MARGINAL THREAT

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NEW MILITARY DOCTRINE DRAWN AND SUBMITTED TO PRESIDENT FOR ENDORSEMENT

The Russian Security Council evaluates chances of a large-scale war as slim.


The new military doctrine was drawn and submitted to the president for signature, a source in the Defense Ministry said. Victor Ozerov, Federation Council Defense and Security Committee Chairman and one of the authors of the document, suggested that the president would hopefully sign it before December 25. What information is available at this point indicates that the new military doctrine allows for the possibility of a foreign aggression against Russia but evaluates its chances as slim.

Where deployment of nuclear weapons is concerned, the new document is no different from the current doctrine adopted in 2000, and permits their deployment in response to the use of weapons of mass destruction against Russia and its allies. Moreover, Russia retains the right to be the first to deploy nuclear weapons in the situation where the adversary contemplates their use too or in a hopeless situation in a conventional aggression against it.

Security Council Assistant Secretary Yuri Baluyevsky told Interfax that other countries like the United States also retained the right to be the first to use weapons of mass destruction. As for Russia, he added, it only retained the right to do so when its very existence as the state was judged to be in jeopardy.

Igor Puzanov of the Defense Committee of the Duma called “nuclear” provisions of the new military doctrine a warning to the reckless regimes capable in theory to opt for a nuclear solution. The lawmaker plainly stated that preemptive nuclear strikes were out of the question.

A source in the Defense Ministry said that the new doctrine demanded 30% of mint-new military hardware in the Armed Forces by 2015 and 70% by 2020 (these days, this ratio is way under 10%).

“It all depends on the government,” Ruslan Pukhov of the Defense Ministry Public Council shrugged. “If financial attention to the military-industrial complex in years to come matches that showered on it in 2009, then the 70-30% new/old merchandise ratio will be accomplished. If not, however, it will be a sheer impossibility.”

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