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MH-22: War in the Middle East. Violence Across the Spectrum of Conflict. Impact of Advanced Weapons Technology. Impact of Advanced Weapons Technology : Regional conflicts more violent & destructive Examples of advanced weapons applied in regional wars: Electronic & computer techniques

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MH-22: War in the Middle East

Violence Across the Spectrum of Conflict

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Impact of Advanced Weapons Technology

  • Impact of Advanced Weapons Technology:

    • Regional conflicts more violent & destructive

  • Examples of advanced weapons applied in regional wars:

    • Electronic & computer techniques

    • Precision guided munitions (enhanced target precision)

    • Medium range ballistic missiles

    • Chemical agents (Iran-Iraq war)

  • US & USSR weapons & tech advances provided to clients:

    • Paid for by vast ME oil reserves (hence motive to protect)

    • Also availed practical arms laboratory for testing US & Soviet equipment (vicarious Superpower bragging rights)

    • Weapons tested under actual combat & Battle conditions

      • Such as Arab-Israeli Wars or USSR-Afghanistan War (US support rebels)

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Violence Across the Spectrum of Conflict

  • Middle East Wars: waged throughout the Cold war

    • At levels of violence across full spectrum of conflict=>

    • Another growing phenomenon:

    • Conflicts & wars tended to occur =>

      • With greater frequency & higher levels of violence

  • Especially true in the M.E. & SW Asia regions:

    • Most significant conflicts were:

      • Arab-Israeli Wars (which continue at various levels)

      • Iran-Iraq War

      • Afghanistan War (or the Soviet’s Vietnam)

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Overview of Major ME & SW Asia Conflicts

  • First examine major conflicts of Middle East since 1948

  • Begin with the History of Arab-Israeli conflicts

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Arab-Israeli Wars

  • Long history of tension & conflict between both sides

    • Continues to this day- particularly over what?

  • Following WWII=> all this came to a head

    • The British departed (abandoned) Palestine

    • UN proposed dividing Palestine into two states

      • A partitioned Palestine with an Arab & Jewish state

    • Arabs objected & tensions soon escalated

    • Then the Israelis declared establishment of an independent state

  • Arab rejection to prospect of Israeli state took form in political & military resistance

    • Following UN partition of Palestine:

      • Palestinians especially conducted terror & insurgencies

    • Finally all out conventional war with all ME Arab states


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1948 Middle East War

  • AKA “War of Independence” to Israelis

    • Begins immediately following proclamation of State of Israel

    • (And soon after US recognition)

  • Both acts prompt immediate condemnation by Arabs

    • Egyptian A/C strike Tel Aviv

    • Followed soon after by ground attacks by Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, & Saudi Arabia

  • But Arab attacks are uncoordinated, sporadic, and without unity of command

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Israeli Counterattack

  • Lack of coordination & operational shortfalls take toll on Arab armies

    • Allowed Israeli militias time to regroup & counterattack

  • After 4 weeks of fighting a better coordinated though outnumbered Israeli army counterattacks

    • Soon pushed Arabs back from initial gains and even into the loss column

    • Brave but poorly led Arab army forced to withdraw

  • UN coordinated Cease fire lines & Armistice Agreement

    • Established in 1949

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1956 Sues Crisis

  • 8 years later, following escalating tensions, Nasser came to power in Egypt

    • Aim: unite Arabs under his leadership

    • Modernize & reinvigorate Egyptian Armed Forces

  • Sought Soviet support following West rejection to help

  • Nasser would reach modernization goal

    • CZ provided intermediary link for Soviet support

    • Then Nasser nationalized Suez Canal to pay for his military modernization expenses

    • Nasser’s moves upset potential ME balance of power

  • Israel, concerned about Soviet support to Egypt, joined forces with an outraged Britain & France

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Preemptive Attack

  • Britain & France conspired with Israel to attack Egypt

    • Israel agreed to attack on ground across Sinai desert

    • Plan: Britain & France will issue demarche’ to both sides to stay 10 mile apart from Suez canal

    • Otherwise they will intervene to secure Suez Canal

      • (ALCON expected Egypt to reject this ultimatum)

  • 28 Oct 1956: Israel attacked across Sinai with impressive results

    • Conducted well planned & coordinated attack

    • Achieved complete operational & tactical surprise

    • Soon achieved all tactical objectives

  • Britain & France conduct air strikes, airborne & amphibious landings in & around Suez

    • But soon forced to back down by US (Ike) & USSR pressure=> marked end of British influence in ME

  • Israeli lessons learned:

    • Corrected C3 & armor-infantry integration problems for next time

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Six Day War- Opening Moves

  • The Next Time occurred a decade later:

    • Soviet false intelligence prompts Arabs to mobilize

    • Nasser’s rhetoric and aggressive actions in Sinai spur Israeli concerns

    • Jordan joined the anti-Israel alliance already in place between Egypt and Syria

    • Nasser ordered UN peace keepers out of Sinai

    • Then Egypt blockaded Straits of Tiran

  • Israel concluded attack was imminent & mobilized

    • Launched preemptive strike against Egyptian front

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Operation Moked

  • June 5, 1967: Israeli air force strike Egyptian airfields & eliminate most of Egypt's air force

    • Then do the same to Jordan’s & Syria’s

  • Most important operation of the war- why?

    • Eliminated Arab ability to mobilize its ?__________ & ?________ forces

    • Israel now has air superiority (decisive)

  • 7 June: Israeli tanks attack Egypt’s

    • Egyptian forces defeated & forced to withdraw from Sinai

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Jordan Salient & the Golan Heights

  • Jordan’s forces put up good fight in their western salient

    • But Jerusalem is soon taken by Israelis

    • Jordan soon defeated by superior Israeli army & is forced to surrender on 7th

  • Syrian forces are driven from Golan Heights

    • Withdraw but find themselves vulnerable to Israeli destruction

    • Surrender on 10 June 1967

  • Results: Israel gains most territory

    • Gain military reputation as “invincible”

    • Arabs humiliated by defeat in six days

    • Revert to raids into Israel & arty strikes

    • Nasser conducts “War of Attrition”

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Yom Kippur War – Oct 1973

  • Anwar Sadat succeeds Nasser as President of Egypt

    • Embarks on mission to upgrade Army’s leadership & modernize its equipment

      • Especially upgrade air defense systems with Soviet SAMs

    • Aim: demonstrate to world that Israel was notinvincible

  • Sadat coordinated with Syrians to attack simultaneously with Egyptians – reason?

    • Confront IDF with ?____________________ war from both North & South

  • Main obstacle Egyptian attack to recover Sinai

    • 25 meter high sand dunes on east side of Suez Canal

    • Manned along entire Bar Lev defense line by 500 IDF

    • Consisting of small fortifications every 10-12 KM

  • On Saturday 6 Oct 1973 (Yom Kippur) they attacked

    • Egyptians along entire Bar Lev Line front 70K troops vs. 500

    • Syrians attack in the North with 1500 Tanks against 157

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Yom Kippur War- Egyptian Front

  • Israelis caught by complete strategic & tactical surprise

    • Egypt penetrates 10-12 KM east of Canal (high pressure hoses)

    • IDF aircraft are shot down by SAMs & IDF tanks are destroyed by anti-tankRPG-7s & saggers(3K meters)

  • Oct 14: Egypt launches 6 thrusts of 2000 tanks (lose 200)

    • But Egypt's penetration of 15 KM leaves troops outside air defense zone & vulnerable to IDF aircraft

  • Oct 15: re-supplied by US, IDF (MG Sharon’s Division) cross canal north of Bitter Lakes

    • Exploit gap between 2nd & 3rd Army & cut off 3rd Army from rear & destroy Egypt's air defenses

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Golan Heights

  • Syrian’s attack in Golan Heights cued to Egyptians

    • Syrians able to capture IDF Intel collection site on Mt. Hermon

  • 11 Oct: IDF are reinforced and begin to push Syrians back

    • Syrians fall back behind 1967 Cease-Fire Line

  • 13 Oct: IDF destroy Iraqi tank brigade & break Syrian line

    • Sayeret Matkal SOF recapture Mount Hermon after heavy causalities by 22 Oct & come in sight (& heavy arty) of Damascus: - then halt

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Operation Gazelle 15-23 Oct 1973

  • Sharon clears pass through Egyptians to east side of canal

    • Establishes bridgehead and builds bridge over canal to west side

    • Adan & Morgan’s divisions follow - 3rd Egyptian army trapped

  • UN & Superpowers call for cease fire - finally agreed to

    • IDF wins tactical & operational victory but Sadat also wins- why?

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Iraqi Initial Gains- 1980

  • Saddam Hussein attempted to take advantage of Iran’s political chaos & debilitated army following their 1979 revolution

  • Aim: curtail growing Iranian Shi’ite Islamic fundamentalism

    • Feared potential influence on his own Iraqi majority Shi’ites

    • Seized key geographic areas in Iran

    • Extended Iraqi influence into PG

  • His modernized army attacked along a broad front

    • 1700 tanks, 1800 APCs, 340 A/C

    • Made only nominal gains along entire 1100 KM border into Iran

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  • War soon bogged down into stalemate ala WWI style

    • Iran launched numerous frontal attacks killing almost a million

      • Children, women & old men provided mine clearance with their bodies

  • Saddam tried to disengage but Iran pressed on

    • War dragged on for 8 years & only ended when Iran felt threatened by US

  • US became directly involved during “tanker wars” in PG

    • Conducted direct actions against Iran staging platforms & mine layers

  • War demonstrated ruthlessness of Saddam & insanity of Iran religious zealots

    • Human wave assaults of women & children against heavy weapons, mines, & gas

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Afghanistan War 1978-1988

  • April 1978 Muhammad Daoud was overthrown in Soviet supported coup & PRA seized control

    • Situation deteriorated into chaos as many factions resisted new government

    • Soviets placed Babrak Karmal in power but insurgency continued to grow worse

    • 1986 Soviets replaced Karmal with Najibullah

  • Soviets controlled most urban centers

    • Afghan Mujahedeencontrolled the mountains

  • Soviets reinforced initial SOF with large conventional forces & armored columns

    • Including tanks & heavy attack Hind Helos

    • Bomb Paki sanctuaries & LOCs- all to no avail

    • Like NVA, Afghans decide when, where, & how

  • CIA covertly supported insurgents from Pakistan with weapons & later Stingers

    • In time War bogged down into Soviet’s Vietnam

    • Political & economic problems at home ended it

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Cold War in Retrospect- Assessment

  • Cold War (CW):

    • From end of WWII in 1945 to collapse of Soviet Union in 1991

    • Thru-out- greatest influence => Nuclear Weapons:

    • Shaped policy, strategy & force structures of both sides

    • Each technological advance generated reaction =>

      • Each side attempted to keep up with other =>

      • Promoted Arms Race & increased global tensions

  • Following Soviet acquisition of A-bomb (then Nukes)=>

    • US & USSR faced with possible escalation of any crisis

    • Result: must avoid direct confrontation=> (why?)

      • Avoid potential for ?__________ to ?__________ War

    • (From crisis =>low intensity => mid =>high => Thermo- ?____)

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Problem: GW & Protracted War

  • Advanced weapons & technology was used by both clients/allies

    • For most part => US & Soviets avoided escalations:

      • (The one very close exception?)

  • As for the other 160 conflicts below the High Intensity Conflict (HIC) threshold:

    • Asian Wars particularly hard for US: (Korea, Vietnam)

    • GW & protractedvs. American style conventionalwars

    • Totally different philosophy & doctrine towards war

    • (i.e. Clausewitzof Europe vs. Sun Tzuof China)

    • LBJ & Westmorelandvs.Mao, Ho Chi Minh & Giap

?_______ __________ ________

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New Challenges & Response

  • USSR faired no better in Afghanistan for similar reasons:

    • In this case=> decentralized Islamic Fundamentalistsinsurgents

  • Terrorism bought new challenges, beginning in late’60s:

    • Response: elite SOF CT units(Israeli Sayeret Matkal commandos, Mossad)

    • GSG-9, SAS, Commando Hubert,

    • US: JSOTF, Delta & ST6

    • All demonstrated some success (known & unknown)

  • Chemical Agents also employed at various times:

    • By Soviets against Mujahedeen (early stages of war)

    • US (AgentOrange herbicidein RVN);

    • Also employed by 3rd world opponents

      • Iraq used Chemical agents against Kurds

      • (As poor man’s Nuke)

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Protracted War & Weapon Advances

  • Cold War conflicts largely more protracted:

    • Korea (fighting while negotiating - last 2 years of war)

      • Vietnam (US: 1961-73); Iran-Iraq (‘80-88);

    • Soviets in Afghanistan (‘79-89);

    • Major exceptions? => Israel-Arab wars (‘56, ‘67, ‘73)

      • But still unsettled to this day – no real peace!

  • Weapons technology advances:

    • Vietnam: Helo, initial precision guided munitions

    • Yom Kippur war: further weapon advances/refinements

    • Afghanistan: US SA-7 - air defense against USSR Helos

  • Other Technology & weapon advances included:

    • C3I: SATCOMM, Photo-Intelligence

    • A/C: U-2, MC-130 Blackbird, AC-130, CAS attack;

    • Computers, & advanced Logistics systems

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Cold War Doctrine, Tactics, & Training

  • CW Battles proved truly 3 dimensional (air-ground-sea)

    • Air-Groundcoordination & interface increased

    • Air-mobile ops (Helo) => effectively employed

  • Israel (‘67 & ’73 Wars)=> offered superior example:

    • Effective & efficient force structure & C2

    • Superior doctrine, tactics, & training:

      • Outstanding SOF & Intelligence interface

      • Excellent INTELL network in M.E. (HUMINT)

      • Best VFRair to air combat capability in region

      • (At least until Top gunestablished)

  • Still=> technology had its limits (Strategic Air & Helos)

    • Vietnam & Afghanistan prime examples of these limits

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  • No one concept or theory can accurately represent Cold Warera

  • Key Cold War changes include:

    • Refined Operational concepts & technology advances

  • Limited warfaremotives validated- to an extent:

    • US avoided direct conflict with the Soviets & conflict escalation to WW3

  • Limited warfaretheories invalidated:

    • Gradual escalation & strategy of attrition (Vietnam) didn’t work

    • Ability to precisely send right message to enemy=>

      • With hoped for appropriate response unrealistic (due in part to friction)

  • Spectrum of conflict expanded: (especially within LIC & terrorism)

  • Cold War was an era of significant innovation & change:

    • New tactical concepts & many weapon & technological advances

  • Result:

    • Violence intensified throughout all levels of conflict

    • Now apparently on whole new level (suicide bombers)