Oil, melting ice, and shifts in military and economic power will reshape Russian naval strategy.
When oil peaked at more than $140 per barrel in 2007–8, Russian Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky projected that the navy would add three carrier battle groups to the Northern Fleet and three to the Pacific Fleet. 1 Naval War College professor Milan Vego thought the buildup possible and believed shipyard capacity, not cash, would be the key challenge. 2 Predictions changed when oil prices dropped in 2008–9, and some analysts boldly predicted the Russian fleet would eventually cease to exist. But while Russia’s naval ambitions will not include six carrier groups, Moscow absolutely will continue to build and/or acquire a formidable navy. Globalization requires that it do so.