The Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies presents,

“Training to Fight – How the Russian Armed Forces Build Fighting Power”

With Johan Norberg

Senior Analyst, Swedish Defense Research Agency (FOI)

Visiting Scholar, Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies


Moderated by Jack Snyder

Robert and Renee Belfer Professor of International Relations

Member, SIWPS


Thursday, March 28, 2016


1302 International Affairs Building

School of International and Public Affairs

Seating is limited, first come first seated


SUMMARY: This presentation is based on a report published in December 2015. (

Johan Norberg’s research examined what writing in open sources in Russia such as the MoD website and the military press revealed about how military exercises contributed to the fighting power of Russia’s Armed Forces in the four years 2011–2014. The main conclusion is that Russia’s Armed Forces trained to launch and fight large-scale joint inter-service operations, i.e. launching and waging interstate wars. His research focuses on two types of exercises that are relevant for the fighting power of Russia’s Armed Forces: annual strategic exercises and surprise inspections. The former rotated between Russia’s four military districts on a regular basis and was the crowning event of the annual training cycle in the Armed Forces. The latter pertained more to checking and developing combat readiness.

BIO: Johan Norberg is a senior researcher at the Swedish Defense Research Agency (FOI). His research covers developments in Russia with a focus on the Armed Forces, and Russia’s relations with Central Asia, the Middle East and Islam. He has worked in the Swedish Ministry of Defense, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Swedish Parliament. He is a reserve officer in the Swedish Army and has served in peacekeeping operations in Bosnia and as a UN military observer in Georgia, south Lebanon and on the Golan Heights. He is currently a visiting scholar at the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University in New York.