Military Review

Outsourcing War

Outsourcing War

Appearance of nuclear weapons the United States and the USSR led to the emergence of the concept of nuclear deterrence. The threat of total annihilation forced the superpowers to be wary of the possibility of a direct armed conflict between them, limiting themselves to "pricks" - recurring incidents involving the armed forces (AF). At the same time, no one canceled the need to solve geopolitical tasks, as a result of which the armed forces of the USA and the USSR were actively used in military conflicts on the territory of third countries.

Types of conflicts in third countries

There can be three types of military conflicts of great powers on the territory of third countries:

1. Direct bilateral participation, when both powers directly send their troops to a third country (s) and support the parties to an internal or interstate conflict.

A vivid example of bilateral (more precisely, trilateral) participation is the Korean War, which ultimately led to the collapse of Korea as a single state and the emergence of North Korea and South Korea, which are still at war. This war was attended by Soviet, Chinese and American armed forces. Despite the fact that legally the USSR did not participate in the war and limited itself to aviation support, the United States clearly understood who was shooting down their pilots. Even the option of nuclear strikes on Soviet military bases was considered.

MiG-15 jet fighters inflict significant damage to the US Air Force (Air Force)

In our time, a bilateral conflict is taking place in Syria. Of course, there are much more parties in Syria, in addition to the United States with its henchmen and Russia, Turkey, Iran, Israel and, to a lesser extent, other countries of the region are openly participating in it, but it is Russia and the United States that are decisive forces in the conflict.

The main disadvantage of conflicts with the direct participation of two or more great powers on the territory of third countries is the risk of a sudden escalation of the conflict with its subsequent development into global nuclear war.

2. Direct unilateral participation, when only one of the opposing powers openly sends troops, and the second participates in the conflict through an unannounced supply of weapons and other resources, financial and political support, and sending military advisers and instructors.

The Vietnam and Afghanistan wars can be cited as examples of direct unilateral conflicts. In Vietnam, the direct invasion was carried out by the US armed forces, and the USSR provided support to North Vietnam with weapons, military advisers and specialists. Despite the huge forces used by the United States during the war, it was not possible to break North Vietnam, the losses of the US Armed Forces on the ground and in the air were colossal.

The US armed forces suffered huge losses in Vietnam, but did not achieve a positive result

In Afghanistan, everything turned out exactly the opposite. The direct invasion was carried out by the USSR Armed Forces, and the United States financially, politically, by supplying weapons and sending advisers to help the Afghan mujahideen.

Direct unilateral conflicts have two drawbacks. Firstly, for a side with direct participation there is always a risk of getting bogged down in a war and incurring significant losses that the other side cannot suffer in principle, since it does not massively use its armed forces. Second, an ally of a party that has relied on indirect participation must have sufficient competence, a willingness to suffer, have strong leaders and a will to win - without all this, a loss to a strong power will be practically guaranteed.

An essential factor determining the possibility of successful indirect participation is the geographical factor, which allows or does not allow the defending side to conduct asymmetric irregular hostilities. For example, mountainous and wooded areas provide much more opportunities for high-intensity guerrilla warfare than steppe or desert areas.

Mountainous and wooded terrain, a sufficiently high level of training of the armed forces, combined with hypothetical support from Russia, could help Yugoslavia repel the invasion of NATO troops

3. Indirect bilateral participation, when both powers are involved in a conflict through an unannounced supply of weapons and other resources, financial and political support, sending military advisers and instructors to the parties to an internal or interstate conflict.

This type of conflict includes the wars between Israel and its Arab neighbors - Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Algeria. The Americans supported Israel, the USSR supported the Arab countries. In this case, the United States did not initiate conflicts, but without their support, technology and weapons, the Arabs would still defeat Israel. The invisible confrontation between the United States and the USSR in the Arab-Israeli conflicts can hardly be denied.

As the practice of all wars in the Middle East has shown, the stake on Arab countries in wars with indirect participation is unfounded. Despite the supply of the latest Soviet weapons, the Arab countries lost to Israel over and over again. It can be assumed that if Russia were limited to only indirect support of the Syrian regime, Bashar al-Assad would have long ago shared the fate of Muammar Gaddafi or Saddam Hussein, and Syria would have been “democratized” into three or four parts constantly conflicting with each other.

What form of warfare on the territory of third countries is optimal: direct or indirect participation?

In the first case, the probability of solving the assigned tasks is higher, but the risks of getting bogged down in a protracted war, suffering significant losses, and, worst of all, going into a direct military clash with another great power, are also higher. In the second case, there is a risk of quickly being defeated, suffering material losses and acquiring a negative image for their weapons.

Is it possible to combine the advantages of direct and indirect participation in military conflicts, getting rid of their inherent disadvantages?

Direct and indirect participation

Such an opportunity has appeared now, in the XNUMXst century.

The possibility of simultaneous direct and indirect participation in hostilities can be realized using unmanned and remotely controlled weapon systems, highly automated and fully automatic weapons systems, global space intelligence, command and communication systems (RUS), as well as private military companies (PMCs).

Of course, it will not be possible to completely do without human participation, therefore, both local and hired specialists should be involved in hostilities. It is important that formally, and in fact, the armed forces of any party are not present on the territory of a state party to a military conflict.

Legally, this will look like an agreement for the supply of weapons and their technical support - a kind of "subscription" to services, within which the supplier exercises full control and, in fact, is fighting for its partner. Formally, remote control is not spelled out in contracts or is formalized separately by a secret agreement. All military equipment received under the contract is marked and painted in the state colors and designations of the receiving party.

Moreover, the best solution would be to choose a private military company, for example, with a foreign registration, as a signatory of the contract on the part of the supplier, in order to distance the state as much as possible from what is happening. Accordingly, this requires making certain decisions regarding the development of the PMC industry in the country.

At the moment, PMCs have long gone beyond the primitive tasks of escorting cargo and protecting ships from Somali pirates. Private military companies carry out material and technical supplies, control unmanned reconnaissance vehicles, including such serious ones as the Global Hawk, refuel combat and transport aircraft in the air, and pilot simulated enemy fighters during exercises of the Air Force (Air Force).

Private military companies in the Russian Federation

"Hybrid" forms of interaction are also possible, when the state supplies weapons through official channels, and "technical support and support" is carried out by PMC specialists.

In fact, the proposed format of warfare is "outsourcing war."

This format of warfare will make it possible to act much tougher than is possible now. For example, in Syria, the Russian Armed Forces do not attack the Turkish armed forces, since such actions carry the risk of an escalation of the conflict and its escalation into a war between Russia and Turkey.

In the event that Russia is conducting military operations "outsourcing", Turkey will not have formal reasons for attacking the Russian armed forces, just as the United States did not have them when in Vietnam "non-existent" Soviet calculations of anti-aircraft missile systems (SAM) and MiG pilots -21 were shot down by American B-52 bombers and the latest Phantoms.

Technically, it will be impossible to determine whether the weapon is controlled by “local” armed forces, or whether it is controlled remotely from the Russian Federation.

Technical support

An essential condition for remotely conducting military operations is the presence of a powerful, redundant satellite constellation, including navigation, reconnaissance and communications satellites. If with satellite navigation in Russia everything is more or less normal, then in terms of reconnaissance satellites and communication satellites it is getting worse, especially with regard to communication satellites.

Russian communication satellites Yamal-601 (left) and Gonets-M (right)

Remote warfare will require the transfer of a huge amount of data directly from remotely controlled weapon systems. Realizing this, the enemy will try by all means to disrupt communications and control.

Communication is important and a single space segment will not be enough. In addition to satellites, repeaters located on ships of the Russian Navy and repeater aircraft located in neutral waters / airspace and not formally participating in hostilities can be involved.

Commercial data transmission networks, including satellite ones, can be used as another backup communication channel. In this case, increased emphasis should be placed on protecting equipment from hacker attacks. Hybrid data transmission can be used, when only secondary intelligence data will be sent over commercial networks, and weapons control will be carried out only over closed proprietary military data transmission networks.

The increase in the number of commercial satellite data transmission networks under the jurisdiction of different countries of the world will make it possible to use their capabilities for intelligence and military purposes

Organizational support

The outsourcing war can be both a form of realizing state interests and a completely commercial project.

In both cases, it can be profitable, but in the first case, this profit can be expressed not in direct cash payments, but in some other way: transfer of territory for the deployment of a military base, transfer of rights to extract minerals, etc. .d.

As part of a commercial project, the customer initially stipulates the conditions for maintaining its defense capability, for example, providing protection from its neighbors, or conducting offensive operations, while the geopolitical interests of the contractor may not be pursued.

After determining the list of tasks to be solved, the contractor develops a campaign plan.

If an offensive campaign is underway, the final result is the achievement of the tasks set by the customer, for example, the capture of an oil-bearing province. If defensive tasks are set, then the levels of responsibility can be considered, in which both the planned results will be prescribed, for example, the protection of the ruling regime, the defense of oil-bearing regions, and the types of opponents from whom the defense will be carried out (one thing is to defend against Azerbaijan, another thing - from one of the most efficient NATO countries).

Based on the campaign plan, an estimate is determined, including:

- supply of weapons, ammunition, maintenance, with an option to supply additional weapons;

- attraction of PMC specialists;

- remote warfare.

The division of responsibilities is also determined: what tasks are performed by the local armed forces, which PMCs, which remote-controlled weapon systems.

In the next article, we will talk about the weapon systems and tactical scenarios that can be used in the "outsourcing war."
Photos used:,,
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  1. Pessimist22
    Pessimist22 2 September 2020 05: 42
    Global wars are not profitable now, and local ones are more likely, for example, it is profitable for the United States to organize a war in Europe Russia NATO, on the territory of Poland and the Baltic states, inflict economic and material technical damage on Russia, and Europe would become more accommodating out of fear.
    1. Civil
      Civil 2 September 2020 11: 53
      The instability of the civil institutions of society gives rise to the need for a "strong hand", and here it is the mercenaries ...
      1. Lexus
        Lexus 2 September 2020 18: 57
        the need for a "strong hand", and here are the mercenaries ...

        We still need a healthy, strong "organism" and a smart "head". Without these, clutching with a "strong hand" for someone else's "good" is fraught with "troubles" corresponding to the "appetites" of dimension. bully
  2. Old partisan
    Old partisan 2 September 2020 05: 48
    How I visited political information with the political officer.
      SOVIET UNION 2 2 September 2020 06: 12
      How I visited political information with the political officer.
      This is useful so you don't get relaxed! Of course, common truths are described. But they seem to be unshakable! hi
      1. Pereira
        Pereira 2 September 2020 10: 18
        Some things are useful to refresh your memory periodically.
  3. Mikhail m
    Mikhail m 2 September 2020 06: 10
    Lawyers are such lawyers. They will even fit into a war without soap. In sports, they have won the courts for a long time, and soon the judges will award the victory in the war. Naturally, in favor of the United States.
    1. businessv
      businessv 3 September 2020 22: 58
      Quote: Mikhail M
      Naturally, in favor of the United States.

      ... but only if there is anything left of them! wink
  4. GTYCBJYTH2021
    GTYCBJYTH2021 2 September 2020 06: 31
    Move, people Russians, to Siberia ....... There is wood-firewood for heating dwellings ...... There will not be an atom bomb here ...... Moscow and its surroundings because it is unnecessary for RUSSIA == ====
    1. Ka-52
      Ka-52 2 September 2020 07: 53
      Move, people Russians, to Siberia

      do not talk nonsense. Discover at least a primitive American plan of bombing Soviet cities in the middle of the last century. There, Novosibirsk and Tomsk and Krasnoyarsk were the targets of nuclear strikes. In the middle of the city of Krasnoyarsk, the Krasmash (Bulava) plant, 30 km away is the well-known Mayak. Near Tomsk (also 20 km) is also the notorious Seversk (Tomsk-7). Unless to go to Yakutia or to the north - you just look at it will cover with radioactive ash. You will become with two heads and tentacles, but you will survive wassat
      1. GTYCBJYTH2021
        GTYCBJYTH2021 3 September 2020 02: 59
        You are driving nonsense, man ...... THE LIGHTHOUSE here since the birth of the world was not ...
  5. A. Privalov
    A. Privalov 2 September 2020 10: 11
    In this case, the United States did not initiate conflicts, but without their support, technology and weapons, the Arabs would still defeat Israel.

    The stereotypical and completely erroneous opinion that the United States has always been the main of all Israel's partners - its defender, intercessor and constantly stood on the side of Israel, that without the mercy of the US government, Israel could never have stood against its much larger and better armed enemies.
    In the first decades after Israel's creation in 1948, the United States was more of an enemy than a friend, usually sided with Israel's Arab neighbors, whose oil wealth was important to the United States, and also to keep them out of the Soviet sphere of influence.

    The first two decades since the establishment of the State of Israel, relations between the countries were completely formal in nature. What was only the support of the USSR's ultimatum demand on Israel to immediately stop hostilities during the "Suez Crisis", when Eisenhower threatened Israel with expulsion from the UN, adding weight to his demands by voicing them in a radio and television address to the American people from the White House ...
    Real support of Israel with technology and weapons from the United States began only after the 1967 Six Day War.
    Until that time, France was the main exporter of food and weapons to Israel. She had her own reasons for this: from 1954 to 1962, she waged a grueling war against Algeria, which was striving for independence. Algeria's main ally in this struggle was Nasser's Egypt, where the slogans of pan-Arabism reached the peak of their popularity. Therefore, France decided in every possible way to support the neighboring country of Egypt - Israel, in every possible way playing on the Arab-Israeli contradictions and diverting the attention and forces of Egypt to maintain military parity with the Jewish state.

    However, in the 1960s, Charles de Gaulle came to power in France, who decided to "reset" Franco-Arab relations. This concerned the satisfaction of the Algerian demands for independence and the strengthening of relations with other Arab countries. Close Franco-Israeli cooperation fell victim to this policy. In 1967, France imposed an arms embargo on Israel ...

    As the practice of all wars in the Middle East has shown, the stake on Arab countries in wars with indirect participation unreasonable... Despite the supply of the latest Soviet weapons, the Arab countries lost to Israel over and over again.

    Well, yes,: "This has never happened, and now again" (c)
    As the practice of all wars in the Middle East has shown, relying on Arab countries in wars, even with direct participation, leads to the same results.
    1. Free wind
      Free wind 2 September 2020 13: 49
      The first Arab wars Israel fought on the Messerschmites, they were installed from Czechoslovakia, and there was no smell of Americans. Then there were heaps of captured equipment.
      1. A. Privalov
        A. Privalov 2 September 2020 14: 20
        Quote: Free Wind
        The first Arab wars Israel fought on the Messerschmites, they were installed from Czechoslovakia, and there was no smell of Americans. Then there were heaps of captured equipment.

        We will not underestimate the importance of the Czechoslovak supplies, but taking advantage of the fact that the Arabs were already holding Israel by the throat in a uniform way, the Czechs sold almost two dozen Avia S199s, at draconian prices - 5 (five!) Times more expensive than market value. It was a lousy business deal in its purest form. There is nothing to be done, Stalin desperately needed dollars and Israel needed planes.
        By the end of the War of Independence in 1949, there were 8 such aircraft left. In 1954, the last of them was scrapped.
        By 1955, Israel had about 50 jet fighters of the "first generation" - French and British production - some "Meteors" and "Hurricanes", and through Czechoslovakia the Arabs were already flying MiG-15 and MiG-17f ...
        Israel captured the first serious trophies during the Sinai campaign in 1956:

        one destroyer, one mobile radar unit, 1170 assault rifles, 4300 rifles, 220 mortars, 550 machine guns, 55 cannons, 100 anti-aircraft guns, 27 T-34 tanks and 40 Sherman tanks, 60 armored personnel carriers, 155 motorcycles, 470 jeeps, 1500 trucks, 480 tractors, 25 thousand grenades, 60 thousand mines, 100 binoculars and an unmeasured amount of various other ammunition. The complete list of trophies compiled a table of two and a half pages.
        1. Free wind
          Free wind 2 September 2020 14: 40
          The fact that Comrade Stalin was a good business executive, did nothing without paying, he did not suffer from altruism at our expense, so to speak. From the Mongols, from the Spaniards, from the Koreans, from all the Chinese, he demanded a refund. But damn it, to put shoes on the Jews, something is already ridiculous. How did you know the market value of the Messers? Almost all of them had already been destroyed, and the fockers could have been thrown in. Something I have not heard about such a divorce. laughing
          1. A. Privalov
            A. Privalov 2 September 2020 16: 09
            Quote: Free Wind
            Something I have not heard about such a divorce.

            There is a ton of material on the subject of the War of Independence. It's just that in the information space, more attention is paid to the Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War, so it’s not surprising.
  6. iouris
    iouris 2 September 2020 12: 10
    Don't get carried away. The war is not waged by PMCs. The state is waging a war with full (!) Tension of all available forces and resources.
  7. BAI
    BAI 2 September 2020 16: 33
    The author forgot the 4th option: when they do not advertise and are directly involved - the Spanish Civil War
  8. bandabas
    bandabas 2 September 2020 16: 38
    The meaning is clear. Only real life and death is not a movie.
  9. Comrade Kim
    Comrade Kim 12 November 2020 00: 54
    Quote: SOVIET UNION 2
    Are described

    It is written that what needs to be driven into the cerebellum by the masses - PMCs defend the interests of Russia, but in their own way.
    But in fact, you need to stop hiding your head in the sand, and "comb" the laws under the current realities. So that there would be no shameful decision of the courts in the Russian Federation to extradite the volunteers of Novorossiya to the Ukrainian junta at the request of Interpol.
    Then, if we live in the times of a terry supranational yoke of corporations, we must defend the interests of our bloodthirsty moneybags over the hill. Do not disgrace those who have sworn allegiance to Russia, the military, fighting for the interests of some Avens, Alekperovs, and so on.
    Let well-trained and armed mercenaries shed their blood for the bourgeoisie.
    Protected by the Constitution and having a total indulgence from any articles of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, whatever they do outside of our homeland, defending the interests of corporations, the rich and domestic bloodsuckers.