So I was scanning headlines today, and this jumped out at me.
In case the link itself ends up broken at some point, here is the text of the article.
Putin calls for upgrade of Russian army
By NATALIYA VASILYEVA | Associated Press – 1 hr 16 mins ago
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin told the country’s top brass on Wednesday to drastically upgrade the armed forces in the next few years as part of response to attempts by the United States and NATO to “tip the strategic balance” in the world.
In his address to Russia‘s defense ministry and top military officials, Putin said Russia is witnessing “insistent attempts” to change that balance and complained about U.S. plans to create a new missile defense system in Europe and the potential expansion of NATO to former Soviet republics.
“Geopolitical developments call for our response to be well-calculated and quick,” Putin said, according to a transcript of his speech on the Kremlin’s website. “The Russian armed forces must move to a dramatically new level of capabilities as soon as in the next three to five years.”
The stated goal of the multibillion-dollar missile defense system planned for Europe is to protect the U.S. from Iranian missiles. But Russia has repeatedly criticized the plan, claiming it really is intended to counter its own missiles.
Putin blasted the legacy of former Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov who was dismissed in November 2012 amid a corruption scandal involving billions of rubles reportedly embezzled by the ministry and affiliated firms.
While Putin linked the ouster to the corruption probe, most experts believe that Serdyukov was sacked because of an intensifying behind-the-scenes battle for the distribution of 23 trillion rubles ($750 billion) that the Kremlin plans to spend on buying new weapons through 2020.
Serdyukov demanded higher quality and cheaper prices from the military industry, often refusing to sign new contracts for months. He criticized arms makers for continuing to produce Soviet-era designs instead of developing new weapons, angering industry leaders with strong Kremlin connections. Under Serdyukov, the military purchased amphibious assault vessels from France, bought Israeli drones, Italian armored vehicles and other foreign weapons.
The current defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, has confirmed plans to form a new naval squadron that would patrol the Mediterranean Sea.
A small maintenance and supply base in Syria’s Tartus, Russia’s only naval outpost outside the former Soviet Union, is under threat because of the civil war there.
Did you see that?
“The Russian armed forces must move to a dramatically new level of capabilities as soon as in the next three to five years.”
I saw that quote and couldn’t help but smile. But then again, I know how the story goes. And it all goes according to plan.
Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. … After many days you will be visited. In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations and now all of them dwell safely. … Then you will come from your place out of the far north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a mighty army. You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes.” Ezekiel 38:1-3, 8, 15-16 (NKJ)