Portrait of Count Alexander Suvorov.
“If earlier, belligerents tried to preempt the enemy both before and during military (combat) actions, now it is advisable to transfer the main efforts in this matter to the beginning (and even before the beginning) of the armed struggle.”
The confidence of the Kremlin leadership to employ, or threaten to employ, military force is increasing as Russia continues to modernize its armed forces. This growing assurance may have reached the point where Russian military experts are now advocating preemptive military actions to defend the country’s interests. The accompanying excerpt comes from an article in Voennaya Mysl’, the flagship journal of the Russian Ministry of Defense. The authors argue that given the rapid nature of modern conflict and the increasing threats of potential adversaries, “it is now advisable to transfer the main military efforts to the beginning (and even before the beginning) of the armed struggle.”
The authors begin by describing how great Russian military leaders in the past understood the importance of striking the enemy first. Citing General A. Suvorov, they assert that “money is costly, human life is even more valuable, but time is the most precious thing!” Perhaps hinting at Russia’s demographic challenges, they point out that “the superiority gained from a surprise attack makes it possible to more than compensate for a smaller number of his troops.” The authors go on to suggest that Russia’s growing arsenal of “high-precision long-range sea and air-based weapons” now gives the military the ability to conduct a preemptive strike against the enemies of Russia.
Framing time as a spatial concept, the authors liken this preemptive thinking as an element of a “further development of theory and practice of ‘deep operation.’” Quoting another Russian military theorist, they assert that “in a war, the victory is won by the side that strikes earlier… which is necessary in order to break the enemy’s moral and material resistance and force him to submit to our will.” The authors conclude by stressing the importance of domestic propaganda when striking first, whereby the military’s “preemption of a potential enemy in action,” will gain the “support and develop the defense consciousness of the Russian people.”
Major General V.V. Kruglov, Colonel A.S. Shubin, “О возрастающем значении упреждения противника в действиях (On the growing importance of anticipating the enemy in actions),” Voennaya Mysl’ (flagship journal of the Russian Ministry of Defense), December 2021. https://vm.ric.mil.ru/Nomera (pp. 27-34).
…All social and military processes are accelerated to such an extent that there is a significant increase in the likelihood of missing any fundamental changes in military affairs that could threaten the security of the state. …In this regard, military science is faced with the urgent task of studying the problem of rational use of the time factor in military affairs.
…Military history shows that one of the first generals who most deeply understood the importance of time in battle was A.V. Suvorov…. Suvorov expressed this circumstance in immortal words: “Money is expensive, human life is even more valuable, and time is the most precious thing!”
The superiority gained from the surprise of the attack made it possible to more than compensate for the small number of his troops.
…More than 100 years ago, the Russian military theorist émigré A. Zalf approached this problem in the following way: “In a war, the victory is won by the side that strikes earlier… in order to break the enemy’s moral and material resistance and force him to submit to our will.”
…The emergence of new means of warfare, in particular high-precision long-range sea and air-based weapons (cruise missile “Caliber”, hypersonic missile systems “Dagger”, “Zircon”, gives rise to such new forms of military action as a strategic strike and a missile air-naval strike.
… in fact, is a consequence of the further development of theory and practice “Deep operation”.
…The arsenal of the RF Armed Forces should contain types of weapons, forms and methods of action that are unexpected for the enemy, guaranteeing the destruction of the aggressor in any conditions of the situation. At the same time, it should be borne in mind that at present the use of the time factor has acquired a qualitatively new feature that generates the following pattern. If earlier, belligerents tried to preempt the enemy both before and during military (combat) actions, now it is advisable to transfer the main efforts in this matter to the beginning (and even before the beginning) of the armed struggle.
In conclusion, it is appropriate to recall the words of the patriot of Russia A. Shcherbatov, addressed to its citizens many years ago: “Under modern conditions of international struggle, victory remains with the fighting force behind which there is a nationwide determination to win at any cost and at whatever cost. victims. It is easy to create such a mood in the Russian people, since the state principle always prevailed over personal interest….” In connection with the permanent aggravation of the military-political situation in the world, when an armed conflict or war may break out at any moment and one must be ready for them, military scientists and military command and control bodies at all levels should intensify efforts to find and implement the latest effective forms and methods of military (combat) actions, including those involving preemption of a potential enemy in action, and thereby support and develop the defense consciousness of the Russian people.
Image: Portrait of Count Alexander Suvorov.
Attribution: Public Domain