Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Steve about the manpads, They probably are in low numbers. But is is quite weird, They have advanced ATGMs but no manpads? Maybe their supplier or wherever they get their equipment (god knows) doesn't want to risk giving them it? I have seen quite a few videos in Syria involving manpads, But I haven't heard of a manpad incident against Russian sorties yet. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For MANPADs to be effective there needs to be lots and lots and lots of them.  Tanks have very restricted paths in areas where they are probably already known to be operating.  They also tend to operate fairly slowly and that gives the defense time to effectively engage them.  Even one ATGM team can, therefore, be deployed to good effect.  Not so with anti-air because a plane can show up at any time, any where.  The MANPADs need to be deployed within a fairly limited geographical area and (for the most part) sitting around actively waiting for something to engage.  This reduces the odds that a single MANPAD will do much of anything.  Which is why you need lots and lots of them to make a difference.  Again, taking a look at Ukraine is useful. 

MANPADs were seen in pictures fairly early on and one was used to devastating effect when it shot down a helicopter carrying the commanding officer of the ATO.  That is because the separatists knew exactly where the officer was going to be at exactly what time (operational security within Ukraine's armed forces was horrible at the time).  So the separatists were able to put one of their limited MANPADs into position and scored a direct hit.  Yet at the same time the Ukrainian airforce was striking targets pretty much unopposed.  That continued for a while, but the complaints from separatists did not go unanswered.  Suddenly, almost overnight, MANPADs were effectively everywhere and the helicopters could not operate safely any more.  Even fixed wing SU aircraft had a tough time, but they stayed in the fight a little longer.  Strela-9 and other systems were moved in, which reduced Ukrainians to flying transports to the Luhansk airport (and other places) very high, then coming down very fast.  This is probably why the Buk was moved into the flight path of Luhansk airport resupply missions.

The point is that MANPADs need to be available in quantity for them to be effective against anything, but they have their limitations and that's where the medium range missile systems (like Strela) come into play.  Which means that tactically the Russian airforce is not at significant risk until there is a large quantity of MANPADs (easy to operate) in theater, which currently is not the case.  The Russian airforce is not in huge danger until larger systems are deployed, which is unlikely to happen because those require trained crews and support infrastructure.  Unlike Ukraine, there doesn't appear to be any nation state willing to deploy such systems and crews to combat any aircraft in Syria.  Therefore, I think Russian aircraft are relatively safe for now.

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Absolutely agree with you. Who knows how it will play out. SAA is gaining territory, But ISIL is using that to their advantage attacking thin lines and faults. ISIL and the Assad opposition has the advantage in this one. I don't know how this mess will be solved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also think countries are probably very tight with providing manpads support these days since it would be very easy for them to end up shooting down airliners all over the place when they fall into the wrong hands. Things not to let fall in terrorist hands probably in this order:

 

  • Biological Zombie Apocalypse inducing weapons (or disassembler nanobots)
  • A bombs
  • Nerve or other chemical agents
  • MANPADS

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup, that's absolutely the case.  As I said above, they are great for situations that are somewhat predictable.  Sitting at the end of the runway at a large international airport is very, very predictable.

The zombie problem already exists.  Except instead of a virus that causes people to turn into mindless menaces to society it is reality TV and smartphones.  Just one man's opinion :D

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The zombie problem already exists.  Except instead of a virus that causes people to turn into mindless menaces to society it is reality TV and smartphones.  Just one man's opinion :D

Steve

+1 to that, so make it 2 mens opinion. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup, that's absolutely the case.  As I said above, they are great for situations that are somewhat predictable.  Sitting at the end of the runway at a large international airport is very, very predictable.

The zombie problem already exists.  Except instead of a virus that causes people to turn into mindless menaces to society it is reality TV and smartphones.  Just one man's opinion :D

Steve

The Kardashians may take out a hit on you.  Don't disrupt the money train or else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even apart from just making Khloe cry this thread seems very interesting to me. Unfortunately I haven't had or have the time do read it in full. Imo the current EU refugee crisis is making this our problem, at least for Germany/Austria/Sweden/Netherlands and because of that, for the EU. 

I think poor Powell phrased it very well when he said 'you brake it you own it'. The west (US + EU + allies) have at least partial ownership of the problem in the Middle East, Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the horn of Africa. Probably forgetting some ;-)

Ousting Saddam and leaving a mess in Iraq didn't help the region forward. Supporting the ousting of Khadaffi did neither. Both have influenced the current civil war in Syria. Supplying various rebel groups, supposedly belonging to a secular FSA, with heavy weapons also wasn't a good idea. A lot of those weapons seem to have ended up in Daesh/IS hands. Bombing IS and helping the Kurds is necessary (imo), but will not change the fubar status quo.

Now Russia is in with some airstrikes, trying to keep Assad in power. While I don't see how those airstrikes will bring a positive change for the average man in Syria, I think it is hypocrite to call Russia on it. They are merely protecting their interests in Syria/the region, as is the west. Now the refugee crisis is forcing the EU's hand.

One might recall that the West had intentions of bombing Assad after the chemical weapons issue. Partly due to Russian diplomatic efforts those plans were shelved. One can ponder how much more people would have fled the Region if western airstrikes helped to topple Assad's regime?

In my personal opinion any bomb on IS is a bomb well spend. In order to eliminate this evil group from the face of the Earth the powers that be should cooperate in it's eradication, which will need ground forces. The other (violent but less evil than IS) groups should form a round table and discuss a inclusive treaty for all of Syria's groups. Or better yet, the whole Levant. Could I have a two-state solution for the Palestine problem with that as well? You know what throw in a lottery ticket! 

I also don't see a solution for this mess. Perhaps a stalemate between all parties is realistically the least worse outcome indeed. Time will tell.

PS is there no more preview option before posting?

Edit to add the point that I was forgetting to make. Democracies tend to be effective only for part of the duration of their elected governments. At least, that's my experience living in one. This isn't helping 'the West' doing any good in the region. Bringing democracy to countries like Iraq is, again imo, inherently stupid to even imagine as something one should strive for. While Assad is not a sustainable player in Syria I think his regime is a necessary tool to bring the situation forward. Without the regime Syria will turn into Afghanistan 2.0. Russia saving Assad might be a good thing.

Edited by Lethaface

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now Russia is in with some airstrikes, trying to keep Assad in power. While I don't see how those airstrikes will bring a positive change for the average man in Syria, I think it is hypocrite to call Russia on it. They are merely protecting their interests in Syria/the region, as is the west.

That's not the issue as I see it, either for myself or when I read the opinions of those critical of Russian actions.  Nobody is saying that Russia doesn't have a right to protect its national interests, rather that overt support to keep a mass murdering regime in power is an immoral act.  Since Russia is deliberately trying to keep a mass murdering regime in power, it is an act which can be quite justifiably criticized.  Just like the US is criticized, quite correctly, for invading Iraq on false charges and a separate criticism of botching the resulting Iraqi state.  If Russia can not be criticized for supporting a regime that uses chemical weapons and barrel bombs on citizens, the the US should not be criticized for such things as the invasion of Iraq.

The West has largely moved away from "yes he's a bastard, but he's our bastard" mindset since the end of the Cold War.  Russia, on the other hand, seems to do almost nothing but because those sorts of regimes are the only ones that actively support Russia.  It's a vicious cycle... the more Russia supports the "evil" of this world, the less friends it will have.  The less friends it has, the more it has to rely upon supporting "evil" to get what it wants.

The West is willing to do a lot of things to placate Russian interests in Syria as it is in Ukraine.  The problem is that fundamentally what Russia wants the West is not in a position to agree to.  Either because it goes against the West's interests (which includes not actively keeping a mass murderer in power) or because the West can't make the sorts of guarantees Russia wants (a Russian base in Syria forever).

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's not the issue as I see it, either for myself or when I read the opinions of those critical of Russian actions.  Nobody is saying that Russia doesn't have a right to protect its national interests, rather that overt support to keep a mass murdering regime in power is an immoral act.  Since Russia is deliberately trying to keep a mass murdering regime in power, it is an act which can be quite justifiably criticized.  Just like the US is criticized, quite correctly, for invading Iraq on false charges and a separate criticism of botching the resulting Iraqi state.  If Russia can not be criticized for supporting a regime that uses chemical weapons and barrel bombs on citizens, the the US should not be criticized for such things as the invasion of Iraq.

While I can't deny your logic and have to agree that ethically it is only right to criticize Russia's support of Assad, I'm still thinking that it is better to keep Assad's regime alive till the end of the conflict. Even though Assad is not a sustainable factor for ruling Syria, the destruction of his regime will quite possibly lead to even (much) more murder than what he has already managed. Interested to hear your thoughts about that.

So while I'm agreeing he is a mass murderer, he isn't genocidal yet. That can't be said of the forces that would fill up the void created when his regime would fall. Sometimes one needs to choose sides with a lesser evil against a larger evil. In WW2 nobody declared war on the Soviets when they annexed half of Poland and Stalin ordered the extermination of much of it's social elite.

What do you think about the West (and other parties) supplying the rebels fighting Assad? While there might be a couple of decent folks between the rag tag bunch of rebels fighting Assad, it isn't clear to me whether the rebels (even without counting ISIS) are any less murderous then Assad? Would they not throw barrel bombs on Latakia if they had the chance? There are reports of use of chemical weapons by both the Regime and rebel forces. For me helping the Rebels is near the same page as helping Assad. It is a different page but i'm not sure whether it comes just before or after.

 

The West has largely moved away from "yes he's a bastard, but he's our bastard" mindset since the end of the Cold War.  

I'm not so sure about this. Let's say it is true, is that because the West feels it is morally wrong or because there hasn't been situations in which this mindset serves our interests best? We still support Egypt and Saudi Arabia. On the hypocrite scale we also weigh in heavily, as the the Khaddafi's were welcomed guests from Oxford to Paris to Rome, just before we no-fly zoned their ground forces into oblivion and (in)directly supported the creation of chaos in Libya like there is no Iraq. Ethically I too think the West is best to keep it quiet, if only due to the plethora of clandestine (signature) drone strikes in our 'War on Terror'. We manage to do this as 'fully' functioning democracies, opposed to Russia's current semi-democratic regime. 

 

Russia, on the other hand, seems to do almost nothing but because those sorts of regimes are the only ones that actively support Russia.  It's a vicious cycle... the more Russia supports the "evil" of this world, the less friends it will have.  The less friends it has, the more it has to rely upon supporting "evil" to get what it wants.

The West is willing to do a lot of things to placate Russian interests in Syria as it is in Ukraine.  The problem is that fundamentally what Russia wants the West is not in a position to agree to.  Either because it goes against the West's interests (which includes not actively keeping a mass murderer in power) or because the West can't make the sorts of guarantees Russia wants (a Russian base in Syria forever).

Steve

We're on the same page with regards to Russia's evil ways. I see Russia's leadership as a clique of dangerous power-hungry autocrats with Mafia aspirations. Now that I speak of those, Erdohan is moving in that direction too unfortunately I might add. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

... I'm still thinking that it is better to keep Assad's regime alive till the end of the conflict. ...

Trouble is, it is because of Assad's regime that there's a conflict at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I agree that Assad is a large factor in the current situation in Syria. But the region is very destabilized and the West has a large hand in that. Assad might have been abusing the IS presence for staying in power ("see I'm fighting terrorists), I don't believe he is the one that have armed, trained and supplied them nor did he create the environment that spawned IS. 

But too busy watching the live feed from Paris :(. This is a new chapter in this conflict, I think.

Edited by Lethaface

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I cant help it. Out of curiousity how do you define Russia since Putins been in power as even a semi democracy?

Very simple: he was elected and Russia still has a parliament and other democratic institutions, although one can question how fair the elections were and how free the opposition is.

P.S. have been unable to play CMBS last months, hopefully I'll be able to start returning turns soon. Your semi-democracy troops are doomed :-P

Edited by Lethaface

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very simple: he was elected and Russia still has a parliament and other democratic institutions, although one can question how fair the elections were and how free the opposition is.

P.S. have been unable to play CMBS last months, hopefully I'll be able to start returning turns soon. Your semi-democracy troops are doomed :-P

Perhaps democratic façade would be the better description?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I can't deny your logic and have to agree that ethically it is only right to criticize Russia's support of Assad, I'm still thinking that it is better to keep Assad's regime alive till the end of the conflict. Even though Assad is not a sustainable factor for ruling Syria, the destruction of his regime will quite possibly lead to even (much) more murder than what he has already managed. Interested to hear your thoughts about that.
 

I agree that is a position one can adopt and argue for in a debate.  One could also argue that by signing a piece of paper with Hitler one would have peace in our times.  And no, I'm not being sarcastic.  There was a strong school of thought that things would be better off by not rocking the boat.  There was also a strong argument that appeasement leads to worse things down the road.  The idea of preventing things from getting worse in Syria is a pipedream.  Or as we say in English, "that ship has sailed" or "the cow is already out of the barn".  The time to compromise on Assad being kept in power was years ago.  That option is no longer viable and is, I believe, only going to make things worse.

Plus,

So while I'm agreeing he is a mass murderer, he isn't genocidal yet. That can't be said of the forces that would fill up the void created when his regime would fall. Sometimes one needs to choose sides with a lesser evil against a larger evil. In WW2 nobody declared war on the Soviets when they annexed half of Poland and Stalin ordered the extermination of much of it's social elite.

I don't see a practical difference between state sponsored mass murder and state sponsored genocide.  I am saddened that you think there is.

The Soviet example is very poor.  One could make an argument that the lack of confrontation of the Soviet Union in 1939 led to 50 years of brutal repression after the war by the Soviet Union.  In my opinion, as someone who has studied the Eastern Front for 20+ years, I can make a strong case that if the West had not actively supported the Soviet Union that the end result would have been the end of Nazi Germany and a Soviet Union too weak to do much of anything in Europe.  It would have cost more lives of the Western nations and more time, but in the end Nazi Germany was doomed to failure and the Soviet Union benefited greatly by the West's supporting it.

My point here is that if you're focused on the short term, then there's a particular strategy to follow.  If you're focused on the long term, it's likely a different strategy one should be looking at.  I take the long view.

What do you think about the West (and other parties) supplying the rebels fighting Assad? While there might be a couple of decent folks between the rag tag bunch of rebels fighting Assad, it isn't clear to me whether the rebels (even without counting ISIS) are any less murderous then Assad? Would they not throw barrel bombs on Latakia if they had the chance? There are reports of use of chemical weapons by both the Regime and rebel forces. For me helping the Rebels is near the same page as helping Assad. It is a different page but i'm not sure whether it comes just before or after.

This is the fundamental problem with taking any side in the Middle East.  Unfortunately, there's also major problems with taking no side at all.  Better to bet on a group that might possibly be better than to bet on one that only a fool would think could improve the situation long term.

I'm not so sure about this. Let's say it is true, is that because the West feels it is morally wrong or because there hasn't been situations in which this mindset serves our interests best? We still support Egypt and Saudi Arabia. On the hypocrite scale we also weigh in heavily, as the the Khaddafi's were welcomed guests from Oxford to Paris to Rome, just before we no-fly zoned their ground forces into oblivion and (in)directly supported the creation of chaos in Libya like there is no Iraq. Ethically I too think the West is best to keep it quiet, if only due to the plethora of clandestine (signature) drone strikes in our 'War on Terror'. We manage to do this as 'fully' functioning democracies, opposed to Russia's current semi-democratic regime. 

Most of the support you speak of was before the Cold War ended.  There's the famous picture of Rumsfeld smiling and shaking Saddam's hand we can throw into the mix as well.  So yes, that is during the timeframe when "he's a bastard but he's our bastard" thinking was primary foreign policy in the West.  That's been changing and evolving.  Unfortunately it hasn't gone away (Saudi Arabia is a prime example), but there are other instances where it's been proven.  Egypt is a perfect example.  Mubarak was a major ally of the West in many ways.  What happened when he was under pressure at home?  The West did nothing to support him nor did they do anything overt to oppose his replacement, nor is it doing anything that can be seen as overtly friendly with the current regime.

Anyway, my point is that Russia is still pursuing the Cold War policy of supporting the worst of the worst, the West is trying not to most of the time.  I'll take a good policy that is imperfectly executed any day over a flawed policy that is expertly executed.

 

 

We're on the same page with regards to Russia's evil ways. I see Russia's leadership as a clique of dangerous power-hungry autocrats with Mafia aspirations. Now that I speak of those, Erdohan is moving in that direction too unfortunately I might add. 

I think ASL Vet put it well.  There is no political opposition because it has been deliberately eliminated.  Elections are rigged, positions are given away to those who benefit the regime instead of the people.  Whatever facade of representational government still exists in Russia is there only because it serves the regime's ability to retain power (i.e. pressure relief valve).  Turkey is not headed in a good direction either.

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't see a practical difference between state sponsored mass murder and state sponsored genocide.  I am saddened that you think there is.

Well that's not what I implicated, or at least not what I intended to. I see a practical difference in negotiating with Assad vs IS and a practical difference living under Assad vs living under IS. But more importantly I think that keeping Assad's regime until a new 'status quo' arrives will save a couple of hundred thousands of lives, if not millions, versus if Assad's regime falls before a new 'status quo' is entered. I'm not advocating he should be allowed another Presidency stint. Hope to see him stand (fair) trial one day, whether in Damascus or at the ICC.

I agree that is a position one can adopt and argue for in a debate.  One could also argue that by signing a piece of paper with Hitler one would have peace in our times.  And no, I'm not being sarcastic.  There was a strong school of thought that things would be better off by not rocking the boat.  There was also a strong argument that appeasement leads to worse things down the road.  The idea of preventing things from getting worse in Syria is a pipedream.  Or as we say in English, "that ship has sailed" or "the cow is already out of the barn".  The time to compromise on Assad being kept in power was years ago.  That option is no longer viable and is, I believe, only going to make things worse.

[...]

My point here is that if you're focused on the short term, then there's a particular strategy to follow.  If you're focused on the long term, it's likely a different strategy one should be looking at.  I take the long view.

[...]

This is the fundamental problem with taking any side in the Middle East.  Unfortunately, there's also major problems with taking no side at all.  Better to bet on a group that might possibly be better than to bet on one that only a fool would think could improve the situation long term.

From that point of view it seems I am taking the short view, although I'd rather see it as the helicopter view ;-). I could be wrong. However I don't want to find out what happens if Assad's regime falls. Perhaps that's shortsighted but that's what my mind has come up with as the best thing, based of the information available to me. Discussions with people originally from the area have probably influenced my opinion in no insignificant way.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...