Tuesday, May 10, 2016

New and Improved! Now With Divisional Headquarters!

Russia will organize three divisions they say are aimed at NATO:

"The Defense Ministry is taking a series of measures in order to counter the expansion of NATO forces in direct proximity to the Russian border," Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday on state television.

"By the end of the year two new divisions will be formed in the western military district and one in the southern military district."

Two were already announced. Although how focused on the West they are is unclear to me.

The Russians earlier announced the formation of two new armies to command their ground forces.

And I'm assuming that the 1st Guards Tank Army mentioned in one story quoted is the same as the 1st Tank Army mentioned in the other.

As far as I can tell, this is a reorganization rather than an increase in force levels. So how much is marketing and how much is increased threat to NATO is unclear to me.

Of course, these regular army press releases could all be red herrings hiding the real force to expand Russia's borders--Putin's personal army.

Not that the regular army is irrelevant. Even if the regulars are unwilling to initiate a war with NATO, if Putin starts a war with his personal army and NATO responds big, the regulars will be a safety net who can be counted on to join the war once the safety of Holy Mother Russia is on the line.

And Russia still has nukes, as they regularly remind us, to limit the extent of a defeat if plans go wrong.

Was that Clinton "reset" button even connected to anything?

UPDATE: Strategypage clarifies:

The revised plan will involve using several more combat brigades to form four combat divisions. Two will be on the western borders and two in the south (Ukraine) All this will involve moving at least twelve brigades to border areas and building new bases to house them. The Russian army is not getting any more troops, just reorganizing and moving some of those it already has.

And I'm not so sure how close all these divisions will be to Russia's western and Ukrainian borders given earlier stories.

Much of that post is a survey of Russia's adventures and worth a look.