By Fred Weir
Christian Science Monitor
Moscow – The global perception of the Russia-Georgia war this summer is that an armored juggernaut of old Soviet military proportions rolled over its puny rival after a five-day conflict.
But the view from Moscow is different. Many Russian military experts are still shaking their heads in dismay over a catalog of delays and mistakes that plagued the Russian Army’s thrust into South Ossetia.
“The war made it clear that we have all kinds of shortcomings in equipment, training, battlefield coordination, and intelligence,” says Alexei Arbatov, a military expert with the Carnegie Center in Moscow.
The Russian Army’s questionable performance has prompted urgent debate here over Russia’s need for a modern, mobile, professional army capable of rapidly responding to challenges that might erupt along Russia’s long borders with its unstable post-Soviet neighbors. In fact, the August conflict is giving fresh impetus for a 30 percent jump in defense spending, and a military modernization plan.
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