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Old 19 December 2017, 01:26 AM
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Baseball The Gerasimov Doctrine

This is posted for comment.

Not being American, I don't have a say in how the US is run. Personal opinions do not count for foreigners. However, living in western democracy, I readily recognise the import the US has in maintaining our ability to function as a society.

The Russian interference (and potential continued influence) in the current US administration is disturbing. However, in an article that I circulated around my workplace this past autumn, it appears that this is all part of a Russian plot.

Bottom line up front: the Russians know that they cannot take on the US when it has its act together. Nor can the Russians expand to take on the US as a full peer. So, their plan... bring the US down to the Russian level.

It is called the Gerasimov Doctrine. And the Russians have been using it to excellent effect in the Ukraine, Eastern Europe and if you look at that data, in the US.

This first article is from Politico magazine, where I first learned of the doctrine: link

That lays it out well in plain speak.

This second article is the English translation of the actual paper referenced in the Politico article: link

There is a graphic towards the end of the paper that can readily be used to identify where the Russians have applied the doctrine to the US.

Some things to note:

- when Facebook released the top 10 Russian influenced ads prior to the election, 7 were pro-Trump, 2 were pro-Clinton, 1 was anti-both (doctrine to sow dissent among all the population)
- while the Republicans benefited mostly from Russian support during the election, Russian support has completely disappeared (in the doctrine to allow weakening of the administration)
- even Putin's thanking Trump for CIA support to bring down terrorists is classic Gerasimov. Russians thanking an agency that Trump despises because this same agency claims that Trump is connected to the Russians. (doctrine to sow confusion and dissent for the institutions)

There are those that believe that the Gerasimov Doctrine is a fable. It must be noted that the paper is legitimate, and it contains the views of General Gerasimov. There is no argument about that. But, every single author of a counter article on the application of the doctrine (most popular one by an Irish author) is by someone from within the borders of Russia.

This group is among the more broad minded groups I deal with. I offer this up as something to chew on. It is scary that we (the West) could be merely puppets of a Putin led effort to degrade Western abilities.

Read and digest. I will comment over the next few weeks over where I see some of the doctrine playing out in the news.
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Old 19 December 2017, 03:14 AM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Suggests the question of how much western countries are doing the same thing to the Russians. Heck, since it seems that much, if not all, of the posts on social media and the like are done by shady contractors the US could well be using the same contractors to attack Russia that the Russians are using to attack the West.
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Old 19 December 2017, 04:06 AM
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So you're saying Russia might be the victim of a meat campaign?

Totally OT thought: I miss San Diego. Heck, even Japan. And Bahrain certainly had its moments. God, how I hate Norfolk...
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Old 19 December 2017, 04:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
Suggests the question of how much western countries are doing the same thing to the Russians. Heck, since it seems that much, if not all, of the posts on social media and the like are done by shady contractors the US could well be using the same contractors to attack Russia that the Russians are using to attack the West.
Putin has a lot more control over his government and effectively a state run media. Social media attacks wouldn't have the same effect the other way.

All Putin has to worry about is disrupting countries like the US internally so they're too busy dealing with the distraction to do things to counter his actions in places like Ukraine.
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Old 19 December 2017, 10:22 AM
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Jolly Roger

Not like we were doing or going to do much in the Ukraine anyways. In a couple decades it'll be the new normal and we'll all just do a collective shoulder shrug when Russia assures us that it has always been the legitimate ruler of the Ukraine (and I mean all of it, not just the Crimea).

China will probably take the same tack with the South "China" Sea too.

Russia's actions and, heck, even the US' post-Korea, are as clear a sign as any of the impotence of the UN and any other supposed international "law" enforcement body. Powerful countries will do what they want to do and that's just the way it is on panet Earth. Always has been. Whether we like it or not, we should acknowledge that reality and count our blessings that we're (mostly) in one of the powerful countries.
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Old 19 December 2017, 12:52 PM
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ASL, I think that in many ways the American people are OK with China taking the South China Sea and Russia taking Ukraine. It is easier to have just a handful of big powerful blocks. We get North America, western Europe, and Oceania, and most of us don't pay much attention to those parts of the world. Also, our culture seems to be mostly about the short term now (gee, slicing investment in development means a higher quarterly profit!) so we don't do too good on the long-term, like Russia taking a bit here, and a bit there, suddenly means they own a country.
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Old 19 December 2017, 01:23 PM
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Spit Take

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Originally Posted by dfresh View Post
ASL, I think that in many ways the American people are OK with China taking the South China Sea and Russia taking Ukraine. It is easier to have just a handful of big powerful blocks. We get North America
Tell that to UEL!

But seriously, hopefully this whole Northwest Passage dispute turns out alright. Heck, maybe we'll get lucky and global warming will reverse itself (like the natural phenomenon it is ) and we won't have to worry about the NWP until the next totally natural thaw.
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Old 19 December 2017, 08:43 PM
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Man, I miss the 1990's. Remember when the Cold War was over, and Russia was either going to evolve into a modern democracy, or disintegrate into a gangster-led anarchy -- either way, it would not have the power or inclination to be a serious competitor to the US? And China seemed like a problem for the future (OK, we're in that future now, but still).

But we're getting back to that old superpower brinksmanship. Of course we aren't happy with Russia's activities in the Ukraine, or some of what China is doing with its artificial islands. But is it worth starting a world war over? Probably not...but where do you draw the line? And will the other side be willing to draw it in the same place.

The fact that Russia is being led by an effective and powerful de-facto dictator, while the US is being run by an idiot, is not helping matters, obviously.

But there's not much question in my mind that the US needs to take the information wars seriously. We should be better at it than anyone else...and I certainly have my suspicions that we can do/are doing some things quietly on that front. But on the surface, at least, we seem to be losing.
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Old 19 December 2017, 08:46 PM
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Honestly, I think the real issue isn't Russia's information war against the US, it's the fact that so many people were willing to buy into it. If we didn't have so many people who believe Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, or Alex Jones, they wouldn't have listened to Russia's misinformation campaign, either.
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Old 19 December 2017, 11:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E. Q. Taft View Post
But there's not much question in my mind that the US needs to take the information wars seriously. We should be better at it than anyone else...and I certainly have my suspicions that we can do/are doing some things quietly on that front.
Well, American patriot Edward Snowden certainly did his part to help with that. Oh, wait...

Quote:
Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
Honestly, I think the real issue isn't Russia's information war against the US, it's the fact that so many people were willing to buy into it. If we didn't have so many people who believe Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, or Alex Jones, they wouldn't have listened to Russia's misinformation campaign, either.
In other words we just need to evolve beyond humanity and we'll be fine. People are people, after all...
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Old 19 December 2017, 11:58 PM
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Baseball

I've written papers on the power balance in the world, and despite the signs that are there I am confident that major conflict will be avoided.

China wants to be a regional hegemonic power. It does not see its power extending beyond its own corner of the globe. Even when it does outreach to South America, Africa, the Arctic or the Middle East, there is a regional bonus to be found in its actions (financial, security, alliance, or resource).

Russia does not want an expeditionary war. However, it does not want hostile powers on its doorstep. It would prefer to have a set of buffer states surrounding it to the west. If not whole states, then regions. Much of Russia's scary combat power cannot move beyond its borders for a whole litany of reasons. That means that the big fight Russia is preparing for is on its border.

Iran is another regional hegemonic power. It has far smaller ambitions than China, but it also has far greater challenges. It is surrounded by other potentially hostile nations. And again, its military is geared for a defensive fight. However, it does have limited reach, and by engaging Israel, it can alleviate the Saudi problem. Iran is a Shiah dominated country, so it feels a responsibility for the Shiah populations in the region, found largely in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

The one real outlier is the unpredictable North Korea. Who knows what that fool is doing. Even China can't control him. He has significant military power, but limited ability to go expeditionary. But that limit can see major destruction in South Korea and Japan.

The US.... I haven't looked at the US foreign policy and military policy in any detail.
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Old 20 December 2017, 03:26 AM
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UEL, much of that rather reminds me of an old farmer joke:

'I ain't greedy. All I want is the land that joins mine.'


Quote:
Originally Posted by ASL View Post
In other words we just need to evolve beyond humanity and we'll be fine. .
In the long run, I think that may be the only thing that'll save us.

It won't exactly be us any longer, of course. But if we can manage to hang on long enough, maybe some of our descendents will be an improvement.
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Old 20 December 2017, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UEL View Post
The US.... I haven't looked at the US foreign policy and military policy in any detail.
Does it benefit us in a direct material way and/or can we underhandedly overthrow someone?
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Old 20 December 2017, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UEL View Post
The US.... I haven't looked at the US foreign policy and military policy in any detail.
I suspect if you had tried to examine it, you would know less than you do...

Strategic Confusion

Quote:
President Trumpís National Security Strategy, released on Monday afternoon, is bound to incite more confusion among our allies and adversaries about what America stands for and what this administration might do, or not do, in the worldís crises and hot spots.

Itís not the document itself thatís so unusual. In fact, remove Trumpís name and a few of his pet phrases, which the authors litter throughout the text, and it might be taken as a statement by any number of administrations. What sparks the confusion is the fact that so much of the text is so different from Trumpís own words and actions. And this confusion is intensified by the fact that, unlike any of his predecessors, Trump chose to give a nationally televised speech about the strategy. As a result, the document canít be dismissed as a bureaucratic productóthe president is associating himself with it explicitly. Because of that, the contradictions are all the more glaringóand the mixed messages are more maddening.
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Old 20 December 2017, 10:30 PM
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The National Security Strategy, Quadrennial Defense Review, and all manner of unclassified documents pertaining to US defense policy are all pretty worthless, so good on him for doing something normal for a change.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UEL View Post
The US.... I haven't looked at the US foreign policy and military policy in any detail.
But what does Canada want? We know it's not just our cucumbers and maple leaves you're after, so out with it!

Last edited by ASL; 20 December 2017 at 10:35 PM.
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