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Science, Science, and Science – Gerasimov’s 2018 speech

In Blog, English by Christoph BilbanLeave a Comment

Scientific hotspots and an old story Valery Gerasimov held his first speech at the yearly assembly of the Russian Academy of Military Sciences five years ago. It soon became (in)famous as the “Gerasimov doctrine” (see also my comment here), and only recently Mark Galeotti, the inventor of the term, admitted he consciously mislabeled his blog post in 2014 when looking for a catchy title. Some weeks ago, the Voenno-Promyshlenny Kur’er (Military-Industrial Courier) once again featured a speech of Gerasimov’s, in an article called “Scientific Hotspots.” While this marks the first time that it wasn’t Gerasimov himself who authored the transcript, it nonetheless resembles a genuine piece of his thinking. Unsurprisingly, his description of the global security situation suits Russia’s siege mentality.

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Comeback of Deterrence – An Austrian Review of BALTDEFCOL Conference 2018

In Blog, Conference Review, English by Christoph BilbanLeave a Comment

The fourth annual Baltic Defence College conference on Russia took place in Tartu, Estonia from March 8th to 9th. While a lot of the talks were on topics well covered in recent literature and commentaries, there were some strikingly new points as well. For an “outsider” from the peaceful heart of Europe – Austria – the rhetoric encountered on the panels as well as during the breaks, seemed rather belligerent. However, the threat to the Baltic states is real, but not likely. Hence deterrence is the name of the game now for the Baltic armed forces as well as for NATO. Since the NATO summit in Wales in 2014 the term “deterrence” experienced a revival in official documents and statements. While deterrence is seen as the way to mitigate the security risks posed by Russia to this region., RAND Corp in a recent study pointed out that NATO is vastly outgunned on its eastern flank. With just four battlegroups of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence permanently present in the area, force levels prevent a credible deterrence by denial. Nowadays, the EFP’s role is thus akin to a tripwire put in place to trigger Article 5. It was noteworthy then that conference …

Gerasimov: click-baiting à la russe

In English, Notes by Christoph BilbanLeave a Comment

The following piece takes reference to the article “Europe is trying to keep Russia from influencing its elections” in The Economist. Pleased as I was to see that you took up the issue of Russian influence in Europe, I have to tell you that you got one fundamental thing wrong Neither does Russia have a “Gerasimov doctrine”, nor is the good general’s 2013 article as influential as western audiences are being led to believe. It is the printed version of a speech he gave as the newly minted Chief of General staff, chiefly meant to rally a displeasured officer corps and military scientists behind the reforms ahead.  (What was new at the time is that he was the first Russian general to label colour revolutions a threat to Russian national security. The notion of them being a Western technique for overthrowing unbeloved governments however is an older one in Russian military-academic circles.) Only after little green men washed up on the shores of Crimea and peninsula in March 2014 did Gerasimov’s piece attract widespread attention in the west. And only after Messrs Coalson and Galeotti published an English translation that June was the speech exalted to the status of a “doctrine”. What …

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€19,84m for externally sourced services in 2016

In Blog by Christoph BilbanLeave a Comment

The Austrian Ministry in Defence in a response to MP Nikolaus Scherak’s parliamentary inquiry revealed its 2016 expenditures for externally sourced services, totalling €19.84m. This equals about half of the government’s total stated expenditures of €42.2m in that category. The figure that does not, however, include all ministries. Item Cost Transport Services €6.59m Trainings €4,73m “Task Force Eurofighter” €3.4m Media and advertisement €0.95m Other  €4.17m TOTAL €19.84m A comprehensive tabular list of all stated expenditures can be found in the German version of this article. Featured image (top): Bundesheer/Gerhard SIMADER

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The world is at the brink of war – News from Valery Gerasimov

In Blog, English by Christoph BilbanLeave a Comment

On March 15, 2017, a new article by Valery Gerasimov was published in the Military-Industrial Courier. Titled “The world is at the brink of war” the subtitle is more enlightening actually . Gerasimov presents a view according to which foresight is more important than focusing on lessons identified from current conflicts. Related to the 2013 “Gerasimov Doctrine” (see the Russian orginal here), this article is wellworth taking a closer look. There’s novelty in the end, but loads of well-known before. (Kudos to Hanna Grininger for drawing my attention to the article discussed below.)