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Can Russia Reform? Economic, Political, and Military Perspectives
ARMY WAR COLL STRATEGIC STUDIES INST CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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These papers represent the first in a series of papers taken from the Strategic Studies Institute s SSI fourth annual Russia conference that took place at SSI s headquarters in Carlisle, PA, on September 26-27, 2011. As such, they also are part of our on-going effort to make sense of and clarify developments in Russia. The three papers presented here offer attempts to characterize first of all, the nature of the state second, the prospects for economic reform within that state perhaps the most pressing domestic issue and one with considerable spillover into defense and security agendas as well in contemporary Russia and third, the nature and lasting effects of the defense reform that began in 2008. The papers are forthright and pull no punches, though we certainly do not claim that they provide the last or definitive word on these subjects. Nevertheless, for our readers in particular these are the most crucial issues as we go forward, particularly after the recent reelection of Vladimir Putin as President. Can or will Putin change the nature of the state and economy Though many doubt that he either wants to, can, or will undertake the necessary transformations of the political system, his actions and those of his colleagues who today steer the ship of state will tell us the answers to those issues. The same question applies with equal, if not greater, intensity to the nature of the Russian economy. Likewise, it is essential for us to grasp how the military reform launched in 2008 has changed and affected the Russian armed forces and what their profile, outlook, composition, and organization, not to mention their doctrine, will look like going forward.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE