American soldier in torture scene at Abu Ghraib in Iraq, 2004
As I read "The Saker's" latest, "The Best Armed Forces on the Planet"  , what struck me most was the comment on the Russian armed forces saying, "their mission, to defend Russia" and "The specific political objective given to the Russian military is quite simple: to deter or repel any attack against Russia".
Think about that, simply defend your country. Oh sure one can say the Russian military operation in Syria is not exactly defending ones country, or is it? Syria is a just over 600 miles from Russian territory so it's Russia's intent to defeat the militant Islamic jihadists in Syria to prevent them from migrating to Russia. Is that not in defense of the country?
In contrast, what is the American military's mission? It has over 800 military bases spread all over the world. It is fighting wars in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, uses drone strikes and missile attacks in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, its special ops forces are operating in numerous countries in Africa, its navy operating in the Persian Gulf and South China Sea are clearly provocations against Iran and China respectively. And NATO- just an operations arm of the US military-has moved to the doorstep of Russia in contravention of the agreement made between Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev and the Bush Sr. administration in 1989 not to move NATO "one inch eastward" as long as East and West Germany were allowed to reunite.
So for the enlisted American military man or woman how exactly do they interpret what they're doing is defending their country?
Undoubtedly they've been propagandized and indoctrinated with what "Dubya" Bush once described as "Fight'em over there so we won't have to fight them here". But that's pure hokum.
Let's face it, most modern terrorism in the world should have a "Made in the US" label as it was first manufactured in Afghanistan with the CIA training and supplying Osama bin Laden's Mujahedeen in Afghanistan in the 1980's against the Soviet Union.
When that war ended in 1989 with the withdrawal of Soviet troops Osama and his minions remained in Afghanistan through the 90's under the Taliban regime that came to power. They were dispersed mostly into the tribal areas of Pakistan after the US invaded Afghanistan in October, 2001.
When the US invaded Iraq in March 2003 many of Osama's former Mujahedeen traveled to Iraq and became the foreign mercenary radical jihadists who joined forces with the indigenous Sunni ex-military that were disbanded by "Dubya" Bush's viceroy Paul Bremer to fight against the US invasion and occupation forces.
Of course Iraq in 2003 had no WMD under Saddam Hussein- it all had been removed by the UN's UNSCOM nuclear inspectors ten years earlier as confirmed by ex inspector Scott Ritter in his writings in 2002 and 2003 prior to the US invasion. So the primary reason for invading Iraq was clearly bogus.
And if the purported military mission was to invade Iraq and find the WMD's it supposedly had, when they were not found, shouldn't the mission have ended with the US military withdrawal from the country?
That didn't happen. the war escalated, Abu Ghraib torture was revealed, the siege of Fallujah, later the phony "surge" et al.
The point is the American soldier wasn't fighting to defend their country. They were fighting for whatever propaganda message was handed down to them by their officers who followed what they received from Washington.
To put it bluntly, the US military was put in harm's way unnecessarily i Iraq-an unforgiveable sin to say nothing of the Geneva Convention and the UN's condemnation of aggressive war as the worst form of war-by the criminal "Dubya" Bush administration, not in defense of the country but for oil, hegemony and endless war, all to benefit the military/industrial/political/security complex.
Not so the Russian military which according to "The Saker" clearly know their mission, solely to defend Russia.