From the national security strategy – towards a global perspective and strategic design
Material posted: Publication date: 20-06-2017
The article analyzes the updated national security Strategy of the Russian Federation. Presents the author's approach to the appointment of doctrinal documents. The necessity of development of state strategy of Russia, overcoming the well-established spatial and temporal boundaries.

At the end of 2015, Vladimir Putin approved a national security Strategy of the Russian Federation. During the Soviet period this is the fifth doctrinal document of this kind. In June 1996, Boris Yeltsin has addressed to Federal Meeting with a special message on national security. In December 1997 approved the national security Concept of the Russian Federation. In the future documents approved by Vladimir Putin in January 2000 – a new concept of national security, and after more than nine years, may 12, 2009, the national security Strategy of the Russian Federation until 2020.

Taking into account the chronology and other circumstances, a natural question arises regarding the released document why he approved it on 31 December 2015, why it had to be, how it differs from the previous Word etc., it makes sense to think about it. Due to the military origin of the concept of "strategy" and the extensive use of military terminology in political struggle and rhetoric allowed the titles of the subsections to give accordingly.

We are surrounded by?

Concerning the release date of the updated document, there is an official explanation. According to the Federal law of June 28, 2014 № 172-FZ "On strategic planning in the Russian Federation" (article 18) the Strategy should be adjusted every six years. Since the previous Strategy was approved in 2009, the updated document had to be adjusted and approved at least until the outcome of 2015. This is a chronological fact stated in his interview prefacing the release of the doctrinal document, and the Secretary of Security Council of Russia Nikolai Patrushev[1]. In General, one should positively assess the fact that in Russia gradually formed the doctrinal and legal basis regulating the sphere of national security and defense of the country.

Subject to the regulations of the law on strategic planning is clear and that is why the title of the new edition of the Strategy without referring to a specific time interval of validity of the document. It will be recalled that the validity of the previous document were determined up to 2020, i.e., to expire in five years.

In addition to the requirements of the law, there are other, very significant, circumstances. So, you can easily find that in six years a lot has changed in the sphere of ensuring national and international security. Suffice it to mention the prevalence of the overthrow of the ruling regimes in several Arab countries, an illegal seizure of power and the political crisis in Ukraine and its consequences, the civil war in Syria. Can not the Russian Federation to leave without reaction the US desire for global domination (when all good, until the mass bloodshed), expansionist military activities of NATO, the attempts to undermine strategic stability. It is easy to call and other circumstances.

About the growing confrontation in the international arena is evidenced by the official Declaration of Russia a number of political actors an enemy or an aggressor. Very eloquent in this respect, the Military doctrine of Ukraine, approved by Petro Poroshenko in September 2015[2]. NATO military activities aktiviziruyutsya in the Baltic States, Moldova, and other nearby Russian regions. In fact, around our country are consistently hostile environment.

Outright hostility to Russia regularly comes from a major global player in contemporary global politics. In the national security Strategy of the United States, approved by Barack Obama in Feb 2015, our country appeared with the Ebola virus and terrorist Islamic state in the list of the main problems for Washington[3]. A lot of accusations against the "aggressive" Russia contained in the National military strategy of the US (June 2015)[4]. Militant anti-Russian rhetoric finds its reflection in practical work in the form of sanctions, attempts to isolate our country, etc.

Thus, there is sufficient evidence of aggravation of international tension, its channeling and as a result, folding is very unfavorable situation for Russia. There is an effect "besieged fortress". Legitimate to conclude that the circumstances of the foreign nature became the dominant determinant of policy formulation and implementation of security of the Russian Federation, the doctrines of which were formalized in an updated national security Strategy.

But we're not giving up?

A detailed description of the global status quo and place of Russia in it contains the second section of the Strategy. It should be noted that this characteristic differs significantly from the provisions of the document 2009. Even its volume considerably more than the same section in the previous document.

However, more important than the volume for the specialist content. It, along with a limited amount of statement positive for Russia trends in the world contains a rather extensive list of threats to national security and assesses what is happening in the world. Declared that our country has an open foreign policy that excludes costly confrontation, "the goal of the Russian Federation is to acquire as many equal partners in the different parts of the world" (V. 28).

The document specifically named, with which countries and international institutions Russia intends to cooperate in the pursuit of their interests. In the global dimension we are talking about the preference for Russia by the UN as the main institution of international security and stability. Among other organizations, in fact, on a global scale called BRICS, RIC, SCO, APEC, the Group of twenty. In the post-Soviet space and adjacent regions a priority for Russia identified the CIS, CSTO, Eurasian economic Union, the Union state of Russia and Belarus.

When this shift occurred inappropriate from today's perspective, the emphasis in the past were contained in an earlier document, the Declaration on the establishment of a common West spaces in economy, external and internal security, education, science, culture, intention to form an open Euro-Atlantic system of collective security, the desire to build an equal and full-fledged strategic partnership with the USA based on coinciding interests. It turns out, stress is particularly that the strategy of Russia for six (!) years on a number of parameters have changed diametrically.

The main section of the Strategy is the fourth ("national security"). It reveals the strategic national priorities. Their total number increased in comparison with the document of 2009, but the first continues the country's defence and state and public security. Followed by improving the quality of life of Russian citizens; economic growth; science, technology and education; health; culture; ecology of living systems and rational use of natural resources; strategic stability and equal strategic partnership.

There is still appropriate to ask the question: how valid and logically the end of section problems of strategic stability and equitable strategic partnership? Common sense dictates the appropriateness of their presentation in the second section. So, incidentally, was the Strategy 2009.

In General, however, the fourth section reveals sequentially the implementation of each of these strategic national priorities. In the updated Strategy a lot of attention is paid to combating the spread in the Russian society of radical ideology. In the section on national security, repeatedly stressed the need for the reliable functioning of critical infrastructure of society and the state. Noteworthy is the inclusion of information security – in all its guises – practically in all subsections outline the implementation of strategic national priorities.

As summarized in the above interview Secretary of Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev, "the essence of the Strategy to strengthen the unity of Russian society, ensuring social stability, interethnic consent and religious tolerance, elimination of structural imbalances in the economy, increasing the country's defense".

The choice of the leadership of the Security Council in favor of this approach becomes more clear if we refer to some alarming facts. On the validity of concerns about the implications of the spread in our country the ideas of radicalism and extremism indicate the data given in April 2016, the Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia Alexander Bastrykin [Bastrykin 2016: 20]. They testify to the highly negative dynamics of offences of an extremist nature in 2015 compared to the previous one:

  • the increase in the number of extremist crimes up 28.5%;
  • the growth of crimes in the form of public calls for extremist activities and excitation of hatred or enmity, and humiliation of human dignity – almost 40%;
  • the increase in the number of crimes of terrorist nature – 36,3%;
  • the increase in the number of terrorist crimes in North Caucasus Federal district and 32.3%.

Hence the understanding and meaning of the measures taken to combat extremism and terrorism, including measures of a military nature, in the form of, for example, establishment of national guard troops (decree of the President about creation of which was signed a few days before the article was A. I. Bastrykin). The objectives of Regardie shall in particular be:

  • participation in the protection of public order, public security and state of emergency;
  • participation in the fight against terrorism and in ensuring the legal regime of the counterterrorist operation;
  • participation in the fight against extremism;
  • participation in territorial defense.

However, it is noteworthy that the head of the Investigative Committee ultimately expressed its solidarity with the settings Strategy 2015 regarding the effects of the destructive impact on Russia and emphasizes that our country's "most destructive steel of the consequences of information war", in this connection, they proposed a number of measures to confront it.

It should be noted that from time to time in Russia the representatives of the top authorities voiced dissatisfaction with the current practice of governance "manual mode", the intention to move from the practice of distributing assignments and monitoring their implementation to project activities. From this inevitably follows giving a motivating sense of a government strategy to ensure unity of action on all management levels. Moreover not disappeared objective of public policy and the masses. "Manual control" just doesn't achieve.

State strategy as the science of victory

According to the results of acquaintance with the content of Strategy statements by senior Russian officials, as well as the direction taken by practical action in the field of national security, without denying the necessity of combating subversive actions against our country lawfully to summarize the following.

First. The essence of the official assessment of the causes of the status quo prevailing in the sphere of ensuring national security of Russia, is to ensure that the negative processes in the country is determined mainly targeted hostile destructive impact from the outside.

Second. Assessing the mechanism of response to such exposure inherent in the Strategy and implemented in practice, it is legitimate to say that it generated a) taking into account almost only parry incoming strikes and b) involves, mainly, the political measures for the consolidation of the nation. That is, in essence, he is re–active (namely, non-offensive and passive) in nature.

Hence it makes sense to try to deal with that, does Russia have a strategy as such, we understand a) document and b) as the programme of action. And whether it is necessary generally?

First we note that at the stage of Strategy development 2009 marked a productive trend on the linking, the synthesis processes of national security and development of the country, which was supposed to be reflected in a single doctrinal document [Nazarov 2007: 3-9]. However, this did not happen. References to "the indissoluble interrelation and interdependence of" national security and development contained in the Strategy 2015.

Meanwhile, the "strategy" – not an empty phrase, the use of this concept in the name of doctrinal document binding. Without going into details and arguments, you should specify that the strategy is intended to be a is actually a desire for the future. Not accidentally, the strategy is often determined through the use of the concept "project". In this regard, by the way, it should be noted that the very phrase "strategic planning" so often used in the political lexicon of Russia, there is a certain illogic: after all, the scheduling is static, it is only the creation of a plan and not the project or program.

When we speak of strategy as on the drawing of the image of the desired future and longing for him, his creation, for a start, it is impossible not to wonder about what time perspectives involved. In the long term, as you know, in politics the winner is the one who is able to think "centuries and continents". Undoubtedly, it is permissible to discuss on the establishment of specific time frame of the strategy. However, in our case, it is clear that the document, the validity of which clearly defined the six years, can scarcely claim to be called strategy.

Articulated strategy is certificate claims to subjectivity, that there is not only clearly recognised by the public and the elite of the country's future and its place in the world, but, in General, the picture of the world, suiting the country. In other words, it is not about resistance to external pressure (the fate of Russia – constantly be under such pressure), and the transition to the strategic political offensive on the offer (if necessary – the imposition of) opponents and partners with their vision of the world order. To not stress management, and pretentious nature of the instruments and programs of this kind, it is appropriate to quote our compatriot Alexander Svechin, author of the best in the history of our country and recognized abroad labor "Strategy" (1926): "the Doctrine needs to be predatory and harsh, merciless defeat, and defeated. ...Doctrine is defined not only by the fact that every thought was accurately reported, communicated, understood and dutifully fulfilled – that the people spoke a single common language; the doctrine set large claims" [the attainment of the military... 1999: 201, 226].

Claim for great power status predicts the presence of the strategy commits to it. Are there any strategies of the leading actors in world politics? Yes, there are, and this is stated publicly.

So, the installation of the U.S. strategy remains unchanged during the centuries and decades. The key idea, most clearly characterize the purpose of the national security strategy of the United States 2015, stated: "It is aimed at proactively promoting our interests and values from a position of strength". The world again says:

  • America – above all, she is aware of his uniqueness and global responsibility;
  • your values and interests of America believes that universal will distribute, and defend them by force, including military force.

There are other convincing examples of successful and consistent policies.

Did our country projects, and claims an impressive spatial and temporal scale? Of course. Suffice it to recall the concept "Moscow – the Third Rome" of pre-revolutionary Russia or the program of construction of communism in the country and the world during the Soviet era. Characteristically, impressive success and recognition of our country was reached in the period of implementation of such projects. As you know, in many parts of the world the potential of Russia is still associated with the results of these projects, and that attracts us supporters.

Hence it is clear that the interests of the creation of the future require a attractive national and global project (of course, not project). The task of creating and implementing such a project is exceptional in its complexity. However, no obstacles can justify the lack of strategy and failure from its inception.

Besides Russia, despite all the failures and defeats of the last decades is something that is given to few people: in our mass consciousness at the genetic level has formed the mentality of winners, our identity is based on the ability to win. The mentality of our people and difficult to understand abroad responsible for the huge space created by previous generations.

In fact, strategy is "the Science of victory" on a national scale. It is science, not manual. Here I would like to remind and elementary truth of Marxism: theory becomes a material force when it has gripped the masses.

In conclusion, we note the following. Any policy associated with the imposition of their will, it is a well known axiom. Yet it turns out that such a will is imposed on us and we defend ourselves. Not if we demonstrate a passive position is the lack of will and lack of understanding of their future?

And here I would like to remind you of two truths, two focused on practice output:

  • one who does not have its own strategy, subject to someone else's strategy.
  • one who does not own the strategy loses in tactics.

On the basis of historical responsibility of our generation to ancestors and descendants, modern Russia needs to overcome spatial and temporal limitations of its state strategy.



[1] Patrushev N. P. Interview to "the Russian newspaper" 22.12.2015. Access: (tested 28.05.2016).

[2] the decree of the President of Ukraine from 24.09.2015 No. 555/2015 "On the decision of the Council of national security and defense of Ukraine of September 2, 2015 "About new edition of the Military doctrine of Ukraine". Access: (tested 28.05.2016). Translation in Russian, see the website of the Association of military political scientists

[3] 2015 National Security Strategy of the United States of America. (tested 27.05.2016)

[4] The National Military Strategy of the United States of America 2015. (tested 29.05.2016)

[5] A. I. Bastrykin 2016. It's time to put an effective barrier to the informational war, Kommersant Vlast. No. 15.

[6] Nazarov V. P. 2007. Strategic planning: now or then again? – The power. No. 11. P.3-9.

[7] the Comprehension of the art of war. The ideological legacy of A. Svechin (comp. A. E. Savinkin, A. G. Kavtaradze, T. Yu. Belov, I. V. Domnin). 1999. Moscow: the Russian military collection / Russian way, 696 p.

Belozerov, V. K.


Tags: strategy , analytical work