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Hybrid warfare: why is it mentioned in Belarus’ new Military Doctrine?

The draft of the new Military Doctrine has been approved by the House of Representatives on its first reading this week (April 2016). The main document determining the security of the state was prepared taking into account the new challenges. The previous one was written in 2002, when the situation in Ukraine was far from unstable, when no one was afraid of terror threat in Europe, and when the Arab Spring was 10 years away. No cardinal changes in approaches to national security have been made in the new bill. Belarus maintains defensive strategy, but the term “hybrid warfare” is used in this document for the first time.

Stanislav Knyazev, doctor of legal sciences, professor, and rector of the International University MITSO (International University of Labor and Social Relations):
Extremists managed to enter many countries in migratory streams. Protests turn into explosions. And it will be unfolding further and further. It’s just the beginning.

Vladimir Seroshtan, deputy chairman of the central office of the Volunteer Society of Assistance of Army, Aircraft and Fleet in Belarus:
Belarus doesn’t seem to have external enemies, nobody attacks the border, tanks and planes are nowhere near, but still there is some kind of disturbance in the country.

Zygmund Valevach, member of the Standing Commission on National Security of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Belarus:
War arises in people’s consciousness, and then it can turn into some real military actions.

A chess set is a classical reflection of an armed conflict. Two armies, a front line and a clear idea of who your enemy is. But this was before the hybrid warfare appeared.

Chess has its own strategy and tactics, its own rules. But what if the rules of the game change and the knight moves four squares forward, what will happen next?

Sergei Zhigalko, a grand master:
It will be necessary to adapt to the new rules. And to win, a new strategy and new tactics will have to be developed.

The main principle of hybrid war is to use new influence forms going against all the existing rules. And everything begins with an attempt to divide citizens of one country into those who are for and those who are against.

Zygmund Valevach, member of the Standing Commission on National Security of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Belarus:
This influence leads to the fact that many people who are not even Arabs are in the ranks of the Islamic State . Therefore, Belarus has to work on this matter. It includes patriotic education of people and morality. The civic stand of people is not an exception.

Information resources are actively used to spread influence. The Islamic State is one of the brightest examples.

Valentin Starichenok, a political scientist:
The social networks that show the atrocity of the Islamic State turn into an influence tool of the organization. It is necessary to prevent this in every possible way.

But a cyberattack is another way to do it through the Internet. Its aim is to destabilize the economy.

Stanislav Knyazev, doctor of legal sciences, professor, and rector of the International University MITSO (International University of Labor and Social Relations):
Cyberattacks destroy the financial and the economic status. If economic relations are destroyed by means of cyberattacks (viruses), then it becomes easy to solve problems by force of soft psychological influence and attacks.

Substitution of values is another attribute of hybrid warfare. Special emphasis is made on history and religion. History can be rewritten but religion needs to be treated with a required sense only. The Arab Spring is an example.

Vladimir Seroshtan, deputy chairman of the Volunteer Society of Assistance of Army, Aircraft and Fleet central office in the Republic of Belarus:
Religious contradictions happen to take place. Christians, Muslims and some other branches of Islam, which see only the militant side of their religion. If these methods don't work, soldiers of fortune go into battle. They prefer to hide their faces under masks, and instead of real names they have fake ones.

Sergei Borich, veteran of the State Security Committee of the Republic of Belarus:
It is guerrillas, which are not part of armed forces. It’s all voluntary troops, the so-called semi-military structures, and private military organizations.

The new Military Doctrine considers all these factors. Despite the fact that the Belarusian Army is one of the most mobile in the region, its border, airspace, and Internet are under fixed control. No one is going to divide the list of threats into real and potential ones.

Alexander Ivanovsky, First Doctor of Engineering, professor, first pro-rector of the Academy of Public Administration under the Aegis of the President of the Republic of Belarus:
A whole series of measures is being taken in Belarus so that the country can sufficiently react to the new changes.

Hybrid warfare: why is it mentioned in Belarus’ new Military Doctrine?