Americans hope that the war in Syria will go according to their scenario.
The Internet rings about what can be a confrontation between the Russian Federation and the United States. I will also contribute. Disposition with the eyes of Stratfor and their ilk: although Russia in Syria has ground-to-air missile systems and brisk fighters, all this is incapable of withstanding a short and brutal war against the United States.
Russia has about 25 aircraft. Of these, only a dozen are designed to gain supremacy in the air (Su-35 and Su-30). And against them will be the "invisible" 5-th generation, dozens of fighters F-15, F-16, as well as bombers B-1 and B-52. And of course, a huge navy of the US Navy with hundreds of Tomahawks. As the author of the Stratfor report said in an interview with Business InsiderOmar Lamrani, "The Russians have massive air defense, of course, they are not defenseless. But the United States has complete supremacy in the air. " And while something Russian is approaching or even surpassing the capabilities of US jet aircraft, the whole thing is simply in quantity.
If US intelligence reveals a massive mobilization of Russian fighters in response to exacerbation of the situation, then the US will not politely wait until the Russians lift their planes into the sky to fight them there. There will be a giant salvo of cruise missiles from the ships of the carrier group George H. W. Bush. Approximately, as 7 did in April with the Syrian air base Shayrat. But now the missiles will have to "saturate and hit" the Russian air defense system with its huge number. Then, after "castration", the ships strike at the airbase, destroying not only the planes on the ground, but also the runways - so that no cars can fly up. US aviation and coalition will dominate the sky and finally finish off the Russian armed forces.
So, is Lamrani right in his assessments? Yes and no. Yes - because that's exactly what will happen if the Russians decide with their small number of planes to collide with aircraft intended to gain air supremacy, and try to surpass all the forces and means of the CENTCOM'a and NATO aviation to control the sky over Syria. And no - just because the Russians will never do that.
The author of the report is a civilian, a man who has no military experience. He is mistaken, assuming that the Russians will act like idiots, and conduct the very war they would like to impose on the Americans. This is a common mistake for all newbies. The Russians have absolutely no reason to participate in this scenario.
Let's return to the basics.
Question No. 1: Is it weak Among Russians position In Syria?
Yes, absolutely. And they know it. First, the Russians have only 2 bases - Tartus and Khemeymim. And they are away from home. Their forces in Syria are tiny in comparison with those at the disposal of the Anglo-Zionists and their allies. Secondly, the US poured billions of dollars into this region. Now they have not only numerical superiority over the Russians, but also a system of bases where additional forces can be transferred. Syria is compressed between CENTCOM in the south and east and NATO in the north and west. The nearest Russian forces are in the Crimea. Control over the sky of Syria can establish not only the US and NATO - even Israel alone, perhaps, is capable of this.
Question No. 2: Is there a Among Russians benefits?
Absolutely, yes. In fact, they have many advantages over Americans. Here they are:
AllSignificant land forces- either the allies of the Russians, or are in good relations with them: the Syrians, the Iranians, Hezbollah. Even Turkey is much closer to Russia than to the Anglo-Zionists. The only force of the Anglo-Zionists, which has a meaning "on the ground", is Igil ** and their henchmen.
Public opinion in the country.In Russia, the overwhelming majority of the population understands and supports the military operation in Syria. In the US, the public about this war is disoriented and deeply skeptical. Putin has a huge credit of trust, and Trump tries to avoid impeachment.
Public opinion abroad.In the US, the Sio-media *** are making heroic efforts to hide the fact that the US presence in Syria, to say nothing of real aggression, is completely illegal in terms of international law. But most of the planet knows this. This undermines the US position in the world.
Russians will not be offeredA lot of objectives beneficial to the Anglo-Zionists. The Russian Federation has only Tartus and Khmeimim. Americans have a long list of bases and objects that can become targets for strikes.
Willpower, courage and determinationThe Russian soldier outperforms the same indices of Americans by many orders. Americans like to kill for their country. But enthusiasm for themselves to die for it they have much less.
Russian personnel and weapons are integrated with the Syrian forces.In Syria, "on the ground" are Russian technical experts, military advisers and special operations forces. This means that Russians can use the Syrian S-300 to shoot down American aircraft without providing Americans with evidence of their involvement in this. In the old terms of the CIA: the Russians have the possibility of "plausible denial".
Russians in SyriaSuperior intelligence capabilities. Therefore, their blows are so accurate. Compare this to the obvious lack of understanding of what is happening by the Americans.
The first "believable negation" in the air
The Russians have no motive to launch a large-scale air battle in the sky of Syria against the Americans. But the fact that it is not in their interests does not mean that they will necessarily avoid it. So far, the Russians seem to have chosen the strategy of deliberate intimidation of Americans. But they can "work" on American planes with their C-300 and C-400.
Forget about C-300 / C-400, think about "Shell"
Well, yes, the Russians in Syria have S-400. However, they are useful for serious purposes. We look at "Pantsir-1". This air defense system is horrifying, but in the Sio-media almost do not write about it. But here is the beauty of this mobile system: Russian and Syrians manage it together! In other words, these "Shells" not only can be anywhere, but they can be controlled by anyone. Hell, they even have Iranians!
They can be included in the global system, and they will work autonomously! And keep in mind - no one knows how many of their Russians brought to Syria, how many "Syrian" "Shells" are ruled by Russians, how many are included in the global system, and how many are there, in general!
So, we have a system that is extremely mobile (a truck of high patency) and is easily concealed. But which can work on targets flying at altitudes from 0 to 15 000 m at a distance of up to 20 km. Add to this their passive target detection system and the ability to integrate with C-300 / C-400, Su-35 and AWACS.
And the Americans do not have any evidence that the Russians have placed them at all! Let the Americans now try to say that they were shot down by Russians!
In short, while everyone is talking about C-300 / C-400, the Russians have deployed air defense assets that will not be destroyed by Tomahawks (due to mobility) and it is almost impossible to destroy by aircraft.
Yes, Americans will be able to fly beyond the scope of the "Shells". Then what is the use of aviation? You can use planes with low radar cross-section (B-1 / B-2 for strikes and F-22 for their protection). But this will significantly reduce the superiority of CENTOM / NATO in the sky over Syria.
And I remind you that neither the US nor the NATO countries have ever acted in such a dangerous situation as now in Syria. The air defense of the Serbs was ancient, but even against it the NATO bloc failed. In Syria, Russian air defense can show the Americans how much they are worth. And do not even have to raise into the air fighters to ensure air supremacy.
The second "plausible denial" in the air
Has anyone suggested that Russians can hit the US forces in Syria (or in Iraq, for that matter)? It seems, no. Everyone proceeds from the fact that the Russian Federation forces in Syria are small and can not attack the superior Americans. This is an erroneous assumption based on the fact that the US will know who attacked them. And the Russians are capable of "believable denial".
Here is why.
Russian specialists are already deployed in Syria and are active. First, it's special forcesGRU GShOfficer groups for 8-12 people. Secondly,Special Operations ForcesIs a relatively new creation. And, finally,Not called, but very classified units. I did not find information about who they are, but I think this is what used to be "Pennant" - special forces of the SVR, working in close cooperation with the SVR intelligence network in Syria.
The Russians already have more than enough special forces in Syria to attack American targets, not only in Syria, but throughout the region. For snipers, these are top US officers. But the US forces can be dealt with "unexplained" missile strikes. Most importantly, the special forces can be beaten in complete secrecy, when nothing points to the Russians.
They can look like Arabs, speak Arabic, have Arabic documents. President of ChechnyaRamzan KadyrovOpenly acknowledged that the Chechen operatives had been deployed in the command structures of IGIL. Finally, even if the "Russian" is caught - so in YGIL approximately 5000 Russian citizens of different ethnic groups, including the Slavs. And do not prove that the thriller X or the gunman Z is an intelligence agent of the Russian Federation.
Conclusion: Russia has the option of striking at the forces of the United States under "plausible denial". And in the air, and on the ground.
"Plausible denial" against a constantly lying enemy
How to use "plausible denial" against a country that systematically invents idiotic stories about Russian hackers, stealing elections, or about invisible Russian armies in eastern Ukraine? Yes, a country that has 16 intelligence services, but which constantly and shamefully falsifies intelligence, can say: "The Russians did it." And the Sio-media will repeat this without giving any evidence.
After all, there have been stories about Serbs who are genocidal. About the Libyans who drink Viagra and rape. About the Iraqis tearing apart the infants ...
And imagine: in Syria, the Russian operators "Pantsir" shot down an American plane or Russian special forces blew up an American headquarters tent. There are no proofs. Question: Is it advantageous for Americans to point fingers at Russians? I'll bet it's not. To avoid political and military risks, it will be easier to blame the Syrians and bomb, for example, an empty intelligence building in Damascus and proclaim: "The message is sent."
Can Americans respond in the same way?
I think no. They do not have the resources and resources "on the ground", there are no intelligence capabilities and there is no political support (inside and outside the country) to get away with it. And yet, behind the special forces of the United States, a long history of failures in relatively simple operations. I do not fancy that they are aiming at a direct attack on the Russian forces in Khmeimim or elsewhere. At the most - they do this almost always - to delegate the assignment to someone from the local. This works against the defenseless civilians, but turns into a catastrophe in the case of a "protected" goal.
The paradoxes of war
Any military action is a means of achieving a political goal, "the continuation of politics by other means." Because of this political nature, there are circumstances where a weaker party can benefit. The task of the defensive strategy of the weaker party is not to allow the stronger side to impose the type of war in which it maximizes its advantages.
In Syria, it would be foolish to fight a small number of aircraft against all CENTCOM aviation. With regard to cruise missiles, one must do what the Serbs in Kosovo and Hezbollah did in 2006. Do not provide them with goals. In Syria, this means using only mobile air defense systems. And last but not least, beat the Americans where they are most painful. By their morale (how crazy they got when they could not find out who was attacking them in Vietnam).
The elephant in the china shop is terrible. But when the initial fear passes, you realize that it is difficult for him to make a sensible move. This is the problem of the US armed forces - they are so big and self-confident that almost every move is deprived of reasonable care, which forms life from the weaker. That's why they act silly. Add to this the focus on quick results, and the recipe for disaster is ready.
I have outlined only two variants with "plausible denial". There are many more. There are some that are "invisible." My goal is to show that there is absolutely no reason for the Russians to act as Lamrani described in their frankly stupid article. I do not know how the Russians can answer the Americans. I just know that they will not respond as Lamrani described it.
Americans before deciding to attack the Russians directly should have considered various naval scenarios, especially using Russian strike diesel submarines, options for deploying Russian forces in Iran, Russian replies to other theaters in Iraq, Pakistan and, especially, Afghanistan. And what if US forces divert attention to other critical regions? On the DPRK?
The options are endless, and the stakes are very high. In the fictional world of Mr. Lamrani, everything is simple and easy. Which proves once again: war is too serious to entrust it to civilians.
Author (published under a pseudonymThe Saker) - a well-known in the West blogger. He was born in Zurich (Switzerland). Father - Dutchman, mother - Russian. He served as an analyst in the Swiss armed forces and in the UN research structures. Specializes in the study of post-Soviet states. He lives in Florida (USA).
Published with the permission of the publisher with minor reductions.
Translation by Sergey Dukhanov
* Central Command of the United States is a single combat command in the Armed Forces of the United States, responsible for planning operations and managing US troops in the event of military operations in the regions of the Middle East, East Africa and Central Asia.
** The grouping "Islamic State" (IG, IGIL) by the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation from 29 December 2014 was recognized as a terrorist organization, its activities on the territory of Russia are prohibited.
*** Ie. "Zionist media" is a term used by the author.