Jump to content
lordhedgwich

Russian army under equipped?

Recommended Posts

Hokay then:

Re: Ratnik

I think Battlefront is at least a little researched as far as infantry systems.  One of the key holdups from my understanding in Russian night vision and thermal optics was the reliance on import components.  I'm not sure for the more modern sets if there's the industrial element to back that up yet.

The general danger of modeling anything in the future is frequently the stated, even reasonable goals of military forces right here right now entirely fall victim to all sorts of slings and arrows.  Case in point for Battlefront products would be USMC squads with M32s as far as the eye could see in CMSF, but in other games:

1. RAH-66 Comanche
2. XM8 rifle
3. Land Warrior
4. SCAR
5. Black Eagle/T-95/T-99 etc

 are great examples of vaporwear that have made it entirely into otherwise realistic games.  Then on the other end there's stuff that "dies" and comes right on back at a much later date (see KA-50, MV-22).

I think Russian infantry as represented in terms of optics isn't too unreasonable.  Night observation devices have not been a strong suit, and at least externally it looks like there's some sort of supply side problem with them, or at least a reasonable expectation there's not going to be as many as some folks would hope.  As far as thermals, those especially have been reliant on French exports, and looking at the state of Russian vehicle thermals, I'd be interested to see their dismount optics.

Re: Economics

Russia relies a lot more on imports than you'd think for military hardware, especially for electronics (and you'll note that more license built Russian equipment rolls with someone else's electronics).  If it is doing poorly, or as the case is, under sanctions, the ability to purchase this equipment makes large scale fielding much less likely.  While internally there might not be a cut in funds, the purchasing power of the Russian state has taken a lot of hits.

Re: Downsizing/Forces in Europe

Right now there's one Stryker Brigade Combat team in Germany (2 CR) and one Infantry Brigade Combat Team in Italy (173rd Airborne).  At this moment there are a number of preposition equipment depots for Armor type units.  I don't know for sure how many, nor if I did know I'm fairly sure that's not fit for internet waving around.  It's at least one Combined Arms Battalion, and there's been M109 and M3 spottings too which means a Recon Squadron and Artillery Battalion might not be out of reason.  There's also several preposition ships with Brigade sized elements that could move to the region on short notice.

The US concept for heavy forces appears to be moving back to the old REFORGER model, in which large numbers of heavy equipment is stored somewhere largely safe (historically, somewhere away from likely front lines in West Germany, although Poland and the Baltic states are likely candidates now), with the personnel flying in via charter plane/military airlift and meeting up on the front.  So the amount on the ground right now is less relevant as much as the time spent between "This Ukrainian thing might below up" and shots fired.  Scenario makes it sound like the first 1-2 ABCTs+2 CR+173rd is about what you're working with for the first month or so at least, with others inbound.

As far as the actual cuts, the scheme is a bit different:

The Brigade Combat Team system was designed to generate a large number of self supporting units in order to support rotational deployments to Iraq/Afghanistan (in effect, mating former division level assets to Brigades and aligning them on the same deployment rotation).  Two things came out of recent budget cuts and the last ten years of operations:

1. We're not as likely to for reasons of budget, national will, or threat be facing several long term conflicts at once.  We can't afford to have so many Brigade teams.
2. The 1 Cavalry Squadron, 2 "line" Battalion mix in most BCTs was inadequate.  It's not enough "teeth" and usually forces the Cav into a more direct combat role than intended.   

As a result the cuts are mostly Brigade level HQs, Brigade level support organizations (Brigade Support Battalions and the like), while rolling the now orphaned Battalions into the surviving Brigades.

So as an example, 1st Infantry Division used to have four BCTs (2 ABCTs, 2 IBCTs).  The two IBCTs are closing up shop, but their infantry battalions are mostly winding up as part of other IBCTs.  The 2 ABCTs are remaining as is, but they're going from 2 Combined Arms Battalions, to three Combined Arms Battalions plus a larger Artillery Battery, and nearly twice as many combat engineers.

Basically where the cuts are hitting the worst in terms of personnel are the senior Captains/Junior Majors, and senior NCOs that would otherwise be filling out the HQs for these now closed Brigades.  From that as far as junior folks there's going to be a much more constricted recruiting pool, and much slower promotion rates.  But most of the "combat" units, and lower echelon support assets, and frankly the "teeth" stuff is simply going to be more concentrated.

There's even some signs the Army is shifting to a smaller, but heavier organization, with some of the Stryker BCTs potentially moving from being regular army, to being National Guard formations.

Which is really a long way of saying the US Army is getting less able to be everywhere, but if it shows up somewhere, the amount of tanks and troops will not be drastically smaller.  

tRussian thermals are that bad in your opinion ? Looking at footage of TV shows made inside the armata and kurganets which were showing detailed footage of the CRTs , they seemed good enough . I havent used thermals since 2003 (Canadian LAV-3/Coyote ) to be honest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hokay then:

Re: Ratnik

I think Battlefront is at least a little researched as far as infantry systems.  One of the key holdups from my understanding in Russian night vision and thermal optics was the reliance on import components.  I'm not sure for the more modern sets if there's the industrial element to back that up yet.

The general danger of modeling anything in the future is frequently the stated, even reasonable goals of military forces right here right now entirely fall victim to all sorts of slings and arrows.  Case in point for Battlefront products would be USMC squads with M32s as far as the eye could see in CMSF, but in other games:

1. RAH-66 Comanche
2. XM8 rifle
3. Land Warrior
4. SCAR
5. Black Eagle/T-95/T-99 etc

 are great examples of vaporwear that have made it entirely into otherwise realistic games.  Then on the other end there's stuff that "dies" and comes right on back at a much later date (see KA-50, MV-22).

I think Russian infantry as represented in terms of optics isn't too unreasonable.  Night observation devices have not been a strong suit, and at least externally it looks like there's some sort of supply side problem with them, or at least a reasonable expectation there's not going to be as many as some folks would hope.  As far as thermals, those especially have been reliant on French exports, and looking at the state of Russian vehicle thermals, I'd be interested to see their dismounts.

As for how they look, here you go. This dates back to 2013. Take à look at the video, you can see video of what they look like : 

http://m.sputniknews.com/military/20131017/184201926/Russian-Special-Forces-to-Test-New-Thermal-Scopes.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Active US forces is 1.5 millions , Russia 800 000, china 2.3 millions. 

Not that it matters much, but China is in the process of a massive downsize.  Russia is likely going to have to do the same thing pretty soon too.  The US is headed towards a modest downsize.  The reason is other nations are catching on that quality beats quantity these days.  The US has a massive qualitative edge.  Sadly, as a US taxpayer, we also have a massive quantitative edge when it comes to national debt. The two things are not totally unrelated.

1.5 millions TOTAL . check on the internet . Army, air force and Navy. And combat troops are a small number of the total. The US Army could maybe deploy à few brigades amounting to a big division in Ukraine . Anything more and they risk getting there when the war is over .

Correct, the war would be over by the time significant US forces were deployed, but that's the point... the US doesn't need dozens of brigades to get the job done.  Especially because, unlike Russia, the US forces wouldn't be fighting on their own.

Let's also not forget that a huge percentage of Russia's forces are tied down in the Caucuses and to a lessor extent in the Far East.  Although it can move significant forces fairly quickly, as it's shown in 2014 when it massed for an invasion of Ukraine, it has to be careful about how many troops it moves out of sensitive areas.  One reason Russia has so few friends in the world is because it's made a lot of enemies.  Those enemies might not let an opportunity like a preoccupied Russian military go to waste. 

Case in point for Battlefront products would be USMC squads with M32s as far as the eye could see in CMSF, but in other games:

Yup, we got burned on that one!  The weapon has been around for a long time, the Marines said they were going to buy a ton of them, they updated their TO&E to include them, and in fact reduced the number deployed by a huge amount.  IIRC one per Platoon instead of one per Squad.

And don't even get me started on Future/Land/Stryker Warrior.  I'm so glad we didn't include that stuff, though we also got a little burned in that the PDA never got issued they way they said it would be.

Which is really a long way of saying the US Army is getting less able to be everywhere, but if it shows up somewhere, the amount of tanks and troops will not be drastically smaller.  

Yup.  The US doesn't need to be everywhere at one time in force, it just needs to be where it needs to be when it needs to be there with what it needs to have there.  And that is something the US has proven quite capable of doing.

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As i've just read, thermals are  homemade now. And the Chinese may be of help for components . 

Russia makes most of its stuff, but not without significant imports of specialized parts, manufacturing equipment, and other things necessary for high tech production.  The arms industry's internal sustainability is definitely far ahead of the other segments of Russia's economy (research what the trade war with Turkey did), but even industry insiders have said there is a definite vulnerability to Russia's ability to produce and field high tech in large quantities.  Some of these voices came up during the Armata announcement and parade display.

Note that Russia isn't alone in this.  If China halted trade with the US there would be, well, a tiny bit of a problem ;)  Fortunately that's unlikely because China would also have a tiny bit of a problem.  Mutually assured economic self destruction isn't in either country's interests, but countries can cut Russia out of the equation and do just fine because there's very little that Russia produces that anybody wants or needs or couldn't get someone else fairly quickly.  Even natural gas, which people previously thought was impossible for some nations to do without (Europe and Ukraine both proved that theory wrong).

The relevance here is that it's likely, very likely, that Russia's weak currency, generally hostile business climate, and sanctions are having a noticeable negative effect on Russia's weapons development and production programs.  There's pretty much no way it could be otherwise.

Steve

Edited by Battlefront.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay for thermals, they may not get as many , they seem to have problems with microbolometers arrays. But day optics on rifles with improved accuracy rounds like included in Ratnik should be more widespread I believe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Russian thermals are that bad in your opinion ? Looking at footage of TV shows made inside the armata and kurganets which were showing detailed footage of the CRTs , they seemed good enough . I havent used thermals since 2003 (Canadian LAV-3/Coyote ) to be honest.

They're good at stationary images, but all the ones I've seen don't seem to like it when the optic moves.  Which is why often the demonstration images look pretty sweet, but on a tank turret, or scanning a sector they get special.

 

As i've just read, thermals are  homemade now. And the Chinese may be of help for components .

They're homemade in regards to completed construction.  A lot of the internals are still chipsets and the like from other sources.

Further China still needs to get paid.  If Russia has less capital, it is less able to buy Chinese components.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They're good at stationary images, but all the ones I've seen don't seem to like it when the optic moves.  Which is why often the demonstration images look pretty sweet, but on a tank turret, or scanning a sector they get special.

 

 

i'm curious, they get choppy ? Useless ? Or  just more difficult to use effectively  but still good  enough in anything less than a "who draws first situation" ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Relative to all other re-armament programs (especially the damn navy) infantry equipment is peas. 

well I like using Infantry in my games, even infantry-centric games. And I like playing the Russians so if the russian infantry can get rifle optics wuth  that increased accuracy and lethality round in the game + some  RPG-27s instead of the RPG-26 as disposables like they should by 2017 in real life that would be a plus 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Russians are fine when well played . Their infantry will still be better than what we see in-game in 2017.

 

I'm not looking to beef-up the Russians . I'm looking at realism and nice toys to play with.

Ohh and by the way xxmushmanxx, the US military budget is not  3.8 trillions but more like 800 billions ;) . the size is far from being more than the 5 next armies combined. Active US forces is 1.5 millions , Russia 800 000, china 2.3 millions. 

Haha yeah, thought that seemed a little extreme. It was like 5 in the morning tho. Just looked it up then. 3.8 trillion is the US budget period, for everything. Yes your figures are a lot more accurate.

Russia's military budget is still drastically smaller than the US military's. Russia (2016 est.) - 90 billion USD. Their active personnel number 770,000 while the US number 1,300,000. Russia does have more reserve personnel - 2,000,000 against Americas - 850,000. But Russia only has more because it has mandatory military service at the age of 20 for 12 months, so their reserve personnel are largely basic militia and home guard. The US reserve personnel are largely still highly trained and well equipped.

Edited by xXmushmanXx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Relative to all other re-armament programs (especially the damn navy) infantry equipment is peas. 

Yes, this is absolutely true.  However, my experience with budget cutting by most organizations (governments, corporations, household budgets) is that the little stuff doesn't get overlooked when times are tough.  So while it is absolutely true that Russia can afford pretty much any one item without a problem, it might choose not to because it wants to use the money somewhere else.  I have seen people in my town argue about $500 in office supplies instead of focusing on how to pay $300,000 more for our roads. 

One "smart" (I am being sarcastic) approach is what we call an "across the board spending cut".  This means everybody has to reduce their budget by a particular amount, no matter how important or unimportant, large or small, the expense is.  This could happen to Ratnik projects very easily.

Steve

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Haha yeah, thought that seemed a little extreme. It was like 5 in the morning tho. Just looked it up then. 3.8 trillion is the US budget period, for everything. Yes your figures are a lot more accurate.
Russia's military budget is still drastically smaller than the US military's. Russia (2016 est.) - 90 billion USD. Their active personnel number 770,000 while the US number 1,300,000. Russia does have more reserve personnel - 2,000,000 against Americas - 850,000. But Russia only has more because it has mandatory military service at the age of 20 for 12 months, so their reserve personnel are largely basic militia and home guard. The US reserve personnel are largely still highly trained and well equipped.

Yup.  I visited with the staff of a US National Guard Brigade many years back.  These guys all had many years in active military service in "frontline" units (including a few with Special Forces, Rangers, 101st Airborne, etc.).  Of the three battalions all of them had rotated into Afghanistan and Iraq.  In fact, one battalion was in Afghanistan at the time.  I am pretty sure they could go toe-to-toe with any force of similar size in Russia's, or any other nation's, force structure.  I think they could even handle Russian VDV pretty well, though most likely at higher cost.  What would a Russian reserve unit look like in comparison?  Not very good, that is for sure.

Mind you, I am not saying this because I think everything US is awesome and everything Russian is crap.  No, I think this way because of the facts about training, experience, and equipment.  These guys I visited were no different from a "frontline" unit in these categories, except they no longer work for Uncle Sam full time.  This was NOT the case with National Guard at various times in the history of the US, but because of the demands of Afghanistan and Iraq the National Guard has effectively become active military in most meaningful ways.

At one point I did a detailed study of how Russia's forces break down in terms of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd line units and what percentages were contract vs. conscript.  Roughly speaking I think the numbers are something like 20% 1st (80% contract), 30% 2nd (40% contract), and 50% 3rd (20% contract).  1st Line has almost all of the current equipment and fancy stuff, 2nd Line has a mix of post-Soviet stuff but nothing really modern, and 3rd Line is lucky to have anything that runs at all.

This is off the top of my head so I could be way off.  Maybe BTR or someone can offer better numbers?

Steve

Edited by Battlefront.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even with cuts, this years 50K have been pre-planned, which with '15 equipment is enough to outfit most of higher readiness formations. They might cut and stall on rifle adoptions, but that is nothing new. 

well I like using Infantry in my games, even infantry-centric games. And I like playing the Russians so if the russian infantry can get rifle optics wuth  that increased accuracy and lethality round in the game + some  RPG-27s instead of the RPG-26 as disposables like they should by 2017 in real life that would be a plus 

In our "Russian infantry battalion structure" document we have examined exactly what is the current and foreseeable future state of Russian line and recon infantry. For cool toys wait for VDV modules. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Final thought for right now... this would be a really dumb time for anybody to try and get into a shooting war with the US.  The Active component is heavily experienced with combat and related duties.  The Army Reserve component (about 200k) is pretty much all combat experienced, add to that the Marines, Air Force, and Navy Reserves.  The old equipment is long gone and replaced with modern equipment, probably 3 times over.  In the event of a national crisis the pool of experienced military to draw from is even higher.sss

Compare the situation today with the US military of the late 1970s through 1990s and you'll see a huge difference.  While the military was larger back then, it was definitely not more experienced and large portions of it were using old equipment left over from Vietnam.  Heck, some of that equipment went into Iraq in 2003/2004!!  It's all gone now.  Anything that still rolls is either new or brought up to new standards.  Some of the equipment is for sure "tired", but better to have a "tired" 5 year old vehicle than a "tired" 40 year old vehicle ;)

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very good price/job done ration as well. 245.3 million USD for converting/rebuilding 30 M109A6's and 30 M99A2s into M109A7s and M99A3s. :P

Edited by BTR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup, the US spends a lot of its resources.  However, not as much as Russia does proportional to GDP.  Russia has been ahead of the US in GDP spending for some time now, yet arguably has less to show for it compared to other nations which spend considerably less.  Corruption is regularly pointed to for blame, but it is likely more complicated than that.

With the current budget pegged to $50 p/bbl oil despite oil being at below $30 it is only going to get worse unless Putin relents and cuts military spending.  The projected 7-10% GDP spending on the military isn't sustainable even under the best of circumstances.  I think we can all agree that with the average Russian's spending power, adjusted for inflation, now at around 2005 levels... this is not the best circumstance to be spending 2-3 times more on the military than is generally considered healthy for a nation state.

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know Putin has said there will be no reductions, but that may change.  When this mess started the budget was set to balance at $110 p/bbl oil.  The budget is currently based on oil at $50 p/bbl.  Now oil is less than $30 p/bbl.  The Reserve Fund will be exhausted before the end of 2016.  That means drawing down foreign currency reserves, which there is about $300B + at the moment.  But that has to cover a whole bunch of looming problems, such as reinforcing Russian banks (some estimate $45B is needed already).

In any case, even if sanctions were lifted tomorrow (which will not happen) and Putin played nicer with others in Syria (which will not happen) it won't change the oil price one penny.  Since that is what Russia needs more than anything else, there's absolutely no hope for the huge hole in Russia's revenue going away any time soon.  Worse, some are predicting the Ruble is going to go much, much, much lower within the next year.

We shall see what Putin's government does to address the crisis.  So far it hasn't impressed the economists and investment people.

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am in agreement with much of what Putin's government is doing.  With the tension in Ukraine cooling (hopefully) Europe might remove their sanctions. And finally stop this nonsense. When Russia invaded Georgia in full offensive swing, Sanctions like these were not imposed... Why won't Europe sanction some of their other allies whom respectively are not clean slated themselves. But without getting into political arguments (which is not needed on this forum) I hope the military wont suffer from these sanctions much. 

I would personally just for this year, Cut some spending on the navy and airforce. The economic situation is not that bad at the moment, But if it continues at a worse rate then we should expect major cut backs from the military. Maybe with the Obama administration leaving, And from what I seen Donald Trump being the front runner ( And yes I may be the first to bring him up here :) ) tensions will cool down between Russia and NATO countries. (I feel wrong for bringing up Donald Trump forgive :))))) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am in agreement with much of what Putin's government is doing.  With the tension in Ukraine cooling (hopefully) Europe might remove their sanctions

It won't change the economic picture much at all.  The big gaping hole in Russia's budget is due to the decrease in oil/gas prices.  That's not going to be fixed by sanctions being lifted.  Further, Russia has likely lost its European and Ukrainian oil/gas customers for the near future, which means major reductions in income that are not going to be fixed with the lifting of sanctions.  On top of that, the international business community now views Russia as an unstable and unsafe investment.  That also will not be fixed by the lifting of sanctions.

These are facts, not opinions.

And finally stop this nonsense.

I would not call stealing territory from a neighboring state, waging war and lying about it, kidnapping citizens on their own territory and putting them in show trials, flying bombers around with threats of nuclear war, militarily attacking allied factions in Syria, etc. to be "nonsense".   But I agree, I hope that the "nonsense" finally stops.

When Russia invaded Georgia in full offensive swing, Sanctions like these were not imposed... Why won't Europe sanction some of their other allies whom respectively are not clean slated themselves.

Sanctions were not imposed because Europe was afraid of what Russia might do in retaliation (in particular gas shut offs, which Russia did twice in the past 10 years).  German business lobby also did not want a disruption of trade, which influenced decision making.  Also, although Russia effectively pried territory away from Georgia it did not annex it.  Big difference.

But without getting into political arguments (which is not needed on this forum) I hope the military wont suffer from these sanctions much. 

It won't because sanctions aren't what is really hurting the Russian economy.  Corruption, horrible central planning, lack of respect for rule of law, and especially the massive decline in oil/gas is what will hurt Russia's military spending.  Compared to these things, sanctions are only an irritant.

The primary problem with sanctions is that Russia has nobody to turn to for help with all the previously mentioned internal problems.  Nobody is going to loan Russia money after what it did with the Yukos legal situation.  Russia has made it very clear that it will not abide by contracts if it doesn't want to.

I would personally just for this year, Cut some spending on the navy and airforce. The economic situation is not that bad at the moment, But if it continues at a worse rate then we should expect major cut backs from the military. Maybe with the Obama administration leaving, And from what I seen Donald Trump being the front runner ( And yes I may be the first to bring him up here :) ) tensions will cool down between Russia and NATO countries. (I feel wrong for bringing up Donald Trump forgive :))))) 

If you think any of the Republican candidates think we should be friendlier with Russia, you are mistaken.  But it doesn't matter, really, because as I keep saying lifting sanctions won't save Russia's economy.

Steve

Edited by Battlefront.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If Russia wanted to annex Crimea why not do it before? If you remember the reason it secured its own interest is because some people sponsored by some foreign country protested a president for choosing to abandon the EU. (rightly doing so) And electing their own president. Furthermore the people of the East being Russian do not agree to being taken under control by western puppets. Of course, Russia will secure the interest of its own people. Much of that cant be said for NATO, Example being Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan. Which are not of its own peoples' interests. Before looking at the mistakes of others I believe the US government should also look at its own mistakes. 

And you might as well be right about our economy, I am no expert in economy and will not agree or disagree with you, Respectfully of course.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i'm curious, they get choppy ? Useless ? Or  just more difficult to use effectively  but still good  enough in anything less than a "who draws first situation" ?

It's hard to express simply because most of us know thermal optics from video games (which are hopelessly more clear than the real ones) or from a few static pictures.  Basically imagine if for a moment everything is vaselined.  Which should be no problem if you haven't seen an actual thermal because clearly, a tank will be hotter than the terrain....

Except for only sort of.  There's a lot of objects that will at a glance look very tanklike, especially if you're in blur-o-vision.  The human brain often sees what it expects to see vs what is actually presented (which is why pulling something out of your pockets when a police office shows up is the.dumbest.thing.ever because they've been drilled a million times to respond to those motions resulting in a gun appearing).  If everything is a bunch of bright blobs, you generally have to wait to see if it's a rock, a junked car, or a tank.  

Also Russian thermals tend to have a much narrower thermal gradient, or in so many words they're good at "hot" or "cold" but less so "pretty hot" or "sort of cold."  This becomes very acute when finding a hot tank on top of hot sand and the like.  With more sensitive western systems you'll still clearly see something hotter than the surrounding sand, while with earlier generation/Russian stuff basically you'll have a sort of "ghost" in that it'll be a dark/light mass inside of another dark/light mass depending on if you're in black hot/white hot.  

Re: Economics

I think the sanctions could lift and no one would notice in terms of Russian economic woes. Oil is going to get lower.  It's going to come back, but we not have competing sources of oil that are still economically viable at below 50 dollars a barrel, which is not so good for Russia (or many other Oil reliant nations).

Re: Trump

Just for the benefit of our non-yankee folks:

Trump the front runner for the Republican party in that he holds the most republican votes of a split field (34% of polled Republicans).  There's still 66% or so of Republicans who want someone else, although that is split between several candidates.    Trump has a very die-hard core of voters who support him who are generally upset with the Republican party as an institution.  He's less a coherent political platform, and more of someone who's capitalizing on the collective rage of the anti-establishment right (but not the true ultra-right).  


There's still a large number of republicans who will never vote for Trump, because they (rightly in my opinion) view him as an embarrassment to the US on a whole/a buffoon/are less upset with the establishment republican party/are deeply offended by things he does.  It is distinctly possible that he will ultimately be the republican with the most votes and thus the candidate....but it is doubtful he will command the loyalty of the whole of Republicans.  

Which makes him not at all the front runner for being the US president.  Historically most US elections are moderately close, very low single digit percentage differences in votes.  This is because at the end of the day both candidates can count on anyone who's firmly affiliated with their respective parties simply voting on party lines.  The deciding element is generally a candidate who mobilizes more of traditionally low turn out groups (see Obama and the youth vote in 2008 as a good example) or has success in drawing off moderates from the other party (see Clinton 1996, success has a magnetic force).

Trump doesn't have either of those, he has the folks who would have voted republican anyway, he's divisive enough to cause many moderate republicans to steer clear or worse, vote for anyone else.  And he has virtually zero appeal to anyone who's on the left.

Regardless the odds of any American president taking a softer stance towards Russia is somewhere around zero.  The right thinks the present administration has been much too weak on Russia, and the left finds Putin simply abhorrent so until he's for real gone (and not hibernating ala Mevedev doesn't count) a more open policy is unlikely.

The whole Ukraine-Crimea mess rather shot Russia in the foot in terms of any sort of soft power or diplomatic leverage.    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting comments. Does look like we're heading back into the direction of a mini cold war. I'll play a little devils advocate to some of the comments...

The REFORGER concept reborn. I don't think in a day of satellite reconnaissance, google maps and drones that the location of hook up points can't be kept a secret. I'm sure the Russians have them all targeted, but then again they could be stashed away in the same locations like the reputed Nazi gold train which is deep inside some abandoned mine shaft buried in a mountain.

While far beyond the scope of the game the Russians do have some advantages. Interior lines of communications. They could bring far more forces to bear overall, and the Russian bear loves artillery which would be most unpleasant. Russian missile technology is nothing to sneeze at either and I don't think the US has gone forward with the ABM shield in Europe. While the US has an edge in airpower, I can't see the Russian Air Force just rolling over playing dead like the Arabs and Russian SAM tech is up there. The Serbs managed to shoot down a F-117 and there has been plenty of time to research more into countering US stealth technology.

While I don't doubt for a second the combat experience of US forces, much was forged in the Middle East. I saw videos of a joint US/Ukrainian and the comments from the Ukrainians was the US soldiers constantly saying "when I/we were in Iraq/Afghanistan" for the Ukrainians, who have been fighting the Russians the combat experience form the Middle East against insurgents was not really relevant to fighting the Russians. For the Ukrainians, defending and preparing against the massive Russian artillery was job one as was tank hunting. 

Fighting the Russian Bear would be a different prospect and from what I've gathered the Russian people are firmly behind Putin when it comes to the subject of what's going on in the Ukraine. They feel its an internal matter and the West should mind its own business so the motivation and will power could very well be intense. 

One could have also said it would have been foolish for the Arabs to take on the Israelis after 1967, yet they did and that was a very bloody affair.

Aside from downsizing the US Army is to some degree facing an identity crisis? The US is pivoting to the Pacific and that is a theater of operation centered around air and naval power. Ground forces have to be structured differently. A force structure geared to operation in the Pacific theater, may not be what you would ideally like for engaging the Russian Bear in Europe.

Hopefully though this is all just an academic exercise and we don't get into a actual shooting war with Russia. That would not be pleasant.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a bit confusing.  The Russian tanks in game don't really have Russian thermals.  They have French thermals.  Same ones that are in some Western AFVs (but not MBTs).  Armata supposedly has a new generation of Russian thermals, so any thing there is pure speculation.

Now if were are talking late 80s / early 90s Russian Agava thermals (like in Korean T-80s, I think), that is a different story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×