You know, more dramatically than Russia declined in 2000s, than in 2010s, and now heading into 2020s this decline is especially noticeable. Moreover, 2020s decline is comparable to Russia's decline in 1240s, then Russia's disappearance after 1380, it also somewhat reminiscent of Russia's impending disintegration in 1605-1618, and it could certainly be reminiscent of Russia's absolute demise in 1812, not to speak of 1945. How do we know this? Very simple, a specialist in Russia's decline General Mark Milley, currently the Chairman JCS, said so in his interview to WSJ yesterday. But we all know that Russia is on the verge of a decline and disappearance for the last 1200 years, so--any minute now. Milley, however, having said that added that Russia is a Great Power and that it is because of the excellent armed forces. Now, I quote from Ria which quoted from WSJ, which is behind a paywall.
Translation: Russia is a great power. There is no doubt about it because of her capabilities <...> Russian military people are very good, no questions about it. Russians have very combat capable and professional army. It is relatively small compared to the Soviet times, but is very very combat capable.
This illustrates my point I made yesterday when discussing Andrei Raevsky's article about NATO and EU "messages" and which I make non-stop for decades, that the only people left in the US who have a degree of global situational awareness are American military. They have to be. As Larchmonter445 observed correctly today, and I quote him:
Who is not unaware are the specialists within the national security structure, Intel, DOD and the permanent transient officials who permeate NSC. They don't talk. They aren't experts on cable. They are analysts who study every word, action, feint, and surprise move by Putin and Russia. They are the human circuit breakers who will act rationally when the shit and fan are getting too close. You might say they are the real translators who tell the US leadership what they don't want to hear. They assure the bozos, clowns, psychopaths and warmongers that 20 minutes might be twice as long as they have to say their goodbyes if they go one inch forward to poke the bear. They read Andrei's works and his blog. They read The Saker and Orlov. They understand what Lavrov means. They now East from West. They are realists.
I agree. The "messages" are not for US or West's political elites--those are morons with no integrity or principles, they are also ignorant on any serious military matter. These messages are for American professionals who understand and have a grasp of consequences and can articulate those to civilian ignoramuses who run disintegrating West. In the middle of a Russiagate bacchanalia in the last 4 years, in the midst of severe bouts of Russophrenia at the Capitol and in US media the only sober assessments were coming from US military, especially from a guy from DIA--his testimony stood out. Listen to former DIA Chief Lieutenant-General Vincent Stewart. This is how real professionals talk. No political BS, cold hard facts.