The just-concluded NATO summit in Vilnius delivered a stark message to Ukraine, if anyone was listening above all the background noise: Defeat the Russians and then come to us for membership. The still-NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg almost made a joke of it on the eve of the summit when he was quoted saying the door to NATO membership is open so long as Ukraine does not lose the war, at which point it would be a moot issue.

In his pre-summit interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, President Biden echoed the same. No country gets to join NATO while at war, because that would mean NATO immedately enters the war under Article 5 and the U.S. and NATO have made clear they are not ready for war with Russia.

Everything else related to Ukraine was a consolation prize: No Membership Action Program will be required, but Ukraine must still jump through all the governance hoops, including anti-corruption, democratization, etc. The G-7 issued a statement of moral support, pledging continuing assistance, but to be negotiated by each of the G-7 countries on a bilateral basis. The fact that the NATO summit produced a G-7 statement of support to Ukraine, rather than a NATO timetable or concrete list of steps to be taken for membership, was IMHO bizarre. Since when are NATO and the G-7 interoperable? Is all that talk around the Hiroshima G-7 meeting earlier this year about “economic NATO” moving forward or is it just hot air?

Two real-world developments further underscored the Vilnius charade: The much heralded Ukraine counteroffensive has so far stalled. Competent military analysts, including Mike Kofman of the Center of Naval Analysis and War on the Rocks identified the minefields, the multi-layer Russian defenses, and the Russian success in helicopter assaults on Ukrainian forces as factors driving Ukraine to devise a new strategy–based on a war of attrition. That means that the Russians reach the point of exhaustion (of manpower, weapons, and morale) before Ukraine. And that for now does not look like a winning proposition. As former British Defense Minister and NATO Secretary General George Robertson noted this week, Russia is running a round-the-clock arms production cycle, while Britain is running out of weapons and is not showing signs of mobilizing.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) has drawn the same conclusions about the U.S. arsenal of democracy: There is no surge capacity and it will take years to revive it. According to their study, replacing the inventory of 155 millimeter artillery shells will take 4-7 years; Javelin missile replacement 8 years; Stinger missiles 18 years.

They are not alone. The Pentagon issued a study in April on the collapse of the primary defense industry, which went from 52 primary contractors in the 1990s down to five today. It is no secret how that happened. During the Clinton years, following the end of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, Defense Secretary Bill Perry convened defense industry CEOs and told them that they could not assume production contracts would maintain at Cold War levels, and they needed to diversity to survive. Many of the companies got out of defense production and those that remained merged to secure their market share of dwindling orders. Nobody was ready for the future China defense surge, the Russia-China strategic partnership, or the Ukraine invasion.

Pentagon and intelligence officials point to the 40 countries that meet regularly at Ramstein Air Base in Germany to pledge further weapons to Ukraine, but none have capacity to match what the U.S. used to produce.

Back at Vilnius, Biden blocked British Minister of Defense Ben Wallace from getting the coveted NATO Secretary Generalship, despite Sunak’s pleadings during his early June visit to Washington. Stoltenberg sings the Washington tune, while Wallace was pushing the envelope closer to the red line of direct NATO confrontation with Russia. Wallace was notably in a foul mood at Vilnius (and he announced his September retirement right after getting home–he will not even seek his parliamentary seat in the next elections), but he was not speaking out of turn when he bluntly told Zelensky that NATO “is not Amazon” and he should show more gratitude for the weapons he is receiving.

As TTG noted the other day, the Russian forces are dug in and are not about to rush home to finish the Prigozhin Wagner “revolution.” So the war is more than likely to drag on into 2024 and perhaps beyond. Information warfare aside, nothing else is certain.

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  1. Barbara Ann says:

    “No country gets to join NATO while at war, because that would mean NATO immediately enters the war under Article 5”

    This cuts both ways, as from the Russian POV what incentive is there to formally end the conflict (even if she gets to keep annexed territory) if the reward will be the rump state of Ukraine immediately joining NATO? Short of being defeated on the battlefield, why would Russia do anything other than continue the conflict or at a minimum freeze it?

    • TTG says:

      Barbara Ann,

      Good point. The Kremlin would be very happy with another frozen conflict. But I doubt the Ukrainians are willing to allow it to stay frozen yet. I don’t think the Russians can afford to pay the current price for a long stalemate with some continued level of fighting. Unlike many, I think the West can keep this up for several years before getting tired of it.

      • ked says:

        it’s hot as hell all over now, getting worse longer. all will welcome the cold. it slows down casualties while building ammo & reserves. could be a long time before conflict simmers down. & still hot, weird & tricky @ the longest active / surviving DMZ on earth. apparently, the Russian peoples can sustain pointless losses as least as long as anyone else. tough sledding all around, the Ukrainians want it the most.
        reminds me of this TZ;

      • Stefan says:

        I’d like to believe you are right but I’m not so sure, my reasons:

        1) Politically, lots of countries in Europe are on the fence – Germany (ADF surge), Netherlands (Rute out), France (likely more to come), Austria (pro-Russian far-right gaining seats), Slovakia (new pro-Russian head of state), Bulgaria (pro-Russian President banned weapons to Ukraine recently). Even Poland is deeply divided, recent polls show. Britain is an exception, but then it’s been their policy for the past several hundred years to create a coalition against the strongest entity on the continent, so we can’t really expect something else this time.

        2) Military-wise and I’ve said it before, western analysts make several mistakes about Russian capabilities – first, there are usually two mothballed wartime workshops for everyone in peacetime use, like for example workshops 135 in Uralvagonzavod or workshop 130. The machinery was there conserved in grease and was quite easy to restart production. Second, the lack of spare parts (like optics from Thales) is not real – Russians import like crazy everything, from agriculture machinery parts to chips via third parties. Having worked for about 15 years in Corporate banking, I really see no way how this trade can be stopped when profits are good enough for traders. No sanctions will help – ask anyone with experience in trade finance (and not a rookie). Third, state companies that manufacture military production write off their assets after a few years due to depreciation standards, but a 10-year-old lathe still works quite well. Some Western analysts say this those companies are decapitalized – well, this is not “goodwill” or “intangible assets”, those companies can actually produce things. Hence an illusion about capabilities, parroted by MSM.

        3) Information – Western info war is not very effective in Russia, and China for that matter – narrative is set by local political interests and spread by local media.

        4) Economy – plenty of info around, just watch some youtube videos of Westerners visiting Russian supermarkets now or commenting on inflation and overall well-being. Not much has changed, since before the war.

        That said, I’m certainly not pro-Russian. I just think it’s now 1942 again. There must be peace before it’s 1945 – and hope the new administration in the US recognises it.

    • F & L says:

      To forestall lynching of the entire leadership?

      • Barbara Ann says:

        Yes Russia will quit the war if her leadership is lynched and/or suffers a coup d’état. Strelkov says Russia is one major defeat away from another march on Moscow. But that cuts both ways too. He hasn’t, so far as I know, expressed a view on what will happen to NATO support should Ukraine suffer a major defeat.

        To put it another way Russia, for example, can at least feed her people and doesn’t need to import ever more expensive wheat. NATO support is reliant on the weakest link. If that breaks, for any reason, the whole thing will unravel. If it comes to it the US will save NATO at the expense of Ukraine – to avoid the very scenario Walrus sets out. From what I read (e.g. the CIA’s amusing non mea culpa in Newsweek) preparations are being made in case an Afghanistan style exit is needed. Everything will depend on what happens on the battlefield over the next few months.

        • Leith says:

          Strelkov just arrested. Getting too blatant with his negative war reporting to suit the Kremlin bunker boy.

        • Leith says:

          Russia just arrested by Pavel Gubarev also. They finally managed to catch a real life Ukrainian NAZI, even though he fought for Russia against Ukraine and for a short time was governor of the breakaway Donetsk People’s Republic.

          He has threatened to murder every man, woman a child in Ukraine unless they start speaking Russian, reject the Ukrainian language and Ukrainian citizenship, and the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, and swear on a cross allegiance to the Kremlin.

          Beats me why Russia would arrest him? But probably because of his leadership role in the ‘Club of Angry Patriots’, and his criticism of Purim’s war effort.

          • Barbara Ann says:


            Lead an actual armed insurrection against the Russian government and you get a slap on the wrist and exiled to Belarus. Form a group arguing that the war could be fought more effectively and it’s off to the GULAG. Hey ho, I’m just surprised it took so long.

            Can’t help feeling “Club of Angry Patriots” was a major branding error – why not “Club of Concerned Patriots”? Then again Girkin’s been arrested under the same ‘extremist organization’ law that Russia uses on Jehovah’s Witnesses.

            I note Gubarev has been since been released btw. Maybe the whole thing was an FSB honeypot.

    • billy roche says:

      B.A. The Russians don’t want/will not accept a “rump state” Ukraine. Their objective is NO Ukraine. Ukraine/Ukrainians do not/may not exist. Any thing other then complete elimination of Ukraine prevents restoration of the Russian Empire. That is Putin’s objective. If if if, the “rump state” is Galicia then yes it goes to Poland. Poland, and its hate for Russia, is enlarged, and partisan activity against Moscow from Ukraine will be a constant. Russia’s invasion was not just about the Donbass, they already had Crimea, and it wasn’t about latent evil Nazis lurking about. This is Putin making good on his comment about the elimination of the S.U. For Putin, the S.U. was the Russian Empire in a different suit of cloths and his campaign for restoration had to begin b/f he died. The war is simple to understand if we just look at Russian and Ukrainian history.

      • Harper says:

        Agree with your characterization of Putin’s dream of a restored Russian Empire, but the offsetting question is: Does he and the Russian military leadership have the capacity to recognize that the initial objective has been defeated and a more limited set of goals may still be achievable without getting into a direct war with NATO which they do not want? It appears the Russian military objectives and strategy have been revised to accept a level of the reality that they did not anticipate at the start of the Special Military Operation. Russians think long-wave and they could settle for limited objectives with the idea of taking another stab at finishing off what remains of Ukraine. Not certain the European NATO countries in Western Europe are keen on Ukraine in NATO.

        • Barbara Ann says:


          “Yes” is the short answer to your question. AFAICT Putin’s latent irredentist streak was not a significant factor in Russian foreign policy until the Nuland coup of 2014 forced his hand re Crimea. Setting aside dreams, the imperative for Russian national security is to prevent the NATO-ization of Ukraine.

          Given that Ukie military strategy currently seems to be driven largely by NATO government PR demands for ‘progress’ and is inevitably geared around the US electoral cycle, I think the Russian leadership is now calculating that the war can be won over the medium term simply by jeopardizing NATO unity. Holding a defensive line is working towards this goal right now.

          • billy roche says:

            Russian security??? Russia has been invaded twice in the last 200 years. In those two hundred years Russia has invaded other countries 10 times. Russian security is code for Russian Empire. Has anyone ever brought up the need for Romanian security; Finnish security; Georgian security; Lithuanian security??? Should Ukraine expect security? I think we can let Napoleon and the French invasion of 1815 go. Its been 208 years; but we can focus on Germany’s invasion of 1941. But that’s been 82 years ago. Mean while Russia has invaded … you can count as well as I. Russian Security=Russian Empire, period.

        • billy roche says:

          I think you r right about WESTERN European countries not being keen on Ukrainian membership. Western Europe has been spinless since 1918. Weak and depraved it does not have the courage to defend its own sovereignty, never mind Ukraine’s. Of course I am guessing but post the Russo/Ukro war, eastern Europeans will demand Ukrainian membership in NATO and will offer a deal to the west. You pay for the materials and we’ll protect you from those mean ole Russians. Think I am kidding? Consider if Germany, Britain, or France have the means or will to fight Russia w/o the US. Will the Netherlands, Denmark, or Spain rush to help? How about a one two punch of the Italian and Belgian army. NATO remains US military & money and eastern European will. I’ll make another guess, if Ukraine survives and western Europeans refuse to allow her to enter NATO eastern Europeans will leave. An Eastern European Treaty Organization will follow and America will be a member. “Western European” NATO will fold and America will no longer pay for the west’s security. The proposed (by Macron and Merkel) EU army it will not happen. Western Europeans are unwilling to pay for it and European men are unwilling to fight for it. The war in Ukraine will presage a realignment in European importance from west to east.

  2. F & L says:

    “Chicago Board of Futures Options — Grain Trading Division Desk Officer speaking, who shall I say is calling?”

    “Hunter Who wishes to be connected to the Foreign Minister of … ?”

    Weat prices spike after Russia declares Ukraine bound ships possible targets:

    • TTG says:


      The US will do nothing about the grain shipments. This country is still deathly afraid of NATO and the US being sucked into a direct confrontation with Russia. I’m waiting to see what Turkey does. They need some of that grain.

      • Yeah, Right says:

        Why does Turkey need Ukrainian grain?

        There is an alternative source of grain right next door. Top quality, available at mates-rates.

        • TTG says:

          Yeah, Right,

          Turkiye is Ukraine’s biggest buyer of wheat and barley. It’s an odd situation. This year Turkiye introduced a massive duty rate to protect domestic producers. Don’t understand the situation. It’s just the way it is.

          • Yeah, Right says:

            TTG: “Turkiye is Ukraine’s biggest buyer of wheat and barley.”

            And just a year ago the EU was the biggest buyer of Russian gas and oil. Now it isn’t.

            There is nothing magical or irreplaceable about Ukrainian wheat and barley. If buying it becomes more of a burden than it is worth then Turkey can buy the grain from other sources.

            We are talking about Erdogan here: everything is transactional as far as he is concerned, and he owes no loyalty to anyone, least of all to Zelensky.

          • TTG says:

            Yeah, Right,

            Turkiye is having a good year for domestic grain production. They don’t need Ukrainian, Russian or any other nation’s grain as they did in the recent past. Drought wiped out the crop in past years.

          • F & L says:

            Probably it was Erdogan paying his electoral base.

          • TTG says:


            Seems this year Turkiye’s grain production has done well. In past years drought ruined the crops. Erdogan is protecting domestic producers. Nothing sinister or underhanded in that. The EU is also protecting domestic producers from the Ukrainian grain now transshipping Europe.

          • Yeah, Right says:

            So I’m now terribly confused.
            In one post you said “I’m waiting to see what Turkey does. They need some of that grain.”
            while in another post you said ” They don’t need Ukrainian, Russian or any other nation’s grain as they did in the recent past.”

            To say that those two comments are contradictory is an understatement.

          • TTG says:

            Yeah, Right,

            Yes it is contradictory. The first comment was based on what they imported last year. The second is based on this year’s apparent bumper crop and imposition of duties on foreign grain.

    • Fred says:

      Do the grain ships showing up to load in Odessa have empty cargo holds or Lusitania like ‘hidden’ cargo? Asking ’cause one of the beligerents keeps saying the latter while the other says they are as pure as the driven blow recently found in the White House.

      • TTG says:


        Ukraine’s western border remains wide open and the trains are still running. There’s no need to smuggle arms across the Black Sea.

        • Fred says:


          Does that open border negate the ability to use sea lift?If so how? How long is the train trip from the Polish border to Odessa and how do you disguise a submersible, surface drone, or associated armaments to get them to the Black Sea coast?

          • TTG says:


            The open border doesn’t negate the ability to use sealift in the Black Sea, but it negates the need to use sealift. The Montreaux Treaty is what negates the use of sealift through the Bosphorus and into the Black Sea.

          • Fred says:


            The treaty negates warships, nor cargo ships with hidden cargo.

          • leith says:

            Fred –

            The convention allows Turkey to negate merchant ships under certain circumstances. They haven’t yet TMK. But they should, because Russian merchant shipping has openly carried mil cargo through the Strait to the port of Novorossysk.

        • Yeah, Right says:

          Rail transport for grain is much, much more expensive than shipping it.

          So the further the grain has to travel by rail then the less competitive it is, because the freight cost kills you.

          Not such a problem if Ukraine was able to sell its grain in Poland, or Romania, or Hungary.

          But, alas, those countries are refusing to allow Ukrainian grain to be dumped in their markets even before the grain deal folded, and they are showing no signs of relenting.

          Indeed, by FAR the biggest European market for Ukrainian grain is Spain, which uses that low-grade to fatten their pigs.

          Which all means that without the grain corridor Ukrainian grain is non-competitive. Certainly loading it onto rail cars and choo-chooing it to Spain is a non-starter: the transport costs would exceed the value of the grain.

          • TTG says:

            Yeah, Right,

            For Ukrainian grain, the Black Sea route makes a big difference. For arms shipments, the Black Sea is not needed and the Montreux Protocol prevents those shipments anyways.

            Ukrainian grain going into the EU by train was still undercutting local producers. That’s why the EU was up in arms about those shipments and limited the selling of Ukrainian grain within the EU.

          • Yeah, Right says:

            My understanding of the Russian complaint about the grain deal is not so much about arms being shipping in to Odessa: they aren’t happy about it, but as you say there is an overland route for arms.

            Rather, their complaint is that the Ukrainians use the “grain corridors” to launch these naval drones that have been attacking Sevastopol, warships protecting the piplines, and the Kerch Bridge.

            Some of these are little more than radio-controlled jet ski packed with explosives, and there is no way such drones could make it all the way from Odessa.

            The Ukrainians are loading these into dry cargo vessels, and then sailing those ships unmolested on the grain corridors before launching those drones against the Russians.

            That is an outrageous violation of that agreement, and that alone would justify the Russians in refusing to renew it.

  3. walrus says:

    I think that by the time Russia is finished with Ukraine, there won’t be a NATO and Ukraine will either be a neutral state or it won’t exist -what is left of it will have been absorbed into Poland.

    My opinion, not worth much, but is that Russia is indeed pursuing a limited war – otherwise why would Kiev, Lvov and other cities still exist? For example why would not Russia saturate those cities with cluster bombs? That would create a refugee tidal wave for Europe to deal with.

    • TTG says:


      Back in 2014, I thought the crucible of war would forge a united Novorossiya. It didn’t happen. Even during the thick of it Donetsk and Luhansk couldn’t come together. Ukraine, on the other hand, Russia’s invasion has forged a united Ukraine. Those who still want to be part of Russia will be a small minority. How they’ll fit into a future Ukraine is still an unanswered question. Will they leave for Russia or be hounded out by Kyiv. Perhaps as a small minority, Kyiv will no longer see them as a threat and leave them be. But from what I know of Slavic mentality, grudges will remain for at least a generation.

      • billy roche says:

        For at least a generation?????? Oh boy, you are optimistic.

        • TTG says:

          billy roche,

          Yes, that is optimistic. I base it on the extreme hatred harbored by Lithuanians towards Poles for Pilsudski’s aggression. I wasn’t aware of the depth of that hatred until I visited the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture in Chicago. They had a large exhibit dedicated to that time period. I’m amazed that animosity persisted through the Stalin period. But it’s gone now… in one generation.

          • Fred says:


            “But it’s gone now… in one generation.”

            Boy do the BLM folks need to hear about this…..

      • wiz says:


        National unity will only get you so far.
        Germans were united in WW2 and had a very capable military, yet lost anyways.
        Serbs in ’99 were united in trying to hold on to their Kosovo province, resisted NATO aggression for 3 months, yet when faced with imminent ground invasion they understood they had no chance and capitulated.

        Ukraine might run out of men before it runs out of ammo.

      • Fred says:

        “Russia’s invasion has forged a united Ukraine.”

        That’s why Zelensky has banned all political opposition, jailed candidates for office they aren’t in his party, and closed churches?

        • TTG says:


          Kyiv has banned several Russia aligned political parties. Most of the former members of those parties who were sitting in the Verkhovna Rada are still sitting in the Verkhovna Rada. Zelenskiy has fired and arrested members of his own party and even some friends for corruption or treason. The Quislings in the occupied territories are being dealt with by the resistance units.

          • Fred says:


            “Russia aligned political parties”

            If Zelensky’s government declared them such is that all it takes to get them banned? Apparently so.

            “The Quislings in the occupied territories are being dealt with by the resistance units.” I wonder if the ‘resistance’ plants bombs in damns or kills off nuclear power plant workers – because of ‘collaboration’.

            At least the hatred will only last one generation…..

          • JamesT says:


            You define “Russia aligned political parties” as any party that wants to negotiate even a little bit to end the war. And Kyiv has banned 11 opposition parties – which is a lot more than Putin has banned. Putin only ever banned 1 opposition party.

          • TTG says:


            What opposition parties does Putin face?

            Of those parties banned by Kyiv, For Life is the one that mattered. Medvedchuk was groomed for taking over the government when Russian forces hoped to liquidate Zelenskiy and his government. Most of the other banned parties probably would have disintegrated on their own. Parties come and go fairly quickly there.

          • JamesT says:


            The main opposition party that Putin faces is the Communist Party – they have the support of about 30% of the population. But we don’t like to talk about that. So many inconvenient truths.

        • billy roche says:

          Alien and Sedition Acts, Lincoln shutting down anti war press (imprisoning dissenters), Sedition and Alien Acts Wilson, Japanese Internment Roosevelt, are some American examples of the federal government forgetting about free speech in war time. Zelenskyy is tracking true to form. It just hit me; has any other govt anywhere, at anytime ever done the same? Naaw, just those damned Americans and their pony faced Ukrainians.

      • What Ukraine has done to Metropolitan Pavel seems, to me, unconscionable.
        The speech police at work.


        “He was … accused of supporting Russian aggression and inciting national and religious enmity.

        Investigators claim that he portrayed Russia’s aggression as an internal civil conflict and made statements that justified or denied the actions of the Russian Federation.”


        “Ukrainian nationalism is pursuing countless ways to erase the cultural traits of Russia.
        Hence, the arrest of Metropolitan Pavel is about humiliating the UOC and furthering the power concentration methods of Ukrainian nationalism.

        One can only imagine how the politically correct media – and EU and G7 political elites – would respond if a Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, or Muslim religious leader was humiliated like this and treated like a common criminal in Europe.”


        “Ukrainian authorities have blocked both electronic and in-person fundraising to help pay the bail for the persecuted abbot of the Kiev Caves Lavra.”

        • TTG says:

          Keith Harbaugh,

          This all stems from the unholy alliance between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Kremlin. Patriarch Kirill still presides over a church that encompasses the former USSR. He is joined at the hip with Putin and wholeheartedly supports all Putin’s war aims. Whether Metropolitan Pavel shares those aims is not clear. If his aims are purely in service of the Orthodox Church as an integral part of the Russian Orthodox Church, his arrest and detention are wrong. But none of that is clear and calmer heads are not likely to prevail until the war is over.

          • JamesT says:


            Europeans fought religious wars for centuries during which Catholics and Protestants took turns burning each other at the stake. It is too bad that we westerners have forgotten why we adopted “freedom of religion” as a western value.

    • Fred says:


      Europe, or at least a select few of various european national leaders, created a great deal of tidal ‘refuge’ waves. From before Merkel’s open door policy to the NATO led destruction of the Libyan government. Somebody is benefitting from the inflow, the social ‘service’ obligations, and the settlement patterns. Ukrainians would at least have the benefit of actually being European.

    • billy roche says:

      Walrus with respect to you, you believe Russia is conducting a limited war b/c you have little knowledge of Ukrainian/Russian history, or, you are deliberately promoting Putin’s lies. This is Putin’s first step in re-establishing the Russian Empire of 1914 and again dissolved in 1991. Its your druthers for sure so maybe you support the restoration of empire. As Barbara Ann opined, the truth will start to show by this year’s end. A hardening of lines over the months of J-A ’24 will work to Ukraine’s advantage. It will die b/f it kisses Russian dupa. Back to limited war… if Ukraine could get out of the war w/o the Donbass and half of Crimea I would suggests they take it and run!

  4. jim ticehurst.. says:

    I Have Read that Ukraine Fighters Shoot up to 7000 Rounds of Ammo/missles
    a Day…Do They even Know Where and Why….How effective for Kills Per 500 Rounds..? The Russians are Entrenched…Reports are The United States is now 7 Seven to 20 Twenty Years Behind Replacing All the Weapons and Ammo we have sent to Ukraine..

    Its Reported that 40 % of The U.S. Submariine Fleet is Down For Repairs…and 3 U.S.
    Aircraft Carriers. are being DECOMED in Two Years…Putin Looks Healthy..and Russia Got all of Wagners Tanks and Cannons….2000…And Russia Maintain Air Superiority..
    So…It Looks like the Aggressors are Tweaking Social..political..Econpmic and
    Military Decay…Material..Command..Control..Manpower..Logistics..inside
    the DC Graveyard…And Plotting A Coalition ..Staged…Ready Response..for
    War…against a Worn Out..Run Down NATO ..EU System in about Two years
    With Various Outcomes by Janurary 2025..and Lack of Leadership ..and Constant
    Bar Brawls… The Real World Situation is Not Good..Nor An Easy Fix ..PU Plenty.

  5. Eliot says:


    “ The Kremlin would be very happy with another frozen conflict.”

    Moscow has said they don’t want a frozen conflict, it gives Ukraine a second chance at a later date, and Moscow has already paid the price for going to war, so why not see it to the end. They’ve survived the sanctions, and the war is an affordable expense for them. I didn’t appreciate it at the time, but they did a complete reset last fall. They decided their army was too small to win the war, it needed to get a lot larger, and that they need to dramatically increase military production in order to defeat Ukraine, and while Wagner went on the offensive last winter, the army was not very active. They’re being very patient.

    I do think a frozen conflict is Washington’s best case scenario though. They don’t believe the Ukrainians can win, and at the same time, an outright peace deal is politically impossible. It would mean accepting territorial losses,

    – Eliot

    • TTG says:


      A second chance at what? Ukraine never invaded Russia. The prevailing thought in the West is that Russia will use a frozen conflict as time to prepare for another try to force their will on Ukraine.

      • Yeah, Right says:

        TTG: “A second chance at what?”

        I’ll try a second time to get an answer that question published.

        The FIRST chance was when Merkel and Holland convinced Poroshenko to sign up for Minsk I, even as all three intented that to buy time to arm up the Ukrainian military so it could have a second go at annihilating the self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk Republics.

        The SECOND chance was when those three clowns agreed to mend their ways and sign Mink II, all the while knowing that the only intention for doing so was buy time to arm up the Ukrainian military so it could have a third go at annihilating the self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk Republics.

        The Ukrainians were just about ready to drop that hammer when WHAMMER JAMMER the Russians decided not to wait.

        Fool me once, shame on you.
        Fool me twice, shame on me.
        The Russians do not appear to be willing to be fooled again.

        • TTG says:

          Yeah, Right,

          The LNR and DNR weren’t any more serious about Minsk I or II than Kyiv was. All parties needed ceasefires.

          Ukraine was not about to attack the breakaway republics in February 2022. OSCE inspectors certified that most of the Ukrainian heavy weapons were still in storage areas away from the line of contact. The Ukrainian units along the LOC were under orders not to react to most shelling provocations unless necessary as the Russians were concentrating their forces along the border. The talk of an impending attack on the LNR and DNR is pure Kremlin propaganda.

        • English Outsider says:

          Yeah, Right.

          Yes, the Russians were provoked to move. The danger on the LoC left them with no choice but to mount a pre-emptive attack.

          Thus enabling the West to impose the sanctions that were to break the Russian economy.

          That’s where it went wrong. For example, the sanctions were expected to ground Russian civil aviation. They didn’t. The exchange rate careered around but then stabilised. Inflation rocketed but then settled down. Economic activity fell but then picked up. And the financial sanctions, that were supposed to cripple the Russian banking system, didn’t.

          A month after they were imposed President Biden was in Poland triumphantly announcing that the sanctions had wrecked the Russian economy. The triumph was premature. They did not.

          A most vicious economic attack that would have destabilised the RF and caused chaos across a sixth of the planet had it worked.

          Wall Street and the Fed advised against it, The German industrialists were horrified and remain so. A crazy venture, vicious in the extreme, and has backfired in a way neither Scholz nor Biden expected.

  6. Lars says:

    Russia is widely seen as a existential threat to Europe, so the support for Ukraine is rather solid and will remain so. Not even in the US are there a lot of support for a Chamberlain solution. As I have stated before, there are limits to how much the Russian anemic economy will be able to sustain. No doubt, things are going slow for Ukraine right now, but it did the same for the Allied forces in Normandy in early summer of 1944 too. But it took the patience of Gen.Eisenhower to rein in the likes of Patton and Montgomery and eventually, weak spots developed in the Nazi defense. The pervasive corruption in Russia has not gone away and probably has increased, increasing internal pressures to go with the external ones. Hemingway’s explanation of bankruptcy probably apply here; starting incrementally and then suddenly.

    • Fred says:


      Russia is seen by whom in Europe as an existential threat? The conduct of the national governments on the continent bely the neocon talking point.

      • Lars says:

        That sentiment is rather widespread among the populations in Europe and in many cases go back generations. It has just become more acute after Russia attacked Ukraine.

        • Fred says:


          The conduct of the governments of Europe bely your statement. They are not arming and equiping for the defense of their own nation states and have not been doing so for decades, as pointed out by Trump a number of years ago.

          • Lars says:

            A number of countries in Northern Europe are doing exactly that. There has also been numerous joint military exercises. Both Germany and Poland are also beefing up their armed forces.

          • Fred says:


            What were the changes in budgets and manpower in Italy, Spain, Hugary, Norway, the UK, Canada? Oh, right, “Northern” only describes one of them. Those ‘joint military exercises’ have been happening annually for decades. But believe all press releases if it pleases you.

    • Razor says:

      “Russia is widely seen as an existential threat to Europe”. These are weasel words. Widely seen by whom? This European sees that Europe, along with its master the US, has been deliberately seeking to undermine Russia since the 1990’s, with the Chicago school economists and the Harvard boys schooling Russia in how to be a successful economy. What they oversaw was plunder of Russsian State assets to be benefit of an oligarchic class as they played the drunken Yeltsin.

      Since then they have been expanding Nato up to Russian borders, despite clear assurances that Nato would be “not an inch beyond the Oder” https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/briefing-book/russia-programs/2017-12-12/nato-expansion-what-gorbachev-heard-western-leaders-early

      As to Russia’s anemic economy? Seems to me it’s doing better than many Western economies, which are in fact on the brink of financial Armageddon though all of the ponzi FIRE shenanigans over the past 40 or so years, but especially since Clinton unleashed the parasites from Glass Steagal. Russia is also far outproducing Western arms production, which is running out of ammo rapidly, will little prospect of a turnaround anytime soon.

      You mention Normandy in 1944 and the Allies progress against the Germans. German strength in France was a pale shadow of what they had deployed in the East, and yet the allies still found it tough going, despite their massive capacity in terms of armaments. Unfortunately for the Ukrainians, the Russians are not distracted fighting a massive power in another theatre, all of their focus in on Ukraine and the alliance for which it is a proxy.

      Pervasive corruption in Russia? Perhaps, but why look for the speck in the Russian eye, when there is a massive beam in the Western systems eyes? See
      https://dillonreadandco.com/ for an expose of US corruption going back to the late 80’s by a former Undersecretary at HUD. Of course I doubt you’ll read it. Who wants to have the illusions shattered? And then of course, there’s the ubiquitous Prof Michael Hudson, who explains painstakingly how the Western economies have been hollowed out for many decades;
      I think it’s more likely Hemingways description more properly fits the West, which is on the brink of financial implosion. The degree of self-delusion here astonishes me.

      • F & L says:

        Thanks. Especially for the link to dillonreadandco. Your listing of faults & hypocrisy is nearly all inclusive but you left out a few examples of the depth of depravity in the West, probably because you’d need to write for another week to do so. I’ll mention one: the epidermic of mass shootings. Large quantities of text have been devoted to that issue, but you don’t hear about Douglas Valentine’s observations about how since 911 a domestic Phoenix program has been imposed on the American nation via the Patriot act and various executive orders. One personal observation: you don’t see any Kent State style shootings by national guard troop which kill college students who protest wars and thus provoke huge anti administration backlashes. Because a so-called “Mass Shooter” can appear mysteriously on the scene and gun down people including antiwar college students. The school shootings are a perfect example of Phoenix project style murderous intervention.
        The country is arguably a full out military dictatorship – it’s implementation is just more sophisticated than in south America where jeeps with mounted machine guns drove through the streets murdering, rounding up and disappearing people. Very powerful media empires.

      • Whitewall says:

        Interesting link to the article about RJR-tobacco company-and its buyout of Nabisco Brands. Winston Salem, NC is my hometown and RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co the main driver of the city for generations. My wife worked in finance for RJR main office at the time of purchase in what was termed PAA, purchase acquisition accounting, meaning how a company bought another company as an investment meaning all combined assets were then used to report a higher fair market value. Any liabilities of the bought company–Nabisco–were subtracted from fair value.

        It was the sheer amount of cash that tobacco brought in without fail year in and year out that made the buyout easy. There were always rumors about ‘tobacco cash’ buying things on and off books. Cigarette smuggling into Canada was well known and only spoken of in quiet tones. The Nabisco purchase was soon followed by an all out war to buy the entire joint company which was eventually won by KKR of NY in what was then the largest LBO on record. My wife worked for RJR during that fiasco too. Tobacco has always generated huge profits, even after our government tried to kill it. They too knew what local and state governments knew–tobacco is evil on the campaign trail…but good God, nothing fills the coffers like revenue from that evil.

      • Yeah, Right says:

        With regards to corruption, there is so much about the USA military expenditure that I can not get to add up in my mind.

        As in: the USA’s defense budget is greater than the next eight countries COMBINED, but the USA’s economy is not as large as the combined economies of those eight.

        To my mind that should mean that the USA’s military expenditure as a % of GDP must be much, much greater than that of those eight also-rans.

        Yet, according to the fact-sheets, it is not.

        Puzzling, to say the least.

        As in: the USA’s military expenditure is fully ten times larger than that of Russia, yet the Russians appear to be able to produce more artillery shells than the USA, more tanks, and more armored fighting vehicles.

        Which, to my mind, borders on the bizarre.

        There are other examples: the USA’s military expenditure is claimed to be without peer, but its main battle tank is 40 years old, and new examples haven’t been built for at least a decade.

        Its man-portable air defense system is ancient, and Raytheon stopped making them for the US military nearly 2 decades ago.

        The mainstay of its air force is still the F-15 and F-16 and, well, the majority of those are older than the pilots who fly them.

        Their replacement – the F-35 – isn’t even a fighter jet, and its development history is….. well, what is the right word to describe it other than “head-shaking”?

        Bombers? Enough said that the B-52 is still the go-to for the USAF strategic force.

        I honestly do not know where all those untold $billions have gone. Anyone know?

        • I have a very partial answer:
          To the all-consuming “health care sector” which demands more-more-more of America’s resources.

          E.g., “gender-affirming health care”.
          What unmitigated bullshit, from the MDs and PhD’s.

      • Lars says:

        The stated conditions from Russia to resume grain exports show that they are very concerned with the sanctions imposed upon them. One detail emerging, is that a lack of ball bearings is impacting maintenance and production of basic items, impacting among others transportation. I don’t think all is as well in Russia as some claim, with a lot of data showing the opposite. Just look at the ruble and you will see serious degradation.

        • Yeah, Right says:

          I’m sure the Russians will be able to pull enough ball-bearing out of washing machines.

          After all, those washing machines don’t work any more since the Russians pulled all the chips out of them.

  7. Fred says:


    “There is no surge capacity and it will take years to revive it. According to their study, replacing the inventory of 155 millimeter artillery shells will take 4-7 years; Javelin missile replacement 8 years; Stinger missiles 18 years.”

    What a wonderful development in our national defense. Why we’re looking at a guaranteed multi-year income stream!

    • TTG says:


      We surged quickly when ammo factories went from 1 shift to 3 shifts. Factory capacity has already expanded since February 2022. New production factories are coming on line for 2024. A number of NATO countries are also surging capacity along with South Korea and Israel. Stingers is another story. We can’t produce them until we “reinvent” the know how. Better off moving to European designed replacements or new generation systems.

      Russia can’t keep up with requirements even with their surge. Ukraine now fires more tube artillery than Russian units. And Ukrainian artillery is far more accurate. A big question is whether we or the Russians can produce sufficient barrels to replace all those being burnt out now.

      • Fred says:


        South Korea and Isreal are not NATO members nor is their production filling US depots.

        ““reinvent” the know how. Better off moving to …”
        Now we will not only not build it, we won’t even design it. I think congratulations are in order for the supporters of the NWO and domestically for Barack’s 3rd and fundamentally transformational term in office.

        • TTG says:


          South Korea “lent” 500,000 rounds of 155 ammo to the US in January 2023 allowing us greater flexibility to draw down our own stocks to supply Ukraine. Israel and the US agreed to transfer 300,000 155 rounds from stocks stored in Israel to Ukraine also in January. Israel production will replenish those stocks. Pakistan is also providing 155 and 130 rounds. The Pakistani ammo has included cluster rounds. Turkey has been supplying cluster rounds at least since the beginning of this year along with other 155 rounds.

          The Stinger is now over 40 years old. Even with upgrades through the 90s, our stocks have begun reaching obsolescence in 2020. Raytheon had to rehire retirees in order to begin producing additional Stinger missiles. We’ve largely neglected our AD weaponry for decades. It certainly isn’t an Obama only thing. Moving to newer and better SHORAD systems like Starstreak, Mistral or a few others would be a better bet than developing a Stinger replacement from scratch.

          • Fred says:


            South Korea “lent” them like a student loan that does not need to be repaid? Raytheon rehired retirees. My oh my I wonder how much extra they are making. I doubt any forty year old stingers are in combat, though the design may be 40 years old. Heck the wheel is a 4,500 year old design and we still use those.

            BTW cluster munitions were once considered a war crime by Mr. Biden. Now it is not, for reasons not disclosed. Thus furthering the fundamental transformation of America Barack promised. Makes me regret voting for him twice.

          • TTG says:


            The South Korean lending could very well be like a student loan, a PPP loan or a bank bail out. The current Stinger is a long way from the original due to the long line of upgrades, but those upgrades reached the limit of the design in 2004.

            Cluster munitions are a key part of our plan to defend South Korea. That’s never been widely publicized, but that’s why we never signed up to get rid of them.

          • Fred says:


            South Korea is one more nation we should not be obligated to defend nor have tens of thousands of troops garrisoning the place.

      • drifter says:

        TTG says:
        – We surged quickly when ammo factories went from 1 shift to 3 shifts.
        – Factory capacity has already expanded since February 2022.
        – New production factories are coming on line for 2024.
        – A number of NATO countries are also surging capacity along with South Korea and Israel.

        Four assertions which taken collectively are consistent with the there being no surge capacity in the US. Then there is the cluster munitions thingy which was justified by the US running out of regular ammo. Everybody knows the US lacks surge capacity. We’ve been talking about it for months.

        • TTG says:


          We went from 14,000 155mm rounds per month to over 20,000 rounds per month in less than a year. The new factory in Texas is well ahead of schedule. That’s surge capacity. Maybe not as fast as we’d like, but it’s definitely surge capacity.

          Our stockpile of cluster munitions is over 5 million rounds. At this point, that’s probably more than what Russia has left. They’ve been going through their cluster munitions liberally from the first day of their invasion.

          • Leith says:

            Ukraine EOD is still cleaning up Russian cluster bomblettes in Kharkiv,

            Perhaps their most infamous use was in the Donbas at Kramatorsk RR Station. A year ago April Russki missilery’s used them to kill 57 civilian women, children, and old people there; and wound another 109.

          • Yeah, Right says:

            TTG: “We went from 14,000 155mm rounds per month to over 20,000 rounds per month in less than a year.”

            Now, again, that is a factoid that doesn’t gel with other information that I have been told.

            After all, a very reputable source insisted that US 155mm shell production surged because the factories went from one shift to three shifts.


            That is three times the number of shifts, but the production of shells has doubled.

            Sounds to me like there is a bottleneck in there somewhere…. and where there are bottlenecks then axiomatically there is a limit to how much you can surge.

            TTG: “The new factory in Texas is well ahead of schedule. That’s surge capacity.”

            If you say so, but if bottlenecks remain somewhere else in the supply chain then that new factory isn’t going to give you the results that you expect.

  8. walrus says:

    TTG, with respect:’ Russia can’t keep up with requirements even with their surge. Ukraine now fires more tube artillery than Russian units. And Ukrainian artillery is far more accurate. A big question is whether we or the Russians can produce sufficient barrels to replace all those being burnt out now.“

    …..says who?

    Yes, long term, we can out produce Russia, maybe. But can we outproduce Russia and China? Not so easy.

    And by “long term” I mean a minimum of three to five years to ramp up – and that is with complete removal of regulatory controls – EPA, OSHA, etc. and then removal of all the LBTQ/Diversity/gender BS. Then you have to train kids to do all this stuff as well because they don’t understand production. Then you must do this without over stressing the economy.

    Meanwhile, Russia and China won’t be standing still……

    Please remember that around 1938 you had an american economy with a lot of slack in it and an underemployed labor force who were blank sheets of paper as far as training went. They could read and write and didn’t have iphones…….

    Watch the youtube video on “willow glen” to see the heights of manufacturing they reached by 1944.

    • TTG says:


      Russian men and commanders have been complaining of shell hunger since this spring. They’ve also complained of growing Ukrainian artillery advantage in recent weeks. Ukrainians know how much they fire and have a fairly accurate idea of what’s fired towards them.

      Artillery tubes wear out. They become less capable of accuracy and are prone to bursting if used too long. That’s a fact of life.

      US production of 155 shells is on track to increase from a pre-war rate of 14,000 a month to 90,000 a month in 2 years. Regulatory controls are not stopping that increase. Russia is ramping up, but not as fast as us. The rampant kleptocracy laid waste to Russia’s munitions production capacity. Their massive stockpiles also suffered from neglect.

      China undoubtedly has massive stockpiles and production capacity. They’re not sharing it with Russia. But we best pray that China doesn’t make a play for Taiwan until the Ukraine-Russia war is settled. I doubt we can fight, or support, two major wars as we once planned.

      • Fred says:


        Based on prior reports here the entire arsenal of Russian artillery tubes were worn out six months ago and the ukraians had stacks of tubes next to their artillery waiting to get shipped back for refurbishment. No report on that supply chain or timing. I somewhat think what is appearing in the press is not quite accurate.

        • TTG says:


          Here’s a NYT article from last November about tube replacement conducted in Poland. There’s a plan and an established method for tube replacement. You’re right about this process or the spare parts being supplied not being reported in the press. I don’t know if Russia has such a thing. A lot of their stuff is designed to wear out and break down and then be replaced by new stuff. As long as they have the new stuff, that’s a workable solution. Unfortunately it ends up with T-72s, T-80s and T-90s being replaced by T-55s. Old artillery sitting out in the open for 30+ years shouldn’t be sent to the front without barrel refurbishment at the least.

  9. walrus says:

    Sorry, that should be “Willow Run”


  10. English Outsider says:

    At the very end of the article, this – “So the war is more than likely to drag on into 2024 and perhaps beyond. Information warfare aside, nothing else is certain.” I’m not sure about that, not quite.

    I see a dozen reasons advanced for Washington dragging it out. Another dozen advanced for Moscow dragging it out. But the piggy in the middle is Ukraine and I’m not so sure they’ll be able or willing to let it go on that long.

    Vilnius was the turning point for Kiev. Zelensky, whatever one thinks of him, was the man who brought home the bacon from the West. The “we are not Amazon” response he’s getting shows he’s likely to be bringing home less and less of it. A Dolchstoß-Legende is being born. We see that with Zaluzhnyi. “We could have done it if the West hadn’t let us down” is what he and so many others will be saying more and more forcefully.

    There are many reasons for the continuation of the war. Chief is the West’s insistence that it continue – that’s fading now – but there are others.

    The ultra-nationalists can’t allow it to end because the end of the war means the complete destruction of their vision. What we’re seeing in Kiev at present is therefore, for them, what we saw eighty years ago with their predecessors. It has to be the last days in the bunker for them, too, because for them there is no future outside that bunker. No yielding possible there.

    But for many others in the Kiev administration, probably for most, they find themselves in the same position as our proteges in other similar circumstances. Western aid, financial and military, is what they live off. A fair amount of it ends up in their pockets. Why bother with Zelensky when he can fetch them no more? Why send more of their compatriots into the killing fields when there is no profit in it?

    And if the casualty figures can be relied on there are fewer and fewer to be sent into the killing fields. The hold the SBU has is still firm, by all accounts. But the war continuing for another year or more? We should not take that for granted, whatever Washington or Moscow may plan or hope for. It is not certain that the Ukrainian people themselves will endure this Carnival of Death as long as that.

    • VietnamVet says:


      I agree. The war will keep going until it can’t anymore. The biggest mistake the Russia Federation made with Communist China’s acquiescence was an overt invasion. The “Great Leader” couldn’t wait for the ultimate restoration of “Russia Homeland” in the next generation. The Ukraine Separatists will fight till to the bloody end.

      The fly in the ointment is that neither side of the proxy world war is capable or willing to mobilize their nations to win the conflict. The Taliban outlasted the US War Parties. The last Western victory in Eurasia was WWII with Russian carrying the greatest burdens. The very last thing the Global Jet-set and Russian Oligarchs will do is accept higher taxes on their wealth. Literally, the side that restores democracy and good government for the benefit of its people will win the conflict. If not, the energy and financial collapse will be sudden and complete. The 1970’s energy shortages, the 1930’s Great Depression, a new variant pandemic, extreme weather crises, and a nuclear winter are all possible with the current corrupt incompetent global corporate/state governance.

      NATO or the Russian Empire will be no more if there isn’t an Armistice and DMZ like Korea soon. Russia has had a mercenary coup attempt and the Wagner Group withdrawn from Ukraine. The USA had January 6th. Donald J. Trump is the peace candidate. Culture wars are on between the secular and religious America — “Divide and Rule the Colonials”. Perhaps both Empires will fall. China could be the sole remaining civilization if the Ukraine proxy world war avoids going nuclear.

      • drifter says:

        VV says:
        The “Great Leader” couldn’t wait for the ultimate restoration of “Russia Homeland” in the next generation.

        This theory of the conflict is held by many. It’s virtue is that it explains everything. It’s weakness is that it predicts nothing.

      • English Outsider says:

        I’m afraid I don’t agree. The war will keep going until the West or, more likely its unfortunate proxy, throw in the towel.

        As said before, Russia will then absorb such parts of the old Party of Regions as it chooses and will neutralise remnant Ukraine in order to prevent the West using it as a continuing threat.

        Also as said before, that’s when it’s going to get interesting. We wait to see whether the Russians will return to their 2021 Security demands and if so, how they will achieve them.

    • d74 says:

      EO, I agree with you. On the Ukr side the war can’t last long.
      Not so on the Russian side.
      Their war isn’t expensive: 3% of GDP max. In other words, a moderate effort that can be sustained for a long time.

      A pro-Russian but honest French economist has shown that the Russian economy has fully weathered the sanctions.
      As long as the Russians can find customers for their products and resources anywhere in the world except the West, they’ll be able to keep going.
      Let’s not forget that surprises are always possible on both sides.
      A predictable one is when the rearmament effort in the West becomes productive. Let’s say two or three years. The term is there, it seems to me, if the UKr pool of fighters is not exhausted.

      Jacques Sapir, how-russian-economy-has-played-out-the-west’s-economic-war-measures:

      Prof. Jacques Sapir is largely censored and deprived of means to express himself, which makes me keep a close eye on his contributions.

    • Yeah, Right says:

      Hmmm, unit cost for the K2 is north of $8million.

      My calculator doesn’t usually go to such numbers, but a thousand of those tanks would cost…… tap… tap… tap…. over $8billion, give or take.

      Round up the usual maintenance costs etc., and the true cost will be closer to double that.

      Looking at that link and, yup, the contract is estimated at $14.5 billion.

      Obviously the Poles are not paying in advance…….

      Still, being a Merchant of Death sure is lucrative business.

      • F & L says:

        Yes. And it all goes to sit in a bank somewhere which then enables more lending etc.

        By the way, the browser address bar is a really powerful calculator, once you get the hang of it.

  11. Babeltuap says:

    Article 5 is not some automatic jump in the fight button. A NATO country could decline to help with no consequences:

    “… and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.”

    A NATO country could refuse to get in the ring which they are absolutely doing right now. Who’s helping Turkey with their Kurd skirmishes? NOBODY.

    • English Outsider says:

      There are several European countries eager to get in the ring. But only if Uncle Sam leads the way because he’s the only one with the requisite muscle.

      And the US won’t. If it were to, it would take far too long to gear up for a fight. The Americans would have to rebuild their armaments industry and mobilise. I think they could do it. That was an amazing video Walrus put up about how they did much the same in WWII. But they’d have to do it from a much smaller industrial base than they had back then so it would take far too long.

      And when Zelensky told them they’d have to send their sons and daughters over to fight he got a chilly response from the American people. They’re not going to.

      I don’t know about the Turks but barring them there’s nothing much useful in European NATO and won’t be. We had 700,000 Ukrainians to use to tackle Russia and we have nothing like that number today. We’ve burnt through our proxies, burnt through our arms supplies, and all we have left is mouth. Time to let the Ukrainian PBI off the hook, what’s left of them, and call it a day.

  12. Mark Logan says:


    Arty Green’s second interview in as many weeks. I bet someone is encouraging him to speak up. As usual, wide ranging in scope. More descriptions of the strategy and tactics, the wrong headedness of measuring success in meters at this time, but also some interesting commentary on the Prigozhin situation. Worth a listen, as always.


    • ked says:

      thanks, a quite good interview. pretty evenhanded considering. he assesses both high level strategy & tactical behaviors – where linked & not. I like his explanation of why & how Ukr is dealing w/ numerical mismatch (other than depending upon Russian inflexibility). I am also impressed w/ his admission of not understanding the reasoning behind some Russian decisions. his prediction about timelines & outcomes is brave, if risky (what in warfare is a 99% certainty?!). not sure Putin is as hobbled as he states, but there are not so many folk getting thrown out of 10th floor windows these days. as ever on this side of the pond, our national debate is mired in domestic political games. in the EU & NATO (much less Ukr) its about survival of nations. “the heat you feel depends upon how close you are to the fire.”

    • ked says:

      & a parallel view;

      at least these guys got close. the positive thing is Ukraine understands its challenge, is not simply pressing on regardless, but adjusting its operations while awaiting Russia’s next screw-up. & clamoring for F16s. which the US may provide in a timely fashion.

  13. drifter says:

    US Government (Pentagon) is very concerned that the Ukrainian counteroffensive will fail, or rather that the US training and advice will be blamed for the failure.

    • Babeltuap says:

      Once the US starts using landmines and cluster bombs that’s a wrap. Anywhere they do it’s over. Find a safe border and call it a call. Only one place I know of where we use electronic landmines; NK. Not sure about cluster bombs but practically the same thing. It creates a minefield. This war is over with. Only thing left to do is mine the border you declare and create a permanent base on the other side of it.

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