sepheronx wrote: flamming_python wrote:
Ivan the Colorado wrote:I'm personally not a fan of having troops risking their lives for a war that isn't ours. We are in Syria on the gesture of goodwill to Assad and the people of Syria. With all that said, it is understandable that in order to ensure a quicker victory there must be some presence on the ground. Russian military today is almost in no way similar to the Soviet Army that fought in Afghanistan or even the Russian Army in Chechnya. Russia's leadership isn't throwing away the lives of their soldiers anymore. As long as the troops come home alive and well, let them do their thing.
You're right, the Russian military today is in no way similar to the Soviet Army that fought in Afghanistan. It has nowhere near the ability to sustain that many troops far away at the bottom of Central Asia for over a decade, has nowhere near the resources, supplies, logistics, ammo at its disposal that the Soviet Army had, far less money and resources to spend on economically developing the region or even building up military and transport infrastructure all over the place.
Actually, it does.
Economics aside, which is actually very easy to handle and probably would bring in more money to Russia overall, there is so much leftovers from Soviet times, they are handing them over to Syrian military. They have the personnel as well too.
Money? Well, it is in the form of investments. As well, they can also justify it under various training costs as they already have with the aircrafts.
Your statement is eerily similar to those who said Russia would not commit at all due to the very same issues. Yet, Russia rebuilt an airfield, building another one now if rumors are correct, has dozens and dozens of planes, lots of people available, air defense systems, and logistical supply chain and what seems like a never ending supply of cruise missiles and bombs. And they done it really cheap too from previous records. Oh, and they made the movements in very short period of time, that got even the US in a bitch fit too.
So I would say you are quite wrong, as Russia has done quite a lot to prove us wrong. They even rebuilt a repair plant quite quickly and with no word of it till it was finished. Clearly money is readily available.
The USSR deployed over 100,000 troops in Afghanistan. Russia has at most 2% of that in Syria right now.
The amount of military infrastructure they built and operated there dwarfed Russia's current repair and reconstruction efforts in Syria. Not to mention the huge amount of civilian infrastructure that was built and restored in Afghanistan even while a war was raging.
Handing over Soviet leftovers to the Syrian military? Well now, you said it yourself.
Compare handing over something lying around, to building all that stuff in the first place.
Never ending supply of missiles and bombs? Oh their supply is not never ending. Large, but it will run out. In fact most of them were built during that same USSR, again. It's not Russia's accomplishment on this count; to use those huge stockpiles for WW3 that you've inherited and would otherwise have to dispose of soon anyway.
But it's true that a good part of those munitions are modern ones that have been (and are being) produced by Russia.
In any case you should see how many ordnance the Soviet forces were dropping while they were fighting in Afghanistan. If we're to use just a crude calculation - then nearly 330 sorties per day. That's 3-4x more than what Russia is flying in Syria right now.
About the speed, yes that's right, Russia's actions were very quick, unexpected, and not very transparent.
Yet somehow I prefer the Soviet way - when the Politburo at least debated amongst themselves for an entire year before deciding to send our servicemen into harms way fighting in a foreign country.
Here it was like - that's it, we've decided, and now we've done it, case closed. No-one here even had time to form an opinion or get their bearings. All of a sudden we're committed with our own troops - to a civil war in a Middle Eastern country.
Note I'm not really criticizing the Russian campaign in Syria on anything in particular. It's meant to be on a different scale to the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan; in fact they explicitly want to avoid that experience by avoiding approaching anywhere near the commitment that was seen there. And the situation is quite different too, as is the mission for the Russian military.