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This Is Progress? Vlad “Boom-Boom” Putin Echos U.S. Defense Platitudes

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Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images

Putin checks out the new and improved Russian T-90 tank

Our goal should be to build a fully professional army. Servicemen must have a full package of social benefits adequate to their enormous social responsibility. It’s clear there have been plenty of discussions over the amount and timing of this large-scale financing. The goal of creating modern armed forces and of comprehensively strengthening our defensive potential cannot be put off.

…no, that’s not one of the GOP presidential candidates during Wednesday night’s debate. It’s Vladimir Putin, explaining over at Foreign Policy why Russia needs to rebuild its military might.

Putin also sounds several other themes that might sound familiar to American ears:

The huge resources invested in modernizing our military-industrial complex and re-equipping the army must serve as fuel to feed the engines of modernization in our economy, creating real growth and a situation where government expenditure funds new jobs, supports market demand, and facilitates scientific research.

…sounding like a U.S. lawmaker with a vulnerable base or arms plant back home.

An important, if not decisive, role in determining the nature of armed conflict will be played by the military capability of a country to counter space or information-related threats, especially in cyberspace.

…sounding like Army General Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency and commander of the U.S. Cyber Command.

A global balance of forces can be guaranteed either by building our own missile defense shield — an expensive and to date largely ineffective undertaking — or by developing the ability to overcome any missile defense system and protect Russia’s retaliation potential, which is far more effective.

…sounding like members of the U.S. military who continue to grumble over the nearly $10 billion annually the U.S. pours into missile-defense efforts.

We should not tempt anyone by allowing ourselves to be weak.

…sounding like a Republican.

Some people argue that rebuilding our military-industrial complex will saddle the economy with a heavy burden, the same burden that bankrupted the Soviet Union.

…sounding like a Democrat.

Self-sufficient units have been created. A unit of this type carried out the peace enforcement operation in Georgia in 2008 and defended the peoples of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

…sounds like George Orwell (OK, not an American – but he did speak English).

Our navy has resumed its presence in strategic areas of the world’s oceans, including the Mediterranean.

…sounding like a geographically-challenged U.S. teen-ager.

We will be resolute in eliminating corruption from the defense industry and the armed forces, ensuring that punishment for those who fall foul of the law is inevitable. Corruption in the national security sector is essentially treason.

…sounding like every Defense Department official who has ever testified on Capitol Hill since the Pentagon opened in 1947.

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