India Takes a Step Away from the Russian Defense Industry

Foreign Military Studies Office logo

(Click image to download article.)


India and Russia have had a long-standing security cooperation partnership, with India relying heavily on Russian weapons and equipment for its armed forces. However, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Make in India initiative in 2014 to develop the country’s defense industry and reduce dependence on imports. The war in Ukraine has caused India to accelerate this process and end negotiations or cancel agreements with Russia on several weapon system acquisitions. Indian officials cited Russia’s logistical problems in delivering new systems as the reason for the cancellations. This article examines how the conflict in Ukraine has impacted one of Russia’s key security cooperation partnerships and how India’s defense industry is developing to produce replacements for these systems. The study provides insights into the challenges and opportunities for India to achieve its goal of self-reliance in defense production.

Click here to download

Great Power Competition: The Changing Landscape of Global Geopolitics (edited by Dr. Mahir J. Ibrahimov)

Great Power Competition - The Changing Landscape of Global Geopolitics

(Click image to download book.)

Great Power Competition continues the discussion begun with the 2017 Cultural Perspectives, Geopolitics, & Energy Security of Eurasia: Is the Next Global Conflict Imminent?  This second volume undertakes a deep analysis beyond the obvious military strategic nexus to identify new spaces for planners and policymakers alike to consider. Similar to Cultural Perspectives, distinguished nationally and internationally known scholars in their respective areas discuss how emerging global and regional powers are trying to expand their influences in Eurasia, the Americas, and Africa, among other regions. The scholars, who bring a combination of academic and first-hand practical expertise, examine how the actions of adversaries such as Russia, China, and Iran in a greater Eurasia landscape and beyond have challenged the US National Security Strategy and National Defense Strategy. These actions include continuous efforts to challenge US interests in the Middle East, Southwest Asia, the Western Hemisphere and Africa, especially in the changing homeland security landscape in light of COVID-19 and recent societal unrest.    Click Here for Publication Site

“A Survey of Russia Security Topics for 2020 and Just Beyond” by BG (Ret.) Peter B. Zwack (2020-10-15)

(Click image to download brief.)

Although US security concerns have recently focused to a large degree on China, it is Russia that is the unpredictable wildcard. The country has stumbled in more ways than one during the past several months. In March 2020, it overplayed its hand in a game of oil supply-price brinksmanship with Saudi Arabia. The ruble is under inflation pressure. And the Kremlin’s initial fumbling of the coronavirus outbreak only added to its impact. In late May, Russian state press reported that Moscow could face a 7.5 percent drop in GDP following the pandemic.1 One of the most telling signs of pressure on the Kremlin was the decision—no doubt a reluctant one—to postpone the grand 75th anniversary events linked to VE-Day on 9 May and reschedule a more modest celebration for 24 June. During this tumultuous period, a Levada poll saw a slide in President Vladimir Putin’s popularity to 59 percent, a six-year low.

Russian Military Art and Advanced Weaponry (Timothy Thomas)

(Click image to download book.)

Russian General Staff Chief Valery Gerasimov has continually requested that the Academy of Military Science provide him with ideas about new forms and methods of warfare. One source defined “methods” as the use of weaponry and military art. Weaponry is now advanced and is characterized by new speeds, ranges, and agilities, which introduce new ways for Russian commanders to apply force. Military art takes into consideration advanced weaponry’s contributions to conflict along with a combination of both old and new combat experiences, the creativity and innovative capabilities of commanders, and new ways for considering or adding to the principles of military art (mass, surprise, etc.).

In its simplest form, Russian military art is the development of recommendations for the application of military and nonmilitary actions. Military art changes in accordance with contemporary developments. Proof of this statement lies in the various and unexpected ways that Russian forces can now disorganize an opponent’s command and control systems, are developing strategic aerospace axes for deep operations, are considering new forms of maneuver and geophysical weaponry, and are developing new applications of electronic warfare and military stratagems. In addition, Russian military art avoids stereotyping, which along with several other items have serious implications for commanders of multi-domain operations (MDO) to take into consideration.

This study expands discussion of all these issues.

The Chinese Way of War: How Has it Changed? (Timothy L. Thomas)

The Chinese Way of War: How Has it Changed? (Timothy L. Thomas)

(Click image to download book.)

The Chinese way of war has changed dramatically from what it was 20 years ago, but that does not mean everything is new. Some components of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) historic thought (deception, stratagems, etc.) remain as important elements and are being integrated into technologies. However, China’s intelligentization of operations and focus on joint and all-domain capabilities (to include some domains not currently under consideration in the US) create new challenges. Artificial intelligence (AI) is now being used to help design warfare and provide control over conflicts, ensuring that the PLA has a future deterrent force to confront other nations. It appears that China will remain a formidable opponent for many years to come.

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.

Russian Military Thought: Concepts and Elements (Timothy L. Thomas)

(Click image to download book.)

Technology has dramatically increased the speed at which decisions must be made, expanded the spectrum of military thought (from the strategic to the planetary), and focused more attention on innovative thinking and risk-taking.  This report, Russian Military Thought: Concepts and Elements, considers technology’s impact on military thought while also considering the latter’s historical legacy passed from the Soviet to the Russian period. Two issues are thus at play in the report, traditional ones and those associated with information-age advances. Initially, the report examines several concepts from the Soviet era still in vogue today, such as the forms and methods of warfare, forecasting, and the initial period of war, among others. The past remains important for the present and continues to affect the way Russia analyzes its situational context. Next, how these basic concepts are applied to information-age advances are examined. For example, there are Russian-authored articles on the forms and methods (traditional thought) of network-centric conditions, aerospace defense, and cyber issues (information-age thought), among others.  Forecasting must assess the impact on the nature of war from weapons based on new physical principles. The speed of cyber operations indicates that forces must be prepared now for the initial period of war (IPW). Planning tomorrow for a surprise attack is more than a day late, as the cyber IPW may result in the conflict’s end before it starts.  The report is of interest for its focus on purely Russian military thought. It attempts to avoid mirror-imaging Western concepts (hybrid, grey zone, etc.) onto Russian military thinking. It represents the first focused study on the topic of military thought since the edited 1981 book Soviet Military Thinking. The report in no way replaces that volume but rather supplements it.

Cultural Perspectives, Geopolitics & Energy Security of Eurasia: Is the Next Global Conflict Imminent? (Mahir J. Ibrahimov, Gustav A. Otto, and Lee G. Gentile, Jr.)

(Click image to download book.)

Marking the anniversary of the Ukraine Revolution of 2014, the Army University Press is pleased to announce the publishing of “Cultural Perspectives, Geopolitics & Energy Security of Eurasia: Is the Next Global Conflict Imminent?” This anthology was written under the auspice of CREL Management Office (CRELMO), and provides insight and observations on the importance of the Eurasia region, including Russia and other countries of the former USSR. The articles that make up this work provide a detailed description of regional realities, including a contextual discussion of the current Ukraine situation, viewed through the prism of Russia’s traditional military-strategic culture. As with all countries in the Eurasian region, Russia’s traditional strategic interests play a critical role in the geopolitical and socio-cultural situation in that region. The observations and insights in this volume are important for Army professionals who lead Soldiers in a variety of missions across the globe. The anthology goes beyond the obvious military strategic nexus and seeks to identify new spaces for consideration by planners and policymakers alike. (From introduction by MG John S. Kem, Provost, Army University.)   Click Here for Publication Site

Winning Irregular War – 2017 Edit (Geoff Demarest)

(Click image to download book.)

Control over the granting of impunity is this book’s definition of winning. The geography of impunity is sanctuary. To control impunity and sanctuary, the book highlights attention to anonymity; inventorying as an indispensable knowledge activity; withdrawal and pursuit as key operational and strategic concepts; deception as a compulsory element of strategic thinking; geography as the academic discipline of choice; property analysis as tool for exposing the distribution of power; distance as a key variable in the measurement of relative power; civil engineering and construction as noble activities; personal dignity and honor as key quantities of a durable victory; adaptation of classic strategy as operational artistry; and formal property regimes as a basis of peaceful social compacts.

Kremlin Kontrol: Russia’s Political-Military Reality (Timothy L. Thomas)

(Click image to download book.)

Authoritarian regimes are, by their very nature, insecure. They tend to view Western democracies as an existential threat to their way of rule and they fear the development of any type of opposition or protests in the streets. In Russia’s case, the latter fear of protests leading to a “color revolution” often appears as important as the ISIS threat to its southern border. Lacking political legitimacy, they rely on two factors to sustain their leadership, patriotism and control. This study discusses the latter issue from both a civilian and military point of view. Russian President Vladimir Putin, a former KGB operative, is all about control. In his excellent book The Invention of Russia, Arkady Ostrovsky recounted one conversation about Putin: “Anything you control is safe. Anything you don’t control by definition represents a threat—that is their mental framework, and a KGB officer is always a KGB officer.”

This work is divided into two parts. Part One looks at the system of control that Putin has either continued or developed anew in his twelve years as president. Part Two is focused on several military aspects of control. These include not only command and control issues but also the methodical manner in which Russian military analysts establish control parameters over their environment.