Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Putin: Russia Must Re-Arm Because of United States Aggression

That's the only way to interpret a new article by Vladimir Putin in the new issue of Foreign Policy. He writes:
We will, under no circumstances, surrender our strategic deterrent capability. Indeed, we will strengthen it.

We will not be able to strengthen our international position or develop our economy or our democratic institutions if we are unable to protect Russia.

We see ever new regional and local wars breaking out. We see new areas of instability and deliberately managed chaos. There also are attempts to provoke such conflicts even close to Russia's and its allies' borders. The basic principles of international law are being degraded and eroded, especially in terms of international security.

Under these circumstances, Russia cannot rely on diplomatic and economic methods alone to resolve conflicts. Our country faces the task of sufficiently developing its military potential as part of a deterrence strategy. This is an indispensable condition for Russia to feel secure and for our partners to listen to our country's arguments...

So what does the future have in store for us? The probability of a global war between nuclear powers is not high, because that would mean the end of civilization. Nobody will dare launch a large-scale aggression against us...

High-precision, long-range conventional weapons will become increasingly common. An important, if not decisive, role in determining the nature of armed conflict will be played by the military capability of a country to counter space or information-related threats, especially in cyberspace.

We must also take resolute steps to strengthen our aerospace defenses. We are being pushed into action by the U.S. and NATO missile defense policies. A global balance of forces can be guaranteed either by building our own missile defense shield -- an expensive and to date largely ineffective undertaking -- or by developing the ability to overcome any missile defense system and protect Russia's retaliation potential, which is far more effective. Russia's military and technical response to the U.S. global missile defense system and its European section will be effective and asymmetrical.

Similarly, the activities that the world's leading military powers have initiated around the Arctic are forcing Russia to secure our interests in that region..

Putin also seems to get that free markets are the key to a growing economy:
Some people argue that rebuilding our military-industrial complex will saddle the economy with a heavy burden, the same burden that bankrupted the Soviet Union. I am sure this is profoundly delusionary.

The USSR collapsed due to the suppression of natural market forces in the economy and long-running disregard for the interests of the people. We cannot repeat the errors of the past.

The full article is here.


  1. "the activities that the world's leading military powers have initiated around the Arctic"

    What the heck are they doing in the Arctic?
    I seem to remember Antarctica was being divi'ed up and there might be sparks flying from that, so Im guessing the same is true of the Arctic?,... or is there more to it?
    ... There always is, isn't there?

    A resumption of the pre-manufactured Cold War,... sigh.

  2. Robert, what happened to your podcast? I loved it and am looking forward to more.

  3. This is not to give any approval to the USSR, but for the duration of it's existence, it was mainly concerned with maintaing it's boundaries. Sames goes post-Soviet Russia.

  4. It's understandable for an American to think that he was referring solely to the US. He wasn't.

    This is largely about natural resources in the Arctic and specifically the disputed territory that Canada claims and has always protected and the people identify themselves as Canadian that live on those islands and out to the 200 mile zone.

    The Russians have been in an ongoing dispute with Canada including using a Russian submarine to plant a Russian flag on Canadian soil which was promptly blown up with a torpedo by a Canadian sub. (and only reported 6 months after it was done so as to not prove alarm).

    The US has recognized Canada's land claim as has the rest of NATO. As a result if the Russians attempt to drill or otherwise expropriate that land, it will be an act of war against Canada which will immediately result in NATO mobilizing against Russia's instigation of war. (The UN has attempted to vote recognizing both Canada and Denmark's land claims in the far north repeatedly but has been vetoed by China and Russia every time.)

    Russia is just playing games claiming to it's citizens that Canada is being a bully using it's international influence to claim land and sea that is "rightfully Russian" as Putin has put it in the past.

    Of course this is Canada we're talking about and the last thing anyone would ever claim is that Canada is a bully, but hey, it plays to the masses in St. Petersburg the same as Terror threats plays to the corn fields of Iowa.

    Meanwhile, Canada is building bases in the far north, and is actively patrolling the Arctic Ocean with Subs and ships and has already blocked several Russian military vessels and exploration craft escorted by Russian Navy from entering Canadian territory.

    Obviously Russia doesn't fear Canada if Canada stood alone. But with the might of NATO (i.e. the US) behind it, Russia is caught between a rock and a hard place. Putin has to claim that he's defending the land Russia claims so that Russia can benefit from the resources that are clearly there, while not starting a shooting war with Canada and by extension the US and all of Europe.

    This is just more blustering in this ongoing dispute. Russia gets almost all of it's oil internally and doesn't care about mid-east oil (they're a net exporter) other than to stick it to the US, and while the military bases that the US is erecting on the Pacific rim worries the Russians they're very aware that this is about China not Russia. This is about wealth that Russia claims as its own but doesn't have any claim to. Nothing more. It's the Russian equivalent of American Imperialism.

  5. Doug Bandow has also dissected recent US empire sabre rattling in the Pacific. It is the world's largest debtor threatening it's creditor.