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What does the War Doctrine of Russian Federation tell us?

Chris M. Zawitkowski, PoloniaInstitute.net, Director, National Security Policy, former CEO of AXYN Corp. (NASDAQ: AXYN), USA
Albert Hemphill, Parsons, Inc., Vice President for International Strategy; former Deputy Director for Operations, Missile Defense Agency, USA. Washington, DC; March 8, 2017

One can learn a great deal from the Russian Federation (RF) War Doctrine: by studying the published document, as well as by analyzing the military exercises of Russian Armed Forces.

In a document published in December 2014, one can find the true intentions of the Kremlin for the “rest of the world.” It is worthwhile to become familiar with the document, especially when politicians decide about the armed forces of their country. When we sense the spirit of this doctrine, much can be inferred about the Author. Thus, Военная Доктрина is the doctrine of “war”, not “military”. Similarly Борьба о Мир – it means “fight for the world” and not “fight for peace”. Once should remember that those are not semantic details when analyzing the true intentions of the Kremlin fortress.

Only then one can understand how the armies of Western civilization should plan to be prepared for a possible conflict with Russia.

After Warsaw NATO Summit of 2016

In less than a year after the NATO summit, allied forces are present on Polish territory. The presence of US troops on Polish soil is a good guarantee of support of the Alliance for Poland’s security. And this is a significant presence. Moscow will think twice before they decide to shed the blood of American soldiers.

At the summit, all the experts were of the opinion that it was Poland plays a pivotal role in a defense system in the region. Probably that is why the Minister Macierewicz doubles and triples his efforts in order to strengthen the Polish Army muscles. His kind and truthful expression and expose builds respect and recognition among leaders of NATO. Ministry of Defense (MoD) efforts to increase combat efficiency and to get an efficient and appropriate combat equipment meet the approval and assistance of the West.

Polish Armed Forces are not a suitable opponent for Russia, but can be a barrier to die. – Said General Breedlove at the Warsaw NATO Summit. One should remember, too, that the Alliance, even without the United States, is capable to oppose the FR imperial ambitions. Russia cannot afford a total war with all of the world and the Kremlin seems to understand this. Russia, however, wants to rebuild the old system, as in the old Soviets days.

In this case, Poland has to become the area impossible to capture.

What does Poland need?

The “Zapad” maneuvers bring answers. In her arsenals, Russia has under-tactical warheads that can easily wipe out Warsaw, Krakow, or Gdansk agglomerations. This may happen before Polish commanders can scramble any Polish F-16’s.

Minister Macierewicz recently said in an interview with Gazeta Polska, a Polish newspaper, that his greatest concern is the safety of Polish skies. This is a plain truth, if the Polish sky is defended, the 1st Armored Guards Army is useless together with her mighty arsenal. The Minister talked about the missiles and F-16 aircraft. South Korea just purchased more than 300 older machines, which will be refurbished and equipped according to the “V” (Viper) version of the latest electronic equipment and weaponry.

Today, modern war occurs on multiple fronts, many areas, and using several different warfare agents. These are the rockets of varying scope, cruise missiles, cyberspace, violations of airspace and outer space, from the land and from the sea, border harassment, and even terrorism in the country. Internal agents and “useful idiots” must be added to the list of threats. Internal policies of the EU and international treaties and interests also have a big impact on the defenses of the country.

Polish Armed Forces need EVERYTHING, missiles, planes, tanks, ships, etc …

Most importantly, Poles need organization – command systems. Without this, the human element is just a “horde of gentlemen and let’s get together.” Just as the human body cannot function without a head, without a command system the armed forces are only “a heap of collected mercenaries”. Polish Armed Forces need an integrated command system, which takes into account all the elements of the modern battlefield.

The threat to Poland from Russia is complex and requires a “multilayered, multi-tiered integrated architecture that is capable of addressing the adversary’s air, ground, space, and cyber capabilities.

The graphic below is an artistic depiction of this integrated architecture that Poland needs. The threat can come from multiple ranges and varying modalities – aircraft, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles; all while ground forces attack in an integrated “air-land battle.” The “situational awareness” in command and control of Polish forces is vital and of paramount importance for defense of the Polish nation.


Command, control, communications, intelligence, and surveillance around Poland is a condition of sine qua non for the Polish defense. Without an integrated system it will only be chaos and frustration. Moreover, Poland cannot afford to experiment, and only proven solutions should be implemented. Such a system is described as C4I. Such a system exists in the United States, the United Kingdom, and France. The Scandinavian countries want to build such a system.

The United States and our other NATO allies have been investing in technical thought and material development of C4I for several years. Thus, it is wise to leverage the experience and investments of friends and allies in developing the critical command and control functions necessary to support and sustain Polish war-fighting capability.

Where’s the Road?

Perhaps the Polish Armed Forces have such brilliant commanders, who know when and where to expect attack. Perhaps they will know which squadron to dispatch, or which rocket to arm and when. With C4I, this matter is significantly easier and faster.

Intelligence preparation of the potential battle space is critical to success. Thus, C4I is more than a military art of battle. It is a philosophy of conjecture and creation of military processes, beginning with design, through integration and to implementation. C4I incorporates the processes of:

  1. Command: The exercise of authority based upon knowledge to attain an objective.
  2. Control: The process of verifying and correcting activity to ensure the objective or goal of command is accomplished.
  3. Communications: The ability to exercise the cooperation and interaction between tactical or strategic units to obtain effective command.
  4. Computers: The information systems supporting the command and communications process.
  5. Intelligence: Collection, analysis, and dissemination of information. Modern warfare operations require faster response times than we’ve ever known. The nature of modern warfare now includes the cyber world, where unseen forces attack with denials of service and “hacking” of key military networks, facilities, and systems to cause damage or disruption. As a NATO member, Polish forces will participate in joint or collation operations. The NATO alliance is built upon the premise of collective security and collective defense, whereby an attack upon one is an attack upon all. Therefore, the United States and the other allies will respond militarily to an adversary attack against Poland. This collation warfare requires the highest level of coordination and communications between forces. Today’s sophisticated weapons systems require higher situational awareness and more information to the operator as well as the commander. Poland must, of necessity, have clear command and control of its forces and assured interoperability with the NATO alliance.

The construction of such a system may take 6-10 years. At that point a determination is made on whether or not the deployment of troops and equipment is appropriate, and gives the greatest guarantees of eliminating the aggressor. One may then find that the missiles are needed, but the Patriot and not the MEADS, or maybe vice versa? Maybe small submarines, and not large ones. The C4I system enables tactical planning, strategic and current. It enables fast and almost error-free analysis of each crisis. (In Canada, an integrated command system also serves as a national center for crisis management).

The C4I system allows for integrated management of all armed forces and all types of military equipment.

How to start?

It makes sense to take advantage of existing designs. An organizational chart should look like the following one. This organization is called a System Program Office, or SPO. It develops, acquires, and supports Integrated Air and Missile Defense capabilities, and provides program direction and logistics support as the single face to the customer. The “customers” are the Polish General Staff, MoD, and the war fighter. The SPO is essentially responsible for acquisition, systems engineering, and depot repair support; management equipment spares; development storage and transportation; and, modifications and equipment replacement to maintain IAMD systems.

The SPO is charged with day-to-day execution and management of the contracts associated with IAMD development; and is the key organization in executing a foreign military sales case with the United States Government and US contractors. The SPO is accountable to the MoD for cost, schedule, and technical performance of IAMD systems. This is the fundamental organization that is necessary to integrate and coordinate the development of current and future Polish integrated air and missile defense capability.

Whether or not the Ministry of Defense has the capability, a plan and resources for such a system, that is a completely different issue.


The MoD is probably considering IBCS (Integrated Combat Command – Integrated Battle Command System). Preliminary analyses in the US are restrained and far from realization. Northrop Grumman still has to change a great deal after last year’s tests. This system does not allow the integration of data from early detection system (AWACS), intelligence. Most importantly, the software does not allow for the integration of previously prepared operation plans.

The complexity of the risks and the complexity of decisions requires the creation of a real image and in real time. In addition, this picture should be integrated with earlier prepared plans to shorten the decision time. Today, the intruders must be identified before they appear on the Polish sky. His target, or targets, must also be identified. At that point a decision can be made on his elimination using the best, closest preventive measures.

Advanced means of destruction make sense only in the case of full system integration. This situation is comparable to the purchase of Pendolino. Polish tracks, bridges, and crossings are not ready to accept this super-train. Similarly, before the selection and purchase of weaponry, one must choose the command system, which would be able to integrate all kinds of forces and means of warfare of the Polish Army.

The next diagram shows the complexity of the risks and the decision-making process

Integrated command and control requires that Intelligence systems and surveillance systems be integrated and available to an operations center. All of the data from these systems must be transitioned into “actionable information”. It is this “actionable information” that supports critical military thinking and informed decision making by the national command authority and general staff for the use and commitment of Polish forces.

All of this information must flow through a tactical data exchange network used by NATO to process and disseminate data regarding the tactical picture in near-real time. This includes messages, imagery data, and digital voice communications for Polish and allied forces. As the graphic shows, this ensures an appropriate detection and response to ground force incursions, ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, aircraft, cyber-attacks, terrorism, and sea-based attacks. There is an old United States Army adage, “train the way you fight, then fight the way you train.” This saying withstands the test of time. A “combined operations center” as depicted below provides the basis for Polish NATO commitment training, joint training with US forces and other friends and allies; and provides the means for the General Staff to address war-fighting policy alternatives.

What kind of integrated command system for the Polish Ministry of National Defense (PITB)? – concept

An Integrated Testbed Environment provides the functional configuration of an Integrated Test Bed or ITB for Polish Integrated Air and Missile Defense, or IAMD. As a Distributed Simulation Environment, the ITB will house Software Models, War games, and Analytical tools capable of running multiple iterations to support the determination of: Air and Missile Defense Design and engineering trades; Cost and Supportability requirements – to ensure sustainment of capabilities; and resolution of Critical Technical and Critical Operational issues associated with the Weapons Systems and War fighting Domains in the System Architecture.

Additionally, the ITB houses the “Reference Architecture” and associated specifications for an IAMD System of Systems at varying levels of detail. A reference architecture in the IAMD context is the structure of components, their relationships, and the principles and guidelines governing their design and evolution over time; includes system interactions (CONOPS) and is comprised of people, communications (voice and data), software and hardware products, and knowledge required to engineer the system. The levels of detail for a reference architecture include: Engineering and Physical representations of low, medium, and high fidelity, and military force structure and campaign analysis supporting the development of a Single Integrated Air Picture or SIAP, battle outcomes, mission needs, and operational effective analysis. In the Testbed Simulation environment, the designer and developer of future Polish systems can evaluate single system and multi-system integrated performance. ITB provides the Polish war-fighter and General Staff the environment to exercise system performance through war games and war-fighting scenarios.

The key war fighting “domains” are reflected in the ITB concept as presented above. These key domains are represented in models and simulations that support analytics associated with the performance of existing and candidate systems. An important concept from the United States Department of Defense is “DOTMLPF-P”. This acronym means: Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership and Education, Personnel, Facilities and Policy. These are the possible elements of non-materiel involvement with resolving military capability “gaps” or deficiency. The definition of these terms in a war fighting sense is well provided by the US Defense Acquisition University. “Doctrine: The doctrine analysis examines the way the military fights its conflicts with emphasis on maneuver warfare and combined air-ground campaigns, to see if there is a better way that might solve a capability gap. Organization: The organization analysis examines how Poland may organize to fight; divisions, air wings, Air Ground Task Forces, and other. It looks to see if there is a better organizational structure or capability that can be developed to solve a capability gap. Training: The training analysis examines how Polish forces are prepared to fight tactically from basic training, advanced individual training, various types of unit training, joint exercises, and other ways to see if improvement can be made to offset capability gaps.  Materiel: The materiel analysis examines all the necessary equipment and systems that are needed by Polish forces to fight and operate effectively and if new systems are needed to fill a capability gap. Leadership and Education:  The leadership and education analysis examines how Poland prepares its leaders to lead the fight from squad leader to senior generals/admirals and their overall professional development. Personnel:  The personnel analysis examines availability of qualified people for peacetime, wartime, and various contingency operations to support a capability gap by restructuring. Facilities: The facilities analysis examines military property, installations and industrial facilities that support our Polish forces to see if they can be used to fill in a capability gap.”

System Architecture should depend on the capabilities and the environment in which Poland is located. The countries of the region and the Western countries, both the NATO and non-alliance ones, surely realize that if Poland will defend herself, she would defend those countries as well. Therefore, the contribution and cooperation of these countries with Poland should not be a problem. Starting from Turkey, Greece and Italy, through France, Britain, and Germany to Scandinavia, all of them should be taking a serious approach to strengthen Polish defense capabilities. In the United States, Poland is now seen as a pillar of peace in Europe, a key country for peace in Europe. American security policy towards Europe for the coming years will be fundamentally based on three countries, Great Britain, Poland and Israel.

Situation Room in Integrated Defense Command Center – USA


National Defense Command Center – Situation Room – Canada

High time

Almost nothing was done for eight years by the previous regime. Today, events are spinning with thundering speed. It is high time for decisions – smart and wise ones. There is no room for mistakes.


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