See, people, I’m not the only one who is watching modern-day Russia and saying that it is not a dying nation, but one on the rise, John Schindler, a scholar at the Naval War College and all-around awesome guy who talks to me on Twitter, posted an excerpt of an excellent article he wrote on his blog. It’s called Poland, NATO and the Return of History and you should definitely go read it. Some of my favorite excerpts:
The reemergence of Russia as a traditional military power is now clear to all who wish to see. Bolstered by oil money, the Kremlin is investing seriously in defense for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Russian naval shipbuilding, which nearly disappeared in the 1990s, is now funded at half the level of the U.S. Navy’s program, while only a few years ago it was only one-tenth of the Navy’s level. Russia’s ground forces, which have been troubled for more than two decades, are now receiving serious reinvestment and are slated to add forty new brigades by 2020 (by way of comparison, the U.S. Army will be down to thirty-two active maneuver brigades by 2017, even under unduly optimistic budget scenarios).
Poland’s response here has been significant, as it is the largest and most important NATO frontline state in terms of military, political and economic power. Warsaw of late has been trying to raise Alliance awareness of the rising threat from the East, but this has been met with skepticism by NATO members located farther to the West than Poland. In a typical example, the expression of current Alliance assumptions by NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen that “war among European nations is simply unimaginable,” was countered in May by the statement of Poland’s Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski: “I’m afraid conflict in Europe is imaginable.”
Go read the rest. It’s a really good article.