Waiting to board our plane in hotel. Evidently Finnish hotels are designed and built with people of 100 pounds' weight and the height of 4'5" in mind. I, as you may expect, am neither. So, after Moscow and St.Petersburg Helsinki looks rather... timid. But I am happy to leave for calmer and smaller (in urban sense) pastures. Metropolis living is not for me. Especially such monsters as Moscow and St. Petersburg. Now to our goats, so to speak.
The butcher's bill for 404 grows, it is simply now a daily summary of Ukie bodies and looking at militarily illiterate psychos in Biden's Admin dreaming to "mobilize" whatever is left of 404 male, primarily 16-17 year old kids and 60+ people, yes, this is how they think. As I already stated--I was stunned by military illiteracy of not only political class in the West, but by NATO military top brass. Everything what is known about wars of the XX century and modern and future wars has been lost on them. It is surreal to observe people who pontificate non-stop on "multi-domain operations" while they do not know basic facts--forget math and physics of war--about WW II and modern (and future) weapon systems. This, not some PR BS matters in serious practical geopolitics.
When they try to portray the "battle for Rabotino"--a hamlet with pre-war "population" of a whopping 480 people--and which doesn't exist physically anymore--as some kind of "battle", it is difficult to explain to them that the piece of land which used to be Rabotino is "defended" by a few SSO who sit there and guide Russian artillery at VSU forces each-time they try to "enter" this pile of rubble--a classic "fire sack". This is ooh the "tactics" any Soviet kid knew in 5-6th grade. But then again, when one's Field Manuals and Doctrines are written for beating the crap from generally defenseless people what do you expect? Right, Zapp Brannigan's way of military thinking.
This all is so surreal that one begins to ask the question if they really teach anything real war related in NATO military "academies". That brings us to the issue of cadre officers. This topic needs a separate and in depth treatment. Larch sent me a recent piece by Andrei Ilnitsky (yes, in many photos he does look like Kevin Costner) and here is what this graduate of the Academy of General Staff wrote in his piece titled Induced Degradation of the World (in Russian):
Доминировавший долгие годы тезис о том, что в управлении страной должны быть интеллектуалы-технократы, — неточен, а в нынешних условиях цивилизационного противостояния с Западом — вреден. России нужны профессионалы с четким ценностным профилем служения Отечеству.
Translation: The thesis that dominated for many years that technocratic intellectuals should be in charge of the country is inaccurate, and in the current conditions of civilizational confrontation with the West is harmful. Russia needs professionals with a clear value profile of serving the Fatherland.
I may not agree with the entirety of otherwise good piece, but this is spot on. Remarkably, this also applies to combined West if it wants to survive. Without it--it is over. For Europe it already happened, for the US a slim chance remains. Remarkably, Larry touches on one of the major aspects of the issue--MSM.
We are now in an era where I believe that the mainstream media, especially TV and Cable, are largely irrelevant. Yet the tradition of using those platforms is still firmly embedded in the establishment mentality. Politicians raise tons of money, or try to, just to buy time on conventional TV and Cable that a diminishing number of people are watching. The action has shifted to podcasts, X and other social media platforms. That is what the vast majority of Americans are watching. Most politicians do not understand nor comprehend the shift that has taken place. There are exceptions. Barack Obama picked up on it early. Donald Trump is the king of social media. And Vivek Ramaswamy gets in. The rest are still welded to the legacy media and foolishly spend money on TV ads that people skip if they can.
In the end, the blame game started by the US MSM about VSU "not following Pentagon advice" is a kindergarten ploy to shift the blame for a catastrophe for NATO towards VSU generals who do NOT in effect have real operational control over what remains of VSU and are fully subservient to the will of Washington. I guess Nuland and Sullivan need some basic military education, forget about Operations--too complex for them, a lot of math and history. So, here we are today. The admission by one of the West's generals recently about effectiveness of Russian Air Defense of 92-98%, in terms of combat aircraft it is 100% (in Russian) sends shivers down the spine of NATO pilots. And this is even before they encounter Russian Air Force which is world class. Just basic facts. I guess those "backward" Soviets knew their craft when creating the most advanced and networked air defense in the world and made a bet on the industrial might of the nation. Should I quote Lieutenant-General Klokotov again? I guess not. Too much to unpack, especially before flying back home. And I really miss my Pacific Northwest, its magnificent mountains and ocean.