The reason for such a successful modeling of the image of the “invincible rival”, according to the deputy director of the Institute of Political and Military Analysis, Alexander Khramchikhin, is in the United States conducting massive propaganda campaigns.
Meanwhile, they are evidence of a decrease in military power and are designed to compensate for military weakness.
The power of propaganda campaigns
As Napoleon said, "in war, the moral factor relates to the physical, like 3: 1." Recently, it has begun to appear more clearly. Moreover, it sometimes manifests itself in a paradoxical and contradictory way.
The psychological breakdown of Europe came about as a result of a catastrophic massacre for all participants, with an absolutely senseless slaughter, known as the First World War.
This scrapping became apparent during the Second World War, when a large part of Europe was not only subjugated by Hitler, but fit into the occupation regime. The most vivid examples are France and the Czech Republic. And this war finally finished off the Europeans, knocking out any desire to fight.
Today, this process in Europe has come to a logical end. He was greatly strengthened by the extinction of the external threat in the face of the Warsaw Pact and the USSR, a sharp rise in living standards, growing into hedonism for a significant part of the population, a decline in fertility (respectively, a sharp rise in the value of each life), postmodern pacifism and politics of political correctness. Until now, this process has affected the United States little, but lately, a similar tendency has begun to appear in them.
At the same time, the West represented by NATO proclaimed itself a defender of freedom and democracy throughout the world, which forces it to become a party to various conflicts outside the Euro-Atlantic region. And this happens under the pressure of public opinion, which requires intervention in conflicts in order to protect freedom and democracy.
However, this same public opinion is completely unprepared for the fact that their own armies would suffer any serious losses in these conflicts. This gives rise to a deep internal contradiction and reinforces double standards in the policies of Western countries, as the reduction of military capabilities increasingly limits the ability of real intervention in conflicts.
In addition, it is often completely incomprehensible the criteria on the basis of which intervention in an alien conflict occurs, because it is usually extremely difficult to establish who is right and who is guilty in a given conflict and whether at least one of the parties is a carrier of freedom and democracy.
The massive propaganda campaigns that the West regularly launches against the regimes that at the moment he considered “wrong” are largely explained, just by a decrease in military power.
The propaganda campaign is designed to compensate for military weakness by suppressing the will of the enemy to resist and convincing his own population that he may have to suffer at least some losses.
If even one of these goals is not achieved, the war will almost certainly not be launched. Unfortunately, the global lack of understanding of these tendencies in the development of the Western Armed Forces often produces a "fascinating" psychological effect, NATO is still perceived as an invincible military force on which to rely and which cannot be resisted.
In addition, the general professionalism of the Armed Forces, i.e. the transition of the majority of the world's armies to the hired principle of manning, which sharply lowered their psychological stability. Iraq’s occupation of Kuwait on 2 in August 1990 demonstrated the complete failure of the “professional armies” of the Persian Gulf monarchies.
The Kuwaiti armed forces were by no means negligible, but they offered little resistance to the Iraqi invasion. Not only all the equipment of the ground forces, but also half of the combat aircraft of the Air Force and 6 of 8 missile boats of the Kuwait Navy were captured by Iraqis in a fully combat-ready state.
Of the 16, thousands of people who formed the personnel of the Kuwaiti armed forces killed no more than 200 and were captured before 600, the rest (95%) fled. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which had very strong forces, did not even try to help Kuwait, although they were obliged to do so.
As shown by the defeat of Kuwait, and then the only attack of Iraqi troops on the Saudi city of Ras Khafji during Storm in the Desert (January 24 1991), the Saudi forces would have disintegrated in the same way as the Kuwaiti forces.
In this case, the United States and its allies simply would have no place to deploy the grouping, and conducting a naval and airborne assault operation would be a task, at least an order of magnitude more complicated and threatening with very high losses. Hussein could correct this mistake for about a month after the occupation of Kuwait, when the deployment of the Western grouping in Saudi Arabia had just begun. It was already clear that the grouping was being developed not for intimidation (if only because it was too expensive), but for war.
The massive attack of the Iraqi Armed Forces at that time would have been extremely difficult to repel. However, there was a psychological factor in the reappraisal of the enemy’s military capabilities, a lack of understanding that the enemy could be faced with the necessity of paying an exorbitant price for it. Without in any way preventing the full-fledged deployment of the grouping of the US armed forces and their allies, Hussein naturally doomed himself to defeat.
It should be noted that at the time of the start of the air campaign, the advantage of the US Air Force and its allies over the Iraqi Air Force (both quantitative and qualitative) was much less than the superiority of the Air Force and aviation US Navy over North Vietnam Air Force. Nevertheless, if the Americans managed to achieve complete air supremacy over Iraq on the first day of the war, this did not work over North Vietnam for all 4 years (1965-68 and 1972) of the air campaign.
This cannot be explained only by an advantage in technique and tactics; there is also a fundamental psychological difference between the military personnel of Iraq and Vietnam. The air defense potential of Iraq was very high, even in conditions of complete chaos and disorganization, they managed to shoot down at least 39 (possibly to 50) of the enemy aircraft. However, the absolute passivity of the command, abandoning the use of ground forces and the air force, could lead to nothing but defeat.
It was the psychological inconsistency of the military-political leadership of Iraq that enabled the United States to work out the use of the new weapons in conditions close to polygon. As a result, the United States, firstly, gained the most valuable combat experience, and secondly, created an image of its absolute invincibility.
This was greatly facilitated by the fact that the American leadership made adequate conclusions from its defeat in the information war with North Vietnam. In the case of Iraq, the information support of the operation turned out to be at the highest level.
The opposite example was the Russian army in the post-Soviet period. She demonstrated exceptionally high viability, confirming her reputation as one of the best in the world (although almost no one understood this).
Even during the lost first Chechen war, the practically non-existent Russian Armed Forces had a very real chance to win the war in just six months, only the inadequate reaction of the country's political leadership to the seizure of the hospital in Budennovsk by the militants and the information war of the Russian media against their own army prevented this.
The second Chechen war was quickly won, although in material and technical terms the state of the Armed Forces between the two wars only worsened even more. Given the very high fighting qualities of the Chechen militants, their excellent material equipment, natural and climatic conditions that are very convenient for them, and the moral and psychological state of Russian society that is extremely unfavorable for waging war, this victory can be considered an outstanding success of the Russian army.
The instant defeat of Georgia in the course of the classic August 2008 war was no less successful. The Russian Armed Forces grouping had no numerical superiority over the Georgian armed forces, and the technical equipment of the latter was in part even better than that of the Russian troops.
Of course, the Russian Armed Forces as a whole could not lose to the Georgian Armed Forces, however, in the August 2008 war, the Russian side demonstrated not a slow suppression by the masses with large own losses, namely, the instant defeat of the enemy with formal equality of forces. The main role in this victory was played by the psychological superiority of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, which confirmed that the traditions are still alive.
In the same war, once again the inconsistency of the idea of a “professional army” was demonstrated, which in principle is not capable of waging a heavy contact defensive war. Before 2004, the Georgian armed forces were, in fact, a “legitimate gang formation”, for which reason they initially lost the wars to the 90's much more cohesive and, moreover, were supported by Russia of a similar type to Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
In 2004-2008 An attempt was made to radically modernize the Armed Forces by purchasing a significant amount of Soviet equipment in Ukraine and Eastern Europe, which was modernized with the help of the United States and Israel. Elements of the network-centric war were also borrowed from the USA. With the formal preservation of the draft principle of recruitment, all combat mechanized brigades were formed only by hire.
Nevertheless, the war with Russia in August 2008 ended with the instant and complete defeat of Georgia, and on the third day of the war its Armed Forces, in fact, collapsed, ceasing to put up any resistance. Thus, it was once again confirmed that a hired army is not capable of protecting its own country from external invasion.
An attempt to build a network-centric army on the basis of Soviet equipment and mediocre-trained personnel was obviously untenable.
It was Russia that demonstrated that the country that is not afraid of NATO easily wins it. And three times in less than 10 years. She, albeit from the second attempt, despite the complete rejection of this campaign by the West, returned control over Chechnya. In June, the 1999 50-thousandth NATO group meekly gave the opportunity to capture the main strategic object of Kosovo (Slatina airfield) to one battalion of Russian paratroopers (211 people) who did not have any heavy weapons.
In August, NATO's 2008, no less resignedly, gave Russia the opportunity to defeat its closest ally, Georgia, and to tear away its 20% territory from him. NATO not only did not give Georgia the slightest military and even political assistance during the war, but actually imposed sanctions against it after the war - a tough embargo on the supply of any weapon (even defensive) and the exclusion of the possibility of admitting its membership, since Georgia has not settled territorial problems (rhetoric in this case does not matter). Unfortunately, even in Russia itself, all this was not realized.
Breeding gangs in the country reinforces the impression of chaos and allows the West to present the events in Syria as a “civil war”
Perhaps the first country where awareness still happened, became Syria. Its leadership behaves in the same way as the Russian during the Chechen wars (especially the second): it completely ignores the opinion of the West and is not afraid of its pressure. Moreover, the Syrians frankly demonstrated their strength, knocking 2012 in Turkish RF-4 in June with impunity.
Perhaps there were adequate people in Damascus who were able to look at NATO realistically, adequately evaluate the misery of his Libyan campaign, which the “aggressive imperialist bloc” almost lost, although the enemy did not resist at all. And so far, the calculation is absolutely correct. The only real reason for Western "non-resistance to evil by violence" is the power of the Syrian army, which remains loyal to Assad.
Therefore, no one is going to fight against it. The "reinforced concrete" position of Russia in the UN Security Council has become a true "gift of fate" for the West. Both the West, and Turkey, and the Arab monarchies vehemently demand that Russia change this position. However, in their hearts they pray that Moscow will continue to be just as “reinforced concrete”. Because it allows you to drench it with dirt, while continuing to do nothing, and on a "legal basis".
The fact that in Yugoslavia in 1999 or in Iraq in 2003 the position of the UN Security Council did not interest anyone, now in Washington, Ankara, Doha, Riyadh and Brussels prefer not to remember. If the Syrian regime can resist, it will be a fundamental change in the entire geopolitical situation and will mean the complete loss of real influence by the West. The paradox is that this, too, can be understood by no one.