Grinyayev and Fomin’s Conclusion

This is a downpayment on Russia’s Armed Forces:  Year 2010.  You can read about the authors here.  The report’s not great, but it has interesting information not printed elsewhere.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

3 responses to “Grinyayev and Fomin’s Conclusion

  1. The problem is that the Armed forces of a country does not generate revenue.
    If you have money reserves do you spend it on defence against NATO and the US… when tactical nuclear weapons will do that job.
    Or do you spend it on the economy that needs enormous investment not only in infrastructure, but also in diversification.
    Investing in the MIC makes sense because that does generate export dollars and a health MIC will be able to support the Armed forces much better than it does currently.
    At the end of the day it was spending on the military that bankrupted both the Soviet Union and now the US (though the US wont admit that). With the US military spending I include all the hidden costs of a global empire they ignore when they say it “only” costs a large fraction of a trillion dollars a year. The bribes. The billions of dollars of aid to countries like Israel and now Kosovo etc etc. There are lots of babies sucking on mommas tit and new europe adds more.

    The simple fact is that it took 20 years of economic collapse and neglect to get the Russian military where it is now and money alone is not going to fix it.
    It is going to take time to get it right and fortunately for Russia it has time. The US or NATO will not try anything while Russia has nukes… they are not stupid. They don’t even try anything against North Korea and all evidence seems to suggest that NKs nukes are rubbish anyway.

  2. What I was trying to say above is that Russia no longer has an empire to subsidise, or an ideology to push.
    The politicians are talking about 2020 for this and that in regard to Russias military and I agree that it will take 10 years of work and money to not only get Russias military right, but also Russias economy right.
    Russias economy will pay for its military but only when it is working smarter and more efficiently. Diversity and productivity need to improve along with living standard and pretty soon the economy will allow for military needs to be covered without detracting from the economy.

  3. There will be no Russian economy by 2020 if it continues to follow the same old neo-liberal teachings. It would be nice to see the military sacrificing something for the economy, but the economy is in the shambles. These guys are killing the army on purpose.

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