Russia votes to increase military budget
mchawk | September 21, 2008 at 01:44 pmby
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The budget envisages defense spending rising from 1,016.7 billion rubles (about $40 billion) this year to 1,277.5 billion rubles (some $50 billion) next year, a 25.7 percent increase. The defense spending will account for about 14 percent of the government's spending next year.
Former President Vladimir Putin has moved to reaffirm Russia's global clout and rebuild the armed forces during his eight-year tenure. His successor as president, Dmitry Medvedev, has pledged to continue modernizing Russia's arsenal - a task he says became even more vital after the five-day war in August with Georgia.
"We will continuously strengthen our national security, modernize the military and increase our defense capability to a sufficient level," Medvedev said Friday. "And we will determine what level is sufficient proceeding from the current situation."
Russian forces quickly routed the Georgian military and pushed deep into Georgia, but military analysts said the fighting also underlined the weaknesses of the Russian military, such as its shortage of precision weapons and its lack of satellite navigation.
When you consider that the Russian military budget is a mere one-tenth of the Pentagon's, it makes you wonder what point can their possibly be to another arms-race, a second Cold War and another generation living under the threat of Mutually Assured Destruction.
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