A ‘Paper-Tiger’? Russo-Syrian Joint Military Campaign Shows Otherwise

Saturday, February 27, 2016
By Paul Martin


Russia’s military reform has become a shot in the arm for the country’s armed forces, both in terms of capabilities and confidence, Western experts note, referring to Moscow’s Syrian campaign.

Western analysts have long believed that Russian military reform, kicked off in the wake of the 2008 Russo-Georgian conflict provoked by then president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili, had produced a “paper tiger”; however, it turns out that they were profoundly wrong, Australian researcher and postgraduate student at Western Sydney University Mitchell Yates notes.

“Such ill-considered criticism of Russian military reform is concerning… The force modernization and restructuring program launched by Vladimir Putin and his then Defense Minister Anatoliy Serdyukov in the wake of the 2008 Georgian War has strengthened the capabilities of the Russian military,” Mitchell writes in his article for The Strategist.

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