Russia’s aggressive actions in the vicinity of the borders of the Baltic states have stirred the discussion on the Comprehensive defense concept. This concept is based on whole-of-government and whole-of-society involvement in resistance against occupying power. This article examines the role of the armed forces in the resistance movement from a small state perspective. To define the role of the armed forces, this article scrutinizes the historical experience of the Latvian Forest Brothers and the traditional development phases of the resistance movement. The article argues that the armed forces must form the backbone of the armed resistance, which integrates the other security forces and the civilian population into the national level resistance movement.
The experience of the past decade shows a steadily increasing role of the armed forces in the implementation of Moscow’s strategic aspirations. The aim of this work is to present the geopolitical ambitions of Russia in competition with the West and the role of the armed forces in satisfying these ambitions, as well as to evaluate their modernisation.
The article identifies the directions of Moscow’s strategic aspirations and presents a vision of Russia’s future war. The reforms carried out by the Russian national defence ministers Anatoliy Serdyukov and Sergey Shoygu are evaluated. The conclusions resulting from the involvement of Russian armed forces in the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria are explained. It indicates the changes that will take place in particular branches of the armed forces in the near and long terms.