In Russia there is not enough money neither for cartridges, nor for pension
Russia’s geopolitical ambitions are not supported not only by economic power but also by military power. For the first time since 2006, the country was not among the five countries with the highest defense spending. In a situation of aggravation of relations with the West, the Russian leadership will probably have to rely more on internal propaganda.
According to the analysis of the Stockholm international peace research Institute (SIPRI), the largest military spending in 2018 fell on the United States — 649 billion dollars. In second place China (250 billion), the third — Saudi Arabia (67.6 billion), the fourth — India (66.5 billion), the fifth-place was occupied by France with defense spending in the amount of 63.8 billion Russia was in sixth place with a total military budget of 61.4 billion dollars.
The defense policy of any state is based on possible threats and opportunities. For most of the largest countries in the world when planning to spend on weapons and the maintenance of the army is quite clear logic. For example, the US, which is trying to maintain global dominance, is constantly increasing Pentagon spending. But at the same time, they do it gradually and in conditions of constant progressive growth of economic power.
China has consistently increased defense spending over the past 24 years. But it happened even slower than the country’s GDP grew last year, the economy of China grew by 6.6%, and defense spending by only 5%. And if on average countries spend on military needs about 2.1% of GDP, in China this figure is less — 1.9%. At the same time, Beijing has always stressed that with the growth of economic power, China’s geopolitical ambitions will grow, and this will require an increase in military power. And this process, as we can see, is proceeding quite smoothly, in accordance with the objectives of the overall development.
For example, the leadership of China, which has become the second economy in the world, has not yet set a task to achieve global superiority over the US, but only talks about the need to achieve a standard of living in developed countries by the middle of the century.
India is forced to confront China and densely populated Pakistan, but at the same time has never put forward independent global initiatives, and its defense spending is about 2.5% of GDP.
From the «big five» stands out Saudi Arabia, which spends on defense more than 10% of the national heritage, but the geopolitical strategy of this country is based on religious postulates and obeys its own special logic.
In Russia, defense spending decreased by 3.5% last year, although tensions with other countries only grew. At the same time, the economy, according to the reports of the government and Rosstat, showed an increase of 2.3%. But still spending on defense is quite high 4% of the gross domestic product.
It can be assumed that the reduction in defense spending last year was caused by a severe shortage of funds. But it is worth remembering that Moscow does not abandon global ambitions. In the military sphere, Russia intends to compete with the entire NATO bloc and even, if you believe the leaders of the state, calculate the consequences of a nuclear Apocalypse.
Specialist in budget and investment Professor, higher school of Economics Ivan Rodionov says that the current spending of Russia on defense do not meet the existing challenges:
— Last year, France overtook us. The new President Emmanuel macron resumed spending on defense, which under socialist President Francois Hollande was constantly reduced. Perhaps next year Russia will again enter the top five. But that doesn’t mean much. Russian military spending is several times less than American or Chinese.
And here it is important to understand that in Soviet times military equipment was artificially cheap, but now it costs as much as foreign models, and sometimes more expensive. And it turns out that we do not have a lot of new equipment. If you look at the specialized resources, you can see reports of how some kind of troops received five aircraft, ten helicopters. In the case of war, it is very little. At the same time to enter mass production, it is necessary to spend years, and not the fact that it will turn out to make.
In 2015, we were presented with «Armata» tanks, but so far there are only a few of them, they did not go to mass production.
Now military spending has been reduced, but where did the money save go? The government has accumulated huge funds from the sale of oil, but they do not fall into the budget. Russians are told that money is spent on national projects. But none of them has an economic justification in terms of payback and profitability. There is a concern that national projects are simply a way of «harnessing» public funds.
However, since there are no mass protests, the people still agree with this state of Affairs. So, we are going to live, how to live according to the principle «no money, but you hold fast.» Although it is not clear why it was necessary to mobilize resources for national projects when the level of pensions and salaries in the country is very low.
But these are facts that have no explanation. Russia has developed a unique economic model that has no logic.
Back in 2012, the government set the task to maintain the status quo in the country. Every day brings several thousand families hundreds of millions of dollars. From their point of view, it makes no sense to change something within the state. For example, even during the fall in oil prices, it was still traded at a profit. There was no point in devaluing the ruble, but it brought profit to these several thousand families.
The people took the situation more or less calmly. And if so, why change the economic model? People are perceived as a kind of «oil», as a given resource from above. And as the land can not be cultivated, and the people can be kept on a starvation ration.
But we will have one hypersonic missile, which we can talk about, but which will not play a decisive role in the event of a conflict.
expert geopolitics Konstantin Sokolov believes that the relatively high expenditure on defense is necessary for propaganda purposes:
— To provide the defense you need a weapon of deterrence, and such weapons Russia has. As soon as the level of weapons sufficient to prevent war is reached, the build-up will stop. Moreover, the war against Russia will be conducted according to the «hybrid» scenario. The state, therefore, has to increase the internal security forces, to strengthen propaganda. The ratio of forces in the defense sector should be such that they do not attack the country, and the Russian Federation itself is not going to attack anyone.
«SP»: — New designs «superweapon», which they say state leaders need propaganda?
— Including. A lot depends on the pitch. For example, in Western society for a long time created the feeling that Russia can not do anything else. But when NATO took the re-equipment of the armies of Russia began to make a monster. Now, in the conditions of anti-Russian propaganda, Moscow simply could not but respond with its military propaganda. This is necessary to ensure political stability and to calm public opinion. At the same time, there are real problems in the economy that do not contribute to stability. If we do not correct the situation in the economy, we will inevitably lag behind the West.