According to reports, Russia intends to rapidly increase its military presence in Syria. Obviously, Moscow is soon planning to take the side of Bashar Asadav in the armed conflict in this country. It is for these purposes that weapons and military equipment of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, specialists, soldiers and commanders are being transferred to Tartus and Latakia. Let us try to evaluate the measures taken by Moscow from the operational-strategic and military-technical positions.
We formulate all this in the form of brief theses. Not all assessments may seem pleasant to the taste and color. Perhaps a number of them seem overly acute. But if one maximally softens the wording, the essence of what is happening from this will change little.
1. Russia's foreign policy as a reflection of the aspirations of the broadest masses. Probably, since 1894, Russia's foreign policy has ceased to be any expression of the underlying geopolitical and national interests of the Russian people. Emperor Alexander III, it seems, became the last Russian ruler, who said: "All the Balkans are not worth the life of a Russian soldier." To a certain extent and in certain periods of his reign to this rule - the compliance of foreign policy with the national interests of the people - was followed by JV Stalin. But after his death, the gap between the interests of the people and the pursued foreign policy reached an incredible depth. The inhabitants of Kostroma, Saratov, Arkhangelsk and many other areas were delighted, for example, by Nikita Khrushchev for the interests of the world communist and labor movement, proletarian internationalism and world peace practically did not affect, and if it did, only in one direction - further deterioration standard of living. The foreign policy of the USSR during the late historical materialism finally became a manifestation of the personal ambitions of the leaders, their liking and coolness (and even outright corruption - for the period 1985 – 1991), a movement against elementary common sense and flow. Finally, a manifestation of ordinary adventurism. In this regard, it is enough to list only the antics, jumps and verbal escapades of Nikita Khrushchev. One indonesian история what it costs. And the Caribbean crisis? And the struggle for the liberation of Africa?
And so far, the connection between the country's foreign policy and the deep interests of the people has not been fully restored. And modern Syrian history is an unequivocal confirmation of this.
2. Previous USSR experience in the Middle East. By and large, it can be regarded as purely negative. Here only such expressions can be used: affront, failure, failure, defeat, catastrophe. The most characteristic and colorful page - in 1972, the president of Egypt, Anwar Sadat, in 24 hours ordered Soviet military specialists to leave Egypt. Until now, no one can clearly and clearly, and slowly and point by point, state what we did in those years in the Middle East? What for? For what purpose? What were our possible policy dividends? In addition to the confused and confusing patter from pseudo-experts of Middle Eastern orientation, which contain phrases of a purely general nature, nothing clear, concrete and clear in response can be heard even today.
3. Possible allies. Not yet traceable. In any case, it will not be NATO countries. They will be watching with interest (and sometimes even with sympathy) from the outside. Considering the CSTO member states as allies would be at least too optimistic. And the matter is not at all in the meager military and economic potentials of these countries. The state interests within the CSTO are too mixed. And very little in common in mentality. This block is suitable, perhaps, only for one - demonstrative military actions, in form and spirit reminiscent of the military-sports game "Zarnitsa", and to no non-binding conversations of general geopolitical orientation near the fireplace. If you rename the CSTO in the PPR - they came, they talked, they diverged, then this would probably more fully correspond to the essence of the pseudo-military and practically unsuitable union.
4. Previous modern domestic strategic experience. While negative. To such should probably be attributed with a crash failed project "Novorossiya". With high probability we can assume that on the wave after the Crimean euphoria, some whispers quietly inspired the first persons of the Russian state: “Your Excellency, tell me just a word, and the entire Left-Bank Ukraine to Transnistria, inclusive, of this evil Kiev will be postponed. And even Kiev itself will humbly fall to your feet. ” Not deferred. And did not fall. And with Novorossia somehow didn’t work at all. And the word is no longer in circulation. And the assessments of the military-political situation among officials began to change quite significantly over time. And hastily proclaimed people's republics - an integral and legitimate part of the territory of Ukraine.
Now, the same whisperers formulate forecasts for the development of the situation in Syria and in the Middle East as a whole. They have not yet been impaled for previous estimates and predictions, and they are already writing new ones tirelessly.
This thesis can also be viewed from the following angle - and how successful are the predictions of near-power strategists and futurologists? The answer is also purely negative. If there is any doubt, it is easy to make the following table - position, last name, first name, what and when I predicted, the result. By the time such a document is compiled at the expense of one or two, and malicious malevolence and subsequent reasons for despondency will be at least a year.
5. The strategy of unfinished business. Moscow has not really brought order to the North Caucasus. Under certain approaches, what is happening there can even be viewed as an armed truce with the payment of tribute. Having not completed one important matter, the Kremlin is bustling with a headlong rush into the whirlpool of the next one.
6. Domestic strategists. The strategy for ignorant people seems like a barracks tale. All strategic decisions are sometimes so obvious that a person with an extramural sociological education is quite capable of taking them, confident in the authorities. But in fact, all this is two orders of magnitude more complicated than the special chapters of higher mathematics. In strategy, as in politics, the chicken often hatches ducklings - the consequences turn out to be completely different from the reasons that gave rise to them (Alexander Svechin). And it is not the first action that needs to be predicted (this is easiest), but what the last act of the play will look like. And this is a gift from God.
In general, see thesis number four.
7. Available forces and means. In 1968, during the planning of Operation Danube (the entry of troops from the Warsaw Pact countries into Czechoslovakia), USSR Defense Minister Marshal Andrei Grechko told the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee: “If there are fewer 25 divisions, I don’t take it.” That is, the front-line soldier knew that it was necessary to lean heavily on large forces and immediately, and not to strain them a teaspoon per year. So, unfortunately, it happened in Afghanistan when the USSR tried to pacify a large mountainous country with the forces of four divisions. The same mistake was made by the Americans in Vietnam, gradually and gradually increasing the combat and strength of their armed forces in Southeast Asia. First 50 thousand fighters. Few. Then 100 thousand. Again a little. Then 200. Again, not enough. Finally, 500, and the war is already lost. The “500 and Immediately” option was misunderstood by the Americans at the time.
Today in Syria, according to foreign intelligence reports, four Su-30CM, 12 Su-25, four helicopters and an artillery division. It should be noted that such an outfit of forces and means is the best reason for igniting the conflict. It's just like standing next to a Middle Eastern fire and pouring a mug of gas into it.
And theoretically, in order to defeat ISIS and the terrorist international proper in Syria (according to the minimal estimates, based on the elementary balance of forces and means), at least ten combined-arms divisions, the air force, approximately equivalent to the air force of the Soviet period, at least 15 – 20 artillery regiments , the relevant parts of the rest of the armed forces. Combat activities of such a contingent will require just a huge expenditure of material resources - ammunition, fuel, food.
As you know, where the railway ends, the war ends. There is no railway connection between Russia and Syria. Very, very little can be thrown through the air. There remains a long sea route (several days there and the same back). Airborne landing facilities of the Black Sea fleet represented by only one brigade, on the move in which there are only a few dilapidated from time to time BDK projects 775 and 1171, the youngest of which at least a quarter century. In this case, you will have to resort to mobilizing the ships of the former Minmorflot. Currently, there is only one suitable port for loading troops and materiel on the Black Sea - Novorossiysk, which is completely overloaded. It is easy to imagine how much the rest of the activities of this port will be paralyzed when loading only one division.
Here is an example from the sphere of material support of the combat activity of the troops. At one time in Afghanistan, while the Termez-Hairaton-Kabul pipeline was not stretched, they could not provide the required military tension for the 40 Army air force. And only for one reason - due to the lack of aviation kerosene.
8. Who will fight from Russia. Send recruiting youth to Syria is unlikely to be possible. This will cause mass protests among the widest sections of the Russian population (see paragraph 1). It means that the Syrian contingent will have to be recruited by contract servicemen. Those, at the most minimal estimates, will require at least 100 thousands of people. In other words, almost the entire contractual Russian army will have to be sent to a distant and hot country. At the same time, issues of decent remuneration of the military labor of this contingent in a freely convertible currency will arise at full height. Otherwise, there will be a massive failure to fulfill international debt. It will be very difficult to make up for possible losses. And, finally, a contract serviceman will think more about how to get home with money, rather than show courage and military heroism in the performance of international duty. That is, the problems of motivation in the performance of combat and operational tasks will be more than tangible.
9. Tactical nuance. The main unit in the conduct of hostilities with irregular formations of the semi-partisan type is a motorized rifle battalion reinforced by a company tanks, battery (division) of self-propelled artillery, MLRS battery, mortars, flamethrowers, aircraft gunners for interaction with the Air Force. That is, the battalion commander must be prepared for the effective management of this complex economy. Interestingly, and we have many such battalion commanders today?
10. Territory. There is a very lightweight opinion that Syria is not Afghanistan, there is desert and semi-desert terrain. And it will be very easy to disperse rebels and ISIS terrorists in such a territory. And in fact, the terrain there is the same as around Algeria, where France for almost ten years, for life and death, fought the partisan movement. And the cruelty of the actions of the French troops differed little from the notorious Sonderkommando. Ultimately, Paris ingloriously left Algeria, taking with it almost two million white citizens.
11. American benefits. It is quite possible that unbridled optimism reigns in the White House about the upcoming Russian military intervention in the civil war in Syria. “As for the Kremlin, they didn’t try, nothing worked, but today Moscow can’t think of a better way to break the neck,” politicians and strategists in Washington are happily rubbing their hands. “Push the Falling!” - They are gloatingly sentencing on the Potomac River. This explains why Washington’s position that is more flexible from recent times on the Syrian issue. There can not wait for the outbreak of hostilities.
Looks like the Afghan trap will ring with a clatter again. Everything is still about one to one (the facts in the table).
But there is a significant difference. Babrak Karmal at least controlled the situation in Kabul. And the capital of Afghanistan did not resemble Stalingrad in October 1942 of the year. Bashar Asad today does not fully control even his capital, Damascus. In addition, LIH in Afghanistan in December 1979 as a state (albeit a quasi-state) was not. And in the Middle East it is. In the ranks of the armed groups of ISIS almost 200 thousands of armed and well-organized fanatics.
12. Who will pay for the banquet? Undoubtedly, Bashar Asad will not be able to pay in full in a freely convertible currency the alleged participation of the Armed Forces of Russia in the civil war in Syria. And this armed confrontation with an inordinate burden will fall on Russia's rapidly dwindling and penetrating all sorts of holes. And the fight against LIH will simply require money.
13. Estimated Russian benefit. It is quite possible that Moscow is planning to regain the political and economic positions lost after the annexation of the Crimea and the war in the Donbass by fighting ISIS.
But this is very unlikely, let me say. In addition to verbal encouragement (and this is at best), Russia will receive nothing from the West and the United States. And then - on Tuesday they will be encouraged, and on Wednesday - they will already condemn and establish international tribunals to investigate the atrocities of the Russian troops in Syria. And when it turns out to be a complete and final hole in the hole, it is also so frank to laugh.
A meaningless waste of material resources and human capital - this will be the result of our country's participation in the emerging Middle Eastern adventure.
And at the best, sanctions will be lifted in the years through 30 – 40. If also canceled.
14. Findings. What to do.
Russia has absolutely no reason to get involved in another Middle Eastern adventure. And Bashar Assad is not at all a brother or ally. As stated in one of the cult domestic films: “You are not my brother ...” Well, you know what's next.
The country's deepest national interests and the implications of another war with irreparably disastrous consequences for the state do not have a single, even the smallest point of contact.
The most important problems of our country are internal. And at this stage, all international activities should be reduced to a very necessary minimum. It would not be a big exaggeration to say that during the discussion of issues very far from the true interests of the state, the planes of the Russian Foreign Ministry will burn more kerosene than the heating season requires for many and many regions of the country.
In the emerging Syrian adventure fatty point should be put as quickly as possible.