Russia Analytical Report, Feb. 5-12, 2018

Dear readers: Please be advised that the Russia Analytical Report will next be coming out on Tues., Feb. 20, due to a U.S. public holiday. 

This Week's Highlights:

  • In the last decade, the quality of Russia’s armed forces has noticeably increased, argues a new RAND report, with the highest density of Russia’s most capable forces near its border with the NATO-allied Baltic states. However, the report stresses that nothing in its analysis should suggest that Russian aggression toward NATO is likely.
  • Russia’s decisions regarding its non-strategic arsenal seem to be influenced by U.S. conventional forces, not its non-strategic nuclear arsenal, writes Hans M. Kristensen.
  • As the U.S. and Russia find themselves in a “replacement-and-modernization cycle” that plagued Cold War-era arms control, taking advantage of the New START treaty’s five-year extension is a desirable—and the only feasible—option in the current political climate, argues Nikolai Sokov.
  • Italy’s pro-Kremlin parties are expected to get 58 percent of votes during Italy’s March 4 election, writes Simon Kuper.
  • American officials became suspicious of a Russian operation to sow discord in Washington when a Russian man eager to sell “kompromat” on Trump showed an American businessman a video clip at an unusual location—the Russian Embassy in Berlin, writes Matthew Rosenberg.

I. U.S. and Russian priorities for the bilateral agenda

Nuclear security:

  • No significant commentary.

North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs:

  • No significant commentary.

Iran and its nuclear program:

  • No significant commentary.

New Cold War/Sabre Rattling:

“Trump's Nuclear Policy Is Taking Us Back to the Cold War; A proposed nuclear buildup would likely be dangerous and fiscally ruinous,” Ishaan Tharoor, The Washington Post, 02.06.18: The author, a foreign affairs writer for the news outlet, writes: “A legion of critics blasted a potential nuclear buildup (called for in NPR [Nuclear Posture Review]) as dangerous, fiscally ruinous and redolent of outdated Cold War thinking. Some pointed out that a coterie of nuclear hawks helped draft the NPR, including one academic who argued in 1980 that the United States could defeat the Soviet Union in a nuclear war, while stomaching ‘approximately 20 million’ casualties, ‘a level compatible with national survival and recovery.’… Skeptics of the Trump administration's embrace of nuclear weapons argue that they won't be able to credibly deter the sort of low-level aggression carried out by countries like Russia … and North Korea … . The strategy seems to embrace the weapons more for their own sake than any utility they might provide. … the new nuclear posture also gives Trump wider scope to order nuclear strikes. That's something a majority of Americans don't trust him with, according to a recent Washington Post poll. … Experts warn that the climate of nuclear competition ushered in by Trump could risk a new global buildup of nuclear weapons that offers little strategic gain.”

“The Nuclear Posture Review and the US Nuclear Arsenal,” Hans M. Kristensen, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, 02.02.18: The author, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, writes: “The authors of the NPR appear to be under the mistaken impression that Russia believes the United States would not use nuclear weapons if Russia did. … The idea that a U.S. SLCM [submarine-launched cruise missile] could now motivate Russia to return to INF compliance is flawed because Russia embarked upon its current INF violation when the TLAM/N was still in the U.S. arsenal; why Russia would suddenly change its mind if the United States reintroduced a nuclear SLCM is unclear. Moreover, STRATCOM has already strengthened strategic bombers support of NATO in response to Russia’s more provocative and aggressive behavior … Russian decisions about the size and composition of its non-strategic arsenal appear to be fueled by superior U.S. conventional forces, not its non-strategic nuclear arsenal or weapons yield. Instead, pursuit of a new SLCM to ‘provide a needed non-strategic regional presence’ in Europe and Asia could potentially also strengthen Russia’s reliance on non-strategic nuclear weapons and potentially even trigger Chinese interest in such a capability.”

“Trump’s Nuclear Plan Mostly Makes Sense,” Michael E. O’Hanlon, Brookings Institution, 02.06.18: The author, a senior fellow in foreign policy at the Brookings Institution, writes that the “Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) … has some continuity with the Obama administration’s emphasis on wide-ranging nuclear force modernization. But in a break from Obama, it promises to put substantially more money behind that effort. Even more significantly, and controversially, the NPR … [proposes] two different types of U.S. nuclear warheads. And it suggests that the United States might even consider using nuclear weapons in reply to a non-nuclear attack on its infrastructure or military command and control systems. … We need to signal to Moscow that it does not own this space of limited nuclear war, by making clear we might respond in kind. Having smaller-yield nuclear weapons … could help reinforce this kind of deterrence … . No enemy should think that it could get away with a debilitating attack against much of the U.S. economy, or its crucial military deterrent forces, without risking severe retaliation … However, the NPR … overestimates badly the amount of money that will likely be available for nuclear modernization in the years ahead. … There will not be enough money to do everything—especially in an era of nearly trillion-dollar annual federal budget deficits. … But in its main emphasis of pushing back against aggressiveness by other major powers, Russia in particular, the Trump administration gets the essence of its nuclear policy right. … until the Russians resume more responsible nuclear behavior, we need to play some of the same game they are playing, too.”

NATO-Russia relations:

“Assessing the Conventional Force Imbalance in Europe. Implications for Countering Russian Local Superiority,” Scott Boston, Michael Johnson, Nathan Beauchamp-Mustafaga, Yvonne Crane, RAND Corporation, February 2018: The authors, defense and policy analysts at RAND, write: “In the years following the end of the Cold War, NATO's ground forces have substantially declined in size and shifted focus away from high-intensity conventional combat. By contrast, while Russia also saw a major decline through the 1990s and 2000s, more recent efforts have led to effective changes in Russian warfighting capabilities and a gradual spread of more-modern systems to much of the Russian armed forces … [providing] Moscow with a much greater ability to project force against countries on its borders. … NATO militaries have retooled to focus on stability operations and lighter forces that can be more easily deployed out of area … Russia has retained a combined-arms force that emphasizes mobility and firepower and trains to conduct larger-scale combined-arms operations. … There has been a notable increase in the quality of Russian forces over the last decade … . The highest density of Russia's most-capable ground and air forces is in its Western Military District, which borders the NATO allies in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania … . Russia's demonstrated ability to mass ready forces from elsewhere within its borders … means it is likely to enjoy a significant time-distance advantage in generating combat forces during the opening period of a crisis. … Nothing about this analysis should suggest that Russian conventional aggression against NATO is likely to take place; however, prudence suggests that steps should be taken to mitigate potential areas of vulnerability.”

“Munich Security Report 2018: To the Brink—and Back?,” The Munich Security Conference, 02.08.18: This year’s report states that “there is a widespread sense that the world … ‘is out of joint.’ Developments in recent years have triggered increasing concern about the stability of the so-called liberal international order … . The crisis …  has not come overnight, though. Over the last several years, most clearly so in 2017, questions on the United States’ role in upholding that very order have become more widespread. The EU has recovered from the euro crisis and the financial crisis but has yet to become a strategic global actor. Meanwhile, China has become more powerful and more assertive, as has, to a different extent, Russia. Nationalism is on the rise in many countries. The authority of international bodies is being challenged in various ways. Critical international agreements—from crucial arms control accords … to the Charter of Paris—are being put at risk or severely undermined while defense spending is increasing in many parts of the world and threatening rhetoric is becoming frighteningly common. The world, it seems, is becoming less liberal, less international and less orderly.”

Missile defense:

  • No significant commentary.

Nuclear arms control:

“New START Expires in 3 Years. And Nobody Knows What Comes Next,” Nikolai Sokov, The National Interest 02.06.18: The author, a senior fellow at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, writes: “It is almost inconceivable that the United States and Russia will conclude a new treaty in the remaining three years of New START’s life. There are four main obstacles, and any one of them can derail such an endeavor. … First, negotiations on a new treaty to replace New START cannot commence anytime soon. … Until the desired shape of the U.S. nuclear posture is clarified, position for negotiations cannot be developed. … the United States and Russia have unintentionally stumbled into the same asynchronous replacement-and-modernization cycle that plagued arms control throughout the Cold War. … The 1987 INF Treaty casts a long and dark shadow over any U.S.-Russian arms-control negotiations. … Russia made a strategic mistake when it chose not to take American accusations seriously at the time they were communicated through confidential channels … . Moreover, the political climate in the United States is highly unfavorable to a new round of arms-control negotiations … . Last, but not least, is the sheer complexity of the arms-control agenda. The issues that have prevented progress since the conclusion of New START have not disappeared. …  In 2017, the United States and Russia launched a dialogue on strategic stability. Little is known about it, but there are reasons to believe meetings are businesslike and professional, and address all issues of substance. … New START allows for a five-year extension. This appears the only feasible option, and also a highly desirable one in the current atmosphere.”

“New START at 7,” Steven Pifer, Brookings Institution, 02.05.18: The author, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, writes that “while senior U.S. military leaders have made clear the value they attach to New START, it is less certain how President Trump regards the treaty. In an early 2017 phone call with Russian President Putin, Trump reportedly did not pick up on Putin’s offer to begin a discussion on invoking the provision on extending New START … . The expiration of the [New START] limits would open the possibility for one side and/or the other to deploy more strategic weapons. … The end of New START would mean a loss of the treaty’s data and transparency measures. The Pentagon would have to start making more worst-case assumptions about Russian strategic forces, with likely more costly implications for U.S. strategic forces. … Finally, the end of New START would end one of the few positives on the U.S.-Russia agenda. If it happened in tandem with a collapse of the INF Treaty, no negotiated constraints would cover U.S. and Russian nuclear forces. … Maintaining and extending the treaty is very much in the U.S. security interest. Unfortunately, given the difficult bilateral relationship between Washington and Moscow, the troubled INF Treaty and the president’s unclear thoughts on New START, it is not certain that the treaty will make it to 2021, let alone be extended to 2026.”


  • No significant commentary.

Conflict in Syria:

“Escalating Hostilities in Middle East Signal New Conflicts. The likely triggers for war between Israel and Iran will spring from chaos in Syria,” David Gardner, Financial Times, 02.11.18: The author, the international affairs editor at Financial Times, writes: “The downing of an Israeli warplane by Syrian air defenses, after Israel said it brought down an Iranian drone launched from Syria into Israeli airspace, is the sort of lightning bolt that signals the alarming probability of a new regional war spinning out of the vortex of the Syrian civil war. … Russia controls most of the air space of western Syria. Iran … is consolidating a presence on the ground—part of Tehran’s drive to build a Shia Arab axis and land bridge from the Zagros Mountains to the Mediterranean. Israel regards this as strategically unacceptable. … Israel has said it cannot and will not accept two eventualities. First, if Iran and Hezbollah establish a permanent military presence in Syria, that is a casus belli, since it would open up a new front against Israel … . Second, … the Lebanese militia has built a large arsenal of Iranian-supplied rockets that can reach deep into Israel. Israel says this … [exceeds] its strategic tolerance. … This … makes an eventual war more likely than not, turning Syria—and probably Lebanon—into a battlefield between Israel and Iran. … Russia, which under President Vladimir Putin has nurtured relations with Israel even as it has aligned with its enemy Iran, … is the only player with the capability to talk the two antagonists down.”

“In Syria, Russian Bad Faith Turns Fatal,” David Ignatius, The Washington Post, 02.09.18: The author, a veteran foreign correspondent-turned-columnist, writes: “This week's fatal collision between U.S. and Russian proxy forces in Syria has many ominous portents. But … this is above all a tale of Russian bad faith, which U.S. officials see as a chronic problem in resolving the Syrian war. … Gen. Hassan, the commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces in this region, points to a spot on the map just east of Deir el-Zour … where he says tanks and artillery backing the regime of President Bashar al-Assad began advancing … toward the headquarters occupied by his forces and their advisers from U.S. Special Operations forces … . ‘We told them there is some movement, and we don't like to … attack on this movement. They [the Russians] don't accept our offer and denied, said there's nothing happening,’ Hassan said … . U.S. commanders attempted a similar de-confliction. … The attack began … with pro-regime advancing troops under a volley of tank and artillery shells … .  Hassan said the ground-attack force included some Russians, who he believed were mercenaries. … U.S. airpower responded to this threat to American troops with devastating firepower … as the carnage spread, the Russian liaison officer contacted [Hassan] again, asking for a pause to collect the dead and wounded—from an attack he had earlier denied was coming. The Kurdish commander saw this as a breach of faith. … Score one for American military power against Russia's tactic of operating through deniable ‘Little Green Men.’ But … [the] incident only underlines the precariousness of the United States' long-term role in Syria.”

“Testing Trump's Chemical Red Line: Assad uses gas against civilians, and the US begs Moscow for help,” Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal, 02.08.18: The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board writes: “Lately the [Trump] administration has turned … to pleading with Russia to make Assad stop his latest assaults. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson devoted a speech in January to the theme … . Foggy Bottom repeated those pleadings on Monday and again on Thursday. … Last year Russia blocked the renewal of the U.N. panel that was established to investigate Syria's chemical weapons. Russia now denies that Assad is using chlorine gas, and the U.N. panel isn't around to document the truth. … Moscow also hasn't fulfilled a single agreement it has made with Mr. Trump. The Kremlin has failed to enforce a ‘deconfliction’ zone in southwestern Syria … and it is trying to negotiate its own settlement to the civil war outside of the U.N. process in Geneva … . Moscow wants to keep Assad in power, maintain bases in Syria from which to threaten NATO and thwart U.S. goals in the Middle East. … the State Department said … that ‘the people of Syria are suffering; the rest of the world is watching.’ And doing nothing.”

“Vladimir Putin’s ‘Mission Accomplished’ Moment: Russia's highly-touted peace conference to end the war in Syria was an utter debacle,” Neil Hauer, Foreign Policy, 02.06.18: The author, a senior intelligence analyst at the SecDev Group, writes: “The Russian government billed the Syrian National Dialogue Congress … as a watershed moment in the Syrian conflict. The summit was designed to convene the Syrian government, opposition and Kurdish parties under one roof for the first time, and to provide the political justification for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s declaration of victory in Syria in December. … By these standards, the dialogue was an unabashed failure. Instead of confirming Russia’s status as the Middle East’s ascendant power … the Syrian National Dialogue Congress proved Moscow has no idea how to credibly wrap up its ongoing military adventure. … It accomplished none of its goals … . The wider outcome of the Kremlin’s much-vaunted congress, however, is much starker: it was a demonstration that Moscow is singularly ill-equipped to resolve Syria’s deep-seated conflicts and force all its players to the table.”

“How Russia Plans to Influence Syria's Future,” William McHenry and Gabriel White, The National Interest, 02.07.18: The authors, a program associate at PONARS Eurasia and a graduate student in international security at American University, write: “The final shape of a political settlement in Syria is still far from certain. Of primary concern is the now ongoing Turkish incursion into the Afrin region of northern Aleppo … . Second, Syria’s Idlib province remains a rebel-held stronghold and is the bulwark of the remaining opposition. … Finally, though the regime has recaptured many of Syria’s largest cities and its most important regions, these territories are now devastated by war. … There is little doubt, however, that Russia will try to parlay its military successes into a diplomatic bargain that offers the Kremlin implicit control of Syria’s political destiny. Whether or not Russia’s leadership can translate victories on the battlefield into long-lasting influence in the region remains to be seen.”

Cyber security:

  • No significant commentary.

Elections interference:

“US Spies, Seeking to Retrieve Cyberweapons, Paid Russian Peddling Trump Secrets,” Matthew Rosenberg, New York Times, 02.09.18: The author, who covers national security issues for the news outlet, writes that “a shadowy Russian bilked American spies out of $100,000 last year, promising to deliver stolen National Security Agency cyberweapons in a deal that he insisted would also include compromising material on President Trump … . American intelligence officials said they made clear that they did not want the Trump material … . Instead of providing the hacking tools, the Russian produced unverified and possibly fabricated information involving Mr. Trump and others … . The Russian was known to American and European officials for his ties to Russian intelligence and cybercriminals—two groups suspected in the theft of the … hacking tools. But his apparent eagerness to sell the Trump ‘kompromat’ … raised suspicions … .  he showed … a 15-second [video] clip of … a man in a room talking to two women. … there was no way to verify if the man was Mr. Trump, as the Russian claimed. But the choice of venue for showing the clip heightened American suspicions of a Russian operation: The viewing took place at the Russian Embassy in Berlin … . The United States intelligence officials said they cut off the deal because they were wary of being entangled in a Russian operation to create discord inside the American government.”

“Russia: Meddling While Europe Votes,” Simon Kuper, Financial Times, 02.08.18: The author, a writer for Financial Times, argues: “The U.S. … is offering [Europe] another cautionary lesson: how to let Russian interference succeed by turning it into a partisan issue. … In the Italian elections on March 4, if you add up the predicted votes of the pro-Kremlin Five Star Movement and the Northern League, plus Vladimir Putin’s chum Silvio Berlusconi, you get to about 58 percent. Possibly too late, officials around Europe are frantically building defenses against Kremlin meddling. … Putin’s Kremlin began focusing on disinformation in 2008 … . A regime that once feared social media has now mastered it. Russia has found disinformation a cheaper and arguably more effective route to influence than sending in tanks or making foreign investments. … Broadly, the Kremlin aims to split the EU and NATO. … The Russians constantly adapt their disinformation, depending on what works where. … All this activity creates the psychologically important belief that pro-Kremlin views are more widely shared by the general public than they are.” To counter these attempts, “European governments [can] … Warn people to be skeptical of what they read on social media or certain websites … use big data to track which groups of people are susceptible to pro-Kremlin messaging, and reach them first … . The European Commission’s East StratCom task force has about six staffers (three of them full-timers) countering Russian disinformation. … The Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency in St Petersburg … just trebled its workspace to 12,000 square meters.”

Energy exports from CIS:

“What’s Good for Russian Gas Is Good for America: Washington's opposition to a gas pipeline connecting Russia and Germany has never made sense,” Brenda Shaffer, Foreign Policy, 02.06.18: The author, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, writes that Washington’s “opposition to the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany … has always put the United States at odds with Russia … . But the fact that American opposition to Nord Stream 2 is bipartisan doesn’t suggest it is right. Ultimately, Washington’s rejection of Nord Stream is a wasteful distraction and a hindrance to American interests. … the United States needs to carefully choose its battles with its allies in Europe; it should oppose policies of its European allies only on vital issues and where it can win. … Nord Stream doesn’t only have strong support in Moscow, but also in Berlin. … Europe needs more gas imports from all sources, including Russia. … Washington’s attempt to pressure Russia to route its gas through Ukraine undermines European energy security. … further removing Russian energy companies from the Ukrainian market is actually in Kiev’s interest. … Washington has been successful when it championed [energy security] policies in coordination with Europe, and not when it tried to impose a vision on Europe of what was best for it. It should use the same approach for Nord Stream 2—even if that happens to overlap with what Russia wants.”

U.S.-Russian economic ties:

  • No significant commentary.

U.S.-Russian relations in general:

  • No significant commentary.

II. Russia’s relations with other countries

Russia’s general foreign policy and relations with “far abroad” countries:

“The Confrontation Between the West and Russia: A Tale of Concentric Circles,” Nathalie Tocci, Carnegie Moscow Center, 02.08.18The author, director of the Istituto Affari Internazionali and special adviser to Federica Mogherini, writes: “Much like Europeans do not fully grasp the angst generated by prospects of Western-incited regime change in Russia, Russians dismiss far too easily how toxic in the EU is Moscow’s political and financial backing of European extreme right-wing movements. … The confrontation between the European Union and Russia plays out at three distinct levels: the domestic, the regional and the global. Whereas all three circles are underpinned by fundamentally different worldviews, cooperation is possible globally … . So long as that deep-seated mistrust regarding each other’s destructive intent toward one another prevails, channels for cooperation will remain limited, and cooperation at the global level will be ad hoc and transactional. The more respective fears and anxieties are acknowledged and addressed, the more likely the management—alas not resolution—of the West-Russia confrontation will become.”

“Channeling Putin in Cairo,” Mona Eltahawy, New York Times, 02.12.18: The author, a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times, writes: “Which country, due to hold a presidential election next month, is led by an autocrat who, having eliminated any serious competition, is basically running against himself? The answer, of course, is Russia … . But it could also describe Egypt, where President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi … has pushed his five most serious opponents out of elections scheduled for the end of next month. … Sisi will win the March election, undoubtedly. But he has lost whatever popular support he once had. …  Economic austerity, a failure to quell the insurgency in Sinai and a harsh security crackdown are to blame. And the military establishment that has so obviously shown its hand in propping him up is losing a reverence it once thought was unquestionable.”


  • No significant commentary. 


“Reforming Ukraine’s Energy Sector: Critical Unfinished Business,” Anton Antonenko, Roman Nitsovych, Olena Pavlenko, Kristian Takac, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 02.05.18: The authors, members of a Kiev-based think tank and a senior researcher at Globsec Policy Institute in Slovakia, write: “The weaknesses of Ukraine’s energy sector since independence in 1991 shine a spotlight on the foundational link between energy security and national security. … Ukraine is one of the least energy-efficient countries in Europe … Ukraine’s economy … [is] two or three times as energy intensive as many neighboring countries, including Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. … While Ukraine’s energy sector accounts for about 12.6 percent of its GDP, the country’s energy intensity is staggering. This creates a massive headwind that drags down national welfare, crowds out economic growth and job creation and leaves the country vulnerable to political pressure from energy suppliers. … A well-functioning energy sector, which enables all other economic activity, is essential to economic and national security. … A key question is whether Ukraine is in a position to complete its unfinished energy reform business—the outlook is troubled, but the task is far from simple. To Ukraine’s credit, almost every aspect of Ukraine’s energy sector … is in flux and some significant steps forward have been achieved. … transforming Ukraine’s energy sector … will require both well-designed plans and sound implementation pathways that can be sustained.”

Russia's other post-Soviet neighbors:

  • No significant commentary.

III. Russia’s domestic policies

Domestic politics, economy and energy:

  • No significant commentary.

Defense and aerospace:

“Starving Wolf No Longer: Can Russia Sustain Its Military?,” Michael Kofman, The Moscow Times, 02.06.18: The author, a senior research scientist with the Center for Naval Analyses, writes: “Even as Russia’s global conflicts look set to roll into 2018 unhindered, its armed forces are at a crossroads. Divergent spending priorities, resource constraints and myriad dilemmas loom over the horizon. … Russia’s aerospace forces [are] effective, but brutish. … Russia is now pursuing a new arsenal for non-contact warfare … . But moving forward will be no easy feat in the face of its confrontation with the United States. Western sanctions … are hampering Russia’s access to key technologies. Sanctions have also made the international cooperation necessary for these technological developments more difficult. … Russia is having to balance its demand for more advanced weapons with a slew of other priorities … . The purchase of precision-guided weapons en masse will run headlong into … the need for a larger ground force. … Signs suggest that in the recently signed State Armament Program 2018-27, priorities will shift toward the army and the Airborne Troops. All the while, Russia’s defense budget has been declining since 2015 … . Russia also wanted to expand the size of the contract share of its military force to 425,000 by the end of 2017. … This lofty goal … began to stall last year, proving impossible to reach. … After the March election, Moscow will have to reconcile social and defense spending priorities, making hard choices about the kind of military it wants to field into the 2020s.”

“How Elon Musk Beat Russia's Space Program,” Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg, 02.07.18: The author, a columnist and veteran Russia watcher, writes: “Nowhere did Tuesday's launch of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket echo as powerfully as in Russia. The private U.S. company continues to produce technical feats on which the Russian space industry has given up … . Vitaly Egorov, spokesman for … a private Russian satellite manufacturer that works with Roskosmos, posted bitterly on Facebook: ‘In fact, Musk hasn't done anything fantastical. Korolev has done this kind of thing, and so did [rocket engine designer Valentin] Glushko. Soviets did it, and Russians can do it too. … In the final accounting, landing a stage or making a superheavy rocket is a mathematical task, and we aren't out of mathematicians. What we are out of is dreamers. …’ Russia doesn't really have a dreamer to match [Musk]. It has Dmitri Rogozin, … deputy prime minister in charge of the defense and aerospace industry, who publicly squabbled with the Roskosmos management after the latest launch failure in November. … Many Russians who are jealous of Musk's success point out that he hasn't gotten where he is without government support … But the rest of the U.S. aerospace industry gets lots of government money, too … . Egorov probably put his finger on the difference. … private passion … has done more to establish SpaceX's leadership than any state support could have done.”

Security, law-enforcement and justice:

  • No significant commentary.