In recent days, one can hear more and more talk about the possible deployment of Russian military bases in Cuba or Venezuela. As our “response to Chamberlain” if the US does not take our security concerns into account. But do we really need military bases near the United States? Especially if Russia has modern high-precision weapons? MK asked Ruslan Pukhov, a Russian military analyst, director of the Moscow Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST), a member of the Public Council under the Russian Ministry of Defense, to answer this question.
– Having military bases off the coast of the United States made sense 40-50 years ago. Now for us it is not so important, – the expert believes. – The development of military technologies makes it possible to threaten, exert pressure, and strike at targets of a potential enemy at a distance. To do this, it is no longer necessary to be near its territory. So from a purely military point of view, the presence of such military bases is no longer as important a factor as it used to be.
According to Pukhov, there is also an important diplomatic aspect to this issue.
“I really hope,” he says, “that before announcing the creation of any bases, voicing this decision to the Americans and the press, our military and diplomats consulted with Cuban and Venezuelan experts. Otherwise, such statements would sound insulting to the leadership of these countries.
In the event of such negotiations, the expert believes, it would be easier to resolve the issue of placing a Russian base on the territory of Venezuela, since we have a short history of relations with this country, not burdened by any previous disagreements, as in the case with Cuba.
As for Venezuela, here, according to the expert, the negotiation process can be simpler. But the only question is: do we need it?
“It is likely that the leadership of Venezuela will allow us to host a base,” says Ruslan Pukhov. – Although his position will divide the country’s public opinion in half. Half will be for, the other – sharply against. At the same time, it should be remembered that the country has a high level of crime, and it will be extremely difficult to deploy a real, and not nominal, base there. It needs serious protection. We will also have to take into account that Venezuela is in the ring of unfriendly states.
For example, such as Colombia, which is one hundred percent pro-American. So it may turn out that this base will rather not threaten the Americans, but will itself become a target for threats from pro-American forces. Our people there – directly or indirectly – may even find themselves in the position of hostages. In other words, you have to think about
An important factor in resolving the issue of permanent bases, the expert also calls the financial aspect. He says:
– You have to understand that maintaining a full-fledged military base in a foreign country is a very expensive pleasure that requires large investments. And therefore, it would be much cheaper (and from a military point of view, even more effective today) to create not military bases, but, for example, such naval groups that could, once off the coast of the United States, perform those combat missions without any bases that will be supplied to them. We can do it today.