Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Monday, July 13, 2015

Oh, Please, Stop This Stupid Shit; Fort Fumble Edition

(First, my apologies. This post has been in my edit pile for a few days, as life's gotten a little busier. But in a good way. Now, back to the program:)

Doug Feith has competition for his title[1]:
Throughout the hearing, when asked about threats, General Dunford returned repeatedly to Russia, characterizing it as one of the few countries or forces in the world, or perhaps the only one, that could be considered a threat to the United States.

“If you want to talk about a nation that could pose an existential threat to the United States, I’d have to point to Russia,” he said. “And if you look at their behavior, it’s nothing short of alarming.”
(From here)

Other than firing off its nukes, which would be really stupid, as we'd shoot back (and then it's all over), what can Russia really do? Their navy is a pale shadow of the Soviet navy[2]. Their air force relies on mostly Soviet-era aircraft, with predictable results. They're short of pilots. They lack tanker aircraft and many of their airplanes can't be refueled in flight.

Despite bruited-about proposals and proclamations for military reforms, the accounts are that the Russian army is still a conscript-based force where recruits are not so much trained as brutalized into submission. Corruption and theft has been rampant and, short of Putin having some senior officers shot, probably will go on.

Russian military power is a small fraction of Soviet power. The Russians have the ability to project land power, but only so long as they can roll their forces across the ground. They likely don't have the capability to conduct sustained combat operations against a capable foe. Oh, sure, they beat the hell out of the Georgian army and they probably could make short work of the Ukrainians. The Russian threat to what they call their "near abroad", the countries that sprang into existence after the collapse of the USSR is probably real enough.[3] But a serious non-nuclear threat to the United States-- not so much.

But Gen. Dunford isn't that stupid. We know what is really going on: Operation Protect Our Ricebowl. The American military is facing significant budget cuts, due largely to the GOP-instigated sequester law. The Army is planning to cut its force by 40,000 soldiers. Similar cuts will hit the Air Force, the Navy and the Marine Corps. Bases will be closed.

The service chiefs don't want any of that, especially given the proclivity of our government to engage in diplomacy by bombing. But they can't really go to Congress and say "we wouldn't need so many troops, planes and ships if you'd stop getting us into stupid conflicts."[4] That would never fly. So the good General has to gin up existential threats for the Congress to lap up.[5] Because, without busting the sequester, some real force contractions are coming, and nobody who wears stars on their collar points ever wants to preside over that.
[1] The fucking stupidest guy on the face of the earth.
[2] The Soviet navy, whether for internal security fears or reliability issues, spent 80% of its time in port or at anchor.
[3] What idiot thought it was a good idea to let the former Soviet Baltic republics into NATO? Did anyone even look at a fucking map when they came up with that?
{4] Not to mention the fact that Miss Lindsey, who has climbed aboard the 2016 Short Bus, is a strong advocate for using bombs to remedy everything, including being overcharged by rude Parisian waiters.
[5] He also thinks we should send weapons to the Ukraine, which has worked out well for America in previous conflicts about roughly once.

1 comment:

BadTux said...

Yeah, like I said back on the 9th, I almost expected General Dunford to start ranting about how the godless Ruskies were trying to contaminate our precious bodily fluids. He makes General Jack D. Ripper look like the epitome of sanity. Russia's military is a threat to former Soviet states similarly armed with 40-year-old Soviet weapons, but that's about it.