Monday, April 30, 2018

Russia Needs to Check Their Math--and Maps

Russia is a huge country with large defense needs and a mid-level economy. Trying to be a super-power rather than a potent mid-level power on their available resources harms Russia's ability to defend itself.

Strategypage looks at the wreckage of Russia's security activity, concluding:

Meanwhile the Russian GDP ($1.3 trillion) is stagnant and the population continues to shrink because more people are leaving and not enough children are being born. Few want to move to Russia, at least not for economic opportunities. Russia projects a more powerful image than it can sustain. Russia needs a win but so far can only manage some feeble spin.

Australia and Canada have economies in the same scale as Russia. Neither of the former tries to build a  military the same scale of Russia's nor do they threaten weaker neighbors who have strong allies and friends.

Face it, Russia needs a small blue water navy, ballistic missile subs for a survivable strategic nuclear deterrent, naval forces to protect bastions for those SSBNs, shorter range warships backed by shore-based missiles and planes to dominate coastal waters, a sizable army with an air force to support it, and a nuclear force weighted to theater- and short-range weapons to threaten invaders.

And more important, Russia needs to redeploy their military center of gravity away from facing and threatening NATO that poses no threat to invade Russia; and bolster their defenses in Central Asia and the Far East where China looms.

And Russia needs to do this before Germany with almost three times Russia's GDP rearms and poses even a theoretical ability to attack Russia.

Russia doesn't have the money to be the USSR. And the reason we have a shrunken Russia is that the USSR didn't have the money to be the USSR.

Russia could be a successful continent-spanning middle power with friendly Western nations securing their European flank. Instead, Russia futilely tries to challenge NATO and America while the Chinese threat in the Far East grows--and the end of a treaty in 2021 on the horizon which put Russian-Chinese territorial disputes on the back burner.

Somebody in the Kremlin really needs to tell Putin he's effing things up royally.