The Revenge Of HUMINT

In yesterday’s post, I talked a bit about the push in the US to get away from human intelligence (HUMINT) because it truly is messy, as well as being offensive to Jimmy Carter’s sense of morality. Instead, the US went all-in on technology, which became National Technical Means (NTM) and is now apparently referred to as NRO Overhead Systems (NOS).

Now, satellites and other technical means can get you a lot of data. You can count ships, planes, and tanks; you can see structures being built; and, you can watch for movements and activities. However, there are strong limitations to satellites and related, and they don’t give you context to go with what you see. Which is why you need other means, including HUMINT.

Today, we have an unprecedented amount of information at our fingertips. Open-source intel groups do some fantastic work. There are websites and apps that track almost every aircraft in the air around the world. There are others that track ships, trains, and about any form of transportation you can imagine. Commercial overhead imagery is better than what aircraft and satellite cameras got early on.

Then, you add in professional and social media, plus the World Wide Web, and you have a situation that if it is not information overload, it is not far from it. Instead of frantic efforts to find out about a unit and maybe get a hint of its commander, you go to the unit’s website and get pretty much it’s complete order of battle. From social media, you can find out about morale and how things are going (hint: lower enlisted everywhere in the world are prone to bitching about things, they just now do it online as well as in the chow line). You may even find a professional writing by the commander, as well as his own social media posts. Thank you internet and computer technology!

But, all of that technology has thrown you right back into the HUMINT trap. Is that Pvt. Ivanabitchconstantly a real private, or disinformation? Is the information being posted by a “reputable source” online accurate, precise, or highly biased? Motivation matters as it tends to skew what is being posted.

As a quick aside, information tends to be either accurate, precise, or biased/bogus. When I wrote press releases for a part of DoD, the releases were accurate: the information within was valid. They were not, however, precise as while those designing and building various things want friends and even enemies to have some idea about the system, they sure were not stupid enough to tell everything including full performance data. I will note that a lot of USSR/Russian releases go the biased/bogus route as anything done by them is bigger, better, and does more than anything we design. They tend to advertise a lot of Ronco products in my book.

Finally, you have to take into account social filtering. This is the need to avoid getting in social trouble for what you are posting. Because the Chinese monitor and censor so heavily, people are very careful either to not post anything that could get them in trouble, or they use language that the censors don’t (yet) recognize as saying something other than what it might appear.

In both Russian and the Ukraine, the government is monitoring and even mild criticism can and will draw an official response. In Russia, it is also easy to note that other members of the public are quite happy to deal with complaints or objections to the war by a variety of means ranging from loss of job to loss of teeth. So, again, you get people either not saying what they think, or saying it in a way that will evade the censors for a while. Or, by finding platforms dark or deep that aren’t being monitored or from which they can’t be traced.

This all applies double to what is going on in the Kremlin and other centers of leadership at all levels. I think the following is universal: politicians leak; the leaks are always biased to hurt another and advance the leaker; and, the only thing more vicious than a cornered rat is a cornered political apparatchik. In Russia, politics has been a blood sport for centuries. What we might think of as a minor setback can literally be a matter of life or death. The higher you go, the more likely those are the stakes. Don’t believe me? First, study Russian history, and then go ask those Gazprom and other leaders that all just committed suicide after killing their wives and children. When someone tells me that the Russians won’t do X because they aren’t that way, or because of their children, I know they are ignorant of Russia and Russian history.

Which is why when I hear reports and rumors of discussions in the Kremlin and elsewhere, I tend to use a lot of salt. Why is that information leaking? Why is this or that spokesperson, minister, etc. saying X in public? What are they saying off camera? Is all the discussion of nuclear war a bluff? A legalistic warning and stage setting within Russia? A push to see how far they can push before getting pushback? Other? On that, I’m in wait and see mode as I know that at some point someone with a political axe to grind is going to leak something about it. Something that may not be accurate or precise, but will still reveal what was going on.

In the meantime, we still have to filter everything else. Those who continue to process everything through our cultural blinders are going to continue to be horribly wrong. Those who can set those aside and consider things from the Russian (Ukrainian, etc.) point of view are going to get it mostly right. At least on a threats and intentions basis. On a tactical/strategic basis, those who bleat about Russia having 10,000 X have yet to grasp that while that may be true, if even a third of X is useable it may constitute a miracle. At least with conventional. While I have strong questions about nuclear on both sides, as well as the reliability of the rockets, I also am in no hurry to get the answers and especially don’t desire to find out the hard way.

So, welcome back to the HUMINT trap. All our vaunted technology has brought us full circle back to the messiness that Peanut couldn’t stand.

Some Previous Posts:

Vladimir And The Ukraine

Answers, Ramblings, And A Bit More On Vladimir And The Ukraine

Your Must Read For The Day On Russia

The Puzzles In Play, And The Missing Pieces

Quick Thoughts On Ukraine/Putin

The Thing Behind The Curtain

Missing Pieces And Surprise Pieces

Thursday Update

Not A Lot To Add

Noted

Monday Update

Burn Notice

Accuracy, Reliability, And More

Putin, Trump, And The Coming Storm

Three Futures For Russia

Quick Thoughts

Saturday Update

Mismatched Locomotives

War, Ag, Demographics, And The Worst Is Yet To Come

Past, Present, And A Hungry Future

Huge Grain Of Salt

The Moskva

Retribution Inbound

Uncertainty And Preparation

Honest Question

Monday Morning Quick Brief

War Of The Memes

A Little Free Ice Cream

Rumors Of War

Three Times Is…

If It’s Wednesday, This Must Be Moldova

Going Nuclear

How To Spy On The Russians

Here’s Hoping I’m Wrong

Pins And Needles Time

Mock Away

Intel Wars

*****

If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, feel free to hit the tip jar in the upper right or the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo. Getting hit by lightning is not fun, and it is thanks to your help and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Pins And Needles Time

In chatting with another writer this morning, he used the phrase above, and we both agreed it’s going to be a long weekend. Monday, 9 May, is likely to tell the tale. I don’t like where my own analysis leads, especially as I tend to think the line between tactical and strategic exists only in the minds of idiots.

Of the people I respect and/or know, they seem split between three options. In the first, Vladimir declares goals accomplished and in effect goes home. In the second, Vladimir declares war on the Ukraine, mobilizes, and goes all out with conventional forces. In the third, Vladimir declares war on the Ukraine and uses both chemical and nuclear as part of the “escalate to de-escalate” program.

To be very honest, I hope and pray that Vladimir does the first. It would be the wisest course given all. That said, I’m not sure he can do it for a variety of domestic political reasons. He invested heavily in the 24-48 hour victory fantasy, then doubled down when it failed. The current offensive is effectively at a standstill, which is not a good position for declaring unilateral victory/success/goals met.

On the second, I think a brutal slog will get even more brutal. Unlike some, I also think that Vladimir will use chemical weapons while threatening to escalate and/or ignoring any and all posturing by the West. After all, the extensive use of chemical weapons in Syria did not bring about any meaningful response despite a lot of posturing by Western leaders who decided the line was neither red nor a line.

On the third, I think it will be a literal miracle if Vladimir only declares war on the Ukraine. All of the proper legal (Russian) and other steps to widen the conflict have been taken. There are reports that Vladimir is particularly irked with the British, and the case has already been made in multiple avenues that Russia is already at war with NATO. While in the past we have made accommodation with the Russians taking a very active role in its proxy wars with the West, there is no guarantee Russia will return the favor. In fact, they have made it rather clear that they are not inclined to do so.

In regards the third option, my own take is that they will use chemical and are likely to use one or more tactical nukes against a headquarters, logistics center, or symbolic target and one or more of those targets may not be in the Ukraine. Poland is the likely target, but other countries can’t be ruled out. After the use, the word will go out that we accept or they go strategic and launch everything they have. The response of the Biden administration, NATO, and others is not guaranteed.

In fact, the possibility of panic and/or dementia anger scares me. You have the meat puppet, a VP who apparently refuses to read the daily intel brief, and a brain trust that not only seems determined to start a war (see all the leaks of how we are helping the Ukraine kill generals, sink ships, etc.) but reportedly has never done any exercises involving nuclear war… Yeah, we could live a version of The Sum Of All Fears. I really don’t want an answer to the question of what happens when no leader is strong and secure.

Until the 9th and a definitive statement from Vladimir, we sit on metaphorical pins and needles. My suggestions are: prayer, and lots of it; preparation; and patience. I’ve made what preparations I can, and really wish the fundraiser hadn’t stalled so I could be moving right now. Where I am, I either have a good chance, or am totally fucked if they are using one of the old targeting packages. Going to hope for the former, and hope that an order gets here before anything happens, and top up some of my preparations. Nice thing is on the food, it can be used when things get lean later in the year if Vladimir does call it and go home.

Be safe and be prepared. And hope for the best on Monday.

Some Previous Posts:

Vladimir And The Ukraine

Answers, Ramblings, And A Bit More On Vladimir And The Ukraine

Your Must Read For The Day On Russia

The Puzzles In Play, And The Missing Pieces

Quick Thoughts On Ukraine/Putin

The Thing Behind The Curtain

Missing Pieces And Surprise Pieces

Thursday Update

Not A Lot To Add

Noted

Monday Update

Burn Notice

Accuracy, Reliability, And More

Putin, Trump, And The Coming Storm

Three Futures For Russia

Quick Thoughts

Saturday Update

Mismatched Locomotives

War, Ag, Demographics, And The Worst Is Yet To Come

Past, Present, And A Hungry Future

Huge Grain Of Salt

The Moskva

Retribution Inbound

Uncertainty And Preparation

Honest Question

Monday Morning Quick Brief

War Of The Memes

A Little Free Ice Cream

Rumors Of War

Three Times Is…

If It’s Wednesday, This Must Be Moldova

Going Nuclear

How To Spy On The Russians

Here’s Hoping I’m Wrong

*****

If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, feel free to hit the tip jar in the upper right or the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo. Getting hit by lightning is not fun, and it is thanks to your help and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

By Dawn’s Early…

First, some homework. While I would love for you to read everything I’ve written on Russia/Ukraine and Vladimir, reality says you are probably just going to skim this post. For those who truly want to understand what I’m going to write today, please take the time to read this update, this post, and this post. It’s not complete, but it does give you enough background for a foundation to today’s post.

Second, I’m going to do something no author or pundit is ever supposed to admit: I hope I’m wrong. Not a little bit, not a lot, but run away and hide in shame wrong. Mercilessly mocked wrong.

Now, let’s get started. The planned victory celebrations on May 9 for Czar Vladimir I aren’t going to happen. As noted before, the Ukrainians dared fight back, and won great victories. Vladimir shifted to take the East and South, but even there things are not going to plan. Not only are the Ukrainians taking a certain delight in offing Russian generals, they have apparently hit targets in Russia. I say apparently because I suspect the R&D fire was typical ineptitude (there’s a bit of history of such, particularly when R&D and production are combined); if the chemical plant was the Ukraine, my hats off to them; and, finally, some of the events are possibly false flag with both sides denying responsibility.

Why the false flag ops? Simple, Vladimir has to show that Russia has been attacked. He has been being extremely legalistic (by Russian standards) throughout, starting with declaring that there was a Nazi menace in the Ukraine. He has continued that even into the nuclear threats, and as he builds the case for a war. I had wondered a bit at why special weapons had not already been used as the Russian military has hit situations that called for such use per doctrine. However, since it’s officially not a war…

Vladimir very much needs to make this a war. With a formal war declared, he can keep his conscript and contract troops for the duration. With a formal war declared he can mobilize reserves and more. With a formal war declared, he can take the gloves off.

The question is, will the Ukraine be the sole target of his war? There are very interesting rumors that it will not be limited to the Ukraine. As I noted a while back, we are seeing an increasing emphasis on being at war with NATO and certain non-NATO countries that are providing assistance to the Ukraine have also felt Vladimir’s verbal ire. If those rumors and reports are true, at the very least, the declaration of war will directly or indirectly include NATO and other countries.

No, that’s not weasle-wording. Despite being a despot, Vladimir does not operate in a complete vacuum. There are arguments, let’s say, for and against naming one and all. A strong argument can be made (cough) for not listing but rather using a phrase like ‘and countries supporting the Ukraine or the attacking of Russian targets on Russian soil’ as it gives you a lot more flexibility. Keep in mind how legalistic he is being, and keep in mind his audience for this is not primarily the West (with caveat to come) but rather the internal Russian audience.

Vladimir is a true believer in the Russkiy Mir plan and a staunch Russian nationalist. Vladimir is of the school that sees communism as having been a poison for Russia because it was a non-Slavic philosophy forced onto Slavs. He also believes in the idea of ‘Escalate to De-Escalate’ as I’ve noted multiple times.

Right now, two options have caught my attention. In the first option, after a declaration of war gives him the troops and legal use of the full might of the Russian military, he can then use conventional weapons against targets outside of the Ukraine per the declaration of war. If he hits targets in the UK, Europe, or in route to the Ukraine, he then has a legal defense that he can present to Russia and the world for such, even as he threatens to use his nuclear arsenal if there is any retaliation. And, trust me, anything and everything will be a retaliation. Option two is much the same, but chemical, biological, or nuclear (tactical/small strategic) are used.

Vladimir is already well aware that Biden is terrified of a nuclear exchange or starting WWIII. For all that the dementia-ridden meat puppet told him that in talks a while back, there is the matter of Biden’s well-known anger issues. If anyone can name a single thing the so-called Biden administration has gotten right, please do let me know. Every effort to find or even build an off-ramp that might have worked (not sure Vladimir will take one even if offered) has been blasted out of existence by the Biden administration. It’s almost as if some of them want WWIII. The administration has proven Obama right when he said ‘Never underestimate Joe’s ability to fuck things up.’ Yeah, single quote as I’m not sure it’s an exact quote.

So, I suspect any diplomatic effort out the current administration will simply strengthen Vladimir’s resolve. The contempt Vladimir feels towards most ministers and other government officials has been massively on display with Macron. He’s also very pissed off with the British right now (Russia/British relations are a large topic for another day, as a lot of it dates back hundreds of years). That leaves Xi, who has seen his alliance with Russia go sideways on multiple levels. Outside of those leaders, I’m not sure who could step up, have Vladimir actually listen to them, and find a good diplomatic solution. There are, of course, many bad diplomatic solutions most of which revolve around the world abandoning the Ukraine to its fate.

Now, let’s complicate things just a bit further. A while back, I noted that I had seen a change in Vladimir’s thinking that indicated a rather strong personal shock. The kind of thing where you realize your mortality, your country’s mortality, or otherwise had some type of Road to Damascus moment. While I noticed it a couple of years ago, whatever happened could have taken place as far back as five years ago. I’m not sure if the reported upcoming cancer surgery is related to it, but since I believe this report to be true you have to also accept that it is a factor in his thinking and planning. When I used the word Gotterdammerung the other day, I wasn’t joking.

If Vladimir and his clique have an ounce of sense, they will keep any and all attacks conventional. I’m not confident enough to place a bet they will. If I were a betting man, I would put my money on tactical use of special weapons. Under normal circumstances (whatever they may be), I would not see things escalating to a strategic exchange. With the situation as it exists now, I won’t bet against it.

If it were up to me, I would be looking hard for someone or several someones to try to find a diplomatic solution. I would be reaching out to Vladimir, I would be reaching out to Abramovich, I would be reaching out to the dog lounging at the Kremlin gates. It would be quiet, but it would be done along with trying to say the right things in public (something our administration has yet to do).

At the same time, I would be making sure a number of scheduled, “scheduled,” and unscheduled drills take place. I would be dispersing our nuclear forces and weapons. The Air Force would be testing plans to disperse fighters, bombers, tankers, and other aircraft to auxiliary fields. The Army would be doing much the same, so that one bomb doesn’t really take out a whole base. Every sub that can sail, would sail. The troops taking part in NATO drills or to bolster the defense of NATO allies? They need to practice dispersion and/or digging in, so do it. I would have as many in the line of succession off on business trips, junkets, etc. as possible. You better believe I would be making sure the E4Bs and E6Bs were flying. This can be done without officially raising our alert level, and I would be starting to do it NOW. Yes the Russians would see much of this. They are supposed to. It’s called deterrence. Right now, Vladimir believes Western leadership is too weak to respond. This at least helps diminish the strategic threat.

Edited to add: Patriot, Iron Dome, and any other ABM defense systems we have or can get is put out with the troops. Anything that can be activated CONUS should be activated, even if it’s been in orbit for a decade or two. Bring it all online.

What little influence I may have ever had in DC went away about the time Reagan left office. So, all I can do is look at stepping up my personal preparedness levels a bit more, and really really wish enough would come in to the fundraiser so that I could move now, now, now. I would suggest to you, my reader, that you up your preparedness levels a bit too. Given inflation and the growing amount of problems with the food chain, it can’t hurt to have food you normally use laid in.

I also will suggest prayer. The prayers offered up for me since I was hit by lightning last year have made a difference. Right now, I think our best hope is with the Devine.

Some Previous Posts:

Vladimir And The Ukraine

Answers, Ramblings, And A Bit More On Vladimir And The Ukraine

Your Must Read For The Day On Russia

The Puzzles In Play, And The Missing Pieces

Quick Thoughts On Ukraine/Putin

The Thing Behind The Curtain

Missing Pieces And Surprise Pieces

Thursday Update

Not A Lot To Add

Noted

Monday Update

Burn Notice

Accuracy, Reliability, And More

Putin, Trump, And The Coming Storm

Three Futures For Russia

Quick Thoughts

Saturday Update

Mismatched Locomotives

War, Ag, Demographics, And The Worst Is Yet To Come

Past, Present, And A Hungry Future

Huge Grain Of Salt

The Moskva

Retribution Inbound

Uncertainty And Preparation

Honest Question

Monday Morning Quick Brief

War Of The Memes

A Little Free Ice Cream

Rumors Of War

Three Times Is…

If It’s Wednesday, This Must Be Moldova

Going Nuclear

*****

If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, feel free to hit the tip jar in the upper right or the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo. Getting hit by lightning is not fun, and it is thanks to your help and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Going Nuclear

I’m not even going to try for any humor at the start today. Rather, I’m going to start with expressing yet again my amazement at the complete and total clusterfuck that is Russia and the Russian military. I’ve said it before, but if you had told me in January that a majority of equipment was not fully usable, that almost every unit was at least 25 percent understrength, that they were using such interesting (cough, choke, wheeze) com gear and were heavily dependent on using the Ukrainian cell phone network, and all the other things we’ve seen, I would have laughed at you.

In many respects, Russia is fucked. From demographics, from corruption, from a system that can’t manufacture shit, from continuing to build and operate the ‘one big plant’ because of paranoia, and I could go on. The invasion of the Ukraine was an effort to keep things rolling rather than collapse in the next few years. It was supposed to be the start of Russkiy Mir, and the new, bigger, better, Russian empire. It was to cement Vladimir’s hold on power, and ensure that the oligarchs would have money to siphon off for years to come.

Which brings me back to Wednesday’s post. The Russian’s have indeed seen the attacks inside Russia not as a legitimate response to their unprovoked invasion, but as an escalation. Not unexpected, particularly given the bully mentality of Vladimir and the leadership. They do see NATO and others arming the Ukraine, training troops, etc. as attacking them and stopping them from their liberation of the Ukraine (and inevitably Moldova, Georgia, the Baltics…). They see it not just as a proxy war, but as a direct attack on Russia by each and every one of those countries.

Now, when you read/hear/etc. things like this and this, keep in mind three important points:

First, they are not bluffs as we understand bluffs. They are warnings, and if we let the Wookie win, that is all they will be. If we don’t let the Wookie win, then they are a legal and full justification for the use of special weapons. These things are aimed not so much at the West, but at the Russian people to demonstrate that they did all they could to prevent use of special weapons. They were the upright, caring leaders who tried to prevent things, and the West were the corrupt thugs.

Second, they also function as a part of Vladimir’s “Escalate to De-escalate” campaign. Remember, he believes that he can use tactical and/or small strategic weapons in a way that will prevent a response because to respond will start a full nuclear exchange. They believe Western leaders are too weak and cowardly to risk it. On that score, I’m not sure he’s wrong, but I also think anyone who believes in this strategy is mental. That said, the abortion that was MAD always had us at the mercy of the least stable leader with a nuke. Vladimir is making the stakes clear, that he will go for a full exchange if pushed. The thing is, I think he’s serious and that if we retaliate to his use of special weapons, in kind or otherwise, he will do it. If reports are true, Vladimir and several of his inner circle are ready for a Gotterdammerung moment because if they fail at the invasion, they are out of power, and out of power means they die.

Third, for all they emphasize strategic, they also indicate that at least initially it would be a limited strike. Note the emphasis on taking out this or that city, of eliminating military bases. If nukes are used in the Ukraine, I suspect that Kyiv or wherever Zelenskyy may be at the time, or large military headquarters, will be the targets. In the field, the troops are dispersed and agile. However, I am increasingly of the opinion that Vladimir will attack targets in NATO and elsewhere with conventional and special weapons. The take will be that he has used tactical weapons on bases that are attacking Russia and killing Russians, and that if we retaliate in any way, he will go strategic.

Again, May 9 is the key date. Originally, Vladimir was set to be the conquering hero who was restoring Russia to greatness and a lot of theatrics were planned. Then, the Ukrainians dared fight back, and most of the rest of the world rallied to support them. Outrageous! How dare they! An affront like this to Vladimir is an affront to Russia!

Things have gone seriously awry. Sweden and Finland are considering joining NATO. The poor performance of the Russian military has countries that were terrified of them rolling their eyes at Russian threats. Even the smallest countries on the Russkiy Mir list are now willing to fight because they realize that they could win. Oh, and let’s not forget that Russia has depleted a number of crucial stockpiles, and is now facing the loss of chemicals and lubricants from the chemical plant fire.

Yes, Vladimir could do a full call-up and have a large number of troops to use — maybe. The ability to get them where needed is limited. Almost every depot has seen critical items looted, which means all the pre-positioned stockpiles will require extensive maintenance to make combat ready. That’s assuming they have the equipment anywhere to replace what was stolen and sold. Add to that troops can’t be pulled from multiple areas because the unrest there would turn to open rebellion as soon as those troops leave. As I and others have noted before, they could use sheer numbers to take the Ukraine (and possibly Moldova at the same time). They don’t have the numbers to hold it.

The only thing that Vladimir can count on right now are the special weapons. Even there, however, questions arise. Given that the SATAN-II is more than two years behind schedule in deployment, one wonders what problems it has been having. There are other issues with both strategic and tactical systems, from weapons to control. My hope and prayer is that we don’t find out what problems do or don’t exist because a small desperate creature did something stupid.

Some Previous Posts:

Vladimir And The Ukraine

Answers, Ramblings, And A Bit More On Vladimir And The Ukraine

Your Must Read For The Day On Russia

The Puzzles In Play, And The Missing Pieces

Quick Thoughts On Ukraine/Putin

The Thing Behind The Curtain

Missing Pieces And Surprise Pieces

Thursday Update

Not A Lot To Add

Noted

Monday Update

Burn Notice

Accuracy, Reliability, And More

Putin, Trump, And The Coming Storm

Three Futures For Russia

Quick Thoughts

Saturday Update

Mismatched Locomotives

War, Ag, Demographics, And The Worst Is Yet To Come

Past, Present, And A Hungry Future

Huge Grain Of Salt

The Moskva

Retribution Inbound

Uncertainty And Preparation

Honest Question

Monday Morning Quick Brief

War Of The Memes

A Little Free Ice Cream

Rumors Of War

Three Times Is…

If It’s Wednesday, This Must Be Moldova

*****

If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, feel free to hit the tip jar in the upper right or the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo. Getting hit by lightning is not fun, and it is thanks to your help and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

If It’s Wednesday, This Must Be Moldova

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.

Some Previous Posts:

Vladimir And The Ukraine

Answers, Ramblings, And A Bit More On Vladimir And The Ukraine

Your Must Read For The Day On Russia

The Puzzles In Play, And The Missing Pieces

Quick Thoughts On Ukraine/Putin

The Thing Behind The Curtain

Missing Pieces And Surprise Pieces

Thursday Update

Not A Lot To Add

Noted

Monday Update

Burn Notice

Accuracy, Reliability, And More

Putin, Trump, And The Coming Storm

Three Futures For Russia

Quick Thoughts

Saturday Update

Mismatched Locomotives

War, Ag, Demographics, And The Worst Is Yet To Come

Past, Present, And A Hungry Future

Huge Grain Of Salt

The Moskva

Retribution Inbound

Uncertainty And Preparation

Honest Question

Monday Morning Quick Brief

War Of The Memes

A Little Free Ice Cream

Rumors Of War

Three Times Is…

*****

If you like what you are reading, feel free to hit the tip jar in the upper right or the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo. Getting hit by lightning is not fun, and it is thanks to your help and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Three Times Is…

When it comes to all the natural gas/energy oligarchs going all in on murder/suicide, well, things stink. As I noted Thursday, the very precise wording of some of the Russian coverage speaks volumes.

Then we get to the fires. Not just the huge forest fires in Siberia, but at a defense research and production facility and, at a huge chemical plant near Moscow. While the defense facility may impact war operations, the chemical plant is likely to have a fast and massive effect on the war effort as well as the civilian economy. This excellent thread explains why.

Homework for the weekend. Yes, I’m one of those a******s who gives out homework assignments to do over the weekend. Read this thread on the history of Mariupol from Kamil Galeev. Then, if you want to learn more about the history of Imperial Russia, check out the books in this thread.

Trent Telenko has some interesting threads here, here, and here. If the Ukrainians can continue to go after Russian logistics, and effectively go after Russian artillery, it’s going to get very interesting for the Russians.

As for the comments made that Russia wants the East and South at a minimum, well, Duh. That’s been a topic of discussion here and at other blogs pretty much from the start. That they will also go into Moldova per the same comments: not a surprise. Moldova, Georgia, the Baltics — they are all on the Russkiy Mir list. The only bit of surprise I have is that they seem to think they can do it and get away with it. Right now, with having to conscript 16-year-olds and grandfathers to replace losses, logistics delivery problems, materials shortages, and all the other problems they have (including units in all but open mutiny), they might want to thinking a touch more realistically.

Have a great weekend!

Some Previous Posts:

Vladimir And The Ukraine

Answers, Ramblings, And A Bit More On Vladimir And The Ukraine

Your Must Read For The Day On Russia

The Puzzles In Play, And The Missing Pieces

Quick Thoughts On Ukraine/Putin

The Thing Behind The Curtain

Missing Pieces And Surprise Pieces

Thursday Update

Not A Lot To Add

Noted

Monday Update

Burn Notice

Accuracy, Reliability, And More

Putin, Trump, And The Coming Storm

Three Futures For Russia

Quick Thoughts

Saturday Update

Mismatched Locomotives

War, Ag, Demographics, And The Worst Is Yet To Come

Past, Present, And A Hungry Future

Huge Grain Of Salt

The Moskva

Retribution Inbound

Uncertainty And Preparation

Honest Question

Monday Morning Quick Brief

War Of The Memes

A Little Free Ice Cream

Rumors Of War

*****

If you like what you are reading, feel free to hit the tip jar in the upper right or the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo. Getting hit by lightning is not fun, and it is thanks to your help and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Rumors Of War

I mentioned yesterday that I’m going through a lot of information. The amount of propaganda out of all sides is staggering, and the quality of some of it is amazing. It makes trying to figure out what’s real and what isn’t a challenge. Between that and some of the shitposting some people love to do it also makes it hard to spot true trends in critical propaganda.

As I noted yesterday, the Kremlin has made a crucial change in its propaganda efforts. The new focus is that Russia is really at war with NATO and the U.S., and that the Ukraine is just a proxy for the West. Admittedly they are for some reason focusing on the U.K./Commonwealth as being behind the loss of the Moskva, but stories like this (particularly the article in The Times) are going to have an effect on that and aid the Kremlin in its propaganda efforts.

If there is proof of the U.S./U.K./Other providing targeting data, show it. What this comes across as for now is salacious speculation designed to drum up audience numbers and public sentiment. Not a great idea during a time when Vladimir is both looking to blame NATO for the war, the war taking so long (along with the re-appearance of Sergei Shoigu) and make a case for escalation including the possible use of special weapons (which at least someone in the Pentagon is taking seriously).

Remember, May 9 is fast approaching and things were supposed to wrapped up with bow and pretty paper by then. There is no way Vladimir can claim any of this as a victory, and he (and his survival) demand a victory. Instead, you have reports on the losses in the Wagner Group; yet more losses of top officers here, here, here, and here; and, you have conscription of 16-year-olds (and possibly younger) to make up losses. For all that the Russian military is supposed to be HUGE, keep in mind that every flippin unit may be at least 25 precent understrength and the units that are stationed in various locations around the country are usually there for a reason, such as restive populations, propping up friendly governments, and preventing incursions from people who don’t much care for the Russians. Add to that the absolute limits on being able to move those troops given the limitations on rail and air assets (much less the pre-positioned stocks are largely useless because of corruption, see previous posts on that), and you get the conscription and the urgent call-up of the reserves (who were not necessarily reserves as we think of such).

Which may explain his apparently sudden decision to simply encircle the Azovstal plant and seal it off, rather than launch the planned assault. The ceremony, and make no mistake it was a ceremony, where he gave the order is aimed primarily at the internal audience, not external. I fear he was honest in talking about the number of Russian troops that would die in that final assault. Those troops are desperately needed elsewhere, and encircling will free up the majority of them. It also creates a very good opportunity for the use of chemical weapons since most of the Ukrainian forces (and civilians) are underground. Hope I’m wrong, but…

Now, we get to some of the real war that is going on in the Russian military. I’ve been hearing a lot about troops refusing orders, refusing to advance, etc. A while back, I speculated on Vladimir using the Chechens to replace the KGB troops that used to ensure the Soviet Army advanced. Instapundit has a link to a story on this, and there are other reports bouncing around that it has happened elsewhere. Vladimir has been using the Chechens for particularly brutal actions military and otherwise, so using them this way is a logical progression. Trust me, the Russian military is watching this and making note of it. It’s entirely possible that the Chechens are about to discover that accidents happen, from artillery hitting the wrong coordinates to crucial information not getting to the right person/place at the right time.

The fact is, there are rumors/reports/whatever that Russian officers and troops refusing to obey orders is far more widespread that is being officially acknowledged. Nor is it apparently just the conscripts and/or contract troops. If true, this is huge. Add to it that there may be slowdowns in the already screwed up logistics chain, and you get a truly messed up situation. Oh, and there are fairly well confirmed reports that “volunteer” aka conscripted troops from various previous ‘liberated’ areas (Donbas, Georgia, etc.) have not just refused orders, but deserted and returned home.

There’s more, but it would be potentially premature and irresponsible to get into it right now. What I want to look at is the great marble stone under the statue that is Vladimir on the White Horse as the noble strongman of Russkiy Mir. The media and fanbois love to portray it as a solid monolith and rave about the delicate veins that make such pretty patterns. I look at it and I see stress fractures, fractures that are growing every day.

For now, go read this article in Bloomberg and then this analysis at the Daily Mail. Now, read this, this, and this. The last two stories are about people who know that they may pay with their lives for what they have said and done. We’ve established time and time again that Vladimir is not a nice man and loves to make examples of those he regards as enemies. Go read previous pieces on Vladimir for more details. Finally, read this and note the very precise phraseology that the deaths were carried out with his pistol. There is usually a reason for such precise phraseology and it sets off alarm bells in regular Kremlin/Russia watchers. While not making the Western news (and not much in Russia either) there are others who are dying, disappearing, or being arrested on the fringe (or even deeper) of Vladimir’s inner circle.

There is every reason to believe Vladimir is purging those he considers disloyal or risks. For ten Kremlin insiders to go to Bloomberg, knowing that surveillance is not just high, but increasing, says a lot. It also says that any surveys and such that say the elites/people/other groups are behind Vladimir and still believe in him should be taken with a grain of salt. As I noted in this post, almost nobody is going to be honest, especially about Vladimir.

One of the key questions is if Vladimir realizes how bad things are in military terms, in terms of long-term impacts (if you didn’t read this the other day from Trent Telenko, read it today as it is but one facet of the potentially horrific impact on the civilian economy) outside the military, and the large and growing larger stress fractures in his support? Despite the growing thickness of the bubble around him, I suspect he does have at least a hint. Thing is, if he has that hint and knows May 9 is coming, it’s not likely to make him more circumspect. Rather, it or the full knowledge of just how bad things are likely to push his hand.

For all the yapping by various functionaries about how Russia will never use nukes except in the face of a threat to the existence of the Russian Federation, there’s one thing to keep in mind. Vladimir himself has, in various speeches and comments, declared a number of non-physical things to be existential threats to him/Russia. This has included NATO giving the Ukraine supplies and training as but one such threat. Two, Soviet and then Russian doctrine has NEVER, to the best of my knowledge, applied that caveat to the use of chemical, biological, or tactical nuclear devices. Instead it has focused on maskirova and how to prevent retaliation for using them when Soviet/Russian troops hit a roadblock so to speak.

The Ukraine has been a massive roadblock, and the Azovstal plant has become iconic as a roadblock. Add in the push to declare the military action (and in particular the loss of the Moskva since it couldn’t, just couldn’t have been the Ukraine all on its own), and the miring down of Russian military operations, as the work of NATO, and voila you have an existential threat to Russia. And, no matter what, those evil nazi Ukrainians who are preventing the majority of Ukrainians from reuniting with the Rodina must be dealt with.

I honestly hope I am reading both Vladimir and the situation wrong. The problem is, for all that he apparently does feel that he is winning, he is in a desperate position. Even if the West could somehow give him an exit that he could possibly take, he won’t take it. Without a clear and major victory, his rule is finished and he will pay with his life. This might delicately be called a desperate situation, and as I’ve noted before several times, desperate people do desperate (and stupid) things.

If he has decided to ignore May 9, we are going to see a long and brutal war. If he succeeds in dragging NATO into direct conflict, I still see it as being brutal and lasting longer than people may think given the low numbers of troops for most countries. Most of NATO has depended on the U.S. and its troops for so long that what little defense they do have is about as firm as a bucket of spit. That said, if you haven’t already done so, take a look at which countries do have a defense, and a bit of offense. It’s clear that Vladmir is setting the stage in Russian public opinion for Russia to be already at war with NATO via proxy Ukraine. This gives him a number of options military and otherwise.

If he doesn’t ignore May 9, we are almost guaranteed to see orders for the use of special weapons in the next two weeks. I do not, repeat NOT, see orders for or the use of strategic nuclear weapons except as a threat at this time. Anything done will be tactical in nature, and I see the Azovstal plant as a likely first target of chemical weapons.

Based on the steps he is taking, including making this a war with NATO, I am moving my odds on orders being given for the use of special weapons from 60/40 to 90 percent until May 9. That said, I have one final question to ask:

Will such an order be obeyed?

The Chechens? Hell yes, they would do it in a heartbeat. There is reason to believe they already have used chemical weapons. I really don’t see the Russian military turning over working nuclear weapons to the Chechens, however. Not willingly.

Russian troops? I’m not so sure. That’s one hell of a thing to have to hope for.

Some Previous Posts:

Vladimir And The Ukraine

Answers, Ramblings, And A Bit More On Vladimir And The Ukraine

Your Must Read For The Day On Russia

The Puzzles In Play, And The Missing Pieces

Quick Thoughts On Ukraine/Putin

The Thing Behind The Curtain

Missing Pieces And Surprise Pieces

Thursday Update

Not A Lot To Add

Noted

Monday Update

Burn Notice

Accuracy, Reliability, And More

Putin, Trump, And The Coming Storm

Three Futures For Russia

Quick Thoughts

Saturday Update

Mismatched Locomotives

War, Ag, Demographics, And The Worst Is Yet To Come

Past, Present, And A Hungry Future

Huge Grain Of Salt

The Moskva

Retribution Inbound

Uncertainty And Preparation

Honest Question

Monday Morning Quick Brief

War Of The Memes

A Little Free Ice Cream

*****

If you like what you are reading, feel free to hit the tip jar in the upper right or the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo. Getting hit by lightning is not fun, and it is thanks to your help and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

A Little Free Ice Cream

It may not be as much as normal, but here’s a little free ice cream for what has been a somewhat sucky day so far. At least when I finally did get to eat food, it was decent.

Two threads from John Ringo. The first is pointing out the obvious that has been being missed in regards the Moscva. As noted, there’s always a lunkhead in an X-wing and a thermal exhaust port. Of no surprise, Russian propaganda is now pushing the narrative that NATO sank the Moskva using the Ukraine as a proxy. Interesting that in some of the coverage, they are pushing that it was the UK/Commonwealth rather than the US. Keep in mind, this isn’t an accident but Kremlin/Vladimir approved. There is prep underway.

Still trying to sort through a lot of information. Part of the problem is, if I had heard half of it before it became clear how bad the situation was with the Russian military, I would have easily dismissed it. Now, however, that’s not possible and if some of what is coming out is true, the situation is even worse for the Russians than we think.

The second thread from John involves how his father earned a Bronze Star in WWII during the Battle of the Bulge. And was almost courtmartialed for earning said Bronze Star. No good deed goes unpunished.

Some Previous Posts:

Vladimir And The Ukraine

Answers, Ramblings, And A Bit More On Vladimir And The Ukraine

Your Must Read For The Day On Russia

The Puzzles In Play, And The Missing Pieces

Quick Thoughts On Ukraine/Putin

The Thing Behind The Curtain

Missing Pieces And Surprise Pieces

Thursday Update

Not A Lot To Add

Noted

Monday Update

Burn Notice

Accuracy, Reliability, And More

Putin, Trump, And The Coming Storm

Three Futures For Russia

Quick Thoughts

Saturday Update

Mismatched Locomotives

War, Ag, Demographics, And The Worst Is Yet To Come

Past, Present, And A Hungry Future

Huge Grain Of Salt

The Moskva

Retribution Inbound

Uncertainty And Preparation

Honest Question

Monday Morning Quick Brief

War Of The Memes

*****

If you like what you are reading, feel free to hit the tip jar in the upper right or the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo. Getting hit by lightning is not fun, and it is thanks to your help and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

War Of The Memes

No, I’m not talking all of the brilliant/good/okay/incrediblyfuckingstupid memes about Russia and the Ukraine seen on social media. While they do play a role to some extent, what they are is an expression of some of the deeper societal beliefs, language, philosophy, and how those all tie together.

Kamil Galeev is back with a rather lengthy bit of homework for you. He gets deep into the weeds on memes and memetics, and the evolution of same in different countries, with a focus on Russia and the Ukraine. It is an excellent read from an academic perspective, and from that of anyone who truly wants to understand what is going on and — more importantly — why it is going on. If you are trying to understand the Gramscian damage done to the U.S. and the West, this is some good “foundation” material to read.

To simplify, the Putin and a good bit of the elite see this as a war of liberation. It is their belief that the majority of Ukrainians long to be good Russians and adhere to the Russian (Slav) traditions. They not only believe this of the Ukraine, but a wide swath of former (and not former) territories. That is part of the heart of the plan that is Russkiy Mir.

They have been astounded at the resistance, because they believed that most of the population would rise up on their behalf. Given the information bubble at the top, it’s not surprising that in some cases there may still be some belief that it is just a fraction that is driving the rest to resist. Rather, they see that group plus NATO as trying to thwart the crusade of liberation. I have no doubt that Vladimir really does think he’s winning.

While it can be seen as delusional, or just a product of the information bubble, it is more than that. It ties into mores and memes, and the belief that obstacles to “restoring” the majority of the Ukrainian population to their rightful status as Russians will be overcome.

As we head towards May 9, keep in mind that the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union, and even the new Russian Federation have done many things on the basis of historical occasions rather than what the real world dictates. Never mind that they could just settle in and take however long it takes to re-assimilate the Ukraine. They won’t. This is tied into symbolism, mysticism, religion, and more. The danger to the Ukraine and the world is only going to increase as the clock ticks down.

For, if it becomes clear that the majority of the Ukraine has no desire to become Russian, well, that just shows that they are evil, sub-human, and not deserving of life. In fact, because they are evil and Nazi, they deserve death. Read what the Russian “elite” are saying on this topic right now, because that’s exactly what they are saying. It’s what they have been saying for decades, if not centuries.

This is not a people or leadership who believe a mistake has been made, and desire a way to negotiate an end to things. They see this as a holy war of liberation, and if those being liberated don’t want to be liberated, then they are clearly on the side of evil and need to be eradicated to free the rest. Those that help them resist are evil too.

The Russians know a thing or two about proxy wars. They see this as a proxy war with NATO, and seem to be moving towards seeing it as an open war with NATO. This is why I don’t (yet) support Trent Telenko’s idea of using PMCs for training, as that pushes the “rules” of proxy wars. Then again, anything that stands in their way is an act of war and causes Vladimir to rattle the briefcase ominously while making threats. It is also why a no-fly-zone and other open actions will take this instantly from proxy war to full war.

Can the Russians take large amounts of territory in the Donbas and the South? Yes, though there are limits. Can they hold it? No. No more than they can hold the Ukraine should they somehow take it. Their ability to take territory is open to question for any number of reasons, and Trent Telenko points out something that is going to have huge implications on the Russian home front sooner rather than later. Which makes me even more concerned about May 9.

As a complete aside, the homework that started this features Pushkin rather heavily and with good cause. That said, I find amusing his status today given that the Czar had him killed via the duel. Fairly typical Russian melodrama (Oh, those Russians!). When I visited Pushkin’s home where he died after the somewhat botched duel, it was quite the shrine for Russophiles, Slavophiles and other Pushkinophiles. The way they preserved things large and small had me wondering (after seeing the wastebasket of Pushkin) if they were going to trot out the chamber pot of Pushkin with the contents bronzed in much the same way parents bronzed baby shoes for a while. Pretty much everything else had been preserved, after all…

To go back to topic, today’s homework shows why the invasion was not a mistake (from Vladimir’s point of view) and why absent a clear and unambiguous victory from one side or another, there will be no negotiated peace anytime soon. It also serves as a warning for May 9, and why we need to keep a sharp eye on things.

Some Previous Posts:

Vladimir And The Ukraine

Answers, Ramblings, And A Bit More On Vladimir And The Ukraine

Your Must Read For The Day On Russia

The Puzzles In Play, And The Missing Pieces

Quick Thoughts On Ukraine/Putin

The Thing Behind The Curtain

Missing Pieces And Surprise Pieces

Thursday Update

Not A Lot To Add

Noted

Monday Update

Burn Notice

Accuracy, Reliability, And More

Putin, Trump, And The Coming Storm

Three Futures For Russia

Quick Thoughts

Saturday Update

Mismatched Locomotives

War, Ag, Demographics, And The Worst Is Yet To Come

Past, Present, And A Hungry Future

Huge Grain Of Salt

The Moskva

Retribution Inbound

Uncertainty And Preparation

Honest Question

Monday Morning Quick Brief

*****

If you like what you are reading, feel free to hit the tip jar in the upper right or the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo. Getting hit by lightning is not fun, and it is thanks to your help and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Monday Morning Quick Brief

The Cognitive folks have gotten my insurance to sign off on some therapy to try to help deal with the areas that got a bit scrambled by the lightning strike, so am off to that as soon as I get the snow cleared off my car. Please, donate to the fundraiser as I do the equivalent of a Bugs Bunny “Get me out of here!!!” I may also be going to follow-up on some other medical items. Will see.

Vladimir is continuing to rattle his nukes to engender a ‘Let Vladimir Win’ mindset elsewhere. Keep in mind he threatens nukes for many things, including appearing to breathe heavily near or at him. It may be working in DC (sadly), but I’m finding it surprising how little reaction (other than derision) it’s getting in Europe and Scandinavia. Again, a sign of how far the perceptions of Russia and Vladimir have fallen.

This article looks at several of Vladimir’s ‘Hail Mary’ options, including some naval I want to take a closer look at soon. Not onboard, though I will remind you that I pointed out a while back that you haven’t yet seen true brutality until Dvornikov gets going. It’s his stock in trade, and I suspect the increased use of missiles in the last few days is part of his handiwork. He may not be very good at killing dispersed troops, but he’s hell on wheels with women and children.

Trent Telenko raises a good point about artillery and ammunition in this thread. I agree whole-heartedly that we need to sit back, take a fresh look, and start over on pretty much every assessment about the Russian military that’s more than a couple of days old. Noticing that we are still relying on information and operational assumptions from the Carter and Reagan years. That’s not good.

Which is why I fully agree with Trent Telenko about the massive failure of almost every major intelligence agency (and quite a few of the minor) over the last few years. Afghanistan was a complete miss despite the large number of assets, penetration, and technical means. Ukraine is the same, with the 2012 and 2014 mindsets missing every bit of the changes from 2016 onwards. Russia? Got to agree with Trent: the novel would have hit the trash here too, simply because while it was clear that the kleptocracy was having an impact, I had no idea how bad it truly was.

I admit it, and I’m old enough to remember that both sides may have used padlocks and chains as PIDs on some tactical, or that some of the Soviet tactical weapons were stored on straw to protect them. The nomenclature has changed, but some other things haven’t. If even half of what is starting to come out is true… Not just nuclear, but almost every aspect of the military and even into aspects of civil.

I’m still not sold on Trent’s idea about PMCs. I agree it should work, but I am also not sure it is a good idea, yet.

More soon I’m sure. Meantime, I’ve got to clear snow off the car (!!) and head out. Be safe.

Some Previous Posts:

Vladimir And The Ukraine

Answers, Ramblings, And A Bit More On Vladimir And The Ukraine

Your Must Read For The Day On Russia

The Puzzles In Play, And The Missing Pieces

Quick Thoughts On Ukraine/Putin

The Thing Behind The Curtain

Missing Pieces And Surprise Pieces

Thursday Update

Not A Lot To Add

Noted

Monday Update

Burn Notice

Accuracy, Reliability, And More

Putin, Trump, And The Coming Storm

Three Futures For Russia

Quick Thoughts

Saturday Update

Mismatched Locomotives

War, Ag, Demographics, And The Worst Is Yet To Come

Past, Present, And A Hungry Future

Huge Grain Of Salt

The Moskva

Retribution Inbound

Uncertainty And Preparation

Honest Question

*****

If you like what you are reading, feel free to hit the tip jar in the upper right or the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo. Getting hit by lightning is not fun, and it is thanks to your help and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.