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Re-Clawing The Bear, Russia's New Military Doctrine

Re-Clawing The Bear, Russia's New Military Doctrine


AUTHOR Major Mark E. Kipphut, USAF


CSC 1993


SUBJECT AREA - National Security






Thesis: The Russian government is developing a new military doctrine designed to

lead it into the next century. While it rejects Gorbachev's 1987 defensive doctrine,

it is rediscovering its traditional Russian nationalist roots. While not a precursor of

a return to the Cold War, it will present specific challenges for the West once

Russia's political and economic situation improves.


I. General Russian Security Strategy Concepts

A. Foundations of Policy

B. Foundations of the Russian Armed Forces

C. Declared Russian Vital National Interests

II. Development of Military Doctrine

A. Military's Role in National Security

B. Soviet versus Neo-Russian Concepts

C. Interrelationship of Interests and Doctrine

D. Perceptions of Future Wars


III. Past, Present, and Future Doctrinal Views

A. "Reasonable Sufficiency" and Defensive Doctrines

B. Preeminence of Nuclear Weapons, 1950-1970

C. Strengthening Conventional Doctrine, 1970s

D. Rise of the Orgarkov Doctrine, 1980s

E. Gorbachev Defensive Sufficiency Doctrine, 1987

F. New Russian Doctrine, 1992


IV. Current Major Russian Defensive Principals

A. Repulsion and Defeat of Any Aggressor

B. Flexible Forces

C. Acceptable limits on Nuclear Warfare

D. Strategic Offensive Operations


V. Status of Russian Armed Forces

A. Role in CIS and Independent Operations

B. Reform Timetables

C. Future Priorities


IV. Summary

A. Doctrinal Developments

B. Components of Armed Forces

C. Short- and Long-term Challenges





by Major Mark E. Kipphut, United States Air Force


Since the collapse of the Soviet Union many strategists have argued that the


strategic threat posed by it no longer exists and therefore the United States should redirect


its national defense efforts away from the former Soviet Union and focus more on the


Third World. In my opinion this would be in folly because while the direct East-West


challenges posed by the Cold War no longer exist, we are challenged by the chaos existing


throughout the former Soviet Union combined with and by the enormous military might its


successor republics inherited. Also, the fall of the communist government in Moscow has


unleashed long-standing ethnic, territorial, and economic disputes both among its former


republics and throughout many of its former neighbors. In greater numbers these republics


are resorting to violence to settle their disputes and if conflicts go unchecked, or if


confrontations were to involve the threat or use of weapons of mass destruction, a regional


conflict could quickly develop a global character.


The breakup of the USSR created 15 politically independent republics. While most


attempted to maintain some unity through the rapidly created Commonwealth of


Independent States (CIS), many have demonstrated they are not interested in maintaining


either close economic or military ties. Instead they are trying to lay claim to the few


"riches" the Soviet Union had acquired, including its massive military structure. This has


created a situation of great uncertainty for the West because the CIS, primarily the Russian


Federation, remains a nuclear superpower that has been in the midst of a political and


economic revolution since 1991 -- a situation unparalleled in history.


Of the 15 republics that comprise the territory of the former Soviet Union, the


Russian Federation is clearly the most significant and has become the de facto replacement


for the Soviet Union in the international arena. It is the largest former Soviet republic,


consisting of 76 percent of its territory, 51 percent of its population, and 62 percent of its


industrial output. (19:26) However, unlike the past 75 years, the role of its armed forces,


still the largest in Europe, is not clearly defined.


Created by presidential decree on 7 May 1992, the Russian military has been beset


by a multitude of transitional problems which are compounded by political instability and


the deteriorating economic situation in the Russian Federation and CIS. Within these


conditions, the military is attempting to articulate a new doctrine and force structure


designed to lead the Russian Federation into the next century. Given the uncertainty of the


political situation within Russia, it is critical we understand the capabilities of the military


and what it views as its primary doctrine.


During late May 1992, the new Russian Defense Ministry held a four-day


conference in Moscow at the General Staff Academy to define the underlying threats to the


Russian state, its political-military doctrine, and how the force structure should be


comprised. (11:1) Leading theorists were assembled and the conference was chaired by


General of the Army P. Grachev, the newly installed Russian Federation Minister of


Defense. Results from this conference were made public in July 1992 when the


presentations given were published in Voyennaya Mysl (Military Thought), the monthly


journal of the CIS Armed Forces. (8:56) The principles agreed to at this conference will


set the course for the Russian military until after the turn of the century, including its


structure, general types of weaponry, doctrine, strategy, operational art, and tactics. (11:1)


The key tenets of Russia's new military policy discussed at this conference ranged


from continued acceptance of Mikhail Gorbachev's dovish philosophy of only using the


military to prevent wars to older, more aggressive philosophies previously used by pre-


Gorbachev governments. Today's Russian military leadership, like virtually all former


communists, believe the main mission of the armed forces consists of maintaining the


sovereignty, integrity, and independence of the Russian Federation; ensuring the stability


of state institutions; and protecting the rights of Russia citizens in former non-Russian


Soviet republics. (10:3)


The political fundamentals of Russia's new military doctrine finds its genesis in the


policies of the last regime; it has formally rejected the first use of military force to resolve


political disputes and has announced it "will not impose its ideology on anyone and


recognizes the preservation of peace as a priority goal." (20:3) At the same time, it sets a


more aggressive tone on the role and use of conventional and nuclear forces in regional




In many ways the new doctrine combines the enduring principles maintained by the


previous communist state with traditional Russian nationalist convictions. The current


Russian military leadership has rediscovered its pre-Gorbachev roots and is again


embracing the beliefs developed by such legendary Soviet military strategists as Marshal


Nikolai Ogarkov. While not a precursor of a return to the Cold War era, this new doctrine


will present specific challenges to the West once Russia's political and economic situation


improves given the forecasted size of its military and the potential that our vital interests


inevitably will conflict.


To understand the current state of the Russian military and the significant changes


taking place, it is necessary to first consider the traditional role and structure of this


institution. Throughout the Cold War period, military power was the main basis for the


USSR's claim to superpower status. The military's traditionally huge size of over four


million men and women, 200-plus maneuver divisions, four fleets, tens of thousands of


aircraft, and powerful arsenal of strategic nuclear weapons projected a tangible symbol of


strength to the rest of the world, and ensured Moscow would be a player in the major


events that unfolded in the international arena. (19:7) Its presence in Eastern Europe


served to maintain Soviet dominance over its wartime conquests and to secure a buffer


zone between it and what was perceived as the hostile West. The military also provided a


conduit for the spread of influence into the Third World through a network of military arm


sales and advisors which projected political influence into non-communist dominated areas.


Domestically, the military also played a significant role as a source of national


pride and unity in a country of diverse nationalities and cultures. As a lasting symbol of


the defender of the Soviet Union against Nazi Germany, the armed forces served to


maintain a sense of unity and patriotism in a country plagued with austere economic and


social conditions. Through universal conscription, the military functioned as a means of


assimilating the many diverse ethnic groups into a society dominated by Slavs.


The Soviets placed their highest priority on being prepared to wage and win a war


with the West, a war they viewed as the "decisive clash" between two opposing


socioeconomic ideologies - communism and capitalism. (11:8) Their military doctrine


was based upon the assumption that a war with the West would be waged on a global scale


in which only fundamental political and strategic goals would be pursued. They believed


they were encircled by an anti-Soviet coalition and any war would be waged along most of


the periphery of the USSR.


The changes of the political make-up in Russia has forced a reexamination of the


military doctrine. The very planning assumptions relied upon for the past 45 years are no


longer valid and must be completely revised. Additionally, along with the collapse of the


communist-led government in Moscow, we witnessed the breakup of the Soviet military


and the Warsaw Pact defense alliance. As a result, the vast strength of the military has


been divided by the republics of the former Soviet Union and the additional security


offered by the East European buffer states has been lost. While Russia retains the largest


share of the former Soviet force structure, it by no means is nearly as powerful as the




The military doctrine of the new Russian leadership, as articulated during the May


1992 conference, is attempting to define its requirements based on its perception of existing


and future threats to Russian vital national interests. As would be expected, doctrinal


requirements are therefore being defined using the enduring beliefs carried over from


previous governments matched against Russia's current perceptions of its interests and its


military capabilities.


Since early last year, senior leaders in Moscow have been describing Russia's "vital


national security interests." These encompass the continued neutrality of former Warsaw


Pact states, the assurance that republics separating from the CIS do not become buffer zone


for Asian or Western European alliances, and the continued survival of Russian capabilities


to maintain mutually advantageous economic relations with all countries of the Middle


East, South Asia, and the Far East. Implicit is the principle that Russian vessels are


guranteed free use the world's oceans for navigation and economic activity. (20:3-4)


Moreover, Russian nationalist leaders are attempting to force President Yeltsin to accept a


"Monroe Doctrine" concept as a way to permit Moscow to begin to rebuild an empire


consisting of most of the former republics. This movement, led by Parliament Speaker


Khasbulatov, aims to protect the 26 million ethnic Russians who live in the former non-


Russian Soviet Republics. (20:4 and 7:A23)


The General Staff firmly endorses the definition of vital interests used by the


current government and believe Russia's military doctrine must clearly identity all potential


threats, as well as the probability future wars may erupt due to violations of these or other


"global, regional, or national interests of Russia." (12:59) Russian military leaders,


probably with full agreement from their political masters, believe the very expansiveness of


the state pre-determines that its vital interests on the Eurasian land mass extend from the


Atlantic to Pacific Oceans. (20:3) Overall, they clearly view Russia as both a continental


and oceanic power; therefore, they believe that the military doctrine adopted by the state


must reflect this theme.



"Doctrine" is a term requiring explanation, since it was used differently by Russian


and American armed forces. In the Russian sense it represents a formal political-military


consensus of the external threats facing the state, the ways by which these threats are


countered, and the resources and organization needed by the armed forces to eliminte


them. (19:9) It is viewed as a "contract" between the government and the military which


defines a state-approved system of views on the essence, goals, and character of a future


war; on the preparation of the armed forces and the country for war; and on the means of


conducting war. (20:3) Ultimately, it reflects the political goals of the state, as well as,


the military, economic, social, and legal means of achieving these goals during a future




The new doctrine was first described by its chief architect, Colonel-General I.


Rodionov, Chief of the Russian General Staff Military Academy, at the May 1992


conference. His views were based on ideas strongly endorsed by the Russian leadership,


including General Grachev, and the leaders of the various republics of the CIS. (12:58)


This doctrine includes some "new" approaches, but it reflects many points found in Soviet


ideology. (21:1146)


Grachev's doctrine identified two primary military threats to Russia's vital interests:


the introduction of foreign troops in adjacent states (such as the Baltic states or former


Soviet republics not belonging to the CIS) and/or the buildup of military forces near


Russian borders (re former states of the Warsaw Pact). Additionally, the Russian


leadership views violations of the "rights" of Russian citizens and persons "ethnically and


culturally" identified with Russia living in the other republics of the former Soviet Union


as "a serious potential source of conflicts, specifically among former Soviet republics."




According to General Rodionov, local wars (low-intensity conflicts) are becoming


the most probable type of warfare; however, he is equally concerned that large-scale


conventional wars could develop should local conflicts escalate or if adjacent nations or


alliances use them as a pretext to mobilize and carry out large- scale aggression. (20:4-5)


Russian leaders are greatly concerned with the situation in southern and Asian CIS


republics, specifically where outside influences can provoke further ethnic tensions.


Should a foreign power be identified as instigating or exploiting ethnic divisions within a


former Soviet republic for its own benefit, Moscow would probably respond militarily by


citing a nationalist-inspired "Monroe Doctrine" as justification for intervention. (20:4 and




To deal with these threats, Rodionov described four distinct components of the


Russian armed forces: operational-strategic nuclear forces, a limited number of


conventional forces in permanent readiness in the theaters to repel local low-level


aggression, rapid-response conventional forces capable of quickly deploying to any region


to reinforce permanently stationed forces to repel mid-level aggression, and strategic


reserves capable of being rapidly mobilized during a period of international tension to


conduct lage-scale theater or global combat operations. (20:5-6)


A comparison of Russia's new doctrinal approaches with previous Soviet doctrines


reveals several major changes. Most importantly, the new doctrine restates older concepts


adopted by pre-Gorbachev Soviet governments which called for not only repelling


aggression, but also decisively defeating any aggressor. (20:5) This is a marked change


from the 1987 Gorbachev-inspired doctrine which focused solely on war prevention. Its


fundamental tenets included a defensive orientation for its basic concept of operations


("defensive defense") combined with a belief that overall force structures should be


reduced to the bare minimum to deter aggression ("defensive sufficiency"). (21:1146)


Gorbachev's goal was to immediately reduce defense spending and create conditions to


further ease the defense burden on the economy by giving the Soviet military a less


menacing appearance to the West and China. These five principles were later reaffirmed


in 1990 and included (19:10):


* Prevention of war as the primary function of armed forces;


* A pledge not to initiate military actions against any state;


* A strategy only to repel an aggressor outside existing borders;


* A pledge never to be the first to employ nuclear weapons; and


* Rejection of the concept of quantitative force superiority.


Gorbachev's military doctrine contrasted markedly with that adopted by previous


Soviet leaders. Beginning in the 1950s and lasting through the late 1970s, the basic tenets


of Soviet doctrine remained relatively stable. Essentially, the communist leaders believed


the primary threat to the Soviet Union came from the west, specifically what they viewed


as an American-dominated NATO alliance. They further believed any war with NATO


would be of relatively short duration and would most likely incorporate the use of nuclear


weapons. Their doctrine called for the Soviet military to be capable of achieving victory


through the survival of the USSR combined with the defeat or neutralization of Western


governments. (26:10-11)


By the late-1960s, Soviet statements began to reflect the belief that any NATO-


Warsaw Pact conflict would begin with a conventional phase, followed by an extended


nuclear exchange. These perceptions resulted in a wide-ranging conventional force


modernization lasting from the late-1960s through the mid-1980s. It focused on improving


the initial survivability of Warsaw Pact conventional forces and their capability to operate


on either a non-nuclear or a nuclear battlefield.


Beginning in the late-1970s, due in large part to acknowledged nuclear parity with


the West, the Soviets began contemplating the possibility of an extended conventional war,


and even the possibility that a war between the two alliances might not resort to nuclear


exchanges. This doctrinal shift was due in part to technological developments in advanced


conventional weaponry and the adoption by NATO of a strategy of "flexible response."


This greater emphasis on conventional war was reflected in continued force modernization,


force training, and development of a strategy designed to extend the conventional phase of


a conflict. Overall, doctrine had matured to the point where neither nuclear nor


conventional forces alone were viewed as "decisive," but each only achieved maximum


effectiveness when used in concert.


By the early-1980s military writing began to reflect the view that improvements in


nuclear weaponry by both sides, specifically in accuracy and command and control


systems, virtually eliminated the possibility that nuclear warfare was winnable and fostered


the theory that any conflict with NATO could be waged at conventional levels. This was


the area where the Soviets believed they had a "decisive" advantage over NATO forces.


As a result, they viewed the war's initial phase as the critical period, a theory championed


by Marshal Nikolai Ogarkov, former Chief of the Soviet General Staff, when he wrote in


1984: "There is a sharp expansion in the zone of possible combat operations, and the role


and significance of the initial period of war, and its initial operations become incomparably


greater." (26:12) This emphasis was also discussed in the 1984 book, M.V. Frunze -


Military Theorist, by Colonel General M. Gareyev, a former deputy chief of the Soviet


General Staff and presently the leading developer of the new Russian doctrine.


In 1984 Gareyev stressed "the initial period of war will increase further and this


may be the main and decisive period which largely predetermines the outcome of the entire


war." (26:12) Despite all of the dramatic changes which have occurred since the mid-


1980s, he reiterated this theme at the May 1992 Russian doctrine conference and restated


his view that Russian forces must be large enough to respond to challenges from the west


and conduct major, large-scale, sustainable operations from the start of any conflict.




Strategists like Ogarkov and Gareyev believed the Warsaw Pact could fight and win


a war against NATO without resorting to the use of nuclear weapons. They argued that by


applying conventional combat power properly it was possible to neutralize NATO's nuclear


response mechanism and minimize the impact from the two areas where they believed


NATO possessed an advantage over Warsaw Pact forces: air power and rapid


reinforcement from North America. (26:12) These views were reflected throughout


doctrinal themes and Warsaw Pact exercises through the early-to-mid 1980s.


By the mid-1980s, the Soviets had begun to incorporate defensive operations into


their overall offensive strategy. This was done in response to what they perceived as the


West's adoption of offensive concepts, such as Follow-on Forces Attack (FOFA) and


AirLand Battle, as well as the modernization of NATO's conventional forces under


President Reagan's leadership. Warsaw Pact planning thus incorporated theater-wide


defensive operations for a short period of time until "conditions" could be created which


would allow for a shift to massive counter-offensive operations designed to decisively


defeat any aggressor.


Initially the Gorbachev government adopted these views; but, by late-1987 the


situation in Afghanistan and the faltering Soviet economy forced a major modification in


doctrine. The Soviets adopted a Gorbachev-inspired defensively orientated military


doctrine and strategy which only allowed operations designed to defeat an invasion force


and restore pre-hostility borders. The Soviet General Staff was prohibited from planning


operations that would employ forces beyond its borders. (20:5) No large-scale offensive


operations could be conducted and the Soviet military leadership was denied use of one of


its primary employment strategies - the use of preemptive strikes to eliminate the enemy's




However, a comparison of the doctrine being developed in today reflects a shiit


back to the early-1980s and reaffirms the beliefs held by Ogarkov. Russia's new doctrine


contrasts with the Gorbachev doctrine in at least four respects. (8:77) First, there is a shift


back to traditional Soviet beliefs that the military must "repel aggression," as well as defeat


the opponent. This position clearly rejects the "defensive sufficiency" and implies the


military will not be restricted by minimizing cross-border operations. Apparently this will


include lifting the restrictions imposed by Gorbachev that prohibited preemptive strikes.


The recent shift in philosophy may be linked directly to our success in operation DESERT


STORM. (15:19-20)


Military scientists in Russia now argue the Persian Gulf War validated the beliefs of


Ogarkov -- that emerging technologies are generating a revolution in warfare and advanced


technology warfare now serves as the pivotal paradigm for future mid-to-high intensity


conflicts. Currently Russian theorists submit that future wars between industrialized states


will consist of an "electronic-fire operation" -- an operation which will consist of massive


and prolonged missile, aerospace, electronic, and naval strikes conducted for extended


periods. (15:19) The objectives are not direct seizure and occupation of the enemy's


territory, but instead are aimed at "suppressing the opponent's political and economic-


military potentials, thereby ensuring the victor's supremacy in all arenas." (4:12)


Although Russian military leaders do not believe Iraq could have defeated the Coalition,


they argue Hussein should have attempted to deliver a preemptive strike against multi-


national forces while they were building-up their combat power and not simply have


conceded the initiative to his enemies. (15:20)


The second departure shows Russian leaders want to develop forces optimzed for


all possible wars and combat missions, unlike Gorbachev who only wanted to structure the


force to provide strategic deterrence and to repel an invading NATO force. Specifically,


General Rodionov believes Russian forces must be prepared for all types of missions and


must be capable of successfully waging any type of conflict along the spectrum of warfare.


He envisions light quick-reaction forces which are reinforced by heavier formations from a


rapid deployment force, a nuclear deterrence force, and strategic reserves.


Grachev insists Russia must have mobile, air-transportable forces capable of


moving to any region adjacent to Russia's borders in a short period of time. These forces


would counter local aggression and prevent it from escalating into medium-to-high


intensity conflicts. Despite almost a decade in Afghanistan, low-intensity conflict is a


relatively new area for Russia leaders because the Soviet-led military devoted virtually all


of its training and resources to medium-to-high intensity conflicts. However, the break up


of the former Soviet Union has left a number of small ethnic conflicts raging in Armenia-


Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, and in other republics. Nationalists in the Russian Parliament and


military believe sooner or later these wars will explode and ruin the Russian Federation if


it is not prepred to intervene. In the future we can expect greater doctrinal emphasis on


low-intensity conflicts designed to support the government's desires to conduct operations


to restore internal stability and respond to localized disputes along her borders. (20:4)


The third, and very possibly the greatest departure from recent Soviet doctrinal


beliefs, is rejection of the assumption nuclear war would be catastrophic for all mankind.


Gorbachev, with complete agreement from his military advisers, believed it was impossible


to limit the use of nuclear weapons once introduced into a conflict. The 1987 doctrine


assumed any nuclear exchange would "assume a global character" and attempting to limit


the use of nuclear weapons to a single region was untenable. (13:84-85) Yet, current


Russian leaders question this assumption, and their most recent statements imply they


believe it is possible to successfully wage a limited nuclear war.


Unlike Gorbachev who rejected the use of any nuclear weapons, current Russian


leaders support the contention "Russian armed forces must be capable of conducting


military operations of any nature and on any scale." (20:5) Specifically, they want to


restrict the discussion of the use of nuclear weapons to a simple pledge that Russia would


never attack another nation unless provoked and would not be the first to employ weapons


of mass destruction, including chemical, biological, or nuclear. However, they have also


made it clear that by any potential aggressor would make a serious mistake assuming that


Russia would not "employ all means it has to protect its interests once attacked." (12:59)


Beyond retaining the right to use nuclear weapons, Grachev and Rodionov support a


view that conventional strikes on nuclear and other "dangerous" targets within Russia are


analogous to the use of "weapons of mass destruction" and therefore constitute conflict


escalation. (9:43-44) This leaves the door open for Russia to respond with nuclear


weapons, especially if the aggressor attacks nuclear power plants or weapons production


facilities. (20:4) These shifts in views of nuclear warfare most likely stem from the


leadership's response to the growing proliferation of nuclear weapons on Russia's borders,


specifically in Iran and Iraq, which increase the plausibility of a limited exchange scenario.


Finally, Gorbachev's doctrine of "sufficiency" meant that no large-scale offensive


or counter-offensive operations could be mounted by Soviet forces. This view has been


rejected. As proposed, Russian doctrine will "clearly and unequivocally reflect the


position that if an enemy has begun aggression, conflict prosecution must proceed from the


laws of warfare." (20:5) In other words, if Russian vital interests are threatened, the


armed forces will conduct military operations aimed at destroying and defeating the enemy


no matter where located. General Rodionov unambiguously specifies these strikes will be


directed against the aggressor's territory and his most important military and economic


targets. (20:5)


Overall, what should be apparent is that the doctrine being adopted by Russia is not


revolutionary but evolutionary and reflects themes present throughout Russian and Soviet


history. While currently constrained by economic realities, the Russian government is


setting the stage for a potentially more aggressive military posture five-to-ten years in the


future, especially along its periphery where some nationalist leaders want to restore the


grandeur of previous Russian empires.


Following the break up of the former Soviet Union, three major military powers


emerged: Belorus, the Ukraine, and Russia. Of these three republics, only Russia retained


both the forces and support structure necessary to maintain large, modern forces.


Following the forced division of the former Soviet military, Russia retained approximately


65 percent of maneuver elements and combat aircraft, over 75 percent of strategic nuclear


weapon delivery systems and naval vessels, in addition to control of all tactical nuclear


weapons. (19:32 and 51) Beyond simply retaining control of most fielded weapons, Russia


has 90 percent of all combat aircraft plants, 85 percent of the armored vehicle production


facilities, 80 percent of military educational institutions, plus virtually all scientific and


research facilities. (24:57) Obviously, should Belorus and/or the Ukraine attempt to chart


an independent defense policy, they would either have to invest billions in the development


of support structures or become dependent upon other nations, such as France, to acquire


equipment to replace existing Soviet-produced systems.


It is a current Russian policy to develop a mutual defense relationship with the other


republics of the CIS. This position was stated by General Rodionov and endorsed by


Defense Minister Grachev, as well as Marshal of Aviation Shaposhnikov, the current CinC


CIS Combined Armed Forces. They perceive this new security arrangement as being


based upon a NATO model while integrating existing Soviet-based structures. (20:4)


Although this concept has been embraced by some republics, several critical ones, such as


the Ukraine, have rejected the principle. Until a mutual defense relationship is established


among all primary former Soviet republics, Shaposhnikov believes "centralized direction


and unified control of strategic forces...coordinated responses to local conflicts on the


borders of the Commonwealth...or joint troop operations in repelling large-scale


aggression" against CIS states is impossible. (24:58) Consequently, until the political


differences between CIS members are resolved or the Commonwealth matures into a


stronger institution, Russia will continue to develop its own independent defense policy and


military structure.


Given this situation, the Russian Defense Ministry, under specific direction from


President Yeltsin, has developed a basic strategy to transition the Russian-controlled


elements of the Soviet military structure into the Russian Federation Armed Forces.


(12:60) This reform will initially take place in three stages over the next 6-8 years. In the


first stage (1-2 years), the Ministry of Defense will finalize doctrinal concepts and establish


force structures. The second phase (2-3 years) will emphasize the final withdrawal of


remaining forces outside of Russian territory, establishment of "three strategic force


groupings," and reduce the overall manpower total to 2.1 million. The final stage (3-4


years) will complete the restructuring of the military force while reducing total strength to


1.5 million by 2000. (12:61)


According to General Rodionov, the Russian military not only must reorganize, but


it must also improve its ability to wage modern warfare. In his view the force must move


toward qualitative improvements by giving top priority to developing new and more


effective means of warfare, specifically aerospace weapons, precision guided weapons,


modern command and control systems, and reconnaissance equipment. (20:5) Defense


Mister Grachev agrees with this position and stated:




...[the] priority must be given to development of highly mobile forces,

strategic arms, air defense weapons, military-space weapons, long-

range precision weapons, army aviation, and reconnaissance, EW, and

command and control equipment.




...our theory of conducting military operations in continental theaters

bears an infantry-tank character... we must increase the role of offensive

weapons and other including precision weapons... and bring it [method

of warfare] into line with today's demands. (11:60-61)



In summary, while the risk of large-scale East-West conventional war is minimal,


Russia leaders are intent upon developing a doctrine to lead them into the next century.


They are rediscovering pre-Gorbachev themes by embracing beliefs advocated by earlier


theorist, including Marshal Ogarkov. Russia's 1992 doctrine proceeds from a stance


requiring civilian-military consensus on the requirements for war and the future directions


for near- and long-term developments of Russian military strategy and force structure.


Russia's new doctrine is moving simultaneously in two directions: modernizing tenets


dealing with mid-to-high intensity warfare while creating doctrinal guides to improve


Russia's capability to prosecution low intensity regional conflicts.


For the near-term, we will see a Russian transition from a large, relatively


unwieldy force structure designed to engage NATO forces to a smaller, more mobile and


modern military capable of waging conflict across the spectrum of warfare. At the same


time, while Russia wants to retain and strengthen its ability to fight high-intensity, global


warfare, it is also more aware of the troubling problem of local wars. It recognizes its


need to improve its ability to stress nationalist, religious, or ethnic-based low intensity


conflicts, either within Russian territory or in areas directly adjacent to it.


To contend with these problems Moscow intends to develop four distinct


components for its armed forces:


* Global and theater nuclear deterrence forces


* A limited number of permanent forces stationed in one of three regions to repel


low-intensity aggression


* Mobile reserves consisting of light "quick reaction forces" reinforced by heavier


"rapid deployment forces" to augment regional forces to repel mid-intensity aggression


* Strategic reserves mobilized to respond to a broad-based, high-intensity threat


While Russia will continue to retain a formidable force structure through the end of


this decade, the greatest challenges for the west will probably be in the long-term. To


support the new military doctrine under development, Defense Minister Grachev is calling


for the development of advanced technology to prepare for the "technological wars" of the


future. These types of weapons, when combined with an aggressive foreign policy, will


create direct challenges for the west.


The future of Russia's economy and defense industry, as well as the nature of its


political leadership, will determine if and when Russia will implement the future-oriented


aspects of its doctrine; however, the current leadership believes an economically stable,


renewed, and prospering Russia needs a military capability governed by a revived doctrine


to ensure long-term survival and protection of vital interests.




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