The US Armed Forces will face very serious problems in the near future.

The US Armed Forces will face very serious problems in the near future.The United States avoided default, including at the cost of a future sharp reduction in military spending. After 10 years, the US military budget should be reduced by 350 billion dollars, i.e. roughly doubled. America, taking into account operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, spends on defense (the word is not quite appropriate, but technically it is so) more than 700 billion dollars a year, i.e. almost as much as the rest of the world combined.


The states simply "will come back to normal" - by the beginning of this century, their military budget was just about 300 billion dollars a year. In addition, in the coming 4, the Iraqi and Afghan spending should stop, and this is more than 100 billion per year. However, such sharp cuts cannot be painless. The US Armed Forces will face very serious problems in the near future. In a milder form, they will resemble what happened to the USSR / Russian Armed Forces when a gigantic army, accustomed to not refuse anything, falls into austerity mode.

The change of epoch will occur not only and not so much in the military, as in the geopolitical sense.

Having survived the Vietnamese shock, the society and the military-political leadership of the United States learned from it, turning their Armed Forces in 20 years into the undoubtedly strongest in the world, qualitatively different from all the other Armed Forces. It was America who made another revolution in military affairs, by becoming 20 for years, becoming a “trendsetter” in the field of military construction, what once were the armies of the Roman Empire or Napoleonic France.

In the course of two wars against Iraq, completely new qualities of the American Armed Forces appeared. The concept of a network-centric war, which implies the unification of communications, control, reconnaissance and defeat in the framework of the Armed Forces into a single network and their transformation into a global reconnaissance and strike complex, became the apotheosis of military construction in the United States. Provides continuous information about the situation of their troops (that is, the maximum situational awareness) and, at the same time, the enemy's disinformation, the destruction of its information networks. The formation of a single information space on the scale of the Armed Forces should ensure that it is possible not only to destroy as many targets as possible as quickly as possible and with minimal personal losses, but also to control the behavior of the enemy and make him make catastrophic decisions for him.

The United States has learned very effectively to wage the information war not only in a narrow military, but also in a broad propaganda and ideological sense. For a very large part of humanity, they created a sense of their absolute invincibility, which often allows them to win without war.


Despite the fact that the American mercenary army has all the vices of this system of acquisition, the sensitivity to the losses of the US Armed Forces is much lower than that of the Europeans. In this case, the Americans have much more opportunities to fight without losses than the Europeans. This is achieved by using high precision weapons, to which recently added combat UAVs.

In this case, however, in no case should we forget that the precision of the weapon and situational awareness increase the effectiveness of the use of combat potential, but not the potential itself. Even if the maximum effectiveness of “one ammunition - one hit target” is reached (which in itself is almost unrealistic), it is still impossible to hit more targets than there are ammunition in the ammunition of a tank, aircraft, helicopter or ship. And modern high-tech equipment and high-precision ammunition have one serious drawback - they are very expensive.

As a result, the sensitivity of the Western Armed Forces to losses increases dramatically, since every single sample of military equipment turns out to be extremely expensive both in direct and in portable (due to a limited number) sense. This can be called the “battleship effect”. As you know, during the Second World War, the battleship emerged into the sea causing a greater panic in its own headquarters and government offices than that of the enemy. The loss of super-expensive and super-powerful ship became a national catastrophe, which outweighed any military benefit from the actions of the battleship.

Nowadays, in the West, the situation is becoming ever greater when such “battleships” that are scary to send into battle due to the risk of losses are practically any samples of military equipment, including those that have always been considered “expendable material” (for example, ). In the aggregate, with a decrease in the psychological readiness of military personnel to fight, this reduces the military capabilities of the Western armed forces to almost zero.

Now you can fight only with a very weak adversary, but even here another manifestation of the “battleship effect” arises: at the price, modern precision-guided munitions are almost comparable to the targets they are hitting (50 – 60’s), and sometimes outperform them (for example , AGM-65 “Maverick” or AGM-114 “Hellfire” of the latest modifications may be more expensive than the T-55 tank or the D-30 howitzer they hit.

Taking into account the cost of operating expensive equipment (primarily aviation), even in the absence of losses, the expenses of western countries for war become comparable to the damage inflicted on the enemy (this was manifested during the war in Yugoslavia in the 1999 year, and now is vividly demonstrated in Libya). This is absolute nonsense, all ammunition history Wars were several orders of magnitude cheaper targets.

The “effect of the battleship”, in conjunction with the pacifization of the consciousness of the population, completely broke the European armies, and it is possible that their combat effectiveness was almost irretrievably lost. The United States lasted longer due to much greater economic and military capabilities and greater psychological resistance of the population to losses. But now the “battleship effect” caught up with them.


At present, the structure of future reductions by types of aircraft and specific programs has not yet been determined, and only assumptions can be made.

The appearance of the American strategic nuclear forces will be determined not so much by budgetary problems as by the START-3 Treaty. In addition, these forces are relatively cheap. Washington will neither save on them nor inflate them. However, since it is extremely difficult to imagine the use of nuclear weapons, it is better to go straight to what you can really fight with.

With the ground components of the Armed Forces - the Ground Forces and the Marine Corps - nothing particularly terrible will happen, as it happened earlier, during previous cuts. In recent years, for reasons of cost savings, two major prospective programs have been closed, intended for the technical updating of both ground components of the US Armed Forces. In the Ground Forces, this is the Future Combat System program, which involved the creation of a whole family of new combat vehicles: tank, BRM, BMP, SAU, BREM, combat robots and UAVs, and others. In the Marine Corps, it was supposed to create speed amphibious BMP. In addition, the program of the advanced Comanche combat helicopter was closed.

However, at present, Americans have a huge oversupply of technology. They have about 8,7 thousand MNNUMX Abrams tanks, no less than 1 thousand Bredlix MxNumx BMPs, about 6,5 thousand Stryker combat vehicles (all modifications), about 2 thousand M4 BTRs, not less than 18 AMX MXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX NUMX. even before 113 М950 of earlier versions, about a thousand MLRS MLRS, each of which is also a PU TR ATACMS, 109 lightweight MLRS HIMARS, more than 6 thousand PU ZRK Patriot, etc. etc.

At the same time, in connection with the final transition in the Ground Forces from divisions to brigades, the new state will consist of combat troops in approximately 1,6 thousand tanks and infantry fighting vehicles, about 2,5 thousand Strykers, 400 SAU, etc. The Marine Corps will increase these values ​​by 25 – 30%. Accordingly, all the “extra” equipment can be withdrawn to the reserve, becoming an almost endless source of replenishment of possible losses. To put it mildly, it is difficult to imagine a war in which the Americans will not have enough 8,7 thousand tanks, considering that the irrecoverable losses for the 32 year of operation of the Abrams apparently did not exceed the 30 machines. Moreover, the entire American technology is constantly being upgraded, the same "Abrams", presumably, will serve another 30 years. Accordingly, the United States simply does not have a special need to produce heavy ground equipment, it is enough for them to produce (and in smaller quantities than now, since the missions in Iraq and Afghanistan are running low) "Strikers" and various counterguerrilla armored vehicles.

Not badly affected by cuts and the US Navy. The seamen were lucky, they had already built everything or canceled it. Ten aircraft carriers such as "Nimitz" enough for a long time. Most likely, their half-century service life will be extended (the head Nimitz is now 43), which is quite realistic. Due to this, the pace of building new aircraft carriers of the Ford type will be slowed down. In any case, less than 10 ships of this class in the US Navy will not.

A series of destroyers "Orly Burke" is almost over, built 62 ship. Will it be increased to 65 or 75 units - these are the details (I would like to say: “we would care for them”). The oldest of these ships of all 20 years, the removal of these destroyers from the Navy will begin no earlier than 2040 of the year (the latter are likely to serve to 2060 – 2070). The decision to reduce the Zamvolt destroyer series from 32 to 3 was made a year ago. Apparently, the program to create a new cruiser will be finally closed, but the withdrawal of the first 22 Ticonderoga cruisers from the Navy will begin no earlier than in 10 – 15 years. Almost certainly, the Virginia 30 submarine construction program will not suffer. The most interesting question is the fate of the coastal ships of the LCS project. Both versions of this ship turned out to be extremely unfortunate, completely useless and very expensive at the same time. Complete closure of this project would have gone to the Americans only benefit. Let's see if they can realize this.

Sufficiently safe can be considered the situation in naval aviation. Here, the production of F / A-18E / F fighter-bomber and EW EA-18G fighters is reasonably preserved, the number of which will be brought to 515 and 114 respectively in the coming years (if there are also more than 500 F / A-18 early modifications A-D ). These aircraft cost a reasonable price 50 – 60 million dollars apiece. In addition, the X-47В deck-mounted combat UAV with a combat radius of up to 2 thousand km and 2 tons of combat load is being successfully developed. This allows almost not to depend on problems with the F-35, to which should proceed.


The most serious problems await in the new conditions the US Air Force. Immediately it should be noted that the Air Force of the National Guard and the reserve are also implied, but decommissioned aircraft based on the Davis-Montan base are not taken into account, since a significant portion of them are unsuitable for flight.

Aviation is the basis of the combat power of the US Armed Forces since the Second World War. It is the overwhelming air superiority that traditionally provides the Americans with a victory. The ground components of the US Armed Forces can successfully wage contact war, but only if their aircraft constantly hang over their heads.

In 70 – 80-ies, the United States was able to build very powerful and modern at the time of the Air Force, achieving the optimal combination of quality and quantity. A “pyramid” was created, including the B-52 and B-1 strategic bombers, the F-111 medium-range bomber, the A-10 attack aircraft (more than 700 aircraft of this type were built), the F-15 heavy fighter (built for the US Air Force near 900 machines modifications А-D) and the lightweight F-16 fighter (more than 2,2 thousand). Then the shock version of the heavy F-15E fighter (236 units) was created.

When these machines were put into mass production, work began immediately on the creation of next-generation aircraft. In 80, the 132 strategic bomber B-2, 750 heavy fighters were built using the Advanced Tactical Fighter program (with production deployed in 1994) and the 2443 light fighters using the Joint Strike Fighter program.

The end of the Cold War led to a drastic reduction in prospective programs. The production of B-2 was cut back 6 times, to 21 machines. The F-111 bomber was decommissioned. Orders for 79 F-15 and 533 F-16 have been canceled. The ATF program went through several cuts. As a result, the first-ever 5 generation fighter in the history of the F-22 generation began to enter service on the 10 years later than planned, in the 2004 year. The final number of these machines is defined only in 187 units, that is, in 4 times less than originally planned.

The F-35 (JSF) light fighter production program to replace the F-16 and A-10 has not yet been abbreviated. It is planned to launch 1763 F-35А for the Air Force, 260 deck F-35С for Naval Aviation, 80 of the same F-35С and 340 F-35В (short takeoff, vertical landing) for the Marine Corps aviation. Options B and C were to replace the deck F / A-18 and AV-8 aircraft. However, this program has faced serious technical problems leading to delaying the start of mass production, and most importantly, with a rapid increase in prices. Initially it was assumed that the F-35 should be cheaper than the F-16. However, even before the start of production, it became at least twice as expensive as even the most advanced F-16 variants and 5 – 6 times more expensive than the original F-16, the cheaper of which it was supposed to be made.

For Americans, the F-35 is now about the same as for us - the Bulava SLBM. Huge money has already been invested in the program, it is becoming more and more expensive and at the same time “does not go”. But there is no way out, it is necessary to bring matters to success at any cost, since there is no alternative.

Americans, being stubborn people, in technical terms, the plane "will bring to mind." The question is how long it will take and how much more will the price of the car increase. In the light of large-scale budget cuts, the last question is particularly relevant. To believe that the Air Force will indeed acquire an 1763 aircraft is almost impossible, very serious quantitative reductions are inevitable.

In this case, already today, the US Air Force are beginning to experience such an unfamiliar problem as the shortage of aircraft. The F-16 “workhorses”, which are designed to replace the F-35, at the time of this writing, only 1027 units remained in the front-end units. It is likely that already this year there will be less than a thousand. Of this amount, more than 60% was built before 1991, and about 30% more - up to 1995. The last time so little F-16 was in the US Air Force was in 1986 year. Only then were these new cars, and their number was growing rapidly. In addition to them, the Americans still had thousands of Phantoms. Now the F-16 is an outdated aircraft, its number is rapidly decreasing, and in return it has nothing but faith in the F-35. The latter, by the way, should replace not only F-16, but also A-10, which are left around 370 (the youngest of them are 30 years).

However, with the heavy fighters the situation is even worse, in them, surprisingly it sounds, the US has practically lost its superiority over Russia, and soon will lose it over China. F-15C / D in the USAF is less than a third of the original quantity: fewer than 300 units, and the youngest of them are 25 years old. Accordingly, their number is reduced even faster than the F-16. And the F-22, which was created specifically to replace the F-15, are not salvation, since 187 units. in no way can replace 900 units.

F-22 has only one parameter over F-15. It really has an overwhelming advantage in price: 300 – 400 million dollars per unit against 30 – 50 million. At the same time, air-to-air missiles (and the same AIM- 120 and AIM-9) F-22 carries 1,5 times less than F-15. It is believed that the F-22 is much more “tenacious” due to its invisibility. But also on the survival of the F-15, although there is nothing “stelsovskogo” in it, there were no complaints, there is not a single confirmed fact of the loss of this aircraft in air battles, although it went through many wars.

In this regard, we can give another example from the field of "quality and quantity". Imagine the battle situation of two X-Numx generation fighters of the F-5 against the 22 fighters of the X-Numx generation of the J-20. Even if American planes shoot 2 – 7 Chinese planes from a long distance, the rest will be able to move closer to the distance of visual visibility, which will destroy both Raptors simply due to the superiority in the number of planes and short-range missiles with approximately the same maneuverability and smaller geometric dimensions J- 10. At the same time, the loss of two F-12 will be much more painful than 7 – 22 J-10, since the price of the latter does not amount to 15 million dollars.

Already this year, the number of combat aircraft tactical aviation of the US Air Force will drop below 2 thousand units with a tendency to further rapid reduction. Taking into account the strategic and naval aviation, combat vehicles will be approximately 3 thousand (two years ago there were more than 4 thousand). The last time the Americans had so few combat aircraft was before World War II. And in general, never in the history of American aviation, the average age of these aircraft was not as big as it is now. In light of this, budget cuts will be extremely inappropriate; a more unfortunate moment is hard for them to think of.

Combat UAVs can not yet be the solution. Flight range and combat load "Predator" is too small, this unit is only suitable for counter-guerrilla wars. The Reaper, which is still in trial operation, seems to be more promising, but its combat capabilities are still quite limited (besides, it is completely defenseless against any air defense). The creation of hypersonic aircraft and missiles should provide great opportunities for the US Air Force, but this is a very complicated and expensive project. Its practical implementation is expected no earlier than 2030.

Since it is aviation that delivers the vast majority of precision-guided munitions to targets, its reduction will significantly affect the combat capabilities of the US Armed Forces as a whole.


America’s disengagement from the Libyan operation clearly showed that the era of “democratic messianism” in the United States is over. The fact of radical cuts in the military budget leaves no doubt about this. Iraq will remain in the singular, more than the United States will not occupy anyone.

On the other hand, the Americans have almost no one else to fight. The overwhelming majority of countries in the world are either too militarily weak (regardless of the reduction in American power), or are allies (or at least not opponents) of the United States. In recent years, India has moved into the category of "almost an ally" (and certainly not a rival) of Washington. Vietnam is very close to the same status (fear of China is too strong, memory of the war is stronger). Therefore, at the moment, theoretically, only seven countries can theoretically make up any problems: Venezuela, Syria, Iran, Pakistan, the DPRK, Russia and China. True, mainly theoretically.

Despite its violent anti-American rhetoric, the Chávez regime lives only through oil supplies to the United States. True, even this does not save from the rapid deterioration of the economic situation. If it becomes very difficult, Chavez can see salvation in aggression against Colombia, over which, thanks to the purchases of weapons in Russia, he achieved overwhelming military superiority. Only in this case will the USA enter the war, which, thanks to its geographical proximity, will be enough aircraft to knock out all this Russian equipment, including only the 24 Su-30, of which, in fact, the Venezuelan Air Force consists. After that, Colombia will be able to win on land, because the technology in its army is much smaller than that of Venezuela, but there are much more people.

Syria formally has a huge army, in terms of the number of tanks it is among the top five in the world, and in the top ten in terms of aircraft. But most of its technology is very outdated, the country is completely isolated politically, weak economically, and now it is experiencing an acute internal crisis. Accordingly, there is absolutely no reason for America to fight with it, you can safely wait until the regime and its army rot themselves. And as a last resort (although it is very difficult to imagine this case) Syria will be crushed by Israel with the guaranteed non-resistance of the rest of the Arabs - the Americans will simply help it with technology.

The Iranian Armed Forces are weaker than the Syrian ones, but the overall economic and demographic potential of Iran is much higher. The most important thing is that this country now has a high drive. The US withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan makes Iran’s growing activity in the Middle East absolutely inevitable. Of course, the rhetoric of the Iranian leaders will be anti-Israeli, but there are no reasons to consider these people as suicides. In fact, Iran will begin to “extrude” the Arabs, who will begin to acquire a lot of weapons from the US in order to fend off the Iranian threat.

If Iran goes to direct military aggression against Iraq and the monarchies of the Persian Gulf (which, in general, it is doubtful, but not excluded), they will be saved by Egypt and, perhaps, Turkey. States will give a lot of weapons from their stocks and, perhaps, will help with air strikes. First of all, strategic aviation will work. The use of ground forces is out of the question. Accordingly, the aircraft and cruise missiles will be enough for the Americans in this case.

Pakistan, which possesses nuclear weapons and their means of delivery, as well as very powerful conventional forces, can create much more serious problems for the Americans. Relations between Washington and Islamabad are already rapidly deteriorating, with the Islamic radicals coming to power in Pakistan by then, war will be almost inevitable. But here, too, the United States has an option of “outsourcing”: Pakistan will smash India, the United States will help it with weapons and, perhaps, with special forces and aviation. The problem of its shortage will not affect only because it will not be necessary to ensure the actions of its own ground forces, besides India has huge own Air Forces.

Illusions about the fact that you can capture the DPRK, in the US, apparently, outdated 15 years ago. This country has gigantic, albeit archaic armed forces with a good level of combat, and most importantly, moral and psychological training of personnel. The mountainous terrain of the country, combined with the presence of a huge amount of air defense systems at the KPA, greatly reduces the effectiveness of aviation and high-precision weapons. And the DPRK has nuclear weapons (even in the form of land mines). However, as in the case of Syria, there is no need to seize the DPRK America. And here war will be possible only if North Korea itself attacks South.

However, this option is not excluded. It should be noted that South Korea is now quietly, but stubbornly building some of the most powerful aircraft in the world, and in this country almost the entire spectrum of modern high-tech weapons is produced. Koreans use American technology, but based on them create their own samples. Therefore, the North Korean invasion will meet a very serious rebuff. However, without the intervention of the United States, South Korea cannot achieve victory. Moreover, the Americans are unlikely to be able to do without the supply of weapons and aviation support, and ground forces will have to be involved. In this case, the load for their aircraft, especially given the remoteness of the theater of operations from the United States, will be very significant, but still acceptable.

There is a powerful factor of nuclear deterrence between Russia and the USA. To what extent he works in reality - the question is extremely interesting, but no one wants to check. If we imagine the collision of certain "limited contingents" of the armed forces of the United States and the Russian Federation without the use of nuclear weapons far from the borders of both countries, then the Americans will benefit from their precision, network centricity and mobility, albeit with great tension. However, such a collision belongs to the field of mental exercises, in reality it will not.

It did not happen in 1999 in Kosovo and in 2008 in Georgia, although in both cases the US was stronger than it is now, and Russia is weaker than it is now. Moreover, it will not happen now, when the US forces have subsided. And it is absolutely impossible to imagine a large-scale war between the two countries. Firstly, because of the risk of nuclear escalation. Secondly, because of the actual loss by America of its European allies (those cannot fight even with Libya). Thirdly, because of the beginning of the loss of American power. Even if one imagines a non-nuclear variant of such a war, it will cause an unjustified overstrain of the US military and economic capabilities, since there are no goals for which such a war could be launched. It will be too unprofitable!

What has been said about Russia as a whole also applies to China. True, there is one important difference. If Russia, like Syria and the DPRK, is a “thing in itself,” its ambitions do not extend beyond the post-Soviet space, then China’s ambitions are global and growing rapidly. At the same time, the military capabilities of the PRC are growing. Nuclear deterrence also operates between the United States and China. True, it is believed that the United States has a great superiority in this regard, but the actual size of the nuclear-missile arsenal is unknown. Is it possible to believe in SIPRI data that China has 200 nuclear charges? The clash of "limited contingents" far from borders is much more real for China than for Russia. So far, due to the accuracy, network-centricity and mobility, the Americans will benefit from the Chinese, but the gap in all three components is rapidly narrowing. As for the big war, it is absolutely excluded, the United States will not stand it.

Few people noticed that in July of this year Washington refused to Taiwan to purchase X-NUMX-ti F-66, because Beijing banned it. And Washington obeyed. In Taiwan, and in China itself, they still did not understand that America had already passed Taiwan, they just didn’t decide how to arrange the rent and what to get for it. There can be no talk of a big war with China; accordingly, there is no point in breaking the comedy with "guarantees of protection of Taiwan".

Of course, China in the foreseeable future will not be able to seriously threaten the territory of the United States, but it does not need it. For self-defense, the US Armed Forces will remain too redundant for a very long time. Nevertheless, cuts in the military budget and, accordingly, the US military capabilities mean that Beijing is “untied” within the eastern hemisphere. His containment becomes too expensive and senseless for Washington. That is why it can be said that in the geopolitical plan a new era is coming.
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