Mohsen Abdelmoumen: In your book "Coaching & conflicts", you talk about the concept of hybrid warfare. Can you explain this concept of hybrid warfare to our readership?
Dr. Leonid Savin: The first known use of the term "hybrid warfare" dated back to 1998 in paper of Robert Walker titled "Spec Fi: the United States Marine Corps and Special Operations" where author labeled hybrid war in such manner: ”'Hybrid warfare' is that which lies in the interstices between special and conventional warfare. This type of warfare possesses characteristics of both the special and conventional realms, and requires an extreme amount of flexibility in order to transition operationally and tactically between the special and conventional arenas”.
Later concept of hybrid war was promoted in the article of James Mattis and Frank Hoffman published in November 2005. 1) Both authors are professional marine officers and James Mattis later served as Secretary of Defense of the U.S. It was short 2 pages texts focused on the experience in Afghanistan and in Iraq where American forces intervened just few years before. Main narrative was about irregular methods — terrorism, insurgency, unrestricted warfare, guerrilla war, or coercion by narco-criminal groups exploiting lost of control of the failed state. Authors told that these methods are increasing in both scale and sophistication, and will challenge U.S. security interests globally.
Later Frank Hoffman developed this concept in his essay “Conflict in the 21st century: The rise of hybrid wars” published in 2007. 2) The main ideas was instead of separate challengers with fundamentally different approaches (conventional, irregular or terrorist), there are some competitors who will employ all forms of war and tactics, perhaps simultaneously. Official documents and strategies of American military used in this work also coined term "hybrid" and mix of traditional and non-traditional tactics together with simple and sophisticated technologies also mentioned.
Frank Hoffman argued that hybrid threats incorporate a full range of different modes of warfare including conventional capabilities, irregular tactics and formations, terrorist acts including indiscriminate violence and coercion, and criminal disorder. Hybrid Wars can be conducted by both states and a variety of non-state actors.
U.S. Joint Forces Command adopted concept of hybrid threats in 2009 and to accent any adversary that simultaneously and adaptively employs a tailored mix of conventional, irregular, terrorism and criminal means or activities in the operational battlespace. Rather than a single entity, a hybrid threat or challenger may be comprised of a combination of state and non-state actors.
Later in 2014, Hoffman wrote “any adversary that simultaneously employs a tailored mix of conventional weapons, irregular tactics, terrorism, and criminal behavior in the same time and battlespace to obtain their political objectives” and noted that hybrid threats is a construct developed by the Marine Corps a decade ago.
NATO also focused on hybrid threats during the last decade. NATO Review article issued in 2014 states that “hybrid conflicts involve multilayered efforts designed to destabilize a functioning state and polarize its society.”
For my opinion hybrid warfare is an open concept with different elements. Lawfare, for example, is a new aspect of non-kinetic conﬂict aiming at “using law as a weapon to manipulate legal paradigms”.
Haven’t the NGOs and the media, what is called "Soft Power", become fearsome weapons in these wars that are being waged against the people and in the benefit of the oligarchy that rules the world?
They are and they were active in such way decades ago (including Cold War era). Not all NGO's and media involved in this process, but mostly powerful western giants such as Endowment for Democracy, Republican Institute, Institute of Peace, etc. New institutions like CANVAS or specific groups like White Helmets also are tools of direct or indirect interventions. In most cases such NGO's or governmantal arms are doing justification for political decision including economic sanctions and military aggressions.
Many billionaires supported efforts of such foundations and have own ones (like Pierre Omidyar or Rockefeller and Soros families).
The same with the media - New York Times and Washington Post as well as coalition of different engaged bloggers and special projects have very clear political frame. Big media are owned by certain financial groups or corporations. Small media used as swarm tactics for the same goals. More articles/opinions involves an image of peoples interests and democratic choice. But it is very easy to track when news published by agency or TV and started to spread immediately that reflects synchronized activity directed from one center.
Social nets like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter serves these actions - imposing censorship and bans on alternative point of view and promoting consensual point of view how to control communications and news streams.
So we see effect of well organized monopoly whose architects pretends to control and influence the whole world.
Much talks about Georges Soros in the financing of NGOs involved in the color "revolutions" and the "Arab spring", but you also mention other "philanthropists" businessmen who may be involved in these destabilizations without being known. Don't you think George Soros is just the tip of the iceberg? Isn't what's hidden more frightening still?
George Soros was pioneer with his Open Society. He is follower of ideology proposed by Karl Popper who was critical on ideas of Plato and many philosophers. Actually Popper's approach seems very weak. But Soros started to develop his ideas mixed with contemporary politics. After collapse of Soviet Union he presented his activity like assistance to peoples of ex Soviet Republics to build more prosperous society. In many cases recipients just interested to get his grants and not care about ideas of open society. They acted like umbrella organization and provided funds for different reasons.
Then after years his ideas and actions were analyzed carefully and recognized as dangerous for sovereignity and national security in many countries. Even in some EU states his activity was recognized as illegal.
But his funds are so huge that Soros have large group of own agents in European parliament as well as in governments of many countries.
There are also more persons and organizations doing similar work in many spheres. We can to mention Fetullah Gullen from Turkey who build own net of influence in Central Asian and Balkanian countries. His adepts infiltrated into governmantal structures, big business and international organizations. He feel comfortable living in USA and attempts of the Turkish President Tayyep Erdogan to extradit him into Turkey has no results.
Bill Gates with his foundation and projects is another person need to be mentioned. Genetic modified insects and special microchips implanted into the human body are two of the most scandalous project of the Microsoft with possible global impact.
The list of such persons is very large. From Ukraine and Moldova till offshore islands and Asian-Pacific countries we can find many oligarchs connected with the West and serving like bridges in interests of the West.
Should we analyse their activity under context of intelligence, influence ops and national security? I think yes.
Even in the West people start to affraid such groups and pay attention to the plutocratic insurgency - new specific term proposed by military analyst from the US for description of the phenomena when oligarchs can start multilayered conflicts against states and own people. It is very possible that we can face its manifestation just before and during November elections in the US.
How do you explain the European Union's hostility towards the Russian Federation and the persistence of sanctions against it?
It is alogical, irrational and against natural interests of the European countries. There are two big problems with politicians of EU: 1) inertia facing the US influence and readiness to follow any Washington' orders; 2) sustainable neoliberal groups with agenda of economic dominance over the people and expansion.
But because of the structural specifics of the EU and decision making mechanisms some members of EU who are critical about these sactions can't act unilateraly and need to follow common agenda.
Another background is history. From historical point of view we can mention attempts of European powers to conquest Russia - Napoleon in 19 and Hitler in 20 centuries are just the most significant examples.
We can add idea of exceptionalism and superiority too. Idea of racism is european product. Even Karl Marx with his idea of solidarity among the worker class around the world told about necessity to fight against Russia in the case of German-Russian war. It means nation first, not class!
European integration also need drivers. Cause nationalism of every country can't be used for policy of integrity and can lead to contradictions, another element of nationalism is used - external enemy. If we analyze speech and texts of european politicians there are many markers are used for the Other - Russia, China, Iran, muslim (Islam) countries including Turkey looking for European Union for decades.
They've tried to formulate different framework for neighbor policy but it seems like tool for expansion anyway.
Aren't the current unrest in Belarus targeting Russia? Don't you think that, here too, there is soft power, media, NGOs and occult circles at work to destabilize not only Belarus but the Russian Federation?
Any attack on Russian ally (Belarus is real ally, not partner, cause we have Union State of the Russia and Belarus is active member of Eurasian Economic Union as well as CSTO [note: Collective Security Treaty Organization]) is an indirect attack on Russia. All claims of western politicians not to interfere into affairs of Belarus are hypocritical stances, cause they are openly do it and interested to undermine sovereignty of this country.
Poland and Lithuania are principal players for destabilizing of Belarus. But US also was involved cause interested to destroy Eurasian Economic Union. Additional roles were taken by Czech Republic and Ukraine.
In some sense it was mistake of president Lukashenko when he gave green light for pro-Western activity inside own country. Subversive actions were planned for months and NGO/media activism was sponsored from the West. Now leadership of Belarus understand own mistakes. Because of personal charisma and political will as well as unity of military and security service Lukashenko not repeat path of the Viktor Yanukovich who lost Ukraine and went out.
How do you explain the prevailing Sinophobia and Russophobia in decision-making circles in the United States and Europe? Aren't Westerners still in the Cold War?
Famous proponent of American exceptionalism and imperialism Brooks Adams in his book «The New Empire» issued in 1902 told about necessity to prevent creation of any union (links) between Russia, Germany and... China! Now Russia and China has good ties and see each other as strategic backyard in possible military conflict with USA. Let’s imagine what possible to do if Germany will join this "alliance"!
For successful atlanticist policy Germany should be under strong US' control. Rise of pro-American regimes in Central Europe comes from the same logic. Cordon sanitaire need to separate Germany from Russia if Berlin will run more pro-continental strategy.
Cold War is old label, now conditions are different. New terms emerged like Cool war or Cold War-2. But in fact, it is geopolitical rivalry. The West play game with double standards and hidden bottoms.
How do you explain the fact that NATO is continuing its eastward expansion policy when many Western officials consider it obsolete, President Macron defining this organization as "brain dead"?
Really NATO is residue of the Cold War era. Macron critisized NATO for many reasons. First of all, there is no real unified policy of security for all members. Terroristic attacks inside of NATO countries including France are just one sign of disfunctionalism. Illegal migration is second. Floods of extremists together with asylum seekers and refugees comes from many Asian and African countries, not Russia. There were research analysis where indicated promotion of such migration (to continental European countries) was directed from UK and USA by some groups (in general it is kind of pro-Soros policy). Third there are visible conflicts between the members – Turkey vs Greece is visible apogee of this trend. Let’s add dependence of the NATO countries from supplies from the US. And finally – false narratives about threat from Russia.
Efforts of the EU to create own army and security institutions also matters.
In one of your very interesting and important articles, you mentioned the presence of the "West Point Mafia" which is linked to the "Silicon Mafia" in the United States. Isn't the real power in the USA constituted by these two mafias? Under the reign of these two mafias, can we still talk about democracy in the United States?
Military-industrial complex is one of the pillar of the US establishment for decades. Second is banking system. Silicon mafia seems like new player with game changer ambitions. West Point mafia is temporary phenomena, because it reflects the joint efforts of the one group linked by professional ties. But consequences may be fixed for next generations. Silicon mafia is more flexible, and there are few wings, but all looking for funds of state and Pentagon. It is new type of economy known as zeta-capitalism.
We need to mention lobby institutes in the US to see the whole picture.
But what is mafia itself? It is self-organized elements of society with hierarchy system and own laws and customs. Usually it has very authoritarian character. If government or official elected persons are not able to organize political and economic life in right way some people will come and impose own vision of life.
Actually, these terms – West Point mafia and Silicon mafia were proposed by American authors, not myself, that presented social alienation and critical attitude to the government and business community. And the question is who is serving to the people if government became kind of the mafia?
In another of your very informative articles, you mention the omnipresence of neo-Nazi and Satanist groups such as the Order of the 9 Angles, the Church of Satan and the Temple of Set in the US army and intelligence services. In your opinion, what is the impact of these groups at the level of political decision-making and what is their degree of nuisance, whether at the level of the United States or at the global level?
This situation reflects the erosion of traditional values in the US in general. At least Christian denominations were founders of this country as well as social base for political stability. Now under idea of tolerance and freedom of expression some gangs of obscurantists and perverts incorporated into different governmantal agencies. Cases with satanists and occult groups are just top of the iceberg. More questions need to be asked especially linked with recent scandals. What religious identity Jeffrey Epstein has been? What agenda developed in different political clubs of the high level? How all symbolism promoted by Rockfeller group affected on politics and what the meaning exactly they included into visual part of own projects? Democracy also means tranparency. If USA pretends to be democratic country there should be access to the information what happens inside the power system including military and enforcement agencies.
In your opinion, shouldn't the solution in Libya be political? Doesn't everyone lose if there is a war?
Yes, of course. It is very strange war that reminds dirty wars in Africa for resources between mercenaries of Western countries. Nothing good for Libyan people.
Also Libya is good example of ineffectiveness of the U.N. cause 1) fall of the Gaddafi was after resolution of UNSC to impose blockade around this country and it followed NATO operation and intervention of special forces; 2) no any stabilizing efforts were done by U.N. after collapse of the Libyan state.
Now Libya become place for proxy war between other states too. And all Big powers would like not to take responsibility about it.
Libya has become a sanctuary for jihadists. There are reports of more than 20,000 jihadists that Erdogan transferred from Syria to Libya. Shouldn't the fight against jihadists in Libya and the Sahel be the priority of all countries?
Jihadist like problem is very complex issue. At first there are different types of militants who proclaims jihadists ideology. At second they are low qualified personnel, but form other hand they are useful material for hardline methods ISIS applied in Iraq and Syria. Jihadists may be directed to catch the oil fields or refinery stantions. But they can't do whole business by itself. Top management need to be involved. Let’s remember about oil smuggling from Iraq and Syria when transport caravans was gone into Turkey. In Libya, sea routes and tankers are necessary. So there are economic interests behind cheap propaganda and involvement of special services.
Like I told in previous answer U.N. is disfunctional. African states not powerful enough to prevent spreading of conflict. But if Western powers not interfere probably there is interest to keep this conflict. This technology is just political option.
Erdogan uses organizations composed of Algerian traitors who have been directly involved in the Syrian conflict by being with Al-Nosra and Daesh. These organizations are now targeting the Algerian army and the Algerian intelligence services. Doesn’t this Trojan horse used by Erdogan to destabilize my country, Algeria, and establish a new Ottoman caliphate threaten to burn down the whole Mediterranean, if not the world? What is the position of the Russian Federation, Algeria's ally, with regard to Erdogan's troubled game in Libya?
Russia has long history of partnership with Algeria. And now we are providing different type of weapons and military instructors for trainings. But besides attempts of infiltration by turkish agent there are some home-grown extremists as well as rebel activity of local ethnic groups (amazigs). Spirit of last civil war also strong enough. For my opinion there should be developed new road map for the region security. It need to contain two level - Mediterranean with participation of European countries and neutral observers (Russia, China) and specific Maghreb dimension with set of solutions rooted in local traditions and cultures. Region is well known home for sufi traditions and Islam scholarship - both need to be reborn. Jihadism is derivative of rational and utilitar elements of Islam like wahhabism in Saudi Arabia. It effectiveness for years because of illiteracy of people in some countries and money assistance that interpreted like gift of Allah. Some extremist clerics supported justification of these ideas.
There are two ways to destroy this filthy triangle. From down - through quality spiritual education, from top - by state apparatus.
Islamic thought can't to exist in own sphere only as Russian patriarchal (Orthodox Christian) traditions can't be isolated from the world too. Polylogue should be implemented on high diplomatic level. Values firts, then interests.
Anyway Russia may be more involved in sense of mutual cooperation. When Syrian government ask about assistance, Moscow analyzed all risks and challenges then supported official Damascus. If there is similar interest from Algerian government, Russia should be officially invited.
If speak about neo-ottoman ambitions of Turkey it is double-edged sword. Ankara interested to fill any political vacuum around, especially on territories of ex-Ottoman empire. But there is domestic resistence from pro-western and liberal groups till kurdish militancy. There is risk of overstretching for the Turkey. Now Turkey faces one crisis more around Isaeli-Palestinian question and decision of UAE to recognize Israel. USA is behind Dubai and Tel-Aviv deal that means more pressure on Turkey and its regional ally Qatar. Egypt also rejects ambitions of Turkey and suppress muslim brotherhood inside the country that is source of regional jihadism too. Tensions are growing...
The Covid-19 crisis showed the bankruptcy of the capitalist system with the shutdown of the economy, the lack of medical equipment due to the relocation of factories and the deindustrialization of capitalist countries, the saturation of the hospital system, amateurism and the mediocrity of Western governments, etc. Don't you think that one of the major lessons of the Covid-19 crisis is that the capitalist system must be overtaken?
Covid-19 like conflict was good test to see the effectiveness of the different nations and types of the governance. But some companies exploited Covid crisis for promoting their own business and make more profit (like Amazon for example). In other hand there was opinion that lockdown was just a game and no pandemic, most mortal cases being consequences of vaccinations that organized before and mostly targeted against old people cause they have low immunity.
For my opinion, Covid has metaphisical dimension too. It remind us that still so much unknown around.
If we focus on diseases and viruses this file is multilayered and interconnected. We kill one type of virus by medical means and forget that this type of virus is enemy of other type of viruses, spreading fast when there is no natural resistance. Meat industry (especially hi-tech segment) also have some impact on the immunity of the mankind.
But clear lesson was that people in all countries are strongly against manipulations, organized under umbrella of medical limits or necessary quarantine.
And Covid-19 was the failure of WHO too. It is the reason why Donald Trump made decision to leave organization. And, yes, it is failure of capitalism too. Because capitalism promised safe benevolent society. In reality, developed countries were very vulnerable and can’t prevent spreading of diseases and mortal cases. People ask who will care about us if state healthcare system cannot? I know that in many European countries censorship on media was imposed – what to write and not to write about pandemic. It seems like variation of Orwell’s 1984.
We will see more political games in near future. Recent sanctions (once more) against Russian company that developed vaccine against coronavirus is just one element in this war by other means.
You are the head of the administration of the international Eurasian movement and a member of the military-scientific society of the Russian Ministry of Defense. You are a theorist of Eurasia. How do you see the world and what is the role of the international Eurasian movement?
First of all, our Movement is proponent of the multipolar world order. It means another global political system. We are developing theories rooted into historical, cultural and religion traditions to justify this idea. Professor Dugin proposed 4th political theory that used concept of DaSein from Martin Heidegger' philosophy. Personally I proposed theory of political sustainability described in my book "Ordo Pluriversalis : The End of Pax Americana and the Rise of Multipolarity".
We are promoting non-western theories of international relations too. Colleagues from the Department of theory and history of the international relations of the RUDN University (note: Peoples' Friendship University of Russia) doing this work too.
We have many contacts in the world and people who rejects predatory neoliberalism support our ideas.
There may be many forms and practical decisions for the unique governance systems in different part of the world for different ethnic groups and followers of many religions. Liberal democracy and parliament type is not a panacea. Ecology and environmental activism also may be analyzed from different point of view than proposed last decades by Western mentality under label of Greenpeace and similar organizations. It is very important to focus on the issues not like customers, but from position of whole being, eternity and freedom – such aspects are essentials for multipolar and polycentric outlook.
And reorganization of world system itself is very difficult and complex path. There are still many prejudices and vestiges affected on our conscience. De-Westernization of minds need to be done forward before discussions of new projects. Actually, there were many attempts and we can to use some fruits of non-Western thinkers for the deconstruction of the false building of Enlightenment. Moroccan philosopher Muhammad Abed Al-Jabiri proposed own vision in context of Muslim world. His idea of the al-’akl al-arabiyya is just step to rethink the heredity of the Western philosophy. Spiritual founder of Pakistan Muhammad Iqbal also proposed active way for everyday participation in political life. His concept of khoudi is very promising. Let’s talk about Tao in politics, re-developing of pre-Colombian philosophy in Latin America, African authentic practices, and nomadic experience. Orthodox Christian saints can be good guide for understanding of current crisis. As well as classical Russian thinkers from Fiodor Dostoevskiy till Petr Savitskiy (one of the founders of classical Eurasian movement) are useful for theoretical start.
At the end it is not mean that we want to destroy the West. We interested to help West to reopen itself, to clear it from destructive ideas and to follow own teleology without pretending to be universal pattern with necessary values that became real anti-values under postmodern illusory marvel.
Interview realized by Mohsen Abdelmoumen
Who is Dr. Leonid Savin?
Leonid Savin is a geopolitical analyst, Chief editor of Geopolitica.ru (from 2008), founder and chief editor of Journal of Eurasian Affairs (eurasianaffairs.net); head of the administration of International "Eurasian movement". Former Chief editor of Katehon site and magazine (2015 - 2017).
Director of the Foundation of monitoring and forecasting of development for the cultural-territorial spaces (FMPRKTP).
Member of the Military-scientific society of the Ministry of Defense of Russia.
Author of numerous books on geopolitics, conflicts, international relations and political philosophy issued in Russia, UK, Spain, Iran, Italy, Serbia and Ukraine.
Published in American Herald Tribune September 15, 2020: https://ahtribune.com/interview/4390-leonid-savin.html