Russia, at this stage, wouldn't give a flying fvck about what Biden and his Administration think about Russia. But when even the inventor of non-existent "Gerasimov Doctrine" and polymath in wide-range BSing without any real life and professional qualifications in issues he tries to cover, such as Mark Galeotti, has to react to Biden's utterances about Russia as having only oil wells and nuclear weapons (you know, the gas station masquerading as a country), it tells you something. Galeotti writes:
First of all, it’s bad analysis. Presumably Biden, aware of the continued anti-Russian sentiment in his Democratic party and concerns about his recent decision to acquiesce to the completion of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany, wanted to throw his base some red meat. However, if he actually believes this, then perhaps it is unsurprising that the Kremlin has so often managed to outmanoeuvre the world’s last ostensible superpower. While Russia is still over-dependent on hydrocarbons, its service sector actually accounts for the largest share of its GDP, and there are all kinds of bright spots, including software and IT (it’s not all hackers and ransomware).Even in military terms, Russia has demonstrated its capacity to project its forces into Syria against everyone’s expectations, and it has sustained that commitment.
When the Kremlin demonstrates aggression or perfidy, this needs to be called out. But over-heated rhetoric encourages woolly-thinking at home, and a backlash in Russia. By all means let us make sure we carry a big stick – then we can also speak softly.
And here is the problem, neither Galeotti not his ilk of alleged "Russia experts" have any ability to assess this proverbial "stick" nor establish the causality (it is there, alright) between increasingly hysterical tone of anti-Russian rhetoric in the West with this "stick" which long ago lost any capacity to realistically hit anyone and if not for nuclear weapons, nobody would pay attention to it. So, when Galeotti states that Russians will be "annoyed", he doesn't know what he is talking about. Russians are intimidated by a bunch of monkeys with grenades who run the combined West and that requires an extreme caution on Russia's part in handling this menagerie of mental pathology exhibits in order to avoid a war in which this combined West will cease to exist. Why I am positive about it? Well, because...
Unlike Galeotti, Commander Salamader is a military professional and, unlike Galeotti, has a required background to pass judgements on matters of war and of this proverbial "stick" which allegedly allows its carrier to "speak softly". I do not frequent Sal's blog anymore as I used too, but somebody sent me a link to Sal's last post and it is an outburst (objectively justified) in response to this piece of news.
‘It Failed Miserably’: After Wargaming Loss, Joint Chiefs Are Overhauling How the US Military Will Fight. In a fake battle for Taiwan, U.S. forces lost network access almost immediately. Hyten has issued four directives to help change that.
Apart from some wowsers of operational "thought" in this piece, one thing which attracted my attention was the use of...spaceships in US Navy's operations around Taiwan. I am not screwing with you, read it yourself:
Contested logistics. Creating new ways to deliver fuel and supplies to front lines. U.S. Transportation Command and the Air Force are working on using rockets and a space trajectory to get large cargo spaceships into and out of battlefields.
No shit. I had to read several times and go and research the issue before being able to move my popped out eyes back in their sockets. This is desperation. Sal, however is not so polite, he has the right to be:
This is just painful. First of all, logistics in warfare has always been contested. Also - how about we invest in airlift, sea lift and land transport what can support and sustain a long war with attrition west of Wake by mid-decade first ... then ... for the love of Pete ... who lets this get proposed .... just look at it again. I'm sorry, but go fire yourself. That is along the lines of the worst ideas of the post-Korean War nuclear Army.
Sal also uses such terms as good ol' "Bullshit" plus other strong wording but he is ultimately correct:
I'm sorry, but in spite of all the warnings provided about building an exquisite Tiffany force and shoveling billions in to critical peacetime capabilities that in war immediately are converted in to critical vulnerabilities with zero benefit and uncounted risk ... we are shocked? Study for 20 years? Bullshit, you can see our vulnerabilities in open source in 20 minutes. If we had a culture that allowed aggressive critique as opposed to obsequious agreement, we wouldn't be here. We let the military industrial complex sell of a bill of peacetime-only concepts about networks, real time video, invulnerable satellites, the whole transformational offsetting grabassery that no intelligent person expected to survive any near peer adversary.
Moral and judicial issues of situation around Taiwan apart (that is another story altogether), the United States simply has no resources to fight modern war, especially with naval force which will be detected, tracked, the targeting developed and it will be annihilated even before its properly deployed. One can play with CONOPS whatever he wants but you cannot fight without having proper weapons and enablers. Modern war tactical-operational truism is simple, even Galeotti can grasp it--if you are seen by the enemy with advanced weapons, you will be killed. ANY US force is seen today across the whole electromagnetic spectrum and that means it becomes a target, EMCON or not. The US Navy still deals in weapon systems which reached their modernization limits already by early 2000 and if it thinks that launching good ol' Harpoons and their longer-range subsonic iterations such as LRASM will provide the edge, I have a bridge to sell.
With 3M22 Zircon finishing its state tests this August, it enters IOC and then in early 2022 it begins to be deployed to the first line ships and subs. But that is not all, Russia tested few months ago an item which is known as GZUR, it is a 1500 kilometer range Mach=6+ missile and a single TU-22M3(M) is capable to carry 20 (twenty!!) of those. Do you know how many SU-34 capable to do the same out there? The 3000 kilometer range M=12 version of this weapon is in works. Make your bet on how fast the first version of this weapon will end up in Chinese hands. Good luck developing air-defense system which can handle such a salvo, granted it even is capable to detect it. I totally understand when US officer has issues, but reading some British subject with degree in economics and history, bloviating on some stick, with UK being a secondary, if not tertiary, military and economic power is risible. That is why he doesn't understand the issue, that is why I write my books and post in this blog--to warn that what the combined West knows about Russia is mostly propaganda BS and when it will have its ass handed to it militarily, which will happen, if it decides to commit a suicide due to hubris and ignorance, the only thing which will be left to this loser is to launch nukes, and that will be it.
I know how hard it is to face the reality of own weakness and obsolescence, it takes real courage to do so, and there is a huge deficit of this courage in the West. But it is better that such admission is made by real professionals than leave this necessary step to people who have no understanding of this subject at all and have no business in passing their judgements on this matter in the first place. For Galeotti, however, some news, selling hydrocarbons accounts today for only 15% or Russia's budget, but, as Sal concludes his angry rant:
As a military, we have learned absolutely nothing.
No Sal, the problem is much deeper than that, West as a civilization learned absolutely nothing, and that is a much-much bigger problem. Like this: