In the Shadow of Ukraine

Russian Concepts of Future Wars and Force Design

Audio Brief

A short, spoken-word summary from CSIS’s Seth G. Jones on his report, In the Shadow of Ukraine: Russian Concepts of Future War and Force Design.

Audio file

This report asks two main questions. How is the Russian military thinking about the future of warfare? How is the Russian military thinking about force design over the next five years? The report has several findings. First, Russian military thinking is dominated by a view that the United States is—and will remain—Moscow’s main enemy (главный враг) for the foreseeable future. This sentiment will likely drive Moscow’s desire to reconstitute its military as rapidly as possible, as well as strengthen nuclear and conventional deterrence. Second, Russian analyses generally conclude that while the nature of warfare is unchanging, the character of future warfare will rapidly evolve. Adapting will require Russia’s cooperation with other countries, such as China, in areas like long-range, high-precision weapons; unmanned systems; emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence; and the utility of hybrid and irregular warfare. Third, Russian political and military leaders are committed to a major reconstitution of the Russian military—including the army—over the next several years.

This publication was funded by the Russia Strategic Initiative, U.S. European Command. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Defense or the United States government.

Seth G. Jones
Senior Vice President; Harold Brown Chair; and Director, International Security Program