Red Star East: The Armed Forces of Russia in Asia

By Greg Austin; Alexey D. Muraviev | Go to book overview

more support from the military, especially among low- and middle-ranked officers. But Russia is definitely in the very dangerous situation where a small military revolt by extremists might lead to an avalanching collapse of authority in the armed forces as a whole in such a way as to ease the way to power of extremists with a radical international agenda.


CONCLUSION

Russia of the late 1990s remains a great power but it is severely hobbled. In governance it is a weak state in crisis. In social terms, it is a chaotic mix of hope and desperation, of order and lawlessness, of prosperity and poverty. There are many signs of consolidation of ordered, enlightened government, but this form of social organisation is still in open competition with despotic and repressive instincts in many political circles, including those closest to the so-called democrats in Yeltsin's immediate circle. Many people in Russia continue to suffer poverty and human rights abuses, even as others enrich themselves through clever capitalism or crime, or a combination of both. It remains to be seen whether the foundations for a liberal democratic, free market economy put in place by Yeltsin will be strong enough to withstand continuing pressure from political forces with a sharply contending vision of political order. The constitutional foundations of the Russian state have yet to be established by long observation of convention and principle. The written constitution, which in any country can only be the first step to institutionalised stability, was first promulgated in 1993--a mere seven years before the time of publication of this book. An entrenchment of liberal political ideas in Russia is the least likely direction for Russia in the next decade.

Russia remains susceptible to a sharp reorientation of foreign policy if more extremist political groups gain power through a coup or through an election. Both scenarios should be considered, but there are few signs that the extremists are sufficiently well placed to take power. The most powerful forces likely to succeed in replacing the Yeltsin administration in elections are those of the Communist Party, or a centre-right platform. The foreign policy of either group is more likely to be characterised by greater prickliness rather than by any return to the direct confrontation of a systemic kind that existed in the Cold War. Russia will still need international investment and international financial support

-37-

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Red Star East: The Armed Forces of Russia in Asia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Armed Forces of Asia ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword v
  • Contents vii
  • List of Maps, Tables and Figures viii
  • About the Authors x
  • Preface xii
  • Acknowledgements xv
  • Note on Transliteration of Russian and Citation of Sources xvi
  • 1 - Russia: Rebuilding the State, Reconstituting the Nation 1
  • Conclusion 37
  • 2 - Russia East of the Ural Mountains 39
  • Conclusion 60
  • 3 - National Strategic Policy 62
  • Conclusion 93
  • 4 - Strategic Policy in the Asia-Pacific 96
  • Conclusion 128
  • 5 - Military Doctrine and Force Posture 130
  • Conclusion 180
  • 6 - Nuclear Forces 182
  • Conclusion 202
  • 7 - Naval Forces 204
  • Conclusion 232
  • 8 - Air Forces 234
  • Conclusion 254
  • 9 - Ground Forces 257
  • Conclusion 286
  • 10 - Military Industry and Regional Arms Sales 287
  • Conclusion 312
  • Conclusion 314
  • Appendix 319
  • Notes 323
  • Bibliography 380
  • Index 389
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