTERACTION
Hybrid warfare involves the use of metered hard and soft power arsenals. In this context, NATO as a military-political organization is aware of the limitations of its own capabilities in the field of "soft power", economic sanctions and humanitarian operations. To compensate for this systemic deficiency, the alliance actively attracts the EU as an ally to counter hybrid threats.
In the framework of a unified strategy, the United States, NATO and the EU intend to unite the efforts of their governments, armies and intelligence agencies under the auspices of the United States within the framework of a “comprehensive interdepartmental, intergovernmental and international strategy” and use the methods of “political, economic, military and psychological pressure as efficiently as possible, That hybrid war represents the use of a combination of ordinary, irregular and asymmetric means in combination with constant manipulation of political and ideological conflict. The Armed Forces play a fundamental role in hybrid wars, for which NATO and the EU agreed in 2017 – 2018 to deepen the coordination of plans for military exercises to work out the task of countering hybrid threats.
The combined efforts of the US, NATO and the EU are yielding tangible results. Lost (possibly temporarily) Ukraine. Under the threat of Russia's position in Serbia - our only ally in the Balkans, where there is not a single party in parliament advocating an alliance with our country. The possibilities of the “soft influence” of the Russian media and public organizations are poorly used; military, educational and cultural contacts are insufficient. Straightening the position is not cheap, but the loss will cost more.
In this context, coordinated measures to create an appropriate “soft barrier” against the penetration of subversive technologies aimed at disrupting and separating both Russian society and Russia's ties with allies should be an important way to counter the pressure of “soft power” against Russia, its allies and partners. and partners. The task is to unite and coordinate the efforts of the expert community.
The urgency of such a step is determined by the fact that today NATO is actively developing strategies for the so-called transitional period from the relatively vague military-political situation inherent in the hybrid war to the classic conventional war using the entire spectrum of conventional weapons. At the same time, the possibility of an event running out of control due to an erroneous assessment, an accidental incident or a deliberate escalation, which may lead to an uncontrolled expansion of the scale of the conflict, remains outside the brackets.
CONCLUSIONS FOR RUSSIA
The most important component of the deterrence strategy, approved at the NATO summit in Warsaw, is a hybrid war that is being waged against Russia and the CSTO member states with the aim of weakening and destroying them. Today, an information war strategy has reached a special scale and sophistication, covering the cultural and ideological sphere, interfering in sports, educational and cultural exchanges, and the activities of religious organizations.
The hybrid war against Russia has been going on for a long time, but it has not yet reached its climax. Domestically in major cities and regions, with the support of the fifth column, bridgeheads for the color revolution are being strengthened, preparations are under way for the deployment of large-scale actions in all areas of hybrid warfare. Alarming “bells” have already sounded from a number of central and southern regions.
The cumulative effect of military preparations and disruptive information technologies forms a real threat to the national security of the Russian state.
For national security structures, important organizational conclusions from the current threatening situation should be to ensure the adaptation of doctrinal documents, personnel of the Russian Armed Forces and other security forces and equipment to a changing spectrum of threats and build-up of military training activities with the defining role of intelligence, based on new technologies, and humanitarian and cultural instruments. It is important at the state level to ensure a balanced balance of potentials of “hard and soft power”. Particular attention should be paid to the protection of the Russian language and its study in Russia and abroad, especially in historically and culturally to Russia countries.
In this context, the discussion in the Russian military-scientific community on the issues of hybrid warfare and opposition to hybrid threats is absolutely necessary and already today provides the basis for more detailed assessments and recommendations. Given the real danger of modern subversive actions of the West in the framework of creating the state system of advanced research and development in the field of science and military technologies, it is necessary to provide for the creation of a special center with the task of in-depth study of the entire spectrum of modern conflicts, including color revolutions and hybrid wars, as well as strategies to combine them with information wars and technology controlled chaos.