Almost 30 years ago, my destiny led me to work for the Russian defense industry, where I began my career in research, technical feasibility studies, and the design of high-tech and space enterprises, the flagships of the defense industry.
During all those years, I contemplated the phenomenon of this unique, strange, and paradoxical industry, its achievements, and, in particular, the extremely high price that was demanded from its people in order that Russia might gain a leading position in the global arms race. To maintain that leading position, its highest priority, Russia neglected to provide its hardworking population with basic needs, like enough food and clothing.
The promising process of Russian defense conversion, optimistically and earnestly begun in 1988, gradually turned into the usual poorly planned, micromanaged campaign, similar to many abortive campaigns of the Soviet era. Numerous, often contradictory, commands from Moscow demanded the acceleration of the conversion process, when its economic and organizational structure, which was taken from the past, was in no condition to support such efforts. Thus began the accelerating process of "headlong conversion," which led to the catastrophic destruction of the Russian defense industry, formerly not only the producer of enormous arsenals, but also the heart of the country's intellectual capital, particularly its new civilian high technologies.
Russian defense conversion -its history, events, achievements, and failures--is an extremely complicated and broad issue. Over the years, many questions accumulated in my mind, questions to which I could find no answers. Understanding its historical roots, nature, and anatomy, as well as its future prospects, required the dedicated efforts of many experts from different fields.
I consider myself very fortunate to have met, on my life path, the outstanding people, my esteemed colleagues, who became authors of this book. Working with these people inspired me and gave me strength while working on this challenging project. They helped me to find answers to many of my difficult questions, even though sometimes they held very different points of views and opinions. I greatly appreciate their significant contribution to this book. Here are their names: The Honorable William J. Perry, The Honorable Evgeniy I. Shaposhnikov, David Holloway, David M. Bernstein, Marcus W. Feldman, Vagit U. Alekperov, Sonia Ben Ouagrham, Victor I. Danilov-Danil'yan, Larisa V. Genin, Mikhail I. Gerasev, Donald R. Gerth, James E. Goodby, Oleg A. Grinevsky, Randy H. Hamilton, Ward A. Hanson, John H. Hnatio, Michael D. Intriligator, Elena I. Ivanova, Alexei I. Izyumov, Vitaliy L. Katayev, Sergey K. Kolpakov, Leonid Ya. Kosals, Alexander P. Kotov, Evgeniy M. Kozhokin, James E. Meadows, Boris A. Revich, Rozalina R. Ryvkina, Harry Sello, Vitaliy V. Shlykov, Mark I. Shteynberg, Alexey N. Shulunov, Jonathan B. Tucker, Vitaliy Y. Vitebsky, Rem I. Vyakhirev, Arkadiy I. Yarovskiy and Zhanna A. Zaionchkovskaya.
I have the utmost respect and admiration for these people, whose invaluable experience, erudition, and vision brought to life this book, which is dedicated to one of the most important milestones of that very difficult, yet remarkable, Twentieth Century.
I express my deepest gratitude to them.
My gratitude goes also to a number of world famous prominent authorities in U.S.-Russian relations, including professors and scholars of Stanford University and Harvard University, whose vision and ideas had an important impact on my thinking: Dr. George Shultz, Dr. Henry Kissinger, Dr. Madeleine Albright, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, Mr. Strobe Talbott, Dr. Ashton Carter, Dr. John Hennessy, Dr. John Raisian, Dr. Milton Friedman, Dr. Gloria Duffy, Dr. Gail Lapidus, General (ret.) John Shalikashvili, Mr. Eugene Lawson, as well as former CISAC co-director Dr. Sidney Drell.
Special thanks to Dr. Edward Teller (of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University), a world famous scientist and a great man, who graciously gave his time, experience, knowledge, and wisdom to clarify bookconcepts, provide me's concepts, provide me with ideas and deepen my understanding of the issues bearing on the future international collaboration of high tech scientists on behalf of peace on the planet.
I am grateful to Dr. Bill Potter, Director of the Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, for his support of the core ideas of the book, and for helping, together with his scholars, to make this book a reality.
My colleagues and I are indebted to Dr. Scott Sagan, Dr. Christopher Chyba, Dr. Michael May, Co-Directors of the Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University, and Dr. Andrew Kuchins, Associate Director, for their constant support of our efforts during the whole period of work on this book.
Dr. Vlad E. Genin