Russian Combat Capabilities for 2020: Three Developments to Track (Timothy L. Thomas)

(Click image to download book.)

Russia’s military prowess has increased significantly ever since the appointments of Sergey Shoygu as Minister of Defense in 2012 and Valery Gerasimov’s assignment as Chief of the General Staff in 2013. They have diligently worked to fulfill President Vladimir Putin’s May 2012 edict that called for modernizing the Armed Forces by 2020 with a focus on electronic warfare and air-space defense capabilities, among others. The modernization effort offers three areas for Western analysts to track closely in the coming year: how it is being implemented – and lessons learned — during the fighting in Syria, Russian developments in space, and Russian plans to disorganize a foe’s command and control system with electronic warfare. These areas appear to support the development of a new theory of warfare in Russia that, according to Shoygu and Gerasimov, relies on a combination of classical and asymmetric concepts.