Is Russia capable of confronting the United States in a hybrid war
The global confrontation between the Soviet Union (Russia) and the collective West and, in recent decades, with its leader, the United States, has never stopped. The West, convinced that it was impossible to defeat the Soviet Union and Russia in a direct military confrontation, switched to another form of global confrontation - the cold and then hybrid war.
Hybrid war strategy
The Americans have worked out the strategy and tactics of hybrid wars and tested them in various parts of the world, having achieved impressive success. If in a classic war the main goal is the defeat of the enemy and the occupation of his territory, accompanied by the destruction of infrastructure and mass death of the population, then in a hybrid war it is a form of a hidden conflict proceeding in the form of an integrated political, financial, economic, informational, cultural and ideological confrontation carried out by non-military means.
At the same time, a complex hybrid system is being formed that makes it possible to place the country under external control through concentrated pressure in the administrative-political, socio-economic and information-psychological spheres. Without a formal declaration of war, information technologies attack the state, economic, information and law enforcement structures of the state.
State administration is disorganized and a puppet government is brought to power. In the final stage, armed clashes may unfold with the participation of local rebels and mercenaries supported by cadres, weapons and finance from abroad and domestic oligarchic, nationalist and pseudo-religious structures. In some cases, a military occupation may also begin.
In hybrid wars, a conceptual civilizational confrontation occurs not in the ideological, but in the cultural and worldview sphere. At the strategic level, hybrid warfare operations encompass domestic and foreign policy, the country's finances and economy, the information and communication sphere, the morale of the army and the population, and other factors that affect a nation's ability to resist.
The main goal of such a war is to create chaos, defeat and subjugate the enemy by non-military means. Hybrid wars can be successful and unsuccessful due to factors of accidents, ignorance of circumstances, local specifics and stability of power. An example of successful implementation of such operations is the destruction of the Soviet Union and a coup d'etat in Ukraine, and unsuccessful ones are an attempt at a putsch in Belarus.
The global hybrid war of the United States and its allies against Russia consists in the elimination of Russian statehood, the fragmentation of the country and the transfer of its individual parts under external control. This is a mental war, the Americans directly admitted that the Russians cannot be defeated by force, they need to impose other people's values, and they will defeat themselves. This is what the strategy and tactics of a hybrid war against Russia are based on today.
External and internal factors
For the successful conduct of a hybrid war, it is necessary to have external and internal factors, the combination of which makes it possible to apply a complex of hybrid measures to destroy the state.
External factors include the presence of an aggressor state, ready and capable of carrying out a hybrid attack on the target state.
Internal ones include the weakness and instability of the government, a split in the ruling elite, the presence of an aggressive opposition, popular discontent with the current government and a willingness to support its overthrow. The weakness of the government is characterized by its inability to convince the population of its legitimacy, to ensure economic stability and to use the force of coercion to suppress protests.
In the success of a hybrid attack, it is of no small importance that the state has a value-setting goal, provided for by the state ideology, which determines the goal the state is striving for.
For example, the goal of the United States, as stipulated in the official national security strategy, is to achieve world leadership in the military, economic and values spheres. For this, the necessary means and tools (technologies) have been developed to achieve the goal. Everything is clear and understandable, and this true goal is covered by propaganda about "promoting democracy."
If we take the Russian state, then there is no goal-setting, moreover, any ideology is prohibited in the Constitution. It is well known that in the absence of an ideology and goal of the state, they strive to impose the values of the enemy on it, which has been happening for decades. In addition, Russia, unlike the Soviet Union, does not put forward any global counter-ideology, as opposed to the imposed liberal Western ideology, and such a state at the mental level is easy to defeat.
Of the internal factors, the presence of driving forces and a social base in society, ready to accept and support the conditions of a hybrid attack, is of fundamental importance, without which it is impossible to win this war.
The driving force behind the demolition of power, as a rule, is a part of the political, administrative, military, informational and creative elite, dissatisfied with the existing system of power and striving, due to various circumstances, to destroy the system. It is represented by several groups:
- opinion leaders who deny the current political system, history and the originality of the state and the population and consciously ready to hand it over to a hybrid aggressor;
- comprador careerists dissatisfied with their position in the power structure, striving to occupy a higher position;
- grabbers who set the goal of redistributing property in their own interests;
- agents of influence working for Western intelligence services;
- a comprador business focused on the aggressor, and not on the development of their own state.
These groups, defending their selfish interests, together with the aggressor, purposefully form and finance "field" structures that are implementing a plan to break down state governance. These include:
- parties and public organizations discrediting statehood and imposing Western values;
- engaged media and network structures that disseminate false information discrediting the state and the authorities;
- a network of foreign non-profit organizations;
- groups of provocateurs and militants for organizing riots.
The social basis for supporting a hybrid attack that imitates the mass character of popular protest can be ideological opponents of the existing system, citizens deceived by propaganda and thirsting for change, strata of society dissatisfied with their economic and social situation, youth and ethnic groups, paid provocateurs and lumpenized scum of society.
A well-planned and foreign-directed propaganda campaign through controlled media, NGOs, network structures and bloggers can systematically and purposefully corrupt society, discredit the government, erode the state's value basis and impose its values.
Massive propaganda forms the image of an enemy in society in the person of the current government and creates the impression that the majority of society adheres to the imposed ideologeme. The majority begins to solidify with the opinion of an active minority and get involved in support of the upcoming putsch, creating a massive popular protest.
At the final stage, trained groups of militants and provocateurs come into play, who organize clashes with law enforcement officers in order to cause forceful opposition and casualties among the protesters. If necessary, the aggressor's special operations forces are connected with the penetration of sabotage groups into the country. Massacres are organized among the protesters, accusing the authorities of this, key objects and weapons are seized, and the formation of irregular formations from among the militants and criminals for armed confrontation with the security forces begins. The coup d'etat in Ukraine in 2014 followed exactly this pattern.
With such a development of the situation, the stability of the power and security structures is of great importance. Powerful political and administrative structures are always heterogeneous: there are ideological supporters of the current regime, established careerists and opponents of the regime, working to destroy it.
Ideological supporters will defend the regime to the last, because if it falls, they will lose everything. Careerists, as soon as they see the instability of the regime and the possibility of its fall, will immediately begin to defect to the side of the enemy and offer their services.
Opponents will initially work for the fall of the regime, the coming to power of their like-minded people and integration into the new government in leading positions.
Thus, the stability of the government will be determined by the ratio of its ideological supporters and opponents, who at a decisive moment can tip the political scale in one direction or another.
Without the support of the power structures, no power can be held, they are guided by political forces that ensure the stability of the state, since this is a guarantee of their position in society. The siloviki are also represented by different groups: senior command personnel, middle management and rank-and-file employees. The upper echelons are oriented towards the authorities, since they owe it their careers and position in society, and some are burdened with corrupt ties. The middle management and rank and file carry out orders and, if the power is stable, they are its support.
With the growth of local protests, local security officials may refuse to comply with orders and, when the protests exceed their operational capabilities, they will begin to think about whom to rely on and be guided by. During mass demonstrations, when the authorities stagger, some of the security forces may go over to the side of the protesters or take a neutral position.
The top echelon understands perfectly well that their subordinates represent society with all its problems, and if something happens, instead of following orders, they can come for the arrest or liquidation of the leadership. So the siloviki are the backbone of the government, when it is strong and stable, with its weakening, their loyalty will fall sharply.
The presented scheme of the beginning of a possible hybrid war, as well as the probable scenarios for its development, is also typical for Russia. She was and remains the geopolitical enemy of the West, a hybrid war has always been waged against her with varying success, and attacks from the West and the inner fifth column are inevitable. Attempts to undermine the government with the help of "white tape" workers from Bolotnaya Square and recent protests for Navalny have been successfully repelled, but the war did not end there.
In this regard, the question arises whether the Russian government is capable of fending off inevitable threats, and how stable is it? If we consider the driving forces of hybrid war, then they are in Russia. The current political system is imperfect and does not correspond to the tendencies and sentiments that require changes in society, and they are trying to preserve the system.
The ruling class is split and characterized by the confrontation between elite groups, they are heterogeneous and sometimes pursue diametrically opposed interests. The patriotic wing seeks to strengthen the state and its role in the international arena. They are rallied around the president, mainly the siloviki, heads of state corporations and national capital adhering to the same line.
Pro-Western liberals, who have seized command posts in the financial and economic bloc and are blocking investments in the restructuring of the Russian economy, are trying to maintain their positions and prevent the dismantling of the system that developed in the 90s. They are in power and do not hide their goals, for example, recently Kudrin said the need to start a new stage of privatization, and this despite the fact that Chubais has not yet been fully asked about the previous predatory stages, which he is demonstratively proud of.
A powerful group of comprador big business, top and middle bureaucrats, oriented to the West and keeping their capital there, will immediately go over to the enemy at the slightest weakening of the power structures. So, in the case of hybrid aggression, a split of the elite is inevitable. The ruling party, with formally high support, does not enjoy the authority of the population; everything rests on the president. The opposition is toothless and subordinate to the authorities; there are no influential patriotic forces.
At the same time, the overwhelming part of society is united in rejection of the liberal model established in the 90s with colossal social stratification and the appropriation of a significant part of the national wealth by a small handful of greedy compradors. The society is dominated by ideological tendencies to ensure social justice, national-sovereign identity and sovereignty of Russia and readiness to defend it.
It should be noted that the “field” structures of the aggressor have been largely cleaned up. Western NPOs and their Russian agents have been taken under control and work mainly from abroad. The domestic media are under state control, but there are quite a few "sleeping" supporters of the aggressor, who are gradually conducting pro-Western liberal agitation and inciting hybrid warfare.
Nationalist, pro-fascist and liberal movements are marginalized, unsupported and unable to become a real field driving force. The militants are harshly suppressed, and they are practically nonexistent, mainly on the national outskirts there are marginal nationalist structures fed from abroad.
The siloviki are loyal to the oath and are ready to defend the state, and are able to suppress local anti-state protests, but with massive popular discontent with the government, they are unlikely to go to suppress it.
All this suggests that the pro-Western liberal elite has no opportunity to seize power on its own; it can try to do this only with the hybrid support of the West. In this case, to organize an effective confrontation of the probable hybrid aggression, it will be necessary to consolidate all the healthy forces of society, including the patriotic part of the elite, law enforcement agencies and national business, on which a significant part of society will be guided.
For such consolidation, a common ideological compromise platform is required, around which Russian patriots of different political views can unite on the basis of a clear ideological and ideological program of the social structure and restoration of the country with the rationale for what kind of society we are going to build and disclosing the image of the future Russia.
There is no such platform today, it will have to be developed and unified by patriotic circles, proving to society that it is precisely such an ideology that meets the image of Russia's future and the aspirations of its people.
Only in this case can Russian society and the patriotic elite consolidate, remove the comprador heritage of the 90s in the person of the pro-Western liberal elite and successfully resist Western hybrid aggression.
- Yuri Apukhtin
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