Russia’s Navy in Search of a Mission
From carrier-centric aspirations to LST-purchase boondoggles, Russian naval thinking needs to emerge from its ‘doctrinal fog.’It has been 23 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and with it, the collapse of the Soviet Navy. That navy had been conceived by its most important commander in the second half of the 20th century, Sergei Gorshkov. Today, long gone are the heady times of unlimited budgets and the unchecked growth of ship and submarine classes. Even with its country’s healthy oil revenues and current ambitious military programs, the Russian Federation Navy faces problems much more serious than financial austerity (when compared with the free-for-all defense spending of the Cold War) or obsolescence in some segments of its shipbuilding industry. The Russian navy ultimately faces a doctrinal fog and the inability to define its mission in the 21st century.
By Andrei Martyanov