Their analysis focuses on developments under Putin with a view to answering the question: has the long-awaited reform of the military actually begun and, if the answer is yes, by what means and to what end? In a chapter based on interviews conducted with Russian soldiers, Joris Van Bladel deduces a Russian military culture characterised by five specific features. It is a culture that combines chaos and order, anarchy and stability and may explain why the Russian army, despite its many years of decay and contrary to frequent forecasts, has certainly not collapsed.
The cultural argument he advances not only refutes the practicability of Russia imitating Western models, it also questions the motives of those who argue the necessity of exporting Western organisational models to Russia. Michael Orr examines the Russian ground forces, arguably the epitome of all that the Russian military stands for, and highlights some characteristics of the reform process over the last decade through their experience.
Nothing illustrates the plight of the navy more starkly than the Kursk tragedy in , which revealed the poor condition of the once-great Northern fleet. Mikhail Tsypkin addresses these issues, including the handling and aftermath of the Kursk accident. Winning the information war is one area where Russian thinking is well advanced, but where technical capabilities are weaker. Timothy Thomas examines both of these aspects in detail.
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This leads him to examine the struggle since the s to define the threats to Russian security, a process which justifies military structures and provides direction for future reform. Perceptions in Russia and perceptions in the West have a bearing on the issue; as does the gap between the perceptions of society, the political leadership and of the military.
This is a problem with which many others have struggled, in many different countries in many different periods of history, and all have found it difficult to reconcile their particular vision with the economic and political constraints imposed even in a prosperous, long-established democracy. What their experience does show, however, is that failing to reform and maintaining a false perception, especially of security threats, are equally disastrous in the long run. It is rarely a mistake to encourage greater discussion and awareness of alternative models of military and security structures and how appropriate they may be in meeting changing threats.
As a contribution to this process, this work is offered to all those who have an interest in the future of the Russian armed forces. The views each chapter contains are those of its author, not those of his or her colleagues or any other body. Initially the Russian military and political leadership was convinced that the Commonwealth of Independent States CIS would develop towards an organisation similar to that of the former Soviet Union, naturally under Russian supervision.
However, it did not take long before a number of CIS states decided differently, and created their own armed forces and subsequently formed independent security policies. The effect of these developments was that Russia felt itself forced to do the same by forming its own armed forces and a Ministry of Defence, in spring With the abandonment of the Marxist-Leninist ideology the RF was now in need of basic documents for its security policy.
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In this chapter I will provide an overview of actors both organisations and persons that have been involved in the decision-making process of the RF security policy since then and of the security documents they generated. Next, I deal with the development both chronological and in contents of the three leading security documents, i. Finally, I provide conclusions and an outlook on the future development of Russian security policy. From the NSC separate concepts and doctrines are derived to guarantee security in, among others, international, military, economic, social, environmental and information areas.
The differences between Russian security, foreign and military policies are the following. The security policy NSC is pointed at safeguarding national interests against external and internal threats. The foreign policy Foreign Policy Concept, or FPC deals with maintaining relations with actors in the international arena, such as states and international organisations. These actions consist of predicting and identifying threats; determining tasks to secure national interests; improving forces, means and the system of guaranteeing national security; and, finally, mobilising resources and determining the order of using them.
Probably because of this lack of clarity and the atmosphere of indecision, no effort was yet made to develop a Security Concept at national nor at CIS level , although such a concept had already been mentioned in a draft military doctrine for the CIS of February Rogov warned of possible conflicts with other former Soviet republics. Particularly with Ukraine, because of differences on nuclear arms, the Crimea and energy deliveries, relations were quite tense at that moment.
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Apparently, there was an urgent need for establishing a mechanism on military-political decision-making. Therefore a national security council was to be formed in order to develop a security strategy. In May Colonel-General Igor Rodionov, Head of the General Staff Academy, presented a conservative alternative for the official military doctrine that was published earlier that month. Rodionov regarded his document as the leading security document. His view on the national security documents, however, was not shared by all members of the military leadership.
For instance, Marshal of Aviation Yevgeny Shaposhnikov, who had until recently served as Secretary of the Russian Security Council, spoke out after the publication of the Military Doctrine of November saying that this doctrine was premature.
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First an NSC should be developed, which would include national interests and threats against national security. Only then could other subordinated documents such as military and foreign-policy doctrines be drafted. At its first session in the summer of , the Security Council assigned a high priority to the accomplishment of the NSC. A fundamental political consensus was supposed to be raised, based upon national interests.
No longer did parliament have the power to approve documents on security policy, as it did under the previous constitution. Now the president could decide upon security policies without the consent of parliament: consensus was no longer necessary. Still it would be December before the president signed the first NSC. For instance, in the General Staff Academy launched an unofficial military doctrine and, as I shall explain later, the Security Council put aside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in presenting the first Foreign Policy Concept in The Russian executive power president and government was forced to pay a lot of attention to these internal and external incidents, which was an obstacle for further maturing of the RF security policy into an NSC.
After the first half of , when the Kosovo conflict had been overshadowing the international agenda, a radical change occurred in Russian security policy. Army General Makhmut Gareyev, President of the Academy of Military Sciences, outlined this turn in policy in an interview on geopolitics, national security and other security-related topics. The USA and other influential Western countries were aiming at a unipolar system of international relations at global level under their authority. According to Gareyev, the aggression of NATO against the former Yugoslavia was a clear example of its policy to ignore the UN and the standards of international law.
Gareyev claimed that not only external developments but also internal threats, such as the conflict in Chechnya, demanded adjustments of current security concepts. The statement in the issue of the NSC, that direct threats against the RF no longer existed, was declared out of date. Most of the amendments of the security policy that Gareyev proposed were to be implemented in the new draft editions of the NSC and the Military Doctrine in autumn In comparison with the edition, in the NSC of the destabilising factors have increased.
This is probably due to the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and in Chechnya and because of the enlarged influence of NATO on international politics.
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Internal developments, such as the critical social-economic situation and the conflict in Chechnya, manifest themselves in objectives on removing the causes for internal conflicts and on guaranteeing state power and sovereignty. However, internal national interests, such as security against terrorism, disasters and acts of war, are considered paramount.
Within two years this perspective changed radically. Although, formally, internal threats are still seen as the most important, the extensive description of external threats points out that the latter now have priority.
This inconsistency is possibly related to clashes between military and civil experts in drafting the NSC, in which the former consider external and the latter perceive internal threats to be the most significant. For the purpose of guaranteeing national security the following objectives are presented in the NSC. Externally, the RF has changed its objectives from stress on international cooperation at global level, as declared in the NSC, to emphasis on economic, political and military cooperation and integration within the CIS in Internal political objectives are directed at strengthening central authority.
With regard to military objectives, the two Chechen conflicts have produced the lessons that the RF armed forces of the Defence Ministry, the MoD now can also be deployed in internal conflicts, and that the cooperation between these forces and the troops of the other so-called power ministries must be improved. The chain of command of decisive organs of national security in the NSC unmistakably reveals that the president is the overall deciding factor in guaranteeing national security. FOREIGN POLICY According to the formal definition of foreign policy, in the RF the organs of state power as well as institutes and state structures dealing with international affairs carry out foreign policy by maintaining relations with states and regional and global international organisations.
Nowadays, the president of the RF possesses the overall responsibility for security policies, including foreign policy, that at the time of the USSR were in the hands of the Secretary-General of the Communist Party and the Politburo.
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In February this department tried to implement an FPC. However, the Supreme Soviet prevented this, claiming that the concept was too abstract. Yeltsin, who at the time was involved in a struggle for power with the legislature, in the course of adopted a more assertive foreign policy, almost certainly in an attempt to gain support. After approval of the FPC by the Security Council and confirmation by the president, on 29 April an apparently officially approved summary of the concept was published by Vladislav Chernov, deputy head of the Department on Strategic Security of the Security Council.
In the introduction of the new document it is stated that certain tendencies in international politics have compelled the RF to review its foreign and security policies. These negative tendencies were in contrast with the expectation, listed in the concept, that multilateral cooperation would further intensify.
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Russian foreign policy manifests two different approaches. The danger of the first approach is confrontation with the West, which could lead to isolation and a diminished international position. The danger of the second approach is that this could result in a position dependent on the West.
With reference to the second approach in foreign policy, Putin has regularly admitted that nowadays influence in international politics is determined by economic rather than by military power. In his view within 10 to 20 years the entry of Russia into the EU could be realised. Already before 11 September the West had gradually strengthened its position in this region.
Since 11 September a remarkable turning point in positions has occurred.