While a report indicates that Moscow is preparing for a war against Washington, the U.S. military has done a check-up of its capabilities to wage a sustained battle against Russia. And well, the results of the check-up don’t bode well for America.
The U.S. has conducted a number of secret military drills over the summer, the result of which left defense officials and military forces worried that the county is not prepared for a sustained war against Russia, according to two defense officials.
In particular, the U.S. military attributes its unpreparedness to wage a war against Russia to the 15 years of counter terrorism warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan. The wars have depleted U.S. forces’ ability to maintain logistics and troops levels in case Russian President Vladimir Putin orders its forces to attack a NATO ally, the officials noted.
“Could we probably beat the Russians today [in a sustained battle]? Sure, but it would take everything we had,” one defense official told The Daily Beast. “What we are saying is that we are not as ready as we want to be.”
A secret exercises under the codename ‘TTX’ (tabletop exercise) revealed that the counter terrorism warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan brought down the U.S. forces’ ability to maintain a fight, according to the officials.
Is U.S. capable to respond to Russia’s military attacks?
There has been an increasing number of top U.S. military officials calling Russia an ‘existential’ and the biggest threat to the U.S.
However, “[U.S. President Barack] Obama has failed to give a firm answer to Putin. He would rather let Europe tremble with fear, while the American economy doesn’t suffer from Russian counter-sanctions,” Ivan Nikiforov, Russian military expert, told ValueWalk. “While the George W. Bush administration needed to go to war to raise the prestige of the government, Obama dismisses a war against Russia as untimely.”
“With such an uncertain attitude toward Russia, the U.S. risks to find itself in a situation where it would have to decide to help or not to help its NATO allies in case of an invasion by Mr Putin. The main reason why Russian President would invade a NATO member is to see how the U.S. responds,” Nikiforov said.
But does the U.S. have what it takes to give a robust and powerful response? Not all officials in the Pentagon agree that it does, but what everyone agrees on is that Russia has nearly 4,000 nuclear weapons, the world’s third largest military budget and Putin, who is notorious for his unpredictability and growing appetite for gaining more territories.
What are U.S. aircraft and nuclear problems?
And while it’s not all that catastrophically bad with the U.S. military, problems exist – and there are many of them. For example, in case of a sudden military attack from Russia on American soil, the U.S. military wouldn’t have much time to withdraw its best-trained fighter pilots from other conflict zones to counter the attack.
Besides, there is a severe problem with maintenance abilities of U.S. fighter jets. The same thing goes for surveillance drones – they would have to be drawn from other parts of the world.
And the thing is that the U.S. cannot even draw its jets, drones and other advanced military equipment from other conflict zones to prepare for a possible Russian invasion, as the U.S. would risk losing its dominant positions in those conflict zones.
“Against an adversary like Russia, we can’t take the kind of air dominance we’ve had in conflicts since 9/11 for granted,” a defense official told The Daily Beast. “Any conflict of significant magnitude against an adversary like Russia means we’d need to commit airmen and resources that are now operating in other parts of the world at a rate that minimizes their ability to train for that kind of fight.”
He also added that while the U.S. would be able to provide the airpower sufficient to prevail in air, the current state of U.S. air forces “definitely doesn’t make that a sure bet.”
As for the nuclear capabilities of the U.S., it’s not that premium-class either. In the book titled ‘Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety’, American historian Eric Schlosser wrote that U.S. main nuclear bomber has not been replaced nor modernized since the ‘60s, while the main land-based missile, which is still in the nuclear arsenal today, should have been replaced in the early ‘80s.
Army Gen tells the truth about the state of U.S. military
The outgoing Chief of Staff of the Army, Army Gen Raymond Odierno, has recently told the media that NATO’s recent military drills conducted in Europe revealed many challenges in case NATO would have to respond to Russia’s aggression with military means.
“One of the thing we learned is the logistical challenges we have in Eastern Europe. For example, Eastern Europe has a different gauge railroad than Western Europe [where U.S. has traditionally trained] does so moving supplies is a more difficult. So we are learning great lessons like that,” Odierno said at his last briefing.
Odierno also warned that only a third of U.S. army brigades are capable to sustain a military conflict against Russia. He added that he does not believe the government will be able to increase those numbers to at least 60 percent for the next few years.
According to U.S. officials, the number of U.S. troops deployed to Europe is around 31,000 with some extra troops that have been deployed after Russia had invaded Ukraine.
As a comparison, during the coldest period of the Cold War, there were nearly 250,000 U.S. troops stationed in Europe.
Odierno also said it’s “dangerous” if the Congress enacts the across-the-board budget cuts, which would decrease the number of U.S. soldiers from 450,000 to 420,000, making it the smallest U.S. ground force since the end of World War 2.