Skip to main content

tv   Russian Military Strategy  CSPAN  June 15, 2018 9:02am-10:03am EDT

9:02 am
explore the exhibit new orleans, the founding era. >> new orleans is celebrating its tricentennial this year in 2018. we are 300 years old. so the historic new orleans collection has decided that for our tricentennial exhibition, we wanted to look back at the city's earliest years and what it was like when the city first developed. >> and then a visit to two jacks, one of the city's oldest restaurants. >> the food here takes a much larger piece than it does anywhere else. we live to eat in new orleans. >> watch c-span cities tour of new orleans, louisiana, saturday at noon eastern on c-span 2's book tv and sunday at 2:00 p.m. on american history tv on c-span3. working with our cable affiliates as we explore america.
9:03 am
okay. good morning, everybody. it's nice to see so many smiling faces on a friday morning, bright and early. my name is jamie feelingelston, director of congressional relations for the rand corporation. it's my pleasure to welcome you today to our briefing called the russian way of warfare. before we start, i'll share just a few very quick items of housekeeping. first, today's briefing is going to be recorded. we'll make a -- the presentation available for free online on our website at www.rand.org a couple days after probably wednesday next week. also today's briefing is being live streamed by c-span. so if you have friends or colleagues who weren't able to make it to the room today, please let them know.
9:04 am
next, if you are so inclined, we have a hash tag. so if you would like to join our conversation online, you can do so using #russianwarfare. finally, i want to tell you a little bit about rand. the rand corporation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization and our mission is to help improve policy and decision making through objective research and analysis. while most people in this room are probably most familiar with the would, that we do on national security issues, rand also focuses on an array of other topics, including health care, education, infrastructure, energy and the environment and actually much more. to benefit the public good, we disseminate our findings as widely as possible and that's one of the reasons we're here doing this briefing today. we have more than 15,000 rand publications available for free to all of you online. again, at our website, which is www.rand.org. and i also want to say to the folks in this room, rand research and expertise is always
9:05 am
available to you and your bosses. if you should have questions while working on things here on capitol hill, please feel free to reach out to me, we would be happy to put you in touch with our researchers and get you help as quickly as possible. now i want to tell you a little bit about today's topic. so the fy-'19 national defense authorization act recently passed by the house states that it's the policy of the united states to sustain a credible deterrent against aggression and long-term strategic competition from russia. when we're thinking about deterrents, we can benefit from having an understanding how an adversary would employ its forces. so an important request is, how would russia fight in the event of a major conflict against a peer or near peer adversary. today our speakers will discuss three main issues. first, russia's military posture and strategic defense. the key characteristics of
9:06 am
russian warfare, and i think there are ten. and finally, and importantly for this room, what all this means for u.s. policy. our speakers today, i'm delighted to welcome dara masico and scott boston. scott is a defense analyst at rand and focuses on u.s. army monitorization and russian military capabilities. he is a former army officer and previously worked at the smith richardson foundation. he received his masters degree in international relations from yale university, and is a graduate of the u.s. military academy at west point. dara is a policy researcher at rand. her work focuses on security issues in russia and eurasia. previously, she served as a senior analyst for russian military capabilities at the department of defense. she received her masters degree in national security and strategic studies from the u.s. naval war college. so with that and the introductory comments out of the way, i'm very pleased to turn it
9:07 am
over to scott to start today's discussion. please join me in welcoming him. [ applause ] good morning. so we're here to talk about how we think russia would fight in a war with a peer or near-peer adversary, particularly nato, based on a short report that we released last year, plenty of copies outside, feel free to grab them. the copies are entirely filled with spoilers, essentially all we're going to talk about today is a lot of the material in the report. before we get into those remarks, i wanted to say a few words about the origin of the study. so this study was done on behalf of the united states' army. we drew inspiration from an earlier study on the u.s. china military balance called the u.s./china military score card. that study started from a higher level of understanding about how
9:08 am
china would fight and had an understanding of specific scenarios, in particular taiwan and the south china sea. we felt when we were looking at that case that we needed to take a step back and take a stab at an introduction to how we thought russia would fight before we could talk about comparisons like those were made in that report. so this was essentially a precursor or prelude to a study like that. the report is 12 pages long. you can hit the high points really quickly. and it's really intended to serve as a distillation of the best judgment of the community of russia analysts. shouldn't be too many surprises for people that follow russia. so we structured today's talk a little bit differently from how we wrote the paper. in the paper, we started the strategic level and work our way down. today we're actually going to jump all the way down to the tactical level. i'm going to talk about some of the army stuff. we're going to work our way back
9:09 am
up. i'm going to hand it back over to dara, who is going to handle the operational and strategic -- additional operational and strategic considerations. and finally, i'll make a note of the caveat at the bottom. dara says it better than i do, so when she stands she's actually going to lead with that and then move into her remarks. so starting in 2009, the russian military started a series of reforms that continue to this day to improve their military capabilities. one of the things they did right away was they cut a significant number of their ground units. they transitioned a lot of lower readiness divisions to higher readiness brigades. they've backtracked a little bit in the last year or two. they're now forming some of those brigades back into divisions, but the focus on higher readiness has been preserved. they have been improving armored vehicles, air defenses, electronic warfare capabilities and particularly reconnaissance and strike capabilities.
9:10 am
that's a little bit what the focus of this graphic is. in this case, we're showing a comparison of the range and weight of fire from the artillery systems and the united states army armored brigade combat team and fairly typical russian motorized rifle brigade. so for those of you that are aware, a typical united states -- or typical western brigade will have three or four maneuver units supported by usually a single artillery unit. in the russian ground forces, it's three or four supported by three or four. so frequently in practice you'll actually see more like a one-to-one unit supported by artillery rocket systems, surface-to-surface missiles. so they have rocket launchers that have high rates of fire. they have more of them, and they support tanks and armored vehicles that are designed to have very high mobility, both the tactical and operational levels, and so essentially this
9:11 am
is an army that's designed to move fast and to hit hard. so this is one of the areas that they have shown considerable improvement. they have narrowed the quality gap between themselves, and the west. there is still some important limitations, if you compare them to us. but it's important to put this into context. so russian planners believe that russia is at a severe disadvantage in a long conflict. in such a conflict, nato has considerable advantages in quality and quantity, but it takes time to bring nato's advantages to bear. russia is not the soviet union any more. russian ground forces about a quarter of the size of where they were at the beginning -- or midway through the decline in 1991. so 350,000 in the ground forces the airborne troops and naval infantry. they also still rely on a lot of 12-month conscripts.
9:12 am
so these are draftees brought into the service that get about four months of training, spend eight months in the service, and then they're gone. they have -- since about 2015, 2016, they now have more contract soldiers than conscripts in service, but they're still very reliant on these short-term conscripts. so with that and some of these other challenges facing them, we think that if they were compelled to take action, they would try to benefit from surprise -- they would try to conduct the operation very quickly, and then they would try to terminate the conflict as quickly as possible. in light of that longer-term disadvantage. so there's actually plenty of historical cases where russia has done something like that. most recently, the crimea operation is a pretty good example. if you give them the time to plan, and it's not too far from their borders, they can actually do a lot simultaneously and quickly. so taken together, we believe
9:13 am
that russia's posture at this strategic level is akin to a defensive crouch. they have invested in air defenses, in long-range strike and anti ship capabilities to protect russia's homeland. the industrial centers in particular. moscow and st. petersburg. that also provides them a shield behind which they can launch offensive operations against, you know, essentially -- against states or adversaries near to them on their borders. now that said, the idea that russia is on the strategic defensive might come as news to the ukrainians or the georgians. russian theorists believe very clearly that the advantage in modern warfare at the tactical operational level goes to the side that has the best offense. so they worry about maintaining buffer states like belarus and ukraine and defensive strong points about which i will say more in just a second.
9:14 am
but the intent there is to buy space and time so they can mobilize in reaction and help to mitigate some of their longer-term disadvantages if they came under attack from nato. so this is a graphic -- it's actually my final slide and then i'll be handing this over to dara. this shows the location of russian strategic air defenses. the solid circles are roughly where those units are located in peace time, and the dotted lines show you where, if they were on russian borders or in russian allied belarus, roughly how much of nato territory they would cover. so essentially there's three things i want to say about this chart. first, those air defense bubbles cover air space over parts of nato, and that's obviously -- that potentially offers them some ability to cover those -- you know, if they were going to do anything very near their borders, it doesn't even
9:15 am
cover -- in this case, it doesn't even cover all of some of those states you may have actually seen other versions of graphics like this. this is a relatively conservative version, because it's based on systems that are currently fielded. some of the systems that russia is working on would extend the bubble at most to 400 kilometers. the largest of those, if you can't read it, 250 kilometer rings, 500 kilometers across. second, russia is very large. there's a whole lot of russia to defend. and this is the densest part of their air defense network, and there's still gaps. so they have really concentrated around moscow. they have concentrated around st. petersburg, which is not shown, but is north and east of estonia. and also it's worth noting, you may notice the ex claf, the small little island of actual russian territory, that is on the baltic sea between lithuania and poland. that is among other things an
9:16 am
opportunity for them to push their defensive umbrella out. air defense, anti ship, long-range strike capabilities. and finally, a note i want to make of caution about focusing exclusively on air defense. air defense doesn't get you the kind of air superiority you would get from a large capable air force. what it does is it buys you time. the other side decides when they fly. if they can operate outside your air defenses, the other side gets to decide in what volume and how often they're going to enter. and essentially given the numbers that russia faces in terms of, like, nato and united states -- especially united states air power, it will take us time, but they are going to run out before they -- they're going to run out before we run out of airplanes. dara.
9:17 am
good morning, everyone. can you hear me okay? great. so i'm going to take this up to the operational and strategic level, and then we'll close for questions. so i just want to reiterate an important caveat, there is no single style of russian warfare. our key paper outlines a near peer adversary. force posture and what we know about their operational planning. it's a primer and it's not inclusive of everything. so we can talk about other topics. in the question portion today. it should be noted that the russian military has demonstrated a great deal of flexibility to tailor operations for different contingencies. and we do not mean to suggest that russia is going to apply a cookie cutter approach to the quite serious work of operations planning. so i would like to talk a little bit about how russia will incorporate nonkinetic and even nonmilitary capabilities and actions before and during a conventional conflict. these are techniques that you may have heard referred to as
9:18 am
hybrid warfare or a gray zone. the russians refer to them as indire indirect actions or asymmetric approaches and include electronic warfare, cyberattacks, disinformation on social media and state media. techniques like the fluid inclusion of special operations forces and private military contractors who operate behind enemy lines and even sympathetic civilians who do a variety of roles like targeting reconnaissance and sabotage missions. we have seen all of these in ukraine and many of them in syria. they're experimenting even today. next i'd like to say a few words about russian power projection. there is a question as we see their capabilities evolve. where is the end point of this? are they posturing themselves to become an expeditionary military like ours? where is that line going to stop in terms of capability enhancement. so russia continues to emphasize rapid reaction capabilities and high readiness rates, as scott
9:19 am
mentioned, across its general purpose forces. so it's army, it's navy, airborne air force. these forces are required to maintain certain manning levels and certain percentage of their equipment in very good working order so they can respond quickly to orders to deploy. russia drills this capability often. you may have heard things called snap exercises or unannounced exercises. it's about testing the ability to respond quickly and accurately to orders from the general staff. this is not a new concept, but it's even more important now as they have drawn their forces down significantly over the last ten years. overall today the number of russian forces is smaller, so the concept of strategic mobility, which is the ability to go from the center to the border region or from one border to another quickly and reliably is incredibly important for moscow. russia is also enhancing what we refer to in the west as anti access area denial capabilities in certain areas like western
9:20 am
russia and the black sea to defend territory and avoid decisive engagement with a near peer opponent. russia does this by fielding air defense systems, extended range conventional precision strike, coastal defense, and other capabilities to complicate power projection. but these are not purely defensive capabilities, especially when you're talking about ballistic and cruise missiles. in 2018, we have seen russia use private military contractors in areas well outside of its region like syria and moscow is approaching several countries for port access agreements abroad. so are they becoming expeditionary or a military designed to operate globally like ours? i would argue no, for several structural reasons. russia does not appear to be investing in key pillars for an expeditionary force. so a global network of bases, logistics hubs outside their region to support global power ambitions. nor do their long-term procurement plans support this either. particularly in the naval realm. as they have not invested and do
9:21 am
not invest in a blue water navy other than their submarine program to 2025. so finally, a brief word about the evolution of russian military capabilities since the start of the new look reforms in 2008-2009. russia's military has improved to the point where it can be considered a reliable tool to defend russia's national interests. it is a military that can complicate our operations in the globe. russian assessments, and this is i think a key point, their own self assessments about their ability to prevail against a near peer adversary like nato remain unchanged. they do not believe that they have the superior combat potential, and that's a very specific word in their doctrine of doctrinal thinking. it's -- they are constantly measuring personnel availability, equipment availability, technology r & d, budgets, things like this. and they compare themselves to nato as a whole, including us,
9:22 am
and in their view, and they say this publicly in their writings and speeches, they do not come out ahead in a fight. so with that in mind, their arsenal, tactical and strategic nuclear weapons remains their security. so our military is closer and closer in proximity to each other these days with few crisis stability mechanisms remaining in place. this is both a critical problem and also an opportunity for engagement for both sides. so with that, i will close, and scott and i are happy to take any questions or discuss any concepts in further detail. thank you.
9:23 am
>> i was wondering if you guys could speak more about the integration of contractors and russian forces. how well they are integrated, what roles they play and the u.s. strikes against russian contractors in syria in february. if there are any lessons learned from that experience you can share with the group. >> so when you say contractors, do you mean like fogner, the private military contractors? >> yes. >> okay. so syria i think is the first case study we have where we can confirm they're operating abroad on behalf of the assad government. when the strikes were conducted. they were actually operating on behalf of the syrian government to protect oil infrastructure. so i think that is a learning point for the russians, and particularly the military. like, we were willing to engage kinnetcally russian contractors. but not uniformed russian personnel. so i think that's something they'll take on board moving forward.
9:24 am
>> there's been a lot of talk about china using the same approach that russia did in countries that border -- where it takes advantage of russian populations in countries on its border and now large portions of eastern russia are ethnically chinese because they moved across the border illegally. do you see anything where russia is trying to come up with a strategy to defend those areas against future chinese aggression? >> i would say very little directly about china, even when they hold -- even when they hold some of the exercises in the far east, very large commitments of troops, they don't specify an adversary. so they seem to be playing that a little closer to the chest than being very open about nato as a potential adversary. so they don't talk about it very much. do you know of anything? >> no, nothing i can think. but i think that if that concern was permeating the russian government, that would be the
9:25 am
responsibility of the national guard, probably intelligence services. less so the actual military. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> are we still seeing them practice the potential for low yield device as part of a defensive structure to escalade, to deescalate. >> so battlefield nuclear weapons? >> yes. >> they do. they're continuing to experiment with tactical nuclear weapons. it's kind of complicated right now because they're not actually discussing what the doctrinal use is for tactical nukes. so we're all left to interpret what this means and how they'll be used. they have said over time no particular time point specified there that they hope to advance to the point conventionally where the role of nuclear weapons is less over time
9:26 am
against a near peer adversary. but, again, they don't actually put a date on that. so we're just watching them field provisional strike and hoping the threshold is moving. >> so you mentioned in the paper that the russian military is gaining a lot of valuable experience from operations in ukraine and syria. i was curious, what are some situations in the future that this could help them prepare for, and are there any maybe wrong lessons that they could learn from these experiences? >> i can think of a few answers to that. so you saw in the first slide the picture of the tank, right? so i follow a lot of the weapons systems stuff. and we're actually seeing them implement changes to weapons already. so, like, for example, there's a lot more side armor on the new versions of the t-72. so they're certainly thinking
9:27 am
through that. they're working some of the kinks out of it. i think the big thing would be what they call the -- or they used to call the recon fires and recon strike complex. so the integration of various recon sans sensors and different fires technologies, they're continuing to experiment with that. some of those experiments are happening in a live fire environment against a live adversary. but they are shortening the time it takes them to find something, and then transmit that information to a firing unit and then employ those weapons more accurately. they're doing it from the air and from surface-base -- and actually from maritime systems as well. so -- >> and in terms of some other lessons they're learning from ukraine, so there's the personnel experience in syria in particular. they're cycling officers and professional enlisted through as rapidly as they possibly can, particularly in the air forces to get them combat experience. they're also learning some
9:28 am
advanced coalition management, if you will, in syria. so they have to work with the iranians and the syrians and the iraqis to coordinate how they deploy into syria, managing operations on the ground. so also from a technical perspective, they have learned how some of their newest equipment works in different environments. so they have -- they're seeing how it works in the desert, they're seeing how it works in the woods. so things like electronic warfare, how does that change with climate. they're deploying many scientists from their defense industries actually into the combat zone to help them timnke around with technologies when they encounter problems. so there's both a technological component of this, and then there's i think a confidence-building aspect of this that they'll take on board with them at multiple echelons. in terms of what are some wrong lessons or unlearned lessons from this, they are not -- they still don't know, and just as we don't, what it is like to operate in a contested environment with a peer competitor like russia.
9:29 am
so they have never had to fight their way into ukraine. they never had to fight their way into syria. they had to a little bit in georgia, and that was quite embarrassing for how many combat losses they actually lost to georgian air defenses and their own air defenses. so -- >> actually, i'll tie into something that dara said. they've actually announced -- they have put more than 40,000 officers through rotations, through syria. this includes the leadership of all four military districts, all of the combined arms armys and their air force headquarters. so they are really pushing -- most of their combat pilots, as well, all of the transport pilots have had syria time. so they're leveraging that as a combat training experience, without question. >> eric landis, kentucky. is there a specific focus area or region that the russians are more interested in, in potential aggressive actions like the
9:30 am
baltic stakes, latvia, estonia, those areas? or is it more towards -- is there focus more towards syria? >> so if you look at the new units that they have created, the new divisions since 2013, so pre-ukraine is really when the process started. i think it's -- six or seven divisions potentially. most of those are actually located near the ukrainian border. so i would pay less attention to what they're saying but what they're actually doing and putting things. so if you look at the ground forces, one would say that the focus is in the southern military district, and along the borders of ukraine and belarus. so it's a forecasted area of instability, is what i would say that that tells me. in terms of other forces, we haven't seen that kind of revision in terms of the navy or the air forces. i think the airborne forces are due to get quite a bit larger over the next couple of years. but i think that's across russia, not necessarily with one
9:31 am
particular region. the baltics, of course, western military district is very important to them from an air defense perspective. >> first i just wanted to thank you for coming in and speaking. and then i wanted to ask, you were talking about how the russians best sort of option in a war with nato would be a short war that was likely a surprise attack. what do you think would be the best way to force them into a long war, where nato's advantages could really come into play? >> sorry, i'm trying to think of a less flippant way to answer this than keep fighting. but the problem in part is, if you're severely overmatched at the beginning, because they're going to leverage -- sort of like we -- so there's like 60-plus brigades or regiments in the ground forces, airborne
9:32 am
forces and naval infantry. so they have some ability to shift those around. so they can gain an advantage in the very short term numerically that they can pose against -- for example, if they wanted to, the baltic states. but they have to have a story for themselves about how this is going to end, and it really relies on nato's will will break. or the other side will back down and they'll just take it. and if they don't believe that that's going to happen, then that's a problem for them, because they don't have a story for how this works for them in the long run. some of the rand work you might be familiar with, and i think some of the reports out there have talked about the conventional correlation of forces. the balance of conventional capability in the baltic region. pointing out some of the capability and posture gaps that pose that short-term possibly unlikely scenario.
9:33 am
it is -- there's a larger deterrence discussion there, which i think is important. and i don't want to get into it too much right now, unless there is more interest in that, or grab me afterwards and daryl will sound more intelligent about it than i. but, like, they don't have a story for how they deal with blue air without using nuclear weapons. which should give us pause, as well. if they're going to take the risk of going into an operation that is an incredible risk from their perspective, especially with how they have behaved in the past. i don't know if that's answering your question. dara? >> well, they have certain domain-specific sensitivities. so it is their belief that the air domain, the air space domain, is going to be the center of gravity in warfare moving forward. and they look at our capabilities in that regard, and it makes them very deeply uncomfortable in terms of their
9:34 am
abdominal to parry that and prevent strikes into russia, like a shock and awe campaign. so i think some of the work that rand has done is highlighted that they do have a tactical advantage on the ground in terms of getting there quickly on the ground. but that advantage does not convey to the air war. so i think as long as there's one, a conventional -- excuse me. an air type of deterrent, that's a start. >> a question on -- as you said, a less flippant way would be, russia seems to kind of be alone on its own, but do you think that it may be looking for a potential allies, such as india, as it's been cooperating increasingly in terms of military development, but not exactly having a military alliance with them yet?
9:35 am
do you think that they may be looking for possible allies in a coming war? >> so there's a few ways i'd break that apart. so if you look at their strategy and how they think about developing this poly centric world in the future, where there's not the united states, a super power, they look to a few places like china, like india, like the united states and europe as sort of these -- and, again, this is an idealized strategy future where they're all sort of regional powers and everybody cooperates and gets along, nobody dominates one another. they are less descriptive about using the word "allies" in their strategy documents, short of belarus. i think they want to have strategic cooperation, that's how they word it in the strategy with china. pretty much comprehensively. but i don't know that that's extending towards military alliance at this point.
9:36 am
>> i was wondering about social issues, drug use, hiv, how is that affecting the current force, and then also the recruitment pool going into the future? >> so i understand, and you may actually have more recent research on the conscript issue. they have done pretty well in hitting their numbers for what they call contract soldiers, so the professional volunteer soldiers. but they have actually struggled in several of the past years, finding -- finding sufficient numbers of their short term conscripts for a variety of reasons to include health, fitness, those things. the demographics, as i understand it, have sort of leveled off for the time being. they had that problem as well for a bit. we know, you know, roughly how many russians will turn 18 every year, and so that's at least smoothed out. but it's not great.
9:37 am
i don't know if you have anything else to add to that. >> so they -- the social issues are not as bad as they were, say, maybe 15 years ago. in terms of hiv rate and that -- drug use. some of the main problems that they're finding with the contract -- or excuse me, the conscript pool is actually being too underweight. so they actually have a pretty comprehensive policy to feed these kids, like, bulk them up, to really put weight on them. high-calorie food, working out. and they actually are coming home pretty healthy and pretty beefed up, which is its own type of recruiting point, particularly in russian culture. they have had to sort of lower their standards in some regards in terms of psychological readiness. they have -- there's -- it's attention here. but they have had to lower that in order to maintain some recruiting levels. >> something i'm kind of curious
9:38 am
about when you talk about their high capability for crossing the country and rapid reaction, you know, some of the standards that nato has for member states is, you know, defensive capabilities of like if you -- if a city is under attack, they have to have highways where large amounts of civilians can evacuate while military forces go in, you know, infrastructure, things like that, for high mobility. are there similar things in russia set up to allow for that in these cross-country abilities? >> yes. yes. there's actually been an acceleration of the trend since about 2013. so you see them doing traditional things like purchasing more rail stock to move quickly out to 2025, they're refurbishing their strategic air lifts so heavy carriers to go across country, move people quickly. you can also pivot that outwards and it can get you to north africa. so it's the same distance between eastern russia and western russia. they're also changing the
9:39 am
legislation a bit. and i think we're drifting a little outside the scope of this paper, but there is an emphasis on making sure that they can reach into the civilian architecture when they need it. so the roads are still highly problematic. so ground transport is not really the option here. but, yeah, we see them working on this in their exercises, how to command and control civilian things, territorial defense of cities and things like that. so it's a work in process. >> you actually saw a lot of civil crisis response stuff integrated into -- or at least happening at exactly the same time as the zapad exercises in the fall to include at least at one point they had like a -- like they actually used, like, banking and so they were able to make sure they were able to continue to pay the soldiers in a crisis and all of this stuff. so they're trying a whole variety of different capabilities.
9:40 am
>> how do you foresee the balance between russia's softer power operations, such as cyberattacks and interference in european and u.s. elections and their military operations changing in approximate coming years? particularly once putin leaves office, if he leaves office. at the end of his term. >> if. well, i'll take a stab at that. so one would -- if their writings and their doctrine are any road map to the future, you would expect these things are going to become more integrated over time. so the military -- by that i mean the ministry of defense and the general staff, they have a very specific way of thinking about cyber activity. so it's defending their own architecture and also on the battlefield disabling things. that is somewhat different than the rest of the russian government. so the intelligence services and the kremlin and what they're doing. but it is part of their doctrine, and we discuss that in the paper, that you essentially
9:41 am
want to even the playing field. if you believe that you're outgunned on the battle field. so what can you do to sell chaos and confusion and break will to fight before the battle starts, or even after it's already started, you can really break apart coalitions and alliances. >> the security concerns surrounding russian's arctic military buildup. from literature i've read, russia has reopened some soviet-era bases and increased their presence in the region. it's suggested as global temperatures rise, sea lanes could open and, of course, economic opportunities there through natural resources. how do you interpret these developments, and do you see them as a threat to nato? >> i actually struggled with how to think about some of the arctic stuff myself. so, i mean, as you point out, the sea lanes actually are opening. as i understand it, we had the
9:42 am
first transit -- what was it, in february? first winter transit through the north. so we're actually -- we're seeing those effects, they're building capabilities in the far north. air defenses, strike. part of that traditionally was always built around the northern fleet, and kind of the mer blanks area. this was centered on natural resources. but i mean, i am certain that the country, you know -- norway, who borders russia in the far north, they're very active in talking about this and thinking about this. but i've actually struggled myself to figure out, how do you think about this from a military perspective. a lot of what we're seeing as i understand it is coordination for search and rescue. because your life span is measured in minutes if you go down that far north. so it makes sense for everyone to work together. >> and there's also sort of a presumption of very cold war
9:43 am
type flavor to this. if you have googled images of their newa arctic bases up ther, they're pretty cool-looking, shaped like clovers and paintsed in the russian flag. you're seeing soviet era bases. so if they need to, they would deploy up there. why would you need to deploy up there? there is patrolling the sea, investing in ice-breakers. they clearly want to be someone whose voice is heard loud and clear with economic exploitation in the resources eventually. there's also a military application in which is there a concern that we're going to resume, you know, over the poll strikes on russia? i mean, that's why you would need interceptors up there and bomber bases up there. so it's a mixed bag of economic and military posturing. >> in their doctrine and in their training, do they usually
9:44 am
start on the offense? in other words, their philosophy is primarily geared towards doing something preemptively. or does it usually start with them being on the defensive? >> most of the ones i've looked at, they'll at least start on the defensive, and then launch a counter attack. i mean, in the order that you do it, it's sort of it could go either way. you're training a lot of the same capabilities for a counter offensive as you do offensively. but i think -- they really think -- actually, i'm inclined to agree with them. you know, in modern warfare with all the kind of reconnaissance and strike capabilities that a modern state can bring to bear, best defense probably is a good offense. you employ fires, you need to strike. >> from a policy standpoint, they often are anticipating they're going to have to be proactive in a crisis. in other words, going to have to launch -- they have to start on the offense. >> i would divide that into two. >> okay. >> so if you're looking at a
9:45 am
nonpeer competitor, nonnuclear adversary like ukraine/georgia. if it looks like this is breaking not in moscow's favor, the consequences are far lower. doctrinally, yes. theoretically against a peer competitor, they would want to do the same thing. but again, the stakes are so high, how is this going to play out in real life? so open question for me personally. >> touching back on the arctic issue, russia started to field specific arctic versions of air defense systems and other main battle systems. has there been any feedback on whether or not those arctic modifications of the systems have been successful and whether or not those systems are functioning in that environment, or if they have largely failed to adjust for the harsher climate? >> so publicly, they'll say yes. yes, everything is working. and i -- they don't really discuss as much as they used to challenges that they're facing.
9:46 am
i've noticed this trend with the current military leadership over there. they would discuss more openly when they would have technical problems or there were delays. you don't see that as much any more. so i can't say whether or not they're actually having problems, but they're certainly not discussing them as much. >> they also actually keep some of their very old systems that are just still really reliable. and they have lots around for spares that are also -- actually have amazing mobility. so some of the systems that are still in use in the north and the far north are, like, soviet air systems, but they -- they can practically -- they actually literally can swim. they're amphibious capable. they have extremely low ground pressure, and since the invention of the internal combustion they have had the far north to think about. so they found stuff that worked for them then. and actually, i mean, as i think you were implying, i mean,
9:47 am
they're actually equipping units in the far north with a different kind of tank, because the gas turbine engine in it is much more suitable for starting at extreme low temperatures. so there's some experience with that, yeah. >> hi. so it seems like russia's traditional military is focusing more on offensive. but we have seen cases of offensive action with the election interference and the new missiles that putin unveiled in his state of the union address. so what does that mean for america that might not be coming under attack from very close, but more remote offensive action? >> so this i think is wrapped up in their concept of noncontact warfare. so this is space warfare, extended-range precision strike. that comes from their interpretation of how we have chosen to fight wars for the last 15-plus years.
9:48 am
so a lot of what he unveiled were systems that were designed to defeat or evade ballistic missile defense. so it goes back to the traditional concepts of nuclear strategic stability and making sure they have the ability to deliver certain levels of nuclear strikes, and then a certain percentage of their triad will survive. so those are offensive capabilities. >> and i actually would add on that. the fielding of very long-range cruise missiles, like they have acknowledged that a missile called the ka 101 can fly 4.500 kilometers. so a feeling of conventional cruise missiles, because previously it was pretty much nuke all of the time for their bomber force is actually relatively recent, post 2000. i want to say mid 2000s they start getting that. so they're thinking more about how they can employ all of their capabilities at long or even
9:49 am
extreme ranges. >> hi. i'm nicola from senator gillibrand's office. and i was just wondering, given the history of russia/chinese industrial military operation, what do you expect to see going forward between the two states, whether it's more industrial cooperation or maybe more strategic, like, i know that they have a history of some shared military exercises, but do we expect that to increase in the next few years? >> so there has been a very recent uptick in terms of their military cooperation, because they have greater aligned interests now in terms of the deployment of our ballistic missile defense capabilities. there is a growing tension, particularly in the defense industrial relationship. china is increasingly exporting military equipment, and they're
9:50 am
cutting into -- very slightly cutting into russia's market. so how will the two balance this move going forward? they have shown the ability to coordinate and work together well in the road asia. another sensitive policy for moscow. if anyone can work this out, i think those two have shown significant deference to one another to work out large issues? >> i was going to ask if you could talk about russia's reliance on space to conduct military operations? >> sure. so their space constellation is actually significantly more fragile than ours. we were trying to track various satellite constellations. i did not realize up until 2015 they didn't have much space based warning which is kind of
9:51 am
frightening, which is kind spac playing an increasing percentage. the importance of space is growing as a percentage. some of their newest weapons are space guided. but, again, you are taking that money away from other programs. so it's -- i think we'll learn something if they were to change their plans and front load it towards space. what's going to be the opportunity cost and what does that tell us about how they plan on fighting in the future. >> other questions from anybody before we wrap up? >> yeah. i have a question about how well
9:52 am
russian regular forces, specifically nonuniform contract forces are integrated into the russian command structure. >> so we have limited data points on that topic. but i think watching the reaction from moscow after the strike on the vogner group in syria was very telling. there was high level coordination as in the press between their military side and in the pentagon, how to avoid uniforms russian casualties. however, after significant personnel were killed it was pretty much radio silence from the russian military other than they weren't ours. so to me that distance put out there in the public domain was very interesting. there was almost a sense of, well, they didn't coordinate with us their positions, so they brought that upon ourselves.
9:53 am
i'm paraphrasing here, but i thought the tone was very interesting. i think operationally there is a need for them and there is a use for them, from the kremlin's perspective. this is just me hypothesizing. i wonder if it's a begrudging acceptance that these people are here. we have to deal with them. i don't know that. that's how it seemed to me playing out. >> we're working for a foreign government. on cases where they're working for the russian government, i can't think of very many reports i can suggest on that. they're definitely doing it. >> i think it was the kremlin response to that particular event was interesting as well because there was a great deal of distance. it was almost as if it was more important to save face than it was to be angry about russian citizens being killed. and it was only after they felt blow blaack from that decision that they hardened up their
9:54 am
language a little bit. it is something that they're learning. and this is just a tip. when something happens and they go quiet for two or three days it is because it is essentially new for them and they are buffering their results. very interesting learning lessons. >> any other final questions? great. well, thank you all so much for coming this morning. thank you for coming as well and holding this really enlightening discussion. if you guys have any questions or follows, they will be hanging out after the briefing. please pick up some of the materials on the table out front. thank you. >> thank you. thanks. [ applause ]
9:55 am
9:56 am
9:57 am
this weekend on c-span. saturday at 10:00 a.m. eastern, justin and homeland security officials testify on defending against foreign interference in u.s. elections. sunday at 10:30 a.m., highlights from the u.s.-north korea summit between president trump and north korean leader kim jong-un. c-span 2, former house speaker newt gingrich talks about his book, trump's america, the truth
9:58 am
about our nation's great comeback. and mtv's host shares her experience in becoming a social justice activist in her book, well, that's kalated quickly. and on american history tv saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern, duke university professor on public lands and the law, examining western expansion and taking over native american lands. and sunday at 4:00 p.m. eastern on real america, the 1944 film, the memphis belle, a story of a flying fortress. watch the c-span networks this weekend. >> sunday on american artifacts on c-span 3, tour the library of congress exhibit on the
9:59 am
centennial of world war i, which showcases american ideas of the war through art work, photographs, films and documents. >> the idea of contributing to the war through labor, the idea of growing your own food so as to conserve larger quantities for the war effort. this is actually by mable wright. again another individual kind of rises to the surface during world war i. you see here also food conservation, wholesome corn. i know we make everything out of corn, but back then we didn't. so this is new. one thing that's worth noting is that in world war ii, we will ration. during world war i, hoover believed if you encouraged people to act correctly, they
10:00 am
will ration themselves. >> up next, several sessions from a recent day long conference focussed on cybersecurity and intelligence. this portion features kevin mandea. >> good morning, everyone. how is it going? is everybody ready for a great event? yes? let me hear some noise! yes? >> welcome to the cyberthreat intelligence summit. i'm the founder and ceo of scoop news group and i'm thrilled you could join us today. as many of you know, my team and i have worked closely with the last three administrations
10:01 am
bringing the brightest leaders from government and tech together around the white house tech priorities to exchange the best practices, collaborate and find ways to work together. my team and i sit with the federal cio council every single week. we have lunch with them and we sit down with them and talk about the things keeping leaders in our community up at night. whether we're talking about cloud computing or mobility or the hot topics of the day, the number one issue that keeps bubbling up and is the top thing keeping everyone up at night is cyber security. today we will be speaking about cyber threat intelligence and fire eye is the world leader in this area. we're thrilled to partner with them. we have an amazing agenda. lots of great speakers from government and the tech community. a lot of subject matter experts and some pretty big names. so are you guys excited about
10:02 am
this agenda? yes? all right. because we have a really jam packed day, i'm going to have our first speaker kind of welcome us and kick off the event. he's the man of the hour, your host. please put your hands together and give a warm welcome to the public sector of fire eye. >> good morning! welcome. welcome to our fifth annual government forum. i appreciate everyone making it downtown today. okay. huge night. great save last minute, so everybody should be in a good mood. but seriously thank you. i know each of you has a lot of other things you could be doing today. i'm grlad we're packed in this room. again, thanks for getting up early, making it

33 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on