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There is no reason why an escalatory latter have to exist for a given adversary or for it to be operative. On the contrary, nuclear explosives may be the only practical way to prevent war caused by indiscriminate use of nuclear weapons in dangerous hands like North Korea. Technology and doctrine have evolved since nuclear weapons were used last in and WMD taboos became institutionalized in international law.

A second key element is the changing nature of the threat posed by peer competitors, which has been characterized by some as anti-access area denial capabilities. What this entails is shaping missile enabled air, ground and naval forces which can leverage both defensive systems such as the S and strike missiles, for now cruise but with perhaps hypersonic systems in the mid term future.

Warfare in the 21st Century

The US and the allies engaging peer competitors with evolving capabilities is requiring nothing less than changing our own template of operations and introducing new capabilities, fifth generation aircraft, new C2 systems, laying down the foundation for distributed operations, developing enhanced multi-domain operational capabilities.

There is a major shift in operational foci for both peer competitors and the US and its allies, which is being empowered by new systems, new training, new concepts of operations, and new areas of conflict, such as in the cyber domain. And this in turn in resetting the spectrum of conflict within which engagements are occurring and will occur. Projected S range from Kaliningrad. As Admiral Wang put it with regard to how he saw the challenge to Denmark and to Northern Europe posed by the Russians and their advanced systems:.

The Soviet-Warsaw threat was one of invasion and occupation, and then using Nordic territory to fight U. In many ways, this would have been a repeat of how the Nazis seized Norway during a combined arms amphibious operation combined with a land force walk into Denmark. In that scenario, the Danes and their allies were focused on sea denial through use of mines, with fast patrol boats providing protection for the minelayers. Aircraft and submarines were part of a defense in depth strategy to deny the ability of the Soviets to occupy the region in time of a general war.

He contrasted this with the current situation in which the Russians are less focused on a general war, and more on building capabilities for a more limited objective, controlling the Baltic States. He highlighted the arms modernization of the Russian military focused on ground-based missile defense and land- and sea-based attack missiles, along with airpower, as the main means to shape a denial-in-depth strategy which would allow the Russians significant freedom of maneuver to achieve their objectives within their zone of strategic maneuver.

A core Russian asset is the Kalibr cruise missile, which can operate off of a variety of platforms. With a dense missile wolf pack, so to speak, the Russians provide a cover for their maneuver forces. They are focused on using land-based mobile missiles in the region as their key strike and defense asset. And you will not be able to get in and get us out. Wang argued for a reverse engineering approach to the Russian threat.

The Russian takeover of the Crimea was the first step in the reshaping of the spectrum. Here the Russians introduced a multi-domain approach to victory, backed by having a significant combat force, which could deter NATO from doing much about it. And as Russia looks to the Baltics or the Chinese look to expand their control over the South China Sea, tactics and strategy are relying on their new power projection tools in support of a proactive engagement to reshape the strategic situation to their advantage. Put in other words, military means associated with high intensity warfare capabilities, combat ships, combat aircraft and a strong missile force are being combined with a proactive strategy of engagement and expansion.

Tomorrow's Warfare: Urban Operations in the 21st Century | RAND

The nature of the threat facing the liberal democracies was well put by a senior Finnish official in a recent briefing: The timeline for early warning is shorter; the threshold for the use of force is lower. What is unfolding is that capabilities traditionally associated with high end warfare are being drawn upon for lower threshold conflicts, designed to achieve political effect without firing a shot.

Higher end capabilities being developed by China are Russia are becoming tools to achieve political-military objectives throughout the diplomatic engagement spectrum.

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This means that not only do the liberal democracies need to shape more effective higher end capabilities but they need to learn how to use force packages which are making up a higher end, higher tempo or higher intensity capability as part of a range of both military operations but proactive engagement to shape peer adversary behavior. For example, one is buying fifth generation aircraft not simply to prepare for an all out war to defend the democracies, but to provide tools for governments to defend their interests throughout the spectrum of warfare and co-associated diplomatic activity as well.

For example, as the Russians were consolidating gains from the Crimean seizure, we noted ways moving forward one might deal with this kind of behavior, which although not at the high end was, informed an enabled by the presence of higher end warfare capabilities, both conventional and nuclear. Valiant Shield focuses on integrated joint training among U.

We wrote in about ways to leverage higher end capabilities into the spectrum of warfare introduced by the Russians into Ukraine in a way that would matter in perhaps both shaping more favorable political outcomes and laying a foundation for more robust ways ahead if needed. S imply asking Putin to man up and take responsibility is not going to get the job done. We could start by trying to actually engage in the information war which the Russians are conducting. Clearly, leveraging intelligence assets and putting the story into the Western press in DETAIL is crucial to position oneself for an effective information war engagement.

Cyber Power in 21st-Century Joint Warfare

This is not about feeling good; it is about defeating the Russian information war gambit, which is holding the West responsible to trying to take advantage of the crisis for political advantage. It is about hard power underwriting other warfighting tool sets, notably those associated with political warfare, which underwrites hybrid warfare, which in turn is empowered by escalation capabilities residing in a robust conventional military force structure, which in turn is underwritten by modern nuclear weapons as well. This is quite different from the classic distinction made between hard and soft power, and is really about thinking through how political warfare tools and hybrid warfare concepts of operations are key parts of full spectrum crisis management.

He noted that the main challenges are already here, so we do not need to wait until to focus on the nature of the challenge and to think through the question of relevant capabilities. In that speech, General Campbell highlighted Russian thinking and actions as highlighting the new nature of warfare and deterrence facing the liberal democracies. Essentially, he sees conflict as opening with a covert phase — intensive information and political operations — which then continues to and combines with other phases, including economic and escalating non-kinetic measures.

In most situations, Western countries take few, if any, actions during the first two phases. By then, to the Russians, the war is half fought — and, perhaps, already won. Now, some have argued that this doctrine is simply a well-articulated version of what the Russians have always done and, certainly, the actions of the former Soviet Union back that up. But how it is practised —the nature and intensity of the actions — are orders of magnitude greater in scale, reach and sophistication. The Ukraine Crisis in was an example of this.

But it was also accompanied by computer attacks, manipulation of social and mass media, collapse of the national financial system, and other deceptive operations. Together, they paralysed the Ukrainian government, and the international community.

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No effective action could be taken. Meanwhile, the only covert action in the NATO column was cyber defence — and back then it was accompanied by a question mark. Because they raise important questions that many of you need to consider and, eventually, we all need to answer. What parts of our state deter, or defend us from, modern forms of political warfare? Will the brinkmanship of political warfare inevitably drive us to violent conflict? Or, perversely, is it actually an element of state-on-state competition that helps keep us out of violent conflict?

Are we, as some scholars suggest, ignorant and naive?

Ignorant of our history, naive of our competitors? I encourage you to think deeply on these questions. Because to return to Trotsky, while, right now and in the war of , you may not be interested in political warfare … political warfare is most certainly interested in you.

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But what exactly is the relationship among political warfare, hybrid warfare and conventional capabilities in the Russian approach to reasserting its position within Europe and beyond? A recent report authored by Ross Babbage with a number of case studies provided by his contributors of how the Chinese and Russians have shaped a 21 st century authoritarian approach to escalation dominance provides solid analysis and conclusions about the nature of the challenge and ways this challenge can be met. These reports were published by CSBA and a briefing was held on July 23, to release the two reports and their two appendices containing the case studies. Or put in blunt terms, simply building up a hard power military capability to deal with the strategic shift from the Middle East land wars to dealing with peer competitors is a necessary but not sufficient condition for 21 st century escalation dominance or deterrence.

In effect, Babbage is suggesting that 21 st century authoritarian states are taking on liberal democracies at the level of their core values and are challenging them to protect their interests. What Babbage argues is that unless the liberal democracies sort through ways to engage at the level of political warfare and to both shape denial and proactive strategies to do so, liberal democracies will respond to the 21 st century authoritarians with higher end conventional force when it might be too late or the tools not the ones most effective to head off or deal with the challenge.

Without political warfare tools linked in fundamental ways to engage in hybrid war, the liberal democracies will not only be disadvantaged but will see their global influence reside as well. In other words, the liberal democracies are in a global contest, not of their own making. And to engage in this global contest, the war of values is central — Remember Mr.

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