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Old 12-21-20, 03:44 PM   #4
Ocean Warrior
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Moscow, Russia
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Another interesting paper.


Russia’s economy may appear one dimensional — depending heavily on resource extraction — but economic power speaks to potential, and even then crudely. In truth, the economic foundations of Russian power have often been weak compared to Moscow’s status ambitions. That said, Russia is not a one dimensional power. Simple GDP measures, based on market exchange rates, disguise the fact that Russia is one of the world’s largest economies with tremendous resources. For example, while many think tanks assess Russian defense spending at a mere $60 billion, a much more accurate way of comparing defense spending, which adjusts for purchasing power parity or PPP, illustrates that Russian military expenditure is in the range of $150-180 billion per year.
The mismatch between Russian economic strength and apparent performance has engendered a mistaken perception that Russia is just playing a weak hand well, perhaps due to President Vladimir Putin’s assertiveness. Individual leaders and their ideas matter, but the conventional wisdom has it backwards. Russia is much stronger, and more resilient as a power than it’s typically given credit, while its leadership is hardly a fountain of strategic aptitude.
Grumpy as always.
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