Sunday, February 12, 2017

Russia is a Threat and Distraction

Russia is dangerous now but not the biggest potential problem for America.

This is a good summary of Russian military power:

Despite Russia’s restoration of its military, the United States remains a far stronger power. Even if it were interested in fighting NATO over the Baltics, Moscow is not able to sustain a prolonged conventional conflict with the United States, lacking sustainment, reserves and most of all having too small a force to withstand a war on several fronts. Thus, the costs and risks of escalation have grossly outweighed any imagined benefits. The United States is a superpower with a global force; Russia is not, and is not keen on contests where it stands a real chance of losing.

The author hits on accurate assessments such as the limits of putting a lot of adequately trained Russian troops into a fight, sustaining that fight, and the Russian problem of vast borders with few troops to defend them.

That inability to adequately defend their land borders why Russia needs survivable nukes, as I've noted, which will soak up a lot of Russia's attack submarines protecting Russian SSBNs which are their only really survivable deterrent. That factor alone will prevent Russia from waging a submarines war against trans-Atlantic reinforcements to NATO.

Although I seriously question whether Russia has nullified Western air superiority with ground-based air defenses. People keep thinking that day has arrived and it hasn't happened yet.

And I stop my commendation when the author goes into foreign policy. Your results may differ, of course.

While Russian aggression certainly gives me an eerie feeling that we are in an inter-war period like between the world wars, I do worry that Russia, with its Ethiopia-like assault on Ukraine, is just the Mussolini sidekick and not the main player taking on the role of Germany.