Past propaganda: the Russia-U.S. Typical Navy Steadiness
“The US military was never designed to fight a major war against a sophisticated enemy….As for the Russian military, it was designed to be purely defensive and it has no capability to threaten anybody in Europe, much less so the United States…”
In a latest column for the Unz Overview I wrote that “under any conceivable scenario Russia does have the means to basically completely destroy the USA as a country in about 30min (the USA, of course, can do the same to Russia). Any US war planner would have to consider the escalatory potential of any military action against Russia.”
This nonetheless begs the query of whether or not Russia might problem the USA militarily if we assume, for demonstration’s sake, that neither facet could be ready to make use of nuclear weapons, together with tactical ones. If, by some mysterious magic, all nuclear weapons have been to vanish, what would the stability of energy between Russian and the US appear to be?
Why Bean Counting Makes Completely No Sense
The everyday reply to this sort of query resorts to what US drive planners name “bean counting”. Sometimes, journalists use the yearly IISS Navy Steadiness or a supply like International Firepower and tallies of the variety of males, major battle tanks, armored personnel carriers, infantry fight autos, fight plane, artillery items, bombers, missiles, floor ships, submarines, and so forth. introduced by all sides in a chart. The fact is that such bean counting means completely and strictly nothing. Let’s take a easy instance: if a warfare occurs between, say, China and Russia then the truth that China has, say, 1000 tanks in its Yunnan province, will make no distinction to the warfare in any respect, just because they’re too distant. Once we apply this caveat to the Russian-US standard navy stability we instantly must ask ourselves the next two primary questions:
a) What a part of the US navy worldwide could be instantly obtainable to the US commanders in case of a warfare with Russia?
b) On what number of reinforcements might this drive depend and the way quickly might they get there?
Remember the fact that tanks, bombers, troopers and artillery don’t battle individually – they battle collectively in what’s logically known as “combined arms” battles. So even when the USA might get X variety of troopers to location A, in the event that they don’t have all the opposite mixed arms parts to help them in fight they’re simply a simple goal.
Moreover, any preventing drive would require a significant logistics/provide effort. It’s all very effectively to get plane X to location A, but when its missiles, upkeep gear and specialists are usually not there to assist, they’re ineffective. Armored forces are infamous for expending an enormous quantity of petroleum, oil and lubricants. In accordance with one estimate, in 1991 a US armored division might maintain itself for under 5 days, and after that it wanted a significant provide effort.
Lastly, any drive that the US would transfer from level A to level B would turn into unavailable to execute its usually assigned position at level A. Now contemplate that “point A” might imply the Center-East, or Far East Asia and you will note that this is perhaps a tough resolution for US commanders.
Now we have one excellent instance of how the US operates: Operation Desert Protect . Throughout this big operation it took the US six months and an unprecedented logistical effort to assemble the forces wanted to assault Iraq. Moreover, Saudi Arabia had been ready for many years to obtain such an enormous drive (in compliance with the so-called Carter Doctrine ) and the US efforts was fully unopposed by Saddam Hussein. Now ask your self the next questions:
a) In case of warfare with Russia, which nation neighboring Russia would have an infrastructure just like the one of many KSA, prepositioned gear, big bases, runways, deep ports, and so forth. ? (Reply: none)
b) How probably is it that the Russians would give the USA six months to organize for warfare with out taking any motion? (Reply: unattainable)
One would possibly object that not all wars run in keeping with the “heavy” situation of Desert Storm . What if the US was making ready a really ‘light’ navy intervention utilizing solely US and NATO instant or speedy response forces?
Gentle (or speedy response) warfare
I’ll repeat right here one thing I wrote in December of final 12 months:
The Russians don’t have any worry of the navy menace posed by NATO. Their response to the most recent NATO strikes (new bases and personnel in Central Europe, extra spending, and so forth.) is to denounce it as provocative, however Russian officers all insist that Russia can deal with the navy menace. As one Russian deputy mentioned “5 rapid reaction diversionary groups is a problem we can solve with one missile”. A simplistic however mainly appropriate components. As I discussed earlier than, the choice to double the scale of the Russian Airborne Forces and to improve the elite 45th Particular Designation Airborne Regiment to full brigade-size has already been taken anyway. You can say that Russia preempted the creation of the 10’000 sturdy NATO drive by bringing her personal cell (airborne) forces from 36’000 to 72’000.
That is typical Putin. Whereas NATO declares with fanfare and fireworks that NATO will create a particular speedy response “spearhead” drive of 10’000, Putin quietly doubles the scale of the Russian Airborne Forces to 72’000. And, imagine me, the battle hardened Russian Airborne Forces are a vastly extra succesful preventing drive then the hedonistic and demotivated multi-national (28 international locations) Euroforce of 5’000 NATO is struggling arduous to place collectively. The US commanders totally perceive that.
In different phrases, “light” or “rapid reaction” warfare is the place the Russians excel and never the type of battle the US or NATO might ever hope to prevail in. Moreover, if the “light warfare” was to last more than deliberate and needed to be escalated to the “heavy” form, would the USA or Russia have its heavy forces nearer?
Shock and Awe
There’s, in fact, one other mannequin obtainable to the US commanders: the “shock and awe” mannequin: large cruise missile assaults backed by bomber strikes. Right here I might simply object that bombing Russia is just not similar to bombing Iraq and that the Russian air defenses are probably the most formidable on the planet. Or I might say that whereas the USA has a wonderful document of success when bombing civilians, its document towards a navy drive just like the Serbian Military Corps in Kosovo was an abject failure.
[Sidebar: 78 days of non-stop US/NATO airstrikes, 1000+ aircraft and 38’000+ air sorties and all that to achieve what? Ten or so Serbian aircraft destroyed (most on the ground), 20+ APC and tanks destroyed and 1000+ Serbian soldiers dead or wounded. That is out of a force of 130’000+ Serbian soliders, 80+ aircraft, 1’400 artillery pieces, 1’270 tanks and 825 APCs (all figures according to Wikipedia). The 3rd Serbian Army Corps basically came out unharmed from this massive bombing campaign which will go down in history as arguably the worst defeat of airpower in history!]
However even when we assume that one way or the other the US succeeded in its favourite “remote” warfare, does anyone imagine that this may severely have an effect on the Russian navy or breaking the desire of the Russian individuals? The individuals of Leningrad survived not 78, however 900 (9 hundred!) days of a infinitely worse siege and bombing and by no means even thought-about surrendering!
The fact is that being on the protection provides Russia an enormous benefit towards the USA even when we solely contemplate standard weapons. Even when the battle occurred within the Ukraine or the Baltic states, geographic proximity would give Russia a decisive benefit over any conceivable US/NATO assault. American commanders all perceive that very effectively even when they fake in any other case.
Conversely, a Russian assault on the USA or NATO is simply as unlikely, and for a similar causes. Russia can not challenge her energy very removed from her borders. In reality, in the event you take a look at the way in which the Russian navy is organized, structured and skilled, you’ll instantly see that it’s a drive designed primarily to defeat an enemy on the Russian border or inside lower than 1000km from it. Sure, positive, you will note Russian bombers, floor ships and submarines reaching a lot additional, however these are additionally typical “showing the flag” missions, not fight coaching for precise navy situations.
The only real actual goal of the US navy is to usually beat up on some small, kind of defenseless nation, both with a view to rob it of its assets, overthrow a authorities daring to defy the World Hegemon, or simply to make an instance of it. The US navy was by no means designed to battle a significant warfare towards a complicated enemy. Solely the US strategic nuclear forces are tasked to defend the USA towards one other nuclear energy (Russia or China) or really battle in a significant warfare. As for the Russian navy, it was designed to be purely defensive and it has no functionality to threaten anyone in Europe, a lot much less so the US.
In fact, the western company media will proceed to “bean count” US and Russian forces, however that’s pure propaganda designed to create a way of urgency and worry in most people. The fact for the foreseeable future will stay that neither the USA nor Russia have the means to efficiently assault one another, even with solely standard forces.
The one actual hazard left is an unprepared and unexpected sudden escalation which is able to result in a confrontation neither facet needs neither is ready for. T he Israeli assault on Lebanon in 2006 or the Georgian assault on Russian peacekeepers in 2008 are two scary reminders that typically dumb politicians take fantastically dumb choices. I’m assured that Putin and his staff would by no means make such a dumb resolution, however after I take a look at the present pool of US Presidential candidates I’ll let you know that I get very, very frightened.