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Iraqi War to Spur Armed Forces Reforms in Russia - 21 March, 2003

The Iraqi war is likely to expedite the reforms of the Russian Armed Forces, believes Valery Manilov, former Chief of Staff and one of the heads of the Committee on Defence and Security of the Federation Council (upper house of parliament).

The US-led military operation against Iraq could generate new threats to the security of the international community and Russia as well. The Russian leadership must boost the defence capability of Russia and overhaul its military-industrial complex to immediately provide the Russian Armed Forces with state-of-the-art military equipment, the Russian general said.

He believes that the operation might last for several months because Baghdad will protect the key defence posts through the country. Thus the US-led campaign won't be swift. The US-Britain military grouping "would face stiff resistance from armed forces loyal to Saddam Hussein and stay there for 3-4 months," Manilov said.

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