RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 20170601 by Patrick Armstrong

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ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI is dead but he lives on in three ways. He didn't invent jihadism or takfirism but he gave it a key lift by supporting the mujahidin in Afghanistan in order to entice the USSR to intervene: the disastrous policy of encouraging jihadism in one place arrogantly thinking you could stop it spreading to another. This is something he apparently never regretted (at least not in 1998: "What is more important in world history? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire?). His obsessive anti-Russian stance remains embedded in the USA as this absurd Time magazine cover shows. He had some influence on Obama and one can legitimately ask whether his silly view about the importance of Ukraine to Russia was a prime mover in the Ukrainian catastrophe. There are some indications that he was beginning to realise how dangerous (and unsuccessful) this policy was becoming. But, probably, the longest-lasting legacy, though neither to his liking nor wishing, is the resistance to US hegemony taking concrete form in many places but most powerfully in Beijing and Moscow. As he said in his key book in which he thought to lay out the game plan to keep the USA on top forever: "the most dangerous scenario would be a grand coalition of China, Russia… Averting this contingency, however remote it may be, will require a display of U.S. geostrategic skill…" Neither remote nor skilful enough I guess. He should have paid more attention to Newton's Third Law of Diplomacy: if you push countries around, they will push back. An exceptional failure all round.

NATO. When the chief member tells the others that they're not "paying their fair share" and their real job is the Daesh threat, you have to wonder what is the longevity of an organisation whose members have never "paid their fair share" and spend their time obsessing about "Russian threats". Pay for what, by the way? Defence against the "Russian threat"? Overthrowing governments in the Middle East?

NATO CRUMBLE. We have here a very interesting poll conducted by an American GONGO. Spun as discovering "Vulnerabilities to Russian Influence", it actually shows how tarnished the Atlanticist idol has become. Majorities in Slovakia (75%), the Czech Republic (62%) and Hungary (54%) want security cooperation with Russia and over a third of Poles (!) agree. They're worrying about the erosion of traditional values, they're watching more Russian media and they're feeling less "European". None of this has anything to do with Russian "disinformation" of course: it's an entirely homemade failure. More Brzezinski legacy.

EUROPE-US. When the chief member of the EU says that automatic agreement with Washington is no longer a given and that Europe must "stand on our own two feet" you have to wonder what will next happen in an organisation that has been pretty obedient to Washington's diktat in recent years. Think of how much the Ukraine mess and Russian sanctions have hurt, and will continue to hurt, Europe. Do they still have feet, by the way? More Brzezinski legacy.

RUSSIAN MILITARY POWER. Some time ago there was a story about a single Russian aircraft shutting down the electronics of a US warship. I put it in the "Who Knows?" file. But now and again something else appears. The expensive US new battlefield communications system is, apparently, worthless. Wonder how they found out? Not while fighting people with no EW abilities, air defence, artillery or anything much but determination and high explosives.

LOGICAL CONUNDRUM. Russia is wrong to say that NATO is a threat to it, but NATO is right to say that Russia is a threat to it. Russia is wrong not to take NATO's word for it, but NATO is right not to take Russia's word for it. Meditate on this: a koan for our time.

MH17. Russian sources have published documents claimed to be from Ukrainian intelligence sources. They describe a coverup after a Ukrainian fighter plane shot it down. (Original Совершенно секретно) (English) I merely put this out – I don't know: there are plenty of fakes around. But I do not believe a Buk shot it down: a Buk warhead has about 6000 lethal fragments and detonation a metre or two from the aircraft would have left a lot more fragments in the wreckage than were found. The Dutch report is self-contradictory by the way.

MISSING. Amnesty International, citing a 2016 US government audit, says Washington failed to monitor over $1B worth of arms and other military equipment transfers to Kuwait and Iraq. Would these US weapons found in Aleppo be some of the "unmonitored" items do you suppose? More Brzezinski legacy.

AMERICA-HYSTERICA. 1000 Russian bots on Facebook.

© Patrick Armstrong Analysis, Canada Russia Observer

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20 Responses to RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 20170601 by Patrick Armstrong

  1. Prem says:

    MH17 seems to have disappeared from MSM reporting. The Dutch preliminary report was unconvincing.
    For me, the suspicious thing is that there was no mention of ELINT. Why didn’t NATO or the US government simply say that “We intercepted the Buk’s surveillance radar at time X and location Y; the tracking radar started emiting Z minutes before the crash and, just before the crash, it entered its CW terminal guidance mode”. None of this would reveal secret capabilities – we are talking about 1960s tech.
    Instead we get dubious ballistics and analysis of grass burns.
    Perhaps, there were no ELINT/ESM assets in the area. But this was the only hot war in Europe at the time, and it is likely that both Russian and American special forces were there, if only as observers.

  2. BraveNewWorld says:

    >”the chief member of the EU says that automatic agreement with Washington is no longer a given”
    NATO votes to start by getting waiste deep into the mess in Syria and Iraq to appease the US.

  3. Ulenspiegel says:

    Patrick Armstrong wrote: “But I do not believe a Buk shot it down”
    The funny thing is that even the Russians not longer claim it was a SU25 launched missile. Since September 2016 it is the Russian versin too that a BUK hit the MH17, hower, a Ukrainian. 🙂
    The piss poor Russian PR performance pointed IMHO to the more likely scenario that their guys screwed up and Russia played for time with stupid stunts like the press conference where a poor Russian general had to sell the redar echo of debis as SU25 and the sudden change of SU specifications on the home page of the producer. 🙂
    If it had been a Ukranian BUK, the Russians could have fried the Ukrainians very easily and would not have missed this opportunity.
    And last but not least: On the German mil blog “Augen gerade aus”, there were extremyl good discussions and people there – air force officers with deep konwledge of Russian AA systems and planes – came very earlty to the conclusion that it was a BUK most likely.

  4. MRW says:

    John Helmer has written two great articles this week that round out what you’ve said here, Patrick. And you both use the phrase: the evil lives on. Helmer, however, is more trenchant in his disgust for Brezezinski.

    If ever there was a man who displayed on his face the evil on his mind, it was Zbigniew Brzezinski, (lead image, right) who died last week at a hospital near Washington. […] Brzezinski was an obsessive Russia-hater from the beginning to the end. That led to the monumental failures of Carter’s term in office; the hatreds Brzezinski released had an impact which continues to be catastrophic for the rest of the world.

  5. Tel says:

    What always confused me about MH17 is that some of the wrecked panels clearly had holes punching BOTH inwards and ALSO outwards on the same plate. Plenty of photos on the Internet can be found showing at least some of the holes are nice and neat and ROUND which the Dutch report ignored, but possibly could be a machine gun. BUC fragments are not round and would never leave a neat round hole.
    Also, they never released the full cockpit recording, and they never released the air-traffic control conversations with the aircraft (especially at the critical time when the craft changed off their normal course to instead fly over the hot zone of rebel held territory). No aircraft would normally fly over a war zone so the conversation around that course correction is absolutely critical to knowing what happened that night.

  6. Bandit says:

    Does the MH17 evidence that Russia provided, you are referring to include their satellite images? The US refused to provide their’s, so is left just pointing bloody fingers as usual. I am increasingly disappointed by the collusion of the Dutch in this mess. Their investigators are traitors to their own citizen victims.
    The Saker has a May 23 article about the SBU, the Security Service of Ukraine which, if true, exposes that agency directive to destroy or dispose of all evidence relating to the shooting down of MH17. Here is the link:

  7. confusedponderer says:

    Buk has a certain range, and it needs a suitable radar of a certain (rather limted) range. Also, russian and Ukie Buks use the same radar. That means that detecting a Buk radar doesn’t mean it was russians who operated it – it just means that a Buk was located. It also means that to detect a Buk radar, one needs to be rather close.
    However, the WHERE, WHY and BY WHOM is an important point here, but there is little info on that, not from NATO, and not from the Ukies. All we get from these two is the claim that it was, of course, the Russians, end of story. NATO aside, by geography the Ukies would of course be an advantaged collector of such informations.
    That said, they also have their own interests. And perhaps they have collected things like ELINT or SIGINT info on the shootdown of MH17, but what they give out doesn’t change the narrative that it was Putin. Well, distrustful as I am, I have a hunch that the narrative was written well before MH17 was shot down.
    That written, SIGINT and ELINT only have so long a range and Ukraine is a large land. A SIGINT/ ELINT system in Poland or Romania, or in an aircraft collecting over the baltic may just been too far away – out of range – to listen to or locate/find a Buk system.
    The dutch MH17 report in large part depended on Ukrainian reports of whatever happened on the day MH17 was shot down.
    And natutrally, everybody who believes and trusts the Ukies in what they say happened is unwise. That is to say that the Ukies, out of self interest, lie a lot given a chance, and what they say should not be accepted as truth, certainly not without checks from, second sources, ideally own services and systems.
    If in case of MH17 it wasn’t the Russians, but, say, some Ukie, the Ukies would be motivated to lie – instead of saying that the aircraft was shot down by themselves, or one of their volunteer units that would be mebarassing, well, murderous, to put it mildly.
    In light of that it is probable that it is perveived to be far more handy to keep up the fairy tale that MH17 was of course shot down by the evil Russians – probably out of boredom and utter evilness. Yes, of course, and why else?
    That sort of nonsense should be kept in mind whenever hearing any Ukies statements for or over anything – it may just be a load of self interested BS. Policy based on believing such things would likewise be utter nonsense and unlikely to work.

  8. MRW says:

    Helmer served in Carter’s White House with Brzezinski. He was on the inside charged by Carter with verifying Brzezinski’s analysis, among other things.
    The second article I link to above is that account. It is a real eye-opener, and Helmer is coming forward with this info now only because Brzezinski died. He tried to write about it in a NYT op-ed a few years ago (2011?) but Brzezinski, who was shown a copy as a courtesy before publication, ordered the NYT to kill it. I’m still reeling from Helmer’s account.

  9. different clue says:

    And Zbiggie-poo had the power to ORder the NYTimes to kill it? And the power to MAKE the NYTimes follow his order?
    If he had that power, was it his OWN power or was it the threatened power of people backing him and for whom he fronted? Or was he a self propelled free agent and just giving a high-handed order in hopes the name Brzezinski would shock and awe the Times into obeying an order which Brzezinski had no power to enforce?

  10. MRW says:

    I suspect the latter, DC, but I don’t know.

  11. VietnamVet says:

    The problem with the wartime information operations underway since 9/11 is that people who should know better start believing the propaganda, the public is uninformed, corporations buy silence and they now include Russia. Besides MH-17, Ukraine’s ongoing trench war or the potential nuclear flashpoint at Al-Tanf; there is the is the Airbus fly by wire computer control system that is implicated in at least three crashes that killed all souls on board and Qantas Flight 72 that had a narrow escape.

  12. Bandit says:

    I appreciate the contributions forum members give to this important MH17 event that the MSM has been recently ignoring after it published so many lies and omissions in its previous articles. I think most of us just want the truth, and the evidence to support it. Whoever is responsible, Russia, Ukraine, or the US, needs to be revealed to the world. But, many of these types of atrocities tend to disappear after their “newsworthy” merits are exhausted and there is more money to be made by exploiting the Trump trend.
    Much like the Kennedy assassinations, the US does everything to cover up and mislead the public, and it takes years and the advent of the internet to get the facts more widely viewed. By that time, the perps are either dead or Alzheimer zombies, and a new generation of citizens have more pressing concerns than what happened some 50 years ago. But, for me, MH17 will remain current news as long as it takes for the truth to be revealed.

  13. Chris Chuba says:

    Brzezinski (labeled a Realist) captures the heart of a Neocon perfectly in this paper authored by him.

    A Geostrategy for Eurasia, Zbigniew brzezinski
    “In a volatile Eurasia, the immediate task is to ensure that no state or combination of states gains the ability to expel the United States or even diminish its decisive role… A benign American hegemony must still discourage others from posing a challenge, not only by making its costs too high, but also by respecting the legitimate interests of Eurasia’s regional aspirants
    In these circumstances, Russia’s first priority should be to modernize itself rather than to engage in a futile effort to regain its status as a global power. Given the country’s size and diversity, a decentralized political system and free-market economics would be most likely to unleash the creative potential of the Russian people and Russia’s vast natural resources. A loosely confederated Russia — composed of a European Russia, a Siberian Republic, and a Far Eastern Republic — would also find it easier to cultivate closer economic relations with its neighbors.”

    1. Asserting global U.S. supremacy.
    2. Imposing a benevolent U.S. solution on an unwilling participant.
    3. Assuming that the U.S. knows more about a local situation than the people who actually live there.
    I could have chopped down the quotation but thought it would be good to include the rationalizations that justify a blatant might makes right approach to world affairs. I could have chosen other Neocons or other objects of their affection since they believe we rule the entire world.

  14. Chris Chuba says:

    “The piss poor Russian PR performance pointed IMHO to the more likely scenario that their guys screwed up”

    From a PR perspective, it would have been much cleaner had they just said, ‘rebels acquired a BUK from Ukrainian military stockpiles, they have been under attack by the UkAf and mistook a passenger jet for a bomber since it would be insane to direct air traffic to a war zone’.
    The problem is that since the Russians probably didn’t know what actually happened, they were genuinely caught flat footed and exploring the issue. Having watched how they have managed press releases in Syria I have concluded that they do not do PR management. Contrary to what many state, the Russians totally suck at Information Warfare.
    I am not commenting on what actually did happen with MH17 but taking the opportunity to comment on U.S. vs Russian Information Warfare. We have dozens of NGO’s that will issue press releases stating ‘Assad, Russia, Iran guilty of war crimes, ranked #1 in executions, corruption, #144 in the Democracy index’. Russia doesn’t have anything like our NGO’s. Here is one reference that I book marked because I found it so amusingly obvious, ‘Physicians for human rights’, a U.S. based NGO I couldn’t find the source of their funding but I’ll bet someone a steak dinner that govt money would be in that trail.
    The other avenue of U.S. Information Warfare is when the FBI / CIA give anonymous leaks or otherwise feed stories to the NYT / WaPo. Now the Russian govt does have access to RT but we still have a much more influential press corp. We also have more power in charting course in investigations that are supposed to be neutral. We killed OPCW investigations in Syria and the one for MH17 was dubious.

  15. Thomas says:

    “If it had been a Ukranian BUK, the Russians could have fried the Ukrainians very easily and would not have missed this opportunity.”
    That is exactly what the Noveau Khans wanted so as to drag the United States into their war. Thanks to a lazy government official’s commode computer, the Russians probably knew it too (see F U EU).
    Funny that Nato won’t provide their proof to the public the those Russkie Rebels did the deed. Why is that?

  16. Prem says:

    I would be very surprised if the US did not have naval, air and space based ELINT assets monitoring the area closely at that time. Maintaining an up to date EORBAT was a pretty high priority during the Cold War and I doubt that has changed much.
    At the end of the day, these kinds of systems are not difficult to keep track of. They are few in number, loud (ELINT systems have the advantage over radars of 1/R^2 vs 1/R^4 in signal strength) and have relatively simple waveforms.

  17. Ulenspiegel says:

    Sorry, james, the Russians promoted the story of Ukrainian SU25, “supported” by stupid lies of a Russian general at a press conference, and with changing technical specifications on the SU25 home page…
    September 2016 they changed it to BUK. “Great” performance.

  18. Chris Chuba says:

    The Information War
    U.S. Modus Operandi
    Whenever something big happens, the U.S. immediately comes up with a simple narrative that is accepted by the MSM and our western allies and never changes it. In the case of MH17, within a day or two, ‘the rebels killed innocent civilians armed with an illegally supplied Buk from Russia’. Khan Shaykhun, same thing, ‘Assad poisoned children from this airfield and is being protected by the Russians’. Come hell or high water nothing will ever change our narrative.
    The Russians, they respond with multiple theories that sometimes contradict each other within a matter of days or weeks. Is this the sign of Information Warfare or possible innocence, what would you do if you were suddenly called a baby killer? I think it is clever that we have spun a natural response to a standard tactic of ‘Russian information warfare’ that U.S. experts call ‘deny, obfuscate, and overload’.
    It’s great to have money to burn, we have tons of it to throw at consultants, think tanks, and the like.

  19. J says:

    The plug needs to be pulled on NATO just like the plug has been pulled on the Marshall Plan. The U.S. can no longer afford to prop up both the German Banks via the Marshall Plan, and the European Union (with their Nazi Gold that Juncker is hoarding).

  20. LondonBob says:

    Yep the Russians are actually useless at information warfare in comparison to us. The hyping of hybrid warfare is comparable to the all powerful Red Army on the brink of overrunning Western Europe meme that lasted up until the moment the whole thing rotten structure collapsed.

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