The May Day parade in Moscow is the largest, most important military parade of the year. For 1992’s parade, Yeltsin and Gorbachev invited Bill Clinton to come watch it with them. The parade commenced with a battalion of tanks, followed by a division of infantry, followed by armored personnel carriers and mobile artillery. They had mobile ballistic missile launchers, electronic jamming vehicles, and throughout the entire time the formations were overflown by squadrons of the most advanced interceptors, fighters, and long-range tactical and strategic bombers.
Clinton, who had never been this close to war in his life, was suitably impressed. Then he noticed that, way back at the end of the parade, there was a disorganized, messy bunch of men in rumpled suits tagging along behind the last artillery pieces. “Who are they?” he asked.
“Ah,” said Yeltsin, “those are our economists!”
“But I thought this parade was military…” said Clinton, confused.
“Mr. Clinton,” said Gorbachev, “have you SEEN the damage those men can do?”