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Russia Steadily Cultivating Electronic Warfare While U.S., NATO Lag Behind


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Russia has steadily improved its electronic warfare capabilities to prepare for potential conflict with the West, while the United States and its NATO partners have suffered a lapse in training for battle against regional powers amid ongoing counterterrorism operations, according to a leading analyst of Moscow's military developments.
Pentagon officials have warned that future wars will be fought using unseen weapons, like electromagnetic waves that disrupt radio communications or jam global positioning systems and drones, to cripple enemy forces. These electronic warfare capabilities operate in an invisible battle space called the electromagnetic spectrum, or EMS.
The nearly two-decade American-led campaign against insurgent groups that use relatively unsophisticated weaponry has forced the United States to deprioritize investment in this realm. Defense officials eyeing Russian offensives in Ukraine and Syria are now concerned that the U.S. military has lost its edge in countering and waging electronic warfare against near-peer adversaries.
"[NATO does] not exercise to put forces into an EMS-contested battle space, the Russians do, and they feel they're making advances in this area that gives them an injection of confidence," Roger McDermott, a senior research fellow in war studies at King's College London, said Monday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.

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