Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The March to Sock Puppethood

Russia’s inability to produce even the An-124 -- a successful, but not very modern plane -- exposes the true state of the country’s high-tech industry. The problem is not only that the collapse of Soviet components industry stifles production: Even if work were somehow resumed, the industry would be manufacturing obsolete items, designed in the 1980s and 1970s.

Many analysts in Russia realize that without Western technologies and components and Western licenses to produce dual-use and dedicated defense equipment, Russian industry is doomed. At the same time, Moscow embraces a military doctrine that considers NATO to be the main enemy and therefore the use of any Western-made components is strictly forbidden. Military-industrial entities experience great difficulty getting licenses that allow production and R&D cooperation with NATO countries.

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