I want to remind readers that the most in-depth analyses by far of the Syrian war are being published at Russian-language sites and the best way to access these is to read our exclusive translations at www.newsilkstrategies.com. We are still not well equipped for mass mailing and rely on electronic “word of mouth” to drive traffic to our site. We therefore ask that you bookmark this site and visit at least twice a week. For those interested in Russian vs US military prowess and weaponry, we recommend regularly visiting our Military Affairs section.
Below is our translation of an article from Izvestia on the formidable combination of Russia’s now-famous air defences S-300 and S-400 with Russian electronic warfare systems, the best by far in the world. So good that Special Operations chief General Raymond Thomas recently admitted that his EC-130 gunships, used for recon in Syria, are being disabled by “most aggressive EW environment on the planet.” But let’s not cry for General Raymond. His forces are in Syria illegally while Russia is there at the invitation of the Syrian people.
Regarding the below-referenced interference with GPS signals, Norway and Finland both reported loss of GPD signals during NATO drills. Although Russia denied causing this loss, the text below shows that the Russians indeed have this capability.
Thanks for reading and forwarding!
Air defence will blind the enemy with electromagnetic interference
Air defence will strengthen the systems of electronic warfare
August 21, 2018
Alexander Kruglov Aleksey Ramm
Air Defence Arms
The Ministry of Defence plans to strengthen the air defence divisions (air defence) with electronic warfare (EW) systems. The armaments of such units will be so-called EW-anti-aircraft complexes. These highly mobile stations can interfere with the radar and communications systems of aircraft. As shown by drills and combat service in Syria, the combination of air defence and EW will provide effective protection against high-tech means of air attack.
According to Izvestia, the Ministry of Defence is working on the problem of incorporating EW battalions in air defence divisions. The latter will be equipped with three EW mobile complexes - “Moskva”, “Krasukha-2” and “Krasukha-4.” In the future, these battalions will be equipped with the most advanced means of electronic warfare - the Divnomorye mobile system.
This decision was made as a result of the joint work of the Central Research Institute of the Aerospace Defence Forces and the Research Institute on Electronic Warfare. The study showed a twofold increase in the effectiveness of air defence and missile defences when working with ground-based EW facilities. The findings of scientists were confirmed in the field in Syria.
Modern mobile EW systems effectively counteract airborne and ground-based detection systems. They are able to inflict powerful interference with the equipment of cruise missiles, UAVs and radars of aircraft that carry out guidance. Disoriented cruise missiles and drones become become targets for air defence systems.
The new EW battalions will be able to cover a section of several hundred kilometers with interference. They will create an impenetrable curtain for the technical intelligence systems of a potential enemy and will make use of aerospace attack vehicles as difficult as possible. This also applies to precision weapons.
Such battalions will engage to cover command posts, groups of troops, air defence systems, important industrial and administrative facilities.
Strengthening air defence units using electronic warfare is the right decision based on Soviet experience, former head of the Russian anti-aircraft missile forces Lieutenant-General Alexander Gorkov told Izvestia.
“In the Soviet army there were EW battalions that were part of air defence corps and divisions,” he said. They were supposed to suppress the airborne radar stations of the aircraft and the channels of radio altimeters of cruise missiles. These units have proven their effectiveness. When the EW equipment was in operation, it was difficult to fly the planes, and the missiles went astray. Cruise missiles have areas where they adjust their location during the flight. Having come under the influence of the EW jammers, they rose much higher than the usual 50-meter altitude. When that happened, the missiles became easy targets for air defence systems.
The reform takes into account the combat experience gained in Syria. In particular, the attack of two UAVs on Khmeimim airfield in April of this year was seriously studied. At that time, the drones were intercepted by cooperation of the EW and air defence systems. After detecting targets, the EW complex drowned out the GPS signal in the area of the airfield, disabling the navigation and control system of the UAVs. Both drones immediately strayed off the course and began to circle erratically, becoming excellent targets for the air defence battery. As a result, they were destroyed by fire from the automatic guns of the Pantsir anti-aircraft cannon-missile system. Examination of the wreckage of the drones showed that they were armed with improvised suspended bombs.
NSS translation with a foreword by Vince Dhimos
Following is our translation of an article from ria.ru based on an article written by military expert Konstantin Sivkov, who holds a Doctor of Military Science.
I have noticed that reports on military affairs such as weapons systems, in US journals rarely mention the academic credentials of the authors, and when they do, their academic backgrounds are not generally of a military nature. For instance, in
this article from Military Times comparing Russian and US military capabilities, one of the co-authors is a former Pentagon bureau chief, ie, a bureaucrat, with no academic credentials listed, and the other author has no credentials specified in her bio.
And here’s a curious one: The CFR, an influencer of US military decision makers, published an article on the Russian military, authored by a well-known author who “writes on foreign policy and national security and his work has appeared in Foreign Affairs, the Atlantic, and Bloomberg.” His credentials? A BA in political science from Emory University and an MA in social theory from the New School.
Finally, the National Interest published an article titled “Russia vs America: Which Army Would Win a War?” The author’s bio provides no credentials that would make him a candidate as a writer for such a military-oriented publication, and in fact, no academic credentials at all.
Although publications like these are heavy on military news and analyses, and frequently mention “experts,” eg, “Pentagon experts,” they never seem to identify these “experts” let alone mention their credentials.
Is it any wonder that the US blunders into wars that it either outright loses or that completely destroy the target countries and murder hundreds of thousands of civilians, eg, the nearly half-million in the Iraq war – which was fought allegedly to save civilians from harm? Is it any wonder that, once the war is over, the US military cannot keep the peace and terrorists typically take over the “saved” countries? Is it any wonder that the latest poll taken among Middle Eastern young people to rate their trust in world powers showed that, in comparison to the previous poll, Russia is more trusted than the US?
Presidents routinely mouth the words “mission accomplished” for consumption by their constituents after their troops pull out. But the hearts and minds are already lost by then.
Expert on how to neutralize the missile threat from the United States.
Topic: US withdrawal from the INF Treaty
MOSCOW, November 14 - RIA Novosti. In order to fully neutralize the threat that the deployment of American medium-range ballistic missiles in Europe may create, Russia needs to develop a mobile component in the structure of its Strategic Nuclear Forces (SNF). Such an opinion was expressed by the Vice-President of the Russian Academy of Rocket and Artillery Sciences, Doctor of Military Sciences Konstantin Sivkov, in his article for the newspaper Voenno-Promyshlennyi Kurier (Military-Industrial Courier).
The expert analysed the strengths and weaknesses of intermediate range-range missiles, both cruise and ballistic, and concluded that their use against mobile nuclear missile systems is ineffective.
Therefore, the expert proposed a number of measures to improve the mobility of the entire system of strategic nuclear forces (Strategic Nuclear Forces).
First, according to Sivkov, with the emergence of any threat, it is necessary to introduce constant air patrols with the maximum possible number of strategic bombers, and at the same time radically expanding the strategic aviation basing system by creating military airfields based at civil airports.
Secondly, in the event of a rise in tension, an effective measure could be assigning all the missile submarines suitable for this purpose to combat patrol, the expert said.
Further, according to Sivkov, it is necessary to prepare a road network for mobile strategic missile systems such as Topol-M and Yars for wartime, since at the moment, in accordance with the START treaty, the routes of such systems are strictly regulated.
With regard to heavy silo-based missile systems, such as the R-36UTTH and the Sarmat complex currently under development, the expert proposed the following measures: building up missile defence forces and EW facilities in launch areas to improve their protection.
In addition, according to Sivkov, Russia must contemplate recreating rail-mobile strategic missile train systems (BZhRK) to confer mobility to Russian strategic missiles of the middle and heavyweight classes. At the same time, the expert noted Russia’s developed river network, which, in his opinion, would allow the use of suitable sea-going and river vessels as missile carriers.
Another effective measure in improving Russian nuclear forces will be, according to Sivkov, an increase in the fleet of long-range radar detection and control aircraft (AWACS), since at this point, in his opinion, there is a shortage of such aircraft.
Finally, to increase the combat stability of the control system of strategic nuclear forces, it is necessary to improve its mobile component, the expert believes.
“To put it figuratively, it is advisable to boost the control system with a kind of mobile Perimetr” (automatic control system for a massive nuclear response [known in the West as the Dead Hand]) with advanced functions,” said Sivkov.
According to the expert, there can be "rail, road, ship, and air control points and communications centres."
"Все перечисленное, безусловно, будет дорого стоить. Но сохранение национального суверенитета и парирование угроз Запада — дело заведомо недешевое. Впрочем, затраты на асимметричный ответ все равно окажутся существенно меньше и главное — эффективнее, чем на зеркальный", — заключил эксперт.
“All of the above will certainly be costly. But preserving national sovereignty and parrying Western threats is obviously not cheap. However, the costs for an asymmetric response will still be significantly less and most importantly more efficient than a symmetric response,” the expert concluded.
Earlier, US President Donald Trump said that the United States does not intend to comply with the Treaty on Intermediate Nuclear Forces when Moscow is violating it, and will withdraw from the treaty. The US President, commenting on the exit from the INF Treaty, also said that Washington would develop weapons.
Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow wants to get a more detailed explanation from the United States, and added that breaking the provisions of the INF Treaty would force Russia to take measures to ensure its security. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that any action in this area will meet with opposition.
In recent years, Moscow and Washington have regularly accused each other of violating the INF Treaty. Russia has repeatedly stated that it strictly complies with its obligations under the contract. Lavrov noted that Moscow has very serious questions for the United States about the implementation of the treaty by the Americans themselves.
In particular, in Moscow they indicate that the United States has stationed on land — at a military base in Romania, and also in Poland — installations capable of launching Tomahawk-type cruise missiles, which is prohibited by the agreement. The Russian side also draws attention to the fact that the United States is developing attack drone vehicles and funding research on the creation of a ground-based cruise missile.
Our translation of an article from ridus.ru, with a foreword by Vince Dhimos.
Our only comment is this. Smile, be happy, Admiral. Thank the Lord that these subs are not in the hands of an enemy of the Western people.
The US and NATO have tried to make Russia an enemy, sanctioning the country on the basis of suspicions and even lies, and by unilaterally pulling out of the INF, blaming the pullout on the Russians. But they have failed.
Russia refuses to be an enemy. But it is nobody's fool and will build up its defences in case it is attacked,
US Navy Admiral worried by Russian submarines
October 27, 201
Russia has a powerful submarine fleet and effective submarines, said the commander of the US Navy in Europe and Africa, Admiral James Foggo, who also heads the Joint Command of NATO forces in Naples.
He stressed that new-generation Russian submarines are a great danger and headache for NATO.
“The Russians have continued to invest in research, development and production of very efficient submarines, which are our most effective adversary,” the admiral told CNN.
He also drew attention to the number of submarines currently in service in the Russian Navy. According to him, there are currently about 40 combat submarines in Russia, with more than 20 of them concentrated in the Northern Fleet and can carry out their missions in the North Atlantic, as well as in the Arctic.
Foggo emphasized that Russia has increased the number of its submarines in the North Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean, which is a big problem for the leaders of the NATO countries.
“They have increased greatly in number, and operate in places where they have not acted before,” Foggo explained in an interview with the television channel.
Earlier, American media reported, citing their own sources in American intelligence, that by 2024 the Russian navy would receive eight submarines equipped with hypersonic missiles.
Last summer, the American edition of The National Interest immediately included three Russian submarines in the list of the most deadly deep-sea submersibles in the world.
NSS translation from EADaily.ru with a foreword by Vince Dhimos.
The Chicago Tribune has published a letter from a seroiusly unhinged reader demanding a “warm” war against Russia and referring to Trump’s “alarming restraint” in not waging war with another nuclear power.
Yes, I know it is pre-election time again in the USA, time to do and say weird things in the interest of “democracy.” But just the same, it is truly terrifying that the media would blame a president for not starting a war with a nuclear power and would blame him for too much “restraint.”
In all fairness to Elizabeth Bloom Albert, she said she only wants a warm war, but one in which Russia would be, figuratively speaking, brought to a boil in a pot of water in such a way that it could not “leap to safety.” But wouldn’t that in itself be an act of war? And what would be the fallout? I mean aside from strontium-90.
Based on this nightmarish op-ed, AEDaily.ru posted in Russian a thorough analysis of what would probably happen if NATO lost all sense of self-preservation and decided to attack Russia. It is a scenario worthy of the category Science Fiction.
There are some important passages in this analysis showing why the US could hardly successfully wage war against Russia.
It starts with brief examinations of the Napoleonic and German campaigns and why they failed.
For example, while Hitler’s troops in Operation Barbarossa were fabulously successful in Kiev, killing 600,000 Soviet fighters, the subsequent trek inland took more time than expected and the operation was impeded by the autumn slush that slowed the men and machines.
The fielded troops and materiel were sufficient for the parts of Russia close to Western Europe, but getting all those men and machines inland turned out to be a fatal problem.
The writer, who seems to be a Russian military analyst and historian, reminds us that the European NATO partners haven’t got enough military hardware to make a dent in Russia and the bulk of the mission would hinge for the most part on the US itself. The trouble with this scenario is that the transfer of sufficient materiel and men to the Russian border would take considerable time, with much of the US forces scattered all over the globe. Business Insider reports that the US has deployed 450,000 troops overseas, many of whom would have to be transferred to the Russian border. Contrast this US problem with the fact that Russia’s troops and war machines are already in place. And once Russia saw evidence of the build-up, it would already be in a position to start preparing a response and countering the US effort.
Here is a passage from the below analysis that should give the US military pause:
“In 1946–48, German generals who were captured by the Allies, were ordered by the Americans to investigate the reasons for the failure of the German invasion of the USSR in general and, in 1941, in particular. (1) The German generals concluded that the dedicated forces for the operation to seize Russia - 183 divisions and 13 brigades, a total of 5.5 million people, 3,712 tanks, 47,260 field guns and mortars, 4,950 combat aircraft - turned out to be insufficient.”
Now, in 2017, the US had 1,281,900 service members, with an additional 801,200 people in the seven reserve components. That’s about 2 million that could be fielded in a conflict. Yet Hitler threw 5.5 million troops into Operation Barbarossa and the German generals, post-war, assessed that this was not enough. The US also has about twice the number of combat aircraft as Hitler had, but Russia’s superior air defences and EW capabilities could offset this strength.
Two facts are instructive in this context.
1—According to thedrive.com and other sources, U.S. Army General Raymond Thomas, commander of US Special Forces, revealed that unspecified opponents, almost certainly the Russians, had been jamming the AC-130 aircraft used for close air support, air interdiction and armed reconnaissance.
“Right now in Syria, we’re in the most aggressive EW [electronic warfare] environment on the planet from our adversaries,” Thomas said. “They’re testing us every day, knocking our communications down, disabling our AC-130s, etcetera.” (Notice that, aside from empty threats from ambassadors and other political hacks, US officials’ remarks on Russia almost always sound whiney, while Russian officials sound professional).
“The gunships rely heavily on those systems to help locate and positively identify targets and then coordinate their attacks with other manned and unmanned aircraft and joint tactical air controllers on the ground.”
Revealingly, the general does not breathe a word about how the US plans to remedy this problem. It clearly has no solution.
2—After delivery of the Russian S-300 air defence systems to Syria, Russian defence minister Sergey Shoigu stated:
“In regions near Syria over the Mediterranean sea, there will be radio-electronic suppression of satellite navigation, on-board radar systems and communication systems of military aviation attacking objects on Syrian territory,”
And then, of course, nothing will stop Russian aerospace forces from shooting down US military communications satellites vital to central control operations in the Russian theatre. Clearly, Americans who now urge Trump to engage in a hot or “warm” war with Russia haven’t the foggiest idea what they are asking for.
QUOTE from Chicago Tribune:
“…Trump and his Republican brethren in Congress who are showing alarming restraint vis-a-vis Russia at a time when a will to fight for our democratic institutions and values has never been more needed.”
Note that the Democrats are willing to send their young to fight and die for this nebulous thing called “Western values,” which no one ever even attempts to define. Meanwhile, the Russians know exactly what they are defending. (Perhaps the US military needs to requisition 2 million white handkerchiefs with staffs).
Finally, while the author correctly states that Europe will oppose politically a US-led land war on Russia, there is an important factor that has been ignored, and that is: American conservatives in particular will object to such a war. Many of them feel that Russia’s traditional values are much closer to theirs than those that the elites in Washington are trying to shove down their throats. A war against Russia would therefore not be popular, and would fail for lack of support from the grassroots.
The following is our translation of a thorough expert analysis of how a NATO war with Russia would no doubt look. It is a long article and if you don’t have time to read the whole article, I recommend you save it as a reference. (And in case you have a deranged friend who thinks the US should invade Russia, you may want to send it to them.)
Warm War: Will NATO invade Russia in the footsteps of Napoleon and Hitler?
Letter published in the Chicago Tribune on July 27, 2018.
Make no mistake: We are at war with Russia. It is not a hot war with troops on the ground and bombs flying through the air. It is not a cold war with arms build-ups and classroom bomb drills. No, this is what I would call a Warm War, which is in many ways more insidious. It’s like the frog in tepid water heating up so gradually that by the time the water’s at a full boil the poor frog has lost its ability to leap to safety.
· Elizabeth Bloom Albert, Highland Park
Total war between the USA and Russia with the use of strategic nuclear weapons is suicidal for both sides - this is a generally accepted fact that is voiced by both politicians and the military from both sides. Well, what about the prospects for a big war between Russia and NATO using conventional weapons? Long ago, since the beginning of the 1960s, “sub-threshold” war was considered possible by the military and politicians. In this case, the term usually referenced the precedent of the Second World War, when chemical weapons accumulated in large quantities of weapons of mass destruction were not used by the parties to the conflict, even on the threshold of their military defeat. The presence of a similar potential of the enemy was restrained from the use of the agents, even in combat conditions. That is, theoretically a modern total war with the use of conventional weapons between major powers is possible. The military doctrine of the Russian Federation in 2000 determines its future potential: “The Russian Federation reserves the right to use nuclear weapons in response to the use of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction against it and (or) its allies, as well as in response to large-scale aggression with the use of conventional weapons in situations critical to the national security of the Russian Federation.” At the same time, obviously, the Supreme Commander, the President of Russia, will determine the critical situation. That is, he may or may not determine “criticality.”
After 2014, in mutual hostile rhetoric - through publications in the media, statements by politicians and the military, etc., the military conflict with the use of conventional weapons between the Russian Federation and NATO became a routine topic when discussing future military prospects. The war in Donbass and the annexation of the Crimea created a potential local theatre for the future military conflict, which was believed to grow out of the current proxy war, in which future adversaries act as such in disguise. Then this veil will be dropped. American political scientist George Friedman, in his analytical resource Stratfor, even invented a model of escalating war, by analogy with American participation in the world wars of the twentieth century. Friedman dreamed that, through the Ukrainian conflict, the Eastern European allies of the United States would be drawn into the war with Russia at its second stage. The United States itself will come to this war as a decisive force at the end of the curtain - to finish it “as usual.” So far, the US has supplied the Ukrainian army with old Soviet weapons from the arsenals of Eastern European NATO, but they clearly do not want to openly enter a conventional war with the Russian Federation alone without the United States.
In 2016, analysts of American Rand Corp. threw into the information space the topic of the war between Russia and NATO using conventional weapons in the Baltic States, ie, again in the limited space of the European theatre of operations. According to the Rand scenario, in the event of a Russian invasion of the Baltic states, NATO troops deployed there will inevitably suffer a crushing defeat. After that, there will be a strategic pause to resolve the US’ fundamental question: is it worth continuing the war with a build-up of US forces in the European theatre of operations, or should we recognize that this should not be done? The threat of losing Chicago is not equivalent to the real loss of little Tallinn over there. A refusal to escalate, from the standpoint of Rand experts, would mean the end of NATO.
Rand’s publication on the war with the use of conventional weapons in the Baltic States has given rise to many speculative insinuations in the Western media, and among local politicians there are statements like: “go ahead and try it, Putin.”
In response, the Russian side from the highest level began to warn that any military conflict between the Russian Federation and NATO would not remain at the stage of using conventional weapons and would segue into a war with the use of nuclear weapons. The American media claim that Russia privately warned US Secretary of Defence James Mattis that in the situation of the war in the Baltic States, Russia would not hesitate to use tactical nuclear weapons against NATO in small quantities. Since 2014, the West has been warning the Russian leadership that limited use of tactical nuclear weapons by Russian troops would be followed by a response with tactical nuclear weapons. It is better in a military conflict to remain at the stage of using conventional weapons than to inflict nuclear damage, albeit limited, to the European part of Russia.
So far, the mentioned speculations about a possible future military conflict between NATO and the Russian Federation in the Donbass or in the Baltic states indicate an interest in narrowing the possible theatre of military operations to the local level, while the line of possible military confrontation in the European theatre goes clearly beyond this. The future theatre extends 1.8 thousand kilometres from south to north from the Black Sea to the Baltic. The main task of a hypothetical NATO war is to inflict a quick defeat on Russia, which will force the country’s political system to collapse. In principle, this is what Hitler hoped for in his time, directing his blitzkrieg against Russia.
Theoretically, such a goal is seen by opponents of Russia as achievable if the latter’s armed forces are defeated and the capital of the country, Moscow, is occupied - for some reason, the line of occupation is usually established along the Volga. Thus, in order to achieve a military victory over Russia, it is necessary to carry out a military invasion of our territory, to conduct a ground-based offensive operation. The most convenient way to do this is from west to east in the European theatre of operations. The peculiarity of this approach is the presence of two possible operational directions - corridors for invasion - spaces to the north and south of the Pinsk marshes separating Belarus and right-bank Ukraine. The operational direction along the northern corridor passes through the territory of the Baltic States and Belarus. South, ie, south of the Pinsk marshes, is on the territory of Ukraine. Let us review the story. In 1812, Napoleon attacked exclusively along the northern corridor: the main forces were aimed at Moscow through Belarus; auxiliary forces were sent from the Baltic to Riga and from Polotsk to St. Petersburg. Napoleon’s use of a single operational line to invade Russia was a known strategic risk. If the Western Third Reserve Army (Tormasov) deployed in Volhynia and the Danube Army (Chichagov) that approached it had had better guidance and more capable commanders, acting more decisively, then in September 1812 they could have cut Napoleon’s main communications in Lithuania and Belarus, while Napoleon was then still very far away - in Moscow. The collapse of Napoleon in Russia could have be more decisive.
In 1941, as we know, the German Wehrmacht invaded Russia (Soviet Union) simultaneously in three operational directions: along the northern and southern corridors and along the Pinsk Marshes. The Northern Corridor launched an offensive in two directions - to Leningrad through the Baltic States and to Moscow via Belarus. The main blow was aimed at Moscow. The southern operational direction of the offensive was from Polesie to the Black Sea in Ukraine with the main blow falling on Kiev. While advancing on a broad front from the Baltic to the Black Sea, the Germans were forced to synchronize their offensive along these two corridors through Belarus and Ukraine, for fear that the Russians from the south, from Ukraine, would strike a smashing blow at the Wehrmacht troops ahead, which would lead to a collapse of “Barbarossa.” [Operation Barbarossa was the name of the German invasion of Russia—Translator] By mid-August 1941, it turned out that in the configuration of the front that had taken shape after the Battle of Smolensk, Army Group Centre was not able to attack Moscow. Therefore, in the twenties of August 1941, Hitler decided to turn part of the forces of Army Group Centre southward. General Heinz Guderian, a participant in the events as commander of the 2nd Panzer Group deployed to the south, assessed the incident in his memoirs, “Soldier’s Memories”: “The battle for Kiev undoubtedly was a major tactical success. However, the question of whether this tactical success was also of major strategic importance remains in doubt.”
This was an unprecedented victory in military history — the destruction of 600,000 Red Army troops in Ukraine — but was just a “tactical success” that could not compensate for the subsequent strategic failure.
Due to the reversal of Guderian’s tank group and of one army southward toward Moscow, a strategic pause arose. The Germans here were able to resume their offensive in late September and early October 1941, that is, after the autumn slush had formed. As a result, the blitzkrieg failed. The Germans suffered a strategic defeat near Moscow, which was the prologue of Germany’s general defeat in the war.
In 1946–48, German generals who were captured by the Allies, were ordered by the Americans to investigate the reasons for the failure of the German invasion of the USSR in general and, in 1941, in particular. (1) The German generals concluded that the dedicated forces for the operation to seize Russia - 183 divisions and 13 brigades, a total of 5.5 million people, 3,712 tanks, 47,260 field guns and mortars, 4,950 combat aircraft - turned out to be insufficient. Actually, Hitler’s motorized units were not large enough to seize vast Russian territory and exercise control over it. And then the attacking battle formations of the Germans themselves were not deep. In 1941 in the East, they did not possess powerful reserves, as they had during the war on the Western front in 1940. The territory of the local theatre of military operations was of such a form that the Germans had to attack along the expanding corridors as they advanced to the east. It turned out that the further the Germans moved east, the wider their front became and the line of German attacking troops became thinner. Ultimately, it thinned so much it broke.
Disputes about the invasion strategy began. American critics pointed out to German generals that they should have initially focused on capturing the basins of the Black and Baltic Seas by aviation and navy. Here the ground forces had to play a secondary role in order to focus them on the main lines of attack on the centres of Russia. However, the Germans replied that such a plan was not feasible, because their air force and navy were too weak. Disputes arose about actions in the directions and the choice of the goal of the main attack. The Kiev episode with a reversal of part of the “Centre” group’s connections to the south was blamed on Hitler’s “unprofessionalism”. They also remembered that in May 1941, Field Marshal von Rundstedt, the future commander of Army Group South, warned of the impossibility of defeating Russia in a single summer campaign. “We must prepare for a long war and gradually achieve our goals,” he said. In the campaign of 1941, strong army group “North” should have captured Leningrad. This would have made it possible to connect with the Finns, destroy the Soviet Baltic fleet and increase their influence on Sweden. Army groups “South” and “Centre” should have been limited to moving no further than the Odessa- Kiev-Orsha-Lake Ilmen line. If it had then turned out that in 1941 there was still time before the winter cold, Moscow should have been attacked from two directions: from the north-west by the North army group and from the west by army group Centre. If difficulties with schedule had been planned for, then this and all further operations would have been postponed until 1942, when new plans could be developed based on real conditions. However, the main drawback of this proposal by Field Marshal Rundstedt was of a fundamental nature - he initially ruled out the very idea of a Blitzkrieg, but a long war could have been (and was) fatal for Germany.
As a result, the analyst and former General Günther Blumentritt stated the main cause of the failure of the invasion of Russia: “From a political viewpoint, the most fatal decision was to attack this country [Russia] in the first place. Now we had to wage war with a stronger adversary than the one we had met heretofore. In the vast expanses of the East, it was impossible to count on easy victories ... One should be very careful in evaluating the forces of the enemy. It is better to overestimate than to underestimate them. ” These conclusions and the historical aura of Russia’s invincibility obviously influence the determination of modern opponents of Russia to attack it by military intervention. Blumentritt’s conclusion “we had to wage war with a stronger adversary,” is evident in the current warnings of Western experts: “we will have to wage war with a stronger adversary than the ones we have met so far.”
Conventional war with conventional arms against the Russian Federation in the European theatre of military operations remains a rather problematic matter because of the considerable width of the front, with its features as operating corridors and the depth of the theatre. So far, NATO’s eastward advance along the existing operational corridors “north and south of the Pinsk Marshes” has created the most unfavourable configuration for the land operation of the Americans and their allies. Further, the enemy has now advanced in Ukraine, pushing the one hundred thousand strong grouping of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to the Donbass. It potentially threatens the entire South of Russia, being 650 km from Volgograd (Stalingrad), 500 km from Krasnodar and 950 km from Grozny. However, the NATO-led Ukrainian army is now in the Donbass sitting in an operating pocket, literally inviting its opponent to repeat what Guderian and Kleist did in September 1941 with the South-Western Front. In military terms, the existing strategic configuration of the operational deployment with the forces involved in the east of Ukraine is hopeless for NATO in the event of the outbreak of a war by conventional weapons. As the well-known soldier Švejk discovered America,” [refers to the character Josef Švejk in a satirical Czech novel, who achieved wins by doing apparently stupid things] noting that “a unit surrounded on all sides must certainly surrender.” Any textbook military strategist would view the present situation the same way, without taking into account the political behaviour of the notorious “Kremlin towers.”
The situation regarding the operational direction in the Baltic States can be viewed similarly. The only land communication line connects this with Poland through the so-called “Suwalki corridor,” which is very vulnerable to attack from the north and south. The initial operational configuration for land warfare in the European theatre of operations against Russia is also unfavourable for NATO at this point.
Another important problem: what must be the size of the NATO grouping to make for successful land offensive operations and to conquer Russia? As we noted above, the German military considered that 5.5 million for the invasion of Russia was not enough in 1941. Of course, now modern military technologies require smaller, but more efficient armed forces. That is, it may take less than five million. But still, how many? After all, there may be fewer due to losses incurred by modern weapons and the clash with Russia’s technologically modern armed forces. How many?
For comparison. During the 1991 Gulf War, the Americans gathered forces roughly equal in size to the Iraqi armed forces opposing them. Only 450 thousand US troops were deployed. After 12 years, in the spring of 2003, numerically about the same-sized group was created for operation “Iraqi Freedom” - about 466 thousand US military personnel. Following this logic, for the war with the use of conventional weapons in the European theatre of operations, the Americans should deploy invasion forces that are roughly equal in number to the opposing forces of Russia, and this will be more than one million people. And at the same time it is still not clear whether the required depth should be created at the onset. The land war with Iraq of 1991 and 2003 in terms of scale and front of attack was a front-line operation of medium size. The offensive was carried out by two operational groups from the territory of Kuwait and Jordan. Military operations were carried out on a territory with a total area of more than 150 thousand square km, which is less than the territory of Belarus. Here, Russia will have to act on several fronts in a space extending 1,800 km from north to south and to a depth of 750 km and more. A simple calculation using Iraqi standards shows that, with the existing manning system, the Americans do not have a land army of a size sufficient to carry out an offensive of a similar scale.
At the same time, from the viewpoint of the opponents of Russia, a military campaign against it in one summer season is ideal - only five months allotted by nature, favourable for conducting military actions. Otherwise, as the campaign against the enemy forces invading Russia begins, the unusually harsh cold climate and features of an undeveloped infrastructure, in comparison with Europe, come into play.
To carry out a short-term campaign, the Americans implement the concept of “coordinated ground warfare” (eng. Unified Land Operations), which has been in place since 2011. This is the development of the concept of air-ground operations (English AirLand Battle). And this and more is modern development of the Soviet “deep offensive operation” of the World War II era. The basic principles of this kind of offensive are initiative, depth, speed, and coordination of action. The defeat of the enemy forces is applied to the entire depth of the operational formation of their first echelon. A deep defeat implies a manoeuver into the depth of the enemy’s battle formations with the aim of destroying, blocking or disorganizing its reserves and parts of the second echelon. The success of such operations is based on forcing the enemy troops to conduct positional defence due to air supremacy of American aircraft.
In 2003, in such operations, US ground forces demonstrated a high rate of advance — advancing up to 100 km in the direction of the main attack in the first days of the offensive. Active hostilities to seize the territory of Iraq were completed in 25 days. From the Kuwaiti-Iraqi border to the final point of the offensive - the city of Tikrit, American troops covered a distance greater than 600 km. For comparison, the distance from Tallinn to St. Petersburg is 369 km. The distances from the Donbass to the Russian centres of the South are stated above.
However, now the US military fears that in a clash with a technically prepared adversary - represented by the Russian army, the key technological advantages of the American troops will be lost, which will lead to failure in one or more units of the Unified Land Operation. Russian air defences, electronic warfare, accurate missiles and long-range artillery will disrupt the air offensive, disrupt the control of troops and inflict fire on the upcoming US units.
Next significant point. At present, the Americans in the European theatre of operations do not have the forces to conduct a land war with conventional weapons against the Russian Federation. They are not sufficient even for one army or a front-line operation. By the time of the crisis events in Ukraine in 2014, the American military presence in Europe was reduced to 24 thousand personnel. In the European theatre of operations, only two United States ground forces remained: the US 173rd Airborne Brigade in Italy (Vicenza) and the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in Germany (Vilseck) - in practice, light motorized riflemen from four battalions (squadrons) in Stryker armoured combat vehicles. All army, corps and divisional headquarters were disbanded by that time. In 2016, at the session of the NATO Council in Warsaw, it was decided that as of 2017, four reinforced battalion tactical groups of a multinational composition of up to 1 thousand military personnel each would be deployed on a rotational basis in the Baltic States and Poland. In this scenario, the American battalion should be located in Poland. Since 2017, the 1st Tank Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division of the US Army has been deployed on a rotational basis, one battalion each in Poland, Romania and the Baltic States. The 88 tanks in its arsenal are all that Americans have in terms of heavy armoured vehicles in Europe. On the territory of Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands there are plans to store weapons and military equipment for another brigade of the US ground forces. As a result, the American military presence in Europe increased to 29-30 thousand personnel. Not much different from the 2014 situation.
Because of the potential available for building up forces in Europe, the Americans could quickly engage the USNATO response force (NRF), which has 13,000 troops in constant readiness. In addition, the 82nd Airborne Division from North Carolina could be airlifted to Europe within a few days. But none of these units have any heavy weapons. Of course, all this taken together is completely insufficient for waging a land war against the Russian armed forces, even in the limited space of a single front-line operation in the Baltic States or in Left Bank Ukraine.
For 2017, the payroll of American army ground forces amounted to 476 thousand in the regular army and 343 thousand in the National Guard. Separately, up to 200 thousand people are members of the Marine Corps, consisting of three divisions, about 20 thousand people each. In total, all of this is not enough to conquer Russia with action on a broad front. But it is enough to conduct a land war in a limited local space in the territory of the European theatre, for example, in the Baltic States.
It is known that the overall scope of the US armed forces exceeds the Russian counterpart. However, unlike our troops, they are largely stationed at bases outside the United States. The United States has 600 military installations in 40 countries. Because of this peculiarity of accommodation, American ground forces cannot be deployed all at once in the European theatre of operations. Therefore, the important question here is: how fast and in what quantity can the Americans send their troops to the European theatre of military operations for a land war with the Russian Federation. In terms of concentration, Russia has an obvious advantage here, and that is, the proximity of mobilization resources and the opportunity to act on internal communications. Now the Americans can only count on a fairly quick transfer of their combat aircraft from the American continent to the front-line zone. That is, air operations are quite possible, in the case of a Russian offensive strategic military operation in eastern Ukraine, for example, a few days after its start, some NATO air resistance would be feared. It is a definite reality.
Now about the possibilities of the American concentration of ground forces. For example. In January 2003, the original land group of Americans for the war with Iraq consisted of 17 thousand personnel. Over three months, it was increased six times. As a result, in the offensive against Iraq in March 2003, the American land group deployed consisted of up to 112,000 personnel, about 500 tanks, over 1,200 armoured combat vehicles, about 900 guns, MLRS [multiple launch rocket systems] and mortars, over 900 helicopters and up to 200 anti-aircraft missile complexes.
The transfer of one American division with standard armament and equipment from the continental US and its deployment in Kuwait took 40 days. The transfer of formations, units and subunits was carried out by a combination of routes: heavy weapons and military equipment were delivered, as a rule, by sea, and personnel with small arms and equipment were delivered by air, on military transport aircraft and by civilian airlines. The Third Infantry Division US troops received their heavy weapons from warehouses in Kuwait. In total, the transfer of US expeditionary forces destined to invade Iraq in 1991 took four months. In 2003, it took six months to prepare for the invasion operation in Iraq at all stages of preparation.
The transfer of ground forces with their weapons and the concentration of military groups will take a lot of time, due not only to the long distances, but also to the state of transport infrastructure in Europe. In addition, it should be borne in mind that modern American armed forces have become extremely dependent on supply. It is difficult to supply a large group of ground forces correctly and in sufficient quantities during combat operations. The other day, in an interview with Voice of America, former US commander in Europe, Ben Hodges, complained: “I don’t think we need more German tanks. We need more German trains. At present, the carrying capacity of railways for the movement of NATO troops, European troops or any troops in Europe is insufficient. The infrastructure of roads and bridges in Eastern Europe needs to be expanded ... Why not include investment in infrastructure that has value for the military in these two percent [of mandatory national military expenditures according to NATO standards]?”
So, the prospect of a large ground war with conventional weapons between the United States and Russia on a broad front in the European theatre of operations now seems unlikely. The reality is that it will take the US many months to gather strength in Eastern Europe which has only some hope of gaining the upper hand over the Russian military. A major land war cannot be sudden, since a long period of transfer and concentration of US troops and heavy weapons in the European theatre of operations will be required. Now a land war seems unlikely, but possible. The fighting may follow a period of steady increase in tension, mutual threats and warnings. This time lag would allow the US to move troops to Europe. But to do so inconspicuously is absolutely impossible. The start of the war will be detected by the mass transfer and concentration of American troops in Europe. Prior to this, there is no opportunity for such a war. Now only the initial deployment of NATO’s military infrastructure in the Baltic-Black Sea region is underway. High technologies are rather fragile and require a very complex network of support, maintenance and repair.
For general reasons, if NATO invades Russia, it is fully capable of being defeated in a land war using conventional weapons. NATO does not have the necessary and sufficient ground potential for such a war with the current organization of the US armed forces. In the course of military operations, US ground forces may remain without the usual air and sea support. Capturing small territories does not make sense at the risk of suffering a general defeat. Since none of the belligerents now has the ability to invade the enemy’s territory and take enough space to force him to surrender, the war from the first cycle to the second will turn into a simple tug of war, which in itself will be a strategic failure for the United States - tantamount to defeat.
There are general considerations that make one view with skepticism the prospect of a large land war in Europe between NATO and the Russian Federation. The fact is that large military alliances are not at all a guarantee of victory. The United States remains the only genuine military force in NATO, and US military and political leaders are well aware of this. Non-American capabilities of NATO without direct American participation are negligible.
Conversely, management of Allied troops may be difficult. Speaking of NATO, the reality is that NATO does not exist without the United States. The United States is the only NATO country that really has combat significance. European allies will not agree at this point to the outbreak of a major American war in Europe. They will offer political resistance to American efforts in this area.
Advanced deployment does not provide major advantages in the case of an actual large-scale land war. From a purely military viewpoint, the current deployment of American forces in the Baltic States, Poland and Romania is primarily of purely political importance. Of course, looking at the American presence in these countries, we are looking at their capabilities, and not the officially proclaimed intentions. But the range of action of modern weapons is such that in the event of war in Europe there will be no real “front” and “rear”, and the means deployed closer to us will become more vulnerable.
In general, summing up, it should be concluded that the prospect of a large land war in the European theatre of operations is rather a political threat from the general set of measures to pressure Russia - what is called a “warm war” in the epigraph to this article. Nevertheless, the prospects of a small land war with conventional weapons in a limited theatre of operations may turn out to be quite real, and they are actively discussing this in the Western media.
More on this this in the sequel.
Our translation from politexpert.net follows. The depth of denial in the US is both laughable and sad at the same time. News sites on both the right and left reflect a willing ignorance of things beyond US borders, especially things Russian and Chinese. Conservative sites, for example, follow a rigid pattern such that readers-commentators who admit that the Russians have some truly formidable weapons without any Westarn analogs are routinely called “commies,” even though the US intel agencies and Pentagon admit this as well. Clearly there is a campaign to keep Americans in the dark as long as possible, and this can only be politically motivated. Among the civilian population, there are clear signs of deep denial psychosis.
"Burevestnik" - not Russia’s last surprise: the US has begun to realize the loss of its superiority
Russia will not demonstrate to the US the availability of its innovative Burevestnik cruise missiles, until they, like the Kalibrs, strike terrorists. At that point, all the questions will fall by the wayside.
This statement was made by military expert Alexander Perendzhiev, in an interview to the publication "Version. The basis for comment by the expert was the story on the American CNBC television channel, in which US specialists assured that Russia is still very far from the introduction of the nuclear-propelled cruise missile "Burevestnik." According to Perengdiyev, the Americans deliberately try to present information about the missile tests in Russia from the standpoint of setbacks. This time they assure that the "Burevestnik" tests had failed, although this is only their imagination. If the missile did not exist, as reported on CNBC, then there would be no talk about it on US television channels.
Americans simply do not want to accept the truth, although they have already begun to realize that they are losing their military advantage over Russia, the expert said. The breakthrough in the development of military hardware and systems in the Russian Federation is very damaging to America's self-esteem, Perengiev said. And the saddest thing for them is that the Burevestnik will not be the last surprise that Russia is prepared to present. The new missile systems of the Russian Federation completely deprive the US of implementing a strategy of military domination in the world, since the United States is not able to withstand Russia's new generation missiles.
According to the expert, Russia is behavng very competently in not trying to prove to Americans the availability of innovative weapons. A similar situation was observed during the development of the cruise missiles Kalibr. The United States assured everyone that the missile could not fly even 800 km, but when Syrian targets of terrorists were attacked from a distance of more than 2,500 km, all the questions the States may have had dropped by themselves. "Burevestnik" is able to repeat this scenario, summed up Perengiev.
Author: Artem Kolchin
Our translation of an editorial from riafan.ru.
Now this site has been condemned by a US group that frets that Russia is using propaganda. However, if riafan is “propaganda,” why does the report translated in the following match up so perfectly with a plethora of articles written by Western analysts.
Our article says that as soon as ISIS is “defeated” in one area of Iraq, it pops up again. Here is what a treatise published by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University of Dayton says:
“As soon as U.S. troops pulled out of these countries, the terrorists popped right back up once again. Major cities in Iraq that had been won over on the blood of coalition troops were taken back with ease by insurgents.”
Our translation goes farther, detailing the reason why this happens and suggesting sensible remedies.
What the American Russia haters can’t explain is why the Russians would publish serious articles in Russian and hence intended solely for domestic consumption – for example, by military experts – if the purpose is to propagandize Westerners. Even if that were the purpose (and assuming Westerners could read Russian), then a lot of Russian military experts would also swallow the “propaganda” and use the false information contained therein to solve military and foreign policy problems. The results would be potentially disastrous. Obviously, that is not happening. The fact is, Russia provides more serious and accurate deep analysis for their public than the US provides for its “experts,” whom it desperately tries to convince that Iran – the boots on the ground fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq -- is a terror sponsor while Saudi Arabia – the true sponsor or Al-Qaeda and ISIS -- is worthy of being a US ally.
The clouds of ISIS gather again over Iraq: how the militants managed to return so quickly from the underground in the east of the country
5 May 2018
Official Baghdad and representatives of the Pentagon rushed to declare the complete defeat of the "Islamic state" (banned in Russia) in Iraq around the same time that Damascus together with representatives of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in the Syrian Arab Republic to liquidate this terrorist organization in Syria - at the end last year. However, the former, as the current situation in the country shows, was clearly a premature conclusion.
According to FAN sources, a serious threat of an ISIS comeback has hung over the province of Kirkuk. Thus, the terrorist gangs have regained control over almost the entire area of the town of Havidzh and are now seizing parts of the key Baghdad-Kirkuk road. Meanwhile, there are about five thousand US military deployed In the region, but they do little to counter the ISIS revival in the country, always moving only as part of reinforced military convoys and only during the daytime. [NSS emphasis]
A difficult situation is developing in the suburbs of the city of Kirkuk itself. The Iraqi army is losing control over the situation in its vicinity: entire neighbourhoods are not actually subordinated to the authorities, and government checkpoints on the outskirts are constantly being attacked by militants. As a result of acts of sabotage and terrorist attacks in this region, people are dying almost daily, the police alone had 54 officers killed in the past month.
Another major source of instability is the neighbouring province of Diyala. The Iraqi forces and US armed forces have so far not been able to liquidate the "sleeper cells" of ISIS active in the region. To date, their total number is already about 1500 militants. They have even created several bases in the outskirts of the settlements of Mandali and Khanakin. Meanwhile, slightly to the north - in the province of Sulaymaniyah - members of ISIS have established contacts with militants operating in Iran from the terrorist group "Junod Al-Islam." Now, jihadists jointly conduct raids, including on Iranian territory. [NSS emphasis]
Thus, due to a significant deterioration of the situation in the east of the country, official Baghdad is forced to retain considerable forces there. Meanwhile, the remaining part of the troops is not sufficient for full-fledged security in the west of Iraq, especially near the Syrian territories. As a result, only about 20% of the Syrian-Iraqi border is now under government control.
"The Islamic State" has managed not only to preserve its remaining positions in Iraq, but also to regain control over part of the territories in various regions of the country. The reason for this survivability of this terrorist organization is that the American forces conducted only a decorative fight against ISIS and destroyed only the visible tip of the iceberg. [NSS emphasis] This opinion was expressed in a commentary for FAN by the associate professor of the Department of Political Science and Sociology of the Russian Academy of Economics in the name of GV Plekhanov, veteran of military service Alexander Perendzhiev.
"Iraq is actually the birthplace of ISIS, and here terrorists have managed to establish deep roots. Initially, the grouping was based on the secret organization that was preserved and remained after Saddam Hussein, but later American security services reoriented it to the frankly radical Islamist project that it has become. And it is important to understand at the same time that the "Islamic state" at the time when it was at the peak of power, consisted of two parts: visible structures - the very quasi-formation - and a network of secret cells. This explains its survivability. Losing the visible part, the organization quietly withdraws into the shadow structure, after which it gradually again partially comes out, looking for weaknesses in the defences. Often this happens with the help of external support," noted our interlocutor.
The Americans operating in Iraq fought only against the outer shell of ISIS, and that was not very successful, but most importantly, they did not focus on confronting terrorists at other levels, the expert also stressed. This is the reason why the "Islamic state" is now again rapidly gaining strength in this country.
"Money is being invested in ISIS and, therefore, it is impossible to destroy this organization only by military means. Here we must work on the real overlapping of financial flows, overlapping of the opportunity to feed on human resources. To do this, we must skilfully confront terrorists in the information and ideological field,” concluded Alexander Perendzhiev.
Original Russian language source: https://riafan.ru/1053855-irak-vnov-nakryvayut-tuchi-ig-kak-boevikam-udalos-tak-bystro-vernutsya-iz-podpolya-na-vostoke-strany
Our translation of an article from Kommersant follows. Commentary to be posted separately.
Damascus can get Russian SAMs very soon
Kommersant has learned that Russia can in the near future begin delivery of S-300 "Favorit" anti-aircraft missile systems (SAM) to Syria. Back in 2010, Damascus contracted to purchase these SAMs, but in the implementation stage the contract was cancelled at the request of Israel, which feared for its airspace. This time, according to Kommersant's information, the Favorit will be carried out on a no-cost basis, so that in a short time on their basis a Syrian air defence system capable of covering Damascus and the protection of aircraft from shelling can be created. Experts believe that the reaction of the Israeli military to such a move will be predictably negative, and some do not rule out the possibility of their attacking the locations of the S-300 deployment.
Statements about the readiness to supply Damascus with S-300 complexes were made for the first time a few hours after the United States, Great Britain and France performed a massive missile and bomb attack on Syria. The first of these statements was made by the chief of the operational headquarters of the RF Armed Forces General Staff Sergei Rudskaya: "Taking into account what has happened, we consider it possible to return to consideration of this issue - and not only for Syria, but also for other states."
On April 16, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with the BBC: "we are prepared to consider all the necessary steps to help the Syrian army contain aggression." And on April 20 he directly told RIA Novosti that after the last shelling of Syria, "we now have no moral obligations." On the same day, Vladimir Putin held a meeting with the Chief of the General Staff of the RF Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu: at the meeting, according to an official report, "some aspects of the situation in Syria" were discussed. No other details were reported.
Two military and diplomatic sources of Kommersant maintain that the issue of transferring the SAMs to the Syrian army, which was "mostly on the political plane," was practically solved.
It is assumed that components of the S-300 (radar stations, transport and loading machines, control posts, launchers, etc.) will soon be delivered to the republic either by air transport aircraft or by the Russian Navy.
The department of information and mass communications of the Ministry of Defence could not answer Kommersant’s questions on the subject of the S-300 in Syria over the weekend.
The S-300 could have appeared in Syria much earlier. In 2010, the Ministry of Defence of the Syrian Arab Republic and the special exporter of Russian arms Rosoboronexport signed a contract for the supply of four battalions of SAMs in the version of the S-300PMU-2. The contract was first hampered by the civil war that began in Syria 2011 - only the radar stations were transferred to the customer, but not the rest of the equipment (including launchers and missiles).
In addition to internal circumstances, there were external ones: the Syrian S-300 supply was constantly criticized by Israel, who believed that, having received such a powerful weapon, the Syrian military could control its airspace. Eventually, at the request of Tel Aviv, the contract was cancelled. "The Israelis expressed concern about the delivery of the same S-300 systems to another country in the region, since the S-300 can hit Israeli territory from its territory," President Vladimir Putin said during a direct line on April 16, 2015, clarifying that Russia returned to the customer about $400 million in advance. Subsequently, these S-300PMU-2s were adapted to the requirements of another customer - Iran, who bought them for $1 billion (see Kommersant, November 10, 2015).
This time, the S-300 is to be transferred to Syria as part of military-technical assistance. At least, as the interlocutor of Kommersant says in the military-technical cooperation sphere, there is no money for the purchase of new systems of this type as "Syrians do not have money," and no credit is included in Russia's plans (although, according to RIA Novosti, Syria has still purchased on a commercial basis more than 40 units of anti-aircraft missile-gun systems "Pantsir-C1").
One way or another, the most probable is the supply to the republic of systems already used by the armed forces of the Russian Federation.
Together with the Soviet systems S-125 [Pechora, see Rosboronexport sales pamphlet in References below], S-200, Buk, Kvadrat and Osa, they will form the basis of the echeloned Syrian air defence, which will be able to shield not only Damascus, but also a number of military bases from possible attacks by Israel and the US coalition, where Syrian aviation is stationed and Iranian military instructors are located. According to Colonel Viktor Murakhovsky, for such tasks in Syria it makes sense to transfer at least three or four divisions of the air defence system of this type. Recall that Russian anti-aircraft missile systems S-400 protect airspace in Khmeimim and Masyafa, and the S-300V4 cover the logistics centre of the Russian Navy in Tartus. According to Sergei Rudskoy [chief of Main Operations Directorate], during the bombardment on the night of April 14, none of the missiles in the zone of operation of Russia’s own air defence weapons was used.
The reaction of Israeli officials to Russia's plans to deploy the S-300 in Syria has not yet been received. But former high-ranking officials, including ex-head of the intelligence department of the Israeli Defence Forces Amos Yadlin, believe that the Israeli military will inflict a blow on the SAMs. In Tel Aviv, they will react to deliveries of the S-300 to Syria very nervously, but now in Syria "everyone fishes in muddy watera," says the director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies Ruslan Pukhov: "After the April strike, Russia had to somehow answer The United States and its allies, and, apparently, the option was selected with the demonstrative support of Bashar Assad."
Moscow believes that the deployment of the S-300 in Syria will stabilize the situation and will not allow the Israelis and the US-led coalition to destroy civil and military infrastructure unhampered.
At least the head of the Council of the Federation Council on Defence Viktor Bondarev believes that "the presence of highly effective defensive weapons in the arsenal of any sovereign country will sober the hotheads not only among the NATO military and generals." At the same time, it will take a long time to train the Syrian officers to manage the S-300: the former deputy head of the Russian Air Force for the CIS Joint Air Defence System Aitech Bizhev believes that this will take about three months. At the same time, according to Kommersant's information, in the places where they are deployed, Russian military advisers will be stationed first to coordinate the actions of the Syrian experts. And if Israel decides to launch rocket strikes on the locations of the S-300 deployment, the consequences, according to Kommersant sources, "will be catastrophic for all sides."
Source of original Russian-language post: https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/3612197
Rosboronexport pamphlet relating to the S-125 (Pechora) system:
NSS translation and commentary
On April 11, 2018, Business Insider posted an analysis of Russian air defences in an article ominously titled “Russia's newest anti-air defences are in Syria — and the US should be worried.”
The author states “Russia's air defences are significantly more capable than American counterparts, especially when working together.”
It is clear that the authors of the article appearing in our translation below are eager to see how Russian air defences measure up against US cruise missiles. Far from discouraging them, Trump has in fact given them a rare testing ground for their new defences and an opportunity to attract arms buyers if things work out well for the Russians.
An article from RIA Novosti of April 9 reported that Russia has sent 40 Pantsir air defence systems to Syria ahead of the planned US attack that Trump has promised.
Below is our translation of an article from Vzglyad showing what we can expect of Trump’s attack on Syria should it materialize.
The S-400 and Pantsir are preparing for a grandiose test in Syria
The battle in the Syrian sky will show the extent to which our missile defence system has learned to shoot down the notorious "Tomahawks."
April 11, 2018, 21:35
By Yuri Zainashev and Mikhail Moshkin
Syria, before our very eyes, is turning into a stage on which a grand military performance will be held - deflection of the mass attack with American cruise missiles by Russian air defence systems. Who will eventually be the winner – the Tomahawks or S-400 and Pantsir-S1 systems? What will be considered a success for each of the parties? The reputation of Russian weapons is at stake, but not only that.
Combat test drive on a world scale
"Russian air defence systems in Syria have an opportunity to show everything they are capable of," a source close to the Russian Defence Ministry commented to the newspaper VZGLYAD. This kind of test is worth a lot, the source notes.
"For the military all over the world, this will be an extremely important lesson - the analysis of this strike and its deflection will long be handled by the headquarters of all the leading military powers of the world," the general believes. Another subject of analysis will be how the electronic warfare complexes (EW) work when deflecting missile strikes.
The general points out that the amount of resources and time the enemy spends on countering air defences is important. In his view, Russia has brought to the Arab Republic "a lot of different air defence systems, from the most remote acting to close-up acting." And for modern air defence systems, non-manoeuvring cruise missiles do not pose a particular problem. "As I understand, they also brought a sufficient number of the electronic warfare (EW) complexes there," he says. According to his forecast, our air defences should as a result perform at a rating of "four".
It is worth noting that the battle in Syria in the next few days and hours will be the first battle in the history of the world in which a mass attack with cruise missiles is deflected. Everything that military experience has encountered at the moment is either tests or single launches of air defence systems. It can be said that Soviet air defence experts have been preparing for this for more than 60 years - since the first anti-aircraft missile systems appeared after World War II. The military doctrine of the USSR placed a special bet on them for understandable reasons, and the most famous success of Soviet anti-aircraft gunners was the destruction of an American U-2 aircraft in the 60s of the last century. After that, the Americans could no longer enter Soviet airspace with impunity. And let’s not forget about the thousands of American aircraft destroyed by Soviet anti-aircraft systems in Vietnam. Soviet and then Russian air defence systems deserve to be considered the best in the world, but they have never had a chance to test their capabilities with a real (non-training) missile strikes of this magnitude.
And now, it seems, the moment of the decisive test has come - not only for specific officers, Russian and Syrian, but for the entire Russian school of air defence.
Success will be a "coefficient of 0.9-"
The number of downed enemy missiles is not an end in itself, Lieutenant-General Alexander Gorkov, head of the air defence missile forces in 2000-2008, remarked in conversation with the newspaper VZGLYAD. He stressed: "The air defence forces are designed to completely preserve the object. Therefore, if only one of the 100 rockets is shot down, but the one that flew exactly to the target, and thanks to this the object survived, this is considered a success. "
But there are objective criteria for anti-aircraft gunners.
"In the case of cruise missiles travelling at extremely low altitudes, the efficiency should be at least 0.85-0.90, noted Gorkov. This indicator means the probability of a target being hit by one missile. The number of intercepted targets is divided by the total number of missiles fired. For example, lieutenant-general Aitech Bizhev, former deputy commander-in-chief of the Russian Air Force on issues of the CIS Joint Air Defence System, explained earlier to the portal "Economy Today" that less than 0.7 means low efficiency; 0.8 and above - good, 0.9 (https://rueconomics.ru/).
As an example, Bizhev cited the result of the Syrian air defence forces, which recently repulsed the attack of Israeli aircraft. The F-15 planes fired eight missiles and the Syrians intercepted five of them. Thus, the coefficient was 0.6, that is 60% of the missiles shot down. This result is not very gratifying, lamented Bizhev.
However, the expert of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (ACT) Vasily Kashin believes that the destruction of 50-60% of US missiles would be a huge success for Russian weapons. In fact, he added, even the destruction of 30% can be considered a great success, if we bear in mind both Russian and Syrian air defence forces.
It should be taken into account that the Syrians used old systems, notes Bizhev [NSS note: the msm reported that the obsolete S-200 system was usedto defend against Israeli missiles]. And the newest S-400 air defence systems are located at Russian facilities - the Khmeimim base and in Tartus. According to the Lieutenant-General, the efficiency of the S-400 for high speed targets that are hard to pinpoint is 0.9, that is excellent, at 90%.
Kashin recalls: in addition to our ground-based air defence in Syria there will be two Russian frigates with the "Shtil-1" complex, which is anchored off the coast of Syria. "Each of them has a vertical launch pad for 24 anti-aircraft missiles," the expert reminded VZGLYAD.
The problem is that modern Russian air defence systems cover only Russian facilities in Syria, and the Syrian air defence itself is rather weak, Kashin points out. In his opinion, air defence provide cover with a total of only a few dozen systems in Syria, and the rest of the country is defenceless.
They are fighting not with a number, but with a very large number.
Potential buyers of weapons following the outcome of this conflict will draw conclusions about which weapon systems are more effective - American cruise missiles or Russian air defence systems. For a correct assessment, it is important to consider how many missiles are fired at the covered targets. "If the enemy uses a huge number of missiles, for example, more than 200, then you cannot know exactly how many missiles will be on the target. Miracles do not happen, "Kashin said. He adds that it is impossible to completely deflect such a strike.
"For example, let’s say there are 100 air targets, and for each we fire two anti-missiles. With this amount you need to have a very large amount of munitions. Is there such a large number of missiles in the arsenal of the grouping deployed in Syria? "Asks General Alexander Gorkov.
"The combat component of the S-300 division is 32 missiles (and eight launchers) or 48 missiles, if 12 units are available," the general points out. "If two rockets are used for each launch, the missiles will be sufficient for 16 or 24 launches, respectively." If the coefficient of 0.9 is observed in these launches, this will be evaluated as a success, including by potential buyers of Russian weapons.
Meanwhile, it is necessary to calculate the nearest probable future - how the American operation in Syria can develop.
The script as a whole is understandable, believes Vzglyad’s source close to the Ministry of Defence. He predicts that the first waves of cruise missiles will be released in the near future by two destroyers, which are already in the Eastern Mediterranean. "They can fire their old Tomahawks, and after that the US they use smart missiles, as promised by Donald Trump," the expert notes.
The goal is clear - it is necessary that the defending side expend the munitions of anti-aircraft guided missiles (SAMs). After that, apparently, the Americans expect to "fire from other ships with impunity, including from an aircraft carrier," but that's not until early May, when it arrives in the region. As the newspaper Vzglyad reported, on Wednesday a shock group led by the aircraft carrier Harry Truman sailed from the base of Norfolk for the Persian Gulf.
"If we proceed from the fact that there will be a strike several times more powerful than the strike at the Shayrat base (where 60 rockets were fired), then, apparently, it will be hundreds of cruise missiles," suggested Kashin. In addition, it must be taken into account that the US can use a blockade of Syrian ports, in order, for example, to stop the supply of munitions, the same cruise missiles - to reload anti-aircraft complexes.
"Now it is clear that there will be a strike. There is time to prepare for deflection,” sums up the general. “The flight time of the rockets is known. The sites of the strikes are also fairly well known. There is time to rearrange air defence assets, mark out and designate cover zones, prepare munitions for firing, and deploy personnel."
Link to this article in Russian:
NSS staff translations and comments
President Trump has promised that the Syrian government will pay a “big price” for doing something that they did not do. Anyone who has followed the reports by Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlett (follow on Twitter @VanessaBeeley and @EvaKBartlett) knows that the Western corporate media have been lying about Syria for years, and if you have read our article on the false flag chemical attack in E. Ghouta, you know this is a dangerous hoax that could be a prelude to war with Russia. Judging by the reader comments at the end of msm articles, it appears that the public, including once-loyal Trump voters, is no longer buying the false-flag lies. This will therefore not be a rerun of Trump’s Shayrat attack last year. It could backfire.
Given the imminent danger of a strike on Syria by the US and/or allies like France and Israel, you should know at least the following military details from Russian-language, Chinese-language and English-language sources so that you can assess the seriousness of the situation.
Following below is our translation from Russian of a report in Riafan.ru:
The US is transferring the US Navy strike group with an aircraft carrier to the Mediterranean, media have reported. It is known that the air group will leave Norfolk on Wednesday.
The US Navy strike group, led by the aircraft carrier Harry Truman, is being sent to the Mediterranean Sea, world media reported.
The US Navy air strike group will reportedly leave from Norfolk on Wednesday and travel to the Mediterranean.
In addition to the aircraft carrier Harry Truman, the group will include seven more ships, and two destroyers and the USS The Sullivans and USS Jason Dunham will join later.
Southfront reports today:
"A Russian Su-35 multi-role air superiority fighter armed with what looks like Kh-35 cruise anti-ship missiles has just been spotted over the Syrian city of Tartus.”
Below is our translation of a comprehensive article in the Chinese military journal Junshi (normally, Junshi is only published in Chinese and is rarely presented in translation in the Western press).
What Syrian targets can the US strike? The Assad family private airport is on the list
On April 9, 2018, local time, US President Trump announced that he would make a “significant decision” in the next 24 to 48 hours in response to the CW attack in the East Ghouta region in Syria. If that "significant decision" refers to a new round of strikes against the Syrian government forces, what are the possible goals of the action?
According to Israel’s i24NEWS television station citing US officials, the Pentagon has submitted to Trump a series of options for air raids and targets, including naval warships launching Tomahawk cruise missiles and B-52 strategic bombers air-launching AGM- 86C/D cruise missiles to be used outside the theatre to attack, or use of B-2, F-22 and other stealth aircraft to bomb the Syrian territory. Another analysis pointed out that the most likely to be hit by the U.S. military are the three important military airports located near Damascus, Syria.
Of these, the preferred target is the Shayrat Air Base, located about 30 kilometres southeast of Homs. It was this base that was attacked on April 7, 2017 by 59 U.S. cruise missiles.
According to Russian media reports on the attacks, the Syrian Army has stepped up repairs in the past seven weeks, and the base has basically resumed the function of airport operations in late May of the same year. According to foreign media, if the U.S. military launches a new round of strikes, the highest strike priority will still be Shayrat Air Base.
The original Syrian Air Force Base had three squadrons of Syrian Air Forces, and there were dozens of MiG-23 and Su-22 fighter planes. In September 2015, Russian military engineers began to refurbish the airport. In addition to the original 3,000-meter main runway, the Russians expanded and reinforced another 3000-meter-long alternate runway to accommodate large Russian transporters and long-range bombers.
According to a Jane’s Defence Weekly report, the Russians had sent eight Mi-24/35 attack helicopters, one Mi-8/17 helicopter, and an unknown number of Ka-52 and Mi-28 attack helicopters to the base. A Russian artillery unit equipped with six 152-mm howitzers is also stationed here to support the Syrian 18th Panzer Division that attacked [terrorists at] the ancient city of Palmyra.
According to the Journal of Defence and Diplomacy Strategic Policy [this is a direct translation from the Chinese, no such journal found], the Shayrat Air Force Base is Russia's "material transit hub" in Syria (a large number of Russian-made rocket launchers and TOS-1 flame thrower tanks are sent here to various fronts in Syria). Its status and role are second in importance only to the Hmeimim Air Base near Latakia (effectively reducing the congestion of the latter). In addition, the airport is also tasked with refuelling, overhauling, and resupplying ammunition for Russian, Syrian and Iranian air force aircraft participating in the war.
The second target is the Dumayr Airbase, located 42 kilometers east of Damascus, Syria, which is Syria’s second largest military airport with 52 steel-reinforced concrete hangars (8 of which are underground) and one 3100 meter long runway.
In terms of statistics, Dumayr Airbase was formerly home to the Syrian Air Force 67th fighter squadron with multiple MiG-23MLs, Su-22M2 fighters, and Mi-24 attack helicopters deployed there. It also has a Russian-made Pantsir-S1 [NSS note: The Pantsir is a comination cannon-missile air defence system, very economical and capable of shooting down a larger number of incoming threats than the S-400 or S-300 could]. The powerful anti-aircraft firepower network is the main frontline airport for the Syrian Army to support the East Ghouta's ground combat against a single strike, this base is likely to be included in the US military's "blacklist" of key targets.
Not long ago, Dumayr Air Force underwent an attempted attack. When the Eastern Ghouta Battle began in late February 2018, a large quantity of heavy equipment of the Syrian troop "Tiger Force" was stored in Dumayr Air Force Base. On the evening of February 24th, the Israeli Air Force dispatched five air-to-surface missiles to the base. The result was interception by Syrian air defence forces, preventing the “tiger troops” from being “unjustly killed.”
The third-priority target is the Mezzeh Military Airport located 6 kilometres southwest of Damascus, capital of Syria. It has 22 hangars (including 5 key guards [uncertain of translation]) and a 2700-meter-long runway with multiple MiG- 21, MiG-23 fighter jets and Mi-24 attack helicopters, Mi-17 transport/armed helicopters and the legal [sic] “Little Oryx” helicopter gunship.
The Karzai Airport is also an important strategic facility for the Syrian Army. It is mainly responsible for transportation, transfer of personnel and materials, and is called the Syrian Army "wartime logistics centre." According to another disclosure by Reuters, the airport is still a private airport of the Assad family because of its proximity to the capital. It is usually under the tight control of the elite forces of the Syrian Republic Guard, special forces, and air force intelligence agencies, and has deployed Sam-6 air defences, missiles and ZSU-23-4 "Shilka" self-propelled artillery.
After the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War, the Karzai Airport was used by the Syrian Army as an artillery position to fight opposition forces operating on the outskirts of the capital. On January 13, 2017, Israel launched airstrikes on the airport, hitting an ammunition depot and causing a violent explosion, allegedly to combat the Lebanese Hezbollah armed targets in the base.
END OF TRANSLATION
Original site: http://new.qq.com/omn/20180410/20180410A12FML.html
Putin warned us in his speech to the Russian General Assembly that Russia has arms that render much of the US arsenal obsolete. He illustrated the new ones with a giant screen clearly showing their devastating heretofore-unknown capabilities, including the hypersonic missile Kinzhal that zeroes in on its target at 5 times the speed of sound, and the latest variant of its top MIRV ICBM, the Sarmat RS-28, which has a top flight speed of 4.3 miles per second, or 15,480 mph, and carries up to 15 warheads that can wipe out a territory equivalent in size to the state of Texas.
Putin is not trying to start an arms race or break the US' bank, far from it. But as he keeps saying, no one listens to him. He was trying, in his presentation to the Gen Assembly, to show the US that there is no other way but to negotiate. But Washington has meanwhile chosen to continue breaking the bank, spending several times more than any other country – half the US budget – on defence, and some economists now believe it is over for the economy now that another trillion has been added to the debt, thanks to the irresponsibility of both parties. Obviously, there is an end to everything, and, thanks to America’s corrupt “defence” procurement culture, in addition to profligate spending on other items, there is no good option for reducing the debt bubble. QE4 (more money “printing”) would devalue the US dollar significantly, and this at a time when China is threatening counter-measures to Trump’s one-man trade war – measures that could quite well include a massive sell-off of Treasuries by China. Russia could follow suit. War would not help because many Americans would die in a conflict that could easily go nuclear (although John Bolton is threatening to attack Iran, which is bristling with missiles big and small and also with Russian air defence systems designed to bring down US planes and missiles). The trouble with the US is not just the Deep State but alo Americans, who seem unable to shake the old image of the US as the indispensable nation that must keep other states in line. A visit to the Breitbart reader forum illustrates why all presidents are permanently beholden from here to eternity to the whims of a populace that is incapable of living in a nation that, despite its own disastrous governance, does not control global affairs and would never accept a cut in the defence budget no matter what the cost. Thus if the US ever changes its mind about bearing the title of Hegemon Forever, that change will necessarily come not from within but from without.
Putin was trying to show that the money spent on air defence was wasted and that it is high time the US sat across the bargaining table from it to reduce nuclear arms. He made that clear in the Megyn Kelly interview when he feigned blowing the cash out of his hand, saying all air defences were money blown away with the wind. The new defence budget requests $21.9 billion for shipbuilding, even though naval experts ought to know that each one of the new and refurbished ships can be blown inexorably out of the water within minutes, regardless of their coordinates, by the Kinzhal, and there is nothing anyone can do to prevent this because even if that missile travelled at a conventional speed, it snakes around existing defences, creating an unpredictable and non-interceptable trajectory at dazzling speeds beyond all potentials of known anti-air defences to intercept it. This is true of aircraft carriers as well, implying possible destruction of the carrier plus up to 75 on-board aircraft.
But Trump has never been motivated by reality but rather by the impact of his own bombast on mindless audiences. Thus he missed Putin’s point and opted for spending more on now-obsolete arms and ships. As the excerpt from our earlier post on defence costs shows, most defence spending is aimed solely at filling the pockets of contractors. The reason for this is clear if we look at the amounts spent by Lockheed-Martin, General Dynamics and others on political candidates and PACs. Open Secrets reports that defence contractors spent a total of $127,335,211 on lobbying last year and sent 788 former government servants into their own work force as a reward for squandering tax payer money. Most of the money goes to decision makers in defence procurement, almost all of them Neocon/Neoliberal war hawks. Clearly this is not lobbying, it is bribery, and the fact that Russia and China do not allow this corrupt system is why fewer and fewer international defence customers are buying American and more and more are buying Russian at deep deep prices by comparison. This is one main reason why almost every MENA country purchased considerable amounts of Russian arms last year, as we documented here.
But beyond this, an increasing number of Americans know that the defence lobby owns our government and our economy and will squeeze us to death eventually. They are the government.
Here is a translation we posted in July 2017 showing that the main goal of US defence spending has nothing to do with defending the US but is to reward the lobbyists for their largesse to candidates:
F-35 disaster: The point is to spend money ... to send it to Lockheed
Pierre Sprey, the "father" of the air power that makes the US makes great today, that is, the F16 and A10, issues a crushing verdict on the so highly acclaimed Lockheed Martin F-35.
by Viribus Unitis
Pierre Sprey was born in Nice in 1937; his family fled to the USA in 1940, when he was 3 years old, to escape the Nazis who occupied France. There he worked as an analyst and program organizer in the Ministry of Defense. The now infamous Fairchild A10 "Warthog" are from a program that he initiated. The German combat pilot Colonel Rudel helped develop the A10. he was very intensively involved in programs such as the F-16, and was critically involved with the F-15. When he talks about planes and their ability to fight, he knows what he’s talking about.
From minute 03:45, assesses Sprey: "it's hopeless in a dogfight." You can guarantee that a 1950s designed MiG 21 or a Mirage, will just hopelessly whip the F-35. In dogfighting it (the F35) is hopeless. You can assume that, guaranteed, the MiG 21 or the French Mirage, developed in the 1950s, will hopelessly outmaneuver the F-35."
“From minute 07:30,” Pierre Sprey says in response to a question. “The point is to spend money. This is the mission of the airplane. It is for Congress to send money to Lockheed. This is the true mission of the aircraft."
END OF TRANSLATION
According to Bloomberg, the just-passed defence budget includes 77 F-35s for a total of $10.7 billion. The Russian counterpart, Su-35 is rated as a more manoeuverable and faster (F-35 1.60 Mach vs Mach 1.726 for the su-35). After the F-35 first came out, it sold for USD180.000.000 a piece vs the Su-35’s price of USD75.000.000. The Fiscal Times reports that the total cost over the life of the planes will be over USD1.5 trillion. While development costs for Russia are unavailable, it is safe to say that Russia has nowhere near that kind of money to develop a plane.