Main Determinants: New Era, New War Technologies and TCG Anadolu
*Bu yazı 12/04/2023 tarihinde yayınlanmıştır.
Doç. Dr. Güray ALPAR/SDE Başkanı
Understanding where it stands in the international arena and developing the ability to "explain" beyond superficial criticism is, in a sense, the initial necessity of going further (Waltz, 1982: 3). In this context, first of all, it is necessary to understand the depth of where we stand in the geography, we are in. In addition, it is a fact that a cursory analysis will not lead us to the truth, especially without considering the shape of the world after the cold war period and the advances in war technologies.
Rosecrance, one of the accepted theorists in the field of international relations discipline, states and claims that the four main determinants of the system against the disruptive effects that negatively affect its stability are; direction and orientation (administrators' goals and approaches to foreign policy), control (power of government), resources (the availability of material resources that can be converted to power and the speed at which they are converted into power), and capacity (the ability to reduce the impact of disruptive inputs in the system) (Rosecrance, 1963 : 279).
On the other hand, social systems are based on different value forms (Graeber, 2012: 28,29). In general, it is seen that all societies throughout history have been in conflict with themselves and their environment over this system of values. It is also a fact that the current international system model, which is built on interests, is becoming increasingly ruthless. In the events that developed in the Eurasian geography from the beginning of the 20th century; It is also obvious that the system has been cluttered with consciously created external disturbances, some resources have been stolen from the owner, and people's peace has been disturbed. In this sense, central actors with capital accumulation have created a system based on exploitation for regions they find weak (Eralp, 2009: 140-146).
Considering the "disruptive effects", which focused especially on the geography and environment in which Turkey is located, unfortunately, until the beginning of the 21st century, an effective structure that could interfere with these effects could not be established and a regulatory mechanism could not be established, so the instability continued. Security is the need of everyone and every state. In the background of preparing for war, there is the idea of ensuring the current and future security of the state and people (Alpar, 2015: 3).
It is also clearly seen that the disruptive effects have started to change for the first time in a long time as a result of the breakthroughs made in the field of the Turkish Defense Industry. This is the underlying cause of the main discomfort of the quarterback actors.
In particular, new technologies in the field of SİHA and İHA as force multipliers with the ability to change the situation in the field of operations; It is obvious that it is effective in East Africa as well as Syria, Iraq, Libya, Ukraine and Nagorno-Karabakh regions. Those who are experts in the military field know that it is one thing to have technology, it is another thing to use it in real combat conditions in the operational environment.
It is seen that the Turkish army uses this technology well with its war experience from the depths of history and gradually develops it in the field according to the needed conditions.
It was the effective use of unmanned aerial vehicles, which are force multipliers that enabled operations like “Olive Branch” to be accomplished in a shorter time than expected. These weapons neutralized high-value targets in the most economical way and with almost negligible minimization of civilian casualties.
Disruptive effects have always existed. In the 5600 years from 3600 BC to 2000, more than 15,000 wars took place and only 300 years passed in peace (Çetin, 2007: 292). According to another study, the peace environment is shorter. According to this, only 28 years of the written history period passed without war (Çimen and Göğabakan, 2013: 9). No matter how much we want it, wars and destabilizing effects will continue to exist from now on as long as we are not strong against these effects. Therefore, in order to ensure stability, an economical and effective defense system must be established.
Today, the operating environment has changed, and it has been seen that the cumbersome and uneconomical weapons and defense systems of the Cold War Period are useless. In such a period, the trend towards unmanned and autonomous systems is inevitable. This is what Türkiye is trying to achieve. It is known that the Turkish Armed Forces and the Defense Industry have developed the ability to make sense of the situation within the framework of recent developments and to position themselves flexibly accordingly. The maked sense of operations began in the ground operations area, then moved to the air operations area.
It is clear that armies that cannot adapt to this new situation or are late in adaptation will be ineffective in a crisis environment with their cumbersome structures. This situation is understood by the experts of the subject, and therefore, there is a great interest in Turkish unmanned aerial vehicles all over the world. Moreover, the system is open to development and with the unmanned aerial war plane Bayraktar Kızılelma and other projects, new developments in the field of aviation are being introduced every day. This development will undoubtedly continue to increase in the future.
With the TCG Anadolu aircraft carrier, new developments in the defense industry were carried to the seas. Naturally, a newly developed system cannot be expected to be perfect all at once. However, the system, which is quite economical, has been designed and implemented according to Türkiye's needs. First of all, such a multifunctional system was included in the inventory with a domestic production of 70%, at a cost of less than a billion dollars. The ship, which was launched in less than 5 years and at a cost of 650 million dollars, is also possible to be built in even shorter times. It looks like it will be. Moreover, the project can be protected from sea and air by unmanned systems, and all the developed systems can be used together and in coordination to create synergy.
The system is mobile, not only with the maritime field; It has brought together land, air and naval infantry elements in the most appropriate way and has been designed to be a flexible usage area. With this state, it seems that the aircraft carriers, which left their mark on the last century as a force multiplier and which very few countries could have due to their expensive and costly nature, will have a different and preferred counterpart in the new era. The emergence of a modern aircraft carrier as a system can exceed 13 billion dollars, and when the operational costs are added to this, there are enormous costs that are difficult to bear. For this reason, large-type aircraft carriers exist in a limited number of countries.
Aircraft carriers, due to operating costs; if USA are excluded, It is available in limited numbers in countries such as China, England, Russia, Italy, France and causes problems. Countries such as Spain, Japan, Egypt, S. Korea, Australia and Brazil prefer small and economical models.
China's aircraft carrier studies only started after the cold war. China's first aircraft carrier was a redesigned Soviet ship, while the second was built in China, also based on Soviet design. It is only now (2022) that he started to build the aircraft carrier that reflects his identity.
In 2016, Admiral Kuznetsov, Russia's only aircraft carrier, was passing through the English Channel (Manş) to return to his country from the Mediterranean region where he was on duty, while thick black smoke was rising above him. One of the ship's 15 warplanes was shot down in Syria, and the other planes could barely land on the deck. Also, while the ship was approaching the naval base, the aircraft carrier was severely damaged as the port crane hit the deck.
It cannot be said that the situation is different in the USA. A report on this on Bloomberg is really interesting. The report claims that the world's most expensive aircraft carrier is not capable of fighting. The ship was planned to be completed in 10 years, but it could only be completed in 13 years with a delay of 3 years (F-35 warplanes were also delayed due to constant additions, and due to their cumbersome structure and complex functional structure, they had come to a state of frequent malfunctions and had fallen on their own). The USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier, which was launched in 2017 and introduced as the world's most expensive aircraft carrier, turned out to be unsuitable for take-off and landing of aircraft, which is one of the basic functions, two weeks after its delivery. The destroyer, which was already equipped with high technology and described as invisible, also broke down while being launched into the water. Maintaining the ship was very difficult, even by US standards. The cost of a single cannon shot of the ship exceeded almost 800 thousand dollars. It is known that the annual operating costs of these types of ships reach almost billions of dollars. Just having a ship is not enough. It is not something that every country can achieve to get the weapons and equipment on the ship and to maintain many complex systems on it. On the other hand, TCG Anadolu is important in terms of presenting an alternative model to the world as an economical and effective system suitable for the new era.
As a result, everyone, from the highest-level manager to the engineer and employee involved in such a proud project, deserves a lot of appreciation. It is clear that this model will provide important contributions and demands for exports to the Türkiye economy, just like unmanned aerial vehicles, in the future.
While the world is being lost among the cumbersome and expensive systems with a wrong perception, it is enough to change the perspective and make sense of events, create wonders.
After the İHAs and SİHAs, the emergence of defense systems like TCG Anadolu attracts the attention of the whole world as a model against the actors that affect and try to influence regional and global stability. As stated by Rosecrance, such a state determinant and its ability to reduce disruptive effects; starting from the goals and approaches of the managers regarding foreign policy, the ability to quickly bring together the material and spiritual resources that can be turned into power and power factor can reach the highest point with a realistic visionary perspective, and it is seen that it has been put into practice. Undoubtedly, the future will belong to those who designed it and those who do what is necessary within the framework of the vision it has revealed.
-Alpar, G. (2015). Uluslararası İlişkilerde Strateji ve Savaş Kültürünün Gelişimi, Palet Yayınları: Konya.
-Çetin, V. (2007). Savaşın Felsefesi, Etik Yayınları: İstanbul.
-Çimen, A., Göğebakan G. (2013). Tarihi Değiştiren Savaşlar, Timaş Yayınları: İstanbul.
-Eralp, A. (2009). “Sistem”, Devlet ve Ötesi, Der. Atila Eralp, İletişim Yayınları: İstanbul.
-Graeber, D. (2012). Anarşist Bir Antropolojiden Parçalar, Çev. Bengü Kurtege Sefer, Boğaziçi Üniversitesi Yayınları: İstanbul.
-Rosecrance R. (1963). Action and Reaction in World Politics: International Systems in Perspective, Little, Brown and Company: Boston.
-Waltz, K. (1982). Uluslararası İlişkiler Kuramı ve Dünya Siyasal Sistemi, Çev. Ersin Onulduran, Ankara Üniversitesi Siyasal Bilgiler Fakültesi Yayınları: Ankara.
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