Today, there is a need to take note that the Eurasian debate itself is not a monolithic on the whole and in its various forms serves distinct purposes. What seems to be emerging in multiple visions where each region has its own perspectives.
Investing US resources in some kind of new Great Game in the region is both wrong-headed and impractical. Russia and China border on the region and have obvious economic and security interests there. On the practical side, the United States is far away.
In July, the Russian military completed the largest spot check exercise it has conducted since 1991. The overall assessment of these exercises from the military has been largely positive, though some areas did come in for criticism. This is not ideal, but is certainly a better statistic than in the bad old days a decade ago.
President Vladimir Putin has staked his reputation on the 2014 Winter Olympics, scheduled to take place in Sochi, a city on the Black Sea coast, near the Abkhazia border. As preparations for the games enter the home stretch, the Russian government has intensified efforts to ensure security at the event.
It seems that the Russian shipbuilding industry has improved in recent years but remains in relatively poor shape overall. Yantar Shipyard in particular has been reported to be in fairly poor shape due to a lack of investment.
The cover article of the brand new issue of Moscow Defense Brief from the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, examines developments in Russian military shipbuilding in 2012, written by Dmitry Boltenkov. Since the article is not publicly available, I thought it might be useful to provide a brief summary. Part 1 covers submarines and surface ships. Part 2, coming soon, will cover auxiliary ships, export contracts, and provide some analysis.
The United States keeps 180 B61 thermonuclear bombs at six air force bases in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey, which can be delivered to their targets by F-15E and F16 fighters. Germany and Italy use Tornado fighters which can also carry these thermonuclear bombs. Russian generals would be careless to ignore these obvious national security risks and to not try to prevent a hypothetical nuclear strike.
How far can the confrontation between Russia and the West go? Is there a line where the two sides will stop before starting with a clean sheet? So far, the confrontation has only been growing. The Cold War II may begin any day, if it is not already underway. It appears that the West and the Kremlin have no answers to these questions.
The polarization of the Asia Pacific Region is in the way of Russia’s new Asian strategy. The Obama administration’s policy of containing China will lead to a split in the region. This puts Russia in a difficult situation where it’ll have to choose between a strategic partnership with China and the advancement of its relations with the South-East Asian countries.
Many in the West regard the Putin’s Russia with suspicion and see her as aggressive. Many elements of the new Russian idea seem to base on a pure rejection of Western liberalism. To be effective, Russia has to become more attractive – for her own people and foreigners, who share traditionalistic-conservative ideals. Russia’s new conservatism must be formulated in the form of “soft power”.