War Lessons

Most likely, the first war in human history was one group of guys rushing at another group of guys, swinging fists and anything they could use as a club. It did not take long before a man decided that it was a good idea to use his hunting weapons to ward off these attacks or compliment these attacks. After all, if a gang of men with spears could take down a large animal, the same tactics would work on humans. From there the arms race was on among the human species.

The club was probably the first weapon of war. The spear would be the first tool converted for use in war. The shield was the first tool of war created specifically for use in combat against other men. Unlike the club, the shield was not just lying around waiting for a man to use it in a fight. Unlike the spear, the shield was not something used for hunting. The shield was a practical response to men using their spears to poke at you in a fight. It was the dawn of the arms industry.

We have no way of knowing if any of that is true. The first men were not big on writing stuff down so we are left to speculate. Maybe the crazies are right and people are naturally peaceful until a weapon is introduced. Some guy brought his spear to the clan meeting and this caused the clans to break out into warfare. Perhaps humans were vegetarians, eating what they could find until one guy picked up a stick and then immediately decided to start beating people with it.

Putting that aside, the history of war has been one side finding new ways to get around opposing defenses, while the other side finds new ways to block or reduce the weapons the other side is using. We are seeing this in Ukraine as the Russians work through the puzzle that is the Ukrainian defense network. For close to a decade the United States worked with Ukraine on their tactics, defenses and training. The Ukrainians were as ready as they could be for this war.

One of the first problems the Russians faced was the well designed Ukrainian air defense system. This was a carry over from the Soviet days. During the Cold War, the Russians planned to defend themselves against superior American airplanes, so they designed advanced air defense systems. These things are always hotly debated, but the consensus is that the Russians are the best in the world at building surface-to-air missile systems for defending against planes and missiles.

Of course, this was the same problem presented to NATO. The Russians have even better air defense systems than the Ukrainians. They can take out the best aircraft from great distances. This is why the Pentagon was adamantly against imposing a no fly zone over Ukraine. Losing billion dollar aircraft on a daily basis is a good way to lose popular support for a proxy war. It is also why there was never any thought about training Ukrainian pilots on the F-35.

That is the first lesson of this war. Outside of asymmetric wars, like America attacking a weak country, manned combat aircraft is becoming obsolete. Surface-to-air missile systems are reaching the stage where they can defeat the best manned aircraft at pennies on the dollar. If you can take out a billion dollar plane with a million dollar missile, it is not going to take long before the other side stops using their billion dollar planes to attack you.

That is another lesson of the war. Wars between peers are about economics, not flashy displays of technological prowess. Each side must try to reduce the per unit cost of destroying the opponents assets and defending its own assets. Assuming equal number of assets at the start, the game becomes a contest of efficiency. The side that can run the war most cost effectively wins. We are seeing that in Ukraine as the frugal Russians grind down the extravagantly financed Ukrainians.

That brings up another lesson of this war. The vaunted American military industrial complex is being revealed to be a bigger fraud than suspected. Last summer, Alex Vershinin pointed out the problems in the Western military industrial capacity versus that of the Russians. He concluded that the West simply lacked the industrial capacity to wage this war. In December Brian Berletic did a similar post on this topic, which had been covered in the Washington Post and Financial Times.

The United States has spent roughly a trillion dollars per year on weapons but there is not enough stock to last a year in a real war. Even if there is a shift toward ramping up production, it will take years to match the Russians and Chinese. In some cases, the ability to make the stuff has been lost. Once the contract with the military was fulfilled, the men and facilities to make the stuff was repurposed. For those cases it means starting production from scratch.

It actually is worse than anyone is letting on. The Pentagon refuses to consider supplying Ukraine with Abrams tanks. One reason is it takes a year to train a crew to competently operate the thing. The main reason, however, is these tanks are extremely fragile outside of optimum environments. Their size and complexity require a massive supply chain to keep the things running. That is great for the contractors, but it is an enormous liability for an army at war.

Probably the biggest lesson thus far is that drones are changing the battlefield in ways no one anticipated. Faced with massive defense works, the Russians were reduced to using their artillery advantage to pound the Ukrainians. Cheap drone technology has allowed them to efficiently target enemy positions and selectively hunt for opposing machines using inexpensive weapons. The cheap drone is not only a new weapon on the battlefield it is a force multiplier.

Of course, the biggest lesson is that fighting in your backyard is much easier than fighting across the sea. The Russians have short tight supply lines because Ukraine is right on her border. The Ukrainians, reliant on American money and material, have supply lines stretched thin. Those donated tanks and artillery pieces have to be shipped to Poland to be repaired. Another lesson of this war is that supply chain is as important as the weapons and ammunition it supplies.

Whether anyone in the West is learning anything from this is hard to know, but most likely the corruption is so thick that none of this is making sense to them. Making billion dollar jet fighters is much more fun and profitable than producing cheap drone technology or building better field artillery. If these lessons will be learned at all it will be in a colossal failure in the Pacific. That seems to be where the military industrial complex is determined to meet its fate.

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233 thoughts on “War Lessons

  1. These are some of the same lessons that the Germans learned in WWII. This isn’t a new situation, it is merely the advance of drone technology that has demoted some tech, and returned us to fighting in the muck, as in WWI. I am glad I am not of draft age in a Western country at this point. The West has been committing collective suicide for a few decades now. The seeds were sown, and now the bitter harvest is here.

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  3. And all the MSM does is lie about the situation. I read a BBC article a few days ago: “Ukraine rushes reinforcements to Soledar.” Good thing they “rushed” them there just in time to be destroyed by the Wagner Group.

    The real headline should be: ” The Wagner Group, a private military contracting organization, with the help of Russian artillery, cut NATO’s nuts off in Soledar and then handed them their heads”.

  4. There may be some real fear among the brass and the MIC firms that up against Russia all that wonderful equipment might end up in flames on the battlefield or at the bottom of the sea. The stuff in the latest announcement is all pretty old techthat has been supposedly upgraded over the years. The Bradley has performed well against the goatherds but has never faced a peer. I suspect that in a scrap with Russian armor it may not have a long, happy life, light armor with light guns don’t help much. The TOW AT missiles they have, only 4, are 40+ year-old tech and worse than that are wire guided so in a hot battlefield they probably won’t live long enough to use all 4.

    The other stuff, M-113s were bad in Vietman and are deathtraps now. MRAPs are heavy expensive Jeeps that have no purpose if there are no IEDs. You have to believe that servicing and repairing that stuff will be a nightmare along with all the other crap from around the world that’s being dumped on the Ukraine now.

    Russia has the most advanced EW capabilities on the world and they have been able to hack Starlink when they wanted. If things get serious they will certainly shut down all space-based systems and the AWACS we have orbiting outside Ukraine airspace. I remember a couple of years ago a USN frigate was making test runs into Russian territorial waters of the Crimea and it was buzzed by a Russian EW plane. The plane somehow shut down all electronics on the ship during the overflight but it didn’t keep them off long. It will be interesting to see what happens if the neos get what they want.

    • All this is quite alarming because, if the conventional toys don’t work, the pressure to go nuclear might prove overwhelming to the idiots. “Haste makes waste” will take on a new, more ominous meaning.

    • “There may be some real fear among the brass and the MIC firms that up against Russia all that wonderful equipment might end up in flames on the battlefield or at the bottom of the sea.”

      I disagree. The goal is to have all of this destroyed. How else do you created a need to produce more?. The tens of billions of dollars of equipment left in Afghanistan was left deliberately.

      The MIC concern is always : how to depict this loss as a result of not having enough.

    • The Abrams tank is perfect evidence about the aphorism that an elephant is a mouse designed by the Pentagon..It’s 60-70 tons of largely immoveable metal that is constantly breaking down…

  5. One of the real problem the US is having is that backing away from the MIC is increasingly difficult for ambitious young people due simply to the fact that we seem determined to turn our economy into what I think you would call a palace economy. Basically, without connections to the regime your little business is going to struggle and may be just squashed on a whim if it proves inconvenient. I think of all the little stores here in Oregon that are gone forever because our insane governor kept the mask rules in place for 18 months, longer than anywhere else.

    I’ve seen the MIC from the inside though and it’s still too tempting for most people. During the Iraq madness my employer was offering triple pay with no taxes to people who would work in the Green Zone in Baghdad. They would do the same goof-off jobs there that they did here but for $250,000 year tax free. Yet, did we “win” in Iraq?

    This is another reason to short sell the US if it were a stock. It’s highly likely that a lot of our massive “advantages” militarily such as nuclear carriers and things like the F-35 and B2 are actually useless against Russia, China, or anyone with a fairly modern economy and defense industrial system. That does not mean we can (or will) cancel these boondoggles or even just quietly back away from foreign aggression and entanglements. The individual financial and career incentives are still in place to seek work supporting these monstrosities and the disincentives to actual productive work and business formation are only getting stronger.

    I’m publishing this response on the blog I link in my username. Feel free to create accounts there and comment.

    • Good comment asking questions that need to be answered. Another thing that is bothering me more and more is just how do the people at the bottom of the MIC reconcile what they are doing with their beliefs about right and wrong. Or from a Christian perspective, are they committing a mortal sin by enabling Ukrainians killing Russians. That may seem harsh but how can anyone believe that they are doing the right thing by making HIMARS rockets when they are mostly being used to kill civilians in the Donbass? Are they making money at the cost of their souls?

      I’m pretty sure that none of them are asking that question but it’s bothering me a lot lately. I wonder if at the end of it all we’ll have to do Nurmberg trails for all the complicit people of this country. To me they are as guilty as the worst of the elite.

      • The folks at the bottom of the MIC mostly = Civnat G. Normiecon. I should know, I grew up surrounded by them.

        • That’s what I meant, they are civnat normie all the way. In theory they ought to the best of heritage America but they aren’t aware enough to realize what they are doing as far as I can tell. The assembly line workers at the bottom of the pyramid should have enough self-awareness and conscience to see what they are enabling. But a paycheck can be used to buy steaks and beer. Can’t interfere with the grilling.

          • There seems to be some confusion on who Civnat G. Normiecon is. C.G.N believes GAE war propaganda. If he didn’t believe it, he wouldn’t be CGN. In terms of the MIC version, when he’s not grilling and watching sportsball, he’s consuming Tom Clancy agitprop, which portrays what CGN believes, or wants to believe, about the MIC. Thus he is at peace with the part he plays in it.

            That stuff kind of is to literature as Garth Brooks is to music, but if you want not just big but huge sales you gotta appeal to the midwits. In this case, it got them all believing in the virtuous, selfless. patriotic CIA analyst, brave and true, right around the same time the CIA was taking over the rest of the government.

  6. So it seems reasonable to assume that future warfare will include satellites.

    Leaving inside the question of satellite-based weapons aimed at the Earth, the fact that so much military technology depends on satellites for geolocation and communication, would seem to mandate that taking out your adversary’s satellites before they can take out yours, would be a logical move once hostilities have broken out.

    So it seems reasonable to conclude that Russian, Chinese, and American military planners are already thinking along these lines.

    And if they don’t have them in place already, surely they are developing weaponized satellites which are capable of— and programmed for— locating and destroying the satellites of other nations.

    Immediately, following World War II, America was in a unique position: not only were we the only major nation with a fully-functioning economy, we alone possessed the atomic bomb.

    Of course, we failed to take advantage of that position of superiority; and soon other nations caught up with us.

    It seems likely to me that the military planners of Russia and China are aware of that historical precedent: of the way America failed to take advantage of their temporary position of superiority.

    Would that awareness prompt our Russian and Chinese adversaries to take advantage— in a timely fashion— of any superior technology they happened to develop; whether it involved satellites or offensive missiles or anti-missile defense or electronic jamming, or some other revolutionary technological capability?

    Would they be tempted to use it before we were able to develop any technology to counter it?

    • Not sure I’d argue of a superiority wrt nuclear weapons. Yeah, we’d “demonstrated” but not perfected the bomb. After the two we dropped on Japan we had only fissionable material for one more bomb and those things were pretty big as compared to today’s weapons. Starting a war in the first few years based upon a superiority in nukes would not seem a slam dunk. Four years after Nagasaki, the USSR demo’d its “Fat Man” and we were off to the races, so maybe we could have pulled it off with a four year head start. But I’d say we would have been in for a bloody slug fest with the USSR and the USA was in no mood for more war, and real war at that.

      • Stalin probably had a good idea how much fissionable material we had too. Very successful Soviet spy effort inside Manhattan Project. Moreover, in the 1940s delivery to target was questionable.

        • Jeffrey,

          I wondered about that; I recall there was a spy or spies there, but don’t remember the details. Were these Russian spies in a position to know that kind of information?

          • Without a doubt. Not all of them were ever caught or brought to “justice” either. There was one who confessed in the mid 1990s, shortly before his death. Nothing was done to him. There’s some reading out there one can do on the subject. Certainly too much to put in a reply here.

          • Not only the atomic program. Reds were inside FDR’s White House, and not a few. He saw Joe Stalin and Co. as brothers by another mother.

      • I hear you, and don’t really disagree with anything you say.

        I agree that it’s a good thing that America didn’t take advantage of our position of predominance. Our decision not to do so reflected our ‘national character’, IMO: we were not a warlike people intent on dominating the world, and using the threat of violence to attain that end.

        I’m just saying we *could* have, if we had wanted to:
        that in the years before Russia got the bomb, we were the only nation who had it. And though as you point out, we only had enough material to make one more bomb, I’m not sure how Russia could have known that?

        So we could’ve done it, but we chose not to.

        And it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Chinese or the Russians aren’t looking back at that and thinking,
        ‘That was stupid! If we ever find ourselves in that position, let’s do everything we can to take advantage of it.’

        That’s all I was trying to say.

    • Don’t go breaking my heart, should the Low Earth Orbit satellite prison system go down. Complex and takes a long time to build but seems easy to lay these LEO’s satellites to waste using much with less effort and resources than similiar terrestrial comm infrastructure.

      “Kessler Effect: What Kessler predicted is that sooner or later, objects in low-earth orbit would start colliding, and produce chain effects, like billiard balls colliding on a crowded pool table. If a piece of debris hit a satellite, it would produce more debris, which would to increase the risk of other collisions … and so on, and so on. At some point, you could reach a tipping point. There’d be so many chunks of debris that collisions would be inevitable, leaving low-earth orbit a junkyard where no satellites could survive.”

  7. I for one am reassured that Zelensky appeared at the People’s Golden Global Choice Awards, introduced by Sean Penn as a “dreamer” and told the celebrities that World War III was in development, and not currently scheduled for release as a trilogy! That Ukraine is winning, and that they’d be in Crimea by Summer and Moscow by next winter, to remove and try Putin and break up Russia. That is the plan.

    And from their perspective, why not? They have the measure of Putin and he can’t/won’t fight back. Each red line is crossed with impunity: the Moscova sinking, Kerch Bridge, attacks on the Engels airbase deep inside Russia, assassination of Dugina, all met with nothing from Russia and Putin. They “know” they can do what they want when they want. As Biden recently noted at El Paso, “I was in the Secret Service in Poland and Ukraine” … so there’s that. A Regime of True Believers who see unlimited weakness and moral wrong leading to defeat in Russia and unlimited strength and moral right among themselves. Striding to a podium and spouting rhetoric to the applause of the press is a victory; actual physical reality is remade by wishing hard and the “moral arc of history” — and its always 1991 and the Highway of Death where America showed how pathetic Russian weaponry really is, or if you prefer 2003 and the same with the same result.

    Gen. Milley tried to stop the plan to send 90K Polish troops and 50 US troops from Poland to Ukraine to fight Russia directly. [Russia now says they are in a direct war with NATO/US]. There might well be attacks on Russia in Kaliningrad, from the Baltics, even from Finland. Very likely, this will include “knockout” raids deep into Russian airspace to disable air defenses and aircraft which would be indistinguishable from a prelude to all out nuclear attack (which also might be in the cards as the Guardian and FT have both stopped worrying and learned to love the bomb). Gen Milley for his troubles was slapped down by the True Believers in the FBI and security services. He sings a different tune now.

    But for sure, US Combat troops are going to be deployed to Ukraine in massive numbers (not the tens of thousands there now as “advisors”) at least by March at the latest it seems. That is the plan it seems. But again, Zelensky promised that World War III is just in development, not actually green-lighted.

    • “Knockout raids deep into Russia to disable air defenses.” The fools think they can accomplish that as though Russia is Iraq.

  8. The Soviet experience in Afghanistan provides an interesting example of how shifting technology can completely change the balance of power in a war; and can enable a group whose forces are inferiorly-equipped in every other way, to prevail against a much more powerful and better-equipped adversary.

    For much of their occupation of Afghanistan, the Soviets had control of the major cities, while the Afghan rebel forces controlled the countryside.

    The Soviets were able to keep those rural rebel forces under control by sending out huge missile-bearing Hind helicopters to seek them out and destroy them. Imagine: you’re an Afghani tribesman, fighting with an old bolt-action rifle, hunkered-down in an isolated spot you believe to be safe; and suddenly over the horizon comes this huge helicopter, firing at you with laser-guided missiles and automatic guns.

    What completely turned the tables on the Soviets— what ended up driving them from Afghanistan— was when our CIA— using Pakistani intelligence as the middleman— provided the Afghanis with Stinger handheld missiles. Now when that Soviet helicopter came over the hill, that Afghani tribesmen would rise up from behind a rock, and knock it out of the sky with a Stinger. (From what I understand, the hit-rate the Afghanis were able to achieve with those Stingers far exceeded anything our troops had been able to achieve.)

    Suddenly most of those Hinds were not making it back. And this effectively ended the Soviets’ ability to operate outside the major cities; and appears to be the major factor in their decision to withdraw from Afghanistan completely.

    > All of which to point out, that if the Soviets had had drones— which are much harder to knock down with a Stinger, and impossible if there are more than one of them— the situation might’ve turned out differently:

    A reconnaissance drone to locate the rebels, followed by an explosive drone to take them out; that would have enabled the Soviets to control the countryside without risking expensive aircraft.

    So there’s no doubt that drones will figure prominently in the future of warfare. Reconnaissance drones already allow our military to have real-time ‘eyes’ on the people they are fighting. And swarms of explosive drones will be able to overwhelm any current defense systems.

    Another way in which the super-sophisticated defense systems on ships and planes can be overcome, is by jamming their electronics. So it’s conceivable that a nation which develops a ‘revolutionary’ new means of doing that, which other nations are unable to counter, might be able to achieve a an upset against a much more advanced foe. Disable the radar of that aircraft carrier, which controls its guns and missiles, and suddenly it’s vulnerable to attack by things like predator drones or smart missiles.

    > So although no technological advancement is going to completely obviate the need for troops on the ground, it also seems to be the case that the future of war will more and more be determined by which nation has the most advanced technology.

    Looking to the future, it seems clear that satellites are eventually going to play a big part— perhaps the major part— in aerial warfare. So there’s no doubt that our military— and certainly the militaries of Russia and China and Iran, and maybe North Korea— already have clandestine research programs in place developing satellite-based weapons.

    As I understand it, a sizable portion of our military budget is undisclosed; and recently military leaders have made offhand comments implying that research on satellite warfare is where a lot of that money is going.

    And it’s always been the case that technological advancements can suddenly change the shape of warfare: defeating tactics which hitherto had proven quite successful.

    Indians circling wagon trains in the American West had developed the tactic of waiting until the settlers defending the wagons had discharged their single-shot rifles and pistols, and were in the process of reloading; at which point the Indians would attack.

    Contemporary accounts describe the consternation among the Indians, when the settlers started carrying Winchester repeating lever-action rifles. Suddenly what had always worked, wasn’t working anymore.

    Surely the future of warfare will be increasingly changed and a defined by radical new technologies.

    • The western/GAE way of war demands, is based on, air superiority/supremacy. The whole doctrine flows from that. Without that it is DOA. So far, space is an ancillary theater to air. You seek to control space so that you can control air. Maybe someday space weapons will take the place of air weapons, but we aren’t there yet. GAE doctrine doesn’t seek to outmuscle you on the ground, it seeks to neutralize you from the air so it’s ground forces can roll relatively unimpeded.

      Thus, building more tanks/artillery isn’t going to defeat GAE. They will just blow them away from above. Unless you do something to disrupt their air advantage. That’s where the next big thing is, if there is a next big thing anytime in the near term.

      • Which is likely why the Russians are focusing on developing offensive missiles which can reliably overwhelm our current missile defenses.

        As a thought experiment, suppose they do that: suppose they develop offensive missiles which they are confident could reliably breach our defenses.

        At the same time, they are well aware that we are aware of what they’ve done; and that we are working as fast as we can to develop antimissile systems which are effective against their new class of missile.

        Wouldn’t the logical course of action be for them to take advantage of this temporary superiority on their part, and attack us immediately, before we have a chance to develop the technology to negate it?

        I don’t pretend to be able to imagine what Putin and his generals and oligarchs are thinking; but the above scenario doesn’t seem at all implausible.

        • It seems like the easy answer to the Next Big Thing that upsets, or reinforces, the military balance of power happens in space. But it’s hard for some pleb like me to say when. Maybe it has already happened and we just don’t know it yet. Maybe it is still years in the future.

          Hard to see that anyone has an insurmountable edge when it comes to using lots of cheap drones. That levels the field, but it doesn’t tilt it.

          Hypersonic missiles are expensive and I’m going to guess nobody produces large quantities quickly. Great stuff until you’ve shot your bolt.

          • Right.
            What it would seem reasonable to assume, is that the military planners of America and Russia and China— and maybe Iran and North Korea— having realized that the future balance of power will have to include space, *and may in fact be determined* by who prevails in space— are making plans along those lines.

            How far those plans have gotten— whether in the case of each nation they’re still in the theoretical planning stage, or whether they’re actually in the process of constructing such weaponized satellites, or whether they have one or more in orbit already— is impossible to know.

            What we *can* know for sure is that since they have the utmost incentive to keep it all secret, we likely won’t be hearing about whatever it is until it’s deployed.

            But I think it’s reasonable to assume that Russia, China and America at the very least or hard at work on this task of expanding the arms race to Space.

  9. My whole life, I never seriously considered, never would have believed, that one day the GAE might expend itself on the same steppe that Napoleon and Hitler did. Yet here we are, having this conversation.

    And somewhere in the globohomo hierarchy, you know it’s true, some well credentialed ‘expert’ is saying “by jove, we CAN beat the Russians in a land war. Our tanks can be in Moscow in six weeks!”

    • Since the first group of cavemen threw rocks and hit eachother with sticks.
      The MIC was there supplying them with overpriced rocks & sticks.
      It hasn’t and never will change.
      I am with the MIC, wasn’t always used to do real work. Spent a good part of the last twenty in third world shitholes and war zones. The company is asking for volunteers for Poland. Most of us expect soon enough we will be voluntold as no hands are going up.
      Not many true believers these days.
      If our sons are ordered in; god help them. hands reluctantly will raise.

      • I assume if it ever came to that, to conscript a fighting force to be slaughtered on the steppes, they’d apply “protected classes” to the draft just as they do in hiring these days.

        Protected classes (non-whites, sexual perverts, trannies, women) would get to opt out. White men would be sent to the meat grinder, along with all the other European white men. Dusky “protected classes” in the US and the dark invaders of Europe would get to breed with the white women left behind. The great replacement is accelerated.

        • If (((they))) actually tried a draft things would get hot on the home front very quickly. This is why local organization is essential. We need to combat force with force, and our blood will purify us and assure our place next to Christ in eternity. The GAE is going to be the vehicle through which the antichrist will be crowned. This is a struggle that is beyond the world of man and it is our duty to fight and die for Christ, the ultimate Truth.

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  11. There are other Russian military capabilities of note:

    1) Some very high proficiencies in electronic countermeasures (ECM). These may have been contributory to their successes in neutralizing drone swarms attacking their air base in Syria. Other uses are, of course, to be expected.
    These systems may have been successfully deployed to interrupt satellite communications in Ukraine, for instance, disrupting command and control for the Ukrainian/NATO forces.

    2) They have been building, and/or retrofitting small corvette size naval vessels to be armed with some very competent missile systems. These boats demonstrated some of these capabilities in support of misssions in Syria, firing these weapons from the Caspian Sea and striking targets in Syria. These vessels are small enough to be able to use canals to move from one river system to another, all within the confines of the Russian Federation while still packing a serious offensive capability. The Eastern Mediterranean is quite possibly within the range of these weapons.

    3) The new, very high velocity missile systems also have been designed to have long ranges, ranges that permit them to be launched from distances exceeding the surveillance bubble over carrier groups. They can be launched from airborne platforms, subsea platforms, as well as from those small naval vessels just discussed.

    4) They are building, seatrialing, and integrating into their surface and subsurface fleets a number of vessels of varying sizes and armaments suitable to challenge the supremacy of NATO’s naval forces. I am sure that anti-submarine warfare has been high on their list.

    They ain’t playing tiddly winks.

    • Yeah, but where are they in the *really important* battle: the battle for diversity, equity, and inclusion?

      How many ‘gays’ and ‘transgenders’ and angry women of color do they have in their ranks?
      Who do they have, for example, to compare to our Admiral Rachel Levine? To our ‘SecDef of color’ Lloyd Austin?

      Seriously, though: that does seem to be the case: that while we seem to be focusing on ‘woke’ measures which can only weaken our military, our Chinese and Russian foes are developing technologies which they intend to be superior to anything we can field against them.

    • One other point.
      The Russians, alongside of their preservation, and where possible and necessary, of their industrial base (helped significantly by being largely an autarky in respect of natual resources), have also been very serious about their educational system. They don’t view it as disjunct from the elements of real national power, rather rhe opposite. While here the shitlibs are doing all that they can to destroy our educational system as, well, a system that educates the population across the board whike it also seeks out the best and brightest for cultivation to their highest capabilities, they are using it to oppress those very people in favor of their mindless pursuit of blank-slatism.

      Right now, our centrally-important industries and fields of competence are barely hanging on, and shortly will be bereft of the legacy population of intelligent, competent, and contributory individuals who created and sustained our society’s advantages. Educational retardation, in coordination with demographic replacement are really beginning to bite. Look out below…

      • So true: what good are technologically-sophisticated weapons systems, without human actors intelligent enough to operate them?

      • This is the real reason the US can’t win against either Russia or China. Both are strong, coherent nations with no doubts about “who we are”. The US is barely a nation anymore and may fly apart from its own centrifugal forces without even any external pressure.

        Then add in the above mentioned habit of the ruling class to use the remaining national resources to attack the population itself while the US’s foes clearly use theirs the way any nation should – to bolster their economies and military. As just a single example, look at the way the US, which could and did supply its own oil needs under Trump, is creating artificial internal scarcity with insane “green” policies. Russia and China laugh and bump their fossil production ever higher.

    • Russia has learned a lot both from their own wars and those of the US.
      The US has learned only that spreading the money around makes the grift last longer. It makes me smile when I hear about how technologically advanced the US is, people have forgotten that the US was hitchhiking on Russian rockets for most of the century so far. Thank God the “Commercial Crew Program” (think Uber) saved them from that.

  12. The guy at Military and Foreign Affairs Network the past week put up two videos featuring satellite photos of Russia’s giant tank and APC factories. They are pumping out armor like M&Ms. Nothing like it in the West. They’re in it for the long haul.

    • And on the human side of the equation, both the Russians and the Chinese are appealing to the traditional masculine virtues of toughness and martial ability, in their ads recruiting troops.

      Meanwhile, our military is showing woke lesbians in their military recruitment ads, and our military “leaders” are bragging about the ever-increasing numbers of gays and transgenders and angry Black women making up our military.

      • Yes, and friends of mine who are currently deployed have been regaling us with stories about how these special gays, trannies and blacks are now ‘above the law’. Any time they have to be corrected, it’s an immediate EO complaint.

        I’ve seen it myself in Norfolk, the absolute hub of the US Navy, where a black woman, E5 sailor with purple highlights in her hair (totally against regs) walked around like a fucking queen. No one was about to put their career on the line by calling her out.

        This won’t end well.

        • Yeah, a perfect example of that was the recent photo of all the Black women in a recent West Point graduating class, raising their fists in the ‘Black power salute’; a gesture which was against all regulations, and which would’ve gotten *any other group* severely reprimanded.

          But of course the “proud women of color” were allowed to get away with it; which of course only further empowers them to be even more overbearing.

          > Could this be a deliberate move on the part of current military “leaders” to discourage legacy white patriotic Americans from joining the military? Making it easier for them to fill the ranks with illegal immigrants and angry people of color?

          • That seems likely; but perhaps it were wise to recall that ither empires which populated their armies with peoples other than their own lived to regret it. And in this case, they are going out of their way to jam as many spitefuk mutants into uniform as possible who are actuvely hostile to the foundational stock of the nation, as well as any other follow-on groups of Europeans. So when they look around, and begin to question why they need to follow orders from white officers, insubordination could be the order of the day. In their minds, it’ll be just another sinecure like work at the Postal Service. Outstanding.

        • Yep. Andi it’s a double whammy against combat efficiency. It not only reduces effectiveness within the armed forces but also dissuades the people who would normally fill the ranks from joining up at all. I’m ex-military from the 80s and there is NO way I’d join up today if I was a youngster.

      • tbf, a pink haired tranny can sit in an easy chair and pilot a drone just as well as anyone else (and would probably be much more willing to follow orders to target white American civilians in say, Arkansas, after all they are probably unvaccinated Trump voters)

  13. The Russians have flipped the expensive aircraft/cheap missile thing. As soon as we deploy a Patriot or Sea Sparrow battery in the Ukraine, they’ll swarm it with $20k drones. The Ukes will shoot down the cheap drones with million dollar missiles until the Ruskies kill the radar with a hypersonic missile. Then the drones will finish off the launchers.

    • Sir, we’ve gamed out the Russian anti-air defense systems and according to our analysis, we should have a solid 20 year income stream.

  14. The unit cost of the most recent batch of F-35s is $80 million, not $1 billion. Recent model F-16s are 80-100M, F-15s 100-100M.

    The vast majority of US defense spending is personnel and sustainment, not weapon purchases.

    Every soviet/russian air defense system attacked by Western-quality air forces since 1973 has been effectively neutralized. Doing so takes combinations of equipment, doctrine, and training that neither the Ukrainians nor Russians have.

    • Stake your life on that would you? Happy talk for the REMFs, not so much for the front line personnel.

      I also don’t think that some of the most recent Russian weaponry has been put to a test by US systems. Living on past glories can remove you from the board right quick.

      • In the end some of the Russian higher-end gear “suffers” from the same issues as GAE gear. Russian manned Russian air defense systems are going to work a bit differently than Arab manned Russian air defense systems.

        • And to take that logic a bit further, having US Wunderwaffen in the hands of the massively DIE-infused soldiers/marines/airmen (oops, PC fail)/sailors may not provide any advantage in the final analysis.

          I don’t think our most likely serious adversaries are going out of their way to do likewise. Because that would be stupid and suicidal, and they are too smart for that.

      • “The cheapest f-35 is at least 178 million for the base aircraft—these don’t include weapons/weapons systems and support material”

        $178 Million and you probably don’t get floor mats or a cargo net either. 😏

    • If you read the article posted above the Marine Corp version costs 251 million before weapons systems and the Navy version costs 337 million before weapons systems. By the time you get one prepped and delivered to a war zone you could easily be a 1/2 billion in

  15. Cheap drones are a game changer, be they for surveillance or as hunter-killers. And the software for autonomous operation already exists. Now add in swarm dynamics and no one is safe on the battlefield any longer. These things can even fly in through a window or down a stair chase, so hiding in a building or basement is ineffective cover. Ditto for all armored vehicles, tanks, and artillery pieces; it just takes a slightly larger drone and shaped charge. Worse yet, high altitude UAVs can detect troop location and movement with high resolution and transfer targeting coordinates to stand-off weapons in real-time. Orbiting satellites can detect and precisely locate a single artillery shot from the muzzle blast alone. If you can be targeted, you can be killed.

    Almost all of the supply chain to the Ukrainian Eastern Front travels west-to-east from Poland and Romania, crossing several large rivers in the process. Russia could have taken out these bridges on Day 1 and the Donbass would have been starved of Ukrainian resupply. But they didn’t. Why?

    Because they wanted to lure the bulk of Ukrainian military manpower and assets into a cauldron that is over a 1,000 km from its main supply hubs. In 2014, the Russians encircled the Ukrainian armed forces in Donbass and could have wiped them out. Merkel and the Minsk Agreement prevented that and bought time. Putin will not make that mistake a second time.

  16. I dont think Russia wants to end the war soon either.

    Its a giant grift for the American MIC, but its also benefitting Russia. Since the start of the war they’ve become more closely allied with Eurasian partners. Their economy is doing fine. The economies of the West are hurting more. Russia is using up excess minority males from ethnic areas and throwing them into the meat grinder.

    Neither side has the motivation to end the war so it just drags on and on. Most of the crazies have taken down their Ukrainian flags by now.

    • i have been thinking this myself, of late. my guess is the russians want to kill as many uke males as possible, before finishing off the zelensky regime. they are also draining nato weapon stocks, making all of western europe vulnerable.

      • Russia has a nice slow bleed going against GAE so it may be tempting to just keep it rolling; the longer the war goes on the more the Ukes hoover up money and resources from GAE and dump it into a black hole, all the while GAE trannies on what’s really important: confiscating everyone’s gas stove.
        Unfortunately for that strategy it looks like the Ukes are about spent.

        • Poles are available, they seem to be happy to stick their heads on the chopping block for other Europeans and Americans who hate them.

          • How many Poles like that do you personally know?

            There was an article floating around recently, about how there is no Ukrainian soldiers left and now it’s Polish regulars fighting on the frontlines in Donbas.

            That’s about as nonsensical as that whole ghost of Kiev drama, but for some reason that bs gained a lot traction on dissident scene.

            Why would anybody think that Russians, out of all the people involved in this circus, would be more trustworthy than everybody else is beyond me.

            If I had to guess, I would think that some people can’t or don’t want to comprehend or accept that there is no good guys in all this.

      • It would serve the GAE right if its malign meddling created a self-fulfilling prophecy of a Russian invasion of central and western Europe.

        • A Russian invasion of the EU/NATO might be a blessing in disguise. The only way to end the yoke of the WEF cult is to destroy it root and branch. Of course this might be enough to launch the nukes.

          • Russian invasion sure sounds like a blessing. I’m sure you want your own hometown to be blessed like that.

            What’s wron with people these days…

  17. I know exactly what we’ve learned, because I heard it on the mainstream media:

    Citizens who vote are a threat to our democracy.

    • “Our democracy” really means “their democracy”. “Our representatives” in Washington are really “their representatives” to us.

  18. Good post by Z-man and good comments! It is, however, often difficult to do a “lessons learned” during the course of a war. Detailed analysis and honest appraisals are not easy when hostilities are progressing. Thinking that you’ve solved a tactical problem can lead to disaster if the enemy has also been considering the problem. In 1917, for example, French general Robert Nivelle ordered an attack on German positions along the Chemin-des-Dames. He planned to employ his artillery in rolling barrages that would enable his troops to get close enough to enemy trenches before the defenders could get in position as the artillery moved on. Trouble is, the Germans had noticed the rolling barrage method that the French army used in the latter stages of the battle of Verdun and had devised an effective counter measure: interlocking strong points rather than continuous trenches. The French losses were so high, and the ground gained so little, that there were mutiny problems in the French army.

    In World War II, American tank crews were convinced that German armor was superior. Post-war evaluation of tank battles and evaluation of the German equipment showed that while the German tanks had certain advantages, the American tanks were by no means as bad as many of their crews believed.

    Lots of the points made by the Z-man and the commentators are valid. This war will be studied intensively for the next 25-50 years and there will be a lot of competing theories of what worked and what didn’t.

    • “ It is, however, often difficult to do a “lessons learned” during the course of a war. Detailed analysis and honest appraisals are not easy when hostilities are progressing.”

      A year ago when the two armies met, the losses on both sides were horrendous. Unlike the Ukes and the West, the Russians analyzed their mistakes and moved to correct them. They analyzed the enemy’s strengths and adjusted tactics to neutralize them. The greatest Russian strength is that they can do this honestly. In the beginning the attrition rates were roughly equal. Now they are massively one sided, with current estimates being roughly 5 ~ 10 Uke fighters lost for every Russian.

      In the west we are unable to learn. If you dare suggest that a military comprised of bronies, furries, homos (but I repeat myself)… vibrants, and women – is no match for the real militaries of our adversaries – you will be charged and punished as a traitor. Milley almost got canned when he told the joint chiefs that the ‘Kraine was at the end of its tether. He got spanked and was back on the company propaganda the next day.

      In point of fact this war is over already. All the Uke fighters are mostly dead, hospitalized, or POWs. What’s left now are mostly foreign mercs, and hastily conscripted boys and old men. General Zaluzhny is pleading with Zelensky to pull the remaining troops back from Bakmeht. Nothing short of nukes will help now; even if we gave them the best conventional weapons…there are no Ukes left to wield them.

      We are not losing this war on hardware; it’s far more a people problem. The Russians are led by serious men and master strategists. Against them we have pitted an American POTUS that is a moron, and a team of clucky women, jewish grifters, and perverts.

      Until the carnies in Washington are dealt with, the American military will continue to fall apart and fail wherever it is deployed.

      • Any direct war with Russia and, like the Union in the Civil War, the incompetent and useless political generals will have to be worked through and discarded before getting to the serious Grants. By that time we may well be done for. And who in their right mind will go die for Hunter Biden?

        Imagine if, in 1940, it had emerged publicly that FDR and his family were corruptly enriching themselves in cahoots with the British elite and corporations. Do you think Americans would have signed up for WW2?

    • DH,

      Question for you re the Nivelle offensive: One reason I heard the offensive failed, in addition to your notes, was written copies of the plans went out to even the NCO level. Working theory is Der Germans had captured copies and a darn good idea of what was coming. Any corroboration?

    • What does “as bad as” mean? My readings have always put the loses of Shermans at 6+ per Panzer. Basically the Sherman was undergunned and underarmored. They were fast and reliable and cheap to build…but they were not up to the standards of a heavy tank of the time.

      • It was not for nothing that the Germans, who had encountered many British-manned Sherman tanks, began to refer to them as “Tommy cookers” due to their propensity to erupt into flames when soundly struck by their tank fire.

      • I think they saying at the time was that each Tiger was as good as 10 Shermans. The problem was that there was always an 11th Sherman.

  19. “I Had A Guaranteed Military Sale With ED-209! Renovation Program! Spare Parts For 25 Years! Who Cares If It Worked Or Not?!” -Dick Jones, “Robocop”

    Winning wars or saving troop lives is besides the point. The point is making money and inviting in more “refugees.” Invade the world, invite the world.

  20. “Whether anyone in the West is learning anything from this is hard to know, but most likely the corruption is so thick that none of this is making sense to them.”

    This is the wrong question. From the perspective of Raytheon and its Step-n-Fetchits like Uncle Lloyd Austin, Afghanistan was a smashing success that produced a 20-year revenue stream. Slack-jawed morons on Team ‘Murica, along with glassy-eyed idiots and psychopaths who thought Pride Week was what Kabul wanted, served as free lobbyists for the MIC. White Alphas were slaughtered. So win/win.

    The right question is what will stop this madness? You answer it in the essay–a crushing military defeat, possibly in the Pacific (although I have questions about whether China’s paid agents in the political and corporate and likely military class es would allow this). In the meantime, the GAE will fuel war in the Ukraine, murder all attempts at peace negotiations along with as many Whites as possible, and milk that cow until it runs dry.

    The bad part is that once the GAE no longer can turn a buck abroad, it likely will try to engineer a genocide at home and seize domestic assets. Gen. Lee was quite the prophet.

    • ” White Alphas were slaughtered”

      The clowns who sign up for the military grift are not Alphas.

      • It’s a way up and out for a lot of folk. I don’t blame anyone who signed up to get paid/free college/whatever.

      • I have not idea of what the present ranks look like wrt alphas. I hope they’ve wised up. However, the tip of the spear is a small part of the US forces, the rest bring up the rear and support the tip. So the alphas need only be a small part of the entire military.

        • Have you seen the articles about drug and human trafficing investigations at Bragg? It looks like the tip of the spear is blunting itself as we get closer to war.

          Our SOCOM will be worthless in a general war with Russia. They’ve never faced a peer before and I think they’ll be rocked back on their heels when they encounter white warriors like Russians.

      • The big event of 2022 wasn’t Putin finally having enough of the ziocon shit, it was Xi’s visit to S.A.
        I’ve said this before:
        Recall that just a few weeks before Biden, or what passes as Biden, had arrived in Riyadh to beg for more oil, got an Uber from the airport and was greeted by a fist bump. His two hour meeting was attended by several other characters, none of any note, before he was told to piss off home empty handed.
        Xi Jinping however, had his plane escorted by Saudi Jets- I thought I counted seven, and upon landing was welcomed by a cannonade and a flypast of planes painting the sky in the colors of the Chinese flag. The Saudi King went to the airport to greet him; The king an old and infirm man who walks with a cane, not MBS. The three day visit mapped out the energy future for the World, the future of the Petro-Yuan and the death of the Dollar.
        Who knew that demonizing as a murderer the most influential player in the commodity that props up one’s hegemony and sending carny barkers like Blinken to upbraid him for insufficiently celebrating sodomy would have consequences?

        Xi got the welcome he did because the Saudi’s are going into partnership with the Chinese. The Chinese approach to International Affairs is Win-Win, a contrast with the US’s Because We Said So.
        That visit was a prelude to the death of the petro-dollar.
        Bye-Bye USD.

  21. The first war was fought with spears and clubs and the last war on Earth will be too…..meanwhile……..

    In fairness to the MIC, the issue with the drones, UAVs etc. has been pretty well understood for many years. The procurement/development cycle for these systems is very long because they are complicated and must be integrated with existing systems. Disrupting Afghan weddings is one thing, but operating in a high-threat environment is another. And it’s hard to develop a constituency for cheap solutions.

    The countermeasures to sophisticated air defense are drones/UAVs and “intelligent” high-performance UAVs (like the Loyal Wingman program now under development in Australia) that can saturate an airspace in coordination with traditional aircraft and confound “enemy” air defenses. Of course, these systems compete with expensive “stealth” aircraft alternatives built/designed in 100 Congressional Districts. So while the USAF is figuring all this out, time goes by and “enemy” air defenses get even better.

    I don’t know anything about space warfare, so I can’t comment. But it seems pretty obvious that it would be hard to contain a big conflict with China or Russia to Earth. This all seems like madness to me.

    • I really don’t understand why Russia is allowing the US to provide real time information to Ukraine, probably involving satellites or even why they are allowing the starlink satellites, which they know the Ukrainians are using, to remain in orbit. Either they don’t want to use tech to destroy the satellites or they can’t, which seems surprising to me.

      • Perhaps it’s a case of mutual restraint, as in the doctrine of “mutually assured destruction” regarding nuclear war.

        Maybe they realize that if they started knocking down other nations’ satellites, those other nations are sure to reciprocate in-kind; and soon no one would have any satellites left.

        • I think Putin is deliberately using only the weapons and technology that he has to. As the Duran guys say, the Neo-con’s have no reverse gear and know only how to double down . I’m sure Russia is planning and preparing for their likely reaction when Ukraine collapses. The less pre-view of Russia’s technology, the better.

      • The Russians want access to space themselves, if they start blowing up Starlink sats they create a huge mess of debris in LEO. not a good idea

      • I imagine the Russians are probably learning a great deal every day about our abilities, but also our limitations. If this turns into all-out war with the West, they likely have a plan to knock out our communications abilities pretty quickly and effectively.

        Never underestimate the usefulness of waiting and watching your enemy. In their hubris they will reveal far more than they want.

        • Joel Skousen suggests a scenario in which an EMP attack first takes out our electrical grid, and is immediately followed by decapitation strikes on our military and governmental targets.

          Even if most military installations are shielded against EMP attack, taking down our electrical grid for even a few months would unleash civil unrest like we’ve never seen before, and can likely not imagine.

          US military planners are assuming that the fear that we would immediately retaliate in kind, is what is preventing Russia and/or China from carrying out such a strike.

          But should they ever develop advanced missile-defense systems which they are confident would shelter them from American counter-attack, what would keep them from doing it?

      • Shooting down satellites is against some protocols about the militarization of outer space. And the Russians are very carefully playing by the rules – not to placate the neocons, but because the world is watching.

        That’s why Putin spend a lot of time “negotiating”, even if he knows the neocons consider peace agreements little more than toilet paper. He wants to show the Indians and Chinese that he’s the good guy and the US the gangsters.

        (I’m reading A Princess of Mars at the moment, and it’s just as awesome as when I was 12. If you don’t understand why it’s a better book than Ulysses, you’re only into literature for the grift or for the social cachet.)

        • Ulysses? Is that a mythological Greek guy? Seriously there is a lot of cultural cache in having read Ulysses from cover to cover (and followed the action). I will never give that up.

          • James Joyce’s Ulysses – the most over-hyped piece of literature in history.

            Homer’s Odyssey comes highly recommended by Uncle Felix, and it’s not a hard read at all, much easier than the Iliad. It can be read as-is, but I recommend you find a companion reader if you’re not familiar with Greek mythology.

    • Not possible to contain a large symmetrical war to earth, when your entire communications/targeting systems are in space. Hell, first thing I’d do is knock out all satellites.

  22. Of the many disappointments of the Rus-Uke War, the biggest being the US led by the nose into it by those with larger noses, has been the near-1984 level of cheering by people I have read for years on Instapundit and Ace of Spades HQ.

    Every week sees: “counterattack in the Donbass!”, “four weeks to Sevastopol!”, “Moscow in the spring!”

    Like so many others over Covid, they have lost their minds.

      • There’s a comfort in being part of the most powerful nation on Earth, even if said nation is evil. Everyone wants to feel they are on the winning side. It’s why “the right side of history” is such an effective mind-worm.

        The only way the old mindset will change is when the people with the old mindset die out.

    • As I said here yesterday, it took von Manstein and the Wehrmacht at their peak efficiency 7 months to take Sevastopol. 4 weeks, seriously?

      I too have been shocked by my grilling friends’ views on this situation. C’est la guerre…..

    • Insty is predominately click-bait. I’ve given up on them. Green is the main one pushing the Uke propaganda. It might be acceptable if they posted anything that counter balanced it.

      Ace of Grillers seem a lot more skeptical of the whole thing. There are only a few die-hards over there.

      There’s no beating the anti-Russian propaganda out of Boomers and a lot of Gen-X’ers.

      • Ace is getting more and more difficult to read every day. Besides all the ads, the site is just way too focused on the small hat tribe.

        • The ad deluge is really getting obnoxious. Ya gotta monetize, sure, but it is starting to feel like a UK clickbait tabloid website.

        • On Ace’s site, most of the co-bloggers are of a certain persuasion. And yeah, I am pretty tired of it as well. I simply don’t care about their travails.

    • People who post on those sites are mostly white civnats so they get all excited when they get to refight WW2 and WW1. The US coming to the rescue to kill all those bad whites in Europe.

      Ace of Spades commenters especially have a hate for Europeans; you cannot read any article without some remark about those degenerate Euros who hate America. Any story about Europeans will lead to storied invective “destroying” that ethnic group. Any accounts about non-whites is not indicative of that group. Do not criticize Israel. Israel is the best.

    • I don’t visit normie sites like that, it pisses me off worse than watching MSNBC. But I have to believe that like a lot of other normie conservative sites the comments have been flooded with shills and bots. I can’t understand a nominally conservative being anything but neutral about the Ukraine. But to actively root for them seems out of character for an honest normie conservative.

      A personal experience back a couple months ago, I had read, not signed up for though, freerepublic since about 2016. Their commenters were pretty based and seemed perceptive. But as soon as the war started a small group of commenters, new and old, spent all day making multiple posts and comments about war news only. They shouted down anyone who deviated from the party line in the least bit.

      It became a chore to go there and see what was going on so finally I signed up and made a reply asking for a job as a troll. I got banned immdiately and my post never saw the light of day. I’m thinking that most of these sites are turned and function as demoralizers for us. And yes many of them are out of their minds.

    • AoSHQ was great on COVID, it was the first site that confirmed my suspicions that it was a scandemic. But I did stop going there a couple years ago for various reasons and now glad I did.

  23. The old saying is, “Amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics.” That’s fine so far as it goes, but what’s missing is . . . strategy. Our side is godawful at strategy, which goes a long way to explain the long string of knee-jerk “missionary” wars that have been costly and that have been embarrassing failures. Strategy is not a purely military (i.e., warfighting) discipline, it consists in every sphere from politics and economics, to geography and logistics, to culture and manpower, and to every other component of strategic wherewithal.

    A foe needn’t sink a carrier to render it hors de combat. Take out one or more of a carrier’s systems – launch, recovery, communications, hangar deck, elevators, radar, datalink, propulsion, steering, &c. – and that carrier is forced to retreat to home for costly prolonged repairs, and subtracting a carrier from its task force also then renders that force’s other surface ships essentially vulnerable and largely useless in offense because it nullifies their initiative by denuding them of air cover and thus throwing them onto a severely disadvantaged defensive.

    Atop all that the U.S. Army now has tremendous difficulty in recruiting sufficient numbers of personnel. Worse, perhaps, both the Navy and the Air Force now have trouble finding recruits who are sufficiently educated to operate modern military gear and systems.

    • Based on the US carrier that steamed back to port with a Covid outbreak a few years ago, it seems like 10 hookers in Subic Bay could render the Pacific Fleet useless in one weekend…..

      • Unfortunately, Subic isn’t what it used to be. It’s all family-friendly shops, restaurants and hotels. Quite nice, really.

        • F***, where else on the internet can I get such information? No irony at all. Z readers know stuff.

    • The electromagnetic catapults on the new Ford-class have been problematic out of the gate.

      There are pictures of the wiring bundles available.

      I can only think those must be a preventive maintenance nightmare in terms of corrosion prevention in the salty sea air. Any sort of fault in the wire coatings and jackets would cause all sorts of insidious problems.

  24. To be as generous as possible to the MIC (just as a thought experiment), I wonder how much of our obsession with Wunderwaffen is a chicken-and-egg thing. Take the best WWII tank, the T-34 or whatever. Let’s say that we have the detailed plans for its construction, and can modify it to take modern navigational and targeting equipment. And we can therefore produce it for pennies on the dollar, relatively speaking…

    Do we still have the industrial capacity to do it? I don’t even mean things like assembly lines to put them together; I mean something like “Turning out 500 T-34s for the war effort would consume the entire domestic steel production of the United States.” You *can’t* build a bunch of T-34s, so you have to build a handful of Abrams. (Plus the grift on those things is great).

    (I guess the test would be a snapshot of the US military the last time we had something close to a domestic heavy industry. 1970? What were we using back then, and how does it compare, production-wise, to modern stuff? Same deal with airplanes for that matter. The F-4 seems to be designed with the idea that it would take at least some losses, so it would need to be replaced in something close to bulk. Modern weapons design seems to effectively assume *zero* losses. How’s our aluminum production now, vs. back then?)

    • Do we still have the industrial capacity to do it?

      We do not. People have looked at carious weapons systems and the production capacity. For example, the HIMARS is a good long range artillery system. Lockhead currently needs a year to produce a month’s worth of rockets for Ukraine. They are building a new plant to increase capacity, but it will not be on line until 2024 and even then it will only double production.

      This is an issue across the board. it turns out that Buchanan was right. Exporting our manufacturing base was a bad idea.

      • Prior to our entry into WWII, the US had *idle* production capacity equal to the entire Axis powers. This due to the lasting Depression and non-recovery at that time. Also idle was the workforce that knew how to operate this capacity.

        In the end, we could field 16M men (and some women) under arms while still operating the economic base. Which also brings us to a point mentioned in today’s Z-man missive—supply chain (includes communications, intelligence, etc., not just truck drivers)

        For years I’ve read that the tooth to tail of the US military is something like 1 to 9–those 9 being in the supply chain. Not sure how that works out for the Ukraine, but such math would entail millions just to supply/support their 500k “trained” soldiers. I don’t see that happening, even with US communications and intelligence support.

        • I’d go further and say that the US will use nukes on a battlefield within the next 5 years.

          The Juggalos can’t plan, can’t learn, and most importantly can’t back down. So much of the stupidity in the world right now could be solved if the GAE could just take their foot off the gas the tiniest bit… but they can’t, because SJWs gotta SJW and Kagans gotta Kagan.

          Should it come to actual fighting, “our” forces would get crushed. The smart thing to do at that point would be to sue for peace and accept terms, however humiliating. But the Juggalos can’t do that, because they’re on The Right Side of History and therefore are incapable of being wrong. So to stem “our” forces’ headlong retreat, some purple-haired lesbian cosplaying as a panzer commanderette will ask for authorization to crack off a tactical nuke… and that request will be granted.

    • The F-16 is probably the best example of the high performance manned aircraft produced as a commodity.

      It was developed under the, “Lightweight Fighter Program,” which is probably one of the most accurate program titles ever.

      The result was so good that the F-16 turned out to be a very capable ground attack aircraft as well.

      The engine is probably the most magnificent system in the plane, enabling a top speed of Mach 2.2, which is significantly faster than the twin-engined F/A-18 or Rafale at Mach 1.8.

      The maintenance burden on the F-16 is one of the lowest of any aircraft in Western inventories.

      Pilot reports indicate the F-16 is very easy, fun, and comfortable to fly.

      • Are we still pumping out F-16s? Back around ’09-’10 I knew a guy who knew a guy who was an engineer in Florida, and I got to check out an early mod of the F-35 when I was down there for vacation. I remember being somewhat disappointed hearing him humbly talk down the plane. I think I remember him saying it wasn’t designed to be as good as the F-16 on a pure “fighter-plane” standard (but maybe he was referencing the F-22?)

        • I would disagree with Z. Manned fighter aircraft aren’t obsolete. UAVs are great for attacks on moving targets, if they have a man in the loop. They’re also great if they’re autonomous for attacks on static targets, a role they’ve taken from the F-117.

          The problem is every advance in warfare has a counter advance. When we and the Israelis found out how deadly the Soviet-built SAMs were, we developed ECM systems, “Wild Weasel” SEAD tactics to hunt down emitters and launchers to clear a corridor for friendly aircraft and other means such as flying nap of the Earth to deal with the threat.

          A lot of people thought antitank guided missiles made the tank obsolete. The Israelis and others developed countermeasures to deal with the threat, such as the Trophy active protection system, which shoots out a shotgun-shell like blast to destroy ATGMs before they can hit the tank.

          In Desert Storm, our tactics changed from low to medium level since the Iraqi antiaircraft artillery was so numerous and Iraq/Kuwait’s terrain gives a plane nowhere to hide.

          The F-35A is fully rated for 9 gs. I’ve flown them countless times in the simulator (I work on the program) and in a WVR dogfight with anything flying now, it’s superior. The controversy years ago about a twin-stick F-16 whipping an F-35’s tail in a dogfight was overblown because the F-35 was loaded with test equipment and was an early pre-production machine with an early flight control software that limited its maneuverability (for safety reasons). The F-16 was flown to the edge of its envelope.

          It has the maneuverability of the F-16, but carries a lot more gas and ordnance, especially if it uses unstealthy weapons pylons under the wings. It’s not the air superiority beast that the F-22 is, but what is? The amount of RCS reduction in the F-35 enables it to deal with the evolving SAM threat and clear that in the first few days of war, allowing unstealthy aircraft like the F-16, F-15 and B-52 free reign in enemy airspace.

          There is a place for cheap, bomb-dropping drones. We’re working on countermeasures for drones, such as lasers and microwaves. There’s no doubt these will change warfare, especially when we get to swarming smart ordnance released by conventional aircraft.

          • The HARM anti-radiation missile is used to take out enemy radars and up until going up against Russia it has done a great job. But read the Russian reports, they are shooting down HARMs regularly. Their anti-missile program seems to be well ahead of ours. Not foolproof but better. HARMS are integral to US ability to supress enemy defenses so air superiority may not be possible with escalation, then neither side will have superiority.

          • Based on the publicly reported thrust-to-weight ratios and wing loading numbers for the F-16 and F-35 it’s difficult to agree with the idea that the 35 is as, or more maneuverable than the 16.

            I suppose it is possible that the numbers reported for the 35 are massaged to give the impression that it is less maneuverable, since we know that the gov lies about all other numbers like inflation, unemployment, money supply, etc.

    • In 1979 the U.S. Army’s MBT was the M-60; those were the days when the West anticipated an armored slugfest with the Warsaw Pact see-sawing across the fields of Europe. Back then we still had the production capacity to turn to a conventional war footing, possibly equaling even the thousands of M-4 Shermans turned out during WWII. But those days are long gone.

      With the advent of technology, the upper echelons of the military seem to have fallen in love with the “whiz kid” toys they have now. These devices tend to be not simple things that can be massed produced, rather they are complicated devices that need special intel chips that come from halfway around the world. That’s great if you want to drone Omar hiding in a cave in Anbar province, not so if you’re dealing with a Russian armored division outside of Orel who have their own drones that can shoot down yours.

    • i am not an expert in steel making, but i remember reading articles about how coal based steel mills were being replaced by new mills that don’t use coal – but mostly only work with scrap steel. so do we have much/any capacity for creating “new” steel
      (instead of recycling “old” steel)?

      • Recycled steel, I’ve read, isn’t suitable for making high quality steel for armor plate and the like.

    • I think it was McGregor who explained that the Russian armaments industry is vastly over-scaled, their factories producing only trickles of weapons of what their size should indicate.

      So in Western industrial doctrine they are hopelessly ineffective, compared to the just-in-time, LEAN-optimized, cost-conscious Western factories.

      But it also means the Russians can ramp out their production very fast by activating all that dormant production capacity, and that seems to be exactly what’s going on: America is being beaten on industrial output; for now, at least, until new factories are built.

      • “at least, until new factories are built.”

        Good to see you have a sense of humor. The
        German’s make the machine tools to make the few machines the US makes.
        The Swiss make those used by the Germans. All take advantage of the remarkable advances in Materials technology made in the past 30 years.
        All of that is dependent on the worlds largest supplier of rare earths etc: Russia.

        • REMs are not actually rare – with the exception of lithium – and the US has tons and tons of them.

          But they pollute like hell when you refine them – that’s why we let China do it, because they can just dump the tailings in the nearest river. If America were to refine it’s own REMs, it would cost a fortune to do it in an environmental responsible fashion.

          • Why don’t we have another country do it, instead of China. This is the question I often ask, if you’re to outsource the manufacturing of all your stuff, from weapons to medicine, why TF is it outsourced to a single GD country?! And a rival country at that?

  25. Speaking of war on the cheap, aka “asymmetric warfare”, one can’t help but notice that there was a National Ground Stop for all US air traffic today. Last time this happened was 9/11.

    Reason? An FAA computer system that updates NOTAM (Notice to Air Missions) to the airlines failed. Updates distributed notes about things like runway closures, missing taxi signs, that kind of thing.

    This kind of snarl makes for a real mess. If I were a peer power tired of having my billion dollar pipelines blown up and my enemy soldiers being shipped to the US for training, it’s the sort of soft infrastructure target I might go after to send a message.

    Or it’s just garden variety incompetence as things decay. We’ll never know.

    (NOTAM stood for “Notice to AIRMEN” until about two years ago. Maybe instead of hiring the DEI team to address this inequity the FAA should’ve hired a software engineer to keep the computers running? Crazy, I know)

    • There must be something more to this or maybe I’m not understanding what happened. One of the core features of modern Over the Air update systems in all platforms, from your phone to massive distributed networks, is to fallback to the previous version on a failed update. The worst that should have happened is that the data would be a little old while they patch the update.

    • I’m sure it’ll be fine. Secretary Bootygig’s in charge, and he’ll attend to this once he gets back from vacation. And finishes “chestfeeding” his fashion accessory.

      • Some wag elsewhere said:

        “If the American public knows the name of the Department of Transportation, you’re really, really doing it wrong.”

    • Again, “one swallow does not a summer make”, but such failures are what “Critical Fraction Theory” would predict. As the general national IQ declines, the numbers of competent people to maintain and expand the technical infrastructure declines as well. Eventually something gives.

      Confounding—but not detracting from— the theory is the decline in our general education standards and the promotion of incompetence through AA quotas.

      • that’s what i thought, reading comments today – all the social engineering stuff is going to degrade our ability to function as a society, especially in precision manufacturing, and operating complex weapons systems.

    • The airline industry is plain broken. As you point out, their chief concern seems to be slick advertisements announcing how individual, expressive, “diverse and inclusive”, their stewardzhess can be, claiming their country has no people or history and ensuring that at least 50% of the pilots are black. They are currently scouring Compton for pilots, and refusing to raise the retirement age for pilots – willingly creating a shortage of pilots.

      Now, I suppose that piloting an aircraft is going to become a job akin to a Walmart greeter if/when the AI reaches that point.

      Nonetheless, creating a more fair and inclusive world, as if the world before these moral giants was unfair and maliciously exclusionary, appears to be towering over any other colossal failure in all of human civilization. Even Nero’s horse was a political statement, not a sincere attempt to staff the Senate with horses. In the US though, … Hakeem Jeffries. Yeah.

      One last point here. First there was the deadly Covid pandemic where the borders were thrown wide open. Now we are at open war and the borders are thrown farther open and people shipped around. Has a nation ever done this to itself?

      We all better hope that someone on the inside with a lot of powerful friends, concern for the future of their children and an ability to recognize a suicide mission when they see one, is preparing some bold and decisive action.

    • Or we had warning of air-related terror event on 1-11 which needed to be disproven or eliminated. Lester Holt on NBC also said (“coincidence”) that Canada’s system also went down.

    • that was a very interesting book. Looking again that the chart outlining the percentage of war deaths among various tribes and groups.

      All the primitive groups are just insane – 0.6% – 0.8% are common. Germany and Russian in the 20th century only clock in around 0.18%

      • Yes.

        Another way it was interesting, is that it overthrew decades of misconception regarding prehistoric people.

        It turns out that the experts and the textbooks— and the mainstream consensus they reflect— have been wrong!

        One more victory for realism against utopian ideology.

      • True: and until recently, the concept of the “noble, peaceful savage” among humans, had iit’s parallel in beliefs about chimpanzees; the consensus among the “experts” was that they were basically peaceful.

        But Jane Goodall’s close observations revealed the extent of how brutal they really are: if a group of males from one band encounters a lone male from another band, they are likely to kill him, by literally tearing his body apart.

        • Didn’t Goodall’s study show that groups of chimps from one pack went out hunting for lone males from another pack?

          They took out the largest rival males one by one, then when the numbers were in their favor they went all in and killed the rest of the rival males en masse and took over the rival pack.

          • Indeed.

            And recent genetic data seems to support the notion that that’s how prehistoric humans operated as well.

            IIRC, genetic data from prehistoric Britain is showing that when successive groups of foreign invaders invaded Britain, the genes unique to indigenous males quickly disappeared from the genetic record; almost certainly indicating that they were killed off; while the genes of the *female* indigenous population quickly became incorporated into the genetic pool of the conquering group.

            ‘Kill the men, and take the women as mates’; just like the chimps do.

    • I thought the peace-loving hippie stone age trope had died long ago.

      Virtually every bone you dig up from the Mesolithic has some kind of scarring from weapons, and it is estimated that +30% of all men died violently.

  26. I highly doubt that the MIC and military intelligence have learned much from the war.

    The talking heads continue to firmly believe that the US and NATO would wipe the floor with the Russians if they ever faced each other. They believe that our technology edge would turn the battle into a blood bath for the Russians. Basically, in their minds, it would be like the British army in the 1800s facing Africans with spears.

    So, why are the Ukrainians not destroying the Russians with our help? They argue that it’s because we’re not giving them the good stuff and that they’re not trained on it anyway.

    Anyway, to answer your question, no, the military is learning very little from this. They continue to believe that any conventional conflict with Russia would be short and devastating to the Russians. We wouldn’t need to fight for years, a few months would be more than enough.

    Again, this is their belief, not mine. Like Z, I find it very curious that the Americans haven’t trained the Ukrainians to fly some of our planes. If our technology is so superior, let the Ukrainians destroy the Russians from above and end this war. Also, if our precision artillery and tanks are so good and could obliterate the Russians so easily, why haven’t the HIMARs change the direction of the war, why not give the Ukrainians some of our super tanks so they could wipe the floor with the Russians?

    The excuse is always that we don’t want any of this technology to fall into the hands of the Russians. Fair enough, but what if the Ukrainians start to visibly lose the war? Wouldn’t that be the time to give them our “super weapons?” We’re probably going to find out.

    • I don’t think we have to worry about that. Given how The Media be, the minute the Ukrainians start visibly losing, The Narrative will instantly shift from “The heroic Ukrainians will be in Moscow by summer!” to “The tragic Ukrainians never had a chance against the Big Bad Bear” (and if by some miracle the Juggalos in DC come to their senses and dump Zelensky, it’ll be “The hopelessly corrupt Ukrainians never had a chance because of their hopeless corruption”). Our weapons shipments will be memory-holed, because of course we don’t want to waste our valuable Star Wars Death Star crap on obvious losers who were obviously always going to lose.

      • Yeah, we started seeing something like that this summer when the Russians were advancing. Stories about incompetent Ukrainian soldiers/generals/politicians started popping up. When the Russians stop advancing, the stories went away.

        The loss will be blamed on either incompetent Ukrainians or that the Russian military is terrible but it just overwhelmed the Ukrainians with numbers – despite the fact that the Russians have been outnumbered from the beginning.

      • I think the Doran guys are right. When the collapse is imminent, if they can’t double down, they’ll move on: Iran anybody?

    • Regular readers of these comments see this quote on here frequently, but it has never been so apt:

      “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” -Upton Sinclair

      • I live in Northern Virginia. Trust me, there are a lot of businesses and people who make a very nice living off of the current system. None of them want it changed.

        NoVa is jammed full of IT guys with security clearance who maintain and help build our very sophisticated weapons and communications systems. They like their jobs and no Indian can take it either.

        • I’m not sure if it’s the case that no Indians (or foreigners) are getting those jobs.

          I grew up in Northern Virginia. My family moved to McLean in 1955 when I was five years old, and I lived there until I left home for college at 18 in 1968.

          Then in 2016, I returned to the house I grew up in to take care of my father in the last years of his life. So I lived in Northern Virginia again from 2016 to 2019.

          My anecdotal reaction on returning was that there were a lot of foreigners; certainly a lot more than there had been when I was growing up there.

          It was not uncommon driving around to see groups of women clad in hijabs and burkahs walking down the the sidewalk. And Asian women driving huge Mercedes.

          And objective data seems to back that up:

          “Northern Virginia’s foreign born population share is 27.8%. All Northern Virginia jurisdiction’s have a foreign born population share that is greater than the Commonwealth of Virginia and the United States. Out of all 3,143 jurisdictions in the USA, all are ranked #146 or higher. The region’s highest ranked are Manassas Park City (6th), Fairfax County (22nd), and Fairfax City (30th), each of which have a greater foreign born population share than New York County, New York (Manhattan) (28.3% and 34th). Back in 2000, all jurisdictions in Northern Virginia had a foreign born population share that was less than Manhattan. These high ranks of the region’s jurisdictions are indicative of a transforming region and the very diverse population of Northern Virginia and the DC metropolitan area.”


          • Oh, there are tons of foreigners, including Indians, in NoVa. The South Riding area is a massive Indian hub. Manassas might as well be Central America with a bit of Africa thrown in.

            Ironically, NoVa gets whiter the closer in you go. It’s too expensive for Hispanics, so N. Arlington, McLean, Vienna and Reston are still pretty white, though the Indians and Asians are growing quickly.

            But the Asians and Indians don’t get to take the IT jobs (or many of them) for govt contractors because of the security clearance issue. Those guys are protected against the foreign horde, which is why a lot of them are fairly liberal.

          • Biden did a call with some Indian (with a dot not a feather), dignitary or political hack. He lauded them for taking over our country and said how wonderful it was. Apparently they are working for NASA, and he was gleeful about that.

            Meanwhile, our schools are worse than ever.

      • Great Sinclair Lewis quote.

        Along those lines, I’m sitting in the lobby of a coffee shop inside an affluent suburban hospital. Everyone is wearing masks while trying to drink coffee.
        In between raising/ lowering their masks in order to take furtive sips, the two lab coats next to me were taking about how they and their family all had Covid over Christmas.

    • The Ukraine is very corrupt. There is the concern that any good things we give them will be sold on the black market instead of being used to fight the Russians.

      Then again, we don’t even have enough of the good stuff for our own troops, let alone enough to give to the Ukraine.

  27. Seems our civilian and military leadership, as well as those paid to dream up the reality of future-war, were totally taken in by our creative class prognostications on impending tekkie-coolness of conflict. Star Trek accidentally accidentally feeds back onto and disrupts the actual realities? Star Wars just too cool not to try to emulate? We’ve just bamboozled ourselves. .

    Or maybe — decades old Russian (Soviet?) and Chinese ops? /s

  28. Probably through the 20th century, weaponry advanced as far as effectiveness in killing more people more efficiently. However, tactics were slower to evolve, thus the Civil War was much bloodier in a shorter period of time than the earlier 19th century conflicts and WW1 was far bloodier still.

    The US has been enamored with glitzy high tech “shock and awe” weaponry for decades now and it works reasonably well against third world countries with no ability to fight back in kind. Although as has been seen, it hardly guarantees any conclusive victory – ie: Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan etc.

    Now, the high tech stuff has gotten too high tech, fragile and expensive. Especially when it can be reduced to garbage with lots of low tech, cheap, yet effective alternatives, along with no ability to mass reproduce it quickly. Russia is going back to the basics wrt tactics and weaponry although I’m sure they’ve got plenty of glitz as well. US leadership, further, seems to have learned nothing from those previous failures along with the lack of old school industrial capacity.

    The question is, will these clowns self reflectively realize their hubris is off the charts and grudgingly accept reality before making an irrevocable move that initiates Armageddon?

  29. Winning or losing, there is only one strategy the US always pursues.

    Escalate, escalate, escalate.

    (Until the money and/or bodies run out. And since 1945, it’s always “lose”).

  30. I have wondered why the Russians are not attacking the supply lines from Poland or Romania with more vigor or maybe they are, I am just not hearing about it? The Ukrainians seem to be getting weapons systems to their front lines at this point in the war. Or am I wrong about that?
    It’s a tragic war for white demographics and hopefully ends this year.

    • The Russians were slow to attack the rail system and power grid. The big error the Russians made was in thinking the West would want to cut a deal to avoid a war. As a result, the Russians went into this not prepared to do what is needed to win. That changed in the summer and they have been slowly grinding away at the rail and power grid. The Ukrainians are now using diesel and old steam locomotives to move goods in the West.

      • There’s no doubt that for most of 2022, Putin was very cautious about killing civilians and attacking infrastructure that would cause problems for civilians. He obviously hoped that the war would end quickly and that Russia could maintain a decent relationship with the Ukrainian people.

        That no longer seems to be the case.

        • The Russians do not want to “own” Ukraine. That is a big concern for them. They want to take back the Russian areas, but leave the rest independent. One reason is the ethnic issues. In Western Ukraine you have Poles, Hungarians, Ukrainians, Ruthenians, Romanians and so on. This is has always been a breading ground for ethic trouble. many of the leading Bolsheviks came from this part of the world. The father of neoconservatism is from Galicia. The Russians know their history.

          • Agree that Russia doesn’t want to run Ukraine. Who would. But they do want a buffer state.

            Which makes me wonder how this whole thing ends. Russia no longer trusts the word of the West, so it will demand a demilitarized, neutral Ukraine.

            It may even take over all of the land east of the Dnieper River. Outside of Kharkiv and the Donbas, eastern Ukraine is very lightly populated, so not too hard to control. This would give Russia a natural barrier and a land buffer.

            Regardless, I can’t see the neocons accepting a demilitarized, neutral Ukraine in whatever form. But I can’t see the Russian trusting the West enough to allow anything else.

            How does this end?

          • Actually, east the Dnieper is the most densely populated part of Ukraine. It is also where the natural resources lie. That is one of the challenges of this war. Imagine fighting an artillery war in Los Angeles.

            My guess is this ends with Russia seizing everything from Odessa east and north to Kharkiv. A complaint Ukrainian government will installed and tasked with removing the ultra-nationalists that remain. Ukraine becomes a landlocked country with no military, integrated into the Eurasian sphere.

          • Please Z, don’t stoke my imagination lol. Trying hard to not stare into that particular abyss.

          • I was just looking at a population density map of northeast Ukraine. Didn’t look to populated. Now, southeast Ukraine definitely is, but that’s heavily Russian so figured it wouldn’t be a problem for Russia.

            Anyway, I always thought that this map seemed like a nice way to divide Ukraine.


            But it’s hard to see the neocons agreeing to this divide and a Russia-friendly Ukrainian govt. And then there’s the economic sanctions.

            If Russia was to win the physical war in Ukraine and the economic war (simply by surviving and slowly – and quietly – having the sanctions lifted), it would be a huge blow to the US. Frankly, it’d be a different world.

            The outcome of the economic war will be the more important. Russia surviving – and even improving its economy – would be a devastating blow. The dollar would still reign supreme for a long time, but this would be a huge hit to US power. The war already has caused damage to US economic power in some way, though it’s strengthened the US in others (Europe is now completely our vassal).

            Regardless, the Ukraine war will go down as a turning point for GAE. If GAE stops Russia in Ukraine and crushes its economy, GAE re-establishes itself as the King Kong for a generation. If GAE fails, it’s the beginning of the end of the unipolar world.

          • The neocons are trying to goad the Poles into sending troops into the east. The Polish government may be insane enough to do it, but that would be a huge problem for NATO and the West. That is opening a can of worms no one wants opened.

            I think what lies ahead is a split in the West this summer. Reportedly, Zelensky has ordered more troops into Bakhmut. This is insane, but he rightly figures a retreat will threaten Western support. Instead we get a collapse of the Ukrainian army in the summer and that is when things get ugly in the West. Biden then pivots to the next war, which is in the Pacific.

          • My fear is that NATO or Poland send troops into western Ukraine for “humanitarian” purposes (refugees, food, whatever). This allows them to stop any collapse of the Ukrainian government.

            Now, we have a stand-off. The Russians don’t want to start a world war, but they don’t want to let western Ukraine remain hostile.

            But, this is where grabbing southern and eastern Ukraine comes in handy. Russia has a buffer zone and a natural barrier. Regardless, the West moving into western Ukraine to prop up the Zelensky government is something that I fear.

          • I kind of wonder why the Russians haven’t seriously tried to take out Zelensky. He seems to always be out and about – not hunkered down in some armored deep bunker. I suppose they have their reasons.

    • Those are both NATO countries. Hitting supply lines in those countries would roll out the red carpet for the US to commit itself to open hostilities with the Russians. That’s what the yanks desire more than anything, but publicly both sides are committed to a self defense posture and never be the first to attack. No telling what the Russian clandestine services are up to, however.

      • Blah, you meant supply lines established in Ukerainr. I’m, sorry, I totally misread that.

  31. The insanity of our rulers in looking for war with Russia and China at the same time is mind boggling. I look at their actions and think I must be missing something. But I am not.

    • It’s because our military leaders truly believe that we have such technologically superior weapons that we’d crush either Russians or Chinese in direct conflict.

      As I mentioned in my comment, our military believes that a fight between us and anyone would be similar to the British army in the 1800s fighting Africans with spears or, at worst, disorganized Africans with antiquated rifles.

    • I’ve thought about this quite a lot and the place I keep returning to is that our rulers do *not* want to directly fight either Russia or China (let alone both) but they are very interested in giving off the impression that they do.

      As we saw with the origin story of the coof, there is more high-level coordination between the top levels of the Chinese and U.S. governments than either is happy to publicly admit.

      The ruling elite of U.S.A., Europe, China, and Russia all have more in common with each other than with their own people. Eternal global “conflict” has its uses for tyrannical, totalitarian powers.

      • You mean like the COVID coordination? Awfully convenient for getting rid of protestors in Hong King and France, not to mention the Orange Gorilla.

      • The ruling elite of U.S.A., Europe, China, and Russia all have more in common with each other than with their own people

        All indications are that Putin wanted to do nearly whatever it took to be accepted into the Kool Kids Klub, but had to finally draw the line at a hostile army looking to end him. Xi is trying to keep one foot in each pond, but China is probably one or two heart attacks away from gay pride parades in Peking.

      • Governments are often rivals but never nemeses. They bond over their shared enemy, the people.

        The thing I most hope our guys learn from this war is that the ex-Soviet European states, especially Poland, aren’t “based” or even anti-communist. Their people have been taught to hate Russians—the Russian *people*, especially the gopnik/vatnik (deplorables)—not their former government(s). All white countries are pozzed beyond recovery.

        And Putin still hates you for being white, like he’s always said.

  32. Appreciate the links on the war. I’ve occasionally been following Mercouris and moon of Alabama, so it’s nice to have additional sources. It is amazing to see the lockstep propaganda on the war from regime media, and how most people accept it. Russia as a Cold War enemy helps that along quite a bit.

  33. American design philosophy for weapons systems changed at the end of WWII from cheap and relatively simple to technically complex and expensive. The US military were impressed with the technical brilliance of many German weapons systems. The brilliant technology was difficult for the Germans to produce in the quantities needed but the US military thought that American capacity for mass production would overcome that problem. It hasn’t.

    The Russian design philosophy for weapons has always been to make them as simple and as robust as possible. The result is the ability to sustain prolonged conflicts.

    Logistics win wars even if technical brilliance wins the occasional battle.

    • Yes, we’ve gone all in with the idea that our weapons are so superior as to be almost invincible. They view it as a fight between our repeating rifle and their musket.

      We don’t need huge amounts to defeat them. We’d mow them down, killing at least five to one. The war would end quickly.

      That’s our military’s belief. Even after Ukraine, it still is.

    • Not to deny anything you say; but I believe that currently, the Russians have outpaced us technologically as well: having developed hypersonic multi-warhead missiles, which are capable of evading any of our current anti-missile defenses, which are kinetic in nature: they need to actually physically strike the incoming missile in order to destroy it.

      As I understand it, the new warheads the Russians have developed are capable of maneuvering on their own— making it virtually impossible to strike them all with kinetic missiles— and because of that our current anti-missile systems are helpless against them.

  34. “Till Stoneman’s cavalry came and tore up the tracks again”. This lesson keeps getting re-learned. What years of fighting goatherders has blinded us to is how fast two industrial powers at war expend munitions and equipment. That used to be the North American strength. Hell, in 1942 little old Canada outproduced the whole of the greater Reich in mechanized vehicles. Guess we’ll learn the hard way.

  35. “Making billion dollar jet fighters is much more fun and profitable than producing cheap drone technology or building better field artillery.”

    “Once the contract with the military was fulfilled, the men and facilities to make the stuff was repurposed. For those cases it means starting production from scratch.”

    The free market, unbound from a higher authority that enforces the common good, destroys itself through short sightedness.

    • The free market has nothing to do with military contracts. It’s all run by a “higher authority”.

      • Excellent reply! I think that we’re arguing about the semantics of “free market” and the likelihood that the kind of free market that you are defending can ever exist, but I’m going to ponder your worthwhile rejoinder.

    • Maybe not shortsightedness but a limited understanding of value. Not unlike Science! People missing the forest for the trees.

  36. The real shift in geopolitics is going to happen when ranged missile technology get to the point where aircraft carriers are just floating coffins. At that point any military threat to China pretty much evaporates, and the U.S. has been ineffective in their other go-to, Color Revolution, in that country.

    The military is still doubling down on space-age type technology. Have a buddy who works in defense who told me there is a massive shift to laser technology as well as researching dropping large objects from space onto a target, think the AI on the moon in “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” what dropped space rocks onto targets Earth.

    Problem is, the more advanced these weapons get, the more likely an enemy will just throw his hands up, go scorched Earth, and destroy every satellite in space and EMP the whole world. In that scenario, it may not be nuclear destruction, but a world fully reliant on tech will see billions die all the same.

    • Funny we’ll be back to WWII in the Pacific. The still underreported story is US fleet boats, once they had torpedoes that worked effectively strangled the IJN and home islands. That is our last advantage over China. But for how long?

    • Currently, American carriers are equipped with a network of defenses, on the ship itself and also on its support ships. These defenses are currently able to take out known anti-ship missiles. But, and this is a huge but, it only takes one missile or drone to hit the carrier to make a carrier inoperable. It depends on where it hits, but if the opponent can send 100 missiles or drones and you knock out 95% of them, the odds of one of the five doing real damage is pretty good.

      Right now, American carriers can operate beyond the reach of known anti-ship missiles, but that will soon change as the technology improves. The next stage of drone development will be sea based autonomous drones that can operate for a long time using minimum power. Once they acquire the target, they take off and become an airborne weapon. Alternatively, they submerge and attack the vessel below the waterline. Countering these will prove impossible.

      • The military exercise Millennium Challenge, conducted in 2002, proved how low-tech arms and tactics can easily overcome superior technology.

        Relating to the US Navy aircraft carriers the biggest open secret known for at least the last two decades is that they are expensive floating targets. As you state, blocking 95% of incoming projectiles still leaves thet 5%.

        In the 2002 exercise ‘swarm’ tactics by a combination of aerial projectiles and small boats loaded with explosives took out the aircraft carrier…every single time. The general in charge of the adversary force was finally given a set of exercise limitations on his abilities and low-tech strategy to allow the US side to chalk up a win.


      • the thing is, aircraft carriers are obsolete – because manned planes are obsolete. once autonomous ships are advanced a bit (from where we are now) you can launch all kinds of weapons from right off the coast of a target country – without putting anyone in harm’s way.

        • Carriers will never be obsolete. They are the only ships big enough to contain decently sizes admiral’s suites.

        • I’m much more concerned about autonomous submarines and mines. If you can just loiter around, nice and silent, and wait for a ship to throw torpedoes at, you’re gonna be pretty hard to beat.

      • I’d be surprised, if the neocons get their Russia war, if there aren’t a couple of aircraft carriers on the ocean floor in the first week.

        • The only thing possibly worse than sinking a carrier is letting it stay afloat. Running and operating a carrier is expensive enough, but then it’s dependent on it’s “group” for tiered defense which makes them a huge floating drain on the combatant’s finances.

  37. Ancient cavemen fought other cavemen over territory, etc. Enter the neocon, who whispered in one caveman’s ear, ‘hey, that caveman called you a name, pick up that stick and hit him!’

    • The neocon whispered: “You will not survive if you don’t let other cavemen in your territory.”

      And then he continued whispering: “You need to invest everything you have into defending a holy territory in far away lands.”


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