Military Review

Truce test

Russia's diplomatic forces should be as effective as aerospace

The expert community and politicians are actively discussing the withdrawal of the VKS group from Syria announced by our president. So far, emotional assessments of what happened are dominant. Meanwhile, this step is important to give a very balanced assessment.

First of all, it is worthwhile to dwell on the form of promulgation of the decision, that is, to consider it as an informational action. Judging by the statements of official representatives, unexpected for all, it was in fact carefully prepared and only announced suddenly that it served as a high degree of independence of our political elite from outside pressure, the ability to give momentous orders without paying attention to external players. However, understanding this step, taking into account the history of our participation in the war in Syria and the current nature of the armed struggle, shows that the decision was immediately unclearly formalized for submission to the media. Hence the first impression of the haste of the withdrawal of the troops and the subsequent attempts to smooth it out. Much more advantageous would be the scenario with a preliminary justification of the expediency of such a step. Then the decision would look like a pre-calculated and prepared.

On the information front

What has been achieved as a result of the semi-annual joint actions of the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Syrian army? According to official data, 8,3 percent of the area occupied by the IG and other terrorist groups banned in Russia has been released. Yes, most of the land they captured is desert. But this is the territory of Syria. And key cities, the liberation of which was considered a priority, remained with the enemy, in particular Idlib. Moreover, the capture of this city would have allowed to crush the entire northwestern group of terrorists in the future. Rakka remained in their hands. Not released until the end of Aleppo. Unable to cut the communications, which is supplying terrorists from Turkey. That is, the only task that was completely resolved was the salvation of the legitimate authorities in Syria from collapse. This is a huge political and strategic success. However, it is not final - the enemy is not defeated, but only pushed aside and has the strongest support of at least the monarchies of the Persian Gulf. And the United States and its allies in the anti-Igilov coalition are not eager to finally put an end to this evil, rather pursuing the goal of taking control over than defeating. Therefore, the revival of the military power of the IG is a matter of time, and relatively short.

To achieve the decisive superiority of the Syrian army, even with the support of the Russian grouping of the VKS over the armed forces of the IG and other terrorist formations has not yet succeeded. This conclusion follows from the fact that the daily advancement of government troops in recent weeks has remained very insignificant - in some areas, at best, a mile and a half. Militants sometimes went on the counteroffensive. The task of isolating the Aleppo grouping of the enemy from Turkey has not been solved; after the short-term success of the Syrian army, the enemy was able to restore the situation. And this means that a significant reduction in the activity of the Russian VKS in Syria will lead to a parity of potentials between government forces and terrorists, and in the worst case, the latter will receive even a slight, but superiority.

The psychological effect of the announced decision on the fronts is also important. Even despite the intensive political work in the government army, its moral-volitional potential will most likely be weakened. In contrast to this, the agitators of the terrorists will explain what exactly the IG "ousted" Russia from Syria. Already voices are heard, including in the press, that we are leaving, allegedly fearing gangster MANPADS, from which MiG-21 was shot down. Professionals understand that this is nonsense. But the man in the street and the more militant IG believes in it. The result may be the acquisition of an adversary of moral and psychological superiority, which will inevitably lead to a fatal outcome for Damascus.

The question arises: what, it was necessary to remain in Syria, in fact, in an impasse, which can last long enough? I will answer: as early as the beginning of the operation, I, as a military specialist, being a staunch supporter of support for the legitimate government of Syria, did not consider the chosen method of providing this assistance effective.

Unreasonable risks

Firstly, the decision on the military operation was taken late, when the situation was already on the verge. Begin Russia to render more ambitious assistance than it was done — with supplies of military equipment and ammunition, by military experts a year and a half earlier, no disaster would threaten Damascus. But for Russia, both terrorist expansion and the likelihood of losing the European market were obvious, build Qatar through a gas pipeline controlled by Islamist Syria. Nevertheless, the case was brought to the point that I had to act in fire mode. The question arises about the competence and even professional suitability of the staff of those analytical centers that provide top political leadership.

Truce testSecondly, if a decision has been taken on military intervention, then the forces attracted for this should be sufficient to ensure a decisive change in the course of the hostilities. In Syria, on both sides acted groups corresponding to the size of the front-line scale. Therefore, the introduction of the essence of the regimental contingent, albeit superbly trained, could not fundamentally change the balance of forces in principle. Yes, thanks to the dedicated work of our personnel, who acted with exorbitant stress, they managed to prevent a catastrophe. But to ensure victory over the IG and other terrorists by such forces is impossible.

According to my estimates, to achieve victory, the number aviation groupings in Syria should have been increased to 120–150 combat aircraft and 50–60 helicopters. Let it be impossible at the first stage of hostilities. However, in the future, such a task was probably not even set. What prevented - one can only guess. The pressure of the West probably affected the limited possibilities of transit to Syria of the material and technical means necessary to support the activities of our group, the lack of trained pilots (the “Admiral Kuznetsov” never took part in the hostilities in Syria, and, apparently, the main reason as times in the frames of deck pilots), the deficit of the WTO.

If our leadership decided not to attract its own troops, then it was necessary to create a group of 50 – 60 thousand people strong enough for a decisive offensive. These forces, given the tens of thousands of fighters of the Kurdish militia and Hamas, are enough to defeat the IS and other opponents of the legitimate government of Syria. They are hampered by an insufficient level of training of commanders, weak interaction, especially between the Syrian armed forces and other formations, as well as an acute shortage weapons, ammunition and fuel for military equipment. The supply of weapons and military equipment in sufficient quantity for conducting intensive large-scale offensive operations, full-fledged assistance in organizing hostilities would ensure the defeat of the IS and other terrorist organizations in a short time. No one bothers to help send Russian volunteers to Syria who, with proper government support, may find several tens of thousands (let us recall the scale of the volunteer movement in the DPR and the LPR), which would be enough to tangibly affect the course of the war.

Admittedly, today the Syrian army is not fully prepared for independent successful offensive actions against the IS and other terrorist groups. Based on this, given the existing restrictions on building up the Russian group, it would probably be advisable to leave our troops in Syria until the government army has the potential to conduct successful offensive operations. The time when our group’s withdrawal would be painless would be for the Syrian army to have the opportunity to advance at a rate of about three to five kilometers per day.

There is an opinion that after reconciliation with the “moderate” and even “patriotic” armed opposition, the Syrian army’s enemies have diminished and it can, by concentrating against the terrorists, gain the required advantage. However, if we compare the potential of jihadists and "moderate", the gain from such a reduction of enemies is small. The Islamists are five to six times larger. They have much higher ideological incentives and personal and commanding personnel training. Moreover, with the announcement of a truce, many Islamist militants began to diffuse into the ranks of the "moderate", turning the latter into radical opponents of legitimate power. Yes, and the "arms folded" themselves, having received a breathing space and confidence that Russian aviation would not bomb them, it is possible that even on the recommendation of western and eastern patrons, they can calmly break the agreement. So hope for them is not particularly worth it. The two previous truces in Syria, which prevented the complete defeat of the terrorists, led to the catastrophic situation that we had to settle.

Year of Damascus in Russia

In conclusion, we will evaluate the consequences of the decision taken for Russia. It is clear that they will be completely and completely determined by the development of the situation in Syria. There are only two options. The first one is favorable for our country and Syria. As a result of massive support from Russia, both in the military-technical and politico-diplomatic respect, the Syrian army will gain decisive military-strategic superiority over its opponents and will be able to defeat their opponents within a reasonable time (maximum of a year) by deploying more successful offensive actions or less high pace. The second is unfavorable. Under this option, the Syrian army is not ready to crush terrorist groups on their own due to insufficient equipment, a decline in moral and psychological potential, and other negative factors.

At the first, favorable option, the authority of our country and its leadership will increase significantly - the population in Russia and abroad (despite the anti-Russian propaganda, although it does come to even Western people) will consider the decision on the withdrawal of troops as a subtle and insightful move directed to manage the situation in a direction favorable to us and to Syria itself. The authority of Moscow will increase significantly, its positions in the Arab world (recognizing only strength) will strengthen, as well as President Putin himself, whose actions will be perceived as a demonstration of not only effective strength, but also political wisdom. Western partners will be more careful in their actions. They will understand that the Russian leadership is capable of extraordinary, but carefully worked out and therefore particularly effective actions with which they cannot oppose anything significant, at least as an immediate reaction (and the time factor in politics is key).

When a situation evolves according to a negative scenario, the reaction will reflect the idea that the Russian leadership is subject to external pressure and cannot make informed decisions, acting spontaneously in acute situations. Accordingly, the influence of Moscow in the Arab world will decline. Western politicians, considering Russia vulnerable to personal pressure on political leadership, will increase the impact on our elite, using economic and other levers. Liberated perk. The patriotic opposition will respond sharply.

So we can safely say: after the decision, the fate of Russia will be decided in Syria.
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  1. oleg-gr
    oleg-gr 23 March 2016 18: 42
    Lavrov and his team used to have difficult times. No one promises a quiet life further.
    1. The comment was deleted.
      1. 79807420129
        79807420129 23 March 2016 18: 58
        a better scenario would be with a preliminary justification of the appropriateness of such a step. Then the solution would look like a pre-calculated and prepared.

        Damn, everything was calculated and agreed upon and prepared and done perfectly. And no need to whine about polymers putinsil, damn it, and no desire to disassemble this creation.
        1. Pravdarm
          Pravdarm 23 March 2016 19: 00
          Well yes. decadent exaggeration, criticism of the military affairs of our leadership, and on a huge scale - the life of Konstantin Sivkov. There was also his article "K. Sivkov:" The Russian army will not be able to fight in a full-fledged local war "VO, March 5, 2016.
          I will bring my own comment to her:
          Quote: Pravdarm
          And what crazy numbers ?! :
          Quote: Sivkov
          For conducting an army operation in the strip 10-15 km for 10-15 days will need about 2,5-3 million such shells
          (if you count, then 15 days continuously 140 shells per minute! fuck the whole baltic you can dig up under the potatoes!
          Quote: Sivkov
          The Russian army will not be able to fight in a full-fledged local war, will require the creation of a group of order 1 million people.
          What a grouping in a million people. We have the number of ARMY ~ 1mln. Now the Americans have about the same! What do you propose - ALL men - to the Army ?! And do women work in civilian life to feed, dress men and wait for when a full-fledged local war begins ?!

          PS: By the way, the 1st comment to it was also "oleg-gr" and the same lengthy content! Type
          Quote: oleg-gr
          Rest on our laurels is not the time.
          Hm! Assistant? or...?!
        2. Ami du peuple
          Ami du peuple 23 March 2016 19: 16
          Quote: oleg-gr
          Lavrov and his team used to have difficult times.
          Sivokov's difficult times, it seems, do not go away - the constant sad lamentations "we are all gone, we will die." At the same time, it should be noted that the analyst and the expert from him are awful, in most cases, in their forecasts and ouenki, they hit their fingers in the jo .. ahem .. in the sky.
          Quote: 79807420129
          Damn, yes everything is calculated and agreed and prepared and done perfectly
          I agree. But Mr. Sivkov clearly did not consult with a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Missile and Artillery Sciences (there is, it turns out, such). It's a shame .. bully
          1. avt
            avt 23 March 2016 20: 04
            Quote: Ami du peuple
            Sivokov's difficult times, it seems, do not go away - the constant sad lamentations "we are all gone, we will die."

            God did not give a horny cow. Here and egozit - one column to the right, the other - to the left, hundreds of bombers in the air. fool Everything is going smoothly - ours are advised and supported from the air, they threw up equipment and art, they teach to master, here the Syrians entered Palmyra. No one promised that our people would be great Syrians, they themselves and generally will live there for them. And the base in Tartus is also being built by Khmeimim from a temporary air support point, which was agreed upon since the Soviet times, but slowly but surely became the air base of the Russian Federation in Syria, in contrast to the one on which they agreed with Batska from Belarus, but not ugly Kuse turned out to be for her. Again, in addition to the negotiations in Geneva, it is realistic to take receipts from the field commanders on the ground who hesitated and chose a strong side to survive with their clan. Of course, in the end, Syria will be reformatted for anyone like Lebanon, but not as much as the US
          2. svd-xnumx
            svd-xnumx 23 March 2016 22: 35
            I agree. But Mr. Sivkov clearly did not consult with a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Missile and Artillery Sciences (there is, it turns out, such). It's a shame.
            When I read to
            These forces, taking into account several tens of thousands of fighters of the Kurdish militia and Hamas
            then everything became clear about the competence of the author of this opus
        3. Blondy
          Blondy 24 March 2016 01: 28
          In general, the one who does nothing is not mistaken. But debriefing, as a lesson for the future, has not yet been canceled. Although, of course, all these analyzes look as "smart as my wife later." For example, reflections on the topic "smart sweat". Putin has said more than once that after the start of a war, one always has to negotiate peace, and the sooner the better. The first question for our Western partners here is "on whose terms?" But our conditions are somehow not very good. For some reason, Kiev was present at the last Geneva, but Donetsk did not, although both had the same legitimacy and it was not us who violated the guarantees. In present-day Geneva, for some reason, Ankara, which had screwed up, was respected and the Kurds were not allowed to negotiate. As a result, we got an accelerated federalization of the Kurds, which increases the chances of building a Trans-Syrian pipeline bypassing Russia at the request of Qatar and according to the US project. It was not for nothing that the United States supported the Kurds, even despite Erdogan. Recently, Yakov Kedmi, an intelligent and knowledgeable Jew of Russian origin and incidentally the former head of the Israeli agency Nativ, said that the Armenian genocide, which Turkey is accused of, in fact, under the cover of the central government, was mainly carried out by the Kurds. So, as Zhirinovsky said: "everything is not unambiguous here" with whiteness and fluffiness and in the historical aspect.
    2. Major Yurik
      Major Yurik 23 March 2016 18: 50
      It is necessary to diplomatically squeeze the Yankees, they climbed with their tentacles into all the holes that were possible and sat on a stretch. Sooner or later, they will tear their seat in such a pose of covering zones of interest. It is necessary to painstakingly explain that the policy of Russia is for them NSD (not your dog thing). negative
      1. Ami du peuple
        Ami du peuple 23 March 2016 19: 12
        Quote: Major Yurik
        Sooner or later, they will tear their seat in such a pose of covering zones of interest
        This is dangerous: can you imagine how much brown and smelly substance will pour from a torn American ass? The whole world will be flooded, dogs are striped.
      2. OlegV
        OlegV 23 March 2016 19: 14
        Quote: Major Yurik
        It is necessary to diplomatically squeeze the Yankees, .....

        and not only diplomatically ...... and other methods will be needed))
        1. Pravdarm
          Pravdarm 23 March 2016 19: 20
          Damn neighing from the heart! 5 +++! laughing
          A Steinmayer belay fluttering behind the door! Waiting for the line!
    3. rpek32
      rpek32 24 March 2016 03: 14
      What has been achieved as a result of almost six months of joint action by the Russian air forces and the Syrian army? According to official figures, 8,3 percent of the area occupied by the ISIS and other terrorist groups banned in Russia has been freed. Yes, most of their land is desert. But this is the territory of Syria. And the key cities, the liberation of which was considered a priority, remained with the enemy, in particular Idlib. Moreover, the capture of this city would make it possible to defeat the entire northwestern terrorist group in the future. Racca also remained in their hands. Not released until the end of Aleppo. It was not possible to cut the communications through which there is a supply of terrorists from Turkey. That is, the only task that was completely solved was the salvation of the legitimate authority in Syria from collapse.

      what is he wrong here?
      1. Cat man null
        Cat man null 24 March 2016 03: 58
        Do you accept cats?

        Quote: rpek32
        what is he wrong here?

        In all lol

        You see, based on the fact that the aerospace forces were introduced there exclusively in order to save Private Ryan Assad, the author is probably right.

        The joke is that the videoconferencing was introduced there not so much and not only for this.

        What has been achieved as a result of almost six months of joint action by the Russian air forces and the Syrian army?

        - the army, which could only be finished off, suddenly remembered that she could beat herself
        - the flow of oil "From ISIL" (TM) has stopped (or decreased several times). Accordingly, the financial support of the same ISIS has decreased
        - In addition to the slurred base in Tartus, the Russian Federation received a full-fledged air base
        - famously advertised their equipment, trained the flight (and not only) composition in real databases. Yes, in a simplified form, but still it is not a testing ground
        - seized the initiative from the United States (arguably, I understand. But now everything is better than it was "before")
        - the truce is generally a song .. Babaev is sorted into "clean" and "unclean". The unclean ones, of course, wet .. and the clean ones sit .. evenly and do not get confused underfoot. Which, of course, simplifies the task of the same Syrian Army
        - ...

        That's about as yes
        1. rpek32
          rpek32 24 March 2016 15: 02
          Quote: Cat Man Null
          In all

          Yes, you dear, read the statements of the GDP of Shoigu, Peskov and others. Well, you all have this with memory. And at the same time look for the phrase "we do not set ourselves the goal of preserving the Assad regime" - look who said that.

          Well, yes. the question was not about geopolitical profits but about achieving the goals set and voiced through the media
  2. avvg
    avvg 23 March 2016 18: 45
    In my opinion, the success of the SAR Armed Forces over the past period proves that there will not be a second option and we will definitely win in Syria.
  3. 1976AG
    1976AG 23 March 2016 18: 47
    It’s already breathtaking, what kind of literates we have (probably after the General Staff Academy), knowledgeable (apparently own intelligence) article authors! It is a pity that they do not have access to GDP. Oh, they would have told him how to do the right thing!
  4. iliitchitch
    iliitchitch 23 March 2016 18: 49
    Well said the same - we will return if necessary. Independence and freedom cannot be GIVEN, you will get parasites around your neck, let them work on their own land, at the moment the situation is under control, and all these WOULD IF ... The point was to write an article at all?
  5. Vladimirets
    Vladimirets 23 March 2016 18: 54
    "the ability to give fateful orders, ignoring external players"

    One cannot "ignore" external players, but it is one thing to look into their mouths, and another to take into account their reaction.

    "By military specialists a year and a half earlier, no catastrophe would threaten Damascus."

    And Russia a year and a half ago to Syria was?

    "The question arises about the competence and even professional suitability of the staff of those think tanks that provide top political leadership."

    The author, apparently, thinks that we have unlimited resources and opportunities?

    "Nobody interferes with facilitating the sending of Russian volunteers to Syria, of whom, with proper state support, there may be several tens of thousands (recall the scale of the volunteer movement in the DPR and LPR)"

    What are you talking about, author? belay Compare Syria and LDNR ?! Many people want to go to Syria?
    Conclusions and "predictions" are generally powerful: everything will be either good or bad. In general, the article "-".
  6. Reserve buildbat
    Reserve buildbat 23 March 2016 18: 56
    In my opinion, a very controversial article. Did someone "hastily" bring in and withdraw the troops? A quick introduction showed that the Russian Aerospace Forces are capable of more precise and large-scale actions than the Air Force of any NATO country, and indeed all NATO, excluding mattress mats. The hatching was done quickly and clearly, and the lack of prior notification makes sense too. At least from the point of view that if the West knew in advance when the withdrawal of the Aerospace Forces from Syria would begin, the actions of the bandits would be urgently corrected based on this information.
    And it is at least unprofessional to call the introduction of troops into Syria "hasty", which is set up as an example in the very beloved, apparently, the author, the West.
    1. Lysik001
      Lysik001 23 March 2016 20: 43
      Isis destroyed in Syria? And why did you bring in the troops? One to one Donbass. And neither victory nor defeat. And what? Don’t get that. You do not understand that 30 planes do not win wars! You can throw dust in your eyes. And only. Time will tell who was right.
  7. atamankko
    atamankko 23 March 2016 18: 58
    In their land, the Syrians are masters and let them fight,
    and we will help when necessary.
  8. avg-mgn
    avg-mgn 23 March 2016 19: 14
    As a strategist, it is senseless and stupid to exert direct pressure on GDP as a strategist. It will not work for Lavrov's office. Of course, they will play on their nerves, they can tighten up sanctions and come up with other crap, but Russia is no longer the one to talk to from a position of strength. And in general, what kind of victory or defeat in Syria are we talking about, what were we fighting with? Just behind the "Coalition" they raked a dung heap.
    1. padded jacket
      padded jacket 23 March 2016 19: 31
      News from near Palmyra where the Syrian army is the valiant Hezbollah, Iranian and Afghan volunteers are attacking this ancient city.
      The T-72 of the 1989 model or T-72BM with Contact -5 and Gazelle helicopters lit up

      The battle for Palmyra. Report by Evgeny Poddubny with the forefront
  9. Lysik001
    Lysik001 23 March 2016 20: 21
    GDP policy has long raised questions. For me, fish is not meat. Crimea, of course, is sacred, but to be honest, he practically came to us. Everything else ... chatter. The standard of living is falling, but there is no idea. For what is all this. Lord ... well, give a normal presidential candidate in 18g. not this panocticum. And in Syria it will be like in the Donbass. First, gallant chants and then ... silence. I personally do not see any genius of the GDP about which many speak. Well, I do not see. It is time for him to rest.
    1. 79807420129
      79807420129 23 March 2016 21: 39
      Quote: Lysik001
      Lord ... well, give a normal presidential candidate in 18g.

      Your suggestions? Who are you asking God for? Name the surname name middle name.
      1. UralMan
        UralMan 24 March 2016 10: 06
        Quote: 79807420129
        Who are you asking God for?

        probably asks him laughing
        he himself will come laughing
        Well, what does God have to do with it?
        God is not worth remembering in the bustle
    2. RomanS
      RomanS 23 March 2016 23: 04
      Akela missed! He can no longer be the leader of the pack!
    3. UralMan
      UralMan 24 March 2016 10: 03
      Quote: Lysik001
      First, gallant chants and then ... silence

      with us, as always, they marred and left ... we don’t want to finish it or the gut is thin
      it's all * big politician *
  10. raid14
    raid14 23 March 2016 21: 33
    The article as a whole is written well, "urya-patriots" have nothing to cover, except for the usual "all-consuming" "we will all die." The VKS was introduced at the last moment when only a few months remained before the capture of Latakia and Damascus by the barmaley, judging by the maps of the battles since October 2015 ( there was no significant turning point in the battles near Damascus, Aleppo and in other large cities, the blocking of supply channels for militants from the Turkish border, too. There were promises of a military presence until a complete victory over terrorism in Syria and we are withdrawing troops. How to understand? As a "tricky" plan, or something else entirely?
  11. RomanS
    RomanS 23 March 2016 23: 03
    And again, author, hello! Here is your boiling energy, but for the good of Russia ... And then you work out all your NPOs. But we have freedom of speech, and we have the opportunity to speak out to everyone. I probably read your opuses inattentively, but something I will not mention critical articles about the work of the US diplomatic mission, or criticisms about the domestic politics of Turkey. Somehow you cover events one-sidedly. The question involuntarily arises, why are you still in Russia, because the whole world is in front of you?
  12. Zomanus
    Zomanus 24 March 2016 03: 31
    I read the first paragraph and minus.
    For the author writes, clearly not paying attention to current information,
    based on their own conjectures.
    What, we’ve right now completely withdrawn everything, left nothing there?
    And that the representatives of the Russian Federation in Syria did not declare that there would be an atat
    who violates the truce? In short, the article is good for and other things like that ...
  13. Wolka
    Wolka 24 March 2016 09: 37
    I don’t agree with the author, they are preparing a military operation, and it was really meticulously prepared by Russia, including the entry and exit of a military group from Syria, there are objective reasons for this, it’s respected for you not to cook the soup, salt it, did not salt it, then add it to it but he overdid it, so ... and not play chess, war is a collective and very difficult and costly business, with many introductory yes and no, pros and cons ...
  14. Ros 56
    Ros 56 24 March 2016 09: 53
    You can convince by force, but only at the first stage. You can convince the bulk of people only by giving them the opportunity to live peacefully and by making it possible to earn enough money to have enough for this very life and for protecting this life. It is impossible to convince everyone by definition, simply because people have different political views, different needs and priorities. Well, for example crime.