Do not believe a word you have heard from the Pentagon and the White House about the "success" of the cruise missile strikes on Friday last. A fraud is being perpetrated on the American people and the world at large.
The second issue concerns the imagined success of the U.S. TLAM strike. Before General Mattis (retired) approached the podium Friday night, he knew full well that a significant number of the inbound missiles had been shot down inside Syria. That is why Mattis closed his press conference with the following comment: Based on recent experience, we fully expect a significant disinformation campaign over the coming days by those who have aligned themselves with the Assad regime. Give the old boy his due. He was inoculating the ridiculous operation against legitimate criticism by simply being able to point out that any information contrary to what the Pentagon said was "propaganda." Of course, the enlisted and officers that staff the CAOC know differently. The Russians and Syrians were not lying when they claimed to have downed more than 70 of the U.S., UK and French missiles. I understand the reluctance of the U.S. military leaders to admit the truth about this debacle. It would undermine the confidence of the American people is our supposedly invincible weapon systems and would embarrass and enrage the man child that inhabits the White House. Better to tell him lies and let him believe the fantasy.
A friend of mine who has expertise in these matters wrote me: Any air defense engineer with a security clearance that isn't lying through his teeth will admit that Russia's air defense technology surpassed us in the 1950's and we've never been able to catch up. The systems thy have in place surrounding Moscow make our Patriot 3's look like fucking nerf guns.Finally there is the matter of the Russians as a second rate military masquerading as a world power. Another friend who has spoken with military commanders in the CENTCOM AOR told me: All of the knowledgeable aircraft commanders are usually scared shitless about the prospect of a legitimate air-to-air skirmish with a SU-30 or any Russian air superiority fighter.But that is not what blowhards, like retired General Jack Keane, believe:
General Keane is confusing restraint with weakness and incompetence. That is a dangerous and potentially deadly error to make.
UPDATE: A little bit of "meat" from Russia's MOD and it is becoming more clear now that Syria's AD worked highly professionally and effectively.
As many as 112 surface-to-air missiles, including 25 Pansir missiles, were used by Syria’s air defense forces to repel the strike delivered by the United States, France and the United Kingdom, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said. "A total of 112 surface-to-air guided missiles were used to repel the strike," he said, adding that 23 out of 25 missiles fired from the Pansir-S1 system had hit their targets."Twenty-nine missile were fired from the Buk system, with 24 of them hitting targets. Eleven missiles were fired from the Osa system. Five of them hit the targets. Thirteen missiles were fired from the S-125 system, five hit the targets. Five missiles were fired from the Strela-10 system, three hit the targets, Twenty-one missiles were fired from the Kvadrat system, eleven hit the targets. Eight missiles were fired from the S-200 systems, none hit the targets," he said, adding that such poor performance of the S-200 system could be explained by the fact that it was meant to hit aircraft. Moreover, in his words, a missile fire from this system hit a fighter jet of one of the neighboring countries not long ago.