The United States is in the midst of a new Cold War against an old foe. Russia has awakened from years of decay following the fall of the Soviet Union and once again seeks to be a dominant world power.1 It has been developing and refining ways to gain the upper hand in a clash with U.S. and allied forces, with its actions in Georgia, Ukraine, Syria, and other places causing a resurgence of involvement in European defense as embodied in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).2 Its new methods of waging war blur the lines between conventional and unconventional forces and operations.
As a result, the chances of a conflict with Russia or its proxies are higher than they have been in decades. While U.S. diplomats strive for peace, Marines must support their efforts by preparing for war. The Corps must recognize Russia’s warfare advances and develop countertactics.
1. Roger N. McDermott, “Russia’s Armed Forces Undergoing ‘Unparalleled’ Transformation,” Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty, 13 August 2009.
2. Roger N. McDermott, “Russia’s Conventional Armed Forces and the Georgian War,” The U.S. Army War College Quarterly Parameters 39 (Spring 2009): 65–80. Courtney Kube, “Russia Has Figured Out How to Jam U.S. Drones in Syria, Officials Say,” NBC News, 10 April 2018. Paul McLeary, “Russia’s Winning the Electronic War,” Foreign Policy, 21 October 2015.
3. Sydney J. Freedberg, “Maps & Jammers: Army Intensifies Training Vs. Russian-Style Jamming,” Breaking Defense, 18 March 2016.
4. Sebastien Roblin, “The Russian New Warfare Doctrine Has the Army Worried Enough to Make a Manual About It,” The National Interest, 11 February 2018.
5. Jacek Siminski, “Pro-Moscow Militants in Ukraine Are Decimating Kiev’s Air Force,” Business Insider, 2 December 2014. Jack Losh, “Land Mines in Ukraine’s East Put It among World’s Most Dangerous Areas for Civilians,” The Washington Post, 18 November 2017. Joe Gould, “Electronic Warfare: What U.S. Army Can Learn From Ukraine,” Defense News, 2 August 2015.
6. Asymmetric Warfare Group, Russian New Generation Warfare Handbook, 1st ed. (U.S. Army, 2016), 35.
7. Asymmetric Warfare Group, Russian New Generation Warfare Handbook, 37–38.
8. Asymmetric Warfare Group, 40–41.
9. Asymmetric Warfare Group, 48–49.
10. Asymmetric Warfare Group, 49–50.
11. Dave Majumdar, “How Russia’s Edge in Electronic Warfare Could ‘Ground’ the U.S. Air Force,” The National Interest, 26 April 2016.