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Tightening the Belt
Russia No Longer A Top 5 Defense Spender
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  • Disappeared4x

    Outplayed in so many ways, from FM Lavrov’s teasing tango with SecState Kerry to nuclear icebreakers, which are not in Russia’s defense budget, but they dominate the technology. From June 23, 2016: “…The Arktika, launched in St Petersberg, is the first of a new class of ships known as Type LK-60YA, ordered by Russian state nuclear agency Rosatom (eventually there will be three vessels). Its task will be to smash a path through the ice of the Northern Sea Route. Raw power counts for a lot in icebreaking, and by bringing 80,000 hp (60 megawatts) to bear, Arktika will be able to break through floating ice almost ten feet thick. The icebreaker will lead convoys along a route that otherwise would be impassable.

    “There are no icebreakers equivalent to Arktika anywhere in the world,” Rosatom CEO Sergey Kirienko said at the launching ceremony. He went on to claim that it is more advanced than anything afloat. “The icebreaker Arktika means real new opportunities for our country.” …”

    Wish I could post a Youtube with my creaky PC, but anyone remember the Russian cosmonaut in “Armageddon”, where Bruce Willis’ oil drilling team has to save the world from an asteroid? from the “this is how we fix things” scene:

    • Disappeared4x

      “Armageddon” was on cable last night, IFC channel. 1998 was a year when Hollywood deemed it was good for a Russian to be a hero. Lev ‘fixes’ the shuttle so they can take off three seconds before the nuke explodes the asteroid apart. Terrifically funny scene!

  • Pait

    Smart choice. Putin doesn’t need to spend on defense if he can order the president elect of the United States to do what he wants.

    • Jim__L

      Is that hat you’re wearing in your picture made of tin foil?

  • Kev

    Sorry, but this is just lazy analysis from TAI. There has been no “decision to rein in military spending”, other than reducing rate of growth maybe. What you’re seeing is the effect of changing currency rates. Simply put US dollar is worth a lot more now than 2 years ago. So the military budget may have declined in dollar terms, but it doesn’t mean much, since Russian weapons are produced domestically and the soldiers are paid in rubles.

  • Kevin

    Is this adjusted for PPP?

  • Kenneth Currie

    And then there’s China. As Kevin points out, one needs to adjust for PPP, and when you do that, the two countries together are spending as much as we are and will be outspending us in just a few years.

  • FriendlyGoat

    The idea of “weapons” has expanded beyond literal explosives, courtesy of electronic connectivity. What parties can coerce upon each other with threats of communications disruption or actual communications disruption appears to be the new reality. Whether that was the gist of Romney’s 2012 statement that “Russia is America’s greatest geopolitical foe” is an open question. It’s hard to imagine that he foresaw Russia helping elect Republicans in America and publicly called it a bad thing. But, even with all the nuke stockpiles, the future of superpower relations is now more likely centered on who, from keyboards, can turn whose lights off—– in how big a way, and for how long.

  • Was Russia’s black budget taken into account?

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