Russian "prowess" in Crimea

There has been a flush of articles, Tweets, and assorted "analyses" proclaiming that the takeover of Crimea demonstrated the overwhelming strength and prowess of the Russian army.

Give me a break. An organized Boy Scout would have looked just as good.

Forget the fact that the takeover was completely unopposed. Take a look at the equipment that was being brought into the country by train. (Main battle tanks two generations old.) Think about the actual numbers of soldiers there (forget the wildly exaggerated claims of hundreds of thousands). Look at what they did, and how they did it.

Now compare that with any of the Russian takeovers during the Cold War. Or think about what a Chechnya-like resistance (let alone something on the scale of Iraq) would have done.

Great propaganda victory, no question. And the Russian special forces continue to be well-trained, professional, and creative. Crimea is a great lesson in how to win without really fighting, even a case study in how to do more with less. But a statement about Russia's military prowess?

Not so much.

No comments: