During the Obama administration, the US military saw significant reductions. We now have fewer troops and fewer combat ready vehicles.
During this same time, Russian President Vladimir Putin significantly grew his country’s arsenal. The Russian military, which was nearly dilapidated at the end of the Cold War, is now one of the world’s largest and is still growing.
The Associated Press reported that Russia announced a new branch of their growing military called information warfare troops.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu issued the statement that included the announcement.
He said that “the military received a sweeping array of new weapons last year, including 41 intercontinental ballistic missiles,” with more growth expected this year. The Russian military will grow by an expected 170 new aircraft, 905 new tanks, and 17 new ships.
In declaring the new branch, Shoigu said that “propaganda needs to be clever, smart and efficient.” He remained vague on the overall mission of the new branch, however.
Retired Gen. Vladimir Shamanov said the troops will “protect the national defense interests and engage in information warfare.”
The statement marks the first time the Russian government has officially admitted to having such a force. Many in the US have long-suspected that one existed, however, especially in light of recent allegations of hacking to influence the US presidential elections.
US intelligence agencies reportedly suspect that Russia may try to influence elections in the Netherlands, France, and Germany this year. Ret. Col. Gen.
Leonid Ivashov reportedly said that “Russia should rely on information warfare troops to fight back against what he described as Western propaganda.”
Russia’s military expansion has already seen action in Syria and may signal the beginning of a new arms race. President Trump has said that he plans to rebuild the US military as well.
Source: Associated Press