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Assessing the Russian Military Campaign in Ukraine (so far)

StickerEater

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You have to wonder...

How is it possible to see Russia one moment as a power so weak that it could be pushed out of all former Ukrainian territory by force, and the next moment as a mighty threat to all of Europe or ‘freedom’ or ‘democracy’ or whatever?

If ‘the test of first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function’, then the current leadership class of the West are all geniuses.

Estimated total Russian defense spending in 2021 : $ 65.9 B USD$
Estimated total NATO defense spending in 2021 : $ 1,174 B USD$

Just saying...
Do you know the distribution by country for Nato? It would be interesting to see who spent the least (We already know who spent the most)
 

Bones26

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Do you know the distribution by country for Nato? It would be interesting to see who spent the least (We already know who spent the most)
@StickerEater

There are a few ways to consider your question.

In pure dollar expenditures, Montenegro is the lowest in actual dollar expenditures, spending just $97 million USD$ on its military which represented 1.74% of its total GDP or $122 when expressed on a per capita basis in 2021.

Then there is Albania which spends $239 million USD$, which is the equivalent of 1.44% of its total GDP but which is the lowest on a per capita basis at $66.

And meanwhile in Luxembourg, while they spent $474 million USD$ on their military which is equivalent to $594 on a per capita basis, this represented just 0.57% of their total GDP in 2021.

Least anyone is curious, given they are currently both in the news. While not part of NATO, Finland for its part spent $5.1 billion USD$ in 2021 (1.5% of its GDP) and Sweden spent $5.5 billion USD$ in 2021 (1.2% of its GDP)

Returning to the NATO / Russia comparison, consider that if both entities simply maintained military spending at their current spending levels, it would take Russia 17.8 years to spend the equivalent of what NATO spent in just one year 2021. And if during those intervening 17.8 years NATO simply maintained their current spending, they would have spent and added a further $ 20,915 Billion USD$ in military expenditures that would obviously widen the existing gap even further.

Cheers!
 

Nemesis

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You have to wonder...

How is it possible to see Russia one moment as a power so weak that it could be pushed out of all former Ukrainian territory by force, and the next moment as a mighty threat to all of Europe or ‘freedom’ or ‘democracy’ or whatever?

If ‘the test of first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function’, then the current leadership class of the West are all geniuses.

Estimated total Russian defense spending in 2021 : $ 65.9 B USD$
Estimated total NATO defense spending in 2021 : $ 1,174 B USD$

Just saying...
It still can be both. Russia is nuclear armed with an idiot in charge. History also shows that the Russians ALWAYS start poorly, but finish strongly. The arms, men and equipment are there. They just need to "relearn" warfare which they always do.

Ukraine is not out of this yet. They can still lose.
 

ALBY

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When I think about the entirety of this campaign thus far I am wondering where Russias UKR 5th column is?

It appears they were a big part of the strategic planning and they are completely absent everywhere but donbass and it’s no wonder that’s the best theatre for RU. The RU force they sent was cold, hungry and was going to need help and safe passage.

They appear to have received zero local support for the Kiev assault. I wonder what happened to all the pro-Russians?

Thoughts ?
 

MOS:96B2P

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It still can be both. Russia is nuclear armed with an idiot in charge. History also shows that the Russians ALWAYS start poorly, but finish strongly. The arms, men and equipment are there. They just need to "relearn" warfare which they always do.

Ukraine is not out of this yet. They can still lose.

I probably would have thought and said something similar four or five months ago. Before the shocking incompetence, corruption and brutality of the Russian military was revealed. I now suspect the corruption probably permeates most of their institutions.

Russia was part of the Soviet Union during Afghanistan (so maybe you don't count that war) but Russia/Soviet Union did not finish strongly there. In Chechnya they basically had to hand the place over to the warlord Akhmad Kadyrov. Looking back, I think a lot of these smaller invasions showed indications of problems in the Russian military. However many, myself included, bought into the propaganda that Russia was a world class military power.

As far as the nukes, in theory, anything is possible. However, for Russia to use them would mean the end of Russia. Everybody in the chain from Putin down to the guys in the missile silos/planes/submarines would have to be okay with having Russia end. To include ending their lives, their families and probably everything they know in this world. Also there would have to be nobody, outside the direct chain, sane enough to intervene effectively before a nuke flies (like a want to be Putin replacement). So while it is possible and should be monitored the odds, IMO, are greatly against it as things now stand.

Time is not on Russia's side. Every day that goes by Ukraine gets stronger, Russia gets weaker. Russia does not have the resources to rebuild its military quicker than it is being attrited. Especially considering the Sanctions. Russia lost vast amounts of equipment and trained troops that would take years to replace. Most of the technology needed for modern military equipment Russians can't create or replace on their own (computer chips etc.). Russia was not able to properly maintain its military before the sanctions. There is no lend-lease for Russia this time. Even worse the lend-lease is going to their adversary. There are photos of conscripts with Mosin-Nagant bolt-action rifles. This conflict is measured in months.

There is no vast source of manpower to draw on. From 1993 to 2007, the fertility rate (defined as the number of children a woman can be expected to have over the course of her lifetime) fell below 1.5, far below the 2.1 replacement rate needed to hold a population steady.


The Russians can throw untrained conscripts into the meat grinder. Their VDV and elite Guards units were defeated and retreated from Kyiv. Other Russian units have been forced back from Kharkiv. In the past few days the Russians lost a Battalion Tactical Group attempting to cross a river. Will newly raised conscripts be able to do what the VDV and Guards units could not? Can Russia re-learn warfare in the next several months and win militarily and survive the sanctions? Even if the Russians froze the conflict I think the sanctions would continue. Hard to see Russia/Putin surviving military defeat and/or the sanctions.

I think an interesting question is what will Russia look like in six months and where will Putin be?
 
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MOS:96B2P

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Fertilizer.

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