Friday, August 4, 2017

So, Will Donbass Forces Get Iskanders?

 The most common Russian tank is the T-90, according to Loren Thompson, chief operating officer of the Lexington Institute, a conservative think tank. The Javelin attacks tanks from above, one of the most vulnerable spots of the tank, he explained, adding that other shoulder-fired weapons like an RPG could not take out a Russian tank. Thompson warned that providing lethal weapons to Ukraine — a country "on Russia's doorstep" — is not without peril for the U.S. "What would we think if the Russians were arming Mexico?" he asked. "This could potentially spark a wider war."

Really? Why so? After all, judging by Pentagon's "successes" of the last 17+ years, strategic thinking and calculating consequences of the actions is not really its strong point. But the issue here is completely different and it reminds me a good contemporary anecdote about Ukrainian nationalism:  

Son: Hey, Dad, let's go and kill some Moskalis (Russians)? 
Dad: Sure, but what if they kill us? 
Son: Us? What for? 

I guess this is the level of the strategic "thinking" of people (be them from CIA or Pentagon) who still think that they can get away with it. Like in Iraq. Or Afghanistan. But, after all, who said that it takes too long to train Iskander combat teams to launch? I kid, I kid.
Former Acting CIA Director John McLaughlin, an NBC News analyst, said that the Russians had "earned" the U.S. aid to Ukraine, "but will see it as an escalation even though it poses no immediate danger to their forces given the disposition of the two sides and the nature of the current skirmishing." "The U.S. should portray this as an enhancement of Ukrainian defensive capabilities, and part of the deal with Kiev should be that they not use the Javelins to provoke fighting but instead hold onto them for a contingency in which Russia actually uses armor to extend its invasion — which it has not been doing lately."
I applaud John McLaughlin's "analysis" since Russia sure as hell can "portray" a transfer of some really cool tech to LDNR forces as "an enhancement of Donbass defense capabilities." In the end, LDNR forces also can "hold on" to Iskanders, or some serious other toys, for a contingency Kiev "actually uses armor to extend its invasion" into Donbass.  But mocking bird exchange apart. All these last moves in Washington (including Russia sanctions) are signs of a real desperation and it all testifies to a growing burden of internal problems and rot inside the Beltway. Considering a level of utter ignorance of US "political elites" about real war and what it can bring, all this can only be driven by sheer insanity. Come to think about it, it is exactly the main driving force behind US obvious decline. Now, one can understand the reason for a slimy stream of accusations against Russia in alleged "arming" of Taliban.  But hey, you get where it is all going, right? One might as well start living up to a reputation. But I don't think this is going to happen. For starters, for all his flaws, President Trump is a sane person (unlike many in his cabinet) and this could be his next test. We'll see. But I would suggest James Mattis read up a bit on Russia's military history--may come handy. After all, he doesn't know what is it to defend his home.

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