Leadership: March 26, 2005


The quality of officers in the Russian armed forces has been falling sharply for over a decade. Being an officer used to attract the best and the brightest. But after the Soviet Union disintegrated, the best and the brightest bailed out. Attempts were made to stem the brain drain, but there was not enough money to provide sufficient raises, or investments in housing and other quality of life items. Thus, currently about a third of all Russian officers (commissioned and warrant) have family incomes that put them below the official poverty line. Part of this is due to the many Russian military bases in out-of-the-way places, where there are few, if any, opportunities for a spouse to get a job, or an officer to get a second job. All of this poverty has caused most of the really able officers to head for civilian life, and more remunerative careers. Many of the officers who stay are inept and incompetent. While much attention is paid to establishing a professional, all-volunteer force, and how much money will be required, the loss of officer quality is often  overlooked. Eliminating conscription will not do a lot of good if the quality of officers is not improved. That will take money, and a decade of effort. Until the rebuilding process begins, dont expect any great efforts by the Russian military.


Article Archive

Leadership: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close