Recently, a giant geopolitical rift has occurred in the world, a completely new balance of forces has taken shape, the nature of the threats, the forms and methods of countering them have changed significantly. In this regard, some new approaches to the organization of defense and ensuring the national security of the country as a whole are required.
In connection with the increased role of non-military means, more and more attempts are being made to revise the very concept of the essence of war. However, it is illegal to consider any economic, informational or other confrontation as a war, although the role and effectiveness of the use of non-military means has increased significantly. The main specifics of the war are still the use of violent means. Although in such an understanding of the essence and content of war, something needs clarification.
The federal law "On Defense" (Article 18) says: "From the moment of declaration of war or the actual start of hostilities, wartime begins ..." But as it shows historical experience, often (Lake Khasan, Khalkhin-Gol, Damansky Island, the conflict with Georgia in 2008) there were quite large armed clashes (conflicts), but there was no state of war. In such cases, it is necessary to introduce at least a martial law or a state of emergency in a war zone. The absence of this limits the use of military means; one has to conduct military operations on the basis of laws and regulations, not of military time, but of peacetime, which puts the troops in a very difficult, uncertain position.
Some argue that for Russia there are no external threats other than terrorism or internal conflicts. Defense spending is too high. The ideas of defending the Fatherland, compulsory military service allegedly lost their meaning. Thus, the defensive consciousness of society is eroded.
Some scientists of the Higher School of Economics and other ultra-liberal organizations are proposing Russia to abandon the Arctic Ocean and transfer the Arctic under international control, urging them to donate not only the Kuril Islands, but also the entire Far East. If we deviate from our national interests, then there really will be no threats, but there will be no Russia as a sovereign state.
The main threats to the security of Russia
However, the real reality shows that the threats to the security of Russia not only do not disappear, but increasingly increase. If they are systematized and summarized, then enlargedly the main threats to the security of a country can be reduced to three groups.
The first group of threats is connected with informational and other subversive activities, the creation of controlled chaos with the aim of provoking various kinds of unrest in the opposing countries, overthrowing undesirable power structures from the inside and disrupting the internal stability of the state, as was the case in Libya, and more recently in Syria. It has been suggested that the prerequisites for the outbreak of armed conflicts in Europe are smaller than ever. But in recent years, more than a dozen countries — the Baltic States, Eastern Europe — with their military capabilities have joined NATO, and the European integration of Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova is being prepared. Formally, it seems, without armed conflicts, but essentially in other forms, threats to Russia are realized.
How to counter these so-called non-military threats - “soft power”?
In his Address to the Federal Assembly, President Vladimir Putin stressed: “... Our country must be sovereign and influential, preserve its national and spiritual identity, and not lose itself as a nation.”
In foreign policy, political and diplomatic affairs, striving for the emergence of a multipolar world and the establishment of its worthy geopolitical position in it, the main emphasis should be placed on the development of large, fundamental, mutually binding international agreements that would guarantee their implementation and respect for Russia's national interests, as it were done, for example, in determining the western borders of Poland in the 1945 year. Today, the solution of the water problem in Central Asia is becoming crucial for Eurasian integration.
To ensure the national security of the country, the creation of a technologically advanced modern economy is of paramount importance as the main condition for the stability and viability of the state, its military and national security in general.
On all these questions there are political leadership, the corresponding programs and projects have been developed, but their proper implementation has not been organized. With a systematic approach, if the target is set, all intermediate decisions and actions should be directed towards it and not be deflected. But in implementing the reorganization of the unified energy system, the program of reviving the Volga, the priority development of Siberia and the Far East, Eurasian and other projects, many departments did not maintain the common concept and the general line of the planned projects, including the Ministry of Defense, when, for example, eliminated military schools in the east country.
From the standpoint of confrontation of various kinds of “color revolutions”, controlled chaos inside the country, social (internal) security, ensuring the unity and solidarity of the peoples of Russia, suppressing extremism, nationalism and other subversive actions are of particular importance. In connection with this, there is a long overdue need to create a Ministry for Nationalities Affairs, which would consist not of administrative officials, but of the most wise and authoritative political and public figures.
In order to create a solid foundation for patriotic education of citizens and to approve the ideas of defending the Fatherland, it is extremely important to form an objective historical and defense consciousness of society, first of all, to counter the falsification of the history of the Great Patriotic War. For more effective management of this activity, it is advisable to create an appropriate department in the presidential administration of the Russian Federation, to increase the role of the Main Directorate for Work with Personnel, giving it a more adequate name for the tasks to be performed, for example, the Main Directorate for Educational (or Ideological) Work, as was done in Belarus.
The coordination of the activities of all state bodies in counteracting non-military threats should be entrusted to the secretary and the staff of the Security Council, thus strengthening its operational staff with the necessary specialists. All activities carried out by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, foreign economic relations, intelligence and counterintelligence agencies of the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the FSB, the border guards should be carried out under the guidance of the Security Council and the Government of the Russian Federation.
For the day-to-day coordination of the resolution of defense issues, it would be advisable, along with enhancing the role of the General Staff, to give the Minister of Defense the rights of the Deputy Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation not only in wartime, but also in peacetime. It is also necessary to increase the role of the government in solving defense issues, especially in the part related to the defense industry. The creation of a single center of strategic management of the entire defense system of Russia is also quite mature.
All questions of ensuring military security, defense are assigned to the Ministry of Defense, as well as other departments related to defense. But at the same time, apparently, it is impossible and there is no need, as is sometimes suggested, to strictly distinguish between which bodies should be engaged in solving only military or non-military tasks. For example, counteraction to economic or informational threats is placed on the relevant government agencies, but the interests of solving these tasks must be taken into account in military strategic planning and in the course of warfare. During a war, economic or informational struggle is conducted not only by specific economic or informational means and methods, but also through the physical destruction of industrial and informational facilities.
In 1945, in the Vistula-Oder strategic operation, the commander of the 1 Ukrainian Front, Ivan Konev, planned to surround and destroy the German grouping in Silesia. Stalin did not agree with this and ordered to leave the corridors during the encirclement of the enemy and give his factions the opportunity to retreat. And this was done in order to avoid fierce battles in the Silesian industrial region and to prevent its destruction. If in Yugoslavia, the Americans destroyed information centers with rockets and bombs, in Libya they allocated special forces with relevant specialists who captured local radio and television centers and through them organized programs to influence the local population.
And many other tasks of the use of "soft power" will have to be solved by joint concerted efforts of the diplomatic, economic, informational, military and other departments.
In general, the most important condition for ensuring reliable national security and national defense is the unity of the Armed Forces and the people. Without the support of all the people and society of the ideas of the defense of the Fatherland, it is impossible to create a military organization that meets modern requirements.
The second group of threats to Russia's security is generated by the objectively established circumstance that the nuclear weapon Most of the countries that have it, ultimately focused mainly on Russia. Some experts say: Russia only needs to have 10 – 15 nuclear weapons, the threat of which will deter the aggression of a potential enemy. But if we proceed from reality, then around the world thousands of nuclear explosions have already been made around 2,5, of which 570 are airborne.
Recently, in the US nuclear strategy, paramount importance is attached to preventing a number of preemptive measures by a number of preemptive measures or by disrupting the opposing nuclear response. First of all, the creation of high-precision strategic weapons in conventional equipment is boosted, an extensive missile defense system and space assets are created that are capable of intercepting strategic missiles and special forces that have the task to penetrate into the rear of the enemy and destroy their strategic nuclear assets even before the war.
In this regard, Russia is required urgent measures to create its highly accurate strategic weapons in conventional equipment, further qualitative improvement of strategic nuclear weapons capable of overcoming the enemy’s missile defense, diplomatic and all other means of creating or limiting the deployment of missile defense systems that can reduce the effectiveness of the use of strategic nuclear weapons. forces from our side. In attaching paramount importance to nuclear deterrence, the role of nuclear weapons cannot be absolutized. Setting the fact that while there are these weapons, the security of Russia is guaranteed, is also vulnerable. The Soviet Union had nuclear weapons, it remained, but there was no Soviet Union. Therefore, due attention must be paid to the development of general-purpose forces, including in the SV, Air Force and Navy, and the main emphasis should be placed on asymmetric means and ways to neutralize the technological superiority of the enemy.
The third group of threats consists in the accelerated qualitative development of the main types of weapons in the leading countries of the world, primarily information, unmanned vehicles, robotics, which transform the entire system of combat use of weapons and military control.
In general, with the existing threats, the Armed Forces require top-priority readiness for solving combat tasks in local wars, conflicts, anti-terrorist operations and mobilization readiness for regional and other large-scale wars.
There is no full guarantee that wars for the possession of the basic resources of the planet can be limited to a predetermined scope. In some political and expert circles of a liberal sense, it is considered good form to say that there are no mass battles using a large number of tanks and there will never be artillery again, but mainly military clashes in air and space are possible for several days, and that’s all over. Talking about the fact that in the future it will not be necessary to engage in a breakthrough of defense, centralized fire defeat, that all enemy firepower should be destroyed immediately as they are discovered, is also worth little.
But with the most highly maneuverable nature of hostilities, the front can stabilize for some time and in some cases it will have to be broken through, shooting all targets at once will not succeed even due to lack of ammunition. Therefore, it may be necessary to periodically resort to centralized fire damage. If we proceed not from ideological attitudes, but from real life, we cannot avoid the massive use of artillery and tanks. In the Persian Gulf zone, about 1991 thousands of tanks participated in the 10 year. This is more than in the Berlin operation in 1945, where there were 6300 tanks on both sides.
Yes, and the fight against terrorists is not only small groups. They can seize entire countries and establish their power there, as was the case in Afghanistan.
It is advisable to very soberly assess the nature of the so-called sixth generation wars, when according to the experience of Yugoslavia it was said that the goals of the war are achieved by strikes aviation and sea cruise missiles at industrial and infrastructure facilities, and no ground strikes should be inflicted on ground forces. They kind of have to scatter themselves. According to this theory, in a clash with Georgian aggression in 2008, we had to bomb Tbilisi and other cities with air force and force Saakashvili to surrender, which could lead to a clash with NATO. This suggests that in addition to fashionable myths, there really are objective geopolitical factors that have to be reckoned with.
The protection of communications, staffs, airfields, and the general location of troops arise in a completely different way. Therefore, it would be necessary to put some obstacles in the way of “fencing in” military service. And the rear men, doctors, lawyers, and other specialists should have military training, and the heads of these services should be officers.
The system of strategic actions of the Armed Forces and other troops also changes depending on the nature of wars (conflicts).
Of particular importance is the accelerated creation of an aerospace defense system (WKO). With the modern nature of warfare, its center of gravity and the main efforts are transferred to aerospace. The leading nations of the world make a major stake in winning air and space supremacy by conducting massive aerospace operations at the very beginning of the war, striking strategic and vital targets throughout the depths of the country.
This requires solving the tasks of the aerospace defense of not only a purely defensive air defense, missile defense, and the combined efforts of all branches of the Armed Forces with the decisive use of active methods of action, percussion means and centralization of control in the armed forces under the leadership of the Supreme Command and the General Staff. During World War II, 89 per cent of enemy aircraft were destroyed by fighter aircraft and as a result of strikes against airfields.
In a strategic operation in the theater of operations, the main tasks of defeating the enemy will be solved not during the collision of the advanced units, but mainly by fire destruction from a distance. On the example of the war in Yugoslavia and other conflicts, we see the use of NATO’s so-called non-contact air operations, when strikes are delivered without entering the air defense zone of defeat. Fights and battles will become dispersed volumetric in nature, encompassing all spheres of military actions along the front, depth and height. In general, operations and military operations will develop rapidly, without solid fronts or only with their temporary stabilization, be highly maneuverable.
At the same time, it is necessary to appreciate, but not excessively absolutize and fetishize new technologies and high-precision weapons. We should not copy and conduct combat operations on conditions dictated by the enemy, but rather impose upon it methods of action that impede the realization of its technological advantages.
The organizational structure of the troops must be adapted not only to conduct local wars, but if necessary, and to perform tasks in large-scale armed clashes, for example in the east, where not only mobile brigades, but also more powerful divisional structures may be needed, artillery, anti-aircraft, engineering and other reserve formations and units to strengthen troop groups in critical areas.
When deciding on manpower issues, a rational combination of conscription and contract systems is necessary. The troops from the first days of hostilities will suffer losses. During the Chechen events, it was necessary to hastily gather people from all over the country, removing even sailors from the Pacific Fleet ships. In order not to repeat this, we need prepared reserve units that would be responsible for compensating for the losses, reinforcing the groupings of troops in the most important areas. Peacetime groupings of troops in wartime need to be reinforced with the minimum necessary mobilization reserve approximately as it was done in the USA in the structures of the national guard and organized reserve.
There are new requirements for the organization of strategic leadership of the country's defense and actions of the Armed Forces.
In accordance with the instructions of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and the new regulation on the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, it is planned to develop a national defense plan to ensure the concerted efforts of all state bodies and forces and means of the Russian military organization in this field.
The formation and implementation of a network-centric control system in the armed forces is intended to increase the effectiveness of troop command and control at all levels. But, unfortunately, some of our experts in this field wishful thinking.
To increase the efficiency of work on the creation of automated management tools, it is necessary, along with the development of new technologies, to improve the methods of work of the command and staffs, and first of all to abandon cumbersome documentation.
When creating the new look of the Armed Forces, the operational staff of the headquarters, especially the operational and reconnaissance units (divisions), artillery headquarters of brigades, and armies was reduced to the limit. In a combat situation, when there is a round-the-clock hard work and part of the officers perform the tasks of command in subordinate units, it is impossible to ensure full command and control of such troops by such a composition. Therefore, the staff of the governing bodies, especially at the tactical level, should be significantly strengthened. In connection with the changing nature of war, new forms of exercises are also needed.
It is necessary, at least in the most general form, to carry out long-term planning in operational and combat headquarters.
On the improvement of scientific work on defense issues
In order to eliminate the gaps noted above and increase the effectiveness of defense security research, it seems appropriate:
1. When transforming the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) and the entire scientific field, along with the general tasks of innovative, technological modernization of the country, provide for the necessary measures to expand the front and increase the proportion of scientific research in the interests of the state’s defense, including the Russian Academy of Sciences.
In turn, the Ministry of Defense, instead of trying to create its own scientific institutions for each defense problem, as it was in previous years, should make fuller use of the scientific potential of existing research organizations. In particular, during the reorganization of the Russian Academy of Sciences, along with other necessary transformations, clarify the composition of the scientific council on defense issues and the focus of its work, taking into account the changing nature of the country's security threats with more extensive use of non-military means (“soft power”). Establish a department of defense problems in the RAS. Refine the composition and focus of the work of the Section of Defense Problems at the Russian Academy of Sciences so that it traces scientific advances in the interests of the country's defense in the field of not only natural and technical sciences, but also social (humanities) sciences.
2. Taking into account the new character of threats and tasks of ensuring defense security, reorganize the organization of scientific work in the Armed Forces.
To transform the Military Scientific Scientific Committee of the Armed Forces into the Main Military Scientific Committee of the Ministry of Defense, to raise its role and status, entrusting it with the planning and coordination of all scientific work in the Armed Forces and in the interests of the defense of the country as a whole.
To enhance the role and responsibility of the commanders-in-chiefs (commands) of the Armed Forces (armed forces) in the management of scientific work in the field of development, technical equipment and combat use of the armed services (armed forces). To subordinate them to the relevant research organizations and universities.
3. Create a Center for Scientific and Technical Information of the Ministry of Defense, designed to quickly compile, analyze and communicate to interested government authorities and scientific institutions information on the latest achievements of domestic and foreign scientific and technical thought.
4. For a systematic study of the problems of defense security, establish the Academy of Defense Problems or create a Center for Defense Problems at the Academy of Military Sciences, providing for its state funding.
5. For a more operational management of the activities of the defense industry, research and development work, create a Ministry of Defense Industry with the relevant research and development management bodies.
Identify other necessary measures to improve the interaction of government bodies and scientific organizations of the Ministry of Defense and the military-industrial complex.