Friday, May 5, 2023


No, I don't use this term as a description of work-out but as the the description of literary primer, the opening of some topic by means of using the matter from which to "push it away". Usually, as you all noticed, it is a piece of shitty incompetent "journalism" and those word-smiths primarily, but not exclusively, from the Western media. Here is an example--David Axe, who passes in the US for "military expert", makes recently this admission in his butt-hurt, a euphemism for lament, piece about the USAF leaving Taiwan.

The math has been brutal for the world’s biggest air force, which today operates around 5,200 aircraft of all types. That’s 1,300 more aircraft than the Russian air force has, and 3,200 more than the PLAAF has. The Russian air force is tied up, and losing planes fast, in Russia’s war on Ukraine. But the Chinese air force has all its strength available for a possible attack on Taiwan, and is adding hundreds of new planes every year. Meanwhile, the USAF is retiring many aircraft and pulling others out of the Western Pacific, increasingly letting the local airpower balance tip towards China. The aircraft the USAF plans to cut completely in just the next few years include the A-10 Thunderbolt II attack jet (aka the “Warthog”) and the F-15C/D Eagle air-superiority fighter, generally seen as the best fighter in the world in the pre-Stealth era. Some 260 Warthogs and 220 Eagles will go to the boneyard. The USAF also plans to lose roughly 100 of its 220 powerful F-15E Strike Eagle fighter-bombers, and even 30 of its 180 F-22 Raptor stealth superfighters, currently the last word in fighter technology.

Obviously, David Axe is no military "expert" and he wouldn't be able to calculate even basic required force for bombing the mime school or accordion factory in Iraqi desert, but he gets around and rubs shoulders with all kinds of people who have a clue and highlighted in yellow is this proverbial push-away.   

For years, the USAF boasted that it was the bestest, the largest, the super-duperiest Air Force in the world and for anyone stuck in the data from even four years ago, like me, it was a discovery to see a collapse in the making. I knew it was, but this:

This is called a collapse in the making. We, certainly, all knew that there have been huge issues with combat readiness in USAF, but the dynamics of dwindling numbers is rather socking. Axe's lament served as a good stimulus for me to get into the actual numbers--a classic push-away.  And the reason for me to push-away from Axe's piece which now provides us with numbers of USAF is this delirium from neocon infested Newsweek:

Will Putin Unleash Russia's Colossal Air Force on Ukraine?

As we all know, Newsweek is a propaganda outlet and most of those who write anything here on geopolitical and military matters are, even if they are, sometimes, cadre NATO officers, are propagandists and not serious military professionals. And here is the catch in this piece:

Russia's Air Force may have performed poorly at the start of the war in Ukraine, but intelligence leaks last month showed United States nerves about the prospect of Vladimir Putin returning to the sky to change what's happening on the ground. The Pentagon document dated February 28 said that missiles for Soviet-era S-300 and Buk air defense mid to long-range systems, which Ukraine relied on early on to target aircraft, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles, could be fully depleted by this month. Ukrainian air defense has been weakened by Moscow's constant attacks on infrastructure with cruise missiles launched from within Russian territory and barrages of Iranian-made kamikaze drones.

Obviously, it is written by some uneducated ignoramus Brendan Kole, who continues o repeat a debunked BS about "Iranian-made drones", aka loitering munitions, but since when did the RuAF become "colossal"? For decades Pentagon and Western media loved to talk about dwindling numbers of RuAF and its backwardness. And suddenly--bang--it is "colossal" now and US military dude is saying this:

The Russians "have an almost overwhelming level of air superiority they have not introduced into the war yet," Dale Buckner, CEO of international security firm Global Guardian, told Newsweek. "Russia has in reserve a very large fleet 10 times" that of Ukraine. He said that the Mikoyan Mig-35, the Sukhoi SU-35 and the Sukhoi SU-57 are part of a modern kit "that could decimate that counteroffensive" if it included large columns of Ukrainian tanks and armored personnel vehicles without adequate air coverage. "So there's a real tactical risk on the ground for the Ukrainians if they don't have proper air defense and if they don't have multiple layers of air defense," Buckner added, referring to how different types of weapons intercept aircraft and missiles flying at different altitudes.

What happened? Let me explain. In February 2023 issue of Voennaya Mysl (Military Thought) magazine of Russian Academy of Military Sciences, the article by three senior active and retired officers of RuAF titled 

Применение ударной авиации Воздушно-космических сил в военных конфликтах будущего.  

Translation. The Use of the STRIKE aviation of VKS in the Military Conflicts of the Future. 

In it, authors, indeed, point out difficulty of using STRIKE aviation of VKS to the "operational depth". And here comes this clarifier--RuAF actually performed very well in SMO, when one considers a real AD and, initially, Ukie AF being something USAF never encountered in its history since WW II. Not only he US is NOT a competitor to Russia on the ground, but in terms of operational tempo, not to mention the use of high-precision stand-off weapons, especially cruise missiles--the US is not even in the same league. It is not even a contest, which many US pilots begin to admit openly. 

Former F-16 pilot says he would not want to fly missions over Ukraine right now, arguing 'there is no fighting chance'

Let me repeat: it is NOT just about the hardware. F-15, F-16, F-35, F-22--makes NO difference whatsoever for Russian VKS. It is the fact that Russian SEAD and rational use of the strike aviation in a highly dense AD and EW environments is something that NO USAF pilot ever encountered even in Vietnam, despite losing there 10,000 aircraft, 7,500 helis and 2,500 fixed wings, with 800 of them being shot down by Soviet air defense complexes. But, in the end, it is not just the "new kit" which Russians fly--it is an operational tempo which RuAF was able to sustain for 14 months now. 

And do not forget Syria still. F-35 and F-22 being "hangar queens" wouldn't be able to sustain this tempo. But in the end, RuAF is not "colossal"--it is still smaller than USAF, at least on paper. What bothers Pentagon and all kinds of fanboys from Western MSM is the fact which they cannot hide--VERY LIGHT losses of Russian combat aircraft in AD and EW environment packed with NATO and still relevant Soviet/Russian technology on the VSU's side. This, they cannot cope with. As well as with the fact that RuAF airfields are covered with immensely effective air-defenses, while it is a well known fact that any NATO airfield will be penetrated by the salvos of Russian stand-off weapons and NATO has nearly nothing to counter that. Quoting, again, RAND's big Air Force honcho David Ochmanek in 2019:   

We lose a lot of people. We lose a lot of equipment. We usually fail to achieve our objective of preventing aggression by the adversary,” RAND analyst David Ochmanek told a security conference on Thursday. “In our games, when we fight Russia and China, blue gets its ass handed to it.”

But if this statement was based on suppositions and war-gaming, today we can see it all applied in practice which makes whole US doctrine of airwar simply obsolete. And this, they cannot take without feeling an excruciating pain from both losing and evaporation of the US military mythology. As for me, I will go on a limb here and say that RuAF's sortie count by now, probably, reached above 200,000 and it will grow now faster since Ukie AD was indeed degraded dramatically as a result of RuAF SEAD operations. 

Not too shabby for the country with the size of economy that of Italy, wink, wink. In the end--it is quality and ability to achieve operational and strategic objectives which counts. Tactics? Leave it to the graduates of the Top Gun: Maverick school of the advanced air power studies. I would say, this was good push-away, right?

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