Resistance to military reform: Russian path dependency
Since the late 2000s the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation have embarked on a series of reforms, initiated by the so called Serdyukov reforms of 2008. The Russian strategy and security community and scholars interested in the Russian military are in agreement that these reforms were necessary and long overdue. One reason for delayed reforms often cited by scholars is the military’s resistance to change. However, the details of such resistance has not yet been further investigated. This thesis, relying on the theory of historical institutionalism will demonstrate that the policy decisions made in the early days of the establishment of the Red Army led to path dependency that provided the military establishment with autonomy over its own affairs with no external oversight. This thesis will further demonstrate that even after the dissolution of the Red Army and the establishment of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, these incentives stayed intact and the fear of losing these was the main factor in the military’s resistance to change.