On the development of military science in the Russian Federation (part 1)

„Main features of present-day military thought and action“

Siegfried Lautsch


In this essay, aspects of the dynamic changes in politics and society as well as the integration of military science in the armed forces of the Russian Federation (RF) are reflected upon. At the same time, the focus is on the strategic and operational levels, especially on the responsibility of the command and control authorities and staffs and their interest in further development. The object of the development of the Russian armed forces is the transformation of capabilities which comply with the present-day picture of war and which establish the prerequisites for effectively deploying them. Analyses of the questions of an increase of the fitness for action of the RF are one of the priorities of Russian military strategy. This fitness for action is determined by the quantitative and qualitative armoury of the armed forces, their degree of replenishment and technical equipment, their moral psychological state, their training level, as well as the readiness and eagerness to fight of the troops and forces.

Decisive for the perception of the mutual menace between NATO and Russia is the intention to dispose of equivalent capabilities for deterrence. This logic of deterrence has a fatal perspective because it neither excludes war nor does it guarantee peace. Here, above all, a certain strategic serenity in the political and military command and control circles in Moscow, Washington and Brussels is necessary. The declarations of the Russian chief of general staff do not only focus on the presentation of the contents of military science, but rather on the question: How can scientific cognitions be utilised in the interest of the armed forces, such as for the planning, preparation and execution of military missions and procedures? The prerequisites for this are considerations as to which branches of science can be useful for the concerns of military science, and which services they are to render. In the end, the Russian military elite is interested in arming the armed forces of the RF for the future and effectively preparing them for predictable missions. According to this author’s opinion, power political priorities of the RF are less relevant than urgent security-political and military challenges as well as legal, ethical and standards of international law, all of those with high priority. Like other states, Russia, too, bets on its total sovereignty, on its considerable role in Europe and in the world, as well as on its responsibility in the international system. The heterogeneity and spectrum of possible dangers and risks as well as the real threats for the national security of the RF demand for preservation of the political capacity to act even by use of military means, also in military operations with low or high intensity in the framework of international conflict prevention and conflict management. Moreover, the armed forces contribute to rescue, evacuation and freeing of hostages abroad, to territorial defence, to humanitarian missions and to assistance. This complexity requires the inclusion of military science for solving present and future reform goals.