Monday, June 17, 2013

Russia's Military Resurgence While U.S. Military is Decimated by Design


While Russia has been INCREASING and revitalizing its conventional and nuclear arsenal, the U.S. has been drastically SHRINKING theirs.  

America's armed forces have been reduced, the Navy shrunk from 600 ships to 286, the Air Force from 37 combat wings to 20 and the Army from 17 divisions to 10.  Plus, Obama has NOT supported key anti-ballistic missile defense systems and pursued a course of nuclear arms reduction.  Aging and obsolete conventional weapons have not been replaced. 

Meanwhile, Russia is adding 153,000 soldiers and will conduct 500 drills within the next few months.  Russians have been training for pre-emptive nuclear strikes and engaging in "snap drills" of massive size and scope without prior notice.  One such drill involved Space Defense forces, long-range aviation, air and anti-missile defence forces and 8,700 personnel!  Russia has announced that it will resume nuclear submarine patrols and expand its reach into international waters.

Janet Levy,

Los Angeles








Russia's Long Hot Summer  


Following a spring which saw the beginning of a draft that will add 153,000 conscripts into the Russian Armed Forces by mid July, the summer of 2013 will be among the most active ever for Moscow's armed forces. 


The Russian Defense Ministry reports that Moscow's military will conduct no less than 500 drills within the next several months. The Jamestown Foundationreports that in September, "Russia and Belarus will stage a joint military exercise on Belarus territory, allegedly to rehearse a defense against a Polish attack on the country."  A similar exercise held in 2009 included training for a pre-emptive nuclear strike on Poland.


A number of worrisome "Snap Drills" have taken place in recent months, in which Russian forces engage in war-footing maneuvers without prior warning.  The Voice of Russiareports that in May, a snap drill involving Space Defense forces, long-range and transport aviation, an combined air and anti-missile defense forces in Russia's Western District took place.  8,700 personnel were involved. Russia's own emphasis on anti-missile defense renders Moscow's objections to the U.S. ABM system rather odd.


Those maneuvers followed the March snap drill exercises in the Black Sea.  The Jamestown Foundation described the exercise:


"At 4 a.m. on March 28, President Vladimir Putin delivered a sealed letter to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ordering him to launch at once unscheduled maneuvers involving not just the Black Sea Fleet but air and airborne forces and the Army... They were not the only such maneuvers conducted at this time, only the most prominent ones. In conjunction with these latest surprise military exercises, the Strategic Missile Command conducted an impromptu check of missile troops in Tver Oblast, and Russia also carried out exercises for Long-Range Aviation forces in the Saratov region (Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, March 30; Interfax, March 29). Simultaneously, Russia's fleet in the South China Sea also conducted a live-fire exercise (Interfax-AVN, March 28). the exercise also consisted of a coastal landing operation in the Caucasus where the fleet, helicopters, and fighter and reconnaissance aircraft supported the marines landing ashore (Interfax-AVN Online, March 29). 


"While one may plausibly say that the scope and size of the exercise described here was intended to demonstrate the regionally concentrated Russian forces' capabilities to deploy at a moment's notice and move to a combat theater, there are more disturbing aspects of this exercise. Indeed, the ground forces undertook a 500-kilometer forced march, while the airborne forces came from the Moscow, Ryazan and Tula divisions (Rossiya 1 TV, March 29). Although Russian leaders claimed that, under international agreements, they did not need to provide notice of the impending maneuvers to Russia's neighbors because they kept the exercise under 9,000 men, it is clear that the implications of this exercise are disturbing for both Georgia and Ukraine (Interfax, March 28). 


"This is not just a question of Russia following up on its negative reaction to joint US-Georgian exercises earlier in March and attempting to demonstrate that it remains the sole dominant power in the Caucasus and Black Sea region. As Aleksandr' Golts suggested, the recent March exercises demonstrate that Moscow can, at a moment's notice, call up its forces and attack Ukraine or Georgia without warning-with no regard for the fact that the Black Sea Fleet is stationed on what is Ukrainian territory and that at least parts of Russia's regional ground and air forces are located on Georgian territory (Moscow Times, April 3). This suggests Moscow's real view of these countries' territorial integrity and sovereignty. Moreover, Golts ridiculed official proclamations that the exercises complied with international agreements, showing that Moscow violated the spirit, if not the letter of those accords (Moscow Times, April 3). Moscow may claim that it and Kyiv are ready to agree on the movement of the Black Sea Fleet's units, but this fait accompli underlines what the real situation is like there (Interfax, March 28). 

"Therefore, it is hardly surprising that Georgia's foreign ministry issued a statement expressing its "grave concern" about this provocative action (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, March 28). While the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) offered no official response, there certainly was some disquiet in Brussels at Moscow's actions "




As the New York Analysis has previously reported, Moscow has undertaken a $723 billion modernization program that includes procuring 1,700 warplanes, including cutting edge fighters and new air defense batteries. The Voice of Russia reports that in the 21st century, Russia has revamped its air force with many new craft, including some, like the T-50, that may surpass America's latest fighter, the F-22 Raptor.



USAF F-22 Raptor


Moscow is placing a large emphasis on naval capabilities, which given the context of Russia's geography has mainly offensive uses. $138 billion has been committed to this effort.  Reuter's Alexi Anishchuknotes that after an absence of twenty years, Russia will resume nuclear submarine patrols in the southern seas as well as the Mediterranean. Russia has been actively seeking new international naval bases.  According to Moscow's Vice admiral Viktor Chirkov, sites include Cuba, Vietnam, and the Seychelles in addition to Syria.  President Putin has also pledged to militarize the Arctic region with a new naval base there.  




Concern over the growing quantity, variety and sophistication of weaponry in the Russian arsenal is more than matched by a newly aggressive posture by Moscow's military and civilian leadership.  On Jan, 26, Gen. Col.Valeri Gerasimov, the top officer in Russia's Armed Forces General Staff, contradicted the key tenet of American elected officials,(including both the President, most Democrats and some isolationist Republicans such as Ron Paul) that World War 2-scale conflicts were a relic of the past.   Gerasimov is quoted in the Exective Intelligence Review stating: "No one rules out the possibility of major wars...and there can be no question of being unprepared for them."



Pushkin House reports that "The Russian armed forces have been in the grip of a deep and drastic program of change and modernization in the last four years."





The sharp reduction of the American defense inventory over approximately the past twenty-three years has been predicated on two basic assumptions. First, that Russia, Washington's chief cold war adversary, was no longer a substantial threat following the breakup of the Soviet Union. Second, that no military force or collection of forces on the planet had the technological sophistication to rival the United States.



Acting on those concepts, America's armed forces were substantially reduced.  The Navy shrunk from 600 ships to 286, the Air Force from 37 combat air wings to 20, and the Army from 17 divisions to 10. Under the Obama administration, this process has deepened and accelerated. The President has also pursued a course of significant and, in large part unilateral, nuclear arms reduction. The White House has also been reluctant to fully support key anti-ballistic missile defenses, or to fund replacements for many aging or obsolete conventional weapons.



Unfortunately, it has become evident that those two key assumptions are no longer, if they were ever, valid. Since Mr. Putin's return to the leadership of a newly aggressive and militarily assertive Russia, vast sums have been appropriated by Moscow to revitalize that nation's conventional and nuclear military. He has ordered a return to cold-war style tactics such as probing western defenses with nuclear submarines and atomic weapons-carrying bombers.  



The Report continues next week





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