Under the blows of the Russian VKS, the Syrian army and the militia, the Kurdish people's self-defense detachments, Iranian, Lebanese, Iraqi and other volunteers, jihadists retreat, suffering heavy losses. It is possible that in the very near future we will see the end of the active phase of the civil conflict in Syria and the beginning of a political settlement. But will it end the fight against jihadism? Hardly. Comma - yes, but not a point. Where and when to wait for the next strike?
With a high degree of probability, it can be expected that international terrorism hiding behind Islam will take a look at post-Soviet Central Asia. Here, the imposition of an external factor on a number of internal sources of tension - ethnic contradictions, social inequality, the struggle for water resources, regional rivalry, the problem of transfer of power - can give the result sought by jihadists in the form of a full-scale crisis that can radically change the existing political and social structure of states and reformat everything the space between the Caspian Sea and the Tien Shan.
The densely populated Fergana Valley, located at the junction of four borders, has the greatest conflict potential. In addition, western Kazakhstan, southern Uzbekistan and western Tajikistan may be destabilized. There is a high probability of infiltration into these areas of irregular armed formations (IVF): “Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan” and Uzbek “Akramiya”, “Nurchilar”, “Musulmon Birodarlar”, “Zhamaat Mujahideen of Central Asia”, Kazakh “Jund al-Khalifa”, Kazakh the Uighur Islamic Party of Eastern Turkestan, the Tajik Jamaat Ansarulloh, the Pan-Islamic Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami, Tablighi Jamaat and others. Their goal is the overthrow of the constitutional order, the rejection of the secular trend of development, the creation of a new caliphate on the territory of the wilayats.
The united forces of jihadists are opposed by an international coalition, the core of which consists of Russia and the Central Asian states - members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. On the periphery of this coalition are China and Uzbekistan, which, along with the named “Quartet” of the CSTO, are members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, but they have a special position and pursue their own interests in the matter of ensuring stability in the region. The same can be said about Iran, which is seeking membership in the SCO.
Obviously, Russia is called upon to play a major role in preventing a possible military-political crisis and minimizing its consequences. The events implemented for this purpose are grouped into two main groups: military-political and military-technical.
It so happened that the revision of the strategy of the US military presence in Afghanistan coincided with the reform of the Russian Armed Forces 2008-2010. In its course, the strategic structure of the RF Armed Forces was reformatted to form four combined (interspecific) strategic commands, each oriented to its own potential theater of operations. Aimed at the Central Asian strategic direction, OSK Center has combined two combined arms armies (OA): on the Zavolzhsky operational direction, the 2nd Guards OA (three motorized rifle brigades staffed in light, medium and heavy units) ), in the South Urals operational sector - 41st OA (four motorized rifle brigades - “light”, “medium” and two “heavy”). Each association has a standard army set of formations and units of combat support and service. Until recently, the reserve of OSK Center was made up of two “heavy” brigades - tank and motorized rifle. In the near future, the mentioned tank brigade will be deployed into the division, and in the Volga region (2nd Guards OA) the task is set to form another motorized rifle brigade. In addition, the USC "Center" subordinated to the 201st military base (wb) of brigade personnel stationed in Tajikistan. During the strategic command-and-staff exercises Center-2011 and Center-2015, the capabilities of interspecific groupings in the Central Asian strategic direction in military operations of various sizes were tested.
Taking into account potential threats, first of all in the face of IVF, special operations forces gain special significance for the Central Asian theater of operations. For example, in Afghanistan, army special forces solved up to 75 – 80 percent of tasks, in Chechnya - 70 – 90 percent. In the area of responsibility of the USC Center, in each of the two operational areas, a separate special purpose brigade (obrspn) is deployed. In the strategic reserve - the Special Purpose Center of the Ministry of Defense, acting under the auspices of the command of special operations forces.
The confrontation of the ICF requires rapid deployment of troops and forces in the area of destination. In this connection, the airborne forces that make up the reserve of the commander-in-chief are of particular importance. For actions in the area of responsibility of the USC "Center" from the Airborne Forces 98-i Guards are allocated. the airborne division (airborne division) and the 31-I separate guards. air assault brigade (oddshbr). The latter is also planned to be deployed to the division in the foreseeable future.
The CSTO has created regional and interregional groups of troops.
The first includes constant-readiness military contingents assigned by the member states to the Collective Rapid Deployment Forces (ARIS) of the Central Asian region. The overall composition of the CARFIA CRS is about 5000 people (ten battalions), more than 300 tanks and armored combat vehicles, 10 aircraft (Su-25), 14 helicopters (Mi-8МТВ-1). The deployment time is up to five days. NATO equivalent - Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) / NATO Response Force (NRF). Every year, starting with 2004, joint complex exercises of the Frontier series are held with the Central European Regional Strategic Control System of Central Asia.
The interregional grouping includes contingents assigned by the CSTO member states to the Collective Rapid Reaction Forces (CRRF). The total composition of the CORF is about 20 thousand people, including 17 thousand - constant-readiness contingents, 3000 - formation of special forces (FSSN) from the internal affairs, state security and civil defense. All formations are aeromobile. The deployment time is as agreed by the parties (the Russian contingent can be deployed in up to three days). NATO equivalent - Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) / High Readiness Forces (HRF). Operational, combat and special training activities with the RRF include joint exercises of the “Interaction” series with military contingents (held annually, starting with 2009), tactical and special exercises of the “Cobalt” series with special purpose units of the MVD KSOR (held every two or three years, starting with 2010, the operational and tactical exercises of the “Thunder” series with divisions of anti-drug agencies and internal affairs bodies (held every two to three years, starting with 2012).
At the end of 2012, the creation of the Collective Forces (CC) of the CSTO was announced. Priority measures include the completion of the construction of the Joint Air Defense System, the formation of Collective aviation forces (assault, bomber, fighter and military transport aviation) and the Collective Special Operations Forces.
“Terminators” against jihadists
Over the past five years, along the line of the state defense order, armored personnel carriers BTR-82А, BTR-80А, 120-mm self-propelled 2С9-1М Nona-SM (on the tandem of the IHR systems) delivered armored personnel carriers of the Center. on the wheel), UAV “Granat-2”, “Tipchak-K”, multipurpose vehicles of the Mustang and Motovoz families (manufactured by KamAZ and UralAZ, respectively), all-wheel drive special purpose vehicles “Tigr Spn”, field unified range of tools automation (field Internet) "Acacia", Digital New generation communication systems, Volynets topographic complex, new Kite non-contact explosive devices mine detectors (to replace IMP-23 and IMP-S metal detectors), Dublon sappers protective suits, Pecheneg-N machine guns ( to replace the PCM). Artillery systems were upgraded by introducing automated guidance and fire control systems (ASUNO), which increased the accuracy of artillery fire by 2 – 2 and reduced the preparation time for firing in 7,62 – 20.
The airborne units and units are reequipping on BMD-4М, BTR-MDM (tracked) and BTR-82А (wheeled), Tigr-M armored vehicles (off-road type HMMWV) and Typhoon (with enhanced MRAP type protection), X-MUMV, type XMWV). -mm self-propelled anti-tank guns 125С2 "Sprut-SD", ATVs, promising self-propelled ATGMs and artillery 25 and 120 caliber of millimeter, automated control system "Andromeda-D", BLA "Navodchik-152", and un-rocket-propelled artillery, automatic systems "Andromeda D" , multi-purpose KAMAZ-2 (to replace GAZ-2). New parachutes D-43501, D-66, "Arbalet", a free-form system of landing of the "Shelf" equipment were received and delivered to the troops by the Airborne Forces.
Part of the special purpose received unmanned aerial reconnaissance and target designation systems “Pear”, “Gunner-2”, “Zastava”. The latest means of communication, navigation and search have been tested and are being prepared for the use of special forces. By January 2016, the level of equipment of parts of the Special Forces of the RF Armed Forces of the Russian Federation with the latest equipment and armaments has been increased to 30 percent.
The 14 Army of Air Force and Air Defense (part of the 2015 command - 2 command of the Air Force and Air Defense) received the modernized Su-24M front-line bombers with the installation of the SVP-24 sighting system "Gefest" , ensuring the use of controlled means of destruction of ground targets without entering into the zone of the enemy air defense. The radius of action of the bombers was significantly increased by equipping them with new standardized outboard refueling units (ORP), which allow aircraft to refuel each other in the air without involving IL-78 tankers. The units received the Su-25CM attack aircraft, which had undergone comprehensive modernization, designed to combat small-sized ground and low-speed air targets. New avionics and fire control system, onboard equipment of the satellite navigation system GLONASS allow pilots to launch missiles and bombing with high accuracy - the radial deviation from the center of the target does not exceed five meters. Army aviation bases were replenished with new helicopters, the assault landing Mi-8AMTSH-V Terminator, the multipurpose Mi-8MTV-3 and Mi-8MTV-5.
The Russian 999 airbase deployed in the Kyrgyz Republic (Kant airfield) is subordinate to the commander of the 14 th army of the Air Force and Air Defense and is an aviation component of the CARISCR CAR. In the event of an aggravation of the military-political situation in the Central African Republic, the same role as the Syrian Hmeymim is currently called upon to play. The airbase has modernized Su-25CM attack aircraft and multipurpose Mi-8MTV-1 helicopters. Last year, its unit formed the UAV unit Orlan and Outpost, which are designed to increase the effectiveness of the use of army and attack aircraft in combat and joint exercises. In addition, the combat capabilities of the Russian 201-i WB in Tajikistan were strengthened due to the air group based on the Aini airfield (in 30 kilometers from Dushanbe), which is armed with the Mi-8 and Mi-24.
The capabilities of military transport aviation (BTA) are enhanced by the supply of heavy military transport aircraft IL-76MD-90. If today the BTA is capable of transferring one airborne regiment (without a battalion) to the 40, then by the 2018 – 2020 years it will be able to put an airborne division on the wing.
Caspian flotilla, formally included in the USK "South", but if necessary involved in providing the coastal flank of the 2nd Guards. OA OSK Center, over the past five years received a new missile ship of project 11661K and three missile launchers of project 21631 (all four are carriers of the Caliber-NK, whose capabilities in the fight at the IVF at a great distance were brilliantly demonstrated at the end of last year), two small artillery ships of project 21630, anti-sabotage boat of project 21980, two landing craft of project 11770.
Through the CSTO, Russia supplied arms and military equipment to three states in the region — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.
The volume of Russia's military-technical cooperation with Kazakhstan in 2004 – 2007 amounted to 141 million dollars, in 2008 – 2011-m - 382 million, declared on 2012 – 2015-th - 258 million dollars. The items supplied from the current production were Su-30MKI multifunctional fighters, Mi-17В-5 and Mi-8АМТ multi-purpose helicopters, С-300PS anti-aircraft missile systems, Terminator, TOS-1 "Buratino" tank support combat vehicles. BTR-82A. Repair and modernization of airplanes and helicopters. Technical assistance was provided for the construction of a series of small rocket-artillery ships of the 20970 project at the national shipyard, a raid minesweeper of the 10750 project was being built in Russia (an option for one more hull was provided in the contract), an application was submitted for the design and construction of three 21632 project infrastructures.
The declared volume of Russian military aid to Kyrgyzstan in 2013 – 2025 will amount to 1,1 billion dollars and involves the supply of helicopters, armored personnel carriers and armored vehicles, artillery systems, infantry weapons, communications and intelligence, a large range of property for logistics, as well as equipment to protect the border.
Russian military aid to Tajikistan in 2005 – 2013 is estimated at 411 million dollars. The declared volume on 2013 – 2025 is 150 – 200 million dollars and involves the supply of aviation equipment, communications equipment, artillery systems, air defense systems, small arms, and the creation of border infrastructure. In addition, over the course of 201, our military instructors at the 2015 training base prepared for the army of Tajikistan more than a thousand specialists - gunners-operators, driver T-72 and BMP-2, commanders and gunners of the Grad MLRS, gunners- operators, mechanics-drivers of self-propelled howitzers 2C3 "Acacia", etc.
Every year, applicants from the CSTO member countries are admitted to the military and civil universities of Russia before 1500.
Scenarios for the desert theater
What are the likely scenarios for the development of the military-political situation and the options for the use of troops and forces appropriate to them?
The first (most likely) involves the conduct of special operations to block and neutralize the IVF numbering from 30 – 60 to 3500 people. At the same time, the military contingents of the CRRF of the CAR and the CRRF conduct military operations with the IVF, and the Federal Service of Federal Service will restore law and order in the conflict areas, eliminate the consequences of terrorist attacks.
The second option (the least likely) provides for the actions of the Allied forces in the CSTO in a local or regional war, in particular a reflection of the offensive of the regular forces of one of the neighboring states. They can be Uzbekistan, claiming the role of a regional leader, having certain contradictions with all the Russian states of the region and politically unstable due to the problem of a legitimate transfer of power (30 January turned 78 to President Islam Karimov). If events develop according to this scenario, one cannot exclude a sharp escalation of the conflict to the level of large-scale combat operations using the entire spectrum of weapons and military equipment. In this case, Russia and its main ally, Kazakhstan, can carry out a full-scale deployment in the Central Asian sector of operational and operational-strategic groups to solve the problems of a local or regional war.
Taking into account the features of the theater (poorly developed network of roads and railways, airfields, mountainous and desert terrain), the successful solution of problems with any of these options involves maneuverable actions of highly mobile forces, historical the precedent set by the army of Genghis Khan in this region eight centuries ago. The only, but very significant difference will be the presence of the air component of the campaign: the outfit of forces and means, tasks and methods for their implementation are easily guessed taking into account the Syrian experience.
What conclusions can be made?
A sharp aggravation of the situation in the states of Central Asia in the foreseeable future seems very likely.
With the end of the active phase of hostilities in Syria and the coercion of the armed opposition to peace, the active core of jihadists among the irreconcilable, including citizens of regional states, cannot be excluded from the CAR.
The imposition of external factors of destabilization on internal can lead to mass riots, which easily develop into armed conflicts with large-scale humanitarian consequences.
In the event of an exacerbation of the situation in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, one can expect limited intervention by Russia. If Kazakhstan is under attack, it will be full-scale.