Right now, there is a sense in the public that Russia’s conventional forces have proven to be a paper bear, defeated by Ukrainians armed with older equipment, and plagued by a series of major logistical and morale challenges. But across the board, experts and European sources warn against complacency when it comes to Russia’s military.
“The greatest mistake is underestimating your adversary and thinking that they won’t recover and come back at you,” said Jim Townsend, a former DoD official and Europe expert with the Center for a New American Security. He points to how Russia lost early to German forces in World War II before returning with a vengeance.
“We have to be ready for the Russians to recover and come back as a military power, which history shows they will. It may take time, but they won’t forget. The Finns know that and that’s why they’re taking the risk to join NATO now.”
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