Tom Rogan of Washington Examiner is a typical product of Western so called humanities "education" (that means no education or applicable skills), who, quite expectedly ended up as a "political journalist"--a euphemism for people who otherwise wouldn't be employable in any serious capacity in any serious field. He has some BS (yes, this abbreviation seems proper in this case) degree in War Studies--an eclectic mix of military-related non-operational and non-technological courses and as a result parading himself a complete fool and ignoramus.
Tom Rogan is hurt, badly. He needs to vent his (negative) emotions by means of some pseudo-strategic and pseudo-technological psychobabble in his piece in Washington Examiner. He laments:
Russia retains growing capability in boutique war-fighting areas. That said, Russian President Vladimir Putin's newest missile system is designed to grab American attention far more than it is to advance Russia's nuclear destructive capability.I note this in light of Russia's apparently successful Avangard hypersonic weapons test on Wednesday. The Avangard is a hypersonic warhead re-entry vehicle that is designed to outpace and outmaneuver U.S. missile defense systems. Announcing that the Avangard will now be deployed with frontline units, Putin pledged that U.S. missile defense systems are now impotent. That's because the Avangard would supposedly allow nuclear warhead re-entry vehicles to escape any kind of U.S. interceptor vehicle. The extension of Putin's confidence is that Russia can now match or overmatch the U.S. in a full-scale nuclear conflict.
A term "boutique" by Rogan is a very good indicator of Rogan's irritation, most likely with his own ignorance, because should have Rogan had a real education in military, which includes studying a whole spectrum of extremely complex precise science and technological disciplines (many courses with Top Secret and above classifications) and the way those translate into tactics, operational art, strategy and doctrinal development, he would have known that hyper-sonic weapons far from being boutique are fast, and inevitably, becoming a mainstay of modern warfare and are specifically designed and employed to defeat legacy systems which 20+ years ago were declared, wrongly, a foundation of a Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA).
There is some mentioning in Rogan's background of some study of "military history" and if he really studied it, however on a pop-culture level, he should have known the great Briton, when Great Britain was still a respected power, not a joke it is today, Arnold Toynbee's dictum:
“In our human military history the analogue of the biological competition between the tiny soft-furred Mammal and the massive armored Reptile is the saga of the duel between David and Goliath; and if take this legendary Syriac combat as our starting point, we shall find the same drama acted and re-performed in a continuous series of matches between new fangled and old-fashioned military techniques.”
But judging by today's level of education of Western "elites" I wouldn't expect knowledge from them, including in the field of military history, which long ago turned in the West into a field of competing fairy tale narratives. Many people (yours truly included) warned about new emerging paradigm in weaponry for years with Avangard being just one of many of them capable to bypass any existing and perspective defenses thus dramatically altering both geopolitical and military balance globally. But, of course, those who dared to point out the passing of the age of aircraft-carriers, "Stealth" as a panacea, or of, in general, Western outdated view on the warfare were ignored, mocked and laughed at. Well, here we are today. But Rogan doesn't stop here, he continues to parade his complete detachment from military reality:
But Putin is only half right. While the Avangard is an impressive program that outmatches any hypersonic system in the U.S. military, Russian nuclear targeting, logistics, and strike capabilities remain inferior to America's (although the targeting element is improving). That's largely because Russian fleet ballistic missile submarines are too loud, Russian strategic bomber aircraft are too old, and Russian military professionalism is too unpredictable. In turn, the U.S. would likely be victorious in a nuclear war with Russia, even if the costs of that war to the U.S. civilian population would be utterly horrific.
I don't know who Rogan talks to on such issues, but he obviously has no idea what targeting is and how it is provided. If he talks about, I assume, Circular Error Probable (CEP) of Russia's newest strategic weapons he should know that latest of them are very competitive; in fact latest missiles, such as RS-28 Sarmat, provide accuracy which is vastly superior to US main SLBM Trident II, it is 10 meters against 90 respectively. This is what called a full counter-force capability. But, of course, Rogan never heard about it. He obviously doesn't get another crucial fact that Russia solved issues of control (comm, correction, updates, target acquisition) for a whole host of hyper-sonic weapons, be it said strategic Avangard or 3M22 Zircon, or Kinzhal. This is a rather overwhelming proof of a great technological superiority in what Rogan defines as "nuclear targeting, logistics". But he doesn't stop here and continues to throw tantrum by simply inventing things--a defining feature of modern, still residing in a tender teenage phase, British and US "elites".
Rogan goes for jugular and provides an astonishingly stupid bravado:
1. That's largely because Russian fleet ballistic missile submarines are too loud (c). Obviously it will be difficult to explain to our "expert" Rogan what is hydrology and how sound propagates depending on the Diagram of the Vertical Propagation Speed of Sound in Water (in Russian it is VRSZ). This may have explained to Rogan how Soviet submarines did some really incredible things in 1970s in the times when it was universally agreed upon that they were inferior in terms of quieting to US subs. Well, it is 2018. But let us remind Mr.Rogan what Norman Polmar and Jurien Noot, both top notch naval analysts, thought about Soviet submarines in 1990s.
Polmar's and Noot's predictions panned out completely--the fleet of Russian strategic missile submarines be it good ol' Delta IVs, let alone Borey-class SSBNs are not only on par but superior to NATO SSBNs in terms of quieting. But it will take a really long time to explain to Tom Rogan some things related to operations of strategic missile submarines and the way they are protected.
2. Russian military professionalism is too unpredictable.(c) Unlike Rogan who never served a day in any position where decisions have consequences for many people, I did, I also knew personally and was privileged to study in my naval academy under command of its superintendent Vice-Admiral Arkhipov, a man universally credited with preventing a nuclear war between USSR and the US. Sure, so much "unpredictable" (whatever that means) about Russian "professionalism", that it is Russia who is today responsible for keeping the world from sliding into the global war thanks to delusions and incompetence of Western elites who are on the same level of incompetence in military affairs as Rogan is.
3. Discussion of a sheer idiocy of Rogan's statement on Russian strategic bombers is a waste of time.
The rest of his piece is a butt-hurt lament and continuation of inventing bizarre things which are not even there, but the fact that this boy even decides to discuss American "victory" in the nuclear exchange with Russia is another, tangible, proof of a complete corruption and incompetence of Anglo-American media, who are responsible for fanning the flames of anti-Russian hysteria in the West, the likes which history simply has no record of, other than Nazi Germany dehumanizing Soviet people prior to operation Barbarossa unfolding in June of 1941. But I am sure they taught this in Rogan's "military history" classes, together with theory of operations, modern sensors, operational art and physical and mathematical principles on which modern weapons operate. But, seriously, Tom Rogan, being out of his depth completely, should really find himself a more appropriate for his level employment in some local newspaper editing obituaries and For Sale section. Or, maybe dedicate himself to a career of Traffic Accidents lawyer, after all, he did obtain degree in law--I think he should try practice it and leave military and geopolitical analysis to real professionals.