In preparation for gray zone or conventional warfare conducted by Russian or Chinese adversaries and their proxies, threatened nations can apply a Total Defense approach to safeguard their territorial integrity and political sovereignty. Two key components for any effective Total Defense concept are national special operations forces (SOF) and volunteer, citizen-soldier territorial defense forces (TDF). This article examines the role of special operations forces as significant multi-dimensional, entrepreneurial integrators in Total Defense. In particular, it demonstrates the symbiotic relationship between special operations and territorial defense forces in the complex mission of national resistance during crisis and occupation.
The article discusses visions of future warfare articulated in recent Russian military publications. There seems to be agreement among Russian scholars that future war will be triggered by Western attempts to promote Western political and economic interests while holding back Russia’s resurgence as a global power. The future war with the West is viewed as inevitable in one form or another, whether it is subversion and local wars or large-scale conventional war. While the danger of conventional war has declined, according to several scholars, the West is understood to have a wide range of non-kinetic means at its disposal that threaten Russia. In order to withstand future dangers, Russia has to be able to meet a large number of kinetic and non-kinetic threats at home and abroad.
Russia once again pushes its way to emerge as a major power in the international order after losing this status in the modern ‘time of troubles’
in the 1990s. Its political and military strategic leaders demonstrated willingness to
employ all instruments of power as means of escalation to achieve this goal. Meanwhile, tactical military commanders
are the ones in direct control of military escalation means and therefore their motivations, agility and rationality are
also important factor in the Russian escalation processes towards the West. This research will look at these processes
through lenses of game and decision-making theories.
Interpreting Russian actions in the Near Abroad relies on the perception of Russian intent, but all too often states fail to analyse how Moscow interprets Western objectives. While defensive realist theorists argue that states tend to seek only enough power to survive within the system, the U.S. 2017 National Security Strategy argues Moscow is a revisionist state, seeking a return to great power status. Increasing tensions among the actors in the region gives rise to potential misperception of intent. This article analyses state motivations under a defensive realist paradigm and addresses how Russian actions may emerge from a defensive perspective. Using a defensive realist framework, this article elevates Russian insecurities and fear of Western influence in the Near Abroad as the primary motivator of state action.
The current study discusses differences between Russia and the Baltic States in terms of their strategic narratives, as well as how they interpret key terms and concepts in the field of security. To frame the scope of the study, the strategic narrative of Russia for the Baltic countries and the Baltic strategic narrative(s) for Russia are compared and analysed. Both sides are also locked within the bigger framework of European Union’s economic sanctions against Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) alliance’s deterrence concept. On the other hand, the Baltic States and Russia have a lot to gain from possible improvements in economic relations and reduction of regional security tensions.