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-   -   Is russia still a big player (http://www.defencetalk.com/forums/geo-strategic-issues/russia-still-big-player-12108/)

d_taddei2 August 6th, 2012 06:17 PM

Is russia still a big player
 
hi all, recently i keep seeing websites stating Russia is no longer a superpower, is no longer a a major threat, and no longer a big player in military affairs. i have my own opinions but what is everyone elses???????

montgomery August 6th, 2012 06:56 PM

Hi

Moscow is a hard one for me to crack. On one hand Russia is a failed state with a collapsing population and Moscow is gradually taking away democratic advances made in the past 20 years. On the other hand it possesses a massive nuclear arsenal and will become more relevant to world affairs the more powerful Beijing becomes.

I suppose it is a superpower as far as brute force goes, but not in terms of diplomatic force or capacity to project power.

stewartash August 6th, 2012 07:08 PM

Russia is still a major player - no question. The Americans (the West) like to play down and twist politically! Sure - Russia going the same way as the Brits but Russia has been replaced as the 'old boogie man', case of in with the new and out with the old so sided lined.:gun

d_taddei2 August 6th, 2012 07:54 PM

hi thanks for your view, i still think that they still have some diplomatic power when it comes to its allies or anti west countries, mainly through its arms contracts with countries and not so much on old soviet ties.

Quote:

Originally Posted by montgomery (Post 249822)
Hi

Moscow is a hard one for me to crack. On one hand Russia is a failed state with a collapsing population and Moscow is gradually taking away democratic advances made in the past 20 years. On the other hand it possesses a massive nuclear arsenal and will become more relevant to world affairs the more powerful Beijing becomes.

I suppose it is a superpower as far as brute force goes, but not in terms of diplomatic force or capacity to project power.


Bonza August 6th, 2012 08:43 PM

Please stop spamming the forums with threads that are essentially all asking the same question. Try to keep it to this thread. I'm getting rid of the others.

montgomery August 7th, 2012 03:37 AM

Interesting point about arms contracts giving them diplomatic leverage. They are a major provider of serious materiel all over the place - Syria, for example - so yes, this will give them influence.

gf0012-aust August 7th, 2012 03:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by montgomery (Post 249850)
Interesting point about arms contracts giving them diplomatic leverage. They are a major provider of serious materiel all over the place - Syria, for example - so yes, this will give them influence.

How is syria a card except for causing ructions in the Security Council?

Syria is the only example - she is Russias only external port of access with an agreement in place - she has no others - hardly a demonstration of power

d_taddei2 August 7th, 2012 05:42 AM

bonza if you actually read the threads you will find there different, i was asking something specific in each one rather than broadbrushing it, because then you get people saying you need to be more specific, also people who are interested in specific areas i.e navy, army, airforce, some people are only interested in certain topics, thats why i did it, but if you have removed them thats just destroyed my research thanks a bunch.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bonza (Post 249832)
Please stop spamming the forums with threads that are essentially all asking the same question. Try to keep it to this thread. I'm getting rid of the others.


surpreme August 7th, 2012 06:40 AM

I don't see Russia as a big player anymore Russia still has nuclear weapon that's it. It trying to get it economy right. Look at its armed forces its rebuilding.

StobieWan August 7th, 2012 07:04 AM

Russia by itself has always been limited by it's population density among other facts - Russia during the cold war was effectively bolstered by it's satellite nations. Russia on it's own has rarely had a global reach in the way that the US, France or the UK have had in the period post WWII.

With careful restructuring of their forces, they can be a regional power quite successfully - beyond that, as has been alluded to, friends are short on the ground and if Syria's regime is overthrown, I'm sure Russia will feel a backlash from their support of Assad during that struggle.

Basically, Russia is not the Warsaw Pact, and they need to make that shift in planning and assumption - or they'll just have too many unsupportable systems costing them a large chunk of the defence budget.

montgomery August 7th, 2012 09:15 AM

"Syria is the only example - she is Russias only external port of access with an agreement in place - she has no others - hardly a demonstration of power"

I mean to say that Russia's status as the second largest arms exporter on the planet, selling $6.5 billion worth of arms to 55 countries will give it a certain amount of influence, especially in the states that cannot get their weapons anywhere else.

Moscow's power is dependent on how far Beijing rises as a regional hegemon. If China pulls this off, then Moscow can expect a more salient role and more power as classic bandwagoning and balancing games are played out.

Feanor August 7th, 2012 04:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gf0012-aust (Post 249853)
How is syria a card except for causing ructions in the Security Council?

Syria is the only example - she is Russias only external port of access with an agreement in place - she has no others - hardly a demonstration of power

Sure. Russia has rather little in the way of hard power, beyond it's immediate surroundings. However Russia has considerable influence on other countries. Russia might not be able to fight a war half way around the globe, but Russia can provide a local proxy with the weapons to do so. They also wield considerable political influence. Their participation in the situation regarding Iran, North Korea, and Afghanistan are all evidence of this. Current Russian leadership is rather clumsy internationally and often lacks the skill to capitalize on the power they do have, but that doesn't mean the power isn't there.

Describing Syria as a card is not accurate, in my opinion. What we should take away from the situation is that Russia still wields sufficient political influence to protect its client states from Western military intervention, even when it's more then justified.

montgomery August 7th, 2012 07:05 PM

"Describing Syria as a card is not accurate, in my opinion. What we should take away from the situation is that Russia still wields sufficient political influence to protect its client states from Western military intervention, even when it's more then justified."

Don't forget that any power they have didn't stop the Israeli Air Force flying right across Syria and bombing it five years ago - and with implicit US backing courtesy of American ISR.

StobieWan August 8th, 2012 04:47 AM

Well, Russia still has a permanent UN security council seat, which gives it a vote in the UN - which is what's stalling any UN intervention in Syria. Historically, the UN has been sidelined several times in the last few decades (GW 2003, Libya)

Outside of the UN, Russia has less sway and the UN appears to be increasingly less relevant so it's tempting to conclude that the security council seat may be less and less of a factor.

Geography and the lack of a clearly organised opposition in Syria has kept Assad in power - if access were easier and an opposition had emerged earlier, all the protests in the world on Russia's behalf wouldn't have been enough I think.

Feanor August 8th, 2012 05:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by montgomery (Post 249871)
Don't forget that any power they have didn't stop the Israeli Air Force flying right across Syria and bombing it five years ago - and with implicit US backing courtesy of American ISR.

I think that's a very good way to draw the line between what Russia can and can't accomplish.

Quote:

Originally Posted by StobieWan (Post 249883)
Well, Russia still has a permanent UN security council seat, which gives it a vote in the UN - which is what's stalling any UN intervention in Syria. Historically, the UN has been sidelined several times in the last few decades (GW 2003, Libya)

Outside of the UN, Russia has less sway and the UN appears to be increasingly less relevant so it's tempting to conclude that the security council seat may be less and less of a factor.

Geography and the lack of a clearly organised opposition in Syria has kept Assad in power - if access were easier and an opposition had emerged earlier, all the protests in the world on Russia's behalf wouldn't have been enough I think.

Even at this point, when it's much more obvious that Assad is losing power, but will kill plenty of opposition fighters in the process, then it ever was for Gaddafi, NATO is not considering military action. I'm pretty sure that this is no accident. All the protests on Russia's part can't stop the opposition from ousting Assad, but Russian leverage can prevent the West from being the ones to bring him down.

This means that the opposition (hardly a collection of democracy-minded liberals) will not be particularly friendly to the West, and will in the long run once again have to rely on Russia. This also means implicit recognition for Russian aspirations in the third world, from major Western powers. Finally lets consider how Russia has been reaching out to major European countries, working hard to establish ties, partnerships, and build trust. It's entirely possible that some of those countries may not be unsympathetic to Russia's position.


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