Russian strategic thinking and doctrine and the changing character of war

18.02.2013 - 12:00
A 5,6 Raum A 231
Art der Veranstaltung: 
AB B-Kolloquium
Dr. Bettina Renz
Zugehörigkeit des Vortragenden: 
University of Nottingham

In what appears to be a root-and-branch discarding of old Soviet structures, the Russian armed forces are currently subject to a process of change that will, if the plan comes to fruition, leave them smaller, learner and more deployable. The hope within the corridors of the Kremlin is that Russia will soon have a ‘new look’ military fit for the 21st century. This paper assesses Russian military doctrine and strategic thinking as an important aspect of reform. It has long been recognised by observers of military affairs in the West that the character of war has undergone significant changes, which have meant that strategic assumptions and doctrines developed and internalised during the Cold War are no longer appropriate. This is also significant for the process of military modernisation in Russia. Institutional changes, increasing budgets and technological innovation alone are unlikely to increase the utility of Russian military force in the long term. Unless the adaptation of strategic thinking and doctrine to the current security environment is recognised by the political and military leaderships as an essential element of reform, effective modernisation is likely to be elusive.