According to British experts, Russia is in the world top three in terms of military expenditure. The country is increasing its military spending, because Russian defense industry is in need of revamping and the army needs to be rearmed. However, the Russian military-industrial complex is nowhere near the absolute leadership in terms of expenditure. The first place is firmly occupied by the United States whose army is the backbone of the economy.
By the end of 2013 Russia became one of the top three leaders in terms of spending on weapons, which is not surprising. In the past year 68 billion dollars was invested in the military-industrial complex of the Russian Federation. These data were published by the Organization IHS Jane's that conducted relevant research.
Russia has no intention to cut its military spending. On the contrary, even a more significant amount - $78 billion dollars will be invested in the Russian military-industrial complex in 2014, and each subsequent year the defense spending will increase by $10 billion.
However, Russian experts believe that Russia's accession to the top of this ranking (especially given that it comes from a British study) does not mean that Russia will be able to quickly move the undisputed leaders of the defense - the U.S. and China, which is not surprising given the political system of China and the U.S. aggressive philosophy.
"Russian cannot become a leader in military spending in the coming years, even decades. Why? It is sufficient to compare our spending and that of the Americans," Boris Yulin, a historian and military expert shared with Pravda.Ru. "The fact that Russia is on the third place does not mean that we are only a little behind. We are lagging behind significantly. The entire U.S. economy rests exclusively on military power. That is, the dollar is backed by the American aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines and aircraft, American military bases around the world, and not the American economy."
The expert stressed a very important point - the Russian army is equipped with very outdated weapons. In fact, Russia's defense industry requires enormous funds, not because the defense industry requires development, but because, in principle, the Russian army needs to be rearmed. According to Boris Yulin, there is a need to eliminate one big gap that occurred in the defense industry in the 1990s and early 2000s, the period when there was no military construction, production was halted, and the survivors managed to stay afloat only because of foreign orders.
"Today we have to make a breakthrough, because we have been disarming for a quarter of a century," told Pravda.Ru Colonel-General, historian and president of the Academy of Geopolitical Issues Leonid Ivashov. "We declared that we had no external enemies, that we served as an example of a peaceful nation, and robbed and disarmed the entire defense sector and budget, privatized defense industry, and destroyed the armed forces.
According to the officer, the increased investment in the Russian military-industrial complex is due to global military and political events of recent years that clearly showed the West's position in relation to the countries rich in natural resources.
"It is extremely difficult to rebuild what was being destroyed for a quarter of a century, despite the fact that the defense is constructed as a system. Today, some elements of the system are preserved through the activity of the designers and directors. Something was preserved by foreign orders, trading on the global arms market'; something was preserved in Ukraine, Belarus, and so on. Now the task is to combine it all and give it a new spin, a new modern quality to the weapons required by the army. Today we may not be the third," suggested Leonid Ivashov, adding that Russia will never be the leader. "Because from time immemorial we have had a defensive rather than aggressive policy, and the defense is less expensive than the offense."
It appears that Russia does not have a goal to be a global leader in terms of defense expenditure. That is, of course, the military might needs to be enhanced, and advanced weapons, missile defense system, and so on need to be developed. High military spending is an indicator of a country's foreign policy.
The U.S. is building its dominant role in world affairs through active hostilities. China is climbing towards global leadership by conducting a military reform. Russia's development of military industry has other reasons. Russia cannot ignore major combat operations conducted in the last decades on the Eurasian continent when most of its land is occupied by Russia. Today it is extremely important for Russia to develop air defense systems, space defense and other branches of the armed forces, which would provide reliable protection of the Russian borders and continue to give weight to Russia's decisions regarding world events. Let major military spending remain the privilege of the countries whose economies would immediately collapse without these injections.