Military Expenditures Can be Cut

On July 6, the Government of the Russian Federation will consider the issue of the main parameters of the Federal Budget in 2013–2015. The new budget will be approved at the backdrop of the complicated situation in the global economy. It is not excluded that the government will admit that adjustment of the budget as regards defense expenditures is necessary.  

Last year, the government approved the state armament program till 2020 with Rb20 trillion financing. From the beginning of this year, the government has increased on average by 60% the pay of servicemen and military pensions.  

Obviously, the military budget is inflated. The planned expenses on the current armament program have exceeded by 400% the volume of financing of the predecessor program, so the relevant expenses can be reduced within the same range – by fivefold. And even more – if the government does not make up its mind now as regards cuts in expenditures, that job will be done by the crisis.

The objectives set in the state armament program for the 2011–2020 period to bring the share of modern weapons in the existing fleet to 70% by 2020, while that in the strategic nuclear forces to 100% are unrealistic and counterproductive because, first, they cannot be achieved by virtue of capacities of domestic industry and, second, they contradict the interests of that industry as after 2020 with hypothetically successful achievement of the objectives it will have to shut down the production which was so painstakingly built up.

It is clear that with reduction in defense expenditures growth in GDP will suffer, but that growth is mainly tentative and fictitious like pie in the sky.

V.B. Zatsepin, PhD (Military Science), Head of the Economics of the Military-Industrial Sector Department