The miseducation of the US public: the military

Which is irrelevent when discussing relative conventional military might and the ability to project it.

Of course it’s relevant. Any other country’s ability to project conventional military might against Russia is tempered by their potential for nuclear (chemical and biological too) retaliation. That applies to China, any kind of revanchist European power and even the US.

In terms of power projection- not even Russia and China can do that as well as France, let alone the US.

So what you are saying is that Russia is a credible conventional threat because they have nukes? =/

I think the separation of conventional and nuclear is artificial. In any kind of extended engagement*, both the US and Russia would deploy nuclear weapons. It wouldn’t have necessarily been a full thermonuclear exchange (battlefield nukes, etc), but their military power is based around their nuclear arsenal.

  • I’m obviously not including limited engagements with minor powers like Vietnam, Afghanistan and the like. We’re all lucky that push never came to shove between the great powers since 1945, but if they had there’s not much doubt that the nukes would have come into play. The “Red Storm Rising” scenario was always pretty silly.

The existence of nukes not change the fact that the US would completely and utterly paste the Russians in a conventional engagement of any kind on any scale. They completely outclass them in every department from individual infantryman equipment & training up to large surface combatants and everything between, above and below.

Tactical nukes that do not escalate to a strategic exchange that moots the whole conflict is a fantasy also; but even then I am pretty sure the US has better and more up to date NBC protocols, training and equipment.

The Russian military is in a truly deplorable state. You should read about their Chechen adventures sometime.

Depended on the era, the nuclear doctrines du jour on both sides, who was in charge at the time, and what they’d actually have done if/when push came to shove. There were plenty of possibilities (unless one or both sides were using tactical nukes from the get-go, which at various times was the policy.)

That’s nothing compared to the idea of N. Korea’s occupying the US in Homefront!

To be fair, Putin’s peddling the same fantasy lately too. So I guess he misses the Cold War as well.

Its stupid rethoric to win votes, its nothing new.

Russia is done as a superpower, and if they can’t halt the decline of its population, they will be by 2050 have nobody left to live on their 1/7 of the world.

As I recall, the Russian air force didn’t have a very impressive showing during the short war with Georgia. I’d also be very skeptical about the potential value of the equipment in Russian mothballs. What kind of maintenance is being performed? In what conditions are these items being stored? What is the competence level of the conscript soldiers who are expected to employ these weapons in combat?