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.
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:
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.
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.
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.