I am constantly reminded by Americans that American Military budget is 10 times larger than Russian. That looks like very overwhelming advantage. But this pictures changes when you compare more detailed information. Yes, American military budget is 10 times larger than Russian, but Americans have huge overhead to pay. That leaves only 8% left for purchases of new military gear. Compare this to 60% Russians spend on buying new military gear. Suddenly 10 times advantage cuts to 1.2 times, or just 20% advantage.
Lets not stop there: an average cost of a new Russian airplane, or tank is one third compared to American. That means that Russians with one tenth of the budget manufacture and deploy 2.5 times more. This is especially visible in last 3 years. Russian Aerospace forces received more new fighter jets, modernized strategic missile carriers, than all NATO countries taken together. Russia on track to fulfill its plan to have 70% of all military equipment being new and modern by the end of 2018. I don’t know what percentage of US equipment is new, but it is significantly lower. This puts Russia in a huge advantage right now.
Another huge advantage Russia has: the land size. It is huge. This is why, despite all the promises, US have tried to remove Russian forces from Crimea. If the $5 billion Ukrainian plan would have worked, Russian Black Fleet would be taken out already from Sevastopol and US 6th fleet would be already stationed in Crimea. That would make South Western Flank of Russian defenses very open. US would have permanent presence in Black Sea. But the plans went south and we have situation where US trying to make something out of bad situation with deploying 2 AEGIS cruisers. But the bad situations for US took the turn for worth 2.5 years ago, when Russia started operation in Syria. At first Americans just laughed at it. Very late Americans realized that besides demonstrating its military prowess and new military gear, Russians got a navy base, and AeroSpace Base in Eastern Mediterranean. Up to that point, Mediterranean was a playground for the 6th fleet of US NAVY. By the time US have realized, they were left with the fact that they only control Western Mediterranean. Russian littoral fleet operating from there, now can inflict damage to most of western Europe.
Things been going not very smoothly in the Baltic, Kaliningrad region effectively locks most of Baltic sea. The deployment of small forces in Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia violates all agreements US and NATO had with Russia, and Americans need to thank God that Russians don’t have the same temperament as Israel, in that case those bases would be already blown up. Like sanctions, position of forces right on the border with Russia is an act of hostility. Instead of Military option, Russia have hit 3 Baltic nations with economic measures. First, but redirection of goods transit from Baltic nations to newly build Russian ports, and pumping natural gas directly to Germany. Now Russia placed Incentives for Belarus to move its transit through Russian ports.
One area where Russia always been most vulnerable is North. Even there it has started building large defense structures coupled with ambitious even for Russians building of nuclear powered icebreaker fleet. In the East, Russians rebuilding Kuril Islands bases, and build the base close to the its border with Alaska. On top of that, there are North Korea and China that US have to worry about.
These Russian capabilities, along with ability to hit All major US cities and inflict a huge panic inducing damage to US, allows Russia to defend itself from any US aggression. The military elite of US knows that, but the facts clouded by the American believe in its exception. So, in Syria, despite loosing badly, US establishment trying to crap all over the place. Unfortunately, real people suffer.
After I have seen some exerts from Putin’s speech, there is a big surprise in it: news of deployment of aviation system “Kinzhal” that translates as Dagger. It has 2000 km range, Mounted on MIG 31, Terminal velocity is Mac 10+. The salvo of 6 missiles can destroy American Aircraft Carrier group.