Advantages of mobile warfare.
The civil war in the South-East for the right of national self-determination of the Russian people is a subject of discussions not only by the commentators who have experience of covering military action. Advices on organizing militia and the opposing forces are given by numerous "sofa" strategists. It is not easy to sort out this flow of opinions. The ideas which originally appeared laughable, like the idea of using "technicals" suddenly attain a new meaning under the conditions of post-industrial warfare.
The world history has obvious examples of successful opposition by the unprofessional, irregular militaries to the industrial type armies, which are oriented toward massive application of armored vehicles and have overwhelming aerial superiority (given the necessary support of the rebels-revolutionaries from abroad and the loyal attitude of the local population). The most characteristic episode is the "Toyota war", which became the last phase of Chad-Libyan conflict, a civil war that occurred between 1978 and 1987 with a participation of external forces.
Mistake of Muammar Gaddafi
"Now we know that it is better to have a good "Toyota" than a T-55," – announced one of the leaders of the headquarters of the armed forces of the state of Chad, who was perfectly familiar with insufficient qualification of his mechanics and with the unprofessionalism of his military. Indeed, the supporters of Chad won a war precisely on "Toyota" pickups, performing lightning strikes from all sides against the Libyans: during the fist phase by the "hit and run" principle, during subsequent – together with a simultaneous advancement and firing at several targets from different sides (already after achieving numerical superiority).
In 1987 the French air force provided direct aid to Chad by starting to shoot down Libyan airplanes. But French shipments of 400 "Toyota" pickup trucks, on which high caliber machine guns and anti-tank missile complexes were mounted, into Chad ended up more efficient. It were exactly these pickups, which gave the name to the war, which played a decisive role in Chad's victory.
The armed forces of Libya, despite their initial superiority in armor and in the manpower of regular military, lost more than 7500 soldiers killed, that is 10 percent of the whole army, more than 800 military vehicles (tanks and IFVs), 28 airplanes. The combat casualties of Chad amounted to no more than a thousand dead and several dozens of mobile transport vehicles. The very idea of Great Libya was defeated precisely in this conflict. The concept of Jamahiriya presumed uniting Arab territory and creating a united state South of Libya with a perspective of spreading its influence to the whole Central Africa. The claims of modern Ukrainian nationalists do not take the modern ethnical composition of the world into account. Like in the case of Muammar Gaddafi, who was let down precisely by abandoning a literate national policy for ideology, which ceased to reflect reality.
Given the threat of the interests of the Russian World, the survival of the Russian super-ethnos (all people, which inhabited the historically developed area), for preventing genocide against the compatriots on the adjacent territories our country doesn't need to use land military units outside its own territory. Given the overwhelming superiority of the political opponents in informational and communication technologies this will be unambiguously treated as an aggression. In these quite uncomfortable political conditions the aerial support or establishing a no-fly zone over the conflict territory and near our borders is sufficient for providing security of our own population against shelling from the neighboring side, and also for preventing access of the reconnaissance and terrorist groups.
What to arm the rebels with
Another important moment – the wide material and resource support of forces that protect the interests of Russian-speaking population. This presumes shipments of civilian automobile vehicles, medical materials, and dual-use products, providing a regime of maximum favorability and transparent borders for volunteers and the instructors from private, non-governmental organizations, which want to take part in enforcing peace and security on the conflict territory.
The highly mobile rebel-patriotic movement, which is based in major cities and is supported by the local population, and also has technical and transport means, which are repaired in civilian workshops, has a serious tactical superiority over the enemy, which subscribes to the strategy of industrial warfare and uses technical means of the late USSR level. Primarily due to the high expenses for repairing and preparing the military vehicles, high level of failures, the necessity of special technical skills among a significant portion of driver-mechanics and the availability of auxiliary equipment, repairing facilities.
The industrial army depends on rears and supplies. It cannot fight when there is no front line and it cannot fight against guerillas.
It is impossible to put an "american instructor" behind the wheel of each APC or each Soviet tank. And the actual use of mercenary detachments or post-industrial level technologies by the enemy will unambiguously suggest the entrance of a third party into the war and will give a formal cause for Russia to proceed to open military defense of its national interests.
A crossover motorcycle, a utilitarian ATV, a civilian pickup consume orders of magnitude less fuel, are easier to maintain and repair, have a high speed of movement, and a higher motor resource, are less detectable and have better passability. And the price is laughable. Expenses for mounting a high-caliber machine gun or a grenade launcher are negligible. There are known cases when a block of unguided missiles or a 106-mm recoilless weapon was mounted on a regular pickup. The correspondence of the mass of the transported weapon (the net load) and the number of people to the overall mass is better for this transport than for many military machines. The lack of armor protection is compensated by speed, mobility, pass ability, and stealth.
The military tactic also changes significantly. Under European conditions with a relatively high density of urban development, the availability of highly branched, even if damaged, network of highways, numerous possible cover, the idea of "dash-hit-retreat" moves to the foreground. An important factor becomes a possibility of a mobile detachment can redeploy by several kilometers, carry out a concentrated strike against the unprepared enemy (at rest, at repair facility), perform a sabotage act against communications or command centers, lay a landmine.
Another advantage – stealth. The mentioned civilian vehicles are a very hard target for airstrikes, especially in forest area and given the urban development. Given the lack of constant influence of the army aviation the rebel transport will be able to easily evade pursuit and can be hidden in a typical garage or a forest pit. It allows to carry out a sniper precise selective strike against the most vulnerable and painful points of the enemy. Combined with a driver who knows the locality, this becomes a formidable weapon.
By French example
The practical conclusions for Novorossia from the historical analogy with the Chad-Libyan conflict are obvious – a scenario is necessary when the militarist detachments of Ukrainian nationalists will repeat the actions of the soldiers of Libyan Jamahiriya: searching for an open opposition, attempts to impose a decisive battle on their own conditions given the obvious technological superiority.
The countermeasures include creating strongholds in major cities and rapid reconnaissance and sabotage raids on hundreds of kilometers into the depth of enemy communications with destroying exclusively military targets and address, selective influence on the political leadership, very active propaganda and advocacy campaign, the underground work on the adjacent territories, which are occupied by the nationalists, creating and coordinating a network of guerrilla squads.
The directions of Russian activity are also obvious. In many ways they will resemble the actions of France in the last phase of the Chad-Libyan conflict.
Primarily we should speak about creating a no-fly zone along the borders (for providing security to our own population) and around the administrative centers – Luhansk and Donetsk (for providing security to civilians). Given the declarative withdrawal from participating in ground operation, any military aircraft that cross the given zones, including UAVs, must be destroyed. Also Russia demonstratively doesn't intervene in the questions that concern Ukraine's territorial integrity. They need to be resolved by its citizens.
Next it is necessary to demand withdrawing the forces of Ukrainian nationalists for 30-50 kilometers away from the state border (only the border guards remain). This is necessary to provide security to Russia, ruling out shelling of its citizens from the neighboring territory, preventing sabotage and provocations. It is necessary to prescribe creating the regime of highest favorability and a transparent border for the Ukrainian citizens and other sympathetic states, which are ready to consciously participate in military confrontation in order to protect the interests of Russian people.
A wide support by humanitarian shipments is obligatory, if necessary – a forceful creation of corridors for refugees, supporting humanitarian convoys with aviation and other means of protection.
Shipping civilian utilitarian automotive vehicles in significant quantities, double-purpose technology, medical and nursing supplies is required. It is also worth to remember about systemic informational, explanatory, and propaganda campaign on the territory of Ukraine in order to disavow the ideas of nationalism and militarism, precision work with the public in European countries.
The modern history of wars suggests that the agreement policy of pacifying an aggressor leads to mass bloodshed, genocide, and ethnic cleansing. A decisive response, a strong position together with a skillful diplomatic maneuvering, using the whole arsenal of out-of-bounds means of political opposition will have to lower the conflict intensity, and to cool the hot heads.
Under the conditions of geopolitical opposition the most effective means of preventing both local clashes and the full-fledged military actions, deterring aggressor is a balance of forces, a threat of unacceptable asymmetric response. Weakness and indecisiveness are equal to crime and betrayal with respect to both people: Russian and Ukrainian.
Candidate of Political Sciences
Published in the Issue No. 26 (544) for July 23, 2014.
http://cassad.net/category/politic/279-plyusy-mobilnoy-voyny.html (in Russian) – link
PS. If the general political conclusions of the author can be debated (like the idiotic comparisons between Gaddafi and the banderovites or geopolitical illusions), then from the point of view of warfare, proceeding to the mass-scale use of pickups with mounted weapons by irregular detachments is long overdue, although for now they are used only episodically even though the nature of war favors the development of such forms of infantry motorization and increasing its firepower. The wars in Libya and Syria show this very well. A triumphant offensive of ISIS militants in Iraq, where they rout armored units of Iraqi army on these kinds of stuffed pickups, this is the most recent example of the effectiveness of such tactics.
Original article: http://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/1695548.html (in Russian)