Murphy's Law: May 22, 2001


For most of its history, the Soviet Union offered to train foreign officers at its extensive system of military schools and technical institutes. This training was usually offered at no charge as a means of building better relations with the foreign nations involved. When the Soviet Union collapsed, most of these freebie courses disappeared. But now the Russian military has found that they can charge for this training. This was long been the case when technicians have to be trained in Russian schools so they can maintain weapons and equipment bought from Russia. In the past few years, Russia has more aggressively marketed their military training. Historically, Russian officer training got better marks than their weapons. The Russians apply rigorous academic school and staff the schools with excellent officers and civilian instructors. As a bonus, the foreign officers create long term relationships with their Russian instructors and Russian students. For poor nations eager to professionalize their officer corps, the Russians offer attractive rates that have turned into a growing source of hard currency for the Russian armed forces. 


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