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Russia to be able to win war against any adjacent state in two weeks - pundit

Tank Tracks, Troops and Additional Tank in FieldMoscow, 17 January: Once the reform has been completed, the Russian army should be ready to win any military conflict within two weeks maximum, Ruslan Pukhov, member of the public council under the Russian Defence Ministry and head of the Centre for the Analysis of Strategy and Technologies (CAST), told journalists on Monday (17 January).

On the day, CAST staged the presentation of a new book entitled "Russia's New Army" (edited by Mikhail Barabanov with a foreword by Pukhov).

"The military reform that is now being carried out is aimed at creating an army that would be able to win a military conflict with any neighbouring state," Pukhov said. He said the Russian army should triumph in any conflict "within one to two weeks".

He diplomatically declined to name specific neighbouring countries with which conflicts are possible.

Pukhov named unstable regions of Central Asia and North Caucasus as potential threats. He did not rule out the emergence of a new state in Central Asia in the near future, a Wahhabi Muslim emirate with the population of about 70m, which could set up an army of 50,000-70,000 troops.

On the other hand, Pukhov ruled out the possibility of a conflict with Ukraine, but said a conflict with Japan over the territorial issue was possible. (Passage omitted: background on dispute)

Pukhov particularly emphasized that the Russian army was currently second to the US one in terms of its military potential if nuclear arms are taken into account, or third behind the USA and China if they are not.

The CAST head said that the first stage of the reform of the Russian army had been completed by summer-autumn 2010. "This look of the main armed services of the Russian Federation is as yet a transitional one, and a new stage in the reorganization and reform of the (armed) services is starting from late 2010 - early 2011," Pukhov said.

He said the new stage will involve changing Ground Troops brigades to a new structure, reforming the Air Force, moving to a new look of the Navy, changing the status of the army and marine aviation, and radically changing the role of the main commands of the armed services, which are to be transformed into main directorates.

"This stage should be preliminarily completed in 2012, and is likely to be mostly completed no earlier than 2015. It is then that one will be able to more or less take stock of the results of the whole military reform in Russia," Pukhov concluded.


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