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  • Author: Flemming Splidsboel Hansen
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: While Russia’s military involvement in the war in Syria has received great attention, less focus has been directed at the foreign fighters from Russia and other post-Soviet states who have joined the Islamic State and other Jihadist groups. The emergence of these Jihadists has been a gradual process, which began in the 1990s, and it has now led to a situation where an estimated 7,000 Russians and 3,000 Central Asians are fighting in Syria. These figures present a challenge for the various states fighting the Jihadist groups, but they pose a much greater problem for the Russian and other national authorities, who will have to handle the fighters, when they return home.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Violent Extremism, Islamic State, Jihad
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Steve Abrams
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: This paper investigates the role of Soviet-style “active measures” as an element of modern Russian “political warfare.” These techniques were commonly used during the Soviet-era, encompassing a broad range of influence activities, including: covert media placement, forgery, agents of influence, “friendship” societies, front organizations, and more. Today, in Putin’s Russia, these active measures are once again in use, updated for digitally interconnected “global information space.” The paper begins with an introduction to active measures, then discusses their role in Soviet foreign policy and the attempts by the American “Active Measures Working Group” to counter them. The paper then describes how the Soviet active measures playbook has been updated for the modern era, using three case studies as examples. The paper concludes with a discussion on strategy, reproducing a number of recommendations from key publications.
  • Topic: Media, Information Age, Propaganda, political warfare
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Oleksil Izhak
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: As the post-cold-war unipolar system transforms into a polycentric one, it becomes more complex and less predictable. The new system may be crushed with less effort than needed to keep it on track. The polycentric international system, as it emerges, suffers from hybrid threats. They are difficult to identify and predict. Russia pioneered exploiting the new vulnerabilities to gain unilateral advantages. Russia's hybrid war against Ukraine was just a starting episode of her wider attempt to crush the whole world order. Responsible world powers have either to fix the vulnerabilities of the polycentric world, or to block malicious attempts to exploit it.
  • Topic: Imperialism, Military Strategy, Post Cold War, Armed Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Iryna Klymenko
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: Russia’s non-standard intervention in Ukraine was accomplished in four major areas—the economic system as a whole, the energy and security sectors, and information policy. The deliberate policy of the Kremlin has transformed Ukraine into economically fragile and institutionally weak nation. Due to efforts of former regime and Russian intelligence agencies, main Ukrainian government institutions were involved in semi-legal, semi-criminal transnational business scheme. Macro-financial vulnerability of Ukraine, in conjunction with a strained economic structure, proved to be the necessary and sufficient conditions for preparing and implementing hybrid aggression. The Ukrainian precedent might be replicated as a special operation to destroy statehood, whereby disruption is achieved through the escalation of internal political and economic challenges. One universal means of undermining statehood in an era of hybrid wars is to encourage corruption among holders of the highest office.
  • Topic: Security, Territorial Disputes, Conflict, Foreign Interference
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Michael Komin, Alexander Vileykis
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: The military conflict in Southeastern Ukraine provides vast research opportunities in most diverse areas and in a zone of ongoing combat with all its attendant social ramifications. This article provides a review of some key questions of this war: why volunteer battalions conduct some harmful and inhumane acts and what may be done next to prevent violence after the war. Because war creates big areas without any control, there are huge non-transferable investments, incidents like torturing civil people, etc. The authors try to explain what conditions may impact the behavior of battalions and what should the governments do after the war ends.
  • Topic: Imperialism, Military Strategy, Territorial Disputes, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Bastain Giegerich
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: The idea that international conflict might be seeing more hybrid warfare and hybrid threats has animated debate among security and defense establishments in the run-up to NATO’s 2016 Warsaw Summit. While the Alliance has located the issue of hybrid war in the specific context of the Russia/Ukraine crisis and in 2014 triggered efforts to prepare NATO to effectively meet hybrid warfare threats, the scope of the challenge is much wider and the core dynamics are often located outside of the military realm. The article reviews the recent conceptual debates about hybrid warfare, suggesting that hybrid conflicts defy our attempts to press them into known categories and locate them clearly on a spectrum of war and peace. NATO Member States will have to invest in resilience and conventional deterrence to counter hybrid threats.
  • Topic: NATO, Imperialism, Military Strategy, Deterrence, Hybrid Warfare
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, North Atlantic, Ukraine, North America
  • Author: James K. Wither
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: The term hybrid warfare has been widely analyzed by scholars, policymakers and commentators since Russia occupied Crimea in March 2014. The topic has ceased to be a subject only studied by military strate-gists, but has entered the wider policy domain as a significant security challenge for the West. This article seeks to place the debate about hybrid warfare in a broader analytical and historical context and summarizes discussion to date on this and related strategic concepts. The Russian approach to hybrid warfare as demonstrated by operations in Ukraine is a particular focus for discussion.
  • Topic: NATO, Military Strategy, Territorial Disputes, Collective Defense, Hybrid Warfare
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, North Atlantic, Ukraine, North America, Crimea
  • Author: Joshua P. Mulford
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: The current war in Ukraine has highlighted the fact that in this new age of warfare non-state actors play a larger role than ever before. The influence of the media, think tanks and academia, religious groups, organized crime, war militias, NGOs and GONGOs, and the Ukrainian diaspora is pervasive. Kremlin-controlled media coverage of the war in Eastern Ukraine, including the downing of the MH-17 jet, is offset by the newer grassroots pro-Ukrainian media outlets such as Ukraine Today. Think tanks and academia focused on Ukraine and Russia are also battling for visibility in the government and among the populous. The impact of religious groups on the Ukrainian conflict is best featured in the Russian Orthodox Church’s rationalizing the invasion of Crimea as Russia’s divine right. The Ukrainian church, a subset of the ROC, has broken off and played a proactive role in assisting the war effort by pro-Ukrainian militias. The almost concurrent rise of militias and organized crime in Ukraine pose as a precarious issue for the future of the country. As the government is incapable of regaining sovereignty of its territory, stand-alone militias have risen to fight the Russian invasion in Eastern Ukraine. Organized crime has capitalized on the instability of the region, and with the annexation of Crimea, a new system of black market activities has been opened. The outside world is taking an interest in the Ukrainian plight, as well as in the form of NGO support, and in the case of Russia, GONGOs to promote policies in line with their agendas. The Ukrainian diaspora has also fought to influence policy making towards Ukraine, forming committees and sending supplies to the front line. It is unclear how much influence these non-state actors will have in the future of Ukraine, but it is quite certain that they each play a significant role in the way the conflict is perceived.
  • Topic: Military Strategy, Territorial Disputes, Non State Actors, Media
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Oliver Fitton
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: The Gray Zone represents a space between peaceful state rivalries and war. Within this space actors have developed hybrid strategies to extend their influence. This concept of conflict is best illustrated by Russia’s actions in Eastern Ukraine in 2014. Gray Zone doctrine leverages ambiguity to create an environment in which adversaries are unable to make strategic decisions in a timely and confident manner. Cyber Operations, because of the attribution problem, lend themselves to this kind of conflict. This article explores the interactions between the Gray Zone and cyber operations and considers questions which NATO must address in order to adapt.
  • Topic: NATO, Diplomacy, Territorial Disputes, Hybrid Warfare
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, North Atlantic, Ukraine, North America
  • Author: Miroslaw Banasik
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: The success of the Russian Federation in Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea attest to the fact that the hybrid warfare constitutes an effective tool for achieving political objectives. This article evaluates the nature of hybrid warfare based on theoretical publications on the art of war and doctrinal documents of the Russian Federation, and characterizes the practical dimensions of hybrid warfare. It can be concluded on that basis that hybrid warfare and organized crime constitute real threats to European safety and security. International organizations such as NATO and the European Union so far have not drawn up neither the strategy nor effective tools for countering these phenomena.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Military Strategy, European Union, Hybrid Warfare
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, North Atlantic, North America