The Escalation Risks of Multi-Domain Battles

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2023-67-4-29-39
K. Bogdanov,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation.

Received 12.12.2022. Revised 10.01.2023. Accepted 01.02.2023.

Abstract. The outpacing development of doctrinal concepts of warfare at the present stage becomes an additional source of instability in the strategic landscape. Combined with the restructuring of the world order and the active introduction of emerging technologies, the development of new doctrines leads to increased escalation risks, including due to the poorly understood mutual influences of the operating factors in a complex environment. The Multi-Domain Battle theory is an excellent example of this impact. The article analyzes the main provisions of this theory in terms of potentially emerging escalation risks The problem is considered in the light of recent proposals for new escalation models, including the principles of the “escalation vortex” and the “wormhole escalation”. The emerging risks of applying doctrinal principles that blur distinct thresholds in the escalation space, including the thresholds of clearly distinguishing between war and peace, are analyzed. It shows a direct link between the Multi-Domain Battle theory and the concept of “integrated deterrence”, realized in the same logic of graded escalation control. A number of new emerging nuclear risks have been demonstrated, including links to long-standing theories of limited nuclear warfare options, as well as the new concept of the 2010s, the so-called “conventional-nuclear integration”. Conclusions are drawn about the need to implement a structured sequence of practical steps aimed at limiting the escalation risks generated by this doctrinal concept. A possible connection of this sequence with the longer-term task of rebuilding and strengthening the arms control framework has been established.

Keywords: integrated deterrence, Multi-Domain Battles, strategic stability, escalation, conventional-nuclear integration, nuclear threshold, nuclear risks


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For citation:
Bogdanov K. The Escalation Risks of Multi-Domain Battles. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2023, vol. 67, no. 4, pp. 29-39. EDN: PRASGG

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