Showing posts with label Donbas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Donbas. Show all posts

The Concept Of Compound Warfare.

    Thomas Huber, a military historian, coined the term "compound warfare" in the late 1990s. 

    In a  paper titled 'Napoleon in Spain and Naples: Fortified Compound Warfare,' Huber defined the term compound warfare for the first time. 

    He reissued his work five years later in an edited anthology called Compound Warfare: That Fatal Knot, which included comments from a number of military historians who looked at various battles through the lens of his thesis. 

    The military historians who invented the notion of compound warfare did not claim it was a novel phenomena, unlike the theories of unrestrained warfare and 4 GW, which were formed by practitioners (i.e. military or ex-military commanders). 

    Compound warfare, on the other hand, is essentially a new conceptual framework that provides "a new method of handling difficult circumstances where regular and irregular troops have been utilized synergistically," and "the long history of conflict is filled" with such examples. 

    Compound warfare, like other historians' conceptual frameworks based on historical precedents (such as Michael Roberts' notion of 'Military Revolution,' which was based on the example of Sweden in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries), is a basic concept with minimal theoretical framework: 

    • The deployment of a regular or main army with an irregular or guerrilla force against an opponent is known as compound warfare. 
    • The irregular force supplemented the regular military's efforts by providing intelligence, commodities, and personnel while denying them to the enemy.
    • [and] The main force relieves the guerrilla force of the enemy's presence in the area, offers training and supplies, strategic knowledge, and political influence in the local area. 
    • The total of the parts in compound warfare is more than the sum of the parts. 

    In defining compound warfare, Huber emphasizes two key characteristics:

    • Asymmetry and Occupation—'Compound warfare most typically happens when an intervening large power occupies all or part of a small power's territory.
    • [and] after the bigger power's troops have been scattered over the weaker power's area, the lesser power may engage in compound warfare.'  
    • While these two traits are necessary, Huber claims that compound warfare is a flexible phenomena, with a vast range of variation demonstrated via historical case studies. 

    According to Huber, the notion of compound warfare posits that only one side (the lower power) may deploy compound warfare strategies against its larger adversary (occupier). 

    • 'Both sides may employ compound warfare tactics... in most historical situations of compound warfare, one side utilizes compound warfare methods preferentially; the other side consciously uses them to the degree it is able,' says one expert. 
    •  While Huber asserts that the compound warfare model assumes just two categories of force (regular and irregular), he also believes that "a variety of mobile regional militias may fall between these two poles and contribute significantly to the compound warfare operator's leverage."  
    • On the one hand, the notion implies that the compound warfare operator (defined as "the overall commander in a compound warfare battle who successfully leads it") organizes all regular and irregular troops available to him. 
    • 'In the more complicated reality, purposeful coordination may extend to all, some, one, or none of the military forces in play,' Huber says after examining multiple historical situations. 

    Finally, although Huber's theoretical framework is binary, presuming that a fight is either compound warfare or not, he asserts that in practice, "one discovers degrees of compound warfare." 

    There's compound warfare proper, which has all of the components of compound warfare in situ, and "quasi" compound warfare, which lacks one or more of the ingredients of compound warfare.'  

    Huber, however, not only criticizes but also supports his own concept's simplicity. 

    • According to him, the compound warfare model is intentionally uncomplicated in its most basic version to allow for the investigation of a wide range of difficult instances. 
    • In other words, Huber aimed to create a notion that would serve as a lens through which to study the history of warfare, stating not only that it is replete with examples of regular and irregular troops fighting together, but also that compound warfare is a particularly successful kind of combat. 
    • While the historical reality is complicated, "the basic Compound Warfare model, it is believed, would provide analysts a place to start in grappling with these intricacies," according to the report. 

    'Fortified Compound Warfare,' according to Huber, is the most decisive and effective kind of compound warfare. 

    A regular force will have access to a "safe haven" and will be partnered with a large power in fortified compound warfare, in addition to the two primary components of warfare (a regular force and an irregular force). 

    The compound warfare operator's 'fortification' alludes to an abstract concept of 'protection from destruction' and' strengthening,' rather than the creation of real defensive positions: 

    'The distinction between compound warfare, which is difficult to defeat, and fortified compound warfare, which is practically impossible to defeat, is made by fortification.'  

    In other words, when a fortified compound warfare operator has a 'safe haven' for its main forces (providing the ability to withdraw the main regular force to a location inaccessible to the enemy due to geographic, technological, diplomatic, political, or other factors), as well as the support of a major ally, the fortified compound warfare operator 'can keep his regular force in being indefinitely [and] also protect and nourish the operator's guerrilla force in a location. 

    Huber points to two great "quagmire" battles in which reinforced compound warfare was employed to defeat big-power opponents: 

    • Spain from  1808 to 1814  
    • and Vietnam from  1965 to 1973 . 

    However, two additional conflicts fit within the definition of this term, according to the instances examined in his edited volume: 

    • the American Revolution, which lasted from  1775 to 1783, 
    • and the Soviet involvement in Afghanistan, which lasted from  1979 to 1989 . 

    Even though historians who studied these battles through the lens of compound warfare did not explicitly express it, it appears reasonable to claim that both events are examples of reinforced compound warfare. 

    In the first, Vietnam's wide area provided a 'safe haven' for the US, while France acted as a major-power ally; in the second, Afghanistan's difficult mountain terrain provided refuge from the Soviets for Mujahedeen troops, while the US functioned as their primary partner. 

    It's worth noting that Huber and other proponents of this theory haven't claimed that it's a brand-new phenomena. 


    Because fortified compound warfare allows operators to fight and win, in almost every historical case, with conventional force ratios that would otherwise appear to be hopelessly inferior, it is likely to be encountered often in the future,' Huber said, observing and analyzing the history of warfare for similar patterns in which regular and irregular forces have been used simultaneously. 

    As a result, 'military strategists must comprehend the mechanics of this sort of warfare prior to the occurrence.'

    Lessons from the Ukraine Conflict on Hybrid Warfare vs. Compound Warfare. 

    It was common soon after the commencement of open fighting in Ukraine to characterize the conflict as a kind of "hybrid warfare."

    • The war's military and political dimensions, on the other hand, have grown well beyond the notion. 
    • The Ukraine conflict has been more of a "compound" than a "hybrid" war; the tools and techniques used by the combatants are characteristic of the early post-Soviet period, with some new military-technical aspects and traditional Cold War-era fighting and strategies thrown in for good measure. 
    • The battle has highlighted the need of land-based soldiers and munitions for European security once again. 
    • It has also most likely set the tone for any future wars in the post-Soviet space. 

    Hybrid Warfare: Is It a New Idea or Just a Slogan?

    Valery Gerasimov, the Russian military's chief of general staff, laid out a framework for "hybrid warfare" in February 2013, more than a year before the conflict in Ukraine. 

    • It included formally non-military measures (political, economic, and information/propaganda) as well as covert military action.
    • His thesis was seen as a prototype for Russian behavior in Crimea and then in the Donbas as the crisis in Ukraine erupted. 

    However, the notion of hybrid warfare was not invented by General Gerasimov, and it is not a Russian-only military concept. 

    • In practically all armed conflicts, combat engagements mixing regular and irregular troops and components of "hybrid war" have been prevalent. 
    • Private military firms, insurgency and counter-insurgency warfare, terrorism, as well as the intensive use of information warfare and operations aimed at destabilizing the enemy's economic and political system, are all examples of these aspects. 
    • One of the key characteristics of hybrid warfare is the simultaneous use of conventional and irregular combat on the same operating area. 

    Up until the summer of 2014, the Ukraine conflict was simply a "hybrid war" in its early stages. 

    • Later, as the scope of hostilities grew, the fight devolved into an almost typical conventional operation reliant on large-scale armored and artillery deployments (albeit with relatively little use of airpower). 
    • The conflict moved from a hybrid war to a "compound war" in August 2014, when Russian Army battalion tactical groups (BTG) openly battled with the Ukrainian army near Ilovaisk. 
    • Compound warfare presupposes a "hybrid" of regular/irregular combat, civil conflict, and a regular army's unmasked engagement. 
    • The 2014-2015 winter clashes for the Donetsk airport and Debaltsevo, for example, demonstrated the conflict's complexity. 
    • Local pro-Russian irregular fighters, Russian "volunteers," regular Russian elite and special forces operating under the banners of the Luhansk and Donetsk People's Republics, and even some regular Russian heavy armor and motor-rifle BTGs fought against the Ukrainian army. 

    Compound warfare, on the other hand, combines traditional and contemporary fighting strategies, including the employment of antiquated and cutting-edge weapons and equipment. 

    • In this technical sense, the Ukraine conflict was also a compound war. 
    • Heavy tanks and mechanized troops were backed by artillery and rocket systems, as well as unmanned air vehicles (UAVs), computerized command, control, communication, surveillance, and intelligence systems, and modern compact antitank and air defense missiles. 

    Land Forces in a New Role: Lessons from the Battlefields of Ukraine.

    The Ukraine war was Europe's first full-scale land conflicts since World War II, involving tens of thousands of tanks and motorized infantry units. 

    • It also revealed the possibilities for a quick and high degree of military escalation in a European theater without the use of combat aircraft. 
    • The transformation of the Ukraine conflict into "complex" but mostly ground warfare persuaded the US and NATO that conventional land troops continue to play a key role in modern European security architecture. 
    • Only in the summer of 2013, American M-1 Abrams tanks were evacuated from Germany and returned to the continent the following spring. 

    Small, symbolic US Army forces have been "temporarily" sent to Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia, all of which are younger NATO members. 

    • Since last spring, paratroopers from the US 173rd Airborne Brigade have been training alongside the military of these countries, and the Pentagon prepares to permanently send additional US ground soldiers to Europe. 
    • In Georgia, the US has also been training Ukrainian soldiers and taking part in joint military exercises. 
    • The newly formed NATO Very High Readiness Joint Task Force is tasked with preparing military ground units (VJTF). 
    • The VJTF's formation, the 173rd airborne brigade's joint military exercises, the demonstrative march of the US 2nd Cavalry Regiment through Eastern Europe, and the prospects for permanent deployment of additional US troops in some newer NATO members all correspond to a key element of the Cold War-style deterrence system known as "trip-wires." 

    "The rhetoric of deterrence, confinement, and economic isolation has returned from well-earned retirement," as Samuel Charap and Jeremy Shapiro put it. 

    • In this scenario, even "symbolic" NATO or US ground forces deployed forward in Eastern Europe might serve a similar function to Allied soldiers in Berlin during the Cold War. 

    Russia, on the other hand, has embraced the increased importance of ground troops the most. 

    • Land forces have played a vital part in the formation of the Russian military since imperial and Soviet times, and they have been the most compelling aspect of Russian military and geopolitical power projection in its area. 
    • The T-14 Armata tank, the T-15 and Kurganets armored vehicles, and the Koalitsiya self-propelled howitzer were among the land-based vehicles and armaments on show during Russia's Victory Day parade in May 2015. 

    President Vladimir Putin promised to enhance Russia's rearmament of its land troops during a meeting with Russia's military leadership and business executives later that month. 

    This will come at the price of Russia's naval budget, however the government will keep the faster rehabilitation of the Black Sea Fleet and the upgrading of Russia's nuclear triad's sea-based leg as top priority. 

    • The rapid development of three new tank and motor rifle divisions, the 2nd Guards Tamanskaya Motor Rifle, 4th Guards Kantemirovskaya Tank, and the 10th Guards Tank divisions, is another evidence of Russia's rising relevance for ground forces. 
    • The first two are Russia's first new tank units since the Cold War ended, and they will serve as the foundation for a new 1st Guards Tank Army. 
    • The 10th Guards division, which is currently being formed, will be stationed at Boguchar, near the Ukrainian border, in the Voronezh area. 
      • The 10th Guards will be linked to the 20th Guards Combined Army, a new force. 
    • The 1st Guards Tank Army and the 20th Guards Combined Army are both part of Russia's Western Military District, and its operational focus is mostly on Ukraine. 
    • They will be the first troops to get newly designed armor systems such as the Armata and Kurganets in 2016-2017. 
    • The necessity of professional, light, and mobile special-purpose ground troops was also shown during the Ukraine war. 
    • Small arms and light weapons gained in strength, accuracy, and range, allowing small forces to perform combat missions that would previously have been allocated to bigger military groups. 
    • Elite forces from Russia's newly founded Command of Special Operations Forces, as well as Russian GRU spetsnaz, Airborne Forces (VDV), and Marines, played a critical part in Russia's activities in Crimea and the Donbas. 

    Post-Soviet Conflicts in the 21st Century: Compound Wars 

    The military lessons learned in the Ukraine war might be applied to other post-Soviet conflicts, particularly in the Caucasus. 

    • Given today's powerful air defense systems, combat aircraft may not be able to play a crucial role. 
    • The crisis in Ukraine has also indicated that unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) may play a larger role, albeit they will mostly serve as a support, intelligence, and surveillance tool rather than a stand-alone piece of military hardware. 

    Finally, despite the widespread deployment of large-caliber multiple-launch rocket systems (Smerch, Uragan) and tactical missiles (Tochka-U) by both sides, they did not prove to be decisive. 

    This is an eye-opening statistic in the context of the Nagorno-Karabakh war. 

    • In the event of large-scale military confrontations, the Azerbaijani leadership has preserved the option of utilizing large-caliber multiple-launch rocket systems and tactical missiles in reserve. 

    The Donbas wars, on the other hand, revealed that these long-range weaponry are not "wonder weapons" capable of achieving a swift and painless victory. 

    For the time being, the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh is more akin to a "low intensity struggle" than a "hybrid war." Along the line of contact, permanent border conflicts and sniper warfare continue. 

    The situation might, however, alter. 

    The involvement of regular Russian army personnel without their own insignia was one of the emblems of "hybrid war" in Ukraine (or wearing those of the DNR or LNR). 

    In the case of a full-scale battle, a scenario similar to this may develop. 

    In the 1990s, Turkish "volunteers" took part in military engagements in Nagorno-Karabakh, and a small Turkish Army unit has purportedly been stationed in the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan for some time to undertake training and intelligence tasks. 

    Under an effort to launch a blitzkrieg on Nagorno-Karabakh, Turkish special commandos in Azerbaijani insignia may join large-scale Azerbaijani military groups with their own heavy vehicles and artillery. 

    Georgia has turned its attention to hybrid warfare as a result of the lessons learned from its 2008 war with Russia and the Ukraine crisis. 

    However, it's unclear if the lessons acquired from the Ukrainian crisis are completely applicable to the Georgian situation. 

    Nonetheless, the Georgian military's heavy armor and mechanized infantry formations, as well as combat aviation, have all been considerably reduced. 

    • It has boosted expenditure on air defenses, light infantry, special operations forces, and helicopter units (including the acquisition of advanced air defense and radar equipment from France in the summer of 2015). 
    • Georgia is training its military for hybrid/irregular types of battle with this new style of territorial defense. 
    • Georgia's military leadership has also established specific defensive zones around the nation, each with a regular Army Infantry Battle Group and three to four Territorial Army Regiments staffed by reservists. 

    However, it is unclear if such "hybrid" preparations would improve Georgia's defensive capability, given any future battle with Russia is likely to employ mostly traditional combat techniques. 

    • During the August 2008 clashes on Georgian soil, the Russian military used few irregular or hybrid techniques. 
    • Their tactics were more like to a traditional invasion, with conventional ground soldiers, armor, and artillery backed up by the air force and the Black Sea fleet. 

    In the end, the Ukraine war was shown to be just the most recent traditional armed conflict in the post-Soviet realm, with some hybrid and irregular components thrown in for good measure. 

    Future post-Soviet confrontations are anticipated to be "compound," combining large-scale tank combat with more hybrid techniques, such as heavy use of electronic, information, and economic warfare.

    ~ Jai Krishna Ponnappan

    You may also want to read and learn more about Global Geo Politics, Conflicts, And Conflict Resolution here.

    Attached: Read the book, ' Compound Warfare: That Fatal Knot' by Thomas M. Huber.

    Sources, References & Further Reading:

    • Hoffman, Frank, Conflict in the 21st Century: The Rise of Hybrid Warfare, Arlington: Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, 2007, p. 14.
    • For example: Nemeth, William, ‘Future War and Chechnya: A Case for Hybrid Warfare’, PhD diss., Monterey, Naval Postgraduate School, 2002; Morelock, Jerry, ‘Washington as Strategist: Compound Warfare in the American Revolution, 1775–1783’, in Huber, Thomas (ed.), Compound Warfare: That Fatal Knot, Fort Leavenworth: Combat Studies Institute, US Army Command and General Staff College, 2002, p. 78.
    • Qiao, Liang and Xiangsui Wang, Unrestricted Warfare: China’s Master Plan to Destroy America, Panama City: Pan American Publishing Company, 2002.
    • Scobell, Andrew, ‘Introduction to Review Essays on “Unrestricted Warfare”’, Small Wars and Insurgencies, 11, 1 (Spring 2000), pp. 112–13; Cheng, Dean, ‘Unrestricted Warfare: Review Essay II’, Small Wars and Insurgencies, 11, 1 (Spring 2000), pp. 122–9.
    • Thomas Moorer cited on the back cover of Qiao and Wang, Unrestricted Warfare.
    • Bunker, Robert, ‘Unrestricted Warfare: Review Essay II’, Small Wars and Insurgencies, 11, 1 (Spring 2000), pp. 114.
    • Luman, Ronald (ed.), Unrestricted Warfare Symposium 2006: Proceedings on Strategy, Analysis, and Technology, Laurel, MD: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, 2006; Luman, (ed.), Unrestricted Warfare Symposium 2008: Proceedings on Combating the Unrestricted Warfare Threat; Integrating Strategy, Analysis, and Technology, Laurel, MD: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, 2008.
    • Qiao and Wang, Unrestricted Warfare, p. 155.
    • Hoffman, Conflict in the 21st Century, p. 22.
    • Qiao and Wang, Unrestricted Warfare, p. xxi.
    • Bunker, ‘Unrestricted Warfare: Review Essay II’; Van Messel, John, ‘Unrestricted Warfare: A Chinese Doctrine for Future Warfare?’, Master’s thesis, Marine Corps University, Quantico, 2005.
    • Qiao and Wang, Unrestricted Warfare, p. 48.
    • Lind, William, et al., ‘The Changing Face of War: Into the Fourth Generation’, Marine Corps Gazette (October 1989), pp. 22–6.
    • Van Creveld, Martin, On Future War, London: Brasseys, 1991.
    • Huntington, Samuel, The Clash of Civilisations and the Remaking of World Order, London: Simon and Schuster, 1997.
    • For example: Terriff, Terry, Aaron Karp and Regina Karp, (eds), Global Insurgency and the Future of Armed Conflict, New York: Routledge Press, 2007; Hammes, Thomas, The Sling and the Stone: On War in the 21st Century, St. Paul, MN: Zenith Press, 2004; Benbow, Tim, ‘Talking ’Bout Our Generation? Assessing the Concept of “Fourth Generation Warfare”’, Comparative Strategy, 27, 2 (2008), pp. 148–63.
    • Echevarria, Antulio, Fourth Generation War and Other Myths, Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, 2005.
    • Lind, William, ‘Understanding Fourth Generation War’, Military Review (September–October 2004), p. 12.
    • Echevarria, Fourth Generation War and Other Myths, p. v.
    • Hammes, Sling and the Stone, p. 16.
    • Rogers, Clifford (ed.), The Military Revolution Debate: Readings on the Military Transformation of Early Modern Europe, Oxford: Westview Press, 1995; Parker, Geoffrey, The Military Revolution: Military Innovation and the Rise of the West, 1500–1800, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988; Boot, Max, War Made New: Technology, Warfare and the Course of History, 1500 to Today, New York: Gotham Books, 2006; Murray, Williamson and Macgregor Knox (eds), The Dynamics of Military Revolution 1300–2050, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001.
    • Hammes, Sling and the Stone, pp. 17, 18.
    • For example: Rogers, Military Revolution Debate; Parker, Military Revolution.
    • Lind, ‘Understanding Fourth Generation War’, p. 12.
    • Lind et al., ‘Changing Face of War’, p. 23; also see Hammes, Sling and the Stone, pp. 22–31.
    • Lind, ‘Understanding Fourth Generation War’, p. 13.
    • Hammes, Thomas, ‘War Evolves into the Fourth Generation’, Contemporary Security Policy, 26, 2 (2005), p. 197.
    • Hammes, ‘War Evolves into the Fourth Generation’, p. 206.
    • Echevarria, Fourth Generation War and Other Myths, p. 16.
    • Huber, Thomas, ‘Napoleon in Spain and Naples: Fortified Compound Warfare’, in C610: The Evolution of Modern Warfare, Term I Syllabus/Book of Readings, Fort Leavenworth: Combat Studies Institute, US Army Command and General Staff College, 1997.
    • Huber, Thomas, ‘Compound Warfare: A Conceptual Framework’, in Huber, Compound Warfare, p. 1.
    • Roberts, Michael, ‘The Military Revolution, 1560–1660’, in Rogers, Military Revolution Debate.
    • See Morelock, Jerry, ‘Washington as Strategist: Compound Warfare in the American Revolution’ in Huber, Compound Warfare; Baumann, Robert, ‘Compound War Case Study: The Soviets in Afghanistan’, in Huber, Compound Warfare.
    • Hoffman, Conflict in the 21st Century, pp. 25–6.
    • Rumsfeld, Donald, ‘The National Defense Strategy of the United States of America’, Washington, DC, March 2005, p. v.