The President recently stated that Russia was only a “regional power.” usagovpolicy.com recently reviewed the facts to determine whether there is any realistic basis for Mr. Obama’s unexpected contention.
Of course, the first question to arise is, which region is the Comander-in-Chief referring to. Moscow’s vast domain stretches from Europe to the borders of Iran in the Middle East to the farthest shores of Asia and the Pacific Ocean, and of course the Arctic as well. Geographically, it is almost impossible to proclaim Russia as a regional power when its territory, the largest on Earth, is so vast.
In terms of strategic power, it is quite difficult to understand how the Russian nuclear arsenal could be remotely considered as regional. Certainly, it’s triad of ICBMs, many with multiple warheads, nuclear bombers and nuclear capable submarines both of which currently patrol the U.S. coasts, are the equal of America’s. Additionally, its mobile launchers provide the Kremlin with perhaps the most survivable land-based strategic nuclear weapons system on the planet.
In terms of land power, Russia vastly outstrips the US in the numbers of tanks, mobile artillery, and rocket projectors.
Nor can it be said that the Kremlin’s weapons systems are second rate. Its nuclear arsenal is more up to date than Americas, and much of its conventional arsenal is first rate. Mr. Putin has pledged to spend over $770 billion in further upgrades, including a sizeable sum for its navy.
In terms of reach, Russia has returned to its cold war interaction with Latin America, and even expanded on it with greater interaction with Nicaragua and Venezuela.
Putin also is militarizing the Arctic as well.
In a new wrinkle, Russia’s growing alliance with China gives the Kremlin a global reach in excess of that it enjoying during the Cold War.
All this being done as the U.S. slashes its military funding and Europe continues to starve its armed forces of necessary financial support.
There is no factual basis for President Obama’s contention .