Roger N. McDermott Any effort to define the Kremlin’s future military priorities in support of its foreign policy agenda, extending over the next decade and beyond, must necessarily begin by recognizing the huge importance of Vladimir Putin in terms of his grip on power since 2000, and his relationship with Russia’s armed forces. Indeed, for many analysts and commentators, Russian or non-Russian, the name of Putin evokes mixed reaction or even controversy.1 Before exploring the type of military challenges facing the Russian presidency following the presidential elections in March 2012, it is crucial to place Putin and his legacy to the armed forces in its broader context and offer some observations about his role in the reform of the conventional armed forces launched in the latter part of 2008 and the specific challenges arising from that process.2