The Old Guy reminisces
I put together the following based on conversations with people in NATO at the time of the Kosovo war. Makes an interesting theory I think.
Despite nonsense from frustrated neocons, it's clear that Russia is using sophisticated smart weapons in Syria. I remember that, during the first Chechen war there wasn't much evidence of anything but gravity bombs. Now I would be the last to underestimate the technological skills of the inventors of the helicopter, satellites, multiple launch rocket systems, the best tank of the Second World War, the most popular assault rifle ever and many other military doodads but I wonder if the following story throws some light on the subject.
As you may recall during NATO's Kosovo war we were told that some very high percentage of targets were successfully struck; something in the 80s or 90s as I recall. Then reporters (remember them? Before they became copy typists?) noticed that a lot of NATO aircraft were coming back with their ordnance still on the racks. How, they asked, can you be hitting so many targets when so many aircraft come back obviously not having hit anything?
This soon stopped and the aircraft came back empty. Then fisherman in the Adriatic started complaining that they were catching unexpended weapons. In other words, the NATO aircraft had been instructed to dump unused bombs and missiles into the sea rather than come back with them.
Then the fishermen stopped complaining. Why? I was told by a contact in NATO that the aircraft had been instructed to dump the weapons for which they could find no targets on Pristina airport. And so, when the Russian took the airport (and maybe this is why they did), they found a museum of unexpended NATO ordnance.
So, not only did NATO's brilliant Kosovo adventure leave us with a mini state run by drug lords and organ traffickers, but it also gave Russian technology a leg up on 1) making smart weapons and 2) countering them.