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Sunday, November 27, 2016

NATO cannot stop Russia

A RAND Corporation wargame reveals that NATO is in absolutely no shape to even slow down Russia in its near-abroad:
Assuming NATO has a week to detect a coming invasion, the alliance could deploy an equivalent of 12 maneuver battalions in the Baltic states. This includes the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team rushed from Vicenza, Italy, but no main battle tanks. Poland — which has the largest tank force in Europe west of the Bug River — would be "assumed to be committed to defend the [Polish] national territory" and blocking Russian forces from moving south from Kaliningrad.

However, Russia could mass the equivalent of 22 maneuver battalions, including four tank battalions and large amounts of artillery from its Western Military District. Russia would also have an advantage in the air, with 27 squadrons of fighters and bombers compared to 18.5 NATO squadrons. While able to challenge Russian aircraft, the NATO planes could not quickly establish air superiority. Russian combat planes would then create "bubbles" of undefended airspace to launch "massed waves of air attacks."

There's an important lesson here — though Russia cannot challenge the United States or NATO globally, it can do so locally … and win.

To be sure, NATO has additional forces including at least two-dozen M-1 Abrams tanks and 30 M-2 Bradley fighting vehicles stored in Grafenwoehr, Germany. But RAND estimates those tanks need at least 10 days to organize and travel. Not enough time before a Russian victory.
This is why Trump's election was so important. All of the neocons, Republicans, and Democrats pounding the drum for direct conflict with Russia over Syria or Ukraine are completely ignoring the grim reality of the situation for their so-called allies. Russia has not taken Georgia, Ukraine, or the Baltics because Putin does not want the increased expense and trouble of occupying them.

But if he has to in order to keep NATO from establishing bases and missiles on Russia's doorstep, I very much doubt he will hesitate.

The USA still possesses the most powerful military on Earth, but it is no longer a true superpower. And it won't be too long, perhaps 20 years, before a joint Russian-Chinese alliance will be more militarily powerful than NATO even if the USA does not politically disintegrate before then.

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159 Comments:

Blogger JACIII November 27, 2016 9:06 PM  

The Russians defend the Fatherland ferociously. It is insanity to fuck with them on their own doorstep. Our policies toward Russia have been naïve, arrogant, and geared toward stirring up shit.

Trump can't take the oath soon enough.

Anonymous Sharrukin November 27, 2016 9:09 PM  

The best thing the United States could do is to leave NATO and withdraw from Europe.

This would force the Europeans to bolster their own military forces and give the US more options elsewhere if that is needed.

It is starting to look like Turkey won't be a functioning part of NATO for much longer in any case.

There ain't much left to preserve.

Blogger Nate November 27, 2016 9:10 PM  

China has issues of its own. I do not count out the possibility of a complete shift where it US and Russia ally against China.. as economic reality sets in and china grows more and more desperate to deal with the fact that the ascension its been assuming would come for the last 30 years actually peaked around 2003.

Blogger kurt9 November 27, 2016 9:14 PM  

If elected, Clit-bitch would have blundered us into war with the Russians in their near-abroad and we would have lost. Given how narcissistic Clit-bitch is, and her alleged meltdown on election night, any guesses as to how she would have responded to a humiliating defeat by Russia? We seriously dodged a bullet on November 8.

Anonymous Wyrd November 27, 2016 9:14 PM  

This is why Trump's election was so important.

Ch-eye-na!

Blogger pyrrhus November 27, 2016 9:16 PM  

Not to mention the low fitness and readiness levels of US forces which have been singled out in recent evaluations.The use of affirmative action in promotions has put a lot of incompetents in positions of authority. Of course, Russia has no interest in seizing the Ukraine, which is a basket case....NATO has no viable mission, and the Europeans don't pay their share in any case. The US should get out of NATO as soon as possible, and stop the financial bleeding.

Blogger Thucydides November 27, 2016 9:17 PM  

China cooperates with Russia as an arrangement of mutual interest, nothing more.

Russia's true strategic problems are the demographic surge of non Russians (and mostly muslims) in the southern part of "The near abroad" and China's desire for the resources of western Siberia on China's terms.

While former European satellites turning to the West to escape Russian influence is humiliating and embarrassing for Putin and Russia's elites, losing the Caucuses and territory East of the Urals is going to be a far bigger problem for them.

Blogger pyrrhus November 27, 2016 9:18 PM  

@4 It is also Russian doctrine that if enemy forces should somehow get onto Russian soil, they will be met with tactical nukes.

Blogger JACIII November 27, 2016 9:19 PM  

Expect Putin to play nice with us, but play both sides to his advantage. He is sitting in the catbird's seat.

Anonymous Gen. Kong November 27, 2016 9:21 PM  

I wonder if the morons who've been pounding the war-drums against Russia (being unreasonably charitable here) ever head of the Monroe Doctrine? Russia's whole 'near-abroad' doctrine is very similar. Russia has every right to be pissed off about the continual expansion of NATO, when the promise made by "Poppy" Bush and his criminal associates was that there would be one. Bush lied and people died. Not just Imam al-Duhbya the Caliph of Crawford either. The whole family is nest of vipers. Old Hugo Chavez was a clown-fart, but he was correct to mention the stench of sulfur.

Anonymous Bumbaru November 27, 2016 9:22 PM  

It seems that the global power is shifting to the east: Russia, China, Israel, Turkey, Iran. If it wasn't for USA's protection, Europe would have fallen by now.

Anonymous Crossphased November 27, 2016 9:31 PM  

If it is true that Europe would have fallen without the United States protection they had better get busy learning to protect themselves because the united States are going to have their hands full taking care of their own issues.

The united States is like a sick man trying to tell everyone else how to live healthy.

Time to heal up our own issues.

Anonymous Bumbaru November 27, 2016 9:34 PM  

East is ruled by conseervative dictators, while Europe has Merkel & Theresa May. What a joke. There are 2 great naval sea powers in the Mediterranian Sea: Turkey and Russia. Europe Navy: the cuck boats that bring migraints to fuck our daughters.

Blogger Lazarus November 27, 2016 9:34 PM  

Bumbaru wrote:It seems that the global power is shifting to the east: Russia, China, Israel, Turkey, Iran. If it wasn't for USA's protection, Europe would have fallen by now.

Europe can do the army thingy quite well when they are forced to. History sez so. They are like William Munny in Unforgiven, former murders trying to make a go of it as a peaceful hog farmer. Its like an addict, they can only keep up the pretense for so long.

Eventually, they say to themselves, " Why can't I have a beer like other people, its just one beer."

Next thing you know, they are shooting heroin and doing crack, taking people hostage for ransom and robbing up suburban bank branches while spraying gunfire all over the street.

(based on a true story)

Anonymous Chris November 27, 2016 9:42 PM  

Yeah, when you are counting on 24 main battle tanks, you might want to reassess your abilities. Not tank companies or brigades. Twenty-four whole tanks.

Anonymous Wyrd November 27, 2016 9:42 PM  

Channeling Big Gay Steve in regards to the latest The Walking Dead episode>As if there are that many slim lesbians on the planet.Channeling Big Gay Steve

Anonymous Bumbaru November 27, 2016 9:45 PM  

Eussian M1 Abrams will be modernized.
Putin-Erdogan agreemenent, in which Turkey imports military accesories from Russia(over 1 billion dollars).
Western Europe cries over muslim women swimsuits

Anonymous Eric the Red November 27, 2016 9:54 PM  

Also Russian field artillery has greater range than NATO.

http://warontherocks.com/2016/04/outnumbered-outranged-and-outgunned-how-russia-defeats-nato/


It is the height of insanity for leftists to push for confrontation with Russia. Their stated reasons are absurd. Trying to determine their real motivations is like trying to get into the mindset of a psychotic. We can speculate, but nobody knows for sure, and the process itself makes you go slightly crazy yourself.

Blogger Matamoros November 27, 2016 9:57 PM  

If Putin invades it will be the end of Russia. First Russia cannot afford the costs of occupation - Crimea is breaking the bank, not to mention Donbas.

Second, why is there an automatic assumption that the conquest of Eastern Europe would be the end of hostilities instead of the beginning of the end for Russia as the U.S. and West gear up for round 2?

Third, the removal of the volume of military forces from Russia will embolden non-Russian republics to reach for their own freedom. Russia is barely containing their aspirations now.

For an understanding of the pivoting of American force structures, and possibilities I would recommend Friedman's "The Next Hundred Years".

Blogger Matamoros November 27, 2016 9:58 PM  

As an addendum to the above, I would note that Britain could not stop Germany either, but the Allies did triumph in the end.

Anonymous Eric the Red November 27, 2016 10:08 PM  

Leftist have a case of projection so pronounced that it affects their every waking moment, and overwhelms any ability to make rational assessments about others.

There's got to be a better name for their exact condition; "projection" is just not complete enough to describe it.

Anonymous Bumbaru November 27, 2016 10:10 PM  

19. Matamoros
In the Baltic Front the russian little green men tactic won't work, but you also have to understand that the greatest armies in the east are Poland and Romania, countries lacking in modern military equipment especially compared to Russia.If Russia secures an Alliance with Turkey and China in a few years then Europe is doomed.

Blogger Duke of Earl November 27, 2016 10:12 PM  

"LET it be clearly understood that the Russian is a delightful person till he tucks his shirt in. As an Oriental he is charming. It is only when he insists upon being treated as the most easterly of Western peoples, instead of the most westerly of Easterns, that he becomes a racial anomaly extremely difficult to handle. The host never knows which side of his nature is going to turn up next." Kipling

Blogger Ron November 27, 2016 10:19 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Matamoros November 27, 2016 10:22 PM  

@22. Bumbaru

The myth is that Russia has a huge amount of ultra modern equipment is just that, a myth. It does not. It has a small amount of it - the Russian economy isn't big enough to build a lot; and electronics needed are not produced in Russia - it must be imported from the West, or Japan.

Russia has never had a lot of expertise in maintenance as well. In the 68 invasion of Czechoslovakia the roads were litter with broken down tanks. This remains true in production and maintenance, as witness the Armada tank breaking down in its Red Square entrance and being towed off the Square.

Your point is valid about Putin allying with China; but then we have the prophecy of Vladimir Soloviev coming true (WAR, The CHRISTIAN And ANTI-CHRIST).

This would be the end of Europe, barring a new D-Day invasion by the U.S. and a rude awakening to those who consider Putin a savior of the white peoples.

Blogger Matamoros November 27, 2016 10:26 PM  

http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2016/11/the-longer-russia-occupies-crimea-more.html

Anonymous Northern Refugee November 27, 2016 10:26 PM  

You know, we could just leave Russia and Europe to sort this out themselves. This sounds like a whole lot of not my problem.

Anonymous Wyrd November 27, 2016 10:26 PM  

So good to know, glad I didnt see it.

This season started off with a bang with Negan. But it quickly dissolved into a whimper. So sad.

Anonymous Napoleon 12pdr November 27, 2016 10:28 PM  

Vox, I think a Russian-Chinese alliance would prove brittle. There's a thousand years of bad blood between those two nations.

The real question is whether or not we can get NATO members to actually meet the 2% GDP defense spending target. That would go far to counter Russia, without U.S. interference.

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents November 27, 2016 10:35 PM  

Why would any of this be a surprise? With Google Maps, doesn't anyone bother with basic geography any more? Dang, if the Bahamas declared war on the US they wouldn't last long, either.

The Baltic states are nestled up next to Russia. Stalin's army took them over in 1940 in a matter of days; of course, the rest of Europe was busy with a major war at the time, so there were no allies to come to help them. Even with allies, it's still Russia's front yard.

Although I suppose having a RAND study like this in the public domain might have some slight sobering effect on the warmongering NeoCons who still want to "win" a hot version of the Cold War. All those people need to go retire and run a think tank or a hotdog cart or some other harmless pastime.

Blogger Matamoros November 27, 2016 10:37 PM  

I think a Russian-Chinese alliance would prove brittle. There's a thousand years of bad blood between those two nations.

So true. The Soviets and Chinese were fighting Division level battles in the 1970s over the Amur and territory that the Russians had taken from China and China wanted back. The Soviets won because they threatened to use tactical nukes.

Now the Chinese are simply buying the area and moving in their coolies with expectation that they'll simply overrun Russia by immigration. Putin is selling Russia out in the East to project force in the West. This is going to bite him in the ass big time at some point.

Anonymous Bumbaru November 27, 2016 10:37 PM  

25. Matamoros
You seem to have great faith that in the future Europe and USA will maintain its stability and infrastrucure.USA might split, if not then EU might split or maybe Hungary and Poland will leave on their own accord and join Russia as allies. Maybe a great wave of the nastiest dindus will hit Europe like nothing you have never seen before.But the greatest problem is that The West has been losing power for decades and because of its birocracy EU is barely able to keep up with the current events. They have been trying to build that stupid Eu army for more than a decade, but now it is too late because UK already left.

Anonymous Gen. Kong November 27, 2016 10:41 PM  

Bumbaru wrote:19. Matamoros

In the Baltic Front the russian little green men tactic won't work, but you also have to understand that the greatest armies in the east are Poland and Romania, countries lacking in modern military equipment especially compared to Russia. If Russia secures an Alliance with Turkey and China in a few years then Europe is doomed.


Metamoros is partly correct, Bumbaru. Putin has way too much on his plate to contemplate a dumbass move like invading Europe, even the Baltics. He'd have to actually occupy and run the place, which he cannot afford. The good thing about Trump is that we might see at least a reduction of the Banana Empire's Golden Dindu Legion sitting there in the EUSSR to prop up genocidal criminals like Merkel and Hollande. NATO needs to be disbanded. Any alliance with Turkey or China will be one of convenience only. Putin isn't going to do squat to the Europe for the reason mentioned above.

If the Euro militaries were not utterly cucked and worthless, 'leaders' like the Italian migration minister, Merkel and May would all be executed, along with the stinking Lügenpresse, and not a few antifas and assorted SJWs - along with getting down to work in disposing of kebab and dindu parasite-colonies. I note with interest that only the UK - arguably one of the most cucked places in the entire region - actually voted to leave the EUSSR - a giant open-air gulag for native Euros being run by criminals like Merkel for the benfit of their (((Bankstein masters))). It remains to be seen if they'll actually be allowed to. The Nigerian Musloid in Londonistan with blood-covered hands spake the truth strangely enough (rather like Baalam's ass in the Bible story): Remove your governments. They are not for you.

Blogger ChickenChicken Sweep November 27, 2016 10:42 PM  

Operation Danube in 1968 and the American response to that should give NATO (freeloading losers that they are) a pretty good preview of how exactly things might go down in this apocalyptic "Russia invades!" fantasy.

Anonymous Bumbaru November 27, 2016 10:51 PM  

Gen. Kong
Hungary leaving EU joining Russia(probable)
Poland(possible)
Serbia already in alliance with Russia
Turkey said they do not want to join EU anymore and has already begun to have a cold relationship with NATO.
Israel(we know we can always count on them)
Middle-east(Syria,Iran) hates Europe way more than Russia
Oh, and my favourite argument(dindu infestation in Europe)
With China we shall see(they are very patient and unpredictable)

Blogger Skyler the Weird November 27, 2016 11:01 PM  

Isn't the U.K. down to three active duty Tank Regiments with 54 tanks with another 100 or so in reserve or in the shop?

No Aircraft Carriers in the Royal Navy at the moment either. Hope the Argentines don't get hungry eyes much less Russia.

Anonymous Sam the Man November 27, 2016 11:09 PM  

It seems to me no one has mentioned some obvious issues, so I will mention them:

1) Russia is nearly bankrupt. the Russian state has not managed to be in any value added manufacturing base sort of military equipment and basic fuel/resource extraction. The private economy can barely function, if at all, the state is a kleptocracy with bribes and extortion making it impossible to establish any kind of a business that does not have a high level protector.

2) Since 1991 the numbers of Russ breeding has never reached replacement level but for 3 years of of the preceding 25. As a result Russia does not have hordes of young men to throw away, indeed, they have a population of 149 million, with a current fertility rate of 1.77 children per children, with a 2.11 rate required just to keep the population constant.

3) Because of the bad breeding in the 1990s, the effective cohorts of draft age young men simply do not exist.

For example there are around 1.3 million men at age 27 in Russia. That is a peak. Age 20 there are 800,000 and when you get down to the age 18/17 you are at 690,000 and 680,000 respectively. You have to go to age 10 and under to see a birth of over 750,000 males per year. To even consider going to war when you have no young men, and cannot possibly expend them, you need them to breed to save the nation.

War is out of the question for Russia. We have 320 million, Germany has 80 million, Poland 45 million, the UK 55 million and France 62 million. In contrast in 1941 when Germany of 78 million attacked Russia, Russia had a population of 208 million, with the vast majority at age 50 and under. Each yearly cohort brought around 2 million men of draft age into the army between 1941 and 1945.

The likely Russian program, if they have one is to try to get Russian populations to come back to Russia. So a wee bit of pressure on the Baltic republics, to get them to expel Russian back into Russia would be a rational decision. By the same token, it would be wise to trey to get what Russian stock can be had out of the Ukraine. But fighting any war other than a 3 month adventure is a suicide.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash November 27, 2016 11:17 PM  

How long before thr Invincible F-22Will Kill All Russians brigade shows up. And where are Quartermaster and the other Ukie apologists? Not like them to be late.

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents November 27, 2016 11:19 PM  

@37
The RAND report doesn't say Russia will do this, it says that in the event Russia does this, NATO can't hope to stop it.
Again, if this shakes up the NeoCons it is a good thing.

Anonymous Thranite November 27, 2016 11:20 PM  

Russia has issues, true, but what they cannot, will not tolerate is a hostile state on their border. They've been invaded too often not to have a racial paranoia about it.

Anonymous bumbaru November 27, 2016 11:25 PM  

Sam the Man
The problem was never Russia going Stalingrad on Europe, but Russia building a network of alliances that could pose a threat to the suicidal West.
1)In today's economy every country is nearly bankrupt
2)Demographics - well western europe has it worse , because they are not only dwindling in numbers but also replaced.
Another one of my favouite arguments .The youth in the West is more unskilled and way less fit that the one in Russia + feminism(woman promiscuity makes western men actually less prone to go to war and sacrifice themselves)

Anonymous SciVo de Plorable November 27, 2016 11:29 PM  

Eric the Red wrote:It is the height of insanity for leftists to push for confrontation with Russia. Their stated reasons are absurd. Trying to determine their real motivations is like trying to get into the mindset of a psychotic. We can speculate, but nobody knows for sure, and the process itself makes you go slightly crazy yourself.

Great description. They're so inconsistent. Is it awesome to seek a reset, or tyrannical to seek good relations, or scary to maybe not have good relations? Come on, tell me, which is worse: to have a bromance with Putin or a feud with him? Make up your damn minds!

Anonymous Jeff November 27, 2016 11:31 PM  

Bumbaru, Poland will never join Russia. We have hundreds of years of history of Russian oppression to look back at. I know that maybe you get paid by Russia but please don't say such silly things. War in Europe is not in China's interest and a Russian Chinese conflict down the line is more likely.

Blogger Nobody In Particular November 27, 2016 11:35 PM  

If the US completely withdraw their protection, as some people here are suggesting, there will be a lot of countries that will want to go nuclear. Probably Ukraine is considering it right now. Trump had the right idea when he said that Japan and South Korea might want to (and probably Germany as well), but I think almost every Eastern European country would be willing and able.
Some of them have had several bad experiences with their neighbors, most recently with Russia. For some (especially Poland) their neighbors proved fully willing to completely exterminate them and tried to erase them as a people. After the NATO guarantee is gone, why take a chance with being at Russia's mercy? Russia has already shown its mercy in Moldova, in Georgia, and in Ukraine.
These countries could acquire nuclear technology from the lowest bidder (India, Israel, Japan, North Korea maybe), but it would seem appropriate that the US and Western European countries at least not prevent it.
That is, unless the plan is to just hand them over to Russia, tied and gagged, as the Cossacks were handed over after WWII.
Maybe Trump wouldn't do that, but he really is unpredictable.
Hopefully at least the Baltic countries, Poland, and Romania are taking some reasonable precautions. They would be hardest hit by the Russian revenge.

OpenID luciussomesuch November 27, 2016 11:38 PM  

Chris: "Yeah, when you are counting on 24 main battle tanks, you might want to reassess your abilities. Not tank companies or brigades. Twenty-four whole tanks."

--lolz. With the Bradleys thrown in it's like a whole mixed-arms battalion!

Matamoros, what the devil are you on about? Crimea is FULL of ethnic Russians. The fleet of T-90s and T-80s are very capable of dealing with whatever pittance of armor the "West" might throw into any conflict there.

No sane person imagines Putin wants to thrust to the Elbe. You're off in some bizarre world fantasy where Putin's threatening a drive to the Channel, America has 10,000 Abrams tanks and 3,000,000 svelte smart White men ready to go, and there isn't already a subhuman horde of dindus raping Europe.

Putin is no madman, but Western Europe between itself could only muster a few ad hoc mech brigades between them, for what little acquisitions they've made, and certainly once you count what they've mothballed (and certainly the French are cannibalizing Leclercs and Rafaels for parts).

No matter how bad Russia's demographics look at the moment, there is no way in hell the United States ever summons up a continent-saving army from her loins again. This is a discussion of REGIONAL conflict and indeed if the "West" is wicked enough to kick that hornet's nest they will receive a righteous trouncing. God bless Pres. Putin, and curse the EUSSA lesbopotami of color works project all-arms brigade!

Blogger Lazarus November 27, 2016 11:39 PM  

Jeff wrote:War in Europe is not in China's interest and a Russian Chinese conflict down the line is more likely.

Not as long as NATO and the US pressure both countries at once. It makes them natural allies.

Russia and China settle longstanding territorial disputes
By John Chan
14 August 2008

Russia and China signed a landmark deal on July 21, officially ending all outstanding territorial disputes between the two countries. Under the agreement, Russia will hand over Yinlong Island (known as Tarabarov in Russia) and half of the Heixiazi Island (Bolshoi Ussuriysky) at the confluence the of Amur and Ussuri rivers, clearing the way for closer strategic and economic relations with China.

The deal flowed from an initial agreement signed in 2004 by former Russian President Vladimir Putin that proposed a 50-50 division of the disputed islands. While Russia returns Yinlong and half of Heixiazi, totalling 174 square kilometres, China has given up its claim to the other half of Heixiazi.

In the 1960s and 1970s, clashes over the islands brought the former Soviet Union and China to the brink of war. Last month’s agreement is the final step in resolving the longstanding issues involving the 4,300-kilometre border between the two countries. The other disputes, mainly concerning China’s western border, were settled in the 1990s.

The political calculation behind the territorial settlement is clearly to strengthen the developing Russo-Chinese strategic partnership to counter the growing pressure from the US and its NATO allies on both countries on a number of fronts.

Anonymous Bumbaru November 27, 2016 11:43 PM  

Jeff
Sry dude, you do realise Poland is ruled by Germany. If Frau Merkel says take 100 000 dindus, Poland says no(and after that it takes it in the ass)

Anonymous SciVo de Plorable November 27, 2016 11:49 PM  

Snidely Whiplash wrote:How long before thr Invincible F-22Will Kill All Russians brigade shows up. And where are Quartermaster and the other Ukie apologists? Not like them to be late.

Quartermaster is good people. We have a gentleman's disagreement on that singular point out of thousands.

Blogger papabear November 27, 2016 11:52 PM  

"any guesses as to how she would have responded to a humiliating defeat by Russia? We seriously dodged a bullet on November 8."

Murder-suicide with Bill and then their bodies burned by their followers afterwards?

Blogger GFR November 27, 2016 11:54 PM  

Oh how the mighty have fallen.
.
My recollection is that at the height of the cold war Russia had a HUNDRED (100) full strength divisions and maybe another hundred at less than full strength. A total of nearly 50,000 tanks and 4,200 tactical aircraft. NATO had 8,000 tanks and 1,800 tactical aircraft.
.
If the RAND Corporation can be believed the Russians now have 540 tactical aircraft vs 370 in NATO, and 2500 tanks vs perhaps 1,000 for NATO.
.
While it is disappointing that the West has allowed itself to become militarily inadequate for the FOURTH time in a hundred years, it seems unlikely that Russia would risk a full blown attack on NATO - particularly with a belligerent and powerful China behind them.
.
It seems obvious that there IS a war going on, but it is being fought on other battlefields with unconventional weapons and the identities of the various combatants are unclear.

Blogger Tom Kratman November 27, 2016 11:55 PM  

"The use of affirmative action in promotions has put a lot of incompetents in positions of authority."

Incompetence isn't the big problem. Moral cowardice is the _big_ problem.

Blogger cheddarman November 27, 2016 11:57 PM  

The small "armies" are laughable by WW 2 standards. 12 maneuver battalions is barley 12,000 combat soldiers.

Anonymous Sam the Man November 28, 2016 12:02 AM  

Poland is not ruled by Germans, nor will they be. The nearly destroyed their nation when the easy path would have been to go into the German orbit (WWII). A lot of Poles hate Germans and Russians equally, it goes back to the time of the "Drang Nach Osten" in the 1400s and the great partitions in 1770s and later .

Once again folks are not thinking. For Russia to go to war would be a disaster for Russia and Putin knows it.

China has 1.34 Billion people and will max out at around 1.4 billon by 2050. China needs "Lebenraum" or living space. Russia east of the Urals looks mighty nice and very sparely populated. Any kind of war against the west, even with china's support will bankrupt the county and kill off the vital men they need to populate Russia. Russia is going to have problems keeping their population over 120 million in 2050 years (with Russian stock), given the very small generation from 1991 to 2016.

If Russia even won a conflict with Chinese support the ultimate winner would be china, much like we were in WWI and WWII. The price would be land, most likely Russia east of the Urals.

Blogger Ken Prescott November 28, 2016 12:06 AM  

"The USA still possesses the most powerful military on Earth, but it is no longer a true superpower. And it won't be too long, perhaps 20 years, before a joint Russian-Chinese alliance will be more militarily powerful than NATO even if the USA does not politically disintegrate before then."

Russia and China are briefly ascendant; but it's not a permanent state of affairs, and they have their own problems. The real question is whether the first nuclear civil war gets fought in Russia, China, or the US.

Anonymous Bumbaru November 28, 2016 12:15 AM  

53. Sam the Man
Ofc Russia won't go attacking NATO affiliated countries. But there is no former USSR country that does not have a high population of ethnic russians. Russians that when the time comes know where to turn to.
Oh, you really don't get it, Germany has total economic control over the EU countries, whether you like it or not, because they are the one that print the EURO's(which is basically the former Deutsche Mark).

Blogger GFR November 28, 2016 12:17 AM  

@54
.
The next nuclear war will occur when Israel nukes Iran.
.
After that happens Russia, China and the US will suddenly develop the will to do what ever is necessary to pacify their own populations.
.
Nuclear civil war will not be necessary.

Blogger GFR November 28, 2016 12:19 AM  

@55
.
Britain doesn't use the Euro

Anonymous Bumbaru November 28, 2016 12:29 AM  

Germany manipulates the distribution of european funds and also creates the Bruxelles regulations that forces the EU countries to pay fines if they refuse migrants. I was referring to Poland not Britain.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash November 28, 2016 12:39 AM  

Quartermaster is good people. We have a gentleman's disagreement on that singular point out of thousands.
No disparagement intended, but you have to admit a certain tendency to strident partsanship.

Blogger doofus November 28, 2016 12:49 AM  

I am not sure I trust this report completely. Why are there only 12 maneuver battalions? They mention the 173d Airborne (which is three maneuver battalions) but they don't mention the 75th Rangers (four maneuver battalions) or the 82d Airborne Division (nine to twelve maneuver battalions, unsure what their current TO&E is), both of which can be mobilized almost as quickly (within twenty-four hours) as the 173d. The only difference in mobilization time between these units and the 173d is the time of flight from CONUS to the NATO countries. So, that is another thirteen to sixteen maneuver battalions over what they are allowing for. Now, these are light infantry, it is true, but they are also some of the finest troops in the US Army, with the highest level of training and readiness.

Not that I would be particularly thrilled to see us getting into this, but I think they are understating the number of forces available to commit.

David

Blogger pyrrhus November 28, 2016 12:50 AM  

@56 Pakistan has 200 nuclear warheads and is still building them, Israel isn't going to nuke Iran, which has none. If Israel nukes anybody, they are dead, all nations would at least cut off trade with them. More likely the major powers would agree to blow israel off the map after evacuating it

Blogger Stephen Davenport November 28, 2016 12:51 AM  

and you believe this shit..lol..amusing you think the Russia military is still a juggernaut after what we have seen of them the few decades. They cannot even beat the Ukraine and yet they according to RAND and the Alt-Right cannot be beaten.

Blogger pyrrhus November 28, 2016 12:54 AM  

@60 Actually, the article overstates force availability. There is no guarantee that any of the promised European forces will actually be available, or that their readiness will be anything but a joke. But a conventional war on Russia's border can't be anything but disastrous, Russia having more and better equipment, and lots of reservists it could call up if necessary.

Blogger pyrrhus November 28, 2016 12:56 AM  

Putin has never started a war, and has passed up every opportunity to intervene in the Ukraine...not going to happen.

Anonymous a deplorable rubberducky November 28, 2016 1:00 AM  

Never been there, so correct me if I'm wrong, but Russia east of the Urals, aka Siberia, would seem to have limited appeal. No question, natural beauty is at hand almost anywhere. But Siberia? Brutal climate. Poor land. Limited potential to sustain large populations outside of pockets of resource extraction, such as oil/gas and mining.

Blogger pyrrhus November 28, 2016 1:00 AM  

@51 While I will defer to your superior knowledge of the US military, in my experience with corporate organizations, people promoted through affirmative action are rarely competent and almost never as capable as the people who have been passed over .....

Blogger Noah B The MacroAggressor November 28, 2016 1:13 AM  

@15 A mere 24 tanks, true, but nevertheless an awesomely powerful rapid reaction force capable of immediately responding to threats within the next ten days.

@39 Rand's motive probably isn't to awaken neocons so much as to advocate increasing US deployments in the Baltic states.

Anonymous The Kulak November 28, 2016 1:14 AM  

@ 37 Sam the Man: Many of your points about Russia's demographic and economic problems are well taken, but you forget David P. Goldman aka Spengler's point: in the land of the lepers the four fingered man is king. Unless a Teutonic awakening occurs or a Visegrad alliance can actually stick, Russia is going to be the dominant military power in Europe -- which hardly equates as you pointed out, to occupying anyone who doesn't want to be Russian.

I am that oddest of American ducks, a Polonophile who's spent time in Poland and also a Russophile who lived and worked in the Russian Federation. I am not as many have noticed here a Ukronophile, in part because I see so well meaning or old Cold Warrior types uncriticallly accepting the bullshit the Ukrainians tell themselves about being special snowflakes and loving freedom more than Russians. Based on the results of the 'revolution of dignity' which culminated in false flag sniper murders of Berkut riot policemen and activists alike from buildings the 'Maidan Self Defense' controlled, plus a vicious state sponsored progrom in Odessa, I have never been impressed with what The Saker calls 'the freaks in Kiev' or their patrons in Washington D.C. (Victoria Nuland?).

Poland with its based population and a significant inflow of professionals returning from a post Brexit UK and Germany due to the economic slowdown in that country (plus euros saved up in EU being able to buy more house in zloty terms in PL) will do ok, but the Balts started with much smaller demographic bases than Russia to begin with and some of those countries have lost 1 out of 9 of their own populations since 1991. Just something to think about before anyone on either side gets ideas about how easy a transfer of their ethnic Russian population would be -- in short, I don't think it's going to happen. The ethnic Russians in the Baltics for the most part get along with their neighbors and have no desire to surrender their Schengen visa ability to work in the rest of EU-rope for reunion with the Motherland -- but some do support Crimea's right to do so or see the Ukrainian war against the Donbass as stupid and self-defeating (Ukrainians here would reply whatabout Chechnya, but forget that LDNR suicide bombers aren't self-detonating on crowded Kiev metro trains or taking hostages at the Lvov theater as the Wahhabi Chechens were).

Blogger Lazarus November 28, 2016 1:16 AM  

Stephen Davenport wrote:and you believe this shit..lol..amusing you think the Russia military is still a juggernaut after what we have seen of them the few decades. They cannot even beat the Ukraine and yet they according to RAND and the Alt-Right cannot be beaten.

Dude. They have not attacked the Ukraine yet. How are we to know.?
Grab a fucking brain on the way out.

Anonymous The Kulak November 28, 2016 1:19 AM  

Anyway the election of Trump has relieved some of my fears of Hildabeast marshalling what portion of NATO she could (as in minus Greeks, Italians, Spaniards and most likely the Germans remembering the last time also opting out) for a mini Barbarossa 2.0 of sorts after some 'little green men' speaking Russian with Ukie accents take over the Narva police station. Or a Romanian snap anschluss with Moldova followed by a joint Romanian-Ukie blockade of Transnistria etc. Hildabeast's neocon advisers were at least unhinged enough to believe their own BS about bombing the Syrians and backing the Russians down despite dozens or scores of Russian servicemen getting killed in the initial 'no fly zone' strike packages. Thank God all those debates about invincible and invisible F-22s versus hypersonic S300/400s and trying to land on Kalibr cratered runways with the fuel bunkers on fire at Incirlik or Al Jabeir are staying in the realm of fiction/fantasy. As is, for now, the 1st Guards Tank Army kicking the shit out of the Ukrainians east of the Dnieper so fast the Poles/Croats et al won't have time to pull the advisers and mercs out that NATO insists have never been in the 'ATO' zone.

Blogger Bob Loblaw November 28, 2016 1:21 AM  

However, Russia could mass the equivalent of 22 maneuver battalions, including four tank battalions and large amounts of artillery from its Western Military District.

Much of that stuff is only on paper. They have entire tank battalions that don't move because they've been stripped for spare parts since 1991. Nobody really knows what the Russians could actually field. Including, I suspect, the Russians themselves.

And most Russian tanks are still T-72s which, even with the ERA upgrades, are so obsolete they're basically useless for anything but crowd control.

What would happen if NATO and the Russians came to blows is really dependent on the scenario. The Russian economy has been shrinking for years - it's now about half the size of the UK's. The Russians will be unable to prosecute a war that lasts longer than a few months unless they're fighting on Russian soil.

Anonymous Sharrukin November 28, 2016 1:33 AM  

Russia has around 43 brigades (around 14 divisions) in the army. They have around 19,000 tanks including reserves.

They also have a national guard of 350,000+.

They used more than 22 bns in the Crimean operation, so the idea that they would use less in a Baltic invasion is extremely optimistic.

Blogger Noah B The MacroAggressor November 28, 2016 1:36 AM  

@71 Russia would be manufacturing new tank parts, trucking them over mud roads, and hammering them into place while NATO troops were getting current on their gender equality and sexual harassment training.

Blogger Bernard Korzeniewicz November 28, 2016 1:50 AM  

Really...
Russia is afraid of China, Russia needs Germany and Italy (~90% fo the key techologies are made in this two countries) to build up, to stand up to China.
Idiotic notions that Rusia wants to aggrivate UE or UE has a project on Russia may be propagated only by morons or paid media whores. Russia and UE (namely Germany) needs each other.

If there will be a war in Europe the starting order will never come from Moscov or Berlin.

On the battling forces:
Putin does not need massive armies to win.
Since early 1990s NATO as well as Rusia assumed that A-weapon is just a weapon to use if and when it is handy. So no warning, no MAD. If the war will starts Russia will just make a BOOOOM in the stratosphere -> the EMP to eliminate enemy communication and some conventional rockets will hit water-systems in the bigger cities. Add some cyber warfare.

Imagine now: no water, no electricity, no gas or petrol no communication - the hordes of hungry Europeans will fight each other.

And that's it - a continent scale Libia/Iraq.

Blogger Elder Son November 28, 2016 1:50 AM  

@62 You're a frikkin retard. Other than a few "vacationers", Russia hasn't moved into Ukraine. And speaking of Ukraine, is says a lot about its military when it can't even regain Eastern Ukraine. By the way, the people are fed-up with Maidan.

I'm betting you're following some of those official government Ukraine Twitter accounts (I do) proclaiming the invasion of Ukraine by Russia? LMAO.

Blogger GFR November 28, 2016 1:57 AM  

@61
.
"Pakistan has 200 nuclear warheads and is still building them." Wrong - Pakistan has 100-120 nukes, about the same number as India. http://www.businessinsider.com/nine-nations-have-nukes--heres-how-many-each-country-has-2014-6
.
"Israel isn't going to nuke Iran, which has none." - In 1973 Israel had nuclear armed attack aircraft ON THE RUNWAY ready to nuke the Arab Capitals. They didn't dispatch them because their conventional forces prevailed.
.
"If Israel nukes anybody, they are dead." - The Iranians have made it clear that they intend to develop nuclear weapons specifically so that they can destroy Israel. How much "deader" can Israel be?
.
"All nations would at least cut off trade with them." - Like they did when Israel bombed the Osirak nuclear reactor?
.
"More likely the major powers would agree to blow Israel off the map after evacuating it". - Once again, how much deader can Israel be?
.
Before Iran can deploy nuclear weapons, Israel will do whatever is necessary to destroy that capability. If they can do it using conventional munitions well and good, if they require nuclear-pulsed earthquake bombs to destroy the bunkers where the production facilities are - then they will do that. If they have to nuke Tehran, THEY WILL DO THAT..
.
NEVER AGAIN

Blogger Bernard Korzeniewicz November 28, 2016 2:00 AM  

Lazarus wrote:Stephen Davenport wrote:and you believe this shit..lol..amusing you think the Russia military is still a juggernaut after what we have seen of them the few decades. They cannot even beat the Ukraine and yet they according to RAND and the Alt-Right cannot be beaten.

Dude. They have not attacked the Ukraine yet. How are we to know.?

Grab a fucking brain on the way out.

Exactly.
Since the start of the East Ukraine war Kiev lost ~5000 soldiers, ~80 tanks and APC as well as a good number of attack helicopters and planes.
And Russia has not started the invasion yet.

Blogger GFR November 28, 2016 2:02 AM  

@75
.
Do the Russians usually take tanks with them on vacation?

Anonymous Sharrukin November 28, 2016 2:05 AM  

78. GFR

Do the Russians usually take tanks with them on vacation?

Why would they when they can just take them from the Ukrainians if they happen to want some?

Blogger GFR November 28, 2016 2:08 AM  

@74
.
Will the starting orders for a war in Europe originate in BRUSSELS?
.
Because it is the expansion of the EU that has upset Russia - and the EU "leaders" are slow learners.

Blogger GFR November 28, 2016 2:09 AM  

@79
.
So the Russians who invaded the Ukraine were NOT "vacationers"?

Anonymous Sharrukin November 28, 2016 2:15 AM  

81. GFR

So the Russians who invaded the Ukraine were NOT "vacationers"?

Russia has "invaded" the Ukraine the same way the US has "invaded" Syria.

Sending advisors or special forces to assist a local revolt isn't an invasion except in the most fevered minds.

When the Russians decide to actually invade the Ukraine you won't need satellite photos to know its happening.

Blogger Elder Son November 28, 2016 2:15 AM  

@78 See @79 I have heard rumors of the rebels having some more advance T-72's. And, it could be possible that Russia may have given them a few. But even if true, do you thunk it possible, that if the rebels could operate a Ukie Russian tank, they could drive an upgraded tank? There are no T-14's in Ukraine.

This is "our" best guess:

Tanks: 15,398
Armored Fighting Vehicles (AFVs): 31,298
Self-Propelled Guns (SPGs): 5,972
Towed-Artillery: 4,625
Multiple-Launch Rocket Systems (MLRSs): 3,793
Total Aircraft: 3,547
Fighters/Interceptors: 751
Fixed-Wing Attack Aircraft: 1,438
Transport Aircraft: 1,124
Trainer Aircraft: 370
Helicopters: 1,237
Attack Helicopters: 478
Total Naval Strength: 352
Aircraft Carriers: 1
Frigates: 4
Destroyers: 15
Corvettes: 81
Submarines: 60
Coastal Defense Craft: 14
Mine Warfare: 45
Oil Production: 10,110,000 bbl/day
Oil Consumption: 3,320,000 bbl/day
Proven Oil Reserves: 80,000,000,000 bbl
Labor Force: 75,430,000
Merchant Marine Strength: 1,143
Major Ports and Terminals: 7
Roadway Coverage: 982,000
Railway Coverage: 87,157
Serviceable Airports: 1,218

Non of this includes Russia's technology advancement in military hardware. Some, admittedly by DoD, superior to our own.

Blogger Elder Son November 28, 2016 2:23 AM  

@80 - USNATO/Ukraine

https://www.google.com/search?q=NATO+Ukraine&sitesearch=BlacklistedNews.com

http://www.globalresearch.ca/search?q=NATO+Ukraine&x=12&y=13

Just to help you out a bit from your propaganda brainwashing.

Anonymous Rezny November 28, 2016 2:25 AM  

More than 50% of people in Riga and Tallinn are Russians. More than half. Riga is ruled by a Russian mayor since forever.
Significant minorities in virtually all cities of importance.
Lithuania is less Slavicized, but Belorussians have their own aspirations to its eastern half at the least.
You judge how quick the war will be and whose soil it will be considered once the green ayyyliens appear. You can't seriously hold territory where you're a minority in your own capital.
Then again it is really great that Trump would leave at least half of NATO on the cold and finally stick to his own American problems, as I'm not ready to die on a mountain of cold dead German cucks just yet.
Baltics will be majority Russian on their own in two generations perhaps, anyway.

I'd really rather we cooperated with sane Europeans beyond the Butthurt Belt, but they went insanse with all the xenophilia. What do?

Abandoning the Holy Alliance by Austria was indeed their worst addition to history after Hitler.
Imagine all the kebabs removed already in mid-XIX century. No Merkelbullshit, no Nazies, no nothing. British just had to save Turks so that a century later their own colonials would fuck their daughters.

Russian state is USSR-lite, no shit, but it's painful to watch how Crimean war reenacts itself just to save kebabs to pillage Europeans again.

Blogger Elder Son November 28, 2016 2:29 AM  

Forgot:

Active Frontline Personnel: 766,055
Active Reserve Personnel: 2,485,000

Russia: Ranked #2 Global firepower.

Blogger szopen November 28, 2016 2:30 AM  

Bumbaru wrote:Jeff

Sry dude, you do realise Poland is ruled by Germany. If Frau Merkel says take 100 000 dindus, Poland says no(and after that it takes it in the ass)


That maybe was true before the last election. Our previous government was boasting "we are centre of the European politics", which in practice meant accepting everything from France-Germany dictat in exchange for patting on the back and some kind words. But even that corrupt gvt had not agreed for everything Germany wanted about refugees, though it agreed for too much. However, our new government is showing Germany a polite "f* you" and resists all attempts to force Poland to accept mandatory quotas or any substantial number of refugees.

Aaand a funny thing: those refugees which were accepted, given new homes (I can't remember the number, but it was less than 50 families), all left within week for greenere pa$ture$ in Germany, leading our most controversial politician to quip "does Germany want Poland to build concentration camps to keep refugees in Poland?"

Blogger Elder Son November 28, 2016 2:32 AM  

P.S. I get paid to do this by: Putin KGB Inc. – Russian Trolls Co. – Pussy Riot Fdn.

Blogger szopen November 28, 2016 2:41 AM  

More than decade ago (it was before Georgia affair) I've read a debate on one of Polish military forums. The participants considered the following scenario:

Imagine Russians attack and push as far as they can within three days. They destroy everything they can, infrastructure, mine the bridges, rob the factories, and then they withdraw.

Can Poland prevent the scenario? The answer was "no". All participants agreed that Poland's forces were (At that time) unprepared to defend Poland. AT that time, the Polish governments were preparing the Polish armed forces to participate in "peaceful missions" in Iraq and Afganistan. All modern equipment was bought with a purpose to deploy it in Afganistan. Moreover, except this foreign contingent, the rest of the army was incompetent, undertrained and demoralised.

Would our allies help us in that scenario? Again, all participants (some after some hesitation) answered with firm "No". First, they considered the logistics problem, and came to the conclusion that even the forces which could be sent to Poland WOULDNT, because they would be too small and would be too easily destroyed. Moreover, all participants agreed taht Germany and France would start with talk and exerting "political pressure", and would claim huge success when Russians would withdraw after three days.

This was the consensus amongst the amateurs, but I do not think experts had not considered the scenario, and if they did, surely they came to the similar conclusions.

Hence our new government changing the policy wrt to army; raising expenditures on the army; raising new auxiliary forces (modeled on national guard); and in the same time the opposition is screaming that this is all preparation for Nazi coup, creation of fascist hit squads... and, of course, simultanously claiming that this is all created by Russian agents.

Anyway, I think you cannot understand our new foreign policy without thinking about the scenario I sketched above: how to prevent Russians from not conquering Poland, but from getting in, destroying as much as they can, and getting out.

Anonymous Rezny November 28, 2016 2:59 AM  

@89
"and, of course, simultanously claiming that this is all created by Russian agents"

This is a joke, right? Please tell me it's some Polski Humor. I have problems accepting talks of Russian agents in Poland of all places, I'd rather believe we actually sent Russian Koreans into Cheyenah or that Lukashenko actually caught and tried Polish spies instead of random clerics.

Are these screams of Russian covert ops come from common speech at forums and bars or are they translated by the lefty media?

Blogger YIH November 28, 2016 3:03 AM  

A few thoughts, first: Sun Tzu, master tactician and author of The Art of War would not approve. From Chapter 6, Weak Points and Strong:

Whoever is first in the field and awaits the coming of the enemy, will be fresh for the fight; whoever is second in the field and has to hasten to battle will arrive exhausted.

Who does that describe? The ''home team'' (Russia) or ''the visiting team'' (NATO)?
Second: Russia shuts off the gas valve. In winter.
Third: The ''rapeugees'', pretty much useless, no skills to speak of, poorly educated, even communication is at best, difficult. Would they fight? And if so, who? At best all that could be done for (and with) them is herd them into camps like France's ''the jungle'' or perhaps use them as 'cannon fodder'/'human shields'.

Blogger OldFan November 28, 2016 3:05 AM  

OK, both RAND and the author of this article need to calm down a bit. The numbers say that Russia has less than 2:1 odds in all major categories of weapons systems - way short of the force needed to mount an major offensive.

Even more telling, I see nothing concrete about the state of training, discipline, and leadership of these 22 battalions (its just "one understrength Combined Arms Army" - a pale shadow of their former might). This analysis is just too thin.

We should all be rightly skeptical of NATO's current capabilities, but we also have to not buy into all of the advertisements for Russian arms, either.

For the record, every encounter between US-made tanks, guns, and planes and Russian arms has left lots of Russian scrap metal on the ground. I'll wager there are less than 10,000 alive today who have ever witnessed a Russian victory - and they are all old men.

I was especially amused by the incredibly low numbers cited for US armor stored in continental Europe. Less than one battalion set? Really?

Perhaps we should inquire what RAND is really trying to accomplish with this somewhat alarmist study.

Blogger GFR November 28, 2016 3:12 AM  

To all you russian pussies who won't admit that russia invaded the ukraine:
.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_military_intervention_in_Ukraine_(2014–present)
.
Your pathetic excuses aren't fooling anyone and they just make you look like a bunch of lying cunts.
.
As for the russian military being invincible there's this: http://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2014/10/29/to_beat_russian_tanks_the_baltic_states_are_studying_the_georgia_war_107518.html
.
Did you know that the American M-1 tank has TWO THOUSAND (2,000) confirmed kills aginst Russian armoured vehicles without losing a SINGLE tank to a Russian armoured vehicle?

Anonymous The Kulak November 28, 2016 3:20 AM  

@ 81 with respect to this poster re the Russian 'vacationers' who crossed the border into Donbass at the height of the fighting at Saur Mogila/Ilovaisk in August 2014 and later at Donetsk Airport and Debaltsevo in winter 2015, the Moscow Times is typically regarded by foreign observers of Russia to be a reliable paper. Though how reliable are the official Russian MoD numbers, one can argue with it (and the fellow the MT quotes seems to think the actual number of Russian active duty serviceman burials for 2014-15 aka prior to Russia's overt intervention in Syria was twice as high as disclosed).

"Krivenko's own data shows that in the period from 2014 to mid-2015, 150 Russian service members were killed However, he believes that the real figure could be twice as high."

"Krivenko suggests that soldiers killed in Ukraine make up half of the figure from 2014-2015."

https://themoscowtimes.com/news/ministry-of-defense-paid-to-bury-1000-russian-soldiers-in-4-years-56265

So allowing for Krivenko's number of 150 secretly KIA'd Russian active duty servicemen in Ukraine (with the other 150 dead dying in actual training accidents, hazings or suicides), then comparing to the losses the Ukrainians admit (last I checked around 3,000 since the start of the 'ATO' in April 2014) while their own members of parliament who hate the Russians such as Oleh Lyashko claim Poroshenko is covering up thousands of UAF KIA...I'd say it's the Ukies, not the Russians covering up the vast bulk of hidden combat deaths from the Donbass war.

http://www.defenseone.com/technology/2016/05/how-pentagon-preparing-tank-war-russia/128460/

I made this point to Stephen, Matamoros, Quartermaster et al citing the Lost Armor data on UAF tanks, APCs and self propelled guns that Polish and other former Warsaw Pact nations have not been able to replace (perhaps because the Obama Administration wouldn't pay them to replace Kiev's losses or too much of the stuff had been sold off since the 1990s). I also referenced a non pro-Russian source but a pro-Kiev one in the Potomac Foundation's Phil Karber, admitting that a single cross border cluster missile barrage incinerated two Ukrainian mechanized battalions (in late July/early August 2014). Although the Potomac Foundation's Karber wouldn't say where or when this happened, putting their statement together with the 'Highway of Death' images shown on Col. Cassad's site places that incident near Saur Mogila, a key height fought over in WW2 that two sides battled over in early August 2014 and from whence formed the notorious 'Southern Cauldron' of Ukies trapped between the hammer of Russian-advised Donbass forces and the anvil of the Russian border and massed deadly arty/rocket fires. The reason the Potomac Foundation's Karber never went into more detail about that episode is because he'd then have to admit the official Ukie KIA figures were and are even today bullshit. And much of the hapless Ukrainian 30th brigade simply ceased to exist by early August 2014, thereby opening the door to the 'Northern Wind' forces aka Russian army veterans mixed with some active duty tankers rolling toward Ilovaisk and kicking the crap out of the Donbass battalion there (and sending the Azov neo-Nazis fleeing the battlefield for the relative safety of Mariupol city limits after a mere 7 KIA of their own -- another reason besides their 2nd SS Das Reich division style flag I hate Azov is they pretend to be so badass while leaving regular Ukrainian Army conscripts to do the bulk of the bleeding and dying).

http://thesaker.is/seeing-through-the-doublethink-primary-evidence-on-losses-of-the-combatants-at-donbass/

http://theduran.com/confirmation-ukrainian-equipment-losses-confirms-scale-ukraines-defeat/

Blogger Ron November 28, 2016 3:26 AM  

@OldFan

Perhaps we should inquire what RAND is really trying to accomplish with this somewhat alarmist study.

Encouraging a massive buildup of arms in Europe and America? There is a lot of money to be made there.

Anonymous The Kulak November 28, 2016 3:29 AM  

If the roles were reversed and it were the Russians covering up thousands of KIA while the Ukies were being honest about their losses...well use common sense, the victorious Ukrainian Army would've been sitting in Donetsk and Lugansk by now. Or at least made it to the city center before being repulsed in bloody fighting or by overt Russian air strikes, which never happened (another major hole in the Ukies claims to have been fighting the actual Russian Army in force rather than a Russian Foreign Legion ala the Saudi/Turkish/Qatari supplied foreign legionnaires battling Assad in Syria). As it is despite Reuters lying about how the UAF were 6 miles from the center of Lugansk in August 2014, they never quite got that close -- the Reuters reporting was a psyop to dismay the rebels, constantly exagerrating Ukie gains while understating their casualties until the bottom fell out in late August 2014 and Porky sued for the first Minsk peace...aka 'stopped the Russians cold' according to Matamoros. When Putin never wanted to do anything more than freeze the conflict and prevent Donetsk and Lugansk from falling to UAF encirclement, if the Russians wanted the 'land bridge to Crimea' so badly they wouldn't have spent billions of rubles on the Kerch Strait bridge.

Last but not least thought for this thread...if the Russian MoD has published quasi-reliable numbers for how many of their young men in uniform have died since 2014-15, is anybody in Poland asking the Defense Ministry in Warsaw to release the total number of Polish servicemen killed in 'training accidents' since the start of the Ukrainian 'ATO' in April 2014, when Polish or non-Ukrainian/Russian speaking Slavs were spotted outside Slavyansk? How about recently discharged servicemen? If Poles are so proud of having helped Ukraine 'repulse Russian aggression' why not come clean and admit Warsaw sent a few of its own 'vacationers'? This post by SOFREP which is published by an ex-spec ops guy who's grudgingly pro-Assad but pro-Ukrainian Jack Murphy sure looks like an active duty Polish vacationer's memoir:

https://sofrep.com/47483/the-russian-paper-tiger-a-foreign-volunteer-in-the-ukrainian-armys-view-of-russian-troops/

Conclusion: Russia isn't the only country to have sent advisers, special forces, intelligence officers and technicians to the Donbass combat zone and denied it.

Blogger Bob Loblaw November 28, 2016 3:33 AM  

You can't reasonably compare Russian to Ukrainian losses in that war. The majority of the fighters on both sides are Ukrainians, so Ukrainian losses will be higher. The Russians have limited their involvement to support (intelligence, artillery, and bombs), only introducing small numbers of SOF-quality troops where they'll do the most good. This tells us nothing about a larger conflict involving regular army and reserves.

Blogger Elder Son November 28, 2016 3:38 AM  

OldFan wrote:For the record, every encounter between US-made tanks, guns, and planes and Russian arms has left lots of Russian scrap metal on the ground. I'll wager there are less than 10,000 alive today who have ever witnessed a Russian victory - and they are all old men.

The year is 2016. Most of the stuff you are talking about was Soviet era. Some of the stuff that is Soviet era and still in use, has been upgraded, then there is the whole new systems. You ever watch some of Russia's new fighters in action? Pretty impressive. Then there was that little incident between Russia and Israel in Syria. BTW, you ought to see what the Houthis are doing to Saudi Abram tanks. How the Houthis got a hold of those crappy Russian ant-tank weapons, beats me.

I'm no expert on Russian military, but some of you sound like you're still stuck in the Cold War reading CIA propaganda.

Anonymous Shut up rabbit November 28, 2016 4:01 AM  

Eric the Red wrote:We can speculate, but nobody knows for sure, and the process itself makes you go slightly crazy yourself.

My guess is that the coming #pizzagate revelations will be so huge it will require a third world war to distract the normies from lynching the (((elites)))

Blogger Bernard Korzeniewicz November 28, 2016 4:26 AM  

The Kulak wrote:

Do you have any info about a role of Polish dogs-of-war in the rebel advance on of Saur Mogila and the southern cauldron of 2014?

I have heard the suggestion that Angela Merkel ordered Polish PM Tusk to start "an criminal investigation" on one MP connected to the Polish auxila helping Urks at that time. Auxila came back to Poland and in 48h DLPR started effective advance and closed the cauldron.

Please confirm/deny above info.

Blogger Elder Son November 28, 2016 4:34 AM  

Here's the deal. US-NATO is the globalist spearhead to bring the non integrating Gap, into the globalist integrated Core.

This whole stink with Russia is nothing more than globalism versus nationalism.

Blogger wreckage November 28, 2016 5:16 AM  

The Cold-war assumption was that NATO would have to go to tactical nukes to contain a Russian advance.

Blogger Stilicho November 28, 2016 6:11 AM  

I cannot fathom why most people do not understand why it is in our interest and Russia's to ally against the Chinese. Sure, MPAI, but this isn't rocket science. It isn't even arithmetic.

Blogger Tom Kratman November 28, 2016 6:17 AM  

When I was at Carlisle Barracks, Rand wanted me to take a PhD with them. I considered it seriously, but the notion foundered in me partially because a) I had less than no desire to live in California and b) because they and I fundamentally disagree about the value of quantification, Rand believing that the important things are measurable and myself believing that nothing (military) that's very important is very measurable and nothing (military) that's very measurable is very important. We were just fated not to get along, in other words.

In this case it sounds like they converted their number crunching into a game. If so, they made two major mistakes. One is that they showed a very Randlike tendency to stop figuring (or playing) when they got the conclusion they probably wanted. But there's no particular reason to believe that the war simply stops once Riga, Vilnius, and Tallinn are taken. Rather, that's just the end of Phase I; the war likely continues. The second thing was to assume Nato would be the main foreign defender of the Baltics. The Swedes can probably toss in a few battalions, too. Yes, yes, they claim some very lengthy lead times to mobilize anyone. One suspects, because anything else seems impossible, that those lead times also include "and we need to spend several months or a year training so that we're up to regular standards before we do anything." That's a nice standard, but not a needful one. They can go less well trained and take more casualties, too. This is also defensible if going now prevents a need to go larger, later, against a much greater enemy. More important than the Swedes, the Finns could toss in a division or two if they were so minded.

Thing is, it was silly as shit to have extended Nato membership to the Balts, or to anyone with whom we cannot guarantee a solid line of communication and who cannot possibly hold out long enough for reinforcement to timely arrive.

Blogger Tom Kratman November 28, 2016 6:19 AM  

"It isn't even arithmetic."

Rather, it's geometry.

Blogger Tom Kratman November 28, 2016 6:21 AM  

"The Cold-war assumption was that NATO would have to go to tactical nukes to contain a Russian advance."

Not particularly relevant; we're not worth much but neither are they. That Cold War presumption was driven by the presence of over 100 heavy Soviet divisions, staffed to be able to create double that over a matter of months.

Blogger VD November 28, 2016 6:25 AM  

This whole stink with Russia is nothing more than globalism versus nationalism.

Exactly.

Blogger Tom Kratman November 28, 2016 6:26 AM  

"Did you know that the American M-1 tank has TWO THOUSAND (2,000) confirmed kills aginst Russian armoured vehicles without losing a SINGLE tank to a Russian armoured vehicle?"

"Monkey models" in the hands of Iraqis don't really prove much, one way of the other.

Blogger Bernard Korzeniewicz November 28, 2016 7:14 AM  

Tom Kratman wrote:"Did you know that the American M-1 tank has TWO THOUSAND (2,000) confirmed kills aginst Russian armoured vehicles without losing a SINGLE tank to a Russian armoured vehicle?"

"Monkey models" in the hands of Iraqis don't really prove much, one way of the other.


An actual Russian T-72 with ERA-amour in Grozny 1995 needed from 2 to 17 penetrating HEAT hits to die. And they were used by conscripts.
(Series of articles on the official Polish MoD periodical.)

http://dziennikzbrojny.pl/artykuly/art,3,8,8724,pole-bitwy,1,twardy-pancerz-czyli-czy-czolg-zawsze-wybucha-po-trafieniu-cz-i-youtube

Blogger Tom Kratman November 28, 2016 7:25 AM  

Yes, Russian design, though philosophically different from ours, is quite good and fits their systems of systems extremely well, in theory. I say "in theory" because they never quite had the wherewithal to fill out all the systems of systems from top to bottom for all - or even most - formations. Their main problems, now, are human and moral (military moral, which doesn't have much to do with questions of right or wrong), not so much material.

But, for the unenlightened, the term "monkey model" refers to the tendency to give or sell equipment to wretched third world armies with most of the highly capable and sophisticated features of that equipment either removed or never installed. We've done it, too; see, forex, the F-14s we sold Iran under the Shah. Sometimes this is done to keep those features secret, sometimes because the customer cannot afford the best but demands the appearance of it, sometimes because, realistically, their pissant turd world (sic) army has trouble maintaining boot laces and delivering ammunition that fits the weapon, let alone maintaining precision instruments.

The key point, though, is that one cannot assume that the performance of Russian equipment in the hands of anyone but Russians and VERY close and trusted allies, is much of a measure of that equipment.

Blogger Ken Prescott November 28, 2016 7:38 AM  

"An actual Russian T-72 with ERA-amour in Grozny 1995 needed from 2 to 17 penetrating HEAT hits to die. And they were used by conscripts.
(Series of articles on the official Polish MoD periodical.)"

Sounds about right for RPGs. A late-model ATGM would likely be a different matter.

Then again, I fully expect the MBT to be obsolete within 30 years; top-attack munitions will kill it just as they killed the battleship (horizontal armor sufficient to defeat the threat makes both too massive to be useful).

Blogger szopen November 28, 2016 7:43 AM  

Rezny wrote:@89
I have problems accepting talks of Russian agents in Poland of all places,

There is no question of Russian agents being in Poland. Frankly, I have trouble believing you think it's not possible that RUssia has agents and spies in neighbouring country, a country which is considered hostile. Unless, of course, all those news about agents caught, sentenced or deported are fake. Moreover, I have no doubts that _we_ have agents in Russia. If we haven't, I would consider our government to be incompetent. If Russia would have no agents in Poland, I would consider Russian government to be incompetent.

In this case, however, opposition claims that Polish current right-wing government is acting as "Putin's agents", as either willing Putin sympathizers, or as people who stupidly and unwittingly help Putin.

Blogger Alexandros November 28, 2016 7:49 AM  

All this talk about how terrible Russian weapons supposedly are is ignoring how incompetent American servicemen have become within the last decade. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UoTCO9XBnXo I submit this combat footage for your viewing displeasure. This is what happens when you spend more time in SHARP training than on the range

Blogger Mr.MantraMan November 28, 2016 8:01 AM  

NATO in the Baltics is got to be a joke especially within NATO itself. Estonia contributes a toy force to NATO essentially turned itself into a LP way outside the perimeter.

I agree with Lind. If they were serious about retaining independence from Russia they would adopt the porcupine strategy. For armaments they need rifles and their accessories, ATGMs and tac level anti-air and of course good comms.

Anonymous JustAnotherPairOfEyes November 28, 2016 8:05 AM  

US vs Iraq is not an appropriate comparison because of differences in terrain, equipment, training, etc. The problem with reacting to a Russian invasion is that the fighting will be over western urban regions where most of the US desert country advantages go away. Instead you'll see, at best, house to house fighting as seen in some of the Sunni Iraq cities.

The result of that sort of serious urban warfare (as compared to the mild seen in Iraq) will be that the best NATO and Russian troops will be gone in a few months, attritted against each other. Then the two sides will be reduced to drafting massive numbers of conscripts. For NATO, these will be snowflakes who have never been in a fist fight, hell, never been spanked. It won't be pretty but NATO has a big population advantage.

I'd say that the NATO countries are far more anti-war now than they were in 1939 when they restricted themselves to a "phony war". Instead of real fighting, they'll do the "let's see how sanctions work".

The Russian economy is small but war is the best stimulant to the economy ever and the NATO countries are already fully stimulated. This works to the relative advantage of Russia. Still, Russia is small.

Meanwhile, at the home front, the two sides will be using precision munitions (cruise missles) against each others civilian/military infrastructure. The weak points in the electrical grid are the transformers.

The difference between now and 1914-45 will be quickly evident. Our civilian populations are far more dependent on electrical power and far less capable of feeding themselves than they were 100 years ago. A good bit of NATO efforts will be spent trying to keep their civilians from freezing etc. Recently, the European electrical grid has had trouble dealing with sudden power surges from wind generators, LOL. The effects of military munitions will be a lot worse than that.

Will the "special snowflakes" rally for a real war? I doubt it. All the above is before the Russians decide that they can't contain NATO with conventional forces. Then you have the lights going out everywhere in NATO from nuclear EMP. There are some US calculations that say that these will, over time, kill 90% of the population due to the lack of infrastructure. I doubt those numbers but it would be rough.

Does NATO want to sign up for an EMP war? I doubt it. So the "phony war" and no real fighting.

Anonymous Gary Littlejohn November 28, 2016 8:36 AM  

The Kulak, Elder Son and Tom Kratman are talking a lot of sense. I missed out most posts between 60 and 80 and so I may have missed some good comments. However, the Russian economy is a lot stronger than most of you think. See the Swedish economist Jon Hellevig at Awara.com, for example. The Saker also has some good comments on this. Russian tanks have been and are being upgraded, but the military modernisation that started quietly around 2006 has resulted in 47% equipment modernised by this year and it will be 70 % by 2020. This includes electronics, and it is quite wrong to say that Russia relies on Western equipment any more. It makes its own computer chips and a whole lot of other electronic equipment, including very advanced radars. In addition, ALL equipment is hardened against EMP attack, whereas practically nothing in the NATO inventory is, except some old US bombers. There is a reason why Cheyenne Mountain is back in use, and it is the declared one of being well protected against EMP effects. Russia is way ahead of the USA in battlefield EMP weapons, and would easily win a defensive war against NATO, THAT IS, HOLDING ITS OWN TERRITORY. It has not the slightest motive to attack NATO, when it has all the resources it needs and a population that has recently reached replacement levels, contrary to one comment. China is already an undeclared ally. This is very deep-rooted. See The Saker on this.

Blogger Bernard Korzeniewicz November 28, 2016 8:43 AM  

Ken Prescott wrote:
"Sounds about right for RPGs. A late-model ATGM would likely be a different matter.

Then again, I fully expect the MBT to be obsolete within 30 years; top-attack munitions will kill it just as they killed the battleship (horizontal armor sufficient to defeat the threat makes both too massive to be useful).



Some of newer T-72/90 in Siria has active amour + AATGM systems from 1990s.
You can see live testing on Youtube. From time to time "freedom fighters" download feeds with ATGM killed by Bastion or something similar.

The MBT is going strong, of course IMHO T-90 is a bit better tank for an army than M-1 or Leopard, but I am biased.

Anonymous Rezny November 28, 2016 8:53 AM  

@112
I used too wide a term there, sorry.
I meant "do notable parts of Polish society actually believe Russian agents are successfully influencing/directing govt actions in Putin's favour". Agents as in local or foreing born recruiters and subverters, not just spies gathering data.

The second part of your response answered it, thank you. Strange times.

Blogger Tom Kratman November 28, 2016 9:03 AM  

"The MBT is going strong, of course IMHO T-90 is a bit better tank for an army than M-1 or Leopard, but I am biased."

For a particular system of systems. Leo and Abrams have better crew comfort, which matters more than one might think, a fourth member which helps with both maintenance and local security, probably better optics and fire control, those not having been Russian strong points, pretty much ever, and base armor that is probably better, but probably not by much.

The disappearance of the tank has been heralded since the first time a grunt was issued a portable, individual or small crew anti-tank weapon. It doesn't happen because a) there are tactical and organization solutions to technical and technological problems, while b) the tank has a great deal of redundant carrying capacity such that any weapon that threatens to make the tank obsolete can and will be countered by a weapon or passive system that the tank can still carry that makes what threatened it somewhat obsolete. Short version, the tank can always carry more crap to defeat the missile than the missile can carry to defeat the tank.

Blogger Ken Prescott November 28, 2016 9:11 AM  

"Some of newer T-72/90 in Siria has active amour + AATGM systems from 1990s."

Yes, I know. And those things work OK in limited shoot-outs. In a full-scale war, I expect that a fair number of "friendly" rounds will end up getting engaged by "friendly" active defenses, resulting in both a lessening of offensive fires and depletion of defensive capacity.

"You can see live testing on Youtube. From time to time "freedom fighters" download feeds with ATGM killed by Bastion or something similar."

Again, limited shootouts. Let's see a live-fire exercise with a brigade engaging another brigade.

"The MBT is going strong, of course IMHO T-90 is a bit better tank for an army than M-1 or Leopard, but I am biased."

Please go back and reread my comment. Notice the timeframe I discussed. The problem is that everyone's weapon systems acquisition cycles are getting close to the 30-year mark--I suspect that before long, a bright young college graduate will sign onto a major weapons system program, work in that program, and retire from that program. All of these life events would take place well before the weapons system in question reaches IOC, or even LRIP...

Blogger Ken Prescott November 28, 2016 9:22 AM  

"Short version, the tank can always carry more crap to defeat the missile than the missile can carry to defeat the tank."

But all of that crap adds weight--either directly (thicker top armor, for example), or indirectly (more protected volume required to accommodate a bigger engine, more fuel, additional munitions, spare parts, etc., which in turn increases the volume of the armor package, and thus the weight).

And all of this is to maintain a RELATIVE level of survivability against the ever-evolving threat. In other words, you're not gaining new capability; you're spending more resources and creating more logistics demand (fuel, munitions for active defenses, spare parts) to stay in place. And that vehicle is going to hit more limitations on its ability to maneuver (more bridges it can't cross, more ground it can bog down in, etc).

The way to break out of this is to quit looking at the tank as a thing (track-laying vehicle with lots of armor and a big boomstick) and to look at a capability requirement (mobile, survivable firepower).

Blogger wreckage November 28, 2016 9:44 AM  

@121 Mobile, survivable firepower on the ground, capable of just sitting there on the ground ("on station", if you like)for several days continuously, or of moving along the ground faster than a jog but slower than an aircraft.

And the systems to counter various enemy systems need not be mounted on the same chassis. The tank doesn't have to do everything. It can carry big gun and be followed around by a chassis that does all-and-only area denial, or ECM/ECCM, or fires lasers at incoming flying tank-hurting-things.

Ah, you say, but what if the thing firing at it is a railgun or other accelerator, impossible to intercept, demanding absurd amounts of armour to stop?

Well, what sort of thing is that railgun going to be mounted on? Yeah.... a tank. Or self-propelled gun. It sure as hell isn't infantry portable, and if it's on an aircraft we're right back to loiter time and all that jazz.

So you've got a truck with a railgun on it. But, those tyres are horribly vulnerable, and the truck itself can be taken out by a .50 cal.

So now you need armour or you're a trivially easy target for IEDs and small arms, not to mention various ATG RPG SRM-6 or whatever the fuck they call them these days.

And suddenly you're looking an awful lot like a tank.

I know it's not very techno-sexy but remember, the basic unit of an army is still a guy flinging projectiles downrange, which hasn't changed in 50,000 years or so.

Blogger Tom Kratman November 28, 2016 9:59 AM  

Yes, it adds weight, but the missile runs out of extra weight it can carry before the tank does. Now, for some forms of attack, top attack, as you say, the solution is probably active rather than passive armor. But the point is the tank can carry a pretty heavy active system while the missile is still restricted to not very much.

Even the battleship, to which you cited, gives evidence of this. Other than at anchor (Taranto and Pearl Harbor, say), or swarmed by the planes of many carriers (Yamato, say), did it ever happen that one carrier air wing took out a battleship with a couple of escorts and a significant ADA capability of its own? I can't recall one. (No, HMS Prince of Wales and Repulse were not yet properly refitted, equipped and trained for the new threat, though they could have been.) The battleship could carry that active defense because it had huge redundant carrying capacity just as a Russki tank can carry something like Drozhd or Arena. Or we could.

To the grunt on the ground, armed with a couple of bottle rockets writ large, enemy tanks already have all the capability they need. To tanks facing the same problems against each other they're already quite capable. To tacitly claim that they need more and lose it because of the needs of self defense is not only moving the goalposts, its largely irrelevant.

Anonymous BGKB November 28, 2016 10:34 AM  

Channeling Big Gay Steve in regards to the latest The Walking Dead episode>As if there are that many slim lesbians on the planet.

I have seen that many collectively in my lifetime. Don't forget I was a healthcare traveler so I have been lots of places.

Yeah, when you are counting on 24 main battle tanks

A tank battalion would have more than that in its 4 companies. The location given was a training site, I was a medic in a tank battalion elsewhere in Germany, which apparently is now used to house turdworlders.

Blogger Matamoros November 28, 2016 10:45 AM  

@45 luciussomesuch

The T90 is an upgraded T72 as I recall, because the T80 was so bad. You should read Viktor Suvorov’s assessments, such as “Inside the Soviet Army”, etc. Russia used to have numbers, now the demographics are so bad they use dizinformatisiya to scare the near-abroad (former soviet states) into toeing their line. Except they aren’t. Those who have been under Soviet Russian rule have no desire or intention to go back. The Baltics have no intention of falling, though they probably will unless more equipment is pushed forward from Poland and Germany.

Nonetheless, Poland knows the Baltics are their protection and will fight hard to prevent going under. Anyone wishing to understand the situation in these various countries should read the PEACE IS OVER series written by Thomas Theiner.

You miss a primary point, demographics is Putin’s primary enemy - that and the fact that Russia produces little, everything is imported. How to get more people? Conquer them as the Soviets did. However, I don’t think the Ukranians, Poles, et al. will be digestible this go-round.

Trump will stop a lot of Russian adventurism because he will not buy into the disinformation, and his line in the sand will be a hard one, unlike Obama. If you understand Russian history you must understand that the Russian State must continually expand or it falls. New people, new industry, new technology all come with conquests. I for one wish to see peace with Russia, but it will require strong leadership from Trump to attain it.

@46 Lazarus I think a Russian-Chinese alliance would prove brittle. There's a thousand years of bad blood between those two nations.

Don’t kid yourself. China wants all of former Chinese Siberia back and is working hard to gain it. Putin is losing in that game, because he has to keep China neutral in order to play his games in Europe. If Putin ever weakens China will take back Vladivostok and the Russian far-east.

@50 GFR It seems obvious that there IS a war going on, but it is being fought on other battlefields with unconventional weapons and the identities of the various combatants are unclear.

Exactly.

@62 amusing you think the Russia military is still a juggernaut after what we have seen of them the few decades. They cannot even beat the Ukraine

True. This is why Russia is pushing Belarus so as to allow them to open a 3 front war against Ukraine - from Belarus, Crimea and Donbas. But the Ukranian army is not the army of 2014, it is a battle hardened army with modern equipment, ready and willing to fight for their homeland. If you look at the actual conflict, Russia has had 75 various military groups in Ukraine and got heavily shredded by Ukranian citizen-soldiers. That was what ended Novo-Rossiya.

http://euromaidanpress.com/2016/11/23/the-75-russian-military-units-at-war-in-ukraine/

@77. Bernard Korzeniewicz Since the start of the East Ukraine war Kiev lost ~5000 soldiers, ~80 tanks and APC as well as a good number of attack helicopters and planes.
And Russia has not started the invasion yet.


You should look at the several thousand Russian dead, loss of a lot of modern equipment and the failure of the Novo-Rossiya land bridge to Crimea. Ukraine hurt Russia badly, and with citizen-soldiers and hunting rifles.

The big problem for Russia is their constant pushing and probing has frightened Eastern Europe, and Western to an extent, so that they are preparing now for war. Again, see Thomas Theiner articles. It may well be that this is what will ultimately cause Germany, France and Italy to jettison their moslems so that they are ready to fight. Putin could ultimately be the best thing that has happened to Europe, second only to the moslems, as both are causing a reawakening of true Europeanness.

Anonymous BGKB November 28, 2016 10:59 AM  

While I will defer to your superior knowledge of the US military, in my experience with corporate organizations, people promoted through affirmative action are rarely competent

He is saying the typical non Asian minority cowardice when not outnumbering 5-1 is worse than the incompetence.

Monkey models" in the hands of Iraqis don't really prove much, one way of the other.

Russians will be smart enough to know that the tracks are the weak point on M-1s and can be area denial defeated with just 3 rolls of Concertina wire.

OpenID luciussomesuch November 28, 2016 11:09 AM  

Matamoros: "luciussomesuch

The T90 is an upgraded T72 as I recall, because the T80 was so bad. You should read Viktor Suvorov’s assessments, such as “Inside the Soviet Army”, etc."

Matamoros, I've owned a copy of Suvorov's "Inside the Soviet Army" since I was literally ten years old.

I'm impressed that you're familiar with the title-- but you'll find no such description of the T-90 in there. What you WOULD find is that the T-72s exported to the Middle East were what he memorably labeled "monkey models", and that the T-72s proper to the Warsaw Pact, though mass produced and simplistic by Western standards, were quite capable of knocking out an Abrahms with their 125mm main gun-- as our own tests with East German models post-Cold War proved.

If the T-80 was deficient, it was mostly on account of its gas engine, and there are still thousands in service worldwide, including export upgrades (some produced in Ukraine).

Really Matamoros, I don't quite follow the pedantic insistence of your arguments-- despite your obvious interest in reading up, you don't seem to be making very sound inferences, instead replaying some kind of WWII.1 scenario. Let's not forget that no American cruisaders would even make it to Europe to spare it from your beastly caricature of Putin, since their subs will eliminate the USNavy as a combat force. If even Canada's decrepit hand-me-down Victoria class subs can sink a Nimizt in exercises, the Russian subs certainly will, and posthaste in the event of any actual conflict.

OpenID luciussomesuch November 28, 2016 11:25 AM  

--Or the T-80. I mean, look, Suvorov was proud enough of the BMP-1 he couldn't allow himself to acknowledge its mechanical failings, expect to note in passing that the BMP-2's 30mm cannon "aloowed it to engage enemy tanks", which I suppose counts as a discreet acknowldgement the BMP-1s 73mm cannon was obsolescent on release.

Matamoros, you've been blowing smoke.

Blogger Tom Kratman November 28, 2016 11:38 AM  

"While I will defer to your superior knowledge of the US military, in my experience with corporate organizations, people promoted through affirmative action are rarely competent and almost never as capable as the people who have been passed over..."

That's assuming that the only reason a minority gets promoted is affirmative action. Sometimes, probably, that happens. Normally, though, its not the only factor, or is even a non-factor.

Here's the way promotions used to work. It may have been automated by now. A board convened and went over the files for people eligible. Files were rated from 6+ to, I believe 6-, those being studly water walkers to pure shitheads. Every member of a board got to look at every file for under two minutes, so only the most obvious things stood out, reliefs for cause, general officer letters of reprimand, negative legal action, shoddy appearance in the pictures, etc. Also school performance and assignments. The files were then assembled along a wall, best to worst. If it was determined that an insufficient, which is to say proportional, number of X and Y minorities, or women (not then an issue in the combat arms) had not been promoted, then files would, in order of merit, be pulled out of their position and moved forward until the goalposts had been met. Yes, this probably meant that a smallish number of shitheads from X minority were promoted but it did not mean that a large number of highly capable whites were denied promotion. Rather, the whites who got moved back were, in the system's terms, shitheads, too. (Some were, of course, studs who pissed someone off. But that's also quite possible with the blacks or hispanics who were advanced. Mox not fucking much, in other words.) Personal general officer politics and connections no doubt played a part, too, but that was actually somewhat likely to disfavor minorities. In any case, I am reasonably sure that Vince Brooks and Colin Powell were promoted on competence rather than affirmative action, at least through their second or third star.

Anonymous Jeff November 28, 2016 11:42 AM  

"Sry dude, you do realise Poland is ruled by Germany. If Frau Merkel says take 100 000 dindus, Poland says no(and after that it takes it in the ass)"

Comrade Bumbaru, German "rule" is preferable to Russian. And no, immigrants won't come. Thank you anyhow.

Anonymous Gary Littlejohn November 28, 2016 11:53 AM  

I am surprised that people are still pushing the idea that Russia has a serious demographic problem. The birth rate is now above replacement level, although the upward curve is very shallow. This improvement is basically because Russia has re-established Christian patriarchy. I repeat that the economy has returned to growth. This took place this year, that is, about two years after the first imposition of sanctions. In addition, the demographics are being improved by the flight of Ukrainians into Russia, now including ethnic Ukrainians, at the rate of about 80,000 a week. So Russia has absorbed well over 1 million people in the last two years, most of whom will probably stay after Ukraine finally finds peace.

Those of you who seem to think that Russia has invaded Ukraine need to look more closely at what really happened. Russia has no interest in taking Ukraine or the Baltic republics, and its pattern of defence procurement and its most recent military doctrine support this interpretation. Instead of worrying about the technical aspects of various tanks, look at The Saker's assessment of Russia's inability to engage in force projection more than a few hundred km beyond its own borders. This is especially true of its fleet, which is basically just coastal defence with very few exceptions, most of which are now in the eastern Mediterranean.

The Rand Corporation recently assessed that it would take Russia about 72 hours to take the Baltic republics. My estimate is 12 hours. Even back in 1993 when things were really bad in Russia, a foreign ministry official who visited the Baltic Research Unit at the University of Bradford in the north of England told an audience including academics from the Baltic states that he thought that Russia could take the Baltic Republics in 24 hours. Russian military organization and equipment have improved markedly since then. Why on earth would Russia want the trouble of governing a bunch of hostile, recalcitrant people in either the Baltics or Ukraine? All it has done is try to contain the conflict in Ukraine while ensuring that the DPR and LPR do not get defeated.

Blogger Tom Kratman November 28, 2016 12:02 PM  

Have you, perchance, broken down that replacement rate by ethnicity?

Anonymous Jeff November 28, 2016 12:10 PM  

Lazarus, thanks for that.

"Russia and China signed a landmark deal on July 21, officially ending all outstanding territorial disputes between the two countries."

I think that's mostly posturing and propaganda and pacts between countries which later went to war with each other are not new. China needs a peaceful Europe to sell to and to buy food from. China also eyes Russian land especially lands taken from China. Despite these treaties, nationalism is a strong force, as you very well know. I also don't think a war will follow in Europe as it's not in the local players' best interests either.





Blogger EscapeVelocity November 28, 2016 12:19 PM  

We need a Russo-Anglo European Christian Alliance

Dump NATO and Turkey.

Blogger Bernard Korzeniewicz November 28, 2016 12:41 PM  

Matamoros wrote:@45

@77.

You should look at the several thousand Russian dead, loss of a lot of modern equipment and the failure of the Novo-Rossiya land bridge to Crimea. Ukraine hurt Russia badly, and with citizen-soldiers and hunting rifles.

The big problem for Russia is their constant pushing and probing has frightened Eastern Europe, and Western to an extent, so that they are preparing now for war. Again, see Thomas Theiner articles. It may well be that this is what will ultimately cause Germany, France and Italy to jettison their moslems so that they are ready to fight. Putin could ultimately be the best thing that has happened to Europe, second only to the moslems, as both are causing a reawakening of true Europeanness.



OK, it is official. I don't know what you drink, but I want it too.

Russia, Ukraina and rebels all buy their tanks in Kharkov, Ukraine.
~80% of factories owned by the current Ukraine President are in Russia.
Whole generation of Ukraine "patriots" living in Poland to avoid draft.
This Patiomkin war is just a dildo for Nuland. And nothing more.
The moment a creek of $ from DoS, DC will dry Kiev will lower the curtain over a glaring embarassment.

And only killed civilians and their burning homes are real.

Anonymous Bz November 28, 2016 12:53 PM  

It seems quite unlikely that Russia wants to invade Europe, and I would assume the report is just a bit of war gaming.

To put it simply, Putin is in a rebuilding phase for his society and jes wants to sell them oils, jes wants to sell them gasses.

The whole Ukraine thing was probably started in pique by, ahem, certain people after their first attempt to trigger a war in Syria failed. (Remember Obama's 'red line' and all that media hysteria about chemical weapons, which now are conspicuously absent from the field of battle?) If so, it looks like that pipeline is worth a lot of infidel lives.

It might also be that strategic planners (on "our" side) want to distract Russia from that rebuild by posing numerous military threats. Perhaps not entirely dumb, if they see a future where Russia has a leading position in Europe by delivering its energy, while they are mostly shut out. But it still seems disproportionate and not a little reckless.

(Since it's easy to be reckless with somebody else's army, I'm getting the feeling that the US is taking too much advice from other actors.)

Blogger szopen November 28, 2016 1:42 PM  

Gary Littlejohn wrote: Why on earth would Russia want the trouble of governing a bunch of hostile, recalcitrant people in either the Baltics or Ukraine?

Why rule when you can invade, destroy and withdraw (per the scenario I outlined above for my own country)?

In fact you do not HAVE TO actually to invade. Just creating the invasion as a credible possibility should create a sufficient pressure to influence Baltics politics, and shift them into Russian sphere influence as soon as there is no hope of external help. In fact, Russia do not even have the intention to invade. Depending on goals of Russian state, just creating an invasion possibility in minds o Baltics is enough.

I stress _depending on goals_, because, well, it really does depend on what Russians want to achieve. If they just want a peaceful cooperation as a influential regional power, say something as Germany, then of course the scenario above is absurd is irrational. But then, we Slavs are quite known for our occasional insanity moments.

Blogger Theproductofafineeduction November 28, 2016 1:46 PM  

@131

Above replacement rate? All the information I can find has Russia somewhere between 1.58 and 1.77 which is still below the minimum 2.1 required to not experience a decrease in population. Russia is indeed in a better situation than native Europeans of other countries but that is all relative. Until they get their population sustaining at or above 2.1, and the key word is sustained, then Russia still has an issue with population contraction.

Blogger Theproductofafineeduction November 28, 2016 1:47 PM  

Correction, there is an estimate showing Russia with a 2015 fertility rate of 1.8 but that is still below the 2.1 required.

Blogger Matamoros November 28, 2016 3:38 PM  

Remember Russian replacement figures include all the nationalities not just Russian ethnics.

On Russian casualties: http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2015/08/28/How-Many-Russian-Soldiers-Have-Died-Ukraine-Glimpse-Bloody-Toll

Anonymous The Kulak November 28, 2016 3:57 PM  

Jon Hellevig is good people -- though he's a Finn not a Swede. I spoke with him on the phone one time regarding a visa related matter in Moscow.

@ 137 szopen -- I'm not sure what you're getting at with your 'Russian thunder run to destroy and pillage Poland' scenario. Wouldn't the easily wargamed Polish retaliation be to blow the Russian gas pipelines to the west through Poland, not only Druzhba on land but also potentially the Nordstream on the Baltic seabed or failing that a single air launched cruise missiles strike on the station near Vyborg, Russia as well? At any rate except for pure spite for Poles the Russians would only have any motive to strike like that if Poland/NATO attacked Kaliningrad first. Thanks to the defeat of the war hag Hildabeast, not gonna happen.

As for Matamoros, I addressed his claims of which side is covering up thousands of combat deaths in the Donbass previously in the thread -- hint: it ain't the Russian army, though Kiev's forces have killed several thousand Donbass locals and maybe a thousand actual volunteers fighting against them, not servicemen from Russia. But again, Kiev's combat record from August 2014 on has mostly been one humiliating debacle after another and a 3 (perhaps as the UAF improved in static combat efficiency) 2.5 losses to enemy KIA ratio.

If Matamoros takes Tom Theiner seriousy as a source, all 4 foot ten of him, that little shit who writes for EuroMaidan PR (SBU owned disinfo site run by Ukraine as greater Galicia Ukro-fanatics) was positively ecstatic when anti-Maidan activists were burned alive at the Odessa Trades Union building. Fuck Theiner and everyone else at EMPR who gets my tax dollars via USAID/StateDept/NRI/NED grift. I hope the god emperor kicks them all off the U.S. taxpayer tit and if Ukies think trying to make life miserable for 'separatist' babushkas living in Donetsk and Lugansk is worth more of their young men's lives, let them print more of their soon to be worthless hyrvnia to pay for it, not that sweet 'free' IMF money.

Anonymous The Kulak November 28, 2016 4:01 PM  

Sorry Matamoros your link is debunked here:

http://redpilltimes.com/forbes-fail-western-media-outlet-publishes-fake-russian-troop-casualty-article-and-its-zombie-readers-actually-believe-it/

http://russia-insider.com/en/military/heres-why-reports-kiev-wildly-understating-casualties-are-probably-correct/ri465

it's the greater Galicia master race and EMPR lying their asses off about casualties 13,000 on the low end to 17,000 Ukie KIA on the high end:

http://thesaker.is/ukrainian-army-losses-in-ato-anti-terrorist-operation-according-to-the-iisss-military-balance/

Again, the idea Russia has no higher aspiration than to try and rule over millions of pissed off Balts or Poles is asinine, when Moscow won't even take Mariupol for that much discussed land bridge to Crimea (when it easily could have and slaughtered the SS flag waving shits of the Azov battalion in September 2014).

Anonymous The Kulak November 28, 2016 4:19 PM  

As for armor, this Southfront video (a pro-Russian source) provides a good overview of the upgrade of Russia's T-72 fleet to T72B3 standard as a stopgap until they roll out the Armata with production ramping up over the next two years:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttr0tUsseNM

T72B3s have taken TOW hits in Syria and crews have survived, and T90s with Syrian crews having forgot to turn on the active protection systems operating with the hatches open have taken direct TOW hits. Competent Russian crews have been able to put the T90s back in action within days. Now compare to what older early 1990s model Konkurs Russian ATGMs fired by the Houthis are doing to Saudi Bradleys and Abrams at the border with Yemen. I would say that should be a sufficient real world wake up call to that joker who cited a 2,000 to 1 kill ratio for Abrams or western made tanks (I assume in Israeli hands?) against (Arab) Soviet model tanks from 1956 to the 1991 Gulf War.

Anyway VD's main point from this post stands, we dodged a bullet with Trump instead of Hillary appointing this raving neocon lunatic (who has no idea how many civilians actually are left under jihadi occupation in east Aleppo) as her Secretary of Defense:

https://twitter.com/EvelynNFarkas/status/803330617270272001

Anonymous Gary Littlejohn November 28, 2016 4:43 PM  

Reply to Tom Kratman 132.

I had not looked at it by ethnicity and so my remark about Christian patriarchy may seem premature, but the birth rate has been going up even among Russians. I accept that part of the natural increase is not an increase in birth rate, but a decline in death rates. Both are partly a result of increasing real incomes since 1999.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Russia

This gives a breakdown of fertility rate by ethnicity, or at least it can be approximated if one knows which ethic groups live where, broadly speaking. About 81 % of the population is ethnic Russian. most of the next 9% is composed of about 5 groups, of which Tatars are the largest at almost 5 percentage points of those 9 percentage points. The actual replacement rate for ethnic Russians is lower than for these minority groups, as far as I can see from this. In addition, I was unaware of the changes in 2016, which slightly reverse the gains from 2013 to 2015.

The other factor mentioned here is immigration and as I mentioned much of that is by people of Russian ethnicity. As this Wikipedia article states, immigration from Central Asia has been exaggerated in some discussions, although there is no doubt that it has caused ethnic tension. So the picture is more complex than I implied in my earlier contribution, which was based on my recollection of the picture from 2013 to 2015.

Anonymous The Kulak November 28, 2016 4:44 PM  

@ Gary Littlejohn's numbers are probably off a bit, though again 8,000 Ukrainians leaving for Russia a week or 500,000 a year sounds about right, with about 3 million Ukrainians on the high end living or working in Russia and many sending remittances home. It's especially a problem for Kiev's propaganda for Kherson region Ukrainians crossing the Chongar border checkpoint to visit relatives or work in Crimea and seeing for themselves that Crimeans are doing well.

Blogger JohnG November 28, 2016 5:00 PM  

The Murica will kick the Russian's ass thing is a little optimistic. 12 NATO battalions isn't an entire division - and they don't even speak the same language. I got in the Army in 1985, we haven't fought a first world military in the last 30+ years. The Russians can accurately aim (lots of) artillery - not this Haji onesy twosey shize we've dealt with for the last 15 years. They can accurately place mortar fire. Lots of rockets and their troops know what cover and concealment means and what rifle sites are for. Their man portable ATGMs easily take out our M1s (they did it to a couple of them in 2003) and finally they've got very good air defense capabilities. This "outdated weaponry" thing is a crock too. A T55 can put a HEAT round into the ammo compartment of an M1 if you hit it from the side or back. I don't think Russia will start a war; they don't really have to, they've got the gas into Europe and as others have said, potential to use an EMP. What I do worry about is somebody having an accident (in Syria), or the Euros pushing Putin into a corner.

Blogger Martin November 28, 2016 5:37 PM  

IMHO, this is just people in the US administration that want to increase the heat. The Russian Federations airforce is still pretty dated, they only have small numbers of modern kit.
And really, why should US soldiers defend 500 million strong Europe against 149 million strong RF? Especially since the European economy is many times that of the RF.

The real game for the US here is to keep plenty of troops in Europe. The US dominates the world. But it only does so by dominating Europe first.

Blogger Roger G2 November 28, 2016 6:06 PM  

Also if there's one thing Russians are good at, it's killing the Polish officer corps. All of it.

Blogger Tom Kratman November 28, 2016 6:51 PM  

@144

What I had in mind, really, was the French sleight of hand, whereby they pat themselves on the back heavily for having a TFR at or above replacement levels. However, nosing about I found various indicia that the Muslim women, 10%, say, of French women and probably a larger or much larger percentage of women in France in their childbearing years, had a TFR of close to 4 per woman. This meant that the French French are still in deathbed demographic land. I suspect something like that is also true in Russia.

Blogger lowell houser November 28, 2016 8:37 PM  

You're assuming a Russian-Chinese alliance when the god emperor ascendant is showing the way towards an American Russian alliance. In truth it's what makes the most sense, for the last remaining K-selected white countries to band together against the rest of the r-seleceted world.

Blogger lowell houser November 28, 2016 8:45 PM  

Also, OF COURSE NATO is in no shape to even slow down Russia. America has a military that no other single country on Earth can hope to overcome, BUT, that's provided IT"S ALL IN ONE PLACE. Right now it's spread out ALL OVER THE GODDAMN PLANET. And because America has been picking up the tab for Europe's defense, Europe went soft. Put it's money into welfare instead of warfare, and this is what it gets you.

OpenID d31b21b0-3c34-11e6-8c2f-bb614f7b9f50 November 28, 2016 10:26 PM  

Russia relying on an alliance with China is like the story of the frog and the scorpion. China is playing Putin, and when they deem the time is right, will take Siberia.

OpenID d31b21b0-3c34-11e6-8c2f-bb614f7b9f50 November 28, 2016 10:31 PM  

@149 Actually, as I look around, it seems to be mostly Russian women having the babies; the detskii sads (nurseries/kindergartens) are full and have waiting lists, but it's all Russians (except us) and a surprising number of strollers on the walkways. Even at -15ºC.

Anonymous The Kulak November 29, 2016 12:55 AM  

I'd check out the Russian Reaction column and archives at Unz Review about Russian demographics: in short, they're worse than the government says but not nearly as terrible as the Russia haters and many Russian liberals insist. While Chechnya and Dagestan (see Steve Sailer's theme of Chechens acting all Chechen-y) do indeed have high birth rates, Tatarstan (home of Tatneft and the largest mosque in Russia outside of Grozny and Moscow)'s is not appreciably higher than Slavic or native Siberian portions of the Russian Federation. The influx of Ukrainians at the expense of pre-Maidan Ukraine's population including Crimea has helped, and for all the talk of what a huge burden the Crimeans are on the Russian Federation budget, once the bridge is built the place is going to boom as it's still more affordable than the overpriced riviera around Sochi and Italian/French vine makers are tripping over themselves to get in on the wines and the 'patriotic' Sovietskiy shampanska biz there now, despite the sanctions. And then there's the offshore gas...which will probably have to wait many years to develop until Ukraine gets some sort of cut.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKzQFTWZxxU
The 'Donetsk Blackwater' incident StopFake.org lied about -- none of these guys speak a word of Russian or Ukrainian to the crowd, but StopFake insists no mercs here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DIOfm5r8v8
Sorry Bellingcat/NATO, these are Slavs but they sure don't speak Russian/Ukrainian very well at all -- these are most likely Polish mercs outside Slavyansk in 2014

http://russia-insider.com/en/politics_ukraine/2014/11/07/01-04-44pm/polish_mercenaries_and_arms_flood_ukraine_media_looks_other
Russian TV wildly exagerrated their numbers, but they were there especially before the 'ATO' got so bloody

Regarding the question another commenter asked about Polish 'dogs of war', I don't have any specific insights on it, but I've been bemused since NATO's denials of having any 'foreign legionnaires' fighting in eastern Ukraine after Putin called the UAF NATO's Foreign Legion during the February 2015 Debaltsevo battle. That was when Merkel and Hollande rushed to Moscow to cut a deal with Putin for corridors so the trapped UAF (and foreign mercenaries who 'weren't' there) could get out, albeit without their equipment. The UAF units that tried to get out of the cauldron with their hardware got hit with rockets and arty, just as at Ilovaisk when they complained shelling a retreating enemy is no fair -- 'heroes of the Maidan' who shot unarmed Berkut cops in the back being surprised to fight an enemy with actual tanks and mortars instead of just old Moisin Nagants from WW2 and AKs.

Anonymous Gary Littlejohn November 29, 2016 6:09 AM  

I think that The Kulak has a better grasp of the demographics than I had, and he also knows more detail about events in Ukraine than me. I think that what he writes is fully consistent with what I know but his knowledge is evidently greater. I would be interested to see any comments on what happened to the USS Donald Cook in the Black Sea in 2015.

Blogger Robert What? November 29, 2016 5:05 PM  

"And it won't be too long, perhaps 20 years, before a joint Russian-Chinese alliance..."

Vox, it seems to me that if non-insane people were leading this country, Russia and America would be natural allies, not Russia and China. What are the chances of something like that occurring under a Trump administration?

Blogger Ken Prescott November 29, 2016 10:27 PM  

"Yes, it adds weight, but the missile runs out of extra weight it can carry before the tank does. Now, for some forms of attack, top attack, as you say, the solution is probably active rather than passive armor. But the point is the tank can carry a pretty heavy active system while the missile is still restricted to not very much."

But you keep looking at A tank against AN infantryman firing AN anti-tank missile. IIRC, the last engagement of that type I remember took place near the Valley of Elah between a couple of chaps named David and Goliath...and you're saying the outcome of that little tiff isn't a viable model for future engagements, which I am willing to concede for the sake of argument.

Reality would be two maneuver brigades on a meeting engagement, and all manner of projectiles flying around in random directions and overflying random friendly and enemy vehicles.

What happens to all this gee-whiz stuff that HAS to have 360-degree horizontal coverage (to keep some unsporting chap from stuffing an RPG up Our Tracked Hero's fundament) and 180-degree vertical coverage has friendly rounds going toward it from tanks and IFVs with more eagle-eyed and trigger-happy gunners than Our Tracked Hero's Faithful and Long-Suffering Sidekick, PFC Bagadonutz?

The only solution would be a "network-centric" battle management system that would be several orders of magnitude more complex than existing (and still trouble-prone) naval/airspace battle management systems--one that that can also be utilized effectively not by well-rested, well-fed, clean and dry sailors and airmen in a climate-controlled CIC (relatively stable) or CAOC (doesn't move), but by tired, dirty, ill-fed, wet, cold soldiers and Marines in M577s or LAV-CPs that are bouncing along unpaved goat paths that the geospatial weenies at NGIA call "roads."

The other problem is that active defenses rely on expendable munitions. Passive armor is heavy as guilt, but it has the advantage of not going Winchester at an inopportune moment (and ANY moment, IMNHO, is an inopportune moment to go Winchester).

"Even the battleship, to which you cited, gives evidence of this. Other than at anchor (Taranto and Pearl Harbor, say), or swarmed by the planes of many carriers (Yamato, say), did it ever happen that one carrier air wing took out a battleship with a couple of escorts and a significant ADA capability of its own?"

The point is that those planes were really, really cheap by comparison with the battleship.

"I can't recall one. (No, HMS Prince of Wales and Repulse were not yet properly refitted, equipped and trained for the new threat, though they could have been.) The battleship could carry that active defense because it had huge redundant carrying capacity just as a Russki tank can carry something like Drozhd or Arena. Or we could."

You can't recall one because after the Repulse and Prince of Wales were sunk, the admirals pulled capital ships back to within friendly air cover during daylight hours, and cruisers took on what had been considered battleship missions, whenever possible. The early phases of the Guadalcanal campaign are a good example of this.

"To tacitly claim that they need more and lose it because of the needs of self defense is not only moving the goalposts, its largely irrelevant."

No, it isn't. It reflects the need to spend a lot more wealth to maintain existing levels of mission performance. That cost is growing more rapidly than the economy ever does, even in a boom period. That is what will ultimately kill the tank as we know it today. Economics is what kills EVERY weapons system over time--it just never gets explained quite that way by the time it gets written up in the military history books.

Anonymous The Kulak December 01, 2016 4:56 AM  

For the Amurica! Our stuff's bestest and invincible in ground combat commenters...

Here's video of a CIA supplied TOW 2 hitting an older but modernized Russian made T-72B3 in Syrian Arab Army service. As you can see, the T-72 takes a licking and keeps moving. A T-90 MBT with its APS and other systems in proper working order would've sent an anti-personnel frag shell down the incoming path of the TOW (which doesn't zig zag too much to protect its operators) and probably killed them.

Now Matamoros could chime in here that a TOW is not a Javelin, and he'd be right. The Javelin probably would've overcome the Kontakt-5 explosive armor and been a solid T-72 kill. But if you send the Ukies Javelins as Hildabeast and McInsane demanded, the LDNR would've gotten plenty more Kornets to kill Ukies (and NATO 'vacationers' who 'weren't' in the ATO zone with).

Anonymous The Kulak December 01, 2016 4:57 AM  

https://twitter.com/ScottsHumor/status/803451744097280000

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