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Strategic and tactical realities in CMBS

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My reply got eaten by the internet. In reply to Steve's comment about the current act allowing foreign citizens to sign contracts with RA. 

 

In summary

-That was possible for roughly 10 years, with the first iteration of this act signed in 2001.

-New act adjusts the notion that foreign citizens cannot be deployed to combat zones. There are other minor adjustments as well.  

-It is in no way considered to be the primary medium of increasing the numbers of professionals in RA.

-To illustrate, in 2011 we had 107 foreigners in the whole of RA under contract.

-To further illustrate, the amount of professionals currently in RA (Q4 2014) is 295K (29.5% of total armed forces). 

-Plans are to have 352K by Q4 of next year and 425K by Q4 of 2017 (might be useful for some of your scenarios).

-A yearly increase has been a steady 50K for some years now.

 

Current numbers and plans are taken from an interview with Chief of General Staff. 

 

-Conclusion, in no way current adjustments to already existing acts are a sign of professionalizing failing or numbers not being sufficient. Media spins on the story are irrelevant. 

Edited by BTR

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That contradicts the notion of Russian Armed Forces being built around the 50k strong elite nucleus, which appears to be one of the basic assumptions regarding Russian Armed Forces in this game. Not that the notion is true post 2008 (it is not), where there was a clear shift from small elite (and professional) nucleus with large cadre cannon fodder shroud to all round competent/combat ready Armed Forces.

Edited by ikalugin

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I'm not sure the Dniepr is an obstacle for Russia - they have the US Navy locked out of the Black Sea (and unless Turkey wants to be fighting the Russians in Turkey, it'll stay that way) and can(will) use the river for supply. It's a major highway in its own right. This is true of all the big rivers emptying into the Black Sea, they provide access and supply routes with Russia being the only state that can make use of them (how do you bomb a river into an unusable state?) The Danube? Combine this with labour movements in Western Europe effectively blockading ports (and sabotage if the strikes are put down) and the US/NATO supply situation becomes a real pain. Air? I think missile tech has pretty much nerfed that aspect of war, for now.

 

If the West decides to go to war in Eastern Europe, it is going to have to shut down the internet. It should have done it three years ago: the populace of Europe is not inclined to reason that it has anything, at all, to gain from a war with Russia. Being fed into the mincer for the benefit of the US/Anglo MIC is not going to go down well.

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Lots of older local Donbass fighters served in the soviet army and have some experience in operating and servicing these pretty old tanks. Remember that Ukraine was where the second echelon of Soviet forces was located and that the country inherited all these units at independence. I'm willing to bet they didnt know where all the storage sites were since Soviet doctrine preferred secrecy and hiding instead of a protected perimeter to ensure security. Since central command was in Moscow, they could have very well provided the locations of such depots to the Donbass republics.

Edited by antaress73

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Lots of older local Donbass fighters served in the soviet army and have some experience in operating and servicing these pretty old tanks. Remember that Ukraine was where the second echelon of Soviet forces was located and that the country inherited all these units at independence. I'm willing to bet they didnt know where all the storage sites were since Soviet doctrine preferred secrecy and hiding instead of a protected perimeter to ensure security. Since central command was in Moscow, they could have very well provided the locations of such depots to the Donbass republics.

 

Don't buy that for a second. How could a country not know about military stockpiles on it's territory after 20+ years? The military switched to Ukrainian in the early 90s when Ukraine became independent. Soviet officers on Ukrainian territory became Ukrainian officers, while some of them might have continued to be loyal to the Soviet cause, the majority of them did not so there's simply no way the Ukrainian officers wouldn't have kept track of where the military stockpiles on their territory are.

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My reply got eaten by the internet. In reply to Steve's comment about the current act allowing foreign citizens to sign contracts with RA.

I hate losing a good response! Thank you for taking the time to do it twice. I found it very informative.

The press generally does not do a good job reporting on the background of changes like this. For that I have to search for sources of information that are interested in the details. Your answers sound well founded so you saved me some time. Thanks ;)

Steve

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Don't buy that for a second. How could a country not know about military stockpiles on it's territory after 20+ years? The military switched to Ukrainian in the early 90s when Ukraine became independent. Soviet officers on Ukrainian territory became Ukrainian officers, while some of them might have continued to be loyal to the Soviet cause, the majority of them did not so there's simply no way the Ukrainian officers wouldn't have kept track of where the military stockpiles on their territory are.

The days of believing that the separatists have armed themselves should be long gone and dead. It was never, ever, even for 1 day true. Weapons have always been coming in from Russia along with "volunteers". Always. At the beginning the mandate to the separatists was to arm themselves as much as possible in order to keep up the illusion that the conflict was a civil war and not a state sponsored invasion. But it was nothing but an illusion and those of us paying attention to the details saw that the truth within days of the first armed takeovers. Not that it surprised me at all, considering this was built into the Black Sea story years before :D

Plus, since this time the amount of hardware in Donbas that has never, ever been in Ukrainian or Soviet hands has steadily increased. I just posted a video of roughly 11 vehicles that are recent production and only number in the low hundreds. They are absolutely Russian military.

So please, I am begging here, let us not once again start down the road of denying that this is an invasion already, not a civil war. If you disagree, kindly do not post that you do. It insults both my intelligence and yours.

Steve

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I hate losing a good response! Thank you for taking the time to do it twice. I found it very informative.

The press generally does not do a good job reporting on the background of changes like this. For that I have to search for sources of information that are interested in the details. Your answers sound well founded so you saved me some time. Thanks ;)

Steve

 

Thanks, mind you that I am basing my percentage from desired 1M force. Actual numbers vary by season, but currently sit at around 800K+ actual personnel. 

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Also can I start on this in Red Thunder and import it?  Someone said its exactly the same trees and so on.

I have to contradict what Vanir just said. Scenarios made for one Family are not readily importable into another. We do have an internal (and delicate) tool for moving stuff over from a the Family the new game is based on (in this case Red Thunder) before significant changes have happened (i.e. new terrain added and old terrain changed). Because of this the tool is not useful later on and we do not release it to the public.

Steve

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Thanks, mind you that I am basing my percentage from desired 1M force. Actual numbers vary by season, but currently sit at around 800K+ actual personnel.

I might be misremembering something, but I thought the reduction to an 800,000 force was officially announced fairly recently (1-2 years ago).

I found this recent article that discusses progress and problems about contract soldier quantity and quality;

https://russiandefpolicy.wordpress.com/2014/11/06/contract-euphoria/

I am unfamiliar with the website, but based on the other articles I read it seems to be a "level headed" source of information.

Steve, where did you post it (the video you refer to)?

It is in this post of mine on Page 9. There are other videos of this specific force, but I think this is one of the clearest:

http://community.battlefront.com/topic/117478-strategic-and-tactical-realities-in-cmbs/page-9#entry1571454

Steve

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No, the force is meant to stay around 1M mark. The defficincy in manpower comes from the decrease in the conscript flow, which is at the moment is sort of being fixed by increasing amount of contract holders.

 

Your article is (largerly) outdated, I could not see the reference to the 305k figure, as this statement here:

http://itar-tass.com/armiya-i-opk/1637620

talks about 295k figure contract troops in Q4 2014.

 

In general NVO newspaper is know to be of poor quality and should not be viewed as a reliable source of information. I would strongly reccomend to look into the original sources of any numbers given in that newspaper (of the Izvestia newspaper for that matter).

 

Some things, such as the reasons for the improvement in the flow of contract troops into the Armed Forces (improvement in the Armed Forces prestige, living conditions) are true, however they forgot possibly the most important point - a soldier and more so an officer in Russian Armed Forces earns higher than average wage, has access to state sponsored mortgage, has simplified entry procedures into higher education institutions and many other social bonuses.

Edited by ikalugin

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I missed this one!

To keep their independence (from Russian Goverment) for ideological reasons (some view Russian policy in Ukraine as not pro active enough) and/or private interests (keeping power/influence).

Yes. There are many different types of separatists. In the past I've classified them and IIRC I came up with 6 distinct groups. One is there mostly to enrich themselves. These are the groups that Russia has been cracking down on for the past few months. Putin even made a public threat against a specific group of Russian Cossacks who were intercepting the so-called "Humanitarian Aid" convoys, taking what they wanted for themselves and then selling the rest. Not long after there was a shoot out with "unknown" forces and several men were killed. There are conflicting reports about their continued presence in Ukraine.

Steven, would it be of interest If I provide research results regarding current and probable future status of Ukrainian forces, properly referenced and all? (Well maybe not quite to strict standards of high academia, but I could get it there if need be and would certainly try to peer review it first).

Yes, that would be great! The more people looking into the specifics the better.

Steve

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No, the force is meant to stay around 1M mark. The defficincy in manpower comes from the decrease in the conscript flow, which is at the moment is sort of being fixed by increasing amount of contract holders.

 

Your article is (largerly) outdated, I could not see the reference to the 305k figure, as this statement here:

http://itar-tass.com/armiya-i-opk/1637620

talks about 295k figure contract troops in Q4 2014.

 

In general NVO newspaper is know to be of poor quality and should not be viewed as a reliable source of information. I would strongly reccomend to look into the original sources of any numbers given in that newspaper (of the Izvestia newspaper for that matter).

 

Some things, such as the reasons for the improvement in the flow of contract troops into the Armed Forces (improvement in the Armed Forces prestige, living conditions) are true, however they forgot possibly the most important point - a soldier and more so an officer in Russian Armed Forces earns higher than average wage, has access to state sponsored mortgage, has simplified entry procedures into higher education institutions and many other social bonuses.

Thanks! There was an article on the website about wages for the defense sector (not just military). Yes, definitely higher. I've read other articles about the major improvements in all these areas since 2008. Russia definitely is learning quickly that broadening the incentives to join produces much better results. I can say for sure that the US military would not have a 100% volunteer force if it were not for the extremely good incentives provided by the government.

The problem now is that the Russian economy is in recession (in reality, though not quite by technical definition). It is very unclear how the past spending can be maintained, not to mention increased, as the revenue available to the country as a whole is in steep decline. This is a topic that is extremely complex and not relevant to this thread, but I thought it correct to mention it even though it is more a mid to long term problem (i.e. it doesn't dramatically affect today's military).

Steve

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Because of this the tool is not useful later on and we do not release it to the public.

Ah, I didn't know that. I just know I used it once months ago and it worked ^_^

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I'm not sure the Dniepr is an obstacle for Russia - they have the US Navy locked out of the Black Sea (and unless Turkey wants to be fighting the Russians in Turkey, it'll stay that way) and can(will) use the river for supply. It's a major highway in its own right. This is true of all the big rivers emptying into the Black Sea, they provide access and supply routes with Russia being the only state that can make use of them (how do you bomb a river into an unusable state?) The Danube? Combine this with labour movements in Western Europe effectively blockading ports (and sabotage if the strikes are put down) and the US/NATO supply situation becomes a real pain. Air? I think missile tech has pretty much nerfed that aspect of war, for now.

The US Navy could only send a couple ships actually into the black sea, it's true. But then again it doesn't need many in order to put a serious hurt on the Black Sea Fleet, which is far from the Russian Navy's finest formation. A CSG in the eastern med could still have an impact on the Black Sea, especially with NATO tanker support. And if it really became necessary, I would imagine the treaty regarding warships in the sea would be renegotiated (I forget the specific one and am on a phone) or outright ignored in a heavy conflict. In short, a strong case could be made for a protracted and deadly air war, but the USN would have no problem in the Black Sea, provided Russian strategic level aircraft (backfire raids) did not intervene. That would be a huge escalation as a Russian attack on a US Carrier would not be treated lightly.

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The issue is that Black Sea is a small place and is dominated by the AShM launchers and strike aircraft based in Crimea. As such you don't need high end aircraft to deliver strikes against any naval grouping in the Black Sea if you are based out of Crimea - multi role and strike Flanker variants would suffice.

As to the US/NATO air power - it is by far more convenient to fly out of Poland and other NATO states, or even from the bases in Ukraine itself.

If Russia and US are fighting an open war (in Ukraine) then attack on the US carrier forces in theater would be completely logical, especially if they are used for strikes in said war, and thus are not really an escalation.

On the straights - even though the agreements were infringed by US a number of times, there were never truly violated during the cold war. Thus (especially considering the aforementioned factors) I seriously doubt that USN would operate out of the Black Sea.

Edited by ikalugin

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The issue is that Black Sea is a small place and is dominated by the AShM launchers and strike aircraft based in Crimea.

As to the US/NATO air power - it is by far more convenient to fly out of Poland and other NATO states, or even from the bases in Ukraine itself.

Both of these are very true points.

Any USN push into the sea would by necessity be accompanied by a thorough bombardment campaign of Crimean defenses and airfields by Tomahawk, USN, USAF and NATO aircraft. While these would fail to destroy all systems, Aegis ships would probably be able to deal with the survivors.

I could see only two reasons for this to occur though, especially due to the abundance of ground based options. 1) to stage an amphibious assault (an incredibly costly one to both sides) or 2) to establish a blockade of Russian ports, Crimea, or the Dniepr. I'm not too convinced either of these would be that likely, although both are in the realm of our capabilities.

This has actually inspired me to make a CMAN:O scenario. Are there any good orbats for Russian defenses of the black sea, especially as pertaining to # airfields and their aircraft and coastal defense ASHMs and SAMs? I'll probably be generous and give the Black Sea Fleet a 50% operational status for surface ships.

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Well such an extensive attack would be viewed as all out aggression against Russian home soil, leading (according to our military doctrine and current political line anyway) to immediate nuclear escalation.

So things are... complicated.

Time period?

Edited by ikalugin

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If the USN only struck targets in Crimea, (and shot down any hostile aircraft from Russia proper without targeting their bases) would that satisfy your escalation criteria? In that case, wouldn't ANY attack into Crimea by land forces be the same thing?

I'll set it in 2017, if you give me as close to modern as you can I can fudge an increase for a surge of A/C given the conflict heating up.

To keep in the spirit of the Montreux Convention, I will limit Blue forces to 45000 tons total. This would mean a SAG of a Ticonderoga Cruiser, 3 Arleigh Burkes, and either a British Type 23 or French Aquitane class. I'll simulate as what's left of the Ukrainian Navy as having been sunk. Not sure how I'll model Turkish, Bulgarian and Romainian naval forces, or handwave them as not interested. Might model them as non-beligerant, blue aligned AI and see if they get dragged in.

Blue will get some USAF support but I will postulate that most will be busy over Ukraine itself and that air war. For the same reason, Russian air forces will be primarily anti-ship oriented aircraft with a squadron or two for CAP.

Edited by Codename Duchess

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I think you have to split from reality to what would be good for the game in terms of naval operations.

 

Operating in the Black Sea isn't that great of an idea.  It removes much of the mobility that makes a Navy powerful, while also giving the dilemma of either striking undisputed Russian soil and risking a provocation, or allowing a large number of anti-ship systems to operate in "no fire" areas.

 

In a realistic sense, giving the impression the US was potentially committed to launching significant operations into the Black Sea, knocking out targets in non-sensitive areas, parking some LHDs near Turkey and strongly implying the USMC was going in "somewhere" could tie down significant resources that would be out of proportion to those committed to the deception.  Further if the Russians simply shrugged it off as posturing, stuff like the Osprey can reach pretty far, a raid against some lightly defended Russian rear area could be enough to trigger full on paranoid mode deployments of troops away from the front.  All it would really take is a few platoons knocking out an anti-shipping missile sight, kicking down a Russian flag and zip cuffing the locals to cause full on AMERICA INVADE MOTHERLAND mode, which may increase Russian popular support for the war, but again anyone near the sea would likely be screaming for troops because Americans are everywhere and going to use their gayrays on babies or something (not intended as a slight against Russians specifically, nearly as much as the common civilian reaction to even modest implication of danger of attack).

 

In terms of the game it's a virtual certainty there will be some manner of from the sea campaign because we need to get our USMC/Naval Troops Module in somehow.   

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