Thursday, February 23, 2012

Only in Russia...

Sergei Mironov
I was just watching the Russian TV news (Channel One) when I heard the leader of the Russian "liberal" opposition, Sergei Mironov, declare that if he becomes President he would name General Vladimir Shamanov, the current Commander of the Russian Airborne Forces,  as Minister of Defense. 

If the most pro-Western (relatively speaking) candidate to the post of President openly nominates a "super-hawk" (according to the Jamestown Foundation) it really illustrates the fact that the West has no allies at all in the Russian political scene.

I can almost hear the horrified exclamations in the various US think tanks after such a declaration...

By the way, Shamanov would make an excellent Minister of Defense for Russia, here I have to agree with Mironov (who himself used to serve in the Airborne Forces), in particular if he works under a strict President with a clear vision for the future of Russian Armed Forces.

Vladimir Shamanov
At the very least, I want to hope that following the next Presidential election the current Minister of Defense, Anatoly Serdyukov and his subservient Chief of General Staff, General Nikolai Makarov, are both replaced with men whom the armed forces can trust and who are not universally disliked.

Serdyukov and Makarov have presided over some rather painful military reforms which have not yielded the expected results and they now both need to be officially thanked and let go.

My advice to Putin (who, I am quite sure, reads my blog with rapt attention) would be as follows:  make Dmitry Rogozin the next Minister of Defense and Vladimir Shamanov the next Chief of Staff; that would immensely boost your popularity with the armed forces and would gave US and NATO leaders some really bad nightmares...