Wrestling the Bear: The Rise of Russian Hybrid Warfare - Enter Vladimir Putin, Estonia, Georgia, Ukraine and Crimea, Shootdown of Flight MH17, NATO and Countering the Hybrid Threat, Little Green Men
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Carl Von Clausewitz defined war as: "an act of force to compel our enemy to do our will". To that end, the Russian government has waged two major military campaigns since 1991: the invasion of the Republic of Georgia (2008) and the annexation of Crimea from the Ukraine (2014). Russia also conducted numerous other military operations, employing unconventional warfare, irregular warfare and hybrid warfare. Russia has advanced the use of hybrid warfare in achieving Russian strategic military objectives, particularly in the near abroad - the former Cold War Soviet states, primarily through conducting offensive military operations in sovereign nations just below the threshold of international military response. Hybrid warfare is not currently defined in US Joint Doctrine, however the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) describes it as: "combining conventional, irregular, and asymmetric means, to include the persistent manipulation of political and ideological conflict, and (Hybrid warfare) involves a state or state-like actor's use of all available diplomatic, informational, military, and economic means to destabilize an adversary". An analysis of the Russian political environment, economic considerations, and select military operations since 1991, with a sharp focus on Vladimir Putin's strategic leadership, highlights the evolution of the Russian brand of hybrid warfare (HW). The analysis also articulates the current and future implications for the United States and NATO, which struggle to counter regional Russian aggression. Finally, this thesis contends that the US and NATO are unprepared, unwilling, and unable to counter the current threat that Russian hybrid warfare poses, primarily due to a lack of unity of action, common understanding, and a cohesive strategy. CHAPTER 1: Introduction - After the Cold War * Methodology * CHAPTER 2: Conceptualization of Unconventional Warfare * Unconventional * Center of Gravity (COG) * Irregular * Hezbollah 2006 * CHAPTER 3: Russian Politics and Economic Dynamics since 1991 * Political Environment since 1991 * Enter Vladimir Putin * CHAPTER 4: Evolution of Russian Hybrid Warfare * Estonia 2007 * Republic of Georgia 2008 * The Ukraine 2014: The Overt, Covert Campaign * MH17 * CHAPTER 5: Countering the Hybrid Threat * Overview of NATO * US and NATO response in the Ukraine * US Leadership in NATO * CHAPTER 6: Synthesis * Conclusion * Hybrid Solutions
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