A look at Russia’s ‘asymmetric warfare’ in Syria – Forward Observer Shop

A look at Russia’s ‘asymmetric warfare’ in Syria

From The Jamestown Foundation comes this assessment of how the Russian military operates on the battlefield in the early 21st century:

The Russian military operation in Syria has highlighted “urban warfare,” information security and electronic warfare (EW) as crucial elements of how Moscow envisions the “wars of the future” will be fought. However, Russia’s top brass is currently allocating a central role to the development of EW capabilities.

Increasingly viewed by Russian military strategists as a pivotal tool for gaining and maintaining information superiority over its adversaries in future conflicts, Russia’s growing emphasis on the development of EW is inseparable from two events that occurred soon after Russia went into Syria.

First was the November 2015 downing of a Russian Su-24 bomber by Turkish jets after it had strayed into Turkey’s airspace.

The second incident, reported on later that same month, involved Turkey deploying Koral electronic warfare complexes on its southern border in order to “dazzle” (blind) Russian S-400 air-defense missile systems that Moscow had just brought into Syria

Incidentally, speaking from a historical prospective, Syria first became a training ground for the Soviet Army to test its EW capabilities as far back as 1982, following the outbreak of hostilities in Lebanon. And Moscow renewed those efforts in October 2015, when it deployed the Krasukha-4 multifunctional jamming station to the Hmeymin airbase, thus signaling a qualitatively new stage of Russian engagement in the Syrian civil war.

Read the rest here.

Analyst comment: In Syria as well as in Ukraine, Moscow is providing the U.S.-led West with object lessons in how it would fight a major conflict against NATO, the U.S., or other great power. Asymmetric warfare combined with traditional combat arms is fast becoming the Russian way of war; these low-level conflicts are providing Moscow with the opportunity to test such techniques and work out the inevitable bugs.

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Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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