Reconsidering Russian Maritime Warfare

CIMSEC – How might Russian maritime forces be brought to bear against the United States and its allies? This question is particularly critical as fears of inadvertent escalation in Ukraine increase. Understanding the answer requires a close reading of what Russian military theorists themselves write about warfare, matched with an examination of maritime geography; combat power; and intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and targeting (ISR-T). Constraints in all of these areas mean that rather than solely seeking out targets at sea for a series of navy-on-navy fights, Russian maritime forces are likely to be more effective at operations that focus on striking “critical objects” on land rather than ship-to-ship combat at sea.