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Friday, September 30, 2016

WWIII by proxy

The war in Syria may be the start of World War III or it may mark the end of the USA's brief reign as sole planetary superpower:
Syrian Social Nationalist Party representative Tarek Ahmad says that the war in Syria has reached a dead end, with the intervention of foreign powers turning the situation into a chaotic mess. Moreover, the politician says that Syria is just one front in a Third World War being waged by Washington and its allies.

The Social Nationalist Party is one of Syria's oldest and largest parties. Up to 8,000 members of its armed branch, known as 'the Eagles of the Whirlwind', have successfully fought alongside the Syrian Army against Islamist militants, including Daesh. At the same time, the party has remained a key member of the Popular Front for Change and Liberation, a bloc of opposition parties in the country's parliament.

Speaking to Sputnik, party representative Tarek Ahmad said that the military situation in the country has come to an impasse, with the political crisis only fueled and intensified due to the intervention of multiple uninvited regional and global powers.

Commenting on the intensification of the conflict between Damascus, its allies, and the United States, following the US-led coalition's attack on Syrian forces in Deir ez-Zor last week, Ahmad warned that it's important to understand that the US position in Syria is tactical – not strategic.

"The US's goal is not limited to Syria," the politician emphasized. "The Syrian front is not the goal in and of itself. We need to look at this issue objectively, and to admit that a Third World War is taking place in Syria, one which is led by the US and its allies – even if these allies are simultaneously victims as well."

"America's main objective," according to Ahmad, "is to bring any world power that threatens them under control. Consequently, [Washington] is waging a war with these powers; and these powers include China and Russia."
Americans should hope and pray and vote for the end of global US hegemony, because it is bad for the USA and worse for Americans. The war in Syria is directly connected to the war in Ukraine, as both wars are being waged for the same reason. And while Russia and her allies are defeating the imperial USA and her allies in the Syria, and have fought them to an advantageous standstill in Ukraine, China is quietly expanding her strategic position in Africa and the Pacific.

This is why the neocons are so desperate to elect Hillary Clinton. They want to double-down on the wars their proxies are losing, and send substantial American forces into both Syria and Ukraine in order to defeat the Russian proxies there. Their two problems are that while US troops can defeat Russian troops, the Russian proxies are better than the US proxies in both Syria and Ukraine, and Russia can directly operate in both Syria and Ukraine while the USA cannot.

Donald Trump is smart enough to avoid fighting Russia and he understands that the USA has no legitimate national interests in either Syria or Ukraine. That is the real reason the neocon establishment is so hysterical about his increasing prospects for election, and why they are publicly throwing the full weight of their support to Hillary Clinton. They are entirely willing to risk a Syracuse-level disaster under a Clinton administration, which is something that should terrify any sober, historically-aware American.

Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan are already lost to the USA and have accepted the reality of Chinese regional dominance. Korea and the Philippines will likely be the next to do so; Korean unification will probably take place before 2030 in an attempt to mitigate Chinese dominance, while Taiwan will presumably reunite with China around that time. The Chinese are playing their cards with their customary patience, allowing Russia to keep the USA occupied while they improve their ability to force the US out of their own near-abroad.

One major potential flashpoint for China is Malaysia, where Islamic civilization confronts Sinic civilization. But that offers little potential to relieve the growing strategic pressure on the tottering US military hegemony.

On a related note, The Saker looks at the most likely options available to the USA:
Once the US comes to realize that its policy sending MANPADs to Syria did not work, it will have only one last card to play: attempt to impose a no-fly zone over Syria.

The good news is that judging by this exchange, US generals understand that any such US move would mean war with Russia. The bad news is that the Neocons seem to be dead-set on exactly that. Since such an event has now become possible, we need to look at what exactly this would entail.

The way the US doctrine mandates to impose a no-fly zone is pretty straightforward: it begins with an intensive series of USAF and USN cruise missile strikes and bombing raids whose aim is to disable the enemy air defenses and command and control capabilities. At this stage heavy jamming and anti-radiation missile strikes play a key role. This is also when the Americans, if they have any hope of achieving a tactical surprise, will also typically strikes at enemy airbases, with a special emphasis on destroying landed aircraft, runways and fuel storage facilities. This first phase can last anything between 48 hours to 10 days, depending on the complexity/survivability of the enemy air defense network. The second phase typically includes the deployment of air-to-air fighters into combat air patrols which are typically controlled by airborne AWACS aircraft. Finally, once the air defense network has been destroyed and air supremacy has been established, strike fighters and bombers are sent in to bomb whatever can be bombed until the enemy surrenders or is crushed.

In Syria, this ideal scenario would run into several problems.

First, while there are only a few S-400/S-300 systems in Syria, the US has never had to operate against them, especially not against the Russian version of these formidable systems. Worse, Russia also has very long range radars which will make it impossible for the USA to achieve a tactical surprise. Last but not least, Russia also has deployed powerful electronic warfare systems which are likely to create total chaos in key US command, control, communications and intelligence systems.

Second, these S-400/S-300 systems are mostly located on what is legally “Russian territory”: the Khmeimim airbase and the Slava-class or Kuznetsov-class cruisers off the Syrian coast. The same goes for the key nodes of the Russian communications network. If the Americans were crazy enough to try to hit a Russian Navy ship that would open up the entire USN to Russian attacks.

Third, while Russia has deployed relatively few aircraft in Syria, and while even fewer of them are air-to-air interceptors, those which Russia has deployed (SU-30SM and SU-35) are substantially superior to any aircraft in the US inventory with the possible exception of the F-22A. While the US will be able to overwhelm the Russians with numbers, it will be at a steep cost.

Fourth, the use of USAF AWACS could be complicated by the possibility that the Russians would decide to deploy their anti-AWACS very-long range missiles (both ground launched and air launched). It is also likely that Russia would deploy her own AWACS in Iranian airspace and protect them with MiG-31BMs making them a very difficult target.

Fifth, even if the USA was somehow able to establish something like an general air superiority over Syria, the Russians would still have three formidable options to continue to strike Daesh deep inside Syria:

1) cruise missiles (launched from naval platforms of Tu-95MS bombers)
2) SU-34/SU-35 strike groups launched from Russia or Iranian
3) supersonic long range bombers (Tu-22M3 and Tu-160)

It would be exceedingly difficult for the US to try to stop such Russian attacks as the USAF and USN have not trained for such missions since the late 1980s.

Sixth, even a successful imposition of a no-fly zone would do little to stop the Russians from using their artillery and attack helicopters (a difficult target for fixed-wing aircraft to begin with). Hunting them down at lower altitudes would further expose the USAF/USN to even more Russia air defenses.
TL;DR: A Syracuse in miniature. An attempted failure to impose a no-fly zone over Syria won't break the US military, but it will destroy any remaining perceptions of the USA's global superpower status.

Labels:

167 Comments:

Blogger Ben Cohen September 30, 2016 7:30 AM  

This time it's different Vox, because America is exceptional.

Blogger FrankNorman September 30, 2016 7:31 AM  

Thanks, Obama! /sarcasm

Blogger Travis September 30, 2016 7:33 AM  

I'd like to hear Trump make these points, not just at the debates, but his rallies too. I want to see our media try and debunk it so their single digit credibility goes straight to zero as the situation gets worse.

Anonymous EH September 30, 2016 7:37 AM  

The neocons may get a different war than they were looking for.

Blogger Matt September 30, 2016 7:39 AM  

Trump gets better with each rally. When he has less idiots to campaign against, I suspect he will be even better.

Blogger Basil Makedon September 30, 2016 7:41 AM  

Syria became a chaotic mess only after Russia and the US intervened? That's quite the exaggeration. Not that I want the US in Syria in the first place.

Blogger Deplorable Gaiseric September 30, 2016 7:48 AM  

Basil Makedon wrote:Syria became a chaotic mess only after Russia and the US intervened? That's quite the exaggeration. Not that I want the US in Syria in the first place.
It's relative.

Blogger Cerdic Ricing September 30, 2016 7:48 AM  

Something makes me irrationally excited about staying home and ignoring the rest of the world. I could like it for rational reasons, but for some reason I like the prospect without needing a reason, even when I normally like logical things. Something about isolationism just sounds right, like it's how things should be. Just seeing the word makes me irrationally happy.

Anonymous johnc September 30, 2016 7:49 AM  

I can definitely see the Philippines (esp. under its current leader) and many other SE Asian nations fleeing to China's protection before too long. Eventually Korea and Japan may wonder if they should focus more on building a relationship with China than the US.

And who could blame any of those countries? The US can't possibly protect them against China. And China is growing like crazy ever since we basically gave them our economy.

Blogger FALPhil September 30, 2016 7:54 AM  

@9 johnc
And who could blame any of those countries? The US can't possibly protect them against China.

Any rational human being could understand that the (((Wolfowitz))) Doctrine was pure insanity. The problem is that the ruling class is not rational. They clearly believe their own bullshit.

Blogger Stephen Davenport September 30, 2016 7:55 AM  

Agree somewhat in Syria but the Ukrainian military is better than Russia's proxies and it is not even close. The Ukrainian military are on par with the Russian military with the Russians having slightly better equipment. The Ukrainian military has beaten the Russians to a standstill and as the Ukrainians get westernized in training and equipment the Russians will eventually withdraw, IMO. Syria is a freaking mess and will be for a while with no winners. There is not going to be a WW3 over this, if the Russians test the US in Syria they will lose badly, take a look at the map, go ahead look............see what I am seeing, The Russians are surrounded and cannot reinforce fast enough before we destroy their airfields in Latakia and sweep their fighters from the sky, their navy will not last long either, Russians are playing a game there with us but they are not insane enough to test us to hard.

Blogger John Saunders September 30, 2016 7:55 AM  

Spanish Civil War Mk 2.

The powers are testing out their toys and command structures.

It will be interesting to watch the evolution of Francisco Assad.

Anonymous WinstonWebb September 30, 2016 8:00 AM  

One major potential flashpoint for China is Malaysia, where Islamic civilization confronts Sinic civilization.

It would be most interesting to observe how the Chinese would fight Muslims.

Blogger Conan the Cimmerian September 30, 2016 8:00 AM  

(((They))) will have our children dead.

No more wars between brothers.
No more wars between cousins.

Remember the Holodomor.

Blogger Cerdic Ricing September 30, 2016 8:03 AM  

@11

All they have to do is bleed us out of money. It's like fighting the Athenian Empire: once our vassals stop supporting us and our money runs out, then it's over for us, regardless of military superiority. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have already done that, with bin Laden being fairly successful in his goal of wearing us out of resources.

With the debt we already owe and the fake money pumped into the economy, it can only be a matter of time before things get a bit awkward, and we're seeing some heavy economic strains across the planet right now.

You might be right that there won't be a WWIII over this, I think we might start seeing the Union and the hegemony cracking before any open hostilities even break out. We might be just years, perhaps even months, from this happening. I think there might be a bit of chance here as to when things happen. The only thing I worry about is them trying to start a war to cancel debts, drum up support, etc., just like Germany did with WWII. I'm not concerned Russia will test us, they seem to be waiting for us to test them. It's in their best interest for us to make the first move, I think.

Blogger VD September 30, 2016 8:08 AM  

the Ukrainian military is better than Russia's proxies and it is not even close. The Ukrainian military are on par with the Russian military with the Russians having slightly better equipment. The Ukrainian military has beaten the Russians to a standstill and as the Ukrainians get westernized in training and equipment the Russians will eventually withdraw, IMO.

The Ukrainian regulars are better than the pro-Russian irregulars, yes. But in Ukraine, Russia can use its regulars and the USA cannot. And everything that I have read indicates that the Russian regulars are considerably better than the Ukrainian regulars, in addition to considerably outnumbering them.

The only reason Russia doesn't take Ukraine is that it doesn't want the headache or the expense of taking responsibility for it. I don't know of any serious military observer who doubts that Russia could do it very quickly.

Blogger VD September 30, 2016 8:11 AM  

if the Russians test the US in Syria they will lose badly, take a look at the map, go ahead look............see what I am seeing, The Russians are surrounded and cannot reinforce fast enough before we destroy their airfields in Latakia and sweep their fighters from the sky, their navy will not last long either, Russians are playing a game there with us but they are not insane enough to test us to hard.

You appear to be listening too much to the neocons and the cheerleaders and not enough to the military observers. Thus far, Russia and her proxies are roundly defeating the USA and her proxies.

After the failures in Iraq and Afghanistan, I'd think you would have learned your lessons about the limits of US power by now.

Anonymous aaaturkey September 30, 2016 8:14 AM  

Half the Ukrainian army will join Russian if a real War broke out. Azov and the likes will be executed like the rats they are.

Blogger Lazarus September 30, 2016 8:18 AM  

When do the tactical nukes come out? It would be interesting to see if they are actually of any practical use or not.

Blogger Sherwood family September 30, 2016 8:27 AM  

It would be stupidity to turn this into a pissing contest against Russia. We may have better equipment but this is in their backyard, not ours, and our logistics chains would be long indeed.

Especially because nobody in the region is going to want us trying to operate from one of our bases in their territory against the Russians because that would put them in an awkward position.

So how are you going to resupply, etc? The Turks don't like the Russians but they don't really like us now either so Incirlik is going to be out. Operating out of bases in the Gulf is likely to get pushback from nations hosting them since looping their countries into some kind of anti-Russian military action probably won't go down well for them either.

Where else are we going to be able to operate from? Carrier groups? For how long?

Anonymous mature craig September 30, 2016 8:28 AM  

The quality of the discussion in the threads the last few days is getting really high in my humble opinion

Blogger clk September 30, 2016 8:31 AM  

"...while Russia and her allies are defeating the imperial USA and her allies in the Syria, and have fought them to an advantageous standstill in Ukraine, China is quietly expanding her strategic position in Africa and the Pacific."

If you are going to be a paid Russian proxy you will need to up your game :)

I forgot the theme of this tread is conspiracy...

Everyone knows that there is only one power in the world and it is the military industrial complex driving the secret new world order .. there have been no super powers since WWII.. just puppets in a game driven from the highest orders of a the historic roots of the masonic Templars and the 21st century Deep State driving their subjects through the various monetary systems, driven from their masters in the federal reserve and former Nazi's cryogenically frozen at the end of WWII using secret German technology based on zero point energy at Fort Knox behind the fake piles of gold reserves.

Anonymous Minack September 30, 2016 8:32 AM  

John Saunders wrote:Spanish Civil War Mk 2.

The powers are testing out their toys and command structures.

It will be interesting to watch the evolution of Francisco Assad.


The media is certainly trying to make Aleppo into a Guernica for propaganda purposes. Maybe we'll get another ugly painting to drape on some wall in the UN one day.

Blogger sykes.1 September 30, 2016 8:33 AM  

The Balkans are heating up again, too. The people of the Republika Srpska just voted overwhelmingly to recognize Independence Day. This is regarded as a run up to an actual vote for independence from Bosnia-Herzegovinia. Serbia itself has threatened to intervene militarily if the B-H regime uses force to suppress the B-H Serbs.

http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21707877-banned-vote-separate-bosnian-serb-national-day-has-some-people-talking-war-referendum

Meanwhile the US/NATO continue to push B-H into NATO membership.

Blogger Stephen Davenport September 30, 2016 8:34 AM  

@17 - Thank you for agreeing, I said if the Russians go overboard with testing the US or NATO and a shooting war starts between the two sides in Syria the Russians will lose period. Yes they are doing better than the US and NATO in their dealings in Syria. There is a difference.

Blogger Ken Prescott September 30, 2016 8:35 AM  

In analyzing the strategic pieces, Saker is good. He really needs to shut up about the tactical end of things, because his Russian hardware fanboi schtick is overdone and undermines his case.

We can impose a no-fly zone in Syria. It will take more work than other no-fly zones we have imposed to establish, it will take more assets to maintain, but we can do it.

Saker is absolutely right about the strategic piece--we will be in a shooting war with Russia. Essentially, we will be in a nuclear war, albeit without any nuclear weapons actually being used in combat. But the fact that both sides have them will color their actions.

The key is that getting into a shooting War with Russia over Syria is not in any rational American interest. Frankly, it's in nobody's interests, except maybe China's. (And even the Chinese are probably getting nervous in their uniquely inscrutable fashion.)

Blogger Mr.MantraMan September 30, 2016 8:37 AM  

American airpower strategy based on the notion that the airfields and carriers will be unmolested, OK sure. They never leave the year 1945 they just add more tech wizbang goodies to their thinking.

Blogger Johnny September 30, 2016 8:38 AM  

In a true all out war with Russia in Syria the outcome would be unpredictable because we do know how our best stuff would play out against their best stuff. Plus if we truly went after Russian forces in an open way, we would find out whether or not they can sink our naval ship. Think of one in the water tactical nuke caving in the hulls of all the ships in a carrier group.

Whatever the merits of our overall doctrine, I believe our Middle East policy served our interests until Bush the Unwise extend it beyond utility, followed up by Obama the nefarious sabotaging whatever merit remained in the policy.

Blogger Stephen Davenport September 30, 2016 8:42 AM  

@16 like most people you over estimate Russian military capabilities an under estimate the US and other NATO military abilities. The Russian military is a fraction of what it used to be and is a very a large country with lots of borders. Their army has about 250,000 and at least a third of them are 1 year conscripts and at least half of their army is guarding the Chinese border. They also have a lot of troops on the Afghanistan, the crapastans and the Causa causes. In short they cannot put up a lot of troops on the Ukrainian border (maybe 50000ish). The Ukrainians have at least 200,000 and are on par with the Russians except like I said the Russians have slightly better equipment. You are right the Russians do not want the hassle of taking the Ukrainians because it would be a bloodbath especially in Mariupol, Odessa, Kiev, Kursk, etc.. They do not have the troops for it, and they know it thus the propaganda you see from the Russians and all the frightened little mice from the west touting them. IMO of course.

Anonymous Napoleon 12pdr September 30, 2016 8:47 AM  

Syria is not worth getting into a shooting war with the Russians over. Neither to the USA...nor to Russia.

The Unipolar Interregnum is ending, but it always was a temporary thing. Especially when the United States took a procurement holiday, instead of modernizing its military forces.

Anonymous Flavia September 30, 2016 8:50 AM  

The idea that Saudi Arabia is one of our allies makes me ill.

Blogger John Saunders September 30, 2016 8:51 AM  

@22

The Spanish Civil War analogy is more important for the fact that Crisis among the powers is finally gathering, after the Tangier Crisis Mk 2 false-positive that was 911. MSM attempts to package events in Syria for short term consumption are irrelevant to the long term implications.

Wrt the various Athenian Empire parallels, they are misplaced. If anything, the UK was our age's Athenian Empire. The imperial core of the Empire of the West (the USA) and its Mandarin caste aren't going anywhere. We are merely watching the death throes of the Republic and the emergence of the Empire, as Angelo Codevilla pointed out recently:

http://www.claremont.org/crb/basicpage/after-the-republic/

Blogger Sherwood family September 30, 2016 8:52 AM  

Russia doesn't need excellent military capabilities vis-a-vis the Ukrainians. They have the Donbas on their side and have more modern equipment, better trained troops, and more of them. Ukraine is a banana republic without the bananas and its military forces have not been updated on the same level.

The Russians don't want to own Ukraine, they'd rather have a compliant client state that manages most of its own affairs without the need for direct control but which does not cross certain lines/thresholds.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan September 30, 2016 8:52 AM  

I really doubt outside of the NOVA crowd and the drunks at the local VFW there is much appetite for a shooting war over the abstract principles of who rules the NWO. Certainly not from the low IQ gibsmedat crowd, and the nasty white HR ladies will have no luck herding them into war fever.

Blogger VD September 30, 2016 8:58 AM  

They do not have the troops for it, and they know it thus the propaganda you see from the Russians and all the frightened little mice from the west touting them.

You give yourself away there. Why don't you stop beating your neocon chest and actually make a prediction. Will the USA attempt to enforce a no-fly zone? And if so, will it succeed?

Blogger Ransom Smith September 30, 2016 8:59 AM  

Someone really needs to tell the morons running the show that the forgot the most famous of all quotes.

Never get involved in a land war in Asia.

Blogger Matamoros September 30, 2016 9:00 AM  

Here's a good article on the effects of churchianity and feminism:

‘Inclusive’ Canadian Church Debates Suitability of Openly Atheist Pastor

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/09/30/inclusive-canadian-church-debates-suitability-atheist-pastor/

Blogger Dexter September 30, 2016 9:01 AM  

Impasse, stalemate, dead end. This is what the administration actually wants. They're not trying to "win".

Blogger tz September 30, 2016 9:04 AM  

Two things kill Empires: Afghanistan, and sending an army during a Russian winter. It looks like we might do the latter in the steppes of Napoleon and Hitler.

Anonymous mature craig September 30, 2016 9:04 AM  

Given Russias Christian history its odd to me that they are willing to sometimes side with Muslim countries against Christian countries

Anonymous Chris Mallory September 30, 2016 9:12 AM  

Johnny wrote:I believe our Middle East policy served our interests until Bush the Unwise extend it beyond utility,

Our ME policy hasn't served our interests since Ike left office and considering the CIA's Iran fiasco, even that is debatable.

Blogger Douglas Hiltz September 30, 2016 9:18 AM  

There should be broad support for getting out of the ME. Where is the anti-war sentiment from the left? Libertarians are anti-war, Alt-right. The neo-cons should be totally isolated on this but as soon as someone gets into office the MIC kicks in and tells the president what to do...in my simplistic view...

Blogger Lazarus September 30, 2016 9:19 AM  

Military or intelligence coup?

Debka:

The first step toward a direct showdown was taken by the United States.

By now, it is no secret in Moscow, or indeed in any Middle East capital, that the American A-10 air strike of Sept. 17 against a Syrian military position at Jebel Tudar in the Deir ez-Zour region of eastern Syria was intentional, not accidental, as originally claimed. Scores of Syrian soldiers died in the attack.

The fact that President Obama instituted a secret inquiry to discover which link in the American chain of command ordered the attack pointed to his suspicion that a high-up in the Pentagon or possibly the CIA, had ordered the air strike, in order to sabotage the US-Russian military cooperation deal in Syria, which Secretary Kerry obtained after long and arduous toil.


Do you know who is in command here, soldier?

Blogger Student in Blue September 30, 2016 9:20 AM  

@WinstonWebb
One major potential flashpoint for China is Malaysia, where Islamic civilization confronts Sinic civilization.

It would be most interesting to observe how the Chinese would fight Muslims.


It wouldn't be that interesting. Either the muslims in Malaysia will suffer a lowkey genocide, or somehow the powers that be will convert into Islam.

Blogger Ken Prescott September 30, 2016 9:22 AM  

@26

"American airpower strategy based on the notion that the airfields and carriers will be unmolested, OK sure. They never leave the year 1945 they just add more tech wizbang goodies to their thinking."

They have that notion because they expend a lot of (not that visible to outsiders) energy and resources on ensuring that the carriers and airfields remain unmolested.

Blogger Ken Prescott September 30, 2016 9:23 AM  

@41

Debka needs to be taken with a largish grain of sodium chloride.

Said largish grain would be ideally be about the size of Australia.

Anonymous ZhukovG September 30, 2016 9:28 AM  

Hillary elected; war with Russia.

Donald elected; civil war in the USA?

Anonymous Ominous Cowherd September 30, 2016 9:28 AM  

Ken Prescott wrote:
They have that notion because they expend a lot of (not that visible to outsiders) energy and resources on ensuring that the carriers and airfields remain unmolested.


I think we are all wondering how those efforts will hold up against Russian tactical nukes. It looks increasingly likely that our question will be answered. Curiosity killed the carrier group.

Anonymous mature craig September 30, 2016 9:29 AM  

I get the sense that some Russians have a grudge against Israel from the communist period and their grudge is so severe that they see US as supporting their Jewish tormenters in the communist period so they sympathize and side with Muslim anti-Israel and anti American forces in the middle east

Blogger SemiSpook37 September 30, 2016 9:33 AM  

Ransom Smith wrote:Someone really needs to tell the morons running the show that the forgot the most famous of all quotes.

Never get involved in a land war in Asia.


I am in total agreement with this.

Because the last two times this was attempted worked out so well. /s

Blogger pyrrhus September 30, 2016 9:33 AM  

"Their two problems are that while US troops can defeat Russian troops, the Russian proxies are better than the US proxies in both Syria and Ukraine,"
Highly unlikely that US troops could defeat Russians. Russians have the best anti-aircraft system in the world SA400, better training, and overall better troops. And the Russians are fighting in their backyard, whereas resupply would be extremely difficult for the US. WW3 would ensue...

Blogger Johnny September 30, 2016 9:34 AM  

WinstonWebb wrote: One major potential flashpoint for China is Malaysia, where Islamic civilization confronts Sinic civilization.

It would be most interesting to observe how the Chinese would fight Muslims.


Following WWII half the manufacturing in the world was in the United States. We could be challenged by the USSR in Europe and by China in China, but no where else. The world was our oyster because we had the resources and we were up to it.

Now not so much.

We can maintain our global reach if we want to, but we need to stop thinking of ourselves as the exclusive agent. The outcome of that thinking is overreach given our current resources.

And we need to stop assuming that European culture is the automatic winner, and that in part is what is behind all this immigration. It is the implicit assumption that European culture is automatically dominant. Hubris writ large.

Blogger Deplorable Gaiseric September 30, 2016 9:36 AM  

pyrrhus wrote:"Their two problems are that while US troops can defeat Russian troops, the Russian proxies are better than the US proxies in both Syria and Ukraine,"

Highly unlikely that US troops could defeat Russians. Russians have the best anti-aircraft system in the world SA400, better training, and overall better troops. And the Russians are fighting in their backyard, whereas resupply would be extremely difficult for the US. WW3 would ensue...

US troops are more fabulous with their red high heels, though.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan September 30, 2016 9:38 AM  

The Taliban at Camp Leatherneck just needed some wire cutters and a few small arms and wiped out a bunch of Harriers, but the Russians are doomed, OK Tom Clancy thanks for the input.

Scenario the first few days of the vaunted American air power display goes as planned and the kooky women who run the show get on TV and the print media and brag about their dominance. This sets it in the mind of the American Lumpen that total war is here and 'Murka has vanquished its foes, again, Fuck yeah.

Russia pours the works onto a carrier group, most of it fails but a shot makes it thru and a carrier is struck fatally and thousands perish including pregnant Laquisha who joined the military for college funds and maternity bennies. Polls drop like a rock, this ain't your daddy's Iraqi foes.

Blogger Mountain Man September 30, 2016 9:40 AM  

Somewhat OT:

But you can now add Lew Rockwell to the list of Dissenters that have been fucked with. As of 942 EST his site has been down. In the 12 years Ive been reading it- I've never seen this.
All of this happening at once is no mere coincidence.

Blogger Mountain Man September 30, 2016 9:42 AM  

@36
It doesn't even pass the laugh test.
We have now arrived at that point in time where an Onion article of ten years ago is now our present reality.

Anonymous mature craig September 30, 2016 9:44 AM  

Re 9:29 ...shame on me shouldnt have used the word tormenters..ruling class is a better word...also the communists may have been largely gentile for all i know.i wasnt there...i read too much internet propaganda

Blogger Basil Makedon September 30, 2016 9:47 AM  

We have absolutely zero national interests in Syria, none. If Russia wants to clean out the rebels, clean out ISIS and prop up Assad, good luck to them. We need to be scaling back, retrenching and putting our own society and economy back together after a generation of idiocy. We keep pushing like this, we are going to be exposed and then it all comes down.

OpenID basementhomebrewer September 30, 2016 9:48 AM  

Our military is woefully unprepared for a conventional war with a peer or near to peer nation. We have been training and developing technology that exploits smaller, less technologically advanced forces.

The F-35 is the ultimate in this development. It has sacrificed fundamentals like speed and agility for the technology which relies heavily on communications working. We play hard and fast with China or Russian and all the sudden the satellite communications are going to disappear and the terrestrial communications are going to be jammed.

Blogger Mountain Man September 30, 2016 9:50 AM  

"if the Russians test the US in Syria they will lose badly, take a look at the map, go ahead look............"


Certainly ... our multicultural and oh so diverse and inclusive Army of One is just so scary to those pussy Russians.
We all know that wars and battles have always been won by those with the most soldiers in drag. (sarcasm off)

Here's a little wake up call:
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-11-07/legendary-us-army-commander-says-russia-would-annihilate-us-head-head-battle

Oh, but what does a seasoned commander know when compared to the well coifed and perfumed armchair warriors residing inside the Beltway.

Blogger Mountain Man September 30, 2016 9:53 AM  

"this ain't your daddy's Iraqi foes."


Precisely.. yet the numbskulls are too blinded with their own hubris to understand this.

Blogger glad2meetyou September 30, 2016 9:58 AM  

CNN has a video running on one of their articles titled: "Syria, a war on children?"

MSM warmongering is nails-on-a-chalkboard.

Anonymous Kali i ka da September 30, 2016 9:59 AM  

Why are you so certain that U.S. troops can defeat Russian troops? Even though Russians do occasionally march to SpongeBob Squarepants, I would think that any military that uses any portion of a day for diversity training would be less prepared than one who doesn't. Additionally, I believe the American military and citizenry would balk at supporting ISIS against Assad.

Russia has many subs and would within minutes turn U.S. surface ships into reef platforms in the Black Sea, eastern Mediterranean, Red Sea, and Persian Gulf if Russian assets were directly attacked by the U.S. Russian nuclear missile subs are less than 50 miles off both our coasts as we type. A blow up in Syria with loss to Russian assets will go nuclear in the blink of an eye. In minutes every city from Boston to Miami and from Seattle to San Diego will glow. If a nuclear missile hit Oak Ridge, God only knows how much additional nuclear material would be released. At UT 'Rocky Top' would take on a whole new meaning if anyone was left to sing or had the will to sing.

Has the American and European governing elite lost their collective minds? The math is simple. For Russia 146 million spread over 11 time zones. For the U.S. 320 million crowded in 4 time zones. As me and my family slowly die from radiation poisoning my only joy will be in knowing that those bastards in D.C.,N.Y., and Hollywood got what they deserved.

Anonymous Satan's Hamster September 30, 2016 10:05 AM  

"Has the American and European governing elite lost their collective minds?"

From the SJW standpoint, a nuclear war between America and Russia would be a great success, since it would eliminate perhaps half of the remaining white population of the world.

OK, a billion Africans would die when there's no longer anyone to keep sending them free shit, and a hundred million Muslims when Saudi goes bust and the entire Middle East becomes a giant civil war, but that's a small price to pay for cleansing the planet of Evil White People.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan September 30, 2016 10:07 AM  

I don't believe in magic Russian weapons, that crap is silly. But the world has watched the American way of war for decades now, and frankly it makes for good TV, but strategically it is stuck in 1945 along with the mindset amongst the Lumpen that Pilot A gets in super duper plane flies from secure airfield with a nice Dunkin Donuts for the brave troops and vanquishes the mud people and maybe dodges a few rockets, before his but preferably her interview with bimbo TV reporter.

Good luck to that. My guess is if the Russians can weather the cruise missile portion than they can really fuck up the air campaign against them. How many cruise missiles can be arrayed against them I don't know.

Blogger BassmanCO September 30, 2016 10:08 AM  

I see the neocon crawled back under his rock after Vox called him out. Typical. Bunch of cowards and pussies.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan September 30, 2016 10:13 AM  

And they want to corner Trump into playing warmongering patriotard, or be seen as Putin's dancing boy.

Anonymous ZhukovG September 30, 2016 10:14 AM  

In the event of war with Russia, I believe a few things could happen.

1. It will likely remain conventional. A nation-state can recover from losing a conventional war. There is no reasonable recovery from nuclear war.
2. China will join the war on Russia’s side. The Chinese would be stupid to miss an opportunity to force the US into a two front war. But they will likely wait until we have committed significant forces against Russia before striking.
3. India and Pakistan will declare Neutrality.
4. Finland and Sweden will declare neutrality, but share intelligence information with NATO.
5. The Baltic States will be overrun in three days.
6. The Russian Army will take Kiev within 5 days.
7. Poland and Hungary will declare that the US is the aggressor thus releasing them from their commitment under NATO. They may or may not still allow US forces to transit their territories.
8. Polish ‘Peacekeeping’ troops enter Ukraine and occupy Lvov and its environs.
9. Russians are forced to withdraw from Syria and the Med. Russia blocks the Dardanelles shipping channel.
10. Germany and France are unable to commit forces due to extreme civil unrest in their countries.
11. After losing two Aircraft Carriers to Russian and Chinese submarines and coastal based anti-ship missiles, the US government pulls all remaining carriers out of range due to internal political pressure. At this point the US has effectively lost the war.

Blogger pyrrhus September 30, 2016 10:16 AM  

Another grisly point....Russia is about twice the size of the US lower 48, and spans 11 time zones. China is quite sizable as well....Who do you think has a better chance to survive a nuclear war?

Anonymous jacopo September 30, 2016 10:19 AM  

DOD and the defense industry, which underwrites neocon media outlets, are feeling the budget squeeze of sequestration and seeing their slice of pie shrink before their eyes as Boomers go on SS and Medicare. A hot war with Russia would fix that for them.

Anonymous mature craig September 30, 2016 10:23 AM  

Also i have many good relationships with Jewish people and i dont see them tormenting me or anyone. I find that they are -not like that- Sorry for that relapse into an insane mode that i was in in around 2010-11

Blogger Mr.MantraMan September 30, 2016 10:28 AM  

For kicks add in the Serbs getting feisty in their little enclaves, have to spare some air dropped munitions for them as well.

Blogger Johnny September 30, 2016 10:28 AM  

@64 Well, define losing? Winning?

The losers would be the United States and Russia, and the winners, whatever third party countries that were able to take advantage of the situation.

The Chinese would not so much take the Russian side as exploit the opportunity. Take Taiwan and become more assertive in the South China Sea.

It could easily happen that whatever is left of our fleet ends up in port for the duration of the war. Pulled back would not be good enough.

Anonymous Satan's Hamster September 30, 2016 10:28 AM  

"China will join the war on Russia’s side."

You do realize that the US economy collapses at this point, right? China doesn't need to fire a shot, it just has to stop shipping crap to American companies from its factories, so they go bust. My current employer isn't as reliant on Chinese products, but the last one would have been out of products to sell in a week if China stopped shipping them.

This is what happens when you export most of your economy. The insanity of picking a war against Russia pales in comparison to the insanity of fighting a war against your own manufacturing base. It would be like WWII America bombing Detroit.

Blogger Chris Mallory September 30, 2016 10:29 AM  

Kali i ka da wrote:For Russia 146 million spread over 11 time zones. For the U.S. 320 million crowded in 4 time zones.

You do realize that the Russian population is concentrated in an area about the size of Alaska and the West Coast. Most of Russia has fewer than 2 people a square mile.

Anonymous Sensei September 30, 2016 10:31 AM  

Russia is about twice the size of the US lower 48, and spans 11 time zones. China is quite sizable as well...

China has almost the same land area as the US. And both Russia and especially China's populations are heavily concentrated into smaller areas than in the US. They're worse off than us there, though "worse" rings a bit hollow as a comparison when talking about hot nuclear war..

Blogger Ken Prescott September 30, 2016 10:42 AM  

If Putin is stupid and crazy enough to throw nukes around over which idiots get to govern Syria, I suspect that the Russian military will quietly remove him from his duties. He might still appear to be in office, but he would have 24/7/365 adult supervision.

Blogger Ken Prescott September 30, 2016 10:47 AM  

And China's economy collapses immediately afterwards, because their best customer, and the one source of hard currency big enough to keep their banks from going insolvent from all the loans to Minister So-and-So's idiot relatives that will never get repaid...just went bye-bye.

Blogger Demonic Professor El September 30, 2016 10:49 AM  

"...Syracuse-level disaster..."

The Russian people and military have a good track record of inflicting these as well - Charles XII of Sweden, Napoleon, 1942-44. Shoot, even the Kerensky campaigns in 1917 were pretty big victories for the Russians in WWI...

But hybris deafens wisdom in even the most intelligent, doesn't it?

Blogger Escoffier September 30, 2016 10:51 AM  

Cerdic Ricing wrote:Something makes me irrationally excited about staying home and ignoring the rest of the world. I could like it for rational reasons, but for some reason I like the prospect without needing a reason, even when I normally like logical things. Something about isolationism just sounds right, like it's how things should be. Just seeing the word makes me irrationally happy.

TPTB have invested a lot of time and energy demonizing that word but I have a sneaking suspicion most folks would be just fine with it. I know I would.

Blogger Demonic Professor El September 30, 2016 11:07 AM  

johnc wrote:Eventually Korea and Japan may wonder if they should focus more on building a relationship with China than the US.



That was kind of the word on the street in Korea when I lived and worked there. Some underpinnings going on, increasing deals with China while China slowly stepped away from North Korea. China would rather see a unified Korea just for the trade deals alone - and it's cheaper to invest in infrastructure than to constantly bail out the idiot cousin.

All that bollocks about "China will swoop in to North Korea!!!" are neocon lies. Even a lot of Koreans think the US delays reunification so they can keep a military force there (with some truth to that, e.g., the neocons).

And Vox brings up the excellent point about the Chinese - they're less interested in military conquest and nation building as they are with securing borders and alliances. After Mao died and those imperial ventures ended disastrously, the Chinese focused on economics. For the foreseeable future, they'd leave their protectorates alone as money is too important to them.

Sidenote: China also knows how to deal with Muzzie insurgents, a la the Uyghur uprising in 2009. The muzzies start massacring people? Send in tanks, crush the muzzies, and redistribute their population. Makes one wonder why terrorist attacks are so rare in that part of the world? Oh yeah - Asians will destroy the villages and salt the earth.

Blogger Demonic Professor El September 30, 2016 11:13 AM  

Kali i ka da wrote:Additionally, I believe the American military and citizenry would balk at supporting ISIS against Assad.

I remember this past fall, a few military buds of mine, and more than a lot in various social media, all fell on the side of Putin and Russia when Turkey downed the Russian planes. Their sentiment was basically what ours would be - ally with Russia, destroy Turkey and ISIS.

Real military dudes hate Obama and the SJW klan. Too bad the higher ups are all converged...

Anonymous Satan's Hamster September 30, 2016 11:15 AM  

"And China's economy collapses immediately afterwards,"

Which is why China would rather play Let's-You-And-Him-Fight than start a war with America. But they'll certainly finish one if Clinton starts it.

The Chinese are used to eating grass, commissars or even their own kids to survive. If it comes down to it, they can survive an economic depression much longer than Americans can.

Besides, what's the value of the US dollar if there's no US economy to spend it in? The Chinese make stuff and ship it to Americans, who ship back green pieces of paper. What's really in it for them?

Anonymous Hunsdon September 30, 2016 11:28 AM  

Ken Prescott said: If Putin is stupid and crazy enough to throw nukes around over which idiots get to govern Syria, I suspect that the Russian military will quietly remove him from his duties.

Hunsdon said: And you base your opinion on the sociopolitical mood of the Russian military on what, again, exactly?

The anti-Putin crowd like to pretend its just bad old Vlad, and any successor would be pliable like Yeltsin, without understanding that "Bad Vlad" is about as sympathetic and pliable as any Russian leader is going to be.

Aside from the 2%-ers supporting Yabloko, any discontent with Putin within Russia is that he doesn't take a hard enough line with the US.

Blogger Thucydides September 30, 2016 11:30 AM  

The biggest problem with US policy in the Middle east is the essentially schizoid nature of it. The long running theme since 1979 is to contain Shiite Iran and maintain stability in the Sunni oil producing regions to ensure a relatively secure oil supply to US allies in Europe and Japan (despite much nonsense being published, the US imports most of its oil from closer to home, Mexico, Canada and Venezuela).

The Obama Administration has swung its support clumsily behind the Iranians and the Muslim brotherhoods, while abandoning its traditional Sunni clients. This is the reason for US inaction during the "Green Revolution" (when the Iranian Theocracy might have been overthrown by the Iranian people), the totally ineffective support of the FSA as civil war spread in Syria and the strange on again-off again support for the Arab Spring.

In this case, it seems clear that incompetence can explain the situation without seeking active malice; Obama is so full of himself he believed that his mere presence would cause positive change in the Middle East, and made little or no attempt to consult with the State Department, experts in the field or even allies like Europe or Japan to see what the long term effect might be. Don't forget, Obama is the guy who once told an interviewer that he was smarter than his policy experts and speech writers (paraphrase), so this magical thinking was extended to the Middle East and foreign policy in general.

Now having created a power vacuum and destabilized the US economy by ladling 15 trillion dollars in debt, he hopes to retire to a quiet life of golf, multi million dollar book deals and lavish taxpayer supported travel. Like most of the "elites", he believes he is insulated from the effects of his actions, and for the most part, he is correct.

In the mean time, the US can realize that the Middle East is undergoing a regional war between religious factions and at least three wannabe regional hegemons (Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia). It has gone way past the point where regional stability and secure oil supplies to US allies can be secured. If Donald Trump really wants to think outside the box, he might consider coal liquefaction so the US can make up the lost oil supplies to Japan and Europe (US supertankers bringing synthetic oil to Europe and Japan have the advantage of sailing directly from the coasts and avoiding strategic choke points).

America's strong suit has always been innovation and trade, and flooding the world with cheap synthetic oil does an end run around a lot of the issues in the Middle East, and cuts them off from the funding they need for the conflict to spill out of their borders. The Russians are welcome to spend their own blood and treasure on the middle east).

Anonymous Gen. Kong September 30, 2016 11:36 AM  

Amazing there are still idiots who believe the foreign entanglements of Murikan regime is even influenced in any way by the zeks who live in the Banana Empire. It's not. The (((elites))) control it completely. The Banana Legions are simply mercenaries - poorly paid apart from openly treasonous officers - who blindly follow the dictates of the (((elites))) as the the very same (((elites))) import the very Musloids they are fighting over there to live next door to their own families. Idiots doesn't even begin to describe it.

Blogger Were-Puppy September 30, 2016 11:38 AM  

The Chinese are playing their cards with their customary patience, allowing Russia to keep the USA occupied while they improve their ability to force the US out of their own near-abroad.
---

Anybody else use Google Earth?

If you do, type in Spratly Island. It's in a very good spot to intimidate every country there from Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Filipines.

When you zoom in on the island, you can see that it has been turned entirely into a base. A very large airstrip, what looks to be a deep water port (not entirely sure about this), and a lot of boats floating around it.


Anonymous patrick kelly September 30, 2016 11:43 AM  

@11 usualneoconcrap

" Russians are playing a game there with us but they are not insane enough to test us to hard."

This is wrong. The ties between Moscow and Damascus are centuries deep. Damascus is as close to Moscow as DC is to Mexico city (more or less). How hard would we test Russian forces deployed there? Your understanding is shallow. Russian will go nuclear over Syria.



Anonymous Athor Pel September 30, 2016 11:45 AM  

" Thucydides September 30, 2016 11:30 AM
...
If Donald Trump really wants to think outside the box, he might consider coal liquefaction so the US can make up the lost oil supplies to Japan and Europe (US supertankers bringing synthetic oil to Europe and Japan have the advantage of sailing directly from the coasts and avoiding strategic choke points).

America's strong suit has always been innovation and trade, and flooding the world with cheap synthetic oil does an end run around a lot of the issues in the Middle East, and cuts them off from the funding they need for the conflict to spill out of their borders. The Russians are welcome to spend their own blood and treasure on the middle east).
"


The US right now, through fracking and the newly opened fields made possible by that technology, is capable of producing more oil than it can use. So much in fact that the oil industry is trying to get the feds to allow oil exports from the US.

It's the reason the Saudi's have continued high production for so long, keeping the oil price down. They don't want the US becoming a major player again in the oil export market.

Anonymous patrick kelly September 30, 2016 11:46 AM  

@25 "The key is that getting into a shooting War with Russia over Syria is not in any rational American interest. "

True, but the US government and their puppet masters are not very rational, and unfortunately don't care much about what we would recognize as "rational American interest".

Blogger residentMoron September 30, 2016 11:55 AM  

@85

It's ironic, because all those Game Theorists at RAND Corp used to rave on about how the Soviets weren't rational and therefore bla bla bla ... now it is obvious to all that it is WE who are led by irrational megalomaniacs.

But a No Fly zone over Syria would require the assent of the Russians in the Security Council and that is unlikely to be forthcoming.

Without it, the USA and allies would have to brazenly launch an illegal war against the Syrian government (not that they haven't already, but they've been skirting the legalities without openly defying them) and that would lay bare all their historic pretenses for all to see.

That day will assuredly come, little is surer, but we should hope it is not yet here, because it is going to be the day that naked power assumes its undisguised presumption to decide who lives and who dies, across the whole world.

Anonymous Casey September 30, 2016 12:04 PM  

The only way to make sense of America's foreign policy is to accept the fact that those in charge are not planning on America surviving its implementation.

Hillary's admiration for Angela Merkle was her way of signaling to her handlers that if elected she plans to continue the destruction of America.

Anonymous A Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents September 30, 2016 12:05 PM  

One thing about the neocons, they are Bourbounesque: they forget nothing and they learn nothing. So because the US was able to chew up and spit out Saddam's air defense system 25 years ago, the neocons are convinced that since surely nothing has changed, the USAF and USN can do the same thing in the eastern Med in 2016.

Because MANPAD's were useful to the Afghani's in the 1980's, surely they will work in Syria in 2016.

They know nothing. They have learned nothing. They have all their little triumphs like tchotke's on the coffee table to fondle, divorced from reality.

Of course none of their sons will be shot down in aging F-16's and F-18's and even B-52's. So, eh, it's not like anything real is going to happen.

Kerry can't even articulate a goal in Syria beyond "stop ISIS". Is it regime replacement, is it democratization, what's the official goal again?



Blogger Escoffier September 30, 2016 12:13 PM  

Satan's Hamster wrote:"China will join the war on Russia’s side."

You do realize that the US economy collapses at this point, right? China doesn't need to fire a shot, it just has to stop shipping crap to American companies from its factories, so they go bust. My current employer isn't as reliant on Chinese products, but the last one would have been out of products to sell in a week if China stopped shipping them.

This is what happens when you export most of your economy. The insanity of picking a war against Russia pales in comparison to the insanity of fighting a war against your own manufacturing base. It would be like WWII America bombing Detroit.


Yes but even as America's Blackest City Detroit is still nominally America (I said nominally!) while China most definitely isn't. The wisdom of appointing a hungry global competitor to be your manufacturing base has never been entirely clear to me. But perhaps a very smaht person could explain to me the various ways we win by turning Walmart into an arm of the Red Army?

Blogger Were-Puppy September 30, 2016 12:23 PM  

@79 Hunsdon

Aside from the 2%-ers supporting Yabloko, any discontent with Putin within Russia is that he doesn't take a hard enough line with the US.
---

From what I've seen, which could all be propaganda, it looks like Putin has been warning about this for some time. It might be he is biding his time waiting out the result of our US election before making any really huge moves. His choice would be, if Clinton wins, prepare for war with the US and NWO. If Trump wins, then there is a better chance it can be averted.

Blogger Were-Puppy September 30, 2016 12:30 PM  

@87 Casey
The only way to make sense of America's foreign policy is to accept the fact that those in charge are not planning on America surviving its implementation.

Hillary's admiration for Angela Merkle was her way of signaling to her handlers that if elected she plans to continue the destruction of America.
---

The NWO are Malthusian. The more that die, the merrier. Through War, or any other means.

Anonymous Kali i ka da September 30, 2016 12:46 PM  

If one recalls it was Putin who sacked the entire Baltic Sea command. Putin is stronger than the military.

With a sparse population east of the Urals, living closer to the soil, and continuing with their civil defense when we abandoned ours, Russia is better positioned than the U.S.

Anonymous Isotalo September 30, 2016 12:47 PM  

First time commenter, long-time reader.

Many are misinformed about Russian military performance.

First, Russian training is not superior to US or west in general. Morale, unless you invade Russian soil, Russian morale is no better than western, if even equal. The leadership situation is tricky, however. Unfortunately, present US/western leaders appear ideologically insane, whereas Russians are what they always are: self-centered, pragmatic, and without morality. Russians will not risk a nuclear war with the west, but if they are attacked, they will reply in kind. Western leaders? I could imagine someone like Clinton to be mad enough to actually start a nuclear war, instead of just retaliating against an attacker. The Russians are trying not to get into a war with the west, but I could believe some nutcases in western leadership actually trying to get into a war Russia.

Second, technology. Russian tech is... great for air shows and shit talk, otherwise vastly inferior to western. For example, this claim that Flankers (SU-27/30/35 variants) are "substantially superior" to western fighters is nonsense. And to even bother comparison to the F-22 is just brain-damaged cave troll level ignorance. Russia makes decent rifles and artillery, but high tech is just... behind. The thought that attack helicopters are difficult targets for fighter aircraft is silly: helicopters are meat for fighters, unless the fighter pilot is an arrogant moron (that happens occasionally). Their vaunted surface to air missiles? Systems deserving of respect, but not the doomsday weapons the ignorant reporters and fangirls make them out to be. No, their C-400 is not capable of air space denial in a 400 km range. Their electronic warfare ain't magic either. From tech perspective, the west has nothing to fear from the Russians, certainly not you Americans.

There's two type of western military people with regard to this discussion. The first type is the high level people, concerned about funding, who use Russia for Gimmemoneys! The second type is the lower level professional who doesn't deal in funding and can be honest, and if he knows anything about the Russian situation, he'll be saying that the Russians have never been less scary than they are now, at least not since the October Revolution. I am that second type, Finnish air force.

I can understand sympathy for Russia and Putin in general, but that shouldn't make us close our eyes to reality. Russia isn't some savior nor intends to be, and if they had an opportunity, it would be far more ugly than any American soft imperialism in the form of cultural and economical aggression. Let's not forget these people gave us the Soviet Union, and are in great part responsible for our modern western SJW-riddled green-leftist political elite.

Of China? They never liked Russians, which is something Americans never seem to realize, perhaps because of some "red is red" thinking that dates to the communism era. China benefits a lot more from the west than from Russia. If Russia and the west go war, China's going to make political noise, but will not help Russia. Instead, they'll use the opportunity to eat up their smaller neighbors, and if opportunity presents itself, carve up a piece of Russian Siberia for themselves.

Short: there's not going to be a WW3 with Russia against the west, unless the west starts it with a nuclear attack. So, uh... maybe we shouldn't elect people who might do that? If we elect some crazy, then we might just get nuclear war. If we elect someone who can stop playing world police, then we will be able to avoid that easily. Trump sounds like a reasonable choice. At least I haven't heard of him preaching for more and more military intervention in 3rd world countries that will lead just to more "refugees" flooding the west.

Vox and commenters, thank you for an interesting blog that contains logic that is so difficult now to find in western media.

Anonymous SciVo September 30, 2016 12:48 PM  

sweep their fighters from the sky, their navy will not last long either

You are insane. Batshit crazy. What part of "nuclear power" do you not understand, you suicidally dumb motherfucker?

Blogger Demonic Professor El September 30, 2016 1:07 PM  

Isotalo wrote:Many are misinformed about Russian military performance.



I think a lot of it has to do with defensive capabilities more than anything else, rather than offensive. Russia's strength was always land-based defense with frontlines holding while partisans destroyed the interior.

The biggest advantage Russian tech has is jamming capabilities and submarines as per the US/NATO fleets.

And Finnish military, eh? Heh, we could assume that the Russians learned a thing or two from the 1939 Winter War...

PS - I think this will be the third or fourth thread in as many days where the Finnish peoples and their inherent badassery come up. Now just waiting for Markku...

Blogger Basil Makedon September 30, 2016 1:14 PM  

I love the Finns, fought the Russians to standstill in the Winter War. Simo Haya! Also, they used the one jewish guy in the Finnish Army to be the liason officer with the Nazi military advisers. Hysterical levels of ZFG.

OpenID basementhomebrewer September 30, 2016 1:15 PM  

SciVo wrote:sweep their fighters from the sky, their navy will not last long either

You are insane. Batshit crazy. What part of "nuclear power" do you not understand, you suicidally dumb motherfucker?


He has a serious problem with understand scope. So yes, we will win in Syria, but the problem is the war would expand to a global scale and no one would care about Syria anymore because the war will be in the Pacific, and western Europe.

Blogger Demonic Professor El September 30, 2016 1:21 PM  

Basil Makedon wrote:I love the Finns, fought the Russians to standstill in the Winter War. Simo Haya! Also, they used the one jewish guy in the Finnish Army to be the liason officer with the Nazi military advisers. Hysterical levels of ZFG

It's the saunas, I swear. Plus, they're the Finns!

Where's Markku?

And yeah, what other power was both Axis and Ally in WW2 where the response by other powers was "Well, what are you gonna do, eh?"

Blogger JohnG September 30, 2016 1:43 PM  

I would be cautious about ascribing a “strategy” to most of this. We’re now trapped in Iraq now because of the disaster that happened there when we withdrew in 2011 (a consequence of the disastrous policy of implementing COIN – a colonial occupation strategy), neither party wants to be in power and holding the blame for the ultimate collapse of our (!) puppet Shi’ite gov’t. Same with Afghanistan, there’s nothing to be gained there but that gov’t will fall the moment we leave – we’ve set up a military for them that consumes 60% of their GDP – and the humanitarian disaster that follows will be epic. To some extent Syria is a result of jumping on the Arab Spring bandwagon and right into a quagmire, based to a large extent Power/Rice/Clinton’s “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine which I would bet money came about as a result of three harpies screeching at Obama every day. They even tossed around that BS with Israel (deploying troops there as a buffer between the Hebs and the Pals) – guess Bibi told them to f*ck off under no uncertain terms.

For the “we’ll kick the Russian’s asses” crowd – maybe and not right away. Our guys haven’t had an engagement with troops that know how to use the sights/optics on their rifles, real snipers, and troops that understand the value of cover and concealment. The Russians can place significant quantities of accurate mortar and artillery fire (which we’ve never faced in OEF/OIF) – and their doctrine is, and has been before a Russian troop goes to take an objective, the objective is prepped for hours or days with heavy artillery. The Russians have portable guided antitank weapons that can (and have) handily dispatch our M1s, let alone Bradleys or Strykers. We haven’t fought anybody that can fly an advanced fighter jet, nor have we flown our jets against an enemy with capable air defenses. If we don’t have air superiority, it’s an entirely different world than any current general or private has dealt with… there’s even articles out now on respectable mil sights that talk out “limited engagement” because we don’t want to lose $350 million aircraft. Meaning that instead of losing 4,000 guys fighting cavemen for 15 years, we could lose 4,000 people in a day and the American public doesn’t have a lot of patience for that kind of thing. But hell, anybody that knows anything about the military knows that if we lose Powerpoint, we’re done.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash September 30, 2016 1:55 PM  

What the Putin-this and Putin-that crowd, who blame everything wrong in the world on Putin personally, miss is that Putin is what passes for a peacenik in Russia. He's the thoughtful guy looking for a peaceful resolution to problems and tends to overlook slights and insults in the interest of negotiation and compromise.
He didn't even flatten any Turkish cities when the Turks in Syria murdered his pilot.

Stephanie Dreadful up there is probably right, we probably could over-run their airbases in Syria. What we can't do is over-run their air bases in Russia. Which are what, a half-hour away?

How many carriers are we willing to lose to enforce a no-fly zone? How many sailors? How many aircraft? How many pilots?

For what goal?

Anonymous DT September 30, 2016 2:00 PM  

Three points to make on this topic:

Last night I stopped to talk to my 82yo neighbor who was out watering her grass. She's a life long Democrat...though not fond of Hillary at all...and our conversation turned to politics.

"I'm just worried that Trump will shoot his mouth off and start World War III."

I briefly explained to her what's going on in Syria and how it's Hillary who is threatening the globe with World War. I asked her "What happens if we declare a no fly zone and then shoot down a Russian Mig?" The look on her face was exactly what you would expect from someone who remembers World War II and the cold war.

"And why would we do this? What dog do we have in that fight?"

"None" was her reply. "We have no business being there."

I might have just flipped one for Trump.

****

I wish I was in a position where I could say to Hillary, live in front of the entire nation, that if she wins and manages to start WW3 with Russia, she's on her own. I will not respond to a draft, and I will kill any LEO who tries to make me do otherwise. I will not pick up a gun. I will not fight unless Russian or Chinese troops try to attack my soil.

And by my soil I mean my state. Because Putin can nuke DC off the face of the planet for all I care, if DC is stupid enough to do this.

I wanted to say the same thing to Fat Bastard during the Republican primary debates. You want war with Russia over a mid-eastern hell hole? Or a part of Ukraine that is overwhelmingly Russian? Fine. Pick up an M-16 and do it yourself. It won't be me, my family, or my neighbors who bleed for this.

****

Last comment: those which Russia has deployed (SU-30SM and SU-35) are substantially superior to any aircraft in the US inventory with the possible exception of the F-22A.

There is no "possible exception" there. There has never been such a large gap between fighter aircraft as currently exists between the F-22 and everything else. Reading about its performance in various air exercises feels like reading about human aircraft going up against alien fighters.

You can put 30 Su-35's in the air with a half dozen Raptors and the Raptors will literally rape them. It's no exaggeration to say that the most likely kill ratio is 30:0.

Understand this in no way means we can have our way with Russia in general, or that a war with them makes sense in any scenario where they are not directly attacking us and our allies. I just get a chuckle when people over estimate their Su-27 derivatives or underestimate our F-22. We shouldn't have even bothered with the F-35 program. We should have built 500 Raptors.

Blogger Benjamin Kraft September 30, 2016 2:40 PM  

@59 You're delusional, we overpower Russia pretty hard as far as numbers of subs are concerned, quality as well for the most part.

Nobody's going to go nuclear at this point, because pretty much everyone's informed that it would make a hellhole of the entire Earth, the only way someone's going to go nuclear is if they are completely and utterly backed into the extinction corner, and maybe not even then. The only type of nuclear there would be even a chance of seeing would be the ground-delivered sort, because you can't really retaliate when you're not even certain who did it, and retaliating with missiles would be off the table even if you KNEW.

I agree with you on the diversity training bit though.

@64 I'm with you right up until #11. Again, I don't think we're likely to lose the sub vs sub vs surface war, and definitely not with China. It'd probably be better for all involved if we DID... but we aren't likely to unless Russia unveils some new super sensor suite or something.

@65 I'd put my money on third world countries and countries that managed to stay out of the exchange. All three of the US, Russia, and China would have little towns and villages that got away relatively unscathed (except for rapid loss of all utilities and services, and onset of widespread starvation) but all of the major industrial, military, government, and population centers would be completely annihilated for all three. All of the nations directly involved in the exchange would be destroyed beyond hope of returning to any pretension of power any time in the next few centuries, and probably for many centuries to come as well.

@76 Excellent points.

Blogger Ken Prescott September 30, 2016 2:46 PM  

I base my opinion on the fact that the Russian military is neither stupid nor crazy.

And neither is the U. S. military, for that matter.

Both sides likely have contingency plans for "Oh, dear, our masters have lost their freaking minds." And I firmly believe that those plans have not only been exercised, but also executed. And more than once.

In short, Baby has been put in the corner before, and will be put in the corner again if necessary.

Anonymous A.B. Prosper September 30, 2016 2:50 PM  

I suspect the US can push the Russians out of Syria with reasonable ease though with some losses and a great deal of expense.

The Russian military is say much better than it was under Yeltsin, its still 2nd tier.

All that aside the risks of US hubris leading to an attempted regime change or massive damage in Russia is high. That would probably result in immediate nuclear war.

Also some Russian weapons like submarines and the like are probably good enough to hurt us with some losses. Destroying a US carrier would be very bad for the US as would destroying a large number of ships.

They may also have more than a few nasty tricks, jamming, radar and who knows what they can change the balance of power. Not Wunderwaffe but tech we aren't aware of or don't yet have easy countermeasures for

If we are sane, we'll avoid war with Russia however we are not feeling right in the head at this time and its possible the Neo Cons may think US power is waning and its use it or lose it

Think those lines (merged) from V with the US as Adam Sutler

I want this country to realize that we stand on the edge of oblivion. I want every man, woman and child to understand how close we are to chaos. What we need right now is a clear message to the people of this country. This message must be read in every newspaper, heard on every radio, seen on every television... I want *everyone* to *remember*, why they *need* us!

That's crazy on steriods but the Neo Cons are as the old street argot went "Stuck on Stupid"

Anonymous Ominous Cowherd September 30, 2016 2:51 PM  

Isotalo wrote:I am that second type, Finnish air force.
...
Of China? They never liked Russians, w


You may be right about the Russian military hardware, morale and training. The Russians probsbly have an even clearer picture than you of where they stand relative to us. Somehow, they still seem confident.

My understanding is that it has long been Soviet doctrine that they would use tactical nukes early and often in any serious social encounter. That will make up for a lot of deficiencies - which may be why they aren't concerned about those deficiencies, and allow them to continue.

I gather that Finland doesn't see China as an immediate or a historic threat. I see China as being a more immediate threat to America and the DC empire than Russia. Russia's sphere of influence isn't maritime: Russia can become hegemon of Europe without cutting off our trade or threatening our command of the oceans. China is trying to expand into the Pacific, and trying to become a naval power. China's ambition brings them into immediate conflict with America and the US empire, but Russia's continental ambitions do not.

Anonymous Ominous Cowherd September 30, 2016 3:10 PM  

Benjamin Kraft wrote:Nobody's going to go nuclear at this point, because pretty much everyone's informed that it would make a hellhole of the entire Earth ...

After 70+ years of red propaganda, many Americans believe that. I'm not sure that any of the Soviets ever believed it, or any of the Russian leadership today.

Blogger Elder Son September 30, 2016 3:21 PM  

Watch the reaction of Senator Wicker when it is explained to him no-fly = war with Russia and Syria:

https://youtu.be/PwRbXIGZXr0


If you are on the fence about Syria: US Peace Council Representatives (United Nations) CONFRONT a hostile American press after visiting Syria, and learning that the American people are being lied to, grossly lied to.

https://youtu.be/c8JppJyVxYU

And again, note the hostile war prostitutes.

Twitter Propaganda: https://mojavedesertpatriot.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/state-dept-john-kirby-aleppo-syria-a.jpg?w=640

Anonymous Rezny September 30, 2016 3:31 PM  

@102
No need to go nuclear. Ballistic missiles can be armed with conventional armaments. Your cities and peoples will burn just as Japan did under conventional bombardments.
Washington City was razed by Canadians of all peoples ffs, get a hold of yourselves, this isn't 1945 and Russia isn't Iraq.

I prophesize that Putin will secure Syria just as NATO secured Kosovo, and it will remain Russian base in the south for the coming years, until it will be forgotten again for decades.
The worst will be an American F-something downed by C-something followed by a hysterical shitstorm that will result in more defensive spending taken from Americans and redistributed to stir more shit in some Eurasian country president Hillary won't be able to pin on the globe - and that's it, you'll continue to slide down to the lefty madhouse just as France and Russia did before you, until it will first break you, then reform into something else.

We're living in Satan's realm, don't forget, the ride never ends.

Blogger Elder Son September 30, 2016 3:33 PM  

The USA would lose in Syria and on the Russian front. If it came to it, Russia would shoot down our planes in Syria in droves. If it came to it in the Mediterranean, the US Fleet would be overwhelmed with Russian anti-ship missiles.

If it came toe-to-toe on the Russian front, and USNATO had the advantage on Russian soil, Russia will use battlefield tactical nukes. What is the US going to do? Lob ICBM's into Russia in response?

The whole thing for the USA is a SUCKERS games.

Blogger Elder Son September 30, 2016 3:43 PM  

LMAO. Because it is so frikkin true: https://twitter.com/KremlinResident/status/781896216967716864

Anonymous DT September 30, 2016 4:03 PM  

@109 - If it came to it, Russia would shoot down our planes in Syria in droves.

I highly doubt this.

If it came to it in the Mediterranean, the US Fleet would be overwhelmed with Russian anti-ship missiles.

This I do not doubt. Indeed, as the US established air superiority this would be one of several very horrific responses that could...almost certainly would in fact...lead to a world war.

And I don't believe for one second that such an exchange couldn't ultimately lead to nukes because 'we grew up not liking nukes.'

US involvement in Syria is insane. Absolutely, certifiably, undeniably insane.

Blogger Elder Son September 30, 2016 4:09 PM  

@111

As much as we want to grab our crotches and gyrate our loins over the vaunted US Military, Russia has the advantage in jamming and anti-aircraft missiles. That is just the way it is. We build puff. They build war.

Hey! Maybe we'll throw in some F-35's LMAO.

Anonymous DT September 30, 2016 4:40 PM  

@112 - As much as we want to grab our crotches and gyrate our loins over the vaunted US Military, Russia has the advantage in jamming and anti-aircraft missiles. That is just the way it is. We build puff. They build war.

I remember hearing the same thing just before Gulf War I. How many fighters did we lose to Russian built AA? Oh yeah....

I know, I know, this time it's different. They built an S-9001 Super Lucifer SAM system that can shoot down satellites orbiting Mars. Except it has never been tested against a major western power unless you count airliners.

I'm not saying we wouldn't lose any planes. I'm not saying Russia is a pushover. I'm not saying we have no weaknesses and they have no strengths. And God knows I'm not saying we should ever wish for conflict with Russia.

But air dominance is the U.S. specialty. So is electronic warfare. Not just on paper, but in every conflict since August 2, 1990.

Russia doesn't have the numbers, training, experience, support, or tech. The Su-35 would be an answer to the F-15 if the Su-35 pilots had the training and AWACS support, which they do not. It's never an answer to the F-22.

Their SAMs are getting better. But you can't hit what you can't see. And even if you could see a Raptor, in most scenarios it has the distance and energy to evade your best shot. Which means in a matter of days Raptors can wipe out your best air defense systems, giving the older aircraft free reign.

But killing Russian pilots and ground forces for a "no fly zone" is only going to lead to a mess of anti ship missiles flying at a carrier battle group. Too many to counter. Once you lose a carrier and 6,000 plus men things get real.

This needs to be shoved in the face of voters. Obama and Hillary's foreign policies have been an unmitigated disaster. And now the old bat wants to risk WW3.

Like I said above, shove an M-16 in Chelsea's hands for all I care. I for one am not answering a call to fight Russia unless Putin is driving tanks into Germany without provocation.

Anonymous The Kulak September 30, 2016 4:43 PM  

In reply to Stephen Davenport and Ken Prescott,

Not sorry to burst your bubble, but much of what you've heard about the Ukrainian army being equal to the Russians except for old 1960s-80s vintage equipment is crap. Yes I've seen the SOFREP articles from a NATO country 'vacationer' (while American commander like Hodges and NATO itself deny that they have any troops in eastern Ukraine in the combat zone) talking about how based on his Donbass frontline experience the Russian Army is a 'paper tiger'. But he was fighting the local JV team that still overwhelmingly consists of former miners, teenaged boys, some women, and a smattering of Chechnya or even Soviet Afghan war vet graybeards. Please guys how long do you really think the glorious greater Galicia master race boys of Ukropia will hold out when they're being bombed even more heavily than team AlCIAeda/TOW jihad is right now in east Aleppo? Or how quickly should hostilities erupt in Syria between U.S. and Russian forces before all the NATO embeds who 'aren't' in the Donbass start fleeing for their lives westward when the first Kalibrs go off and an uprising begins in Mariupol with Azov SS flag wavers supported by the CIA getting sniped/IED'd left and right before the VDV show up?

Second, much of what you've heard about the fighting in Ukraine right now is lies designed to hide Ukrainian incompetence, low morale among its conscripts (in an actual Russian invasion half of those 200,000 you cite on paper might melt away like the Iraqi Army), and the fact that many of the weapons the Donbass rebels obtained early in the conflict did not come from Russia but were simply bought from bribed Ukrainian Army commanders. So here it goes: the actual Ukro KIA in this war isn't the 2,500-3,000 range that the Kyiv Post will admit, based on Lost Armor estimates the Ukros have lost between 14,000-17,000 KIA. We have videos of Ukrainian Army soldiers admitting their losses as of August/September (!) 2014 were already higher than what the Ukrainian SSR lost in the Soviet Afghan War -- that would be several thousand men. Since then they pulled hundreds of Ukrainian 'cyborg' bodies out of the rubble at Donetsk Airport, thousands more died at Debaltsevo whereas that drunken fat bastard Poroshenko would only admit to 61. The systemic cover up of Ukrainian combat deaths is probably the single biggest Pentagon/State Dept. aided lie of MSM of this war. Donbass rebel losses are likely about half or less of Ukrowehrmachts, about 7,000 with a few score to low hundreds of 'Russian vacationers'. I won't get into the question of how many 'lethal training accidents' there have been for Poles since the war started, but I'm guessing it's in the dozens and only Polish patriotism and strict censorship keeps a lid on NATO's own dead 'vacationers'.

None of this is to say of course that Russia actually wants to occupy Ukraine for any length of time, they have studied their Afghan and our Iraq experience. It would severely drain Russian resources and manpower. But kicking the shit out of the Ukrainian Army, encircling it east of the Dnieper in a week? Yeah the Russians could do that and there wouldn't be a damn thing NATO could do about it unless thousands of Polish and American troops plus hundreds of our pilots were ready to die in the S400/500 SAM envelope to stop them. So cut the crap about the glorious UkroWehrmacht or how much better/smarter the Ukrainians are than the Russians. The Ukrainians ARE genetically with the exception of the more Polish blooded folks around Lvov Russians who simply don't want to be Russian.

Anonymous The Kulak September 30, 2016 4:54 PM  

One other thing. The Saker's point wasn't how much better Russian technology is to NATO's in all terms, because it isn't, and that isn't what he was saying. However, I will say that if you read the DefenseOne interviews with Lt. Gen. Hodges about Russian jamming or artillery combined with drones, or better yet go read this:

http://warontherocks.com/2016/04/outnumbered-outranged-and-outgunned-how-russia-defeats-nato/

you'll see that beyond just rattling the tin cup for more funding and electronic jammers on the ground, the US Army admitted to the House Armed Services Committee they are NOT ready to fight a ground war on Russia's doorstep. Syria is a different animal than fighting a land war on Russia's borders in say eastern Ukraine or Transnistria (where the Russians based in Crimea are training to destroy a joint Romanian-Ukrainian force, FYI). But again per the other commenters points do you really think China is going to stand aside and do nothing as the U.S. builds up to impose a NFZ that will take weeks of logistics to prepare?

I think not and even if team WahhabiZioCon in D.C. is eager to kill Russians, what happens if NFZ bombing kills Chinese? Hint: this ain't 1999 and the Chinese aren't going to just sit there and take it like they did the deliberate bombing of their Embassy in Belgrade.

What we're likely to see if Hildabeast is elected is a larger Russian buildup, Russians embedded with Syrian air defense crews so there's no taking the latter out without killing the former, and direct deployment of Chinese navy and marines at Latakia to create one more deterrent. Also, Iran has S300s now and I suspect the crews have been trained to the point they're ready to operate with minimal Russian supervision, so add another layer to the cake. The point is, no guys it will not be simple, easy and the American military much less the clueless general population aren't prepared for how many planes and pilots killed or captured we will lose. Or how many special ops soldiers we have on the ground at places like Hasakah are vulnerable to Kalibr and Iskander strikes killing or wounding dozens of them at a time. Nor have you guys figured out yet that one of the reasons Obama has been so 'wimpy' in the eyes of the crazed neocons is because he understands that A) NATO personnel in Ukraine are hostage to good behavior towards the Russians in Syria, meaning if you kill Russians deliberately in Syria Americans who 'aren't' in Donbass or even as far west as Odessa die in Russian counterstrikes/spetsnaz attacks B) sending MANPADs to the TOW jihadis of Aleppo has already been done, but Obama is still loyal enough to his former Saudi paymasters not to risk Russian/Iranian supply of air defense systems that can shoot down RSA F-15s and Eurofighters bombing Yemen well above MANPAD altitude.

So again, are you boys tall enough for this ride and not dozens, but hundreds of American KIA and a few score captured JSOC/shot down pilots in the first week? Do you think everyone will just blindly salute and we won't have a civil-mil crisis of epic proportions when more generals echo what Dunford said about being at war with Russia if we go for full NFZ?

Anonymous The Kulak September 30, 2016 5:00 PM  

DT " And even if you could see a Raptor, in most scenarios it has the distance and energy to evade your best shot. Which means in a matter of days Raptors can wipe out your best air defense systems, giving the older aircraft free reign." Sorry to burst your bubble but S400s at 100 miles will not only see Raptors but blow them away, because the S400 switches to IR homing in terminal guidance mode and a Raptor still generates a lot of heat against a cold sky at 40,000 feet. I think you greatly underestimate the gains Russia and China have made in long wave radar. There's a reason Breedlove and co were so freaked out about Russian A2D.

"Except it has never been tested against a major western power unless you count airliners." The BUK shoot down of MH17 theory is perhaps the stupidest state sponsored conspiracy theory pushed by a pudgy little bastard off his couch in England who was the Joint Investigative Team's 'witness' since Lee Harvey Oswald acting alonee to kill Kennedy. If you think the Russians needed a BUK at Shizne to protect their proxies when they could've parked an S300/400 at the border and blown Ukrainian jets away over Donetsk from 150 miles away, you're goofy. The Ukrops did it and the JIT's job was to cover it up, just like the MSM covered up our SOBs in Kiev killing their own people in the snipers false flag on the Maidan or burning anti-Maidan activists by the scores at Odessa alive.

Like I said, there will be an epic revolt of the JCS against Hildabeast if she goes for it, since Obama is too chicken to be dragged into it as a lame duck before he can go choom on the beach in Hawaii. And the irony will be that we were told it was the reckless Donald who would be overthrown in a military coup after giving some crazy orders.

Anonymous The Kulak September 30, 2016 5:08 PM  

Isotalo said: "Morale, unless you invade Russian soil, Russian morale is no better than western, if even equal." I seriously doubt it. If U.S. Army troops got encircled with the Ukrops east of the Dnieper after batshit crazy Hildabeast starts a war, I know I'm going to be labeled unAmerican for saying so, but most would surrender. East Ukraine is still a lot closer to mother Russia than it is to Omaha or Baytown.

Again Russia is not and probably never will again be a military superpower. But that shouldn't blind those saying 'our F22s are awesomer' 'the Ukrainian Army is competent and well-led' crowd here to the cold hard facts. The vast bulk of the USAF/USN *aren't* F-22s and the F-35 is a low manueverability stealthiness overrated turd of an airplane. Even if we could crush the Russian contingent in Syria at great cost in lives and pilots, combined NATO/Ukropian forces east of the Dnieper get crushed and you will see dead or captured Americans and Poles who 'weren't in eastern Ukraine on Life News within days of the 1st Guards Tank Army pouring in. Vox is right, the perception of invincible America and NATO will be gone, and NATO itself could very well fracture with the Italians, French and Germans essentially saying 'f that you crazy Americans are on your own with a few Poles, Norwegians and Danes to support you'.

Anonymous The Kulak September 30, 2016 5:15 PM  

One last thing and then I'm done for this thread: people need to get off the Bear and the Dragon hash pipe. China is more likely to occupy Australia after a dollar collapse or simply buy large chunks of it than invade eastern Siberia. Yes mass migration perhaps but still doubtful but invasion? Please China isn't going to get nuked for that. It's time to kiss the fantasies goodbye and realize Syria just isn't worth sacrificing the aura of U.S. airpower's invincibility painstakingly built up since Vietnam nor creating a wound in our body politic that won't be healed for decades, just like Nam did. You guys who think there won't be an anti-war movement from THE RIGHT and not just the AltRight including guys asking American military men why U.S. pilots had to die to save Jabhat al Nusra aka ALQAEDA from destruction had better think again. As for the neocons there are plenty of lampposts waiting for them should the conflict go to tactical nukes but by the grace of God somehow D.C. doesn't get incinerated by a 5 megaton warhead from a Sarmat ICBM MIRV along with the Pentagon.

Anonymous A Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents September 30, 2016 5:23 PM  

Like I said, there will be an epic revolt of the JCS against Hildabeast if she goes for it,

Someone hasn't kept up. Obama has purged many generals and admirals. The Navy is re-working all rank descriptions to remove the word "man" (seaMAN, fireMAN, missile control MAN) in the name of "inclusive". Readiness is down. Morale is down.

But SJW convergence of the top ranks is increasing. Don't count on any generals revolt.

Anonymous Hmmm September 30, 2016 5:32 PM  

DT
We shouldn't have even bothered with the F-35 program. We should have built 500 Raptors.

Makes ya wonder why Obama totally shut down the F-22 production line, don't it?

Blogger Mr.MantraMan September 30, 2016 5:41 PM  

Do F-22s land on Earth or do they fly up to the Death Star?

Telling you folks America's top men just won't leave 1945, just won’t.

So you wax the base they fly from and utterly destroy the Pizza Hut that serves the well fed fighting non gender specific people

Anonymous DT September 30, 2016 5:44 PM  

@116 The Kulak - Sorry to burst your bubble but S400s at 100 miles will not only see Raptors but blow them away, because the S400 switches to IR homing in terminal guidance mode and a Raptor still generates a lot of heat against a cold sky at 40,000 feet.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but unless there was a recent, secret upgrade to the S400 to enable it to detect, track, and guide a missile to a bumble bee at 100 miles it isn't going to hit a B-2 much less a Raptor.

As for the scenario where an S400 magically gets a missile off and aimed at a Raptor, your problem is not terminal guidance. Your problem is that the Raptor is not a slow target on a predictable course. This is not a Nighthawk flying low and slow on the same path as yesterday with its bomb doors open.

It's at mach. With afterburners still in reserve. At 50,000 feet. Which is a lot of energy in its column and not in your SAM's column.

Its engines also have more thrust than the Blackbird's engines. Which is not to suggest it can hit any where near those speeds. But all of that energy is available at a moment's notice to climb, dive, turn, burn, and flip the bird to your SAM.

At distance the Raptor would be extremely difficult to hit even without any stealth.

Truth is if an S400 sees a Raptor its because the Raptor's radar is screwing with it to get it to reveal its position. Once the blip leaves the screen your best bet is to run as fast as you can from the SAM site. Because the missile is on its way and the Raptor is already heading home.

I think you greatly underestimate the gains Russia and China have made in long wave radar. There's a reason Breedlove and co were so freaked out about Russian A2D.

Uh huh...I heard the ruskie's have night vision goggles that can emit ball melting laser beams at 20 miles. Make sure you wear a mirrored cup dude.

It never ceases to amaze me when people are willing to believe that Russia and China can think of things Lockheed engineers never imagined when history consistently shows the opposite. America has a number of weaknesses. Aerospace technology is not one of them.

Like I said, there will be an epic revolt of the JCS against Hildabeast if she goes for it, since Obama is too chicken to be dragged into it as a lame duck before he can go choom on the beach in Hawaii. And the irony will be that we were told it was the reckless Donald who would be overthrown in a military coup after giving some crazy orders.

Now there are a few points we can agree on. So the real debate is this: which would be sweeter? Hillary's face after a Trumpslide? Or Hillary's face if the military came to arrest her?

And which would induce seizure faster?

I'm betting her Trumpslide face would be sweeter, but a military arrest would induce seizure faster. Thoughts?

Anonymous DT September 30, 2016 5:55 PM  

@117 - The vast bulk of the USAF/USN *aren't* F-22s'

They don't have to be. For the first few days your Raptors target and destroy the most advanced SAM sites while simultaneously destroying any fighters stupid enough to take to the air. After that it's safe enough for F-15s, F-16s, Super Hornets, etc.

Its the Gulf War strategy. You don't need a stealth air force. You just need a few days of stealth after which you can truck in bombs on a B-52.

If nations had the numbers of aircraft and AA pieces that they had in WWII it might be different. But nobody does. How could they with the vast technology and cost difference?

...and the F-35 is a low manueverability stealthiness overrated turd of an airplane.

I'm not happy with what became of the F-35 program. But I'm not ready to call it a turd just yet. It's disappointing in some respects (energy; maneuverability) yet respectable in others. We'll see how it does in air exercises over the next few years.

Anonymous DT September 30, 2016 6:05 PM  

@120 - Makes ya wonder why Obama totally shut down the F-22 production line, don't it?

Everything Obama does makes sense as soon as you accept his premise that Y.T. America should be at the same level as the rest of the world. Because equality!

BTW, the House of Representatives wants to restart the line.

@121 - Do F-22s land on Earth or do they fly up to the Death Star?

Let's just say I find your lack of faith disturbing.

Blogger Ingot9455 September 30, 2016 6:15 PM  

As Riding The Red Horse teaches us, energy-maneuverability may not be a thing in the near future. When a ground laser can kill anything it sees, the only thing to invest in is ECM, Stealth, and nape of the earth flying in order to establish sir superiority.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash September 30, 2016 6:27 PM  

@DT
Which side had superior air power, with superior air tech, in 1941?
When did the US Army Air Force attain technical parity?
When did the Red Army attain parity?

Air power does not win wars. It wins skirmishes. Air power can sure as hell start wars though.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan September 30, 2016 6:30 PM  

No one but no one would ever spoof a radar signature, that's playing dirty. Anyway a F-22 must have a hell of a train of support not exactly available at your local landing strip, but if it's passive targeting is as good as DT says it is then why the need for a F-35? And no decent human being would target tanker aircraft or AWACs aircraft, never ever

Anonymous Ain September 30, 2016 6:35 PM  

"Up to 8,000 members of its armed branch, known as 'the Eagles of the Whirlwind', have successfully fought alongside the Syrian Army against Islamist militants, including Daesh."

Whirlwinds bring to mind George W. Bush's inaugural address.

Blogger Scott Birch September 30, 2016 7:01 PM  

Look at how they deal with their Uighurs.

Blogger Benjamin Kraft September 30, 2016 7:30 PM  

@106 "You're wrong because people lie and the Russians are crazy." Cool story bro, but it's not just propaganda. Yes, some things would survive, unlike the BS "crack the earth in two" propaganda, but all nations involved would be completely and utterly done as world influences for centuries, period, unless someone has an incredibly capable super-secret-squirrel anti-missile system that could take out the vast majority of the incoming missiles (I very much doubt it).

And no, the Russians aren't crazy, only very different. What you're proposing is flat crazy.

@111 This is very true. We wouldn't likely lose in submarines or torpedoes, what would get our surface assets is the insane swarms of anti ship missiles launched from ships 90+ miles away. Their anti-ship missiles are extremely capable, even versus our anti-missile systems such as the sea-wiz. All it would take would be a single missile submarine getting within 100 miles to have a very good chance of crippling or scuttling a carrier with those.

@112 An advantage in anti-aircraft missiles? Maybe, but it has yet to be demonstrated, at all, so it's likely 50% fluffy lies.

@115 Russian land war? Yeah, that's batshit insane any way you look at it, even if we would initially win in Syria, Russia is RIGHT THERE and we just... aren't.

The Chinese won't be moving troops into anywhere where they would be fighting us. It just won't happen. At most, as many others have stated, they'd take the opportunity to assimilate some of their neighbors during the distraction. Yes, standing aside is exactly what China would do, considering the fact that they are already standing several hundred miles out of the way, and would be much, much more interested in watching us and Russia spend our strength on each other.

Iran historically never has had, and almost certainly never will have anything approaching remotely capable pilots. I don't care what they're flying, if its Iranians flying it, it won't be much of a threat. There's a reason the IAF absolutely dominates in the region, and it's because they are actually capable (very) pilots, and for pretty much no other reason.

@119 You're absolutely right on all of that. What I'd count on is either a top-down surrender (SJWs are the literal cheese eating surrender monkeys the French never were) at the first sign of casualties, or a middle-up rebellion against the alien and disgusting new brass.

@127 Every single thing I hear about the F-35 from within the military says that it's a monolithic waste of money fool's project that has produced a suppurating pile of crap, sadly. Maybe someone got that wrong somewhere, but there certainly isn't any evidence to support that it's been worthwhile yet.

Anonymous Gen. Kong September 30, 2016 7:46 PM  

DT:
… unless Putin is driving tanks into Germany without provocation.

You do realize that this would be liberating Germany from its slave-masters, no? Merkel's (((slave-masters))) clearly envision extermination of Germans and Germany. If Putin actually would invade the place (not going to happen of course), the Germans might at least survive as I expect the Russians would be quite happy to eliminate the million or more orcs imported by Merkel at the behest of her (((genocidal overlords))) for their "final solution" for Germany - given the summary executions of dindu mercenaries in South Ossetia at the end of the teleprompter-readership of Imam Shroob al-Duhbya.

The sheer cluelessness of some is truly remarkable. Putin is not the USSR, and even the USSR was more into a national-socialism than the 'worship Golden Dindu' types present in most "Christian" churches in the USSA after the Bloodthirsty Uncle Yusif sent Levon Bornstein to his eternal reward via Mercador's inept hand. Putin might not be Mr. Nice Guy, but - as with Trump - he's hated by all the right people.

Anonymous Kali i ka da September 30, 2016 7:50 PM  

Christian America needs Christian Russia and vice versa. Our common enemy is the (((global elitists))).

Anonymous Ominous Cowherd September 30, 2016 7:57 PM  

Benjamin Kraft wrote:@106 "You're wrong because people lie and the Russians are crazy."

My point was more ``Soviets lied, and people are crazy.'' Especially our ruling class is crazy.

I expect that my family and friends would come through a strategic nuclear exchange in fair shape. We all have root cellars.

Blogger ZhukovG September 30, 2016 8:40 PM  

No one here really knows how a conflict between Russian and US forces would go. We can make educated guesses but that's it. That is unless one of you has a Top Secret SCI clearance, but in that case you wouldn't be telling us.

Two groups that do have a good idea of how things would stack up are the General Staffs of Russia and the US. Both these groups will be making contingency plans based on this knowledge. So I suspect that any conflict will be more complicated and difficult than each sides apologists think.

Blogger Ken Prescott September 30, 2016 8:40 PM  

"Like I said, there will be an epic revolt of the JCS against Hildabeast if she goes for it, since Obama is too chicken to be dragged into it as a lame duck before he can go choom on the beach in Hawaii. And the irony will be that we were told it was the reckless Donald who would be overthrown in a military coup after giving some crazy orders."

No, it won't be epic. It probably won't even be noticed.

American military coups are very...American. We don't have Colonels mounting up a mech task force to drive on the Capitol Mall. The last time they had to actually boot the incumbent out of 1600 was Nixon. American coups are products of Madison Avenue, not the E-Ring.

You know how they did it in Clinton's second term? Look for the pictures of the guy in civilian attire with a largish briefcase that looked suspiciously like The Football.

The one who was always standing next to Al Gore.

Hell, look for a guy with the football following Kim Kardashian around if President Life Alert ("HELP! I'VE FALLEN AND I CAN'T GET UP!") tries anything stupid. Kim probably has enough sense to not start World War III, it'd screw up her weekend plans.

Anonymous DT September 30, 2016 9:50 PM  

@126 - in case you missed my earliest posts, let me reiterate that I do not want a conflict with Russia, nor do I think we have any business in Syria. Unless that business is to help Putin bomb the living hell out of every jihadist in the region.

Hillary cannot simply flex our air power over Syria and get her neocon/neoliberal way.

Could the USAF establish air superiority over Syria, despite S400's and Su-35's? Without a doubt they could, even without any stealth aircraft (though that would be harder with more losses). But it would lead to something far larger and more horrific. As you point out, our air power cannot win a war with Russia, but it sure as hell can start one. And Trump needs to drive that nightmare scenario into the head of every single voter.

A no fly zone over Syria is probably the most inane thing I have ever heard any politician utter in my life.

@127 - ...if it's passive targeting is as good as DT says it is then why the need for a F-35?

Originally it was going to be a cheaper compliment to the F-22. Think F-15 / F-16. Then it grew into a "solution" for every branch of every allied military in the world. Design by bureaucracy. Like I said above, we probably shouldn't have bothered with the F-35. We should have just built more F-22s.

And no decent human being would target tanker aircraft or AWACs aircraft, never ever

You would have to target them over NATO airspace. I'm not saying Putin wouldn't do this. I'm saying that's why only a certifiably insane woman with neurological problems would think of going to bat with Russia over Syria to help some jihadis.

@130 - Every single thing I hear about the F-35 from within the military says that it's a monolithic waste of money fool's project that has produced a suppurating pile of crap, sadly. Maybe someone got that wrong somewhere, but there certainly isn't any evidence to support that it's been worthwhile yet.

The only thing that gives me any hope is some of the tech in the plane. If the stealth, VR helmet, off bore missiles, 360 degree sensors, etc. all work then it could be a formidable foe. Being able to out turn an F-35 won't matter if the pilot can look to his left or right, pull the trigger, and you die mid-turn.

We'll see. But you may be right and it may end up a complete disaster. I hope something about it turns out to be good or useful because we've spent enough money on it to go to Mars.

@131 - points all well taken. I only used that as a hypothetical to contrast against the neocon/neolib idea of what would justify World War III.

Blogger The Other Robot September 30, 2016 10:34 PM  

@134: Perhaps Vietnam might give some idea.

Blogger Ken Prescott September 30, 2016 10:47 PM  

@134

"No one here really knows how a conflict between Russian and US forces would go. We can make educated guesses but that's it. That is unless one of you has a Top Secret SCI clearance, but in that case you wouldn't be telling us.

"Two groups that do have a good idea of how things would stack up are the General Staffs of Russia and the US. Both these groups will be making contingency plans based on this knowledge. So I suspect that any conflict will be more complicated and difficult than each sides apologists think."

Excellent point.

The specific things discussed--the U. S. setting up a no-fly zone, the Russians sinking an aircraft carrier--may or may not be achievable. I am inclined to believe that in each case, they could be achieved, assuming sufficient resources are committed to the task. "Sufficient resources" may be more than the task is worth in terms of each side's likely goals in the conflict, and possibly might cause a draw-down of forces from other tasks of equal or greater relative importance. (For example, U. S. imposition of a no-fly zone may require three carrier strike groups--i.e., almost the entire deployable force--while sinking a carrier in such a scenario might require expending most of the total antiship missile loadout availble to the Russian Navy and Aerospace Force.)

Individual pieces of equipment on each side may be fantastic pieces of kit, but the real question is how they would perform as part of a combined arms effort.

Blogger Ken Prescott September 30, 2016 11:11 PM  

@130

"Every single thing I hear about the F-35 from within the military says that it's a monolithic waste of money fool's project that has produced a suppurating pile of crap, sadly. Maybe someone got that wrong somewhere, but there certainly isn't any evidence to support that it's been worthwhile yet."

Is "every single thing" coming from people within the F-35 community? Or from outside it? (Please note that the F-35 community, as a portion of TACAIR, is incredibly tiny.)

I was in the CH-53E Super Stallion community in 1984-85, and "every single thing" that people outside the Marine Corps heard was that the Super Stud was a dog's breakfast. What it actually was was an aircraft that was on the wrong end of the learning curve. The problems we had--and they were significant, and imposed serious restrictions on our capability--eventually went away with more engineering work. But we were convinced that the airframe was fundamentally sound, and that the problems would be worked out. And it turned out we were right and the naysayers were wrong.

I haven't had a chance to hear from inside the F-35 community, only from those outside, and I'm hearing the same kind of bad-mouthing that I remember about my aircraft. I'd like to know what those inside VMFA-121 and VMFA-211 think of their aircraft.

Anonymous The Kulak September 30, 2016 11:15 PM  

DT "@117 - The vast bulk of the USAF/USN *aren't* F-22s'

"They don't have to be. For the first few days your Raptors target and destroy the most advanced SAM sites while simultaneously destroying any fighters stupid enough to take to the air. After that it's safe enough for F-15s, F-16s, Super Hornets, etc." Right until the moment Russia decides screw Article V you're killing our boys and a hypersonic Iskander missile that manuevers in terminal stage up to 25 G's blows right past the Patriot PAC 3s at Incirlik and incinerates your Raptors on the ground, along with sucking the oxygen out of crewmen's lungs with a vacuum blast warhead. And this isn't counting the Kalibrs that will lay waste to the rest of the base in retaliation for U.S. strikes on Kheimmim, the U.S. Navy ships in the Black Sea/eastern Med all getting sunk by supersonic or hypersonic anti-ship missiles in minutes, or the scores of dead JSOC and CIA agents incinerated up in Rojava/Hasakah at that air strip when it gets hit by an Iskander.

And that's setting aside the fact that the Indians whupped a bunch of older F-15s head to head in exercises a few years back with their SU-30MKs. And the Russian jamming switch which you don't believe shut down the USS Donald Cook but which DefenseOne sure as hell admitted can block our GPS/radar signals. Don't forget about how fine and dandy those counterbattery radars performed in eastern Ukraine in Ukrowerhmacht hands or rather didn't -- the Russians took them out using drones and 1980s vintage long range howitzers.

Thankfully, at least some brass at the Pentagon are aware of this and want no part of 100s of American KIA in the first 48 hours even without an aircraft carrier being sunk, so it hopefully won't happen.

Anonymous The Kulak September 30, 2016 11:24 PM  

I see they sidestepped my points about how the Ukrowerhmacht got their boys slaughtered at Saur Mogila, Donetsk Airport and Debaltsevo. Maybe moot anyway because the Ukrainian Army is to the U.S. Army what the Iraqi Army cerca 1991 was to the Soviet Red Army in Germany cerca 1985. Not much comparison in qualitative terms even if some of the equipment looks similar or one is the ally or proxy of the other.

Don't get me wrong Raptors don't need a place to land and refuel free of Kalibr strikes from 1,800 miles away in the Caspian Sea boys, I get the swagger and bravado the taxpayers paid good money to drill it into you. But I pray we never find out.

Blogger Ken Prescott September 30, 2016 11:55 PM  

"Don't get me wrong Raptors don't need a place to land and refuel free of Kalibr strikes from 1,800 miles away in the Caspian Sea boys, I get the swagger and bravado the taxpayers paid good money to drill it into you. But I pray we never find out."

Kalibir is, when you get down to it, a Tomahawk with a Russian accent. It's not invincible, it can be shot down, I suspect that there are some fun tricks that could be played on the guidance package to get the missile to clobber all by itself, etc.

I suspect that large-scale cruise missile strikes by first-tier adversaries will lead very rapidly to empty munitions bunkers on both sides, and precious little actually achieved.

Anonymous The Kulak October 01, 2016 1:17 AM  

@ 142 except the Tomahawk doesn't go supersonic in the terminal phase, and the Kalibr is probably more resistance to jamming than some those 1990s vintage Tomahawks, one of which reportedly crashed after it was launched at a Syrian target in August 2013 after getting hit with the Russian jammers in a 'test'.

Anonymous DT October 01, 2016 1:23 AM  

@140 - Right until the moment Russia decides screw Article V you're killing our boys and...

And I'm not disagreeing with anyone here that establishing a no fly zone over Syria could lead to a much larger and worse war. Have I not said that repeatedly? Have I not said over and over how stupid it would be for us to escalate there?

And that's setting aside the fact that the Indians whupped a bunch of older F-15s head to head in exercises a few years back with their SU-30MKs.

And a whole bunch of rules that put the F-15 team at a disadvantage. We want our pilots to train as if they were at a disadvantage.

There have even been a few Raptor kills in air exercises under rules that give an extreme advantage to the other team. Under rules that better mimic actual combat, even combat where the enemy has far superior numbers, it's a slaughter house.

And the Russian jamming switch which you don't believe shut down the USS Donald Cook...and...and...

I suppose next we're going to talk about the Russian Firefox. Just remember that you must THINK in Russian for it to work.

Thankfully, at least some brass at the Pentagon are aware of this and want no part of 100s of American KIA in the first 48 hours even without an aircraft carrier being sunk, so it hopefully won't happen.

Hopefully there's a Trumpslide and the witch who wants it to happen scurries off back to Arkansas to live out her remaining days under a rock.

Anonymous Isotalo October 01, 2016 10:06 AM  

Ominous Cowherd wrote:You may be right about the Russian military hardware, morale and training. The Russians probsbly have an even clearer picture than you of where they stand relative to us. Somehow, they still seem confident.

My understanding is that it has long been Soviet doctrine that they would use tactical nukes early and often in any serious social encounter. That will make up for a lot of deficiencies - which may be why they aren't concerned about those deficiencies, and allow them to continue.


Don't worry about the confident Russian. Worry about the friendly one. The confident one is just letting you know of his high opinion of himself and reminding you that he would like you to share it so he can bask in the respect he so craves, and a Russian always has a high opinion of himself, especially if it's unwarranted. The friendly one wants you to let your guard down so he can hurt you. Russian confidence is a show, they always try to appear confident, it doesn't mean anything. But when they start talking about friendship and peace, that means they're attacking as soon as they think you've bought into their deceptions. As a general rule.

Doctrines about WMD use are generally rubbish. It's easy to talk in peace time about how you're going to nuke NATO troops with safe little tacticals, but when you're in an actual shooting, killing war, it's an entirely different thing and doctrine goes to the garbage bin. Russians are not crazy. They talk a lot and mostly it's air, but they're not crazy. And they are not taking the risk of having the west respond with its own nuclear weapons. That will escalate into a very bad place very quickly, and there's no point in risking it from the Russian view. The only scenario in which they might truly consider using nukes first is if they were absolutely certain western leaders are such pussies that they'll do nothing to retaliate in kind, and that's not possible in a scenario where the west had the balls (and stupidity) to actually start the war instead of avoid it.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash October 01, 2016 11:29 AM  

Isotalo wrote:that's not possible in a scenario where the west had the balls (and stupidity) to actually start the war instead of avoid it.


It doesn't take balls to start a war.

Blogger Ken Prescott October 01, 2016 12:24 PM  

@143

"except the Tomahawk doesn't go supersonic in the terminal phase, and the Kalibr is probably more resistance to jamming than some those 1990s vintage Tomahawks, one of which reportedly crashed after it was launched at a Syrian target in August 2013 after getting hit with the Russian jammers in a 'test'."

Yeah, I get it, Russian kit rules, American kit drools. (Subtle hint 1: the electronics in Tomahawk are upgraded, even if the airframe isn't. Subtle hint 2: you are also engaged in the ergo hoc, propter hoc fallacy. Subtle hint 3: air defenses no longer require firing a dumb round to a predetermined point in space based on the round's time of flight and the target's speed, and have not needed to do so for quite some time.)

Please don't take this as an insult: I have probably been studying war on a professional basis longer than you've been alive, and I have learned a great deal from that, including those times where I've gotten it very wrong. Weapons never perform as well in battle as they do in vendors' brochures, live-fire exercises, and wog-smashing expeditions (which are basically live-fire exercises except that the wogs are sort of shooting back). Against a first-tier adversary, both sides are going to be dealing with YUGE! unknowns.

My estimate is that a large-scale force-on-force engagement in the Eastern Med theater has three possible outcomes:

1. The US and Russian forces expend a great deal of expensive, scarce munitions, and accomplish very little. Sanity breaks out on both sides before they go Winchester, and a cease fire restores the status quo ante bellum. Second most likely outcome.

2. The US and Russian forces expend a great deal of expensive, scarce munitions, and accomplish somewhat more than Scenario #1, but not enough to be decisive. Sanity does not break out on both sides before they go Winchester. A whole bunch of neat assumptions about the balance of world power goes by the boards until both sides replenish their stockpiles. Turkey, in the near term, is the greatest power in the region, and may decide now is the time to pull some stupid--ahem--stuff, yes, that's what I meant. (Israel, although it is a nuclear power, simply can't must the kind of kampfkraft that Turkey can.) This is the least likely, as it requires everybody, from National Command Authority down to the theater commanders, to be stupid and crazy. Not impossible, but damn close to it.

3. Both sides' military forces look at options 1 and 2, decide that neither choice is in the interest of their respective nations, and each independently decides to quietly (VERY quietly) stage a coup d'etat and ease their nominal political masters out of the driver's seat on military aspects of foreign policy. For various reasons, I view this as the most likely course of action, in part because I have reason to believe it's been done multiple times since the 1960s on each side.

(The respective coups would be kept very quiet, preferably completely invisible, because everyone else, foreign and domestic alike, gets really, really nervous when they hear "coup d'etat" or "revolt of the generals/admirals" in connection with the easily-Googled fact that these two powers have the two biggest deployed and reserve nuclear stockpiles in the world.)

There will be a brief, tense (albeit mostly invisible) standoff as each side verifies that the other side isn't going to do anything rash, things quietly cool back down to normal, and there is a sharp uptick in each nation's respective cultural silliness index as people go back to following the antics of whatever pop celebrities are big in each country.

Anonymous Isotalo October 01, 2016 2:12 PM  

Snidely Whiplash wrote:It doesn't take balls to start a war.

Not always, that is true. Sometimes all that is required is stupidity or arrogance.

But in this particular scenario we'd be talking about a war with Russia, started by the west against a Russia that didn't want the war and would have been ready for a whole lot of diplomacy to avoid it. That kind of war can only be started intentionally, and that does require balls - or alternatively stupidity of such levels I cannot begin to comprehend.

Anonymous Clay October 01, 2016 2:20 PM  

I've said it before, and I'll say it once again.

A US aircraft carrier is the baddest assed weapon ever built.

To attack one would be a total ACT OF WAR.

The speed is amazing. I'm not sure how many we have on current duty, but doing almost 30 knots per hour, we can be sitting within strike distance in a remarkably short time.

Anonymous DT October 01, 2016 2:22 PM  

@148 - That kind of war can only be started intentionally, and that does require balls - or alternatively stupidity of such levels I cannot begin to comprehend.

As far as presidential primary candidates go, the major proponents of a Syrian no fly zone were Chris Christie, Hillary Clinton, and Jeb!

So...yes...stupidity of such levels that you cannot begin to comprehend.

Anonymous DT October 01, 2016 2:23 PM  

@147 - excellent points and analysis.

I would ask about the "multiple times" comment, but I have to go to the gym later.

Anonymous Clay October 01, 2016 2:31 PM  

BTW. If I've learned anything reading military history all my life, when they tell you "we've got this", it really means "we're gonna get that".

Anonymous Discard October 01, 2016 3:04 PM  

149. Clay: An aircraft carrier is a boat full of explosives and flammable liquids. Very sinkable. And if we go and attack Russians flying where they have a right to fly, or attack one of their ships, that too is a TOTAL ACT OF WAR.

I'm curious. When the USS George Bush goes down, will the Captainette give the order "Women and children first"?

Blogger Ken Prescott October 01, 2016 3:14 PM  

@151

Two that come to mind from the Russian side of the fence are Nikita Khrushchev (that was almost an open military revolt, only the Chekisti jumping in afterward made it totes legit), and Yuri Andropov (he didn't go from healthy enough to bring everyone to heel in 1982 to dropping dead in 1984 without some sort of help). I also suspect that Yeltsin was not actually driving the bus from about 1997 onward.

Two from the American side: Nixon (Watergate was the first quiet coup and the last that involved actually removing the incumbent) and Clinton (if you watch enough footage from 1999 onward, it was pretty obvious that the guy carrying the Football was actually shadowing Al Gore for the last two years of the Clinton presidency). Beyond that, I can't really say.

Anonymous Clay October 01, 2016 3:17 PM  

C'mon, Discard. I KNOW an aircraft carrier is a floating bomb. You can bet your ass it has nukes, (besides) the propulsion on board.

I fully realize one CAN be sunk.

So does everyone else. That's probably why it makes it a target you WOULD NOT want to hit.

As far as I know, an AC is considered "American Territory".
You sink one...get ready for WW111.

Anonymous SciVo October 01, 2016 5:41 PM  

DT wrote:We shouldn't have even bothered with the F-35 program. We should have built 500 Raptors.

This and the threatened end of the A-10 convinces me that our MIC is not only venal, which I could excuse, but also treasonously stupid.

Anonymous SciVo October 01, 2016 5:45 PM  

There is no excuse for making us less effective for the same money. None. Zero. Zip. Nada. That is "strange fruit" territory and make no mistake.

Anonymous Clay October 01, 2016 6:20 PM  

Perhaps I'm wrong, but I think the F22 is primarily designed as an Air Superiority platform.

I think it has the ability to land on a carrier, but not launch from one.

Hence, the F35. The F35, conceivably, can land on the deck of a Destroyer

Anonymous Clay October 01, 2016 6:26 PM  

Or, take off from the same, for that matter.

Anonymous Discard October 01, 2016 8:16 PM  

155. Clay: If we can attack Russians, they can attack us. Our ships are no more sacrosanct than their aircraft. Now, I think it more likely that they would respond to our shooting down one of their planes by shooting down two of ours, or perhaps an AWACs. But if we want to attack one of their missile cruisers, blasting one of our carriers is an appropriate response. Just more dead sailors in the service of the Evil Empire.

Also, the F-22 is an Air Force plane. No landing on carriers.

Anonymous SciVo October 03, 2016 5:45 AM  

Ken Prescott wrote:(Israel, although it is a nuclear power, simply can't must the kind of kampfkraft that Turkey can.)

Even Wiktionary and Urban Dictionary don't have an entry for that. I had to add "translate" to my search to find out that it means "fighting force."

Blogger Eamon Kelly October 06, 2016 3:22 PM  

Syria has always been Russia's proxy in the Middle East...best to let them have it.

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