July 25, 2015
Translated from Russian by J.Hawk
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION
On establishing a human mobilization reserve for the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation
In accordance with Federal laws from 31 May 1995 No. 61FZ “On Defense” and from 28 March 1998 “On service obligation and military service” I have resolved:
1. To establish a personnel mobilization reserve of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (henceforth referred to as “reserve”) for the period of conducting the experiment on implementing a new system for the preparation and amassing personnel mobilization resources.
2. For official use.
3. The Government of the Russian Federation and executive agencies of Russian Federation subjects are to ensure implementing measures associated with the induction of Russian Federation citizens who have completed active military service into the reserve.
4. Financing measures associated with forming the reserve shall be done using budget allocations specified in the Federal budget of the Russian Federation Ministry of Defense.
President of the Russian Federation
17 July 2015
J.Hawk’ Comment: One does not issue decrees like the one above if one does not anticipate the possibility of fighting a protracted high-intensity conventional military conflict, and few of the recent developments point toward Russian government’s seriousness of intent as strongly as this one. Because ultimately the matter of who or what is deployed where in peacetime has less to do with wartime plans than with peacetime diplomacy. Measures like the establishment of a mobilization reserve, on the other hand, do more to strengthen a country’s warmaking potential than the more headline-grabbing deployments of conventional and strategic weapons.
What reasoning might be behind this move? There are two mutually complementary possibilities.
1. It’s a message to NATO which can’t very well respond in kind. Decades of economic neoliberalism have seriously damaged these countries’ sense of identity and patriotism, to the point they can only rely on small, professional, fragile “shop window” militaries.
2. It’s anticipation of far worse things to come. Let’s face it, at this point can anyone guarantee the current system of government in EU or US will be around in 10-20 years? The experience of the Great Depression shows that democracies can fall very easily and be replaced by aggressive nationalists at a drop of a hat. The growing popularity of nationalists all over Europe (Ukraine being only the most advanced example) suggests such a possibility cannot be wholly ruled out.