In the spring of 1992, shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, I was invited to Moscow. As a former assistant secretary of defense who dealt with manpower issues in the 1980s, I was part of a four-person American delegation meeting with Russian military leaders to discuss why and how the United States transitioned successfully from a conscript or draft military to an all-volunteer force (AVF) after the war in Vietnam.
The advice I would give at that meeting, and the Russian failure to follow it, helped create the conditions that allowed Russia’s forces to be overwhelmed by Ukrainian troops to the point of failure in its attempted conquest of its neighbor.
The above excerpt was originally published in Military.com.
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