• News
  • Celebrities
  • Finance
  • Crypto
  • Travel
  • Entertainment
  • Health
  • Others

The Russian Approach To Counterinsurgency

Via Abu Muqawama — who has a Jay Z-like approach to his retirement from blogging — here’s a C.J. Chivers piece in today’s New York Times about Russia’s twilight counterinsurgency in Chechnya. U.S. counterinsurgency doctrine currently privileges economies of force, the cultivation of both local knowledge and local proxies, and parallel-tracked assistance to bolstering local economies and structures of governance. The Russian approach is to burn things down.

The men who set fire to Valentina Basargina’s house arrived in the stillness of 3 a.m. There were three of them. Each wore a camouflage uniform and carried a rifle. One held a can of gasoline. They wore masks.

They led Ms. Basargina and her son outside and splashed gasoline in their two rooms, she and her relatives said. One man produced a T-shirt, knotted onto a stick. It was damp with gas.

“This is for the one who is gone,” he said in thickly accented Russian. Ms. Basargina’s nephew had recently disappeared; the police had said he joined the small but smoldering insurgency fighting for Chechnya’s independence from Russia.

The man lit the torch and tossed it inside. The air whooshed. Flames shot through the house.

For every counterinsurgent, there’s an equal and opposite reaction — the one who says it’s foolish to coopt your enemies; you should be pounding them into oblivion. Think, say, Donald Rumsfeld, or Cavil, the Cylon on “Battlestar: Galactica.” In this case, however, the Russians actually did pound the Chechen capitol, Grozny, into oblivion. And yet the insurgency, after a period of regrouping, continues.

But wait, you say. Be fair to Rumsfeld and Cavil. Isn’t the Russian objective in Chechnya no more than retaining control of it? And isn’t the Chechen insurgency little more than an annoyance? Doesn’t the Russians’ cavalier attitude toward brutality amount to as much of a guarantee of success as is possible?

Perhaps. But it’s a vicious circle. Every time Russia demonstrates its iron grip, each smaller act of Chechen resistance takes on a greater significance: there’s one who slipped away. Russia is forced to expend ever-greater resources to scorch the earth ever more completely. In a sick but strategic way, the cost of Chechen insurgency decreases, in the sensible calculation that Russia will eventually exhaust itself and look to cut a deal. In the meantime, of course, Chechen civilians die, and the survivors suffer state terror attacks like the one Chivers reports. So it’s not entirely the case that the insurgency holds the cards as brutality increases — after all, a first-order goal for Chechen insurgents is not to sacrifice their entire populace in the pursuit of liberation.

Still, the rabbit hole here is fairly clear: it’s much, much more cost-intensive, in terms of both human life (most importantly) and Russian treasure, to deepen its brutality in the morass of Chechnya than it would be to adopt a strategy of cooptation. The U.S. military, of course, never would in a million years propose adopting Russian tactics in Iraq, Afghanistan or anywhere else. But still, it’s an illustration of where indiscriminate force can lead.

Discussion & Comments (0)

    Recent Articles

    • Things You Should Know about North America

      Things You Should Know about North America

      Get to know more about North America.

    • Eurovision 2010 Paula Seling Unpredictable Contest

      Eurovision 2010 Paula Seling Unpredictable Contest

      Paula Seling's experience on the Eurovision stage led her to declare that "Eurovision is an unpredictable contest". Which may explain the success of the young Lena from Germany, about whom the predictions before the event did not offer much chances for victory.

    • VIPRow.me - The Best Sports Streaming Website Today

      VIPRow.me - The Best Sports Streaming Website Today

      Have you ever contemplated creating a user-friendly site dedicated to sports-related free live streaming channels?

    • Learn How To Download, Install, And Use The Xnxubd 2022 Frame App

      Learn How To Download, Install, And Use The Xnxubd 2022 Frame App

      XNXUBD 2022 Nvidia users are able to watch thousands of videos and other contents online. XNXUBD 2022 Nvidia New is a piece of software that enables people to watch videos online without having to pay for memberships. On a graphics card, the XNXubd also provides some of the best gaming and virtual reality experiences.

    • Xvideostudio Video Editor Apk Free Download For Pc Full Version In 2022

      Xvideostudio Video Editor Apk Free Download For Pc Full Version In 2022

      A new edition of the Video Editor Apk for xVideostudio.Video Studio has all the latest features, including support for multiple video download formats in HD, FHD, and even 4K resolutions.

    • 9 Best Lotion For Masturbation - Popular Choice For 2022

      9 Best Lotion For Masturbation - Popular Choice For 2022

      Masturbation is a common activity for men and women. It's a natural and risk-free way to explore your body, experience pleasure, and release sexual tension.

    • Reasons Why You Need To Stop Watching Movies From Sflix

      Reasons Why You Need To Stop Watching Movies From Sflix

      Without having to sign up or pay anything, you can watch movies online for free with SFlix. It has more than 10,000 movies and television shows.

    • Coi Leray Mom And Dad's Family History & Wife, Explained

      Coi Leray Mom And Dad's Family History & Wife, Explained

      Coi Leray Collins (born May 11, 1997) is a rapper from the United States. Leray started publishing songs to SoundCloud in 2014, and in 2018 she released her breakthrough track "Huddy" as well as her first mixtape, Everythingcoz.

    • Listen And Download Music On MyFreeMP3 For Free

      Listen And Download Music On MyFreeMP3 For Free

      Are you in a bind and looking for a place to obtain free mp3 songs? Never again will you need to bother, since this article has everything necessary to obtain your solution. Download free music from MyfreeMP3.com, one of the world's most popular websites.