Reports that Russia is limiting military spending to a 1 percent (nominal) increase in 2016 may be timed to deflate NATO’s initiative to raise defense spending to the target 2 percent for each member country. Russia is playing a dual role. On the one hand, it exults in its military power on prominent display in Syria. On the other, it plays the role of impoverished cousin — too poor to keep up military spending. Russia cannot have it both ways.
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