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The Decision To Go To War

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The Decision To Go To War

Russian troops leave the Georgian military base of Senaki. Photo Reuters.

Written by Anatoly Tsyganok; Originally appeared at nvo.ng.ru, translated by AlexD exclusively for SouthFront

Analysis of the actions of states’ leadership of armed conflicts in the twenty-first century

An analysis of various wars and conflicts of the current century shows that the decisions of the military-political leadership of these states were made on the basis of geopolitical, political, military and technical goals, along with different tasks and phases of hostilities, but the main thing was to achieve a surprise attack.

Second Lebanese

The Israeli leadership designated the main military and political objective of the operation in Lebanon as the expulsion of Hezbollah forces from the Israeli-Lebanese border and the return of the abducted Corporal Shalit. The plan was also to: increase the deterrent effect on Hezbollah and neighbouring countries; seek to appease Lebanon through an effective monitoring mechanism, using the intervention of the international community, and keep Syria out of the campaign. The process and content of the war decision show that the Israeli operation in Lebanon was also beneficial to the personal political objectives of the President and Minister of Defence who never fought in a war, which was in violation of Israel’s political transition. The blitzkrieg, as Ehud Olmert and Amir Peretz hoped, could raise their profile and thus contribute to the sustainability of the current government.

The operation can be divided into phases.

The first phase: the blockade of Lebanon from the sea, air and land, the border fights of the Northern Military District of the IDF in southern Lebanon, lasted 11 days (July 12 to 22) and seemed to be in line with its stated objectives: to release its prisoners of war, as well as to fight against Hezbollah operatives, but not against Lebanon.

The second phase, air-sea, lasted for three weeks (July 22 to August 10). At that time, the IDF succeeded in pushing the militants out of southern Lebanon, but together with them, the mass exodus of the civilian population of Lebanon began. The Air Force and Navy subjected the entire Lebanese territory to massive missile strikes, the blockade of the air space and the seacoast continued, and raids by special forces and ground forces were carried out to clear southern Lebanon of Hezbollah structures. A group of three brigades (Golani, Nahal and parachute) was used for the sweep.

The third phase is a full-scale air-terrestrial operation conducted on the eve of the UN Security Council resolution on the ceasefire (August 11 to 14). Observers noted that the power of military operations in Lebanon at the time of adoption of the UN Security Council resolution has not decreased, but, on the contrary, increased dramatically. On the morning of August 12, IDF units launched an offensive on almost the entire front from the Mediterranean Sea to the Syrian border. Army activities were aimed at removing Hezbollah positions in southern Lebanon, the Bekaa Valley and clearing southern Lebanon, including Palestinian refugee camps along Israel’s northern border.

The fourth phase was the end of the air-sea blockade and the withdrawal of Israeli troops (August 12 to October 1), accompanied by ceasefire violations and joint strikes by the Israeli Air Force and Navy at Hezbollah positions. This episode of the war would have been better described as a partial truce, during which the Israeli army withdrew from Lebanese territory and handed over the liberated territory to the Lebanese army and UN peacekeepers.

Actions of the Russian General Staff in 2008

The parties to the Georgian-Ossetian conflict were preparing for a possible armed clash almost simultaneously and in an open manner. Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, ignoring the Security Council and the State Duma (which were just preparing the National Security Concept and the military doctrine), undoubtedly, not at his own risk, but with the prior verbal or possibly written consent of the leadership, began to resolutely reform the army on August 8, 2008. It is alarming that the start of the reform coincided with the day of the Georgian aggression.

It can be assumed that the Georgian intelligence was aware that by implementing the directive of Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, the General Operations Directorate (GOD) and the General Staff’s Main Organisational and Mobilisation Directorate (GOMD) temporarily stopped using the means of communication that were at their disposal on Arbat while carrying out the reorganisation. It is impossible to think of a better time for Georgia’s attack on South Ossetia.

If our assumption is correct, the Georgian leadership was not waiting for the opening of the Beijing Olympics, but for the disruptions of the system of command and control of the troops of the Main Operational Directorate of the Defence Ministry of the Russian Federation. The warning system, which had been in operation for more than 60 years, was dismantled by a decision of the Deputy Minister of Defence for Communications. The situation on August 8 reminded us of the events of the summer of 1941. The reform initiated by Defence Minister Serdyukov caught the GOD and GOMD “with their pants down”. It is hard to imagine a greater shame for the General Staff, who constantly boasted of double and even triple redundancy of the management system. As a result, at the most critical moment of the Tskhinvali drama the General Staff, in particular, the GOD and the GOMD, almost lost control of the troops.

The main purpose of the Georgian operation “Clear Fields” was as follows: “Establishment of constitutional order” on the territory of South Ossetia and annexation of the territory belonging to the Shida-Kartli lands without changing the Constitution. It was also planned to establish “constitutional order” in Abkhazia and show the “perfidy of Russia” as a participant of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict.

Geopolitical goal: to reduce Russia’s influence on the states of the South Caucasus; to provide airfields for US and NATO airfields for possible military operations against Iraq. In turn, the political goal was to displace people from the territory of South Ossetia who refuse to be part of Georgia, to immediately begin negotiations on Georgia’s accession to NATO and to return Georgian refugees to Ossetia.

Military objective: to defeat the “separatist forces” of South Ossetia and at the same time neutralise the Russian peacekeeping forces, and then stop their movement through the Roki tunnel; to test the effectiveness of the US and NATO concept of combat operations in mountainous conditions. There was also a technical goal: to conduct large-scale tests in real-world combat conditions of modernised weapons; to practically test the “centres of fire planning” created with the help of the Israeli military.

The plan of the operation to seize South Ossetia was developed by the Pentagon 13 years previously and was first rolled out in the unrecognised republic of Serbian Krajina (RSK), which existed on the territory of present-day Croatia from 1991 to 1995. Thousands of civilians were killed in those events. Operation Clean Fields against South Ossetia was developed by Georgia together with employees of Military Professional Resources Incorporated (MPRI), the very one that, having signed a contract with the Saakashvili administration, has been engaged in all these years of preparing military operations and retraining Georgian military personnel.

The Decision To Go To War

Aircraft from the group of the French nuclear carrier Charles de Gaulle took an active part in the operation against Libya. Photo Reuters.

The Georgian army was created exclusively for the offensive (blitzkrieg). All the exercises of the last years, “Fiery Fist”, “Armour”, had the objective of capturing South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The final training of the three Georgian brigades, conducted by the Deputy Defence Minister Batu Kutelia on April 24, 2008, was a rehearsal of the upcoming offensive. It was at that training session that it was planned to create six military groups to strike. The territory of South Ossetia was well suited for a blitzkrieg. The chances of success for Georgia were very high. The Dvaletsky Ridge separates South Ossetia from Russia. Delivery of weapons from Russia is possible only through the Roki tunnel. The military potential of Georgia and South Ossetia was incomparable – the Georgian army was well equipped (tanks, heavy artillery, MLCBs) and trained by American instructors, while the Ossetian armed forces were, in fact, a militia. In addition, the location of Tskhinvali, surrounded by Georgian-controlled heights, did not contribute to long-term defence.

Operation Clear Field was based on lessons learned from the Middle East wars of Israel and the experience of the Afghan and Iraqi wars. The plan for the military operation against South Ossetia was based on the simultaneous launching of two converging strikes against Tskhinvali. The main strike was planned to be made in the Gori direction, with a deep half-coverage of Tskhinvali from the east, in the direction of Avnevi-Khetagurovo, in order to cut through the defence of the South Ossetian army, with access to the Tamarasheni region. Another strike, from the Karelian direction, was from the northwest of Tshkinvali in the direction of Eredvi-Tliakan and with internal envelopment of the borders of Tskhinvali from all sides. The encircled Tskhinvali group was to be held back by air strikes and MLRS. The artillery strikes, according to the Georgian leadership’s plan, should have weakened it as much as possible, disorganised it and forced Tskhinvali to surrender.

In general, there were up to 15 thousand servicemen of the Ministry of Defence, up to 5 thousand servicemen of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and up to 30 thousand reservists in the South Ossetian line. The main bet in the Georgian army’s strategy against the South Ossetian and Russian armies was to achieve maximum fire in a short period of time. From 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., the artillery took up combat positions near the Tirdznisi village. It was planned that in 72 hours the Georgian army would seize Tskhinvali, Djava and the Roki tunnel. In four to five days it would take control of 75% of South Ossetia’s territory. Then the army would move to the Abkhazian direction, simultaneously land sea and airborne troops in the Gori district of Abkhazia and, building up its forces, would capture Skhumi by the end of the first day.

However, the political leadership did not agree with the military plans. The option of bypassing Tskhinvali was rejected and the military was required to plan an attack in the direction of Tskhinvali. This was the main strategic mistake of the Georgian president. Instead of moving towards Djava and the Roki tunnel, bypassing the resistance nodes, the Georgians became entangled in secondary settlements. A recurring story has been confirmed: when politicians intervene in the planning of a military operation, expect trouble. That’s what happened.

In turn, a detailed plan of attack on Abkhazia in Georgia was ready in 2004. Simultaneous actions were supposed to be taken from the Kodori and Gali directions, from the sea and through the mountains. The main strike was expected to be made where collective weapons could be used, tanks, artillery, naval forces. In one direction, it was planned to create a significant advantage, in the other, a small advantage, and in the third the opposing sides would have to engage in battle in approximately equal proportions of forces.

A powerful air strike was planned with the subsequent landing of the first echelon of 800-people-strong sea landing, then, the offensive operation along the coast. It was also supposed to strike with artillery and MLRS at the Abkhazian mountain battalion and Russian checkpoints. Then the Georgian group was to descend to Sikhumi.

The 3rd Brigade, base in Kutaisi, also moved to Sukhumi, and then the 2nd Brigade was to be deployed from Senaki. Both brigades were almost entirely staffed by Georgians living in Abkhazia. The operation to seize Abkhazia took 24 hours. It was supposed to involved up to 300 armoured vehicles and up to 200 artillery tubes. Diversion teams and SWAT had to destroy the entire command and control system. This was to be followed by the complete displacement of the inhabitants from all settlements.

Intervention in Lybia

The US Joint Command Africa Command headquarters led by General Carter Ham conducted the planning for the Libya counter-insurgency operation. Officers from the United Kingdom, France and other coalition countries were deployed to the operation’s headquarters to coordinate joint operations. Subsequently, the planning of the operation was transferred to the NATO command. The main task, apparently, was not to block the Libyan airspace, or destroy or defeat the Libyan armed forces, as in the course of the operation in Yugoslavia and Iraq, but to destroy the top leadership of Libya. The operation was designed to support the implementation of UNSCRs 1970 and 1973 on humanitarian assistance and the protection of civilians in Libya. In fact, the US and NATO during Operation Odyssey Dawn conducted four operations in the Mediterranean Sea: Great Britain, “Ellami”, France, “Harmattan”, Canada, “Mobile”, and NATO, “Allied Defender”.

The EU leadership had approved a plan to allow the EU to conduct a military operation to provide humanitarian assistance to the Libyan population. A fifth operation, EUFOR Libya, was added to the four NATO operations. It was envisaged that the EU, if requested by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, would “conduct a military operation within the framework of the Common Security and Defence Policy (EU) in order to support the provision of humanitarian assistance in the region”. In particular, EUFOR Libya was to facilitate the security and evacuation of displaced persons, as well as to support humanitarian agencies through “certain capabilities”. The operation was designed to support the implementation of UNSCRs 1970 and 1973 on humanitarian assistance and the protection of civilians in Libya. Italian Rear Admiral Claudio Gaudiosi commanded the operation, and the operation command headquarters was in Rome. The operation was carried out throughout Libya up to the southern borders with the Sudan, Chad and the Niger. The EU troops also monitored the areas bordering Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria.

The main coalition bases were located in five countries: France, Greece, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. The deployment of US 2nd and 6th Fleet ships in the Libyan adjacent area made it relatively easy to stop Libya’s surface ships from sailing in the open sea. The largest and most powerful group of forces and resources were allocated by the United States. As of March 19, it was represented by 42 F-15C Block 50, F-15E and F-16E fighters. The US aviation group also included RC-135, EC-130Y, EC-130J and EA-18G electronic warfare aircraft, EP-3E electronic surveillance aircraft, R-3 “Orion” basic patrol aircraft and KC-135R and KC-10A refuelling aircraft. The US Navy was represented by: the Florida nuclear submarine with cruise missiles, two Los Angeles-class nuclear submarines (SSNs), two Arley Burke-class destroyers, the Mount Whitney control ship, the Kearsarge amphibious assault ship, and the Austin dock transporter. Many American warships carried Tomahawk cruise missiles.

The British group consisted of GR.4 Tornado fighter-bombers (20), the latest Eurofighter Typhoon fighters (10), E-3D and Sentinel R.1-class aircraft, Nimrod R.1-class reconnaissance aircraft and VC-10-class refuelling aircraft. The British submarine Triumph-class Trafalgar, equipped with the Tomahawk cruise missiles and two frigates were in the Mediterranean Sea.

France had allocated its latest Rafale fighters (8), as well as Mirage 2000-5 (2) and Mirage 2000D (2), E-3F AWACS and C-160 Transall fighters for military operations against Libya. The Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier was sent to the shores of Libya, carrying eight Rafale-M fighters and 12 Super Étendard attack aircraft, two E-2C AWACS Hawkeye aircraft, and Eu-275 and SA-330 helicopters. The French Navy Command had also allocated two frigates to participate in the Libyan operation. From the Italian Navy, the command used the light aircraft carrier Giuseppe-Garibaldi with AV-8V Harrier II attack aircraft on board, two destroyers of the Andrea Doria-class and the landing ship San Giorgio. Norway had deployed six F-16 fighters in the area of operations, Denmark four F-16 fighters, and Qatar four Mirage 2000-5 fighters. The Qatari planes arrived in the area of Operation Odyssey Dawn on March 22. NATO saw their presence as a demonstration of the “Arab flag” in the Libyan campaign.

Ukrainian civil war

The main purpose of the operation conducted by the Ukrainian politico-military leadership was as follows: “Establishment of constitutional order” in Luhansk and Dontesk.

Geopolitical goal: to reduce Russia’s influence on the Ukraine and the EU; to deploy a missile defence system for the US and NATO and to create a brigade (Polish-Ukrainian-Lithuanian) jointly with NATO. Political goal: to expel the Russian population that does not want to speak Ukrainian; to actually begin the resettlement of Ukrainian families from the West of the Ukraine to the lands of Donbas. There were other goals: to abandon cooperation of Ukrainian regions with Russia; “Energoatom” of the Ukraine will back out from [a contract signed with] the Russian Fuel Company and sign a contract on nuclear fuel supply for its nuclear power plants with the American company Westinghouse, etc.

The military purpose of the operation was to defeat the “separatist forces” of Donbas, and then to close the border with Russia; to test the NATO concept and the American experience of counterinsurgency fighting techniques from Afghanistan and Iraq on the Ukrainian territory; to test the practice used by the US Air Force in Iraq and Afghanistan (variations of the US “kill-boxes”). The military-technical goal of the operation was to organise the production of new equipment and weapons at Ukrainian enterprises in a short period of time; to abandon the military technical cooperation; de facto start the military technical cooperation with NATO countries. Finally, there was also a religious purpose for the operation.

The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces together with American advisers and in line with the vision of the then Secretary of National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine Andrey Paruby developed the operation against Donbas. The operation was based on lessons learned and experience from the Afghan and Iraqi wars. The desire of Ukrainian troops in June-July 2014 to take Donbas and Luhansk into huge pincers along the Russian-Ukrainian border was linked with the desire to interrupt the supply of militias from Russia and to allocate the necessary efforts for the internal circle of repudiation.

However, the political leadership did not agree with the military and needed a quick result; the closure of the state border with Russia. A recurrent story has been confirmed: when politicians intervene in the planning of a military operation, expect trouble. That’s what happened. It resulted in a double encirclement of Ukrainian troops along the borders with Russia and the formation of the so-called Southern Cauldron near Amvrosiivka. Thus, in the summer of 2014 the Ukrainians repeated the Georgians’ mistake of August 2008, when the military expediency of bypassing Tskhinvali and the rapid breakthrough of Georgian troops to the north with the aim of blocking the Roki tunnel was sacrificed to political considerations and the desire of Mikheil Saakashvili to hoist the Georgian flag in the centre of the capital of South Ossetia faster.

War in Syria

Russia has been considering the possibility of intervening in the Syrian conflict at least since 2013, when it first proposed replacing Austrian peacekeepers in the Golan Heights with Russian ones. Since 2013, Moscow has played a significant role in the seizure of chemical weapons from Syria, and at the same time the first serious negotiations with Damascus began on the issue of combating radical Islamists. In parallel, Russia conducted a strategic military dialogue with Iraq, which resulted in the signing of 4.2 billion dollars arms deal with Baghdad in 2012 and the delivery of Su-25 aircraft in 2014. In July 2015, the Russian Federation agreed with Iran to participate in Syria’s fight against terrorists. Since then, the question has been not “if” but “when” and “how”. And the Ukrainian crisis did not change Moscow’s plans, but only delayed their implementation.

Immediately prior to the start of the Russian operation in Baghdad, a quadripartite coordination centre was established in charge of collecting and analysing current military information, and even apparently joint operational planning. The Russian Aerospace Forces campaign in Syria was unprecedented both in terms of scale and technical implementation methods. For the first time in more than half a century, we are dealing with a combined (naval and airborne) projection of Russian military power thousands of kilometres away from our borders. This demonstration has strategic value. In fact, the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces secretly repeated the “Anadyr” operation of the Soviet General Staff to regroup missile launchers into Cuba during the Caribbean crisis. And this is in the face of active interference, powerful space, airborne radio reconnaissance, bearing from the US, NATO and Israel.

Main conclusions

As a result of the Second Lebanon War, it is possible to conclude that the concentration of a disproportionate number of specialists of one war specialty in the top leadership of the army be excluded. On the eve of the war in Lebanon, pilots occupied most of the key positions. During the tenure of Minister of Defence Pavel Grachev, paratroopers dominated the leadership of the army, and the roll was made in favour of the preparation of landing units and formations. Under the first CIS Defence Minister, Air Marshal Evgeny Shaposhnikov focused his efforts mainly on the development of aviation and air defence. Marshal Igor Sergeev considered the Strategic Missile Forces a priority. Until 2006, the leadership of the Russian Armed Forces had a disproportionate number of spies and counterintelligence officers, so the emphasis was on combating subversive and terrorist threats. Under Anatoly Serdyukov, the financial tax authorities played the main role, which is why the army reforms were not calculated and verified.

When analysing the Georgian army’s combat operations, the Russian Defence Ministry drew surprising conclusions: the five-day war with Georgia showed that large tank formation were slow and difficult to control. At the same time, they also referred to the war in Yugoslavia, where the tanks were practically idle, forgetting that there was a special war, an elementary shooting of the enemy from the air. The transition from a four-tier command and control system (regiment-division-army-circle) to a three-tier command and control system (brigade-grouping of troops-circle) was an unjustified and generally erroneous decision.

The main lessons of the Libyan campaign for the construction of the Russian Armed Forces: requires a radical revision of the theory of the use of modern air force, fleet and forces of special, information-psychological, cyber operations in future armed conflicts; one should take into account the opinion of Western experts that the combined use of the air force and a limited contingent of special forces will be the basis for conducting military operations in the next 10 years.

It should be especially noted that, taking into account the results of the wars and conflicts considered, it is apparently necessary to create special organisational, managerial and analytical structures in the Russian army to counteract information aggression.

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  • Marko Ivanišević

    Please dear autor of this propaganda sh.tt tell me what is “Repulblika Srpska Kraina”??? And how many civilians were killed? Do you know that RSK never existed in history? That quasi state was formed by Croatian Serbs becouse they wanted great Serbia and they occupied part od Croatian territory even with Croat majority and proclamed RSK (that never existed in history). Do you know how many Croats Serbs killed in 1991 during the “rebelion”? And you are asking why Croats dont like Russians more? Becouse you spread lies and support killers and occupiers of our territory.

    • jako

      You are liar Croat!
      What “Croatian territory”?!
      By Yugoslav Constitution Serbs had equal rights to Croats in Croatia
      Thus they had right on self determination also.
      In those parts where they were majority.
      What “Great Serbia”?
      It was absolutely identical situation like in Ukraine!
      Serbs didn’t want to continue to live within pro NAZI Tudjman regime which was openly anti-Serb pro-Ustashe regime!
      So they did like DPR in Donbas.
      They have rebelled against pro-NAZI regime with intention to separate from them.
      They wanted to stay within Yugoslavia (that still existed in those days)…
      Serbs were FIGHTING for SURVIVAL of YUGOSLAVIA as country and not for
      “Greater Serbia”!
      While Croats and Slovenians did everything (with German US and NATO help) to DESTROY Yugoslavia!
      Where was “Croat majority” in Krajina?
      There is today Croat “majority” after Croat 2nd genocide against Serbs and forced deportation and killings of innocent Serb population that didn’t wan to leave!
      You are liar!
      How many Serbs were killed in that war?!
      You keep counting Serb victims and presenting them as Croat victims!
      Croats NEVER liked Russians!
      You were volunteers as “Black Legion” part of Waffen SS on Lenigrad front!
      NDH Ustase had even their aviation on Russian front and their navy on Crimea! EVEN TODAY CROAT SOLDIERS ARE ON RUSSIAN BORDER as part NATO AGGRESSOR!

      • Charlie rad

        Croats are tough guys with women, children, & unarmed civilians.
        Whenever serb/montenegrin troops show up they run like the cowards they are.
        Only when Germans/NATO are there to do their fighting do they stand behind them & pretend. Croatians are with the NWO/Clintons/Obama . As are their Bosnian muslim & Albanian murderers.

        • Marko Ivanišević

          Why your government wants to be part of EU? Why would you dont join RF or Turkey? You are half Turks you belong to Turkey, you are no Serbs.

          • jako

            You are so proud to be German servants and stooges
            You are so proud of your NAZI past and crimes just like Latvians or those from Western Ukraine!
            ——————
            “Why your government wants to be part of EU? ”
            Exactly !
            Serbs as nation do not want to be part of EU !
            But it is US-NATO-even Germany that does not give choice to the Serbian people!
            It is imposed on population by color revolution and by OCCUPATION of Serbia.
            But that will not last forever. NATO will fall apart sooner or later and we will resolve our problems with our enemies for good!
            —–
            Serbs are Orthodox Christians and you are so full of evil and mad out of hate that you really don’t know how to humiliate and insult us.

      • Marko Ivanišević

        Why you dont put Nedics photos on this site you little trol. By Yugoslav constitution from 1974 Croatia had every right to become independent. You started rebelion and lost. Go to you hole half Turk.

        • jako

          I am not Fascist, unlike huge number of Croats!
          You Croats are like those Baltic countries and Western Ukraine celebrating your NAZI past!
          ———————-
          “constitution from 1974 Croatia had every right to become independent”
          —————————-
          No!
          By Yugoslav constitution right on self determination was defined by “rights of constitutive nations” and not rights of “Republics” (as territory).
          Because BiH was malty-ethnic so they had to put sovereignty in ethnicity and not in territory.
          Serbs just like Croats had equal rights as “constitutive nation” to “self determination”
          So Croats have chosen to leave and Serbs (in the parts of Croatia where they were majority) have chosen to stay!
          Serbs were constitutive nation majority on their land and had every right by constitution to do that!
          Also there was clause in constitution that demanded agreement of all Republics if one Republic intends to leave Federation! That was never respected ! And Yugoslav army full of traitors was too weak to enforce Yugoslav law!

          • Marko Ivanišević

            Ahaha that “dictator” was married with Jovanka and was more Serb than Croat.

            Look at list of army commanders (JNA) from 1945 til 1991 and tell me how many Croats was on that list beside Branko Mamula (he lives in Montenegro now)

            https://hr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popis_na%C4%8Delnika_General%C5%A1taba_JNA

            You Serbs live in lie, your being is a lie.

            You lost Kosovo, and now you will loose Vojvodina as well.

          • jako

            Tito was CROAT DICTATOR and was married with 3 wives(was womanizer). Jovanka was his 3rd wife only !!
            He married her for political reasons only!
            To give ILLUSION that he is not totally pro Croat which was of course not true!!
            Croatia owes her independence ONLY to CROAT DICTATOR Tito!
            Nobody stopped Croats from going in army and becoming generals!
            It was your choice and YOUR DICTATOR was in charge nobody else !
            Here ;Zorko Čanadi, Stane Potočar,Viktor Bubanj,Branko Mamula, are NOT Serbs
            And all others you claim to be “Serbs” being ex-partisan and communists have NEVER declared themselves “Serbs” but Yugoslav’s!

            So you keep repeating your drivel full of hatred
            but only time will tell.
            Your US -NATO and your Germany are dwindling in power and Russia and China are growing stronger!
            We will see what future brings …and Croats can’t be lucky forever …Then Serbs will come to ask you few questions..

          • Marko Ivanišević

            Only Branko Mamula was Croat (he declared himself as Yugoslavian) so dont talk me about Croats commanded in Yugoslavia. Tito was no Croat but Yugoslav. You think that Russia and China will help you that you take our territory??? You are funny indeed. Dou you know that US presented Serbs in SoCalled RSK Z4 and they rejected it. USA gived you “state in state” and you rejected it. And you are now claiming that NATO and USA protecting us. Are you crazy or what?

          • jako

            You are liar AGAIN

            Tito was CROAT and FACT that during his life under his watch Yugoslavia was DESTROYED
            1974 Constitutional changes are HIS CREATION !
            Yes he was Croat DICTATOR !
            He couldn’t be more Croat than he was!
            He gave you independence and even more enlarged Croatia in the parts through Baranja, Western Srem, Istra , Dalmacija and plenty of islands !

            We don’t need Russia and China to kick your cowardly filthy arse!
            Russia and China will get rid of us of NATO!
            What RSK Z4 you mumbling NAZI monkey!
            Of course that US-NATO and specially Germany were protecting you!
            But those days will soon be over !
            Than the day of reckoning will come!
            We will get rid of for good next time, once you don’t have all others to help you and fight your wars!

          • Marko Ivanišević

            USA offered Serbs Z4 plan back in 1995 and they rejected it. Please, please come and take what is yours. We are waiting you my dear Serbish troll.
            Germany is protecting us??? You are not normal indeed.

          • jako

            I haven’t seen any plan with my own eyes and if it was rejected really they must have reason to reject it.
            Nobody would reject something that was good

            Yes GERMANY was and still is PROTECTING YOU!
            They have sent you a weapons from AK-47 to MIG-21’s, howitzer’s and plenty other stuff from East Germany arsenal!
            Many of that practically for free!
            Of all countries Germany is the most responsible for destruction of Yugoslavia even more then US !

            It wasn’t me singing “Thank you Germany” in German but you NAZI Croats did that after the war!
            And you think that we don’t know that?!
            It was even on TV !
            You think that we didn’t see German game from the start?!
            Game to control Balkans (they wanted to control so much from Hitler days!) and have used fall of USSR for that!
            They can’t protect you now so much when Russia grows stronger and stronger and soon they’ll arrive to Balkans to get rid of U.S. here!

            And NATO will soon fall apart and than we will have talk with you scum!

          • Marko Ivanišević

            You Chetniks colaborated with Nazis till 1945 when they switched uniforms with partisans. First partisan unit was formed in Brezovica (Croatia) 22.06.1941 by Croats. So piss off Serbish troll.

          • jako

            That is notorious LIE !
            First partisan groups were created in Bosnia and Serbia and 1st “liberated” territory was in SERBIA !
            It is DOCUMENTED!
            First partisan movement was created in village called Srb and was created by SERBS from “Krajina” in Croatia!
            Croat police even now must protect those who come to celebrate partisan movement creation in Srb !
            Here:
            https://proxy.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.zadarskilist.hr%2Fsites%2Fdefault%2Ffiles%2Fstyles%2Farticle_image_full_node%2Fpublic%2Ffield%2Fimage%2FPXL_srb%2520ustanak.jpg%3Fitok%3DHwZddbVr&f=1

            Croats were NAZI collaborators and your NAZI country called “NDH” was CREATED by Mussolini and blessed by Hitler and Vatican. You were the worst and the most cruel tyrants to the point that even NAZI Germans were disgusted with your CRIMES against Serb population!
            CROAT USTASE KNIFE FOR CUTTING THROATS
            https://proxy.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=http%3A%2F%2Fc8.alamy.com%2Fcomp%2FE59N3T%2Fpicture-byjules-annan-picture-showsoriginal-srbosjek-serb-throat-cutter-E59N3T.jpg&f=1
            Gauging eyes and cutting throats that’s what you animals do!
            https://i.pinimg.com/originals/be/eb/79/beeb79e73b7dec0a9509e24edb0901ed.jpg

          • Marko Ivanišević

            Who documented it You? Savo Strbac?? You are troll an liar.:

            That movement in Srb was Chetnik movment not Partisan, they killed Croatians i nearby vilage on that same day.

          • jako

            Not “Savo Strbac”
            It is PART OF EUROPEAN HISTORY of WW2 you NAZI MORON!
            “Užička republika”
            “The Republic of Užice (Serbo-Croatian: Užička republika / Ужичка република) was a short-lived liberated Yugoslav territory and the first liberated territory in World War II Europe, organized as a military mini-state that existed in the autumn of 1941 in occupied Yugoslavia,”

            Here in VIKIPEDIA
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_U%C5%BEice

            That movement in Srb was REBELLION against NAZI occupation and against CROAT NAZI Ustase terror!
            In those days “Chetnik’s ” didn’t exist as independent
            movement !
            They were all mixed with the Partisans in 1941 at the start of rebellion and enemy was CROAT NAZI Ustase and Germans and Italians!
            The Partisans STARTED REBELLION LATER because they have received Stalin’s and Tito’s order to attack Germans only when USSR was attacked!
            Before that there was no order to start rebellion because of pact between Stalin and Hitler!
            That is another proof that you are LIAR !

          • Marko Ivanišević

            You re wrong my dear trol. Crotia was REPUBLIC in Yugoslavia with borders (AVNOJ) and we had right to be independed.

            Serbs were not constitutive nation within Croatia borders. So by your interpretation Croatia was to expand to Vojvodina and Bosnia and Herzegovina becouse Croats live there? You have weird interpretation of 1974 constitution.

            I am not fascist and expansonist like most of Serbs are Chetniks (Draza Mihailovic was sentenced for colabortion with nazi regime by Comunists) but you will get yours every time when you step one foot on Croatia territory.

          • jako

            LEARN Yugoslav constitution !
            Serbs were (like others) constitutive nation within Yugoslav borders therefore within Croat borders as well !
            100% equal to the Croats in Croatia and 100% in right to chose if they wanted to stay within neo-NAZI Tudjman Croatia or stay with Yugoslavia!
            They did 100% what they had right to do!
            There are 0.1% of Croats in Serbia we can only kick them back to Zagreb!
            You had to have majority population in region and be “constitutive nation” (by Yugoslav constitution) to have rights on self determination!
            That is not “interpretation” but the facts!
            Also by Yugoslav constitution no Republic had right to leave Federation without agreement of ALL OTHER republics!
            Yugoslav army was entitled to enforce Marshall law to prevent that!
            And if they didn’t that was yet another TREASON of another Yugoslav general (from mixed marriage) Kadijevic!

            You can only kiss my Serb arse when we come in Baranja and Vukovar to take back what is rightfully ours!

      • Marko Ivanišević
      • Marko Ivanišević

        This is after 7 years (1998) when Serbs “rebuild it”

        • jako

          Well Croatia claimed that it was Croat merit for rebuilding it !
          When actually it was MONEY FROM E.U. that has finally
          rebuild it !!

          That territory was under SERB CONTROL and should have stayed under Serb control because you have lost the war there!
          It was only “international pressure” = US/NATO that has forced
          Milosevic to give it back.
          He was naive to believe that by giving back what belonged to Serbs will save his arse.

          • Marko Ivanišević

            There is no territory under Serb control. That is Croatia and you can go to your Serbia nobody stops you. Now you can only cry.

          • jako

            That was totally under Serb control
            You have totaly lost war there and couldn’t get that territory back not even with your
            US-German NATO help!
            It was GIVEN BACK to you under CONDITION of total AMNESTY of the rebel Serbs and creating peace there!
            You have NEVER RESPECTED your promises therefore that territory must be taken back again!
            That will again be under Serb control !

          • Marko Ivanišević

            There is no territory under Serb control. Territory under Serb control is Serbia, even Kosovo is no longer under your control.

          • jako

            Vukovar was and will be again Serb town.
            And all that territory that was controlled by Serbs and was NEVER LOST in combat will be again rightfully SERB !

          • Marko Ivanišević

            Will be??? Ahaha

          • jako

            Definitely will be again!
            Because Serbs NEVER lost Vukovar and all that territory but you cowards did!

            So that was and will be again SERB!
            Baranja is also SERB!

          • jako

            We will see about that.
            You can only hope that this situation of NATO dominance will last forever!
            But US is already collapsing and West in general is growing weaker while Russia and China growing stronger.
            NATO days are already numbered!
            Once situation changes we will come looking for you!

      • Marko Ivanišević
        • jako

          Huge majority of those houses that were not rebuilt after the “seven years” were Serb houses!
          Because they were forced to abandon their homes and never come back !
          You should know that because it was Croat army going through the “Krajina” killing older Serb civilians in their homes (who didn’t want to leave with other 250 000 that left).
          And they were burning down Serb houses preventing Serbs to ever come back !

          • Marko Ivanišević

            You Serbs are mentaly unstable. Is this what are you teaching Children i schools? It is no wonder that everybody hates you.

          • jako

            Is that all you have as an “argument”?!
            Children should be taught the truth in the school !
            Not like in Croatia where you have your propaganda blame game story against the Serbs only!
            Forcing upon the innocent children anti-Serb hatred.
            And every opinion or even question that is not in accord with that propaganda is AGAINST the LAW !
            You can’t defend your story with argument and truth so you put in prison people who question it!

            So you have criminalized free opinion simply because you can not permit that somebody starts to question your PROPAGANDA which you can not defend because it is construct and huge pile of LIES !

          • Marko Ivanišević

            I have lot of arguments but you claim that that is propaganda, so is no point of further discussion with you becouse you are mentaly ill person. And if you are claiming that Quasi state of RSK does exist than take what is yours. What are you waiting for? That is like i write that we will take Zemun becouse Zemun was in Croatia. You are funny little Serbish trol.

          • jako

            You have got your independence by tricks and cheating and help of the others!
            If not for Serbia and Serbs you would NEVER be independent country!
            You are not even capable to be independent country since you are just liars and cowardly thieves!

            ——————
            RSK exists since we NEVER LOST “Estren Slavonia and Baranja” and that was also part of RSK!
            And yes we will take it back the most defiantly since you never respected agreements that brought you that territory for free!
            We are “waiting” for U.S. go back home and that NATO falls apart!
            And while Russia protects our back from Germany we will kick the shit out of you all the way to Zagreb you cowardly peaces of shit!

    • Charlie rad

      Hey Marko the Clown. Croatia NEVER existed And Croatians are mostly serbs like you that converted to Catholicism so they could hide with their new Austro-hungarian masters. While the Orthodox Christian Serbs fought the Invading Turk army.
      You are one dumb idiot. Why do you think you have a Serbian last name ???
      You cowards have it in your blood to murder babies, children & OLD people. You run when Montenegrins come calling. Don’t worry, we’ll be seeing you VERY soon. This time as usual the Germans & NATO won’t save your COWARD butts. You & your Jihadi friends & muslim Albanians.
      You’re scared. Your slut president got on her knees for Putin in Moscow for Help & got ZERO.
      She Also Begged Trump for help. She got ZERO. It’s only you & your Jihadi muslim allies.

      • Marko Ivanišević

        Why you Serbs dont come and take what is “yours”? Putin will not help you you little Serbish trol. You want be part of Nato and lick Putins ass, how patetic you Serbs are? You lost Kosovo and you will now lost Vojvodina. You will be reduced to “Beogradski pašaluk” now.

        • jako

          Serbs will take back what is rightfully theirs sooner or later, Kosovo included.
          NATO will not exist forever to protect the criminals.
          Serbs lived in Krajina for hundreds of years on legal invitation of Austrian Empire to populate Krajina and protect Austrian Empire from Turks!
          That land is rightfully Serb for centuries alredy!

          No true Serbs wants to be part of NATO only handful of Serb traitors!
          Serbs love Purtin!
          Don’t you have worries about Serbs we will resolve our problems once US-NATO terrorists are out of the Balkans!

          Future does not belong to US-NATO, Russia, China, Iran will prevail eventually!

          • Marko Ivanišević

            You may go to mental institution where you belong.

          • jako

            Your comment speaks only about you.

          • Marko Ivanišević

            Your “arguments” speaks about you indeed.

          • jako

            I didn’t hear single counter argument from you.

            As typical liar, you just change subjects indefinitely !
            Because you do not have any counter argument to give since everything you say is FALSE!

          • Marko Ivanišević

            Typical mitomanical Serb.

          • jako

            Again no argument just badmouthing
            and helpless hatred

      • viktor ziv

        Wowow, You both guys are wrong. The first partizan squad in occupied Europe was formed in today’s Croatia, 22.6.1941. (does it ring a bell?) It is not true Croats don’t like Russians or Ukrainians, or … any other nation. Its MSM bs, nothing else. Many Serbs fought on Croatian side, as You might find some Croats fighting on Serbian side. Allow me to use G’n’R Civil War song to put long story short;”War feeds the rich and buries the poor” period. This explains all the wars on the planet. I’ll never forget Tudjman and Milosevic in Baden-Baden having SPA, dividing Bosnia while poor people on both sides were slaughtered.

  • Allan Greedspoon

    It is always a mistake when politicians are allowed to make decisions on military strategy. It’s like allowing your chiropractor to operate on your teeth…it don’t work. Hitler insisted on micro-managing the war during the initial stages of Barbarossa and it almost ended in disaster for the whole front. The utter lunatic Churchill planned the invasion of the Dardanelles, which turned into a complete debacle, costing the lives of thousands of allied troops. Saddam and a few nitwit generals planned the invasion of Iran, which was a total failure. Politicians should just do what they do best (which is open their mouths and make promises they can’t keep) and leave the military affairs to those who know what they are doing . .

  • Tudor Miron

    I wonder why AlexD from south front is constantly choosing such figures from Russian media space…

    • 1691

      AlexD translates whatever is sent to him/her by SF. SF chooses the articles. Don’t shoot the messenger.
      SF has subtly changed the tune and deviated from the original line of independence. Keep your eyes and mind open. Something is fishy. A week ago SF’s moderator was advising me to go out and protest against the government of Russia if I wanted a “strong Russia”.
      I only read the first paragraph as I don’t waste time for propaganda.

  • purplelibraryguy

    I kind of stopped reading after the Lebanon bit, because the account given seemed to have nothing to do with how I remember things going. Also, he says the objective for 21st century wars was particularly to achieve surprise, then his first account is a story of phased escalation, and he says nothing to reconcile these rather opposed concepts.
    When you consider that Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan were also all telegraphed in advance of the attack, I’m not sure I get where “surprise” is supposed to be a significant element in 21st century wars. Georgia would be the one clear case I can think of. It was also very successful–I’m not saying surprise isn’t useful. It’s just that belligerents in 21st century wars haven’t used it much.

    • Harry Smith

      The article is from “Novaya Gazeta”. A pro-western outlet. They even have several awards from EU and USA. I.E. On 27 October 2014 in Copenhagen newspaper’s press-secretary Nadezhda Prusenkova and co-editor-in-chief Vitali Yaroshevsky were presented with the Freedom Award of Politiken for the independent and critical reporting of Novaya Gazeta.

      Sincerely I can not understand why SF publishes such a BS. ‘Cuz you can freely read this kind of crap in your own MSM published in your 1st language.

  • Zionism = EVIL

    Only Americunt warmongers and Zionist child killers declare war on the world’s women and children without any conscience. Decent countries take war seriously and as the last resort and Pakistan’s mature leadership did last and has now given truthful details and names of its pilots involved and locations of Indian losers downed jets:

    ISLAMABAD: The government on Wednesday, for the first time named the pilots who shot down two Indian warplanes last week, in a rare aerial engagement which had ignited fears of an all-out conflict with its nuclear rival.

    The clash also fuelled fears that soaring tensions between the SouthAsian countries could erupt into their fourth war, with world powers rushing to urge restraint. India toned down its rhetoric and the situation has now been diffused.

    “Two Indian planes were shot down by Pakistan Air Force on February

    27,” Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told parliament Wednesday.

    He named them as Squadron Leader Hassan Siddiqui and Wing Commander
    Nauman Ali Khan, saying he wanted to “pay tribute” to them both.

    Siddiqui had been widely named in various comments on social media, considering Pakistan’s open media and culture of online posting. Siddiqui’s PAF colleagues had posted his image as soon as he returned from his successful dowing of IAF Mig 21,however the other senior pilot who downed the SU-30MKI has just been named as Wing Commander (Colonel) Nauman Ali Khan of a JF-17 (16 MR Black Panthers) Squadron out of Kamra airbase who shot down the SU-30MKI over Pathankot in Indian Occupied Kashmir. The older and more experienced flyer has kept a lower profile than his more exuberant colleague Sq. Leader (Major) Hasan Siddiqui who has become an overnight internet sensation.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9a7354dae594779636d257f86e50a5f5a44e5b2bc7083e86f2d8944aab634076.jpg

  • Promitheas Apollonious

    an article full of bullshits and western propaganda.

  • Tommy Jensen

    Confusing article with no red thread, no logic connections and no useful conclusion. Liberal bullshit.