Skip to comments.Post-Soviet States Involved in ‘Dangerous’ Arms Build Up
Posted on 10/03/2010 10:13:28 PM PDT by nickcarraway
Despite the absence of real foreign threats, all the member states of the Commonwealth of Independent States are rapidly increasing their military spending, not only diverting funds from other uses but creating a series of regional arms races that represent an extremely dangerous trend for the region, according to a Russian commentator.
Yuri Sigov, Washington bureau chief for Delovoy lyudi,, says that the latest events in Kyrgyzstan, the signing of a [basing] agreement between Moscow and Yerevan, the purchase by Azerbaijan of anti-aircraft complexes and the strengthening of the Russian military presence in South Ossetia and Abkhazia are only the most visible aspects of this process.
And while military build ups in and of themselves do not necessarily create wars, such preparations for conflict by one country inevitably provoke others into doing the same. That means that the continuation of peaceful relations is put at risk and any cooperation among these countries less likely (topwar.ru/1604-vooruzhayushheesya-sodruzhestvo.html).
Moreover and perhaps even more important in many of these countries, the growth of the military not only is used by the powers that be to maintain tight control over their populations but ensures that senior officers have a major voice in the direction these countries take in the future, thus limiting the prospects for democratization.
Sigov notes that not one of the violent conflicts which broke out as the Soviet Union collapsed has been resolved by peaceful means, and that reality, plus the impact of the spillover of violence from Afghanistan, provides all the justification most of these countries feel they need for expanding their defense capabilities even at the sacrifice of social needs.
But what this means, Sigov continues, is that in the 20 years since the collapse of the USSR, not one of its former republics has been living a peaceful life and all of them to one degree or another continue to arm themselves at an increasing rate, often acquiring arms from Russia, NATO, Turkey, China and the United States.
Military spending in the 11 CIS countries rose approximately 5.5 percent this year, Sigov says, a figure that does not include the much higher rate of growth in such spending in Georgia which left the Commonwealth after the August 2008 war and which now enjoys substantial military assistance from NATO and the United States.
The most rapidly arming countries now in this region are Armenia and Azerbaijan, the journalist says. That is not surprising given that the possibility of a military confrontation between the two neighbors in the CIS is very great.
At present, Sigov says, Azerbaijan has increased its military budget up to 10 percent of GDP. And Armenias increase while less is also large given that on the Armenian side, one must add the increased spending on the military units in Nagorno-Karabakh and the other occupied territories.
The situation in Central Asia is even more alarming. On the one hand, none of the militaries there is in a position to counter any external aggression from the Taliban. But on the other, each is trying to build up its forces either to control the borders it shares with its neighbors or even more often to maintain a tight hold over its own population.
Uzbekistan currently spends approximately 3.5 percent of its GDP on the armed forces, while Kazakhstan spend about one percent. Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan spend less but that is because they hope for assistance from the outside and especially on the defense capabilities of Russian or American bases.
Meanwhile, Turkmenistan, which proclaims its neutrality, nonetheless spends large amounts in the support of its armed forces, but this almost certainly has more to do with maintaining the powers that be in Ashgabat against any domestic challenge than responding to any foreign threat.
Ukraine has been increasing its military spending as well, apparently out of concerns about the Transdniestria situation and its territorial disputes with Romania as well as to present itself as an independent actor or potential partner, east and west. And Moldova too has boosted defense spending, Sigov says.
As for Belarus, the Russian commentator continues, evaluating the military budget is hard because it is difficult and with regard to certain things impossible to separate out the purely Belarusian military budget from the expenditures of the Union State with Russia. But even given that, it is clear that Minsk now spends nearly 1.5 percent of GDP on defense.
I was wondering when this would be noticed...its been going on for several years.
This is going on while The CommieCrates and Usurper gutted $100 Billion from our defense budget!
We have been betrayed I am afraid.
With a neighbot like Russia, it would be wise to keep the Bear at bay.
One need only look at Georgia - no the one in the CIS....
Thanks for sharing that Reagan Video!!!!
"Joint war games are a logical outcome of the Sino-Russian Friendship and Cooperation Treaty signed in 2001, and reflect the shared worldview and growing economic ties between the two Eastern Hemisphere giants."
From the Russian News and Information Agency:
July 27, 2006
"'I am determined to expand relations with Russia,' Chavez, known as an outspoken critic of what he calls the United States' unilateralism, told the Russian leader, adding that his determination stemmed from their shared vision of the global order.":
We are creating a new world, a balanced world. A new world order, a multipolar world, Chavez told reporters during a visit to Communist China, one of many. His new world order includes [RUSSIA], China, Iran,... and a significantly weakened United States, he explained.
Resurgent Communism in Latin America
by Alex Newman, March 16, 2010:
The two sides [Democratic People's Republic of Korea and Russia] agreed to "promote and enhance friendly relations" in line with the joint declaration of July 19, 2000 and the Russia-DPRK friendship and good neighborly cooperation treaty of February 9, 2000.
Putin and Kim agreed during their talks to promote a Russian- DPRK political dialogue on the Korean issue and international affairs, and discussed many topical international problems, deputy head of the Russian presidential administration Sergei Prikhodko told reporters following the talks.
The two leaders spoke for an independent and peaceful solution to the issue of reunification of the Korean Peninsula, and against "any outside obstacles to this process" as "unacceptable."
The media has been abuzz today at the prospect of Russian nuclear bombers being stationed in Cuba if the US goes ahead with plans for missile defense bases in Eastern Europe.
The story has riled the US enough that a US general has been wheeled out to tell the worlds press that any Russian attempt to build another nuclear base in Cuba would cross US red line.
The story broke earlier this week, when Russian newspaper Izvestia quoted an un-named source from within the Russian military. He told the Russian daily:
While they are deploying the missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic, our strategic bombers will already be landing in Cuba.
The quote hasnt been independently confirmed, but the Russian Defense Ministry added fuel to the fire when they refused to comment on the story.
The prospect of Russian nuclear forces being stationed in Cuba - which is, after all, only 90 miles from the US coast - would bring back some rather unpleasant memories for the US of the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, where the Soviet Union under Nikita Kruschev launched an audacious and foolhardy bid to station nuclear missiles on the Caribbean island.
Russia to help Cuba modernize weaponry, train military
September 18, 2009
HAVANA, September 18 (RIA Novosti) - Modernization of the Soviet-made military equipment and training of Cuban military personnel will be the focus of Russian-Cuban military cooperation in the near future, the chief of the Russian General Staff said on Friday. Gen. Nikolai Makarov arrived on a working visit to Cuba on Monday, met with Cuban President Raul Castro and the country's military leadership, and visited a number of military installations.
"During the Soviet era we delivered a large number of military equipment to Cuba, and after all these years most of this weaponry has become obsolete and needs repairs," Makarov said.
"We inspected the condition of this equipment, and outlined the measures to be taken to maintain the defense capability of this country...I think a lot of work needs to be done in this respect, and I hope we will be able to accomplish this task," the general said.
Makarov said the Cuban request for assistance with training of military personnel will also be fully satisfied.
Although the Cuban leadership has repeatedly said it has no intention of resuming military cooperation with Russia after the surprise closure of the Russian electronic listening post in Lourdes in 2001, bilateral military ties seem to have been improving following the visit of Russian Security Council chief Nikolai Patrushev and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin to Cuba in July last year.
A group of Russian warships, led by the Admiral Chabanenko destroyer visited Cuba in December last year during a Caribbean tour.