Saturday, August 16, 2014

Reinforcing Success

Russia wants more effective ground forces. I've been writing that I think the Russian military has insufficient decent quality ground forces to have a high degree of confidence that they could crush the Ukrainian military and pacify the east without bad optics that cause people to question the effectiveness of Russia's ground forces.

Russia will double the number of their airborne forces:

Russia is planning to double the size of its Airborne Troops (VDV) by 2019 to 72,000 personnel, it has been reported.

A "high ranking" General Staff source told Russian news agency ITAR-TASS on 6 August that the Ministry of Defence has approved the proposal. Despite the increase, this would not take the armed forces over the currently authorised total of one million military personnel.

It isn't that the Russians see the need to have more paratroopers they can drop or airlift. Russia couldn't drop their current number of units.

But the airborne forces have the bulk of Russia's effective ground forces. So rather than simply try to increase the effectiveness of other portions of Russia's army, they will add to the pool of troops who are already effective--the paratroopers and Spetsnaz.

Of course, Russia is more likely to dilute the quality of their paratroopers and Spetsnaz with such a rapid doubling of this portion of their army.

This smacks of military illiteracy that notes that Russia has 36,000 good paratroopers and Spetsnaz, so doubling the number of those troops will double the number of good troops.

Yeah. that's not how it works. We'll see how well the Russians can match the quality of the existing force in this 5-year expansion plan. I have strong doubts that Russia can succeed with this plan.