Meanwhile, there is nothing to mock. If people have been doing such miracles for four months, and then they are fighting them, it means that they are fighting for the idea. And already therefore deserve respect. And the second conclusion - the NATO members do not have any real support for their "hirelings" either with weapons or with money (therefore, the rebels are not any "hirelings").
The rebels are in despair: they seriously thought that NATO was a mighty military bloc. They did not notice, the poor, the example of Georgia, which NATO tried so much to like, and the “aggressive imperialist bloc” not only did nothing to help it at a critical moment, but, in fact, imposed tough sanctions against it (“NVO” wrote about this in the article “NATO scares its weakness” by 15.4.11).
Meanwhile, the NATO members themselves began to have problems. For example, six Danish F-16s, having achieved no success in Libya, managed to spend the entire stock of Danish Air Force bombs in this country. Now the Danes are asking Holland to share bombs, because the Dutch Air Force only carries out “patrols” over Libya, although it has not had three months aviation. Norway, on the other hand, is reducing its “grouping” from six F-16s to four, and will withdraw them by August 1, since it is a small country and cannot fight for so long (this is not the irony of the author, this is the official explanation of the Norwegian Minister of Defense).
POWER ON PAPER
If the European countries of the alliance used at least a quarter of the potential that they have on paper, the Libyan campaign would have ended a maximum in a month. But it lasts already 3,5 of the month, and there is no end in sight.
In this connection, outgoing US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates spoke out. He said that NATO is on the verge of collapse, the avarice and lack of political will of the leadership of the bloc can accelerate its disintegration. Gates noted that military operations in Afghanistan and Libya revealed the weakness of NATO. Despite the fact that the alliance formally has more than 2 million military personnel, the maintenance of 45 thousand soldiers and the necessary combat and transport equipment in Afghanistan is a serious problem for the bloc. Therefore, "the US Congress may lose patience and will no longer spend American money to finance those who cannot and do not want to properly participate in ensuring collective security." Gates noted in his speech that only five NATO countries from 28 spend the defensive 2% of GDP (and one of them is Albania) on defense.
Apparently, the principle of collective defense in NATO somehow imperceptibly developed into the principle of collective irresponsibility. Nobody wants to make their own contribution to the defense. Everyone hopes for others, reducing their own aircraft. At the same time, apparently, forgetting that there are no special separate NATO armed forces. NATO aircraft is the sum of its members. The smaller each term, the smaller the amount. As a result, all hopes are pinned on the United States, and if they suddenly refuse to fight, complete shame occurs.
As Douglas Bandou, a political analyst in the Reagan administration, wrote remarkably, “the French and the British, who were aggressively pushing through this war, thought that good States would come and do all the work for them. There was no “plan B”. “Gaddafi must go. Gaddafi should leave, Gaddafi will leave, ”NATO officials repeat. This mantra became their dream and prayer ... If in three months the strongest coalition in human stories could not even understand how to overthrow Gaddafi, then these people can not be seriously considered. And the longer the conflict lasts, the more stupid (if not insane) members of the alliance look. ”
Unfortunately, in Russia they manage to ignore this. And they continue to repeat another mantra that is becoming increasingly absurd - about the “threat” of Russia from NATO. Interestingly, in connection with this mantra, the remarkable phrase is repeated: “It is not the intentions that must be responded to, but the possibilities”. It would be very good if this phrase actually became the motto for some of our experts. Which, it seems, have no idea, in particular, about the possibilities of NATO and domestic military equipment, about the potential of the groupings of the parties in Europe.
WHAT ARE THREATS?
In the framework of the concept of “NATO threat” it is very difficult to explain, for example, the radical reduction of NATO forces in Europe (NVO wrote in detail about this in the article “What should we do with NATO?” Dated 15.10.10). So far, in order to prepare for aggression, forces have been increasing, not reduced. It is even more difficult to explain within the framework of this concept the fact that so far not a single American base has appeared in any Eastern European country, although all of them are actively inviting Americans, and the more, the better. In order to prepare for aggression, forces in the advanced regions must be built up first of all, so far no one has succeeded differently. The USA still has a certain number of objects in the territory of the "old" NATO members (Germany, Great Britain and Italy) since the Cold War. But if on January 1, 1990, the USA had 5904 in Europe tank, 5747 BBM, 2601 artillery systems, 626 combat aircraft and 243 attack helicopters, as of January 1, 2010 they had 100 tanks left (20 times reduced over 59 years), 606 BBMs (9,48 times), 206 artillery systems (in 12,62 times), 209 aircraft (3 times) and 48 helicopters (5,06 times). Again, a very strange preparation for aggression is obtained - by minimizing the tools for it. Of course, theoretically, the United States can increase its contingent in Europe at times and even orders of magnitude due to the forces deployed now in this country itself, as well as in the Near and Middle East. But this takes a very significant amount of time (for the ground forces we are talking about months, for the Air Force - about weeks), huge expenses, and, most importantly, it is absolutely impossible to make it unnoticed. A massive transfer of US troops to Europe will be tantamount to "I’m coming to you" in relation to Russia. If there is no surprise factor in aggression, then its price will automatically increase many times. Accordingly, in terms of preparing for aggression, Washington’s behavior is not even abnormal, but simply absurd.
However, supporters of the “threat of NATO” concept have recently gained some sort of argument in their favor: Obama promised that, starting with 2013, the F-16 squadron from the 31-th wing deployed to Aviano (Italy) will be based on rotation in Poland. Since the F-16 can carry nuclear weapons and has a combat radius of 1315 km, there is clearly a nuclear attack on Moscow.
It should be noted that in Eastern Europe, especially in the Baltic States and Poland, they reacted very painfully to the August 2008 war in the Caucasus. At the same time, in Poland and the Baltics, Russia is considered a centuries-old aggressor in relation to itself. It makes no sense in this case to argue with how correct it is, the fact is that they think so. Moreover, with our extremely aggressive rhetoric regarding these countries, we are doing everything to strengthen our opinion in our opinion. On the other hand, these countries fully share the principle of NATO’s collective irresponsibility, that is, they spend not too much on their defense, but they demand that the Americans protect them. For Poland, an additional blow was Washington’s rejection of missile defense in the previous version (Polish-Czech), and Warsaw was very offended by the form of refusal (in fact, the Poles learned about it from the media).
Therefore, Obama had to somehow demonstrate solidarity with the Eastern Europeans. He did it in a minimalist style. The first full-fledged base of the USA in Eastern Europe will not appear, American planes will fly to Polish bases. The total number of American fighters in Europe will not increase, since they will fly to Poland from Italy.
DO NOT LOSE FROM CONTEXT
Now the main thing - about the possibilities. One squadron, perhaps, is not enough for a threat. The threat may be represented by the group as a whole, and not one squadron “pulled out of context”. Grouping, as mentioned above, is constantly decreasing. Already, therefore, seeing a threat in one squadron is somehow strange, well, you cannot commit aggression by just one squadron. Moreover, the aircraft F-16.
A person who has at least something to do with aviation knows perfectly well that the aircraft’s combat radius depends on its combat load (the larger it is, the smaller the radius) and flight profile (the longer the flight at low altitudes, where the air density is at its maximum, the smaller the radius). The F-16 really has a combat radius of 1315 km. But only at high altitude and in a purely fighter configuration (with four air-to-air missiles). On the pages of "NVO", perhaps, it is not necessary to explain in detail that such a flight to Russia is, firstly, impossible, and secondly, it does not make sense. If we are talking about striking ground targets, which we seem to be wary of, then with bombs (nuclear or conventional) the F-16 has a combat radius when flying along a large-small-high profile 550 – 630 km. Even from the most eastern Polish airbase “Deblin” it will not reach even a single point in Russia (except, of course, the Kaliningrad region). By the way, this conclusion applies to all NATO aircraft in Europe: its aircraft in a shock configuration, even from bases in eastern Poland, are usually not able to reach Russia, only the most modern can slightly hurt the western regions of the Smolensk and Bryansk regions, where there are no major objects we do not have. The situation can be changed by refueling in the air, but it would have to be carried out in the airspace of Belarus, which is hardly realistic. It would fundamentally solve the problem of the deployment of NATO aircraft on the airfields of the Baltic countries that would very much like this option. But for some reason the “aggressors” do not fly to the Baltic.
On the other hand, the Su-24M front-line bombers air base is located in the Kaliningrad region. When flying only at low altitudes, they have a combat radius of 560 km, “punching” all of Poland, reaching the north-east of Germany and Copenhagen. When flying at high altitude (which is unlikely in a real war), the radius increases to 1300 km, the Benelux countries, northeast France and Italy, the whole of Eastern Europe, except Bulgaria, most of Norway, fall into it. And Tu-22М3 bombers are stationed at the Shaykovka airbase in the Kaluga region. Even when flying at low altitude, their combat radius reaches 1650 km, covering the whole of Eastern Europe, half of Germany, Norway and Denmark. When flying at high altitude, the radius increases to 2400 km, then the “Backfires” will get all of Europe, except Spain, Portugal, southern France and Wales.
Thus, if we focus not on intentions, but on possibilities, NATO has much more reason to fear Russia than Russia does - to fear NATO.
A similar story with missile defense. If we proceed from the possibilities that are determined by the laws of physics (no one has yet succeeded in canceling them), the trajectories of American antimissiles, even from Poland (Romania have nothing to do with it) under no circumstances can intersect with the trajectories of our ICBMs and SLBMs. NVO wrote about this in the article “Who will be bad if we do not agree” (3.06.11). Now, some domestic experts have matured a new creative idea: missile defense is actually directed against our tactical missiles, with which we were going to fight off NATO aggression, perfected by conventional forces. That is, missile defense this aggression should cover. But even here something does not add up, if we proceed from the possibilities.
An American missile defense system is supposed to be deployed in Romania and Poland in a stationary (mine) version. Accordingly, they can threaten our tactical missiles only if they themselves come to them. Of course, this is possible, because our missiles are installed on mobile chassis. But the fact is that the range of the “Point-U” is 120 km, and the “Iskander” - 480 km. Therefore, the American "Standards" will be able to shoot them down only if the launchers of our missiles are on the territory of the NATO countries. That is, in a situation where they are not against us, but we will commit aggression against them. Accordingly, if we are not preparing aggression against NATO, then the American missile defense system is absolutely “parallel” to us. If we are preparing ... Then I must admit that the efforts of the United States and NATO to parry it are completely inadequate.
IMPOSSIBILITY OF WAR
As it is easy to understand, in the case of aggression against Russia, even if the war is waged only with conventional weapons, the losses of NATO both in people and in technology will be several orders of magnitude greater than in any of the current NATO wars. No matter how “full of holes” our current air defense system is, it is incomparably stronger than the air defense of Yugoslavia, Iraq and Libya combined. Even American pilots, not to mention European ones, have never met in combat with C-300P and B, C-400, “Beeches”, “Torahs”, “Armor”, Su-27, MiG-31. And at the same time, there is still a high probability of a Russian nuclear strike, and it is much more convenient to strike it in Europe than in the United States. I wonder how a similar metamorphosis will happen to European societies? Now for them, the losses in 100 people are practically unacceptable, and suddenly they will agree to many thousands (and in the case of a nuclear war - to the millions, mostly civilians) of the dead. Now they cannot assemble 100 airplanes in one place - and suddenly they will throw all their air forces into battle. Now it’s problematic for them to send an extra battalion to Afghanistan (which will still sit on the base), sending ground troops to Libya is not even discussed - and suddenly they will send all their ground forces to Russia for a real cruel war.
In this regard, the question arises, and for what, in fact, should NATO commit aggression against us, especially considering the fact that after the collapse of the USSR between Russia and the West there are no antagonistic ideological contradictions? We will leave the version of the irrational pathological Russophobia of the West to psychiatrists. Apparently, the only rational reason for aggression could be the seizure of our hydrocarbons. However, this version refers in fact exclusively to the field of psychiatry. Because, being in sound mind and hard memory, it is impossible to imagine the capture and retention by NATO forces of the entire territory of Russia from the western borders to the Tyumen Region inclusive. If only because there are simply no such forces. And even if there were, the capture and retention of oil and gas fields and the ways of their transportation would have cost such an astronomical sum that it will never be able to "repel" it.
It is clear that for the Kremlin’s full-time propagandists, constant exaggeration of the “NATO threat” theory is a well-paid job. But now military people must sometimes face the truth. And to proceed not from intentions, but from possibilities.