Free Markets, Free People

Russia’s military not as bad as reported

Apparently not. Looking at the operations in Syria, the NYT says:

Taken together, the operations reflect what officials and analysts described as a little-noticed — and still incomplete — modernization that has been underway in Russia for several years, despite strains on the country’s budget. And that, as with Russia’s intervention in neighboring Ukraine, has raised alarms in the West.

In a report this month for the European Council on Foreign Relations, Gustav Gressel argued that Mr. Putin had overseen the most rapid transformation of the country’s armed forces since the 1930s. “Russia is now a military power that could overwhelm any of its neighbors, if they were isolated from Western support,” wrote Mr. Gressel, a former officer of the Austrian military.

Of course we’ve been advised, for years, that the Russian military was only a shadow of its former self under the USSR.  And while it certainly isn’t as potent as when Russia was the USSR, it is apparently vastly more potent than we’ve been led to believe.

Another factoid from the article:

Russia’s fighter jets are, for now at least, conducting nearly as many strikes in a typical day against rebel troops opposing the government of President Bashar al-Assad as the American-led coalition targeting the Islamic State has been carrying out each month this year.

The bottom line, of course, is we still have a much more powerful military – but we’re in the middle of cutting back on it both in manpower and spending.  And, of course, that sort of power is only important if your potential enemies know you’re willing to use it.  Russia is demonstrating that willingness.

Russia is also “field testing” its equipment and it is “blooding” its troops.

Not to mention rallying “allies” to the Russian cause.  China has sent forces to Syria.  And the latest?

On Wednesday, a U.S. official confirmed to Fox News that Cuban paramilitary and special forces units are on the ground in Syria, citing evidence from intelligence reports. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Cuban troops may have been training in Russia and may have arrived in Syria on Russian planes.

Isn’t normalization with Cuba wonderful? Isn’t that reset with Russia working out well?  It sure has been rewarding so far.

~McQ

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8 Responses to Russia’s military not as bad as reported

  • The Russians have been working on everything from assault rifles and body armor on up, with the design criteria being that it should beat NATO gear. Their new tank…if it runs reliably…looks to be VERY formidable.

  • And the Russians have invited all their old pals to “come get some!!!!”.

    We, meanwhile, can be exceedingly grateful that we’re on year 7 of our national CF, and not year 5.

    Exactly why someones thought that an industry that has been providing weapons to third world powers all along hasn’t got anything new up it’s sleeves, well… but it’s probably the same someone’s who thought Obamacare was going to work.

    • I noticed that over on MSNBC last night, they were celebrating the fact the the budget deficit is now the lowest since 2008.

      • Yeah, great news isn’t it! We spent less un-budgeted money that we didn’t have this year than we spent in 2008! Awesome!

        He’s such a groovy President. Maybe he can get a budget approved by 2017!

        • The real demon is the debt payment. Right now low interest rates mute the debt payment. Already low interest rates were cratered around 2001 due to the recession stacked with the panic over 9-11 and following events. In spite of this our payments are on a trajectory to match historic highs. So that if/when interest rates go back it will be a monster that doubles in size overnight. Right now its about 40% of our yearly deficit. So Already its starting to drive our deficit, the start of a positive feedback loop.

          • Debt? What debt? Spend! spend! dooooonnnnn’t worry, we’ll make the payments easy! Bad credit, no credit, not a problem!

            We’ll just get….uh….someone else to uh……

            I expect the next step will be a Pay-Day loans store right next to the Capitol building.