Due to the fall in the price of oil and the sanctions imposed by the West, the Russian economy has been battered. This is a well known fact. What is not so well known in the West is that the increase in Russian defense spending continues unabated.
Russians have demonstrated in the streets of Moscow recently about the cuts to hospitals, education, transportation, and other social services. Inflation is beginning to bite. So the Kremlin cuts the budget in response to all of this negative fiscal pressure but does not cut defense spending.
In fact, they increased it. Why?
The Wall Street Journal editorialized this week:
“I believe the Russians are mobilizing right now for a war that they think is going to happen in five or six years—not that they’re going to start a war in five or six years, but I think they are anticipating that things are going to happen, and that they will be in a war of some sort, of some scale, with somebody within the next five or six years.” So says Lt. Gen. Frederick “Ben” Hodges, commander of U.S. Army Europe.
Russia is preparing for war, a global war. They are modernizing their military, including their nuclear forces. Large-scale exercises have become commonplace.
These types of drills are not cheap and consume large amounts of financial resources that could be much better used elsewhere in Russia. Again, why is this happening? It is happening because the Kremlin believes they are in a fight-to-the-death struggle with the West.
Moscow believes conflict is inevitable. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said as much. That is why they are strengthening their buffer zones in places like Ukraine against NATO.
Again, the Wall Street Journal quotes Lt. Gen. Hodges:
“What Russian President Vladimir Putin “has done in Ukraine,” he says, “is a manifestation of a strategic view of the world. So when you look at the amount of equipment that has been provided, and the quality and sophistication of the equipment that has been provided to what I would call his proxies . . . they clearly have no intention of leaving there.”
Meanwhile, America continues to disarm; and NATO is splintering in the face of Russian pressure. The one thing Putin says over and over again that the Western press ignores is: “Don’t forget Russia has nuclear weapons.” Russia is preparing for global war.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.