Friday, April 07, 2006

Russia: Defence Spending Up 50%

On April 5, Russian Defence Minister Sergey Ivanov declared that defence spending will increase by 50% in 2006, Interfax-AVN reports. The increase is dedicated to massive arms and hardware procurements, raising the qualitative standard of Russian forces.

The focus is to provide troops with full sets of equipment for multi-purpose action, Ivanov reportedly said to a Moscow military conference on Wednesday. Accordingly, these newly equipped units would be able to solve tasks set before them in a manner without precedence since the fall of the Soviet Union.

Consequently, Russia's armed forces seem to be in for a revival worthy of its material and spiritual heritage. One cannot but pause to wonder what equipment will be developed to face those challenges that lie ahead in defence of Mother Russia. Finally, which are the challenges - traditional or new?

3 comments:

Laika the Space Dog said...

This news has received no comment in the west as far as I know, either in the press or the blogsphere. In an age when Russia is obviously trying to regain a position in the world as, at best, a counterweight to the USA this has to be rather unsettling.

No wonder the Baltic states and every other nation in the former Warsaw pact were so keen to join NATO and the EU.

Russia seems to constantly side with China and France in opposing any US diplomatic move on anything, perhaps to position itself to sell arms to the enemies of the west safe and secure in the knowledge that the USA will deal with any threats to world security without their help.

It's amazing to me that the USA still pretends that Russia is a close ally, and gives it huge amounts of aid, when Russia does nothing to act like an ally and everything to suggest it is quite the opposite.

Excellent blog by the way.

Vilhelm Konnander said...

Dear Laika the Space Dog,

It is worrisome that the Russian state diverts more and more money to military purposes, not least while they could be put at better use elsewhere for the well-being of the Russian people.

The question is, however, also how it is used. Previous experience is that most resources are put down the drain. What the Russian military needs is reforming accompanied by financing. Putin has, however, given up on reforming the army, why military investment is like putting money into a black hole. The result may be a few prestigious projects, but most money are imbestled by corrupt drunkards among the ranks of the Russian military administration. Nonetheless, the ambition to equip entire units may be a way to create a more efficient army, but morale must then also be restored. Without a sense of purpose, it does not matter how much money is put on material if the men are not motivated. Yet another factor is to what extent investments link to actual threats. What are the threats and by what means should they be addressed? I am not convinced that Russian analysis is thorough enough on this point and that they have dared to present any conclusions that might not fit the interests of a variety of actors within Russia.

As for links with the US, the threat perception and general outlook on security is very similar and Bush and Putin see eye to eye on this point. With a common paradigm on security, Russia may be given great leeway in teaming up with Germany, France or whomever, as long as it does not severely threaten Washington's interests. It is also, I fear, the bitter truth that as long as the West is dependent on Russian oil, little critique will be levelled towards Moscow. A final - subjective - factor, may be that in the current climate of power politics, Western politicians are simply attracted by the power Putin has and secretly admire or envy him for his "success" in turning Russia around. Politics is about power and too many politicians covet power rather than political aims nowadays.

Yours,

Vilhelm

La Russophobe said...

LAIKA:

The U.S. is catching on to Putin real quick now.

See

http://russophobe.blogspot.com/2006/04/condi-socks-putin-right-between-eyes.html

for example. But the more heat that the blogsphere can churn up, the better. So do your part!