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A new arm may be created in the Russian armed forces soon
A new arm, the Special Operations Forces (SOF), may be created in the Russian armed forces soon. The concept is to be discussed at the next session of the Russian Security Council, writes Izvestia. This service, to include an air, a ground and a naval component, is to be composed of spetsnaz (special forces) brigades and units of military districts and fleets, said a ranking source in the Defense Ministry. One of their main tasks will be to conduct special operations, including to prevent terrorist attacks. The Command of the Special Operations Forces will organize combat training and plan operations. The Russian armed forces consist of three services and three arms. The services are the Land Forces, the Air Force and the Navy. The arms are the Strategic Missile Forces, the Space Forces and the Airborne Forces. The appearance of a new arm in this structure looks symbolic: it will be the first time in the history of the Russian armed forces that the special operations forces will be united under a single command. Today, spetsnaz units are subordinate to the command of districts and fleets in which they are incorporated, which means that the Defense Ministry has to overcome substantial bureaucratic barriers to use these different units in a common operation. This results in a loss of operational effect and hinders planning. For example, spetsnaz in Chechnya acted independently of the basic federal forces. Another vital element of the creation of a new arm is that it fits Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov's doctrine of delivering preemptive strikes at terrorist bases wherever they are located. Many people took the view that this meant using aircraft and missiles, but now the SOF may be used to deliver such strikes, both in Russia and outside its borders
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