President Putin without explanation gave the boot to six generals who held top positions in the ministry of defense. The key figure relieved of his duties is General Anatoly Sitnov, the chief of procurement, whose ties to defense enterprises are said to be under investigation. The mass firing may also be related to the dispute over the military’s mission, organization, and budget, in which proponents of conventional forces and proponents of strategic forces struggle over scarce resources. That conflict is personalized as a fight between Russia’s two most powerful army generals, Chief of the General Staff Anatoly Kvashnin and Minster of Defense Igor Sergeev. Kvashnin proposes deep cuts in the Strategic Missile Troops, to free up funds for infantry. Sergeev, who used to command the SMT, accuses Kvashnin of “criminal stupidity.” Most Western observers say the firings show Putin’s support for Kvashnin, but the move may be the start of a housecleaning in which Putin sends both Sergeev and Kvashnin into retirement.