Makarov Declares Transition to ‘New Profile’ Basically Complete

According to Rossiyskaya gazeta, General Staff Chief Nikolay Makarov told a foreign military attache audience that Russia’s new military doctrine, with a reinforced emphasis on possible first nuclear use, has gone for President Medvedev’s signature.  Makarov has declared the military’s transition to a ‘new profile’ basically complete.  He says all remaining formations and units are now in a permanent readiness condition.  Although only 9 days remain in 2009, he insists the Defense Ministry will get 45,500 apartments for servicemen this year.  In line with planned cuts, Makarov said officers who have served their full careers and have housing were dismissed this year, but 37,000 were put outside the TO&E to await housing before being dismissed.  He says some 20,000 warrant officers were retained, but the rest were dismissed or transferred to sergeant positions.  General officers were cut from 1200 to 780, and Makarov claims the military is already down to only 150,000 officers.  Makarov called rearmament one of the most complex problems of reform, that will be costly and drawn out to 2020. He looks forward to a new strategic arms agreement with the U.S. that doesn’t harm Russia’s interests like START.

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