Monday, December 31, 2018

You Can Read Me Now In US Naval Institute Blog.

Russian Navy, Mission Found?

You may read my new piece on some doctrine-technology issues in today's USNI Blog post. Link is below. 

Let's Try Q & A And Whatever Else Sticky Post

Here is the post which I will try to keep sticky for people to ask questions and share their thoughts which are not on topic. This, I think is known as Open Thread. Fire away.

You May Read Me on Unz Review Too.

1. I got my first piece published on Unz Review today, so you may check it out there

2. You can read my piece on some peculiarities of Russo-Chinese "alliance" at Unz Review. Here:

The Russo-Chinese "Alliance" Explained 

3. Here is the latest One. 

Russia's Stand-Off Capability: The 800 Pound Gorilla in Syria

4. On INF Treaty.   

 The Sand Castle INF Treaty

5. New piece on geopolitics and navalism.

The Russo-Chinese "Alliance" Revisited  

6. My new piece on Putin's speech came out today at Unz Review. 

The Implications of Russia's New Weapon Systems

Friday, June 15, 2018

Thursday, June 14, 2018

And It Started With The Bang!

Russia simply destroyed Saudi Arabia 5-0 at Luzhniki in Moscow today in the World Cup 2018 opener. Good! Goals of all kinds were scored and yes, Russia, is this you? The pre-WC friendlies of this national team were so dismal that even before the opener there were huge jitters about NOT LOSING to Saudis. I will not even mention this national team's dismal publicity--the most hated national team in history. Well, today they made a first step to possible (I underscore that--possible as in may be) redemption. Much more difficult opponents are ahead. But 3 points are 3 points. Golovin and Cheryshev were fantastic. 



Now that I see what is happening in Russia--a global party--I feel very proud about making a decision of getting the hell out before the start of the World Cup because it is craaazyyyy there now!


You think it is not crazy? Get this headline from WSJ today:


This is the most important spots and cultural event in the world--it dwarfs anything next to it. It is both a chance for healthy nationalism but always also a strange mix of split loyalties between hundreds of millions of people--I always was and am a fanatical supporter of Squadra Azzurra, in different times I rooted for France's magnificent team of Platini and Zidanne, and Flying Dutch of 1974 and 1978 stole my heart. I lost my voice screaming for magnificent US team of Bruce Arena in 2002 when only referee atrocity didn't allow boys to do what was unthinkable--to get into the semifinals by eliminating Germany which they dominated all match and had 150% penalty never awarded to them in a historic scale travesty--Claudio Reyna, Brian McBride and guys simply owned Germany all match long. They fvcking outplayed Germans. And in the end, I always rooted for USSR/Russia, but more importantly--it is always the game which billions of people love and that is, in the end, what really matters. Ole, ole. ole...Let the magic start!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

I Would Love To Celebrate North American World Cup 2026, But I Can Not.

Both Bernhard of Moon of Alabama and Daniel Larison of The American Conservative to their highest human credit are ringing in all bells to attract attention to a possible famine and genocide which Saudi Arabia, with the help of UK and US, is about to unleash by attacking Hodeidah--the only port-city which provides delivery of food to Houthis. 

Here is Larison:
The Saudi coalition has waged their war on Yemen with flagrant disregard for the lives of the civilian population, and with the attack on Hodeidah they are doing the same thing on a larger scale. The U.N. and aid agencies have all warned against this attack because of the horrific consequences that will follow, and as usual the coalition governments have ignored those warnings and pressed ahead anyway. The U.S. has been a major enabler of the coalition’s war effort for the last three years, but instead of using its leverage with the coalition to prevent this atrocity the Trump administration is going along with and actively helping the attack. The Saudi coalition has been imposing collective punishment on the people of Yemen for three years in their bid to starve the country into surrender, and by attacking the port that the vast majority the population relies on for their food, fuel, and medicine they are intensifying their efforts to strangle Yemen to death. We are witnessing a massive crime being committed against the people of Yemen, and once again the U.S. is aiding and abetting the governments responsible for it.
I have nothing to add here, other than this atrocity being a direct and completely justified case for R2P and by the Right to Protect I don't mean a casuistic cynical imperial action which American interventionists are so fond of, especially when bombing with impunity innocents. I mean literally--a protection of population of Houthis from deliberately induced famine by a Saudi regime of head-choppers and sponsors of terrorism, who also happened to be America's "dear allies". Obviously, very little could be done to stop this atrocity at this time, but documenting it becomes a very important task.  As well as keeping it visible in media.

Why Mathematical Models Break Down. And Why Our Life Depends On That-1.



It is in human nature to quantify things—nothing is wrong with that. Quantification allows us to see some order in otherwise seemingly chaotic things, it also allows to predict the outcomes based on those quantifications. Sometimes predictions pan out but often they do not. As the events of the last 20 or so years showed us, no mathematical model, no matter how sophisticated, can properly predict global strategic balance, even despite availability of what became known as a "Big Data". Two things do not allow to trust such a modeling fully:


1. It matters WHAT data and WHO counts it. A famous meme of GIGO—Garbage In, Garbage Out did not appear out of nowhere—recall a complete trash all US pollsters were providing prior to the latest US Presidential Elections. This example alone is a good illustration of a dreadful influence biases provide even in something as large politically as electing POTUS. Then, of course, comes WW II and how it was "interpreted" in the West. 


2. Anything related to strategy and military is inherently human at the very foundation, and as such it is stochastic in nature, that is susceptible to the introduction of random variables and those variables sometimes become this proverbial monkey wrench which screws up all, even perfect, plans. In the end, the data itself MUST be full and reliable—otherwise one gets Wall Street reports on the state of economy, which are as reliable and are as connected to the actual reality as I am a NASA astronaut. 


For a former military professional who had to deal with some operational issues and who survived the collapse of the USSR, it was always fascinating for me how the outcomes may be influenced by accumulation of sometimes really insignificant disruptors which literally change the state of the affairs almost instantaneously and dramatically—in global matters a decade or two is not that long, really. In historic terms it is altogether—an instant. Dmitry Orlov is very good in describing some of the factors which, in particular, influence collapse on a societal level. But my point here is simpler—it is to give some insight on how things go haywire in military-political field and how they lead to a gigantic outcomes. 


I am aware--people do not like math. But hear me out here, the math presented herein is not really that difficult. At least, I tried to exclude any kinds of even remote references to differentiation (and integration) which necessarily accompany all kinds of models—it will all be within very basic algebra of a middle school level, at least I tried to keep it there. So, here it is: The Global Status of the Nation. One of the methods (models), which is based on the body of works by all kinds of geopolitical thinkers from Mahan, Morgenthau and, eventually, RAND Corporation. Some notable Russian thinkers also contributed to it. It is, indeed, natural for people to have a number on anything. So, many thought for more than a century about how to put "a number" on the might of the nation. In my book I gave a brief review of the CINC (Composite Index of National Capability) and reviewed some of the predictors for military victory as well as the components of the status of nations. 


So, here is the (Nation's) Status Model developed within the framework of the massive project titled Complex System Analysis and Modelling of Global Dynamics, which was done on the base of the world-renown Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics of Russian Academy of Sciences. A lot in this model also was taken from RAND's estimates of national might. Well, here is this general formula. 

Don't despair—this formula is as simple as a toilet. To get to the value of Status at any given time you have to merely multiply the values. In it, S(t) is a measure of a nations global status. S(t) merely stands (as a function of time) for Status of the nation in given time. In this formula FA(t) is a value (again—time dependent, hence (t)) of a function of "influence" which is not related to geopolitical factors and accounts for the product of values obtained for quality of governance, economic and military independence, plus additional factor of being in coalition etc. The formula for this is not difficult, albeit long, and with a calculation of a factor of governance based on expertise. We will omit reviewing this factor and go directly for G(t)—a geopolitical potential of the nation. Here, we go for the formula and this is how it looks:



In this formula all Xs with subscript stand for shares of the nation in global indices of: T-territory, D-demography, E-economics, M-military. Numbers above are exponents or the power to which those indices must be raised. These ARE very easy indices to find since all of this data is in the open. That is with a huge exception of the Military index. But let's do some simple math exercise—let us compare G(t)s of say US and China, accepting FA(t) for both of them as equal and thus easily disposed of in our basic analysis. Let's see how the United States looks in its main Xs in G(t) formula. For that we go to Internet and get data there, let's count things for the US and China:


T--territory for the US will be almost the same as China's, both have about the same size of territory, but let us be anal about it and go for 9.147 million square km for the US (and, consequently—9.326 for China). Consequently the SHARES in the global scheme of things are as follows: US—6.13% of global land mass (I use round number of 149 million for the World's total land mass) and China's-6.26%. 


D--demography, easy. The United States' population is 322 million, China's—1,404 million. Consequently the SHARES in the global population are as follows: US—4.31% of total population (I use round number of 7,467 million for the World's total population) and China's-18.8%.


E—economy. Easy again, we go for PPP as normal people do and here it is: US GDP is (per CIA)—19.36 trillion, China's—23.12. Consequently the SHARES in the global GDP are as follows: US—15.24% of total GDP (I use CIA's round number of 127 trillion for the World's total GDP) and China's-18.2%.


M—military. Before I announce a train wreck here, ask yourself a question when looking at the formula of G(t) why XM, that is military component not only has the largest exponent (0.43) of them all, beating even Economy and why Military needs its own formula for calculation? Here is the formula: 


Where M1 is a Share of the nation in global military expenditures (I need to hear warning bells and sirens going off like crazy now) M2 is a military potential of the nation's Army, M3 is a military potential of nation's Navy and, finally, M4 is a potential of a strategic nuclear forces. The immediate question which arises here is HOW does one calculate PROPERLY all those indices. Let us calculate comparative G(t)s and, as a consequence, S(t)s for the US and China based on assumed military parity, that is American XM=Chinese XM=1. Just an example, not real indices. So, G(t) for the US will be, using basic scientific calculator: 
0.5*(1+1^0.43)*6.13^0.11*4.31^0.19*15.24^0.27 = 
0.5*(1+1)*1.22*1.32*2.09=3.366  

For China this will look like this:

0.5*(1+1^0.43)*6.26^0.11*18.8^0.19*18.2^0.27 = 
0.5*(1+1)*1.22*1.75*2.19=4.676

As you can see here, China squarely beats the United States for a title of the nation with the most geopolitical status, granted that we initially assumed that both nations have the same value of function of influence FA(t) and that their  XMs are equal--but they are not and the main REAL, tangible, component which will define most of those status bids is precisely this very XM and how it is interpreted correctly by serious analysts. That I will review in the next post. Needless to say, however, any calculation of national power and status without serious review of doctrinal, strategic and operational issues is a complete baloney--but that is what Western so called "expertdom" was doing for the last few decades. We all know the (catastrophic) results...

To Be Continued...
      

Monday, June 11, 2018

Author's Benefits.

10 author's copies of my book have arrived, here is a visual proof:))


 


So, the printing of the bulk of it should start fairly soon. Way earlier than Amazon's date of September 1. Jet, as promised--one is on me.  

UPDATE: I just spoke to publisher. The book went into print yesterday. It takes about a month for it to hit publisher's distributor and then another week to hit Amazon. The book, however, is already available directly through Clarity Press and could be bought at their site by clicking here, or on the pic of the book in the right upper corner.

Real Economy.

I spent years trying to convey a simple thought of Western "economics" being nothing more than a creative bookkeeping having nothing to do with the real state of the affairs. In fact, this economic delusion is in the foundation of many other West's delusions be it military, technological or social. In military parlance this is known as the loss of situational awareness.


Now, Vladimir Putin during his press-conference in China yesterday started to speak only within the framework of Purchase Power Parity when dealing with real GDPs of SCO nations. It is, of course, understandable that the whole notion of developed manufacturing (especially hi-tech machine building sector) being the foundation of national power is completely alien to most US economic "scholars" but that is how world goes about. In fact, even PPP is not precise, granted it is much better metric than preposterous "nominal" GDPs based on US Dollar alone--a number no serious analyst will pay attention to. 

But PPP or even adjusters derived from the "Big Mac" index do not reflect a complex reality of modern economics because, as I stated non-stop for many years, to even grasp what the real depth and size of economy are one has to look at actual industrial output of tangibles. Moreover, looking at weapons--their complexity, quality, quantity and effectiveness--is even better adjuster than anything else. It is a truism--only extremely developed economies can produce state-of-the-art nuclear power submarines, complex fighter planes and very complex C4ISR "infrastructure". No amount of financial data-twisting can obfuscate a simple fact--to make and run something like GLONASS or deploy weapons the likes of Kinzhal or Avanguard, requires way more that just "sophisticated" economy, it requires a massive one. In fact, this is very intuitive--something so complex (in fact they are most complex man-made things) as Virginia-class or Yasen-class nuclear submarines require and incredible network of industries, from metallurgy to electronics, to name a few, which, unlike fake papers produced by the Wall Street, do constitute a great index of national power. So, yes, it is very gratifying to hear President Putin setting an appropriate, much more realistic, framework for economic discussions than some convoluted pseudo-economic BS produced by Western "analysts". In the end, it is their "economic analysis" which is in the foundation of Russophrenia--a condition where the sufferer believes Russia is both about to collapse, and take over the world. Since 2013, instances of this ailment have reached epidemic-like proportions in certain parts of Washington, London and Brussels. 
 
But then again, try to explain to some Ivy League-trained "investment" bankster (most of whom never worked on a real job in their life) what is the difference between selling some financial "product" (aka snake oil) and manufacturing, say, something like blades of jet engine. The experience could be fascinating. So, Mr. Putin--good to hear from you on this issue. Moreover, even in the foundation of a recent G-7 snafu is actual economy, things produced and needed to be sold--from cars to aircraft--not some BS "capitalization" of markets. 

Friday, June 8, 2018

It Is Starting....

First, these were magnificent Caps who DID it yesterday...and primed it for all of us:


Now some dude from Russia comes out and says this:


And then it goes...



BTW, you know who are second largest contingent at this WC 2018 after Russians? Americans... 

Once You Have Been There....

It is going to haunt you for the rest of your life, as it did Dostoevsky, and I know this city for 37 years...

 

G8, Again?

WASHINGTON — President Trump suggested a dramatic reordering of the global order as he departed for a G-7 summit on Friday morning. Speaking to reporters before boarding Marine One to head to the meeting in Canada, Trump suggested that Russia be allowed back into the group of the world’s top economic powers, which currently includes the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom. Russia was previously a participant in the group, which was known as the G-8 or Group of Eight, but was ejected in 2014 after its invasion and annexation of Crimea, a province of Ukraine (LOL--this is my italics).
 Short answer:

                                             NO!

Meanwhile Ria.Ru ran the poll on the necessity of Russia getting back to G8. Here are how the questions (top-bottom) sounded like:

1. Yes, for that one can even make concessions;
2. Only on our (Moscow's) conditions;
3. No, G8 format is obsolete. 

Now see for yourself:

Also meanwhile, I think, Russia figured out Trump's game long time ago.   

P.S. Per highlighted in yellow, I have some news for journos who wrote that--global order has been reordered and changed for quite sometime now. But then again, Western journos' defining trait is their ignorance. so, no surprise here.  

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Russian Geopolitcs In A Nutshell.

As you (at least some of you) may have guessed it--I don't have time for reading and watching all news and reports of the day--it is physically impossible for one person. That is why so many people today are involved, apart from professional intelligence organizations, into all kinds of "analytical" activity which is done on the industrial scale. Obviously, most of such activity is not real analysis but pushing different economic and ideological agendas on unsuspecting public, this is not to mention that it is done by people who, for the most part, have neither serious background nor real qualifications to "analyze" anything, least of all serious geopolitical, military-political and military-technological issues. Yet, once in a while a straight talk from the very top allows to avoid all those tedious analytical discussions and elaborations and get to the bottom of the issue. Here is Vladimir Putin stating obvious to Chinese TV two days ago. 

By sovereignty Putin means exactly what this term stands for. From Merriam-Webster:
  

That, obviously, goes completely against everything globalist Washington's swamp stands for. But no "analysis" of any kind is needed here. This also makes Russia both an object of fanatical hatred of globalist "elites" who, for obvious reasons of not being very bright, decided that everything in life is measured in money. It is not and historical nations who survived calamities unknown to Wall Street shysters and their political servants, and did it for much longer than the United States existed, seem to be waking up. Nation-state was, is and will remain a decisive player of geopolitics and this cannot be changed. Russia's sovereignty, meanwhile, is an enormously attractive concept for very many, no matter how much (pseudo)statistical fraud many pollster organizations unload on public. The process, which the United States initiated  in 2014 cannot be stopped anymore. Slowed down a bit? Possible. But not stopped. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

So, It Is Naval Strike Missile For US Navy, After All.

US Navy chose Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile (NSM) for US Navy's LCS program. Kongsberg touts this missile in no uncertain terms as:
The immediate question one has to ask is this--what is "fifth" generation anti-shipping missile? What ARE real requirements for a missile to become "fifth generation"? Stealthiness? Well, F-35 is "stealth" and is "fifth generation", it flies, however, in such a way that makes all those 1960s and 1970s old timers sitting under the Arizona's burning sun in retirement laugh sarcastically. Maybe the fact that claimed "long range" of 100 nautical miles for such a missile is considered something special? I don't know. This is not impressive, even considering "stealth" and possibly improved signal processing and EW resistance for this missile's homing device. 

But the main issue is, of course, speed. It is again subsonic, granted presented as "high subsonic", and that means, even considering NSMs sea-skimming profile--the issue of modern and competent air defense comes up immediately. No doubt, such a missile will be very effective against commercial traffic and against naval targets with weak, or altogether absent, dedicated air defense but if this is a "distributed lethality", it is, certainly, not a very impressive one. I have, in this case, go with what is stated in Ronald O'Rurke's Report for Congress in which he states some rather startling facts about new FFG(X) ship (allegedly Frigate) which is supposed to be main carrier for this missile:

·
Compared to the FF concept that emerged under the February 2014 restructuring of the LCS program, the FFG(X) is to have increased AAW and EMW capability, and enhanced survivability.
·
The ship’s area defense AAW system is to be capable of local area AAW, meaning a form of area-defense AAW that extends to a lesser range than the area-defense AAW that can be provided by the Navy’s cruisers and destroyers.
·
The ship is to be capable of operating in both blue water (i.e., mid-ocean) and littoral (i.e., near-shore) areas.
·
The ship is to be capable of operating either independently (when that is appropriate for its assigned mission) or as part of larger Navy formations.
   
The new FFX(G) is supposed to have scaled Aegis and even Standard and Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles. This is all fine and dandy once one considers the next entry which, and I quote:
                     Follow-On Ships

The Navy wants the follow-on ships in the FFG(X) program (i.e., ships 2 through 20) to have an average unit procurement cost of $800 million to $950 million each in constant 2018 dollars. By way of comparison, the two LCSs that the Navy requested for FY2018 had an estimated average unit procurement cost of about $568 million each, and the two DDG-51 class destroyers that the Navy has requested for FY2019 have an estimated average unit procurement cost of about $1,764 million each.
Get it? Almost a billion a pop. Now get this simplest scenario: Littoral, say of some Zamunda, which has procured P-800 Onyx both on land (shore) and on some small 5-6 missile boats unit of its minute navy. And there is no any US Navy's CBG in sight--after all FFX(G) is supposed to be a bigger, better, badder LCS--that is LITTORAL Combat Ship. So, what are the chances of these FFG(X) getting into battle with such hypothetical "flotilla" which can launch a salvo of  Mach=3 capable sea-skimming missiles from 600 kilometers and surviving? What if this salvo consists of 8 P-800s. You know the probability of sinking such an FFG(X) in such a salvo? I don't, but my gut tells me that in case of even two FFG(X) group we may have a very high probability of a leaker, may be two. Remarkably, the only anti-surface weapon these FFG(X)s will have against Zamundian flotilla will be allegedly "long range" (that is less than 185 kilometers, compare to 600) and very slow for modern AD systems Naval Strike Missiles. We, obviously, can play here with salvo model and Fractional Exchange Rates (FERs) but this is beyond the scope of this piece. My point is very simple--unless one talks about sinking some third world weak navies, subsonic anti-shipping missiles become increasingly a niche weapon (for sinking smaller ships) and it is really strange how, yet again, US Navy immensely expensive combatant doesn't stack that well against what is en vogue today and will remain in a foreseeable future--these are high supersonic and hyper-sonic, long-range anti-shipping weapons. For such weapons sinking a billion or two of technology armed with a morally obsolete "fifth generation" missile will be not a big deal and this paradigm is not coming, it is here.