Russia until 2030 - Military and strategic analysis
In his latest military and strategic analysis of Russia Anatoly Tziganok wrote that Western (NATO) pressure pushes Russia in the embrace of China.
Anti-Americanism and anti-Western campaigns have again started developing institutionally just like in the best times of USSR, while the enemy of Russia might be at the totally opposite side – namely, China.
Realistic analysts in Moscow unattached to any ideological affiliation say that Russia is making a huge mistake still considering NATO its principal enemy.
Russian propagandists/ideologists strive to use this propaganda for creating cohesion in Russia. This has been a tried and trusted method for manipulation and mobilization of the Russian people ever since the October revolution, while the reactionary ideologists have never really considered the threat China poses.
According to modern Russian politicians, China and the West have two common strategies: the struggle for resources and globalization, which both the West and China consider to be their weapon for expansion.
Russia has the resources but has just started its adaptation to globalization, so, at the stage where it currently is, the country feels the need to create long-term strategies for successful defense.
The offensive energy strategy that they develop cannot entirely resist the attack that the West and China launch against Russia.
OLD TRIED AND TRUSTED THESES
The strongest emphasis is put on a possible nuclear war in which mobile nuclear rocket systems would play the most important role.
Here the old concept of the Russian army stays unaltered, whereas the issue about the most vulnerable spot of the Russian Army, its professionalization, is currently at a standstill.
Due to the fact that Russian generals and strategists act in a rather bureaucratic manner, they have not learnt any lessons from the local conflicts in the south of former USSR.
This reactionary apparatus is still striving to convince the Kremlin to pay more attention to a possible nuclear war, while the problems in the army remain hidden for the greater part.
The chaos occurs when the desires and the needs exceed by several times the resources that Russian economy can provide.
MODERNISATION IN THE FOLOWING DECADE
Mobile rocket systems and long-range bombers according to the old ideological model should be modernized in order to provide prevention and deterring from a nuclear attack on Russia.
This modernization according to military experts would cost about 50 up to 100 billion dollars for the following decade, but if a defense shield is also to be built (not just air defense shield, but space shield too) the experts believe that it would cost over 250 billion dollars.
The professionalisation of the Army would cost additional 200 billion dollars in the next decade.
The modernization of the air force, which should have at least 1000 aircrafts of the last generation, would amount to 100 billion dollars or over 150 billion dollars if helicopters, other subsidiary vessels, air defense and communications systems are included.
For the modernization of the navy at least additional 50 billion dollars would be required and for the army ground forces, their logistics and other related expenditures additional 150 billion dollars would have to be allocated.
According to experts, the amount required for modernization in the following 10 years would easily reach and even exceed 1000 billion dollars, which means 100 billion dollars would have to be spent annually in the decade to come if Russia wishes to equip itself properly so that it could be on a par with NATO.
According to Russian estimations, the country would have to allocate an amount between 200 and 250 billion dollars per year for the annual budget of the army, which is three times the amount they currently spend for defense.
Technological differences with the Western countries are vast, so Russia will have to invest additional 200 billion dollars in new technologies in the military industry in the following 5-8 years and it should do so by state interventionism, which contravenes modern economic flows and the WTO membership.
Obtaining this type of technology is a top priority for Russia because of China and the threat it poses - the modernization measures the Chinese army undertakes are well known in Moscow.
New Western technologies and some of the new technologies that China introduces provoke alarm in Moscow, especially when it comes to aviation, the navy and the army ground forces.
USA (NATO) will be the greatest world power also beyond 2030 and this is not difficult to understand, but the forecasts say that also China in 2030 will be far more developed than Russia both economically and technologically. Technology experts have calculated that China’s investments in new technologies are 40 times greater than Russia’s, i.e. 5 times greater if calculated per capita.
According to Nikolay Almas, in 2030 Russia will be technologically as inferior to China as Mexico is to USA today.
This situation does not sound optimistic for Moscow, despite the fact that both the economic indicators and the functioning of part of the institutions are solid.
Huge migration in and from Russia indicates that only democratization of the Russian society can lead to building capacities for protection and to establishing satisfactory partnership relations with the West.
The clash of ideologists and analysts in Moscow gets interesting and it seems it will last for a while and will be rather chaotic, but for certain “Yastrebs”(The Hawks) fairly commercial too.
In this surge of ideas even a Russian comeback to Cuba is made popular again, an idea also mentioned by Putin himself.
Probably the negative development in Georgia and the escalation of the situation there as well as Moscow’s project for a comeback to Cuba will cool down the relations with the West just enough for the Kremlin to have an excuse for a gigantic new military budget.
THE CONFLICT IN GEORGIA AND THE BALKANS
After the conflict in Georgia, everything that the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said about Kosovo so far becomes immaterial.
Several days before the beginning of the conflict in Georgia, they even announced the changing of borders in the Balkans, with partitions and new successions.
Whether certain reactionary nationalistic circles in Belgrade will interpret the Russian attack in Georgia as an opportunity to do the same with Kosovo and partition it is something we will learn after the events in Kosovo and the demarcation lines drawn there.
Maybe all this means that Russia starts its new offensive, which the hostile West does not have a lot of capacity to repel especially before the USA elections, and this offensive will justify the additional tens of billions dollars from the budget to be allocated to the Russian army.
Dame Chkatroski is WSN Editor Macedonia and Western Balkans.