We maintain and continue this committee of correspondence in memory of our founder and mentor, Colonel W. Patrick Lang. The image to the right is Marcus, a character from William S. Burroughs’s “The Coming of the Purple Better One.” Colonel Lang would refer to Marcus sometimes in clever jest, sometimes in biting social commentary and sometimes simply because he liked Marcus. May everyone who corresponds here do so in a similar spirit.

Posted in Administration | 12 Comments

AVAILABLE now FROM iUniverse, Amazon and Barnes and Noble in hard cover, soft cover, and digital.

The Portable Pat Lang

Essential Writings on History, War, Religion and Strategy

From the Introduction:

“In the aftermath of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Col. Lang created his own blog which to this day still serves as a committee of correspondence for a large network of former military and intelligence officers, diplomats, and scholars of international affairs.

Since its launch in 2005, the Turcopolier website has had over 40 million unique visits.

Since leaving the government, he has also authored five books, including a Civil War espionage trilogy, a memoir of his years in government service, and a primer on human intelligence.

This present volume—his sixth book—is an anthology of some of his most important writings. The content speaks for itself.  So have at it.”

Posted in My books | 4 Comments

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx asteroid probe returning tomorrow

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will pass Earth this weekend, returning a sample gathered from the potentially hazardous asteroid Bennu on Sunday (Sept. 24). Fingers crossed that space enthusiasts may be able to watch the first part of this historic sample return mission  —  the first time NASA has collected material from an asteroid and brought it home — live and for free online. That is if all goes according to plan for Italian astrophysicist and astronomer Gianluca Masi and his Virtual Telescope Project.

“I’m very pleased and excited to announce that the Virtual Telescope Project will try to share, in real-time, images of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft 12 hours before it releases its precious Sample Return Capsule with samples of asteroid Bennu,” Masi said in an email to The livestream is set to start at 7 p.m. EDT (2300 GMT) on Saturday (Sept. 23). Watch it live here at or on the Virtual Telescope Project’s website. (Be aware that weather conditions or other factors could affect the project being able to observe OSIRIS-REx probe from the ground.)

OSIRIS-REx launched from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida in September 2016 atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, beginning what would be a two-year voyage to the 1,720-foot (524 meter) wide asteroid 101955 Bennu. After reaching the asteroid in August 2018, the spacecraft spent another two years observing Bennu’s surface

When this survey was completed, the spacecraft got close enough to the surface of Bennu to recover material   —  and almost got swallowed up in the process. In 2021, with the Bennu samples stored in a sample return capsule, OSIRIS-REx fired up its propulsion system and began a 1.2 billion-mile (1.9 billion-kilometer) trip back home. 

When it arrives this weekend, the spacecraft will jettison its sample return canister and then leave the vicinity of our planet again, heading out to a different asteroid. The canister should land on the surface of Earth in the western United States in the desert region around the U.S. military’s Utah Test and Training Range.

Comment: The retrieval of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft should rank right up there with the Mars landers in importance, although it surely won’t be as photogenic. Certainly not as exciting as a launch. Dr. Gianluca Masi at the Virtual Telescope Project is sure geeking out over it on the above 30 minute video showing only various views of a far away point of light. NASA will be live streaming the landing starting at 10 AM tomorrow morning. There should at least be some excitement in the control room.

This will be quite an accomplishment and, as I believe, will affirm the future of space exploration as robotic rather than manned. Even eventual Lunar and Mars permanent settlements will be mostly robotic with manned visits being more caretaker than exploratory.


Posted in Space, TTG | 1 Comment

Biden tells Zelenskyy that U.S. will send Ukraine ATACMS long-range missiles

Some in Washington had resisted supplying the weapons system, known as “attack-ems,” out of fear that it would widen the war with Russia.

President Joe Biden has told his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, that the United States will provide a small number of long-range missiles to aid the war with Russia, three U.S. officials and a congressional official familiar with the discussions told NBC News on Friday. The officials, who were not authorized to speak publicly, did not say when the missiles would be delivered or when a public announcement would be made. For months, Ukraine has asked for the Army Tactical Missile System, known as ATACMS, which would give Kyiv the ability to strike targets from as far away as about 180 miles, hitting supply lines, railways, and command and control locations behind the Russian front lines.

Defense officials have said the U.S. does not have a large stockpile of excess ATACMS, which have a bigger payload than traditional artillery, to provide to Ukraine. Also, some in Washington have resisted supplying the weapon, known colloquially as “attack-ems,” out of fear that it would widen the war with Russia. The congressional official said there was still a debate about the type of missile that would be sent and how many would be delivered to Ukraine. They added that countries in Eastern Europe had already given Ukraine large portions of their weapons stockpiles.


“But the news of the day arrived in the channel in the evening. Germany will transfer the first batch of 45 Taurus missiles to Ukraine in the near future. The second batch of Taurus will be 50 missiles and will be transferred to the Ukrainian Armed Forces by November 10. The Pentagon will supply the Ukrainian Armed Forces with 30 ATACMS missiles and three missile transport-loaders by October. M1A1 Abrams tanks are already in Rzeszow. The transfer to the territory of Ukraine will take place at night, starting at night Saturday.”

Comment: Up until today’s announcement, the official word was that no ATACMS would be going to Ukraine anytime soon if at all. Much of the resistance came from the “escalation managers” within the Biden White House. Just like McNamara’s whiz kids, these people think themselves clever enough to manipulate the timing and conduct of both Ukraine’s and Russia’s actions. Malarkey! Only Zelenskiy and Putin, their militaries and their peoples will determine how this war will be fought and for how long.

We don’t know what kind of ATACMS will be supplied, but that second quote above came from a Russian Telegram channel. It could be idle speculation, but it contains enough detail to sound like it came from Russian intel. Obviously the newest unitary warhead ATACMS will pose the greater risk to the Kerch Bridge. The older cluster warhead ATACMS are far from ideal for knocking out bridges. They are ideal for hitting ammo dumps, headquarters, troop concentrations and rail yards. If that Russian Telegram report is accurate, Germany will now be releasing her Taurus long range cruise missiles. Those are ideal for hardened targets like bridges. These weapons will not be the unicorn-like game changer in this war, but using all available weapons and capabilities together wisely, as Ukraine has been doing in Crimea over the last month, they will make life a lot more difficult for the Russian military in Ukraine.


Posted in The Military Art, TTG, Ukraine Crisis | 21 Comments

A bloodsucking parasite

“I think the problem that we’ve had is that people decided they didn’t really want to work so much anymore through COVID and that has had a massive issue on productivity. Tradies have definitely pulled back on productivity. They have been paid a lot to do not too much in the last few years and we need to see that change. We need to see unemployment rise. Unemployment has to jump 40-50% in my view. We need to see pain in the economy. We need to remind people that they work for the employer, not the other way around. There’s been a systematic change where employees feel the employer is extremely lucky to have them as opposed to the other way around. So it’s a dynamic that has to change. We’ve got to kill that attitude and that has to come through hurting the economy, which is what the whole global – the world – is trying to do. The governments around the world are trying to increase unemployment to get that to some sort of normality and we’re seeing it. I think every employer now is seeing it. I mean there is definitely massive layoffs going off. People may not be talking about it but people are definitely laying people off and we’re starting to see less arrogance in the employment market and that has to continue because that will cascade across the cost balance “

Comment: Those are the words of Australian multi-millionaire Tim Gurner at a recent at a “Property Summit” on 12 September. Since then, he has been raked over the coals for his words. He even issued an apology of sorts a few days later. I bet he only did that because he feared his words may be bad for his bottom line. I will join the many who consider him a self-important, arrogant ass. Not surprisingly there were also many of the arrogant ass class who applauded his remarks. In my opinion it is this class of bloodsucking parasites who are making life miserable for many and are giving capitalism a bad name.

Five years ago I wrote about the pioneering American labor union leader Samuel Gompers. At that time I lamented about the disappearing labor unions. Today they seem to making somewhat of a comeback. In his life’s work and in his writings, Gompers epitomized what is best about capitalism in a large society like America. I guess today he’s be considered too woke for many.


Posted in History, The economy, TTG | 16 Comments

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Nagorno-Karabakh, an ethnic Armenian-majority breakaway region, has been the cause of two wars between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the past three decades. Armenia gained control of the enclave after fighting in the 1990s, before Azerbaijan reclaimed some of the territory in the second war in 2020. Tensions have risen since December 2022 when Azerbaijan-backed activists blockaded the Lachin corridor, the only road connecting the enclave to Armenia.

CNN — Ethnic Armenian fighters in Nagorno-Karabakh agreed to lay down their arms after Azerbaijan launched a brief but bloody military offensive on Tuesday, handing a boost to Azerbaijan as it seeks to bring the enclave under its control. Whether this leads to a lasting peace is not yet clear. Armenia and Azerbaijan have already fought two wars over Nagorno-Karabakh since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The flare-up – which killed hundreds of people, according to local authorities – alarmed the international community and raised questions over Russia’s ability to maintain its long-term role as power broker in the region.

Nagorno-Karabakh, known as Artsakh to Armenians, is a landlocked region in the Caucasus Mountains and lies within Azerbaijan’s borders. It is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but is home to around 120,000 ethnic Armenians, who make up the majority of its population and reject Azerbaijani rule. The region has its own de facto government which is backed by Armenia, but it is not officially recognized by Armenia or any other country.

Under the Soviet Union, of which Azerbaijan and Armenia are both former members, Nagorno-Karabakh became an autonomous region within the republic of Azerbaijan in 1923.

Continued at:

Comment: Another unresolved conflict left over from the break up of the Soviet Union. There is no shortage of wrongs having been committed across the region. I remember my mother’s admonition to finish what’s on my plate because people are starving in Armenia. This dates back to the predations and massacres perpetrated on the Armenian people by the Ottomans. Nothing was ever solved under Soviet rule. In fact fighting broke out in 1988 as the Soviet Union weakened. Russia inherited the problems and did her best to keep a lid on the situation even during the 2020 war. 

One explanation for the current situation is put forward by Thomas Theiner. “The main reason for the current Karabakh War is that the 2020 ceasefire was signed by Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia. Armenia accepted its defeat and removed its military forces from Azerbaijani territory and returned the occupied areas outside Karabakh. But the Karabakh Armenians pretended they never lost the war and believed Putin would protect them no matter what insane positions they take. So instead of making peace the Karabakh Armenians demanded Azerbaijan hand over the formerly occupied areas, which the Karabakh Armenians had invaded and ethnically cleansed 100,000s, then pillaged and completely razed. The Karabakh Armenians refused ALL compromises and pretended they won the 2020 war, but Putin doesn’t care about them. This whole mess is SOLELY the responsibility of Karabakh’s delusional Armenians.”

Surely there’s more to this story. I did see one comment laying the blame on Stalin’s penchant to move entire ethnic groups to different areas already occupied by another group. Neither group would ever find peace. I’m not sure who was moved where in this case. At any rate, Russia was in no position to expend any military or political energy to support Armenia much less the Artsakh Armenians this time. The Kremlin has advised Armenia to accept Azerbaijan’s terms. This may very well lead to one of Russia’s frozen conflicts finally being thawed. We’ll see if it can be done without massive bloodshed, but yet another mass displacement seems to be in the cards.


Posted in Current Affairs, Russia, TTG | 18 Comments

“Be careful what you wish for:” DoD official warns separate cyber force could pose new challenges

WASHINGTON — While the Pentagon studies the pros and cons of standing up a Space Force-like independent cyber military service, one official today warned that it could potentially pose new challenges for the department when it comes to understanding warfighting needs within the military services. 

“I think the question is that for people who think the cyber service is the answer to our…current challenges in cyber personnel management: be careful what you wish for,” Mieke Eoyang, deputy assistant secretary of defense for cyber policy, said today at a Defense Writers Group event. “A cyber service might have some benefits in ease of administrative management, but we have a variety of…military services in the Department of Defense who perform a variety of missions.” Eoyang added that “those missions are enabled by technologies that are particular to those mission sets,” and that “having a cyber service that is divorced from those particular mission sets may pose some challenges in understanding the warfighting needs of the services to provide cyber to enable that fight.”

DoD is “going to study” the feasibility of creating an independent cyber force and its pros and cons, Eoyang added. She referred to section 1533 of the fiscal 2023 version of the National Defense Authorization Act [PDF] which required DoD to “study the prospect of a new force generation model” for US Cyber Command. As it currently stands, USCYBERCOM is responsible for employing personnel from each military service to combatant commands. One provision directly related to the creation of a cyber force was included in the Senate Armed Services Committee’s (SASC) version of the FY24 National Defense Authorization Act requires the secretary of defense to work with the National Academy of Public Administration to evaluate the efficacy of a “separate Armed Force dedicated to operations in the cyber domain.” 

In July, Lt. Gen. Timothy Haugh, then-nominee to head USCYBERCOM and the National Security Agency, was asked by the SASC [PDF] ahead of his nomination hearing whether DoD should continue to mature CYBERCOM following the US Special Operations Command model or create a separate cyber service.

“Congress and the Department have set the conditions for US Cyber Command to achieve this same success, leveraging expanded acquisition authorities and enhanced budget control to train and equip our cyberspace forces,” Haugh said then. “These tools are just now coming to a point that will allow the command to ensure prioritization, resource allocation, and efforts to deliver the necessary cyber systems and capabilities. We should continue this approach to allow adequate time to see the results of these authorities in improving the readiness and capabilities of our cyberspace forces.”

Comment: Fresh off the successful implementation of the Space Force, The Senate now has a hankering for establishing a Cyber Force. So far, they’re just asking CYBERCOM to study the idea. Since it’s establishment, CYBERCOM has used the SOCOM model to shape the development of necessary forces by the services. Note there is no real push to establish a Special Operations Force. Every service is eager to develop their own cyber forces much like they all want their own special operations forces. This model of force generation has worked very well for SOCOM and it will probably do the same for CYBERCOM. What makes this system work is that both unified combatant commands have been given enhanced authorities to shape the services’ force generation and acquisition processes.

I have come to see the value of creating the Space Force. Colonel Lang was always a big supporter. I had my doubts and thought that reestablishing the SPACECOM as a combatant command was the more important task. But space is a research, development and acquisition heavy domain. As Colonel Lang often noted, the Air Force fighter pilot mafia would never give space the same priority as its aircraft. I doubt the other services would either.  The cyber domain is more reliant on a well trained force rather than expensive technology. This makes it much closer to the special operations realm. 

Much like SOCOM has JSOC, CYBERCOM has established the Cyber National Mission Force (CNMF) as a subordinate unified command. This is the force charged with planning and conducting defensive and offensive cyber operations usually overseas and in foreign networks. To accomplish this mission the CNMF teams work closely with foreign partners, US law enforcement and intelligence agencies and the private US IT industry. As the Cyber Command website tells it: “today, CNMF is composed of 39 joint cyber teams organized in six task forces with 2,000-plus Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen, Coast Guardsmen, Guardians, and NSA and DIA civilians.”

The Army has established a cyber branch for career development, just like we now have a special operations career field. We had to wait decades for that to happen. Cyber operators should consider themselves lucky they didn’t have to wait for this. Other services have established their equivalent of cyber branch. CYBERCOM establishes the training standards for these forces and the services man and train the CNMF teams.

These CNMF teams appear to be the closest thing, organizationally, to my cyber HUMINT collection team back at the dawn of the millennium. We had HUMINT collectors, linguists, technical pros (self-trained hackers, network engineers and software developers). We also had embedded NSA personnel and contractors. We had near daily contact with NSA, CIA and FBI offices as well as our own DIA General Counsel. We worked in the wild, but we were purely an intelligence collection outfit. We could not execute defensive or offensive cyber operations like these CNMF teams.

One thing we were exploring when I retired was the addition of an advanced AI suite to assist in the targeting and tracking of our targets. I hope the CNMF teams have a similar capability to assist in their operations. Whether DIA followed through with this or even kept my old collection platform is unknown to me. I made a hell of a lot of enemies among the Defense HUMINT bureaucracy with my highly unorthodox ideas. 

The SASC questionnaire filled out by Lt Gen Haugh contains a wealth of unclassified information on CYBERCOM and the current state of US cyber operations. It’s a long, but easy read. The short video interview with him at the Billington CyberSecurity Summit is also informative. Haugh will be the next CINCCYBERCOM and DIRNSA so his ideas should carry through the next few years. I share his stated preference for no separate Cyber Force and no separate CYBERCOM. He makes a good case for remaining dual hatted as CINCCYBERCOM and DIRNSA… at least for the foreseeable future. 


Posted in Cyber, Intelligence, The Military Art, TTG | 10 Comments

Does the U.S. government really not know where an F35 jet is after the pilot ejected?

By Robert Willmann

You cannot make this stuff up. Cost estimates vary, but they all amount to millions and millions of dollars per airplane. Since (at least) Sunday, 17 September 2023, a Lockheed Martin F35 military jet is said to be missing after the pilot ejected over South Carolina. The plane kept flying. A report said there was a second plane flying with the one in question, and it later landed. If so, why did it not follow the wayward F35?

Forbes Magazine quotes Jeremy Huggins, a spokesperson for Joint Base Charleston, who said that the F35 “was left in autopilot mode when the pilot ejected”, and also [1]:

“… [He told] the Washington Post on Monday that officials asked for the public’s help because the jet’s transponder, which helps locate the aircraft, was not working ‘for some reason that we haven’t yet determined’.”

Wow! The only way to track the fancy jet is with a regular transponder, like a Cessna single propeller, piston engine training airplane. If that is true, then everyone at Lockheed Martin and in the Department of Defense who is involved in the F35 project needs to be told, “You’re fired!” If not, then something else is going on. After all, Lockheed Martin says that: “The F35 is the most advanced node in 21st Century Warfare”, and “Securely connecting high-tech platforms”, and “seamlessly sharing information across every domain”….

Well, the plane is not seamlessly sharing information about where it might be, we are told. If they are that incompetent, then changes must be made. Otherwise, please don’t bullsh*t a bullsh*tter.


Posted in Current Affairs, government, Media, Policy, Science | Tagged , , | 24 Comments

Officials say 5 prisoners sought by the US in a swap with Iran have flown out of Tehran

In this photo released on Aug. 11, 2022, by the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani speaks in Teheran, Iran. Some $6 billion of Iranian assets once frozen in South Korea is in Qatar, a key element for a planned prisoner swap between Teheran and the United States, an Iranian official said Monday, Sept. 18, 2023 (Iranian Foreign Ministry via AP, File)

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Five prisoners sought by the U.S. in a swap with Iran flew out of Tehran on Monday, officials said, part of a deal that saw nearly $6 billion in Iranian assets unfrozen. Despite the deal, tensions are almost certain to remain high between the U.S. and Iran, which are locked in various disputes, including over Tehran’s nuclear program. Iran says the program is peaceful, but it now enriches uranium closer than ever to weapons-grade levels.

Flight-tracking data analyzed by The Associated Press showed a Qatar Airways flight take off from Tehran’s Mehrabad International Airport, which has been used for exchanges in the past. Iranian state media soon after said the flight had left Tehran.

Two people, including a senior Biden administration official, said that the prisoners had left Tehran. They both spoke on condition of anonymity because the exchange was ongoing. In addition to the five freed Americans, two U.S. family members flew out of Tehran, according to the Biden administration official. The flight was expected to land in Doha, Qatar. Earlier, officials said that the exchange would take place after nearly $6 billion in once-frozen Iranian assets reached Qatar, a key element of the deal.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani was the first to acknowledge the swap would take place Monday, confirming the cash sought for the exchange that had been held by South Korea was in Qatar. “Fortunately Iran’s frozen assets in South Korea were released and God willing today the assets will start to be fully controlled by the government and the nation,” Kanaani said.

Comment: Critics claim this is paying ransom for hostages, even though the ransom was Iran’s money to begin with. Another criticism is that Iran now has $6 billion to fund Hezbollah, IRGC operations and weapons development. The administration counters with the limits imposed on spending this $6 billion only for humanitarian purposes, but money is fungible. I’m sure the $6 billion does not consist of marked bills. Plenty can be said for and against this. I prefer to celebrate the fact that five Americans are no longer in an Iranian prison. 


Posted in Current Affairs, Iran, TTG | 10 Comments

How Estonia’s Military Intelligence secretly helped Ukraine

February 24, 2022. It had been maybe 10 hours since Vladimir Putin announced the “special military operation” against Ukraine, but the fighting was already taking place dangerously close to Kyiv. Russian forces were trying to take control of the Hostomel airport on the north-western outskirts of Ukraine’s capital. Columns of tanks and other heavy equipment were heading towards Kyiv from Belarus. It was only a 130 kilometers journey. 

Then, roughly 800 km away in Pskov, 18 IL-76 transport planes started their engines and headed towards the takeoff track. The planes were full of perhaps Russia’s most elite airborne troops from the 76th Guards Air Assault Division. The approximately 1,000 troops loaded onto the planes were highly trained, and many of them already experienced from the Chechen wars. Their objective was to fly to Kyiv and quickly finish the “special military operation.”

The ILs were already halfway towards the Hostomel airport when Christo Grozev was the first to publicly draw attention to it: “The only plausible goal would be to capture and subordinate Kyiv (and install a puppet government) today. While the world is watching and doing almost nothing.”

But luckily this time Grozev got it a little bit wrong. Two different sources confirmed to Delfi Estonia that Estonia’s military intelligence, officially known in English as the Military Intelligence Centre of Estonian Defense Forces, had sent an advance warning to their Ukrainian colleagues before the troops had even stepped on the planes.

“I cannot confirm or deny this,” says Estonian military intelligence chief colonel Margo Grosberg when asked about it. His pause before the answer seems just a tad too long. But he acknowledges that the Hostomel battle that day might well have been the most crucial battle in the whole course of the Ukrainian war so far. “If the ILs would have been able to land at Hostomel, we might be today in a totally different situation than what he have,” he says. 

Ukraine poured everything it had around Kyiv to keep the planes from landing. The Ukrainians showered the airfield with artillery fire to make the landing strip unusable. Apparently one of Russia’s KA-52 attack helicopters was shot down and crashed on the runway making it virtually impossible for the ILs to land. After circling in the Ukrainian sky for some time, they needed to return to the base.

Comment: This is an exit interview with Colonel Margo Grosberg, the outgoing chief of Estonia’s Military Intelligence. It’s a far ranging interview and well worth reading in its entirety. I think it’s a refreshingly frank and sober view from another frontline East European state. I also see this pointing towards a robust future for the Three Seas Initiative in either supplanting NATO or giving it a strong backbone.

Concerning the specific battle of Hostomel, I think the decision to try to air land an air assault division rather than attempt a combat drop with an airborne division was fateful. Was it a decision based on over confidence or a lack of confidence in the VDV’s ability to pull off a combat drop? Did Gerasimov and Shoigu lack faith in the much vaunted VDV to pull off an airborne assault and keep those doubts from Putin. This wouldn’t surprise me in the least.   


Posted in The Military Art, TTG, Ukraine Crisis | 17 Comments

The world according to Andrei Gurulev

I will briefly report on the situation at the front without referencing specific directions. The information was obtained from primary sources, it was systematised, and the following conclusions were made. The enemy, having properly faced our forces at the beginning of his counter-offensive, changed his combat tactics. They are no longer moving forward in large forces; they were obviously forbidden to lose heavy equipment en masse. Today they have switched to squeeze-out tactics, they are massively using cluster shells, inflicting damage on the strong points of our units, assault groups, they have a lot of ammunition, they are trying to burn out absolutely everything. Yes, this situation forces our troops to retreat deeper. Not far, but in some places they lost up to 10 kilometers of territory. The enemy has in places occupied our defensive positions, which were very well equipped with our own hands. After breaking the defense line, the enemies created conditions making it impossible to use anti-tank missiles by our helicopters; after the line was pushed, they became vulerable to enemy MANPADS. The efficiency of our helicopters has decreased.

The enemy has learned to work with our very well- made minefields. They competently clear them of mines, by inflicting artillery fire and using trawls. Our artillery has improved the quality of counter-battery warfare. There are results, but again the enemy is adapting. Basically, all of its guns are installed in depth at a distance inaccessible to our artillery. An estimated two artillery brigades were concentrated in the “hottest” directions, not counting the artillery of local brigades. We burned a lot of their towed artillery, they switched to using self-propelled guns. Our people say that it is very difficult, almost impossible, to catch them; after the second aimed shot they move and change position.

They have a lot of unmanned vehicles and even more. We have also adapted here, and over the last 2-3 weeks we have been effectively destroying them. Verba and Strela-10 air defense systems work well against UAVs. But the hohols have a lot of drones, they use them wisely, you see these attacks not only at the front, but also in our deep rear. 

The main conclusion is that the war continues. Yes, we are stronger, our warriors are stronger and more courageous, our troops are more professional. We endure, we adapt, we win, we have already destroyed a lot of the enemy’s manpower. But it is foolish to deny that today NATO is fighting against us with all its advanced technologies. We will win in any case, but victory is separated from us only by one serious problem of ours – lies. Yes, there is less of it than there was at the beginning of the SMO, but it is there. There are at different levels, they talk about it in the troops. False reports, unfortunately, lead to poor decisions at many levels. This is there, let’s acknowledge it and fight it, otherwise there will be trouble.

Comment: This is a Telegram posting of retired Lieutenant General Andrei Gurulev. He is a former Deputy Commander of the Southern Military District and current Deputy in the Russian State Duma. As ISW sees it “Gurulev is notable for having previously leaked the audio message of former Commander of the 58th Combined Arms Army (SMD) Major General Ivan Popov’s grievances over the lack of support for Russian forces on 12 July, and Gurulev‘s likely senior ties with the SMD lend weight to his complaints.”

His complaints track with what we hear from Western analysts. What keeps him from meeting an untimely fate, or at least some kind of repercussions for his outspokenness, is that he is a true believer in the righteousness of the Kremlin’s cause and its eventual and inevitable victory. I’m sure he’s not alone in this faith. He has also spoken about the need for employing nuclear weapons to achieve that eventual victory. Not sure how widespread that belief is, but I see it as a sign that he believes the inevitable victory will remain illusive without employing that drastic final solution. I haven’t heard that much faith in a happy little nuclear war since the “With Enough Shovels” crowd of the Reagan era.


Posted in Russia, The Military Art, TTG, Ukraine Crisis | 15 Comments

Open Thread – 15 September 2023

There’s so much going on here and abroad that I can’t keep up. Have at it. BTW, I have one of those speedy stitchers. They work well, but I prefer two threaded heavy needles criss-crossing from opposite sides.

Posted in Open Thread | 51 Comments