Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Key Tenant of Russian Counter Insurgency Ops? Management Superiority!

via Strategy Page.
The new doctrine takes for granted that Russia has to fight a poor mans’ war because there is no alternative. Many of these new doctrinal principles are those employed by successful irregular forces in the past. The Russians stress the rapid integration of any available resources into the Russian led war effort. The Russian journal articles make it clear that Russia only went into Syria with the understanding that the Russians would be in charge, even if that meant annoying the Iranians at times. The Iranians cooperated as long as the Russians did not embarrass them or publicize the fact that the Russians were providing technical resources (air power, electronic warfare capabilities) that Iran lacked. That approach worked less well with the Turks, who occupied portions of northwest Syria and were generally left alone by the Russians. The Iranians were different in that provided a large (at times more than 60,000) mercenary force that comprised the largest reliable force of ground troops available to the Syrians. The new Russian doctrine points out the importance of adapting and doing so quickly. An example of this could be seen in how the Russians handled occasional problems with the Syrian tactic of negotiating with civilians in a rebel held area (especially one that was surrounded) and offering safe passage for Islamic terrorists and civilians who wanted to remain with them, to another rebel held area. One shortcoming of this tactic was that the Syrian and Iranian forces could not always be trusted to observe the “safe” part of safe passage. The Russians solved this by inserting their own troops to ensure compliance, even if it meant the Russians had to arrest or even fire on their allies to compel compliance. Russia even brought in military police units comprised of Russian soldiers and police from Moslem parts of Russia who volunteered for this “peacekeeping” duty. The presence of armed Russian Moslem troops discouraged Islamic terrorists and similar minded Iranian mercenaries from misbehaving while carrying out these safe passage operations.

Russia has come to call this use of superior command and control and discipline “management superiority” and that is an accurate term. The Russian commanders were allowed to do whatever worked to get the job done. If this resulted in some bad publicity because of dead civilians or other battlefield indiscretions the Russian government would criticize in private and praise in public (and quickly and quietly transfer home officers who were not up to the job). This made it possible for Russian commanders to be more flexible and innovative than Russian officers have been allowed to be since World War II. As a result this new doctrine is very popular with most Russian officers and troops.

The “management superiority” also included the authority to quickly assess the quality of local forces and put them to work doing what they were best at. Russia quickly identified the most competent and effective Syrian officers and supported them with additional resources and whatever else they needed. The Syrian government went along because the Russians were helping to create Syrian heroes the Syrian government could take credit for. It also became common knowledge among all factions (enemy and friendly) in Syria that the Russians were willing to make deals quickly and decisively. This proved to be a valuable military asset.

Ya know we were suppose to be able to do this on a global scale with the use of Combatant Commanders.  Additionally what the Russians are doing isn't new but they do seem to have cracked the code on how to do it right.

What I find fascinating is that they've taken a top down approach while we've tried to work from the ground up.

We embed Special Ops and conventional forces with allies to prop up failed and substandard units.  The Russians work from the top down.  Substandard units are given tasks they can handle and performers are given even more resources to make them even better.

I'm open to be corrected but it seems like we've once again built a bureaucracy (warfighting) that is focused on continued operations and not winning a particular battle/war. 

Is it a problem from the National Command Authority?  Are we being given fuzzy objectives that can't be met militarily or is it something internal to the Pentagon?

I'm not in a position to know but hopefully you guys have an idea.  Regardless it's mind numbing that the Russians can get it done on a shoestring budget while we pile trillions of dollar supporting people not worth the effort.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.