How The West Underestimated Russia’s Military Power

Discussion in 'Europe and Russia' started by Yusuf, Oct 18, 2015.

  1. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Russia’s military reforms have been misunderstood and its capabilities underestimated by the United States and Europe. That’s the conclusion of a new report by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR).

    The Russian military’s tactical and operational weaknesses became most blatantly apparent to the Kremlin during the 2008 Russo-Georgian War, when the U.S.-trained Georgian forces proved a much more agile and motivated adversary than expected.

    As a consequence, Russia initiated the most far-reaching military (the “new look”) reforms since the 1930s divided up into three distinct phases, according to the ECFR study:

    First, increasing professionalism by overhauling the education of personnel and cutting the number of conscripts; second, improving combat-readiness with a streamlined command structure and additional training exercises; and third, rearming and updating equipment.

    The United States and Europe primarily focused on the third and still mostly incomplete aspect of these reforms, neglecting the substantial progress that was made in the first and second phases.

    Almost unnoticed by observers, the Russian military addressed one of the biggest organizational weaknesses dating back to the Soviet and Czarist eras and introduced a new professionally trained non-commissioned officers (NCOs) corps dissolving the existing warrant officers system.

    “For the first time, the Russian army had a pyramid structure, with few decision-makers at the top and more officers servicing the troops,” the study reads. Furthermore, officer salaries were increased five-fold and more modern management methods introduced. These reforms also resulted in substantial savings which were used to increase the percentage of professional soldiers within the Russian Armed Forces:

    This allowed the troops to use more high-tech equipment (conscripts serve too short a period to be effectively trained on complex weapons systems) and increased the combat-readiness of elite forces (paratroopers, naval infantry, and special forces).

    The military education system was also reformed – partially based on the systems of Switzerland and Austria—with the aim of introducing “state of-the-art (Western) leadership techniques.” Moreover, new uniforms and personal equipment were introduced boosting overall moral and confidence.

    The second part of the reforms dealt with streamlining command structures and re-organizing the Russian Armed Forces into smaller more agile units by reducing the nominal size of the military by 43 percent—out of 23 old divisions 40 “new look” brigades were formed.

    The old Soviet-era practice of mobilization—calling up reservists to achieve combat strengths—was abolished and unnecessary administrative commands scrapped. “The [new] military districts were transformed into joint forces commands, and their number was reduced. This cut the levels of hierarchy as the military districts now have access to all land, air, and naval forces in their zone,” according to the ECFR paper.

    Furthermore, the number of military drills was substantially increased and large-scale “snatch exercises” conducted continuously, testing the combat-readiness of airborne units and “new look” brigades. (New units should be able to deploy within 24 hours.)

    “While such high readiness levels have not yet been achieved, one has to bear in mind that before the reforms some Russian divisions needed about a year of preparation before deploying to Chechnya,” the study notes.

    The result of these reforms was that Russia was capable of maintaining a force of 40,000 and 150,000 men in full combat-ready formations along the Russian-Ukrainian border for months, while conducting military drills involving around 80,000 troops in other parts of the country.

    The report does not note that the three phases of the grand military reform are far from complete—in particular the last phase dealing with the introduction of new equipment.

    It is when analyzing the last phase that Western observes made the mistake of overemphasizing the difficulties of the Russian defense industry in delivering new military hardware and inferring a general failure of the reforms. “However, this is a misunderstanding of the nature of the reforms. The initial stages were not designed to create a new army in terms of equipment, but to ensure that existing equipment was ready to use, and to make the organization that uses it more effective and professional,” according to the ECFR paper.

    This led to Western military analysts underestimating Russian military capabilities and neglecting new operational concepts such as Russia’s unique approach of merging conventional with unconventional warfighting methods, among other things.

    Discussing Vladimir Putin’s military adventure in Syria, the report notes that it does not “not draw on the core strengths of the armed forces, or on Moscow’s military vision.” The report furthermore states that due to the limited logistical capabilities of the Russian military outside Europe and the post-Soviet periphery, operations –particularly those involving heavy Russian land platforms–would be fairly limited and cannot be sustained for a prolonged amount of time.

    http://thediplomat.com/2015/10/how-the-west-underestimated-russias-military-power/


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  3. jouni

    jouni Senior Member Senior Member

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    Red Army is now better than '08, but the amount of modern troops and gear is still small. I saw a Finnish article, that Russia could not even get air superiority in our air space. Tactically Putin uses what he got quite skillfully.

    West has learned from China patience....time will do the trick with Russian economy. The whole Russian reserve fund is smaller than Finnish pension funds...hows that for a Superpower.
     
  4. I_PLAY_BAD

    I_PLAY_BAD Regular Member

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    The West didn't underestimate Russia. They deliberately tried to undermine Russia knowing it would gain upper hand and global support if it involved in ME wars. It was a calculated move by the US and its allies. Russian armed forces is one of the best in the world and the most aggressive. Had Russia involved in these wars earlier the results would have been different unlike USA's oil politics.

    The true reason Russia backed off is that when it got involved in a major war last time it got dismembered. Now it is a different ball game and Russia has free hand. Any instability or war in the Middle east is only going to benefit Russia and its domestic oil industry.

    @jouni You compare a miniature country like Finland with Russia !!! Come on, anyone can puke whatever when you don't actually fight. So spectators like Finland must remain so for your goodness.
     
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  5. jouni

    jouni Senior Member Senior Member

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    Things are not so black and white as you think. Just think for example Israel vs Arab countries etc.
     
  6. Kharavela

    Kharavela Regular Member

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    :rofl:You are comparing Finland with Israel !! :bs:

    Do you even know the level of war preparedness of Israel ?? Every Israeli prefers to wear Uniform even when having a couple of Corporate offer. Do you have that sort of Nationalism in your minuscule country called Finland ??
     
  7. I_PLAY_BAD

    I_PLAY_BAD Regular Member

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    Stop your BS Mullah Finn.
    Israel is not Finland.
    Stop boasting of your new found patriotism and motherland love.
     
  8. jouni

    jouni Senior Member Senior Member

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    Ok, if not comparing Israel, then how about Pakistan. Our GDP is about the same as Pakistan's and they are your arch enemy. It looks like they have managed quite well against you even when they are so small compared to "Great" India.

    All I am saying that small countries can be so prepared that war against them is difficult ( too costly ) even for superpowers...
     
  9. jouni

    jouni Senior Member Senior Member

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    We have lot in common with Israel, also long history in joint arms development. We have conscript reserve which can be mobilized in few days, so there is a lot in common. Of course our budget is small and we do not consider Russia our enemy in a sense that Arab countries are to Israel. We are just prepared in any case.
     
  10. Mad Indian

    Mad Indian Proud Bigot Veteran Member Senior Member

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    :pound: sure, if losing half the population, half the land, then all the wars against us is doing good. Then yes pakis have done well against us. But I like it that you keep thinking like pakis. Inshallah, may Finland turn into Pakistan.

    BTW, since we are all monsters and devil worshippers, we don't want to live with the jihadi filth here. Want to take some from here? You love them already and you will love em more after you take them there. I pinky promise:lol:
     
  11. Mad Indian

    Mad Indian Proud Bigot Veteran Member Senior Member

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    Oh dammit. I have fed the troll:tsk::tsk:
     
  12. jouni

    jouni Senior Member Senior Member

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    Russian has few dozen planes in Syria, I bet there are 30 countries in the world who could do the same as Russia is doing in Syria. The Russian base in Syria was six months ago " two rusty piers with four persons and a dog". Great propaganda for Putin, small potatoes in real life. All he is trying to do is desperately try to get the oil price up.
     
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  13. jouni

    jouni Senior Member Senior Member

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    We have very few asylum seekers coming from India. I give you a fee hint: start playing football, volleball or basketball. Then it is much easier to go seeking asylum here. We love those talented guys who strengthen our teams. Doing yoga and vegetarian sitting on the trees -thing is just not the same.
     
  14. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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  15. jouni

    jouni Senior Member Senior Member

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    That is twenty years old....but not much has changed in the outside world:

    Two very different worlds have always faced each other on the eastern Finnish border: Nordic democracy and Eastern authoritarianism, Western constitutionalism and Eastern despotism, Lutheran rationalism and Byzantine mysticism, market economy and socialism, Germanic cultural heritage and Slavic tradition. Conflict between these opposite powers explains much of Finnish history.

    We are actively developing our armed forces and the doctrine. For example new air force doctrine abandons fixed air bases totally and our planes use only normal roads and quick changing them also. I do not know any other Air Force who can do the same. Our whole country is a one big air craft carrier. That is why I told that Finnish experts believe that current Russian air force would be denied air superiority in our country. Not bad....
     
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  16. I_PLAY_BAD

    I_PLAY_BAD Regular Member

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    Oh is it ? Can you list what have they done so well ?
    If you say terrorism then you are one of those jihad filth and a stupid mullah.
    Economy, military, infrastructure, power, social development ?
    Can you state any one of these fields were Pakistan has done well ?
    Wait, you don't have the right to boast of Finland as your motherland as well. Because you muslims grew your dick until Finland was 'rich for harvest'. Once there your mullah army rode into Finland with piles and piles of dicks for breeding. How does that feel ?

    small countries make war costly for Superpowers ? Well that is bullshit.
    Given the fact that Russia is very near to you it will be a cake walk if russia attacks finland.
    BS your preparedness given the size of your army. Most of you just have big dicks to breed not big chests to fight.
     
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  17. jouni

    jouni Senior Member Senior Member

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    Pakistan looks like attractive as an investment region, many Pakistanis work and study here and I have only heard good things about them. My grandmother has Pakistani rug and she loves it. Much better quality than contemporary rugs.

    Fifty five percent of our population is below the age of 19, which bodes well for long- term sustainable economic growth. Pakistan has a strong middle class, which is presently around 63 million. A large part of the workforce is proficient in English, hardworking and intelligent. Pakistan possesses a large pool of trained and experienced engineers, bankers, lawyers and other professionals with many having substantial international experience.The consumer market in Pakistan is growing at a very fast pace as reflected by tele-density which has now reached 125 million.

    http://boi.gov.pk/InvestmentGuide/FiveReasons.aspx
     
  18. Mad Indian

    Mad Indian Proud Bigot Veteran Member Senior Member

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    Seriously, take all the anti national filth from here, whom you love . we would be grateful:troll:...
     
  19. sabari

    sabari Regular Member

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    Every thing will change during large scale war .even the country which use nuke will be considered as protected of world (USA). So the country which look dum will change during crises eg Germany . car factory will become tank factory civilian ships will become military transport ship so .analysis are just keep our self happy and feel secure during peace time
     
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  20. apple

    apple Tihar Jail Banned

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    Hägglund wasn't the head of NATO (as Finland isn't NATO). Rather, he was the spokesperson for the EU military commitee. Stupid 30 minute edit rules...
     
  21. bose

    bose Senior Member Senior Member

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    You are derailing the discussion here...

    What we did to Pakistan ? very few have the fate after WW2 ... 1) Their country got dismembered in 71 2) Biggest military surrender after WW2 , 90,000 POW's taken in 71...

    I hope Finland does not have the fate of Pakistan...
     

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