Contemporary global power competition has turned the world into a hybrid battlefield. In modern battlefield, authoritarian regimes have the strategic advantage of being irresponsible, reckless and aggressive. This advantage is combined with the ability of the authoritarian regimes to find cheap and effective - short of war - solutions for achieving geopolitical objectives. In past decades authoritarian regimes such as Russia and China have been actively applying hybrid strategies against the Western dominated rules based international system. Those strategies are being constructed based on identification and utilization of the vulnerabilities of the democratic political systems, institutions and societies. Pandemic crisis caused by unpredictable and unprecedented spread of the mutated new Corona virus, have underlined vulnerabilities and opened up new possibilities for the hybrid warfare. The pandemic influences every power on the global stage, but will COVID-19 be a turning point for the Euro-Atlantic Security environment?
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.
This article examines Russian military and defence intellectuals’ reflection on Russia’s military involvement in Syria. The research is based on a mix of open-source Russian military writings, mainly analytical texts in prominent Russian military journals. The aim of the study is to analyse Russian narrative of its military campaign in Syria. The first part begins by providing Russia’s internal discussions about probable military coalitions-building variants, risks, and operational-level decisions and objectives. The second part deals with Russian Armed Forces’ network-centric warfare capabilities and limitations. The article concludes by showing that in Syria Russia introduced a modified network-centric warfare as its main feature of new method of operations is the combination of advanced intelligence-command assets and old-fashioned munitions.
The enlargement of NATO and the defence of its borders have occupied an important place in the security debate in the last few years. This study discusses the situation of the NATO members and candidate states which are most directly exposed to Russian military power. After analysing the cases of the three Baltic republics, Norway, Georgia, and Ukraine, I conclude with a paradox; although NATO is on the aggregate level stronger, it cannot hope to guarantee the security of its eastern borderlands. This reality could push these states to bandwagon with Russia.