Last December, the journal Aerospace Forces: Theory and Practice (published by the Zhukovsky and Gagarin Air Force Academy) published an extremely curious article on how the Russian military is going to counter the American military strategy called the multi-sphere (or multi-domain) operation...
The essence of this concept, which is being developed by the Pentagon, is a preemptive massive attack on the enemy by all available means. The authors of the material considered it possible at the initial stage "to conduct an air operation and disrupt an integrated massive air strike by inflicting unacceptable damage to the enemy through the complex use of elements of the reconnaissance and strike system of a group of forces...".
That is, in the event of a threat of the outbreak of war, Russian military scientists believe, it is necessary to strike at NATO's "critical targets" with the help of aircraft, drones, missiles, electronic warfare equipment, and new hypersonic vehicles, depriving the enemy of the opportunity to attack.
The basis of the American doctrine of the "multi-domain operation", which Russian scientists are going to fight and information about which appeared in the media at the beginning of the last decade, is that the NATO armed forces, if an open war breaks out, will be able to coordinate and simultaneously start operating in the "domains" - on land, at sea, in the air, in cyberspace and space under a single operational command. This doctrine differs from the previous ones in that before, each branch or branch of the armed forces acted, albeit in connection with others, but separately.
It is believed that the "multi-domain operation" will be applied in the event of a war with more or less equal opponents - for example, with China or with Russia, and it is very different from the doctrine of "local wars", which was widely used by the Pentagon in the late 1990s - early 2000s. The differences relate primarily to the very structure of the army, the development of new types of weapons and strategic planning.
It seems that another American concept - the "Rapid Global Strike", according to which to achieve superiority over the enemy was to be achieved with the help of strategic non-nuclear means - by striking them at his nuclear forces, has also remained in the past.
Now, according to experts, in order to implement the new concept, it is possible to enlarge tactical formations in the American army, when divisions, corps and armies will be created instead of brigade combat groups.
Russian scientists are confident that the "multi-domain operation" will necessarily begin with a strike with hypersonic missiles, and only then will operational-tactical and cruise missiles, drones, and then manned aircraft enter the battle:
“The application of an IMVU (massive air strike) will allow already in the first hours of the conflict to neutralize domestic control facilities of the aviation group, nuclear missile forces, aerospace defense systems, energy, communications, military and state control, reconnaissance and combat control, as well as the most combat-ready military formations...".
The Russian concept implies "simultaneous deep engagement of critical targets that provide an integrated massive air strike located in the first and second echelons of the defending enemy..." with the help of artillery and tactical missile systems, aircraft, helicopters and drones.
Since Russia does not have the means for a massive strike, it should rationally use the means at its disposal with the help of intelligence and information transmission systems.
The new high-precision strategic non-nuclear hypersonic missile Kinzhal ("Dagger)" is very suitable for this. The article does not say anything about the use of nuclear weapons, however, it does not say anything about its non-use. But scientists propose "to move from the policy of deterring a potential enemy with nuclear weapons to the policy of intimidating the infliction of unacceptable complex destruction on him by all types of weapons in the framework of preventive actions..." And this means the creation of a new doctrine.
Air Force experts draw attention to the fact that although the article in the electronic journal "Aerospace Forces: Theory and Practice" was written by the academy's scientists Vladilen Stuchinsky and Mikhail Korolkov, nevertheless, one can already conclude that the Russian military concept can change. They believe that the very appearance of such a scientific article suggests that Russia is already confident in its strike potential:
"This indirectly indicates that there are corresponding long-range high-precision weapons that can be used for this kind of tasks..."
Russian military expert Ilya Kramnik believes that the concept of a preemptive strike described in the article is extremely dangerous, since there are fewer and fewer channels of communication and dialogue between Russia and the West:
"We have such a fog of war..."
In his opinion, publications of this kind serve only to escalate tensions in relations, and besides, they are dangerous by an erroneous assessment of forces:
“This news instills false confidence in the possibility of solving certain problems between Russia and the West by military means. And there is no such solution. (...) Any successful operation from either side with a very high probability may entail escalation up to the exchange of strikes of strategic nuclear forces.
Kramnik is confident that NATO is far superior to Russia in military power, and therefore the preemptive strike, which the authors of the article hope for, will not be a victory:
"Roughly speaking, this is the situation at Pearl Harbor - the Japanese have punched in, but then what?.."