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Russia ‘to counter aggressive US foreign policy and prevent future wars’

08 March 2019
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Russian Chief of the General Staff Gen Gerasimov (right) pictured with President Vladimir Putin (centre) and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu. The general has been responsible for many of the changes in Russia’s armed forces that have turned it into an agile and capable force. Source: Russian Presidential Press and Information Office

Key Points

  • Russia's Chief of the General Staff has outlined the latest Russian military-geopolitical thinking in a recent speech
  • The general expounded upon the Russian military's "search for rational strategies for waging war"

Russia will continue to confront the US and its allies across the domains of the modern battlespace but will actively aim to prevent war according to a speech given by Russia's Chief of the General Staff, General Valery Gerasimov, at Russia's Academy of Military Sciences in Moscow on 4 March.

Gen Gerasimov laid out clear priorities for the Military Science Committee of the Russian Federation Armed Forces for the period between 2020 and 2025, the majority of which relates to the theory and application of military force.

"The means of economic, political, diplomatic, informational pressure, as well as the demonstration of military power in the interests of enhancing the effectiveness of non-military measures, are being actively used," the general said. "Therefore, the search for rational strategies for waging war with various adversaries is of paramount importance."

This statement was made with clear reference to the US, the foreign policy of which, along with that of its allies, Russia considers to be overtly aggressive and something that must be countered.

Citing incidents such as the US withdrawal from several nuclear limitation treaties, Gen Gerasimov intimated that war could be prevented if Russia anticipates the politico-military and strategic situation in time to act.

"Acting quickly, we must pre-empt the enemy with our preventative measures, promptly identify its vulnerabilities and create threats of unacceptable damage to it," the general noted.

At another point Gen Gerasimov referred to was a further method of modern warfare developed by the US called the 'Trojan Horse', which he said was designed to utilise the power of fifth-column activists and protests.

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