Centre Franco-Russe d’Intelligence Economique et Stratégique

13 février 2007

Russia proposes new National Military Doctrine

Russia's new National Military Doctrine has become a focus of the Russian military. Not long ago, Albert Galeev, President of the Russian Military Academy, briefed politicians on the draft's framework at a high-level seminar. Information from the seminar indicates that both the content and structure of the new doctrine are remarkably different from the doctrine currently in place. The draft reveals Russia's stance on current military threats and national defense issues.

Having inherited most of the armed forces of the USSR, Russia enacted the Russian Federation Military Doctrine in 1993. In 2000, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a revised version, which is still in place. However, Russia and the world have undergone tremendous changes since the start of the 21st century. President Putin believes some of the ideas in Russia's current Military Doctrine are already outdated and ineffective in consolidating national security. As early as a year ago, he explicitly asked related departments and organs to research and formulate a new national military theory in response to the changes that have taken place.

In the first seven years of the 21st century, Russia has reported a comprehensive increase in national strength. Its economy is also expanding. Russia's economic growth rate is above the world average. The overall increase in national strength has enabled the country to re-position itself in the international arena. As a result, Russia not only can make changes to its current Military Doctrine with more confidence, but elaborate on the nature of the doctrine and national defense strategy.

Chief of General Staff of the Russian Federation and First Deputy Minister of Defense, Yuri Baluyevskiy, believes that fundamental changes in international relations as well as the national and regional situation have greatly impacted Russia's geo-strategic situation. The new Military Doctrine aims to integrate all national military policies. In accordance with the new doctrine, government and civil organizations would work together to solve the military security problem and make effective use of the country's comprehensive military strength. Baluyevskiy concluded that only by relying on military strength can other, more peaceful strategies be effective.

There are three key points in the new Doctrine. Firstly, the absolute function of nuclear weapons is no longer secured. In addition to emphasizing strategic containment forces, Russia also stresses the necessity of developing conventional forces to ensure it can safeguard long-term national security and deal with local conflicts. The traditional belief that nuclear weapons would guarantee Russia a worry-free existence is being challenged. Secondly, Russia clearly articulates the main threats to its security: extensive US influence; NATO's eastward expansion; local conflict and terrorist activity. The Doctrine stresses that non-military and military threats are inseparable and should be treated as an organic whole. Thirdly, activities aimed at defining and defending national interests should be restricted in order to protect core national interests. Galeev clearly stated that the exaggeration of national interests and objectives would result in a confrontational foreign policy and military doctrine, which would not only be unproductive, but damage the national economy.

Russia's new Military Doctrine is still at the discussion and consideration stage. Senior military officers have different opinions for the draft. However, changes have been made to Russia's security policy and military strategy, which indicates that Russia is seeking to protect its national security in the new situation. Its next Military Doctrine will be more "profound" than those of the past.

By People's Daily Online

Posté par CFRIES à 13:27 - Armement & Defence - Permalien [#]