Russia's military buildup in the Arctic not out of pace with its broader efforts to modernize its military
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Second, when Russia’s security moves in the Arctic are placed in the context of the nation’s larger trend to reform and modernize its armed forces, they appear less grandiose. In 2008, Russia embarked on one of the most ambitious military reforms, reorganization, and equipment modernization programs in its history, in which the Arctic is but one component. The plans call for more than 20 trillion rubles ($650 billion) by 2020 to completely overhaul its military hardware so that “by 2015, the proportion of the new generation of weapons should be 30 percent, and by 2020 reach 70-100 percent.”15 In contrast to other post-Soviet efforts, the current program has considerable political will behind it as evidenced by overall military spending in 2012 increasing by 24 percent – a jump of nearly $90 billion or 113 percent from 2003 military expenditures.16 Military spending is envisioned to jump 18 percent in 2014 and 60 percent from 2014-2016. The defense budget portion of the Russian GDP is envisioned to grow from 3.1 percent in 2012 to 3.9 percent in 2016.