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January 13, 2011

Not only China but also Russia builds up its armaments

Are they misusing Obama's "reset" policy?
After the Russian Defense Minister Serdyukov's visit to the U.S. last September and after the NATO-Russia summit meeting in November, the "reset" policy between the West and Russia seems to be in its full swing.

But simultaneously Russia is finalizing its ten-year plan for military procurement toward 2020 (the plan is renewed every five years). According to the reports in Russia, the military is now asking for about 20 trillion rubles (655 billion dollars) for the period. If this be approved, Russia's annual military procurement budget will increase by 70% (the increase of the entire defense budget will be more than 30%). Is Obama's policy for nuclear disarmament and reset being misused by the Russians? Why does the White House not react to the ominous news from Moscow?

Perhaps, Washington and Moscow are acting in collusion.
-------Russia's need to modernize its military equipment which is now more than 30 years behind that of the U.S. is understandable. And the U.S. desperately needs Russia's help in safely carrying out withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan through the Russian territories.

Russia needs America's support in modernizing its economy which is now far behind that of China. Yes, with their mind-set and other impediments the Russians will not have success, but on the eve of the presidential election in 2012 Medbedev needs political lip service at least from the most powerful partner, the U.S.

All in all, even if Russia succeeds in modernizing its army, it will not be directed against the West. Anyway, a large part of the lucrative budget increase will be swallowed by inflation, embezzlement and shortage of young engineers in Russia--------

If Washington calculates as above, will it pay off? While the U.S. and Russia continue the "reset", it will be OK. But what will we have, when something goes wrong, and if Russia, joined by China, starts confronting the U.S.?

The countries with democracy and market economy wantonly export high-tech machine tools to China and Russia, a great bonanza for their military production as well. The EU is poised to export advanced weaponry to Russia, and some of them will be stationed near Japan, which is now pumping its money into Europe to mitigate the financial problems there.

Disarmament and friendship are good, but they should not be unilateral. The world needs frank, pragmatic and intensive discussion on the current situation to agree upon necessary measures.

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