Russia may become drawn into military conflicts as world powers begin to vie for energy resources in the next two decades, said Valery Gerasimov, the head of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces.
By 2030, the level of “existing and potential threats will significantly increase,” Gerasimov said during a security conference in Moscow, according to Interfax.
Leading world powers will soon begin to struggle for fuel, energy and labor resources, as well as new markets in which to sell their goods; some powers will “actively use their military potential,” he explained.
He also observed that the sphere of combat is moving away from traditional battlegrounds – such as land and sea – to aerospace and information. Conflict zones in North Africa and the Middle East point to such changes in the use of military force, the general said.
The role of non-military instruments is also increasing, including information wars, secret operations and the use of the “protest potential of a population,” Gerasimov said, adding that such non-military means are often more effective than the use of military power.
Given these challenges, Russia’s possession of state-of-the-art weaponry is a “vital condition for the country's existence,” Gerasimov said.
By 2015, the number of modern weapons and military hardware across Russia’s Armed Forces will reach at least 30 percent. And by the end of the decade, all guided missile brigades will be supplied with Iskander tactical missile systems.
However, priority is still being given to strategic nuclear forces to ensure deterrence, Gerasimov said. Russia plans to re-arm its nuclear arsenal with modern Topol-M and RS-24 Yars strategic missiles, new submarines, and modernized Tupolev Tu-160 and Tu-95MS bombers.