This picks up on Fomin’s earlier interview. Next look for their chapter on the OPK.
The gist of the conclusion is this. There’s been no rebirth of the armed forces, in fact, many negative trends are now irreversible. There’s been no real rearmament despite higher budgets. The military doesn’t know how to set clear goals, and is planning to fight abstract threats like terrorism, instead of real ones like the U.S. Russia has money, but has invested it in currency reserves instead of its armed forces.
Here’s a translation of their conclusion:
There’s a myth that in the last ten years an incredible militarization of the country and rebirth of military power not quite to the level of the Soviet Union has occurred. As the analysis conducted showed, this does not correspond to reality – in reality a degradation of the Russian VS [Armed Forces] has taken place.
Negative processes which began in the 1990s have reached their apogee today and are close to completion, because many negative tendencies in army development have taken on an irreversible character. Numerous reforms are confirmation of this: when everything is normal, reforms are not required. With growing expenditures, real rearmament is not happening and new equipment is not entering the forces as a practical matter. The defense-industrial complex is still relying on developments from Soviet times and no substantially new developments in post-Soviet times have been made that could even go into experimental, much less into production use.
The analysis showed that the degradation of the Russian VS is conditioned on two main causes.
- The absence of a distinct system of goal establishment for the functioning and development of the VS. The affair has gone to the point that many military experts and analysts (not speaking of officials) are completely ashamed to clearly designate possible military enemies, and are trying to implement military organizational development under abstract sources of danger and threats. Any ordinary person understands that today and in the near future, there are only three such enemies: the U.S., NATO, and China. International terrorism is not an independent force, but only an instrument in the hands of the mentioned groups of countries. It should be clearly understood that ambiguity in goal establishment is just as ruinous for the condition and development of a system as a lack of resources.
- Nor is everything right when it comes to resources. More precisely, it is obvious they are insufficient even to hold a steady position. Miracles do not happen in program planning: if the amount of allocated resources drops to such a critical level, no improvement in the command and control system or reforms can make up for this.
One does not need to speak of the country’s difficult financial problems. The country has money. In 2006 and 2007, $125-175 billion was transferred to the country’s hard currency reserves, respectively. $175 billion is, at the year average rate of 25 rubles/$, approximately 4.36 trillion rubles, that is 5 times more than all MO [Ministry of Defense] expenditures in 2007. This money was transferred into long-term, low-interest, and ‘highly reliable’ U.S. securities. So they assert. It is simpler to say an unreimbursed investment in the American economy. For this money, it would have been possible to maintain another five armies like the current Russian one. Even in the crisis of 2009, when we experienced a federal budget deficit, from the middle of March until the end of the year, nearly $60 billion was transferred into hard currency reserves, i.e. nearly 2 trillion is the volume of financing for another 1.5 such armies like Russia’s.
But the financing of the Russian VS is not happening on the necessary scale. As a result, the real possibilities of Russia are being cut by leaps and bounds. This affects both military power and political influence abroad.