The Russians have Won And We Will All Be Better For It Opinion By Walrus.

Remember when this latest war started? Our esteemed leadership here and probably elsewhere told us that the Russians would lose because they were tactically backward, corrupt, led by incompetents and technically unsophisticated. They would be no match for the technically savvy and digitally enabled Ukrainians clothed in the best weaponry that the West could provide. Remember that? Guess what has happened? Now the good part; there is a silver lining to our forthcoming ignominious defeat; in comprehensively killing off the concept of an all volunteer small but highly proficient defence force, we will also be forced to adopt conscription and do away with the worst excesses of the poisonous woke culture with its focus on diversity, equality of outcomes, etc. Over time this will also lead to a resetting of the electoral center of gravity because conscripts and former conscripts will be a huge voting block. To put it another way, Russia has demonstrated that young men have value, not as cannon fodder either and that there is no such thing as “toxic masculinity” on a battlefield.

I am indebted to “Simplicius the Thinker” and his essays on Substack for demonstrating that Russia is fighting a different war from the West and our proxy Ukraine. We are used to fighting wars of choice by our all volunteer technically proficient Army and all our strategy, tactics and equipment are geared towards the same. Russian experience is that war is existential including this one. It is on their doorstep. They cannot walk away or retire overseas like we can. Existential war is total war and Russian military philosophy recognises this. Yes, Russian equipment does look unsophisticated sometimes but look deeper; it is designed to work in the hands of a frightened conscript with little training, without the technical support we take for granted – that also breaks, wears out or is destroyed.

Furthermore, military doctrine also recognises that men break, wear out or are destroyed and that effectively what Russia aims to produce is a sustainable long term continuous military advantage, not a three to four year effort after which we end up with a broken force and worn out equipment. Furthermore as has already been pointed out by various retired generals, our euipment is over engineered and so expensive that it cannot afford to be used – reminds me of Britains WWI Grand Fleet as well as todays F22 and F35 as well as Australian putative nuclear submarines. Simplicius links to a Forbes article, for example, about our 155mm shell productoion – over engineered, over designed with Rolls Royce levels of precision that make perfect sense on exercises but no sense at all if the ammo is to be shoved up the breach of a worn out gun as quickly as possible. We are engineered for a boutique war. Russia is engineered for a sustainable one. Furthermore, we can’t catch up anytime soon.

Now the silver lining; If we wish to achieve parity with Russia and China, then we need vastly larger forces which can only be sustained by conscription in other words a return to the necessary tribal education of all young men to be able and prepared to fight for their country. By definition, if done correctly, this produces shared values and a certain esprit de corps which is the very antithesis of the woke, self-interested lifestyle that has poisoned the West. If we don’t do this we won’t survive. I’ll leave it to the Committee to figure out some of the consequences of these changes,

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115 Responses to The Russians have Won And We Will All Be Better For It Opinion By Walrus.

  1. Lars says:

    There will certainly be changes, but the West is much better at creating them than Russia that by no means have won this war. Due to being a dictatorship, it is a much more fragile system than you will find in the West, where there is a realization that they cannot allow Russia to prevail. If you compare the economies of EU and the US to the one in Russia, their is rather puny and encountering headwinds. They also have to deal with increased ethnic troubles that could easily get out of hand. No doubt it will stay messy for awhile, but at some point Russia will realize that they need to stay within their internationally recognized borders. In the meantime, NATO is figuring out the most efficient ways to kill a lot of Russian soldiers.

    • wiz says:


      you put too much faith in the ability of the Western alliance to beat Russia in this war. Russia certainly could not overcome NATO in places like the Pacific, south east Asia or South America. It is not trying to.

      However, in a conflict on its borders Russia has the upper hand.
      The US is far away and d European NATO without the US is nothing.
      The only thing holding NATO together is the US power. Without it, European nations would revert to the squabbling frenemies that fought countless wars with each other.
      Even now, you have Polish blockade of the border with Ukraine, Hungary and Slovakia having a different perspective on the situation than the collective, Macron playing Napoleon while Germany and many other countries are opposing him in near panic, Brits always trying to sow division and escalate the conflict, some EU countries continue buying Russian gas, others don’t, the economic costs of the war going into the hundreds of billions etc.

      Increase the pressure a few more notches and the whole thing breaks apart.

      • Lars says:

        NATO is spending 2-3% or less on their militaries. Russia is spending a third of public spending on the war. That will have a large impact over time. If NATO wants to hasten the decline in Russia, they could conduct military exercises in two or three neighboring countries at the same time, which means Russia has to move a lot of troops in response and thus increase the costs to them. The reality is that the combined EU and US economies dwarfs Russia’s and that will in the end be decisive.

        • Christian J Chuba says:

          “Russia is spending a third of public spending on the war”

          What is ‘public spending’, is it referring to their oil export revenue? Compare apples to apples, what is our defense spending as a percent of exports, oh yeah, we have a trade deficit, never mine.

          We have a cottage industry in the U.S. (not referring to you) who find clever ways to claim that our Defense spending is too small. The measure I see, that you cannot spin is how much are we spending to service our annual debt. This is identical to paying the interest on a mortgage. If your debt service goes to 100% then you have no money to eat. The U.S. govt is spending over 20% of its revenue just on debt service.
          But yeah, let’s do it all, we’ll have military exercises on Russia’s border, China’s border, Iran’s border, etc. It will speed up the inevitable.

          • TTG says:

            Christian J Chuba,

            Public spending refers to a government’s budget. A third of Russia’s spending on everything is spent on the war. The percentage of our government spending on defense pales in comparison to Russia even though we spend a hell of a lot. Even with our debt servicing, our ability to expand our defense spending is substantial.

          • Christian J Chuba says:

            Okay TTG, so we are talking about Govt spending:

            The U.S. is spending 30% of OUR total Govt revenues on the Military and and Debt service, $1.7T

            Our debt service is going to expand dramatically for two reasons, 1. we keep adding to our debt, and 2. our interest rate is going to go up by at least 25%. Currently, we are only paying a 3% interest rate but that is rolling over into higher rates. Even if the fed cuts interest rates, there is little chance we can avoid paying 4%. Russia’s public debt is too small to bother counting it.

            In short, sure, we can increase defense spending a lot but it will only bring us closer to the edge of the cliff. It will be a crisis when our debt service reaches 50% of revenue.

        • wiz says:


          “The reality is that the combined EU and US economies dwarfs Russia’s and that will in the end be decisive.”

          when evaluating economic reality you should also compare Russian and NATO countries’ finances.

          For example look up Russian Debt to GDP ratio and compare it to UK, Italy, Germany, US….

          Debt is enormous, inflation is barely under control (if at all), cost of living is skyrocketing and now you propose that the West drastically increases its spending on severely overpriced and maintenance heavy military hardware so it can be sent to the eastern front to the Russian speaking regions to fight the Russians ? Good luck with that plan.

      • walrus says:

        Somethings funny here Government spend as percent gdp -Russia and USA both about 36 percent.

        USA defence spending 3.5% GDP – Russia 4.1%

        No great anomalies there. Then there is the question of how much bang for a buck you get. The GAO says not much when considering the F35 program. Russia uses different purchasing systems.

        From what I’ve seen of Russian military aircraft at a few airshows, their design and construction is superior to American in terms of serviceability and value for money. I liked the Ruski ground attack aircraft that had a drawer for its own toolkit in the fuselage and the Antonov transport with the internal gantry crane and the ability to just hose it out between missions.

        For fifty years Airforce types have been telling the likes of me that: “Yes, Russia does appear have more aircraft than we do, but our calculations show that by day three of any conflict we will have more available aircraft than they do because our maintenance and repair technology is superior and our mechanics all have masters degrees while theirs are unskilled monkeys, etc. etc.” I guess we might find out if this is true, noting in passing the horrible uptime rates for the F22 and F35 as reported by the GAO.

    • Fred says:


      “They also have to deal with increased ethnic troubles…”
      You mean Diversity(!) is not their strength, like it is in the US?

  2. babelthuap says:

    The most disturbing aspect to me is not Ukraine losing. Without combined arms and uniform equipment it was always going to end one way. Some tried to explain how attrition warfare works on wide open flat ground but not many wanted to listen. Gotta have cheap junk weapons and a lot of them. The cheapest junk you can make as long as it by and large works. Good enough.

    What bothers me the most is the obtuse attitude regarding every single thing, and I mean everything by the uni-party and their coalition of sycophant phony friends. This war should have never happened but at every checkpoint to stop it they would sabotage it. Even their own NATO charter. The first rule of it is always strive for peace. That rule got thrown out with the bath water. What is the point of the charter if you can’t even agree to follow the first damn rule of it? There is no point and it’s on full display now what having no point looks like.

  3. d74 says:

    I agree with the first part of the title: Russia has probably won. But that’s not for sure. The industrial effort promised by the West should take full effect in about two years. If Ukr holds out until then, it can look forward to a less bleak future than a disguised capitulation.

    As for the second part of the title and its development, I’m less sure. Here, where we’ve been inoculated against certain pseudo-revolutionary follies, there’s no such thing as your emergencies.
    If any changes or improvements are to be expected, they’re more likely to be structural and, of course, mental.

    I have difficulty expressing this. You could say that the goal is submission to reality, to the concrete or the down-to-earth. And our freedom to undertake and create will in no way be limited.
    An example that may not be worth much: the fighting in Ukraine has shown that our weaponry is excellent on glossy paper and on display. In the mud, far from any technological support and in the enemy’s face, its advantages collapse.
    The image can’t be extended any further than ‘do better, tougher, cheaper and in greater numbers’ in what we do in the social and entrepreneurial fields, including military.

    • Yeah, Right says:

      “The industrial effort promised by the West should take full effect in about two years. ”

      I’m sorry, that is delusional thinking.

      That would require a herculean effort by industrialists who are risking everything that “in about two years” there will still be a demand for these products.

      If they are wrong then they go broke, and if Ukraine folds before two years are up (which I consider a given) then…. they will go broke.

      No CEO of a multinational company will be willing to place that bet, and if they are willing to be so cavalier then they shouldn’t be in that job.

      The only way that your “promise” can be fulfilled is if the US government stepped in and actually instigated a “war economy” i.e. a command economy that passed legislation/executive orders that forced those companies to invest that money.

      Without that then your promise is certain to fall way, way short.

      And… so sorry…. there is no sign of any such directives from either the Executive or Legislative branches of the US Government.

      They’re willing to talk the talk, but not walk the walk.

      • d74 says:

        To my great regret, I agree with your opinion.

        I had in mind the tremendous US industrialization from 1940, full force from 1943.

        When I speak of structural changes, I have in mind the changes that would have renewed the industrial performance of the Second World War. Let’s keep a sense of proportion: currently feeding only Ukr and not the free world against the Nazis and the Japs.

        You’ve just shown that the USA would rather lose than give up a structure that ensures defeat.

        • Yeah, Right says:

          “I had in mind the tremendous US industrialization from 1940, full force from 1943.”

          And that was a command economy. The day after Pearl Harbor all car manufacturing ceased – not to renew again until 1945 – as EVERY car maker in the USA switched over to the manufacture of trucks, tanks and warplanes.

          Not a single car rolled off the assembly lines at Ford or General Motors or any of the other car companies in Detroit.

          That didn’t happen because all the CEOs were patriotic (though I’m certain they were), but because the US government ordered them to.

  4. Christian J Chuba says:

    “Now the silver lining; If we wish to achieve parity with Russia and China, then we need vastly larger forces which can only be sustained by conscription”

    We cannot achieve our current goals by enlarging our military. We are overextended. If we try to achieve (or maintain perceived) superiority in Europe, S.E. Asia, the M.E. and Africa and South America, we will implode like the USSR did in 1990.

    Our annual debt service is now close to $1T; 25% of our total revenues. So what happens when it closes in on 100%?

    The last time we had a balanced budget we cut both military and non-military expenses but now our military is a sacred cow. The Soviets tried to cling to their client states as well and it destroyed them.

    • Yeah, Right says:


      Walrus is to be commended for this article, but IMHO it doesn’t go far enough.

      He appears to be considering what the West can do to keep doing what it has been doing in the face of this new reality that Russia is indeed capable of taking boutique militaries to the cleaners.

      The alternative is …. to stop doing what the West has been doing for many decades i.e. engaging in military adventurism in faraway places on the basis of harebrained concepts of neocon fancy.

      Stop doing that any EVERYONE can spend less on their militaries.

  5. Frankie P says:


    I thank you for this piece, one that uses realism to analyze the Russia/Ukraine situation and introduces how Russia and Russians view the conflict, as an existential one. Your arguments will not be accepted with introspection and respect, not by the establishment leadership in the US, not by the leadership on this blog, and not by what babelthuap calls “their coalition of sycophant phony friends”, to which I would add the brainwashed masses who lap up western media and hold it as truth.

    We need to marry your first idea about how so many wrote the Russians off: “Russians would lose because they were tactically backward, corrupt, led by incompetents and technically unsophisticated” with another one that “Simplicius the Thinker” and other realist thinkers and commenters often cite, one that is extremely unpopular with the elite in the US and the West, the globalist cosmopolitans that are running things. That, of course, is the idea of national sovereignty and the importance of recognizing and respecting sovereign nations and their aspirations for security and a good life for their people. In the abstract, that is, in the big picture, the US has been opposed to this respect for sovereign nations for many years, trumpeting their “rules-based international order” to browbeat sovereign nations and force them into line on a whole litany of issues, from rainbow gay rights to forced democracy. In my own humble view, the biggest outcome of the Ukraine situation is one more global in scope: the nations of the world are speaking out and saying that they will act in the interests of their own sovereign country, their people, their economies. This is a clear slap in the face to the US and its desire to build “coalitions of the willing” against what they like to call the “totalitarian systems”, as if our own system, in its own way, weren’t the most totalitarian of them all. When India tells the US that they will continue to buy Russian oil and cites statistics about the low standard of living of many Indians and how these people need energy to improve their lives, I am persuaded. When the African, South/Central American, and Southeast Asian nations say that they don’t want to have to choose; they would like to enjoy friendly relations with China AND the US, I am convinced. These nations still believe in a system of sovereign nations with governments who act and make policies based on the needs of their citizens. Be clear:

    It is only the west that has a political class that doesn’t care for its citizens and makes decisions based on the needs of corporations, the financial sector, the WEF “future leaders”, and their hare-brained ideas about where the world should go.

    • Barbara Ann says:

      Frankie P

      “..the idea of national sovereignty and the importance of recognizing and respecting sovereign nations and their aspirations for security..”. Russia’s repeated vocal calls for its security aspirations to be respected had a certain rhyme:

      Though there may be a clause in the treaty stating that any city not included in the original agreement is free to join whichever side it likes, this cannot refer to cases where the object of joining an alliance is to injure other powers; it cannot refer to a case where a city is only looking for security because it is in revolt, and where the result of accepting its alliance, if one looks at the matter dispassionately, will be, not peace, but war.

      This is part of the entreaty the Corinthians made to Athens in 433BC. They were protesting the decision by the unallied state of Corcyra (a historic colony of Corinth) to try and join the Athenian alliance (the NATO of its day). The Corcyraeans made their own entreaty to Athens and were ultimately admitted into a defensive alliance, against the Corinthians’ wishes. The rest, as they say, is history.

  6. Stefan says:

    I think one of the mistakes many US experts do at the moment is they focuse on 20-th century World wars experience when they talk or write about the current war in Ukraine. Yes, these were high intensity conflicts, but they also lasted for only a few years. It is often ignored that the Russians have a very different experience in creating and maintaining their empire:
    Grinding an adversary for 350 years
    Supressing insurrections for 173 years
    Ethnically cleansing a region for 47 years

    The war is of course lost for Ukraine. Everyone who delusions themselves (by swallowing “We did it in Crimea in 1856, we can do it again”, “If Hitler did this and that, he might have won”, “Napoleon lost because of winter” “If Charles XII did this and that at Poltava” etc narratives written by court historians) have no idea about Russian history, and the long game they play.

    Walrus is right. Journalists seem to just repeat some talking points coordinated by policymakers and spooks, and no one has a clue – a recipe for strategic defeat.

  7. Barbara Ann says:


    You raise an interesting point about conscription and the inculcation of values. A woke army is an oxymoron, but one fighting for woke values is not. I suspect a sufficiently indoctrinated soldier will be willing to die for almost anything. Unless the indoctrination is fixed and the long march through the institutions stopped, military institutions will eventually succumb too. A look at developments at VMI and West Point tells you all you need to know about the chances of military education being “done correctly”, as you put it.

    I actually think the current recruitment crises in Western militaries are reflective of the pace of change in societal values, not the new values themselves. On the bright side, that pace itself might be wokism’s undoing, as permanent revolution is just so exhausting. So while I don’t think conscription will be our salvation, I do doubt the ability of Globohomo to rally its forces under the rainbow flag any time soon. The ideological conditioning is all just happening much too darn fast and the counter revolution is gaining momentum daily.

    TPTB are trying to start a hot war with Russia simply to try and avoid (or provide cover for) inevitable economic collapse in the West. The latter outcome is not much of a silver lining, but hard times had to come again sooner or later. Printing money and decades of gravity-defying economic polices eventually have consequences.

  8. mcohen says:

    But the war has only started.For Russia the East is lost.China has the numbers.
    Go onto Google earth and look at the development and farmland on the Chinese Russian border.Compare the pace of development over 10 years.

  9. Morongobill says:

    Have you thought about writing on Substack?

  10. English Outsider says:

    Walrus – I took the liberty of submitting your article, complete with comments, to Dr North’s site in England:-

    I think I’m right in saying that the debate here is on much the same lines as the debate there. Hope it was ok therefore to cross-link.

  11. Agree with the idea of everybody serving, but not “conscription” that catches some but not all. That system ended for us in the Vietnam War. It had inequities and was gone even before the that war was lost.

    I prefer the Swiss system of everybody goes. Here, it has to be Brent learns to low crawl with Miguel, DeShawn and Billy Bob. No escaping to grad school or ROTC.

    A volunteer army is a mercenary army.

    Oh, one more thing. Like Switzerland, we need to bring the military home and pursue a neutralist foreign policy.

  12. Mark Logan says:

    The definition of “win” is being begged. The objective was to end the existence of Ukraine as a nation, so if this stalemates and a negotiated settlement is reached in which 20% of Ukraine is ceded, which seems the most likely outcome at the moment, would it be a win or a loss for Russia?

    • Christian J Chuba says:

      My view of an absolute win for Russia is as follows …
      1. Russia gets the entire Donbas
      2. Russia adds Kharkiv and Odessa Oblasts
      3. Ukraine cannot host NATO troops (or some arrangement that limits their military).

      Not predicting this, only giving my version of what an absolute win for Russia looks like. The inverse is true regarding what a win looks like for Ukraine. I don’t actually know if #2 is on their radar but this is the absolute maximum territorial change in a Russian victory.

      • Eric Newhill says:

        How does Russia dictate whether or not Ukraine joins NATO?

        Such a thing cannot be dictated. What would Russia do about it if Remanent Ukraine joined NATO, invade again? No matter how far west Russia pushes, it has NATO on its border.

        • Christian J Chuba says:

          “How does Russia dictate whether or not Ukraine joins NATO?”

          The same way that Russia prevented East Germany from joining NATO; by winning. Again, I’m talking about what an absolute victory for Russia would look like, not predicting it but truth be told, I won’t fall off my chair if it happens. Russia submits an agreement with NATO being the guarantor stipulating that no NATO infrastructure can go into Ukraine, either Ukraine or NATO can enforce it.

          Ukraine would not NATO memberships and it takes time to build NATO bases, so Russia would have plenty of time to react to it. Being very legalistic creatures, Russia would present the ceasefire agreement as justification for whatever action they take to stop it.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            Why would NATO agree to Russian terms? Is Russia going to “win” all of Europe? Of course not. So why would someone sitting in Paris, Washington DC or Brussels have to agree to anything Russia wants?

            The above becomes even more questionable if there is still a Ukrainian President sitting in Kiev and resisting Russia. Which is likely to be the case because Russia is not waging war properly if forcing demands on NATO is their goal.

            Russia should be have doing shock and awe, American style, beginning Day 1 – then ensuring that Ukrainian rail roads, highway systems, airports, electric grid, water supply, etc. remained shut off. Had they done that, Ukraine would probably have surrendered by now and Russia wold have been able to dictations terms.

            Instead Ukrainians, including Zelensky, are enjoying fairly normal lives. Russia makes progress in inches (centimeters) per month on the battlefield – and sometimes they are set back. Russia can’t even clear their new republics of Ukrainians. If this war is going to culminate in a Ukrainian loss such that Russia can dictate all of the terms, then that loss is many years away and you have a much better crystal ball than I do. I say that since Russia is allowing Ukraine and NATO supporters years to continue resisting, then all kinds of different events could occur that alter the trajectory of the war.

            The US advanced from Normandy to the German border in a few months. The Soviets stopped the Nazis advance on a front that reached over 3,000 miles long turned it around and, within a year and half of Stalingrad, had pushed through millions of Wermacht troops – who were very professional and very well armed – and reached the Eastern German border.

            Modern day Russia is unable to smash a few hundred thousand hastily trained Ukrainians and some few foreign advisors. Nope, Russia will be dictating terms to no one.

            Btw – you may recall that when the SMO jumped off, I was very much in the camp of “Russia is going to both slap the hell out Ukraine and NATO”. I was right there w/ Mc Gregor, Johnson, Ritter et al – I was wrong. Russia has fumbled and failed. They have won nothing.

          • Christian J Chuba says:

            Eric Newhill, ‘Why would NATO agree to Russian terms?’

            By holding Ukraine hostage, as Ukraine begs NATO to comply with Russian demands. But you are correct, Russia cannot force NATO to do anything. Given when I think of U.S. leadership at the moment, we would prefer that Russia brutalize Ukraine rather than give them anything such as access to their sovereign funds or guarantees on NATO membership.

            The only leverage Russia would have is to say, ‘give us x or we move into Kiev and then into Lvov’
            Again, I’m defining what a Russian victory would look like, not guaranteeing it.

            I’ll make this really binary.
            If the war ends with Russia getting NO guarantee (from either Ukraine or NATO) regarding NATO membership, it means Russia lost the war and all of these claims of fantastical losses are likely true.
            If Russia gets a guarantee regarding NATO membership it means they won the war because they inflicted fantastical losses, precisely because it would be such a bitter pill for Ukraine to swallow. This would only happen if Ukraine was desperate.

        • Christian J Chuba says:

          Meant to say, “Ukraine would not [be able to hide] NATO membership”

          There are many examples of the losing side being forced to agree to things that violate their sovereignty, Japan and Germany after WW2 being one of them. Both countries had restrictions on their militaries. It’s not pretty.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            NATO is not going to allow Kiev to become in jeopardy of “falling”. The Poles, Lithuanians, French and probably others will enter the war before that can happen – by “enter” I mean openly fighting on fighting on the front lines with large troops commitments if necessary, but most certainly establishing a defense of Kiev.

            I’ve been saying that for nearly two years and have been laughed at for doing so, but now those countries are openly discussing doing just that, especially Poland. Poland would probably like to annex Eastern Ukraine (there is history) and might be allowed to do so if that is the alternative to Kiev falling. Then Eastern Ukraine will be a NATO country.

            Just to be clear, I am one who still doesn’t care about the outcome of the conflict as long as the US doesn’t go utterly broke or get nuked. I still think the US should have nothing to do with any of it. I still remain a little sympathetic to Russia. However, that doesn’t cause me to hide from reality. Russia may very well end up, short to mid-term, owning the new republics – they’ve done a lousy job securing those republics, but they will probably get the job done (finally) over the Summer to late Fall time frame. Logistics favor Russia in that aspect.

            That said, there is no freaking way that NATO will allow Russia to take Odessa, let alone Kiev. The anti-west crowd should enjoy their fantasy while they can. Once NATO trfacing a world of hurt. IMO, Russia is aware of what will happen and probably seeks to avoid it.

        • Yeah, Right says:

          Eric: “How does Russia dictate whether or not Ukraine joins NATO?”

          By including that as a line-item in the terms of the binding treaty that ends the war between Russia and Ukraine:
          Article X: Ukraine agrees to remain a neutral country, and agrees that no foreign troops will be stationed on its territory.

          Something like that.

          “Such a thing cannot be dictated.”

          Sure they can. They just need to be a line-item in the treaty that ends this war between Russia and Ukraine.

          And to put a ribbon and bow on it the Ukrainians can be required to include “neutrality” as a component of a new Ukraine constitution.

          “What would Russia do about it if Remanent Ukraine joined NATO, invade again?”

          See above: the treaty that ends the war between Ukraine and Russia could stipulate that the Ukrainian armed forces can have no more than, say, 50,000 men, 200 tanks, and no air force.

          If that rump Ukraine then attempted to join NATO then, yeah, Russia would be able to roll in without effort to “restore order”.

          Honestly, this isn’t a difficult concept to grasp: when Ukraine finally admits defeat and asks for terms then (a) those terms are going to be harsh and (b) the current regime in Kiev will be replaced with a puppet regime hand-picked by Putin.

          That puppet regime isn’t going to play Washington’s game, and the Russians won’t allow it to be “Maidaned” by some protege of Cookies Nuland.

          Such are the spoils of victory.

          • Eric Newhill says:


            YR, I don’t even know what to say other than to repeat reality to you, even though I know it’s a waste of effort b/c you are fundamentally incapable of grasping reality.

            Let’s start with this – there was already an agreement that Ukraine would remain neutral. Then that agreement was broken. What kind of super magical non-breakable agreement is floating around in the ever expansive Kaleidescope of imagination that is your mind?

            Not only do you wildly imagine agreements that are binding and honored by all parties into perpetuity, but you’re also enjoying a Koolaid induced vision of NATO actually admitting defeat by Russian forces; something that is never going to happen – and why would it? Russia even can’t secure its new republics, but in your fevered dreams you see exactly what scenario in which Ukraine and NATO become totally prostate before Russian forces?

            As I have said elsewhere and on this very thread, Poland and other NATO will 100% step in with full combined arms to keep the fight going if it looks like Kiev or Odessa are going to fall. They are even talking about doing that as we write in this thread. Heck, the US will probably supply troops as well if Trump is not President. You also have failed to comprehend the guerilla fighting that would plague Russia worse than the muj did to them in Afghanistan. As others have noted here, the Ukrainians apparently do not want to be Russians; or be ruled by Russia.

            Suck it up, Buttercup, there is no scenario whatsoever, in the real world, where Russia prevails over Ukraine to the extent that you want, where Russia is dictating terms. None. Russia lost that window of opportunity over a year ago and a half ago when it failed to crush Ukraine like a competent mighty military fighting an existential war would do.

          • Yeah, Right says:

            “Let’s start with this – there was already an agreement that Ukraine would remain neutral.”


            Falls down on the first “fact”. How sad.

          • Eric Newhill says:


            Putin has repeatedly claimed that much of NATO’s expansion into eastern Europe in recent decades has violated a promise that Russia says the U.S. made in 1990, where U.S. Secretary of State James Baker in negotiations said they would move NATO “not one inch” farther eastward in exchange for Russia allowing a then-divided Germany to reunify.

            So Putin is full of it and you concur that he is. Excellent. Maybe – just maybe – we’re can get somewhere now. One of Putin’s big excuses for attacking Ukraine was that it was going to join NATO in violation of a general agreement that it would not.

            I say the only reason Putin doesn’t want Ukraine is NATO is so he can attack it whenever he wants to without triggering article 5. No one is going to give him that opportunity.

          • Yeah, Right says:

            Eric: “Gotcha.”


            Eric[Then]: “Let’s start with this – there was already an agreement that Ukraine would remain neutral.”

            Eric [Now]: “Putin has repeatedly claimed that much of NATO’s expansion into eastern Europe in recent decades has violated a promise that Russia says the U.S. made in 1990”


            I hate to break it to someone so evidently chronologically-challenged, but when Baker made that promise “Ukraine” didn’t exist as an independent country, much less a “neutral country by agreemen”.

            It was, of course, a republic within the USSR.

            So AT THE TIME that Washington was bandying around that promise it was indisputably the case that Ukraine wasn’t “neutral”, and both the USA and the USSR acknowledged that Ukraine wasn’t a “neutral”.

            So, again, one more time: when was the agreement reached that Ukraine had BECOME a neutral country and would REMAIN a neutral country?

            Take your time Eric, I know this stuff is hard for you.

          • TTG says:

            Yeah, Right,

            You’re right on this one. There was no independent Russia or Ukraine in 1990 when this alleged promise was made. Ukraine declared sovereignty in July 1990 and independence in August 1991. Russia declared independence in December 1991. So no promise was made to Russia. It didn’t exist as an independent country in 1990.

          • Yeah, Right says:

            TTG, give me a moment to pick myself off the floor and right my chair….

            The number of times that *anyone* on this site has said I was right about *any* matter of objective fact is…. not often.

            Disagreements over *opinions*, sure, there are as many opinions out there as there are asses, and I expect to be challenges on my opinions.

            Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, but not to their own facts.

            Thanks for agreeing that getting the facts right actually matters.

            Because to my mind it matters a lot.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            Putin has made the case, repeatedly over the past several years, that there was an agreement that NATO would not expand. In one speech I watched maybe four years ago, Putin was saying that NATO expansion is impacting Russia like the compression of a spring – and springs can only be compressed so far – and the farther they’re compressed, the more violent the decompression.

            Neither Putin nor I are saying there was a specific agreement to not expand NATO into Ukraine. We are both saying that there was an agreement to not expand NATO, which would necessarily mean that Ukraine would remain neutral.

            I don’t care about that agreement. Putin likes to make a big deal about it.

            “Yeah Right” seems to think that Putin, who has already been griping for years about the broken agreement to not expand NATO, is stupid enough to go for another agreement concerning NATO neutrality with the same set of people that broke the first one.

            Curiously, YR seems to think that the Jews and the CIA commit all manner of high level evil across the globe and that only very naive people don’t understand the super powers of those organizations, yet he also thinks that an agreement about Ukraine not joining NATO could not be altered by said Jewish and CIA super powers – or he thinks that Putin is a moron that doesn’t understand Jewish and CIA super powers, like he does, and would just stupidly stop fighting for an agreement that means nothing. It’s hard to tell where YR is coming from intellectually.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            also, you’re getting pretty deep into semantics when you argue that Russia wasn’t a country in 1990 so what Baker said doesn’t count. Gorbachev was looking at the collapse of the Soviet Union. Baker knew it and Gorbachev knew it. Baker’s promise was used to sway decisions the Kremlin was making. Soviets, Russians? Same people, different form of economy. NATO non-expansion means non-expansion. It isn’t dependent on the form of governance in Russia.

            You’re helping make the point that if Putin comes out of this with an agreement that Ukraine will remain neutral, then Putin has lost and gained nothing. The lawyers, hairsplitters and false flaggers can undo any agreement.

      • Mark Logan says:


        Had we in the 2002 war against Iraq failed to achieve the goal of regime change would it have bee a “win”? Big bad Russia stuffed by poor little Ukraine would not be a win for Russia, even though Russia will surely label it a such. If the truce I imagined comes to be both sides will call it a win.

    • Eric Newhill says:

      Mark Logan,
      Russia will have gained nothing. They will still have NATO on their western border. The border just shifted a little westward. NATO’s weaknesses are becoming very salient and they appear to be preparing to address them. Russia’s military weaknesses have also been revealed. They most certainly are not ten foot tall 4D chess masters – and they fight like wimps, being reticent, or incapable, of permanently taking out Ukraine’s key infrastructure that supports Ukrainian/NATO military operations (like rail roads). Nor is Russia able to break the will of the Ukrainians by taking out the electrical grid, etc .

      The Russians are essentially idiots. They thought they could force a regime change in Kiev to something more friendly. They didn’t do what is necessary to achieve that objective. They will have failed. I am surprised that they have failed so badly, but they did. I was wrong about their capabilities and their intelligence. The “slow grind crowd” makes excuses for Russia, but there is nothing to support the idea that a slow grind is working. That crowd also somehow doesn’t consider that the war is costing Russia too. The grind works both ways. Bottom line is that Russia sucks at war fighting.

    • Muralidhar Rao says:

      Sir I think Putin and company is looking for an unconditional surrender of Ukraine aka Japan in Second World War. That is the only way they can achieve their objectives of the SMO they started.

    • Fred says:


      When did the Russians announce ending Ukraine’s existence as a nation as an objective of their actions?

  13. Yeah, Right says:

    I don’t quite understand why the fact – and it is a fact – that Russia has won this war and demonstrated the superiority of their war-waging strategies must inevitably cause the “West” to respond by re-introducing conscription.

    To MY way of thinking there is an alternative strategy that the “West” can follow which is this: accept that the policy of “fighting wars of choice by our all volunteer technically proficient Army” is no longer viable and….. abandon it.

    The USA can then stop waging wars of foreign adventurism and actually decide that the “Department of Defense” should start living up to its name rather than (as it is now) acting as the “Department of War”.

    If it did that then its current all-volunteer force is more than sufficient: neither Putin nor Xi is going to invade the USA, or even threaten it in any meaningful way.

    As for the Europeans? They seem so stupid that I’m inclined to say “f**k em”.
    And the Taiwanese? Well, again, so what?

    • TTG says:

      Yeah, Right,

      Russia has certainly won the war. The Western leaning government in Kyiv is still standing. NATO continues to stand by Ukraine. Russia has yet to occupy the oblasts she claims as part of Russia. NATO has expanded and is largely in agreement on defending against a Russian incursion, although I doubt Russia is capable of doing so or desiring to do so.

      But your alternative strategy has merit. Beyond just a small all volunteer force, I think more nations should move towards a force capable of implementing a total national defense strategy rather than engaging in foreign adventurism. That is what the Baltics and much of Eastern Europe, including Ukraine, has been moving toward for several years.

      • US adventurism is episodic. We go for some crusade, when it comes a cropper, come home for a time, downsize the military, and then someone beats the drum (war to end all wars, Remember the Maine, etc.) and the small military is built up and, off we go.

        That is why the Swiss model of everyone goes. If everyone is subject to the call up, they would be a little more skeptical about the next jihad.

      • Fred says:

        “NATO has expanded ”

        America’s foreign obligations have increased. This secured America’s border how?

        Russia won the war? Has “Dark Brandon” ($25million fundraiser reference) said that yet? Didn’t sanctions, which eliminated cheap energy for Europe and restricted access to numerous raw materials sourced to Russia destroy their economy? Didn’t kicking them off SWIFT damage their access to capital markets? Didn’t the “UN” (Rebuilders of Haiti) unify in opposition to their “aggression”?

        How did all those actions to damage in Russian economy impact NATO (!) and its member states economies and thus ability to produce equipment for national defense?

      • Yeah, Right says:

        TTG: I just looked it up and, yep, the Battle of Kursk was done-and-dusted by late-August 1943.

        So even after that battle was lost a certain little mustached man could have made exactly the same points that you just made as to why his country hadn’t lost the war.

        His government was still standing in Berlin. Tick.
        Italy, Hungary, Romania etc. were standing with him. Tick.
        The Soviets still were a long way from their border. Tick.

        That little corporal could have pointed to all those things to say that the situation could still be turned around, and he was deluding himself.

        The only analogy that doesn’t exactly fit is the expansion of NATO, though even there that was proposed in May 2022 (i.e. over 20 months ago), and if you want to go back that far then I’ll politely cough and mutter “Empire of Japan”.

        But I don’t need to, because this statement of yours:
        “NATO has expanded”
        is rendered pointless by this statement of yours:
        “I doubt Russia is capable of doing so or desiring to do so”

        I also doubt that, so I’m not sure that adding Sweden and Finland to the board makes up for Putin taking Ukrainian membership of NATO off that same board.

        Still, we don’t see eye to eye on much so I suspect you also have a different take on that.

        • TTG says:

          Yeah, Right,

          Ukraine submitted her formal application for NATO membership shortly after the invasion. In July 2023 NATO agreed that Ukraine would not have to have a Membership Action Plan before joining the alliance. Putin has not taken Ukrainian membership in NATO off the board.

          • Yeah, Right says:

            TTG: “Ukraine submitted her formal application for NATO membership shortly after the invasion.”

            Well, whoop-de-dooooooo.

            TTG: “Putin has not taken Ukrainian membership in NATO off the board.”

            Care to place a wager on that?

        • leith says:

          Yeah Right –

          That analogy has a few holes in it.

          1] Italy abandoned Germany in mid 1943 after the invasion of Sicily in early July. And Mussolini and his fascists collapsed on what the Italians celebrate as 25 Luglio (25 July).

          2] Hungary, under the government of Miklós Kállay, entered into negotiations with the Western Powers in summer 1943. They asked for a separate peace agreement. Their Army had been largely destroyed by the Red Army during the Ostrogozhsk–Rossosh Offensive in late January of 43.

          3] You will find that in the summer of 43 other allies of Hitler – Slovakia, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Croatia – were getting ready to abandon him .

          It is true that Romania’s Antonescu stayed with the Nazis until he was deposed in August of 44. However that was due to their hope that they could recover those parts of Transylvania that had been ceded to Hungary by the Nazis in August 1940.

          • Yeah, Right says:

            Correct, Italy abandoned the Axis soon after the Battle of Kursk collapsed.

            And Hungary and Bulgaria also got very wobbly knees after Kursk because they, unlike the Little Corporal, could read the signs.

            So, how is that $61Billion from Congress going??

            How is that “for as long as it takes” commitment going?

            Last I looked (which was a while ago, admittedly) it has already morphed into “for as long as we can”.

            According to Johnson the answer from Congress is “Nope, no-can-do”.

            Sounds more than a little Italian/Bulgarian/Croatian to me.

          • leith says:

            Yeah Right –

            Kursk may have been the clincher but both Italy and Hungary wanted an armistice much earlier.

            There was widespread antagonism in Italy against Mussolini using Italian troops as cannon fodder in Hitler’s war. In 1941 Mussolini fumbled the invasion of Greece; and was also kicked out of Eritrea, Somalia & Ethiopia that year. In 1942 he lost three Army Corps (10 divisions) at El Alamain. After that he lost Libya. The 8th Italian Army fighting with the Wehrmacht in the Soviet Union was destroyed by January 1943. In the Tunisian campaign by May 43 the Allies took over 100,000 Italian POWs, some claim 200,000. Peace feelers were going out to the Allies even before the Sicilian Invasion.

            Hungary, as I mentioned above, had put out peace feelers in February 1943. During the Battle of Stalingrad, the Hungarian Second Army suffered terrible losses. And then a few weeks later at the Battle of Voronesh their losses were so bad they became ineffective and the remnants were withdrawn to the rear.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            If the funding for full scale warfare dries up, Ukraine/NATO will resort to lower cost, yet effective, quasi- guerilla warfare for as long as it takes. That is another reason Russia has not won and will not win. Their window of opportunity for victory closed b/c they dragged their dumb ass too long; Martyanov and his boot lickers be damned. Shock and awe, will to win and overwhelming violence of action was lacking and now Russia will most likely lose in the long run.

          • Yeah, Right says:

            leith: “Kursk may have been the clincher but both Italy and Hungary wanted an armistice much earlier.”

            Oh, fer’ cryin’ out loud, and it should be obvious to everyone that the Republicans in Congress are just like the Italians and the Hungarians back then: they want out.

            I’ll ask again: how’s that $61billion coming along, guys?

            There are very powerful players in Washington who understand that Ukraine has lost this war, and they no longer wish to be associated with the coming train wreck.

            There are also very powerful players in Washington (Sullivan, Blinken, Biden) who understand that Ukraine has lost this war, but their own political survival depends on propping Ukraine up to delay the final collapse until after the November Presidential election.

            THEN they’ll jump over to the Republican PoV and wipe their hands of Ukraine.

            And there are some (and shrinking by the day) in Washington who are ideologically blinkered and therefore are emulating the Little Mustached Man in Berlin, circa 1943.

            They are being weeded out (bye-bye, Cookies!) or being ignored (what did you say, Bolton?) and are being marginalized by all who really count for the simple reason that They Have Lost Touch With Reality.

            It happens, I suppose. What I can’t comprehend is why TTG counts himself amongst that last group.

            Ukraine is already a dead duck, albeit the corpse is still warm. But a dead duck nonetheless.

          • leith says:

            Yeah Right –

            Weren’t you one of the chorus two years ago saying that Ukraine was a dead duck? That chorus was wrong then. Only time will tell the outcome, definitely not speculation by either you or I.

            Although I think you may be right about America eventually bored or tired with Russian aggression in Ukraine. We, as a nation, have zero long-term strategic patience. It’s the same thing that has infected US corporations with focusing only on next quarter’s profits, and may next years or the following years be damned.

          • Yeah, Right says:

            “Weren’t you one of the chorus two years ago saying that Ukraine was a dead duck?”

            True. And Ukraine was a dead duck from the moment that the West pushed Russia too far.

            Zelensky knew it from the moment that the Russian army rolled over the border, which is why his negotiators had reached a provisional agreement with Russian negotiators in Turkey.

            That was within a month of that war starting, and it would have been all over THEN AND THERE except that Bonkers Boris Johnson waddled into Kiev carrying instructions from Biden and making promises that are now ringing very, very hollow indeed.

            It’s not something that the West should be proud of, leith: hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers have died who would otherwise be alive, the territorial integrity of Ukraine would have been minimally-altered, and the West wouldn’t now be running around with its hair on fire.

            And for what? The “for as long as it takes” promises of Washington have been shown to be a lie, the myth of the West being a manufacturing powerhouse has been exposed, and the ability of Washington to force a powerful country to its knees via sanctions and embargoes has been shown to be non-existent.

            “Although I think you may be right about America eventually bored or tired with Russian aggression in Ukraine.”

            This is delusional thinking, giving no credit to any agency of anyone other than the USA.

            The USA isn’t going to abandon Ukraine because it’s BORED, leith. The USA is in the process of abandoning Ukraine because the USA is LOSING this proxy war, and the longer it attempts to stay the course the bigger the loss will be.

            Sanctions and embargoes will force a country like Russia to its knees? Err, nope, not happening.

            Washington can isolate Russia from the rest of the world? Hmm, BRICS doesn’t appear to agree, nor does the Global South.

            West weaponry will be a game-changer? Gosh, how many of those have come and gone? I believe that the Taurus missile, the ATACAMS, and the F-16 are the last “game-changers” in the pack.

            Russia will collapse under the strain of keeping up with west supplies to Ukraine? Well, no, Russia ramped up its manufacturing smoothly and efficiently, and Congress is still arguing about $61Billion to Ukraine Real Soon Now.

            The USA has been exposed as Not As Powerful As It Pretended To Be, and the longer it keeps up this pretense then the more naked it looks.

            If Washington had any brains it would never have engaged in this brinkmanship. But having done so then it should have been smart enough to have concluded over a year ago that this is a losing proposition and bailed out then.

            But, noooooooooooo, USA! USA! USA! Stay the course! For As Long As It Takes! AS LONG AS IT TAKES!

            Well, sorry, we are already at “For as long as we can”, and it won’t be very much longer before it is Run Away! Run Away! Peace With Honor! Run Away!

            Much too late. Much, much too late, and for the most mundane of reasons: Americans don’t credit anyone else for having any agency whatsoever.

          • Yeah, Right says:

            Eric: “If the funding for full scale warfare dries up,”

            If? Really? The USA Congress is already baulking at the “funding” side of things, and even “if” that were ever freed up there is still the “production” side of things, where the West is falling further and further behind Russia.

            Or didn’t you know that?

            Eric: ” Ukraine/NATO will resort to lower cost, yet effective, quasi- guerilla warfare for as long as it takes. ”

            For. As. Long. As. It. Takes.

            Riiiiight. And that becomes “for as long as we can” about…. when, exactly?

            The alternative (and in my opinion, far more likely) outcome is that the rump Ukraine will be exhausted and its population will be in no mood for “quasi-guerilla warfare”.

            How did all that German “quasi-guerilla warfare” go in 1946 and onwards, Eric?

            Or the “quasi-guerilla warfare” in post-WW2 Japan?

            Perhaps NATO can breath some more life into marionette body of “ISIS-K”? After all, those dudes appear to be up for any shenanigans provided there is some promise of crypto-currency at the end of it.

            Indeed, I find it funny indeed – almost bizarre, actually – that you can make a comment like this one at the same time that you poo-poo the very idea that “Ukraine/NATO” might be inclined towards a bit of state-sponsored terrorism against, say, a Moscow concert hall.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            It was Putin who was hoping for a quick settlement of the war, not Ukraine/NATO. He was very disappointed when Johnson showed up and shut down the deal. He knew he hadn’t prepared to fight a long war. That was blatantly obvious. I thought that surely Russia had ample forces in reserve and would come rolling into Ukraine and crush the military and Zelensky regime in a matter of months after the negotiations failed. Didn’t happen. I was shocked. That is when I realized how screwed up Russia really is.

            Putin needed that quick settlement b/c it was pretty much his entire plan – i.e. invade, threaten Kiev and scare Zelensky into fleeing and establishing a new government in Kiev.

            What a desperate plan! and there doesn’t seem to have ever been a plan B, or at least not one that Russia is able to implement effectively. The more that I think about it, Putin is as whacko as you are.

          • Yeah, Right says:

            Eric: “It was Putin who was hoping for a quick settlement of the war, not Ukraine/NATO. ”

            Bzzzzz, mistaken in the first “fact”. Sad, really.

            Eric, baby, Putin AND Zelensky were hoping for a quick settlement of the war, which is why both Russia and Ukraine had reached a provisional agreement in Turkey. Until Boris waddled in…

            Eric: “He was very disappointed when Johnson showed up and shut down the deal. ”

            Oh, I’m sure he was. But not half as disappointed as you’ll be when you realized that you’ve just shot your own argument down.

            Because, so sorry, you just admitted that Putin AND Zelensky had sought a “quick settlement of the war” to the point where they had reached a deal.

            Until, of course, Boris waddled into town.

            You can’t have it both ways, Eric: had Ukraine and Russia reached a “settlement” in Turkey? Or hadn’t they?

            Did Boris Johnson shoot down “a deal”, or didn’t he?

            Your posts are the poster-child of cognitive dissonance. As well as being smug in a most unwarranted manner.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            It doesn’t matter who shut the deal down – and we don’t know the truth of the matter anyhow. You always get distracted by some kind of upside and, worse, irrelevant pedantic sense of “justice” and, thus, end up thinking you’re making a profound point, when you’re actually missing the mark by a wide margin.

            The fact remains that in order to achieve something with his ill advised invasion, Putin needed a quick deal. He pretty much has admitted that.

            Obviously Zelensky did not need a quick settlement. He may have thought he did at first, but then Johnson explained that NATO had his back, which it does, and therefore no need to give in to Russia’s aggression. Life is apparently continuing quite normally in Ukraine other than on the front lines, which are mostly in what Russia has annexed as new territory.

            Zelensky and pals are getting wealthy beyond belief off all of the giving from NATO countries. There is about 0 threat of Russia taking Kiev or Odessa or anything more than the newly annexed territory. Why would Zelensky regret not making the deal?

            Putin, on the other hand, will be known as the schmuck who lost the war if he keeps screwing around as he has been for 2 years; lost because he is unable to secure the newly annexed land. He can’t go back to Russia b/c he’d be that loser and, for sure, NATO would push down into Crimea. So now Putin has Russia stuck in a tar pit. Idiot. In front of him is NATO all the way to the Atlantic Ocean and North to the North Pole. He has gained nothing but a few kilometers of war torn land along Russia’s western border – and the high cost of keeping it.

          • leith says:

            Yeah Right –

            There’s actually zero evidence for any of those claims. A lot of that weird rhetoric is specious & hypothetical. Asserting to be inside the head of Zelensky to say you are privy to his thoughts. Conjecturing that BoJo does Biden’s bidding. Taking on faith the claims by the Kremin of Ukrainian KIA. Pretending that Russia’s defense industry is not raiding the military boneyards for armor & aircraft and not importing shells and missiles. Imagining that Ukraine defending itself from an invasion of its sovereign territory is akin to a proxy war by the West. There is definitely something wrong with such thinking. That way lays madness.

  14. jim.. says:

    lots of Military activity all Around Taiwan Increasing…The Object is to Match Russian Objective in Ukraine…Will We “All Be Better Off For That WIN Too,,” ??

    Will Joseph..
    Surrender Taiwan too…And He Doesn’t Even Have College Kid Protesters On the Streets…Shouting HO HO HO…Taiwan Has to Go…That HAMAS CHECKO,,Helps
    Them Put on a Really BIG Show.
    .You Know..The Old..Hungarian Guy…The One Off His Rocker..The real NASI
    That Third LEG in the Stool..Who Loves CHAOS..and Pays The Bills..Scarf..Anyone.

  15. walrus says:

    Blitzkrieg is dead. Hold that thought.

    Blitzkrieg existed because the Germans were perhaps the first to understand and perfect the use of combined arms realising that the machine gun was impotent against a tank and that mutual support between armor and infantry coupled with lightning fast movement of armored columns was unbeatable.

    Fast forward to today:

    – watch the video of the Ukrainian armored column taught by NATO, charging towards Russian positions and the whole lot of it – Leopards, bradleys etc, deploying into a manefield with predictable and tragic results.

    – watch the video of the FPV drone chasing a BMP and the infantry bailing and running for their lives before the BMP explodes.

    – watch the video of the Russian soldier pleading for his life -from a Ukrainian FPV drone.

    – watch the video of the Russians detecting a staff meeting and dropping a hypersonic missile on it within minutes.

    Folks, manouver is dead. Its back to the trenches and dugouts. No more daring special forces, we want men and machines – industrial scale war is back. Conscription and fighting for country.

    • d74 says:

      Karl-Heinz Frieser, respected German historian:
      The Myth of the Blitzkrieg – The Western Campaign of 1940. In English: Blitzkrieg-Legende.

      In 1917, Lieutenant Rommel led a blitzkrieg by foot on the Italian front with convincing results. He, like many other German soldiers, knew that speed and the unexpected are a weapon. They would remember this in 1939.

      It can be used against the slow, processional armies of Poland, Italy, France and Russia.
      But with the same weaponry, against similar organizations, a return to the trenches is inevitable, as you show.

    • Peter Williams says:

      I believe that it was Zhukov at Khalkhin Gol who first effectively used combined arms to defeat an enemy. But he realised that Blitzkrieg was appropriate to win some battles, but that it did not win wars

  16. voislav says:

    For me the question is whether the West is institutionally capable of implementing necessary changes to the military-industrial complex. The main issue is weapons system complexity. Western companies are incentivized to produce more complex, difficult to maintain weapons systems because they are not only selling the system, they are selling a support contract for the life of the system. Two most dangerous words in the West are “recurring revenue”.

    An example from a similar industry. Typical company in this industry derives half of their revenue (and most of the profits) from service contracts. These are similarly expensive products, half a mil on the low end, multi mil on the high end, with similar production volumes (dozens to a few hundred per year). One of the companies just developed a new product, works great, does the job, but also very robust and requires minimal service (maybe once every 2 years). So the management asked the development team to come up with ways to make it less robust, so it would break more often, so that people are more likely to buy a service contract. For these kind of companies profit is in service and maintenance over the decades that the product will be in operation, not the product itself.

    Most Western weapons manufacturers operate the same way. Their product is designed to break in light, peacetime service in order to justify maintenance, let alone high intensity wartime. Furthermore, government has allowed massive consolidation in the industry, so there is very little competition. It’s not like US can dumb F35 and order another plane. Russia and China use state-owned enterprises for weapons production that have a different incentive structure. They are able to course-correct much faster, as we’ve seen Russia do with emergence of drones.

    • TTG says:


      Although Russia has made great strides in catching up with Ukraine in drone technology, they are still behind. But you are absolutely right about Western defense industry. The relative cheapness and simplicity of drones is driving them nuts.

      On the other hand, the admittedly expensive and complex Bradley IFV has proven extremely successful as has the even more expensive and complex Patriot AD system. But Russian ingenuity is on full display with the development and expansion of bigger and more deadly glide bombs. As to the introduction of the Chinese golf carts and increasing reliance on Scooby Doo vans, that’s not a good look for Russian industrial potential.

      • voislav says:

        Yes, Bradleys have been very successful, but how much better are they than upgraded Soviet-era IFVs and does the increase in effectiveness justify the increase in cost ($4 mil vs. $1.1 mil for BMP-3) and complexity.

        This war has really changed my perception of weapons and their effectiveness. No I think that in most cases increased cost and complexity are not worth it, because these differences are not big enough to be a decisive factor in combat.

        To circle back to Bradleys, yes they have been very effective, but also suffered heavy losses to mines, AT missiles and drones. After initial losses, they were reduced to shuttling infantry between the assembly area and the combat zone, and hanging back. Threat of mines, drones and AT missiles has reduced them to a role where they are not much more effective than Soviet-era IFVs.

        Under different conditions, Bradleys may have been allowed to have a larger role that plays to their strengths. The way modern battlefield is evolving, I think those days are gone and the restrictive battlefield we are seeing in Ukraine is just a taste of what is to come.

        • TTG says:


          Bradleys are survivable even from mines, AT missiles and drones. Russian IFVs and tanks are not. Even the latest models are deathtraps, but they are far cheaper and are adequately effective.

          • Yeah, Right says:

            The downside of a Bradley is that it is much closer in size to a main battle tank than it is to a Soviet-designed IFV.

            So its silhouette is massive in comparison to the corresponding Russia vehicles.

            So, yes, a Bradley can survive more hits than a Russian IFV. But it’ll get hit more often, because it can’t work the surrounding to stay out of the line of fire like a Russian IFV can and does.

            Nobody ever talks about that, but it is true, and it makes a big difference to the “survivability” of those two very different IFVs.

            Still, I’m sure a Bradley is a much more comfortable ride because the cabin isn’t as cramped.

          • TTG says:

            Yeah, Right,

            The silhoutttes are not that different from a drone’s point of view.

          • Yeah, Right says:


            No, even then the silhouette of a Bradley is much bigger because it is significantly broader.

            Not to mention that any of the BMP family is MUCH easier to conceal under trees because, again, slimmer and lower to the ground makes it able to get into heavily wooded cover.

  17. TTG says:

    I do agree that Russia is fighting a different war from the West has been fighting for the last two decades. We’ve been fighting counterinsurgencies or counterinsurgency adjacent wars. Even before Russia invaded Ukraine, we knew that approach was not going to cut it and we began planning and training for a war against a major peer. A part of this pivot to peer warfare, the doctrine of multidimensional operations (MDO) was developed. We even took into account that those peers will very likely have A2/AD at least as effective as ours. But two years of the Russo-Ukrainian war grabbed us by our lapels and said we didn’t go far enough. Modern war is a hell of a lot deadlier and more destructive than we thought it could be. We planned for three or four multi-domain task forces (MDTF). It’s a good concept, but we will need many more than four if we expect to engage Russia or China in modern warfare.

    Russia started this war relying on clever and rapid maneuver to achieve her objectives. It didn’t work. It ran into another doctrine developed in the Baltics and being implemented in Ukraine shortly before the invasion began. The concept of total national defense was written into law by the Verkhovna Rada mere months before the invasion. The entire nation was to be mobilized to fight an invader. That’s the concept behind the Territorial Defense Forces. They worked better than as planned during the opening weeks and months of the war engaging the enemy with small units armed with portable anti-tank and anti-air weapons throughout the full depth of the battlefield. These operations were coordinated with effective surveillance, target acquisition and communications, a concept shared by MDO.

    Unfortunately, for Ukraine, the Russians didn’t stay stupid. They began adjusting by falling back on their tried and true ideas of mass warfare accompanied by overwhelming firepower. Russian military leadership was smart enough to preserve the bulk of their forces during the successful Ukrainian offensives at Kherson and Kharkiv. They proved even smarter by falling back on their true strength… the defense. Ukrainian forces tried to penetrate those defenses with a Western style offensive maneuver without the prerequisites that accompany that Western style offensive maneuver, such as air superiority and numerical superiority. That the Ukrainians were able to adjust and accomplish the limited penetrations they did manage in the face of Russia’s effective use of drones, artillery and mines is remarkable, albeit also disappointing. That they were able to do so while inflicting heavy losses on Russian forces is even more remarkable. Still, Ukraine is not going to win a war like that.

    Current Russian offensive operations rely on mass firepower and acceptance of mass casualties. However, that doesn’t mean that the Russians are not innovative. They have damned near caught up to the Ukrainians in the use of drones. Their use of bigger and better glide bombs are very effective. They are also now demonstrating the capacity to conduct effective rapid strikes against targets far behind the front lines. They are definitely on the way to having an effective war fighting doctrine that’s quite a way off from the much touted Gerasimov reforms. In many ways, Western militaries have a lot of catching to do nor just with the Russians, but also with the Ukrainians.

    • Eric Newhill says:

      I agree with all you say re; combat learning and adapting. I am still utterly baffled by Russian’s failure to destroy Ukraine’s/NATO’s supply and logistics and other assets behind the front lines (drone bases come to mind). Furthermore, there is the failure to take out Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure (electrical, food supply, water, etc) so as to break the will of the populace. Then the failure to curtail the Ukrainian economy by smashing shipping and farming. Why aren’t the Russians carpet bombing the bejeebus out of Ukrainian positions? In fact, the Russian airforce seems to be a non-player in the SMO. Ukrainian/ NATO AD seems to be extremely effective in that it has essentially grounded the Russian airforce.

      All incomprehensible to me. Russia says this is an existential war, but they sure aren’t fighting like it is. I don’t see how Russia can be declared a victor in the least bit at this point; not do I see an end in sight for either side.

      • TTG says:

        Eric Newhill,

        In the opening moves of the war, I think Russia was trying to do it on the cheap, not really wanting to destroy Ukraine’s infrastructure and then not willing to invest the effort into doing so. But i think the biggest reason is that they couldn’t do it. They never achieved air superiority over Ukraine so they couldn’t carpet bomb or make pinpoint strikes against specific target. They’ve only very recently took out some serious power infrastructure, but no real follow up. Plus, Russian targeting seems to be wholly ineffective. They can’t stick to a coherent plan and see it to the end. Your point that Ukrainian A2/AD has been damned effective is spot on.

        • Eric Newhill says:

          TTG, Thx. Agree again. Russia thought they could quickly intimidate Ukraine into a negotiation on the cheap (Putin essentially said so in the Tucker interview). However, the alleged “master 4D chess players” failed to understand NATO resolve and Zelensky’s close relationship w/ NATO. Agree with the rest of your response, they’re not fighting their existential war like it’s an existential because they can’t due to various endemic issues, some of which you touch on.

          The Russophiles/reality deniers think that Russia actually wants Ukraine and NATO to keep sending troops, ordnance, weapons systems to the front so they can be destroyed, thus depleting NATO into nothingness – and for that reason has deliberately allowed supply routes to stay open (and b/c Russia is a nice guy that wants to be liked by their Ukrainian brethren – imagination knows no bounds when making excuses in cognitive dissonance).

          When I started hearing all that a year or so ago, it became clear that the Russian spokesmen are delusional if self-appointed or cheap propaganda grifters if on the payroll. Those people completely ignore and/or deny the extent to which the fighting is costing Russia. The war of attrition works both ways. There are massive risks in allowing a war to drag out indefinitely when the opponent is as big as NATO. Then there is the more intangible, but very real, benefit to NATO of learning about Russian war fighting capabilities and weaknesses. Lots of very valuable intelligence being gained in that regard.

          • James says:

            TTG & Eric,

            Personally I believe that Russia was trying to do the initial invasion on the cheap because they thought the Ukrainian populace loved them and would welcome them with open arms, which would make the Russian invasion a cake walk.

            Turned out that the Russians were not as well loved as they thought they were. And with all due respect, we westerners are not as well loved by the Ukrainians as we think we are. It’s a common mistake.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            Could be, James. At least in part.

        • Mark Logan says:


          IMO the fundamental flaw was the assumption there would be little to no resistance from the Ukrainians. They imagined they would be welcomed as liberators by a significant portion of Ukrainians and got the precise opposite. Tried dash into Kyiv with one short column of armored personnel carriers.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            Mark Logan,
            I remember the pro-Russian crowd, like over-inflated gas bag Martyanov, said that the amateurish column outside Kiev was a distraction to tie down Ukrainian troops. I bought into that myself. I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It had to be maskirovka.

            I no longer buy that. Now I see the Russians really are as incompetent as they appeared to be at face value in that action – and Putin is clear that he tried to intimidate Ukraine into a quick settlement, a strategy that failed.

          • Mark Logan says:


            I don’t view the Russians as generally incompetent, just victims of a small cabal at the top who fell for the trap of believing their own BS. Sometimes people convince themselves they are too smart to need anything but their own thinking.

            They are unfortunately not incompetent, the Russians are still a heavy weight, and one underestimates and/or disrespects a heavy weight at one’s peril. I may quibble with the definitions of win and loss with Walrus but he’s right in the main point, we are and were unprepared for this kind of war.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            Mark Logan,
            Oh I don’t disagree. Russia is a nuclear power. Please don’t interpret me as saying we should fight them. IMO, the US should stay out of the whole thing, no funding of Ukraine even.

            Regardless of what Walrus thinks, the US couldn’t politically handle the casualties, regardless of volunteer or conscription military. And why should we? It’s a local problem that Europeans and neocons want to make into something bigger. No sense in Americans dying for it.

            If America is to fight a major war, it ought to be to conquer and properly administer (i.e. like Romans) in our own hemisphere, all the way down to Tierra Del Fuego. Stop the invasion of illegals and drug cartels. If we would do that, there would be no need to look at the rest of the globe, except to take out some muslims jumping bad and threatening us here and there (No nation building; just killing). Canada should also be in our sights if they go too far towards socialism.

            Today, we are merely enabling the Euros limp wristedness. They need to man up or perish. If the latter, why should we care? We’d have everything we need if the Americas were run right.

  18. Harper says:

    George Santana famously said just before World War I that those who fail to heed the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them. On February 1, 2008, then US Ambassador to Russia William Burns (now CIA Director) warned against admitting Ukraine to NATO, calling it the “reddest of red lines for Moscow.” His cable to the President and National Security Advisor was appropriately titled “Nyet means Nyet.” He was precient: NATO membership for Ukraine would lead to civil war and an eventual Russian intervention. His cable was sent just before the NATO summit where Ukraine was given an open ended invitation to join, but without the required Membership Action Plan, because the Germans, French, and Italians strenuously objected to Ukraine into NATO. Privately the US reassured Russian leaders that it would take 30 years for Ukraine to meet the requirements. But the US insisted that NATO is “open” to anyone who wants to apply so there was no basis for Russia demanding that Ukraine remain outside of NATO. This was the defining issue in April 2022, just a month into the Russian invasion (“special military operation”) when Russia and Ukraine agreed to stop the fighting with Ukraine withdrawing its NATO membership application and the Donbas region remaining a part of Ukraine but with greater autonomy and the use of the Russian language restored. Then, of course, Boris Johnson, with US backing, stepped in to keep the war going–with the results that Walrus has indicated.

  19. John Minehan says:

    I’ll make a guess: the Russian effort collapsesby the US Election.

    Why, because the Russians are simple barbarians? No, because they did not see their major starategic limitations: 1) the LoCs were limited into the AoR; and 2) they did not have the degree of support in the “Occupied Territories” they thought they had.

    In the next few months, the Ukerainians will hold enough ground in HIMARS and StormShadow renge to comtrol the LoCs by fires and the Russians (who do not have a strong logistics system will collaps in Donbas.

    Ukerainian efforts againsy the Black Sea Fleet have ensured the Russians don’t have the advantage of mobile AA and Anti-Missile platforms to protect the LoCs. The fact that these attacks have been so successful, it is obvious the Russians have a problem with support even in Crimia,

    The Russians have done impressive things. Their EW & SIGINT ahve been effective to a great degree. They have a working Recon/Fires Complex, centering on UAVs and MRLs, They have been superb in the defense, not a Soviet-Era reputation. They have shown genuine grit and adoptability.

    On the down side, they seem weak on IMINT and HUMINT, based on the failure in te initial Airborne Operations (which have not been repeated at any scale, They have not been able to a Recon/Strike Compex that would have allowed them to drop the Ukrainiand Grid (which the US did in 3 days in Iraq in 2003). The attack on Kiev indicates real issues with supply. maintenance and training for long range armored operations. None of these things bode well.

    the major factor against the Ukrainians is their smaller population and their casulty rates in the stalled offensives in 2023. However, I think their shaping of the battlefield makes this a moot point.

    The problem is that Ukerainian victory and a likely failure of the Russian regime could lead to Gotterdamerung.

  20. Patrick Armstrong says:

    Golly! I can think of a couple of former members who could have told you this a couple of years ago.

    • Yeah, Right says:

      Hey, welcome back! When did you start posting again?

    • TTG says:


      Feel free to continue your contributions. You are more than welcome here.

      • Patrick Armstrong says:

        Thanks but no thanks.
        I stopped contributing (and reading) because the quality of the site dropped precipitously. Surely the big three rules of the intelligence business are 1) know yourself 2) know the other and 3) consider as many sources as you can find. What did I see here instead? We’re great, they suck and everything the teenagers at ISW say is true.

        • Yeah, Right says:

          Pity this site doesn’t have the ability to “uptick” comments, because that’s the most insightful comment made on this site in many a year.

    • wiz says:

      Welcome PA,

      looking forward to your Ru sitreps if you decide to make some again. They were always an interesting read.

  21. There was a time when Patrick Armstrong, Andrei Martyanov and I were allowed to post articles. The Russia invasion of Ukraine changed all that because Pat Lang, suffering a vaccine injury, lost his critical thinking skills and became overly emotional. All three of us were on the record about this outcome. Our analysis has proven correct. Sad that Pat did not live to see it.

    • TTG says:


      Patrick was always allowed to post here. He withdrew voluntarily. I’m fuzzy on the exact circumstances under which you and Andrei stopped posting. It could very well be that Pat told you to get lost. Both Pat and I immediately came out against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. My opposition is certainly colored by my own family heritage. Pat’s was not. He was as opposed to Russia’s invasion as he was to the US invasion of Iraq. The outcome of this invasion is yet to be determined. The Kremlin has not subdued Ukraine or the Ukrainians.

      • wiz says:


        they could have stopped posting on their own accord and went on to form their respective little echo chambers.
        Here, their often incredulous theories would be challenged and they don’t much care for that.

      • Barbara Ann says:

        Larry insulted Col. Lang and he was banned as a consequence. Colonel Lang’s extraordinary intellectual faculties were completely intact in 2022 and his position on Ukraine was driven, as with everything else in his life, by his sense of honor. I disagreed with Col. Lang’s view on US support for Ukraine but I respected it. Heck, I give you as hard a time as anyone here on Ukraine TTG, but I respect your position too. Patrick stopped posting because of pressure from TPTB in Canada.

        • Yeah, Right says:

          BA: “Larry insulted Col. Lang and he was banned as a consequence.”

          The archives are on the right, Barbara. Larry Johnson posted an article on March 3 2022 and then went dark.

          I can see no insult from Larry to anyone. So if there was an insult then it was slung about in private.

          BA: “Colonel Lang’s extraordinary intellectual faculties were completely intact in 2022″….

          I can not agree. I was there at the time (again, the archive is your friend) and Pat Lang’s comments to people is there for all to see.

          One (very minor) example: he accused me of being an Israeli because of the email address I was using.

          I pointed out to him that he only needed to put my moniker next to my email address to see why that (bogus) address ended in .is

          TTG can attest to this if he wishes.

          Regardless, Pat Lang continued to fling that accusation at me every time he banned me. Which was often.

          Didn’t matter how many times I pointed out to him that he was wrong – I even told him how he could trace my IP address to prove it – he would not put his conclusions to the test.

          • wiz says:


            I remember Colonel making the claim Barbara is referring to.

            This is not a direct quote but the Colonel said something like: “Larry got very passionate and emotional, accused me of going to the dark side because I would not support his opinions on Ukraine and insulted me.”

            Apparently this exchange took place in private and not in the comments.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            Not everything is in the archives because some things don’t get published/posted.

            Col Lang simultaneously removed write privileges from several individuals – some who actually authored and some who could have, but didn’t – shortly after the SMO began.

            His wife’s health status was very poor and his own was seriously declining. He felt strongly about the Russia invasion of Ukraine – as TTG says; just as strongly as he did about the 2023 invasion of Iraq.

            It is easy to surmise that Col Lang had little energy or tolerance for those arguing in favor of Russian aggression, nor for all of the anti-America claptrap that frequently issues from the same crowd. So he simply banned those who presented as offenders of his sensibilities in the early days of the SMO. I myself was benched for insulting both Col Lang and TTG. Emotions were high in the weeks following the invasion. I let them get the better of me and am glad that TTG has allowed me to return. I was wrong about some things and have modified my outlook rather than double down on wrong, like some others have done.

            I would say that in the cases of Martyanov and Johnson, Col Lang made the right choice. Both have become utterly insufferable in their constant spinning up of anti-west conspiracy theories and hyper pro-Russian cheerleading that sure looks like material paid shills would produce. They allow there fan base to comment the most horrible and untrue things about America without repercussions. In fact, it often seems like they are writing to please those very consumers.

            I miss Patrick. His perspective would be greatly appreciated by many, myself included.

          • leith says:

            Insulting your host is bad. Insulting him after he has passed on is monstrous.

            By the way, where does your IP address trace to?

            And how much does an Icelandic email address cost?

          • Yeah, Right says:

            leith, it traces to Sydney, Australia.

            Again, TTG can attest to this if he so wishes.

            As to Icelandic email addresses, are you thinking of purchasing one?

            Can’t help you, sorry, I neither know nor care how much they cost.

          • TTG says:

            Yeah, Right,

            If anybody wants an email and IP address from elsewhere, I recommend obtaining a few unix/linux shell accounts around the world. From your home computer, open a terminal screen and establish a SSH tunnel to a shell account and port forward all your traffic through that tunnel. You can get creative and chain a couple of those shell accounts. If you’re really feeling froggy, obtain your shell accounts with bogus names, addresses and pay through Western Union cash transfers. It’s a lot of work, but it’s a nice hobby.

          • TonyL says:


            You were right to be upset when Col Lang called you an Israelis. But you’re not thinking straight. That’s how he pushed your button, and testing you, expecting to see how you would respond. I had some exchange with Col Lang privately and publicly. I’m always aware that he was a master in psy-ops 🙂

          • wiz says:


            ssh tunnelling is so last century. 😛

            Check out ligolo.


          • LeaNder says:

            Patrick’s perspective, would be interesting. I agree. Somewhat modified? There seemed quite a bit of resistance in the comment section? Occasionally? 😉
            His own blog is dormant too.

          • Yeah, Right says:

            Thanks TTG, I know all that. My background is in IT, though of the “keep them out” kind rather than the “poke around places” sort.

            So, yeah, I can do all that and more, it’s all well within my skill-set.

            But I don’t because, well, it’s a bit pointless.

            I am exactly who I claim to be. No more, no less.

            If people want to claim otherwise then as far as I’m concerned all they are doing is revealing their amateurism.

          • Yeah, Right says:

            TonyL: “You were right to be upset when Col Lang called you an Israelis.”

            “upset” is the wrong word, Tony.

            Try “disappointed” instead.

          • leith says:

            Yeah Right –

            I’m not in the market for an “.is” email. Although bathing in one of Iceland’s thermal pools while watching the northern lights would be nice.

            If you ever get to Pacific County in Washington let me know. I’ll put a Steelhead on the grill and break out the homemade cherry brandy. We can argue about Ukraine’s long range drones, that by the way just hit Putin’s Shahed factory 1200km from the Ukrainian border.

    • Keith Harbaugh says:

      LJ: Precisely what caused you to stop posting at
      Col. Lang generously allowed you to post here under a pseudonym.
      I believe it was Publius Tacitus.
      Your excellent posts were much appreciated.

      As the esteemed Col. Lang neared his lamented demise, probably, as they say, “Mistakes were made.”
      But I think it would be valuable for you to give your view on exactly what happened.
      The views of you, PL, and TTG, while not identical, are all worth considering.

  22. Fred says:

    Can’t conquer Ukraine, but Sweden at risk of conquest. So is Finland. And Latvia. And Lithuania and Poland too. All at the same time. It seems the only thing our experts are expert at is generating a continuous income for failed ideas.

  23. Jovan P says:

    Hat off to Walrus, it takes courage to write such an article.

    • Yeah, Right says:

      Agreed. I don’t think it goes far enough, but even so it is way outside the Overton Window for this site.

  24. Fred says:

    Love all the “Col. Lang hurt my feelings ” comments. He must be smiling this morning.

Comments are closed.