Political Analysis or Fortune-Telling by Crystal-Ball? Western Think Tanks' Challenges with Forecasting Putin's War
This article analyzes major western think tanks’ forecasts, experts’ opinions, and US and UK media content regarding the future of Ukraine-Russia relationships in the year preceding Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Though the Russian-Ukrainian war has been ongoing since the occupation of Crimea and quasi-republics (“Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics”) were established in 2014, not many political analysts foresaw the coming of the bloodiest and most devastating war since WWII. At the same time, Big Data content analysis of US and UK media demonstrated the presence of markers of an approaching full-scale invasion. Correct-based estimation of the likelihood of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as Ukraine’s willingness and ability to protect its sovereignty, was crucial for shaping the appropriate response of the Collective West.
Lessons for NATO to Be Learned from Putin's War in Ukraine: Global Health Engagement, Interoperability, and Lethality
The Russian invasion of Ukraine exacts a heavy death toll of preventable morbidity and mortality of warfighters and vulnerable civilian communities. Global Health Engagement (GHE) with partner forces across the entire continuum of care, from the point of injury/wounding to rehabilitation, promote interoperability, medical readiness, and lethality. Owing to Russia’s recent tactical and combat movements in Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, and elsewhere in Europe, GHE activities offered by NATO and unilaterally by member states must increase. Multi-domain attacks by Russia, China, and other malicious actors exacerbate global health security risks and war-related injuries and illnesses. NATO-led GHE activities for warfighting in Ukraine can support foreign policy interests with targeted application and, in return, yield maximum benefits to NATO and member states. Medical readiness, interoperability, and lethality can be achieved through a coordinated effort across all medical actors to standardize the medical evacuation chain, conduct transparent deployment of mobile medical units, and increase access to damage control resuscitation and surgery through echelons of care. Sharing lessons learned helps Ukraine, as well as NATO and its member states. These main themes of effort will reduce preventable morbidity and mortality in support of warfighting and state sovereignty.
Excessive Brotherly Love? - 'Fraternity' of Russians and Ukrainians as a Russian Propaganda Narrative
This article aims to show, using evidence from cross-cultural studies, that the peoples of Ukraine and Russia differ significantly on the individualism-collectivism dimension that lies at the heart of national identity. It argues that the idea of Russian and Ukrainian fraternity is, in fact, a myth, based perhaps on some limited cultural accidentals or overly-broad categorizations of temperament and not on fundamental ideologies that undergird the society. Illusions of the fraternity are a product of propaganda based on a range of narratives about the countries (including Ukraine) Russia considers its “area of influence” and has been unsuccessfully trying to return under its control. Understanding the motivations of Russia, a state with a legacy of authoritarianism and consistently strong ideological opposition to democratic values, is key to making sense of such narratives and the logic behind them. Cross-cultural studies provide insights for a broader understanding of inherent differences between Russian and Ukrainian peoples. Approximately 50 percent of the variation in national cultural orientations is unique to the country and is rooted in the lasting differences in historic developmental trajectories. Of particular interest is the relationship between individualism and collectivism in Russian and Ukrainian cultures and its respective impact on the institutions, as these dimensions are among the most distinctive for cultural variation. The author argues that one can discern clear distinctions in cultures by observing the distinct evolution and varying importance of institutions.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine and Ukraine’s subsequent and ongoing combat successes have proven that agile, adaptive leaders can triumph against a better-equipped enemy. The foundational educational reforms within the Ukrainian Armed Forces, begun in 2018, have paid incalculable dividends. This article examines Ukraine’s Professional Military Education (system) before and during the war and proposes a policy to continue to prioritize training and education now and in the future.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has made iterative changes to its National Security Strategy (NSS) to bolster its position in the world. The initial intent of the NSS was to provide aspirational foreign policy goals and ambitions the Kremlin could work towards. In 2021, President Putin viewed Russia to be in a position to change the Kremlin’s status in the world and decided to take action. In addition to publishing the 2021 NSS, President Putin also penned a personal history essay about Russia and Ukraine. President Putin’s article provides the Kremlin with a narrative to garner popular domestic support and superficial justification for Russia’s actions against Ukraine. The ultimate goal of the NSS is to reestablish the Cold War world order. President Putin is using Ukraine as a means to reassert Russia’s position in the world while at the same time attempting to discredit the Euro-Atlantic rules-based order.
Despite the brutality of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, support or sympathy toward Russia is shown by some actors on the international stage. This could be attributed to the multi-facet information warfare conducted by Russia and its strategic partner China. However, the analysis of information warfare during the current war remains scattered. This article, therefore, adopts a documentary analysis of relevant documents and media sources to conceptualize the forms of information warfare used by these two countries to contribute to future studies. It then proceeds to discuss that the Russia-Ukraine war implies a growing use of information warfare in present and future wars under digitalization. Facing a growing threat posed to people’s cognitive understanding, the democratic community has to be aware of this increasingly dangerous military strategy and develop corresponding solutions. This article suggests that different societal stakeholders must collaborate to develop comprehensive education and thus strengthen digital citizenship. This is vital to nurturing people into critical and responsible citizens, thus equipping themselves with the resilience needed to combat information warfare.
The massive incorporation of advanced information and communication technologies in ships, ports, traffic, and cargo management increases efficiencies but also creates vulnerabilities. Various malicious actors are willing to exploit access through the cyber domain to gain certain benefits. This article examines cyber risks and threats in the maritime cyber domain and reviews applicable European, US, and international norms, standards, and frameworks aiming to promote cybersecurity. The author outlines six lines of effort focusing on information sharing, awareness raising, certification, and resilience.
While developments in cyber technologies have advanced the propagation and reach of hybrid warfare, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated many vulnerabilities and critical dependencies. This article explores the fundamental aims and strategies of hybrid warfare in terms of psychological underpinnings and technological reach and links to emerging issues of disinformation, cybercrime, fake news, information trauma, and the influence of new modes of education on national security and state resilience.
This article examines the notions of authoritarianism and neo-authoritarianism as well as their features in terms of ideology, mentality, mobilization, and politicization of a population, state control, level of political pluralism, and leadership style. Incorporating evidence from reviews, surveys, and scientific research, the study identifies the main difference between the regimes and opposition to democracy, providing samples throughout history with different characteristics, causes, and backgrounds. It presents a vision of authoritarianism as an intermediate stop on the path of a particular state to democracy or totalitarianism. Finally, this article reflects upon Ukraine’s future in the European paradigm and contrasts it with Russia. Ukraine is at a crossroads and must continue to carefully navigate toward the institutionalized democracy it has begun to establish.
This editorial article introduces the reader to the rationale for revisiting the subject of leadership in the defense and security sector, highlights
the challenges of analyzing the topic during the ongoing Russian war in Ukraine, and then presents the content of this special issue of Connections:
The Quarterly Journal. The contributors address diverse topics, such as the elicitation of desired leadership traits on the basis of the curricula of selected courses of the NATO School Oberammergau, the experience of China in introducing Western leadership concepts in the education and training of future military leaders, the experience of Ukraine in leading the enhancement of human resource management in the ministry of defense as part of the capabilities-based planning process, and the dangers for Ukraine in falling into the trap of authoritarian leadership during the current war with Russia. Three additional articles examine the interconnections between leadership in communication, respectively, in Hungary’s law enforcement organizations, the impact on organizational design, and the role of strategic narratives in Taiwan’s soft power and its positioning in the Indo-Pacific region.
This article analyzes structure and function in the network design of historical regimes of China and Western Europe to build a theory for the development of societies and states from endogenous mechanisms of social change. It shows how their respective network structures evolved independently but share a global property: both are small worlds, meaning that any node in the network can reach any other node by a small number of steps. Probing the variations in network topologies and their role in diffusion and scaling, the author accounts for differences in formal institutions, interpersonal trust, cultural norms, and moral protocols. Network structure as an independent variable moves the discussion of the divergence of East and West beyond the conventional, centralized China versus decentralized Europe debate. It allows us to identify an overlooked driver of structural change in the polity, helping to discern better what sets the development of world civilizations apart.
Information warfare, including strategic communications, is becoming ever more crucial in defending national interests and competing globally. Therefore, organizations are increasingly employing strategic communications within the information environment to pursue the organization’s mission and goals. Unfortunately, many organizations lack strategic, structural, and environmental alignment, resulting in reduced efficiency and effectiveness of strategic communications. This article explores the current structure of many organizations defending and competing in a turbulent information environment, proposes a different configuration that balances efficiency and effectiveness, outlines the importance of innovation, and emphasizes the strategic role of leadership throughout the organization and change process.
Chains, Continuums, and Virtuous Cycles: Parsing Taiwan’s Strategic Narratives and Soft Power Leadership in the Indo-Pacific
Following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in late 2019, Taiwan’s international profile rose to prominence. Its public diplomatic campaign in distributing then-depleted stocks of facemasks provided a degree of international solidarity in a growing atmosphere of economic nationalism. Its government-led strategy of preventative measures that kept normalcy on the island while large swaths of the world entered restrictive lockdowns also became a model of resilient public health policies and trust in government directives. Capitalizing on these developments, Taiwan’s soft power approach toward its constrained international profile also took on new prominence as it sought to leverage its technological leadership in the context of disrupted, vulnerable global supply chains. This article analyzes Taiwan’s strategic narratives as it invests in conceptualizing an arena of increased great power contestation: the Indo-Pacific. It focuses on how elite narratives have employed several discursive strategies that increasingly aim to redirect and reorient supply chains to meet the (un)certainties of geopolitical ideological positioning.
Hofstede created his theory with its dimensions by working with various private companies. In 2021, the author had the opportunity to do all this for an organization that trains civil service employees. The central question of his research was how to integrate Hofstede’s dimensions concerning managerial communication into an environment based on other cultural and ethical foundations. The quantitative analysis employed a questionnaire consisting of closed and open-ended questions. Staff and students of the Faculty of Law Enforcement, University of Public Service, responded to the questionnaire. The responses were processed using statistical tests suitable for confirming or refuting a hypothesis. The new research findings indicate that it is worth considering how the six dimensions set up by Hofstede could improve law enforcement if incorporated into leadership awareness during leadership training.
Leadership in Developing a Strategy for Military Human Resource Management as Part of Capabilities-Based Defense Planning
The purpose of this article is to examine what attributes of a strategic leader, such as qualities, capabilities, and behaviors, matter for the development and implementation of a strategy for military human resource management examined within the capabilities-based defense planning process. Exploring the strategy algorithm presented here may offer military leaders new insight into the practical application of their specific characteristics in human resource management.
A review of the existing literature reveals little evidence of setting the development of a human resource management strategy in view of strategic leaders’ specific features. Therefore, this article provides a SWOT analysis for each phase of military personnel management as it is incorporated in the defense planning process, oriented toward developing requisite defense capabilities.
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is currently a hybrid social system that ideologically has retained the core values of the Marxist doctrine, which, unlike its predecessors, can adapt and innovate in response to changing circumstances. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and public administration underwent a series of deep reforms that enabled them to become a facilitator rather than a hindrance to development. The meritocratic leader selection system known as “selection and election,” consistent with the Confucian tradition and adopting some western leadership principles, played a significant role.
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is also considering the application of Western leadership principles not typically associated with the military. However, no evidence exists that the PLA systematically seeks to apply these concepts. The PLA is likely to complete defense reform and enhance the combat capabilities of its strategic and new types of forces, establishing a high level of strategic deterrence and complex systems for conducting joint combined operations. Towards that end, PLA applies Western non-military leadership principles and a mission-oriented leadership model, considering Chinese specificity.
Based on indirect Chinese, Russian, American, and Hungarian sources, the article presents contemporary Chinese socialism, analyzes the impact of political, social, economic, and defense reforms and the significance of leadership on China’s development, describes Western and Chinese leadership theories, and outlines China’s development prospects.
On the future of the PRC, the author states that, unlike other communist parties that gained power with foreign help, the CCP is indigenous and has national roots. Therefore, it is unlikely to collapse due to mass discontent. More likely, the Party will continue to transform the country and itself in the coming years and continue its rule. It is conceivable, however, that this transformation will eventually lead to a top-down revolution that will gradually break down the foundations of socialism.
Military personnel with leadership roles may be expected to require some additional specialist training to be more effective in the NATO context, given its multinational environment. That includes the command of forces not necessarily from their own country. To describe and evaluate such leadership expectations, this article examines NATO training and uncovers the expectations defined by the training. The analysis of five courses offered by the NATO School Oberammergau helps determine these expectations in the specific areas for specific ranks and the value-added of the training and its content. For example, non-commissioned officers with ranks OR-4/OR-5 are expected to lead in interoperability, OR-6/OR-7 in rules of engagement, combating trafficking in human beings and tackling organized crime, and OR-8/OR-9 in international ethics and law of armed conflict. Commissioned officers with ranks OF-4/OF-9 are expected to lead in integrity-building and anti-corruption activities. Between 2015 and 2021, there have been a total of 1 555 trainees on these five courses that, given their ranks, could mean that they would be leading over 85 000 subordinates in deployment.
The first quantum computers are becoming a reality, and scientists working in various areas look forward to taking advantage of their enormous computational potential. At the same time, the high performance of quantum computers imposes serious risks for cybersecurity. We can expect an arms race between rival parties: a defensive side trying to ensure the privacy and dependability of stored and transmitted information and their adversaries. With this article, the authors aim to provide an overview of the status of quantum computer development, project the next steps, and investigate the impact future quantum systems may have on cybersecurity and military operations. We first discuss the basic aspects that differentiate quantum computing from classical computing and find that analogies between both domains are quite limited. The world of quantum computers is remarkably diverse already, and we elaborate that quantum simulators and universal quantum computers have “qubits” in common but still work in fundamentally different ways. Since security experts focus on upcoming trends in quantum computing, we take a look at the latest technologies and at the race for first reaching “quantum supremacy.” Finally, we provide a detailed analysis of the specific risks future quantum computers represent for established cryptosystems and conclude that asymmetric algorithms like the RSA protocol are particularly vulnerable. The dangers of quantum computing for cryptography are obvious, as is the high relevance of the safety of stored and transmitted data to the defense sector. However, we examine the capability spectrum of quantum technologies and discover that breaking asymmetric encryption algorithms is just one facet, and other features like Grover’s quantum algorithm may revolutionize the logistics of the armed forces. Satellite Quantum Key Distribution is another promising concept that may change the communication between military units. To NATO, quantum computing is a double-edged sword: the alliance needs to use the developments to benefit from the potential and be ready to counter the cyber threats. We derive ideas of what NATO should do in order to prepare for the quantum era.
The important topic of cybersecurity relative to the fight against corruption in the context of global challenges in the pandemic and post-pandemic world requires further research. The purpose of this article is to identify and analyze current and prospective cybersecurity issues in this context by applying general-scientific and special-legal methods of cognition. Using the dialectical method, theoretical background, and contemporary views on ensuring cybersecurity served to investigate the key current challenges. Formal-legal and comparative methods allowed to recommend measures to enhance cybersecurity in view of the massive digitalization and social transformations. The authors emphasize the need to establish a national cybersecurity policy based on society’s information literacy and culture, combining respect to traditional and historical values with a modern understanding of multicultural communication and well-being.
This article examines the issue of hate speech on social media from the perspective of the security system of the Czech Republic and its tools designed to provide internal security and the necessary legislative amendments to allow law enforcement agencies to address this issue effectively. In the current approach to cyberspace, social networks are becoming a vehicle for the persistent spreading of hate-based ideologies, and this needs to be prevented.