Is There Really a Gerasimov Doctrine?

Gerasimov.jpg

A friend recently recommended that I take a look at an article by Molly McKew, "an expert on information warfare" entitled The Gerasimov Doctrine that was published by Politico last fall. The ominous subtitle of the piece is "It's Russia's new chaos theory of political warfare and it's probably being used on you." In the first paragraph McKew writes:

Lately Russia appears to be coming at the United States from all kinds of contradictory angles. Russian bots amplified Donald Trump during the campaign, but in office, Kremlin-backed media portray him as weak. Vladimir Putin is expelling U.S. diplomats from Russia, limiting options for warmer relations with the administration he wanted in place. As Congress pushes a harder line against Russia, plenty of headlines declare that Putin's gamble on Trump has failed. Confused? Only if you don't understand the Gerasimov Doctrine.

The Gerasimov McKew refers to is General Valery Gerasimov, Russia's Chief of the General Staff. Apparently, neither he nor anyone else in the Russian military or government has ever enunciated a "Gerasimov Doctrine," rather it's something McKew and others have extrapolated from one of his writings, a 2,000-word article she cites as The Value of Science is in the Foresight, though the full title is, The Value of Science is in the Foresight: New Challenges Demand Rethinking the Forms and Methods of Carrying out Combat Operations.

McKew's construction of the "Doctrine" is entirely based on two short passages, one of which she doesn't even quote in its entirety. The first is:

The very 'rules of war' have changed. The role of non-military means of achieving political and strategic goals has grown, and in many cases, they have exceeded the power of force of weapons in their effectiveness

The second is:

All this is supplemented by military means of a concealed character, [McKew's quote ends here] including carrying out actions of informational conflict and actions of special operations forces. The open use of forces – often under the guise of peacekeeping and crisis regulation – is resorted to only at a certain stage, primarily for the achievement of final success in the conflict.

So, what exactly is General Gerasimov really saying here? A 2016 report put out by Charles K Bartles of the All Partners Access Network (APAN), a "U.S. Department of Defense social networking website used for information sharing and collaboration" provides a very different analysis of the document. For example, Gerasimov links the "Arab Spring," eastern European "color revolutions" and in later comments the Ukrainian Maidan Movement with military capability development. According to Bartles, in order to understand this, we need to consider "the Russian view of warfare and forced regime change as it has developed since the end of the Cold War."

In the words of Bartles:

In the Russian view, transgressions against the post-Cold War international order began with the partition of Yugoslavia in the 1990s when Russia was at her weakest. While the Western narrative of NATO's Yugoslavia intervention is one of military action to prevent mass genocide, Russia has a much different view. Most Russians generally view the NATO bombing campaign as having been illegal because it was conducted without the approval of the UN Security Council and believe that Serbia was simply being punished for engaging in counter-terrorism operations, albeit with some excesses. The most egregious sin, from the Russian view, was the partitioning of Yugoslavia. This action set a precedent for external actors to make decisions about the internal affairs and territorial integrity of sovereign nations alleged to have committed some wrong.

Thus, it is no surprise that Russia justified many aspects of its Crimea annexation based on the lessons learned and the precedents set by the West in Yugoslavia. Additionally, the most obvious U.S. regime change operations occurred in Afghanistan and Iraq. Russia views those operations as having been very similar to the Kosovo operation. In the Russian view, the pattern of U.S. forced regime change has been as follows: deciding to execute a military operation; finding an appropriate pretext such as to prevent genocide or seize weapons of mass destruction; and finally launching a military operation to cause regime change.

However, Russia believes the pattern of forced U.S.-sponsored regime change has been largely supplanted by a new method. Instead of overt military invasion, the first volleys of a U.S. attack come through the installment of a political opposition through state propaganda (e.g. CNN, BBC), the internet and social media and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). After successfully instilling political dissent, separatism and/or social strife, the legitimate government has increasing difficulty maintaining order. Once the legitimate government is forced to use increasingly aggressive methods to maintain order, the United States gains a pretext for the imposition of economic and political sanctions and sometimes even military sanctions such as no-fly zones to tie the hands of the besieged government and promote further dissent.

Eventually as the government collapses and anarchy results, military forces under the guise of peacekeepers can then be employed to pacify the area, if desired and a new government that is friendly to the United States and West can be installed.

As Bartle's points out this theory may sound far-fetched to American ears but then think of what happened to Libya in 2011, which more or less fits the pattern to a tee. If true, it also clearly informs Gerasimov's work which is then the exact opposite of what McKew says it is. Gerasimov's report may not be about what the Russians plan to do to us but rather about how they will rise to face "the challenge" of what we may do to them.

(the full text of Bartle's analysis of Gerasimov's work can be found here: file:///C:/Users/acr13/Downloads/20151229%20Bartles%20-%20Getting%20Gerasimov%20Right%20(2).pdf)

Share
up
12 users have voted.

Comments

earthling1's picture

where the U.S. seized the Russian Embassy and expelled Russian diplomats prior to Putin's edict. All credibility was lost right there.
Just another Russia Russia Russia hit piece.
(Yawn)
Thanks for the expose'.

up
11 users have voted.
Pricknick's picture

Perhaps we should not comment on an article that leaves so much to be desired and disgusted with at the same time.
https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/09/05/gerasimov-doctrine-ru...

up
7 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

Alligator Ed's picture

@Pricknick Therefore, dissect this:

Russia might not have hacked American voting machines, but by selectively amplifying targeted disinformation and misinformation on social media—sometimes using materials acquired by hacking—and forging de facto information alliances with certain groups in the United States, it arguably won a significant battle without most Americans realizing it ever took place. The U.S. electoral system is the heart of the world’s most powerful democracy, and now—thanks to Russian actions—we’re locked in a national argument over its legitimacy. We’re at war with ourselves, and the enemy never fired a physical shot. “The information space opens wide asymmetrical possibilities for reducing the fighting potential of the enemy,” Gerasimov writes. (He also writes of using “internal opposition to create a permanently operating front through the entire territory of the enemy state.”)

Russia, Russia, Russia--all over again

Why not Hillary, Hillary, Hillary? When are the Republican pussies going to take her out? (Legally, not by Arkancide).

The logical conclusion of the passage I cited is that if a country has a "loyal opposition" (which ours doesn't), that would be res ipsa loquitur. Any deviation from the US state propaganda is therefore the result of foreign ne'er do wells who only wish to collapse our stinking system, instead of us citizens who want to collapse this stinking system.

up
10 users have voted.
Pricknick's picture

@Alligator Ed
Dissecting shit is a mandatory component of any true medical (and may I say political) study.
When it's readily identifiable, as in this case, I tend to walk around it.
For those of lower study I recommend:

up
7 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

snoopydawg's picture

@Alligator Ed

Voters Drafted a Reluctant Trump Because They Hated Hillary That Much

up
7 users have voted.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

Alligator Ed's picture

@snoopydawg We gators, being lowly water-dwelling swamp creatures don't really know when we're having fun, so thanks for directing some fun my way.

Trump may be America’s first certifiably insane president. He is probably the most ignorant — and we’ve had some doozies. He is certainly the first without any political or high-level military experience whatsoever. What we now know is at least as remarkable as those bulletpoints: Trump is effectively the first president drafted into the position.

I shall, with your kind permission, dissect some more shit from this paragraph.

1. Trump is ignorant--of political minuets. However, he clearly understands thrust and parry much better than his detractors, including the Evil Queen.

2. He is the first without any high level political experience--yeah, but he's bought donated to many with such experience

3. He has no military experience--but he does know he is the Commander in Chief and the American Military is historically loyal to the president, no matter how incompetent.

4. Trump was drafted--yeah! By none other than Hill and Bill.

So tell me, mirror on the wall, who's the dumbest of them all?

up
12 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@Pricknick

Russia might not have hacked American voting machines, but by selectively amplifying targeted disinformation and misinformation on social media—sometimes using materials acquired by hacking—and forging de facto information alliances with certain groups in the United States, it arguably won a significant battle without most Americans realizing it ever took place.

Or not.

up
8 users have voted.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

@snoopydawg

Lol, they're indirectly - and typically - bragging about what they did themselves. The battle they won, or believe they've won, was the conning and keying up of much of the US public to this time support and even ultimately demand not just the obliteration of their own human/civil/Constitutional rights and democracy but outright obliteration of themselves, along with life on the planet. But the overall American public is not quite as suicidally stupid as they are, despite The Psychopaths That Be's best efforts over decades, via the corporate media propaganda campaigns...

Where there's life, there's hope. Just not much time left to salvage any of the global life support system at all under rapidly worsening conditions destroying those required for life itself...

up
2 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

To use the blockquote tool highlight the text you want inside the blockquote and then click the blockquote icon ("). The HTML code will automatically wrap around the highlighted text. I would correct it for you but I'm not sure which text you intended to blockquote and which text is your commentary.

up
6 users have voted.
Radical Reformer's picture

@JtC Thanks for the tip. I was wondering why the quotes didn't look right!

up
3 users have voted.
Lookout's picture

@Radical Reformer

I find this analysis from Max Blumenthal more in line with my own -

... the Steele Dossier, which is really the playbook for Russiagate, which was generated with funding from the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign, has been exposed as bunk, it's kind of fallen apart. There are so many errors in it, beyond that Trump was urinated upon by sex workers at the Ritz Carlton in Moscow while being filmed by Vladimir Putin for compromise.

Steele's assertion that Trump was a FSB asset as early as 2011, when he was the host of The Apprentice, and there was no indication whatsoever that he would run for president. This is contradicted by the recent report in the New York Times, that George Papadopoulos and the nutty professor Mifsud were actually the FSB, or Russian Foreign Ministry assets, who triggered the federal investigation into Trump-Russia collusion. This is an attempt by the democrats to redirect the narrative away from the Steele Dossier, and away from the work that's done by Fusion GPS.

Fusion GPS has received tons of unwanted exposure, it's a corporate opposition research firm, and they, like the Israel lobby, do their best work in the dark when they can fly under the radar. They're well above the radar now, and I think we're seeing an effort at kind of damage control by a firm which specializes mainly in attacking corporations and individuals with negative PR.

And meanwhile the New York Times reporting, based on, as usual, anonymous current and former officials, is bunk itself. I mean, if Trump was supposedly cultivated as an asset in 2011, by the FSB, then why would Russian intelligence need to rely on these bit players, who are obvious eccentrics like Papadopoulos and Mifsud, to infiltrate the Trump campaign? It doesn't really make any sense.

And then six months ago, the New York Times and its crack team of Russiagate reporters, reported that Carter Page and his trips to Moscow, were what had triggered the Russiagate investigation. So, the New York Times has basically blown its own reporting out of the water, while discrediting the Steele Dossier. So, the whole narrative is imploding. Unfortunately, it's not being criticized or looked at in any critical fashion in mainstream American media.

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=767&...

In reading your post I was curious as to the point? No offense, just curious.

up
4 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

snoopydawg's picture

I stopped reading when it got to the part of Putin's kicking out our diplomats. Funny that he would do that after we closed the Russian embassy, isn't it?

How is it that no one talks about Hillary's bots? The correct the record bots that trolled every website that they could find? We hear that it's bad for Trump Jr. to meet with someone from Russia to get "dirt" on Her, but we don't hear that she hired Fusion GPS a PR firm that does a lot of work for the Russians. Funny that.

Let's learn about Fusion GPS and who they work for and what they do.

"Interestingly, given Fusion GPS’ admitted role in compiling a dossier against Donald Trump, Halvorssen said that Fusion GPS’ methods of going after whistleblowers and journalists included “smear campaigns,” “dossiers containing false information,” and “carefully placed slanderous news items.” Whoops.

up
8 users have voted.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

Big Al's picture

@snoopydawg Found this. The AEI reference is to the Zionist American Enterprise Institute.

https://theological-geography.net/?p=27930

up
10 users have voted.
Pricknick's picture

@Big Al
Once again politico leaves a pile of shit for others to step in.

up
9 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

SnappleBC's picture

@snoopydawg

Let's learn about Fusion GPS and who they work for and what they do.

up
1 user has voted.

A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

They always accuse others of what they do themselves - and the US PTB have been using confusion strategies for-freaking-ever.

Anything I see that has RUSSIA!!! in it, I throw a heavy salt-lick at it. You know, one of the big ones that you put out for horses when in the paddocks or out at pasture. Because a sprinkle of salt just doesn't cover the mess anymore.

up
9 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

thanatokephaloides's picture

@Ellen North

Anything I see that has RUSSIA!!! in it, I throw a heavy salt-lick at it. You know, one of the big ones that you put out for horses when in the paddocks or out at pasture. Because a sprinkle of salt just doesn't cover the mess anymore.

Oh, you mean like this one:

I used one of the Morton ones with extra minerals! Winksource

up
9 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@thanatokephaloides

Oh, good, those are the best for horses! (The propagandists steal enough minerals from other people's countries that they don't need any more given them.)

up
1 user has voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

From Wikipedia, slightly edited.

The Protocols of the Meetings of the Learned Elders of Zion is an antisemitic anti-Russian fabricated text purporting to describe a Jewish Russian plan for global domination.

up
4 users have voted.

@MrWebster

Hah! Perfect, thanks!

up
1 user has voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.