A third Ukraine read

12 Dec

On December 9, one day before the London High Court delivered its ruling on Julian, and three after my two reads on Ukraine, Scott Ritter wrote a RT piece – Biden has successfully solved the Ukraine crisis he manufactured.

I do so like ironic praise in a headline. A central theme of the second of those two Ukraine reads a few days ago cited military analyst Andrei Martyanov on the reality of US/NATO impotence:

there is nothing in the U.S. arsenal now and in the foreseeable future which can intercept Mach=9-10+, let alone M=20-27, targets. That’s the issue. Same analytical method applies to a situation in 404. 1 The only thing U.S. (NATO) can hope for is to somehow provoke Russia into the invasion of this shithole of a country and then get all SIGINT it can once Russia’s C4ISR  2  gets into full combat mode.

Pepe Escobar, here citing Mr Martyanov, elsewhere speaks of the man as:
… in a class by himself. A third wave baby boomer, born in the early 1960s in Baku, in the Caucasus, then part of the former Soviet Union, he’s arguably the foremost military analyst in the Russian sphere – living and working in the United States, writing in English for a global audience and always excelling in his Reminiscence of the Future blog.

When Pepe recommends a source, I check it out. Andrei Martyanov is now on my BILF (bloggers I love to f-f-follow) list.

But I digress. In his more restrained tones, former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter, one of the many gamekeepers-turned-poacher our polarised times have thrown up, echoes and augments Pepe’s post of a few days ago:

Joe Biden needed an agreement with Vladimir Putin that would help reduce tensions in Europe over Ukraine and NATO expansion. So he manufactured a crisis as an excuse for putting a US position on the table.

The news coming out of Ukraine was dire – Russia had mobilized between 95-125,000 troops along its border with Ukraine, and US intelligence agencies were predicting that an invasion was imminent. NATO was panicking, and Vladimir Putin was insisting that Ukraine must never be allowed to join the transatlantic alliance.

Sarcasm alert – I can’t for the life of me see why!

Scott Ritter continues:

Biden, to clear the air with Putin, agreed to a video conference with the Russian President, where he “looked him in the eye” and warned of serious consequences, including unprecedented economic sanctions and the threat of deploying additional US forces to Europe, should Russia invade Ukraine.

While much of the public reaction to the Biden-Putin video conference has centered on the sanctions threat, it is the threat to deploy military forces to Europe which provides the greatest insight into the thinking of the Biden administration on Russia today.

First and foremost, the US threat to reinforce NATO’s eastern flank is empty; everyone knows it. The US Army is already stretched to the breaking point by maintaining the existing rotation of a single heavy armored brigade, some 5,000 troops, in Europe. By 2022 the US is scheduled to complete the construction of aArmy Prepositioned Stock (APS) facility in Poland designed to store a brigade’s worth of equipment (about 85 battle tanks, 190 armored combat vehicles, 35 artillery, and four armored vehicle launched bridges along with hundreds of supporting equipment sets and pieces). That will reduce the deployment time for the assigned brigade from the US to Poland from the 45 to 60 days associated with shipping the equipment into a European port to the four to seven days needed to fly in the troops and issue the equipment for operational employment.

But even with 10,000 troops backed by 170 tanks, 380 armored combat vehicles, and 70 artillery pieces, the US Army would be in no shape to take on a Russian opponent.

Full piece here …


  1. Calling Ukraine “404” is a dark and geeky joke referencing a cyber term – “code 404” – for a web page which no longer exists. This rambling explanation never quite gets to answer its own question but you get the general drift, I’m sure.
  2. C4ISR  = Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intel, Surveillance and Reconnaissance. Says Northrop Grumman – and who’d know better than this death-for-profit behemoth? – ‘Advanced C4ISR capabilities provide an advantage through situational awareness, knowledge of the adversary and environment, and shortening the time between sensing and response.’

4 Replies to “A third Ukraine read

  1. Greetings Phil,

    I shan`t even try and comment on Julian Assange, the Gruan and your previous piece with some poetic comments…..
    The only solace I can find is that I don`t live in the UK.
    But I digress.
    “When Pepe recommends a source, I check it out. Andrei Martyanov is now on my BILF (bloggers I love to f-f-follow) list.”
    Wonderful! Pure Poetry!
    Phil on his game….
    Keep going my friend, we all need the likes of you and Bryan.
    Take care.

  2. In a recent short video on the saker blog site Martyanov tackles the recent call by a senior US Senator for a nuclear first strike on the RF.

    In a passage which speaks volumes about the impact, as well as the off the scale hubris, on Western culture of diving head first down the rabbit hole of the concept attributed to Karl Rove of ‘ empires creating their own reality’ Martyanov relates the following example:

    Apparently there was one occasion in the recent past from the same, or similar equally ignorant source, that the US send navel vessels into the Sea of Azov to enforce its will. An inland sea which, apart from a small area of around 15 sq km has an average depth of some 7 metres. A depth far too shallow for any military naval vessel in the US fleet – which if it ever managed to get a vessel into those waters would be a sitting duck for civilian never mind military target practice.

    And herein lies a familiar problem of finding anyone in the collective entity of the West not completely lacking in gorm with which to have an adult conversation about real world practicalities.

    Ritter’s piece goes on to compare the current NATO deployment and strategic thinking/ analysis capabilities with what exited during the Cold War with the SU. His conclusion here, from a common sense practical perspective, is, to put it politely, the current deployment is completely ineffective in any and all practical effect.

    What Ritter does not explore- so we don’t know his thinking on this – is the obvious notion, observed by Martyanov in his recent video, that those making such decisions really do believe their own bullshit.

    • those making such decisions really do believe their own bullshit.

      I’m fairly sure they do, Dave, and have been for a long time. That doesn’t mean such belief isn’t self-serving. Of course it is. But as I said in a recent post, can’t recall which, Dr No and Dick Dastardly don’t exist. Humans have a powerful need to feel OK on the moral plane. To get our eight hours a night, even as we wreak great harm, we find ways of assuring ourselves that we serve a Greater Good.

      This is why the logical endpoint of cynicism, regardless of IQ or other measure of intelligence, is selective stupidity. And not always that selective!

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