The Saker: Venezuela Is Completely at the Mercy of a Potential US Air War. Those S-300s Sadly Won’t Be Much Use

The US is so near and so much more powerful it can simply overwhelm any Venezuelan defenses with sheer numbers of missiles and from a safe distance

God too high above, Russia too far away

Those who now claim that three Russian S-300 air defense battalions (equipped with the export version of the S-300VM – the “Antey-2500”) or even thousands of Russian-made MANPADS can stop the US simply don’t understand warfare in general and air-defense operations specifically. What these folks do is to take a few figures about, in this case, the theoretical capabilities of the Venezuelan S-300s and then compute how many aircraft/missiles these systems could shoot down. That is not how air defenses work.

The sad truth is that absent a multi-level integrated air defense system like Russia has, air defense operations typically turn into a simple numbers game: X number of defensive missiles vs. Y number of attackers. Keep in mind that effective EW (especially SEAD) will dramatically reduce the effectiveness of any air defenses. The same applies to whatever number of Su-30 or even Su-35s Russia might deliver to Venezuela.

Now, look at a map and see for yourself: Venezuela is literally in the US’s backyard (at least in military terms), and the US can bring HUGE numbers of whatever it wants (missiles, bombs, SEAD aircraft, etc.) to the fight. Not only that, but the Venezuelans lack any real counter-attack options, which means that Uncle Shmuel can fire off as many missiles as he wants for weeks and months without ever having to worry about a counter-strike.

It is only political factors protecting Venezuela from an overt US attack, not military factors. The latter are not irrelevant, of course, and I discussed them here. In military terms, Venezuela is a sitting duck which might be able to deter a ground operation, but which can do nothing against US standoff striking capabilities, at least not against a determined US effort. Against a pretend-strike, like what the Israelis and the US did in Syria, the Venezuelans could probably meaningfully degrade the number of US bombs/missiles reaching their targets. But that is all they can reasonably hope for.

Source: The Unz Review

  1. Abraham Seggfej says

    The US is not as powerful as they want the World to believe moreover, just look at their failure around the World. Anything they touch ends up damaged

  2. JustPassingThrough says

    paranoia runs deep.
    the author “simply don’t doesn’t understand warfare”
    definitely a u.s. mentality apparent in this article.

  3. XSFRGR says

    I recall that the U$ won the battle of Tet in 1968. However, that doesn’t alter the fact that the American population was demonized, and North Vietnam won the war. There is also another small problem is that is perhaps the big boys are not going to sit idly by, and allow Venezuela to be murdered.

  4. thomas malthaus says

    In the worst scenario Venezuela can disable their oil fields or propagandize as such. Imagine an immediate oil price spike destined to destroy world economies.

    Even advanced US policy discussions of wars with Venezuela, Syria, Iran, and Russia will have the dubious effect in PM markets, as they so appear now. I hope it’s not treason to suggest diplomacy as a solution. When one considers future US’ energy and rare earth minerals shortfalls, diplomacy is irrelevant.

    Regime change through the NGO route is cheaper, less messy, doesn’t necessarily create a big splash with a cooperating MSM.

    Even if gold and silver don’t spike upwards short-term, their supply chain issues suggest accumulating a personal and sovereign hoard is imperative.

    1. silver749 says

      Obviously the problem sits there. A complete attack and destruction of Venezela most probably means Venezuela would totally detsroy all their oil fields – which is all the Americans want. Less than a month after Iraq was bombed Americans moved in to take the oil. Without telling anyone of course.

  5. Marvin Joel Zavala López says

    Venezuelan Army could train and use FARC and NLA gerrillas to attack the seven military bases the US has in Colombia and arm them with hundreds of Man-Pads… Beleave me those bases are full of US personel and big and slow planes.

  6. Morgan Hakansson says

    The saker is pure drivel

    1. vlom2441 says

      I would say full of bovine excrement.

  7. Steve Hall says

    This article is complete load of crap. America couldn’t even overwhelm Cuba with all its might!! Did you forget about that? Oh and then US Army left whimpering out of Vietnam, quashed in Afghanistan, but went back to protect the poppy fields, Iraq and even Syria has been a mockery, but not for the thousands of dead servicemen who fought for nothing, and their families suffering for generations. America wouldn’t be overwhelmed in 10 minutes by Russian nuclear submarines scouring the Atlantic and Pacific? Then they America would earn wirkdcwufw CONDEMNATION for an invasion of a non hostile sovereign nation plus lose the hearts and minds if South Americans. Me thinks you write rubbish.

    1. Séamus Ó Néill says

      America has already lost….the whole world loathes and detests their murderous satanic ways….when it collapses , as it surely will , that other cesspool of demonic leeches squatting in Palestine will collapse also…the third part of the tripartite of evil , Britain , doesn’t matter …it’s already crumbling into obscurity !!

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