and then find you haven't spent enough money.
In a major conflict, you might commandeer civillian ships and planes. And ofcourse conscript civillians and call up reservists.
In the past, especially in "command centred" as opposed to "free market" economies, soldiers would be called upon for large public works projects like dams and irrigation schemes. Even the American army has been used to build dams etc. So this leads me to my thought. And that is, why not have the armed forces perform more civillian type work in peacetime?
Ofcourse most countries have reservists, doing non-mil jobs, then being called up in times of conflict. These reservists are able to draw upon high levels of skill, and fight effectively. Then young conscripts in contrast are obliged to be there, and often lack the experience or mindset of professional soldiers. You also have the recruiting and laying off cycles, when the demand for soldiers ebbs and flows. And the most experienced, talented soliders are often pensioned off at a fairly young age.
Hardware too is very expensive. And countries are reluctant to buy a lot incase it doesn't get used.... And then they PRAY is ISN'T used.
Its hard to think of use for 1000s of Mig 29s in peacetime, other than training... maybe a little intelligence work. But they ARE essential for national security.
But what about the massive airlift capacity in fixed wing and choppers. What about allowing the army and airforce to bid more on logistics contracts? And what about using the mass of soldiers to do SOME work on grand public works projects like bridges and railway lines. After all, in a war, these would need to be repaired quickly andeffectively. Soldiers were used for construction in the past, so why not today?
Ships like Mistrals and aircraft carriers must be used constantly to keep staff fully trained. But what about using a fleet of aircraft carriers for combined logistics AND naval air work?
Likewise Space Defence and IT/cyber warfare are all related to civillian uses. The Americans sunk vast amts of money into this tech, and the result was the internet companies of silicon valley. Ironically, while bioweapons are rightly viewed as abhorrent in most cases, they would have massively beneficial spin offs, in medical sciences.
Finally, Russia leads the way in supersonic flight (along with the US). But we no longer have a civillian supersonic jet in use ANYWHERE in the world. Perhaps Russia should spend more to have a bomber capable of conversion to passenger use? Even submarines could be used to ferry minerals under polar ice during peacetime.
Old nuclear missiles are already converted to fire satellites into space. I am thinking more of this idea.
I'm not for a second saying the Russian armed forces should be shrunk, or that the upgrade plans should be abandaoned.
But what I'm wondering is... could there be a substantially larger, better, more beneficial military if these factors were considered.
It could also mean more manpower, in the armed forces for longer as well.