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Military Times: New Russian army challenges US and NATO

Military Times: Новая армия России бросает вызов США и НАТО

Russian investments in the development of ground-based, ballistic, firearms and electronic weapons since 2000, has transformed Russian army into “a highly mobile force able to capture and hold territory in Europe,” writes the Military Times, citing a recent report from RAND research center entitled “Trends in the Russian armed forces.”

Military Times: Новая армия России бросает вызов США и НАТО

According to the authors of the document, the experience of Russian participation in the Ukrainian conflict have demonstrated the ability of Moscow to use effectively on the battlefield units the size of a division.

In this case, although the operation in Syria has provided the Russian military with valuable skills in expeditionary warfare, the army more effective in action near its borders, and she still has to demonstrate its ability to conduct large-scale operations. Meanwhile, almost two decades of participation in the uprisings has lowered the ability of the US to fight equal opponents, the report said.

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Military Times: Новая армия России бросает вызов США и НАТО

Thus, Russia’s efforts to modernize its army to challenge the forces of the United States and NATO on the battlefield, and therefore the Alliance needs to continue to monitor trends in the growing Russian military strength, experts warn.

“Russia’s potential has grown so much that its hypothetical impact on the Baltic States or to other US allies in NATO will pose a serious threat”, — say the authors of the report.

Military Times: Новая армия России бросает вызов США и НАТО

As highlighted in the document, Russian tank, infantry and aerial parts have relied on mobility to the detriment of safety on the battlefield. Lighter armor allows the Russian technique to maintain “excellent mobility in off-road conditions”, and also gives the opportunity to parachute or transported by helicopter.

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A “litmus test” for modernization efforts was its participation in the Ukrainian conflict, experts believe RAND. According to them, Moscow and Kiev are waging high-tech war with the use of electronic and cyberwar capabilities, as well as the far fire attacks, which the US and NATO “watching from the bench”.

Meanwhile, the United States abandoned many of the tools necessary for fighting with equal force of the enemy in Europe and America, focusing on “low-intensity” conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Africa.

As RAND concludes, “the increased number of soldiers-contract employees, increasing the professionalism of Junior officers, improve training, increase training, as well as fighting in Ukraine and Syria have led to massive improvements in the quality of the Russian military units.”

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