Friday, February 06, 2009
Once again, Russia shows that it's only a paper bear...
We learned last semester that the Russian navy is so decrepit that it has to send a tugboat along with every naval deployment. Now, we find that the majority of the Russian air force is so obsolete a full third of their fighters are unable to take off.
That's right. It's not that they would lose in aerial combat to any of our fighters. It's not that they might have trouble stopping our bombers. They literally cannot get off the ground. Others have such corrosion problems that they crashed. Algeria recently returned some new MiGs they bought because the parts in them were substandard.
The same situation apparently holds in their ground forces as well. Most of the best equipment in 1991 went to the new forces of the FSRs (where the best divisions were deployed), and Russia has not yet reequipped all of its grounds forces with new equipment. (They also lack basic defensive equipment, at least according to Wikipedia.)
Granted--Russia has a great big nuclear arsenal. (Though I'm starting to be less convinced of their ability to deliver it...) But it is increasingly looking like, in any conventional war, they would get pounded by just about anyone with a modern military.
So why are we still supposed to be so afraid of Putin?