Streetwise Professor

July 27, 2010

What’s Plan B?

Filed under: Military,Russia — The Professor @ 7:31 pm

The Russian military replaced its two year conscription term with a single year term in order to combat the brutalization of new recruits by more experienced soldiers, a practice called dedovshchina.  This “fix,” apparently, has made things worse, not better:

The number of conscripts who suffer physical abuse at the hands of their colleagues in the Russian armed forces has grown significantly in 2010, the Vedomosti daily said on Tuesday.

Hazing – the physical and psychological torture of younger conscripts by their elders – has long been a problem in Russia and has its roots in the Soviet era.

During January-May 2010, 1,167 draftees were subjected to hazing, an increase of 150% during the same period in 2009, the paper said.

This is consistent with what I wrote a couple weeks back, namely, that hazing within a structured hierarchy is likely to be less intense than hazing within a near anarchic situation in which soldiers are struggling for the right to haze.

As I noted before, playing with the length of service will not eliminate hazing as long as survival of the fittest rules the barracks, rather than the officers or competent and experienced NCOs.  But changing conscription terms only requires the passage of a law.  Reforming an entire culture, including a generation of officers comfortable with the status quo, is a much harder task.  A task, methinks, that is beyond the capability of Russia to perform–and one that the officer corps apparently has little interest in performing regardless.

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    Pingback by Tweets that mention Streetwise Professor » What’s Plan B? -- — July 27, 2010 @ 7:51 pm

  2. I suspect neo liberal reforms are the only way out of this.

    Comment by derp — July 28, 2010 @ 3:36 am

  3. Putin knows that nobody is going to attack Russia with conventional weapons, so he can cut the time of military service. Also, this move might be designed for disorientation of the enemy, – the West. BTW, I’ve never seen such level of hate towards America, even during the Soviet era.

    If the new treaty to cut nuclear weapons becomes a reality, Russia will gain a huge advantage. There are already discussions on Russian forums about it. Here are the main points people make.

    1. Territory of Russia is twice larger than territory of the US, and requires twice more nukes. If the war starts during a cold winter month, nukes will only warm up a vast Russian territory, but most of the territory will not be even burned to the ground. Again, most people will survive, as they survived in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    2. It is estimated that in a full-blown nuclear war America and Russia will each lose about 50% of population. It means 50 millions for Russia, and 150 millions for America. America will lose three times more people than Russia, because America has three times larger population.

    3. As Chernobyl accident has demonstrated, nuclear radiation is not as deadly as once was thought. Russians are willing to lose 50% of the population as a price to destroy America.

    4. The result will be that Europe will surrender to Russia even before a single Russian nuclear missile hits Europe. The new Russian Empire will include the whole Europe.

    5. To survive in the nuclear war, the most important thing for Putin is to reduce the number of nukes. After that America is cooked, and stupid Americans, educated in public schools, will learn the lesson.

    6. Russia is well prepared for a nuclear war. Millions of people will find shelter in nearby subway stations. There are hundreds of subway stations in major Russian cities like Moscow and Petersburg, and they are protected by reliable anti-missile batteries that are capable to shoot down hundreds of incoming ballistic missiles.

    7. Americans are used to comfortable life. Russians are used to hardships. A nuclear war will cause more suffering to America, while Russia will survive the hardships. Russia can afford to lose 50 million people for the sake of world domination, but Americans are too kaki to lose 150 million of people plus shortages of everything from housing to food.

    As everyone knows, victors get to write the history. In history books it will be written that stupid Yankees started the nuclear war, and they lost.

    In my opinion, Russians are right in their calculations. Putin is hell-bent to win the nuclear war and concur Europe. Because with O’Bum in the Oral Office, he can.

    Major American cities – New York, Washington, San Francisco, Los Angeles – will be totally destroyed. I can’t help but to notice that most Democrats live in those cities. Out of 150 millions killed in America, at least 100 millions will be Democrats. Now you Rats go ahead and ratify the nuclear weapons reduction treaty. Maybe, just maybe, we should declare San Francisco an open city for not only illegal immigrants, but for a “nukelar” strike. Putin should get a right to wipe out SF without any fear of retaliation.

    Comment by Michael Vilkin — July 29, 2010 @ 5:38 pm

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