Essay on the Phenomenon of the Totalization of War

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A world free from wars and bloody conflicts was the ideal preached at all times by the best minds of mankind. But man fought in the extreme antiquity, he continues to fight in our days and, apparently, will fight while there are human communities. Representations of the types and nature of wars and armies, defense systems, means and methods of force corresponding to changing realities developed, but at all times human communities in various forms and hypostases did not consider the peace to be a supreme good. In many respects the history of mankind itself appears as an uninterrupted series of wars of tribes, peoples, nations, empires, clans, parties, etc. Some tried to subjugate foreign countries and peoples; others thirsted for military glory, while thirds considered it better to die standing, than to live on their knees. In any case, the justifications for wars always found the most convincing, since man, judging by his deeds, acted as if subconsciously guided by the Mephistophelian maxim - there is nothing in the world that is worth pity. It is also not accidental that from the earliest times skeptics never ceased to assert that homo homini lupus est , that is, man is a wolf to man. And from this formula followed another, no less well-known postulate - bellum omnium contra omnes , i.e. war of all against all. However, this is only one side of the history of mankind. The other side is that the state of an absolute, endless war of all against all would be fraught with the prospect of mutual extermination of countries and peoples. The antithesis of war is peace, every war ends in peace, and different tribes, peoples, human societies, and states from the very beginning sought some kind of modus vivendi, as well as the generally accepted and respected norms and rules that ensure it. In the present article, the author analyzes the causes and forms of the totalization of the war for the last century, especially in the context of global trends - globalization, the information and telecommunication revolution.

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HISTORICAL REFERENCE It is believed that the Great French Revolution of the late 18th century and the Napoleonic wars, when mass armies began to be created regardless of social origin and other criteria of people recruited into the armed forces, were one of the turning points in the evolution of attitudes towards the war [Kaldor 2012; Gadzhiev 2016b]. The phenomenon of so-called total mobilization of the population of the corresponding state for the purposes of warfare gradually emerged. Well-known German military theorist of the 19th century K. von Clausewitz described emerging new type of war as “absolute war”, which became the prototype of the total wars of the 20th century. In the realities of the ever-increasing perfection of the means of warfare, the conviction was formed that the enemy poses an existential danger to the very existence of the corresponding community, which, in turn, was reduced and, in fact, the threshold for the choice of means of its destruction was erased. Already in these revolutionary wars, there had been a tendency to radicalize the war, which, first of all, was manifested in the achievement of victory at any price, which in itself presupposed the so-called Carthaginian peace, dictated by the victorious party. Gradually, as the line separating civil society and the army disappeared, the war began to be perceived as a nationwide affair, not just the military one. Perhaps the first person who voiced such a principle was the Civil War US President A. Lincoln, who stated that the goal of the war of the North against the Confederation of the Southern States “will be conquest... The South is destined to be destroyed and replaced with new judgments and ideas”. As a result, the slogan of war for the North became the “unconditional surrender” of the South [McPherson 1988: 558]. The industrial revolution of the 19th century and the scientific and technological revolutions of the 20th century also meant revolutions in the sphere of military affairs. First of all, there was a large-scale industrialization of the preparation and conduct of the war. The very imperatives of modern warfare required huge spaces, expanding zone of potential military operations. Giant armies demanded the creation of giant infrastructures of the military-industrial complex, as well as corresponding systems for supplying military equipment, ammunition, spare parts, uniforms, food, human resources, communication systems, etc. In the result danger of harm to civilians increased. Gradually, the instrument of death had become total since if the wars in the past were usually conducted by the forces of professional armies, and often did not affect the majority of civilians, now for the achievement of victory, the rearward is becoming no less important than the direct battlefield itself. Consequently, an indispensable condition for achieving victory was the defeat of the enemy’s rearward; coverage by military operations and the destruction of peaceful towns and villages, industrial centers, purely civilian objects. The emergence of aviation, and then of nuclear weapons, as well as of means for their delivery over long distances, literally revolutionized this sphere, effectively erasing the line of delimitation between theaters of war and civil structures, turning the whole territory of the belligerent countries into a continuous theater of military operations, into the arena of mass atrocities [Kaldor 2018]. Already the World War I, which began in Europe and was the core of the world order of that period, could not but acquire a worldwide scale and turn into a long years of unprecedented destruction and devastation. It became obvious that the territory of Europe is too small for war. Therefore, it is not surprising that new theaters of military actions arose: Turkish, Syrian, Palestinian, Arabian, Mesopotamian, etc. Sea battles were fought in all the seas that washed Europe, the Atlantic and Indian oceans, off the coast of Latin America. In other words, the war turned into a world war. Here it is worthwhile noting that, as applied to war, totality can be interpreted in a narrow and broad sense. In a narrow sense, we are talking mainly about inter-tribal and inter-ethnic wars, which by modern standards could be called small or local wars, where each of the opposing sides was guided by the installation to destroy not only the armed forces, but also the peaceful population of the enemy, infrastructure of his life. As not without reason, the paleoanthropologist L. Keeley believed that man in prehistoric times often waged wars by radical means, pursuing the goal of enslaving or completely destroying the hostile group [Keeley 1996]. In this sense, to consider total war as anomaly, characteristic only for the present, it would not be entirely correct. In a broad sense, we are talking about modern wars that cover huge areas, huge masses of armies, peoples, states and regions, wars in which the borders between armed forces and civilians, between the front of the military actions itself and rearward are almost completely erased. The theater of military operations is essentially all the spaces occupied by peoples and states involved and to some extent not involved in military actions. The range of military aviation has significantly increased; the submarine fleet has gained an ever-increasing role in the fight against the surface fleet. Impressive changes have occurred in systems of warfare on land, which made it possible to achieve largescale lightning strikes that Alexander the Great, Caesar, Napoleon and even the warring powers during the World War I could not even dream of. We are talking about the grand victories of the Wehrmacht in the first half of the war and the equally impressive victories achieved by the Allies over the Axis countries in the second half of the war. Moreover, the total military conflict in the 20th century cannot be solved by any one or several strikes of millions of soldiers and the most advanced weapons. One of the first theorists who more or less clearly formulated this phenomenon was the German general E. Ludendorff, participant of the World War I. As the starting point of his arguments, he took the idea of an absolute war by K. von Clausewitz, who believed that war could become absolute in two cases. Firstly, when the military assumes the functions of political leaders, and soldiers take on the conduct of a war, the main goal of which is the total annihilation of the enemy. Secondly, when the same goal is set by the politicians themselves, seeking to remove the enemy by completely destroying it. From the arguments of K. von Clausewitz, it can be assumed that for this purpose he meant the continuation of the military conflict until one of the parties involved in it reach a kind of Carthaginian peace. With the experience of the World War I, E. Ludendorff declared Clausewitz’s ideas obsolete and advanced his own concept of total war. In his opinion, the times of office wars became the property of the past due to participation in the conflict of people not only due to compulsory drafting into the army, but also direct or indirect participation of civilians. While Clausewitz saw the main goal of the war in the destruction or neutralization of the enemy’s military forces alone, the total war, according to Ludendorff’s vision, is aimed at the total annihilation of the enemy, including the civilian population. Ludendorff recognized that the use of chemical gases or the bombing of settlements did not conform to the rules of warfare prescribed by the law of peoples. However, the “reality of the moment” is higher than the “old platitudes”. As the conditions of war change, especially after the World War I, “it is necessary that the relationship between politics and military strategy to be modified”. Moreover, E. Ludendorff argued, that it is necessary to invert the position of K. von Clausewitz, who proposed to subordinate the point of view of the military to the point of view of politicians. Since total war encompasses all spheres of life, and not only purely military aspect, it is the military leadership that must “establish directives to which, in the interests of total war, politics must adapt” [Ludendorff 1936: 10]. Thus, Ludendorff quite rightly focused on the fact that war in the 20th century was an event designed to eliminate not only the military forces and the enemy’s military machine, but also its human resources and economic infrastructure. Hence, such notions as a total war, total mobilization, unconditional and complete surrender, victory at any cost, etc. become common in the characterization of the World War II. All parties involved in it have ceased to follow the principle formulated in modern times - not to make the enemy more evil than the goals of war require. What distinguished the first and second world wars from all previous wars, so it is the obsession of all, military and civilians, the idea of victory at any cost. In the very intention to start and conduct a war, the principle that the end justifies the means is implicitly laid. Here its final expression was received in the chair stating that the winners are not judged. The fact that the World War II turned into mass atrocities is hardly appropriate to question. Here it suffices to emphasize that in the name of a complete and final victory over the enemy, each of the parties showed a readiness not to reckon with the losses among the civilian population, however colossal they were. The reverse side of this obsession was just the same existential fear of failing and paying for the consequences of the war. As a result, for all parties the compromise became a sign of failure and defeat, the Carthaginian peace became the slogan of the day, which gained legitimacy, thanks to the results of the Nuremberg trial. After the emergence of nuclear missile weapons key actors of world politics, first of all, the leaders of the nuclear powers themselves, recognized the need for a substantial reassessment of the well-known formula of K. von Clausewitz: “War is the continuation of politics by other means”. It became obvious that a sensible policy designed to realize national interests on the international arena could not allow the use of nuclear weapons possessing a monstrous force of destruction. Some of the most perceptive creators of nuclear weapons, at any rate, were implicitly aware of its significance from the perspective of war and peace. Already in 1943 in Los Alamos, N. Bohr, who took part in the creation of the first atomic bomb, said: “The new weapons will not only change the character of future wars, but will also force mankind to give up the age-long habit of fighting”. In 1945 he was echoed by L. Szilard, who in particular expressed: “As soon as the Russians have an atomic bomb, a long-term armed peace will be established”. Indeed, during the Cold War nuclear weapons playing the role of an effective instrument of mutual deterrence of the two superpowers, demonstrated the limitations of their capabilities in implementing many other goals traditionally resolved with the help of military power. This state of affairs was the result of an awareness of the fact that, like every other historical epoch, the nuclear-cosmic age also has specific laws and tendencies. The scientific and technological progress of the postwar decades had as a result a qualitative change in the geographical factors of the existence of most countries and peoples of the world. It introduced significant amendments to the traditional understanding of national-state security. Of no less importance was the awareness by the leaders of all great powers of the obvious fact that nuclear war poses a threat to the very existence of mankind, that with the creation of nuclear weapons, it is no longer just about improving the means of warfare, not just about the increment of military power, but about a qualitatively new factor, way to change the very nature, principles and norms of warfare, a factor capable of making reality a legend about the apocalyptic end of humanity. Therefore, a kind of nuclear taboo was gradually asserted in relations between the two superpowers or military-political blocs. In other words, nuclear weapons contributed to the globalization and totalization of mutual fear. Constantly feeling the double-edged nuclear sword punishing all indiscriminately, mankind demonstrated its ability to resist the temptation to pronounce sacramental alea jacta est, i.e. the die is cast - to cross that fateful frontier, that Rubicon which would plunge him into a global catastrophe. Moreover, nuclear weapons, taken by them, became the main factor preventing its use by any one of the parties. It was the infrastructure on which the Cold War began on a worldwide scale and at the same time had become a block on the way to turning the Cold War into a hot war. TOTALIZATION OF WAR IN THE CONTEXT OF GLOBALIZATION AND INFORMATION REVOLUTION At the same time, it must be acknowledged that globalization and the information and telecommunications revolution gave birth to new challenges to national and international security, which in turn became a factor in the emergence of new forms of answers expressed in qualitatively new forms of conflict and war. They together became the basis for expanding the field, spheres, forms, means of their totalization. When the Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989, a lot of people believed that in Europe, and indeed in the world as a whole, there would finally come a period of harmony and order. There was a conviction that the tendency for approval of democracy in an ever growing number of countries and regions would ultimately lead to a radical change in the very nature of intraand foreign-policy relations on a global scale. Its main result, according to many liberal researchers and observers, will be the disappearance of wars from the life of mankind due to the formation of an international system based on the fundamental ideological, social and economic transformation of the modern world along the lines of a market economy and political democracy. However, the realities of the modern world refute such hopes. It is regrettable to note that the radical transformations of the last decades have not reduced the risk of wars and armed conflicts. It was found that the expansion of the range of distribution of values, institutions of political democracy does not always and necessarily lead to the establishment of democratic principles in the inter-state relations. Moreover, at first glance, the paradox is the fact that simultaneously with the increase in the number of states, as if emerging on the track of democratic development, the number of countries where the dormant forces of intercommunal, ethnic, tribal, clan, confessional and other adherents came to the surface and xenophobia [Gadzhiev 2016a]. They serve as a breeding ground for the unleashing of ethnic and territorial conflicts, civil, religious and interstate wars, which, in the context of globalization and the information and telecommunications revolution, acquire new forms compared to even the recent past forms. As a result, the phenomenon of totalization of fear, contradictions, conflicts, wars has become widespread, giving rise to an ever-increasing influence on the foreign policy of the great powers. In all periods of history, the empire grew its power, above all, at the expense of territorial claims. And nowadays its external stimulus, the generator of vital energy, remains an external expansion, which can be called the alpha and omega of self-determination and the existential basis of the empire. The possibilities of territorial claims have disappeared, as shagreen skin reduces the opportunities for economic expansion. It became obvious that in modern conditions the most important characteristics and priorities of world politics are not always and not necessarily determined and transformed with the help of bombs and bayonets, through military triumphs and surrender. The issues concerning the terms of trade, the flow of resources - finances, technology, goods, services, etc., are becoming increasingly important. Increasingly, disputes between states are resolved with the help of interest rates, exchange rates, the competitiveness of the national economy in world markets, and so on. Cardinal changes sometimes declare themselves without any visible sensations, or in other words, on the geopolitical horizon, the so-called black swans may appear, as it were, unexpectedly for all subjects of world politics. There is an obvious trend of increasing the role of the cultural, information and ideological component in world politics, primarily in the foreign policy strategy of the great powers. The influence of culture on world-wide socio-economic processes, on the character of inter-state relations, has become unprecedented, it has become one of the effective instruments of foreign policy and an effective means of fighting for national interests. The roots of such tendencies go back to the theory of cultural hegemony, which was developed by one of the founders and ideologists of the Communist Party of Italy A. Gramsci in the 1930s. Its essence consisted of the thesis that, in order to win the struggle for political power, it is necessary first of all to win hegemony in the cultural space. The notions of “cultural dominance”, “cultural hegemony” took an appropriate place in geopolitical vocabulary, strengthening the ideological component of the global information space. Cultural expansion has become one of the key attributes of imperial power, the most important tool for advertising and disseminating relevant values, institutions, the image and philosophy of life, and ideas about the future. The American neoconservatives of the first wave of the 1980s, such as I. Kristol, N. Podgoretz, D.P. Moynihan, J. Kirkpatrick, etc. distancing themselves from traditional conservatives who denied the need for any ideological constructs, advocated the re-ideologization of politics and ideological rearmament of the US foreign policy strategy. As if to paraphrase the above thesis of A. Gramsci in their own way, they stated that for the conquest of power and influence in the world community, especially for gaining and retaining the leading positions, or hegemony in the world, it is necessary to secure an ideological, ideological-information hegemony. I. Kristol declared that “non-ideological policy is an unarmed policy”. Following this attitude, the leadership of the West, first of all, the US seeks to establish its dominant position on the world cultural and information-ideological space. As noted by the former employee of the B. Clinton administration, D. Rothkopf, in the era of information technology, the main task of US foreign policy should be to win the market of global information flows. The US must achieve domination similar to that once owned by Britain at sea. In his words, “it is in the economic and political interests of the United States to ensure that if the world is moving toward a common language, it will be English; that if the world is moving toward common telecommunications, safety, and quality standards, they will be American; that if the world is becoming linked by television, radio, and music, the programming will be American; and that if common values are being developed, they will be values with which Americans are comfortable” [Rothkopf 1997: 45-46]. And in such a policy, Rothkopf saw the benefit not only for America itself, but for the rest of the world. In other words, “what is good for the United States of America is good for all mankind!” Obviously, the main goal is no less than a change in the mentality itself, the mental or paradigmatic foundation of life of the entire non-Western world. Together with culture, ideas, ideology, they try to export and impose not only entertainment, but also values, attitudes, stereotypes, image and philosophy of life on other peoples. For example, justifying the participation of Great Britain in the aggression against Iraq, T. Blair, being the Prime Minister of this country in particular asserted that the struggle is not just about security and military tactics, “the struggle is one about values. Our values are our guide. Our values are worth struggling for. They represent humanity’s progress throughout the ages. At each point we have had to fight for them and defend them. As a new age beckons, it is time to fight for them again” [Blair 2006]. In his words Afghanistan and Iraq are the necessary starting points for this battle. However, success there must be combined with the bold and consistent advancement of global values under the leadership of Washington. Continuing this thought, he wrote: “The situation we face is indeed war, but of a completely unconventional kind. And it can’t be won in a conventional way. We will not win the battle against global extremism unless we win it at the level of values as much as force. We can only win by showing that our values are stronger, better and more just than the alternative. That also means showing the world that we are evenhanded, far and just in our application of those values”. Hence, the key meaning of these interventions was not just a change in the regimes, but a change in the value systems that guide the respective countries. “If we want to protect our way of life, - he continues, - then there is no alternative but to fight for it. It means defending our values not just in our countries, but throughout the world” [Blair 2006]. This attitude took a fundamentalist coloring from the current American neoconservatives, which, unlike their predecessors of the 1980s, are usually called neocons. Acting as the main developers of the ideological substantiation of the foreign policy course of the G.W. Bush administration, they took on the task of ideological justification of the policy of exporting the so-called democratic revolution and human rights throughout the world. It was directly said that the purpose and predestination of this task is to change the mentality and values of those countries that are considered to be the object of such export. In this context, one can interpret the idea of so-called “soft power” which gained wide popularity in military-political, scientific and journalistic literature. It covers the whole complex of resources, state funds, not connected with military force or “hard power”, but closely related to it and complementing it. If “hard power” is intended to punish and intimidate the enemy with weapons, “soft power” is called upon to draw him to the right path or, at any rate, neutralize him with a peaceful, bloodless, as they say, non-lethal means and methods. The basis of “soft power” is culture and values, ideas, symbols, myths, etc. “When you can motivate others to want what you want yourself , - one of the authors of this concept, J. Nye, points out, - it’s cheaper for you to get the whips and spices needed to move people in the right direction. The temptation is always more effective than coercion, and such values as democracy, human rights and individual opportunities are deeply seductive. But attraction can turn into disgust if there is arrogance or hypocrisy in politics” [Nye 2004]. These processes, trends, attitudes, strategies, symbiosis of “soft” and “tough” version of force have been most fully expressed in so-called “hybridization” of war or, more simply, in “hybrid wars”. Despite a very short period of this concept, it was firmly established not only in scientific and journalistic literature, in media and political practice, but also in official documents reflecting the policies and conduct of states on the international arena. Thus, at the meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of NATO, held on December 1, 2015 in Brussels, “Strategy of hybrid wars” was adopted for the first time. NATO Secretary General J. Stoltenberg noted that “the hybrid war covers a wide range of different types of military operations... This term is used to describe a combination of military and non-military means, hidden and open operations... This is a combination of various civil and military techniques”. According to him, the example of “hybrid war” is the actions of Russia, which led to the “annexation of the Crimea”, as well as its actions in the Donbass1. From this point of view, the position of the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, V.V. Gerasimov, who wrote in Military Industrial Courier on February, 2013 that in the 21st century wars, which he called “hybrid”, rely on unconventional “asymmetric” funds in order to create a “permanently operating front in the whole territory of the opposing state”. In his opinion, in these wars “the role of non-military methods in achieving political and strategic goals has increased, which in some cases have considerably surpassed the strength of weapons in their effectiveness”. Their peculiarity Gerasimov sees “in the tendency to erase the differences between the state of war and peace. Wars are no longer declared, but when they start, they do not follow the pattern that we are accustomed to”. As a typical example of such wars, he pointed so-called Arab Spring, or “color revolutions” in the Middle East and North Africa2. “Hybrid wars” become a reality that is difficult to deny and which requires studying their essence and the possibilities of opposing them in upholding Russia’s national interests. Any war is the result of political decisions to achieve political goals. In this sense, “hybrid wars” do not at all abolish the fundamental causes, nature, goals of traditional wars. The essence of wars and new armed conflicts, as before, remains a struggle for power, their “creators” and “drivers” are the political elites of states, and the war itself remains a continuation of politics by other means [Tsygankov 2015]. At the same time, today’s conflicts are characterized by such features as the participation of non-state actors, mercenarism, the privatization of violence, ethnic and religious contradictions, the combination of the newest and most archaic means of opposition, new forms and means that go beyond the framework of the traditional appearance of war. Methods combining support for existing armed conflicts, ideological aggression, economic sanctions, attempts at political isolation with the search for new internal political vulnerabilities, the use of advanced information technologies, pressure on allies and so-called “third countries” play an important role. The peculiarity of hybrid wars, in comparison with traditional wars, is that it applies the whole range of available military and non-military forms, means, methods and technologies of ideological, information, cultural, economic, geo-economic, political, and geopolitical and other manifestations of confrontation. Part of the hybrid wars are scandalous caricature provocations - these products of unlimited freedom of speech, which in fact serve as one of the manifestations of the propaganda of racism, xenophobia and other forms of political and ideological fundamentalism, not unlike radical Islamism. Their manifestation can be considered widespread in the process of preparation for the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014, large-scale attempts to discredit and abolish it, as well as the so-called anti-doping campaign against Russia in their politicized version in winter and summer of 2016, etc. In the same vein, it is possible to consider the large-scale information and propaganda campaign for its abolition, which has not ceased during the whole period from the moment of choosing the place where the World Football Championship was held in Russia on March 18, 2009, until its completion on July 15, 2018. In fact, the web of the Internet has become a kind of infrastructure of some single world cyberspace, which is turning into an arena of a qualitatively new form of information and ideological rivalry. In this space unfold bloodless, not directly associated with human casualties, but fraught with serious unpredictable consequences of the war, in which cyber-weapons play an ever-increasing role. One of the most important means in these wars is the spread of so-called fake news. Propaganda, cyberattacks, information and ideological sabotage, such as, for example, the cases of Litvinenko and Skripal, become more and more important. There are developing cyber-bombs, digital bombs, deployed in computer networks of the enemy, for the paralysis of its vital industrial facilities, systems of political, economic and military control. Here the main actors are not only states, but also detachments of burglars or just single burglars, who, gaining more and more extensive knowledge and experience in decommissioning defense and civilian facilities, can puzzle entire countries and peoples. So-called information-hacking or hacker terrorism, aimed at hacking banking codes and introducing viruses for the disabling of computer systems and banking, stock exchange, research, management and other structures created on their basis, is getting more and more widespread that is fraught with catastrophic consequences for various objects of the national economy. The paradox is that the vulnerability of a state becomes directly proportional to the level of its technological development. The most advanced countries in terms of technological progress are at the same time the most vulnerable to cyberattacks. This makes it possible for the subjects of world politics, which are weaker from the economic and military point of view, to cause tangible damage to stronger opponents via the Internet and other achievements of technological progress. One of the first more or less serious example of its use on a global scale was the cyberattack on May 12, 2017, when so-called extortion virus WanaCrypt0r 2.0 infected dozens of thousands of computers in 74 countries around the world, paralyzing the work of British hospitals and Spanish companies, attacking the regional directorates of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Investigative Committee in Russia. Large-scale cyberattacks are almost an everyday event. Therefore, it is natural that appropriate structures for ensuring cybersecurity are created. Putting aside many aspects that are not properly developed in domestic and foreign geopolitics, I consider it appropriate to pay attention to economic sanctions as one of the manifestations of a hybrid war in this sphere. They can be called a sanction war that leads a country or group of countries against the enemy country to destroy its economy and, accordingly, suppress the enemy’s will to resist. Sanctions have become a serious and increasingly used means of political and economic pressure on the enemy. Unleashed by the West against Russia as a response to its opposition to NATO expansion, such a war is viewed as a means of suppressing its will and isolation, as if to punish the reunification of the Crimea and support the aspiration of the people of Donbass for the right to defend their vital interests. To paraphrase the famous formula of K. von Clausewitz that “war is a continuation of politics by other means” one can argue that sanctions are a form of unleashing and waging a cold war by other means. However, as the experience of the entire period of sanctions has shown, Russia has demonstrated the futility of attempts to destroy the national economy and isolate it. Apparently, in this line, of course, not without certain reservations, we should also consider some offshoots of terrorism which are guided by the slogans of the export of the Islamic revolution, which can be considered as a response to the Western strategy of the export of the democratic revolution. The validity of this assessment can be cited by the obvious fact that, in many respects, the surge of terrorism and its spillover from the intra-country level to the international level is closely connected with the growing cultural, information, and ideological expansion of the West which was gradually supported by the build-up of military-strength means and methods of persuading the peoples of the Greater Middle East in the non-alternative nature of Western values, philosophy and way of life. Already during the bipolar world order, with the blessing and support of the two superpowers, a kind of parallel, anonymous subject of world politics emerged, capable of exerting a significant influence on the main trends of the geopolitical development of the modern world. The strength and danger of this kind of aggressive “world underground” in the manifestations of various subnational, national and supranational terrorist, criminal and other groups and organizations is that it does not recognize the generally accepted moral and ethical and international legal norms and constraints. The difficulty of analyzing and finding the right assessment of terrorism is complicated by the fact that there is still no clear definition of it as a socio-political phenomenon, its essential characteristics, boundaries, components, legal status, etc. There are hundreds of definitions of this phenomenon, and the literature devoted to it is counted thousands of publications. However, this topic is, along and across, covered in Russian and foreign historiography. Here I consider it appropriate to emphasize that modern terrorism in its aims, methods and means of implementation is in a way one of the manifestations of an asymmetric response to the aggressive offensive of Western socio-cultural, political, cultural, democratic values and principles, the Western way of life itself. Perhaps this is a kind of phenomenon, which was called “small war” in scientific literature. As the German researcher M. Hoch notes, a small war by definition knows no boundaries; all means are used brutally. It acquires features that bring it closer to the phenomenon of total war: the enemy as a whole is considered as the enemy, which becomes an object of military operations, and not only its armed forces. Obviously, even if this is a “small war”, it fits into a complex of totalization of mutual fears, threats, responses, conflicts and wars at the global level [Hoch 2011: 19]. Of course, in a short essay it is impossible to cover all forms, manifestations, aspects of such a complex problem. It seems that the reasons and arguments set forth in it give grounds for a conclusion about the totalization of contradictions, conflicts, wars on a global scale. Unlike wars that traditionally used to take place in Europe (some authors called them “European civil wars”), but now, in the increasingly accelerating processes of globalization and the informatization of the world, one can speak of civil wars of world scale, of world civil wars. It can be argued that the new world order is not built in an atmosphere of excitement from the worldwide triumph of democracy, but in conditions of instability and uncertainty, new forms of conflict, wars, terror that have come to the modern world on the wings of science, new technologies and progress. In this sense, as it were, W. Churchill’s forecast, which said that the stone age can return to us on the shining wings of science, is confirmed. It is obvious that in the foreseeable future the world does not transform into a single unified universe.

About the authors

Kamaludin Serazhudinovich Gadzhiev

The National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences named after E.M. Primakov

Author for correspondence.

PhD, Dr. of Science (History), Professor, Chief Researcher of The National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences named after E.M. Primakov


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