Russia Military Strategy: Impacting 21st Century Reform and Geopolitics (Timothy L. Thomas)

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This book is divided into three parts. Part one addresses President Vladimir Putin’s personality, Russian methods of developing strategy, and the Russian thought process for evaluating military affairs (forecasting, correlation of forces, forms, and methods of thought). Part two addresses the nature of future war, focusing on future war’s new weapons and organizations (to include aerospace, robotics, electronic warfare equipment, and unmanned aerial vehicles, among other pieces of equipment) and the DARPA-like organizations that have been created to increase Russia’s focus on science and technology developments. Part three address geopolitics, in particular the Russian militarization of the Arctic and the rationale behind their operations in Ukraine. All three parts help analysts in their attempts to uncover the vector (s) in which Russian military capabilities and actions are heading. The nation’s theorists have absorbed lessons learned from the contemporary conflicts of others and placed increased focus on the development of new technologies to protect their national interests and attain specific strategic goals.


China’s Military Strategy: Basic Conceptsand Examples of its Use (Timothy L. Thomas)

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Chinese retired Lieutenant General Li Jijun noted in 2006 that, from the vantage point of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), “Therefore, in war direction, understanding the adversary’s ideological culture and strategic thinking method is as important as finding out the adversary’s military deployment.” This book seeks to address the concept of China’s military strategy in order to help US analysts better understand PLA motives and intent. While the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is not an enemy, it has developed into a powerful competitor worthy of closer examination. If we (the US) are to follow the advice of PLA analysts, and do what they are doing, then we should be using peacetime to contemplate how their strategic thought is developed and implemented. Keeping a finger on the pulse of the PLA’s thought process as it proceeds with confidence (and some degree of arrogance) into the second decade of the 21st century will allow the US to assess the probable direction (or uncover purposeful misdirection) inherent in PLA strategy. Accordingly, any required adjustments to US military strategy can be formulated.  The analysis merely suggests a way of considering or thinking about PLA strategy and not necessarily the way. The discussion and conclusions are almost solely based on the use of translated Chinese documents and, as such, attempt to offer a purely Chinese perspective on the content, goals, and implementation of strategy.


Three Faces of the Cyber Dragon: Cyber Peace Activist, Spook, Attacker (Timothy L. Thomas)

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China’s cyber policy has become partly visible to foreign nations through observation, tracking, and inference. The policy appears to have three vectors. The first vector is in the public opinion or “soft power” arena, where China professes to be led by a policy of active defense and cooperation with other nations over cyber issues. The second and most prominent vector is China’s exhibited capability to conduct strong and stealthy intelligence and reconnaissance activities against nation’s worldwide, using the guise of anonymity to hide these efforts. The third vector is the offensive character of China’s cyber strategy. It contains the theoretical backing for preemptive cyber operations against other nations in times of crisis. These three aspects—peace activist, espionage activist, and attack planner—dominate China’s cyber policy. Some are always hidden from view while others are demonstrated daily. Three Faces of the Cyber Dragon is divided into sections that coincide with these vectors.


Fangs of the Lone Wolf: Chechen Tactics in the Russian-Chechen Wars, 1994-2009 (Dodge Billingsley with Dr. Lester Grau)

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Books on guerrilla war are seldom written from the tactical perspective and from the guerrilla’s perspective. Fangs of the Lone Wolf: is an exception. These are the stories of low-level guerrilla combat as told by the survivors. They cover fighting from the cities of Grozny and Argun to the villages of Bamut and Serzhen-yurt, and finally the hills, river valleys and mountains that make up so much of Chechnya. Dodge Billingsley, the primary author was embedded with Chechen guerrilla forces after the first war, so he knows the country, the culture, the key actors and the conflict. Yet, as a Western outsider, he is able to maintain perspective and objectivity. He traveled extensively to interview Chechen former combatants who are now in hiding or on the run from Russian retribution and justice. Commissioned by the USMC, the military professional will appreciate the book’s crisp narration, organization by type of combat, accurate color maps and insightful analysis and commentary. The book is organized into vignettes that provide insight on the nature of both Chechen and Russian tactics utilized during the two wars. The vignettes show the chronic problem of guerrilla logistics, the necessity of fighting positions, the value of the correct use of terrain and the price paid in individual discipline and unit cohesion when guerrillas are not bound by a military code and law. Guerrilla warfare is probably as old as man, but has been overshadowed by maneuver war by modern armies and recent developments in the technology of war. Fangs of the Lone Wolf provides a unique insight into what is becoming modern and future war.


Recasting the Red Star: Russia Forges Tradition and Technology Through Toughness (Timothy L. Thomas)

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Recasting the Red Star describes Russia’s modernization effort in a comprehensive fashion. The Defense Ministry’s military reform effort and the operational environment implied in Russia’s national security strategy (2009) and military doctrine (2010) are described. The Soviet culture of military thought is examined to include a short history of Tsarist and Soviet military traditions. These chapters serve as a reference point for the traditions behind Russia’s modernization effort. Next the author examines technological developments, such as Russia’s concept of high-technology deception, information war, reconnaissance- and information-strike systems (a C4ISR equivalent), and resulting future war construct. Finally, the book closely examines the Russian-Georgian conflict of August 2008. These chapters question why Russia and Georgia went to war, how information warfare figured into the conflict, and, most important of all, “who set the bear trap.”


Property & Peace: Insurgency, Strategy, and the Statute of Frauds (Geoff Demarest)

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This book argues that the quality of foreign real property systems be made a priority issue in US diplomatic, military and intelligence thinking and strategy. The text does not argue that creating better land records will assure peaceful coexistence. Formal real property record systems correlate with peaceful societies, but the principle assertion here is in the negative. Even with formal records, functioning property courts, and a free and fluid market in land a place may still suffer violent dissention. However, a polity that does not formalize ownership rights and duties, especially rights and duties related to land, will not enjoy peace. Comprehensive, precise, transparent expression of real property is a necessary precondition of peace; places outside the lines of formal property necessarily slump toward possession by force. From this assertion others follow that bear on the way global security is pursued.


The Dragon’s Quantum Leap: Transforming from a Mechanized to an Informatized Force (Timothy L. Thomas)

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Chinese observations of warfare in the information age have resulted in a widespread transformation and metamorphosis of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) from a mechanized to an informatized force. This transformation has affected nearly every aspect of China’s military from strategy to logistics to educational development.The Dragon’s Quantum Leap intends to peel back the transformation process and uncover the impact of new modes of thought on several key segments of military development (culture, stratagems, crisis management, deception, and reconnaissance among other elements) that digital-age thought is affecting. It expands the scope but not the basic theoretical theme of the author’s two previous works on Chinese information warfare concepts. They were Dragon Bytes, which covered Chinese IW activities from 1999-2003; and Decoding the Virtual Dragon, which covered Chinese IW activities from 2003-2006. The Dragon’s Quantum Leap updates these concepts and activities to mid-2009 and completes the author’s trilogy on the topic. As with the author’s previous works, this book primarily uses original Chinese source material.


Future War (Makhmut Gareev and Vladimir Slipchenko)

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In 2005, the Foreign Military Studies Office hosted a unique conference featuring two of Russia’s premier military thinkers, who provided their thoughts on the nature of future war. This publication is the bilateral, agreed-upon transcript of the lectures which answer the same question.  Major General Vladimir Slipchenko addresses the question “For what Kind of War Must Russia Be Prepared?” His observations capture technical and military-strategic context.  Army General Makhmut Gareev gives a historical and ideological perspective of “Russia in the Wars of the 20th Century.”  The introduction of these conference notes was authored by the Foreign Military Studies Office’s Director and moderator of the conference at that time, Dr. Jacob W. Kipp.  Slipchenko and Gareev’s comments here represent early insights and perspectives provided directly to their US military counterparts and remain foundational voices in Russian military science.


Decoding the Virtual Dragon: Critical Evolutions in the Science and Philosophy of China’s Information Operations and Military Strategy (Timothy L. Thomas)

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This book expands upon Dragon Bytes, the author’s earlier work on Chinese information warfare (IW) activities from 1999-2003. Decoding the Virtual Dragon explains how Chinese IW concepts since 2003 fit into the strategic outlook, practices, and activities of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The book offers IW explanations directly from the pens of Chinese experts. There are few intermediate filters. In some cases direct translations of key Chinese terms are offered. The Chinese authors discuss the application or relation of IW to strategic thought, the transformation plans of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the revolution in military affairs (RMA), and the revolution in knowledge warfare and cognition. The book thus serves as a source for the fundamentals of Chinese military thought and demonstrates how IW/IO has been integrated into the art of war and strategy.


The New Great Game: Chinese Views on Central Asia (Charles Hawkins and Robert Love)

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In August 2005, ten top Chinese scholars traveled to the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) to share their ideas with American participants during a symposium that was hosted by the U.S. Army’s Foreign Military Studies Office. These scholars brought with them their in-depth research and analysis on a host of topics that impact Central Asia, including energy security, border disputes, and the “three evils” (terrorism, separatism, and extremism), which have been a key objective in combatting by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). They also addressed the role other countries, such as China, Russia, India, and Pakistan, have played in the region. The book is a compilation of the papers that made up the presentation from the visiting scholars. It includes a chapter written by Brigadier General (retired) Feroz Khan from the Pakistan Army, a keynote speaker during the symposium. It is broken down into three parts. The first part offers a framework of understanding of China’s Central Asia policy and relations. Part two covers specific issues and concerns. Part three covers the way ahead. The authors’ unique foreign perspectives on the issues that have drawn concern over Central Asia, give readers a more insightful and diverse view on the region.