I was going to do a play on the increase in nuclear threats, rather than a cute old movie, but frankly that’s now pretty much every day ending in Y. I’m going to get to Moldova in a moment, but we need to have yet another discussion on mores and bluffs that really aren’t bluffs.
More and more people in the Russian government are now warning that WWIII is imminent. Before dismissing it as yet more bluff and bluster out of the Kremlin, let’s go back and refresh our understanding of mores (More Azzzz). Mores are the cultural blinders we all wear, often unknowingly. Far too many dismissing this as all bluff fail to grasp that while there are elements that can be seen as a bluff, there are elements to it that are not.
Yes, there is a bit of “Let the Wookie win” in these statements. In other words, stop providing the Ukraine with the means to defend itself, stop the sanctions, etc. , or else… The grocery list of things where the Wookie, er, Vladimir, should be allowed to win grows longer every day, and there is an element of flinging excrement against the wall to it. If something sticks or smears, it’s intel on where they could or should push. If nothing sticks, the other aspect of this comes into play.
Buried within all the bluff and bluster is a real effort to set the stage for the use of special weapons. ‘We warned you…’ is an integral part of it for both maskirova and diplomatic purposes. It is also a warning that NATO countries could find themselves targets for conventional weapons as well as special. Look at the fact that all of the people warning that there will be WWIII if NATO and others don’t back off and let the Vladimir win are making the flat declaration that Russia is ALREADY at war with NATO. That they have taken the high road and not responded — yet.
Every day the war drags on, the more likely it is that Vladimir will, as Mark Tapscott puts it at Instapundit, go for door number three. By the way, if you are not reading Stephen Green’s and Sarah A. Hoyt’s regular updates at Instapundit, you should be.
There are already signs that he’s headed that way, and that he plans to make Moldova a part of that operation. Moldova has long been on Vladmir’s (and Russkiy Mir’s) list. If he can take and hold the South, he has a clear shot at it and using it to change the strategic (and tactical) balance.
I expect to see a growing number of false flag operations, and not just in the Ukraine or Moldova. In fact, here’s one from Russia, which has to be the most inept and incompetent false flag in quite some time.
The other thing I expect to see is an increase in the “Russia is at war with NATO” stance. As I’ve said before, they are not wrong — it is a proxy war. Ironically that is something they are familiar with given the number of proxy wars they and/or the Soviet Union have started over the years.
What is going to open the floodgates on this is the fact that the Ukraine has begun hitting targets inside Russia. That was something Vladimir et cie never expected or planned for, and in true sociopathic fashion they are proclaiming in private and in public that they are the true victims here. The decision to cut off gas to Poland and Bulgaria is not just a currency issue, it is an economic hit (and warning) at NATO.
While the Ukraine has done a limited amount in Russia before, Vladimir is going to see this as an escalation by NATO, not the Ukraine. The Ukraine are just Nazi dupes, remember? As the tempo increases and as he fails to get a needed major victory, I’m afraid that this author is correct on the need to start training troops now.
It’s been discussed here several times, but keep in mind that Vladimir rolled the dice in the initial invasion. It had to succeed, as his continued rule and life depend on it. So, yet again let me say, I expect him to continue to roll the dice in hopes that something breaks his way. I really wish that so much internal had not (apparently) been linked to May 9. The new Nazi’s were to be crushed and killed, Ukraine restored to Russia to the joy of its citizens, and more than likely Moldova would be restored as well.
Hasn’t worked out that way so far. If the Ukraine can keep hitting Russian logistics in the Donbas and inside Russia, as well as fight successfully against the Russian troops and proxies, it won’t happen. The best I see short-term is that Vladimir does not let May 9 drive him, and either goes for long-term efforts (that I don’t think will be as long term as he would like, thoughts for another day) or for control of the East and South. I don’t think he’s going to get either, but let’s get past May 9 and go from there.
If he does let May 9 drive things, expect to see a large number of false flag ops. They are a crucial part to Soviet/Russian nuclear use plans. From all reports, Vladimir does believe in the “Escalate to Deescalate” doctrine, and given what he regards as a war with NATO plus his troops being largely unable to succeed on the battlefield, he is quite likely to use special weapons. I can see chemical in some areas (as noted before Mariupol and the steel works), and I can see tactical nukes against either obstacles or more likely strategic command centers. Note the recent threat from Russia that they reserved the right to hit a command post in Kyiv even if members of NATO were present. Also note that Vladimir himself has now said that military sites in Britain and other NATO members are on the table because of their support of the Ukraine (and unsaid the support of hitting targets inside Russia).
Back on 24 March in this post, I stated “While I do not yet endorse his recommendations, I also don’t disagree with them.” in regards this article. I think we are at a point where a dispersal of our nuclear forces is in order, along with an enhanced deterrent alert with Britain. As I noted earlier in this post, we really should be training our troops for CBN operations and making sure they have MOPP gear and related supplies. In fact, it might not be a bad idea to disperse our conventional forces in Europe and/or Scandinavia, and even do some training on trenches and bunkers. Time for some drills.
For something a little less earth shattering, read this post from Trent Telenko and this reply from John Ringo. Mr. Telenko also makes a very good point that far too many so-called experts miss, namely the need to explore fault trees. Going for the easy shiny blinds you to reality. He also has a good post on how logistics should be done, courtesy of our own Air Force.
Kamil Galeev has two interesting threads going. In the first, he posts some videos and links to his new Telegram channel where he will be doing a more thorough job on video posting than he can do on Twitter. He also has an interesting post that not only looks at why the heck there is still trade with Belarus, but also offers a very different take on Lukashenko than you get most places. Given how uniformly our intelligence operations have failed, we may just want to revisit the conventional view of the strongman. Have to admit it is making me step back to think a bit.
Now, homework for the day. First, if you are interested in Russia and its relations with others, you may be interested in what has and is going on in Georgia (country, not the state). If so, I get a newsletter twice a week from civil.ge that is informative, interesting, and quite often written with a sense of humor. Second, courtesy of Sarah A. Hoyt at Insty, comes this history of Russia and the Ukraine. Unlike the books I linked the other day, this one goes back to medieval times as a starting point. Excellent read!
Finally, to try to end a very hard post with a laugh, I will say I don’t expect Vladimir to end the world. I think this may beat him to the punch. Did you not watch any of the movies? Don’t open the mysterious sarcophagus! Even if you have Rachel Weisz and Brendan Fraser right there with you ready to go.
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