September 15, 2007 (the date of publication in Russian)
IS THE CHALLENGE REAL?
The public of the West should be grateful to Russia for its attempts to revive its military potential
On September 11, global media spread news about a new vacuum bomb, tested by Russia. It was named "the father of the bombs", by analogy with the US "mother of the bombs", which was tested in 2003 and known until today the most powerful weapon of this type.
According to military officials, the Russian bomb is four times more powerful than the US weapon, and covers a 20 times larger square. Thus, Russia has acquired the most powerful vacuum bomb in the world, comparable with nuclear munitions. At the same time, its explosion does not pollute the environment.
It is noteworthy that the amount of the explosive, used in the Russian device, is smaller than that used in the US bomb. In an effort to catch up with the United States, Russian specialists managed to elaborate a more efficient weapon, though probably not on intention.
The reaction from NATO's leadership was restrained and apparently calm. On the contrary, Western media went hysterical, accusing Russia of accelerating the global arms race, of trying to intimidate the West and initiate a new "cold war" – though actually, Russia is just trying to re-establish the status quo which it lost by a significant extent in 1990s.
Despite certain achievements of the recent years, the Russian Army's modernization is going on sluggishly. The anxiety of most of the Western observers about the increase of Russia's military budget is unsubstantiated. Its surplus looks ridiculous if compared to the budget of Pentagon.
While Russia has curtailed its military bases on Cuba and in Vietnam, and pulled out its troops from Georgia, the United States intends to deploy ABM systems in Eastern Europe, the formerly Soviet sphere of influence – right at the border of Russia, and instigates more and more Russia's neighbor countries to join NATO.
The criticism of Russia's decision to withdraw from the CFE Treaty is similarly biased. It is well known in this issue, Russia has got an irresistible argument – namely, the fact that NATO countries have never ratified this document. To insist that one side comply with the agreement which the other side is not going to fulfill is a real novelty in international diplomatic practice.
Resuming flights of its strategic aviation, Russia has just returned to year 1992, when such flights were unilaterally ceased. "Unfortunately, this example was followed not by all the other countries", complained Vladimir Putin. It should be mentioned that most of the Russian aircrafts were escorted by NATO fighters.
Thus, none of the last military initiatives of Russia could be regarded as a real threat for the West. Meanwhile, the general public of the West should appreciate Moscow's efforts to re-establish strategic parity, which is the major factor of deterrence and therefore of durable peace.
The practice of recent years has demonstrated that the vacuum of deterring factors, instigating the erroneous feeling of impunity, inspired the United States and its neighbors for reckless military ventures like the invasion into Iraq, with dire consequences for the whole of the world community.
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