Military Deception and Strategic Culture: The Soviet Union and Russian Federation
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This article explores the influence of Soviet and Russian strategic cultures on the conduct of military deception operations, one facet of information warfare. Our thesis is that a subcomponent of strategic culture in the Soviet Union and Russia from 1941 to 2017, termed hierarchical culture, enabled the conduct of cohesive deception operations. Our case studies are World War II, the Soviet-Afghan War, and the recent conflict in Ukraine. For each conflict, we use contemporneous primary documents to verify the existence of hierarchical culture and determine the cohesion of millitary deception operations based on descriptions of their level of success. Our findings indicate that hierarchical culture may have aided in development and conduct, but did not guarantee attempted military deception operations would be cohesive.. This work shows that in the context of foreign policy toward Russia, not only does one need to consider advances in high technology for traditional military applications but also innovations and uses below the threshold of declared war.