Russia's Stand-Off Capability: The 800 Pound Gorilla in Syria

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Russia's Stand-Off Capability: The 800 Pound Gorilla in Syria

Message  Vivre Enrussie le Sam 30 Sep 2017 - 11:58

Russia's Stand-Off Capability: The 800 Pound Gorilla in Syria
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But here is the problem for the US: Russia can take this hypothetical conventional conflict well beyond Syria any time it wants and I am not talking about other strategic theaters, such as Ukraine, where Russia can “compensate” for a hypothetical “defeat” in Syria. The reason for this is purely technological—Russia can go tit-for-tat conventionally in Syria and anywhere in the Middle East. In fact, the Russian military has in its possession the most advanced arsenal of High Precision stand-off weapons which have been demonstrated in action for the whole world to see.
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Yesterday, in the wake of the death of Lieutenant General Asapov in Syria, allegedly with some “help” from the so called Coalition in the vicinity of the liberated Deir-ez-Zor, Russia’s strategic aviation launched long-range stealthy X-101 cruise missiles at ISIS targets in Syria. There is nothing new now in Russia’s using 5,500+ kilometer range cruise missile, nor is there news any more for the Russian Navy being able to launch 2,500+ kilometer range 3M14 of Kalibr family from anywhere in the Eastern Mediterranean or the Caspian Sea. These are ranges which are simply beyond the reach of any stand-off weapon in US arsenal with Tomahawk TLAM-A Block II having the maximum range of around 2,500 kilometers while TLAM Block IV, currently being most produced variety, having the range of 1,600 kilometers.
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Range gives an unprecedented operational flexibility and yesterday’s launch from Russian Tu-95 Bears strategic bombers had a very serious message—not in terms of X-101′s range, even longer range cruise missiles are getting ready for procurement, with ranges in 10,000 kilometers vicinity. The message was in the fact that missiles were launched from Iranian and Iraqi aerospace. They didn’t have to do so, this could have been easily done from the area of the Caspian Sea. But Bears launched while being escorted in Iranian aerospace by Su-30s and Su-35s of Russian Air Space Forces and that, apart from obvious hint at Russian full capability to reach any US ground asset in the area, provided some ominous signs.
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But that also opens another serious operational possibility in case of a real conventional conflict in the area between Russia and the US—a scenario Neocons, due to their military illiteracy and overall detachment from the strategic reality, are dreaming about. Putting inevitable emotions aside and looking at the factual side of things, Russia’s Military Doctrine since 2010, reaffirmed in 2014 Edition, views the use of stand-off High Precision as a key in strategic force containment, as Article 26 of a doctrine clearly states. Russia doesn’t want war with the US, but if push comes to shove Russia is totally capable of not only reaching US ground assets, such as CENTCOM’s Qatar forward installation but, what is even more significant, also the naval ones in the Persian Gulf.
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No ship, no Carrier Battle Group will be able to enter this area in case of a conventional conflict with Russia in Syria—the strategic ramifications of this are enormous. Even the salvo of 3M14s from Caspian Sea on October 7, 2015 made such an impression that USS Theodore Roosevelt and her CBG almost immediately left the Gulf.
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The Russian military contingent in Syria is not just some military base—it is the force tightly integrated with Russian Armed Forces that have enough reach and capability to make anyone face some extremely unpleasant choices, including the fact that it is Russia, not the US, who controls escalation to a threshold and that can explain a non-stop anti-Russian hysteria in US media since the outcome of the war in Syria became clear. Let us only hope that all described above remains merely speculation and has no basis in real life—if those scenarios do not become reality, it is all for the better.

http://www.unz.com/article/russia-the-800-pound-gorilla/

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