Red Star East: The Armed Forces of Russia in Asia

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

A second cause of the posture of opposition arises from the lack of institutional responsiveness within the Russian administrative system. While the Foreign Ministry remains better organised than most ministries, foreign policy takes in a range of political actors, including the armed forces. As the head of the Security Council observed in an interview in June 1997: 'Not everyone appreciates state discipline. If the Prime Minister has signed agreements and the President has signed a treaty, then be so kind to implement them.'122

Another important consideration is that Russia has been severely constrained in its strategic options by the pressures of reorganising daily life in the face of severe economic and social dislocation created by the collapse of the USSR, subsequent maladministration, and lack of political and social consensus. Thus, even had the government been inclined to pursue some of the extreme and aggressive postures that have been advocated, it would have found itself bereft of the resources to carry them through with much effect. In particular, the armed forces of Russia have not really been in a fit state to conduct war. This reality was clearly demonstrated in Russia's military defeat when it sought to reassert dominance over its breakaway republic of Chechnia between 1994 and 1996. This lack of strategic choice makes it difficult to be certain of the world view held by the leaders of Russia.


CONCLUSION

Russian strategic policy in the immediate aftermath of the creation of the new state was visibly based on liberal internationalist positions having more in common with the common security doctrines of Nordic countries like Sweden than with great powers like the USA. Within a short time, the government of President Yeltsin was forced to deal with a number of compelling emergencies in the newly independent states and these exigencies resulted in the resurfacing of great power tendencies in Russia's foreign policy. Pragmatism tinged with a visceral anti-Americanism began to define Russian foreign policy. As the President became progressively weaker in domestic politics, the need to play to a variety of chauvinist sentiments became more powerful. This resulted in the dismissal of an all-too-international list foreign minister and his replacement with an all-too-pragmatic intelligence apparatchik who had risen to prominence in the Soviet era.

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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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