As the United States and other Western powers prepare to step up their efforts against ISIS in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris, they should be careful of revealing too much military technology to other countries, especially Russia. It is particularly concerning that Russia is maintaining advanced anti-aircraft defense technology in the Middle East, especially when combating ISIS shouldn’t require such high-powered equipment. Russia is most likely using this equipment in order to obtain better data regarding the aircrafts of the United States.
Russia is particularly interested in learning more about the American F-22 Raptor fighter jet. This aircraft is one of the world’s most sophisticated fighter planes, and it only conducted its first ever real world combat mission in September of 2014. It’s no surprise that Russia has largely been taking advantage of the situation in Syria to study the aircraft. By learning more about the F-22, the Russians will be able to better develop their anti-aircraft and other defense technology. Russia will be able to improve tracking algorithms, increase its defense capabilities and better understand the capabilities of American forces.
The situation is quickly growing more troubling, as Russia recently sent a Moskva Warship to the coast of Syria. The S-300 Grumble Air Defense System of this warship can detect signals that are up to 90 miles away. The Russians have said that it was deployed in order to test the efficiency of the system. Additionally, Russia has also sent its S-400 Triumf system, which is considered by many to be the best air defense system in the world. While Russia says that it is in the Middle East to fight against the Islamic State, this doesn’t appear likely, since ISIS does not generally have access to such fighter jets. If Russia really was focused solely on ISIS, it wouldn’t need these air defense systems.
With these Russian air defense systems put into place, the United States should be careful about flaunting its aircraft technology. Strategically concealing weapons and saving them for when they are really needed might be more important than blowing ISIS away with airstrikes. Right now, the United States might be wiping ISIS off of the face of the Earth, but America is also improving the capabilities of the Russians.
For now, the United States should stop using the F-22 Raptor in Syria. This extremely advanced fighter jet is not needed to take down ISIS. Instead, a less advanced aircraft like the A-10 would be better suited for the job. The United States should be doing everything in its power to prevent the Russians from gaining an upper hand. Defeating ISIS does not require the United States to make use of its strongest weapons. America has something bigger that it should be more conscious about.