Streetwise Professor

August 30, 2008

Some Perspective

Filed under: Military,Russia — The Professor @ 3:48 am

Until March, 2007 the United States Army’s 82nd Airborne Division was the country’s Rapid Reaction Force; it has since been supplanted in this roll by the 101st Air Assault Division.

The Rapid Reaction force consists of a single brigade (about 3,300 men) that is able to “to begin flying anywhere in the world in 18 hours.” Begin flying. Not to get there–just to start the trip.   The brigade is always at a high degree of readiness, and trains assiduously to be able to begin its trip to its destination in some global hotspot in 18 hours. This is, moreover, a light force with no armored vehicles. It was somewhat cynically referred to as a “speed bump” because its lack of combat power made it no match for a determined attacking force with armor. In the first Gulf War, US commanders sweat bullets after the RRF was dispatched to Saudi Arabia because they feared if Saddam had continued his advance he would have rolled over the 82nd’s brigade in short order.

It is acknowledged even by defenders of the Russian incursion into South Ossetia that heavy elements of a Russian division traversed a single-lane mountain road including a stretch through a 5 kilometer long tunnel and reached the front in Tskhinvali no more than 18 hours after the initial Georgian shelling of that town.

18 hours. The same time it takes for one of the elite units of the US Army, a light unit, to get ready to move. I say again: there is no ‘effin way the Russian armor reached Tskhinvali within 18 hours after the commencement of the action unless (a) it had been preparing to move for days prior to 8 August, and (b) it had begun its movement well before the Georgian bombardment began.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress