May 30, 1996

May 30, 1996 | FYI on

Russian Hardliners' Military Doctrine: In Their Own Words

(Archived document, may contain errors)

No. 104 May30,1996


By Ariel Cohen, Ph.D. Senior Policy Analyst


Some Western leaders and policyrnakers are remarkably unconcerned about the prospects of a vic- tory by Communist Party candidate Gennady Zyuganov in the Russian presidential elections on June 16. Thinking that a communist return to power in Russia will be no different than it was in Po- land or Slovakia, these Westerners appear to believe that a communist victory in Russia will not dis- rupt the burgeoning "partnership" between Russia and the West. However, the report translated here paints a different picture. Written by hard-line members of a nationalist-communist coalition that supports Zyuganov for president but maintains close ties with such nationalists as Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the document contains advice for Russian military plan- ners that is profoundly disturbing for the United States and the West. No amount of "miffor imag- ing" in the U.S. or Western democracies can obscure the meaning of Russian hardliners as rendered in their own words.

Among the report's main points: X Russia should be moving aggressively to adopt a nuclear deterrence posture for perceived non- nuclear threats. Strategic nuclear forces should be the highest priority. X Russia should be able to fight at least one full-scale regional war, one smaller-scale conflict, and at least three "peacemaking" operations outside its borders. X The U.S. and NATO remain Russia's enemies. Other foes include Turkey and countries of the former Soviet Union such as the Baltic States. X Russia's armed forces should be drastically reorganized on the basis of smaller, highly mobile units. X Russia should be prepared to undertake military operations to reconquer the New Independent States (NIS) of the former Soviet Union. These operations would include seizing conimand-and- control sites, "eliminating" the political-military leadership, and deporting "some categories" of the hostile population, presumably to the Russian hinterland.

The authors of these positions are analysts who advise the president and the Russian General Staff on military and security matters. One author is Lieutenant General Valeriy Dementyev, who was once Deputy Chief of Armaments in the USSR Ministry of defense, and today is an analyst with the Institute for Defense Research (known by its Russian acronym INOBIS, Institut oboronnykh issle- dovaniz) in the town of Kaliningrad, on the Baltic Sea near the Polish border. The other author is An- ton Surikov, a defense analyst formerly associated with the USA-Canada Institute and also an analyst at the Institute for Defense Research. The secretive INOBIS is financed by the Russian Gen- eral Staff, military-industrial enterprises, and the Atomic Energy Ministry, and conducts classified research. It was founded by senior figures from the KGB and the Russian military-industrial com- plex. Also instrumental in its founding was Yuri Maslyukov, Zyuganov's chief economic policy maker and the former head of the USSR's Central Planning Authority (the all-powerful GosPlan). INOBIS reportedly enjoys an attentive audience at the Ministry of Defense. People like Surikov and Dementyev advise Communist Party leader Zyuganov, radical nationalist Zhirinovsky, and President Boris Yeltsin's Atomic Energy Minister, Viktor Mikhailov. Even if Zyuganov loses the presidential elections, the views expressed in this report will influence Russian military and security policy. Many in the Russian armed forces and security services support a more aggressive stance for Russia-a viewpoint clearly expressed in this document.

The Heritage Foundation thanks Harriet and Bill Scott, leading experts on the Soviet and Russian military, for their kind assistance in translating this report.

ARMY REFORM AND SECURITY: Conceptual Theses of the Strategy of Reforming The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation

by Valerly Dernentyev, Lieutenant General (Ret.) and Doctor of Technical Sciences, and Anton Surikov, Doctor of Technical Sciences

Deterrence and Defense

The defensive character of the policy of the Russian Federation (RF) in the military area and the absence in Russia of aggressive intentions was proclaimed in the Basic Provisions of the Military Doctrine of the RF, unveiled in 1993.1 This thesis, however, is in need of clarification in terms of the precise tasks that the Armed Forces face. Among them, first of all, three basic tasks should be singled out: V The Armed Forces must have the capability to deter effectively the threat of nuclear attack on Russia and on the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), which have signed the agreement on collective security. In this, the talk is exclusively about deterrence, be- cause national military thought acknowledges the impossibility of victory in a global nuclear conflict on the strategic level. V The Armed Forces should be aimed both at deterring a large-scale military attack on Russia and the CIS by foreign governments or a coalition thereof using conventional armaments, and deter- ring and repelling military aggression from the outside that has more limited goals. Deterrence of such threats can be nuclear. The Armed Forces must have the capability to conduct local wars and carry out peacemaking op- erations, primarily within the bounds of the former USSR, taking into account that the former Soviet Union is a zone of Russian vital interests and home to 25 million ethnic Russians. Cur- rently, the Russian Federation is conducting two local wars on the territory of the former USSR -in Chechnya and Tajikistan. Besides that, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation are ful- filling peacemaking functions that are in fact deterring Georgia and Moldova from commencing aggression towards Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Trans-Dniester.2 Taking into account the prac- tices of 1990-1996, the demand must be put forward, in part, for the capability to wage local wars within the bounds of the former USSR. The Armed Forces should be able to take part si- multaneously in at least one local war of high intensity, at least one "slow" local war, and at least three "frozen" local conflicts and peacemaking operations.

Russia's Enemies

The thesis of the Basic Provisions is that Russia has no outside enemies. Experience has demon- strated the falseness of this thesis. Because of Russia's weak government and the progressive degra- dation of its military and economic potential, outside enemies are making themselves known in a bolder and more open fashion.

Currently, Russia's basic probable enemies remain the United States and the NATO countries. The United States has a vast nuclear missile potential which, if used, can destroy Russia as a state. It was created with the goal of nuclear blackmail of the USSR and was oriented mainly at carrying out a first nuclear strike. At present, in spite of ongoing reductions within the framework of START 1, orientation toward a first strike not only has not disappeared, but actually has been increased. This is due primarily to the policy of the [American] authorities, particularly the U.S. Congress, toward re- vision of the ABM Treaty of 1972 and creates the prerequisites for development and subsequent de- ployment of a strategic ABM system by the year 2003. In contrast to the Warsaw Pact Treaty Organization, not only has NATO, led by the USA, not been dissolved, but the decision already has been made to enlarge it. NATO's infrastructure, despite the reduction of personnel and armaments taking place under the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, is still oriented toward actions in an eastern direction. The preservation of its basic military infrastructure gives it an opportunity to build up its troops quickly should such a decision be made. Although, as of today, the potential of NATO conventional forces is not sufficient to conduct a large-scale offensive operation against the Russian Federation similar to Hitler's invasion of 1941, over time these forces can be augmented and advanced to the borders of the Russian Federation. In this light, the plans for NATO eastern expansion look clearly aggressive. Moreover, in Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary measures are now being taken to adapt the infrastructure, airport net- work, communications, etc., for NATO use. One Hungarian airport, without prior permission, has been turned into an American military base. It should be noted that the experience of the U.S. and NATO in the Persian Gulf in 199 1, and in the former Yugoslavia in 1995-1996, demonstrates that the tWestem] bloc today has sufficient po- tential to carry out military operations with limited goals on the periphery of post-Soviet territory. In this scenario, the greatest danger is presented by aggression from three possible directions: first, because of Norway's recent decision to expand NATO military activity in the north of the country, from the north against the Russian Federation's Northern Fleet on the Kola peninsula; second, in connection with the discussion about creating a 60,000-strong Baltic Corps from German, Danish, and Polish detachments, from the northwest in the form of military intervention by NATO in case of a conflict between Russia and the Baltic countries; and third, in light of the calls being heard to grant the countries of the Caspian basin NATO security guarantees similar to those given to the countries of the Persian Gulf, from the south, where the key role is assigned to a member of NATO -Turkey. Turkey possesses an army of 600,000. Its navy is already bigger than the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Turkey has unilaterally altered the status of the Black Sea straits, threatening Russia's interests. It has voiced numerous military threats toward Russia's ally Armenia with regard to the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. Turkey is attempting to attract into its sphere of influence the Turkish-speaking and Muslim regions of the former USSR. It has been proven that Turkish officials supported [Presi- dent] Dudaev's illegal military detachments in Chechnya. They also assisted the "Gray Wolves" or- ganization in Azerbaijan and a number of other nationalistic military detachments throughout the cis.

Japan, which is an ally of the United States and has territorial claims against the Russian Federa- tion, might also be considered a potential enemy of Russia. Today, Japan does not have sufficient military power to start an aggressive military operation against Russia in order to take the islands of the Southern Kurils by force, but it does have the necessary potential to expand its Armed Forces quickly.

China and Iran Are Not Enemies

Obviously, the fact that Russia and China are neighbors must not be ignored when planning the development of the Armed Forces. At the same time, the military policy of the Russian Federation should be formed with extreme caution with respect to China. The U.S., seeing China as a potential enemy, is interested in creating a military confrontation between Russia and China. Similarly, the U.S. has a clear interest in the confrontation between the Russian Federation and Iran, another American enemy. The "Islamic threat" to the CIS is used as an argument to promote a similar confrontation. After a close examination of this problem, however, it becomes clear that the extremist movements in the CIS that operate under pseudo-Islamic slogans are relying as a rule not on Iran, but on pro-Western regimes in the Muslim world: Turkey, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia. In light of the above, it is not practical to view Iran and China as probable enemies of Russia, at least in the near future, because there are no objective causes for confrontation between the Russian Federation and those countries.

Recreating the Empire Within the territory of post-Soviet Russia, the main enemies are the forces of aggressive national- ism that operate with support from outside and have armed forces of their own: an-nies, police, and other militarized detachments of the Baltic states; Dudayev's illegal armed forces; Tajik opposition illegal armed forces; and others. The main causes of conflict involving the Armed Forces of the Rus- sian Federation within the territory of the former USSR are the following: V Ethnic discord and genocide of national minorities. Examples of such conflicts where Russian Federation (USSR) Armed Forces were used, directly or indirectly, would be Trans-Dniester in 1992, the Prigorodniy region in Northern Ossetia at the end of 1992, Southern Ossetia in 199 1 - 1992, and Abkhazia in 1992-1993. In the near future, ethnic conflicts probably will have two major causes. First, as a result of the events of 199 1, Russians are a divided people. Therefore, their objective tendency to reunite will become stronger as time goes on. Second, in all former USSR countries, except for Belorus- sia and perhaps Ukraine, ethnic minorities are subjected to discrimination.3 This is most clearly evident in the Baltic countries where, with the encouragement of Western institutions, human rights violations based on ethnic origin are part of official policy. The Baltic countries seem to be the most potentially explosive in terms of the possibility of new areas of conflict that could involve the Russian Federation's Armed Forces. Attempts by nationalist forces to seize power by armed force or to hold power in some republic of the former USSR. Examples include TaJikistan in 1992-1996, Lithuania in January 199 1, Georgia during the winter of 1991-1992 and at the end of 1993, and Azerbaijan in January 1990 and the summer of 1993.

Territorial claims against the Russian Federation and illegal attempts to seize sea and inland water resources that belong to Russia. Up to now, direct Russian participation in such armed conflicts has been avoided. But it is not out of the question, particularly because of the Baku government's policy of annexing part of the Caspian Sea, an inland body of water the rights to which should be shared equally by all countries bordering the region. Another potential source of conflict is the part of the Baltic Sea area that belongs to Russia but is claimed by Lithuania. It also is known that the ethnocratic regimes of Tallin and Riga are claiming a part of the Russian Federation's Northwestern territory. V The desire of certain forces in the former USSR, primarily in the Baltic countries, to become a part of the NATO alliance. In such cases, one cannot exclude preemptive use of force by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation to stop decisively any practical steps that might be taken by armed nationalist detachments to implement their provocative plans.

Budget Priorities

Obviously, in the near term, reform of the Russian Federation's Armed Forces will be conducted under conditions of deep economic crisis. Thus, the decisive factor in choosing among possible re- forms will be that the budget for the Armed Forces and military-industrial complex is limited. One of the main requirements will be to minimize the country's budget for defense. This, in turn, means that the established practice of allocating funds equally among the existing branches of the Armed Forces will have to be abandoned. It is necessary to determine which programs are crucial to sustaining the Armed Forces' ability to accomplish their main objectives and guarantee their financing. At the same time, it is unavoidable that programs which do not have a high priority will have to be financed from the "leftovers" of the military budget. Despite the importance of the transition to a professional army in the near future, it will be impossible to avoid using the draft to raise manpower. The Armed Forces will have to be re- duced to 1.2 million servicemen.

The Main Deterrent. Strategic Nuclear Forces

In resolving the task of nuclear deterrence on the strategic level, the basic role should be played by strategic nuclear forces and systems supporting their combat functioning. Without strategic nu- clear forces, Russia cannot exist as an independent, unified state. The task of sustaining them should be given the highest priority and should be fully financed. As of today, [Russia's] strategic nuclear forces face three major problems: X Degradation of strategic nuclear forces. This concerns primarily the naval component of the strategic nuclear forces, in which the scheduled maintenance of weapon systems is constantly be- ing violated and the operational strength of strategic nuclear submarines has gone down drasti- cally. Since 1990, not a single new strategic nuclear submarine has been launched; considering the life cycle of submarines in the naval strategic nuclear forces, this means they could disap- pear within 15 years. It is most important to finish the scientific research and test construction work needed to create strategic nuclear submarines of a new generation which will carry new ballistic missiles by the years 2000-2003, as well as to ensure that these strategic nuclear subma- rines are brought into service at the rate of 2-3 submarines every two years. X Absence of clarity regarding the quantitative framework within which it is planned to de- velop strategic nuclear forces. In 1994, START I was implemented. START Il was signed but is not yet ratified. With regard to the naval and aviation components of the strategic nuclear forces, the existence of uncertainty concerning the fate of the treaty does not affect seriously their future development. According to START II, the naval strategic nuclear forces can be armed with 1,750 warheads after 2003. Roughly the same quantity was to be allowed under START I. Aviation strategic nuclear forces, which historically have played a very insignificant role in the national nuclear triad, will have 93 heavy bombers with approximately 500 cruise missiles, including 19 Tu-95 heavy bombers and several dozen heavy bombers acquired in Ukraine by agreement. The production of additional heavy bombers is very costly and thus is hardly advisable.

A more complex situation exists in units of the Strategic Rocket Forces (SRF). According to START II, which requires the liquidation of ICBMs with MIRV warheads, the SRF by the year 2003 can rely on approximately 1,000 single-warhead ICBMs. At present, there are 350 mobile SS-25s with single warheads, which are to be replaced in the next few years, as their useful life expires, by "Topol-M" ICBMs. According to the agreement, Russia will have 105 MIRVed ICBMs, which are to be "unloaded" until only one warhead each remains, and 90 single SS- 18 ICBMs placed into refitted silos. To support the START H quota for the number of warheads, Russia will have to form more than 10 additional divisions of mobile ICBMs with approxi- mately 500 "Topol-M" ICBMs by the year 2003-in other words, practically double the num- ber of mobile, single-warhead ICBMs. Another possible option is to build new silos for new ICBMs. Even with priority financing, it is very difficult for the SRF to do this within such a lim- ited time frame.

In general, the START H treaty is'rather paradoxical. It calls for quick liquidation of more than 200 MIRVed Russian ICBMs, part of which could still be used for another 4-5 years. At the same time, in order to maintain quantitative parity with the U.S., several hundred single-war- head ICBMs should be deployed, and possibly placed into newly built silos, even as some of the old silos are to be destroyed under START H. Note that the United States plans to go from START I to START II in a different fashion. It will eliminate only 50 "MX" missiles, 4 "Ohio" strategic nuclear submarines, and 28 heavy bombers with cruise missiles. The main cuts are to be accomplished by "unloading" the missiles and storing the warheads in special storage facili- ties. At any moment, this stockpile, which the United States emphatically refuses to destroy, might be put back into operation on U.S. missiles. As a result, taking into account the potential for "quick loading" of these missiles, the U.S. will surpass Russia by 1,000- 1,500 warheads. Russia's refusal to follow START II will bring onto the agenda the issue of supporting MIRVed ICBMs. Analysis proves that this problem can be solved in principle. Different options are available. For instance, additional SS- l8s can be purchased from Ukraine. Also, purely Rus- sian MIRVed ICBMs can be designed; a 120-ton liquid fueled missile with 10 warheads could be created in 3-5 years after the appropriate decision. In the next 5-7 years, 300 such missiles can be placed into existing silos. Given these facts, in spite of widespread misconceptions, spending for this project could be quite moderate. At the stage of scientific research and test con- struction work, the amount would be several percent less per year than the amount allocated to "rebuild" Chechnya in 1996. At the development stage, given that the warheads would be avail- able, production and installation of 300 of such missiles would be three times cheaper than the cost of constructing in the same period 500 "Topol-M" ICBMs. in their mobile version or in new silos, as discussed above in relation to START 111. X Flaws in the command and control structure of the strategic nuclear forces. It is pro- posed, within the framework of measures for development of the strategic nuclear forces, to de- sign in an organized manner a single, self-contained operational command and control system for all groupings of strategic nuclear forces, including support systems, based on the adn-iinistra- tive structure developed in the Strategic Rocket Forces. Practical implementation of this pro- posal could be achieved within a year after the appropriate decision is made. The main reasons such a step is necessary are the increased demands for combat readiness in the strategic nuclear forces, economy of means, and elimination of parallel structures. It would be advisable to trans- fer the Military Space Forces to the Strategic Rocket Forces to bring under their functional con- trol the Missile Attack Warning System, the Space Control System, the Moscow ABM System, and corresponding testing sites. The naval and aviation strategic nuclear forces (functionally left in the Navy and Air Forces, respectively) also should be transferred to the single operational command and control of the strategic nuclear forces.

At the present time, several hundred thousand servicemen, a third of them officers, are per- forming their military service in groupings of the strategic nuclear forces. In the Strategic Rocket Forces, for all practical purposes, combat crews of officers carry out in practice 100 per- cent of the direct functional duties connected with exploitation of the weapons. As for the draft- ees, they primarily carTy out functions as guards and perform auxiliary tasks in supporting combat readiness, technical support, etc. A similar situation, as a whole, characterizes the other components of the strategic nuclear forces and their support systems. It is proposed that the ratio between professionals and conscripts be maintained in the future as well. Since the U.S. and NATO possess conventional forces and armaments potentially sufficient to conduct military operations with limited goals on the periphery of post-Soviet territory, it is nec- essary to provide for deterrence of such actions by the probable enemy. Currently, functions for deterring aggression from the most probable directions are given: ow In the north (the naval bases on the Kola peninsula), to forces of the Leningrad Military Dis- trict (MD) and Northern Fleet (NF). vw In the northwest, (the Baltic region), to forces of the Leningrad MD, Kaliningrad special re- gion, and forces of the Baltic Fleet. ew In the south (the Caucasus-Caspian region), to forces of the North Caucasus Military dis- trict; subunits of the Russian Armed Forces on bases in Gyumri and Yerevan (Armenia), Tbilisi and Ahalkalaki (Georgia), Batumi (Adjaria), and Gudauta (Abkhazia); forces of the Caspian Flotilla; and the Black Sea fleet. Analysis shows that the existing deterTence potential of the Russian Federation Armed Forces in these directions might be insufficient to deter aggressive action by the probable enemy. Strengthening these forces by carrying out a long-term buildup in the number of troops and ar- maments in regions of probable conflict could be hard to achieve economically. In light of this, as a priority task facing the Armed Forces, it is proposed to create, within a year after a decision is made, Operational-Tactical Deterrent Forces numbering about 10,000 servicemen. Opera- tional-Tactical Deterrent Forces could operate as a reserve of the Supreme High Command and, on a long-term basis, could assume the function of deterring the probable enemy from conduct- ing military operations with local goals. For this proposal to be implemented at the initial stage, it is suggested to supply the Opera- tional-Tactical Deterrent Forces with 10- 12 missile and aviation complexes equipped with con- ventional precision weapons from the Rocket Forces, Ground Forces, and Air Forces. These missile and aviation complexes, while remaining functionally a part of the Rocket Forces, Ground Forces, and Air Forces, and based deep within Russian territory during peacetime, would be subordinated operationally, through a Main Directorate of the General Staff specially created for these purposes, to the Supreme High Command of the Russian Armed Forces. Dur- ing a threatening period, Operational-Tactical Deterrent Forces, by decision of the Supreme High Command, could be redeployed to the region of possible conflict and aimed on especially important targets deep in the probable enemy's territory. In the event plans for the eastern expansion of NATO are realized or new directions of possi- ble aggression appear (for instance, the Southern Kuril Island), it would be expedient to increase the number of the Operational-Tactical Deterrent Forces' missile and aviation complexes to 30- 50 units. At the same time, units of missile artillery and aviation complexes could be armed with nuclear weapons. To demonstrate persuasively to a probable enemy the RF's determination to impede any NATO advancement into the territory of the former USSR, some Operational-Tacti- cal Deterrent Force units also could be moved up to the borders, particularly the Russian-Norwe- gian border; to Russian military bases in Armenia, Georgia, Adzharia, and Abkhazia; to the

Kaliningrad special region; and into Belorussia, to which President A. G. Lukashenko has agreed in principle.

The Mobile Forces: Mainstay of the Russian Army It is advisable when waging local wars within the former USSR to give the main functions to spe- cial elite units: Mobile Forces of the Russian Federation Armed Forces, which also must have prior- ity designation. Not intended for participation in extended military conflicts, these units could be used on a short-term basis in holding actions and to repel aggression from abroad against Russia and the CIS using conventional weapons. They also could be designated for peacekeeping opera- tions under the aegis of CIS, as well as the UN and other international organizations. It is advisable to form Mobile Forces, up to 90,000 strong, based on Airborne troops and using some units of naval infantry, over a year after a corresponding decision is made. Functionally, naval infantry would stay under Navy command and would be transferred to operational Mobile Forces command only for the conduct of special operations. For five years after forming these Mobile Forces, it is suggested that recruitment be exclusively on a contract basis. After the process of turning them into a professional force is complete, Mobile Forces should be fully staffed and given all kinds of heavy armaments and equipment. Moreover, the number of naval infantry should be increased with the assistance of the Baltic Fleet, Black Sea Fleet, and Caspian Flotilla, which are located in potential conflict areas of the Caucasus and Baltic countries. Special attention should be paid to the creation of naval infantry in the Caspian region be- cause of the extremely high probability of conflict arising from the unresolved problem of the status of the Caspian shelf. It is important to equip Mobile Forces with military transport aviation (MTA), which will belong functionally to the Air Forces and be operationally subordinate to the Commander in Chief of the Air Forces but required to carry out orders of the Mobile Forces. The need for MTA aircraft desig- nated to move personnel and military equipment, including heavy military equipment, is estimated at 100 aircraft. Most of the aircraft in MTA available today are not functioning. Therefore, about 30- 40 additional aircraft should be brought into service because of the extreme importance of the tasks performed by the Mobile Forces. A typical special operation involving Mobile Forces and aimed at liberating a large area of the for- mer USSR from nationalists should be based on the following principles. The commander of the op- eration is appointed and should receive a legally valid order. The date and time of the operation then are set. A rigid system of unified command is established so that operational command over all util- ized forces, regardless of departmental subordination and affiliation, is concentrated in the hands of a single person. In the first stage, aviation, special military intelligence (GRU) forces, and special Federal Security Services (FSB) and Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) groups carry out strikes for the purpose of destroying or seizing the most important enemy targets and eliminating the enemy's military and po- litical leadership. Then Mobile Forces, with the support of army and frontline aviation and naval forces, crush and eliminate enemy forces and take over their territory. After that, subunits of Ground Forces and Internal Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, RF, preferably with some combat experience, move in. They establish control of the most crucial locations and carry out "cleansing" of the territory. Then, with the help of militia formed out of the pro-Russian part of the local population, they establish control over the territory and ensure the elimination of nationalists and deportation of some categories of citizens from certain locations. It should be emphasized that until the end of the special operation, local authorities are needed only insofar as they are useful in supporting military control over the territory.

Winners and Losers

Military intelligence plays a most important role in achieving the main goals of the Armed Forces. Making the GRU (Main Intelligence Directorate) and its subunits and structures more effec- tive should be given the highest priority. To implement these proposals, half the personnel of the Armed Forces would have to go to the four most important components of the Armed Forces named above, which also should be given pri- ority in financing. Because the economic situation in the country is difficult, the other half of the Armed Forces would have to exist under tight financial limitations. The Navy is the most expensive of the Armed Forces. A differentiated approach is needed here. Naval strategic nuclear forces cannot be underfinanced. The situation is more complex with respect to providing for the combat stability of naval strategic nuclear forces. The system exists and should be preserved, but this does not require building large ships. Aircraft carriers are an exception, since two carriers each are needed in the Pacific Fleet and Northern Fleet to meet military goals. There are only two at present, and the country's economic situation does not allow for two more.

To provide for anti-submarine warfare in oceanic theaters of military operations (TVD), there are in service submarines and ships equipped with special arms. This equipment should be main- tained and ships and submarines currently under construction should be finished, but no new ones should be built for the time being. With respect to combating enemy aircraft carriers, there are no battle groups now in place. Our recommendation is to maintain the status quo and concentrate on retaining existing levels. With reference to landing support for naval infantry, the appropriate infrastructure was built 0 by the USSR. It is important not only to stop its destruction, but also to continue its develop- ment, since costs will not be high but will allow it to perform tasks of the Mobile Forces with great effectiveness. In protecting sea communications, special attention should be paid to protecting lines of com- munication with the Kaliningrad Special Region. At the same time, activities in the remote oce- anic regions should be limited. The existing system for the coastal defense of the Russian Federation should be supported and developed, since no big investments are needed here. Finally, it is necessary to abandon the tasks of combating transatlantic shipments of U.S. forces and combating the enemy's surface ships and submarines armed with cruise missiles. V There are two large groups in the Ground Forces today. One was deployed in the Far East Military District and Trans-Baikal Military District during the time of tense relations with China. In subsequent years, it was degraded less than other groups. Another large group was de- veloped for obvious reasons in the North Caucasus Military District. It is reasonable to continue to support these groups. For the North Caucasus Military District, this means confirn-dng the ex- ception of District units from the treaty on Conventional Forces Reductions in Europe at the May conference of participants. It is unacceptable that the issue of the North Caucasus Military District be linked with the proposal made by a number of countries that the numbers of Russian forces in the Kaliningrad Special Region be cut; in light of Poland's and the Baltic countries' plans to join NATO, the very fact that the issue of the Kaliningrad Special Region has come up seems both ambiguous and a provocation. A limited number of Ground Forces are located in the strategically important Leningrad and Moscow Military Districts. From the west, Moscow is covered by only two army divisions. As there is no danger of a large-scale invasion of Russia similar to the invasion of 1941, the development of forces to the west of Moscow should not be hurried. But in the event the Eastern European countries join NATO and the infrastructure for an invasion force appears, Russia will be forced to respond accordingly. One possible response might be to recreate the Belorussian Military District and deploy Ground Forces and frontal avia- tion of the Air Forces there. Also, since it currently is difficult for Russia to maintain parity with NATO in conventional weapons, the primary emphasis should be assigned to tactical nuclear deterrence of the threat of non-nuclear attack by NATO forces. This approach will require arming the Rocket Forces, Ground Forces, and frontal aviation of the Air Forces with nuclear weapons and will be much less expensive than providing a non-nuclear deterrent force for a non-nuclear invasion. In gen- eral, the present weakness of Russia dictates reliance on nuclear weapons, including tactical weapons. Today, the only possible way to deter NATO is through nuclear deterrence. At the same time, should the relationship between Russia and China change, the same approach can be used in Central Asia and the Far East. An important problem in the Ground Forces is revision of the list of units in military districts and the discovery of units which can be cut. It is advisable to limit the number of divisions to 30- 35, of which 15-20 could be manned with conscripts and work on combat readiness while the other 15, evenly spread around the country, would be cadre and would serve as a base in prepar- ing the mobilization reserve. At the same time, preparation of the mobilization reserve should be conducted within the Internal Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) and Border Guards. V In units of the Air Forces, special attention should be concentrated on maintaining mili- tary transport, frontal aviation, and aviation of the strategic nuclear forces, which could be used by the Operational-Tactical Deterrent Forces and Mobile Forces, at the required level. A major task is preserving qualifications of flying personnel. The Air Defense of military districts should be given to the Air Forces from the Troops of Air Defense, disbanding the latter units but retaining their combat readiness requirements. The missile attack warning system, space control system, and Moscow ABM System, as well as their corresponding testing grounds, would be transferred to the Strategic Rocket Forces. The Air Defense system that is maintaining CIS perimeter defense also would be transferred to the Air Force. Another possible solution is to give it to the Federal Border Guard Service. This would be logical, because they are not now able to defend against a massive air attack from the probable enemy. The circle of tasks resolved by them, in fact, is limited to early warning of an unsanctioned intrusion of CIS airspace and interception of individual targets. This is more a function of the Border Guard, not the Armed Forces. Moreover, the Federal Border Guard Service looks after the ground and ma- rine border. It would be logical to close the loop by giving them the air component as well.

Legislative Priorities It is proposed that in the immediate future, it is necessary to prepare and confirm in the Federal Assembly (parliament) a national security doctrine and a military doctrine for the Russian Federa- tion. Based on these doctrines, a five-year plan of reform for the Armed Forces of the Russian Fed- eration should be developed and adopted. This current document can be used both to prepare the national security and military doctrines and to prepare the plan of reform for the Armed Forces. Moscow, February 1996

About the Author

Ariel Cohen, Ph.D. Visiting Fellow in Russian and Eurasian Studies and International Energy Policy in the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign and National Security Policy, a division of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies, at The Heritage Foundation
Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign and National Security Policy

Show references in this report

1 This is a declassified version of Russia's official military doctrine, adopted after the army helped Boris Yeltsin to crush the rebellion at the Supreme Soviet in October 1993 [editor's note].

2 Abkhazia and South Ossetia are integral parts of Georgia, while Trans-Dniester is a part of Moldova [editor's note).

3 The old term "Belorussia" is used for what is now Belarus[editor's note].