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Airplanes, Rocketry, Missiles, Spacecraft and things that go WHOOSH! in the night.
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Wednesday, June 09, 2004

The USSR's Missed Opportunity 

The USSR's best chance to defeat NATO was in the mid-to-late seventies, according to this correspondent. As a member of the US Army in Europe during that time, he saw the military at its post-Vietnam nadir. Drug abuse was rife. Barracks full of underpaid and un-inspired troops, lead by disprited or self-absorbed officers and NCOs, using obsolete and poorly-maintained weapons. There was no way to stop the soviets without going nuclear.

Then Ronald Reagan became president, and things began to change. The troops got pay raises making them more able to live on their salaries. The officers & NCOs either got religion or got out. There was a pride and until new gear came into service, the funds to keep the old stuff running was available. Discipline and morale improved, and professionalism returned to the armed forces.

After that, the Soviets could not keep up, and never had another chance.

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