Military-United States air force, in operations on the territory of the Russian Federation
Material posted: -Publication date: 25-12-2003

Recently a number of analytical centers of the administration and the defense Department has launched a review of scenarios associated with the possible collapse of Russia as a subject of international law. Commencement of works is due to the fact that, according to American military experts, to date Russia has not become a full-fledged democracy, and although it is still too early to belong to the category of "failed States", but the trend of recent months raises serious concern for the security of U.S. national interests in the region.

So, experts of the RAND Corporation in November 2002, during the Prague NATO summit were presented the results of a study of a possible negative development of the situation in Russia and the role of the air forces of the USA. The study was performed in the framework of the program "New challenges to the air forces of the United States" implemented by research Institute of air force of the RAND Corporation. The results are reflected in the RAND report MR-1442-AF "Assessing Russias Decline: Trends and Implications for the United States and the U. S. Air Force".

The RAND experts noted that recently there has been a serious deterioration in the political situation in Russia. In their view, this is due primarily to increasing centrifugal forces, which soon may lead to a territorial disintegration of the country. Fears of experts of the RAND and the catastrophic situation in the economy, which is fraught with severe technological disasters. There is no proper control over the nuclear Arsenal, and his steady aging, as well as the large number of unaccounted for radiological materials in both military and industrial. Broken control system of strategic nuclear forces that threatened unauthorized or mistaken launches. Control over tactical nuclear weapons are already partially lost, and in the future activation codes may become available for regional leaders, often not consonant with the Center. Sharply deteriorated state of health of the population, freedom of speech and human rights. Increasing racial, religious and ethnic intolerance. The rapidly increasing corruption at all levels of government, organized crime and the drug mafia. Completely destroyed and degraded the armed forces, as threatening to release them from under the control of the Kremlin in the event of a large-scale conflict. The presence of Russia's military doctrine paragraph about a possible preemptive use of nuclear weapons makes us believe that Russia due to its military and economic weakness may apply at the time of birth, even of a regional conflict. In this regard, it is noted that although the tendencies of situation development in the Russian Federation today cannot be called catastrophic, but the current situation raises serious concern of the military experts of the Pentagon about the possibility of uncontrolled developments in the political, economic, demographic and military spheres that threatens the loss of control by the Kremlin over nuclear, chemical and biological arsenals, as well as many times will increase the likelihood of major technological disasters at nuclear power and chemical production.

The RAND experts believe that these trends should be cause for concern not only for Russia itself but also for the United States, because they significantly increase instability in the region, which creates a direct threat to the vital interests of the United States and its allies. Thus especially emphasizes that threats emanating from modern Russia is several times more dangerous threats emerging from the Soviet Union, since their implementation in the context of the collapse of Russia is much more real than a large-scale confrontation with the USSR. RAND analysts remind that the territorial extent of Russia, its location, and nuclear Arsenal guarantee that this region of the planet will remain in the zone of vital interests of the United States for an indefinite period of time.

Given that the situation in Russia is directly or indirectly affecting the vital interests of the United States experts of the RAND do not exclude the possibility of using them for protection of American forces in the vicinity of Russia's borders and on its territory. In this situation, for the military experts of the Pentagon as much as possible it is important to evaluate the possible threat in order to ensure the ability to respond effectively and quickly. According to experts of the RAND, in the first decade of reforms in Russia, this region was not included in the area of responsibility none of the regional commands of the US army, and all decisions on the situation in Russia was taken at the level of the joint chiefs of staff. However, in recent months the situation has changed: the purpose of the operational analysis of the situation in the region it is planned to assign control over the situation in Russia in the European, Pacific and Central command.

Among the vital interests of the United States, the threat which may lead to the involvement of American troops in conflicts on the territory of Russia, experts of the RAND are the following:

  • the security of the European and Asian allies who have been directly affected by the consequences of negative events both in Russia itself and in the immediate vicinity of its borders;
  • safe and reliable export of energy resources from the Caspian basin;
  • the guarantee of nuclear safety and the prevention of any attempts (authorized or unauthorized) use of nuclear weapons;
  • prevention of leakage of components of weapons of mass destruction or their falling into the hands of terrorist groups;
  • alleviating mass suffering of the civilian population as a result of ethnic cleansing, rampant crime and drug mafia, absence of necessary medical care, hunger, etc.

With the aim of understanding the possible consequences and nature of the development situation in the region, analysts expect the RAND to the development of a number of scenarios in which to resolve the crisis the armed forces are used. In the case of attracting the U.S. army to resolve the crisis in Russia, the main efforts to ensure the operation will be assigned to the air force. Among the most likely scenarios are the following:

  • authorized or unauthorized by Kremlin actions of Russian military units in separate regions of the country, demanding independence from the Centre, or in the border regions resulted in the emergence and escalation of conflict;
  • border clashes with China in the Russian far East, between Russia and Ukraine, the Baltic States, Kazakhstan or any other state that could escalate into inter-state conflict;
  • the seizure by terrorists of nuclear weapons on the territory of Russia, or if stolen from the places of storage of nuclear materials threaten the security of Europe, Asia or the United States;
  • civil war in Russia, which may lead to the spread of the conflict to areas storing nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and agents, which would entail the risk of large-scale toxic and radioactive pollution, and humanitarian disasters;
  • emergency incident at the facility of nuclear power, which could endanger the life and health of a large number of the population in Russia and neighbouring States;
  • emergency incident at the facility of chemical or biological industry, which could endanger the life and health of a large number of the population in Russia and neighbouring States;
  • ethnic pogroms in South Russia, which could result in refugee flows to Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and/or Ukraine;
  • economic and ethnic conflicts in the Caucasus, which would endanger oil and gas pipelines in the region;
  • large-scale environmental disaster such as earthquake, famine or epidemics, which could result in refugee flows, which would lead to the spread of disease and instability abroad;
  • more and more kriminalzinas the Russian economy can contribute to the creation of a zone of favorable conditions for terrorist groups on Russian territory. From this perspective, criminals, drug traffickers and terrorists could threaten the population and economy of Europe, Asia and the United States;
  • large-scale theft of Russian weapons of mass destruction and their technologies, which could contribute to the rapid increase of military capabilities of rogue States and non-state terrorist organizations, increasing the risk of nuclear war.

RAND experts emphasize that successful management of the situation in case of realization of one or another scenario will depend largely on available information about the region. In this regard, it is noted that in recent years the majority of republics of the former USSR in the framework of the program "Partnership for peace" held a series of joint maneuvers with units of the U.S. army, which allowed to gather the necessary information about the airfield and infrastructure of these States that is required to apply the U.S. air force in times of crisis. However, currently, such information about Russia missing. This means that in times of crisis, the best U.S. response to events in Russia will consist in the use of airfields and facilities in neighboring Russia States, primarily in new NATO members and some countries of Central Asia.

The Pentagon's military analysts note that the post-11 September 2001 the situation gives some chance to improve relations with Russia, though this relationship is rather complex and must be built very carefully. In their opinion, it is well known that Russia and the United States have publicly recognized their unified view on a number of issues, particularly in the global fight against terrorism. However, the fact that these two countries, sharing a common goal, does not imply that they share and their ideas about how best to achieve the goal in the fight against terrorism. In addition, each country continues to have its own interests in foreign policy except global counter-terrorism operations, and in some cases, these interests may be far more important than the fight against terror.

Thus, according to experts , the RAND is fundamentally important, based on the current cooperation, to demonstrate Russia's good relations with it are key to U.S. foreign policy, and in the meantime you must use the situation to their advantage to better understand how the processes of destruction of Russia will affect U.S. national interests. The situation should be used to collect information that will be needed in the event of a military conflict on the territory of Russia or in the immediate vicinity, recognizing that a downturn in relations may limit further receipt of such data. Joint programmes on the Russian territory with Russian military and civilian organizations could ensure the collection of key information on Russian capabilities, facilities, infrastructure and geography, which is essential for the planning of response in crisis situations. Without this information, response actions more difficult.

The United States government, including the air force must be ready to resolve the crisis even in the case of the worst scenario in which relations with Russia are extremely limited. Even in such circumstances, and regardless of how relations between Washington and Moscow, the United States will have to protect their own interests, if they are to affect events in Russia or in contiguous areas.

Tags: Russia , USA , security , threat