Max Boot draws a straight line between the military Republican politicians say they want and the awful military Russian actually has:
Right-wingers have long claimed that the U.S. military should not be hobbled by humanitarian considerations or even the laws of war. During the Vietnam War, when U.S. aircraft dropped more bombs than during World War II, many conservatives fumed that we were fighting with one hand tied behind our backs. “Bomb them back into the Stone Age,” Gen. Curtis LeMay demanded. Most of the public supported 2nd Lt. William L. Calley, the only perpetrator of the infamous My Lai massacre (when U.S. troops killed more than 500 civilians) to be convicted by a court-martial. He served only three years of house arrest.
By right-wing lights, Russia should have the world’s greatest army. The Russian military, after all, is as illiberal, or “un-woke,” as it is possible to get.
Yet, despite the Russian army’s lack of wokeness and its proclivity for war crimes, it is not, in fact, a capable military force.
The brutalization of Russian soldiers, combined with the corruption of their officers, detracts from unit cohesion and therefore from combat performance. No doubt the abuse inflicted on Russian soldiers by their comrades makes them more willing to abuse civilians, but this, too, undercuts the professionalism of the Russian military.
The rot in the Russian military spreads from the head, of course. Much like the Republican Party over here.