The Russians cannot field an

By: crunchgodabruinknees

army that could go much past mid-Poland. Our forces there are intended to be a tripwire and little else now. Protecting the airfields is the main goal. Russia could do a great deal of short-term damage shortly before their economy collapsed following their infrastructure being torn down.. The Russian Army isnt there to fight, its there to exert political pressure. In the Crimea they grabbed some space that was essentially undefended and now just apply pressure and stir the pot abit to keep the /ukrainians off balance. The goal in europe is similar.

Russian infrastructure is pure shit. Its telecom, power, pipeline and refining capacity are a shadow of a modern economy. Their armed forces are even more hollow.

They announce grandiose building and modernizations that dont happen in the military.

their army is hollow--Strategy page covered it a while ago, buts its not improved very much.

Russia also has persistent problems obtaining and retaining experienced personnel. Conscription is unpopular, but the money is not available to completely replace conscripts. The current plan is to increase the number of contract (higher paid volunteer) troops to 425,000 (for the army and Interior Ministry) over the next few years. There other problems with conscription, the most obvious ones being that the number of 18 year olds is rapidly declining each year. The latest crop of draftees was born after the Soviet Union dissolved. That was when the birth rate went south. Not so much because the Soviet Union was gone but more because of the economic depression (caused by decades of communist misrule) that precipitated the collapse of the communist government. The number of available draftees went from 1.5 million a year in the early 1990s, to 800,000 today. Less than half those potential conscripts are showing up and many have criminal records (or tendencies) that help sustain the abuse of new recruits that has made military service so unsavory.

With conscripts now in for only a year, rather than two, there is a tendency to take a lot of marginal (sickly, overweight, bad attitudes, drug users) recruits in order to keep the military and Ministry of Interior units up to strength. But this means that even elite airborne and commando units are using a lot of conscripts (who volunteer for this dangerous service). Most of these young guys take a year to master the skills needed to be useful and by then they are discharged. Few choose to remain in uniform and become career (contract) soldiers. That's primarily because the Russian military is seen as a crippled institution and one not likely to get better any time soon. With so many of the troops now one year conscripts, an increasing number of the best officers and NCOs get tired of coping with all the alcoholics, drug users, and petty criminals that are taken in just to make quotas. With the exodus of the best leaders, and the growing number of ill-trained and unreliable conscripts, the Russian military is more of a mirage than an effective combat (or even police) organization.

All this is in sharp contrast to the old days. When the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, it had five million troops. Now it's less than one million in just Russia (which has about half the population of the old Soviet Union but most of the territory). Although the Russian armed forces lost over 80 percent of its strength since 1991, a disproportionate number of officers remained. A decade ago the Russian military had about 1.2 million personnel (400,000 in the army itself, the rest in paramilitary units). But there were 355,000 officers in this force. That's more than one in three. With all that, some 40,000 officer positions were still vacant. The reorganization eliminated over half of them but left many surviving officers bitter and in a bad mood.

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