Current problems of Europe

Specifics of non-classical wars and their influence on the fragmentation of the international system

Алаудинов А.А., Манойло А.В., Стригунов К.С.

Alaudinov Apty Aronovich – Ph.D. in Political Sciences, commander of the AKHMAT special forces deputy commander of the 2nd Army Corps of the 8th Army, Southern Military District, Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. Manoilo Andrey Viktorovich – Sc.D. in Political Sciences, Leading Researcher, INION RAS; Professor of the Department of International Relations and Foreign Policy of Russia, MGIMO University. Strigunov Konstantin Sergeevich – Ph.D. in Political Sciences, Leading Analyst, Association of Information Warfare Specialists.


The article examines some examples of non-classical wars unleashed by a number of Western countries and their differences from classical wars including irregular and asymmetrical ones. These differences are illustrated by the wars in Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Syria. Particular attention is paid to the proxy-factor. The authors showed that proxy-factor cannot be a criterion by which it is possible to distinguish between classical and non-classical wars. It is concluded that in classical irregular and asymmetric wars the state provides support to already existing political regimes or military-political movements. In non-classical wars, especially in their hybrid forms, the main emphasis is on irregular paramilitary formations, accumulated and relocated to the target state from different regions of the world using network and network-centric methods. This actually creates a powerful conglomerate of irregular formations, on which the main stake is placed in hybrid wars. At the same time, it is noted that the use of means, methods and technologies of non-classical wars leads to fragmentation of the international system and thereby destabilizes it. Through non-classical wars it is possible to bypass international institutions and achieve military-political goals comparable to those achieved using the means and methods of classical wars. As the main research methods, in addition to general scientific research methods (analysis, synthesis, induction, deduction), this work used a comparative approach, which made it possible to identify similarities and differences between some classical and non-classical wars unleashed by Western countries, and a systematic approach, which made it possible to consider non-state actors as systems that are influenced by external factors, primarily states. This work is based on neorealism according to which non-state actors are increasingly influential on the international arena.


non-classical wars, hybrid wars, irregular wars, proxy wars, Western countries, fragmentation

Download text