The role of intelligence in the prevention of surprise
Material posted: Publication date: 06-11-2018
How to ensure the strategic bodies of the country's leadership timely and accurate information about emerging threats.

The element of surprise, or just a surprise, is one of the key principles of military art, the essence of which is achieving success through actions that have the effect of surprise for the enemy. When used properly, both classic and hybrid military conflict the suddenness is one of the most effective principles to achieve the goals of the war with minimum losses and maximum efficiency.

Thus in a hybrid war using the element of surprise in many situations allows you to paralyze the opponent's will to resist, disrupt the control of the key spheres of public life of the country: administrative, political, financial-economic and cultural-ideological and, according to the American psychologist and military theorist Ross green, to achieve "the ideal of victory without bloodshed".

At the same time, it should be noted that the unique background to ensure surprise during the preparation and during the hybrid military conflict to a certain extent kompensiruet development of the General trend to improve all types of intelligence, surveillance and monitoring environment that creates conditions to prevent strategic and military-technical surprise attack.

The problem of prevention of surprise use by the aggressor of the complex hybrid threats is achieved by fulfilling the requirements of purpose, continuity, activity, accuracy, stealth, and quickness of intelligence, strict adherence to which makes it more difficult for the parties, preparing a surprise attack, stealth related activities. As a result in noticeable as the importance of the media in ensuring the surprise, and the adoption of measures to prevent surprise attack.

That exploration supplies a source material for prediction of hybrid threats and planning countermeasures.


In analytical work it is advisable to use a special term – "risk category" that reflects the likelihood of the sudden appearance of hybrid threats in those areas where they are currently almost absent. Timely identification of such areas allows to work in advance, time to focus exploration on the study of changes in the situation and open it at the beginning of its origin. The risk is a sign of potential danger to incur damage to the specific gravity and content, and the concept of "risk category" determines the level and possible consequences of hidden threats.

In a hybrid war and a color revolution risk category associated with an open assault on the vital interests of the state and nation. Risk analysis, which takes many forms is a significant factor in the development of intelligence operations in a hybrid war and a color revolution. This analysis should be an integral part of the risk management system in the political and military spheres, in the sphere of ensuring national security.

For example, reputational risks should be considered essential for the sustainability of coalitions, such as the CSTO, and their individual members, as well as the CIS and SCO, since the cohesion of members is a success factor in confronting the operations of the hybrid war and the technologies of color revolution. It follows that the ratio of individual States and coalitions to risk will have a decisive impact on the timeliness of the autopsy and the organization of counteraction to modern conflicts. In this regard, the essential early work on the formation of the unity of the coalition in opposition to threats.


Strategic forecast, the timely opening and the correct interpretation of the exploration of hybrid threats allows you to anticipate enemy decisions and choice of strategy of hybrid war. The development of countermeasures must take account of the important role of internal and external factors in the hybrid wars.

Common ways of countering hybrid threats are reduced to the reliable overlapping of channels of financing of subversive forces, the use of diplomatic means to isolate and punish the state sponsors, targeting all types of intelligence for an autopsy and identification of the leaders, the location of training camps and warehouses as priority targets of neutralization. Intelligence activities must take into account the build on the network principle of forces and means of the enemy, the entire control system. Priority should be given to improving territorial defense based on intelligence and counterintelligence.

Intelligence is involved and to assess the damage from a hybrid war, when you have to resort to comparison of the economic and strategic importance of the territories controlled by the rebels on one side and government forces on the other.

With timely autopsy training plans hybrid war to counter formed corresponding long-term political-military strategy, a special national (coalition) authority to coordinate intelligence at all levels, from strategic to tactical, and develop principled approaches for the effective and undetected use of special operations forces and strikes with precision weapons. Carefully determined areas that can be covered by a hybrid war, previously studied all their features.


In the planning and organization of intelligence it is important to understand that in modern conditions, the victory in the war do not have is the complete defeat of the armed forces of the opposing side, in their actual destruction or capture, the occupation, or the establishment of total control over enemy territory. The meaning of hybrid war is the disintegration of the military organism of the state-victim of aggression, destruction of key elements of the governmental authority, to achieve total mind control of the population, which requires a centralized system to counter this type of conflict.

Synergistic effect of hybrid threats makes them particularly dangerous to the entire system of national security of the country, which requires the timely opening of the threats intelligence on the basis of scientifically reasonable forecasting of the meaning and purpose of the enemy, determining the forces and means of a hybrid of aggression, subject to the impact of threats.

The feature of activity of intelligence in a hybrid war is necessary to obtain information about hidden subversive elements that operate in a network of isolated cells. In this context, in the regions covered by hybrid warfare, it may be useful to create a reconnaissance-strike groups with their own channels of timely, reliable and covert communication. Sources of information are independent search and extensive network of agents.

These and some other features of the intelligence determine the need to maintain high readiness of available forces and means of intelligence, their continuous improvement taking into account the processes of transformation of contemporary conflicts, latent formation of hybrid threats.


Today the leading role in solving the problems of the timely opening of the challenges and threats to Russia's security, including those associated with a hybrid war and color revolution, belongs to the state bodies of the Russian Federation: the Ministry of defence, the Federal security service, foreign intelligence Service and the National guard.

Prospecting activity within their powers is carried out:

  • Foreign intelligence service – in political, economic, military-strategic, scientific-technical and ecological areas;
  • the authority of the foreign intelligence, defense – in military, military-political, military-technical, military-economic and ecological spheres;
  • the bodies of the Federal security service – within the state borders of the Russian Federation in the following areas: counterintelligence, counter-terrorism, the fight against a particularly dangerous forms of crime, intelligence activities, border control activities, ensuring information security;
  • The national guard – to conduct exploration in the areas of performance of service-fighting tasks (organization and conduct of reconnaissance are determined by normative legal acts of the President of the Russian Federation).

It is necessary to emphasize the fact that military intelligence as an organ of the foreign intelligence service of the defense Ministry carries out a complex of measures for the extraction and the processing of data about existing or probable enemy, its military resources, military capabilities and vulnerabilities, as well as on the theater of operations. Military intelligence is an important form of combat support and combines the whole complex of available forces and means strategic, operational and tactical intelligence.


It was shown that today the Russian Federation has several intelligence agencies, whose areas of responsibility are inside the country and abroad overlap. In addition, reports on internal and external environment are received through the foreign Ministry, interior Ministry and several other departments.

On the one hand, this division of responsibilities helps to maintain a healthy competitive atmosphere, allows to compare data obtained from different sources, could lead to the creation of "information chaos" consumers of information at the strategic level, when significant, sometimes contradictory information may not receive proper evaluation or simply will not be noticed. As a result, the reaction of the organs of strategic leadership may prove to be inadequate, delayed or absent altogether.

A detailed analysis of the impact of the shortage of military-political generalizations as one of the reasons for the unwillingness of the Soviet Union to the great Patriotic war had a member-correspondent of the Academy of military Sciences Sergei Pershutkin in the article "the Fatal flaw" ("HBO" № 25 from 06.07.18). The scientist tried to answer a number of pressing issues of today. Supplemented by any facts contained in the certificates and reports for the head of the Soviet state, with the necessary generalizations? If it was only analytical or informational materials? Divided on whether tactical information from the strategic to the interests of state and military administration in the prewar period?

As a result of the analysis of all the above information it is possible to make an unambiguous conclusion that in order for the tragedy of June 1941 was not repeated, it is necessary not only political and military vigilance, but and organization with comprehensive expert and analytical activity as the basis of centralized countering hybrid threats in the interests of development and strategic decision-making.

Bartosz A. A.


Tags: armed forces , analytical work , USSR