Why did The Soviets had such a large army?

Discussion in 'Military History & Strategy' started by DarK-LorD, May 7, 2011.

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  1. Muhammad-Bin-Qasim
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    Muhammad-Bin-Qasim SENIOR MEMBER

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    My comrade... Communism as a response to Capitalism was very important... In reality a lot of good (ironically if you may) has come to the world because of the Communist response to Capitalism... The problem however is that Communists kinda lost direction somewhere... They lost the revolutionary zeal of their founders and thus decayed... My personal hate for the system is because it seeks total control over people's lives, livelihoods and inhibits the human spirit at many levels...

    China as mentioned by the member has adopted a lot of Capitalist principles in order to survive... It is nt really a pure Communist State anymore... although it maintains a Communist ruling structure... in economics it is much more Capitalist... This is why China also is ultimately going to have problems eventually because they are relying on a failing ideology at present to carry on...
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  2. GodlessBastard
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    GodlessBastard FULL MEMBER

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    It's easy for us, 20 years after the Cold War, to criticize the USSR for spending so many resources on their military. But you have to understand the mentality of the time period; no one in the Soviet leadership thought it was a waste of resources, because the threat of total war against US/NATO was always there, and one always had to be ready.

    Even Gorbachev, who otherwise reformed many other aspects of the Soviet Union, kept military spending at a high level. It was considered the top national priority, greater than everything else.
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  3. boris
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    boris BANNED

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    amazing answer,salute sir
  4. harpoon
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    harpoon ELITE MEMBER

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    Soviet Armed forces were much bigger than the NATO. Sometime ago I saw a documentary about Cold War in which an American official said that if it came to blows their strategy was to trust the airforce and hope for the best. Only advantage NATO had was the technological capability and better training.

    However this was as at an another place, at an another era when two massive armies faced off against eachother. Only nuclear annihilation stopped them from pulling the trigger which also made them very predictable. Considering the world we now face there was some sort of clarity during the cold war. Most of all both Soviets and Americans did not believed that they have a divine duty to destroy their enemies or neither do they think that they take orders from a supreme being.
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  5. Fulcrum15
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    Fulcrum15 MODERATOR

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    the soviets had a peasant economy and hence a peasant mindset....they did not go fro quality because they were peasants...rather went for the quantity so that the normal person would easily operate the thing.
  6. arthurborges
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    Yep, our contributor gives only half the picture: what's missing is the list of NATO materiel on the other side of the fence.

    Second, the USSR lost 20 million people in WW2 and it is deeply traumatizing to a nation's psyche to experience the lost of 10% of your population -- that leaves no family untouched. Stalin himself lost his only son by his first marriage in that war.

    As the story goes, Yakov made a suicidal escape attempt from a prison camp in April 1943 after learning that his father wouldn't swap him for a German general. To be fair, Stalin's answer to the German offer was: "You have in your hands not only my son Yakov but millions of my sons. Either you free them all or my son will share their fate." (Source: Historical Notes: The Death of Stalin's Son - TIME)

    Third, declassified US documents show the Soviet military were designed and deployed to defend, not to attack, despite all the hot-air NATO rhetoric of the time.

    Fourth, if you counted up the men in uniform, the Soviets had way more than the USA, their prime adversary but for two reasons: (1) the US figures don't count DoD civilian employees doing jobs done by uniformed soldiers in the USSR and (2) because of the differing economic systems, it was cheaper for the Soviets to assign some tasks to human beings, whereas the US has to automate or mechanize them.

    I hope this helps.
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  7. Obambam
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    Obambam SENIOR MEMBER

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    Contrary to popular believe. China is not true communism. Communism equals poor country. It would have no chance against India's economy and military if China took the same path as the Soviets. Then again, we never actually cared about India despite them being the biggest democracy.
  8. Chinese-Dragon
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    Chinese-Dragon PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

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    Exactly right. :tup:
  9. Chinese-Dragon
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    Chinese-Dragon PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

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    China lost around 20 million innocent civilians as well during WW2.

    It definitely leaves a scar on the national psyche.
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  10. arthurborges
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    arthurborges MEMBER

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    Response to Muhammad-Bin-Qasim
    The problem however is that Communists kinda lost direction somewhere...
    This is a Pandora's Box. You can argue it happened when Lenin, who may well have been financed by the Rothschilds, died and the leadership fell to Stalin, a disciple of Gurdjieff. You can argue it was when Stalin adopted a policy of "Socialism in One Country", effectively abandoning all serious attempts at world revolution. You can argue it happened when Khruschev and his generals lacked the imagination to find an asymmetric response to the US military buildup. There's more.

    My personal hate for the system is because it seeks total control over people's lives, livelihoods and inhibits the human spirit at many levels...
    Government is in business for itself. Everywhere. And leaders don't need longer workweeks than they already have. If somebody comes along with a widget or scheme that gives you a little more control over your people, you're going to buy into it. But more generally, stop hating anyone or anything, it burns too many calories for no ultimately useful purpose.[/I]

    China isn't really a pure Communist State anymore... in economics it is... Capitalist... This is why China also is ultimately going to have problems eventually because they are relying on a failing ideology at present to carry on...

    China has been a market economy since 1978 in theory but that didn't really get underway strongly enough to mess up people's savings until 1984 when inflation started running at 20% per year and folks had to dip into savings to cover daily living expenses. That inflation rate held up at 20% through to 1989 when the Tiananmen riot happened: the protest was about eroding living standards and eroded savings -- it was a "democracy" rally in the sense of "people's democracy" with a return to low stable prices for staples and daily necessities.

    Whether the ideology is "failing" or not is another issue. Communist values overlap nicely with strong family values, which are a feature of any Asian society I've seen. They also tie in nicely with Confucianism, the traditional ideology that prevailed under the emperors. In fact, what you have in China today is "social democracy", i.e. where "democracy" means "open-ended market economy" and "social" means that government can operate profit-driven enterprises on the same basis as any private individual. One serious difficulty facing Beijing is the wealth gap: if you look at Chinese history, you see a cycle of (1) farmers with growing debt who revolt followed by (2) a new emperor who cleans out the corruption and (3) appoints his own set of civil servants who decline into corruption that slowly but surely piles up debt on the farmers who ultimately (1) revolt... and so on.

    It is also important to note that Chinese Communism doesn't really have an issue with religion. Like any republic, it insists on separation of church and state, but Muslims get Friday off for example (they're supposed to work it in on Sunday but if they're civil servants, well who goes to the office on Sunday???). Indeed, the government has been encouraging a revival of the three main spiritual ideologies (Buddhism, Confucianism and Daoism) because the shift into a market economy left lots of folks upset because the system of Communist moral values had been discarded ever since Deng Xiaopeng said "It is glorious to be rich."

    There is however a problem with cults or sects and the last law regulating them was based on the equivalent French law passed in the mid-1980s. There is too an issue with the Vatican, which is also a political state with an embassy in Taiwan and Beijing policy is that there is only one China, so if you already have a Chinese embassy, you don't need ours. I'm oversimplifying a tad because popes get very possessive about their flocks -- as possessive as Beijing gets about its citizens and this won't get worked out too soon, despite occasional media articles that get upbeat about it.

    The spin now is on a "Building a Harmonious Society", which means getting a bigger share of national wealth out into farmers' pockets and improving their lot. The success is uneven and slow. Notwithstanding, if you check out the PEW Global Attitudes Survey, 87% of Chinese respondents said they thought their country was "going in the right direction", against 30% of Americans and 45% of Indians (Pakistan was not surveyed). (Source: http://pewglobal.org/database/?indicator=3&group=11)

    The other vulnerability is that China has 56 ethnic nationalities -- and that's just the officially recognized quantity, but I have students who tell me they speak a "dialect" of Chinese which is hardly understood in the next village 10km down the road. If a village is locked inside its dialect, then it is a distinct culture for all practical purposes. If we count nationalities that way, any number between 1,000 and 10,000 looks reasonable to me. However, returning to the 56, the Han make up 90% of the total population, with 10% for the other 55. This might be no big thing except that this 10% occupy about half the entire territory and that makes the country vulnerable to secessionist insurgencies, especially when funded from abroad.

    As for "purity", the chemist Primo Levi suffered years of guilt under Nazism and Fascism because he was Jewish and not "pure" like the Aryan role models held up for all to admire. Well, one day, he realized that God hated purity because after all, when man started digging, Nature presented man with all the elements in the Periodic Table either as compounds or mixtures. In short, any thought that purity is somehow virtuous is a pernicious lie.
  11. comrade uraa
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    the isi played the most important role in disietegrating ussr. the isi trained mujahideens, sent thousands of personnels to afghanistan to provide upto the mark latest info on the war for fresh planning, almost the entire planning of war was done by pakistan. america only sent wepons mainly stinger anti-aircraft missiles, transmiters and anti-tank missiles, the main economic supporter were the arab nations. reportedly pakistan trained 100,000 mujahideens for the war,and commanded a total of 300,000 till 1989.PAF clashed with communist afghan airforce and soviet airforce destroying 14 jets. the main credit goes to pakistan with america following in the backup.
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  12. Chogy
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    Chogy PROFESSIONAL

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    This is very important, thanks. The Cold War became hot in some proxy conflicts, but the Big One never started up because players on both sides were rational thinkers, and realized that such a battle would make WW2 look like 2 boys fighting over a toy.
  13. Raja.Pakistani
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    Raja.Pakistani SENIOR MEMBER

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    The Soviet Union collapsed because the cost of maintaining a huge military machine, controlling an empire in Eastern Europe and feeding its people became a burden that the Kremlin could not bear

    What failed in the Soviet Union was not communism nor socialism since neither were present in the state by the late 80s. Socialism and communism were not seen in Russia since the late 1920s at the latest.
  14. tenantfile
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    Soviet defence is heaviely influenced with the quantity over quality,hence a massive army,but now it also focus on quality as it saves much resourses and efficiency
  15. drunkcamel
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    agree with you.

    Thay have Hongkong and continue the old state . they don't attention.