Tuesday, December 31, 2019

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.

Here is the full list of articles by me at Unz Review. 
 
               Andrei Martyanov Archive at Unz. 

Friday, July 12, 2019

S-400 Is In Turkey.

So, Erdogan did stand his ground:
Turkey has received the first shipment of S-400 air defense missile system equipment from Moscow, defying pressure from Washington to scrap the arms deal with Russia.The components arrived at the Murted military airfield outside Ankara on Friday, the nation’s Ministry of National Defense said in a short statement. Russia’s Defense Ministry has also confirmed that the shipment has started and will continue as scheduled.Both countries signed a contract for the delivery of four S-400 batteries in 2017. The contract earned Ankara the ongoing row with Washington, which strongly opposes the deal, claiming the purchase of advanced Russian-made weapons undermines the security of NATO and goes against American interests.
I want to clear the air from the very start: Turkey knows what F-35 is and that is why she will "survive" cancellation of F-35 deliveries. F-35 for Turkey, who produced a number of parts for this aircraft, was primarily of industrial interest. So, all this contrived BS about security issues is just that, BS. Modern Air Defense complexes, such as S-400, even in their export version, can detect, track and shoot down all those VLO (Very Low Observability) targets such as F-35. The only "security issue" here for the United States was the fact that having "live" F-35 and S-400 simultaneously by the key member of NATO would have revealed publicly (in professional circles it is known well already) all massive faults with F-35 in general and ONLY-VLO-centric combat aircraft concept in particular

There is a lot, as was expected, of butt-hurt right now. Such as this:
Washington has threatened to remove Turkey from its F-35 fighter jet programme, giving Ankara until July 31 to cancel the S-400 purchase or have its pilots kicked off the training course and expelled from the US. But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said after meeting US counterpart Donald Trump last month that he was confident Ankara would not face sanctions for buying the Russian missile system. Erdogan told Trump during their meeting on the margins of the G-20 meeting in Japan that former president Barack Obama did not allow Ankara to buy Patriot missiles -- an equivalent of the S-400s. Trump sounded convinced and said: "You can't do business that way. It's not good." The Turkish air force changed the name of the base in Ankara from Akinci to Murted after it was the centre of a 2016 failed coup attempt.
For starters: Patriot is NOT equivalent of the S-400 with S-400 being superior in its key performance characteristics. Secondly, I agree with Trump in a sense that "you can't do business like that" and this has nothing to do with Turkey but with the United States which is now in full economic warfare and political bullying with most of the world. The inevitable question thus--who in their mind would do business with the country which is ungovernable and both has no competitive systems to offer and may stop (or disable) their procurement any moment? Only spineless Europeans, maybe. India was explicit in basically telling the US to mind its own business re: India's $5 billion contract with Russia for S-400. Pakistan, India, many others, including Gulfies want S-400 and other Russian weapon systems. We know what the United States will do--she will try to sabotage any Russia's effort across the whole spectrum of international economic activity, be that Nord Stream-2 or arms trade. 

For Turkey, however, it seems, S-400 is not just military or, inevitably, geopolitical reorientation issue, with Ankara beginning to understand where her real interests lie. In the end, Turkey sees on the horizon the access to technology transfer not only for S-400 (its export version, of course) but eventually for export versions of SU-35, SU-57 and, inevitably, S-500 and who knows what else. So, there is a lot to be taken in at this moment but as I said many times, Russia has the ability and instruments for defense of larger Eurasia, plus, in Turkey's case, deliveries and deployment of S-400 boost Turkey's regional standing, including in disputes with Greece and Cyprus. It is enough to look at the map of the region to understand why S-400 changes Turkey's status in Eastern Mediterranean. As stated by Russian MoD (in Russian) the second gigantic An-124 will leave for Turkey with another set of S-400 equipment shortly, the balance, which is 120 missiles, will be delivered by the end of this Summer by sea-route. Second group of Turkish officers will start its training for S-400 this July in Russia. This comes to mind, inevitably;-))


Mueller says: you see how I turned you? In 5 minutes and no tricks.
I guess next step will be US sanctions against Russia's sovereign debt--this will accelerate Empire's decline greatly. Zugzwang is a bitch.  

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Non-Agreement Capable, Or Agreement Incapable, Or...

Agreement-unworthy, or.... I didn't find many English-language report on Putin's last week interview on this issue:
We knew this all along, didn't we? It is not just about personalities, however repulsive in his narcissism and lack of statesmanship Obama was. It is systemic, no matter who comes to power to the Oval Office--it will make no difference. No difference, whatsoever. What is known as US power (political) elite has been on the downward spiral for some time and, in some sense, the whole Epstein affair with serious pedophilia charges, not to mention an unspeakable slap on the wrist in which this well-connected pervert was let go ten years ago,  is just one of many indications of a complete moral and cognitive decomposition of this so called "elite" which continues to provide one after another specimens of human depravity. Remarkably, as much as I always feel nauseated when seeing GOPers, it is impossible to hide the fact that Epstein's clients in their majority are mostly associated with putrid creatures from the so called "left", with Bill Clinton featuring prominently in the company of this pervert. 

There were some attempts to even conceive a possibility of somehow "progressives" and "conservatives" getting together in their condemnation of this heinous crime (yeah, yeah, I know, Presumption of Innocence). 
Doesn't it sound wonderful, warm and fuzzy, or too good to be true? It sure does, because, as much as most American elite "conservatives" are not really conservatives, what passes as "progressive" in the United States is PRIMARILY based on sexual deviancy, including implicit promotion of pedophilia by "intellectual class",  and "environmental" agenda, period! Everything else is secondary. Those who think that actual conservatism (not a caricature it is known in the United States) has anything to discuss with the so called "progressives"--they unwittingly support this very "progressive" cause which, in its very many manifestations, is a realization of the worst kind of suppression of many millennia old natural, including biological, order of things and, in the end, elimination of normality as such--a future even Orwell would have had difficulty describing. 

Of course, Pinkerton gets some flashes of common sense, when states that:
Most likely, a true solution will have “conservative” elements, as in social and cultural norming, and “liberal” elements, as in higher taxes on city slickers coupled with conscious economic development for the proletarians and for the heartland. Only with these economic and governmental changes can we be sure that it’s possible to have a nice life in Anytown, safely far away from beguiling pleasuredomes. 
Well, he puts it very crudely, but I see where he is at least trying to get it from. I will add, until nation, as in American nation, recognizes itself as a nation, as people who have common history, culture and mission, thus, inevitably producing this aforementioned healthy social and cultural norming--no amount of wishful thinking or social-economic doctrine-mongering will help. There is no United States without European-keen, white Christian, heterosexual folk, both with acutely developed sense of both masculinity and femininity, period. But this is precisely the state of the affairs which American "progressives" are fighting against; this is the state of the affairs which they must destroy be that by imposition of suffocating political correctness, the insanity of multi-gender and LGBT totalitarianism, or by criminal opening of the borders to anyone, who, in the end, will vote for the Democratic Party. You cannot negotiate with such people. In the end, WHO is going to negotiate? A cowardly, utterly corrupt, current GOPers and geriatric remnants of Holy Reaganites? Really? Ask how many of them are Mossad assets and are in the pockets of rich Israeli-firsters and Gulfies? 

True "Left" economics, which seeks more just distribution (not re-distribution) of wealth, based on a fusion of economic models and types of property, cannot exist within cultural liberal paradigm of "privileged" minorities, be them racial or sexual ones, aided by massive grievance-generating machine--it is not going to last. Both economic and social normality can exist ONLY within cohesive nation and that, due to activity on both nominal sides (in reality it is the same) of American political spectrum, has been utterly destroyed. The mechanism of this destruction is rather simple and it comes down, in the end, to the, pardon my French, number of ass-holes populating unit-volume (density, that is) of political space in America. It goes without saying that such a density in the US reached deadly toxic levels, and Russiagate coup, Epstein's Affair, or the parade of POTUSes with the maturity levels of high school kids are just numerous partial manifestations of what one can characterize as the end of the rope. After all, who would be making any agreements with representatives of the system which is rotting and decomposing? 

Paul Craig Roberts penned today a good piece: The Obituary for Western Civilization Can Now be Written. I have to disagree somewhat with PCR's one assertion:
           Europeans Are as Dumbshit as Americans
I would pause a little here. Yes and no. Here is Colonel Wilkerson who talks about both wealth (starts roughly at 14:00) and about other very important strategic and operational fact: overwhelming majority of weapons on hands today are among those who either support Trump openly or simply had it with system in general.


And here is the issue: my bets are on people with military backgrounds, who had first hand experience with military organization (standard manuals, combat manuals et al) and have operational and command experience in their conflict with American Social Justice Warriors (you know--"progressives") and other openly terrorist "progressive" organizations such as Antifa. At least ruined Portland started to do something about it. Is there any real left left in the US? And I don't mean this a-hole Bernie Sanders.

And here is my rephrasing of Tolstoy's conclusion to War and Peace: there are too many ass-holes in American politics today, very many of them being so called "progressives". This number must be reduced by all legal means today, and if American ass-holes can work together terrorizing majority of good, not ass-hole people, what's precluding those good people to work together? Nothing, except for the rotting corpse of GOP which had audacity to call itself "conservative". If not, all is lost and we do not want to live in the world which will come. And the guns will start speaking. 

UPDATE: 07/11/19

Oh goody, do they read me or is it one of those moments when, in Lenin's description of Revolutionary Situation, economic slogans transform into political ones? Evidently Catholic Conservative Michael Warren speaks in unison with Lenin and me, with both me and Warren certainly not being Marxists or "communists". Here is what Warren has to say today:
Whew. Now I get why people become communists. Not the new-wave, gender-fluid, pink-haired Trots, of course. Nor the new far Left, which condemns child predators like Epstein out one side of its mouth while demanding sympathy for pedophiles out the other. No: I mean the old-fashioned, blue-collar, square-jawed Stalinists. I mean the guy with eight fingers and 12 kids who saw photos of the annual Manhattan debutantes’ ball, felt the rumble in his stomach, and figured he may as well eat the rich. Of course, we know where that leads us. For two centuries, conservatives have tried to dampen the passions that led France to cannibalize herself circa 1789. Nevertheless, those passions weren’t illegitimate—they were just misdirected. Only an Englishman like Edmund Burke could have referred to the reign of Louis XIV as “the age of chivalry.” Joseph de Maistre spoke for real French conservatives when he said the decadent, feckless aristocracy deserved to be guillotined. The problem is, Maistre argued, there was no one more suitable to succeed them.
It is a very loaded statement. It is also not an incorrect one. It is also relevant to what I preach for years, decades really, that history of the so called "communism" in USSR was a conservative history--a transition from depravity and corruption of Russian Imperial "elites" to what resulted in the mutated nationalism of sorts in late 1930s and led to the defeat of Nazism, historically unprecedented restoration of the destroyed country and then breaking out into space. But that is a separate story--in USSR, as it is the case in Russia today, sexual perversion and deviancy are not looked at lightly. Nor are, in general, "liberal values" which are precisely designed to end up with the legitimization of pedophilia--a long held, and hidden, desire of Western "elites". Guess why such an obsession with, realistically, literary mediocrity of Nabokov's  Lolita by Western moneyed and "intellectual" class. Who in their own mind, unless one is a forensic psychiatrist or detective, would be interested in such a topic, not to mention writing a book on it, not to mention a variety of Hollywood and, in general, Western cinematography artsy class making scores of Lolita movies? Each time I read Lolita, in both Russian and English, I felt an urgent desire to take a shower after reading this concoction. I guess, I am not "sophisticated" enough to recognize appeals of this type of "art". As Warren notes:
Yes: those passions are legitimate. We should feel contempt for our leaders when we discover that two presidents cavorted with Epstein, almost certainly aware that he preyed on minors. We should feel disgust at the mere possibility that Pope Francis rehabilitated Theodore McCarrick. And we should be furious that these injustices haven’t even come close to being properly redressed. This is how revolutions are born. America is reaching the point where, 200 years ago, a couple French peasants begin eyeing the Bastille. The question is, can conservatives channel that outrage into serious reform before it’s too late? Can we call out the fetid, decadent elites within our own ranks? Are we prepared to hold our own “faves” to account—even Trump himself? Alas, it’s only a matter of time until we find out.
In this, I, essentially an atheist, and a conservative Catholic, are speaking in the same voice. 

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Ha, Something To Talk About.

I don't read Rod Dreher, nor do I care much what he has to say on any issue and, of course, I can never forget his cowardly smearing of Phil Giraldi after Phil's famous article on Jews for which Phil, who spends his life fighting debilitating influence of Israeli groups on US foreign policy, was banished from The American Conservative. I do not agree with everything Phil writes on the Jewish issue in the US but Dreher is nobody when it comes, however controversial it might be, to life-long service, sometimes very dangerous service, to the United States Phil Giraldi provided. So, in general, Dreher is not a person I would find pleasant to communicate, which is expected when talking to a "writer" without any serious education, profession (B.A. in Journalism is not an education) or experiences, which Dreher's writing proves beyond the shadow of a doubt. Yet, in a surprising move, Dreher posted in his blog at TAC this piece, or rather a letter to him: 
               Cultural Marxism: Enemy Of Real Marxism?

The letter of some Marxist makes some crucial observations and they are dealing with Frankfurt School which is as Marxist as I am Chinese. So, I thought it may interest some of you in trying to figure out what real Marxism is and why it is good only as analytical tool and will never work as intended, inevitably morphing into economic fusionism, but it may also give some ideas of why most "cultural Marxists" would have been and would be beaten in Russia as post-modernist perverts and why many who would be kicking their asses would be those nasty Russian "communists" or Marxists. So, take a look... 

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Short Response To Michael Kofman.

Quote by Michael Kofman of Center for Naval Analysis:
Here, Kofman uses false equivalency and misses the point completely. Here are few things he misses:

1. PAK-FA has an official title and is known as SU-57 and is in series production, with the contract for first 76 aircraft signed few days ago;

2. Being Low Observable while boasting outstanding classic and modern, cutting edge, combat capabilities and performance beyond "Stealth" feature, such as SU-57 has, and having a flying embarrassment, aka F-35, built around primarily LO in radio diapason is not the same. Evidently Kofman does not recognize this crucial difference;

3. Kofman also fails to recognize the fact that in any potential NATO (USA)-Russia conflict, US "Stealth" aircraft would fly against Russia's Air Defense not against American one and here the capability abyss separating the two can not be larger. Kofman, as a "military analyst" should know that;

4. I omit here what I write non-stop about: modern air-defense signal processing and sensor fusion removes most, grossly overstated to start with, advantages of LO in a EW and sensor dense environment of the military peer. In the end, it is known fact that depending on the conditions even SU-35's Irbis radar "sees" F-22 at the ranges of up to 90 kilometers;

5. Finally, it is not a good practice for analyst to defer to the potential enemy, such as Russia, in terms of what she is doing and use it for propaganda, or self-medicating (most likely), purposes. In the end Israeli Air Force still cannot coherently explain what kind of bird damaged IAF's F-35 in Syria, same as why IAF prefers to launch at Syria (allegedly Iranian) targets from the international airspace. 

Moreover, ignoring a dramatic difference between the use of air power in Russia and the United States, especially projected against the background of radical doctrinal differences, is hardly a competent idea, unless, of course, it is used for entertainment of amateurs. But then again, for that--there is a rich and vibrant field of Clancyesque military "literature", where such theses, as Kofman advances, belong.        

Thursday, July 4, 2019

And Liberty For All.

On this 4th. Where else but in...Russia;))) 


Rocking Mob! Yeah, America, it used to be you...

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Fourteen Russian Sailors Die In Fire.

On what is being reported as a deep-diving station AS-12 aka Losharik. This is GUGI's (Main Directorate of Deep-Water Research) field--a very classified field, I may add. Presently the submersible is back to base in Severomorsk. It looks like the investigation is already in full swing and is headed by Navy's Commander in Chief. Stay tuned, all of it may change completely once more information pours in. 

UPDATE: my personal opinion: from what I gather, the tragedy happened in the base. Norway tried to "throw in" some news (fake, of course) that there was some kind of gas explosion. Russian MoD vehemently denied it.


UPDATE 07/03/19. Pretty much most of it summed up here:
Heroic Russian naval officers sacrificed their lives, saving their colleagues and a civilian, as they battled flames on board a deepwater research submersible in the Barents Sea, the nation’s defense minister has said.The fire on the Navy’s deepwater research submersible had claimed the lives on 14 officers on board on Monday. Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu shared some details of the crew’s conduct.“The crew acted heroically in a critical situation. They evacuated a civilian from the compartment, which was engulfed in flames, and sealed the door behind him in order to avoid the spreading of the fire onto the rest of the vessel,” he said.
As was suspected from the get go--it was fire and the compartment, as is most of the time the case on subs, was sealed--it is THE procedure--they fought it and got it under control. Out of the crew of 25 + civilians on board, 14 died. Request for people at this blog: please do not refer here to such tabloids as Debka File and other "ANALytical" organizations of this type--their main task is to spread BS, the same goes for Western MSM. As for deceased, they are on the eternal patrol.

I Am Not Sure Yet How To View This.

I mean new think-tank headed by Andrew Bacevich--The Quincy Institute. From the get go one is startled by the names of couple of contributors to what is defined as responsible statecraft institute--George Soros' name definitely makes one to pause. Yet, one has to keep in mind that ideas behind this new think-tank set it in a complete opposition to a majority of the present US think-tanks whose main purpose is justification of disastrous US foreign policy and military adventurism. So, Quincy Institute's intro does make sense:
The foreign policy of the United States has become detached from any defensible conception of U.S. interests and from a decent respect for the rights and dignity of humankind. Political leaders have increasingly deployed the military in a costly, counterproductive, and indiscriminate manner, normalizing war and treating armed dominance as an end in itself. Moreover, much of the foreign policy community in Washington has succumbed to intellectual lethargy and dysfunction. It suppresses or avoids serious debate and fails to hold policymakers and commentators accountable for disastrous policies. It has forfeited the confidence of the American public. The result is a foreign policy that undermines American interests and tramples on American values while sacrificing the stores of influence that the United States had earned.
Attacks by the most vile Neo-cons, such as low-life Bill Kristol, against this new think-tank also make total sense--the whole idea that somebody other than them (Neo-cons) will have a platform when discussing issues of war and peace terrifies them, especially when such a platform is headed by a cadre US Army senior officer with operational experience, especially knowing what a personal tragedy this officer went through when losing his son, US Army young officer in a criminal military adventure in Iraq. Bacevich's voice does matter in this case. 

Larison's comment on this new endeavor is good:
Remarkably, the only sensible discussion on America's real and legitimate national interests is possible only within the framework which Quincy Institute wants to establish. At this stage one is only hopeful that establishment of this institute is not one step too few, too late.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Monopoly Crisis?

An interesting piece from  Matt Stoller and Lucas Kunce at TAC with symptomatic title: America’s Monopoly Crisis Hits the Military. It is a fairly long and substantive piece--I mean it makes the case, certainly. Even I somewhere here discussed China's penetration of the US semi-conductor market, including in military field. The authors make this observation:

Who are these stockholders that CEOs are so compelled to answer to? Oftentimes, China. Jennifer M. Harris, an expert in global markets with experience at the U.S. State Department and the U.S. National Intelligence Council, researched a recent explosion of Chinese strategic investment in American technology companies. She found that China has systematically targeted U.S. greenfield investments, “technology goods (especially semiconductors), R&D networks, and advanced manufacturing.” The trend accelerated, until the recent flare-up of tensions between the United States and China. “China’s foreign direct investment (FDI) stock in the U.S. increased some 800% between 2009 and 2015,” she wrote. Then, from 2015 to 2017, “Chinese FDI in the U.S. …climbed nearly four-fold, reaching roughly $45.6 billion in 2016, up from just $12.8 billion in 2014.” This investment runs right through Wall Street, the key lobbying group trying to ratchet down Trump’s tough negotiating posture with the Chinese. Rather than showing concern about the increasing influence of a foreign power in our commerce and industry, Wall Street banks have repeatedly followed Archie Cox down the path of easy returns.
And while I agree to a degree that monopolies are not necessarily good in many respects, the focus should be on what is highlighted in yellow. Yes, one may create and then tweak all kinds of legislative and financial instruments in order to decrease "the influence of a foreign power"--enough to take a look at Russia's program of import substitution. But in the American case we immediately encounter a purely, not just economic capitalist sense with US selling to China the rope by which she is being hanged, to rephrase Marx. The issue is the culture--the United States simply lacks all required cultural pressures to make the whole thing work. Yes, yes, monopolies--I get it. Try now to explain to most US "elites" what the real war is. Good luck doing this--there is no culture of grasping it. Only US military people, and even then, not all of them, can and do contemplate what is going to happen to them, to their families, property, things they love in case of real serious war. US collective memory has no recollection of massive bombing of Chicago, of the rape of women near Boston, concentration camps, and other manifestations of real war. 

That's the problem--nobody realistically believes that China or Russia will conduct massive amphibious landings at the Pacific Northwest Coast or around Tampa to kill, rape, pillage Americans. There is no land invasion threat to the United States--there never realistically was and that is the factor which plays huge disjointing role in both American mentality and the way business is conducted in military-technological field. In other words, the United States is not really under ANY serious pressure to produce top-notch defensive weapons. Of course, whipping oneself into constant paranoid frenzy of seeing military threat everywhere can work, but only so far, in the end--one has to grow up with shared historic memory of Chicago burning in Japanese bombing raids and Wehrmacht landing on the beaches of South Carolina to really FEEL THE NEED to give it a proper attitude beyond the limits of financial enrichment and bragging. I will quote myself from my first book:
War, a bloody and gory midwife of a nation’s cohesion, largely spared the United States and the American obsession with weapons can be viewed in part as a longing for a missing formative factor of most modern nations. It is in this field of weapons design and manufacturing that the United States ultimately sees the extension of its own self and needs a constant validation of itself as a global superpower. 
So, while piece on monopolies is worth reading and contemplating, the answer lies, to a very large degree, in a cultural field and there is no escaping it. And then, of course, Russia's military does it all through monopolies--Rostec anyone? It does it all and, let's face it, some of the military technologies they produce are amazing and they work because they are produced within militarily totally different cultural environment. Again, quoting myself:
For a nation with such a military history as Russia’s the issue of military technology is an issue of survival. As such, weapons in Russia are sacralized because behind them are generations of Russians who shed blood to make those weapons what they are. They have become a part of the culture to such a degree that commercial considerations take a very distant second place to a main purpose of these weapons—to actually defend the nation. This is absolutely not the case in the United States, with some exception for its Navy, with Americans having no knowledge or recollection of what real war is and what instruments for fighting and winning it are needed. Those things cannot be paid for in money, they are paid for in blood.
Guess what, no nation ever survived the war without state monopolizing it. And that means.... ahem.... monopoly.

S-500 Is In.

As many news agencies reported:
The S-500 Prometey, Russia’s next-generation surface-to-air long-range missile system, has completed most of its trials and is ready to go into series production, according to the Russian industry and trade minister.The development of the system is in its “final phase” after each element of the system was tested individually, Denis Manturov told Interfax in an interview. The current work is focused on checking the S-500’s performance as an integrated system.“All main specifications of the air defense system have been confirmed during the tests and it is now ready for series production,” he said, adding that the hardware will be delivered to the Defense Ministry on schedule.
It is a milestone. I hate speculations, especially filled with all kinds of pseudo-scientific psychobabble with a sprinkle of many cool technical terms. So, I'll leave it to many a "military expert" out there and will add only the fact of which I am certain and spoke about not for once--S-500 is the system to deal with perspective hyper-sonic weapons, which may come out of US military-industrial complex. I know of Russian air-defense professionals who described transition from S-300 to S-400 as being in awe of its capabilities when compared with S-300s. S-500 is something of the same scale when compared to S-400. Recall also that there are few serious issues when trying to detect and track hyper-sonic glider vehicles for radar. I assume that such issues have been resolved in S-500. 
 
Together with combat laser systems, S-500 will constitute the backbone of future Russia's anti-air and space defense and if my hypothesis that S-500 is designed to intercept maneuvering hyper-sonic vehicles with velocities of M=10+, that makes it a system which already has genuine future capability since, except for Russia, and, allegedly, China no such weapons do exist anywhere else so far. The United States is in pursuit here but will it succeed in creating something akin to Avangard is yet to be seen. Per pure anti-ballistic and aerial targets, combination of S-400 and S-500 and combat lasers, supported by short-to-medium range AD infrastructure such as new, greatly up-ranged versions of S1 Pantsir, Tor-M2 and Buk--such an environment is a worst nightmare of any combat aircraft or stand-off weapon in the world. So, at this stage, the shield is winning. It all may change, of course, but I don't see it yet. 
 
So, "the slow blade penetrates the shield" (c). For now this "slow blade" will be, traditional now, propaganda in Western media in a desperate attempt to shift the focus away from military-doctrinal catastrophe which unfolded for the West in a sense that new defensive technologies coming on-line if not make completely obsolete, then blunt weapons, which in the West were considered effective, dramatically, to the point of ensuring that under any circumstances, including any preventive strike scenarios (they do exist) the response will be instant and devastating. It also gives Russia an additional bargaining chip in any geopolitical rearrangement scenario. This also opens significant additional commercial opportunities for export versions of S-400 and there are many, very many takers of this complex. 
 
As I said and wrote--we all are inside Real Revolution In Military Affairs.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

What Would... Stanislavski Do?

Remember Konstantin Sergeevich Stanislavski? You know, the father of world-renown acting school (and method). 
You know his MOST famous phrase? Here it is: Не Верю, that is Don't Believe This, or, to be prudent--Not Convinced. That was a sentence to an actor facing a master. Well, here is the news (damn, I am still under the spell of ELO):
Clutching her face in despair and weeping, photos of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez seemingly show her strong reaction to a horrific scene of US migrant detention. However, new angles reveal she may have played things up a bit.While quite a few people noted that there was something a bit off about the congresswoman's photo shoot at a border detention policy protest that went viral this week, there was nothing concrete to indicate her insincerity... until one gets a look at the massive empty road and parking lot on the other side.
Ahem, AOC needs to take few acting classes using Stanislavski's method, she needs to ask her brothers and sisters in BS and Social Justice Warriorism from Hollywood, I am sure they will arrange that for her. After all, it takes a lot of skills to hide one's stupidity and shallowness. So far, I, same as Stanislavski, would be--not convinced. She should act better. I leave it here, with by far more capable political commentator giving this whole affair a much better treatment. I want to stress, though, those are Movado she wears. I know, I have one myself. But in general, you literally cannot make this shit up--of that I am fully convinced.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

ELO.

We returned home yesterday after 01:00, happy and inspired. I can say now that we saw a Legend of a man and the band. If Western Civilization is ever going to come back to human normality, the recovery should start from playing Jeff Lynne and ELO's music as a mandatory subject in schools as a lesson in humanity, taste and quality. It also has to be played as mental therapy. ELO played yesterday to a packed Tacoma Dome (Dhani Harrison and his band were opening act--really good). We were sitting to the right of the stage very close to it--lights, production, playing, I have no enough superlatives to describe this. It was loud, but what a loudness it was--clear, beautifully separated by frequencies of instrument and yes, Jeff still got it. We (a huge crowd, I mean) sang like crazy together with ELO and, boy, did they rock the Tacoma Dome sold out crowd.  One knows that one is going to see a Legend and rock highest royalty when you can see three generations, ranging from ages 70 to teenagers, going in the river of humanity towards the Dome. By the time Jeff, Dhani and ELO started playing Traveling Wilburys' Handle With Care--nobody was sitting at the packed venue. Here is some taste of ELO in Tacoma Dome--a Magic! And we were really happy to see so many youngsters who knew Who they were going to see and hear. People already upload videos from the concert. Ah yes, ELO still sells out places like Wembley. 


They are the orchestra of Electric Light and nobody comes even close.

P.S. Forgot. Technically it was Friday. 

Friday, June 28, 2019

Stephen Cohen Makes Mistake(s).

I do follow Stephen Cohen's thoughts on international relations in general, and Russian-American relations in particular, but while having respect for his courageous and honest position on the subject, it doesn't mean that I agree on everything with him. His latest piece in The Nation with the title Will US Elites Give Détente With Russia a Chance? is not exactly an exercise in precision forecasting. To start with the question in the title, the answer is extremely simple: Absolutely NOT. Detente between the United States and Russia is impossible in principle at this stage for a number of an extremely important reasons ranging from the America's loss of military-technological parity and overall decline, both relative to others and in absolute terms, of the main instrument of American foreign policy, her military, to a near catastrophic economic outlook for the United States. This major, in fact, defining military-technological factor of the American thinking eludes Stephen Cohen, as it does overwhelming majority of American political scientists. And then, of course, there is a growing recognition within Russia of her own role of an emerging power pole and the center of global influence. Finally, did anyone take a stock of US "elites" recently? The decline, even compared to 1980s, of intellectual level is astonishing. Isn't rather sorry present state of the United States a good indicator of those "elites" quality, or, rather, lack thereof? Remaining American common sense realists (and even this term requires serious elaborations) and patriots are literally removed to the fringes of political power and have very little say in a disastrous US foreign policy. Did Stephen Cohen ask himself lately when was the last time the US won any war?

Now we come to this ever important economic issue. Make no mistake, Russia's economic problems are by no means something to be sneezed at, not at all. But it also has to be understood that typical Western monetarist criteria (Cohen, being namely American scholar hardly operates far beyond those criteria) give an extremely distorted picture of Russian economy. Cohen makes an assertion:
Putin’s domestic problem, on the other hand, is economic and social. Russia’s annual growth rate is barely 2 percent, real wages are declining, popular protests against officialdom’s historically endemic corruption are on the rise, and Putin’s approval rating, while still high, is declining. A public dispute between two of Putin’s advisers has broken out over what to do. On the one side is Alexei Kudrin, the leading monetarist who has long warned against using billions of dollars in Russia’s “rainy day” funds to spur investment and economic growth. On the other is Sergei Glaziev, a kind of Keynesian, FDR New Dealer who has no less persistently urged investing these funds in new domestic infrastructure that would, he argues, result in rapid economic growth.    
It is a "loaded" statement, very recognizably affected by Moscow's rumor mill, but let's start with pointing out what is going on here:

1. This "growth" thing. Here is World Bank's assessment:
Real GDP growth in Russia surpassed expectations in 2018, reaching 2.3 percent, mostly due to oneoff effects of energy construction. Forecasted growth of 1.2 percent in 2019 and 1.8 percent in 2020 and 2021 reflects a more modest outlook.Russia’s macro-fiscal buffers remain strong, with fiscal surpluses across all tiers of government and low public-debt levels. When compared to advanced economies, Russia spends less on health and education. Rebalancing in favor of these categories could improve the overall efficiency of public spending. Short-term inflationary risks have abated, with the Bank of Russia signaling a return to a neutral policy rate. Lending activity is recovering, but the banking sector remains afflicted with high concentration and state dominance. Having eased slightly, the poverty rate remains in double digits with many households close to the poverty line and lacking formal employment. Informal employment is rising in the face of close-to-zero net job creation by medium-sized and large formal enterprises.
Did you catch it? Not enough lending for GDP growth, which is, in normal economies, is a sign of, well...look at the US and her corporate debt. 
So, Judging Russia using criteria which provide, mostly virtual, "growth" of Western economies, is akin to judging Russia's military power in Power Projection Forces, which Russia not only doesn't need but will have a fairly easy time defending (that is to say sinking) against them.  

Now, let's take a look at, indeed, the real growth which is defined by, and you have guessed it already, industrial and agricultural fields primarily--the fact denial of which is in the foundation of not only lousy, to put it mildly Western forecasts and "intelligence" on Russia, but also in the foundation of, say, American delusion about true size and capability of own economy. Here is a verified data (from Russia herself) on manufacturing following a dip in January 2019.

This is what really defines an actual state of economy and while still represented in monetary (Ruble) units one requires a serious review of overall industrial and agricultural development to have a real feel of economic trends. Yes, there are issues with stagnating wages, yes, there are also issues with poverty, but that is precisely a leftover from monetary policies which kept inflation in check while Russia remains under the unprecedented economic sanctions. And here Cohen makes a huge mistake, Russia's presidential elections were not about electing just President, they were about electing a Commander in Chief first and foremost. One has to keep in mind this crucial distinction.

2. Putin's ratings do not decline, in fact, they remain steady and high when the question of "do you approve of President's work" is asked.
Opinions of American pollsters are not welcomed--they are as fake as US main stream news organizations. In fact, as I stated not for once, most of information on Russia circulating today in the West, unless in is obtained and explained by serious intelligence-analytical organizations (and even then...), is basically a trash. Data provided by Russian media and statistical institutions, even by officially registered as "Foreign Agent" Levada Center (most of Russian "business" media should be also registered as such) proved to be much more reliable and truthful. In terms of identifying short and long trends, for sure. 

3. In this case I also don't get the significance of Cohen elaborating on supposedly "breaking out" of a TWO DECADE+ long discussion between Kurdrin and Glaziev. What's so significant about this massive public discussion in Russia, which is represented widely in media, between Western monetarists and Keynesian-leaning economists? While this discussion, which is not even a news, continues, Russian state returned under own control more than 70 percent of strategic industries and most resources. So, what's so significant about Kudrin saying something? Everybody in Russia knows what he is going to say, but instead of wasting time on his beaten to death arguments, one should really pay attention to how Russia ignored recent Davos forum and why SPIEF grows in global importance. I do understand frustration of "advanced" liberal Russian office plankton and hipster hamsters with Putin, after all they have huge opinion about their very mediocre abilities, but their "protestations" have little effect on a massive shift of Russia away form liberal policies. Russia has money today, it is just the decision on how to open this stream into economy without dis-balancing fairly well-established financial indices, is not made yet.    

So, what struggle Stephen Cohen talks about when states:
It seems unlikely that President Trump or any of the advisers currently around him understand this important struggle—and it is a struggle—unfolding in the Russian policy elite.
I don't know. This struggle, like this discussion, mentioned above, between Kudrin and Glaziev is unfolding now for what, 15 years, maybe 17? As events with Abyzov show, so called "liberal" pro-western "elite" in Russia begins to understand that the only person who separates them and the nooses on the lamp posts, or sharp pitchforks, is none other than Vladimir Putin and his team. In the end, somehow, Putin lately (few months, at least) comes across more and more as a person of a cool and even relaxed disposition who knows that what is needed to be done is being done. 

So, while Russia has some serious problems and there are some protests, I can vouch for this simple fact: MOST--I don't know, 70%, 80%--of population of Russia knows what their country faces today and what it is up against, and that is the main reason why Russia increasingly sought as an ally, no matter if her economy grows 2% (sure, Russia doesn't have Wall Street to fake economic data) or 3%, especially against the background of a tectonic change in global power balance, which Russia and China drive. And while Stephen Cohen's instincts and appeals are good and laudable, he exhibits the same trait characteristic of American Russian Studies field, he misinterprets Russia dramatically. I know, I am writing about this for years. I am almost forced to recall truism attributed to Metternich "Russia is never as strong as she seems, she is never as weak as she seems". Stephen Cohen is a wonderful man and a frequent guest of Russia--I think it is about time we all start operating with hard cold facts. As per summit--do not expect much from it, just another photo-op. United States is NOT treaty-worthy party anymore, especially her current POTUS, so let's drop any pretenses that anything will change between Russia and the United States. No Detente is in plans. Let's say thanks that they at least talk to each-other.   

Why It Matters Very Little.

I mean Putin and Trump's meeting in Osaka. Here is one such reason:
Moscow and Beijing have inked an intergovernmental agreement to switch to national currencies in bilateral trade and boost cross-currency settlements up to 50 percent as they ramp up efforts to move away from the US dollar.The document was signed by Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov and the head of the People’s Bank of China, Yi Gang, earlier in June, Izvestia reports.Moscow and Beijing are currently developing new mechanisms of cross-border payments between Russian and Chinese businesses, the newspaper said, citing a letter from Deputy Finance Minister Sergey Storchak to Anatoly Aksakov, the head of the financial market committee of the State Duma (lower chamber of Russia’s parliament). The two sides may settle payment gateways between their domestic alternatives to the traditional SWIFT system, Russia’s System for Transfer of Financial Messages (SPFS) and China’s Cross-Border Inter-Bank Payments System (CIPS).
In the same time it is a very good move to invite Trump to celebrate 75th Anniversary of Victory in Moscow, especially if Western Allied troops will take part in the Red Square Parade too. In 2010 it did happen and it was a wonderful exhibit and experience, this is not to mention that scores of Americans, British, Canadians etc.  now attend Immortal Regiment marches not only in home countries but visit Moscow, St. Pete (Leningrad at Victory Day) and other Russian cities. 
I am, however, upset with Putin (wink, wink)--how could he on the eve of my next book's release steal my thunder, LOL. This is so unfair. 
Globalization and the ‘liberal idea’ have failed Europe and the US, while post-Cold War chaos is driving crises in Venezuela and North Korea, but was stopped in Syria, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview to FT. In a lengthy interview with the UK-based Financial Times on Wednesday, Putin candidly addressed questions about the Russian intervention in Syria – and lack thereof in Venezuela – as well as nuclear proliferation, North Korea, immigration policies in the US and Europe, Russian economy, relations with the UK, and the failure of what he called the “liberal idea” to provide for the people’s well-being.While the Cold War was bad, Putin told FT’s Lionel Barber and Henry Foy, “there were at least some rules that all participants in international communication more or less adhered to or tried to follow. Now, it seems that there are no rules at all.”
Vladimir Vladimirovich, don't do this to me anymore, please;-))) On a serious note, though, what possibly was missed, is when Putin explicitly called Merkel's immigration policy "a cardinal mistake" (in Russian), in his interview to Financial Times. I wonder what is his opinion on American immigration debate? I have a very clear idea, quoting Putin himself, humanitarianism is fine, "but what about interests of own population, when refugees count is not in couple-three dozens people, but is in hundreds thousands of those who arrive to Western Europe?"(c) So, who is more European, then? Some "lefty" psychos will call this "meddling" in Europe's internal affairs. It is not, it is a sentence and diagnosis of a political crime being committed against indigenous population of Europe, and white European-root population of the United States. Again, recall Putin's monologue at Valdai in 2017. I think, in the long run, he and many people in Russia do understand that Russia may become a refuge for European keen. Today, we can only see some foggy shapes of the emerging new world order, if we all avoid a war, we may see in 10 years an unrecognizable international system. As per Putin-Trump meeting, do not take much of it too seriously. Trump decided to let go at least informed adviser on Russia, Fiona Hill. Rumors are, some close John Bolton's creature will take the post. Wonderful.  

Thursday, June 27, 2019

ROFAR, Yet Again.

As TASS reports, RTI Group (give it a time for web-site to download--RTI may have incredible competencies in radio-electronics, their web-designers suck, however) tested the Radio-Photonics radar (Radio Optic Phased Array Radar) of new generation and it detects and tracks targets. This was confirmed by RTI's CEO Maxim Kuzyuk in his interview to TASS at Army-2019 exhibition. 
Translation: the layout sample and software are working, we have a concrete result. We tested it, and radar already builds tracks (tracking) of flying aircraft. Next task is creation of the imitation-modelling stand and improvement of radar's hardware and software, including creation of integral photon chips.

About three years ago, famous, in certain teenage and fanboys circles, American "military expert", who was injured in Afghanistan while hanging out with US military there (that surely makes him an expert), and famous... comic creator, known as David Axe, "warned" not to "sweat" Russia's radar. Yes, he said so: Don’t Sweat Russia’s Stealth-Fighter-Detecting New Radar. Sunflower can detect, but it can’t target. 

Obviously, David Axe, while being "war correspondent"  failed to learn the basics of targeting, including multi-band radar and optronic data fusion and protocols and mathematical tools used to resolve uncertainties (Kalman Filter, anyone, networking?) and provide predictions, so, naturally, he, as usual, failed miserably while exhibiting his utter incompetence. But, David Axe is just one of many manifestations of those "correspondents", political "scientists" and "analysts" who continuously fail to retain any grasp on modern warfare which, in peer-to-peer framework, requires way more than drawing false parallels and symmetries from much simpler times trying to apply them to today's mind-boggling and paradigm-shifting Real Revolution in Military Affairs. Yes, my next book is precisely about it. Radio-Photonics is one such development out of many which, pardon me for pointing this out, condemned the whole American concept of the warfare to the dust bin of history. 

As I stated earlier, the process of "revelation" of new technologies and, with them, new operational concepts and force structure will continue but in less dramatic fashion than it was on March 1, 2018 during Vladimir Putin's address to Russia's Federal Assembly. This latest news about ROFAR are just another in the series of Russia demonstrating military technologies of the future. But most importantly--look at the photo of RTI's CEO Maxim Kuzyuk--he is young, 43 years old. Degree in applied Physics and Mathematics from legendary MFTI.

Did anyone notice a year or so ago Chief Designer of T-14 Armata tank and Armata platforms? Young, early 40s at best. As Putin himself pointed out--the group which developed SU-57--all youngsters, some in their late 20s--early 30s. They, not some specific technologies, are the future and real treasure. I am almost forced to quote Uncle Joe (Stalin): cadres decide everything(c). As per this beaten to death "Stealth"--in cultured companies who have at least some ideas about modern radar and optronic technologies, forget ROFAR, using this term soon will become the sign of a bad taste. I guess that explains why Turkey and India are not going to refuse their S-400s, as Pompeo learned it the hard (and rather humiliating) way in Delhi.
Well, Duh!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Excellent Points By Arctic Fox.

A superb summary by Arctic Fox, which I gladly put upfront as a guest column. 
------------------------------------
Every nation is hostage to its history. USA more than most... US is a continent-sized country with traditionally strong isolationist bent... Deeply against what George Washington called "foreign entanglements" right up to the morning of December 7, 1941. And despite such previous history, by September 1945 US power straddled the globe. Along the way, something had happened to the collective US brain... Part of it the idea of "We just got attacked, fought a huge war and now we don't want to do THAT again." (Similar, certainly, to the Soviet mindset.) But a darker part, too... The idea of being a powerful nation that can confront & control events far away... Shape things -- energetically -- to US national interests.
.
In a characteristic US way, the realities of the singular 1945 moment transformed into long-term programs... FDR's New Deal, proto-nanny state went global... A Navy/Air Force in the Pacific became a fixture; Pacific Ocean became a US "western lake." And the army in Europe became a post-war "presence," which morphed into an anti-Soviet alliance/NATO. The power of bureaucratic, well-funded programs is such that when USSR went away, NATO remained and even expanded... incl travesties like the war on Serbia & other out-of-area ops to MENA.. Why wasn't NATO disbanded in about 1993? (Some of us asked that question; were told to sit down & shut up.)
.
Now, 74 yrs post-war, US is still rigged for that WW2 conflict... Not exactly "fighting the last war," but the DNA is similar... Global power projection... Idea of "full spectrum dominance" (hey, how's that working out?) yet generally, Intel is not nearly as good as we think... Requirements definition is poor... R&D is iffy & very political... Procurement is just plain warped. eg... Still building glorified versions of WW2 systems... Like aircraft carriers, just bigger & better (arguable; USS Ford speaks for itself). Still building fighter planes (and Hornets beat Hellcats). Still doing amphibious warfare, just w/ helos and not Higgins Boats. And operational/doctrinal thinking is... predictable; although "unimaginative" is perhaps a good way of saying it.
.
Program-dominance leads to what I mentioned in another note above... That US spends so much & builds/accomplishes so little. $800 billion defense/energy dept budget? I wouldn't brag about it... (Heck, a brand new Navy LCS just rammed a berthed freighter in Montreal the other day... disgraceful.) While other nations spend relatively less and accomplish far more... And approach fighting US on asymmetric terms.
.
And through it all... the US has this fundamental legal precept of the military being subordinate to civilian leadership... No mad/crazy generals running off free-lancing, eh? No more Dr Strangelove scenarios... Yet who are these mysterious civilian authority wizards?? Some guy/gal who rose through politics from a local base like Director of Snowplows, to the Senate Armed Services Committee? Or some other guy/gal who was a minor professor at a B-level women's college (Albright of Wellesley), or a draft-dodger from Yale (Clinton, Cheney, Bolton, others...)? You often discuss the utter lack of qualifications for most (nearly all) US high level policymakers to hold their jobs... Someone studied "International Relations?" Oh goody... It's like you watched every episode of Star Trek, and now you want to be an astronaut.
.
We've had this discussion before... Much of the root of the problem is based on an "endless" supply of dollars extruding out from the US monetary system. US politics -- entire culture -- acts as though there's no need to pay for things... US writes checks that others never cash. Never a need to prioritize things; to say "No"... And we now see it going full-three-ring-circus in US 2020 presidential race... Who can promise more "free $h!t" to the voters... Although the good news is that in some ways, it all seems to be coming to an end... Weaker dollar, rising gold price, etc... But it has seemed that way for a while.
.
It's not as if many Americans don't understand what's happening... It's more like the media & politics (heck, the whole deformed culture) have hijacked the levers of power. If you're on the outside of the cockpit door, you can't break it down to get in.