Russia: July 12, 2000


Russian armed forces Chief of Staff Anatoly Kvashnin demanded that less money be spent on nuclear weapons and more on conventional forces. In the last year, Russia spent only $5 billion to support it's 1.2 million man armed forces. Kvashin wants to downsize the Strategic Rocket Forces (a separate branch of the armed forces) from  22 to just two divisions, deactivate over eighty percent of missile silos and merge the ICBM forces with the  air force. The Minister of Defense, a former commander of the Strategic Rocket Forces, opposes this plan. Neither the US nor Russia needs the thousands of nuclear missiles they now deploy. America can afford it, Russia cannot. Further complicating the issue is America's insistence on developing ICBM defenses, which would have a greater impact on a smaller Russian ICBM force. 


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