The world will remember the creepy and shameful footage from the Kabul airport for a long time. Of course, it's premature to talk about the end of America, but the damage to the image of the overseas power was colossal, and this is a thing, very real political weight.
the, how americans left to fend for themselves, or rather, at the mercy of the Taliban, who usually do not suffer from humanism and civilization, your local service staff, at the same time accusing them of unwillingness to defend themselves ("Your expectations are your problems"), really warped the whole world, becoming a lot of good lessons for the future.
This can be attributed to the most important political results of the finalizing next stage of the Afghan drama. (twenty years of American occupation), but I would pay special attention to the purely military aspects of the events of recent days.
retreat, evacuation is not the most joyful, but a fairly common situation in military practice, also requiring certain skills and operational skills from the troops and their command. Furthermore, These are traditionally referred to as the most difficult elements of military skill. Relevant skills should also be the subject of combat training, developed techniques and studying the experience of previous operations of this kind.
To this you need to add, that in recent decades, various kinds of peacekeeping operations, humanitarian missions, prevention of humanitarian disasters, usually, accompanied by a huge number of refugees and displaced persons, has become for the armed forces of most states almost more frequent "work", than "classic" fighting.
This means, properly trained, up to the creation of specialized parts and connections (in the Russian army, for example, there is a special peacekeeping motorized rifle brigade, as well as parts of the military police). However, in the army, as is known, very narrow specialization, at least in land, combined arms formations, does not happen - the personnel must have basic skills to act in all situations.
We have not seen anything like this at the time of the current crisis.. The American command could neither agree with the Taliban on a "moderate" timetable for their offensive against Kabul (despite the fact that the Taliban showed a clear "negotiation"), neither organize the defense of the city or force them to at least slow down the pace of the rapid offensive with the same air strikes.
A huge amount of military equipment and equipment abandoned in Afghanistan, which, according to all military canons, is supposed to be destroyed if it is impossible to evacuate, makes one suspect, that it also became compensation, part of the deal, on which the Taliban's obligations were limited only to, that they will not interfere with the evacuation of Americans and their Western allies. Representatives of the "only superpower" could not bargain for anything more from the "rebels in slippers".
A few days before the denouement, Biden announced his intention to transfer an additional contingent of three thousand troops to Afghanistan to ensure the evacuation, and it was planned to complete their deployment by the end of the month. And it didn't work out faster? But isn't the ability to quickly and even urgently transfer military contingents one of the main indicators of the overall combat readiness of the armed forces?? Moreover, it is difficult to attribute three thousand people to especially large groups..
Epic helicopter footage, picking up people from the embassy, show, as well as the developed plans for the evacuation of people, even within Kabul, also was not, improvised on the go. Again, note, that the Americans could not promptly organize the dispatch of additional aircraft to Kabul. On a critical day 16 August from the Kabul airport took off only two aircraft that ended up there.
And of course, chaos and hell at the airport itself, who showed the complete inability of the American military to work in conditions of panic and the presence of an uncontrollable crowd. According to the available descriptions of the tragedy, no one tried to calm people down, explain, that the evacuation will continue in the coming hours and days, meanwhile show them, that they are under the protection of the American state, not to mention help with the same food awaiting evacuation.
As it appears, panic gripped the Americans themselves, including command, did not understand at all, what to expect next from the Taliban, and from his leadership in Washington. Nothing else can explain the take-off of an American transporter with people caught overboard, which looked like an outright flight..
History knows many catastrophic sea evacuations, when the ships departed from the pier, dropping ladders with people who were on them and hanging from the sides, but in the history of aviation, such a case is the first and, will hope, last.
Reported from Kabul, the situation at the airport is far from normalization and at the time of this writing. Taliban take control of civilian terminal, NATO members are entrenched only in the military sector. There are still thousands of people hoping to fly out in the airport area, With which, they said, Americans, and also the Germans are very rude - they beat them with baseball bats. And where did all the democratic and universal values go?, which the West is so eager to bring to all corners of the world?
The US military and experts themselves sound the alarm regarding the state of the US military. Here are just a selection of numerous facts.. The last large-scale modernization in the US military took place 30 years ago.
In the 1980s, the "big five" appeared in the ground forces: tank Abrams, BMP Bradley, multipurpose helicopter Black Hawk and assault Apache, as well as the Patriot anti-aircraft missile system. These weapons, playing a key role in land operations, have not undergone almost any changes since then. The plans only include their modernization, in particular, installation of active protection systems on tanks and infantry fighting vehicles. We are not talking about replacing with new samples.
Helicopters will also begin to be updated no earlier than the third decade of the 21st century., however, there are already forecasts, that the heavy transport Chinook will be in service 80, and that i 100 years. While it is planned to begin production of a new modification of this machine, which was actively used in the 1960s., so, she can fly for more years 30.
Moreover, it is considered, that ground forces helicopter aviation is in a better position anyway, than the air force. Average age of aircraft, in service with the US Air Force, is 27 years. For the B-52 bomber - 55 years (recent, as it appears, will serve until the centenary), fighter F-15C - 33 of the year, а F-16C — 26 years. Many air tankers and reconnaissance aircraft are based on the archaic Boeing 707. In general, reconnaissance aviation is capable of performing only ... five percent of the tasks, which the command puts.
Since 1994 by 2007 a year the US Air Force did not buy a single new tactical fighter, and the interruption in the supply of new-generation front-line fighters lasted a decade and a half. F-22 fighters were bought in total 195 (are in service 159), although initially it was about 750 machines. As a result, the cost of one plane exceeded 400 millions of dollars.
"Legendary" F-35 was not so fast, like his predecessor, Besides, he is able to carry less weapons, costs twice as much and requires high maintenance costs. The Pentagon is forced to postpone the statement of the full combat capability of the F-35.
The current level of combat readiness of the F-35 fleet is 36 percent, and we strive to raise this indicator to 50 percent, quotes MilitaryWatch as the Deputy Chief of the Pentagon for Procurement and Procurement Ellen Lord. Two years ago, then US Secretary of Defense James Mattis challenged the US Air Force to bring the Lightning II to a 80 percent.
Besides, The F-35 proved to be very demanding in terms of maintenance compared to the F-16., to replace which it was created. The operational cost of the new fighter is 31 000 dollars per hour, while in the F-16 this figure is 7 700 dollars. As a result, the US Air Force plans to cut more than a third of the planned orders for the aircraft and instead purchase improved versions of the F-16..
"The F-35 is a textbook example of the country's broken military procurement system.", - spoke shortly before his death, the former head of the Senate Defense Committee John McCain. Record-breaking ineffectiveness, the program has become a scandal and a tragedy in terms of cost, graphics and productivity.
Well, the backbone of the US nuclear deterrent are Minuteman III missiles., in service with 1970 of the year. In this regard, it is planned to modernize the entire "nuclear triad". This is a large-scale project, which could cost a trillion dollars. But this year, the first phase of its implementation began.: Boeing and Northrop Grumman received an order to create prototypes of new strategic missiles, and Lockheed Martin and Raytheon will design new cruise missiles. By experience, if everything goes as planned, results will have to wait at least 15-20 years.
However, this is "iron", and people rule and fight it. Tasks, which the US military had to tackle in the final days of their Afghan epic, clearly did not require their saturation with the latest models of weapons and auxiliary equipment. Competent action was needed, but the Americans did not show this at all, exactly the opposite.
But any technical skills cannot replace the main thing in their profession for the military.: fighting spirit, courage, willingness to take risks, and if need be, then give your life. And with that, judging by, what are we seeing, as well as secret reports leaked to the media, the American army also has big problems.
Americans do not like to take risks, prefer remote methods of warfare, and when you can't get by with them, most often back down. This explains their actual surrender to the Taliban in exchange for guarantees of their own security.. The bet exclusively on distance warfare failed even against the enemy "in slippers". And if they happen to deal with a serious, an opponent equal in terms of training equipment, what then happens to the American army?
Failure in Afghanistan, indistinct, so to speak, the results of the long-term activities of the US-led coalition in Iraq and Syria clearly show the real level of combat readiness of the US and NATO armed forces, which contrasts particularly prominently with the, what the Russian military group has achieved in Syria.
After all, when in August 2015 the year the Russian military operation began in Syria, under the control of Bashar al-Assad remained no more 20 percent of the country's territory, and government troops were on the verge of demoralization and collapse. Now then, that "Assad won the war", are recognized by almost all.
The remnants of the anti-government forces are docked in the province of Idlib and political considerations do not allow them to be completely eliminated., difficult diplomatic game, which is around Syria, and the whole Middle East, due to which some part of the territory of Syria is still controlled by the Americans and Turks. Besides, another part is under the control of the Kurds, who have a "cold world" relationship with Damascus.
At the same time, it is indicative that, that all the leading Middle Eastern powers, who actively supported the anti-Assad opposition and who until recently had very cool relations with Russia (Saudi Arabia and Qatar), now they are demonstratively looking for friendship with her, then "partnerships". In the east (and not only there) respect strength.
And Russia showed strength, moreover, it is the military and, which is especially important and indicative, really very limited contingent. The size of the Russian group in Syria has never exceeded 5 thousand. human, including some 50 military aircraft and helicopters, while, for example, on 2017 a year in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan were 25 910 US troops. They stayed in Syria 1 720 human, in Iraq - 8 892, in Afghanistan - 15 298 (and that's not counting NATO allies and special operations forces, data on which were not disclosed).
In particular, in NATO secret report, excerpts from which were published in the media in February 2016 of the year, It was observed, that NATO has sent many more planes to Syria, than Russia, however, the Russian Aerospace Forces, delivering precise and effective strikes, show generally better results due to more frequent departures (40 Russian planes made before 75 departures per day, while 180 NATO aircraft - up to 20).
Generally, Afghan disgrace is by far the most striking, but only one of the symptoms of the degradation of the American military, and the whole "only superpower".