OE Watch Commentary: A good example of Russia’s military-scientific approach to problem solving was on display in the December 2017 edition of Russia’s military theory journal, Military Thought. On the subject of identifying key problems with collective information-sharing tasks between Russian government entities, Y.G. Anisimov, V.G. Anisimov, and E.V. Solohov lay out an extensive argument for interagency cooperation that is significantly based on mathematical modeling and quantitative analysis. For Russian professional readers, this would be an entirely normal article and an understandable approach to the argument. The fact that the authors are all general officers and two have doctoral degrees is also par for the course. The article does not highlight specific current event-based issues, rather, it is an appeal for a general acceptance of a scientific-based approach to conducting information sharing among “federal executive bodies” on security and defense issues.
The purpose of this commentary is not a review of the math involved, rather just to highlight an example this discussion framework. From a standpoint of research and development, the authors explain that developing predictive methods and making decisions based on mathematically predictive outputs would find an immediate and agree-able audience among Russian federal bodies. They also indicate that this approach would provide enhanced feasibility with a choice of and use of multiple predictive models and the ability to coordinate decision-making from local to global levels.
The models presented in the article show “possible synergy effects of two [generic] interacting agencies” and the application of generic “capabilities and resources.” The authors’ statement, “Experience tells us that these types of interactions are not always effective,” surely evokes a knowing nod from anyone working with large bureaucracies.
With the advent of Russia’s National Defense Management Center and its emphasis on consolidation of defense and security information, new bureaucratic procedures and even a bureaucratic culture would be expected to emerge. A scientific approach, inherent in Russian military science education and practice, is a natural Russian response. Serious discussions by leading strategic researchers and policy-makers are likely to proceed from this approach. End OE Watch Commentary (Wilhelm, Vainer)