Land Force Re-booting Guide for Dummies


If not learned: Effects of a Russian artillery strike in the Donbas

The military profession is a practical one, and it can only be learned by practising under ever more adverse and thus demanding conditions. By not being exercised seriously for more than twenty years, it has been unlearned in nearly all West-European armies.

This small guide presents the only peace-time path to the rebuilding land-force professionalism. It must start from scratch, shedding the irrelevant procedures and structures like a computer no longer able to function and therefore re-booted.

First phase: Relearning operational war planning
To create a usable framework, the frontline states (the Baltic States, Poland and possibly Finland for the Swedish Army) must identify a handful of very different relevant defence sectors/missions relevant for brigade group size forces (“group” meaning reinforced for independent operations).

They should be high threat areas such as the Narva area, the Lithuanian coastal area bordering Kaliningrad Oblast, and the border zone in Estonia and Latvia along the highway from Pskov to Riga. Depending on terrain, the width of a brigade defence sector would be 10-20 kilometres.

Other relevant missions could be in likely “economy of force” zones such as the north-eastern Lithuania and near the Latvian south-eastern border with Belarus, where the observation and security mission could give sectors of up to 40 kilometres width.

Finally there could be missions defending the capital and other exposed urban centres against coup air or sea landings.

Even if the planning missions would not be the real defence tasks, the collection of missions itself and the Allies’ use of these for their ‘professional reboot’ planning exercises would add to deterrence. Limiting the options in each frontline state to a handful of brigade group missions would ease host-nation support to the planning exercises, as well as increase lateral learning between Allied land forces that have planned for the same option.

When given a task in a Baltic state, an Allied land force will choose a mission from the catalogue. The selected brigade group staff selected for “re-booting” will then create an outline war plan for their mission and sector, involving the commanders and staffs of subordinate and attached battalions and independent sub-units. This outline plan must cover the full spectrum of problems and issues such as logistic, host nation, legal, cooperation with local military and civilian authorities, communications, air defence, indirect fire support, engineer unit missions, information policy, etc.

It is not to recommend that such staffs should remain bloated. Contrary to staffs expanded for peace-keeping, COIN and stability operations, planning and controlling conventional combat requires very few, extremely high quality officers at the core of the operations and logistics staff elements, the remainder being either supporting specialists such as fire support and engineer planners, intelligence specialists, liaison officers and the watch-keeping warrant officers and attached officers.

The traditional British brigade staff core consists of four officers, one major (staff trained) and one assisting captain focused on operations and another major (staff trained) and assisting captain responsible for logistics and administration. The small elite core made decision making fast and focused. It minimises the risks of friction and misunderstanding. The Cold War period Danish brigade staff core was not much larger.

Another problem we all have to address in the way land forces prepare to command and fight: we know that all satellite based command, control, navigation – and thus precision fire systems – will be exposed to a massive and varied cyber, electronic warfare and physical attack at the onset of hostilities. We can not predict the outcome, but we can and must improve resilience by reducing full dependence.

Thereafter the brigade group and subordinate unit staffs will conduct an extended reconnaissance and coordination visit to develop and adjust the outline plan and requirements to match the actual terrain and infrastructure. And it should engage the actual local forces such as the border guard/police, neighbour units, any host nation support and territorial forces involved in rear area security.

Then the corrected plan must be fully tested through a series of focused war games. These seek to expose weaknesses all the way to the combat phase from the planned mobilisation, movement to across borders to the deployment area, establishment of base and forward logistics area, and host nation support.

The gaming should cover both a crisis period and actual combat.

The gaming input and assessment should be completely independent of the sending nation, and be led by a senior retired officer from another army. They must include legal expertise, military historians (alert to likely friction to add that to the play), experts on current Russian doctrine and capabilities (cyber and electronic warfare, indirect fire support, air operations, special operation forces), as well as representatives of the local military and civilian authorities. All games should be recorded to support analysis.

Lessons learned in the gaming phase are to be built into in the exercise operations plan, and shape requirements for cadre training and force development, and must lead to the removal of ineffective officers.

Another full planning cycle from the choice of mission to the formulation of lessons learned should be conducted with the brigade group and subordinate and supporting units in two-three months, to make sure that the commander and staff have started relearning their profession.

Second phase: Relearning command and control in combined arms combat
The lessons learn from the first war planning cycles are to be transformed into brigade group command post exercise (CPX) scenario in the brigade’s own country.

All CPX for the brigade group should last a minimum of four full 24-hour days to ensure the development of sustainable working procedures. The longer the more effective. After 10-14 days, best practice staff procedures become routine. During the whole CPX the commander and staff should be forced to plan for two different tactical tasks in parallel and to conduct a full orders sequence with warning, as well as preliminary and execution orders every day.

To do this should be possible also as the brigade main HQs moves at least twice a day and with the brigade commander absent with his mobile tactical command post. Moving HQs are necessary because of the likely low troops density, high threat and therefore mobile fighting framework of a Baltic conflict scenario. There will exist constant risks of raids by special operations forces patrols, artillery fire and air attack.

Moves interrupts work, but the more moves are practised, the less so.
To regain high mobility, brigade staffs should – as a principle – be reduced to their Cold War size and configuration, which may necessitate a preparation to work without cumbersome and vulnerable digital paraphernalia for jamming-resistant, and emission-free combat proven tools and procedures such as analogue pens and notebooks.

The resilience of the planning and command tools shall constantly be tested against cyber and electronic warfare attacks, so the HQs may use alternative command and control procedures if their favoured tools fail.


A U.S. Armored Brigade Tactical Command Post … Far better, if full air supremacy and no Russian long range artillery systems around:

Third phase: Relearning unit command
After the brigade has been rebooted through its work with the Baltic mission catalogue exercises and CPX activities, the next phase is the professionalization of the reinforced combat battalions.

This can only be done properly in similarly minimum length – four days – highly intensive field training exercises that are inspired by the same scenario, but conducted in a national and later in larger allied training area.

As at the brigade level, the battalion command and control should be forced to plan and operate simultaneously, some of the time while moving, or alternatively with three moves of the headquarters every day and with the commander away from the HQs.

As during the CPX, the field training exercise should deliberately test usually weak and difficult points.

The battalion HQs should be drilled to operate under own force protection, emphasising camouflage and emission discipline under constant pressure from the risk of enemy artillery fire as well as from electronic detection of and attack against its communications. To regain agility, focus and lower their profile, battalion HQs should be reduced to their pre-COIN missions’ size of a handful officers, and the commanders should relearn to command from the tactical command post.


Even this can be significantly improved

Replacement of battalion commanders and key staff due to casualties should be tested regularly.

Their subunits (companies) should likewise remain constantly aware of the risks of artillery and remain dispersed, especially when not moving.

As in the brigade commando post exercises, the battalion field training exercises should be controlled and umpired dynamically to expose weaknesses and mistakes.

Both at brigade and battalion levels, an officer’s lack of practical knowledge, physical and mental stamina or leadership ability should lead to the immediate replacement. Otherwise the reboot will remain a fiction and the land force in question a waste of resources.

In order to regain effectiveness quickly, both the minimum four days brigade command post exercises and similar length battalion field exercises should be conducted twice a year.

Fourth phase: Relearning deployment readiness
All combat readiness objectives will remain unrealised as long as all exercises are pre-announced.

In order to regain readiness, both the brigades and battalions should be exposed to a new readiness regime, where they might be exposed to NATO HQs initiated “Tactical Evaluation” exercises (actually the soft CREVAL regime rebooted) without warning, and the commanders/acting commanders and staff ordered thereafter required to solve a theoretical tactical problem in terrain near their garrison, ending with formal orders, at the same time as the readiness and availability of key equipment and ammunition stocks are inspected.


The armies would have to be inspired by the tactical evaluation inspections of the airforces

Military Balance Guide for Dummies … updated

To conclude on the basis of numbers only is easy, and the result is equally easy to present convincingly with the support of graphs. However, anybody who bothers to include just a fraction of the relevant strategic and military history soon realise that purely quantitative analysis is meaningless and dangerous as a basis for political decisions on security policy. In order to establish a more solid basis for policy and strategy, one has to use and apply the knowledge and insight of relevant professionals, even if this calls for both hard work learning new stuff and for rare humility.

The current West European view of present Russian revisionist military resurgence still has a relaxed and facile head-in-the-clouds-or-sand character. It is dangerously anachronistic in its views of Russian backwardness and remains based on the amateurish view that comparisons of official budget input and status in the form of basic bean counting of equipment numbers are both relevant and sufficient in the estimate of military power and related options. It seems to be considered an unchallengeable reality and is constantly promoted by shallow political scientists, busy journalists, empty heads on uniforms and parroting politicians.

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Their amateur comments and advice quickly worsen an already dangerous situation by reinforcing decision-maker and popular trust in what in reality is a Potemkin Village that is fully transparent to even semi-professional observers from the outside. They will be tempted to test what they rightly see as our intellectually unchallenged combination of self-delusion and bluff.

The guide is for those who are willing to face the complex and unpleasant reality. This small guide will not and cannot present any exact result. It can just offer an approach to gain the essential deeper insight.

The first step is to define the geographical focus (such as the Baltic-Nordic Region within the general European “theatre” of potential conflict) and to accept that military power unfortunately has very little to do with the amount of money spent.

Large amounts of money as well as sorely needed intellectual energy is wasted on:
1) running small and large base complexes for reasons rather unrelated to military power
2) paying salaries for a large number of officers without any recent practical experience and relevant knowledge of or interest in their profession or even their branch speciality
3) paying salaries to a large number of other ranks as well as civilians with no operational or relevant operational support role, many too old to contribute anything, people with no wish to learn or subordinate themselves to the military profession
4) paying salaries to underemployed full-time personnel in positions where a contract or even drafted reservist would be the better choice
5) supporting education systems that actually undermine military professionalism by seeking empty theoretical academic credits
6) supporting expensive employment and working hour contract systems that are incompatible with maintaining effective forces
7) implementing New Public Management and similar civilian fads that undermine the essential clear link between authority and responsibility for advice and implementation
8) living up to the agreed environmental standards of the state that add nothing to military effectiveness
9) maintaining elements of force structures only or mainly relevant for national prestige, anti-terrorism, ceremony or peace time work (such as fishery inspection, gendarme work, etc.)
10) covering pensions for retired military personnel
11) covering the cost of the veteran support system
12) covering costs of outsourcing driven by liberal ideology that create dependence on support structures without any military potential
13) covering costs of a general state rescue service rather than only the extra civil defence capabilities only relevant in war
14) covering costs of the general state cyber defence organisation rather than only cyber defence and offence capabilities needed in joint and combined arms operations
15) deliberate derailing of professional focus to chase such fringe mirages as application of “lawfare” to contain destruction and human suffering in remaining conflicts, gender framework for the application of fire and manoeuvre and the pursuit of “green warfare” … those responsible arrogantly assuming eternal peace from large scale war

There may be perfectly good political reasons for all these budgeting choices, but most are irrelevant in a military balance analysis and some even detract from the military effect of the money spent.

On the other side some states such as Russia and China fund large and capable para-military forces with war-time combat or security roles outside the defence budget.

Basically the budgets should be ignored in the analysis of relative power, because the total input necessary to produce the same military effect may be several times larger in one state than in another.

The second step is to accept that simple “bean counting” of the two sides’ number of combat aircraft, tanks, submarines, artillery weapons, etc. is nearly as irrelevant, because it ignores:
1) the availability (with fully trained operating crews, available and trained support crews, spare parts, ample stocks of key weapons such as precision munition, etc.)
2) whether fully modernised/updated (if not, it has very limited general use and cannot be counted in a comparison)

The third step is to understand whether all forces of a country would be available in the potential theatre of confrontation/war (U.S. forces meant for the Pacific and in East Asia cannot be counted as NATO forces for European operations as China and North Korea are likely to use any crisis in Europe to move positions forward … or worse)

Numbers are not irrelevant if all things are equal: the equipment similar, crew standards were comparable, leadership and doctrine at same quality level and the situation symmetrical, however that is hardly ever the case, especially before extended fighting enhances harmonisation.

The initial part of the fourth and decisive step is to identify the number and availability of the force elements that should be counted as the main building stones of military power:
1) On land the relevant output to be counted is the number of basic army formations (brigades)
2) At sea the relevant output is the exercised potential for creating mixed naval task groups that are clearly balanced in composition for the analysed deployment area (with robust command-and-control systems, long range surveillance and warning, mine counter-measures, anti-submarine, long range anti-ship as well as appropriate air and missile defence systems)
3) The relevant air power element to be counted is the number of fully capable composite air combat wings that can be organised from the national air forces (with command-and-control, long range air-to-air, effective electronic and other means for suppressing enemy air defences and a mix of precision and area weapons against ground targets)

Your have to accept that the key to any sound analysis is to concentrate on the comparison of output in the form of fundamentally similar force elements available in the relevant potential theatre of conflict.

However, such a counting and comparison of the number of such force packages is not sufficient. The follow-on analysis is at least as essential and includes e.g. answering the questions that requires the professional insight that is ignored for very good reasons by “experts” that can’t have it:
1) Is the force element well-balanced for the mission? Does it have the necessary combat elements, flexible and robust command and control elements, indirect, long range fire systems with integrated reconnaissance elements (if surface forces), robust area and point air defence systems, engineer support (if land or air units), full and flexible logistic systems, and with resilience and redundancy created by personnel and equipment replacement systems. If not balanced, the force is only a facade usable for bluff.
2) Has the command cadre and the full units been exposed to a realistic and demanding, free-play training and exercise regime and the cadre thereafter been trimmed deliberately on the basis of practical performance to enhance quality? This may be quantified by counting the frequency, length and peace-time limitations of exercises ranging from fully scripted, one type, generic scenario, command post, computer supported exercises at one end of the spectre to unscripted, free-play troop exercises within changing mission scenarios and with deliberate elements bringing disruption of plans to increase friction and realism. Only the latter type of exercises can add significantly to force combat readiness.
3) Does the command philosophy encourage flexibility in execution?
4) Are one side’s forces deliberately handicapped in relation to availability of means (such as cluster ammunition, anti-personnel mines, thermobaric weapons)?
5) Are one side’s forces handicapped in the level of integration and range of indirect fire weapons?
6) Are one side’s forces handicapped by inferiority in key technical fields such as cyber warfare or electronic warfare (e.g. in the air defence/offensive air operations field)?

Even forces such as mechanised brigades that are more or less similar in manning, equipment and technological level can be fundamentally different in de facto capabilities. If one brigade has been through a rigorous, realistic two-year exercise programme and have weeded out inefficient leaders and other cadre and the other brigade has just maintained a peace-time activity level, the second formation simply does not have a military capability. It is just another waste of state funds.

It is important to accept that some forces cannot be directly included in the force comparison for a specific part of the potential conflict theatre such as large oceanic surface and submarine naval warfare units in the Baltic Sea, Black Sea and East European operational context. The same applies to the general nuclear forces of Britain, France, Russia and the U.S.

In the force comparison it is essential to accept that multinational land forces with mix at brigade or lower levels are as militarily ineffective as they may be effective as a symbol of political solidarity. Due to language, equipment and training differences and diplomatic politeness they must be considered military Potemkin Villages if the bluff is called.

One final element: In relation to land forces it is essential to underline the fundamental operational handicap of the defender.

Normally we think that a defending unit can defeat an attacking force 2-3 times as large. This, however, assumes that the attacker must attack frontally, that no side has a clear artillery advantage, and that neighbouring units are in place to prevent the defender being bypassed. If the Russians had to assume that NATO would and could act offensively, they would have no advantage, but Western Alliance political cohesion requires a defensive posture.

Mobile (mechanised) land combat forces do not have the mobility of air and naval forces to concentrate and engage the enemy where and when he emerges. With a couple of thousand kilometres of threatened sectors on the European eastern border, the side with the freedom to choose the time and places of invasion needs far fewer forces than the defender that have to screen all possible sectors and therefore will have significant forces deployed in sectors that prove to be irrelevant. A brigade or battalion can only screen a limited sector of threatened border and defend even less.

A platoon to company detachment blocking a road will be destroyed by artillery in minutes and only the quality of any obstacles will create delay. A well-equipped and led battalion with engineer elements, robust air defence and long range artillery support can hold a frontage of around five kilometres with one major road for some hours. If no neighbours, it will thereafter be forced to withdraw or be bypassed and destroyed. A brigade can cover 2-3 times that frontage and two major roads.

Even a two to one superiority in land forces will not ensure success for the reactive side on the eastern border. When part of these forces can be freed and arrive at the actual invasion, the invader is most likely to have the tactical defence advantage, meaning that the late arriving force of the defender will need a three-to-one superiority to succeed.

At forbruge den uvirksomme hær som politiforstærkning er indlysende styrkenedbrydende og samtidigt farligt


En gruppe italienske faldskærmsjægere med pansret køretøj som vagter foran det skæve tårn i Pisa 14.8.2017

Det umiddelbart indlysende
Politiet er blevet presset af ekstra opgaver såsom politisk krav om midlertidig grænsebevogtning, vagt ved terrormål og af en åben bandekrig, som hverken korpset selv eller politikerne har noget svar på. Samtidig er Politiet hæmmet af enhver organisations og personelorganisationers vanskelighed ved at tænke uden for boksen og gøre noget nyt (jævnfør min tidligere blogartikel).

For vores politikere er det indlysende fornuftigt at anvende Forsvarets personel – læs Hærens menige og sergentgruppe – til at hjælpe politiet med at løse vagtopgaver, der ikke kræver politimæssig sagkundskab eller rutine.

Hæren (bortset fra Den Kongelige Livgardes vagt ved de kongelige slotte) har jo ikke noget fornuftigt at lave, da man jo ikke længere kunne finde på at sende enheder til fjerne lande, og da enhver ved, at NATO er så stærk, at i hvert fald Danmark ikke er truet i de få år indtil den evige fred indtræffer. Mange andre lande gør jo det samme med deres landstyrker. Store dele af de franske og belgiske hære er på terrorvagt – som de italienske elitestyrker ovenfor.

Det nedbrydende og reelt farlige. Først det nedbrydende
Anvendelsen har imidlertid den omkostning, at landenes hære hurtigt bliver ubrugelige til deres opgave. For at forstå hvorfor, er det hensigtmæssigt både at se en hær som sammenligneligt med både et stort orkester og med en stor kompleks virksomhed som eksempelvis et hospital.

Kvaliteten i en hær afhænger for det første af den fælles grundlæggende uddannelse af den enkelte soldat. Det er her, at man bl.a. lærer de færdigheder, der anvendes under simpel vagttjeneste. Men denne uddannelse skaber ikke andet end en jævn hob af vagter, ikke en anvendelig organisation.

Landmilitær effektivitet forudsætter for det første, at soldaten derudover uddannes i mindst én specialiseret funktion, her sammenligneligt med musikerens instrument, og som for musikeren kræver soldatens effektivitet konstant og mere øvelse, hvor denne aktivitet skal foregå i varierende stadig mere krævende situationer som musikerens i forskellige musikstykker.

Som musikeren i orkestret skal soldaten ikke alene mestre sit instrument, han skal kunne gøre det i et tæt samarbejde med de andre i sin enhed. Samarbejdet/samspillet skal blive så rutineret, tillidsfuldt og tæt, at det foregår, uden at man behøver at tænke på det (også som på et godt, sammenspillet fodboldhold).

For at de mindste hærenheder kan virke effektivt og uden risiko for kammerater og andre, skal såvel grunduddannelsen, specialuddannelserne og samarbejdet bringes op og holdes på et højt niveau. Dette nødvendige niveau kan kun holdes, hvis enheden er fuldt bemandet og at bemandingen er stabil. Det er den samtidige og jævnt fremadskridende uddannelse af en hel enheds soldater sammen, der gør, at en værnepligtenhed kan nå et så højt efter et lille års tid, at dette er meget vanskeligt at opnå for en enhed af kontraktsoldater, hvor en del hele tiden udskiftes.

Som også for hospitalet, skal det grundlæggende delelement i en hær både kunne arbejde gnidningsløst sammen med andre tilsvarende elementer (på hospitalerne afdelingernes vagthold) og med andre specialafdelinger og støtteelementer. Dette samarbejde mellem forskellige funktioner kræver for hæren vedkommende større, langvarige og krævende feltøvelser o.l., hvor ikke mindst lederne lærer deres funktion i praksis med de problemer, som aldrig opstår i teorien. Der skal her være tale om feltøvelser, der også øver indsættelse i ekstremt belastende og komplicerede kampsituationer.

Uanset hvilken hær, vi taler om, vil anvendelsen til løsningen af ikke-militære opgaver hurtigt nedbygge alt andet end den grundlæggende færdighed, som opgaven kræver. Folk, der afgives til disse opgaver, vil være fraværende, så enheden hurtigt taber kvaliteten som et orkester, hvor et stort antal musikere anvendes som dørmænd eller billetsælgere for at hjælpe på koncertsalens budget.

Men for en hære som den nuværende meget lille danske, vil yderligere fravær fra enheden hurtigt blive kritisk undergravende. Her er det allerede i forvejen umuligt for enhederne at nå mere end et middelmådigt uddannelsesniveau, bortset fra i situationer, hvor uddannelsesrammen er forberedelsen til en konkret mission:

* Her, hvor stram økonomi sammen en ineffektiv og ufagligt baseret personelforvaltningsfunktion både giver store “huller” i enhederne og manglende frihed til at kompensere lokalt.
* Her, hvor alle fra general til menig er ansat med fast timetal uanset funktionens behov og med pligt til at afspadsere alt overarbejde
* Her, hvor man i forvejen og i fremtiden i stigende grad ikke alene er fraværende fra sin enhed med henblik på faglig efteruddannelse, med også væk til civilt kompetencegivende kurser.


Fra dansk feltøvelse, der både rutinerer soldaten i de grundlæggende færdigheder og hans/hendes speciale under vanskelige vilkår i samspil med kammeraterne, med også gør det under samarbejde med andre funktioner

Men det er også farligt
Det virker måske afskrækkende for amatør-terrorister, at der foran synagogen eller menneskemængden ved rockkoncerten står et par soldater foran deres pansrede køretøj med beskyttelsesvest og automatiske stormgeværer, som på billedet ovenfor fra indgangen til Pisa-tårnet.

Men som vi ved fra begivenhederne den 30. januar 1972 i Nordirland, kan det hurtigt ændre sig til en katastrofe, hvis soldaterne bliver beskudt eller tror sig beskudt. På “Bloody Sunday” var det ikke italienske, men britiske faldskærmssoldater, der så sig under angreb og besvarede ilden. Dengang døde fjorten og tolv blev kvæstet, på trods af at den tids håndvåben var langt mindre effektive end moderne stormgeværer.

Med normale unge, primært kampuddannede soldater på terrorvagt vil det være langt lettere for målbevidste terrorister at fremprovokere en tragedie, end det vil være med modne politifolk, uanset disses bevæbning. Det er et helt naturligt resultat af deres forskellige uddannelse. Det hjalp ikke i Nordirland, at der var tale om veluddannede elitesoldater. Som 4. maj 1970, hvor det var frivillige deltidssoldater fra Ohio National Guard på Kent State University, kom situationen ud af kontrol og endte i en tragedie.


Fra Kent State University i maj 1970, hvor fire blev dræbt og ni sårede.

Som terrorvagt kan heller ikke bandebekæmpelse være en militær opgave. Kun tankeløst uansvarlige kan tro andet.


Fra tragedien i Nordirland i 1972.

Men hvad så ved grænsen.
Politiet har et behov for assistance, så noget skal ske. Løsningen ligger lige for. Der er ikke behov for at ødelægge resten af hæren ved at sende dens soldater til grænsen. En langt bedre mulighed findes i Hjemmeværnets Politikompagnier. Det er i forvejen et hjælpepoliti, der siden Den Kolde Krig har haft politifolk som chefer og befalingsmænd.

Antallet af disse kompagnier kunne forøges i området nord for grænsen. Politiet kunne tage styrken mere alvorligt, vise det ansvar for kompagnierne, de har, og med inspiration fra Marinehjemmeværnet kunne de og SKAT påtage sig at give egnede medlemmer målrettet uddannelse til grænsetjenesten. Marinehjemmeværnet løser i stor udstrækning løser Søværnets opgaver i hjemlige farvande med frivillige, som har skaffet sig de nødvendige civile uddannelser som navigatører, kommunikatører og teknikere. Med voksne politifolk fra grænselandet som befalingsmænd og med disse politihjemmeværnsfolk fra samme region som rygrad, ville man kunne skaffe sig en langt mere lokalforbundet, målrettet og fleksibel hjælpepolitistyrke end de kommende politikadetter, der grundlæggende starter på den rekrutuddannede soldats niveau.


Politiet burde tage deres ansvar for politikompagnierne alvorligt, udbygge, uddanne og udruste dem til grænsevagtsopgaven

Men hvad så som vagter ved terrormål.

Hjælpen bør ske igennem militærpolitiet.

Forsvaret har en uddannet ordenspolitistyrke, der sådan set er egnet til at hjælpe, men militærpolitiet er alt for lille til at hjælpe på et meningsfuldt niveau. Det vil være spild at anvende personellet fra Jæger- og Frømandskorps til vagtopgaver, det bør anvendes til direkte støtte til Politiets Aktionsstyrke i løsningen af langt mere krævende opgaver.

Terrorvagtopgaven bør løses på anden måde, og Danmark er så heldig, at vi råder over en meget stor pulje af grunduddannet og velegnet personel.

Livgardens uddannelse til vagttjenesten ved de kongelige slotte skaber robuste, tålmodige og disciplinerede soldater. Den forbereder til tjeneste i direkte kontakt med befolkningen, hvilket væsentligt mindsker risikoen for tragedier. Der uddannes hvert år et stort antal værnepligtige til vagtkompagniet, og fra styrken af tidligere soldater i kompagniet kunne der rekrutteres det nødvendige antal egnede til en militærpolitireservepulje. De skulle for en årlig kontraktsum samt løn under anvendelse forpligtede sig til eksempelvis seks ugers vagttjeneste årligt i eksempelvis fire år. De egnede kunne forberedes på et 3-4 måneders kursus, der blev gennemført af Forsvarets Militærpoliti og Politiskolen. Herefter kunne de, som bestod og fik kontrakt, blive udnævnt til militærpolitikorporaler.


Tidligere soldater fra Den Kongelige Livgardes Vagtkompagni – som disse to gardere – bør anvendes til hurtigt at opbygge militærpolitiet med en stor, landsdækkende reservestyrke af folk på rådighedskontrakter.

Håndtér dog banderne efter principperne for moderne oprørsbekæmpelse!


Efter skyderiet

Vi ved, at banderne er rekrutteringssted for islamistiske krigere.

Vi ved, at folk fra IS og andre terrororganisationer kan vende tilbage til dem.

Vi ved, at banderne og rockerorganisationer ser sig som separate uden for vores samfund og har deres egne normer og “rets”-system.

Vi ved, at de virker på tværs af landegrænser, også fordi det fremmer de kriminelle muligheder.

Vi ved, at de anvender pres og vold til at opnå deres mål.

At opfatte banderne som et begyndende oprør har væsentlige fordele.

Det er dog væsentligt først at understrege, at det ikke betyder, at der skal anvendes militært personel mod banderne. Det ville nemlig være indlysende skadeligt, fordi inddæmning og undergravelse at et oprør må ses som det, det er: et politisk efterretningsdrevet politiprojekt.

Det, som det betyder, er, at alle involverede klart forstår, at indsatsen må være efterretningsdrevet for at virke effektivt uden at fremprovokere negativ reaktion. Efterretningerne, der kan føre til politiindsats, skal være bygget på et stadig bedre efterretningsbillede.

Efterretningerne må som under ethvert oprør først og fremmest hentes fra lokalsamfundet, som “opmuntres”, presses eller købes til at bidrage – og derefter beskyttes effektivt mod hævn.

Efterretningerne skal også komme fra tidligere eller aktive bandemedlemmer, der presses/købes til at bidrage, og derefter beskyttes. Fængselophold for de straffede og ureformerede bandemedlemmer skal gøres maksimalt belastende gennem korte ophold og mange flytninger mellem institutionerne.

Endeligt skal efterretningerne suppleres igennem en tæt tilstedeværelse og monitering (med alskens moderne midler) fra politiet side i bandernes områder.

At man skal lade sig inspirere af erfaringer fra moderne oprørsbekæmpelse betyder også, at politiets magelige rutineoptræden – ved patruljering og visiteringszoner – må forstås som groft ineffektiv. Det er den af den simple grund, at modstanderen også kan tænke og straks tager højde for disse skridt, der så mister deres effekt. De er ligeså dumme og ineffektive, som hærens forudseelige kontrolposter og patruljering fra stadigt Taliban-moniterede baser i Helmand var det.


Forudseelig og derfor ineffektiv patruljeproduktion i Helmand

Overborgmester Frank Jensen har ret, der skal straks etableres mobile politistationer på Nørrebro og i Nordvest.

De skal bemandes med en kombination af uniformeret og civilklædt personale, hvoraf nogle har rødder i lokalområdet eller andre tilsvarende ghettoer. Stationerne skal have delvis skiftende bemanding for at undergrave bandernes mod-efterretningstjeneste.

Ledelsen af efterretnings- og politiindsatsen skal, som under oprørsbekæmpelse, gives klart og entydigt og have delegeret myndighed.

Som ved oprørsbekæmpelse bør også indsatsen mod banderne styres af politisk logik.

I mulig udstrækning skal der tages politisk-økonomiske skridt, der mindsker risikoen for rekruttering og loyaliteten til banderne, og man skal se og indrette sig på, at der er tale om en informationskrig om lokalbefolkningens og ikke mindst børnenes sjæle.

Observationer af debatten op til næste danske forsvarsforlig: Forsvarsinnovations-organisationsentreprenør-reformator-konsulentens korte grundbog

Forsvarspolitik bygget på den selvfølgeligt ahistoriske kombination af naiv og arrogant intuition, der VED, at:

Organisationer (som specielt Hæren) er:
> Øsle med menneskelige og økonomiske resurser
>> Ubegavet reaktionære
>>> Dovent forsvarende egeninteresser

Fordi disse ikke-innovative ikke ved/vil indse, at vi, der har ret, derfor ikke vil argumentere for det åbenbart rigtige, nemlig:
1) At andre i udlandet eller i den civile verden har smartere løsninger, som kan kopieres direkte [selvfølgelig skal man søge inspiration overalt, men anvendeligheden i dansk militær sammenhæng er langt fra givet, og kopiering uden udnyttelse af professionel erfaring og indsigt vil med stor sikkerhed undergrave den militære effektivitet]
2) At fortiden er irrelevant for fremtiden, hvilket bl.a. gør det indlysende, at danske styrker aldrig kommer i krig igen [en helt utroligt arrogant og overfladisk holdning]
3) At dette også, fordi hæren nu er beskåret til et minimum, hvor den kun lige kan klare Livgardens Blå Vagt og Gardehusareskorten, så der er blokeret for, at fremtidens politikere igen kan sende den til et sted som Irak eller Afghanistan [betyder blot, at de, der sendes alligevel af regeringerne – nu som “rådgivere” – er langt dårligere forberedt og støttet]
4) At dette er godt, fordi det er indlysende, at danske hærstyrker ikke kan løse nogen reel forsvarsopgave [håber vi, men allerede nu gælder det kun for Danmark vest for Bornholm og hvis vi nægter at bidrage substantielt til det fremskudte forsvar af NATOs østgrænse]
5) At dette heller ikke er nødvendigt, for NATO er meget stærkere end Rusland [kun korrekt, hvis en konflikt bliver lang, global og ikke optrappes til generel kernevåbenkrig; Rusland har en klar overlegenhed indledningsvis i Europa]
6) At det er indlysende, at idéen om at retablere danske reservestyrker viser mangel på innovationsevne [inden for rammen af realistiske forsvarsbudgetter er opbygningen af reservestyrker med kadrer og materiel den eneste vej til at sikre fleksibilitet og udholdenhed af strukturen]
7) At det er indlysende, at kontraktansatte soldater er både billigere, mere motiverede og dygtigere end værnepligtige på grund af, at de er lønnet for 37 timers tilstedeværelse pr. uge, dette selv om enhederne sjældent er samlede pga. afspadsering efter øvelser, m.m. og i fremtiden for at kunne få civil erhvervsbevis under tjenesten [som så meget andet bygger dette synspunkt ikke på erfaringen; de eneste ulemper ved værnepligtige er, at deres uddannelse kræver hårdt arbejde og engagement af kadrerne så uddannelsen er indlysende meningsfuld, at man derfor kan forklare dem, hvorfor vi tager deres tid, dvs. at der er et klart behov for den styrkestørrelse og den adgang til også den bedste del af ungdommen giver]
8) At da vi ikke skal i krig mere, er det indlysende, at militær ”ledelse” og professionalisme ud over sjakbajsniveauet er både unødvendigt og anakronistisk for Danmark, og vi vil nødigt præsenteres for argumenter, vi ikke kan forstå [men præmissen er jo desværre tvivlsom]

Fordi behovet er så indlysende, er det spild at tid at forstå og undersøge grundlaget for den eksisterende organisation

Da andre innovations-organisationsentreprenører-reformatorer-konsulenter med videnskabelig statskundskabsteoretisk baggrund allerede igennem tyve år har demonstreret deres evner inden for andre dele af den offentlige sektor, herunder SKAT, er der ingen grund til at forholde sig kritisk til virkningen på Forsvaret. Forsvaret fik allerede nær-dødelige doser af indlysende forsvarsinnovationsreformer i 2004 og 2013. Der er her ikke engang behov for at anvende penge på endnu en konsulentrapport, for alt er jo fortsat indlysende, ikke?

Desværre er disse generalistiske, indsigtsblinde organisationsentreprenører ikke alene, når vi taler om Forsvaret. Al for mange – også af organisationens højeste grader – er kun professionsbærere i den forstand, at de optræder i uniform som kejserens nye klær. De har overset, at en profession ikke sikres gennem det par teoretiske kurser, der stempler ud til forfremmelse. Den opretholdes for officerer som for læger kun gennem livslang kritisk og åben nysgerrighed, konstant flid og studier, hvor egen og andres praktisk erfaringer og voksende modenhed giver grundlag for stadig større indsigt. I deres skadelige selvtilfredshed følte de aldrig behov for faglig debatdeltagelse, klarede sig ved at tilegne sig Alliancens og Finansministeriets skiftende buzzwords og sikrede gennem deres destruktive eksempel, at den efterfølgende generation er blevet som de selv. De har nu specielt i hæren skabt en træg masse, der ikke har bevaret evnen til faglig genopbygning. Forsvaret er takket være dem og deres samarbejde med den første gruppe af “innovatorer” langt mere ødelagt og mere demoraliseret, end hvis en udenlandsk fjende havde gjort det under en besættelse.

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Et konkret resultat af de to gruppers samarbejde er følgende: For 25 år siden havde Danmark det bedste officersuddannelsessystem i landets historie, og den resterende generelle videregående uddannelse var – selv efter lukning af et niveau for at spare penge – så god, at den søgtes af udlandet, selv om eleverne skulle kunne dansk eller et andet nordisk sprog for at gennemføre den. Det centrale resterende problem var, at man ikke havde vilje til at begrænse elevskaren til de motiverede og kvalificerede, hvilket gjorde uddannelsen dobbelt så dyr og fraværsbelastende for enhederne, som den burde have været, og de uegnede og umotiverede hæmmede den fulde udnyttelse af rammen.

Nu er den grundlæggende teoretiske officersuddannelse på niveau med uddannelsen til menig politibetjent, men i modsætning til i politiet indeholder forsvaret meget begrænsede rammer for den relevante praktik, der skal konsolidere fagligheden. Nødvendige efteruddannelser er ved at blive fjernet. Den videregående uddannelse er nu blevet en professionsfjern og substansløs samling af teoretiske moduler, gennemgået uden, at der stilles krav om reelle adgangsforudsætninger, hårdt arbejde eller fordybelse. Tilbage er en blanding af fjernundervisning og tilstedeværelse til lidt orientering og diskussion. En uddannelse, der hverken kvalificerer til professionel indsats eller til relevant civil beskæftigelse. I politiet vil både efteruddannelser og muligheden for at tage en juridisk akademisk uddannelse være fagligt meningsfuldt.

Men når den evige fred er på vej, er det jo ligegyldigt, bortset fra de mange milliarder der spildes og den øgede risiko for landet, de ansatte og deres familier, og ligegyldigheden over for vores mere udsatte allierede, som tabet af faglighed indebærer, indtil dette mål nås.

On the accelerated Russian Military Build-up: the strategy history perspective

It happens in all fields:
* In the modernisation of large stocks of good late Cold War equipment to make them better than the majority of Western systems and less vulnerable to these.
* In massive exercises such as the current Zapad 2017.
* In the creation of new forward deployment bases.
* In the consolidation of ever more effective bastions in places such as Kaliningrad Oblast and Crimea.
* In the effective and self-critical lessons-learning from the Syrian experience.
* In the comprehensive testing of both strategic cyber warfare and tactical reconnaissance-strike systems in the Ukraine.
* In the creation of new large formation and the re-focusing of the conscript based reserve element to make the forces robust.
* In the creation of large heavy lift tank transporter units to make fast and flexible forward deployment possible.

The dynamic military reformer Nikolai Ogarkov, who tried to adjust to the Western Surge and his current successor Valery Gerasimov, who can benefit from a Russian military military reboot that has still not inspired the West to take the challenge seriously.

What Valery Gerasimov is doing now is similar to what Nikolai Ogarkov did during his years as General Staff Chief from 1977 to 1984 with his Operational Manoeuvre Group and enhanced readiness package: Not preparing for an inevitable war, but for a “Victory in Europe”-chance if war becomes inevitable or necessary for the state.

This is the key duty of any serious armed forces’ leader … in case the reader has forgotten.

The accelerated Gerasimov effort requires “full spectrum” preparations in all fields – geo-strategic, information, cyber warfare, conventional operational and logistic, etc. – as always built on the Military Doctrine’s scientific analysis of enemy’s and own developing strengths and weaknesses in all fields.

The correlation of forces is presently in Russia’s favour and shifting even further in that direction:

1) Compared to 35 years back, the U.S. armed forces are unable to maintain the number of units. The costs of replacing existing platforms and systems – especially but not only in the USN – have become prohibitively high. No matter what Trump does to change the trends by am increased Pentagon budget, he cannot find funds for approaching what Reagan and his Naval Secretary did then. The life extension potential for many platforms is limited, and the sums required for just maintaining all systems and reach what Russia has achieved since 2008 are staggering. Western catching-up with what has been lost in the last twenty years in the electronic warfare field and in high intensity warfare professionalism in officer command cadres may take a full decade (if we started, now which we don’t).

Unfortunately Gerasimov will not allow his navy to build a “luxury fleet” such as Gorshkov’s that might have triggered a bout of USN creativeness to maintain quantity at a “good enough” platform level rather than insisting on the prohibitively costly sublime.

2) The U.S. can no longer pull forces from the Pacific. It cannot concentrate to Europe and the Atlantic in the way in did after the Vietnam War. Now China is likely to take advantage of any concentration towards the east of the far more limited forces. The American situation is that of 1941-42.

3) Then the U.S. had far more militarily robust allies in Europe. It was before the German Armed Forces were reduced to under-trained remnants counting working hours waiting for weapon systems in various private workshops to prove willingness to out-sourcing/before the conventional British Forces dropped all focus and capabilities for conventional deterrence and fighting/before the French conventional Armed Forces lost the remaining ability beyond internal security at home and in the former colonies. Even smaller NATO member states had meaningful forces in the 1980s. That is no longer the case.

So where Ogarkov’s task was tough, Gerasimov’s is less so. However, both were limited by the lack of economic sustainability of his Military Doctrine. Ogarkov’s window of opportunity was closed in autumn 1983 and he was moved by Andropov’s frightened successor early the next year. If or when Gerasimov’s window is closing is an open question.

Putin’s physical and political health seems to be a good deal more robust than his predecessor Andropov’s was in autumn 1983.

So far NATO members have tried optimistically with some flimsy window dressing. Cannot do much more with the resources available.

Bornholm kan desværre ikke forsvares af luftværnsmissiler fra fregatterne

Liselotte Odgaard, Ph.D. er en med rette internationalt anerkendt Kinaspecialist med statskundskabsbaggrund. Hun er ansat på Forsvarsakademiet af den grund. Hun deltog i Folkemødet som privatperson, men hun udtalte sig her om Bornholms situation og forsvar som beskrevet i blogartikeltitlen.

Hun konstaterede muligvis i en uudsagt accept af den øgede trussel mod øen?, at skibsbaseret luftværn er mere “fleksibelt” end landbaseret og derfor en bedre løsning af øens forsvarsproblem. Hun synes ikke at forstå, at dette kun gælder indtil skibet er sænket af en torpedo, mine eller en byge sømålsmissiler. Det er alle umiddelbare muligheder ved en konfliktstart i farvandet ved Bornholm.

Odgaard har imidlertid aldrig beskæftiget sig med det her relevante taktisk-operativ-strategiske problemer. Det kræver dels kræver ajourført viden om våbenteknologi og hvordan kamp gennemføres, dels rutine i analyse af konkrete militære spørgsmål. Hun er som en dygtig skomager, der ikke er blevet ved sin læst. OK som borger i en ramme som Folkemødet, men ikke, hvis man udtaler sig som ekspert.

De fremragende danske fregatter, der desværre mangler penge til den nødvendige bevæbning. Skibe, der dog selv derefter ikke kan sikre Bornholm op til og under en åben konflikt om Baltikum.

Fregatterne diskuteres indgående i NATOs missilforsvar som en del af radardækningen. Det var, hvad der fik den russiske ambassadør til at true Danmark med kernevåben.

NATOs missilforsvar er designet mod iranske missiler, ikke mod russiske. Det er ikke muligt at forsvare Europa eller Danmark mod russiske ballistiske missiler, og det har aldrig været dette forsvars opgave.

Fregatterne kan og bør selvfølgelig udrustes med moderne luftværnsmissiler. Det er meningsløs at have store kostbare enheder, der både mangler besætninger og de nødvendige våben.

Problemet i forhold til Bornholms forsvar er imidlertidig, at heller ikke danske fregatter eller andre NATO-flådefartøjer nu kan gives effektive modmidler mod de supersoniske antiskibsmissiler, som russerne har udviklet og nu har placeret både på skibe, undervandsbåde og på landjorden i Kaliningrad. Og skibe kan let ses og derefter sænkes, hvis de ikke har meget effektive selvforsvarsvåben.

Og da disse våben dels er lettere at skjule end våbenplatforme på havet og dels er forsvaret af mobile både langt og kortrækkede nye luftværnsmissiler, som NATO ikke har modmidler mod, er det ikke holdbart at bygge Bornholms luftforsvar på skibe.

Måder for landbasering af de russiske sømålsmissiler, som Vesten efter oplysninger fra den amerikanske flåde ikke har modmidler mod.

Dette betyder, at heller ikke fregatterne vil kunne overleve øst for Bornholm. Et skib kan sænkes, det kan Bornholm ikke. De eneste flådefartøjer, der kunne bidrage til Bornholms forsvar, er undervandsbåde.

Allerede Søværnets første chef, den dybt respekterede viceadmiral Aage Vedel, konstaterede i sin Flaadeplan fra 1953, at kun undervandsbåde kunne overleve fremskudt i Østersøen. Men denne skibstype findes ikke længere i dansk forsvar, og selv om de skulle blive genindført, er kuptruslen mod Bornholm også helikopterbåren, og dem kan undervandsbåde ikke gøre noget ved.

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FE, der åbenbart fortsat rådgiver om forhold, som i 25 år gradvis er fravalgt som tjenestens kernekompentence. Det gør indtil korrektioner tjenesten ret irrelevant i forhold til den militære trussel og analysen hos vore naboer.

Det er også væsentligt for situationen – med bedømmelsen af at heller ikke Bornholm er truet – at forstå, at Forsvarets Efterretningstjeneste ikke længere har den kombination af Ruslandsekspertise, militære analyseevne og varslingsfokus, som man havde under Den Kolde Krig.

De nye opgaver, som man har bemandet og organiseret tjenesten til at løse, er primært knyttet til eksterne terrortrusler mod Danmark og mod danske soldater på internationale operationer.

Det vil tage mange år at genetablere den tidligere kapacitet, og nok også nødvendigt igen lade en officer overtage chefsstillingen for at sikre en konsolidering af fokus.

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Den argumentation mod en genskabelse af et forsvar af Bornholm er stærkt præget af den overfladiske og ukritiske argumentationsform, der præger diskussionen af militære spørgsmål. Det er sket efter, at amatører har overtaget tomrummet efter de bedste af de 150-200 danske officerer, jeg har givet videregående professionsuddannelse. De har åbenbart ikke gidet at holde sig ajour og udfylde den rolle, de blev forberedt til.

For det første ignorer amatører, der kalder sig militære eksperter, at det, den ene part i en konfrontation gør, vil blive forsøgt imødegået af modparten. Man kan ikke stille modparten skakmat ved et smart træk. Man må åbent og selvkritisk tænke og “spille” alle de mulige forløb igennem ud fra en viden om alle parter. Fokus skal herunder samtidig spænde helt fra deres strategiske, dvs. politisk-militære beslutningsproces, til, ned til, hvad enhederne og deres våbensystemer kan og ikke kan.

For det andet overser amatører, at man i sine beslutninger må regne med fysiske og andre angreb på den valgte løsning både efter fjendtlighederne er indledt og før dette. Jo mere åbent, synligt og derfor fristende sårbart, man optræder, desto større er risikoen for ødelæggende tab, efter det tidspunkt, hvor den aktive side i konfrontationen har valgt at tage risikoen for en åben konflikt.

For det tredje anvender amatører positivt lydende ord som “fleksibilitet” i forventning om, at det fortryller og lammer kritisk tænkning hos lyttere og læsere på samme måde, som det åbenbart har ramt dem selv. Her betyder ordet “fleksibilitet”, at luftværnsmissilerne på skibe kan sejle rundt i verden og ikke er henvist til at stå i Danmark helt unyttige, når angrebet sandsynligvis ikke kommer. Lyder godt, hvis man ignorerer, at den kedelige placering i en del af Danmark netop har til formål at forebygge, at det bliver nødvendigt at anvende systemerne.

Kritisk tænkning kan betyde, at man forstår, at nogle af disse missiler må forventes at være på værft, andre måske hæmmet af havari på anden del af skibet, andre igen langt fra Bornholm på det tidspunkt, hvor de skal anvendes her, da netop “fleksibiliteten” også gør det attraktivt at anvende fregatterne langt væk fra Østersøen, også i roller, hvor luftværnsmissilerne er irrelevante.

Også mobile luftværnssystemer på land er sådan set fleksible, da de ikke er placeret i beton, og når radaren ikke er aktiv er de langt mindre synlige og sårbare samt mindre komplekse og udgiftskrævende end skibene.

Luftværnssystemer på land er fleksible i den strategisk-operative forstand, at man eksempelvis kan placere et andet batteri fra luftværnsafdelingen end det på Bornholm placerede fremskudt i en truet del af Baltikum til beskyttelse af danske og andre allierede styrker.

A Simple Model for National Strategy Discourse

Just for information my latest fully “Clausewizian” version of a total strategy model … as a framework for understanding what has been missing in Western strategy making in a quarter century.

The original – more naïve – version below was used in my strategy and military doctrine development lecturing for many years. It had been developed three decades back from Général André Beaufre’s classical total strategy model.

Why Russia Cannot be Appeased … and What Then

In order to find a way to co-operate with Russia, one has to understand how the present and coming elite have come to see, reject and counter the West.

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In the present Russian leaders’ understanding the Soviet Union Empire did not only collapse in 1991 as a result of the economic crisis and the leadership’s loss of belief in their project’s future. They believe that it also happened due to deliberate actions of hostile forces in the West, mainly the U.S. They exploited the weak – and thus bad – Soviet leaders and illoyal small nations such as the Baltic peoples and – much worse – the Ukrainian nationalists to achieve their aim of depriving Russia of her rightful place in the World. These hostile forces continued their work until finally found out and confronted by Vladimir Putin, the new strong and thus good Russian leader that joined the former great rulers that pulled a weakened country out of crisis and moved it towards revival such as Ivan Grozny, Peter the Great, Katherine the Great and Josef Stalin.

The present Russian leaders consider a state and its leaders as hypocritical or naïve if not built on power and not exploiting all tools to enhance its position in its region and the world. The idea that human beings or states can work in equal partnership for common good is a false mirage exploited by the stronger, as the U.S. did with Russia in its period of weakness.

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In domestic repression this includes employment of such types as the Chechnyan dictator Ramzan Kadyrov and his henchmen

All relationships are built on power between the dominant side and the dependent client. Thus the EU and NATO are just intelligently manipulated fronts of U.S. power employed to weaken Russia and other states that stand up to it. The whole concept of democracy, the liberal civil society and its trimmings of equality of opportunity, justice and a free press is meant to undermine opposition to America gaining world power. The notion of such positive values are employed in a hybrid tandem with open and unilateral use of own or client military power to enhance U.S. power as against Serbia in 1999 and against Iraq in 2003. What happened in Ukraine in 2014 was a successful Russian response to an American attempt to move the Ukraine from the natural, historically rightful Russian client status to that of the U.S. Here the U.S. initially used non-military means in the spectrum of total, hybrid warfare, employing the “front” of Western sponsored NGO.

The whole set of liberal ideas of truth and historical truth is seen as fundamentally naïve and false. The truth is what furthers the aims and power of your country and the internal power of the leader group. The Soviets were basically limited in their propaganda by their commitment to the class struggle where something was just and right – others actions unjust and wrong. Not so the present Russian leaders.

What serves the promotion of relative Russian power and leadership control is justified. This includes suppression of the free press and any political opposition. It also justifies the full exploitation of the media plus any opposition in the naïve Western societies to further division there and undermine the influence of the U.S. establishment and its allies in the rest of the West.

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Actually the Russians have never fought the I.S. Her actions in first Chechnya and thereafter Syria have nourished and worsened the Islamic problem of especially Europe. In spite of this Putin has been successful in presenting Russia as the natural anti-Islamic and fellow xenophobic ally of right-populist forces such as UKIP, Front Nationale, Alternative für Deutschland, Viktor Orbán’s version of Fidesz and Denmark’s “Dansk Folkeparti“. That Putin actually agrees fully with Islamic groups’ contempt and rejection of our ridiculous, anti-macho, and naïve progressive societies cannot be formally recognised by these allies as this will expose their less than full commitment to the values of their societies.

The Russians consider themselves at war with the West, a total if still not open fighting war that we started as already described. Therefore any means to undermine our already weakened cohesion is legitimate, as it will change the correlation of forces in Russia’s favour. A simple and often effective means is to corrupt our leaders by offering personal economic benefits for acting in support of Russia rather than in the interest of your country. The German ex-Chancellor Gerhard Schröder is a notable example. Others can be found in both Eastern and Western Europe.

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Since late 2011 Russian-speaking minorities have been targeted in a constant propaganda and disinformation campaign meant to develop and strengthen their inherent pride in Russian resurgence and undermine their loyalty to their state of residence.
Aggressive military body-language and explicit threats to use military force to support Russian interests are routinely employed, including the threat of nuclear weapons. The de facto open use of the Russian military in 1999-2000 in Chechnya, 2008 in Georgia, after 2014 in Crimea and the Donbass and since 2015 in Syria has underlined Russian determination to change the world order in Russia’s favour.

During the last years of Obama’s presidency, the U.S. tried constantly to reset the relationship with Russia in a positive direction, including by deliberately limiting the American support of the Ukraine to further the progress towards a compromise with Russia. However, at the same time as pressing the Ukrainians to compromise, both the U.S., Canada and the EU has worked hard to reform Ukraine into a Western type of country by confronting the rampant corruption and creating transparent economic and government structures.

By strengthened civil society in the Ukraine, the West has emphasised its hostility to Russia, because by spreading the naïve notion of fair, free, just societies, we have been doing just what the Russian leaders want us to stop because it is the continuation of the “hybrid warfare” campaign that rolled back Russian control over its empire from 1988 until 2008.

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The forward basing of symbolic NATO forces in the Baltics and elsewhere as agreed at the Warsaw Summit should not be seen as a hostile military act, even if is presented as such by the Russians to both the always fairness-seeking, anti-military Westerners and the Putin-supporters that apparently long for the adoption at home of his model repression of the liberal and permissive anti-macho societies. The deployment is a hostile act from our Russian perspective because it will reinforce local determination to resist pressure to enter into the traditional, corruption nourished client relationship that Russia considers natural.

In order to deal with Russia in the future, as we have to do to avoid a misunderstanding that can lead to catastrophe, we have to understand that what Russia considers a threat are the liberal institutions and values that we have spent hundreds of years to consolidate. That is what the Russian leaders work so energetically to destroy, because they correctly senses our loss of focus and will. Russia will seek to undermine our remaining defence cooperation in NATO, not to reduce any military threat, but to gain freedom to roll back the civil liberties in the neighbouring states by all required and suitable means and thereby recreate the corrupt and illiberal great power environment that existed before the First World War.

Let us understand that Russia’s objective is to poison liberal democracies to remove the threat they present to his power and Putin’s country’s ambitions. Let us face that this is incompatible with our interests. Giving the Russians what they really want, appeasing them by no longer being a visible systemic threat, will require the self-destruction of our democratic political system. Even making the superficially limited concession of allowing them to corrupt and crush the aspirations for freedom and justice of such peoples as the Ukrainians will mean that we have quietly surrendered what we should stand for and created dangerous doubt about whether and when we will be willing to stand-up for anything.

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(Finnish soldiers)

If we understood and accepted this and gathered the will to act accordingly, then we could develop and follow a policy of peaceful coexistence with Russia, formally respecting her as the world power she continued to be.

If we found that will, we could base such a policy on a minimum nuclear deterrent and robust defensive conventional military posture with an area denial capability like the Finnish. We would then follow a policy that would include co-operation against common threats in such fields of climate change, nuclear proliferation and common real action against Islamic and other terror.