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Air Defense: Rebuilding The Union
   Next Article → MURPHY'S LAW: Cold War Nostalgia Comes Alive
February 6, 2009: Russia and Belarus have agreed to create a joint air defense system to protect Belarus (and a chunk of Russia's western border as well). According to the announcement, this will involve anti-aircraft missile units, as well as interceptor aircraft.

This deal has other benefits for Russia. Belarus still operates several of the Soviet Union (pre-1991) era air-defense schools, and many Soviet era air defense installations. Three years ago, Belarus received 24 Russian S-300 missile systems. Roughly equivalent to the U.S. Patriot, S-300 was known as the SA-10 to NATO, when the system first appeared in the early 1980s. S-300 missiles weigh 1.8 tons each and are 26 feet long and about 20 inches in diameter. The missiles have a range of some 200 kilometers and can hit targets as high as 100,000 feet. The missile has a 320 pound warhead.

Belarus and Russia are integrating their air defenses, mainly to give Russia more "depth" in case of an attack from the west. Russia talks a lot about possible attacks from the west. No one in the West is quite sure what the Russians are talking about.   Meanwhile, of all the former communist nations in Europe, Belarus is the only one still run by its Soviet era officials. Basically it's a police state, and very tight with Russia. The integrated air defense deal has been under negotiation for years, with the Belorussians demanding more goodies than the Russians were willing to let go of. But now the deal has been done.

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razputin       2/6/2009 12:27:15 PM
"Russia talks a lot about possible attacks from the west. No one in the West is quite sure what the Russians are talking about."
 
Hmm. Just ask residents of Belgrade. They will tell you all about it.
 
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Nichevo       2/6/2009 9:52:33 PM
Which residents?   The ones whose jaws drip Bosniak blood, or that of Kosovars or Croats?  One hesitates to disturb them at their meat.
 
You would not stop us if we were sufficiently determined.  You are unwise to persist in this attitude.  Your threat is in the East.   You will understand this better once your population drops below 75 million, as it is surely trending to do.  When the Iranians and Chinese come to divide you up, fortifications in Byelorussia will be of little use to you.

Seriously, what possible scenario in the heads of responsible Russians leads to attack or invasion of Russia from Europe or the USA?
 
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earlm       2/6/2009 10:31:32 PM
Some of them live in a fantasy world where their country actually matters for something other than hydrocarbons.  Their national identity is bound up in fighting enemies and the government plays on that.
 
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Berova       2/7/2009 1:49:27 AM
Paranoia is in their genes and they're blind to everything else, including reality.  Couple that with an inferiority complex and an insatiable desire to regain the delusional national glory held at the height of the Cold War, it puts things in the proper context of  understanding their motivations.
 
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razputin       2/9/2009 3:20:48 PM

Which residents?   The ones whose jaws drip Bosniak blood, or that of Kosovars or Croats?  One hesitates to disturb them at their meat.

 

You would not stop us if we were sufficiently determined.  You are unwise to persist in this attitude.  Your threat is in the East.   You will understand this better once your population drops below 75 million, as it is surely trending to do.  When the Iranians and Chinese come to divide you up, fortifications in Byelorussia will be of little use to you.





Seriously, what possible scenario in the heads of responsible Russians leads to attack or invasion of Russia from Europe or the USA?


Any  military strategist will tell you that any invasion of Russia from the east is an exercise in futility at lease now and in the foreseeable future. There is no transportation infrastructure and nothing really to hold. Chinese are well aware of that and know they wouold be sitting ducks in the open field if they ever attempted anything along that route. The last real threat from the east has come about 700 hundred years ego. Since then the problems came mostly from the West. Hence the "paranoia."
 
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Softwar       2/9/2009 3:44:10 PM



Any  military strategist will tell you that any invasion of Russia from the east is an exercise in futility at lease now and in the foreseeable future. There is no transportation infrastructure and nothing really to hold. Chinese are well aware of that and know they wouold be sitting ducks in the open field if they ever attempted anything along that route. The last real threat from the east has come about 700 hundred years ego. Since then the problems came mostly from the West. Hence the "paranoia."


Funny how I have been reading PRC grade school books for over a decade and they are really clear - they intend to re-unite the stolen territory taken by Stalin at the end of WWII.  Considering the lack of Russia forces in the pacific region - its not an impossible task for the PLA to overrun Russia.  They already outnumber the Russian forces in the air and on the ground.  The Second Artillery can easily mobilize more short range missiles than the entire Russian Federation.
BTW - what kind of infrastructure does a PLA foot soldier need to invade other than a pair of shoes and an AK-47?
 
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razputin       2/9/2009 4:36:51 PM
You wish PRC did that and finished us off) What amazes is that during the cold war the West painted Russia big and scary which was true but not to the extent you assumed. Then you went to another extreme of claiming that we are nothing but a bunch of paranoid megalomaniac untermensch with no real military capability. Then everyone gets surprised with the success in georgia but starts saying how backwards we are and yet YOU tell me that PRC could invade us with any degree of success with a pair of boots and an AK... Bottom line is you keep either overestimating our capabilities or undersestimating us. Chinese if they ever invade from the east would face insurmountable logistical problems. And no one would fight chinese in a conventional war. We would just nuke the living crap out of them....
Talking about delusional, US is fighting two wars it cannot win. You are winning every battle but losing strategically. You are making every mistake we made and Afghanistan and then some. If there is any nation detached from reality in the world right now that is US, fighting two wars with no clear strategic objectives and running budget deficits like there is no tomorrow. By the way you are making one more mistake that decided germany's fate in WW2. You are building small numbers of highly complex and expensive systems that are not easy to replace and maintain.
You are blind and delusional in assuming you can maintain your position as a global hegemon for much longer. The party is over and it is evident in your financial system collapse anbd military overreach. And we are back and wil will be waiting patiently for you to stumble at every turn)  We have been around for more than a thousand years and lived through things even worse then the collapse of the USSR. 
 
In any case there is no one reasonalble and realistic to talk to on this forum. 
 
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Softwar       2/9/2009 4:48:34 PM

You wish PRC did that and finished us off) What amazes is that during the cold war the West painted Russia big and scary which was true but not to the extent you assumed. Then you went to another extreme of claiming that we are nothing but a bunch of paranoid megalomaniac untermensch with no real military capability. Then everyone gets surprised with the success in georgia but starts saying how backwards we are and yet YOU tell me that PRC could invade us with any degree of success with a pair of boots and an AK... Bottom line is you keep either overestimating our capabilities or undersestimating us. Chinese if they ever invade from the east would face insurmountable logistical problems. And no one would fight chinese in a conventional war. We would just nuke the living crap out of them....

Talking about delusional, US is fighting two wars it cannot win. You are winning every battle but losing strategically. You are making every mistake we made and Afghanistan and then some. If there is any nation detached from reality in the world right now that is US, fighting two wars with no clear strategic objectives and running budget deficits like there is no tomorrow. By the way you are making one more mistake that decided germany's fate in WW2. You are building small numbers of highly complex and expensive systems that are not easy to replace and maintain.


You are blind and delusional in assuming you can maintain your position as a global hegemon for much longer. The party is over and it is evident in your financial system collapse anbd military overreach. And we are back and wil will be waiting patiently for you to stumble at every turn)  We have been around for more than a thousand years and lived through things even worse then the collapse of the USSR. 


 

In any case there is no one reasonalble and realistic to talk to on this forum. 



No - you might misunderstand my somewhat sarcastic attitude on this subject.  I consider the PRC to far more dangerous than the Russian Federation.  I am also frequently puzzled by Moscow's insistance on doing business with Beijing even though they steal you blind (e.g. J-11B).  Just don't ignore the fact they want the Manchu territories back and would be willing to fight for it.  At the moment - your only option is nuclear.
As for nuking the PRC - forget it.  Their leadership is perfectly willing to loose 500 or 600 million if it means success in east asia.  Aim at their leadership instead - they are the ones calling the shots.
 
As for Afghanistan - we are not in with 100,000 troops - the way to win is small special forces not overwhelming force - like the blunt hammer Moscow used on Georgia.  As for Georgia - not impressed - you lost a strategic bomber and your ground troops had to use cell phones to communicate - a decent second rate power would have made it much more expensive.
 
Finally, lost... what lost?  Iraq has its own government and oil - no Saddam.  Looks like a win to me.
 
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razputin       2/9/2009 6:09:42 PM
US removed Saddam and sunnis from power but handed Iran the opportunity to rise as a reginal power and put Iraq in its orbit. Allowed Russia to flex its muscle in the periphery and virtually secure the sphere of influence in the former USSR. Way to go.
 
You have been fighting 4th gen warfare for almost a decade now. Is US really prepared for any real full-out conventional warfare that does not involve peasants or IEDs as the major threat given the way the military is streched thin?  
 
Keep thinking that we Russians are backwards and you are much better. Keep thinking we always rely on numbers superiority. Keep thinking your over reliance on high tech complex weapons systems is the way to go. Keep the myth alive...
 
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Softwar       2/10/2009 9:36:35 AM

Russians Offer Self-Critique of Georgian Conflict
Aviation Week & Space Technology Sep 01 , 2008 

Georgians anticipated no response and Russian pilots expected no opposition

 
A sobering exercise for the Russians has been sorting out the details of their military performance in the two-week conflict with Georgia. At least one Russian Su-25 Frogfoot ground attack aircraft appears to have been shot down by friendly fire, says a Washington-based U.S. defense official. Chaotic flight activity during the air war apparently led to Russia?s rebel allies firing at them, he says.

Senior Russian military officials, both active and recently retired, are loudly criticizing early setbacks in Georgia which included problems in air defense suppression, intelligence analysis and warnings, air attack planning and speed of response. They also point to the deployment of older T-62 and T-72 tanks and outdated armored personnel carriers for the initial push into East Ossetia that were about an equal match for the Georgian armor.

But the biggest technical error, says former Russian air force commander-in-chief Gen. Anatoly Kornukov, is that Russian intelligence failed to analyze the numbers, locations and capabilities of the Georgian air defenses. As a result, Russian pilots went into combat expecting no resistance. Secondly, there was no campaign to eliminate the Georgia air defense or its small air force. Thirdly, there was no reason to use a strategic bomber like the Tu-22M3, he says.

Anti-radiation missiles were not fired against the Georgian air defense radars, despite their availability, which meant that Russian aircrews could not use their precision standoff weapons without being in range of Georgia?s Buk-1M (SA-11 Gadfly) surface-to-air missile systems. Prior to the conflict, the Russian air force did fire a Kh-58 (AS-11 Kilter) from a Su-24 Fencer, but the weapon missed its target, a radar outside of Gori. Some observers also note the limited availability of Russian precision, long-range, standoff weaponry.

These opinions—appearing in Russia?s Independent Military Review, other defense related publications and Russian news agencies—have caught the attention of U.S. government officials and analysts who have been pouring over open-source literature to gather operational and technological clues to events in the Georgia-Russia conflict.

Gen. Mahmut Gareyev, president of the Russian Academy of Military Sciences, also blamed military intelligence for the classic failure of miscalculating Georgia?s intentions. The resulting confusion in Russia?s command and control led to its air force taking so many losses, including a front-line, high-performance Tu-22M aircraft which now appears to have been a bomber variant operated by the Black Sea Fleet.

Other Russian critics contend the Russians made little or no use of its space-based surveillance and that the rough terrain and heavy vegetation of Georgia foiled the long-range use of laser-guided weapons.

Lack of preparation hindered the Russian air force, says its former commander-in-chief, Gen. Peter Deinekin, who accused the service of handing the initiative to the Georgians. He excoriated the air force for not immediately launching an air attack to blind Georgia?s radar and reconnaissance capability and then shatter command and control.

Claims that Russia tried to bomb the Georgian oil pipelines are losing credibility. Analysts contend that bomb craters near some underground pipelines appear to be from a missed attack by the Tu-22M3 Backfire on a nearby airfield. ?Had they been targeting the pipeline, they would have gone for the pumping stations, but did not,? a Washington-based U.S. official says. ?Why try to hit a buried pipeline when the pumping stations made a much easier target? It may simply point to inaccurate bombing from the Backfire.?

Former Russian Defense Minister Gen. Paul Grachev cast blame on all the Russian intelligence services for lack of warning, and on commanders of the North Caucasus Military District for not having detailed contingency plans in case of an attack by Georgia. Other lessons drawn from the fighting in Georgia, say Russian military officials, are that while the offensive into Georgia was morally justified, the offensive was poorly organized and executed in the opening phases.

Maj. Gen. Marat Kulakhmetov, commander of the Russian peacekeeping forces in South Ossetia, is being blamed for ignoring the massing of Georgian tanks, artillery and troops near Tskhinvali on Aug. 7, according to Grachev.

The lack of an immediate counter-attack against Georgian forces that entered the zone occupied by Russian peacekeeping troops Grachev deems inexcusable. Not laying counter-battery fire onto Georgian artillery (which was concentrated to support the attack) was another blunder, he says. The penetration allowed the

 
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