"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Friday, March 7, 2014

Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine

Hitler Also Underestimated Russia
While moronic talking heads trash a "weak" Russia on TV
we see Putin building a powerful military machine.

The Washington Times reports President Vladimir Putin has turned a once-moribund Russian military into a lean, quick-strike force that can invade Chechnya, Georgia and now Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula.

Under Putin, Russia has developed the world’s third-largest defense budget, at $70 billion. The underpaid army of post-Cold War conscripts has given way to special operations troops and experienced guns for hire, some of whom showed up in Crimea in not readily identifiable uniforms.

Overall, headquarters have been consolidated and soldiers fight out of brigades, not large divisions.
Putin, who has lamented the end of the Soviet empire, is using Russia’s energy riches to buy military technology overseas such as communications networks and drones. Germany, its eastern half once ruled by Stalinist countrymen, built for Russia a sophisticated training center for infantry units that can simulate an array of war scenarios, such as invading a neighbor.

After Putin’s re-election in 2012, the military began a series of “snap exercises” — surprise orders to see how fast army units mobilize, leave bases and arrive at objectives. Orders for larger exercises recognize the military’s inability to fight a long war and include the use of nuclear weapons to defend the homeland.

In all, Putin has built a military that can unleash a force to reclaim territory lost in the Soviet empire’s demise.

“What they’ve done is fashion a force structure that can deal with local crises in adjoining states, and right now that means states that, by rights in their view, should belong to the Russian Federation,” said David Glantz, a retired Army officer trained as a Sovietologist who just completed a book about the Battle of Stalingrad. “Crimea is the most sensitive and obvious place to operate because that is where they’ve had the military bases.”

“Putin has left his stamp by essentially supporting a much more aggressive Russian response,” said Jacob Kipp, a Russia military historian and former director of the Army's Foreign Military Studies Office at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. “The Russian military today is clearly intended early on to conduct initial combat operations. The problem is it doesn’t have the capacity to conduct protracted combat operations.”

Putin began his foray in war planning in 1999. President Boris Yeltsin had brought the former KGB colonel into the Kremlin and put him in charge of federal security, then made him prime minister and then acting president. That October, Russian troops invaded Chechnya, as they had in 1994, in response to attacks by separatists, many of them Islamists.

Unlike 1994, when Yeltsin allowed his army to get chewed up in mountain warfare, Putin went straight for the capital of Grozny, established a pro-Russian government and fought a counterinsurgency that ended in victory.

Ever since, Putin has focused on combat readiness and technology for 2 million active-duty and reserve troops.

“He took charge of the Second Chechen War, and if you notice, you can’t find anything about that war because there is a cloak of secrecy around it,” Glantz said. “He was basically testing the kind of force structure he believed Russia needed down the road.”

Putin’s rise and that second war marked the beginning of a Russian rearmament that continues today. Moscow’s 2013 defense budget funds a 40 percent increase over the next three years, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, putting the Kremlin only behind the U.S. and China in military spending.

Read more at: Washington Times.
Russian Army Parade Victory Day, 2013

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