5 April 2018

The U.K.'s 'Fusion Strategy' Warfare Doctrine Looks Familiar

by Leonid Bershid

Modern warfare is, in part, about marketing. So, in its National Security Capability Review , the U.K. government chose a glitzy, tech-sounded new-age name: "fusion strategy." That may have part been to avoid the term "hybrid warfare" often applied to today's Russian warfighting. The difference is subtle but important. "Call it non-linear war (which I prefer), or hybrid war , or special war , Russia’s operations first in Crimea and then eastern Ukraine have demonstrated that Moscow is increasingly focusing on new forms of politically focused operations in the future," British Russia expert Mark Galeotti wrote in the blog post that launched (to the author's lasting regret) the inaccurate term "Gerasimov Doctrine." He was referring to the 2013 speech by General Valery Gerasimov, chief of the Russian General Staff. In it, Gerasimov dissected a purported Western war strategy, employing propaganda and economic warfare to soften up the adversary for military action by special forces aided by private military companies and domestic opposition. He argued that Russia should preempt these efforts, rather than copy them. 

The U.K.'s "fusion strategy" aims to "use our security, economic and influence capabilities to maximum effect to protect, promote and project our national security, economic and influence goals." One of the goals is to counter "a well-established pattern of Russian state aggression." So far, so predictably sweeping…

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