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Essential Guide to Russian Hybrid Warfare: Three Studies on Putin's Crimea Annexation, Assaults on Georgia, Ukraine and Syria, Proxy Forces and Little Green Men, NATO Strategy for Countering Threat

Length: 220 pages3 hours


Three excellent reports have been professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction in this compilation: Russia and Hybrid Warfare: Identifying Critical Elements in Successful Applications of Hybrid Tactics * Maskirovka 2.0: Hybrid Threat, Hybrid Response * Wrestling the Bear: The Rise of Russian Hybrid Warfare

Russia and Hybrid Warfare: With the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, hybrid war became a buzzword within political and academic circles. This study examines hybrid warfare applications using contemporary and historical examples. The analysis seeks to determine why a country was or was not successful in its execution of hybrid war, and it assesses the geopolitical context of cost, benefit, and risk for an aggressor state contributing to its decision to engage in hybrid warfare. The case studies selected include the 1923 German Communist Revolution, Germany's 1938 annexation of Austria, the 2008 Russia-Georgia War, and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. In each case study, a state went on the offensive, deliberately choosing hybrid tactics to obtain an objective.
Ultimately, the study objective strives to deepen our understanding of hybrid war, and to extrapolate how one seemingly minor hybrid event can be tied into a broader goal of an aggressor state in its interactions with a defender state. The analysis of the case studies suggests that the length of the conflict, local support, consolidated leadership, and the power balance between the two states involved have contributed to the success of state-sponsored hybrid war.

Maskirovka 2.0: The purpose of this paper is to describe the irregular and hybrid tools and techniques that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his security and intelligence forces have used, first in the attack against Georgia in 2008, then in the assault on Ukraine, and now in Syria, to advance renewed Russian regional hegemony and strategic reach. The paper also describes the mobilization of Russian minority populations, the co-option of the Georgian and Ukrainian regimes, and the West's seeming inability to effectively counter these Russian moves.

Wrestling the Bear: An analysis of the Russian political environment, economic considerations, and select military operations since 1991, with a sharp focus on Vladimir Putin's strategic leadership, highlights the evolution of the Russian brand of hybrid warfare (HW). The analysis also articulates the current and future implications for the United States and NATO, which struggle to counter regional Russian aggression. Finally, this study contends that the US and NATO are unprepared, unwilling, and unable to counter the current threat that Russian hybrid warfare poses, primarily due to a lack of unity of action, common understanding, and a cohesive strategy.

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