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Russia revising its defense doctrine as new threats emerge - experts

September 03, 2014, 14:36 UTC+3 Zamyatina Tamara

MOSCOW, September 03. /ITAR-TASS/. An upgraded edition of Russia’s defense doctrine is called upon to respond to external threats that have emerged recently and to reflect the priority guidelines of defense manufacturing, military experts interviewed by ITAR-TASS said.

Deputy Secretary of Russia’s Security Council, Mikhail Popov, said Tuesday changes in the national military doctrine related to the advance of NATO infrastructures towards the Russian border, the events in Ukraine, the aftermaths of the ‘Arab spring’, and the civil war in Syria would be made before the end of this year.

He said the leading countries of the world have begun to use what he called ‘indirect methods’ of defense of their interests increasingly frequently. The list of these methods includes “radical and extremist organizations, private military companies, and people’s protest moods.”

“The importance of a revision of Russia’s defense doctrine arises, first and foremost, from the unfriendly policies towards Russia on the part of the West, and primarily the US,” said Colonel-General Viktor Yesin, who has occupied the post of Chief of Staff of the Russian Strategic Missiles Forces in the past.

“On top of Washington’s craving to develop the global antiballistic missile system, NATO is deploying is bases along Russian borders in the Baltic countries, Poland and Romania,” he said. “These threats didn’t exist in 2010 when the incumbent defense doctrine was adopted.”

“In the wake of the sanctions Russia is subjected to in the sphere of cooperation in defense related technologies, we must draft a program for import substitution so that the Russian Armed Forces would not depend on Western suppliers in critical technologies,” Gen Yesin said. “Changes in the structure of the Armed Forces linked to the creation of the Air Defense and Space Defense Troops should also be featured in the defense doctrine.”

“Proliferation of terrorist groupings in the Middle East, the seizure of territories in Iraq and Syria by the Islamic State militants and their threats to begin combat actions in the Caucasus prompt a strengthening of special assignment troops and Russia’s military doctrine should reflect their use for the solution of peacekeeping objectives,” Gen Yesin said.

“The defense doctrine in effect now proceeds from a possibility of small local wars and from the presumption that Russia won’t have to face major defense challenges, for prevention of which it has a powerful arsenal of nuclear weapons,” he said. “But it doesn’t reflect the danger of the outbreak of classical wars.”

“On the face of it, analysis of current events shows that medium-intensity conflicts and even full-blown classical wars can spring to the international agenda some day,” Dr. Mikhail Remezov, a member of the Russian government’s Commission for Defense Industries said.

“Given the burgeoning of external threats Russia should envision development of conventional weapons,” he said. “Although a document of this format doesn’t usually provide detailed specifications of the arsenals, stress should be on drone technologies.”

“On the face of the mounting tensions in the Middle East, Russia’s doctrine should be amended with the tasks of struggle against Islamic terrorism,” said Army General Vladimir Yakovlev, the former Chief Commander of Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces.

He believes that nuclear terrorism, prevention of which requires intense attention, should also be included in the doctrine.

ITAR-TASS may not share the opinions of its contributors