The US was forced into rethinking its air force strategy due to Russia’s new S-400 Triumf antiaircraft missile system, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.
“North from Syria, along the borders of Eastern Europe and rounding the Arctic Circle to the east, Russia has built a ring of air defenses that threaten the reach of the US military,” the report claims.
“Russia’s S-400 antiaircraft missile system, a nettlesome and potentially deadly aerial shield, is changing the calculus of the US and its allies in potential hot spots, beginning with its deployment in Syria.”
The S-400 system has a steal-detecting radar system that is able to cast a broad net around the Eastern Mediterranean from its Russian base positioning in Syria. It is also further linked to “a ring of air defenses” that stretches “North from Syria, along the borders of Eastern Europe and rounding the Arctic Circle to the east,” according to the report.
The new missile system is not yet tested in actual battle, however, according to the report the Pentagon admitted the need to change flight routes and where it can operate in terms of deploying aircraft:
“The Pentagon acknowledged that S-400 batteries in Syria have forced adjustments to coalition air operations, but it contended the U.S. in general still maintains freedom of movement in the air. “We can continue to operate where we need to be,” a U.S. defense official said.
“The White House revamped its National Security Strategy in late 2017 to account for the new challenge. Russia is “fielding military capabilities designed to deny America access in times of crisis and to contest our ability to operate freely,” a report said. “They are contesting our geopolitical advantages.”
The WSJ also cited a Congressional report produced by a bipartisan commission aimed at evaluating the White House Defense Strategy. The commission discovered that Russia “seeking regional hegemony and the means to project power globally,” and that this was already “diminishing U.S. military advantages and threatening vital US interests.”
In its article on the report, ZeroHedge commented on the WSJ report:
“Though Russian military spending and capability is still dwarfed by both the United States and China (Russia’s defense budget is about a tenth the size of the Pentagon’s), the Kremlin’s strategic deployment of these systems to counter US power has been enough to put Washington on notice, and is driving fears the S-400’s deadly reach could proliferate, as it already has in China and India, and with prospective deals in the works with Saudi Arabia and Turkey.”
Furthermore, the WSJ acknowledges that the event that lead to the S-400’s deployment outside of Russia’s borders was the Syrian war. Thus, the US and co. are the only ones to blame for this alleged shuffle of global air power.
“As both Putin, Assad, and at rare moments of frankness some US officials themselves have acknowledged, Russian forces entered Syria in reaction to the West-Gulf alliance’s covert war of regime change which empowered al-Qaeda and ISIS forces poised to take Damascus.”
The result of the US dominance across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans is that Russia is now challenging its grip over the Middle East, the Arctic and parts of Asia.
“By selling the S-400 to other countries, Russia spreads the cost of limiting U.S. forces.
Russia doesn’t want military superiority, but it has ended the superiority of the West or the U.S.,” said Sergey Karaganov, a foreign-policy adviser to Mr. Putin. “Now, the West can no longer use force indiscriminately.”
Unquestionably, the US still is in the global dominant position, despite that, soon it may come up against an increasing expansion of S-400 if Turkey and Saudi Arabia end up acquiring the system, despite Washington’s best efforts to prevent them.
The WSJ also got a response from the US Department of Defense to the question of Russia’s growing air defense capabilities:
“The U.S. remains the pre-eminent military power in the world and continues to strengthen relationships with NATO allies and partners to maintain our strategic advantage,” said Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon. “The U.S. and our allies have quite a few measures at our disposal to ensure the balances of power remain in our favor.”