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WASHINGTON – Russia is on its way once again to becoming a world military power, based on promises by Russian President Vladimir Putin and what he is projecting in the way of defense spending over the next six years, says a report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
Putin wants to “reindustrialize Russia” by rebuilding the defense industry while creating some 25 million new “high-tech jobs” during his six-year term in an effort to transform its military into an “iron fist” against the West.
Deputy Prime Minister for Armaments Dmitry Rogozin, who was Russia’s chief representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization headquarters in Brussels until last year and an ardent supporter of Putin, envisions this effort, as promised by Putin in his election campaign last year, to make Russia a world major industrial power once again.
Rogozin said that the West only recognizes what he calls “raw military power,” adding that “smart power” and “soft power” are “only nice words.”
Unlike during the Cold War when the then-Soviet Union was under severe export controls of high technology, Rogozin said that Russia will acquire Western know-how and technologies to improve its military capabilities.
Rogozin added that Russia doesn’t have “global military expeditionary plans but instead plans more of a regional defense capability.”
However, this is somewhat contradicted by Russia recently showing a reinvigorated military prowess by increasing its long-range strategic bomber flights close to the United States and increasing its submarine patrols near U.S. shores.
Last June, a number of Russian strategic nuclear bombers conducted a training operation in the Arctic without notifying the U.S. The following month, a Bear H Strategic bomber actually entered into U.S. airspace off of California, prompting U.S. jet interceptors to scramble to meet the bomber and force it to turn back.
Then in August, there were reports that a Russian Akula-class attack submarine armed with missiles had patrolled undetected for a month in the Gulf of Mexico.
According to various sources, the submarine had gotten near the U.S. Navy’s Atlantic submarine fleet based at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay on the coast of southern Georgia.
In terms of its relations with Russia, the Obama administration has operated on a “reset” in its relationship from the days of the Cold War. However, Moscow’s perception appears to be at odds with that goal.
“It turns out the view from Moscow is different,” said Pavel Felgenhauer of the Washington think-tank Jamestown Foundation. “The U.S. and the U.S.-led alliance of Western nations are seen as the primary long-term adversary that Russia must arm against at all costs and oppose, while partial security cooperation and tactical agreements on issues like Iran and Afghanistan are temporary, opportunistic in nature and may be abandoned as soon as plans to turn Russia into a world industrial and military powerhouse are realized.”
This more strident approach toward the West is due to Putin’s re-election to the presidency, which reflects a more autocratic approach from his predecessor, Dmitri Medvedev, who now is Putin’s prime minister.
“Russia must restore itself as an economic, military and political superpower, which involves not only rebuilding its military, industrial and technological base, but also re-establishing absolute dominance in its ‘natural sphere of influence – the former Soviet republics,’ that gained independence in 1991,” Felgenhauer said.
In so doing, Russia will be banging up against countries such as Georgia, Ukraine and the Baltic states which decidedly have turned more pro-Western, much to Moscow’s consternation.
“Since the U.S. and the U.S.-led alliance of Western nations actively oppose Russian efforts to re-establish its dominance,” Felgenhauer said, “they are Russia’s chief enemy.”
While the stated goal of Russia’s military reforms is to be regional in nature, Putin’s outlook toward the West and anything associated with it in his region of influence suggests its military buildup and modernization may be geared for greater strategic goals aimed at the West.
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