In the post-Cold War period, a variety of joint military exercises have become a fashion. They often involve countries that are poorly matched politically and geographically. Humanitarian exercises have become very widely practiced, during which the struggle of military groups against the consequences of natural and man-made disasters is practiced (to what extent the military should deal with this is a very debatable issue). Then added countless anti-terrorism teachings. However, this concept very quickly turned into a frank profanation, as scenarios began to fit into it, which obviously have nothing to do with the fight against terrorism.
RITUALS AND TEA CEREMONIES
A striking example of frankly ritual and senseless exercises can be considered "Blaxifor" - annual naval exercises with the participation of the Navy of all six Black Sea countries. Initially, it was not very clear what was being worked out on them. This event turned into a frank farce after the two Black Sea countries (Russia and Georgia) fought among themselves, as a result of which the Georgian fleet was physically destroyed and because of this it was legally abolished. Nevertheless, the teachings or, as they say in the American manner, the Blackseafor activations continue, and are still considered six-sided.
And yet, in many joint exercises, one can find a military-political sense and reveal some interesting trends. In particular, for Russia and its Armed Forces.
Let us set aside joint exercises of the units of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation with the Armed Forces of the countries of the CSTO. If this organization already exists, working out the combat missions by the armies of the member countries is not just natural, but mandatory. More interesting exercises with foreign countries.
In April, the Pacific Fleet of Russia and the Northern Fleet of the PLA Navy conducted the Sea Interaction-2012 exercise, which turned out to be quite large-scale. They worked off repelled strikes of air attack weapons, replenishing stocks in the sea, speeding up the area of operations of submarine forces of a conditional enemy, practical use of anti-submarine rocket bombs, and strikes against naval targets. There were also worked out the issues of the release of the vessel seized by pirates, joint search and rescue operations, assistance to an emergency ship, convoy of ships. The language of interaction in the exercises was Russian.
The Russian naval grouping during the exercises included the Varyag missile cruiser of the 1164 project, three BODs of the 1155 project and three auxiliary vessels.
The Chinese ship group included two Project 039 and 636 submarines, four destroyers, one each of Project 052 and 051C and two of Project 956, five frigates, two of which were Project 053H3 and three were 054A, missile boats and auxiliary vessels . J-8 combat aircraft and naval AWACS aircraft were also used. aviation Navy PLA.
For comparison, it can be said that 2005 Russian and 10 Chinese warships took part in the Russian-Chinese naval exercises in 60. Thus, the scale of the current exercises was almost five times less than seven years ago. In addition, they were very noticeable propaganda side, which in this case is not only and not so much in the presence of the "peaceful" component (the fight against pirates and search and rescue operations), but in the wide coverage of the exercises in the media and conducting several purely spectacular events. Those were the celebrations in the main base of the Chinese Federation of Qingdao on the 63 anniversary of the PLA Navy with a big concert and a joint naval parade. These events took almost as much time as the exercise itself.
BETWEEN WASHINGTON AND PEKIN
On the whole, there was a strong impression that China and Russia not only and not so much worked out the interaction between themselves, as they blackmailed Washington and Tokyo with the possibility of such interaction. Actually, this is exactly the whole “strategic partnership” of Moscow and Beijing in all its aspects. This conclusion is confirmed by the fact that the units of the Russian Armed Forces this year participated or will participate in joint exercises with units of the armies of other countries.
For example, at the end of August, the Russian Air Force and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) conducted international exercises to work out joint actions when terrorists seized the Vigilant Eagle-2012 aircraft. Similar exercises are held annually since 2010. The units of the armed forces of Russia, the USA and Canada were involved in the exercises. The headquarters of the exercises were located in Khabarovsk, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Colorado Springs and Anchorage.
However, other joint Russian-American antiterrorist exercises were much more interesting, which, unlike the Watchful Eagle, was held for the first time. They were held at the end of May in Colorado, at the Fort Carson military base. The 4-I mechanized division is stationed on it, as well as a number of other parts of the US Army. Among them is the 10 group of the Special Operations Forces, which participated in the exercises together with the intelligence units of the Russian Airborne Forces. The teachings were not formal, but real, as can be seen from how serious the guys participated in them. To use them for the sake of profanation is too expensive and, most importantly, meaningless from any point of view. The participants of the exercises spoke very highly of each other. It is supposed to make the exercises annual and conduct them in turn in the territory of the USA and the Russian Federation
It goes without saying that the exercises were officially considered anti-terrorist. Indeed, of all the arms of service, special forces and troops are the best suited for this task. At the same time, however, it is well known that they are capable of very effectively solving the most varied tasks in the classic war “army against army”.
Finally, in July, a detachment of Pacific ships fleet The Russian Federation as part of the Admiral Panteleev BPC and two auxiliary vessels, a tanker and a tugboat, took part in the RIMPAK-2012 naval exercises in the Hawaii area. These are the world's largest naval exercises organized by the US Pacific Fleet once every two years (first held in 1971) with the participation of the Navy of many allied countries. Scenarios of the war against the USSR were worked out earlier at these exercises, and recently - against China. For the first time, ships of the Russian Navy took part in these exercises. This is extremely symptomatic, given that the Navy of the PRC has never been invited to these exercises. In fact, by participating in RIMPAK-2012, Russia “balanced” the April Russian-Chinese exercises “Maritime Interaction-2012”. Although the scale of Russian participation in RIMPAK-2012 was smaller than in “Sea interaction”, in this case the fact itself and the precedent for participation are very important.
BUDDING FOR THREE SEAS
However, not only the Chinese and Americans have become our partners in joint exercises. In August, the joint Indra-2012 Russian-Indian exercises took place at the Burduny training ground in Buryatia. According to the established international tradition, they were proclaimed antiterrorist, but for some reason, a traditional all-arms battle with extensive use of armored vehicles and attack aircraft was practiced on them. Moreover, the Indian soldiers at the time of the exercise were transferred to the T-72 and BMP-2 of the Eastern Military District of the Russian Federation. A joint landing of a helicopter assault was also worked out.
At the end of September, the next Russian-Mongolian exercise Selenga-2012 will be held at the same Burduny range. Of course, they are also told to be considered antiterrorist, although it is not clear where terrorism will come from in Mongolia (or Buryatia) (so far it has not been observed there, there are not the slightest prerequisites for its appearance). It is even more surprising that in this area, not suffering from the invasion of terrorists, Hindus were brought in to work on their fight against them. It should be noted that the "Burduny" are located near the border with China. By the way, the Indra-2010 Russian-Indian exercises took place two years ago on the territory of India also near the border of this country with China. And for Mongolia there are no potential opponents at all, except China. Therefore, the geopolitical orientation of the Buryat teachings is quite clear.
Approximately three or four years ago, the Kremlin apparently noticed that the "strategic partnership" with Beijing was going somewhere wrong. The fact that it is beneficial only to China in purely economic terms is half the trouble. But it is already impossible not to notice the rapid growth of the military power of the PRC and the very strange nature of the PLA exercises, very similar to the testing of aggression against Russia (the NVO wrote about this many times). In this regard, it seems, there was a desire to somehow balance such a wonderful "partner." And even, it is not excluded, the understanding came that it is impossible to do this without allies. As such, of course, India is best suited. Mongolia is also very useful, having, of course, almost zero military potential, but an extremely important strategic position. Well, can not do without the United States.
Imagine how Americans will be with weapons in hands to protect us from China, to put it mildly, is difficult. But it is absolutely necessary for us to demonstrate to Peking ourselves that for Russia the world has never come together with a wedge, we decide ourselves who and how we should be friends with. Our "partner" clearly needs sobering up. And since the United States almost openly proclaimed its containment of China as its most important geopolitical goal, it is extremely important for Russia to become who China was during the years of the Cold War - “the monkey watching the tigers fight.” And to pursue an absolutely balanced policy, with no one too much quarreling and not drawing closer. By the way, in this case Beijing and Washington will appreciate us much more (to a certain extent, it is noticeable already today).
In this regard, it would be very desirable to extinguish the anti-American paranoia, which once again manifested itself in relation to the above-mentioned joint exercises with the US Armed Forces. The arguments of the fighters against them are as absurd and irrational as in the case of the “NATO base in Ulyanovsk”, therefore it is almost impossible to discuss with them. Actually, hysteria should be stopped even without reference to China and to the United States itself. Just because there is an obvious collective psychosis, frankly dangerous for the nation. When the basis of the worldview of a significant part of the country's population is paranoid delusion, it does not matter what the topic of this nonsense is. You just need to correct the situation, and not aggravate it.
FACE OF POLICIES ON THE BACKGROUND OF PUSHERS
A separate practical question is what do joint exercises give us not in a political but in a purely military sense? For example, can the Mongols teach us anything? How do we theoretically and practically enrich the "Marine Interaction" or the "Vigilant Eagle"?
In fact, no information is useless, especially when it comes to exercises with the Americans and the Chinese. We, at least, study them, as, indeed, they - us. Who will benefit more from this and why it depends on us.
It is more or less obvious that in the “Sea Cooperation” the ritual-political component was the main one, militarily they did not give anything, if only because before the Russian Pacific Fleet and the PLA Navy conducted much more large-scale exercises with more realistic scenarios. There are big doubts that the scenario developed during the Watchful Eagle exercise (airport control is too tight today) is being realized, although it might be useful to work out the procedures for interaction between the air forces of three countries just in case. But the teachings in Colorado, as already mentioned, must be taken very seriously. American special forces and Russian paratroopers carefully studied each other. The question is in what aspect of the results of this study they will be useful in the future.
As for the Hindus and the Mongols, it is possible that we will have to really interact with them in battle against the common enemy. From this point of view, joint exercises with them are obviously useful. And even the Mongolian army in no case should not be neglected. Despite its small number and outdated weapons, it, at least, knows how to operate in mountainous and steppe areas. In addition, some Mongolian military personnel have experience serving in Iraq, and in the most acute period of the war in that country.
As for India, as mentioned above, this is our most important potential ally. Therefore, we should carry out joint exercises with the Armed Forces of this country much more often and on a much larger scale than now.