Miután a lázadóknak átadott MANPED rakéták nem hozzák a remélt hatást, Washington-nak már csak egy, utolsó kártyája maradt, Szíria felett kihirdetni a repülési tilalmat.
Jó hír az, hogy az amerikai tábornokok nagyon jól tudják, hogy egy ilyen lépés háborút jelent Oroszországgal. A rossz hír az, hogy a neokonzervatívok pontosan ezt akarják. Miután ez az amerikai lépés lehetségessé vált, meg kell vizsgálnunk, hogy ez valójában mivel járna………
A teljes fordítást elküldöm a VIP előfizetőknek. Kapcsolat felvétel: evatibor#t-online.hu
Once the US comes to realize that its policy sending MANPADs to Syria did not work, it will have only one last card to play: attempt to impose a no-fly zone over Syria.
The good news is that judging by this exchange, US generals understand that any such US move would mean war with Russia. The bad news is that the Neocons seem to be dead-set on exactly that. Since such an event has now become possible, we need to look at what exactly this would entail.
The way the US doctrine mandates to impose a no-fly zone is pretty straightforward: it begins with an intensive series of USAF and USN cruise missile strikes and bombing raids whose aim is to disable the enemy air defenses and command and control capabilities. At this stage heavy jamming and anti-radiation missile strikes play a key role. This is also when the Americans, if they have any hope of achieving a tactical surprise, will also typically strikes at enemy airbases, with a special emphasis on destroying landed aircraft, runways and fuel storage facilities. This first phase can last anything between 48 hours to 10 days, depending on the complexity/survivability of the enemy air defense network. The second phase typically includes the deployment of air-to-air fighters into combat air patrols which are typically controlled by airborne AWACS aircraft. Finally, once the air defense network has been destroyed and air supremacy has been established, strike fighters and bombers are sent in to bomb whatever can be bombed until the enemy surrenders or is crushed.
In Syria, this ideal scenario would run into several problems.
First, while there are only a few S-400/S-300 systems in Syria, the US has never had to operate against them, especially not against the Russian version of these formidable systems. Worse, Russia also has very long range radars which will make it impossible for the USA to achieve a tactical surprise. Last but not least, Russia also has deployed powerful electronic warfare systems which are likely to create total chaos in key US command, control, communications and intelligence systems.
Second, these S-400/S-300 systems are mostly located on what is legally “Russian territory”: the Khmeimim airbase and the Slava-class or Kuznetsov-class cruisers off the Syrian coast. The same goes for the key nodes of the Russian communications network. If the Americans were crazy enough to try to hit a Russian Navy ship that would open up the entire USN to Russian attacks.
Third, while Russia has deployed relatively few aircraft in Syria, and while even fewer of them are air-to-air interceptors, those which Russia has deployed (SU-30SM and SU-35) are substantially superior to any aircraft in the US inventory with the possible exception of the F-22A. While the US will be able to overwhelm the Russians with numbers, it will be at a steep cost.
Fourth, the use of USAF AWACS could be complicated by the possibility that the Russians would decide to deploy their anti-AWACS very-long range missiles (both ground launched and air launched). It is also likely that Russia would deploy her own AWACS in Iranian airspace and protect them with MiG-31BMs making them a very difficult target.
Fifth, even if the USA was somehow able to establish something like an general air superiority over Syria, the Russians would still have three formidable options to continue to strike Daesh deep inside Syria:
1) cruise missiles (launched from naval platforms of Tu-95MS bombers)
2) SU-34/SU-35 strike groups launched from Russia or Iranian
3) supersonic long range bombers (Tu-22M3 and Tu-160)
It would be exceedingly difficult for the US to try to stop such Russian attacks as the USAF and USN have not trained for such missions since the late 1980s.
Sixth, even a successful imposition of a no-fly zone would do little to stop the Russians from using their artillery and attack helicopters (a difficult target for fixed-wing aircraft to begin with). Hunting them down at lower altitudes would further expose the USAF/USN to even more Russia air defenses.
Seven, last but not least, today is not 1995 and Syria is not Bosnia: nowadays the Europeans don’t have the stomach to fight the Syrians, nevermind Russia. So while some European leaders will definitely send at least some aircraft to show their loyalty to Uncle Sam (Poland, Germany, Holland and maybe one 2nd hand F-16 from a Baltic state), the regimes that matter (France, UK, Italy, etc.) are unlikely to be interested in a dangerous and completely illegal military intervention. This is not a military problem for the USA, but would present yet another political difficulty.
To sum all this up I would simply say that if the Americans and their allies have a huge advantage in numbers, in terms of quality they are outgunned by the Russians pretty much at all levels. At the very least, this qualitative edge for the Russians makes the imposition of a (completely illegal!) no-fly zone over Syria an extremely risky proposition. Could they do it? Yes, probably, but only at a very substantial cost and at the very real risk of a full-scale war with Russia. As I have said it many times, Syria is smack in the middle of the CENTCOM/NATO area of “responsibility” end at the outer edge of the Russian power projection capability. Where Russia has tens of aircraft, the Americans can bring in many hundreds. So the real question is not whether the Americans could do it, but rather whether they are willing to pay the price such an operation would entail.