Is a massive economic crisis a good time to launch a thorough military reform? Given the economic uncertainties, most experts would recommend delaying the overhaul, even if it is long-overdue. Russia, however, is not known for adhering to conventional wisdom. As a consequence, Russia is now in the middle of a profound, if poorly conceptualized and under-financed, transformation of its Armed Forces. The official evaluation of the provisional results is as upbeat as Enron’s annual report for the year 2000; the immediate prospects for success look as uncertain as California’s solvency.
Editor’s note: Dr. Pavel K. Baev is a Research Professor at the
International Peace Research Institute, Oslo
(PRIO). He presented this topic at Brookings in February 2010. His latest book, Russian Energy Policy and Military Power was published by Routledge, London in 2008. For current commentary, see
Eurasia Daily Monitor
The question with this administration is, what will Trump see as an acceptable return for this waiver [granted to India for its trade with Russia and Iran]? Will he demand a transaction in return, some give on the trade side or a big defence deal for the US as well? Russia and Iran are sticking points, but the fact that the Trump administration is dealing with these privately is a sign of how much the relationship has changed. [Mr Trump] usually doesn’t give out freebies.