TCS Daily

From Russia, a Shove

By Richard Weitz - February 1, 2007 12:00 AM

Army General Makhmut Gareyev recently discussed some of the thinking behind Russia's new military doctrine in a revealing interview with the RIA Novosti news agency. General Gareyev, president of the Russian Academy of Military Sciences, is one of the chief architects of the new doctrine.

General Garayev revealed that the authors of the doctrine differed over whether to address military threats exclusively or to incorporate a broader range of international threats emanating from political, economic, and technological factors. The general clearly favors the second approach, insisting that "military and non-military threats should be viewed as an integral whole." Perhaps for this reason, he devotes much of the interview to discussing the larger global forces that shaped, even if implicitly, the new doctrine.

General Garayev believes that conflicts over energy resources will become the main source of political-military conflicts during the next decade: "Some states will try to control the energy resources of others, as happened in Iraq, while others will have no choice but to resist or die." In the general's assessment, the yawning gap in living standards between "the golden billion" and the rest of the world will contribute to terrorism and other security problems.

Although General Garayev believes that countering these long-term transnational threats requires multilateral cooperation, he recognizes such collaboration might not always be attainable. In fact, he sees hostile foreign governments, especially the United States, as the main near-term threat to Russia: "Washington's political course will inevitably lead to confrontation with many countries. Under the circumstances, Russia will have to act as a geopolitical arbiter for objective reasons." During the recent conflicts in the Middle East, the Russian government has sought to assume such an intermediary position, with President Putin himself insisting that Russia would not join the West in any "holy crusades" against the Muslim world or curtail its ties with Syria, Iran, or Hezbollah.

In discussing the U.S. legislature, many of whose members have denounced the Putin administration for adopting anti-democratic practices at home and bullying tactics abroad, the general lamented that, "Reality and pragmatism should motivate even the thickest Congressmen to think once again about which is better: to treat Russia as a partner, or as an enemy that must be neutralized."

Echoing both former Soviet leaders and Putin, General Garayev, a product of Soviet military education, insists that, "It is perfectly obvious that not a single serious issue in the modern world can be resolved without Russia." At a January 31, 2006 press conference, Putin similarly justified Russia's continued membership in the G-8: "Can someone in this hall imagine resolving, shall we say, problems concerning global nuclear security without the participation of the largest nuclear power in the world, the Russian Federation? Of course not."

Besides overt acts of aggression, General Gareyev expressed concern about threats involving the use of "covert methods." He cited the USSR's disintegration, Yugoslavia's collapse, and the "color" revolutions sweeping through Russia's southern neighbors as an example of the potency of these "subversion" tactics. He also argues that Russia must defend itself from foreign countries coveting its territory and energy wealth. "Top NATO leaders view even a change in prices for energy resources as a kind of aggression. Hence, our task is to prevent, localize and neutralize such threats by political, diplomatic, economic, informational, and other non-military methods."

General Garayev does not worry exclusively about non-military threats from the United States and its allies. "There are military threats to Russia, including a risk of armed conflicts and even a large-scale war. The leading powers are clearly trying to leap towards military-technical predominance; powerful armed formations on Russia's borders are sharply upsetting the military balance. NATO is expanding its sphere of operations and intends to act on a global scale." Although the general acknowledges that terrorism and separatism present the most serious domestic threats to Russia, he argues these "are usually provoked from outside to disrupt Russia's unity and territorial integrity."

Given this expansive definition of threats, it is unsurprising that General Garayev maintains that Russia's military doctrine should prepare the country's armed forces and internal security forces to conduct combat operations "in local armed conflicts and counterterrorist operations" as well as "large-scale regional wars." In his May 2006 address to the Russian Federal Assembly, President Putin likewise insisted that the Russian military must plan "to simultaneously fight in global, regional and, if necessary, in several local conflicts."

In conclusion, General Garayev underscores Russia's desire to maintain a robust strategic nuclear deterrent, a task that "is becoming more important than in the past." He cautions, however, that Russia cannot rely exclusively on nuclear weapons for protection because the country cannot use them in Chechnya or to "neutralize economic, information, and other forms of aggression." For this reason, the general argues that Russia requires powerful conventional forces in the army, navy, and air force. He sees a strong ground force as particularly important given Russia's large territory and need to defend against "an invasion by ground troops of a potential enemy in the east and south."



If Russia wants to be treated like a partner, it needs to start acting like a partner.
So far this partner stuff sounds a lot like the modern definition of bi-partisanship.

IE: Republicans and Democrats working together to pass the Democratic agenda.

A partner in what?
Russia's not our partner. Russia doesn't support our aims. Should our objectives change, particularly in the matter of world domination, then she may decide to be our partner.

But at this point we are doing our usual thing-- painting a black ring around Russia with bases and support to rival holders of regional power.

Re the Rs and the Ds, you will recall that when the Rs had a majority as slim as one vote in Congress, anything the Ds had to say was off the table. Now that the Ds are in control, they have more of a say. That's unfair somehow? How?

To you, being your partner means you get the entire say as to what is on the agenda. It doesn't work that way-- life is 50-50.

Fifty years from now, there will be no such country as "Russia."

Their demographic problems are worse than in Western Europe. Russia's fertility rate is 1.28(!) children born/woman, compared to 1.84 in France. Russia is 10-15% Mohammedan compared to 5-10% for France. The median age in Russia is 38.4. In France it is 39.1, which means that even if the Russians & Europeans wake up, they'll be too old to fight back.

France is currently in a quagmire of a civil war, and their numbers are not as bad. In summary Russia is toast. Russia west of the Urals will become a sharia state, and Russia east of the Urals will go to the Chicoms.

Does not matter
The left seems to be winning the politics in this nation. With the tide now towards illegal aliens and other groups that have a vested interest in feeding at the public nipple we will likely see a endless parade of Democratic "leaders" whom favor all sorts of bloated social programs, intended to placate the masses, instead of national defense or international affairs. With this we will see the decline in US influence worldwide both economically and militarily (as the producers become outnumbered by the consumers). The result will be players like Russia and China moving in to fill the political vacuum left by us. When the body politic starts mandating light bulbs and what I can dine on. When they start talking of letting me consume only that which meets my "carbon footprint" we have reached the end. An end the left welcomes with open arms. America, where no man has to little and no man has too much? Equality of outcome is the goal. Stupid me, and I though America was about equality of opportunity.

50 good 50 evil?
How much of your liberty will you compromise?

The Market and Optimal Outcomes
"Equality of outcome is the goal. Stupid me, and I though America was about equality of opportunity."

In a competitive market economy under the law, equality of outcome is optimized. By attempting to force equality of outcome via law, regulation and government fiat, there is a near zero chance of reaching the desired goal. There is a much better chance of economic stagnation or decline.

The “Liberal” philosophy of Government has mostly prevailed for the last 70+ years. This philosophy has delivered results well short of potential, though on balance not too bad. But in the 21rst century, global competition, especially from Asia, is accelerating. If America responds to the realities of the new global economy with junk law, junk regulation and junk trade barriers, all will pay a price (as in the 1930's). And another period like the 1930’s could lead to another period like the 1940’s…a risk far too great to contemplate.

There is still a chance that the majority of Americans will come to accept the value of limited government, the power of the market and the common good enabled by free trade. If not, the mediocrity or worse that we have chosen will be delivered.

I agree and I appreciate your optimism. However, to many are small thinkers willing to follow the herd to what ever means yields the highest standard of living (real or imagined) with the least amount of effort. I think the concept of limited government is as obsolete as buggy whips to the masses. Asia for example shall not be saddled with the western socialist model, instead they are a incredibly industrious culture that sees little benefit in Prozac for the masses when they can build a brave new world one hand a time.

roy continues in his delusional ways
We should partner with the Russians whenever we and they have the same goals.

As to your claim that the Democrats had no voice in Washington over the last 6 years, I can only conclude that your head was so far up your a*s, that you managed to miss everything that happened over that time period.

The fact that the Republicans got to do everything they wanted must explain why the drilling in ANWR and the Gulf started years ago.

his none
yours 100%, since that averages out to 50%, it must be good.

There's your problem-- good and evil
Just because you define yourself as "good" does not mean everyone you meet is "evil". We are all human beings. And as long as your neighbor isn't starting a war with you, he's just another fellow. For best results, you should treat him with common respect and dignity.

A strong, autocratic Russia is probably better overall for the West than a weak, destabilized one

The Russians As 'Partners'???!?!?!
TO: Some Former Sov General
RE: Meet the New Russians...

...same as the Old [Soviet] Russians.

Everything the Russians have done over the last 5.5 years has been in direct opposition to our efforts.

You guys are not, repeat NOT, what any reasonably prudent individual would call a 'partner'. must be the other thinkie.



OK for the average Ivan
What about a country of Ivans or Mohammeds or Chins who don't want to treat you with common respect and dignity?

You imply all nations are the same and the US is no better than DPRK.

I disagree.

All nations are not the same
The large ones are more dangerous.

Prove It
TO: roy_bean
RE: Size Is NOT a Factor

"The large ones are more dangerous."

By explainin North Korea and Iran, small in size, getting more dangerous all the time.



Russia's inferiority complex and paranoia.
Russia has always fought their inferiority complex. More invaders have marched, or tried to march, through Russia than any other country in the World. Their losses in WWII were mind boggling. I cannot imagine, especially today, that the USA would accept human losses even close to what the USSR suffered.

Russia has always worried about protecting its borders and having access to the seas.

Russia has always faced racial strife both internal to Russia and in the provinces it conquered throughout history.

Since we are the "big dog" in the neighborhood they see the USA as the most obvious threat. Since most of their leaders today were trained and educated under the Soviet system where from early days the USA was the enemy, it is not hard to see why they still view us as THE enemy.

Russia has far, far more to worry about from the People's Republic of China and radical Muslims than they do Europe or the USA. Yet you will never convince this set of leaders to play the game any other way.

Much of what their leaders say indicates that they really have a hard time accepting that Russia no longer comes close to having the power it once did.

Of course the Communist Party and many of its institutions never went away.

China's gamble
According to a recent article in Janes, China believes it will begin to build up its military beginning in 2050.

In the meantime, they will build their economy and tread and maintain their current military strength.

They are gambling they can maintain communist control in a more prosperous country.

Plain to see
The large ones ARE more dangerous. And when the bully in the neighborhood turns to the little kids, they have to bulk up-- or start carrying a rock under their hats when they go to school. We create our own enemies by our bellicosity.

Every nation on earth has observed the lesson that Iraq, without WMDs to equalize the fight, got crushed by the colossus. While North Korea, with WMDs, is being left alone.

The moral is, build nukes fast. You never know who he's going to go for next.

roy hates everything that is large and powerfull. Except govt.

that depends on what they do with their power
at present they are using their power to bully their neighbors. That can't be good for anyone.

Libya decided they would prefer to sell oil than build nuclear weapons.

Too bad other countries are more interested in power than commerce.

They are just wasting their money...
Military imperialism is no longer a reasonable option for any sovereign nation. A few major powers have established and will maintain a dynamic balance that will actually keep the US from overreaching and overspending in the global arena.

After this Iraq foolishness is over, by this time two years from now, we should not want to police anyone's civilian streets again for quite some time. Back to the Powell Doctrine. Pound the living bejezus out of them and then leave. Enough with all this high minded talk about imposed democracy and nation building. Not our business.

But now everyone knows for certain that we will not tolerate any such thing as annexation (Kuwait), harboring even an irregular military force that attacks us on our own soil (Afghanistan), or really failing to behave enough that a regime change is clearly an urgent matter of national security for us (Iraq). (At least it seemed to be the thing to do at the time and if the bad guys were actually bluffing... well, too late.) So fine. Everyone's on notice. Including the Russians. We are definitely willing to kill a lot of people. Then ultimately blame it all on an administration that is already out of the White House. ("Boy was that ever a mistake...What was George thinking?") "See? We're all better now. New President!"

But. If we are provoked, everyone in the world knows we'll come right over there after them. And we do hold the cards.

F*ck Russia!
Russia have been an occult imperial power for over 5 centuries, including the 70 years spent masquerading as the Soviet Union, invading, destroying or occupying lesser or weaker powers just to suit its own purposes that doesn't really benefit anyone at all.

We need to effectively neutralize Russia and defang its imperial ambitions permanently and render the country to the status of a supporting global partner at the beck n call of the USA. They should never have nukes in the first place, thanks to the traitors within the FDR administration.

I'm sick of Russia's occult imperial advents since the 16th century.

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