“What matters is not intentions but capabilities,” — these words of Otto von Bismarck Russian President Vladimir Putin quoted exactly two years ago at the meeting of the military-industrial Commission. Obviously, this is one of his favorite quotes of the German Chancellor Putin remembered her at a meeting of Council Russia-the NATO in 2008.
Then, during a conversation with members of the military-industrial Commission, Putin promised that Russia “will not get involved in a costly arms race”. “Russia does not threaten anyone and all disputes seeking to resolve at the negotiating table. We will continue to do in the future, we will follow this policy”, — he said.
Now, it seems, he had the opportunity to decide for themselves what is more important — good intentions of Donald trump or the military potential of the United States, which the President-elect is going to significantly increase.
Wants to Russia or not, but the West seems to have seriously decided to engage in an arms race — there appreciated the military potential of Russia, which Moscow has accumulated over the last 10 years.
Campaign promises of the elected American President to increase spending on the armed forces, as well as the size of the forces themselves, was met with enthusiasm in the U.S. army. The Pentagon already expressed assumptions about the direction of development of the armed forces, prepare the concept of modernization of the army under the future spending on defense.
Although Donald trump speaking about increasing the military budget, insisted that this measure will serve primarily to improve the economy, create new jobs and support industry, the military often point to the growing military power of Russia as the reason for the coming of rearmament.
Moreover, the position of Donald trump against the U.S. armed forces and military-industrial complex — one of the arguments in its favor in a dispute with those who think the elected President in relations with the Kremlin.
It is too early to judge how much of the funds will receive as a result of the Pentagon: the military budget for 2017 already, but the trump until he became President.
The American press has reported rumors that the congressional Republicans — Senator John McCain and the head of the defense Committee of the house of representatives Mac Thornberry is already preparing a proposal to increase the military budget for the 2018 fiscal year of more than $ 50 billion (from 602 to 640 billion).
But, firstly, these rumors are not officially confirmed, and secondly, between the proposal and the adopted budget is very long and thorny path.
A large and deadly fleet
However, these intentions trump was inspired by the American military.
Speaking at the Symposium of the Association of the surface forces of the Navy, which completed its work last week, commander surface forces Vice Admiral Thomas Rowden said that as a result of the plans, which provided Donald trump, America will have a large and “lethal” fleet.
Roden presented at the Symposium the concept of development of the surface fleet, which is called “Distributed power” (Distributed Lethality).
It involves no concentration of forces around a large carrier strike groups, and their distribution throughout the world ocean. Each ship will represent not just a combat unit of the fleet, and the cell in a huge network.
One of the provisions of the concept — retrofitting ships, weapons and communication systems and monitoring, including missiles and unmanned aircraft.
On the one hand, it will strengthen the combat power of each individual ship, on the other — will require an increase in the number and of the ships themselves. Currently in the U.S. Navy, 272 warship.
In the coming years, the Navy hoped to bring his ships to 308 warships (both surface and underwater). Trump in the election race has raised the bar up to 350. The Navy adjusted the calculations and now says that may will need 355.
These plans may be re-adjusted because it has not yet even determined what class of ships should be build. Experts and the military say that the Navy needed most of the shock subs and surface ships — destroyers, corvettes, frigates.
Similar promises trump gave and ground forces, promising to increase their numbers from 475 thousand to 540 thousand people, to increase the number of marine battalions from 24 to 36, and also to bring the Park of combat-ready aircraft to 1200 (just over 1100).
In trump’s plans to develop and improve nuclear weapons and cybernetic public security system.
It is pretty common plans that will be refined both in quantity and in quality, but the desire of trump’s obvious he will spend money on the army and weapons.
It is so obvious that even the proposal to reduce nuclear weapons, expressed by the elected President a few days before his inauguration, was not taken seriously in Russia.
Good news for the military?
Shortly before the new year online publication Defense News has published a collection of small articles of the military establishment, the United States and other countries “Perspective-2017” (Outlook 2017).
Among the authors of the book — Minister of defense Ashton Carter, Secretary of the air force Deborah Lee James, the CEO of Raytheon, BAE Systems and others.
One of many issues, uniting the statements of these experts was the need for a technological breakthrough, accelerate the establishment of high-tech products for the army.
The article Ashton Carter called “an Innovative forward movement is vital to the defense Ministry.” It said that in the last budget put $ 72 billion on research and development in the interests of the military.
“[This amount] to more than two times higher than the budgets of last year companies like Apple, Intel and Google combined,” wrote Carter.
“American technological superiority has never been more important to national security” — supported Minister, the head of Raytheon Thomas Kennedy.
Another common theme of many of the collection of materials is the need to increase defense spending, repeal of the law on the control of the budget from 2011 and especially its provisions for the sequestration of the military budget. “Our ability to modernize depends on it,” wrote Deborah Lee James.
However, while these words are just wishes, the views of the people, although occupying high positions in the leadership of the armed forces, but with no guarantee that they will remain on them after Donald trump will come to power.
In addition, the President-elect with all his passion for the armed forces has not yet proved himself a military geek, a fan of high technology in their purest form.
Even before taking office he raised the question of the cost of the program of the fifth generation fighter — the most expensive in the history of the American Ministry of defense. The F-35 can lay claim to the symbol of the technological superiority of the United States, but Donald trump in early December hinted that the program can wait for a reduction.
“The program creating the F-35 and its costs are out of control. Billions of dollars can be saved by military and other purchases after the 20th of January,” he wrote in his “Twitter”.
However, this may indicate precisely the commitment of the future President to optimize costs, in order to better invest in new weapons.
Good or bad news for Russia?
The presence of a strong and modern army — one of the key instruments of Russian foreign policy. As they say, a “fleet in being” — a fleet, just available, not even deployed in battle order, is already a factor to be reckoned with the enemy.
Will Russia be able to continue to conduct its foreign policy guided by this principle, if trump will seek cancellation of sequestration of the military budget and start the production capacity of the American military-industrial complex in full force (and this, many say as something which is finally resolved)? Whether she has her own “fleet in being”?
In 2016, 55 percent of the Russian military budget went to Finance the state armaments program for the years 2018-2025. In Russia these programs are “overlapping” now continues to operate the program for 2011-2020.
The current program is 20 trillion rubles. The Ministry of defence initially hoped that the budget of the new programme will amount to 55 trillion, but little more than a year ago, defence Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that it managed to optimize, and reduce the cost to 30 trillion.
On 11 January, the newspaper “Vedomosti” published an article, which tells about the development of the programme by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of defense. According to the source, the arguments of the financiers sound more convincing, and the next state armaments program can cost about 12 trillion rubles, which is ready to allocate the Ministry of Finance.
However, independent military expert Pavel Felgengauer believes that the defense has a good chance to defend full funding for the program.
“Of course, the us increased spending will be used as an argument in discussions, where the final decision Putin that it is necessary for us to meet. This is a common thing during the cold war, when two military-industrial complex — Western and Soviet — successfully helped each other,” says Felgenhauer.
In his opinion, the Russian military needs to feel American the most friendly feelings, because they help their actions to shape the budget.
“The arms race is already underway, but it is only Russia, it is a unilateral procedure. Chase only Russia, she has no partner. And chase alone is kind of silly,” said the expert.
However, according to another military expert, Konstantin Makienko from the Center for analysis of strategies and technologies — Russia will be difficult to respond to increased American spending on defense for bureaucratic reasons.
“The reaction to this increase from Russia will not follow. Even if it is. In Russia programming in the state program of armaments is at least 10 years, well, five. Budget programming — for three years”, — he explained.
“If every political, military-political, economic event to respond, then there is no programming to build the impossible. Russia will spend on defense in accordance with their plans that exist or are about to be created”, — said Makienko.
Chief editor of the magazine “arms Export” Andrey Frolov agree with him. According to him, Russia has reduced budget, and defense spending will also decrease. The expert believes that the state arms program also as a result will be approved at minimum level.
“They’re in some degree playing catch-up are in relation to us, and not Vice versa,” he said.