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Monday, September 9, 2013
The West does not comprehend the danger represented by Russian President Vladimir Putin: He is backing up Syria and more.
When Putin speaks of modernizing the army as in the time of Joseph Stalin, should he be taken literally? Yes, answers Hélène Blanc, a Russian specialist who warns not to underestimate Moscow’s military ambitions. Russia is flexing its muscles.
In the media, Putin recently demonstrated a new bomb of implosion, which he claims is four times as powerful as its American counterpart. He is revising his military budget upward. He is questioning several treaties of disarmament, in particular the CFE (Conventional Forces in Europe) Treaty and the INF Treaty that concerns intermediate nuclear strengths.
Traumatized by the loss of its military power, which collapsed like a house of cards with the communist empire, and humbled by the defeat of the ex-Red Army during the first Chechen War, Russia intends to rebuild its armed forces as a sign of power.
Conscious that military force is again becoming an essential stake of international relations, Putin promised that he would not allow another collapse and would return his army to its previous strength.
Stratfor Global Intelligence reports in “Russia in Europe: Strategic Challenges” that Russia, disadvantaged since its military decline, wants to revise and adapt treaties and structures of security that determine its relations with the West. The Kremlin wants a system in which Russia would be better represented and have an appearance of parity. Today, Russia is strong.
But the disengagement of security treaties is also a unilateral answer to American unilateralism. The questioning of the CFE treaty is thus a retort to the American project to implant the antimissile shield in Poland. It is a way for Russia to say “we don’t want your project in Poland so we are going away of any treaty,” which opens the door for any move Russia wants to do.
The United States disengaged from the anti-ballistic missiles treaty in 2001. Russia, which at the time was weak, said nothing. But the NATO allies continue to snub it. Today, Russia is strong and argues in the same way the Americans did eight years ago. At that time, Putin was in favor of a merger with the West. Moscow showed itself, moreover, relatively flexible and cooperative toward Kosovo in the United Nations Security Council.
Today, certain experts consider that Russia, which needs to be recognized as a major power even though it does not have all the attributes of one, is trying to oppose the United States on questions of defense — especially since criticisms of Washington concerning the democratic drift of Russia are being made more frequently. That is why, regardless of moral value, Russia will back up Syria, chemical use or not.
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