Saturday, August 29, 2020

Zircon, Again.

The beauty of such forums as Army-2020 that they are used also as a platform for signing new contracts and to reveal new info on weapon systems coming into production. New details emerge all the time and as TASS reports (in Russian) latest info on 3M22 Zircon testing is that the new test is planned this coming September and Admiral Gorshkov will be launching a salvo. After this pretty mundane info TASS divulged that more than 10 launches at sea targets has been conducted between 2015 and 2018 which gives pretty good idea about the dynamics of the development of this weapon and removes any speculations--largely from the Western "analytical" (euphemism for BS narrative mongers) organizations and Russia's very own fanboys--on the nature and capabilities of this missile. Zircon, same as Kinzhal, is a universal missile capable of both anti-shipping and land-attack modes at velocities exceeding M=9. I know, there is so much butt-hurt in the West, especially in D.C., but this cannot be helped--it is what it is. 

In the news which sort of got drowned among all this political noise, revealing of a funny Russian missiles Germes went almost unnoticed, but professionals really took a note (in Russian). This shaitan weapon flies to 100 kilometers range with almost hyper-sonic speed, has its own targeting swarm of drones and rumor has it even an active seeker, that is "shoot-and-forget" weapon. Well, it is shoot and forget with passive IR guidance anyway. Albeit officially it is semi-active guidance on the terminal. This is... drum roll... an anti-tank missile. 
As tests revealed it takes one missile to finish off any tank. Here is your mathematical expectation, Omega=1. One can only imagine the effect such a system can have on any tank force getting ready to deploy to the front line, considering the fact that CEP for this missile when launching to a maximum range of 100 kilometers is 50 centimeters, that is roughly 20 inches. With its speed of M=4+, good luck intercepting it. I am telling you, this signal processing thingy develops with an insane speed. Again, Real Revolution in Military Affairs as it unfolds in a front of our very own eyes. Can you imagine what is still in the secret labs or on drawing boards in Russia? We may only speculate. Ah, yes, Germes-A can also be installed on aircraft ranging from attack helicopters to attack fixed wing. It is already in service, was used in Syria, and, if that wasn't bad enough, this thing can shoot down aircraft. Can you imagine modernization potential for this weapon? 

Why Turkish SOM, which is a cruise missile--and you guessed it, subsonic--was bundled together with Germes beats me completely, two absolutely different weapons. Even Israeli "analog" is not even in the same league and, as you may have guessed it, subsonic. Speed decides the issue, range too, and the West has nothing comparable. I can only reiterate with quoting, again, Douglas Macgregor.
Yep, a real war is not Hollywood and I don't think, in fact I am 100% positive, the United States (forget about pathetic Europe) is simply not ready and will not be for it and that is the danger, of which I speak for years. But this is a separate topic.       

Friday, August 28, 2020

Two Can Play The Game.

I write books (the third one is being written now) on a conflict being usually an affair between the two, at least. One has to have counter-part to have a conflict. The moment BS by Axe and Dismukes "hit the waves", people who still have some cognitive faculties going for them started to react. I wrote couple things, now Caitlin Johnstone from Australia has a word. A reasonable one. Caitlin became famous after her famous Please, Just Fucking Die Already, when addressing this to late John McCain. One may argue with a style, it is not ethical, really, to wish somebody to "fucking die", but there was very little doubt that late McCain was very close to a definition of a war criminal and insane warmonger, so I leave it just at that. 

Johnstone wrote today a good piece on RT. She writes: 
Forbes has published two back-to-back articles about the analysis of retired Navy captain and political scientist Bradford Dismukes titled 'To Defeat China In War, Strangle Its Economy' and 'If Russia Invades Europe, NATO Could Sweep The Seas Of Russian Merchant Ships.' The articles were authored by a man named David Axe, who is my new favorite small-time war propagandist because he’s so desperate to be recognized for his imperialist stenography that he often approaches his spin jobs in an informatively unskillful and ham-fisted way. The best one I’ve found so far is this 2013 piece about the time he spent with the “rebels” of Syria, who he takes great pains to assure us are not terrorists or extremists but brave freedom fighters who’d successfully “liberated” large swathes of Syrian territory.
And, in general, the piece is good. I do disagree, however, with "strangling" strategy because to strangle China is a massive task especially when she has such an ally as Russia guarding China's rear, literally and by providing necessary resources. Those resources are enough to keep China in the game even if the US Navy will decide to disrupt Chinese SLOCs in Indian Ocean. This, for now, US Navy can do. It will make Chinese uncomfortable but I doubt it will have serious influence on Chinese posture. And here is a funny fact. Today, Russian pacific Fleet held exercises in Alaska's vicinity with one of the pr. 949A Oscar-II SSGNs Omsk deliberately surfacing at Bering Sea after launching her SS-N-19 Granit (Shipwreck) missiles. Missile Cruiser Varyag also launched her Voulcans and the video of that got into circulation from Ria (in Russian). That's the signal and it is a serious one--Ocean Shield naval exercise. As I always say, two can play the game and, as was expected, there were some news from Army-2020 regarding specifically this topic of "strategic ASW" and submarine operations in the 21st century. 

As TASS reports from Army-2020, Defense Ministry sources confirmed that starting from already laid down improved pr.885M SSGNs Voronezh and Vladivostok, subs of this type will be armed with advanced Kalibr (3M14) land attack missiles with the range of more that 4,000 kilometers (in Russian). For professional this means only one thing--"strategic ASW" becomes just a fancy term for sale on Capitol Hill and if current 3M14 with the range of 2,500 kilometers was bad enough, new range of 4,500 kilometers makes the area which will be required to be searched a teeny-weeny  3.14 x 4,500^2 which is around 63.5 million square kilometers--good luck for David Axe or Mr. Dismukes calculating required force and required operational sweep to get even to moderately acceptable probabilities (can we say 50-50?) of detection in trying to prevent a salvo at the mainland USA. They will need couple more navies of present size of US Navy to have at least some shot at detection or reaction to Flaming Datum. 

Now, the main question is: will other subs receive updated Kalibrs? The answer is really simple--why not. In fact, it is highly likely. Just to demonstrate what it all means one just needs to take a look at the map. Yes, then comes this funny question--forget Zircons and other hypersonic weapons--are we in the age of anti-ship missiles with ranges counted not in hundreds but thousands of kilometers? Absolutely. X-32 (1,000+ km), Kinzhal (2,000 km), Zircon (1,000 km) are already in service or in IOC. What's next, ASM with 3,000 kilometer range? Absolutely. This is the reality of the Real Revolution in Military Affairs and it completely rewrites tactical, operational and strategic manuals and directives. It completely redefines naval (and other three domains) warfare and don't tell me that I didn't warn you. Good luck with "blockade" of China, let alone Russia.   

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Is There Something In The Water?

Because one has to wonder why so many Russian Navy-related publications in a short period in the US media. It is one thing when some ignoramus such as David Axe writes all kind of Clanciesque drivel, totally another when retired Captain of US Naval Reserve and an intelligence "professional" Bradford Dismukes who marked his "presence" in 1979 by editing some monograph titled Soviet Naval Diplomacy, which, I am sure, had about the same academic "impact" as another similar fantasy by retired admiral Robert Hanks titled The Unnoticed Challenge: Soviet Maritime Strategy and the Global Choke Points. Pretty much same drivel based on wrong assumptions and very wrong intelligence about Soviet Union on general and the Soviet Navy in particular. Enter Summer of 2020. 

First, Dismukes publishes a meandering piece in Naval war College Review where he bloviates on the issue of a "strategic ASW" which is a pain in the ass issue because, while classic mathematics of the ASW didn't change much, weapons and platforms which carry these weapons did. With this change came reconfiguration of the battle-space for subs, which, of course, changes things on operational level. Well, on a strategic one too. This new reality, however, did not deter Dismukes who arrives to a very peculiar conclusion in his piece in NWCR. While lamenting, correctly, the failure of US "intelligence" on Soviet Navy (what's new?) and its intentions, he states:
Today’s planning for the wartime security of lines of communication in the North Atlantic shows a strong continuity with that of the Cold War, expressed in historical metaphor redolent of that continuity. The mission statement of the new NATO Joint Force Command in Norfolk includes that the command will “help protect sea lines of communication between North America and Europe, in a ‘Fourth Battle of the Atlantic.’” Recent comments by senior Navy officials have made clear that, if there should be a “Fourth Battle of the Atlantic,” it will be fought against the Russian navy, which obviously would have to come out to fight it. Unfortunately, this line of argument comes dangerously close to echoing the errors of the Cold War. The Soviet navy never was coming out to fight, and the smaller, less capable Russian navy is even less likely to do so. One presumes that the aim of stating, nonetheless, the existence of a possible, even likely, concrete Russian threat to the SLOCs reflects non-threat-related objectives: to promote alliance solidarity and build political and public support in the United States for needed Navy programs. 
I don't know what this "naval intelligence" officer is getting at but the truth is, the interdiction of SLOCs was one of five main strategic tasks of the Soviet Navy which did have not only the largest submarine fleet in the world, bust since 1970s was developing fast cutting edge platforms and weapons precisely for cutting off supplies from the United States to Europe which was viewed as a main theater of operations. Dismukes case is highly unconvincing in terms of his accent and he, in the end, admits that:
These objectives remain as legitimate as they were during the Cold War. However, seeking to promote them by deviating from reality-based planning is unlikely to be effective. First, public support may be difficult to sustain in the face of criticism that the Navy is distorting reality on behalf of the service’s self-interests. Second, the time-honored principle that the planner above all must defend his own vulnerabilities provides fully sufficient grounds for acquiring needed forces and exercising them to maintain their readiness. The greatest American vulnerability at sea continues to be control of the North Atlantic (with regard to SLOCs, undersea cables, and possible future strategic conventional or nuclear threats to the continental United States). Moreover, that control remains an essential condition for the integrity of the alliance.
OK, fine. Reasonable enough. After all, the reason why these guys Elmo Zumwalt and Stansfield Turner were working on Project 60, which was in a effect a program of the US Navy's modernization to fight precisely on SLOCs against Soviet Navy explains that they knew about "greatest American vulnerability" and that the Soviet Navy will "come out" to fight.  But after this logical loop Dismukes, trying to present himself as a "reality-based" planner, produces a scenario of such a scale of delusion that one who followed my writing for years may finally calm down and exhale: whew, everything is back to normal US wet fantasies and distortion of the reality in the military and intelligence sphere, which long ago became a hallmark of American intellectual and professional decline. To understand why it is so, Dismukes, who allegedly should be much better prepared to speak professional language than ignorant David Axe, comes up with this "brilliant" assessment: 
Most importantly, the emerging strategic situation provides an alternative, offensive strategic use for forces that complements and promotes traditional SLOC defense. The rapid globalization of the world economy has made Russia far more dependent on the sea than in the past for the growth of its economy, in keeping with its aspirations as a great power. This suggests that the United States and its allies should adopt a blockade strategy in response. Neither Russia nor any other nation can use the surface of the world ocean except at the sufferance of the United States and its allies. In this sense, the West can be said to enjoy global command of the sea 
This is one of those face-palm moments at which one has to ask Dismukes about how exactly does he view a real war, or real operations? Surely, one may play with all kinds of scenarios, including Russian and US navies combined operations to fight off alien invasion, but Dismukes obviously fails to understand that in fact, "rapid globalization" pushed Russia towards much greater self-reliance in economy and launched the process of "moving" main energy supply arteries deep within Eurasian land-mass, making them invulnerable for American meddling and attempts to sabotage them. Surely, Russia still uses SLOCs, including for delivery of the cargoes such as grain around the globe, but, if anything else Russia's use of SLOCs is not what Dismukes thinks it is:
The potential vulnerability of these assets should be exploited—for deterrence; for crisis response; or, if war is unavoidable, to fight and terminate it successfully. Let us examine briefly two examples of a blockade strategy in action—recognizing that blockade is likely to be more effective in “small war” situations, where the political stakes and the scale of military operations are limited.  
At this stage, to understand why Dismukes goes into this kind of teenage level "scenarios", one should look at his biography which reveals that he is a Cold War 1.0 hawk who is stuck at the level of platforms, weapons and operations of 1980s,  or 1990s at the most. Drawing strategic "lessons" from different era and circumstances and trying to apply them to the state of modern Real Revolution in Military Affairs is a fool's errand. We are not living in 1980s anymore and for Dismukes to really come face-to-face to the reality, he should recall that modern ASW, especially along well protected SLOCs Russia uses primarily, those being for once well within the ranges of Russia's combat aviation, but there is a gigantic difference between 110 kilometer range Mach=0.9 P-120 Malakhit anti-shipping missile of 1960s design, and M=2.6,  800 kilometer range (domestic version) of P-800 Onyx, just one example. For some reason Dismukes doesn't want to calculate--the only legitimate way of making any case on be that strategic ASW or "SLOC defense". 

Here is the example of proper presentation of the case. Recall The Proceedings' piece by Andrew Metrick last year. Here is a professional who, instead of waxing "strategic", gives concrete numbers which define a direct variation of complications for a "defending" side with the growth of the range of salvo. 
Simple as that. It also becomes a truism that appearance of any hostile surface force within the range between 2 to 3,000 kilometers from Russian shores, a precise distance within which most of Russia's SLOCs are located, makes this hostile force, let's be direct here, a sitting duck for a variety of strike means Russian Armed Forces can bring to bear. That brings us to main point--how Dismukes sees, say, operations of US Navy at Northern Sea Route, trying to enforce a "blockade"--an act of war, mind you--there, or even in Mediterranean? Last time I checked, no US air defense system is good enough for intercepting a salvo of modern supersonic, let alone hypersonic, anti-shipping missiles and DOES NOT solve the main issue of surface warfare--a problem of a leaker (or leakers). Dismukes forgets that it is August of 2020, not August of 1985. Things changed, dramatically at that. I also "liked" a paragraph where Dismukes suggests not to "touch" Russia's SSBNs. Goodness gracious.

And here is the point, what the hell is going on in US media, especially Forbes, which publishes utter delirium from David Axe, now Dismukes with scenarios which are based on a number of utterly false assumptions and, frankly, childish wet dreams, as if not understanding a relation between ranges of modern weapons and required forces and operational sweeps to at least have a chance against a single sub armed with modern ASMs. What about two of them, what about three? Forget Russia's long-range aviation capable to wipe out any force in the ocean without even nearing farthest edges of air defense zones of any US CBG, forget about sinking de facto indefensible convoys. Is there something which is being put in the water that we have this one after another ridiculous pieces of mental masturbation? In the end, does Dismukes even understand how the world changed and with it changed a technology of sinking fleets. What is forgivable for a comic books' "artists" who has issues with basic understanding of arithmetic, is absolutely inadmissible for a person who is a naval "intelligence" professional, who, evidently, got stuck in 1980s and cannot face a reality of modern war.

In related news, as was expected the stream is large due to Army-2020 international forum, Russia (in Russian) begins to consider increasing missile load, from 8 to 16 on project 21631 and to 24 for project 11661 Gepard, with 21631 growing in displacement from 900 to around 1300 tones. It was also confirmed (contacts have been signed), that Russian Navy will receive 8 pr. 22350 frigates and more pr. 20385 corvettes, all carriers of coming 3M22 Zircon (in Russian). Continuation of the pr. 20385 is an extremely good news for Russian Navy because these are very capable platforms for surface warfare, air defense and ASW. One of the best corvettes in the world with enough strike power to sink aircraft carrier. 
But I am sure Mr. Dismukes knows all that.  

P.S. A classic case of intelligence operations is to publish some utter rubbish in media and expect the other side start debunking it hoping for it to "spill the beans". Oldest trick in the book even teenagers know about. Could this stream of BS be of this nature? Possible but I don't think it is the case here--most of it fits perfectly a general picture of insufferable butt-hurt and self-medicating. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

The Fools Are On Display.

Have you heard the news? Well, a bunch of losers from "Republican" Administrations of both Bushes wrote a letter. Why losers? Because those people in normal governments wouldn't be allowed to run housekeeping in the mental ward, and yet they are expressing their "opinions" on Trump. Let's get this out of the way--I don't like Trump, he is full of shit narcissist but in comparison to utter lunatics from Democratic Party, such as Harris-Biden ticket, I would (I will) vote for Trump, because he is less dangerous to the world. As for the United States--they all are clear present danger. So, here it is, a bunch of "Republicans" calling on everyone to vote for... Biden. 
Signatories are basically "who is who" on how not to govern, let alone run "national security", not to mention fight wars which no one, including military figures, in this list of signatories knows how to do. Those are losers who allowed 911, who lost wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and who are nothing more than representatives of the so called swamp. They have good skills in navigating D.C. bureaucracy and that is about the extent of their skills--excellent military leaders, outstanding diplomats, good scale geopolitical thinkers they are not and they ARE an embodiment of the American "elites", a euphemism for ignorance and incompetence.  You may read those 10 points those losers concocted but the summary of those points stands out: 
While we – like all Americans – had hoped that Donald Trump would govern wisely, he has disappointed millions of voters who put their faith in him and has demonstrated that he is dangerously unfit to serve another term. In contrast, we believe Joe Biden has the character, experience, and temperament to lead this nation. We believe he will restore the dignity of the presidency, bring Americans together, reassert America’s role as a global leader, and inspire our nation to live up to its ideals. While some of us hold policy positions that differ from those of Joe Biden and his party, the time to debate those policy differences will come later. For now, it is imperative that we stop Trump’s assault on our nation’s values and institutions and reinstate the moral foundations of our democracy.
Here is the point which needs separate elaboration. Biden's (not really his) national "security" team is a collection of dumb fanatical liberal interventionists, or, if one wishes, yet another issue of the neocons, whose defining characteristic is a complete ignorance on the issue of war. Enough to look at Kamala Harris who has zero qualifications in foreign, let alone military policies but who is an uber-hawk precisely because she has no idea. Same goes for mentally fading Biden, but he will be removed from the task of governing, let alone formulating any policies for the United States one way or another. But to give you a more focused insight into the "Biden's" foreign policy people, let's take a look at a possible Defense Secretary in Biden's Administration (should he win) and her name is Michelle Flournoy

Flournoy's career reads as an exemplary fanatical neocon's advancement along the path to the highest political offices in D.C. , not forgetting, of course, getting rich while taking a break after HRC's 2016 loss. Flournoys' qualifications for SecDef within American political setup seems to be enough--she graduated some "foreign relations" and "government" programs which in Anglo-Saxon world primarily prepare illiterate ideologues and military ignoramuses--and she knows how to use big words and speak Pentagonese. Here is where this lady has some peculiar ideas on war.  Even lunatic never-Trump Huffington Post had to point out to this:
Biden’s foreign policy circle also points to a potentially more hawkish approach. Michèle Flournoy, widely expected to be tapped by Biden as defense secretary, recently wrote that while conflict would not serve the interests of either the U.S. or China, the American military and its partners should consider developing capabilities to, for instance, sink the entire Chinese Navy within 72 hours to deter Beijing. Flournoy argued that China was becoming more confident because it perceives Washington as weak.
You may read the Flournoy's original here, in Foreign Affairs, if you want to read yet another empty collection of consonants and vowels from a person who obviously has no idea of what it would take to develop such a capability "to sink entire Chinese Navy in 72 hours" be my guest and enjoy syllables, words and sentences in English which carry no meaning. Such ignorance and idiocy IS EXPECTED from Anglo-American humanities (un)educated elites who have no idea, including on the policy-setting level, including on the level of even uniformed top bureaucracies, of what it takes to develop such a capability. I have news for them, while I am, unlike many others, do not view PLAN as a real ocean-going navy, because PLAN for now is not a competitor to US Navy, say, in the Indian Ocean, I can certainly see how China's armed forces can respond to attempts to "sink Chinese Navy in 72 hours" within First Island Chain.

1. US cannot develop such a capability because it lags dramatically behind China and, especially so, Russia in development of the main strike weapon of the modern naval war--anti-ship cruise missiles. China has an impressive arsenal of ASMs which is far more advanced than anything the US has. The US Navy, meanwhile, has no viable defense against salvo of modern high super-sonic ASMs launched from three domains and China, allegedly, has hype-sonic weapons;

2. Unlike Iraq or Yugoslavia, China has an impressive Air-Force and air-deference capable to mitigate attacks on her naval bases by the United States and respond, as the US learned the hard way with Iran, with variety of strikes on US Navy's bases in the region. US WILL NOT be able to intercept meaningful number of modern intermediate-range Chinese ballistic missiles. Simple as that;

3. Will Russia provide Chinese ASBMs with targeting and recon if push comes to shove? I am sure Russia will do more than that within the framework of what is already emerging as a serious military Russian-Chines alliance. Vietnam cough, cough.... But situation here is even more serious, the fact that Russia aids China in building Chinese own Missile Attack Early Warning System (SPRN) speaks volumes. If Russia does this, who said that China may not "suddenly" obtain the access to such things as S-500 or some other weapon systems (or Russia's domestic, not export, variety)? I don't see why this cannot be arranged. In fact, this is highly likely. After all Russians and Chinese now train in fully unified battle-space mode as single combat units. And those funny shipping containers with 3M54s and P-800s are coming. 3M22s?    

4. In the end, the United States simply has no resources to develop such a capability. China's shipbuilding capacity is monstrous and it dwarfs that of the United States and Chinese surely can "redistribute" resources, if need be, to produce more platforms. 

These are just some, very few, points Michelle Flournoy must consider and reflect on when she bloviates on the issues of which she, certainly, has zero understanding. Did Flournoy contemplate a possibility, in fact high probability, of a destruction of even single US Navy's CBG? Does she even have a clue on what can of worms this will open for mostly cowardly US politicians, who would rather bring the world to the edge of nuclear exchange, rather than have a courage to stop madness and admit a defeat. Yes, it takes sometime courage to do so. US didn't win a single war in its history against peer, if one discounts US WW II Pacific War.  But that is not what defines modern American "elites" who traditionally display themselves as delusional, ignorant and utterly dysfunctional and unprofessional. Flournoy is an embodiment of these "fine" qualities of modern American establishment and that should give us all a pause in a front of this display of America's utter failure to produce courageous and responsible statesman in many decades, only fools.  

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Isn't It All An Abject Failure?

Normal professionals before they do anything, they calculate their resources and try to formulate parameters of a desirable outcome. But this is not how US foreign policy operates for a number of reasons, one of the major of which is that the United States doesn't really know how to fight wars and achieve its main political objectives. Refer yourself to Patrick Armstrong's article I wrote about yesterday. Now Daniel Davis throws in some really bitter pill to swallow for America's exceptionalists, many of who are really exceptionally ignorant and unprofessional. 
Yes, we know that and the reason is simple--even if the United States would have these resources it still wouldn't be able to conduct a land invasion into Iran without sustaining massive casualties--a proposition which doesn't sit well with most American politicians, bar some lunatics from neocon segment of American power. 
"Maximum pressure," as currently practiced by the United States against Iran, is a self-defeating mentality that has decisively proven to be an abject failure. Its architects claimed it would bring Tehran to heel, that the pressure would force the ruling mullahs into permanently giving up their nuclear program, and that Washington would end up with a better agreement than the Iran deal that the U.S. pulled out of two years ago. The reality has been almost the polar opposite. 
I have news for Davis, "Maximum Pressure" is an obverse side of risk and casualties aversion characteristic of the "American way of war". Recall Armstrong's crucial sentence from yesterday, I reiterate. 
Simple as that. No one wants war and the United States certainly can bomb and launch missiles at target such as Iran, the main issue is--and what is after that? As Davis notes:
The reality is that none of the American combat troops on the ground in those three countries helps bolster American security. Yet their proximity to Iran (and other nefarious state and nonstate actors in the region) places them in nonstop danger of being attacked. In retaliation to the death of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani last January, Iran launched a barrage of missiles at a base in Iraq where American troops were stationed. Miraculously, no Americans were killed in the strike. Other U.S. troops, however, in all three locations continue to die, owing to hostile action. It is time to get our service members out and end the daily risk to their lives.
In case of real war with Iran the number of casualties will grow exponentially. Some readers of my blog, sadly, still do not understand a significance and a shock value of Iranian strike at US bases. Even without killing (hundreds sustained concussions), Iran demonstrated for the whole world to see that in case of real war it is not going to be a repetition of Desert Storm, whose self-aggrandizing and totally false militarily narrative was fed to the unsuspecting and militarily illiterate American public. As Davis concludes:
Continuing to employ maximum pressure is a losing proposition for the United States. It exerts pointless pressure on the Iranian regime, alienates our closest allies, and keeps our combat troops in perpetual danger. Risking another endless war is not in our interests.
One is forced to ask a question: but what are America's interests? Who can realistically formulate those? What passes for the America's interests today is nothing more than primitive mantra of America's "greatness" which looks more and more dubious with each passing day and, sadly, observing current American elites there is no hope of anyone emerging with a clear vision for America's future. Slogans are not substitution for actions especially against the real enemy of the United States: we have seen the enemy, and the enemy is us. (c)   

Monday, August 24, 2020

Patrick Armstrong Wrote An Excellent Piece.

About learning proper lessons from war. Patrick refers to my work (that is not the reason I refer to his piece, I quote him periodically) in this superb piece and to Fred Reed's succinct and always sardonic description of US military since Vietnam War. 
Patrick, however, goes deeper and reiterates the main point shared among military professionals that:
The last sentence is the most important one. Now recall my three years old "issue" with operational "planning" by RAND's very own Ochmanek and group of air power experts. That is until he himself admitted, two years later, in 2019 that NATO has its ass handed to it real war against Russia and China. Recall my main question then, in 2017:
                     What kind of war with Russia? 
Russian definition of the best air-defense in the world is very simple: our tanks at enemy's airfields. This obvious truism implies something much bigger than mere air operations, it requires a serious battle-space integration across all domains (damn, do I sound like a Pentagon bureaucrat) and, yes, those proverbial ground forces which, actually, have a very effective troops' (voiskovaya) air defenses which the US armed forces never encountered in their modern era. So, in general, Armstrong's piece is great and gives excellent historic introspective. A must read, as one would say.

Meanwhile, 6th international (32 participants from Russia, Belarus, Israel, Iran, Vietnam, China, you name it) army games Army 2020 opened yesterday in Russia and Russians greeted everybody with a ballet. No, not from Bolshoi or Mariinka, but primarily Western, Southern and Central military districts and ballerinas were charming and elegant. Primarily T-80s and Msta-S self-propelled gun. Just enjoy, nothing better than T-80s dance to Swan Lake and Nut-Cracker.  
The full ballet performance you can easily find at the Army 2020 Youtube channel. Meanwhile, the first full day of competitions, tank biathlon, saw Vietnamese kicking ass being clinical on targets on their (only China brought her own tanks) T-72B3s and that means a really hot contest, I am sure Chinese and Israelis will have something to say about it, apart from Russia and Belarus. You see, if the world could only fight in such "wars".   

Read My Lips(c).

In response to all those laments about Russia doing, or not doing, this and that and whatever is the emotional dish du jour for valiant armchair strategists such as myself. So, read my lips:
                   Russia owes nothing to anyone. Period. 
Get used to living with this idea, because Russia is not into the business of sorting out everyone's shit. Main purpose of Russia as a state (nation, civilization, collective, community--underline whatever you want) is to provide safe and prosperous lives for Russia's 146 (some say it is now more than 149) million of Russia's citizens. Per Belarus, Belarus IS a part of a unified state, so just leave it alone and let the thing play out. I will repeat what I said many times already--Belarus' main anti-Russian element is Lukashenko. Live with it. Why and how? Look at Ukraine. Lukashenko must go, Belarus may stay. Simple as that. I don't know how else to convey this simple truth. You can take one out of kolkhoz (state farm), you cannot take kolkhoz out of one. Lukashenko is former kolkhoz director with a world view and psychology appropriate for this level of management. Whole Belarus' "economic socialist miracle" was financed for decades by Russia and financing counts in, probably, more than $100 billion. Russia doesn't want to pay for some petty autocrat's career anymore, and rightly so. Enough is enough. 

Now that I pointed out obvious international law and geopolitical difference between Ukraine and Belarus, Russia MUST absolutely, and I think that was done already, tell Lukashenko to get lost, after his pathetic ass will be saved. People still, it seems, cannot get a huge distinction  between real intellect and being a cunning primitive crook such as Lukashenko. Now to the most important part. Empires shine, if they don't--they fail. I already stated this not for once, I will repeat it again--for New Yorker or Chicagoan who would visit Moscow or St. Petersburg for the first time, the whole experience could be a life-changing event, because the grandeur, opulence and the glitz of these cities, as well as of many other places in Russia can create a cultural shock. Especially if this person read and watched US media. NYC or Chicago look like a county fair trying to compete with Hermitage and Louvre in value of their art collections. Simple as that. 

Russians, for the last 30 years, were humiliated, thrown out of newly "independent" countries of former USSR, were abused, taken as slaves, accused of being drunks and backward, of being freeloaders and being impediment to a development of former Soviet Republics towards European (or American) levels of consumption and "enlightenment", same goes for former Warsaw block countries. Russians said: "fine". Today, European cities look like shitholes compared to many Russian cities, Russia is safe and Russians, majority of them, never lived as good as they do today. And former empire shines and not only through its glitz, public safety and standard of living. Russia simply doesn't need freeloaders anymore. Belarus was a freeloader for 30 some years and it was Lukashenko who made Belarus into a freeloader. Well, this time is over. For him, anyway, and if anyone thinks that Belarus is a viable economic entity without Russia, they should take a look at a much larger Ukraine. 

So, the point is simple--form a line trying to get in, guys, and nobody cares if the latest polls, such as in Ukraine, show a "softening" of the attitudes towards Russia. Sure, they show--living in a shithole changes attitudes fairly fast, but the Rubicon has been crossed and Russia asks today a question: "why do I need you?" Just ask those seasonal workers from Ukraine, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and other former "sufferers" from Russia's civilizating yoke who try, in millions, to get to Russia today, from their national and very "free" (from real economy, education or healthcare) countries to get any job to send money back to their "independent" nations. Let's say this, Belarus got lucky, but as Ukrainians, Belorussians better have a good case to present to Russia on why they are so crucial for her. It is better be a damn solid case, accompanied by a sincere apology. Maybe then Russians will reconsider. After all, they are the ones populating this ever-guilty and ever-backward Russia. Indeed, what can possibly these Russians offer when compared to a blessed West. 
I heard Paris smells like urine. San-Francisco, meanwhile, smells like shit and so, yes, I am sure there are many toilet bowls and strawberry fields which need tending by members of the future brave new world of a disintegrating West. The future of the West, from Los Angeles to Paris, increasingly smells like an excrement.      

Saturday, August 22, 2020

David Axe As A Symptom.

David Axe is an idiot. I speak about this non-stop. As a person who is known for drawing comic books and once shown how events unfold on the ground in Afghanistan, where he got injured, his claim to military expertise is about the same as my claim to Hollywood fame, but that is American for ya. He goes under the title of "military journalist" and, as is characteristic for most journalists, has zero background in the subject he writes about. He is also very butt-hurt, because while he may be making decent living by selling military porn to teenage circle masturbators on shiny military toys, Axe doesn't know the difference between shit and shinola when it comes to military, not to mention Russian military, not to speak of Russian Navy, of which he has as much expertise as I have in quantum physics. 

So, this boy decides not only to pollute tabloids such as The National Interest with his (lack) of any expertise, he ejaculated a truck load of his BS onto Forbes' pages. As a journalist and a professional ignoramus, David Axe loves shiny big things. So, he unloads. 
I don't know what Axe counts as "main rival" but I assume that he means the US Navy. But here comes a fact he, as a professional BSer, doesn't know. I know, the kid never had access to serious classified documents in his life (for that one has to have a very good level clearance, I did) but even in the Soviet times Soviet Navy wasn't trying to "outgun" the US Navy in a traditional sense. Soviet Navy, as well as current Russian Navy has its main objective as sinking US Navy once it gets close to Russia's shores. And in there, the US Navy is not just "outgunned" by Russians, it has no means of defending any of its assets because the United States as a whole lost the arms race in modern strike systems. But the kid doesn't know the difference. Then he produces, butt-hurt, BS again:
Of course, Russia’s dilapidated shipyards aren’t actually capable anymore of building new ships on the scale of the Kirovs.  
I can feel his pain. But let's see. Just recently, the wharf which has built nuclear cruiser Peter the Great, that is Baltic Shipyard, is actually quite proficient in building large displacement platforms, while producing nuclear powered ships, such as nuclear ice-breakers, which are larger still in terms of displacement than project 1144 cruisers. I don't know under what stone this moron slept for the last 10 or so years, but here is a video of backward 33 000 ton displacement nuclear ice-breaker (a series, mind you, one) Arktika being tugged from "dilapidated" Baltic Shipyard, to start her trials. 
Here is the report on the start of construction of the Lider-class nuclear ice-breaker, whose displacement is around 70,000 tons, which is, just to give some perspective, exactly a displacement of the Royal Navy's newest aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth and is about the same as a standard displacement of decommissioned in 2007 USS John Kennedy aircraft carrier.  
But David Axe, being a product of American education doesn't know numbers and has issues with basic arithmetic. Of course, he never heard about Zvezda shipyard at Russia's Far East. Yes, also "dilapidated", even before being fully operational after effectively being rebuilt into a new mammoth wharf.  But Axe should know that Russia has already launched first of 12+ Aframax-class tankers (4 additional are already in works) and the dead-weight of these ships is 114, 000 tons. 
But, I guess, our "expert" here is not following the news. But, unlike arithmetic, David Axe has no issues with naval tactics and operations because he simply doesn't know any of them but that doesn't prevent his from writing a teenager level crap like this:
The U.S. fleet can carry around 12,000 offensive missiles. Russia’s fleet packs no more than 3,300 similar missiles. And that number could fall as more large, old warships decommission and smaller ships take their place. Admiral Nakhimov’s return only delays that contraction.
Obviously, Axe doesn't understand the issue of "leaker" (that requires a serious background in math and operational research) and that to deploy 12,000 US subsonic, slow missiles requires a bit more than launching them simultaneously from wherever those carriers of those missiles will be deployed. But Axe's basic operations' knowledge and experience, as I already stated, is non-existent, so we cannot really blame him--ignorance is a bliss. And, of course, them comes this issue of comparison, again, and if Axe thinks that M=0.85 Harpoon or same for LRASM or Norwegian NSM  is the same as M=2.8 by P-800 Oniks, let alone M=4.9 by X-32, not to speak of M=9 for Zircon or Kinzhal, then I have a bridge to sell him. 

In general, US media long ago became a joke, as did their "expert community" which is only good for discussing Beltway rumors or, in case of Axe, pretend that they know something while drawing comic books and inventing self-medicating BS for the consumption of the similar ignoramuses as themselves. And that is why, I think, the US today tries to "extend" START (hint--it will not extend it) by including in it Russia's hypersonic weapons, including of operational-tactical variety, like Kinzhal. And why, one asks, the United States wants those weapons to be included into START negotiations?
Russia is uninterested in broadening the New START treaty to cover new weapons, the country’s ambassador to the United States said Monday. That’s a blow to the last remaining major arms control agreement between the two original nuclear powers. The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START, which expires in 2021, governs specific nuclear weapons belonging to the United States and Russia — essentially, the ones that existed when the agreement went into effect eight years ago. But Russia has been developing new nuclear weapons and delivery systems such as the Poseidon nuclear-armed submarine drone, the Burevestnik nuclear-powered cruise missile, and new hypersonic missiles. “I want, ideally, all nuclear weapons to be part of New START, not just the ones that are in the Treaty now,” Gen. John Hyten, the head of U.S. Strategic Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee in March.
Well, I have the answer for this Axe-dude, because US "outguns" Russian Navy so much, that it takes a single Poseidon, even with conventional warhead, or 2-4 Kinzhals or 3M22 Zircons to guarantee a Pkill=0.99 for any US Navy's CVN and I mean not a soft kill, but a complete destruction and sinking. Whole CBG might take more missiles, but for that the arsenal of high supersonic missiles is more than enough. Now, can you imagine what it takes to explain to Mr. Axe what "outgunning" means, what math goes into it, and how this whole thing is calculated. Ah, yes, one should attend serious officer schools to get that right and, surprise-surprise, that requires a lot more effort and talent than drawing comic books and being "military journalist". How this Axe-dude whose military ignorance is startling, wormed himself into the US MSM "military" sphere is one of a complete mystery, unlike it was the rise of a insurance agent with B.A. in literature, whose mediocre, at best, writing and wet fantasies were dragged to the top of US Cold War "literature" by the efforts of then Secretary of the Navy John Lehman (and whatever agencies were behind him) to justify his 600-ship Navy. I, of course, am talking about late Tom Clancy. But then again, we all know that the Top Gun movies are documentaries.  

Friday, August 21, 2020

It Is Friday.

And some people, justly so, actually, want some Friday's fun. I know, I know, life is bat shit crazy and it does require good relaxation. I just made a good progress on one of the chapters of my new book, so I did go out to my deck, poured me some Gentleman's Jack, lit Tatiana vanilla cigar and decided to let people just post some good music. I, however, want to explain why I am OK with Free Bird by you know who, but this is better, way better, including chord progression which speaks to the whole world. It is a ballad played faster. And then, of course, guitar solos....

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Chihuahuas Start Barking.

For anyone who continues to exercise this good ol', and beaten to death, delusion that once the United States leaves (if it leaves) Europe, Russia and Europe will immediately find common language; or, that somehow Russian-European relations are hostage to American geopolitical adventurism, I have some suggestions--wake up. Allow me to remind you that it was Germany who played a very serious role in dismemberment of Yugoslavia and that the state of Ukraine and coming of radically Russophobic forces to power there had a lot to do with Germany, and EU in general. France, meanwhile, is a "convicted felon" when it comes to unleashing hell in Libya. Just a reminder. 

Now this: 
Russian President Vladimir Putin has told his German and French counterparts Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron that any attempt by outside forces to intervene in the political crisis in Belarus would be counterproductive.In two separate phone calls on Tuesday, initiated by Berlin and Paris, Putin stressed that placing external pressure on the leadership in Minsk is unacceptable. Russia and Belarus have formal military and political alliances, via the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and a 'union state' agreement. According to the German side, Chancellor Merkel told Putin that Alexander Lukashenko's government must stop using violence against peaceful demonstrators, enter into a dialogue with the opposition, and immediately release political prisoners.The chancellor's comments came amid various discussions among European Union members about how to address the situation in Belarus. EU ministers agreed last Friday to draw up a list of targets for a new round of sanctions, and politicians in Poland and Lithuania, and other states, have pushed for interventions, to various degrees.
Well, you get the idea. It is always same ol', same ol'. France played the same tune. 
A report from Reuters on Monday, headlined ‘EU leaders to support Belarusian protesters, tell Russia to stay out’, raised eyebrows in Moscow. As did comments from Macron calling on the EU to “continue to mobilize” on the side of anti-government protesters in Belarus. The French president's stance prompted a harsh rebuke from Moscow, with Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova asking “when will he call on the European Union to be mobilized in support of hundreds of thousands of ‘Yellow Vests’ demonstrators (in France).”
As I continue to stress for years--there is no worse transformation when chihuahua decides that she is a mastiff. Neither France, let alone Germany, are mastiffs. Bar some limited nuclear arsenal, France is a geopolitical midget with Mediterranean phantom pains and ambitions, while Germany is nearing economic irrelevance with news like that:
Economic output in Germany — the powerhouse of Europe — shrank during this year's second quarter by 10.1% compared with the same period last year. That double-digit downturn is the steepest since that country's Federal Statistical Office began tracking quarterly economic data a half-century ago. "It's an astounding figure — minus 10.1%," writes Henrik Böhme, an economic analyst for German state broadcaster DW. "Never before in Germany's postwar history has the country's economy slumped as sharply as in the second quarter of 2020."
Actually, Germany's economy continues to contract for 20 months in a row. Once one begins to consider generally suicidal and radically anti-scientific energy policies of EU, plus adds here the fact that EU for Russia's hydrocarbons' export is losing its priority status, it becomes not only warranted but irresistible to ask a question: who the fuck these losers think they are? This also shows that geopolitical fates of Russia and Europe are diverging and, as I say non-stop, culturally the abyss between Europeans and Russians continues to grow. Germany and France may continue to initiate calls to Kremlin but it is patently clear that they will increasingly be told to mind their own business and keep their noses out of business of Russia, for who both France and Germany are merely secondary geopolitical players and shrinking real economies. EU for Russia is merely a market, nothing more. The fact that Putin is a germanophile (he is) should not be mistaken for mastiff being concerned with the bark of chihuahuas.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

That's Russia For Ya.

I always say that Russian military-industrial plans are to be taken with a grain of salt but not because Russians overstate, but for exactly opposite reasons. Recall initial officially disclosed parameters for 3M22 Zircon--something slightly above M=5 and 300-400 kilometer range. Well, we know now that it is Mach=9 capable weapon with the range in excess of 1000 kilometers. You also recall the ceremony of laying down two newest Amphibious Assault Ships of project 23900 held a month ago, right? Remember how those ships were described? 25,000 ton of standard displacement, 28,000 tons of full. Right. It is Russia, alright. Now TASS reports, in Russian, that the actual displacement of these ships will be way in excess of 30,000 tons

Not just that, but now, it is reported, they will carry recon and, what is most important, strike UAVs which, apart from impressive amphibious capability, makes these ships a rather interesting mix of LHD and, ahem, cough-cough, aircraft carrier. What kind of UAVs and with what capabilities will be based on these ships at this stage is a matter of pure speculation not to be taken seriously. But this news may hold some answers:
No-no, it absolutely doesn't mean that S-70 Okhotnik will be a part of their air wings--this UAV is too large and too heavy to be ship-based. The significance of this news is in the fact that Russia in a very short period of time went from importing UAVs (Israeli ones) 10 years ago into a development of the state-of-the-art UAV with outstanding, unmatched really, payload and combat network capability, which also implies extremely advanced electronic components and AI algorithms. So, it is totally logical, in fact, almost inevitable to assume that a smaller, ship-borne version of S-70 could be in works.  
Judging by today's Zvezda TV report of Sergei Shoigu's inspection of the Far Eastern shipyards, the shipbuilding program is being kicked in the high gear, as is production of combat aircraft being expanded. Substantially. In the end, do not be surprised if we will learn that full displacement of the project 23900 Amphibious Assault Ships will turn out to be around 35,000 tons, which is way above Izumo-class Japanese carriers capable of carrying more than 12 STOVL F-35B. Oh, boy, am I getting into the dangerous territory of STOVL and UAV carriers? 
Let us recall the event which took place exactly 2 years ago. Here it is (in Russian): Vice-premier Yuri Borisov: in accordance to the order of President of Russia a brand new STOVL combat aircraft is being developed in Russia. The length of design and putting aircraft into series production is between 7 and 10 years. The work on Russian STOVL started in 2017. Well, 2017+7=2024, 2017+10=2027, precisely the years when both ships of project 23900 will be commissioned. Well, give and take, of course. I am intrigued. 

Now, if anyone doubts that, apart from extremely capable strike UAVs, Russia will be able to develop a state-of-the-art STOVL aircraft, think again and recall the story of Yak-141 (NATO: Freestyle) which really re-defined STOVL aircraft design. In fact, that aircraft was revolutionary and many ideas (and technologies) realized in it have been incorporated into F-35B. Russians are creating a completely new STOVL aircraft from scratch. This also explains the growth in displacement (and redesign) of the pr. 23900 LHDs, which, in the end, may become simply universal aircraft carriers capable to do it all. I wonder why Russia's MOD today proposed to limit propagation of the military-industrial information which does not constitute state secret, but is sensitive, to still be counted as "confidential" (in Russian). Something is certainly up and we all know that Russia's economy "is the size of Texas economy", wink-wink;))  

Creme de la Creme.

Whenever I stumble onto any "education rating" produced in the West I smile, ironically. Just look at this "ranking" for the fun of it. Good luck finding any Russia's university in the Top 100. Never mind the fact that "achievements", as an example, of #27, London School of Economics and Political Science, in advancing a wholesale ignorance of Western "elites" will take decades to address. But then again, meaning of education in Russia and in the West differ dramatically. And here is the proof. 
Here is the map of global competence in the programming and, by default, mathematics field. Here is a part related to technology, in terms of Data Science, Russia also leads the field of Cutting Edge, never mind other, less advanced, fields. You may ask, but how this could be, when there are no a single Russia's university in Top 100 in all those rankings. Agree, there are none. Russian universities and military academies do not teach tolerance, social justice and do not have programs on gender-studies. Most Western students taking entrance exams in mathematics and physics to any good Russia's STEM school of higher learning will not pass them. Large portions of required knowledge for math, physics and chemistry with other natural sciences are simply not taught in the West, and elsewhere where Bologna Process is followed and education is modeled after American K-12 and higher ones. 

Yet, somehow those backward Russians top the world of cutting edge IT and programming, same as the world of radar, signal processing, network centricity, and are direct and ONLY competitors to US Military-Industrial Complex. I would dare to state that a very successful competitor. Recall, ladies and gentlemen, as it is written in plain English in my first book, couple of chapters in fact are dedicated to it, that already by 1960 average Soviet high school graduate received three times more instructions in math, physics, biology than it was stipulated for the entrance to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Things didn't change since, in fact, what passes for mathematics and general "science" being "taught" in American schools today is pathetic, it is a third world level of "education" which, inevitably, translates into atrociously small numbers of American kids deciding to go into STEM fields in universities, not to mention the fact that those who go there, they start with a dramatically lower level than their Russian counterparts in those backward and low-rated Russia's universities. 

I guess that explains why, then, Russia leads the world and by a huge margin in nuclear energy, cutting edge weapon systems, continues to dominate piloted space flight, why she builds her own satellite constellations, commercial aircraft, top notch jet engines and super-computers. It is all because they teach mathematics and physics (and chemistry, I hate chemistry) in Russian public schools the way it is supposed to be taught. Hence, the results I presented here, but I write about this matter for years. Just to give you example. here is one of Russia school math teacher's way of introducing 7th or 8th grade kids to factoring  (squares of the sum and difference and operations with algebraic fractions). The end result of this simple problem is what comes down, when is factored properly, to I Love/You in Russian. 
I guess this is one of a good ways for introduction to factoring. It is also the only way to maintain national intellect in the top notch form--by challenging kids by means of serious and systemic math-physics-chemistry curriculum which develops proper synapses which, in the end, translate into new cutting edge technologies, ranging from space exploration to hyper-sonic weapons. It is also the only way to grow and educate real national elite, which is creme de la creme of nation's brightest and most capable, in numbers sufficient to feel oneself independent and free.