How the JDAM-ER will be employed – TTG

There are a lot of new Ukrainian weapon, logistical, Russian vehicle and force design reasons to think the Russian Army currently lacks the communications and mobility to stop a Ukrainian breakthrough attack.

Looking at the vehicle/force design reasons, the statement: “The firepower of the Russian Army is in it’s vehicles,” pretty much covers it. All the best Russian digital spread-spectrum and frequency hopping radios were in its newest vehicles.  Most of which have been destroyed in the last year of fighting. This leaves Russian artillery with older Cold War generation radios, 3G cell phones or Chinese commercial radios which are all horribly vulnerable to 1980s technology direction finding, let alone that of the 2020’s gear with 1 to 3 meter geolocation performance.

This plays into Ukraine’s new JDAM-ER glide bombs.  Which, when toss bombed at low altitude under radar coverage, can travel up to 44 km.  This means when tossed 10 km from the front lines out of shoulder fired missile range.  They reach deep into the tactical depths where Russian artillery batteries and their local use ammo depots live. These batteries and ammo dumps have to be close together for logistical, lack of radio and lack of resupply truck reasons. A single Ukrainian Su-25 can pitch eight 500lb GDU-38 JDAM with wing kits at eight separate GPS coordinates generated by Ukrainian radio direction finding in one pass. Painting two GBU-38 on each of four artillery batteries neutralizes half a division’s worth of guns.

Russian fortifications in Ukraine without artillery fire to support them are the same sort of speed bump that Iraqi border fortifications were in the 1991 Gulf War. And in 2023 it’s worse. In the old days US pilots would fly along the length of a trench system and train release dumb 500-lb MK-82s – now you can get the same effect from 40 km away by programming each GBU-38 based JDAM-ER to land maybe 50-100 meters apart along the trench system.

Now we get to the mobility/vehicle design issue.  Most Russian vehicles, other than the few command vehicles, lack auxiliary power units.  This means they have to run 500hp to 800hp diesel and 1000 hp gas turbine engines to charge their batteries every few hours to operate radios, digital fire control and night vision sights. A 70 ton M1A2 SEPv3 with a 1500hp gas turbine actually uses less fuel in a stationary defensive position than a Russian tank because is has a 10 kW APU that sips a gallon per hour of JP-8 vs 13 to 18 when the 1500hp gas turbine engine is idling.

Comment: This series of comments by Trent Telenko was in response to a scenario for the coming Ukrainian offensive offered by Thomas Theiner. The interesting part is how the JDAM-ER works with the low-level spray and pray aerial tactics made necessary by the still effective Russian and Ukrainian air defense capabilities. A 40 km range from a low level pop up is damned impressive and far better than I thought possible.  Another point is that the JDAM-ER is relatively inexpensive, about $25,000 for a 500 lb warhead, larger and far cheaper than a GLMRS round.

I’m thinking back to a year ago when Colonel Lang suggested an AVG-like squadron of A-10s lend-leased to Ukraine and piloted/maintained by ex-US pilots and mechanics. Armed with JDAM-ERs along with other stand off munitions and using the same low-level pop up tactics, I think it would be an effective additional capability for the Ukrainian Air Force. Unfortunately, I also don’t think it’ll ever happen. They need those Polish MiG-29s as soon as possible.


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82 Responses to How the JDAM-ER will be employed – TTG

  1. walrus says:

    Good, Oh very good!

    Lets escalate the war by adding some more good old American technology!

    Exactly who supplies the SAR data and infrastructure? Exactly who provides the Ukraine airforce infrastructure? Don’t you think that those assets will be targeted by Russia or are we relying on some legal niceties like using Polish or “international” airspace?

    Regarding “International” airspace, we just got handed a message in the form of an accidental “collision” by an Su27 that downed a Reaper.

    This tactic will work precisely once; then there will be a Russian response.

    I am continually amazed that the Biden Administration doesn’t get what the word “existential” means to Russian Governments; nor does it understand that this time, unlike Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, that we can’t just declare victory, pack up and retreat to fortress America and expect to return to business as usual when we feel like it.

    No; the Russians have made it quite clear that they will come after us one way or another and extract a price. The only ray of sunshine is that the dissembling by the Biden Administration over the culprits of the Nordstream sabotage indicates that someone in the U.S. realises that we too have vulnerable assets and that two can play the sabotage game.

    Common sense, in my opinion, is to look for a negotiated settlement now and stop this macabre technological play acting before the Russians decide that scorched earth is the way to go and sends the columns of millions of Ukrainian refugees Westwards.

    • TTG says:


      Russia seeks to eradicate Ukraine as an independent country and eradicate Ukrainians as a separate people. That is the existential struggle. To stand against such naked aggression is a necessity for Ukraine. I find it commendable that the US and many others are willing to stand with Ukraine against this Russian aggression.

      We have been providing critical ISR data to Kyiv even before Russia’s invasion started. We continue to do so. That ISR data has been instrumental to Ukraine’s continued resistance and the destruction of a good part of the Russian Army. We surely expected the Russians to find a way to push back against our collecting and providing that ISR data to Kyiv. If the Russians could jam those satellites, drones and manned reconnaissance aircraft, they would. That they harassed one of our Reapers over the Black Sea to the point of downing it should nor surprise us. We shouldn’t get overly huffy about the incident. The best reaction is to keep collecting and supplying that ISR data to Kyiv.

      Eventually, there will be some kind of negotiated settlement. Russia will certainly not be utterly defeated and destroyed as Nazi Germany was. We shouldn’t pursue that, even rhetorically. The Ukrainians will not willingly abandon Ukrainian land and Ukrainian people to the continued predations of the Kremlin. In my opinion we shouldn’t ask them to do so. Both sides will eventually settle on something or endure many more years of armed conflict. It’s already been eight years.

      • walrus says:

        Thank you for your reply TTG. I believe there is ample evidence that we have procured this war for our own advantage and cruelly misled the Ukrainian people. The machinations of Victoria Nuland are documented as is the wars objective – to weaken Russia according to. our Secretary of Defence. This is a “designer” war conceived in Washington for our own base motives.

        The saddest part is that the conflict is going to end with the dismemberment of Ukraine again as has happened many, many times going back to prehistory.

        On a different note, how is Col. Lang?

        • TTG says:


          I don’t accept the notion that the US somehow tricked or maneuvered Putin into invading Ukraine last February. Russia is being severely weakened by this war and I’m sure Nuland and many others in the USG are delighted with that. This overt military invasion is Putin’s doing. He could have continued and stepped up his efforts for regime change or regime modification in Kyiv by other means. It would have been the much smarter course of action for him, but he believed his own propaganda. He thought he could take Kyiv and bring Ukraine and the Ukrainians back into the fold without any meaningful resistance from the Ukrainians or the West. No, this was was conceived in the Kremlin for Putin’s own motives. Washington and her “foreign policy elite” are not that clever.

          Colonel Lang is on the mend. He may even be home now, but some adjustments will likely be required in the Lang household. That’s his story to tell if he chooses to do so. I expect him to return to running Turcopolier soon.

          • blue peacock says:

            Putin was provoked into invading Ukraine. That’s the wife beater excuse – she provoked me!

            Yup, Victoria Nuland the US State Dept and other agencies played the influence operations game in Ukraine, just like Putin & his Kremlin. He lost a round in that game when his man ran away to Moscow.

            Putin had the choice to continue that game and try to win the next round. Instead, he believed that decapitating Kyiv and effecting regime change through the use of military force would be a cakewalk like his military capture of Crimea. He’s a year into it and has yet to achieve any of his aims.

        • Bill Roche says:

          This war was neither conceived nor planned by Nuland. It was a given when Ukrainians, as they have tried many times since 1914, had the audacity to declare themselves a free people. Russian war against Ukrainian freedom has been on back burner since the summer of ’91. As long as Ukrainians d/n get too “pushy” the Kremlin tolerated their pretend independence. Such “cheek”, who do those damned Ukrainians think they are – free!? Even if Russia wins the actual fighting it will “win” the hatred of 44MM souls on their south west border for the next 100 years, driven Sweden and Finland into NATO, and confirmed the fears of former Warsaw nations who have all turned WEST for their secty not east. Finns, Balts, and Slavs have been mislead by no one. Russia intends to assert dominance over all of them. The war is not about Victoria Nuland, nor about the end of Russia. It is about the end of Russian Empire and for Putin, that is existential.

      • Fred says:


        We’ve been giving critical military intelligence information to Ukraine from long before the Russian actions? Not an actual involvement or provocation. Not at all.

      • Babeltuap says:

        Ukraine could be designated an international bombing range. All kinds of weapons from around the globe. Maybe one day everyone agrees on an international range control and Ukraine charges fees to use their range. They kinda already are but if done right, without all the killing it could be a major tourist attraction for weapon enthusiasts. No more wars there and no costs to rebuild.

    • Bill Roche says:

      Escalation’s an interesting word and Russia did so when she invaded Ukraine. Ukraine d/n invade Russia. Ukraine invaded no one. Ukrainian land is not Russian land so de-escalation can happen when its army rtns to Russia. But the word “existential” is used. To Russia, regaining, subduing, conquering Ukraine is necessary to her Imperial status; no Ukraine no Empire. Russia wishes to rtn to pre ’91 or pre 1914 b/c she wishes to rtn to empire. Empire is the existential issue to Russia. Unsuprisingly Ukrainians, Balts, Poles, and other Slavs say no. They have their idea of what existential means and it doesn’t mean rtng as Russia’s little bitches. My language is crude but that is what is on the line. Russia can continue to exist w/o empire. Her western neighbors can’t continue to exist w/Russian empire. Sorry to be pedantic, but this simple truth must be made again and again.

      • Leith says:

        Slight correction Bill. That should read “Russia’s colonial empire”.

        Pls pardon my butting in.

    • gordon reed says:

      I just wanted to say I agree with your analysis.

  2. Burt says:

    An A-10 is not a good choice to toss a JDAM-ER. Remembering that kinetic energy equals 1/2 mass x velocity squared, it is vital to get as much speed as possible prior to the loft release pull-up to maximize range. An A-10 can release at (maybe) 300 knots. An F-16 could toss the JDAM-ER at 480 knots or probably more. Even an SU-25 could toss farther than an A-10.

    • TTG says:


      Interesting point. So those Polish and Slovakian MiG-29s would be a better choice. I don’t think Ukraine has that many Su-25s left.

    • Mark Logan says:

      The problem with a SU25/JDAM-ER marriage is a service ceiling of 23,000 ft. It’s a weird jet. Can’t think of another jet in the world with a SC that low. At SC aircraft are not flying fast, they are at max rate of climb speed, much lower than even cruise and with the throttles set at max-melt.

      The 44km range of the JAM-ER is based on a release at an altitude of 15km and at Mach 1.5.

      • Burt says:

        The SEPECAT Jaguar was pretty underpowered. It couldn’t get very far above 20,000 ft carrying fuel and a full load of weapons. The A-10 performance is much worse than the Jaguar at altitude.

    • Mark Logan says:

      Correction to the previous post: I was thinking about the old JDAM, not the ER, which has nearly double the range with the same dropping parameters. Nevertheless, the situation is still the same, the SU25 is not capable of getting anywhere near the best out of JDAMs.

    • PeterHug says:

      Well, then – use an SR-71.

      • Burt says:

        Ha! Only problem is it would fly over the Russian border while trying to make the 180 degree turn to go back to base.

  3. JamesT says:

    Does anyone know the timeline for when the MiG-29s should arrive?

    • JamesT says:

      Zerohedge is reporting that an initial four MiG-29s will be delivered “within the next few days”.

  4. Fred says:

    So the US will be actively involved in the war via a group of mercenaries which should in no way be compared to the Wagner Group. Can we expect the Russian Federation to consider them ‘lawful combatants’ or label them the same way as the West labels the Wagner Group’s people?

    • TTG says:


      That would be true if we gave the A-10s to Triple Canopy and contracted them to employ them in Ukraine. The more likely, but still remote, scenario is that we would simply not stop former A-10 pilots to travel to Ukraine and volunteer their services to the Ukrainian Air Force.

      • Fred says:


        What is the difference between a former soldier of any nation working for the Wagner Group and a former pilot working for a Ukrainian version of the AVG?

        • TTG says:


          I don’t see a legal difference. An American may face trouble coming back to the states after working for Wagner since it’s been declared a global criminal organization.

          • Fred says:


            Nice sophistry. What legal trouble do they face for working for the Ukrainian government? How will they be treated if captured while working for Ukrainians?

          • TTG says:


            Our State Dept says it is not a crime for a US citizen to enlist in a foreign army. That includes the Russian Army, but not the Wagner Group as an officially declared criminal organization.

            The Russians repatriated foreigners enlisted in the Ukrainian Army and Marines in POW exchanges. The Ukrainians repatriated convicts from the Wagner Group and were willing to repatriate non-Russians. I don’t know if any of those non-Russians wanted to be repatriated. POW-wise, it’s been fairly civil on both sides.

          • Leith says:

            TTG –

            Perhaps the Russian Army might be civil about POWs, but their allies are not. The Khadyrovites beheaded a POW in Popasna back in July/August. They stuck his head on a pole, reminiscent of what ISIS did to both Syrian soldiers at Tabqa and Kurds at Kobane back in2014.

            POW Oleksandr Matsiyevskiy was murdered back in December. Perps not yet identified, could be Wagner, could be Russian DPR troops, or could be ???.

        • Fred says:


          That is rather surprising given the ‘genociding’ of civilians written about here.

          • TTG says:


            Yes it is surprising. I was also pleasantly surprised to hear a repatriated female Ukrainian soldier say that female prisoners at her camps were not subject to rape. Not all Russians, including Russian soldiers, are monsters.

  5. Leith says:

    Four of those Polish MiGs are on the way according to Polish President Andrzej Duda: “Firstly, literally within the next few days, we will hand over, as far as I remember, four aircraft to Ukraine in full working order,” Duda said at a news conference in Warsaw on Thursday. “The rest are being prepared, serviced.”

    About time IMO. What happened with the Slovakian MiGs?

  6. wiz says:

    Wouldn’t these low flying bombers be detected by the Russian AWACS ?

    • TTG says:


      Quite possibly, but low flying Su-25s, Su-27s and MiG-29s have been successfully operating in Ukraine for over a year now. Even if detection is possible, that doesn’t mean interdiction will follow.

      • wiz says:


        yes, they have been operating although with questionable effectiveness. Both sides have been doing a lot of spray & pray.

        If Ukrainians were to pull off anything like the article suggests the Russians would be extremely motivated to put a stop to it.

        Whether the Russians are actually able to pull of successful detection and interdiction remains to be seen, they can however nuke the airbases that these airplanes use to operate off of.

        They wont do it if a bunch of mobiks get annihilated in their trenches, but if Crimea takeover and a complete collapse of their land bridge is imminent, who’s to say what will happen.

    • Jimmy_W says:

      MIG-31s have been intercepting low-flying Ukrainian aircrafts with R-37, with varying effectiveness, for awhile now.

      • TTG says:


        Low flying Russian and Ukrainian have fallen to various air defense weapons including AA missiles. Yet both sides continue to fly ground support missions. It’s the vagaries of war.

  7. Fourth and Long says:

    Mamenchisaurus sinocanadorum. Learn to say it effortlessly and distinctly. It’s neck was Eight times the length of an adult giraffe’s. Why does this story appear now – on the day when TTG posts his story about high-flying glide bombs? And note the country of origin of Mamenchisaurus sinocanadorum. First balloons. Now 50 ft necked dinosaurs. How do we know they are really extinct? Are we prepared?

    It’s Not a Stretch: This Dinosaur Had a 50-Foot Neck

  8. Jimmy_W says:

    Notably, JDAM-ER and other glide bomb kits are not compatible with cluster bombs. And they cannot handle moving targets, generally. [Unless we have re-programmed our GPS satellites so they can off-set their signals in realtime for moving target guidance.]

    History of the WCMD-ER does not bode well.

    • TTG says:


      The JDAM-ER is attached to an HE bomb of at least 500 lbs in size. It has nothing to do with cluster munitions.

  9. d74 says:

    One bomb (1) or one hundred (100) will not do. Many more, 5000 seems appropriate.
    Let’s go further, in Vietnam the terrifying B52 bombings did not bring victory. They did not interrupt the Ho Chi Minh trails. They did not weaken the North’s will to fight. There is evidence that these bombings increased the cohesion of public opinion in the North. The Communist Party’s hand may have been even heavier.

    Pinpricks or the gradual build-up of threats are counterproductive. Technology by itself is only a mirage. It takes mass or quantity, and men on the ground.
    Are we ready for these sacrifices? I don’t think so. Without these efforts, we are only prolonging the killing. We weaken Ukraine’s cards in negotiations that will necessarily end this affair. (It is likely that in this respect it may be too late).

    Walrus and English Outsider: I very often share your opinions. Thank you.

    • blue peacock says:

      “…in Vietnam the terrifying B52 bombings did not bring victory.”

      That should be telegraphed to Putin. He’s the one bombing Ukrainian cities and their public infrastructure. No one is bombing Russian cities.

      • Bill Roche says:

        You have things backwards. It is ok if Russia bombs Ukraine. It is not ok if Ukraine bombs Russia. Then, Ukraine w/b expanding the war into Russia. Bad Ukraine.
        W/re bombing the Ho Chi Minh trail I confess, I wasn’t there. I was drinking beer in Fkt. But the trail remained effective b/c the No. Vietnamese moved it into Cambodia. That was the whole business of Nixon “expanding” the war into the “Parrots Beak”. See its kind of the same thing. The VC were not expanding the war by moving the trail into Cambodia, Nixon was expanding the war trying to bomb it in Cambodia. Once you understand that no matter what, the US is bad, the rest will always be clear.

    • Fred says:


      The Paris peace accords, signed 27 January 1973, ended the war. The communist government of North Vietnam violated that two years later. The democraticly controlled house voted to stop further aid to South Vietnam, thus ensuring the success of the communist invasion. I dont believe anyone even asked the North Vietnamese recipient of the Nobel peace prize give it up after his government’s treacherous conduct.

  10. English Outsider says:

    If one believes, as I have done since the start of the SMO, that Ukraine doesn’t have a chance militarily then the supply or even the talk of supply of such weapons seals the fate of remnant Ukraine.

    What happens after the SMO is over? There will be a part of the Ukraine that the Russians will not wish to incorporate. That’s lived in by people fiercely hostile to Russia.

    Also by people supported by the West. That Western support is maximal. It extends to targeting installations and cities under Russian protection or ownership. We are seeing even now Kiev shelling Zaporizhzhya NPP and distributing butterfly mines in civilian areas in Donetsk.

    Not accidentally. This is no collateral damage. Precision artillery using NATO IRS resources – and that means with NATO assistance or direction – aims directly at these targets. At fairly close range, at present. As more powerful and longer range weapons systems are provided by NATO, that range extends.

    So after the war ends the Russians will have to “demilitarise” remnant Ukraine. They will have to ensure that they cannot be fired on from there. Also make sure that remnant Ukraine can’t be used a base from which to mount raids. Else this will be a hostile enclave powerfully supported by NATO and an indefinite threat.

    There are only two way to “demilitarise” that area so it does not become a threat. By agreement or by occupation. The West has set its face firmly against agreement. Therefore there will be an occupation. This has been clear since the Western refusal to countenance the settlement in prospect in the Istanbul talks.

    The offer, or even the talk, of providing F16’s and longer range weapons has made it even more likely that this is the fate in store for remnant Ukraine.


    This is in fact what I believe Washington is aiming for. Last year, at the start of the SMO. all the talk was of how Kiev would be defeated in short order and Russia would then be faced with partisan warfare. The term “Russia’s Afghanistan” was often used.

    The Kiev forces were never and still are not able to conduct combined arms warfare. But the arms they had been provided with were suitable for large scale partisan warfare. Was that Washington’s aim all along?

    It is now. And that aim can only be frustrated by the occupation and subsequent demilitarisation of remnant Ukraine. Unless, I suppose, the Chinese manage to pull a peace settlement out of the hat. If not, how can any part of the old Ukraine remain sovereign if all that means is that it remains a base from which NATO can attack Russia?

    • Sam says:


      You are convinced that Putin’s “SMO” will be militarily successful. Considering that he’s a year into it and has achieved none of his “demilitarization” and “denazification” goals and is in fact fighting hard to keep his annexed Ukrainian territory, how’s he gonna conquer Ukraine? What’s he gonna do militarily to turn the tide? The eastern Ukraine that he claims is his is being completely turned into rubble as the artillery warfare is being waged by both armies there.

      Now, I have no ability to forecast the military outcomes. However in observing the war over the past year, it appears to me the much smaller and less equipped Ukrainian army has held its own and prevented the Russian army from any kind of meaningful assault across Ukrainian defensive lines.

      • English Outsider says:

        Sam – I’m not a pacifist. In fact I believe both the Eastern European countries and my own could do with much stronger defences than we have at the moment. One of the shocking revelations of the last year is that European NATO doesn’t in practice exist!

        The Americans aren’t there in any useful force and the European countries only have pretend militaries. Pathetic. As General Kujat says, the Russians could walk into the Baltics tomorrow and there’d be damn all to stop them.

        As for the UK armed forces, I didn’t like it but had to accept it was more or less true when Ritter called them the “Benjamin Button” of militaries. Fine soldiers, as I know very well from my own contacts over the years, the best by far in my view, but too few and poorly equipped. We’re teaming up with the French at the moment to bomb mud huts in Africa and that’s now about our level.

        Fortunately the Russians don’t want to walk into the Baltics tomorrow. Not unless we use the Russians living there as a pressure point, as we did with the Donbass Russians. Why on earth would the Russians want the Baltics? An industrial wasteland peopled by the fiercest Russophobes on the planet. It’d be a nightmare to hold down and no profit in it.

        But things change, and change very quickly these days. What happens when Putin goes and if the Russian equivalents of the Washington neocons take over? Because the Russians have their hawks too, as I’m sure you know very well.

        So we need proper defensive forces to guard against any contingencies, however unlikely, that might arise. And bombing mud huts doesn’t cut it. But putting the Russians in a position where they had no choice but intervene militarily in Ukraine, and then trying to destroy their country with sanctions, isn’t any rational defence policy. It’s sheer lunacy.

        As we’re now finding out.

        • English Outsider says:

          Sam – bit of back up. After I’d written to you I turned to Dr North’s blog in England and read this.

          This has been knows since an Inspector General’s report on the state of the German armed forces several years ago. But to see it all laid out – Dr North is a defence expert when he chooses to wear that hat -serves as ample confirmation of Kujat’s assessment.

          Zorn, by the way, was sacked because he took a more realistic view of the military position than suited Scholz. They can’t sack Kujat or Vad or others who speak out so content themselves with calling them Putinversteher.

          A lot simmering away in Germany just now. But the point here is that when Kujat made the judgement mentioned briefly above, he wasn’t just shooting his mouth off.

          • Whitewall says:

            Well well, I thought I was the only person around here who read Richard North’s blog. Small world. I began reading the forerunner called EUreferendum way back when he started out with the late Helen Szamuelly. Where Dr. North gets his energy for the amount of content he produces is beyond me.

        • Sam says:

          “…the Russians could walk into the Baltics tomorrow and there’d be damn all to stop them.“


          There’s two threads in your response. One is that NATO is a paper tiger with no real teeth. Second, the Europeans & the UK have no real military forces. That’s a separate discussion.

          You made an earlier point that Putin would be militarily successful in his invasion of his neighbor. How? What evidence can you point to in a year of battle?

          I haven’t seen any evidence of the Russian army’s strength in the past year of actual battle against a much smaller and less equipped Ukrainian army. They have yet to breakthrough the Ukrainian army’s defensive lines in any meaningful way. OTOH, the Ukrainian army did successfully push back the Russian army on several fronts.

          • Bill Roche says:

            I spent some time in Fkt assigned to V Corps and learned what a “trip wire” was. No one ever expected Americans to hold back the commies if they breached Fulda or the south of the Hartz Mtns. But if they could be held up at the Dutch border the Americans would arrive and throw them back. Mebe. That is what the few battalions of NATO forces are again today in the Baltics – “trip wires”. If the Russians can be held up, there will be time for the 7th Cav to fly over from Texas and the shit will hit the fan. Could Macedonian, Spanish, or French forces get to Estonia faster. Sure, and don’t count out the Italian, Dutch, or Danish … if they can get to Riga. That was a joke. Everyone expects the Americans to do the dying and if necessary they will. In my mind the jury is still out on NATO. Absent American money and men and “whatdayagot, zippity bobbity boo!”

          • English Outsider says:

            Sam – All the Western military analysts I read at the time (I read some but obviously not all of them) got the Russian plan wrong from the start. Most of them still do, though I think the penny’s dropped with most of them by now and they’re only persisting in their mistakes for PR reasons.

            In fact we can’t say just one “plan”. It’s now obvious they’d got plans for all contingencies.

            Their best case was to get Minsk 2 implemented and avoid the sanctions war. Their worst, the US entering the war as a declared combatant. They covered those contingencies and the ones in between,

            One of the ones in between, the one they were aiming for until the failure of the Istanbul talks, was a negotiated peace. That would have been roughly like Minsk 2 except that after February 21st the Donbass was lost for good. But as said, they’d planned for other possibilities as well. As we’re now seeing.

            Apart from the first few days of the SMO, which seem to have been a bit hell for leather, their priorities were to avoid Russian casualties. We’re still seeing that priority to the fore.

            Also to avoid civilian casualties. The earlier period of the war resembled more a hostage release operation especially down in Mariupol than what we in the West think of as real war. Also to avoid as far as possible damage to infrastructure.

            Now they know this is a Russia v US match and no holds barred within Ukraine that’s gone by the board to an extent, but we’re seeing far less collateral damage than usually occurs with Western armies and the infrastructure damage (so far) is still limited to military objectives,

            I think they made some mistakes. Sometimes didn’t get AD in place fast enough at the beginning. Didn’t ensure flank protection for the diversionary thrust to Kiev. Were slow in adapting to drones. That, and more, is what some analysts say and I don’t see why they shouldn’t be right. Mistakes get made in wars.

            What I do find awesome – and that not because I think the Russians are in the right but looking at it as objectively as possible – is how they married up the SMO with the all-important geopolitical considerations. Whether by design or accident the SMO was paced slow enough to give the non-Western countries time to get their bearings and then to get behind the Russians or at least not get in their way..

            That was important. Most of the news we saw coming out of Moscow, and are still seeing, is more about all these meetings with SCO countries than about the war itself. In that marrying up of those considerations with the SMO itself the Russians played a blinder.

            Missed, or worse, contemptuously dismissed by the Western press. Also missed was the change in Russian public opinion over the last year. Many initially reluctant, or simply puzzled by this sudden intensification of military activity. Now solidly behind the Russian government – in fact most of them impatient that Putin isn’t acting more forcefully.

            We’ve no idea what plan’s coming up next. Somehow the Russians will have to solve the remnant Ukraine puzzle we’ve set them, the one mentioned above. It’s possible they’ll be looking to get those 2021 security demands met. On all that it’s wait and see time. But so far the Russians haven’t put a foot wrong strategically.

            Our lot? The Western politicians? They had a plan all right.

            Force Russian military action. Get the Western electorates good and angry about what was portrayed to them as “unprovoked Russian aggression”. On the back of that almost universal public anger, impose the shock and awe sanctions that were explicitly designed to break the Russian economy.

            Well, it was a plan. But the fools had no plan B. They rushed into the sanctions war without considering what would happen if that sanctions war failed.

            As said, we’re now finding out. So, too, are our unfortunate proxies. But from way back the West has always considered proxies as disposable.


            Long comment. Better shut up. Should just say, on breaking through defensive lines – as long as Kiev keeps sending forces in the Russians are happy enough to sit there and deal with them where they are.

            On the pushbacks – we’re still seeing some attempted – the Ukrainians have fought heroically. They always have, since 2014. But whoever thought that was a proper use to make of them should be shot. The casualties have been horrendous and the gains illusory. These were PR offensives and good soldiers should not be used so just for PR reasons.

          • Leith says:

            Amazing twist of facts EO. Absolutely mind boggling how you so elegantly use such polished bumf messaging and blatant dissimulation to try to sway opinions in Putin’s favor.

        • Bill Roche says:

          Dreams of “Empire Again” put Russia in a mind to invade, destroy, and conquer Ukraine. That thought has been in Russian minds since the summer of ’91. Nuland had nothing to do w/it. I do not accept the use of the euphemism SMO. Putin’s invaded another sovereign county, period. Further I am not grateful that Putin is at the wheel b/c w/o him there may be Russian neocons to deal with. Is it neo conservative or neo colonialist in the case of Russia? Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is her first step to try to restore her colonial empire over Slavs and Balts (Finns and Moldovians had better mind their mouths too according to the genial Mr. Putin). That is the attraction of the Balts to Russia. They too must be restored to what they have been since 1700, Russia’s little windows to the west. Colonialism dies hard.

          Speaking of colonialism, to the sons and daughters of colonialism the world over I wish you a festive and reflective day. St. Patty’s d/n belong just to the Irish.
          Freedom is for every one. S’lainte!!

    • Leith says:

      English Outsider –

      Your sources on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant are obviously lying to you. The shellings destroyed infrastructure needed to provide energy to cities and towns controlled by Ukraine and that are NOT under Russian occupation. Yet no damage was done to power generation facilities and buildings that are linked to Russian needs in the occupied regions. How did Ukrainian shelling get so inaccurate all of a sudden? They do pinpoint strikes elsewhere on legitimate military targets. And how convenient for Putin’s false flag fairytales that the precision targeting of Ukrainian artillery somehow got so bad they started shooting themselves in the foot.

      As for the butterfly mines: Ukraine has destroyed millions of those and other AP mines in accordance with the Ottawa Convention. But then postponed destroying more in 2014 as they were deemed crucial in the defense against attacks by DPR/LPR and Russian so-called volunteers. By the way, Russia is not a signatory and did not destroy any AP mines. Human Rights Watch reports that Russia has used “at least seven types of antipersonnel mines in at least four regions of Ukraine: Donetsk, Kharkiv, Kyiv, and Sumy”. HRW had some questions about Ukraine use of AP mines, but found no credible information.

    • Bill Roche says:

      To be sure I understand all this military terminology, by SMO do you mean the planned Russian invasion of Ukraine and the wholesale destruction of its cities, infra structure, kidnapping children, killing of its defenders, and current occupation of Ukrainian eastern regions? Invasion/SMO; someone wrote (an Englishman I believe) “a rose is still a rose …”. Russian propagandist prefer euphemism to truth. After all, if you say a lie often enough people will believe you.

      • English Outsider says:

        Bill – “SMO”.

        We can call it a Russian “invasion” because it was that. Of course it was! Or a “war”, because rolling your tanks into another country looks just like a war to me. Or we can use the bland term “Russian military intervention”.

        I’ve got into the habit of calling it the “SMO” because it’s a useful and brief way of distinguishing between the war that was raging in the Ukraine from 2014 on and the very different sort of war that kicked off on February 24th. No euphemism intended. Whatever we call it it’s still people killing each other.

    • Bill Roche says:

      I read this comment by E.O. as an attempt to advance the idea, that it is proper for Russia to conquer all of Ukraine up to the Polish border. After all how else can Russian security be guaranteed. And isn’t this all about Russian security? Baltic, Polish, Slovak security?? I can only imagine that those countries will have to accept Russian security. Then again, if Russia has its way, security for Finns, Balts, and Slav will be unnecessary. The Russian army will occupy these former nation states to ensure Russia is secure and behold, the world has rtn to 1914. Sorry folks to sing the same song again and again (yes and again), but it must be sung. It is important to understand what Putin/Russia intend to accomplish. Some correspondents living in Western Europe might not give a damn about Easter European freedom. To those I would say listen carefully and you will hear a bell tolling. It tolls for thee.

  11. jim ticehurst.. says:

    I Read alot of News Daily….It Appears China is totally Prepping for Hypersonic Missle Attacks..of Many Types…on Land and Sea Targets…and reported to be using Space
    Lasers…Green ones to Precisely Target Hawaii…Bases in the USA and Globally..and Our Ships at Sea…

    Russia has 40 Hypersonics Left after its Recent Attacks on Ukraine…But Also is Using the Mig 31..and knows that the United States is Two Years on Hypersonic Development or Defenses..and scrubbed a test Launch at Canaveral.. You would think Russia
    knows what the 40 Nations are sending his way..With the German Ammo requested by Ukraine..hmmmm……Russia is Not without Options..and a Track that Runs East..

  12. Leith says:

    Slovakian government today announced they (finally) approved transfer of MiG-29s to Ukraine. Caveat is that they “would only serve to protect Ukrainian skies and not to carry out attacks on Russia.” 13 total, although only ten are airworthy and modernized versions. The other three non-modernized, non-operational aircraft might be used as spare parts. Although those crafty Ukrainian Air Force mechanics are smart enough get them running again.

    Slovaks will also send a couple of SA-6 SAM launchers to include 200 missiles. The SA-6 is an old system (1960s). But the Houthis in Yemen used one just a few years ago in June 2019 to shoot down a USAF MQ-9 Reaper.

    Hat tip to Tomas Strigner:

    No time frame given. Hopefully soon.

  13. Fourth and Long says:

    Drastically off-topic but it will appeal to one’s inner science geek. Especially interesting to me because it’s said to involve numerous very fast electrical switches which I’m sure you’ve heard of in weapon-triggering contexts.

    Scientists Confirm the Incredible Existence of Time Reflections:

    For more than 50 years, scientists theorized that an electromagnetic wave could be reflected temporally—not just spatially.
    Scientists have been unable to confirm the existence of time reflection due to the amount of energy required to create a temporal interface.
    Using an engineered metamaterial scientists in New York City were able to successfully observe time reflections for the first time.

  14. Chrisitan Chuba says:

    Having squadrons of Mig29’s / SU’s dropping GBU-38 glide bombs to take out Russian artillery up to a depth of 12 miles is old school thinking.

    1. The aircraft flying from Poland border to eastern Ukraine are easy to detect
    2. It requires very good targeting info for the glide bombs (from U.S. drones over the Black Sea?)

    If you had really good targeting info, drones are the way to do it. They are easier to sneak into position and harder to detect in flight. Drones require less infrastructure than aircraft launched glide bombs.

    If your argument is to use what we have now then I say sure, send Ukraine everything, why not the export version of our F35’s? They are supposed to be easier to fly than the F16’s.

    • Fred says:


      It seems the Ghost of Kiev is safe in retirement. Also the vaunted image of drones changing the face of the battlefield, Russian artillery barrels ruined by excess use and thus their artillery innaccrate, and a few other stories we’ve been told for 12 months now. I expect Zelensky to be making the rounds for another trillion in funding, what with banks dropping as fast as combatants Bahkmut.

  15. Mark Logan says:


    Indeed, but is there a fleet of high speed kamikaze drones capable of carrying a serious payload of HE is currently available? The plan appears to be to strike in just a few months from now.

    What would Don Rumsfeld say? 😉

  16. Yeah, Right says:

    I’m confused. Aren’t these the same targets that HIMARS has been devastating with such “game-changing” effect?

    So JDAM-ER is the new wonder weapon to replace the last wonder weapon?

    Is that because the USA has run out of HIMARS? Or is it because HIMARS hasn’t had the success we have been told?

    • TTG says:

      Yeah, Right,

      No, it’s not a wonder weapon. It’s just another weapon put into the hands of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to help them free their country of the Russian invaders.

      • Chrisitan Chuba says:

        “It’s just another weapon”

        I think that it is a fair to point out that HIMARs could do the same thing, and possibly even better since they are mobile and have a range of 50 miles.

        If Ukraine could position HIMAR’s correctly and if you combined it with a Mig29 / JDAM attack, you could take out Russian artillery, if you get really good targeting info and that is the weak part of the plan.

        We would have to get most Russian artillery positions via satellite and give the coordinates to, ahem, Ukraine (I bet NATO personnel would be involved). They would then have to launch an attack before Russia moves their artillery.

        BTW if Russia doesn’t move their artillery on a regular basis, that would be a huge lapse on their part. They only need to shuffle their artillery a couple hundred yards to make a 500lb bomb miss. How quickly can we analyze satellite data?

        • TTG says:

          Christan Chuba,

          “How quickly can we analyze satellite data?” PDQ. Satellite radar can now track moving ground targets. All these precision weapons require “really good targeting info” including HIMARS, JDAM-ER and 155mm Excalibur artillery shells. We have it and we give to the Ukrainians to augment the data they get from drones.

          • Yeah, Right says:

            Surely a coincidence that the Russians caused a US drone to splash into the sea.

            No connection there. No screen, none whatsoever.

        • Yeah, Right says:

          The Russians will know when a US military satellite passes overhead.

          Depending on how often that happens they can move the howitzers as soon as the flypast takes place.

          Pretty certain they could do that faster than the coordinates can be passed to the waiting MIG 29.

  17. Chrisitan Chuba says:

    I get the opportunity here. Most Russian artillery is going to be within 20 miles of the front line. IF you could launch a really big, simultaneous attack and you ‘only’ took out 50% of it would be a massive blow against Russia, especially since Russia currently has big advantage in artillery.

    You need two things to accomplish it.
    1. Getting good targeting info and transferring it to your force of glide bombs and HIMARs
    2. The ability to launch a massive simultaneous attack.

    Door #2 looks like a big obstacle, that is a big ask for Ukraine as I doubt they have any experience doing that but sure, go for it, why not. You might lose what’s left of your air force and HIMAR’s but the alternative is to let Russia pound you to pieces with their artillery.

    • TTG says:

      Chrisitan Chuba,

      It doesn’t require an “all at once” attack, although something like that at the point of an offensive move would be preferable. Until then, steadily grinding away at Russian artillery, logistics and command nodes is just fine.

      • Chrisitan Chuba says:

        The only reason I mentioned ‘all in’ was because the Russians will adapt like they did after the initial HIMAR attacks destroyed a few of their larger depots. But hey, not asking anyone to commit suicide, do what you can do.

        I bet you can count the number of militaries who could do a big attack on one hand and not use all of your fingers. Israel would be good at is as they constantly use their satellites to coordinate glide bomb attacks against Syria. I hate it, but they have practical experience doing it.

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