Russian Army Fails to Impress Americans - April, 2008

The Heritage Foundation, a very influential Neocon establishment in the US, attended a conference in Washington DC during which they discussed the status of the Russian military. They more-or-less came to the conclusion that the Russian Federation will not be a military threat for the West... Putting aside their conclusions and assessments, this conference is somewhat of a candid look inside the foreign policy making apparatus of the US government. Is the Heritage Foundation's conclusions regarding Russia a smoke screen, telling their constituents not to worry about a resurgent Russia, or is it a honest assessment of Russia's military capabilities; essentially an underestimation? If the assessments reached by the "experts" at the Heritage Foundations proves to be a underestimations of Russian political and military capabilities, then the recent aggressiveness and recklessness of the West in their dealings with Russia becomes much clearer...



Russian Army Fails to Impress Americans

April, 2008

American experts doubt the effectiveness of the Russian military reform Yesterday an influential brain trust Heritage, Washington D.C. hosted a conference on the reform of the Russian armed forces. It took the participants two hours to unanimously acknowledge that there was no revival of Russia’s military might to be observed, and there was hardly any hope for Russia to create a modern and effective army by 2020. A former high-ranking CSI member told Ъ that “Russians won’t be able to make their army modern and effective until their government becomes modern and effective.” Ъ’s special correspondent Dmitry Sidorov reports from Washington, D.C. The participants of the conference in the Heritage foundation helped the Director of National Intelligence, John Michael McConnell define how high Russia’s military threat is, taking account of the increase in investments in defense and the reform of the armed forces on the part of the Russian government. In February, 2005 Mr McConnell featured this issue in his annual report on evaluating threats to the USA. In the document presented to the Senate he argued that “Russia’s military officials have set to the restoration of the armed forces after a long and deep crisis, which started before the collapse of the Soviet Union.”

Nevertheless the U.S. Naval Military College Professor Mikhail Tsypkin, the National Defence Professor of the Strategic Research Institute Stephen Blanc, the National Defense University Professor Eugene Rumer and Russian military analyst Alexander Golts stated with minor reservations that the reform of the Russian military forces was bound to fail. The conference though began with an alarmist speech on Russia’s military threat by the Heritage Vice-President Kim Holmes, who served under Colin Powell as Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs till 2005. He declared that Russia was no partner of the United Sates and criticised the Bush administration for their “sentimental conclusions” regarding Russia. Mr Holmes went on, “Russia’s spending on its armed forces is more than we know, whereas democratic reforms have been rolled back in the country.”

The Heritage Vice-President underscored a boost in public spending on the construction of strategic bombers and allocating definite sums of money for military exercises. Kim Holmes didn’t mention any specific exercises, but according to the source of Ъ in the White House, “There were large-scale military manoeuvres in the North-Caucasian and Leningrad military districts in 2007, with the Federal Security Service taking part. During the manoeuvres invading Estonia and Georgia was tested.” In spite of the fact that the experts rendered the reform of Russia’s armed forces a myth, rather than reality, practically everybody agreed with the conclusion that the current state of the Russian army is far better than it was in the 1990s. “Compared with the situation 10–15 years ago, one can state that it has changed for the better,” said Eugene Rumer, stressing at the same time that the money invested in the reform of the armed forces was used to pay salaries to the military mainly, rather than to purchase modern arms and weaponry. Mr Rumer noted that “Considerable funds are allocated for particular departments, for example the Russian Airborne Troops (VDV) and the Military Space Forces (VKS), whereas the financing of the Navy, Army and Air Forces remains at the same level.”

Stephen Blanc was the one to be most sceptical of Russia’s military might, proclaiming that the Russian armed forces were in a crisis. “It has lasted for 70 years at least,” Mr Blanc said. Professor drew attention to the fact that Russia’s military-industrial complex was unable to produce high-technology equipment and recalled the test of GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System), the “Bulava” (mace) missile and some of the air defense systems. Concerning the export of Russian weaponry, Stephen Blanc pointed to the fact that “Russia is competitive in those regions where the West has no trade links.” He reminded of Algeria’s return of the MiG-29 fighters to Russia and the problem with the price and delivery date of the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft-carrier to India. “Russia may lose a part of the Indian arms market, which accounts for 25% of the overall Russian military export.”

Russia’s military doctrine was also excoriated by the experts. “It feels like Russia is surrounded by enemies only. They might believe millions of people from Roumania and Bulgaria to approach Russia’ borders,” Stephen Blanc said. He means that “Russia’s opposing the integration of the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) into the EU is the evidence of the Russian neo-imperial policy.” “Russia wishes it were gendarme of the CIS, just like in the times of Nicholas I,” Mr Blanc added. Fritz Ermart, a former high-ranking CSI member, also present at the conference, summed it up for Ъ. He said, “In the long run, the world will need a Russia with modern armed forces, because its friendly relations with China and the weakness of Southern Asia can vanish.” He then added, “Russians won’t be able to create modern and effective armed forces until their government becomes modern and effective.”


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Arevordi will be taking a sabbatical to tend to personal matters. New blog commentaries will henceforth be posted on an irregular basis. The comments board however will continue to be moderated on a regular basis.

The last 20 years or so has also helped me see Russia as the last front against scourges of Westernization, Globalism, American expansionism, Zionism, Islamic extremism and pan-Turkism. I have also come to see Russia as the last hope humanity has for the preservation of classical western civilization, Apostolic Christianity and the traditional nation-state. This realization compelled me to create this blog in 2010. Immediately, this blog became one of the very few voices in the vastness of cyberia that dared to preach about the dangers of Globalism and the Anglo-American-Jewish alliance, and the only voice preaching the strategic importance of Armenia remaining within Russia's orbit. From about 2010 to 2015 I did monthly, at times weekly, commentaries about Russian-Armenian relations and Eurasian geopolitics in general. It was very difficult as I had no assistance in this endeavor. The time I put into this blog therefore came at the expense of work and family. But a powerful feeling inside me urged me to keep going; and I did.

When Armenia finally joined the EEU and integrated its armed forces into Russia's military structures a couple of years ago, I finally felt a deep sense of satisfaction and relaxation, as if a very heavy burden was lifted off my shoulders. I finally felt that my personal mission was accomplished. I therefore felt I could take a step back, as I really needed the rest. Simply put: I have lived to see the institutionalization of Russian-Armenian alliance. Also, I feel more confident now that Armenians are collectively recognizing the strategic importance of Armenia's ties with Russia. Moreover, I feel satisfied knowing that, at least on a subatomic level, I had a hand in the outcome. As a result, I feel a strong sense of mission accomplished. I therefore no longer have the urge to continue as in the past. In other words, the motivational force that had propelled me in previous years has been gradually dissipating because I feel that this blog has lived to see the realization of its stated goal. Going forward, I do not want to write merely for the sake of writing. Also, I do not want to say something if I have nothing important to say. I feel like I have said everything I needed to say. Henceforth, I will post seasonal commentaries about topics I find important. I will however continue moderating the blog's comments section on a regular basis; ultimately because I'm interested in what my readers have to say and also because it's through readers here that I am at times made aware of interesting developments.

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