Archive for the 'Russia' Category



The Difficult Thing About Tank Columns

BY Herschel Smith
4 months ago

News of War.

As the war in Ukraine continues, thousands of anti-tank missiles are on their way to the war-torn country from NATO member states and other countries to repel invading Russian military hardware and forces.

A total of 18 countries will be sending military support to Kyiv following a plea by Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov to send the besieged nation anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles.

“We need as much Stinger [anti-aircraft] and anti-tank weapons as possible,” said Reznikov, seated at a conference table with a Ukrainian flag behind him. “In order to provide for reliable procurement of equipment, you may deliver it to Poland. From there we will transport them across the land and quickly saturate our defense.”

Here’s the thing about tank columns.  First, they must be able to sustain with both fuel and food, as well as other issues such as medical care, communications, batteries, power supply, etc.  That means ensuring security for lines of logistics.  Splitting off formations or splintering the column means you cannot do that.

Second, unless they splinter off, they are vulnerable to assault and loss of the entire column in the formation.

Third, the comms must be secure such that the enemy doesn’t know what you’re doing in advance.  The U.S. ensures this with encrypted communications going through MilStar uplinks.

Based on my reading assignments, the Ukrainians have so far caused huge problems for the tank formations because of two weapons: the Javelin, and Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 drones.  Of course, these are both stand-off weapon systems.

This is fortunate for the Russians because if they had faced down a couple of A-10s, the formation would already have been destroyed by now and it would just have been a matter of collecting bodies to send home.

Never forget the Iraq Highway of Death.

See the source image

At that time it was mainly helicopters and A-10s (with A-10s doing most of the heavy lifting).  Thus far the Russians haven’t been able to ensure security for logistics, have already tried to splinter their columns (that led to disaster), and finally, they aren’t able to engage in secure comms.

Even in the first Iraq war, the M1A1 tanks used crisscrossing routes and other modern tank warfare tactics (here think Marine Corps satellite patrols) to avoid enemy fire and never give them a chance to lay in fires against U.S. tanks (see the Battle of Medina Ridge).  What the Russians are currently pursuing is more akin to tank warfare as it was planned half a century ago.

They can still win, but this will get much more bloody in either case.  But the Russians aren’t fighting German tank columns in WWII.  They’re fighting Javelins and drones.  A lot has happened in 70 years.

This is entirely intended to be a tactical analysis.  Please refrain from geopolitical remarks in the comments.

Learn from these mistakes.

Logistical, Strategic And Tactical Analysis Of The Russian War Against Ukraine

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 1 week ago

The intention is for this to be oriented towards a logistical, strategic and tactical analysis of the current war in Ukraine.  I would like to approach it from the perspective of a more clinical analysis rather than a personal commitment to winners and losers.  However, it’s worth pointing out a few of the main points of contention in the geopolitical scene and briefly weighing in on the morality of the conflict.

Then I’ll provide an extended summary of the strategy Putin’s generals have pursued thus far, followed by a number of observations on tactics, techniques and procedures we’ve seen in use.  I’ve tried to use confirmed sources (usually redundant reports, or reports that intersect with the main points I want to make).  Finally, I’ll close with a number of videos I’ve culled from the news reports available at the time of posting.

It is noteworthy that I’ve tried to ensure the correctness and accuracy of the sources, but I can’t make assurances in every case.  The reader is appropriately warned.  With that said, a number of the sources are obviously correct (e.g., you can be fairly certain that when you hear a British voice and an American voice in a video during fighting, and they refer to a Russian helicopter overhead, the likelihood is that it has nothing to do with fighting in Afghanistan, although I can think of operations in Northern Africa where this might have occurred even though it doesn’t purport to be anything other than Ukraine).  The major things (e.g., strategy) are obvious from looking at the blunders to date.  Some of the videos simply cannot be completely verified without financial resources and backing.  Trust at your own risk.  That’s the best I can do.

It should also be stipulated that Elon Musk has virtually assured Ukraine of connectivity (Starlink service is now active in Ukraine.  More terminals en route), while Anonymous has declared war on Russia, causing all sorts of hacking, connectivity and banking problems (video embedded below).

At the moment, Ukraine probably controls the information war.  That’s the way of things, and you may want to take that into consideration in your own assessments.  Glenn Greenwald makes some interesting observations concerning the moral certitude some people feel in their position and how it leads to the propaganda campaign.  He mentions such examples as the following.

It may be that the lazier among us see these things through the lens of confirmation bias, but I never saw the first example as anything but a Ukrainian vehicle that had a track seize up (I’m part of a discussion thread where someone pointed out the signs of that).  As for the second example, I couldn’t care less.  I didn’t even read the whole thing.  It sounded like trash to me.  As for the third example, this is the most interesting.  I confess that I fail to see his point.  “Possible.”  Virtually anything is possible.  Moreover, it seems to me that if it’s true that it was a Ukrainian missile that caused the damage to the apartment, it doesn’t change the conclusions one iota.  Ukraine could have very well pointed out that machinery malfunctions and parts fail.  This sort of thing happens in warfare.  In order to have prevented this, Russia could have chosen not to invade, giving Ukraine the opportunity to choose not to launch the missile.

Most of Glenn’s examples invoke the intellects of people who wish to see an outcome and grab for evidence for the chattering class or the ten-second snippet crowd.  In other words, the Twitter crowd with the short attention span.  I mostly loath Twitter except for informative videos, and sometimes I’ll even accept unconfirmed videos if I can learn and hone TTPs (Tactics, Techniques and Procedures) from them.

Geopolitical Considerations

Copious Soros cash likely caused the upheaval that led to the election of Zelenskyy.  He has been referred to as a comic, but he is much more than that.  He earned a law degree.  If the data is to be believed, and assuming that there was no corruption in the election, he won his election with 73% of the vote.

For whatever reason his proclivities turn him towards the West for economic cooperation rather than towards Russia.  Whether this is a wise move on his part with the feckless and highly corrupt Western leaders is anyone’s guess at the moment.  But this is Russia’s “near abroad,” and allowing such close cooperation with the West might be compared to the U.S. allowing China to buy up massive amounts of land in the U.S. and Mexico (which is happening as we speak) or ensconce weapons on the Southern border.  Putin has a legitimate concern for the safety of Russia when it comes to an ever-expanding NATO and living with military infrastructure on his border.

That’s not the reason for the current war.  Putin’s real concern is replacing the petro-dollar with the petro-Ruble.  This all has to do with energy – its production, transmission and usage, and the wealth this creates.  NATO is a pretext for the current war.  Putin is certainly corrupt, Zelenskyy may or may not be (time will tell), and the Western leaders are most assuredly massively corrupt.  Most world leaders are corrupt.  Picking one corrupt leader over another corrupt leader from a moral perspective is rather like bathing and smooching with swine.

The most important consideration is the fact that Ukrainians don’t want the Russians there (as I will demonstrate in the data below).  They are uninvited, hated, and considered enemy invaders.  I have always believed in the moral right of secession (including here in the U.S.).  Covenants may be dissolved when the terms and conditions of those contracts have been violated.  In this case, Ukrainians don’t even consider themselves to be Russians or even Russian in origin, much less was there ever a covenant or contract that had to be dissolved.  The fact that the Soviet Union once controlled Ukraine is more evidence for tyranny, not justification for a future contract.  Control of others by force of arms is not a covenant or contract.  The main reason for opposition to secession is the desire to control others, and that doesn’t weigh in the positive for moral considerations.

As for my personal views, I’ll observe that Putin is a gun controller, and I consider gun controllers to be my enemy, whether in the U.S. or abroad (as for that matter, Ukraine has been fairly strict concerning carrying weapons in public until this war, although not as strict concerning ownership as in Russia).  As far as the desire to control others and the willingness to use force and cause pain and suffering to achieve wealth, I don’t see a dime’s worth of difference between Putin and “the controllers” in American politics.  The controllers only favor gun control because they fear their own people.  They fear their own people because they know they’re doing some illegitimate or immoral.

Logistics, Strategy and Tactics

As best as can be determined, Putin’s original goal was to drive in heavy armor, rush to Kiev, surround the capital city, and then drop paratroopers in to kill or arrest Zelenskyy and his government.  Then install a puppet regime, and leave (or leave some contingency of troops behind for stability operations).  This seems to comport with the actions we’ve witnessed thus far.  But Kiev wasn’t really surrounded and incapable of self-defense, and Russia didn’t control the battle space.

The most amazing thing about this plan is the ability of the generals to sell Putin on the idea.  It’s bad logistically, it’s bad tactically, and therefore it could never work properly from a strategic standpoint.  Meeting resistance, the convoys had to splinter to effect rear guard protection and answer defilade fires.  Eventually, the units splintered to the point that they were no longer a cohesive drive.

Logistically, trains had to move heavy equipment to the front, along with fuel.  Fuel was the limiting factor in much of the main drive through France and into Germany during WWII.  Under such heavy loads, armored vehicles are gas hogs.  They apparently didn’t believe they would encounter much resistance, and that they would either make it to Kiev before their tanks were empty, or refuel along the way, being met with Russian flag-wavers cheering them on as freedom fighters and liberators.

A stationary armored vehicle is a massive risk, and unless it’s a large scale tank battle (such as seen during WWII).  But the column typically goes much slower than a mad dash to an endpoint, with infantry in tow to provide protection for the vehicle.  At least, this is classic armored vehicle TTPs.  It’s what my son learned at 29 Palms.  The Russian army tried to use battle tanks as race cars.  More than that, when they figured out (late to the game) that there was no possibility of refueling because of the impossibility of providing security for refueling trucks, they began carrying additional fuel on the outside of the tanks.  This practice makes for quite the bomb for users of Molotov Cocktails.

Now Putin is having to turn more violent and send in his remaining forces currently deployed on the border (or near it).  He is meeting resistance he didn’t anticipate, but should have if he had listened to anyone outside his echo chamber of yes-men.  Yes-men are dangerous to leaders, but it seems that those are the sort of people who always get promoted.

Years ago at the height of the campaign in Iraq, an anthropologist deployed to Iraq to observe and assist and analyze (for example, they can understand things about tribal loyalties and cultural issues that the military leaders can’t or don’t have time for).  He and I exchanged copious email, and he remarked to me one day that while the military had discussed and even planned for massive hunger during the campaign, it suddenly occurred to him why that could never happen.  In addition to the largest population centers being near the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, he could go outside along the rivers and find ripe Pomegranates freshly dropped from the trees in any quantity he wanted.  It was literally impossible, he told me, for anyone to starve in Iraq.

Similarly, a good psychologist could have explained to Putin why the initial plan would never work.  Ukrainians don’t consider themselves Russians.  Ukrainians want the Russians to leave.  Thus, an elderly lady has the courage to call out a Russian soldier and tell him to put sunflower seeds in his pockets so that they would grow there when he died on their soil.  “You’re occupants!  You’re fascists!”  I have other videos of this same sort of thing occurring.

The tactics are also peaceful, and probably won’t be so peaceful in the future depending upon the tentative outcome of this war.  There is a lot of homemade weaponry being constructed as a result of events.  In spite of UAVs, modern warfare looks a lot like ancient warfare.

Folks trying to leave are living in a line of cars at the Polish border that is 20 miles long and takes three days to finish.  This sort of thing doesn’t happen when people trust the incoming government.  It’s fairly simple, really.  In America we teach our children to hate our elders.  Education at Marxist universities is the capstone of that treachery.  In this part of the world, this isn’t at all true.  We know folks who hail from this part of the world.  They virtually worship their elders.

The little old lady who busted the Russian soldier feels that way because she remembers life under the Soviet empire.  She doesn’t want to repeat that.  She wants to be left alone.  She has taught the younger kids around her, and they listened.  The vast majority of the Ukrainians see the Russian troops as invaders, occupiers and terrorists.  This is especially true when they target power plants, gas pipelines, oil depots and apartment buildings.

So the Russian generals misunderstood the culture, allowed their columns to splinter, overestimated their own resolve and underestimated the resolve of the Ukrainians, didn’t allow for protection of lines of logistics, and didn’t communicate very well with their own troops concerning TTPs or overall goals.  When my son deployed to Iraq, the Lt. Col. for his Battalion trained them using PP overheads on ROE (as a reminder for the training they had received), goals, comms, and general standing orders (among many other things).  He issued a ‘no surrender’ ‘die in place’ order, and explained why he did it.  He shared the full presentation with me.  So not only did my own son understand all of this, the Lt. Col. made sure that I did too.  The Russian troops seem confused as to why they are there.  In fact, one has to wonder if they are considered fully deployable units who have been trained, range certified and fully briefed.  Did they undergo the full workups required for deployment?

Here I wanted to embed a picture of what I believe to be Russian troops (and I believe to be accurate and timely), but I could not assure it so I didn’t do so.  Anyway, it shows virtually an entire platoon of Russian soldiers (along with multiple armored vehicles) securing a bridge.  My son remarked to me that it shouldn’t have taken any more than a fire team to do that, and that you would never park armored vehicles that close together ifs you follow proper protocol.

Concluding Thoughts

I think this has been a fair assessment.  Naive belief in the capability of long term victory against Russia is probably a pipe dream without more weaponry and more well-trained men.  It can be done without air assets (witness what goat herders did to the U.S. in Afghanistan), but it will require much more anti-tank weaponry.  Russia planned poorly.  Ukraine was late to prepare.  Putin is basically a thug who wants control of oil and energy.  Putin believes in gun control.  The Ukraine isn’t far behind in its limitation on the right of self defense.  I do not advocate U.S. involvement in the conflict.  I have never advocated for foreign misadventures.  I will not change my views on that.  In fact, I do not even advocate that the U.S. send weapons to foreign buyers without first rescinding the NFA, GCA and Hughes Amendment and legalizing ownership and manufacture of machine guns for the general population in the U.S..  We have human rights problems at home before we tackle problems abroad.  Before we send machine guns to foreigners, we need to send them to Americans.

Russia clearly hasn’t engaged all of its armor and troops, nor even its air assets.  There is more to come, proven by the fact that more is on the way as I write.  It would be wildly inaccurate (or at least without basis) to assert that Ukraine can hold out against all of Putin’s assets for any protracted length of time without more hardware.

But his strategy at the beginning of the war was retarded.  Ukraine was unprepared for the conflict, apparently believing that Putin was bluffing.  I never for a second believed that Putin was bluffing.  Putin has always wanted control over Ukraine.  Despite Ukraine’s laziness to become involved in preparations and in engagement of a civil defense force (acquiring weapons and training the fighters), they are more prepared now than they would have been a few days ago.  Putin’s retarded plan now ensures a much more violent campaign and many more lives lost, both Russian and Ukrainian.  His generals should be hung from the nearest lamppost, along with most U.S, generals.  Putin will not give up – and neither will Ukraine.

As for the armored column approaching Kiev, this is what it looks like.

For a quick analysis, in order to defeat this column, weaponry is needed, a lot of it, and immediately.  On the other hand, my son says, “Give me just one good IED to stop the lead tank and force the others to come to a stop or splinter off from the column.”  You can ask him how he knows what happens when an IED destroys the lead tank in a column.  There is an “oh f***” moment after recovery of your senses if you’re still alive when SAW gunners are expected to lay down massive suppressive fires while others seek cover and concealment.  No other vehicle moves, and the entire operation is at risk.  Everyone is a sitting duck until they can muster a squad rush or something else.

Video & Continuation of TTPs

This will be a stream of consciousness regurgitation of things with running (and brief) commentary.

This Ukrainian soldier is self-confident.  Perhaps too much so.  He has a false sense of security.  But it shows that morale is high among the troops.

Ukrainian soldiers engaging Russian troops after abandoning damaged armored vehicles.  This is an example of why infantry is usually in tow with armor.  We discussed that.  These aren’t conventional tactics.  At least at the moment, the Russians are trying to engage in conventional warfare.

This video shows Ukrainians making homemade weaponry.  These are civilians, not army.

This video shows what appears to be a dead Russian soldier, or what’s left of him.  When bodies can’t even come home in body bags and there is nothing left to bury except a rib cage, it’s easy to lose support of the people.  The value of including graphic images such as this is that it shows the horror of war.  It’s not a pretty or clinical thing.  Warning: graphic images.

This is what appears to be a saboteur caught in a non-military vehicle.  From the pictures it’s hard to see if he has insignia, but if not, he won’t even be treated as a POW.

This is the video posted by Anonymous.  Thus far it’s causing massive problems for Russian TV and banking.

This is a discussion where retired Major John Spencer, chair of Urban Warfare Studies at West Point’s Modern War Institute gives practical advice to the Ukrainians.

In this video, you hear the voices of both British and American fighters (this is certain from the accents), presumably volunteers.  They discuss a Russian helicopter, so it seemingly cannot be of different origin than the front in Ukraine.

Reddit Thread

In these two videos, what appears to be Russian soldiers stole a money vault or safe from a Ukrainian bank and looted a grocery store.  This is exactly the sort of thing you do when you want to “win hearts and minds.”  Steal wealth and food from the population in a time of shortage.

My assessment at the moment is that Russia failed with their initial strategy.  They are calling up more armor and troops, and this is a perilous time for Ukraine.  It’s equally perilous for Russia.  They haven’t won hearts and minds.  Ukraine doesn’t want them there.  Their campaign is going to have to become much more brutal and full scale if they are to win.  If reports are to be believed, they have thus far lost 3500 troops.  That’s 70% of the deaths the U.S. lost in the entire campaign in Iraq during a ten year occupation.

Continued losses with boys coming home in body bags risks loss of the Russian public and continued cyber attacks risks loss of the Oligarchs and their business.  It will also cause a run on the banks, and could quickly tank the financial system.  Here consider what Trudeau did in Canada and how the banks and people responded.

When the dust settles, Putin cannot leave his troops in Ukraine.  They simply cannot stay there on a permanent basis, any more than the U.S. could remain in Iraq or Afghanistan on a permanent basis.  They will be hated, they will sustain a tremendous rebuilding burden, they will drive the psychology even more sour than it already is, and eventually they will be burned with gasoline or shot.

The financial burden will become too great (similar burden bankrupted the Soviet Union), and Russia should consider the experience of the U.S. in our foreign misadventures (where it cost the taxpayer multiple trillions of dollars to sustain the occupation).

War is expensive.  So is occupation.

Who Are These Troops?

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 1 week ago

News from across the world.

No insignia were visible and Ukrainian officials said it was not possible to tell if the troops belonged to the regular Russian army or were from Russian-controlled separatist units, The Guardian reported.

Hmm … high speed gear, cutout helmets, comms, every one of them with pistols and carbines, matching cammy pattern, self-confident, good trigger discipline, hip holsters (not the stupid drop holsters).

My best guess?  Spetsnaz.  They would eat the girls in the 82nd Airborne alive.

I continue my call for full scale war.

On the Southern border of the U.S.  Shoot them when you see them.

We have absolutely no business in Ukraine doing anything at all.  It isn’t our business.  It isn’t our “near abroad.”

Russia Tags:

Communists Are The Same Everywhere

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 1 month ago

News from Russia.

President Vladimir Putin expressed condolences to the victims on Monday and immediately ordered authorities to tighten up gun regulations.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin had ordered the head of Russia’s National Guard that oversees gun ownership to develop new rules for the type of weapons civilians are permitted to possess. Peskov said the change was needed to address to assault weapons sometimes being improperly classed as hunting rifles.

Russia’s National Guard quickly said it would fulfil Putin’s order to develop the new rules in coordination with other government bodies.

Sounds like something you’d hear from the American communists.

Stay Out Of Conflict With Russia

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 2 months ago

Michael Yon.

United States must stay out. This is not our war. We are not global 911.

This is a strategic trap. Reserve our force for CCP.

My estimation: Russia will attack under the upcoming Comanche Moon — if weather is clear.

Truth spoken.  This isn’t our conflict.  We have no compelling interest in engagement.  If we go to war with Russian troops, unprepared, untrained, fat boys and girls will come home on body bags.

On the other hand, the DoD has driven most patriots out of the military (save the USMC).  It would be the sons and daughters of “woke” parents who perish.

I’m glad my son is out of the Marine Corps.  He is too.

We won’t be “saving” our troops for China or anyone else.  China will take Taiwan and the U.S. won’t lift a finger to stop it.

I Don’t Think I Want To Train With These Guys

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 4 months ago

Russian Agents Were Behind Yahoo Attack, U.S. Says

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 3 months ago

Remember when I said this?

Here is something else.  Since some of the malware is stolen from Russia, no one can ever, ever again trust the CIA when they say something like “this malware or hacking attack has a known Russian [or any other country for that matter] signature.”  Never.  Not that I ever trusted the CIA anyway.

NYT:

The Justice Department charged two Russian intelligence officers on Wednesday with directing a sweeping criminal conspiracy that stole data on 500 million Yahoo accounts in 2014, deepening the rift between American and Russian authorities on cybersecurity.

The Russian government used the information obtained by the intelligence officers and two other men to spy on a range of targets, from White House and military officials to executives at banks, two American cloud computing companies, an airline and even a gambling regulator in Nevada, according to an indictment. The stolen data was also used to spy on Russian government officials and business executives, federal prosecutors said.

Russians have been accused of other cyberattacks on the United States — most notably the theft of emails last year from the Democratic National Committee. But the Yahoo case is the first time that federal prosecutors have brought cybercrime charges against Russian intelligence officials, according to the Justice Department.

Particularly galling to American investigators was that the two Russian intelligence agents they say directed the scheme, Dmitry Aleksandrovich Dokuchaev and Igor Anatolyevich Sushchin, worked for an arm of Russia’s Federal Security Service, or F.S.B., that is supposed to help foreign intelligence agencies catch cybercriminals. Instead, the officials helped the hackers avoid detection.

I don’t believe you.  See how that works?

The Creepiness Of Putin-Love

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 6 months ago

Via WRSA, this from Zero Hedge:

Here it is crucial to remember that no Ukrainian politician has any real power, not even Poroshenko, Iatseniuk or Turchinov.  The real rulers of the Ukraine are the US ambassador and the Kiev CIA station chief.  These are the people who literally administer the Nazi junta on behalf of the US deep state and its imperial interests.  As for the Ukrainian members of the junta, they all perfectly understand that their future is 100% dependent on being a faithful servant of the AngloZionist Empire.  They all understand that they came to power by means of an completely illegal coup, that the elections they organized this year were a total farce and that they will soon have to use repressive measures against their own population just to stay in power …

Simply put, there is nobody on this planet which has done more to oppose the AngloZionist Empire than Vladimir Putin.  I think that the hysterical and vicious demonization campaign against him in the western media is the best proof of that.

You can read all of it at Zero Hedge.  Good grief, and a thousand good griefs.  This comment best sums up my initial reaction to the post.

This guy is a moron. Example – “the AngloZionist Empire”. Nuff said. He’s just another facist with a Putin man crush.

No one has invaded Russia, but Russia has taken openly hostile action to regain territory lost in the Soviet break up. This is really quite undeniable unless you are a facist Putin man crusher. Poland and the Baltic states have been invaded by Russia so many times over the centuries. Their fear of Russia is quite real and well founded. When the Russians invade, there tends to be a lot rape and out and out murder of innocent people (like mass shootings of army officers, politicians, etc.) and the then general rape of the land and its wealth, with political and cultural oppression.

The idea NATO would ever invade Russia is perposterous (sic). A least the moron writer gets that right. It is not perposterous that smaller countries that have been invaded by Russians on numerous occassions throughout history might seek to voluntarily join a defensive alliance like NATO to ward off another Russina invasion. In fact, the act is quite rational.

Ok, so here come the America and Jews suck fusilade. If you think the USA is an opressive (sic) empire, how can you possibly support Russia? If you were logically consistant (sic), you would have to dislike both. The only conclusion is you are a facist with a supressed (sic) homo-erotic crush on Putin. I can really see no other alternative.

And I will say one more time, there is no grand plan, either by the Russians, or the US, or NATO, or the Jooooos. They are all people and, as such, are far too disorganized and incompetent to have anything close to a grand plan. Mainly, people just react to events.

Listen folks.  You can hate the EU/Fed/Banker cabal all you want.  But here’s a news flash for you.  Putin is a communist (or at the very least, a uber-nationalist and Fascist), and he wants to control the world like all Fascists.  He is a former KGB knuckle smasher and strongman, an enforcer for the state.  He has his own fan-boys, and he is the very definition of totalitarian.

Furthermore, the Soviet Union existed for one reason alone: communist-sympathizer FDR gave away Eastern Europe to create the communist bloc after World War II.  The very existence of the Soviet Union was illegitimate, and certainly the Ukraine wanting to exist as it did before being starved by the communists isn’t illegitimate.  It isn’t illegal, it is entirely understandable and sensible.  Most of the Ukraine doesn’t want to exist as communists, and they’re willing to perish for that belief.

The history of Russia is totalitarianism, witness the history of the Eastern Orthodox Church which has resolutely failed to speak truth to power, turning inward to liturgy and navel gazing exercises (as allowed by the state) rather than providing a check and balance on the power of the state.  Communists – whether Putin or Obama – are communists, and none of them deserve your support or advocacy.

The Putin worship I see around the web is both sickening and creepy, as sickening and creepy as Obama worship.  But specifically I’m saying to the American patriot community, it is unbecoming, weird and wholly inconsistent with your view of man, church and state.

Russia Sending Ships With Marines To Syrian Waters

BY Herschel Smith
9 years, 11 months ago

I’m a little late to the punch here, but it appears as if Russia is testing its expeditionary warfighting skills.

Amid the continued uprising in Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry on Friday issued somewhat contradictory statements about a group of its naval warships steaming into the eastern Mediterranean.

The first statement said the warships were not planning to call on Tartus, a naval base Russia maintains in Syria. The second, issued several hours later, said it was possible that service boats from the group might call on Tartus to replenish supplies “if the time period of the trip is extended.”

Earlier in the day, Interfax quoted an unnamed Defense Ministry source as saying three landing assault ships, an anti-submarine ship and four smaller vessels might call on Tartus by Sunday. The ships are carrying a contingent of about 360 marines and amphibious armored personnel carriers.

The source didn’t specify whether the marines would remain in Tartus or leave with the warships. Tartus is a small port and won’t be able to dock more than two warships at a time, the source said.

Defense experts debated whether the naval group might be in the region to evacuate Russians based in Syria.

“I am absolutely confident that most likely their task will be to evacuate the personnel and equipment of the base,” Alexander Golts, a defense expert and deputy editor-in-chief of the popular liberal online publication Yezhednevny Zhurnal, said in an interview.

“However, this group is not sufficient enough to evacuate from 30,000 to 60,000 Russian citizens working and living in Syria,” Golts said, “unless the marines will be ordered to gain control of a landing strip at Damascus airport and help establish an air-bridge to take all Russians out.”

“Whatever their task, it is clear that given the rapidly deteriorating situation in Syria the Kremlin wants to have some sort of military presence close to its shores,” Golts added.

Uh huh.  360 Marines, barely more than a company.  And expeditionary warfighting is hard work.  It is fraught with difficulties – ships that leak, ships that break, parts that fracture, lack of replacement parts, the need to weld and perform complex in-situ refurbishment and maintenance, the need for replenishment of resources, the need for at-sea supply, the need for fuel, the need for involved medical treatment up to and including complex surgery, the need for egress from the sea-borne crafts should they fail, the need for air transport to and from the sea-borne craft, the need to be able to perform complex maintenance on that air transport, the need for complex logistics, and so on.

And in this case, they need all of the Marines necessary to be able to perform the mission.  360 isn’t nearly enough.  Should they actually be needed for land-based operations, they see combat, or they cannot use the port if it is not secure, this is a disaster in the making.

The Russians are curious about their current ability to conduct expeditionary warfare, and as commenter and loyal reader Jean and I remarked to each other, so are we.  While it is sad that the Middle East has devolved into a morass (at least in part I fault the current U.S. administration for that), this seems to be an opportunity for us.  It’s time to retask all available satellites, and queue up the signals intelligence.  I want to know how the Russians do at this.

Reset With Russia Didn’t Work So Well

BY Herschel Smith
10 years, 2 months ago

Remember this visit to Moscow?  Remember this goofy-ass picture?

Perhaps the button has malfunctioned.

Russia’s most senior military officer said Thursday that Moscow would preemptively strike and destroy U.S.-led NATO missile defense sites in Eastern Europe if talks with Washington about the developing system continue to stall.

“A decision to use destructive force preemptively will be taken if the situation worsens,” Russian Chief of General Staff Nikolai Makarov said at an international missile defense conference in Moscow attended by senior U.S. and NATO officials.

The threat comes as talks about the missile defense system, which the U.S. and its allies insist is aimed at Iranian missiles, appear to have stalled.

“We have not been able to find mutually-acceptable solutions at this point and the situation is practically at a dead end,” Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said.

Perhaps a better idea would be a reset in our so-called “smart diplomacy.”


26th MEU (10)
Abu Muqawama (12)
ACOG (2)
ACOGs (1)
Afghan National Army (36)
Afghan National Police (17)
Afghanistan (704)
Afghanistan SOFA (4)
Agriculture in COIN (3)
AGW (1)
Air Force (38)
Air Power (9)
al Qaeda (83)
Ali al-Sistani (1)
America (21)
Ammunition (191)
Animals (161)
Ansar al Sunna (15)
Anthropology (3)
Antonin Scalia (1)
AR-15s (329)
Arghandab River Valley (1)
Arlington Cemetery (2)
Army (81)
Assassinations (2)
Assault Weapon Ban (27)
Australian Army (7)
Azerbaijan (4)
Backpacking (2)
Badr Organization (8)
Baitullah Mehsud (21)
Basra (17)
BATFE (133)
Battle of Bari Alai (2)
Battle of Wanat (18)
Battle Space Weight (3)
Bin Laden (7)
Blogroll (3)
Blogs (24)
Body Armor (23)
Books (3)
Border War (16)
Brady Campaign (1)
Britain (38)
British Army (35)
Camping (4)
Canada (14)
Castle Doctrine (1)
Caucasus (6)
CENTCOM (7)
Center For a New American Security (8)
Charity (3)
China (16)
Christmas (13)
CIA (29)
Civilian National Security Force (3)
Col. Gian Gentile (9)
Combat Outposts (3)
Combat Video (2)
Concerned Citizens (6)
Constabulary Actions (3)
Coolness Factor (3)
COP Keating (4)
Corruption in COIN (4)
Council on Foreign Relations (1)
Counterinsurgency (218)
DADT (2)
David Rohde (1)
Defense Contractors (2)
Department of Defense (196)
Department of Homeland Security (26)
Disaster Preparedness (4)
Distributed Operations (5)
Dogs (12)
Donald Trump (27)
Drone Campaign (3)
EFV (3)
Egypt (12)
El Salvador (1)
Embassy Security (1)
Enemy Spotters (1)
Expeditionary Warfare (17)
F-22 (2)
F-35 (1)
Fallujah (17)
Far East (3)
Fathers and Sons (2)
Favorite (1)
Fazlullah (3)
FBI (32)
Featured (187)
Federal Firearms Laws (18)
Financing the Taliban (2)
Firearms (1,539)
Football (1)
Force Projection (35)
Force Protection (4)
Force Transformation (1)
Foreign Policy (27)
Fukushima Reactor Accident (6)
Ganjgal (1)
Garmsir (1)
general (15)
General Amos (1)
General James Mattis (1)
General McChrystal (44)
General McKiernan (6)
General Rodriguez (3)
General Suleimani (9)
Georgia (19)
GITMO (2)
Google (1)
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (1)
Gun Control (1,436)
Guns (2,044)
Guns In National Parks (3)
Haditha Roundup (10)
Haiti (2)
HAMAS (7)
Haqqani Network (9)
Hate Mail (8)
Hekmatyar (1)
Heroism (4)
Hezbollah (12)
High Capacity Magazines (16)
High Value Targets (9)
Homecoming (1)
Homeland Security (2)
Horses (1)
Humor (53)
ICOS (1)
IEDs (7)
Immigration (96)
India (10)
Infantry (4)
Information Warfare (2)
Infrastructure (3)
Intelligence (23)
Intelligence Bulletin (6)
Iran (171)
Iraq (379)
Iraq SOFA (23)
Islamic Facism (64)
Islamists (95)
Israel (18)
Jaish al Mahdi (21)
Jalalabad (1)
Japan (3)
Jihadists (80)
John Nagl (5)
Joint Intelligence Centers (1)
JRTN (1)
Kabul (1)
Kajaki Dam (1)
Kamdesh (9)
Kandahar (12)
Karachi (7)
Kashmir (2)
Khost Province (1)
Khyber (11)
Knife Blogging (5)
Korea (4)
Korengal Valley (3)
Kunar Province (20)
Kurdistan (3)
Language in COIN (5)
Language in Statecraft (1)
Language Interpreters (2)
Lashkar-e-Taiba (2)
Law Enforcement (4)
Lawfare (7)
Leadership (6)
Lebanon (6)
Leon Panetta (2)
Let Them Fight (2)
Libya (14)
Lines of Effort (3)
Littoral Combat (8)
Logistics (50)
Long Guns (1)
Lt. Col. Allen West (2)
Marine Corps (273)
Marines in Bakwa (1)
Marines in Helmand (67)
Marjah (4)
MEDEVAC (2)
Media (62)
Medical (141)
Memorial Day (6)
Mexican Cartels (39)
Mexico (58)
Michael Yon (6)
Micromanaging the Military (7)
Middle East (1)
Military Blogging (26)
Military Contractors (4)
Military Equipment (24)
Militia (6)
Mitt Romney (3)
Monetary Policy (1)
Moqtada al Sadr (2)
Mosul (4)
Mountains (25)
MRAPs (1)
Mullah Baradar (1)
Mullah Fazlullah (1)
Mullah Omar (3)
Musa Qala (4)
Music (24)
Muslim Brotherhood (6)
Nation Building (2)
National Internet IDs (1)
National Rifle Association (86)
NATO (15)
Navy (24)
Navy Corpsman (1)
NCOs (3)
News (1)
NGOs (2)
Nicholas Schmidle (2)
Now Zad (19)
NSA (3)
NSA James L. Jones (6)
Nuclear (61)
Nuristan (8)
Obama Administration (221)
Offshore Balancing (1)
Operation Alljah (7)
Operation Khanjar (14)
Ossetia (7)
Pakistan (165)
Paktya Province (1)
Palestine (5)
Patriotism (7)
Patrolling (1)
Pech River Valley (11)
Personal (70)
Petraeus (14)
Pictures (1)
Piracy (13)
Pistol (2)
Pizzagate (21)
Police (575)
Police in COIN (3)
Policy (15)
Politics (955)
Poppy (2)
PPEs (1)
Prisons in Counterinsurgency (12)
Project Gunrunner (20)
PRTs (1)
Qatar (1)
Quadrennial Defense Review (2)
Quds Force (13)
Quetta Shura (1)
RAND (3)
Recommended Reading (14)
Refueling Tanker (1)
Religion (336)
Religion and Insurgency (19)
Reuters (1)
Rick Perry (4)
Rifles (1)
Roads (4)
Rolling Stone (1)
Ron Paul (1)
ROTC (1)
Rules of Engagement (75)
Rumsfeld (1)
Russia (35)
Sabbatical (1)
Sangin (1)
Saqlawiyah (1)
Satellite Patrols (2)
Saudi Arabia (4)
Scenes from Iraq (1)
Second Amendment (485)
Second Amendment Quick Hits (2)
Secretary Gates (9)
Sharia Law (3)
Shura Ittehad-ul-Mujahiden (1)
SIIC (2)
Sirajuddin Haqqani (1)
Small Wars (72)
Snipers (9)
Sniveling Lackeys (2)
Soft Power (4)
Somalia (8)
Sons of Afghanistan (1)
Sons of Iraq (2)
Special Forces (28)
Squad Rushes (1)
State Department (23)
Statistics (1)
Sunni Insurgency (10)
Support to Infantry Ratio (1)
Supreme Court (34)
Survival (84)
SWAT Raids (56)
Syria (38)
Tactical Drills (2)
Tactical Gear (7)
Taliban (168)
Taliban Massing of Forces (4)
Tarmiyah (1)
TBI (1)
Technology (18)
Tehrik-i-Taliban (78)
Terrain in Combat (1)
Terrorism (95)
Thanksgiving (12)
The Anbar Narrative (23)
The Art of War (5)
The Fallen (1)
The Long War (20)
The Surge (3)
The Wounded (13)
Thomas Barnett (1)
Transnational Insurgencies (5)
Tribes (5)
TSA (24)
TSA Ineptitude (13)
TTPs (4)
U.S. Border Patrol (5)
U.S. Border Security (16)
U.S. Sovereignty (20)
UAVs (2)
UBL (4)
Ukraine (9)
Uncategorized (65)
Universal Background Check (3)
Unrestricted Warfare (4)
USS Iwo Jima (2)
USS San Antonio (1)
Uzbekistan (1)
V-22 Osprey (4)
Veterans (3)
Vietnam (1)
War & Warfare (345)
War & Warfare (40)
War Movies (4)
War Reporting (21)
Wardak Province (1)
Warriors (6)
Waziristan (1)
Weapons and Tactics (75)
West Point (1)
Winter Operations (1)
Women in Combat (21)
WTF? (1)
Yemen (1)

July 2022
June 2022
May 2022
April 2022
March 2022
February 2022
January 2022
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006

about · archives · contact · register

Copyright © 2006-2022 Captain's Journal. All rights reserved.