Monday, December 31, 2018

You Can Read Me Now In US Naval Institute Blog.

Russian Navy, Mission Found?

You may read my new piece on some doctrine-technology issues in today's USNI Blog post. Link is below. 

Let's Try Q & A And Whatever Else Sticky Post

Here is the post which I will try to keep sticky for people to ask questions and share their thoughts which are not on topic. This, I think is known as Open Thread. Fire away.

You May Read Me on Unz Review Too.

1. I got my first piece published on Unz Review today, so you may check it out there

2. You can read my piece on some peculiarities of Russo-Chinese "alliance" at Unz Review. Here:

The Russo-Chinese "Alliance" Explained 

3. Here is the latest One. 

Russia's Stand-Off Capability: The 800 Pound Gorilla in Syria

4. On INF Treaty.   

 The Sand Castle INF Treaty

5. New piece on geopolitics and navalism.

The Russo-Chinese "Alliance" Revisited  

6. My new piece on Putin's speech came out today at Unz Review. 

The Implications of Russia's New Weapon Systems

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Grain Of Salt.

The statement Australia's media are referring to is by, here is excerpt:


If Chinese leaders thought that saying goodbye to their least favorite US military commander, current US Pacific Command chief Admiral Harry Harris, would mean a more amenable replacement is on the way, they had better guess again. The nominee to take the spot when Harris becomes ambassador to Australia is sounding the alarm bells about China’s operations in the South China Sea, calling for the US to maintain a strong presence in the region and step up advanced weapons development. In written testimony to the US Senate Armed Services Committee released last week, the likely pick, Admiral Philip Davidson, said that China has already taken control of the South China Sea. “In short,” he wrote, “China is now capable of controlling the South China Sea in all scenarios short of war with the United States.”
If by control Admiral Davidson means ability to deploy increasingly impressive Chinese surface naval component--absolutely. Moreover, China was investing like crazy into state-of-the-art air superiority component and in developing a genuine A2/AD capability, not least through a variety of anti-shipping missiles. At some point of time it was inevitable that US and allied Navies will encounter China's Fleet-In-Being. There is, however, one field where US Navy is simply in a different league with PLAN--it is nuclear submarine component where US Navy holds for now overwhelming technological and operational advantage over PLAN beyond realistic ranges of PLAN's SSKs and patrol aviation. How long this gap will continue to exist? I don't know. I'll go out on a limb and say 10-12 years. So, if Davidson is concerned with the "security" of Oceania (boy, did those bells ring with Orwellian melody immediately), I would take those concerns with a little grain of salt.
The issue is larger than Oceania--it is global and, apart from significant traditional threat inflation for monetary (budgetary) gain, is about overall naval strategy and doctrine. Davidson was to the point when describing technological approach:
Regarding military technology, Davidson outlined a number of crucial areas in which to invest. “A more effective Joint Force requires sustained investment in the following critical areas: undersea warfare, critical munitions stockpiles, standoff weapons (Air-Air, Air-Surface, Surface-Surface, Anti-Ship), intermediate range cruise missiles, low cost / high capacity cruise missile defense, hypersonic weapons, air and surface lift capacity, cyber capabilities, air-air refueling capacity, and resilient communication and navigation systems.”
See highlighted in yellow? As I encountered last week some stupid (I am sure by one of those "experts" from US tabloids masquerading as "analytical" magazines) parallel: Speed is a New Stealth?  "Is"? Really? And since when "Stealth", much of which is PR, was the "thing"? It was and is always a speed, and these are hyper-sonic weapons and upcoming extremely capable Air-Missile-Defense complexes which already redefined naval warfare and with it the global balance of power. It will be rather fascinating to observe the US Navy's anti-shipping missile development. As recent events in Syria has shown, LRASM (a derivative of JASSM) is obsolete on arrival--it simply doesn't measure up to modern AD and EW capabilities of Russian or Chinese Navies. To have a real punch--one must today get into the Mach=3+ and highly maneuverable salvos' territory and this is not going to be easy. Not at all. US still commands an impressive scientific and engineering competence, but it will be not easy to close the gap in weapon systems which for all intents and purposes were viewed in US Navy as institutional threat to Aircraft Carriers. But it seems we really are nearing the moment of truth. 

Russian General Staff Exhibition.

Of "smart" missiles which took part in illegal strike on Syria on April 13. It is obvious that this is not the whole harvest, with declared one Tomahawk and one JASSM accurately "landed" and being now in possession of Russian military, but, in general--this is rather telling proof of an excellent performance by the Syria's AD armed mostly with old Soviet tech. As Ria reports:

In this place were Russian MoD photos. Somehow they are gone. I didn't take them down. I wonder what made them disappear. It is truly bizarre. Well, let's try this then:


By far more important news, however, was this today's statement from General Staff:
General Staff in Russia doesn't set policies--Kremlin does, so Rudskoy's statement is the statement of policy sanctioned on the highest political level. As I always repeat some of the more profound truisms--all actions have consequences. It was clear that April 13 attack will not be left without response. It seems response is "pouring in" now in full force. What would Israel do? I suggest her to call Kremlin. As per exhibition of those "all" missiles which struck Syria's chemical facilities and "none" of which was shot down--I guess this small exhibition speaks volumes. But then again, there will be many "experts" who would state that these are merely remnants of missiles which struck targets. Of course they are, of course they are. In related news--I am Mickey Mouse. 

As Colonel Lang stated today: 

"Russian experts will continue to train Syrian military servicemen, particularly teaching them to use the new missile defense systems that are planned to be delivered to Syria in the near future," he said.


More:
http://tass.com/defense/1001702
No amount of PR can hide the fact that both sides of the conflict know the score and it is not in favor of NATO and Israel. I will omit for now elaboration on possible "improvement" of TLAMs which is coming--to understand why it will not matter that much... well, my book should be out fairly soon. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

A Non-Event In US.

Yet, in Russia it matters, still--and will continue to matter, no matter what. The memory is always there. Victory Day is coming and there will be, of course, parade and other events but it will be the march of Immortal Regiment which will again number in hundreds of thousands or even millions in Moscow and Leningrad (it is Leningrad on this day) and in millions all over Russia. These news, however, are not going to make front pages of US newspapers nor are going to be reported in prime-time on TV.

Yet, today all this reminiscence means very little in the US, which to a large degree owes its dominance to the most destructive war in human history. It is a very complex issue, of course. It is also a very sensitive one but no matter what, it is always on 25 April that Russians mark what they call Meeting on Elbe, which in many important respects then, in 1945, was viewed almost as a sign, anticipation of better things to come in the wake of a horrendous price Soviet Union payed. It was not meant to be, but for a moment it seemed possible. In the end Marshal Konev presented Omar Bradley with beautiful stallion and Omar Bradley presented Konev with his own personal Jeep filled to the top with cartons of loved by every Red Army servicemen, from enlisted to Marshal, Camel cigarettes, known to Red Army as "tropheinye" (trophy) because of those being available through captured Wehrmacht's stores at the Eastern Front.

That moment of Allied amity ended really fast, but the photo of 2nd Lieutenant William Robertson and Lieutenant Alexander Sylvashko remains ingrained in Russian memory forever. Those were People, from the capital P. And the only thing we can do for future generations, without unnecessary pathos or sappy sentimentalism, is to keep those memories alive. We may yet get the ultimate need for those memories. 



On S-300 For Syria.


There is a lot of talk about Russia supplying Syrian Air Defense with S-300 complexes ever since  the United States (and its lapdogs of UK and France) launched missile attack on Syria on April 13. It was then that Chief of GOU (Main Operational Directorate) of General Staff General Rudskoy in no uncertain terms stated that S-300 will be delivered to Syria. Since then this topic became hot-hot-hot and not least because of Israel having her own view on that. Indeed, if to follow open sources, as TASS noted today, the delivery can happen as early as the next month or two. And here is the conundrum for both Israel and US, which is an extension of the Israel in the Middle East.  

As is the case with Russophrenia, that is a condition where the sufferer believes Russia is both about to collapse, and take over the world. Since 2013, instances of this ailment have reached epidemic-like proportions in certain parts of Washington, London and Brussels.  Israel and the US must run a tight routine to present famed S-300s as a over-hyped and not really good AD complex while simultaneously show its deadliness to both Israeli and US Air Forces. It is not an easy task, it takes, as with any schizophrenia, an immense task to combine two mutually exclusive opposites in one entity--this is the task for Orwellian world only. And the attempts on doing this never ceased since April 13. Obviously, the actuality on "the ground", so to speak, after missile strikes on April 13 was such that it shook very many both in Israel and US--Syrian aged AD turned out to be on the order of magnitude more effective than was expected and that brings forth immediately this very issue of S-300s which are generation or two newer than Syria's Osa, S-125s and S-200s

In fact, those Russian S-300s are so "not dangerous" and so "not effective" and so represent "no danger" to vaunted IAF that Israel's Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman promised today to destroy them before they will become operational.  


At this stage I have to ask a question--are they really that dumb in Israel? Israel long ago crossed the actual red line which was drawn for her by Putin in his meetings with BiBi that at some point of time Israel will have to stop bombing Syria, which, if they forgot both in Jerusalem and Washington, is an independent state and has all rights which come with this independence, including defense of own borders and airspace. Russia was more than accommodating with Israel when delayed for years delivery of S-300s to Syria, as was settled by the contract. In the end, Russia even dragged her feet until recently with delivery of same S-300s to Iran--all under both requests and pressure by Israel and combined West. Finally, the patience ran out and Tehran got itself long awaited S-300s and Syria, it seems now, is about to get her own--those "over-hyped" and "lacking in capability" S-300s.


The question, however, remains--if those S-300s are junk, as many claim, why so much hysteria? Come on, let Russia deliver those measly incapable outdated S-300s and then attack them again once they are operational and show the whole world how inefficient they are, right? Well, not quite. At issue here is the history, also well known to Israel, of Soviet/Russian produced Air Defense Complexes which have a combat history and reputation simply unmatched in the world. From Vietnam to Middle East wars, to recent events--even old Soviet complexes, when properly integrated, provided excellent targeting and ECCM "coverage", performed admirably. How will new systems perform? Let's put it this way--Israel is getting increasingly bellicose and threatening precisely for the reasons of knowing that S-300 will be able, in a well trained hands, to close Syria's airspace for both Israeli Air Force and its stand-off weapons. Well, the US will also feel even more restricted in Syria. But even larger issue looms behind all this Israeli rhetoric--who gave Israel the right to attack neighboring country, often under lame excuses and threat inflation? That is the main issue, the rest is a derivative of Israel's habit, until recently, to do what she wants in Syria's skies. As it seems now, this MO is coming to an end. In the end, Russia may provide an umbrella until Syrian S-300s are being deployed and then go fully operational--let the Israeli Air Force deal with even "less capable", "junky" and "inefficient" S-400. Those complexes are all hype, right?    

In related news, Donald Trump wants to leave Syria, again. Sure, so one may expect new false flags and orders by the impressionable POTUS to launch other attacks at Syria's non-existent "chemical weapons" and other imaginary facilities which "produce" them. So, I think getting Syrian AD their very own S-300s is a good idea. And who would believe any word Trump gives. After all, it is Israel who runs US foreign policy. Remember the Speech?


It took only 15 months. Make your own conclusions.