Grand Strategy in the Age of Mass Destruction


On War Preparations and Secret Structures
Commentary for 23 February 2015


   “As shown by the preceding chapters on the nature and methods of waging modern war, victory in modern war is quite unthinkable without thorough and timely preparation of the country and the armed forces.”
                                - V.D. Sokolovskii, Soviet Military Strategy, p. 281


A recent piece in The European  depicts the EU sanctions against Russia as fundamentally misconceived. “The sanction policy is in no way, shape or form working,” says the article. The sanctions have failed because Putin “controls the perceptions” of the Russian population. Meanwhile, anti-war sentiment is gaining ground in Germany and all over Europe. Russian propaganda is gradually getting the upper hand. What this reveals, of course, is that the West has no strategy while Russia is all about strategy.

Chapter 7 of Marshal Sokolovskii’s classic work, Soviet Military Strategy, is titled, “Preparation of a Country to Repel Aggression.” It is perhaps the most important chapter in the book, which explains those steps which must be taken if victory is to be assured. The objective in this preparation, from the outset, is to seize the strategic initiative. Society itself must be ready to “stand up” under a “massive nuclear assault by the enemy, with minimum losses,” maintaining all the while a “high level of morale and will-to-win among the population.”

There are three “main lines” of preparation for war, according to the Soviet strategists: (1) preparation of the armed forces; (2) preparation of the national economy; and (3) preparation of the population. In terms of preparing the armed forces, it is necessary to build an arsenal of missile weapons with nuclear warheads. These are the principle weapons of war, all others being of secondary importance. To this day, Russia maintains the most advanced nuclear missile forces in the world, and it is now acknowledged that Russia enjoys battlefield nuclear superiority in Europe.

In terms of preparing the national economy for war, Russia continues to observe the principles set down in Sokolovskii’s book. Today, military industries have been moved to underground caves, bunkers and tunnels.  This is something the Russians have worked on for many years. Secret underground cities, such as the one located under Yamantau Mountain, are thought to include nuclear missile and warhead factories. Yamantau is one of several super-hardened underground sites which may, indeed, give Russia a virtually unassailable military-industrial base in the event of global war.

However important the preparations of the armed forces or the national economy might be, Soviet strategists have always insisted that the general population must not be left out of war preparations. Modern wars are not waged by military forces alone. They are waged by the whole people. The population must be taught to protect itself from nuclear attack, and it must be mobilized into a militia capable of performing various emergency functions. But most important of all is the “political preparation of the morale of the people.” This preparation is considered decisive (see pp. 458-459 of the Rand translation of Soviet Military Strategy). Preparation of the population for war translates as ideological indoctrination. A spirit of patriotism must be inculcated, “love of Motherland and … instilling in them the readiness to bear any of the hardships of war in the name of victory.” Strict indoctrination regarding the enemy’s wickedness is indispensable. “Hatred of the enemy should arouse the desire to destroy the armed forces and military-industrial potential of the aggressor and achieve complete victory in a just war.” At the same time, people “must be imbued with a belief in the might of our Armed Forces and with love for them.”

Today this is the rhetoric of the Russian media. America is blamed for the fighting in Ukraine. America is said to be plotting Russia’s destruction. At the same time, Russians are told that their military machine is invincible. NBC News reports, “Vladimir Putin Says Russia’s Military Might has No Match.” The political morale of the Russian people is being strengthened through positive messages of this kind. In Western Europe, however, we find disunity and confusion. There is no authoritative voice boasting of NATO's armed might. People are filled with uncertainty and fear. The idea of Ukrainian independence is called into question.  Even as these words are written, the Russian parliament is considering whether to declare Germany’s 1990 unification illegal.

As the text of Soviet Military Strategy states: “The political preparation of the morale of the people for war is directed … by every governmental and public organization in the country, and by the whole system of education and public information. For this purpose all of the instruments of propaganda and agitation are used….” (And yes, that would include the parliament, which has always been the rubber stamp of the old Soviet structures – hidden behind fake political parties, and fake parliamentary rules, and a fake constitution.)

The reason for breaking out an old Soviet military textbook is to show that Russia is still following Soviet ideas. At the same time, America does not seriously embark upon war preparations of its own. The American side does not place its key military industries under mountains, and does not teach its population the principles of nuclear civil defense (as the Russians do).  Even more critical, the American people have never received any schooling on the Russian threat. With rare exception, American schools do not teach students about the enemies of America. This was not even done at the height of the Cold War. In fact, Marxists were busy infiltrating U.S. schools and universities during the 1970s and 1980s. American students were more likely to receive indoctrination closer to that given in communist countries than to receive any proper orientation about a communist threat to the United States. And so, there was never any similarity between Russian war preparations and American war preparations. This is a fact that ought to make a deep impression, as it dispels the usual propaganda about the all-powerful U.S. military-industrial-complex.

Today, unfortunately, there is no serious U.S. war preparation at all. America is engaged in a supposed war against “terrorism.” Meanwhile the Russians lurk in the background, preparing for a different kind of war – deploying missiles and warships and new ground forces. That we have entered a pre-war phase should be abundantly clear. NATO Gen. Frederick Hodges recently said in a Wall Street Journal Interview: “I believe the Russians are mobilizing right now for a war that they think is going to happen in five or six years.” Former NATO Chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen has warned that Russia is likely to attack one of the Baltic States. “This is not about Ukraine,” said Rasmussen to the Daily Telegraph earlier this month. “Putin wants to restore Russia to its former position as a great power.”

But Rasmussen and Hodges have fallen short in their estimation. It is not about restoring Russia to its former greatness. It is about a sudden switch in the balance of power which completely overturns the existing global order. That is the game being played. That is the strategy at work. Here the intention is revolutionary, and world-transforming. But our generals and statesmen continue to think small, to see what is only before their eyes. One must see with the eyes of a strategist. One must recognize the pattern, the nuance, the relationship between past and present moves. Only then can the observer see what is unfolding.

When Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev says that America is “trying to involve the Russian Federation in an interstate military conflict” in order to instigate a regime change in Moscow, he is creating a pretext and a smokescreen for a vast Russian military mobilization which goes far beyond the restoration of the USSR. “The Americans are trying to … dismember our country via events in Ukraine,” says Patrushev. So what does America deserve, in reply? America is trying to "dismember" Russia, after all. So it is only right and proper that America be dismembered. That is what Patrushev is saying. Such is the real significance of his statement. When Rasmussen says this whole thing is “not about Ukraine,” we have to agree. Yet he is blind to the real target of Russia’s mobilization. The real target is not NATO, but America. And when America is defeated, every country on earth will bow to Russia.

There is every reason to be suspicious of events in Ukraine. For the crisis in Kiev provides an ongoing pretext for military mobilization. And it provides a justification for attacking the United States, especially if the Americans give weapons to Kiev. The crisis is ready-made for Putin, who showers Europe with threats. He can test Article 5 of the NATO Treaty. He can pound away until cracks appear in the alliance. Do the Germans want their cities leveled?  What about Poland and Romania?

What about America?

Even as the Russians mobilize, the American side unilaterally, spontaneously, implodes. Consider the headline, If Sequestration Hits, Russia and China May Beat our Military Technology, Top Pentagon Official Says. Get ready for Russia and China to overtake us militarily. Here is the bottom line when it comes to our war preparations. Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work told Congress that sequestration budget cuts are killing the U.S. military’s technological advantage over Russia and China. And why does the president insist on such a formula? Why does he refuse to negotiate a sensible budgetary solution with the Republicans in Congress?

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani recently told the New York Post that Obama was influenced by a communist, Frank Marshall Davis, since he was nine years old. Giuliani also talked about Rev. Jeremiah Wright. “He [Obama] spent 17 years in the church of Jeremiah Write,” said Giuliani, “and this is the guy who said ‘God damn America, not God bless America…. [and] Obama never left that church.” It seems that Mayor Giuliani has made an important point, which should have been made by dozens of other politicians before now. But they are all such cowards, unable to open their mouths except to utter small, pathetic, squeaks.

 Of course, the country is by no means about to rally around the former New York mayor. As likely as not the Republican Party will distance itself from Giuliani, and continue down the path of small squeaks. Clearly, we are not Americans anymore, but rather, “We are the world.” This abject lie, which tells the story of people who cannot be for themselves, is now the basis of our national thinking – which is not national at all. We are shoppers, consumers, and citizens of the planet. This is our present conceit, which may soon get millions of us killed. Dangerous nonsense is dangerous, and it doesn’t matter how warm and fuzzy it makes you feel. Warm and fuzzy, plus a disarmament treaty, will get you nuked.

Part II, A Romanian Correspondent

It is sometimes useful to look at the present crisis from an east European perspective. Last year I corresponded with Dr. Anca-Maria Cernea who was kind enough to keep me informed on the situation in Romania – an important country which flanks Ukraine. I wanted to know the details, if any, of further Russian/Communist manipulations ongoing in other east European countries while all eyes were focused on Kiev. She made an interesting observation about “Soviet atheism being the source of the actions and methods of the current-day Russian leaders. It deserves entire volumes of reflection,” she wrote. “Atheism affects not only the soul, but also the intelligence.” She further noted that the KGB personalities in charge of Russia “seem a lot less refined intellectually than their predecessors. They are just the brutes that used to beat and murder political prisoners, in times when people like Andropov were in command …. This intellectual involution makes them more likely to use violence ….”

Earlier I had asked Dr. Cernea if communism was dead in Eastern Europe. She answered by saying, “No, it’s not. I think that the most appropriate situation to compare it to would be a patient treated for cancer. Doctors avoid using the term cure. In the best of cases, they talk about remission, the absence of signs or symptoms to reveal the presence of cancer – yet cancer cells may still be present, that can’t be identified for the moment, but could be the source of further recurrence.”

It is a powerful analogy, and Cernea is a medical doctor. She is familiar with biological and political pathologies. “Communism is both a power structure and an ideology,” she explained. “It has apparently changed, but it isn’t dead in either sense. So in my further considerations I will refer to communism in a large sense, in which I include at least three important things.” Cernea then listed three structures of the old Communist Bloc that continue to operate:

1)      The East European power networks of the post-Communist establishments, with their economic and political influence.

2)      Russia as a military power and KGB center with its “pretext” ideologies like Eurasionism.

3)      The Communist influence over culture in the Gramscian sense, with the soft power of culture commanded by the far left with its virulently anti-conservative, anti-Christian ideologies.

The famous “collapse of communism,” she noted, “has to be understood from the strategic perspective of the communist mentality. It is very important to understand their thinking, in order to avoid common-place naïve mistakes many people in the West make, when they attribute to communist leaders normal rational thinking when describing the ‘communist’ conversion to free markets and democracy.” Such a conversion, she said, is fully compatible with Marxist-Leninist dialectics, switching as it does between Bolshevik terror and NEP, Stalinism and Khrushchev’s de-Stalinization. “The practical consequences of communist attempts to impose their ideological delusion,” wrote Cernea, “always ends in disaster. This was particularly obvious in economics, but not only there. The catastrophic consequences of Marxist economics should have made normal people wake up and wonder if the premises weren’t wrong after all….”

As Cernea noted, the communists are not dogmatic. “Communists don’t think that way,” she explained. “Even their attachment to the letter of the doctrine is less important than their particular form of mental derangement.” Here she referred to what Prof. Olavo de Carvalho calls “the revolutionary mentality.” And yes, I must agree with Cernea and Olavo. It all boils down to overthrowing the organic order which occurs when civilization grows and builds on itself during the course of centuries. Here, the communist is someone who wishes to wipe away the horizon and start with his own special genius at the center of a reconstituted universe. His project is to usurp God and enslave mankind. Unwilling to accept the humiliating circumstances of mortal existence, the totalitarian politician reifies the crisis of his own meanness into a universal conflagration. His feeble mortality is assuaged by the acquisition of total power which he uses to inflict damage on all those institutions and persons that remind him of his own insignificance. In short, he is a destroyer and killer. He is cast in the mold of Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Ceausescu, Castro, Ho Chi Minh, Pol Pot and other gods of the Red Pantheon.  

In Eastern Europe as in America and the West, the process of the old communism is yet festering toward a renewed outbreak. As Cernea explained, “Post-communists in Eastern Europe nowadays, like the rest of their comrades all over the world, are still in denial with regard to communism being wrong. They are still invoking the eternal pretext: the theory was ok, but it wasn’t properly applied; like Iliescu always said about Ceausescu and his regime ‘they just called themselves leaders, they just pretended they were elected by the people, they just pretended they were communists. They had nothing to do with socialism, nor with the ideology of scientific communism. They did nothing but stain the name of the Romanian Communist Party; they only stained the memory of those who gave their lives for the cause of socialism in this country.’  It’s always the human factor; it’s never the system itself they blame. It is obvious that they have never given up the dream of imposing again some form of paradise on earth that would suppose total concentration of power in their hands.”

Yes, indeed, the cancer of communism is still there. According to Cernea, “The alternation between hard-type communist control and soft-type communist influence over our societies in Eastern Europe looks to me very similar to the sequence of disease activity and remission in the clinical course of a cancer case. The positive part of remission from communism is that of course, there is some new space in our society, the space from which communists withdrew after 1989. We can breathe in this space, which wasn’t the case before and we have some room to exist and to act. This really means a lot…. We just can’t be sure for how long we will be enjoying this remission phase. The possibility of a relapse is constantly there. We can’t take it for granted that the changes won't be reversed. As I mentioned before, Romania had moments in which the return to a hardline communist dictatorship seemed quite possible and quite close – like the coal-miners’ invasion in Bucharest, in 1990 and even in 1999. If such recurrence didn’t happen then, it was in large part because the world context at that particular time was not favorable for such a development.”

Imagine if Russia should begin dictating to Europe. Would the communist elites of the former Warsaw Pact countries reassert themselves? Of course, Russia has a black name in Eastern Europe. As Cernea explained, “For all Eastern European countries Soviet occupation was a horrible experience. The only good part, if we may call it so, was that it triggered instinctive rejection; it was obviously a brutal, foreign enemy whose presence made our nations suffer terribly. There is an advantage in having a clearly-defined abhorrent enemy. In Romania, at the beginnings of communism, we had this widespread phenomenon, numerous groups of anticommunists armed in the mountains, massively supported by the population. Over the years, these groups were brutally repressed, as well as the people who helped them. There were enormous losses.”

According to Cernea, Russia’s influence over Eastern Europe’s economies and political parties “is visible only to those of us who are interested in this problem; otherwise it is not specially discussed by the media. The politicians who raise it are dismissed as cold warriors; the people through which it is exerted wear no Red Army uniforms, and they don’t kill, rob and rape in our streets (they have the coal miners to do this when they decide it necessary). They are well dressed; they speak Romanian and employ the best Western PR experts. The post-communist establishment in our country looks civilized and western-oriented; these people, sons and daughters of the communist Nomenklatura, often have studied in the best Western universities and have much better connections in the West than we anti-communists have.”

Oh yes, Anca-Maria Cernea has given us a deep truth. And we must pay attention to this truth if we wish to survive. The cancer can come back on us at any time. But the cancer is more insidious than before. “Adrian Nastase, for instance, is an elegant intellectual,” Cernea explained. “He is a connoisseur and a very wealthy collector of contemporary art. He belongs to a different generation than Ion Iliescu, who can only speak in wooden language and wouldn’t be able to sustain a conversation with Nastase about the different phases of Picasso’s creation. This appearance of Western refinement is quite tricky. The same happens with regard to the success of communist ideological brainwashing. Old-time communist propaganda was in obvious contradiction with reality; everybody could see it was a lie, and it was meant more to intimidate than to convince. But Gramsci-type cultural Marxism, massively imported to our countries nowadays, is accepted with less reserve.” 

We have so much to learn and so little time. Yes, time is running out. The remission will be over soon. The Russians still adhere to the precepts of Soviet Military Strategy. The hidden communist structures of Eastern Europe are ready for resurgence. Even now, these forces are working with communist structures in North and South America. The power of Russia stands behind them all, helping to move the Great Antithesis toward revolutionary Synthesis.