When Russian troops headed into Georgia they were not wearing ballistic protection, except for helmets.
That tidbit comes from US Army Maj. Gen. David Halverson, director Of Army Force Development. Halverson told reporters Thursday that the Russian troops "had no body armor or anything when they went in through the towns..." This from a military that is trying to field a fifth generation fighter and possesses one of the world's two biggest nuclear forces. Imagine what conclusions the American military, with its focus on protecting each soldier as much as possible, leapt to on learning that the Russian troops went in unprotected. Imagine how much recruiting Georgia's sniper school is doing right now.
"...We have all been studying the actions of the Russians in Georgia very carefully to see some of their tactics, techniques, procedures, what they did from -- their operational concepts that they did,” Halvorsen said.
Of course, Russian troops have always had a certain reputation, given that country's system of conscription. They produce a few fabulous units, some stunningly capable generals and a great mass of hazed and harried ordinary troops who'd rather be home.
Now that they've used their units in some mass, "we all in the Defense Department are studying and looking at it," as Halverson put it.