In 2017 the military spending of Paris will exceed the military spending of Moscow. Given the sharp decline in Russian spending in this area and the unfavorable economic situation, it is safe to say that the combat readiness of Russia is not as high as it seems.
Atlantico: Russia is seriously reduced military spending, despite the demonstration of military force in Syria. Russia’s spending is less than spending ten times and is almost the same as that of France. In this regard, we not overestimate the fighting ability of the Kremlin?
Alain Rodier (Rodier Alain): to be precise, according to the report of the Stockholm Institute for peace studies (SIPRI) published on April 24, 2017, the total number of military world’s spending in 2016, the percentage was 36% in the US, 13% in China and 4.1% in Russia. Aggregate figures for France, Germany and the UK reach 8,6% and that twice!
Intelligence agencies have always loved to compare the strength of the composition and quantity of the military equipment (military balance). I can’t deny myself the pleasure to practice with numbers, especially since they are approximate.
For a start it will be about people. The population of NATO countries is 917 million people, of which 317 million Americans and 142 million Russians. In fact, most of the soldiers recruited among the peoples of these countries. Thus, the resources of Western countries is much higher than that of Russia.
In the military NATO are 3.6 million men (and women), of which 1.5 million people — Americans, against 800 thousand people from the Russian. In terms of NATO aircraft has 5.9 thousand combat aircraft, of which 3.5 thousand us against 1.9 thousand in Russian.
The U.S. Navy has 10 aircraft carriers, not counting the helicopter, while in Moscow — only one standing in dry dock for quite a long time. At the disposal of NATO are about 6 thousand battle tanks, of which 2.3 thousand owned by the Americans against 2.8 thousand at the Russian.
The only area in which there is parity, is nuclear weapons. Americans have 1,481 of thousands of nuclear warheads against 1,735 thousand in Russian. This is enough to destroy our planet several times. Of course, these figures do not include all of the elements, in particular the suitability of the equipment, which often is only 50% of the total number, capability and experience of different players.
— What is the source of this exaggeration of the military capabilities of Russia? Whom this information is most supported and for what purpose?
— Since the end of world war II, Washington has always tried to exaggerate the threat of the Soviet Union, then of the Warsaw Pact and finally Russia. The allies of Washington and NATO, which were dependent on American intelligence (and remain fully dependent now) had no reason to doubt the statements of the USA, especially since the Brits have always shared the opinion of Washington, and their intelligence services have always enjoyed a strong reputation.
France, first a little, and then seriously started to doubt their statements, analyzing the Afghan conflict under the command of the red army. France collected data showed that Russian military equipment was not as effective as intended.
But the question to your answer is in the speech delivered by President Eisenhower on January 17 1961 at the end of his second term: “We must guard against unjustified, intentional or unintentional influence of the military-industrial complex. The potential threat of the growth of unnecessary power exists and will exist. We should not accept anything on faith. Only a vigilant and informed civil society can insist on a reasonable combination of the huge industrial and military machine with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty could prosper together”. Unfortunately, he had already foreseen that it will develop American neo-conservatives, which will eventually be joined by their European counterparts. You should pay attention that there are such people among Republicans and among Democrats and that Europe’s division on the right and the left plays no role. There, too, in both camps there are the neoconservatives.
— In your opinion, what problems will have to face Russia, and to what purpose it moves, given the unfavorable economic situation in the country?
— Problems in the economy, comparable to the level of economic problems in Italy, forcing Moscow to make a choice that will strike capability, despite the propaganda in social networks. This affects the modernization programs that are systematically reviewed and they allocated less money.
However, their strategic opportunities in geographical terms, is much more modest compared to Washington. Russia has a total of 12 military bases abroad, and America — 800!
So, the goal of Russia is to just tickle the NATO countries. But Russia no longer have the opportunities that she had in the days of the Warsaw Pact. From a military point of view Russia is not the same as during the cold war. But Russia moves to the “hybrid” conflict, knowing that we can now wage war not only through military equipment.