Saturday, February 6, 2010

Russia's New Military Doctrine is out ...

President Medvedev approved Russia's Military Doctrine 2010 on February 05, 2010. Unlike earlier discussions on the military doctrine where it was opined that there will be greater reliance on nuclear weapons, given the state of its conventional military, the new document is much more nuanced. This is not to suggest that Russia has relinquished the idea entirely.

As in the earlier doctrine, the new document also clearly states that "Russia reserves the right to use nuclear weapons in response to the use of force against it and (or) its allies, nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, as well as in the case of aggression against Russia with conventional weapons, which threaten the very existence of the state."

Additionally, the doctrine notes that Russia will deploy its forces outside of Russian territory, in accordance with generally recognized principles and norms of international law, international treaties of Russia and federal law, "to protect the interests of Russia and its citizens, the maintenance of international peace and security."

Under the category of major external threats facing Russian Federation, the doctrine notes NATO's eastward expansion as most serious one, in addition to the "establishment and deployment of strategic missile defense systems that undermine global stability and violate the balance of forces in a nuclear field, as well as the militarization of outer space, the deployment of strategic non-nuclear systems, precision weapons." Other issues include, "The deployment (capacity) of military contingents of foreign states (groups of) on the territories of neighboring with Russia and its allies of the States, as well as in adjacent waters, territorial claims against Russia and its allies, interference in their internal affairs," proliferation of WMD as well as missiles and missile technologies, "the use of military force in the territories of neighboring states with Russia in violation of the UN Charter and other norms of international law," threat of terrorism, ethnic and sectarian conflicts.

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