Getting Serious in Russia's War on Terror
Russia's decision to spend an extra 157 billion rubles (over $5 billion) to fight terrorism is a more impressive response than all the Kremlin's recent tough talk, including President Vladimir Putin's demand that more power be centralized in his hands. Indeed, after the hostage crisis in the Dubrovka Theater in Moscow in 2002, the same sort of harsh words flowed, but no extra money was spent.
These new billions do seem to demonstrate renewed government resolve, but is throwing money at the war on terror enough?
The Kremlin refuses to publicly admit that today's terrorism has its roots predominantly in the Chechen war, which is now metastasizing throughout the Northern Caucasus. Chechen fighters and their supporters demonstrate almost daily that the war continues, and countless bold pronouncements, like newly elected Chechen president Alu Alkhanov's recent assertion that "effective measures" have been found to combat terror, look like mere bloviation.