Alexander Golts has a pretty cutting op/ed in the Moscow Times today which points out how many times Russian officials have claimed different goals for rearmament, but then fell far short as the generous budgets disappeared. It’s happened four times now, mostly because “officials often do not feel obliged to fulfill the orders of their bosses” (sounds just like the Interior Ministry), and the fact that the the audit chamber has found that the unwieldy state-owned corporations are only able to fulfill 64% of defense contracts ordered by the government. Golts writes:
In reality, nobody has any serious plans to resolve the problems of the domestic military-industrial complex. It remains a cash cow for corrupt military officials and enables hundreds of dying companies to stay alive on the state’s highly expensive and wasteful life-support system.
The one thing the country’s military-industrial complex cannot do, however, is provide the armed forces with the modern weaponry it so urgently needs.
Somehow this doesn’t strike me as the worst outcome. If you look at the enormous quantities of taxpayer money spent on weapons, rearmament, and foolhardy wars in the United States, this might be a better system. It’s not clear what is worse for a society, a high performing military-industrial complex, or an inept and corrupt imitation of it.