President Putin Presents Russia’s Global Military Strategy Before Country’s High Command, General Staff

Dec. 11, 2015 (EIRNS)—In a speech today at the expanded meeting of the Defense Ministry Board, which included Russia’s top military leadership, President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu presented a detailed picture of the country’s global military strategy, going forward to 2020. Putin began with a discussion of the Russian military role in Syria, but more broadly emphasized the importance of the upgrading and modernization of Russia’s military capabilities, including its Strategic Nuclear Forces.

Russia needs to
“arm all the components of the nuclear triad with new armaments, raise the efficiency of the missile attack warning and aerospace defense systems,”

he said. As Shoigu pointed out, the national Defense Plan 2016-2020, which President Putin approved in November,
“takes into account all military threats and challenges and provides protection of the country according to all variants of military conflict outbreak with participation of the Russian Federation. Quality conditions of the Russian Armed Forces have been improved.”

In this context, Shoigu offered a detailed report of the provocative expansion of NATO up to Russia’s borders (see separate slug).

In terms of Syria, Putin emphasized that the air and naval forces deployed there are defending their country.
“Our actions aren’t motivated by some obscure and abstract geopolitical interests or a desire to train our forces and test new weapons—which is of course an important goal as well,”

said Putin. “Our main objective is to avert a threat to the Russian Federation.” He was emphatic that any force threatening the Russian military would be destroyed, and called on the military to react “in the toughest way” against such threats. Shoigu reported that ISIS now controls 70% of Syria’s territory, and has 60,000 militants there. To date, Russia has carried out 4,000 sorties, destroying 8,000 terrorist facilities.

The Russian President also reported that military actions are coordinated with law enforcement and intelligence agencies such as the FSB, inside Russia.
“You have seen that the FSB bodies have been uncovering virtually throughout the country secret cells of various terrorist organizations, including the notorious ISIS.”

Russian nationals, not just from the North Caucasus but from other regions as well, are actively involved in terrorist combat in Syria, he said. “All this is a direct threat to Russia,” he said. Shoigu warned that “the Islamic State area of influence is expanding. There is a threat that their actions will be transferred to Central Asia and the Caucasus.”

Putin praised the submarine-launched cruise missiles used against terrorists in Syria, pointing out that both sea-based and airborne cruise missiles have proved highly effective, and can be equipped with both conventional and nuclear warheads. “Of course,” he said, “this is not necessary when fighting terrorists and, I hope, will never be needed.” Shoigu reported that to date, the Russian military has carried out about 4,000 sorties, striking around 8,000 terrorist facilities in Syria. He added that the Islamic State controls about 70 percent of Syria’s territory, adding that in Syria and Iraq there are about 60,000 militants.

Sputnik reported today that Putin ordered Russian Armed Forces in Syria to coordinate with Israeli and U.S.-led coalition command posts. “It is important to enhance cooperation with all the countries which are really interested in eliminating terrorists. I am speaking of the contacts aimed at ensuring safety [deconfliction—ed.] with Israeli Air Force command posts and with the forces of the anti-Daesh coalition led by the United States.”

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