Destructive tandem: color revolution - hybrid war
In recent years, innovative types of contemporary conflicts have been actively discussed, attempts are being made to define new forms and methods of organizing subversive actions, which together form a kind of destructive tandem, of which the color revolution and hybrid war are striking elements.
The purpose of the tandem is to contribute to the realization of the geopolitical expansion model chosen by the West in strict accordance with the plan for establishing its global dominance. The strategic plan is to destabilize the selected countries and regions through the artificial formation of hotbeds of internal conflicts, which should be resolved on conditions dictated by the West.
CHOICE OF GEOPOLITICAL EXPANSION OBJECT
The selection of objects for geopolitical expansion of the West is one of the key tasks to which the best analytical forces of the United States and NATO are involved. Such objects can be regions or individual states. The states - the main objects of expansion, are already known, these are Russia and China. For a number of reasons, they are so far unattainable for direct actions to destabilize the situation. Therefore, efforts are focused on subversive activities aimed at destabilizing countries on the periphery of these countries, and not necessarily border ones.
It is enough that such countries belong to the zone of geopolitical interests of the Russian Federation or the People's Republic of China. It is for this purpose that the color revolutions are provoked in Ukraine, in Central Asia, in the Caucasus, in the Middle East.
A powerful unique technology of exerting pressure on Russia is the expansion of NATO, the buildup of the military potential of the bloc at its borders, the deployment of missile defense, and disruptive ideological actions.
On a global scale, the breeding ground for expansion is a state of artificially sustained protracted conflict between states, their unions, non-state and private actors that use violence to achieve their goals.
An example of a protracted global conflict is the Cold War, which is reviving again today. There is still no common understanding of whether the cold war was a real war or something else. Some representatives of our military-theoretical thought refer to the absence of a key sign of war - armed struggle, once built into the essence of war as a concept, and on this basis they doubt the legitimacy of attributing the term Cold War to the concept of war in general. However, if we talk about the Cold War, then, as practice has shown, our opponents, perhaps not bothering with the terminological subtleties, waged this unconventional war very skillfully, managing to win it without a direct armed clash with serious geopolitical results. How can you not remember the thought of Sun-tzu: "the best war is the one that is won without the struggle of the armed forces."
It can be assumed that for destabilization and destruction of Russia it is again supposed to use the tried and tested technology of the Cold War in combination with modern developments, including color revolutions and hybrid wars.
Within the framework of a protracted conflict, models of “controlled chaos” are being formed to destabilize key areas of managing the collective activity of people: administrative-state management; management of the cultural and ideological sphere; management of the socio-economic sphere.
Using the model to support the development and decision-making process allows you to organize systematic subversive work on the development of a confrontational spiral in the social process in a selected country or group of countries in order to achieve the given socio-political, military, economic, spatial-geographical characteristics of the target state (or region) .
Nowadays, the powerful subversive potential of the color revolution and hybrid war fits well with the strategy of reviving the Cold War.
The development of a common understanding of these phenomena and the planning of counteraction is hampered by theoretical discrepancy in the definition of key concepts.
Today, theoretical battles are fought around the term of the so-called hybrid war. There are experts who argue that hybrid warfare is not a concept because of its internal inconsistency and the presence of a number of controversial and controversial topics, a consensus on which has not yet been developed. From this it is concluded that the term “hybrid war” cannot be attributed to a theoretical innovation that can have a serious impact on modern military practice.
It is suggested that the term “hybrid war” is not yet an operational concept, since there is no unequivocal agreed understanding on the main indicators, revealing its specifics and thus allowing to predict and plan its development, to prepare for opposition.
Finally, attention is drawn to the origin of the term itself, they say, the "foe" invented it in order to hurt Russia. It is unlikely that such a statement can serve as an argument. One recalls the fate of some other concepts, for example, those related to genetics and cybernetics, which were rejected for a long time for the same reasons, which led to the lag that still lingers.
Summarizing the above, we can agree that there are a sufficient number of reasons and theoretically not well-established approaches that make it necessary to be cautious in assessing and developing the status of the term “hybrid war”. However, if one does not recognize innovative changes in the strategy of modern conflicts in a timely manner, one can hopelessly fall behind and remain at the level of ideas of the past century.
HISTORICAL CONTEXT AND SPECTRUM OF DEFINITIONS
The war never boiled down to clashes of purely military contingents and was not always conducted strictly in the conventional format. There have always been forces and means, methods of their use that do not fit into the framework of the classical concept of warfare in the relevant historical period. From this point of view, the war of the Russian militia in the Time of Troubles against the Polish invaders, the war with Napoleon, the Great Patriotic War, and some other conflicts of modernity correspond to many criteria of “hybridity”. However, the term “hybrid war” itself appeared relatively recently and, in any case, in Russia, has not yet received official recognition. There is no unity among the expert community.
At the same time, authoritative military practitioners today recognize the unique integrating role and features of a hybrid war, which, within the framework of a unified plan, unites a wide set of forces, means and means of achieving a goal.
In general, the hybrid war is called, for example, the type of guerrilla war, which combines modern technology and modern methods of mobilization. Hybrid warfare is also defined as the main method of action in an asymmetric war conducted on three selective types of battlefield: among the population of the conflict zone, the population in the rear and the international community.
They also speak of a hybrid war as an aggregate of military, diplomatic, informational actions prepared in advance and operatively implemented by the state, aimed at achieving the strategic goal. It is important to note that for a hybrid war there is no need to develop new systems. weapons and military equipment, enough already available.
Hybrid warfare includes the implementation of a complex of “hybrid threats” of various types: traditional, non-standard, large-scale terrorism, as well as subversive actions, during which innovative technology is often used to counter superior military force. These can be, for example, massive cyber attacks, actions in the energy sphere, etc.
In many publications of the IEE, assessments of a number of authoritative Russian and foreign experts were given on the issue of changing the nature and manner of modern military operations. At the same time, in the assessment of military leaders and scientific sources, there is a fairly high degree of coincidence in determining the common and distinctive signs of new forms and methods of warfare.
GENERAL AND DISTINCTIVE FEATURES OF A HYBRID WAR
A comparative analysis of hybrid war terminology makes it possible to identify significant common elements:
- the use of military and non-military tools in an integrated campaign, in combination with information confrontation activities;
- the increase in the value of asymmetric and indirect actions;
- the use of covert measures of power in combination with the actions of special operations forces and the use of the protest potential of the population.
An important distinguishing feature is the use of network forms for managing the preparation and deployment of actions, the creation of horizontal polycentric structures. In the conventional war, rigid hierarchical control pyramids are built. An important feature of the network organization is the possibility of its operational functional restructuring, which ensures the mobility and mobility of the use of basic resources, their concentration on strategically important objects. Significant distinctive features include the wide use of modern information and communication technologies in mobilizing forces and leadership (primarily the Internet, cellular communication), the use of sophisticated technology to decompose key government structures, psychological impact on people and manipulate their behavior.
It seems that these considerations, based on a modern conceptual framework, are a set of common and distinctive signs that serve as the basis for defining hybrid warfare as the development of a new modern form of warfare based on innovative changes in strategy, forces and means used their application.
Under the hybrid war can be understood undeclared, covert subversive actions in which the aggressor state attacks the government structure, law enforcement forces and the enemy’s regular army with the help of local rebels and separatists supported by weapons and finance from abroad and some internal structures (oligarchs, organized crime, nationalist and pseudo-religious organizations).
Anyway, since in the future we are likely to witness a more active use of subversive technologies with the participation of irregular armed formations, it is necessary to develop common approaches to identifying, preventing and countering color revolution and hybrid wars, methods of non-contact influence on the enemy, asymmetric action.
Color revolutions and hybrid wars are a form of warfare and are developed according to the rules of the art of war, which leads to the involvement of military experts in the study of this phenomenon.
We need additional systematic work of research and development institutions, the military, and the expert community in order to form a coordinated point of view on a phenomenon that quite decisively claims the right to attention, it needs theoretical comprehension and practical conclusions. The point, of course, is not in the very name of the phenomenon, but in the significance and relevance of its scientific analysis, evaluation and development of measures of opposition in the context of ensuring the national security of the Russian Federation.
At the 4 Moscow Conference on International Security in April 2015, the Minister of Defense of the Republic of Belarus, Major-General Andrei Ravkov, noted 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 information confrontation) to the use of primitive in nature terrorist methods and tactics in the conduct of warfare, linked by a single plan, goals and aimed at the destruction of the state, according to ryv its economy, destabilizing the internal socio-political situation. "
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 them has its own structure, its own laws, terminology, development scenario. Thus, the multidimensional nature of the hybrid war is due to a combination of a set of measures of military and non-military influence on the enemy in real time.
All components of a hybrid war, including the previous color revolution and hybrid threats, must of course be taken into account when developing countermeasures. However, one cannot speak of any priority in preparing for a hybrid war to the detriment of the systematic work carried out in Russia to comprehensively improve the ability of the country and its Armed Forces to participate in modern conflicts, taking into account the emerging new forms and methods of warfare.
The hybrid war strategy as an innovative project aimed at achieving a complex goal involves the organization and implementation of subversive political, military, socio-economic, information and propaganda actions in close connection with the overall goal of the war, which is to transfer the victim state to external control. Unlike the conventional war, the aggressor state does not suffer human losses. Citizens of the victim state, skillfully manipulated by the organizers, are dying.
The strategy involves mastering the key factors that determine the possibility and feasibility of using the subversive technologies of the tandem “color revolution - hybrid war”. These factors in general include:
- instability of the current government;
- the presence of a specially organized protest movement.
A critical factor in determining the transition from the color revolution to a hybrid war is the inability of the protest movement to overthrow the government by non-violent means.
The most important principle of a hybrid war strategy is to maximize the concentration of available resources in narrow and vulnerable areas in order to effectively destabilize the political and military leadership of the country, its socio-economic structures, cultural and ideological sphere, followed by breaking and dismantling the state as a sovereign subject of international law and transferring it under external control.
Along with this, a number of features of the hybrid war strategy can be distinguished in comparison with the conventional war.
First, instead of the traditional warfare in a conventional war in a hybrid war, along with force confrontation, an important role belongs to the methods of information, cybernetic, diplomatic, economic confrontation and special operations forces.
Secondly, the organizers of the hybrid war are trying to bring the opposition forces under their control to power in the shortest possible time and at the same time eliminate the former government.
Thirdly, the citizens of the state - the object of war - are the main striking force in the hybrid war. A foreign component is also attracted - irregular armed formations, some of them from among international terrorist organizations, PMCs. The forces of special operations are used.
Finally, in a hybrid war there is no explicit external aggressor, which allows it to be prepared and waged while formally observing international legal norms. Applied, for example, to the CSTO, this can create difficulties in developing measures of collective counteraction against a new type of aggression.
The definition of aggression adopted in international law was given in 1974 in the Resolution of the 29 session of the UNGA: “Aggression is the use of armed force by a state against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another state or in any other way inconsistent with the United Nations Charter, as defined in this definition. " As has been shown, the actions of the state that launched the hybrid war against the victim country do not formally fall under this definition.
COMBINATION OF DESTRUCTIVE POTENTIALS
The hybrid war acquires a special danger in combination with the color revolution, which, as a rule, precedes it. The color revolution is a technology of organizing a coup d'état and transferring a country under external control in the conditions of artificially created political instability, when the impact on power is carried out in the form of political blackmail, and its main tool is a specially organized youth protest movement.
A distinctive feature of all color revolutions is the almost exact repetition of their scenario. In the context of globalization and growing interdependence power methods of overthrowing the political regime are increasingly used in conjunction with the more sophisticated information technologies of manipulative control of mass consciousness and the mass behavior of the broad masses of civilians. If the use of force in international relations with varying degrees of success is opposed by the UN and the OSCE, then there are no internationally recognized mechanisms to counter modern disruptive technologies.
The organizers of the color revolution are staking on the struggle for the consciousness of people, informational confrontation. As a result, information resources aimed at discrediting the foreign and domestic policy of the country - the object of influence, have become an indispensable component of interstate conflicts. In modern conditions, having seized the minds of the majority of the population, it is possible to blow up the situation in the country from within, to provoke an internal military conflict.
The effectiveness of the forms of informational influence in the course of the color revolution becomes commensurate with the military. Along with this, political steps, embargoes, sanctions, trade and economic restrictions, protectionist measures and quotas are increasingly serving as a tool to support subsequent forceful decisions.
However, it is not always possible to fully withstand the non-force format of overthrowing the power provided by the technologies of the color revolution. As a result, the goal of the color revolution - the implementation of a coup d'état and the transfer of a country under external control becomes achievable only by moving to the next stage, which provides for the integrated use of heterogeneous subversive technologies, including military-force actions, during a hybrid war.
Such complex actions create all the prerequisites for the destruction of the opposing state as an objectionable political system with the hands of the “fifth column”. The famous British military historian B.G. spoke about the possibility of crushing the enemy by non-violent actions and the role of the “fifth column” in this context back in 1954. Liddell Garth: “We have entered a new era of strategy that is very different from the strategy adhered to by proponents of nuclear aviationwho were the "revolutionaries" of the past era ... ". And further: “It can be noted in passing that the destruction of cities by hydrogen bombs would lead to the destruction of our potential ally - the“ fifth column ”. The humor, of course, is gloomy, but the potential of the “fifth column” in weakening the country from the inside and its self-destruction is quite comparable with the capabilities of nuclear weapons.
That is why even at the very beginning of the atomic era there was a conversation about nuclear weapons as a means that would eventually be forced to exist along with disruptive technologies that give preference to non-force actions, the indirect use of force, built on manipulation of the consciousness of the masses.
Since then, the technology of manipulating the minds of people, the use of extremist opposition and the "fifth column" have been significantly improved. Today we are witnessing qualitatively different approaches of Western countries to the promotion of their national and coalition interests. The traditional set of classical methods of overthrowing an unwanted government, an armed coup, a local armed conflict, military intervention under the pretext of spreading democratic values has been replaced by the extensive use of non-military means and the adaptive use of military force to change undesirable regimes.
It is within the framework of these technologies that the main means of implementing political plans are the color revolutions, the wave of which was initiated by the USA in the post-Soviet space, in North Africa and in the Middle East.
Virtually without any violence there was a change of power in Georgia and Ukraine in 2004. The beginning of the Arab spring was marked by the victory of the “color revolutions” in Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Yemen and a number of other countries. The violence in them was limited to pogroms and clashes with the forces of law and order.
At the same time, the further course of the Arab spring showed that the color revolution is not an absolute means of political transformation and may well turn into a large-scale military action.
A case in point are the events in Iraq, Libya and Syria, which ultimately contributed to the formation of ISIL.
Thus, the political reality of our time shows that the escalation of non-violent actions does not always allow to achieve a given “threshold” value of the goal. Due to a compromise between the opposition and the authorities, for example, the resignation of several high-ranking officials, the trial of several corrupt officials can be achieved. However, such actions lead to the breakdown of the ruling regime in exceptional cases.
Therefore, in many conflicts, the opposition and external forces are increasing pressure on the authorities, moving to limited and then large-scale forceful measures of influence.
This military-force stage, following the stage of a relatively non-violent color revolution, is a hybrid war that uses a much wider range of forces and means. In contrast to the usual type of war associated with the armed attack of the aggressor’s country against another state, the hybrid war begins on the previously prepared soil within the victim country. The task of destabilizing the country and creating the necessary conditions for the successful application of controlled chaos technologies is being solved during preparation and during the color revolution.
The primary effects of the color revolution are aimed at decomposing key state security institutions, discrediting the political and military leadership of the country, the armed forces and law enforcement agencies. An international public opinion unfriendly to the authorities is being formed. Due to the skillful combination of hard and soft technology, the population, the ruling circles, and power structures are demoralized, “agents of influence” are actively used, panic rumors and moods are spread.
As a result, at the final stage of confrontation, the political will of the government and the elite is undermined, the security of the state is reduced to unacceptable limits, and the question of the transfer of power to certain opposition forces as an instrument of external rule is raised.
IN ORDER TO ENSURE THE EFFICIENCY OF UNDERGROUND ACTIONS
Starting from the initial stages of non-violent action in the development of the color revolution and up to the transition to violent confrontation during the hybrid war, the preparation of interrelated stages involves solving a complex of tasks:
- identification of bottlenecks and vulnerabilities, the key objects that will be affected by the destabilization of the political and military leadership of the country, its socio-economic structures and the cultural and ideological sphere;
- search for sources of sustainable financing;
- identifying protest social groups and their leaders who are able to participate in the color revolution, creating support groups in the capital and the regions to ensure the transition to the forceful stage;
- determination of practical goals as close as possible to the real demands of protest public groups and, as a result, contributing to the undermining of power;
- creation of network structures designed to provide support to the opposition and carry out its expansion into the regions through the use of NGOs, various funds, controlled media, the Internet and the formation of mechanisms for organizing unrest, working out communications and monitoring the situation;
- training field commanders and militants of support groups for military actions, creating a resource base for weapons and equipment for militants.
CONFRONTATION TO UNDERGROUND TECHNOLOGIES
The focused nature and high dynamics of the action of the subversive tandem “color revolution - hybrid war”, the tight deadlines for the transition of “hybrid threats” from the category of potential to real ones require a thorough preliminary study of measures to counteract the state and allied levels.
Such measures should include:
- prevention of the strategic surprise of the use of a complex of modern disruptive technologies;
- development of indicators that allow to quickly determine the degree of threat of destabilization of the system of political and military government of the country, its socio-economic structures, cultural and ideological sphere;
- timely opening of places vulnerable to hybrid threats, as well as determining the possible composition of hybrid threats that can be formed for impact;
- within the framework of the regulatory framework of the existing organizations for ensuring collective security (for example, CSTO) and in the national legislation of the participating countries, provide for provisions allowing for the prompt determination of the fact of aggression carried out with the use of modern subversive technologies and provide the object of such aggression with the necessary assistance;
- development of the state concept on counteraction to color revolutions and hybrid wars, both in Russia and in the CIS as a whole;
- training that can effectively counter the threats of a new type;
- the measures taken should be carried out in the general course of the preparation of the country and its Armed Forces to the entire spectrum of possible wars and conflicts of modern times.
Given the scale and real nature of the color revolution threat, successful solution of the task of ensuring the national security of Russia and its allies can be achieved by consolidating society, strengthening national defense, developing ties with allies and partners, skillfully using the potential of existing constructive organizations to ensure international security and decisive opposition to attempts of destructive influence in the sphere of international relations.
Subscribe and stay up to date with the latest news and the most important events of the day.