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Author Topic: Not a controvery, but a milestone - The last American Armor leaves Europe  (Read 1277 times)

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Offline Cyrano Johnson

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It was a conventional war and I contrast it sharply with the insurgencies of Chechnya. I believe there's an important difference in contrasting counter-insurgency campaigns with conventional (or "conventional") engagements.

I really don't see why, but I'll not belabor the point. Like I said, recovery or not, the benchmark of 1996 is more relevant to today's Russian military than the benchmark of 1986. When and if Russian power recovers to or nears that latter level, I'll stop bringing up Chechnya and I'll stop calling attention to just how farcical the Georgian campaign appears to have been on all sides.

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And there isn't an overestimation of the Russian threat to be critical of.

Sorry, I was rather taking this:

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I'm guessing that is due to the fact there might be considerable differences between conducting the kind of lower intensity suppression campaign they were engaging in off and on in Chechnya in two separate wars, and flooding across the North German Plain with dozens of divisions and the skies filled with airplanes and ballistic missiles overhead.

... to imply a belief that they currently could do that second thing mentioned there. I do not think they can, and I am pointing that out. If however you don't in fact believe they can either, then we've got nothing to argue about. And I'm cool with that.

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And while this article pertains to military forces, aggression can be perceived as something other then a full scale invasion of Western Europe...


It would be stretching, but it could be. I was in fact limiting myself to the discussion of actual military aggression, it's true, since if we categorized "conducting spycraft" or "exerting political pressure in one's sphere of influence" as "aggression" we'd have calls for UN intervention against every power in the world ever other day. :P
« Last Edit: May 07, 2013, 10:43:02 AM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Depends.  Today they might not but don't write them off.

One shouldn't write anyone off. I'm just talking about current capabilities.

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There are still a lot of angles beyond simple military might.

Exactly. This is why I also am not writing the rest of Europe off.  ;D

Offline Neysha

I really don't see why, but I'll not belabor the point. Like I said, recovery or not, the benchmark of 1996 is more relevant to today's Russian military than the benchmark of 1986. When and if Russian power recovers to or nears that latter level, I'll stop bringing up Chechnya and I'll stop calling attention to just how farcical the Georgian campaign appears to have been on all sides.

I'm not sure how either "benchmark" thusly mentioned is more relevant then their performance in 2000 or 2008.

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Sorry, I was rather taking this:

... to imply a belief that they currently could do that second thing mentioned there. I do not think they can, and I am pointing that out. If however you don't in fact believe they can either, then we've got nothing to argue about. And I'm cool with that.

I accept your apology, because that response you quoted was in fact in response to this:

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the days of the mighty Red Army waiting to pour through the Fulda Gap and smite everything in its path are long gone. Today's Russia took over a decade to pacify Chechnya, a country just over half the size of Belgium.

And so I responded, with the intent of illuminating it seemed imprecise to compare the (somewhat misleading) statement that it took a decade to pacify Chechnya with any comparisons of Russia's abilities in a conventional war. I thought by further illustrating it with the 2008 Georgian War example, it would've been more apparent that I wasn't actually making a statement that Russian aggression on the scale that I stated in my original response to yours was likely or plausible, but merely once again to contrast the differences between any conventional conflict between Russia and the West (whether in 1986 or 2016) would be decidedly different from the Chechen counterinsurgency campaign and the mid nineties Russian military performance. I thought it was self evident, apparently I failed to make myself clear.

But just to be clear, I don't actually believe it possible or plausible that Russia is going to invade Germany via Belarus, Poland, the Baltic Countries, and Eastern Germany (forgiveness for any countries I may have forgotten to mention, I'm terrible at geography) and flood across the North German Plain with hundreds of tanks and the skies filled with ballistic missiles anytime in the near future, and furthermore utilized the 2008 Georgia War as an example supporting that argument.
 
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It would be stretching, but it could be. I was in fact limiting myself to the discussion of actual military aggression, it's true, since if we categorized "conducting spycraft" or "exerting political pressure in one's sphere of influence" as "aggression" we'd have calls for UN intervention against every power in the world ever other day. :P

Well I always assumed aggression between nations can come in many forms, beyond direct military aggression. Likewise, the presence of military forces can provide more then a simple deterrence to direct military aggression. I'm not sure what relevance diplomatic calls to the UN has to this discussion though, especially if we are discussing actual military aggression.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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I'm not sure how either "benchmark" thusly mentioned is more relevant then their performance in 2000 or 2008.

The benchmarks are the two extremes. They're relevant because their performance in 2000 or 2008 is closer to one of those extremes than the other.

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I'm not sure what relevance diplomatic calls to the UN has to this discussion though, especially if we are discussing actual military aggression.

The UN was in fact founded with the primary purpose of coordinating collective response to military aggression. The first Iraq War happened under its auspices for this reason. I don't see what's opaque about the connection.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2013, 09:37:59 PM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline Neysha

The benchmarks are the two extremes. They're relevant because their performance in 2000 or 2008 is closer to one of those extremes than the other.

Considering one extreme never occurred, and the other was clearly illustrated to be irrelevant by 2000, I fail to see much, if any relation.

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The UN was in fact founded with the primary purpose of coordinating collective response to military aggression. The first Iraq War happened under its auspices for this reason. I don't see what's opaque about the connection.

Unfortunately in practice, that's only occurred... twice since its inception? The United Nations, like many things in this discussion, has many, many, many more roles then deterring direct military aggression with direct military force of itself. So again, I fail to see any tangible connection to the current discussion and thus, I'm just miffed at its inclusion.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Considering one extreme never occurred, and the other was clearly illustrated to be irrelevant by 2000, I fail to see much, if any relation.

Since I've explained it as clearly as I possibly can, I won't worry myself any further about what you fail to see.

Offline Neysha

Since I've explained it as clearly as I possibly can, I won't worry myself any further about what you fail to see.

Fair enough. Not sure if it warranted its own reply of course...

My main thrust has been it seems rather apparent that the original statement of utilizing the mid nineties prosecution of a counterinsurgency campaign in Chechnya is rather irrelevant in comparison to either the Cold War or a future benchmark. This is reinforced by both the 2000 Chechnya campaign where a revitalized Russian military crushed the Chechen resistance in several months, and the Georgia campaign where using almost completely regional forces and no clear advantage in numbers or quality, managed to defeat an independent country roughly over four times the size of Chechnya. Both campaigns, like any prospective campaign to the west, were conventional and not counter insurgency operations, which can easily bog down the most formidable of military forces regardless of national origin. Therefore I don't see it as a 'failure to see' anything on my end as much as what you have failed to explain clearly.