Publié le 02/11/2015

Dmitry (Dima) ADAMSKY

This paper traces the evolution of Russian views on the art of coercion, and on the role of nuclear weapons in it, from the post-Cold War “regional nuclear deterrence” thinking to the current “Gerasimov Doctrine”.

Often labeled as “hybrid warfare”, this “New Generation War” is waged across several domains (nuclear, conventional, informational, etc.) as a response to a perceived Western threat directed against Russia. Cross-domain coercion operates under the aegis of the Russian nuclear arsenal and aims to manipulate the adversary’s perception, to maneuver its decision-making process, and to influence its strategic behavior while minimizing, compared to the industrial warfare era, the scale of kinetic force use. Current Russian operational art thus involves a nuclear dimension that can only be understood in the context of a holistic coercion campaign, an integrated whole in which non-nuclear, informational, and nuclear capabilities can be used in the pursuit of deterrence and compellence.