Tuesday, September 27, 2016

On Syria (Mostly).

I usually try to stay away from Syrian war for a reasons that I do not have enough time and resources to look at the maps and study operational situation there--for that there are many bloggers who do just that and I gladly use their information. But the more important reason is that I know for sure that nothing what is stated by Arab sources on the ground usually corresponds to the reality. Not for once I wrote that Arab militaries and modern combined arms warfare simply do not mix well. I wrote about it here and here, with Colonel Murahovsky's interview. Now, it is very reputable Russian military analyst Colonel Khodarenok who speaks out:

Ex-Russian Colonel: Why Moscow Has Not Succeeded in Syria After 1 Year of Involvement

It is an excellent piece which does address reasons of why Arabs can not fight modern war. Here are some good quotes:

Further Syrian army success does not look good. The quality of army management is the most important question today. Since 2004 Syrian army fired a lot of officers and generals who got their education in USSR and Russia. There are almost no Russian-speaking officers in Syrian army today. Officers who got their education in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the West were preferred. They were the main core of Syrian army.

Or this:

Syrian army has no centralized supplies. Everything is decided by the army commanders. They get the money and decide what supplies they are going to buy. These commanders are the richest people in Syrian army. Central staff has no influence over their decisions regarding supplies. This is the reason why Assad army is so poorly supplied. Syrian young people leave the country from the conscription. There is a minimum help for the family members of dead or wounded solders. Such families are extremely poor.
Well, it never changes with Arabs. Now that the Russian military advisers left Syria (and rightly so) the Syrian Army (SAA) is left to its own devices in doing what they never could--serious strategic and operational planning, and effective command and control. So, nothing really new here but, in the same time, Khodarenok is a bit on a grim side here. While he is correct in this assessment: 

A huge amount if intelligence forces (mukhābarāt) make the situation even worse. There are four kinds of it: national, military, air and political. There is also the National bureau of security. The corruption in Syrian intelligence forces is awful. They force the whole population and army to pay an enormous amounts of bribes.

The truth is--it can not be any other way and it is true across the board in Arab world. And, I think, there is still military solution in Syria and there are signs of the so called "rebels" (terrorists supported by West) being at the end of the rope. But then again--all of this is a typical Arab affair and it never changes and to understand its military logic is usually beyond the grasp of "western" mind. But in the end, I have to disagree with Khodarenok in most dramatic fashion--the title of his article is plain wrong. I am just not in the mood to list all strategic benefits Russia already got in her mostly air campaign in Syria and by any metric, the circumstances favor Assad and SAA, thus providing for the main political objective of Russia's interference in Syria--survival of secular and friendly to Russia regime. In the end, it is the opinion of one man, there are many others which differ drastically (in Russian).

In related, that is military, news: Russia continues to slowly abandon Brigade structure and now resurrects yet another division, this time 42nd Motor Rifle Division, stationed in Chechnya. Another proof of a complete military bankruptcy of Serdyukov's "reforms", as well as people who promoted and supported them--namely people from SVOP such as late Vitaly Shlykov.  Incidentally, these were this new 42nd MRD's units which gave Georgian Army, trained and updated by NATO and Israel, an abject lesson in combined arms warfare on 08/08/08 in a brief Russian-Georgian War. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Situational Awareness 101.

No comments, just the report from one of the STRATFOR founders. Some quote with a link to Color Commentary On Russia.

So what are the dominant impressions derived from my recent trip? Of a country suffering under sanctions? A little, but not much. Of a country poised to conquer the West? Absolutely not. To the contrary, I've seen festivities. I've seen wealth. I've seen people on the streets who are free and highly self-expressive. The postures, the gaits, the eyes, the clothing!
"Oh, but you were just in Moscow, where the wealth is concentrated. The rest of Russia is still in the 12th century," you might object.
But we spent a week in Yekaterinburg, Russia's fourth-largest city, two time zones east of Moscow on the edge of Siberia, and I've rarely seen so many building cranes. The Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center and Museum in Yekaterinburg is an architectural wonder. The mayor is a lanky 6-foot-5, 54-year-old runner straight out of central casting, vibrant and impressive, who began his career as a poet.

One final thing: Did I or my traveling companions experience a shred of anti-Americanism? No. Not one shred.

For those who are interested, here are some photos of Yekaterinburg:


Yeltsin Center eventually has to be renamed and all what relates to this drunk low life has to be removed and center transferred for children's use.



Monday, September 19, 2016

It Is Over.

Well, boys and girls, here it is--the end of the rope. You see, it is normal now to suspect Russians "bombing" NYC in order to help Trump. Any other "free" media in US? It is called insanity, there is no moral in it--mentally sick people are not judged in normal court precisely for the reason of insanity--they are locked up in the asylum. US has gone off the rails...

She doesn't want to speculate...

Friday, September 16, 2016

Happy Birthday, Medvedev--Here Is The Present For Ya.

It was Dmitry Medvedev's, Russia's incompetent liberal Prime-Minister (lawyer by trade), birthday yesterday. I wouldn't even pay attention to this hack's 51st but it was the present which was made to him by Vladimir Putin which really struck me, and very many others, as both a huge hint and, let's face it, affront. The present was also a huge policy statement. Putin gave Medvedev a picture titled "In The Industrial Shop". 
Happy BD, Mother Fucker.
The art piece depicts a large industrial machine-building plant and its message is unmistakable--re-industrialization must accelerate. This Putin's gesture is especially significant against the background of two competing economic programs which must be presented to Putin in the nearest future.  One is by Alexei Kudrin--a shill for globalist elite and a financier who has no idea about anything but bookkeeping and monetarism. The other--is by Stolypin's Club and this one is the program of massive, state-driven re-industrialization while liberalizing small and middle-size business--the program I wholeheartedly support with one huge caveat, however. 

So, Russian PM Medvedev was given, as I think, the last (not-Chinese) warning--to shape up or... Well, who knows, Putin is an extremely loyal friend--sometimes at his own, and nation's, peril--but the events of the last 3 years may change his approaches to personal relations. After all, he has a huge country to run and Russian are ready, nay--yearn, to get back at what Russians are known for--making things. As for the present? Putin never makes hollow gestures... 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don't-III

We already touched upon very basic calculations of Sweep Widths and Rates to give at least some impression about the scale of the tasks ASW faces when operating in the area such as Russia's Far East. Of course, search in general and ASW's in particular realities and math involved are more complex than that, including such funny things as Probability Density Distributions and Probability Maps, which reflect, if to put it in layman's lingo, those areas (often represented as cells on a grid) where the probability of the target is lowest and highest.  The formula used there is not a complex one (unlike a general math concept, which requires a little bit of time to get acquainted with) and it looks like that: 
Where in red, obviously, is Probability Density, POA is a probability of the target we search for being contained in some area (it is also goes under POC abbreviation), while A is the size of this area. Not a difficult stuff, really, but if some of you want to ask the question of how the hell has this anything to do with Elmo Zumwalt, the answer is this: as the story goes by some people who had a first hand experience with ASW--it is so complex that it reminds many the story of a man who constantly hit himself on the head with a hammer in order to feel good when he stopped doping this. This is ASW in a nutshell. US Navy's CBGs thought (and still think--hence this series of posts in response to Admiral Richardson's claims) that their organic ASW capabilities (remember those ungainly but crucial S-3 Viking planes?) combined with those of patrol aviation (P-3 Orion then) could provide the safety of carriers. Famous Soviet Foreign Military Review magazine published in mid-1970s the article (by Rear-Admiral Pushkin and Professor Naskanov) with a straight forward title: Anti-Submarine Defense Of Carrier Group. It was a fairly detailed review of the open information on the subject and it had a number of schemes of deployment of CBGs' organic ASW forces. Such as this:

 Or this:

Which was pretty generic tactical (and operational) mambo-jumbo, but in the end of this article both authors noted that complexity of technology (mid-1970s, mind you), physiological and psychological loads on ASW crews, other objective factors limited realization of all supposed advantages to... drum roll ...20% of actual capability. There went, through the window, the myth of CBGs' invulnerability. Zumwalt knew that. No, of course, he would continue to extol the value of carriers as a main platform for US Navy but he and a number of his Navy allies, such as Admiral Stansfield Turner, looked at the emerging Soviet Navy's capabilities really seriously--thus the Project 60 was born.  After all, it was THIS Admiral who made it to the cover of the Time Magazine in 1968. 
And this Admiral loved his submarines and ASMs. In fact, it was the only way to stop US Navy's CBGs since, as Baer succinctly points out: far from being a platform which can fight for Sea Control, US Navy's carriers themselves depended on it and that meant only one thing--someone else was supposed to fight those nasty Russkies who increasingly were prone to reducing their Probability Densities and were working really hard at noise and other physical fields' reduction technologies. This is, mind you, without mentioning Gorshkov's battle axe of Naval Missile-Carrying Aviation which was specifically honed for sinking carriers, using a variety of means, not least of which were, and you may have guessed it, air-launched anti-ship missiles. But back to the underwater start. 

P-120 Malakhit (NATO SS-N-9 Siren)  already had a serious impact with its range. Indeed, what were the probabilities of the CBG, with its immensely expensive and mission-crucial carrier in the middle, to defend against the salvo of 2, 4 or maybe 8 of such missiles? Crisis in Mediterranean in 1973 showed that what Soviet Navy cared about was, as Admiral Kapitanetz later recited, "how many missiles we had in the first salvo". The operational concept of having a missile revolver at the temple (carrier) of each US Navy's CBG had its own flaws, to be sure, people and ships (also known, and for a good reason, as kamikaze) would die but then again--the game in those days was too damn serious. Project 60, which was a US Navy's internal document, was seeking to withdraw carriers into the second echelon for pure power projection, that is only when the battle for Sea Control will be won against Soviet Navy and that meant a massive ASW campaign both in Atlantic and on the Pacific theaters. The centerpiece (or rather four of them) of Project 60 was a ship which would give any US navy's aviator an aneurysm--Sea Control Ship. This was a blasphemy, a sacrilege, really (for US Navy's "aviators union") to have a relatively inexpensive ($100 million--compare with $1.44 billion for nuclear carrier then)  ASW and escort missions capable ships whose task was, actually, to fight Soviet Navy and its subs. Look above, at the first picture where it is namely a helicopter ASW sweep ahead of CBG which was tasked with immediate safety of a carrier. This was the same concept, except that this time, those helicopters would fly from a ship which was almost 15 times less expensive than carrier and whose loss wouldn't entail a massive escalation and a political and psychological crises in the US. Seems reasonable, after all--the second Project 60 key item, a venerable FFGs of Oliver Hazard Perry-class reached unheard of number built--71 (!!!) and I guess that was because these were ... excellent (in reality outstanding) and inexpensive multi-purpose ships?  They sure as hell fell into Arleigh Burke's paradigm handed by him to Zumwalt:"We need numbers"(c). They also proved very survivable, granted that the crew was properly trained. But if Project 60 was able to push through those ships, Sea Control Ships were an absolute no-no. Guess why? I am sure you already have guessed. There was a problem, though--with ASM salvo a defending unit (CBG) is limited by the radio-horizon--this is as far as CBG can theoretically detect and track incoming ASMs (we will touch on this later). So, the best way to defend against this salvo is not to allow this salvo to happen, to not allow this salvo to happen one had to:

1. Detect the Soviet carriers of ASMs before they launch;
2. Destroy them before they launch. 

If the carrier of those ASMs was some TU-22 or TU-95 US Navy theoretically had the answer--F-14 Tomcat and AIM-54 Phoenix, which allegedly could also shoot the incoming  ASMs. The real tasks of  Tomcats, however, was to shoot down primarily carriers of those ASMs. Theoretically some measures could be taken against Soviet surface kamikazes keeping cross-hairs of their ASMs on US carriers--a practice called tracking with the weapons (slezhenie oruzhiem). In the end, those kamikazes were on the surface, they could be tracked visually and by radar, so there were some chances. But submarines--this was a completely different game. And the only answer was a massive and extremely well-coordinated ASW effort with probabilities which would be at least satisfactory for US Navy's carriers to carry out their force projection tasks. Well, I am about to make a statement which some will not like: once the anti-shipping missiles learned how to launch from underneath the surface of water, those probabilities were never in this "satisfactory" range. And, indeed, what is this satisfactory range? I would say, for CBG's safety it has to be in the vicinity of 0.85-0.9 under the most adverse (combat) conditions. The problem, however, was that against near-peer, let alone against peer achieving such numbers was simply horrendously difficult. Today, it is absolutely impossible, because those very near peers and peers spent decades developing means of.... making Elmo Zumwalt and Project 60 correct--that modern US CVNs can not realistically fight for Sea Control and survive, totally different classes of ships are required and I don't mean LCS.    

To be continued.... 


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Meanwhile In Syria. (18+)

These photos must be framed and installed on every desk in US State Department and whatever intelligence services are responsible for helping to create this evil. And they did help. The same goes for Israel's operatives who consider the existence of ISIS to be good for the safety of Israel. Those who call for removal of Assad's "regime", which fights this collection of US-supported "moderates" who migrate in and out of ISIS aegis based on the expediency of the moment, must be mentally evaluated, because only mad, amoral shitheads can view anyone who fights these animals "a brutal dictator".  This is an execution of 20 peasants in Deir ez-Zor. They were allegedly the "spies" for "coalition".

This is how the spread of "democracy" looks like. But then again, when Chechen "freedom-fighters" slaughtered children in Beslan or even cut the heads off of some hapless Britons, "West" still found a way to blame it on...Russia. But the time for hypocrisy and double standards is up. We live in the world of mass communications where information (and knowledge) travel fast and render the "profession" of spin doctors useless for those who think. As the title of the stunning WWII movie by Elem Klimov said--Idi I Smotri--Come And See.  We are in for a fight for the existence of human Civilization. Those who ignore it--they do it at their own, and others, peril.