The global crisis of modernity is generated by Western civilization. Exit from it is possible only through a serious reorganization of the system of international relations in all spheres. At the same time, some states in the course of this process may lose their influence, while others, on the contrary, may acquire it.
The emerging global trends suggest that the West is losing its economic superiority. The forthcoming restructuring of the world order is fraught for Western elites with huge losses, and possibly even death. Therefore, they will strive to use all available means to set up a new order “according to their own patterns.” Of course, Western leaders still see military force as one of the main tools of these transformations.
In the short and medium term, NATO countries, primarily the United States, will use armed forces to achieve their political goals mainly in the course of local wars and armed conflicts of various sizes, as well as conducting limited operations in peacetime.
The involvement of regular troops by Western states in large-scale conflicts, local or regional wars is possible with the most decisive goals - the complete defeat of the enemy and the occupation of its territory.
In armed conflicts of limited scope, local tasks are likely to be solved in order to preserve the image of “peacekeepers” and because of the rejection of large losses during escalation of hostilities.
At the same time, an armed invasion (“humanitarian intervention”) may be motivated by the need to combat terrorism and the spread of weapons mass destruction, as well as the “protection of human rights”.
Achieving the goals of conflicts will be carried out using the full range of measures - military, economic and political, combined with the methods of informational struggle.
Grouping for specific tasks
An analysis of the trends that have emerged in the course of recent military conflicts shows that in the future, the actions of the groups of NATO and US forces will have a number of features not characteristic of the warfare of the 20th century.
First of all, the information confrontation is beginning to play an increasing role. The outlined trend suggests that in the near future, the struggle in this area, in terms of its importance and degree of influence on the course and outcome of a military conflict, will significantly displace, and later will push the traditional “physical confrontation” into the background.
In the long run, the use of psychotronic weapons to influence the personnel of the armed forces and the population of the enemy can become essential.
The main theater of military operations will be aerospace. The importance of confrontation in this area will increase with the development of air attack weapons, space reconnaissance and communications equipment, and the emergence of effective space attack systems.
In the actions of the armed forces of the North Atlantic Alliance, the decisive role is assigned to conventional high-precision weapons, and in the future - to weapons based on new physical principles.
First of all, objects of state and military control systems, information infrastructure, the most important economic, means of retaliation to the entire depth of the enemy’s territory will be affected.
Military actions will be distinguished by great dynamism and scope, covering vast areas on land, the adjacent waters of the seas and oceans, and the aerospace space above them. The key task will be to achieve a strategic, operational and tactical surprise.
Judging from the experience of military conflicts at the beginning of the 21st century, the groups of the US and NATO armed forces will form as single interspecific combat systems of a strategic or operational scale.
Combined within the framework of such a system, the troops and weapons must solve the tasks of defeating the enemy as they are detected in real or close to real time. The core of such a single complex will be information management systems at all levels - from tactical to strategic.
Much attention will be paid to the task of ensuring the combat sustainability of the factions. Particular importance is attached to the combined air defense system - missile defense in theaters. The effective protection of troops and forces is supposed to be achieved through the integrated use of the capabilities of all types of armed forces in detecting, identifying, escorting and destroying the enemy’s air attack assets and creating unfavorable conditions for any attacks. Considerable efforts will be directed at the enemy's disinformation and misleading, masking, individual and collective defense, and eliminating the consequences of the use of weapons of mass destruction by the enemy.
Of paramount importance is the timely and high-quality material and technical support of the groups. Here, in addition to the timely preparation of the required amount of material resources, the key task will be operational control over their presence and location, as well as determining the needs of troops (forces) in various types of logistics support. This is supposed to be achieved due to the large-scale introduction of modern information technologies into the material and technical resources management system.
High tempo and intensity on land
The most important task facing the US Armed Forces is the projection of force, which means the ability to carry out quick troop movements and their deployment in areas of possible armed conflicts.
The ground forces will have to work in close cooperation with other types of armed forces as an integral part of unified interspecific combat systems. They can also conduct separate operations in cooperation with parts and divisions of various government departments, non-governmental organizations, armed forces of other states and international organizations.
An exceptionally important role in the solution of the assigned tasks by the compounds and parts of the US NL is the achievement of high mobility, accuracy of defeat and information superiority. As in Iraq, the US ground forces will strive to conduct combat operations at a pace and with such intensity that the enemy cannot withstand.
Such actions are characterized by the determination of goals, high activity, the desire to deliver sudden preemptive strikes at the enemy to the full depth of its operational construction, the implementation of quick maneuvers, the seizure and retention of initiative in battles and battles. They are distinguished by high dynamism and large spatial scope; they are conducted along separate, often isolated, directions with gaps in battle formations and gaps in the operational construction of groupings.
The defeat of the enemy is achieved mainly through fire damage to the entire depth of its operational construction, which, similarly to military operations in Iraq, is organized to isolate the combat area, reduce the mobility of the opposing side, weaken it comprehensively and inflict decisive defeat through the use of high-precision munitions, army aviation and electronic warfare equipment with the support of tactical and even strategic aviation.
The expected mass equipment of the troops with highly effective long-range weapons will make it possible to deliver massive strikes synchronously to the enemy’s first and second echelons. This should create conditions for their simultaneous rout. The final actions will be carried out by the highly mobile components that are part of the combined forces, including the forces of special operations, and will be reduced in essence to the consolidation of the success achieved by firing means.
In the future, maneuvers through the air, deep detours and depths that distract demonstrative and false actions will become more widespread.
The leading and steady trend in changing methods of action can be considered the desire to simultaneously destroy the enemy to the full depth of his operational construction while concentrating the combat power against the main objects determining the operational stability of his group.
Estimating the factors influencing the total duration and intensity of military conflicts, one should expect a significant increase in the pace of operations and combat actions of ground forces groups, reducing their overall duration.
Command of the air
The decisive role in the armed struggle of the American and NATO military experts, of course, will be assigned to their air force.
This is determined by the ability of aviation to strike at targets located throughout the enemy’s territory, and to perform the tasks of gaining air superiority, isolating a combat area, direct air support and aerial reconnaissance simultaneously.
An analysis of the direction of development of the US Air Force and other leading NATO countries shows that the focus will be on creating new integrated reconnaissance and surveillance systems, reducing the vulnerability of aircraft for enemy air defense systems, increasing the range and maneuverability of aircraft, the use of high-precision aviation weapons, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).
In military conflicts of the last 10 years, there has been a striving for almost continuous impact on the enemy through round-the-clock and all-weather use of air formations, reducing the required number of aircraft for solving combat missions, increasing the flexibility of using tactical aviation through a sharp increase in its combat radius and stealthiness, flying at low altitudes and the use of landing sites of limited size.
The US military leadership sets a goal to achieve and maintain space supremacy. Judging by the direction of the military-technical policy, ensuring superiority in this area is planned to be achieved as a result of both offensive and defensive actions. In the first case, the main efforts will be directed towards the destruction or neutralization of the opposing side’s space systems by affecting the orbital or ground components. The defense includes the active and passive defense of their space systems against attacks or interference by the enemy. The purpose of intensive defensive actions is to detect, track, identify and destroy or neutralize means that threaten their space systems. Passive protection is aimed at reducing vulnerability and improving the reliability of the operation of its own space assets.
The course of wars and military conflicts at the beginning of the 21st century suggests that the main form of strategic use of aviation by the United States and NATO will be a campaign that includes several air offensive operations. Its most important task remains to achieve superiority in the air due to the destruction of aircraft, airfields, air defense systems and operational-tactical missiles (OTR) of the enemy or the maximum limit of their activity. For this purpose fighters, bombers, attack helicopters, reconnaissance planes, UAVs, OTR and cruise missiles of air, ground and sea bases are used.
Defensive actions in the fight against enemy air assets are carried out in order to reduce losses from air strikes and enemy missiles by covering troops (forces), materiel and military facilities.
In the future, the number of aircraft performing the task of achieving superiority in the air will decrease. Most of the most important aviation objects identified in advance, the enemy’s air defense system and military command and control system will fail during the first massive strikes. The use of automated aviation control systems will reduce the time for assessing the situation and making decisions by headquarters and crews.
Fighting US aviation and NATO in military conflicts of the late XX - early XXI century, the military-technical policy of the countries of the North Atlantic alliance in the development of the air force can highlight the tendency to increase the volume of tasks with the use of long-range guided missiles, which can be launched without aircraft entering the enemy air defense zone.
At the same time, actions will be characteristic of small strike groups at extremely low altitudes or at supersonic speeds, striking one plane at the same time on several targets, using ground, air and space means of targeting objects, actions based on the principle of “shot-and-forget”.
From the sea against the shore
The main feature in changing the forms and methods of using the US Navy and leading NATO countries in the near future will remain their focus on operations and combat operations conducted "from the sea against the coast." This is due to the fact that the dominance of the main naval force of the alliance is fleet The United States in the ocean is almost undeniable.
At the same time, in coastal zones, it can be rendered a fairly effective resistance. In this regard, in addition to gaining superiority in the ocean, the fleet of the North Atlantic bloc should be able to control the situation in coastal areas, from where it could operate on targets deep in the enemy’s territory.
The experience of military conflicts of the last thirty years suggests that in the event of a conflict of any scale, the naval forces of the United States and NATO play an important role at all stages of military operations.
Being in the advanced areas, the expeditionary formations of the Naval Forces, most likely, will act as part of the first echelon, the crucial task of containing the enemy. At the same time, they can conduct combat operations and conduct operations in order to accomplish the following tasks: conquering supremacy at sea and in the air (jointly with the Air Force), attacking enemy ground groups, air defense and missile defense systems of the fleet and ground objects, landing troops, exercising control for shipping.
At the early phase of the conflict, special attention is paid to delivering massive strikes by naval and air forces as well as cruise missiles on objects of the control systems of the armed forces of the enemy, its air defense, primarily on long-range and medium-range air defense missile systems. Their destruction will allow NATO aircraft to deliver the most effective strikes from medium altitudes, being outside the zone of destruction of a large number of short-range air defense weapons.
In addition, the forces of the fleet of the alliance are involved in solving the tasks of destroying the enemy’s aviation and navy as part of an air offensive operation together with other types of armed forces.
Solving the task of gaining dominance in the zone of combat operations, the formation of the fleet and marines can carry out operations to seize airfields, ports and other enemy facilities necessary for the deployment of additional components of the combined forces of allies.
At the same time, in order to build up the formations, naval forces will organize strategic maritime transport and will ensure the protection of maritime communications.
Fire support for ground forces will be provided by naval and marine infantry aircraft, as well as missile and artillery strikes by ships of naval forces. The fire impact on the enemy is supposed to be carried out continuously to the full depth of its operational construction by various weapon systems.
Supporting ground forces, fleet forces will strike objects with the aim of isolating and defeating the ground grouping of the armed forces of the opposing side.
When an offensive (counter-offensive) is carried out with the aim of destroying the ground forces of the enemy enemy, the US and NATO can conduct landing operations.
It is believed that the key condition for the effective use of groups of the naval forces will be the unification of dispersed detection and combat control systems, percussion tools into a single operational structure that allows the most efficient use of all the elements included in it to solve the tasks facing the Navy formations.
Quick deployment for concerted action
The analysis of the trends in the development of forms and methods of combat operations by the armed forces of the United States and the main NATO countries shows that they will mostly remain traditional in the near future, mainly due to the fact that the adoption of high-quality new types of weapons in sufficient quantities for this prospect is foreseen. However, there may be some changes in their content.
Among the most important features that characterize the actions of the groups of the armed forces of these countries are the rapid deployment of a superior group of troops and forces in the theater of operations, coordination of actions of all participants in operations, availability of detailed information about the enemy, use of space capabilities, extensive use of precision weapons, the depth of the impact on the enemy, the integration of efforts to disrupt the enemy’s offensive plans, the active use of maneuver by forces and fire, All-round logistic support.
All this creates extremely difficult conditions for the defending side and makes it necessary to search for effective asymmetric methods of countering the aggressor.