The scale of the exercise, preparation of the logistical and transportation support, cancellation of leave for military personnel and the testing of strategic mobility all indicate that considerable planning went into this exercise; it is unlikely that was in fact a real “snap inspection.” It was politically calculated to show Russia’s neighbors in the Asia-Pacific that Moscow has the political will to defend far flung territory during a crisis.
By returning to an earlier idea to revamp the elite Airborne Forces as rapid reaction forces, vastly increasing contract service and adding for good measure the promise of a Special Operations command, it appears the current defense ministry leadership longs for a recipe to recast the old reform as alive and well.The General Staff is currently studying force structure, and the Special Operations command is small-scale by comparison with their thinking on what will follow after 2015.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is considering signing into law a new “defense plan,” setting out in a comprehensive document the long-term threat assessment and strategic environment facing Russia over the next few decades. It will mark an effort on a grand scale to re-conceptualize Russian security documents and provide a framework for the defense ministry, General Staff and the military industrial complex to implement defense modernization.
Russia’s new defense minister, Army-General Sergei Shoigu, under the guise of pursuing “nuanced changes” to the Armed Forces’ reform managed by his predecessor Anatoly Serdyukov, is reportedly considering systemic revisions to the entire process. These range from revising the reformed military districts (MDs) and joint strategic commands to targeting Serdyukov’s system of outsourcing support services for the military.
This book presents a comprehensive overview of current developments related to Russia’s military reform launched in 2008 by leading Western and Russian experts on the Russian armed forces. It was published in December 2011 in the Routledge Contemporary Russia and Eastern Europe Series of 30 monographs and collections of articles on the key aspects of current developments in Russia and the other former Soviet republics.
Army-General Nikolai Makarov, the Chief of the Russian General Staff launched an apparently scathing attack on the domestic defense industry. His comments provoked public controversy with the Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin. However, as the Russian media focused on Makarov’s statements, it appears to have missed an important point. No other general supported the views offered by the Chief of the General Staff; their silence is deafening.