Military Review

American drones in Central Asia

American drones in Central Asia

16 February this year The Los Angeles Times reported that the Barack Obama administration is working on plans to deploy unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) at air bases in Central Asia to attack targets in northern Pakistan and Afghanistan. The program is said to be of an auxiliary nature in the event that Washington and Kabul do not agree on the fate of some US military facilities in Afghanistan.

At first glance, the publication of essentially secret information about military plans in one of the largest American newspapers looks like a regular informational stuffing for influencing Afghan President H. Karzai. However, the threats posed by the appearance of unmanned aviation The United States in Central Asia is being forced to take the Los Angeles Times data seriously, giving them a comprehensive assessment.

Anonymous newspaper sources in the government do not name the state of Central Asia, in which drones are supposed to be placed, however the technical and tactical characteristics of UAVs in service with the US allow us to conclude that the Americans want to transfer them to the airfields of Tajikistan and southern Uzbekistan... They are closer to the potential targets, which is important, since the main American UAV MQ-1 Predator (Predator) has a limited flight range (740-930 km).

According to American experts, the possibility of using the infrastructure of Tajikistan could be discussed with the leadership of this country in January 2014 during a visit to Dushanbe by the commander of the special forces of the US Central Command, Major General Mikael K. Nagata. True, as Western analysts themselves admit, if such negotiations did take place, the likelihood of Dushanbe’s agreement on the American proposal is insignificant, given that it would jeopardize allied relations with Russia, including a major program of re-equipping the Tajik army.

More promising in this regard may be contacts of Washington with Tashkent. Before the closure of the airbase in Khanabad in 2005, the United States had already used the territory of Uzbekistan to carry out UAV flights. Today, Uzbekistan is once again the main military-political partner of the United States in the region and is preparing to receive from them some of the weapons from Afghanistan. Including in February 2013, the State Department announced the US intention to supply unmanned vehicles to Uzbekistan (presumably reconnaissance versions).

From about 2007-2008. The Pentagon began re-equipping its units with the new MQ-9 Reaper UAV (Reaper), which, in comparison with the Predator, has a more powerful turboprop engine, weapons comparable to an Apache army helicopter, and an increased range of 3700 km. With such characteristics, a new drone can strike targets in Afghanistan and Pakistan from the territory of more distant countries of Central Asia (Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan).

Turkmenistan officially opposes the creation of foreign military facilities on its territory, although it is secretly ready to go into military cooperation with Washington (in particular, in 2003, it opened airspace for the US Air Force). However, Iran, the key economic partner of Ashgabat, will strongly object to the deployment of American UAVs in Turkmenistan. In December, the Iranians intercepted the top-secret American drone RQ-2011 Sentinel, created using stealth technology, after which it became obvious that the White House was actively using the capabilities of unmanned aircraft to gather intelligence about Iran.

As for Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, they recently ratified the Protocol of the CSTO of December 20 2011, according to which the decision to deploy troops and military infrastructure of non-CSTO states on its territory can be made only after consulting with Russia and other members of the organization, in the absence of recent official objections.

Consequently, Uzbekistan may prove to be the most convenient platform for the US UAV base in Central Asia, despite the fact that after the Andijan events between President I. Karimov and Washington, mutual distrust remains. At the same time, the appearance of such an object on the territory of Uzbekistan will have a negative impact on the international image of the country, which has provided its territory for US drones, given that the number of opponents of uncontrolled use of this type is growing rapidly weapons. According to the British Investigative Bureau of Investigations, from 2004 to 2012 a year in Pakistan alone, no less than 880 civilians, including 176 children, were killed by UAV air strikes. Numerous victims of drones among civilians served as a pretext for the start of an investigation within the framework of the UN in 2013.

Placing a UAV in the region will inevitably lead to a worsening of the relations of the country that does this - with Russia, China, Iran and Pakistan, as well as with neighboring countries of Central Asia. For example, the appearance of a US-based UAV station in Uzbekistan, as well as their transfer into the ownership of the republic, will increase tensions in Tashkent’s relations with Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, which have long been concerned about Uzbek air superiority and in response seek to strengthen their own air defenses with Russia’s help. Kazakhstan is also experiencing anxiety. In February, an unidentified drone, which had flown around two border guards in the area of ​​Beineu, invaded the airspace of 2012 from Uzbek territory.

The United States Central Asian UAV fleet will operate under strict secrecy, outside of any national or international control, as it is likely to become part of the CIA forces ... It is the CIA, and not the Pentagon that is currently overseeing the strikes of UAVs in Pakistan. For the defense department, such operations require the permission of the local government, which Islamabad does not give. It cannot be ruled out that later the Americans will transfer covert operations using UAVs to the territory of the countries of Central Asia without the consent of their leadership. The list of such events is already quite extensive and includes intelligence; analysis of the radiation, biological and chemical environment; launching rocket-bombing strikes against ground targets, including for the elimination of unwanted leaders (essentially, contract killings).

The deployment of drones in Central Asia will require a noticeable expansion of the US military infrastructure here: the involvement of US military personnel to maintain and protect valuable equipment, the installation of sophisticated electronic equipment, the real purpose of which will be problematic. The work of the UAV assumes the presence of an agent network in the areas of operations for targeting and support from manned aircraft.

In the future, the point of the UAV may be close in value to a full-fledged air force base.. Already, in the United States are studying the possibility of using drones to supply troops, throwing and evacuating amphibious groups, refueling in the air. A new class of unmanned combat air vehicles is being developed that can attack aerial targets. Prototypes of jet drone Avenger UAV ("The Avenger") are being tested.

In general, the number of drones in service with the United States grew from 167 in 2002 to 7,1 thousand in 2012. The cost of their development and purchase - from 284 million dollars in 2000 to 6,6 billion in 2013. According to forecasts of the consulting company Teal Group, US spending on these goals for 2022 will amount to 11,4 billion dollars (or 62% global).

The implementation of the US administration’s plans to deploy drones in Central Asia will lead to the expansion of the US military infrastructure here, create conditions for the spread of clandestine operations using drones to the region and increase the overall military imbalance in the region.
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  1. Papakiko
    Papakiko 4 March 2014 08: 52
    US authorities have moved from threats to breaking important partnerships. In the military sphere, there should no longer be any joint exercises, conferences and meetings, and Russian ships can no longer call at US ports. This was announced by Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby.
    It's time for everyone to go to the gym, a bony hand is knocking on the door.
    1. LaGlobal
      LaGlobal 4 March 2014 09: 49
      if Washington and Kabul do not agree on the fate of some US military facilities in Afghanistan.

      - What kind of military facilities are these ?? Oil producing installations ??
    2. The comment was deleted.
  2. both s69
    both s69 4 March 2014 09: 02
    The United States behaves like a virus in the world - wherever they appear, some disease of the state organism necessarily appears. Question to Mr. Karimov: "What, the example of Mr. Yanukovych inspired the eastern padishah with his plot line?"
    "Would you like to give your people an adrenaline rush for a change?"
    "Someone likes it hot? .." request
    1. And Us Rat
      And Us Rat 4 March 2014 11: 29
      Question to the author of the article, why is the photo of the IAI Heron of Israeli production owned by the MEXICAN POLICE ??? laughing

      Py.Sy. The MQ-1 Predator UAV looks like this:
  3. Clegg
    Clegg 4 March 2014 09: 03
    I hope we join NATO
    1. Gardamir
      Gardamir 4 March 2014 09: 19
      What should Kazakhstan do in NATO?
      1. Clegg
        Clegg 4 March 2014 10: 16
        Quote: Gardamir
        about Kazakhstan do in nato?

        Protection from Putin’s inadequate policies
    2. Canep
      Canep 4 March 2014 09: 31
      Quote: Clegg
      I hope we join NATO

      And what kind of NATU are we going to? Waiting for NATO to protect you? Do not wait to join NATO Kazakhstan needs to merge all its natural resources and fertile lands. And then let the imposing American soldiers into their territory so that they could rape Kazakh women with impunity. If you need such a Kazakhstan, you can go to Kyrgyzstan and give your wife or sister to the Americans, until they completely get out of there, so that your women can start training to replenish the budget of Kazakhstan located in NATO.
      His camp must be protected by ourselves, by all forks. Do not like drones in Uzbekistan, put 2-3 anti-aircraft missile regiments near the border of Uzbekistan. They will begin to become impudent - a no-fly zone over Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan has enough forces for this.
      1. Clegg
        Clegg 4 March 2014 10: 17
        Quote: Canep
        His camp must be protected by ourselves, by all forks.

        We ourselves will protect it, including those like you who are too pro-Russian, are unlikely. I hope I'm wrong.
        1. Canep
          Canep 4 March 2014 10: 29
          Quote: Clegg
          such as you are too pro-Russian minded hardly.

          Actually, I live in Kazakhstan, and I swore the oath to Kazakhstan, I do not intend to change it, provided that Kazakhstan itself does not abandon me, something like: "Kazakhstan is only for Kazakhs!" or "Hit the Rusks!"
          Quote: Clegg
          I hope I'm wrong.
          Perhaps you forgot about transferring 5 S-300 divisions to Kazakhstan.
          1. Clegg
            Clegg 4 March 2014 10: 35
            Quote: Canep
            "Kazakhstan is only for Kazakhs!" or "Hit the Rusks!"

            I will NEVER support such slogans
    3. LaGlobal
      LaGlobal 4 March 2014 09: 50
      Quote: Clegg
      I hope we join NATO

      - perhaps the person meant that we enter NATU, as in 45? And are we not his rosum right?
    4. The comment was deleted.
    5. user
      user 4 March 2014 10: 07
      There was once in Urumqi (China if you are interested). So, some say there that there is no country like Kazakhstan, but there is a territory ruled by the jazz of slaves and shepherds. Well, if you are a Kazakh by nationality, then you understand that the East is a delicate matter and time does not play any role there. Those. while the USSR was, this question, in principle, was not raised, it’s more expensive for itself. But it turns out the jungars remember everything. Such are the things. For this reason, no one will ever admit you to NATO and the EU, because no one will conflict with China today.
      1. Clegg
        Clegg 4 March 2014 10: 19
        Quote: user
        Well, if you are a Kazakh by nationality, then you understand that the East is a delicate matter and time does not play any role there. Those. while the USSR was, this question, in principle, was not raised, it’s more expensive for itself. But it turns out the jungars remember everything.

        There are no Dzhungars anymore, according to the short-sighted policy of Abylai, we played an indirect role in the genocide of this people. Unfortunately
        1. Canep
          Canep 4 March 2014 10: 36
          Quote: Clegg
          There are no Dzhungars anymore, according to the short-sighted policy of Abylai, we played an indirect role in the genocide of this people. Unfortunately

          I here gave your post at work to Kazakhs to read, I cannot literally transmit, I'm afraid they will be banned.
          1. Clegg
            Clegg 4 March 2014 10: 53
            Quote: Canep
            I here gave your post at work to Kazakhs to read, I cannot literally transmit, I'm afraid they will be banned.

            Something purple, in their opinion. The question is different, we are studying the wrong story. They all lie to us, they lied in Soviet times and the current ones lie. It is necessary to overestimate everything
          2. Clegg
            Clegg 4 March 2014 10: 55
            Quote: Canep
            I here gave your post at work to Kazakhs to read,

            Another problem is that we do not work at work, but we surf the Internet.
    6. marshes
      marshes 4 March 2014 15: 29
      Quote: Clegg
      I hope we join NATO

      After the recent events in Ukraine, I support you, if before there were doubts now there is no.

      Putin has denied Russia's involvement in the seizure of strategic facilities in the Crimea.
      Russian President Vladimir Putin during a press conference on the events in Ukraine, said that people in camouflage uniforms, having taken control of a number of objects in the Crimea, are representatives of "local self-defense forces."

      Putin said that in Kiev, members of self-defense units formed by supporters of the new government were trained by instructors in Lithuania and Poland, paying attention to the good technical equipment and organization of such units. “Why do you think that in Crimea it should be worse?”, The Russian president said, emphasizing that Russia did not take any part in the preparation of self-defense units in Crimea.

      Previously, Putin also stated that he did not see the need to send Russian troops to the Crimea or other regions of Ukraine in the current situation. However, he noted, however, that “in the worst case” such actions are not excluded.

      For the first time, Vladimir Putin has made public comments about Ukraine since the removal of President Viktor Yanukovych and the transfer of power in the country to the control of the opposition.

      Aliens seized power in Crimea.
  4. mojohed2012
    mojohed2012 4 March 2014 09: 08
    The severance of relations in the military field is an empty phrase. Well, we will not go to their ports, well, we will not conduct joint exercises. Next, about what? So, hysteria does not pass around Russia since the collapse of the USSR, and we are barbarians, cannibals, partisans, and anyone bad.
    The United States justifies its high defense budget and supports the image of the enemy. No matter how we wriggle and wave our tail, we will be the enemy, we will be cannibals. It's time to put up. Well, we scarecrow and let scarecrow. Let commies and bloody gebnyaki. But we have our own policies and hands are untied.
    Somehow we will survive the crisis, it should not reach the 3 world because of Ukraine. Reaches, then so be it. We Russians have a natural fatalism, we will accept everything that fate sends and survive.
  5. VADEL
    VADEL 4 March 2014 09: 20
    An uninvited guest is better than an American.
  6. saag
    saag 4 March 2014 09: 28
    people will be engaged in aircraft modeling, it may come in handy. there is such a thing as "flying around the camera", an entertaining thing, you will get UAV pilot skills :-)
  7. j iz sibiri
    j iz sibiri 4 March 2014 09: 52
    they have nothing to do but climb onto Russia through Kazakhstan or Mongolia

    but this is all a dead project, just like Ukraine
  8. TS3sta3
    TS3sta3 4 March 2014 12: 35
    Apparently, it will soon blaze in Central Asia. sorry, I don’t want to see the second Libya-Syria here. so much time and labor has been invested in this land, and all in vain.
    1. j iz sibiri
      j iz sibiri 4 March 2014 15: 32
      soon very soon

      but we will find out with whom Kazakhstan