Scott Ritter penned a piece yesterday. Naturally it deals with 9/11 and has a title which anyone in the United States who still has operational brain would have subscribed to: 20 years after 9/11, I no longer recognize my country. The US has become a malignant narcissist, infecting all it encounters. In it, Scott arrives to the conclusion which I speak and write about for the last decade:
In trying to explain the actions of the US post-9/11, the most accurate diagnosis I can come up with is narcissistic personality disorder. This is a mental condition defined by an inflated sense of one’s own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others. Notably, underneath this veneer of extreme self-confidence is a fragile ego vulnerable to the slightest criticism.
Well, give it up for Alexis de Tocqueville who recognized this trait almost 200 years ago and since then things didn't get much better. And when you thought that you reached the bottom, somebody knocks from beneath. Enter Mr. Ochmanek and RAND who came up with a "study" recently which in anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of the modern warfare inspires only one question: do they issue hard drugs in RAND as part of employees' benefits, or do they procure this mind-altering shit on their own and then are tripping on it for weeks? When I say that the US "expert community" is a laughing stock, I mean it. Enter:
A Strong Ally Stretched Thin. An Overview of France's Defense Capabilities from a Burdensharing Perspective
The summary to this... thing reads like that:
The French military currently is one of Western Europe's most capable, and it boasts a full range of capabilities that enable it to engage in the full spectrum of operations, including high-intensity conventional warfare against a peer adversary. In this report, RAND researchers examine the role that the French military might play as a coalition partner in a hypothetical high-intensity conventional conflict in Europe. Researchers drew on a wide range of publications in French and English, as well as on conversations with French defense experts to understand not just the French military's capabilities and capacity to wage war in general but also its ability to wage high-intensity conventional warfare in particular.
I don't know why they conduct those "studies", but evidently neither "researchers" in RAND nor "defense experts" in France have any clue on what modern conventional warfare is. Not surprising. Obviously a modest generalization by RAND about "high-intensity conventional warfare" in Eastern Europe is a euphemism for war with Russia. Here is verbatim:
The 2019–2025 Military Programming Law (Loi de Programmation Militaire, or LPM) puts a strong emphasis on modernizing some of the equipment that would be used in a large-scale, conventional contingency; improving the readiness of existing equipment; and boosting troops’ morale and training. However, some gaps will remain beyond 2025 because France trades depth for breadth—France is able to conduct military operations across the full spectrum of conflict, but it does not have the ability to sustain the fight during a protracted conflict against a highly capable adversary, such as Russia.
Obviously, one has to explain why France would want to fight Russia. RAND immediately waxes geopolitical and concludes that, yeah, France is not really ready to fight Russia, but as a "coalition"... Sure, it is called NATO, or rather the United States and a collection of its lap-dogs. This is on page 27 and after that a familiar pseudo "policy" and "operational-strategic" fodder by RAND tries to cover up stupidity and incompetence of people who write this idiocy. Nobody in RAND, literally, former US generals and other officers, let alone political "science" majors, have any clue on what they will be doing once Kinzhals or 3M14Ms will start flying into the windows of not just Elysee Palace, in case France decides to commit a suicide as a nation, but D.C. as a "decision-making center" may experience serious stone rearranging, all that without the use of nuclear weapons. Moreover, even "coalition warfare", meaning the United States decides to deploy force large enough not to be obliterated immediately to Europe, one has to ask a question--what for?
Obviously Russians are not going to attack Europe. Why? To gain what? In case of NATO deciding to start a war, no matter what the United States does, Russians will break through to Kaliningrad in a matter of couple of days at the most, no matter what the US deploys in Baltic States. For anyone who knows how modern combined operations are conducted it is not a secret. Even RAND admits on pages 70 and 71.
Wargaming and analysis reveal serious gaps in NATO’s ability to blunt a large-scale Russian attack.3 Given NATO’s current posture, the allies could confront a situation in which their ground forces were badly outnumbered and outgunned by the force that Russia could deploy to the borders of the Baltic States within one to two weeks. NATO’s air forces would find it difficult and time-consuming to suppress the network of surface-to-air missile systems that Russia would deploy in the region, limiting NATO ability to provide fire support to the ground defense. Air bases, command and control centers, logistics concentrations, lines of communication, air- and seaports of debarkation, and other rear-area assets could come under attack from Russian ballistic and cruise missiles. Military space constellations that provide reconnaissance; communications; and position, navigation, and timing services could be disrupted by cyber, electronic jamming, and kinetic attacks. In short, NATO nations concerned about the possibility of Russian threats to allies along NATO’s eastern flank have ample reasons to be dissatisfied with the current situation.
Well, if you understand that, then why single France out specifically? It doesn't matter if France fights Russia alone or as part of NATO, the result will be absolutely the same, NATO and US have zero capability to repel or even blunt salvos of long-range stand-off weapons not just on NATO's prepositioning areas, but on France's and US proper naval bases and military infrastructure. As Vladimir Trukhan, a retired colonel of Russia's General Staff put it bluntly few months ago: "We don't even sweat about NATO". Plus no NATO serviceman ever experienced the effects of a a fire impact from a salvo of, say, Iskander missiles or battlefield weapons such as 9A52-4 Tornado and this, folks, is nothing like counter-insurgency. A single battery of said Tornados can dispose of everything living (there will be no survivors, those who may accidentally survive will envy the dead) on the area of 32 Hectares in a single salvo. Just to give you an idea--32 Hectares (around 80 acres) is the area or roughly 64 football fields. There is a reason ISIS was terrified in Syria whenever there were operational Tornados anywhere. Here is how it looked in Syria. Watch it on YouTube.
Then why come up with this "study" which is based on sheer delusion? I think the answer is two fold: as always to push for more money for Pentagon, but also to send a signal to Europeans that the United States still runs NATO and the closing paragraph in this study gives a hint:
Although transatlantic relations have worsened, Macron has continued engagement with the United States, and the United States and France continue to enjoy a strong defense relationship through joint operations, personnel exchanges, multilateral exercises, intelligence sharing, and other activities. France’s 2017 Strategic Review describes the United States as a “fundamental partner, due to the convergence of their defense and security interests as well as a strong bilateral relation in the operational and intelligence domains.” France is also keen on developing interoperability (as evidenced by its concern that the future FCAS be interoperable with the F-35), as it recognizes that it will need partners for most missions, particularly high-end ones. Although specific modes of cooperation would have to be devised for each capability in ways that preserve the interests of both U.S. and French defense industry firms involved, such cooperation could help France address its challenges in fighting high-end conventional wars more quickly.
There you go. Neither US nor NATO are capable to fight a "peer" and survive. They know this, but the gravy train of "defense" contracts needs to run and to make sure it does run, RAND needs to pretend that it knows how to fight...Russia, if more gravy is poured over stale Pentagon's strategies and war experiences. That's narcissism of the highest order multiplied by greed and delusion. That is why they are doing this. Meanwhile Russia and Belarus, plus others, conduct real life war games, maybe because Russia doesn't have computers and wargaming software;)) (wink, wink) and the message is unmistakable--Russia is not going to be taking Berlin, Paris or any other European capital this time, she will simply destroy West's capability to wage a war, including by the means of a ruthless extermination of NATO's military personnel because this is how real wars are fought.