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New Russian Military Doctrine: Sign of the Times

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Journal article

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United States political leaders have used the collapse of the former Soviet Union and the dramatic changes that have taken place within the Russian Republic to justify the complete restructuring and massive downsizing of US military forces. Analysts have sought to convince themselves and others that by dismantling that vestige of Soviet rule, the Red Army, the Russians effectively eliminated a major threat to peace. In June 1992, however, the Russians produced a draft military doctrine that significantly changed the doctrine of the Gorbachev era. The new doctrine could be seen as too offensively oriented, too overtly nuclear, and too nationalistic. Are these criticisms valid, or is the new doctrine an understandable reaction to the problems Russia faces today Just two days prior to the split between Yeltsin and Rutskoi, I asked a Russian general what was to become of the proposed military doctrine. He told me that the Security Council had many things of greater importance to deal with and that eventually the doctrine would be addressed. On 3 November 1993, shortly after the military supported Yeltsin in his struggle with Parliament, major US newspapers reported that President Yeltsin had approved a doctrine that envisioned no potential enemies but which called for Russia to develop its armed forces in such a manner that would allow it to defend itself and its people. The Russian military now possesses the doctrine it has been waiting for. Recent changes in Russia, including the results of the December 1993 parliamentary elections, have obvious implications for the perceived stability of the Russian Republic. The new military doctrine reflects the militarys desire to establish a new set of national security objectives. This article examines the historical changes and security problems that have led to a more intimidating Russian military doctrine.

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  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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