While a report indicates that Moscow is preparing for a war against Washington, the U.S. military has done a check-up of its capabilities to wage a sustained battle against Russia. And well, the results of the check-up don’t bode well for America.
The U.S. has conducted a number of secret military drills over the summer, the result of which left defense officials and military forces worried that the county is not prepared for a sustained war against Russia, according to two defense officials.
In particular, the U.S. military attributes its unpreparedness to wage a war against Russia to the 15 years of counter terrorism warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan. The wars have depleted U.S. forces’ ability to maintain logistics and troops levels in case Russian President Vladimir Putin orders its forces to attack a NATO ally, the officials noted.
“Could we probably beat the Russians today [in a sustained battle]? Sure, but it would take everything we had,” one defense official told The Daily Beast. “What we are saying is that we are not as ready as we want to be.”
A secret exercises under the codename ‘TTX’ (tabletop exercise) revealed that the counter terrorism warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan brought down the U.S. forces’ ability to maintain a fight, according to the officials.
There has been an increasing number of top U.S. military officials calling Russia an ‘existential’ and the biggest threat to the U.S.
However, “[U.S. President Barack] Obama has failed to give a firm answer to Putin. He would rather let Europe tremble with fear, while the American economy doesn’t suffer from Russian counter-sanctions,” Ivan Nikiforov, Russian military expert, told ValueWalk. “While the George W. Bush administration needed to go to war to raise the prestige of the government, Obama dismisses a war against Russia as untimely.”
“With such an uncertain attitude toward Russia, the U.S. risks to find itself in a situation where it would have to decide to help or not to help its NATO allies in case of an invasion by Mr Putin. The main reason why Russian President would invade a NATO member is to see how the U.S. responds,” Nikiforov said.
But does the U.S. have what it takes to give a robust and powerful response? Not all officials in the Pentagon agree that it does, but what everyone agrees on is that Russia has nearly 4,000 nuclear weapons, the world’s third largest military budget and Putin, who is notorious for his unpredictability and growing appetite for gaining more territories.
And while it’s not all that catastrophically bad with the U.S. military, problems exist – and there are many of them. For example, in case of a sudden military attack from Russia on American soil, the U.S. military wouldn’t have much time to withdraw its best-trained fighter pilots from other conflict zones to counter the attack.
Besides, there is a severe problem with maintenance abilities of U.S. fighter jets. The same thing goes for surveillance drones – they would have to be drawn from other parts of the world.
And the thing is that the U.S. cannot even draw its jets, drones and other advanced military equipment from other conflict zones to prepare for a possible Russian invasion, as the U.S. would risk losing its dominant positions in those conflict zones.
“Against an adversary like Russia, we can’t take the kind of air dominance we’ve had in conflicts since 9/11 for granted,” a defense official told The Daily Beast. “Any conflict of significant magnitude against an adversary like Russia means we’d need to commit airmen and resources that are now operating in other parts of the world at a rate that minimizes their ability to train for that kind of fight.”
He also added that while the U.S. would be able to provide the airpower sufficient to prevail in air, the current state of U.S. air forces “definitely doesn’t make that a sure bet.”
As for the nuclear capabilities of the U.S., it’s not that premium-class either. In the book titled 'Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety', American historian Eric Schlosser wrote that U.S. main nuclear bomber has not been replaced nor modernized since the ‘60s, while the main land-based missile, which is still in the nuclear arsenal today, should have been replaced in the early ‘80s.
Odierno also warned that only a third of U.S. army brigades are capable to sustain a military conflict against Russia. He added that he does not believe the government will be able to increase those numbers to at least 60 percent for the next few years.
According to U.S. officials, the number of U.S. troops deployed to Europe is around 31,000 with some extra troops that have been deployed after Russia had invaded Ukraine.
As a comparison, during the coldest period of the Cold War, there were nearly 250,000 U.S. troops stationed in Europe.
Odierno also said it’s “dangerous” if the Congress enacts the across-the-board budget cuts, which would decrease the number of U.S. soldiers from 450,000 to 420,000, making it the smallest U.S. ground force since the end of World War 2.
The Pentagon will send 12 attack planes and crews to Central and Eastern Europe in a bid to bolster NATO’s “Operation Atlantic Resolve,” an ongoing show of military might meant to deter Russia’s imaginary “aggression” in the region, US media reported on Friday.
The Air Force announced this week it would deploy more A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft, also known as “Warthogs,” to Europe after lawmakers rejected the argument that the antiquated attack jet should be retired.
America’s much-touted fifth generation F-35 fighter jet is so bad it would be a sitting duck even for Russia’s MiG-21, designed back in the 1950s, famed US aerospace engineer Pierre Sprey told Russian media on Friday.
“The F-35 is so bad it is absolutely hopeless when pitted against modern aircraft. In fact, it would be ripped to shreds even by the antiquated MiG-21,” Sprey told RT, commenting on a recent expert report, which dismissed the F-35 project as a total failure.
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, described by US media as “a pure gold plane” for its exorbitant price tag, would find itself helpless in a dogfight with Russia’s fourth-generation Su-27 and MiG-29 jets, Pierre Sprey said.
“The Su-27 and even the MiG-29 have bigger wing space, more powerful engines and carry more air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons… That’s why the F-35 will be totally helpless against both because when you confront a plane, which is more maneuverable, accelerates faster and is better armed then you are in trouble,” he added.
Few people are as qualified to speak about fighter aircraft as Pierre Sprey. He is the co-designer of the F-16 Falcon jet and the A-10 Warthog tank buster, two of the most successful aircraft in the US Air Force.
In a report titled “Thunder Without Lightning: High Cost and Limited Benefit Development Program of F-35” and released by US non-profit organization National Security Network, analyst Bill French wrote that, according to the technical parameters, the F-35 is “losing to the fourth-generation fighter MiG-29 and Su-27, developed by the Russian Air Force and used around the world.”
“The F-35 is significantly inferior to the Russian Su-27 and MiG-29 in regard to wing loading (exception — F35C), acceleration and thrust-weight ratio (the ratio of thrust to weight of the aircraft),” said the analyst.
According to him, despite the superiority of the F-35 with regard to stealth technology and avionics, if compared to the Su-27 and MiG-29 the loss ratio is to be expected at 3:1. That is, for each destroyed Su-27 or MiG-29 there would be three F-35 destroyed.
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