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