Why was the Arab Spring perceived as being part of the warfare spectrum by the Gerasimov doctrine? Why has Arab Spring become an inspiration for the Gerasimov doctrine?
Two reasons, really. The first is that many Russians genuinely believe, all evidence to the contrary, that the Arab Spring – like the “color revolutions” in post-Soviet Eurasia – was the product of Western, mainly US, political technologies, engineered regime change. When viewed in those terms, these revolutions, sprung from failures of governance, seem to demonstrate Gerasimov’s point that these days it is frighteningly easy to shatter states and their capacity to govern. (Even if a great deal harder to ensure what follows is to your liking.) The second is a classic Russian habit, one dating back to Soviet times, of using other countries’ experiences and strategies as an allegorical way of talking about your own. When he talks about Western or US ways of political warfare, he is really talking about how Russia is planning to fight and win such conflicts, but in a way that avoids making Russia look like the bad guy.