I am on record, read my lips--SMO exposed a complete impotence of NATO in terms of planning for real large scale combined arms operations. Emphasis on "Combined", that is, speaking broadly, operations involving services' coordination, including air power. Keep also in mind that Russia STILL didn't introduce her reserves. Add also the fact that US ISR complex works 24/7 for VSU. Now we get this:
NATO is planning to hold its largest ever Air Force exercises this summer, the German Armed Forces announced in a statement. Dubbed ‘Air Defender 23,’ the drills are scheduled to take place between June 12 and June 24 and are expected to involve hundreds of aircraft from dozens of nations. A total of 10,000 soldiers and 220 aircraft are to be involved in the war games, the Bundeswehr said, adding that they are to train “in the European airspace.” The US is to supply 100 of the aircraft out of its stocks, the statement said. According to Berlin, the drills are to be held mostly over German territory, although a map published by the Bundeswehr shows that the airspace of Estonia, which borders Russia, and of Romania, which borders Ukraine, could be used as well. The plan of the drills “is modeled after an Article 5 Assistance scenario,” the Bundeswehr said, calling it “challenging air operations training” for the participating troops. The exercise is aimed at “optimizing” the cooperation between the participating nations and demonstrating the “strength” of the military bloc.
As anything combined West does in the last decade--this exercise is, naturally, nothing but PR because NATO air forces have exactly zero experience operating against peer. In terms of Air Defense Russia is peerless.
Now, per actual numbers, if Pentagon thinks that these numbers are going to impress Russian General Staff, they better learn real warfare:
Nearly 9,000 American troops are expected to participate in the Defender 23 exercise which kicks off April 22, the deputy Pentagon press secretary said today. "This annual, nearly two-month long exercise is focused on the strategic deployment of U.S.-based forces, employment of Army pre-positioned stocks and interoperability with European allies and partners," said Sabrina Singh, during a briefing today at the Pentagon. "Approximately 9,000 U.S. troops and about 17,000 troops from 26 allied and partner nations will participate and portions of the exercise will stretch across 10 different European countries," Singh said.
It goes without saying that by different estimates the number of remaining troops VSU tries to deploy and arrange into some sort of a strike fist for highly advertised "counter-offensive" (even the term is wrong) is around 200,000. Russians are calmly, almost nonchalantly anticipate it. As Ramzan Kadyrov explained--we want them to come. Certainly, the number of 17,000 troops completely unfit operationally to fight anything even remotely such as SMO can create only a smile. Same goes for the whole 200 NATO aircraft who, in case of real war, will be denied their AWACS "vectoring" by both soft and hard kills--R-37 anyone--and then will be shot down wholesale. The airfields will be destroyed and those aircraft which will be able to complete their task, whatever this task will be, will have no bases to return to. The fate of Ukrainian Air Force is a good indication notwithstanding the propaganda BS all kinds of "experts" write for all kinds of combat air magazines in the West.
So, when I read this...
I smile, considering the fact that if Luftwaffe with its nominal 141 Eurofighters, most of which are not airworthy, wants to send a signal--sure. S-400 or Buk-M3, among many others, truly integrated, unlike it is the case with NATO's AD, complexes, not to speak of Russian Air Force whose BVR kills make USAF "mavericks" salivate, do not care what to shoot down--remaining Eurofighters or 30-odd F-35s Germany bought from the US. Same goes for the rest of NATO forces. The verdict is already in--NATO Air Force is not survivable in the modern air domain when facing advanced and large air force, air defense and EW such as those of Russia. Which brings us to those leaks from Pentagon.
Tom Lipscomb floated today a very interesting idea about those leaks. If to assume that Russians are the sources of those leaks:
Perhaps they make it possible to use US/NATO documents, rather than Russian assertions alone, to establish a legal framework and build the record for whatever settlement Putin plans to impose upon Ukraine. It helps prove Putin’s case that his intervention was required by an active and ongoing conspiracy led by the United States to use Ukraine to attack and subvert Russia. In the world in which the Ukraine war began, under an assumed prevalent US hegemony based upon “rules” dictated by America’s inclination du jour, Putin’s “record” might have been accurate under the standards of international law but had no real power. And western financial and military power had subverted many of the international courts and and regulatory agencies to serving Western interests rather than those of the international community. But given the immense changes in the international power structure wrought by the contest in the Ukraine, the United States and the West is being dragged kicking and screaming into a world in which they are just several of many powers and no longer predominant. Russian diplomacy has skillfully turned the majority of the world against Western illusions of dominance. Now that the war is coming to its conclusion in a Ukrainian defeat that exposes the military and economic weakness of the Western powers, Putin’s de jurerecord may become operative and de facto in a multi-soverign world returning to standards of international law.
Possible? Absolutely. How did Russians get those documents? Well, somebody in Pentagon did leak them, why not to Russians, who are awash in cash and can pay for nice things the leaker may want. That's the way of intel services. In the end, the framework after those leaks has been established--the US now de jure, not just de facto, is an active part of the conflict and the proof of it is out there for everyone to see. That opens a completely new can of worms in the matter and, recall, that for years I was writing about not just Ukrainian regime but many in the West becoming refugees from justice which will be formalized by the war crimes tribunal for Ukraine, which will be established by Moscow. Hey, world is changing with breath-taking speed. Which, in conclusion, brings us to the news from Texas planning to issue its digital currency based on gold.
Many people simply, being afraid of currency digitization, missed the most important fact--if the bill passes the currency will be based ON GOLD. Yes, this is not just the step towards Texas' a sort of sovereignty and soft separatism, but it is a perfect indicator of very many in the US business community losing the faith in the US Dollar, the passing, or otherwise, of this bill notwithstanding. In related news, Russians announced today the launch of two extracting factories in Yakutia (in Russian) at major gold ore deposits. I can only repeat--buckle up, we are in the uncharted territory. This is your Sunday primer.