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Putin needs 2 Armies

Russian Army - not fit for purpose

In, A Time of Gifts, Patrick Leigh Fermor declares: 'I want two armies: one for display, with lovely guns, tanks, little soldiers, fanfare, staffs, distinguished and doddering generals, and dreary little regimental officers.... and an army that would be shown for a modest fee on every fairground in the country.

The other would be the real one, composed entirely of young enthusiasts in camouflage battledress, who would not be put on display but from whom.... all sorts of tricks would be taught. That is the army in which like to fight.'

The mission is everything, conventional armies, by virtue of being vast system led machines, by virtue of being obsessed with rank and privilege, are insufficiently focused on the mission: regardless of direct action or humanitarian affairs.

Vietnam, like Iraq, represented a war of frustrating half measures, fought against an enemy that respected no limits. The intensity of such frustrations creates the psychological gulf that separates warriors from both a conscript army and a civilian home front. The warrior looks down on the rest of the military as the 'profession of the sluggard', men who 'get up early to do nothing'. Dirty, badly conceived wars in Vietnam and Algeria had created a radicalized French warrior class of noncommissioned officers, able to kill in the morning and build schools in the afternoon, which had a higher regard for its Muslim guerillas adversaries than for the regular officers in its own ranks.

Contemporary wars are, made for the side that does not care about 'the preservation of a good conscience'. In order to save liberty, liberty must first be suppressed, in that rests the weakness of democratic regimes, a weakness that is at the same time a credit to them, an honour. Carrying the war to the enemy camp, fighting by night, forgetting the masses are the mainspring of every endeavour corrupting them with modern amenities instead of keeping them wiry and alert with the offer of some valid purpose in life, only Marxist methods of war are efficient!

Sources: A Time of Gifts, Patrick Leigh Fermor, 1977; The Centurions, Jean Lartéguy, Penguin Classics, 1961


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