I've been trying to sort fact from fiction regarding Russian involvement in Syria. Without relying on disinfo from Ruslan Liviev and Bellingcat! The most egregious propaganda contains a mere grain of truth surrounded by a mass of lies. That, in my opinion, fit most of the reports concerning Russian involvement in Syria. I seem to be nearly alone, except for Saker, in trying to be rational and not disseminate propaganda. Finally and it pleases me to no end, I've found something that makes sense to me!
A2/AD:First time I had heard of this concept. Not sure if other readers are aware of the A2/AD strategy, but, when I read about it, let's say, the light bulb went on! Below is a very brief explanation to the question, just what is A2/AD?
"Anti-access and area denial are modern terms referring to war-fighting strategies focused on preventing an opponent from operating military forces near, into or within a contested region.
Along with the obvious military aspects, anti-access strategies include political, diplomatic and economic tactics.
Denying access to an enemy is a natural objective for any defender and should be considered an integral component of any military campaign. However, the terms anti-access and area denial—as currently used—are specifically meant to denote a strategic approach intended to defend against an opponent that is judged to be of superior strength or skill in overall combat operations.
If the opponent is allowed to use this superior strength or skill, it is feared that the defender would likely be defeated at the point of contact. Therefore, the objective of an anti-access or area denial strategy is to prevent the attacker from bringing its operationally superior force into the contested region, or to prevent the attacker from freely operating within the region and maximizing its combat power. The uniqueness of the anti-access approach is that it is specifically designed to prevent regional access against an out-of-area global power that the defender cannot otherwise defeat"Hoping that explains A2/AD in a succinct manner?
A2/AD Bubble over Syria and the Levant-Keeping in mind that the A2/AD strategy is a DEFENDER/DEFENCE strategy to prevent/block/deny regional access, to an attacker, the defender cannot otherwise engage succesfully.
This certainly fits the scenario unfolding in Syria. Despite the blathering idiot talk on line and elsewhere Russia cannot take on/defeat NATO. Except in a nuclear war? Which none of us want.
So the A2/AD strategy makes very good sense for the Syrian/Russian partnership. It enables them work together to jointly DEFEND from an outside attacker- NATO
General Breedlove, German Marshal Fund meeting, September 28/2015
“Anti-access/area denial, or A2/AD, is a growing problem,” Gen. Breedlove told the German Marshall Fund this afternoonOccupation of Crimea? Breedlove is selling the lie- but those are his actual words so we have to tolerate the baloney for the sake of accuracy
The northernmost danger zone or “bubble” is the oldest, based out of the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad between Poland and Lithuania. “Kaliningrad is a large platform for A2/AD capability,” Breedlove said
Breedlove “[Since] their occupation of Crimea, Russia has developed a very strong A2/AD capability in the Black Sea,” Breedlove said. “Essentially, their [anti-ship] cruise missiles range the entire Black Sea, and their air defense missiles range about 40 to 50 percent of the Black Sea.”
Breedlove regarding Syria: . “As we see these very capable air defense [systems] beginning to show up in Syria, we’re a little worried about another A2/AD bubble being created in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Breedlove said. “We see some very sophisticated air defenses going into these airfields. We see some very sophisticated air-to-air [fighter] aircraft going into these airfields.”
How much of this next paragraph is directly attributable to Breedlove is unknown? Only one statement is a direct quote-
Based on the military forces Russia is actually putting in place, Breedlove said, he believes Putin’s top priority is to protect Russian access to airfields and warm water seaports in the Eastern Mediterranean. The second priority, in service to the first, is to prop up Russia’s host, the Assad regime. Then third, he said, “After all of that, I think that they will do some counter-ISIL work to legitimize their approach to Syria.”
Then Breedlove really goes into full on psychopathy!
So what can NATO do about these expanding bubbles of no-go zones? First of all, in the Baltic and the Black Seas today, the alliance’s force can just go there, Breedlove said “to contest that they are not forbidden spaces” but international airspace and waters. Second, in case the shooting starts, it needs to invest in forces that can break the bubble.Breedlove: just go in guns a blazing... Yikes
“As an alliance, we need to step back and take a look at our capability in a military sense to address an A2/AD challenge,” Breedlove said. “This is about investment. This is about training.”
Additional Information on A2/AD and Russia:
NATO’s air superiority vis-à-vis Russia is waning, Air Force (USAF) General Frank Gorenc, the commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Africa told an audience at this year’s Air and Space Conference held near Washington DC.
According to the general, Russia accelerated the development of A2/AD capabilities during the 2008 war with Georgia and has heavily invested in fielding modern long-range surface-to-air missile systems (.e.g., the S-400) and other land-based A2/AD weapon systems based on their experience during the war. “They learned a lot along the way, and they made moves to close the asymmetric advantage posed by the quality of our air force; they’ve done it”
“It’s one thing to address a aircraft threat that has increased significantly — which by the way it has — but clearly, surface to air missile systems are much cheaper, they’re much more available and that is a concern,” he added.
Gorenc was adamant that the proliferation of A2/AD capabilities poses a challenge to U.S. air power worldwide. “Up to this point, we have talked about anti-access/area denial with respect to the Pacific problem, but what I’m telling you is this is not just a Pacific problem. It’s as significant in Europe as it is anywhere else on the planet.”
Indeed, A2/AD capabilities are fundamentally undermining the essence of the American way of war (See: “The End of the American Way of War?”). ”The American way of war requires a robust air reconnaissance … because we believe with air superiority, everything is possible and without it, nothing is possible.
You can, of course, read more for yourself at all the embedded links!