Friday, December 28, 2018

A Good Man Dies, RIP.

That's the spirit: 
"He was there at Pearl Harbor, when the battleships were still smoldering," Obama said of Overton. "He was there at Okinawa. He was there at Iwo Jima, where he said, 'I only got out of there by the grace of God.'" He once said that one secret to his long life was smoking cigars and drinking whiskey, which he often was found doing on the porch of his Austin home. 
Rest In Peace, good soldier.   

This Is How Victory For Syria May Look Like.

I do not invent anything new here, I merely follow in the wake of Colonel Lang's post. But this is significant, very significant.
ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey will have nothing left to do in the Syrian town of Manbij once "terrorist organizations" leave the area, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday, hours after the Syrian army said it had entered the town. Turkey has threatened an assault on Manbij to drive out the Kurdish YPG militia, which it regards as a terrorist group. Erdogan signaled on Friday that Turkey was not in a hurry to carry out the operation. "In the current situation, we are still supporting the integrity of Syrian soil. These areas belong to Syria. Once the terrorist organizations leave the area, we will have nothing left to do there," Erdogan told reporters after Friday prayers in Istanbul. Earlier on Friday, the Syrian army said it had entered Manbij for the first time in years, after the YPG urged Damascus to protect the town from the threat of Turkish attacks.
I can only imagine this taste of a sweet-sweet victory for war-torn Syria for which, finally, there is a light in the end of a tunnel. It is also a good time to wrap this Western-inspired Arab Spring up. Its costs in blood and treasure for Middle East are horrendous, with hundreds of thousands killed, more wounded or maimed, millions of refugees--this must stop. Kurds in Syria will find no better deal around than with Assad and within unified Syria. And yes, US withdrawal will allow to finish off ISIS in the region. While Pentagon generals and neocon cabal in D.C. agonize, it is to the greatest credit of the American (real) public opinion and, in the end, POTUS himself, that: 
The Syria withdrawal affair is a dramatic illustration of the fundamental quandary of the Trump presidency in regard to ending the state of permanent war that previous administrations created. Although a solid majority of Americans want to rein in U.S. military deployments in the Middle East and Africa, Trump’s national security team is committed to doing the opposite. Trump is now well aware that it is virtually impossible to carry out the foreign policy that he wants without advisors who are committed to the same objective. That means that he must find people who have remained outside the system during the permanent war years while being highly critical of its whole ideology and culture. If he can fill key positions with truly dissident figures, the last two years of this term in office could decisively clip the wings of the bureaucrats and generals who have created the permanent war state we find ourselves in today.
Is it finally a time for Trump Coming Alive and draining the swamp of chicken-hawks in D.C. who sacrificed everything there ever was good and noble in America on the altar of greed, dubious loyalties and military adventurism? I, certainly, hope so. I have a very personal interest in this too, you know, if I live to ever see my pension and social security, I dream about getting a small RV and travel American West which I love so much, with family while simultaneously (maybe) writing a fiction novel. This dream may come true only on one condition--United States changing her course in full accordance to Donald Trump's campaign promises which gave so many of us a hope. Syria could be a good start. 

Yes, something like this (used, of course, you can get a good one for around 30Ks):

To sit in a view of Mt.Shasta, like here,

And contemplate (with a cigar and a glass of good bourbon) a human life, trying to find some peace of mind which no money can buy.

Some News For Tom Rogan.

Tom Rogan of Washington Examiner is a typical product of Western so called humanities "education" (that means no education or applicable skills), who, quite expectedly ended up as a "political journalist"--a euphemism for people who otherwise wouldn't be employable in any serious capacity in any serious field. He has some BS (yes, this abbreviation seems proper in this case) degree in War Studies--an eclectic mix of military-related non-operational and non-technological courses and as a result parading himself a complete fool and ignoramus. 

Tom Rogan is hurt, badly. He needs to vent his (negative) emotions by means of some pseudo-strategic and pseudo-technological psychobabble in his piece in Washington Examiner. He laments:
Russia retains growing capability in boutique war-fighting areas. That said, Russian President Vladimir Putin's newest missile system is designed to grab American attention far more than it is to advance Russia's nuclear destructive capability.I note this in light of Russia's apparently successful Avangard hypersonic weapons test on Wednesday. The Avangard is a hypersonic warhead re-entry vehicle that is designed to outpace and outmaneuver U.S. missile defense systems. Announcing that the Avangard will now be deployed with frontline units, Putin pledged that U.S. missile defense systems are now impotent. That's because the Avangard would supposedly allow nuclear warhead re-entry vehicles to escape any kind of U.S. interceptor vehicle. The extension of Putin's confidence is that Russia can now match or overmatch the U.S. in a full-scale nuclear conflict. 
A term "boutique" by Rogan is a very good indicator of Rogan's irritation, most likely with his own ignorance, because should  have Rogan had a real education in military, which includes studying a whole spectrum of extremely complex precise science and technological disciplines (many courses with Top Secret and above classifications) and the way those translate into tactics, operational art, strategy and doctrinal development, he would have known that hyper-sonic weapons far from being boutique are fast, and inevitably, becoming a mainstay of modern warfare and are specifically designed and employed to defeat legacy systems which 20+ years ago were declared, wrongly, a foundation of a Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA). 

There is some mentioning in Rogan's background of some study of "military history" and if he really studied it, however on a pop-culture level, he should have known the great Briton, when Great Britain was still a respected power, not a joke it is today,  Arnold Toynbee's dictum:
“In our human military history the analogue of the biological competition between the tiny soft-furred Mammal and the massive armored Reptile is the saga of the duel between David and Goliath; and if take this legendary Syriac combat as our starting point, we shall find the same drama acted and re-performed in a continuous series of matches between new fangled and old-fashioned military techniques.”
But judging by today's level of education of Western "elites" I wouldn't expect knowledge from them, including in the field of military history, which long ago turned in the West into a field of competing fairy tale narratives. Many people (yours truly included) warned about new emerging paradigm in weaponry for years with Avangard being just one of many of them capable to bypass any existing and perspective defenses thus dramatically altering both geopolitical and military balance globally. But, of course, those who dared to point out the passing of the age of aircraft-carriers, "Stealth" as a panacea, or of, in general, Western outdated view on the warfare were ignored, mocked and laughed at. Well, here we are today. But Rogan doesn't stop here, he continues to parade his complete detachment from military reality:
But Putin is only half right. While the Avangard is an impressive program that outmatches any hypersonic system in the U.S. military, Russian nuclear targeting, logistics, and strike capabilities remain inferior to America's (although the targeting element is improving). That's largely because Russian fleet ballistic missile submarines are too loud, Russian strategic bomber aircraft are too old, and Russian military professionalism is too unpredictable. In turn, the U.S. would likely be victorious in a nuclear war with Russia, even if the costs of that war to the U.S. civilian population would be utterly horrific.  
I don't know who Rogan talks to on such issues, but he obviously has no idea what targeting is and how it is provided. If he talks about, I assume, Circular Error Probable (CEP) of Russia's newest strategic weapons he should know that latest of them are very competitive; in fact latest missiles, such as RS-28 Sarmat, provide accuracy which is vastly superior to US main SLBM Trident II, it is 10 meters against 90 respectively. This is what called a full counter-force capability. But, of course, Rogan never heard about it. He obviously doesn't get another crucial fact that Russia solved issues of control (comm, correction, updates, target acquisition) for a whole host of hyper-sonic weapons, be it said strategic Avangard or 3M22 Zircon, or Kinzhal. This is a rather overwhelming proof of a great technological superiority in what Rogan defines as "nuclear targeting, logistics". But he doesn't stop here and continues to throw tantrum by simply inventing things--a defining feature of modern, still residing in a tender teenage phase, British and US "elites". 

Rogan goes for jugular and provides an astonishingly stupid bravado:

1. That's largely because Russian fleet ballistic missile submarines are too loud (c). Obviously it will be difficult to explain to our "expert" Rogan what is hydrology and how sound propagates depending on the  Diagram of the Vertical Propagation Speed of Sound in Water (in Russian it is VRSZ). This may have explained to Rogan how Soviet submarines did some really incredible things in 1970s in the times when it was universally agreed upon that they were inferior in terms of quieting to US subs. Well, it is 2018. But let us remind Mr.Rogan what Norman Polmar and Jurien Noot, both top notch naval analysts, thought about Soviet submarines in 1990s.
Polmar's and Noot's predictions panned out completely--the fleet of Russian strategic missile submarines be it good ol' Delta IVs, let alone Borey-class SSBNs are not only on par but superior to NATO SSBNs in terms of quieting. But it will take a really long time to explain to Tom Rogan some things related to operations of strategic missile submarines and the way they are protected. 
2. Russian military professionalism is too unpredictable.(c) Unlike Rogan who never served a day in any position where decisions have consequences for many people, I did, I also knew personally and was privileged to study in my naval academy under command of its superintendent Vice-Admiral Arkhipov, a man universally credited with preventing a nuclear war between USSR and the US. Sure, so much "unpredictable" (whatever that means) about Russian "professionalism", that it is Russia who is today responsible for keeping the world from sliding into the global war thanks to delusions and incompetence of Western elites who are on the same level of incompetence in military affairs as Rogan is. 

3. Discussion of a sheer idiocy of Rogan's statement on Russian strategic bombers is a waste of time. 

The rest of his piece is a butt-hurt lament and continuation of inventing bizarre things which are not even there, but the fact that this boy even decides to discuss American "victory" in the nuclear exchange with Russia is another, tangible, proof of a complete corruption and incompetence of Anglo-American media, who are responsible for fanning the flames of anti-Russian hysteria in the West, the likes which history simply has no record of, other than Nazi Germany dehumanizing Soviet people prior to operation Barbarossa unfolding in June of 1941. But I am sure they taught this in Rogan's "military history" classes, together with theory of operations, modern sensors, operational art and physical and mathematical principles on which modern weapons operate.  But, seriously, Tom Rogan, being out of his depth completely, should really find himself a more appropriate for his level employment in some local newspaper editing obituaries and For Sale section. Or, maybe dedicate himself to a career of Traffic Accidents lawyer, after all, he did obtain degree in law--I think he should try practice it and leave military and geopolitical analysis to real professionals. 

Thursday, December 27, 2018


I thought if I really need to even address the whole situation with Israeli Air Force attacking Syria on Christmas, but since things are slightly slower these days here are some thoughts. Omitting here a complete cowardice of Israeli military force using commercial air traffic as cover (September IL-20 tragedy becomes much clearer now) in Lebanon's air space, let's get to a man who has good clue on both what Israel's plans are and who is BiBi. Here is Yasha Kedmi stating explicitly  (in Russian) why Israel is so worried.
Уход США из Сирии разрушил планы руководства Израиля, и единственной страной, которая сохранит присутствие в САР, останется Россия. Говоря о том, как решение США о выводе войск из Сирии меняет ситуацию на Ближнем Востоке, Кедми отметил, что реальность для Израиля не меняется. Он подчеркнул: новая реальность в САР была создана в сентябре 2015 года, когда российские войска появились на двух базах в Сирии. С тех пор ВКС и ВМФ России в Хмеймиме и Тартусе – основной и постоянно присутствующий в регионе элемент. Руководители Израиля, в частности премьер Биньямин Нетаньяху, говорят неправду, когда утверждают, что знали об уходе США из Сирии. "Он не знал. Все в Израиле продолжали кричать, что американцы остаются в Сирии, что Сирия расчленится на несколько государств – и на этом строили свою стратегию. Когда ему президент США сказал "мы уходим", тогда до него дошло. Им хотелось, чтобы американцы остались – им удобно с ними. Но у американцев свои интересы"
Translation: United states leaving Syria destroyed plans of Israeli leadership, and the only country which will stay in Syria is Russia. Speaking about how US leaving Syria changes the situation in the Middle East, Kedmi noted that reality for Israel doesn't change. He underscored that the new reality in Syria was created in September 2015, when Russian troops appeared on two bases in Syria. Since then, Russia's VKS and Navy at Khmeimim and Tartus bases are the main and constantly present element in the region. Leaders of Israel, including Prime Minister Netanyahu, lie when state that they knew about US withdrawal. He didn't know. Everyone in Israel continues to scream that Americans will remain in Syria, that Syria will break up into several statelets--that is what they built their strategy upon. Only when POTUS stated "we are leaving" then it sunk in for Netanyahu. They wanted Americans to stay--for Israel it is comfortable with them. But Americans have their own interests.

Read the whole thing using Google translate--it is worth reading. So, the latest Israeli provocation against alleged Iranian "assets" in Syria on Christmas day didn't work out that well for Israel. Sure, BiBi, as he always does, tried to put a lipstick on the pig:
He forgot, of course, to mention this teeny-weeny fact that there are no "special capabilities" in either F-16 fighters nor in munitions they carry and that: 
On the evening of Christmas Day, six Israeli F-16 fighter jets used two civilian flights as cover to strike a logistics compound on the outskirts of Damascus from Lebanese airspace, the Russian Defense Ministry said Wednesday. Thus, during the assault, the Syrian military was forced to restrict the use of air defense systems and radio jamming capabilities to avert a possible tragedy. Despite that advantage, only two of the sixteen Israeli-launched laser-guided bombs reached their targets, wounding three people, while the rest were intercepted.
Here we have to elaborate a bit more. This is especially important for Hasbara trolls and other uber-Israeli "patriots" who long ago lost any distinction between cowardice and courage, honor and disgrace. Judging by the stream of, well corroborated, reports on Syria's S1s shooting down 14 out of 16 GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs, and minuscule damage the other two inflicted (3 wounded SAA soldiers, fast localized fire in the building which was hit), one can easily calculate that 14/16 x 100 = 87.5% of the munitions have been successfully intercepted. For people who watched recent Putin's performance during December 18 expanded Board of Russian MOD, he specifically pointed out low effectiveness of the modern (American) land attack weapons. He used the number of 30%, most likely based on April 2017 snafu with TLAMs.  Against modern multi-layered networked air defense the effectiveness, highly likely, will be even less.

It has to be understood that modern air-defense complexes when integrated into a network do see all and can develop solution on any type of the target which is not very high supersonic or hyper-sonic. Presently, S-300PMU2s which have been transferred to Syria's Air Defense are like a prod (or Damocles' sword, if one wishes) in Israel's side. What Israel really needs to do now is to abandon her regional supremacist plans and resign herself to the idea that either she negotiates in good faith or there will be ways to influence her more-or-less normal behavior. Unless, of course, Israel tries to do the unthinkable--but that is a whole other story. Israel supported ISIS and other terrorists in the region long enough. Time to stop pretending to be a great power (Israel is a regional military power totally dependent on the US and others) and face the reality, both military and geopolitical. In the end, Israel disgraced herself long enough, the last event this Christmas tops it off.            

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Merry Christmas.

I will abstain from fluffy and sentimental greetings. I will only say that preservation of Syria with all her confessional and cultural variety is what makes a real miracle today. Merry Christmas to everyone. No translation is needed here, another year passed. Life goes on, I guess this is miracle in itself.
The piece of a stunning music which plays in the background is Raymond Lefevre La Reine De Saba. 

Friday, December 21, 2018

Why Do "They" Love Him?

Quotation marks are intentional, "They", being citizens of Russia, who could see an adorable child of 17, blind, interviewing one of the, if not the most powerful man on Earth who comes across completely human--one cannot fake this, and this hand kiss. Staged? Only in a sense of young Regina Parpieva who got to President of Russia the same way as many terminally ill kids get through "Dream With Me" program, with wishes which are hung on the Christmas tree. It is as "staged" as Putin almost breaking down seeing a terminally ill kid asking to shake his hand or giving a ride to other ill children on the presidential helicopter over St. Petersburg. Sure, anything can always be construed as "staged", but most know real feeling from put on, and this is not a put on or show off. Poor adorable child went through hell, including transplantation of bone marrow and it was stem cell treatment which allowed a terminal decease to go into remission. She is a miracle (in Russian).

Here is a short version, in English:

Here is a full version in Russian. They talk even about Rap and Heavy Metal.

I wonder, if anyone recalls Frank Herbert's Dune? I'll leave you wondering what I am talking about;-)

Admiral Kasatanov Is Off To Trials.

Second (first series) frigate of the project 22350 (Admiral Gorshkov-class) Admiral Kasatanov is on its way to trials.

This is a milestone event for Russian Navy when one considers what went into the birth of this class of the ships after decades of gross under-funding and, sometimes, direct sabotage of Russian Navy. These are powerful ships with a state-of-the-art air-defense complex Poliment-Redut and a comprehensive electronics suite. Of course, these handsome ships pack a very serious anti-shipping and land-attack punch, capable to launch both Kalibr family missiles as well as P-800 Oniks. 
Kasatonov Off To Trials
Here is also TV report (in Russian) on this event:

At this stage no one knows if this class will be limited to 6 hulls with much heavier project 22350M "so called" frigates coming after them but, after issues with Poliment-Redut have been sorted out, there is very little doubt that these seem to be very nice and powerful ships. In related news, as CNBC based on their "sources" (Hm!) reports:
I don't know what those CNBC's "sources" are, but there is very little doubt that hyper-sonic missiles of non-Kinzhal aero-ballistic variety are coming very soon to ships and submarines of the Russian Navy. There is absolutely nothing which can defend against salvo of such missiles and that does change, as I wrote for years, the naval combat completely thus overturning many doctrinal assumptions by fervent navalists, especially in relation to aircraft carrier-centricity of the fleets. This was, actually, clear already in 1980s. Will Gorshkov-class be able to carry Zircon (3M22) once it gets procured? Most likely. But even in present configuration of their weapons' suites these ships are truly first post-Soviet Russia's, from scratch, major combatants who outgun any ship in the frigate-class in the world. Not too shabby, if one asks me.   

UPDATE (12/22). Yes, it looks like CNBC got this one right this time, since TASS' sources in military-industrial complex did confirm this: 

The most important in this piece is this:

As was reported earlier, Tsirkon missiles will be launched with the help of the universal shipborne vertical launching systems currently used for Kalibr and Oniks cruise missiles. Such systems are mounted, in particular, on Project 20380 corvettes, Project 22350 frigates and Project 885 Yasen-class submarines.

That pretty much sums up a general direction Russian Navy is taking. Not that we didn't know or justifiably assumed it, but the ability of VLS UKSK to launch 3M22 gives a good grasp of the "weight" of the salvo by Russian fleet.