U.S. Soldiers, assigned to 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, train with the Integrated Visual Augmentation System and the Enhanced Night Vision Goggles during Project Convergence 2022 (PC22) at Fort Irwin, Calif., Nov. 7, 2022. PC22 brings together members of the All-Service and Multinational force to rigorously test the effectiveness and interoperability of cutting-edge weapons and battle systems. (U.S. Army photo by SGT Thiem Huynh)
There is no shortage of commentary on the lessons to be learned from the war in Ukraine. There is an understandable debate unfolding given the tremendous amount of sacrifice, human loss, and suffering. The stakes are high and learning needs to occur. War is, and has always been, the best teacher. It has been nothing short of incredible what David has been doing to Goliath on the Steppes of Ukraine.
There are indeed valuable lessons to learn from all sides. Yet, for Western militaries, it is more about the lessons they may not want to hear that will prove to be the most valuable in deterring, preparing, and if necessary, fighting the next war. Much of the West has over invested in other domains (e.g., maritime, air) and niche capabilities, at the expense of combat power on land. The war in Ukraine has validated the need for decisive land combat power to win large-scale wars. These types of wars are far from extinction and finding the right balance of capabilities to wage war in appropriate fashion, remains a fundamental security challenge for Western nations...
To read more visit Real Clear Defense.
The White House has so far ruled out calls to provide the Ukrainian government with F-16 fighter jets, but clearly the idea is still on the table and Biden may be close to pulling the trigger amid intense administration discussions.
"Two Ukrainian pilots are currently in the United States undergoing an assessment to determine how long it could take to train them to fly attack aircraft, including F-16 fighter jets, according to two congressional officials and a senior U.S. official," a weekend NBC report indicates.
"The Ukrainians’ skills are being evaluated on simulators at a U.S. military base in Tucson, Arizona, the officials said, and they may be joined by more of their fellow pilots soon," the report continues...
To read more visit Zero Hedge.
Despite its alleged neutrality, there is evidence that Serbia has provided as many as 3,500 Grad rockets to Ukraine. According to Ukraine Arms Tracker, the rockets being delivered to Ukraine are the ER Grad 2000 version, with a maximum range of 40 kilometers instead of the standard 20 kilometers. If the authorities in Belgrade knew this, it would be a significant violation of the country’s declared policy, one reaffirmed by Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić on multiple occasions.
These new revelations follow a 2019 scandal in which Serbia was caught supplying 60mm mortar shells to Ukraine that ended up being used against the civilian population in the Donbass region. Vučić apologized for that incident, claiming that Krušik had sent them to Poland. But published documents proved that Ukraine was listed as the recipient.
The Mash News Agency published a video of a warehouse in Bratislava where the 3,500, 122mm M-21 rockets for Grad rocket launchers were being housed before their transfer to Ukraine. According to Mash, the rockets were delivered to Slovakia on February 4 and 6. The video also presents documentation showing the Serbian Defense Company Krušik as the manufacturer and that the order was placed by a Canadian company JNJ Export Import for use in Turkey. The exporter of the ammunition was the Serbian company, Sofag. Upon receiving the shipment, the Turkish company Arca transferred the ammunition to the American company Global Ordinance, which then transferred it to Slovakia for use by Ukraine.
The Serbian Defense Ministry publicly denied any involvement in the matter. “We absolutely do not export weapons to Ukraine or Russia, and we have the right to export (weapons) to other countries that are legitimate end users,” Serbian Defense Minister Miloš Vučević told members of parliament on February 27. “Whether private companies buy (weapons) on third country markets and whether they sell to companies in other countries is not an issue for Serbia. We will not sell to anyone who participates (in military conflict) and we do not want our weapons to be used against any of the parties.” Vučević added.
The deal has aroused a great deal of suspicion because the Serbian company Sofag that exported the ammunition to Turkey is owned by Jelena Petrović, the daughter of shady arms dealer Slobodan Tešić. Tešić was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department in 2017 for bribery and violating arms embargos. The sanctions, however, have not stopped him from selling arms to as many as six American companies, including the Global Military Products – part of the Global Ordnance group, which supplies weapons to the U.S. Department of Defense.
The Global Ordnance Group is owned by Marc Morales, another disreputable arms dealer who was previously indicted by the U.S. Justice Department in 2010 on charges of trying to bribe Gabon’s Minister of Defense to secure a $15 million arms deal. The Gabon deal was, in reality, an FBI sting operation to root out bribery of foreign officials in the arms industry. The case, however, fell apart on technicalities the following year.
In a 2022 interview with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN), Marc Morales, however, disavowed any ties to Tešić, saying, “To my knowledge, nobody from my company has ever met him and Global Ordnance definitely does not do business with him. And to clarify, I have never met him either.”
Do Serbian authorities know to whom they ended up selling the rockets? Alexander Milovanović, a former employee of the security service of the arms production enterprise Jugoimport SDPR, told the Serbian News Agency N1 that it is not plausible that Serbian authorities did not know of the transfer. “Based on the end-user certificate coming directly from a Turkish partner structure of our Ministry, these weapons should have ended up in Turkey, but apparently that did not happen. Then, the company MSM Novaky handed over the missiles to the Global Ordnance Trading Company, owned by Mark Morales, to which the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense issued a certificate of use,” Milovanović told N1.
Interestingly, Ukraine Arms Tracker seems to corroborate Milovanović, posting on Twitter, “It is also worth noting that the markings on the rockets were changed and do not match those usually seen on G2000 rockets, which may indicate that the manufacturer/exporter knew the rockets ultimate destination and tried to hide the origin.” While it is unlikely that definitive evidence will be revealed, it seems plausible that both Serbian and American authorities had direct knowledge of the scheme and signed off on it. Serbian authorities have been trying to appease Washington and Brussels in their efforts to join the European Union, while American authorities have no compunction about using disreputable arms dealers in their efforts to prop up the regime in Kiev.
NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, on Tuesday, confirmed that NATO and its members want Ukraine to eventually join the military alliance at some point in the future. “NATO allies have agreed that Ukraine will become a member of our alliance, but at the same time that that is a long-term perspective,” Stoltenberg said.
“What is the issue now is to ensure that Ukraine prevails as a sovereign, independent nation, and therefore we need to support Ukraine,” he added.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been pushing NATO for a “fast-tracked” process, despite his country being engaged in war with Russia and having an ongoing conflict in the country’s eastern region dating back to 2014 when Moscow annexed the Crimea peninsula and made it part of Russia.
NATO has never admitted a country that is engaged in an active conflict or has had an active conflict on its border, as doing so would automatically trigger Article 5 once the country was accepted into the alliance.
Ukraine is not the only country having difficulty joining NATO, with Sweden and Finland facing recent struggles as they attempt to join the alliance with a joint bid. All NATO members must unanimously agree to allow a country to join, but Turkey and Hungary have refused to admit Sweden. Stoltenberg said of the two holdout members, “My message has been for a long time… that time has come to finalize the ratification process. The time is now to ratify in both Budapest and in Ankara.”
In an effort to support Kyiv, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin added, “I see that the future of Ukraine is to be part of the European Union and also a member of NATO.”
However, CIA Director William Burns cautioned in a 2008 cable that Ukraine being permitted to enter NATO would be the “brightest of all red lines.”
“Ukrainian entry into NATO is the brightest of all redlines for the Russian elite (not just Putin),” Burns wrote in the cable. “I have yet to find anyone who views Ukraine in NATO as anything other than a direct challenge to Russian interests,” he concluded.
Not only is Ukraine’s entry into NATO going to be a slow process and a long way off, but the process for Kyiv to join the EU is expected to take years or even decades, according to some predictions.
Some Ukrainian officials are saying that their nation is already a de facto member of NATO, given how the level of arms and training NATO allies have offered the country already. Putin views assistance from NATO the same way and has made demilitarizing Ukraine one of Russia’s invasion objectives as a result of it.
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Ukraine's military intelligence service has released a photo of an American-made Black Hawk helicopter painted with a Ukrainian flag and has indicated that it has been used in military operations.
Ukraine's Main Directorate of Intelligence posted two photos of the helicopter on its Twitter account and website on Tuesday. According to a press release that was published at the time the photos were posted, the Black Hawk was recently used for military missions.
"Military intelligence aviation of Ukraine continues its work on the front line of the defense of our country. Reconnaissance pilots have just returned from another combat mission," the press release stated.
"Combat helicopters significantly increase the capabilities of the special units of the Main Directorate of Intelligence and the effectiveness of special operations," it added.
Also pictured in one of the photos is a Ukrainian Mi-24 Hind helicopter.
It is currently unclear how the Ukrainian military obtained the Black Hawk. The White House has approved sending Kyiv Soviet-era Mi-17 helicopters. Those aircraft were formerly owned by the Afghan government before it collapsed in 2021 following the catastrophic U.S. pullout of the country. If the U.S. sent the helicopter, the Biden administration has not publicly announced that it has provided Black Hawks to Kyiv.
To date, President Biden has not sent long-range weapons or fighter jets to Ukraine, despite Zelensky's pleas for such weapons and aircraft.
The Biden administration has, however, been steadily increasing the heavy arms shipments, which had included HIMARS, ground-launched small-diameter bombs (GLSDB), and a Patriot missile batter along with other equipment. Last month the U.S. and Germany agreed to send M1 Abrams and Leopard 2 tanks as well.
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In his remarks on Saturday at the Munich Security Conference, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that Western countries must "help Ukraine to shield its cities from Russian bombs and Iranian drones and that's why the United Kingdom will be the first country to provide Ukraine with longer-range weapons."
According to Sunak, the UK government is working with its NATO allies to "give Ukraine the most advanced air defence systems and build the air force they need to defend their nation."
"[The United Kingdom] is ready to help any country to provide Ukraine planes they need today, but we must also train Ukrainian pilots to use advanced jets," he added.
Sunak's escalation comes as the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has expressed concern that China is considering moving from "providing rhetorical, political, diplomatic support to Russia" to "providing lethal support to Russia." Should that happen, Blinken has warned that it would have "serious consequences" for Chinese-American relations.
Over the past year, the UK has provided almost £4 billion in aid to Ukraine, with £2.3 billion of that given in the form of military aid that included weapons, ammunition, and other military gear and equipment.
After Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Ukraine earlier this month, the UK parliament began considering sending fighter jets and long-range missiles to Kyiv.
The two types of long-range missiles being considered are the 150-mile range Harppon high-explosive, which is an anti-ship missile, and the 350-mile range Storm Shadow cruise missile. Kyiv has said that if it receives the missiles, they will be used to expand the war by launching an assault on the Crimean peninsula, which Russia annexed from Ukraine back in 2014.
It is also possible that the British long-range missiles could be used to target Russian territory, which could easily escalate the conflict from a localized war to a full-scale global conflict.
Sunak has also suggested that NATO add a "new charter" in its agreement in order to "help protect Ukraine from future Russian aggression."
When Zelensky visited London earlier this month, he and Sunak signed the London Declaration, in which Britain recommitted to its stance of supporting Ukraine's admission to NATO, which Russia has cited as a cause for the invasion, saying that having NATO expand to its doorstep is a "red line."
Despite, threats from the Kremlin, the declaration states, "[t]he UK has continued to lead the way in support for Ukraine to defend itself, including anti-tank weapons and tanks. Our military support to Ukraine is enduring. UK support will continue to contribute across all three domains; Land, Air, Sea."
The UK was not the only country calling for additional aid for Ukraine at the Munich conference. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz warned that the world should prepare for a "long war" and called for Germany's Western allies to continue to supply Ukraine with more weaponry, tanks, and ammunition.
Despite French President Emmanuel Macron initially being a proponent of peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, he announced in Munich that now is "not the time for dialogue." Hopes for a peaceful resolution were further diminished when Zelensky stated that he would not accept any peace agreement if it required territorial concessions to Russia, which is likely to be seen as a non-starter for Moscow.
The Balkan has received eyewitness reports from trusted sources that a missile exploded today over the skies of Romania near a military base outside of Cluj-Napoca in the northwestern part of the country. The explosion shook buildings in nearby Florești. Eyewitnesses report that the missile came from the northwest, in the direction of Poland. No damage has been reported and Romania officially denies any incident took place, but something is clearly amiss.
Earlier today, Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, commander-in-chief of Ukraine's armed forces, told Ukrainian Pravda that “Two Russian Kalibr cruise missiles crossed the state border of Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova on 10 February at 10:18. At approximately 10:33, these missiles crossed into Romanian air space. After this, the said air targets re-entered Ukrainian airspace where the borders of the three states meet. At the moment, this target is being monitored, and measures to shoot it down are also being taken. The missile was launched from the Black Sea.”
Volodymir Zelensky then claimed that the rockets represented, “a provocation for NATO and its collective security.” Ukrainian officials added that they had the ability to shoot down the missiles but did not do so because they did not want to endanger civilians in the neighboring countries.
Kiev was clearly engaged in a disinformation campaign to try to prop up fading support for the Zelensky regime. The Ukrainian claims, however, were quickly debunked. “At this moment, we have no indications of a military threat by Russia against Romania or the Republic of Moldova.” Vedant Patel, a U.S. State Department Spokesman.
An official statement from the Romanian Ministry of Defense declared: “The aerial surveillance system of the Romanian Air Force detected on Friday, February 10, an aerial target launched from the Black Sea from a ship of the Russian Federation, near the Crimean Peninsula, most likely a cruise missile, which evolved in the airspace of Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and re-entered the Ukrainian airspace without intersecting, at any time, the airspace of Romania. The closest point of the target's trajectory to Romania's airspace was recorded by radar systems approximately 35 kilometers North-East of the border.” The Defense Ministry made no mention of the incident over the skies of Transylvania.
So what can we make of the reported missile explosion over the skies near Cluj-Napoca? Clearly, no Russian missile was involved. If it had been, Romanian and NATO authorities would have raised the alarm and used the incident to strengthen support for Kiev. The missile that exploded over Transylvania was reported to have come from the northwest in the direction of Poland. Are Ukrainian troops there being trained in the use of long-range missiles and was this some sort of training exercise, error, or a deliberate action by the Ukrainian regime to blame Russia for an incident that could be used for propaganda purposes? We do not have the answers, but the refusal of the authorities to even acknowledge the incident speaks volumes.
On Thursday, Matt Gaetz will introduce a resolution in the House that calls for the Biden administration to cease U.S. military and financial assistance to Ukraine. The measure also calls for a peace agreement as the war will enter its second year on February 24.
The measure, which was introduced by Gaetz and 10 co-sponsors, calls for the nation to “end its military and financial aid to Ukraine and urges all combatants to reach a peace agreement.”
The resolution points that since the war began when Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, the U.S. has been the leading contributor of support to Kyiv with more than $110 billion having been provided in military, financial, and humanitarian aid, which also includes more than $27.4 billion in security assistance.
In January, the Biden administration announced that 31 Abrams M1 tanks would be provided to Ukraine and it has been reported that another $2 billion in aid could be in the works. At the time of that announcement, Biden said, “This is about freedom for Ukraine, freedom everywhere.”
Not only does the resolution outline the extensive list of military equipment that the U.S. has given to Ukraine, but it also cites Pentagon officials who have indicated that the continued donation of munitions has “severely depleted United States stockpiles, weakening United States readiness in the event of conflict.” This is at a time when the UN Chief is warning the world of walking into WWIII.
The measure also estimates that some 40,000 civilians have died in the war and that the nation’s assistance to Ukraine is inadvertently contributing to those deaths.
Discontent has been growing among a sect of Republicans as the Biden administration continues to throw money at a war that is now entering its second year, meanwhile, other issues closer to home would benefit from those resources such as the open southern border, the fentanyl crisis, and processing migrants.
“America is in a state of managed decline, and it will exacerbate if we continue to hemorrhage taxpayer dollars toward a foreign war,” Gaetz said. “We must suspend all foreign aid for the War in Ukraine and demand that all combatants in this conflict reach a peace agreement immediately.”
Gaetz’s co-sponsors for the resolution include Representatives Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Lauren Bobert (R-CO), Paul Gosae (R-AZ), Marjorie Taylor Green (R-GA), Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Mary Miller (R-IL), carry Moore (R-AL), Ralph Norman (R-SC), and Matt Rosendale (R-MT).
While Republican leadership has for the most part remained consistent of its support for the continued support and funding of the war in Ukraine with Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell saying in December that “providing assistance for Ukrainians to defeat the Russians is the No. 1 priority for the United States right now according to most Republicans,” cracks of division have begun to form.
In October, House Leader Kevin McCarthy took a more conservative approach saying that Republicans would not write a “blank check” for Ukraine.
Earlier this week Gaetz aligned with McCarthy and asked the House floor, “How much more for Ukraine? Is there any limit?” he asked. “Which billionth dollar really kicks in the door? Which redline we set will we not later cross?”
Hosts L Todd Wood and Christine Dolan speak with LTG Michael Flynn on the high-level agenda of the Ukraine war.
Neanderthal – “an uncivilized, unintelligent, or uncouth person”
Something happened to Lloyd Austin between 1997 and 2003. In 1997, he was the brigade commander of 3rd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division. I arrived as a new infantry platoon leader in 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, at that time and by all accounts, infantry officers I respected spoke highly of him. By 2003, he was a BG and the assistant division commander of the 3rd Infantry Division. At the start of OIF, his division had just efficiently destroyed much of the Iraqi Army and reached Baghdad. This was a tactical and operational victory, not a strategic victory. There is a huge difference as the US military would soon find out. He spoke at a press interview after the initial invasion, denying the emerging violence saying, “There is a perception that crime is rampant. It is not.” Crime was not the issue. The power vacuum being filled by the insurgency was. Thousands of US lives and trillions of dollars later, it was clear his judgement was horribly wrong. There is a tremendous difference between operational and strategic skill.
Years later, President Biden selected Austin to serve as SECDEF. In that capacity he presided over the Afghanistan disaster, vaccine mandate debacle, abysmal recruiting policies, destruction of US military morale, and the introduction of the destructive CRT ideology. Worse, he provided terrible guidance on the war in Ukraine. Beginning as a slow grind, support escalated. Early 2023 saw yet another $40 Billion in military funding for Ukraine (not a lease, no strings attached). For the past year, Austin has not challenged multiple missteps including the President calling Putin a murderer and demanding regime change (presumptive acts of war). This past week, Austin stood proudly behind President Biden at a press conference where Biden stated, “The Secretary of State and the Secretary of the — of the military are behind me. Are — they — they’ve been deeply, deeply involved in this — this whole effort. Armored capability, as General Austin will tell you, spe- — is — has been — has been critical. And that’s why the United States has committed hundreds of armored fighting vehicles to date, including more than 500 as part of the assistance package we announced last Friday. And today — today, I’m announcing that the United States will be sending 31 Abram tanks to Ukraine, the equivalent of one Ukrainian battalion. Secretary Austin has recommended this step because it will enhance the Ukraine’s capacity to defend its territory and achieve its strategic objectives.” During the speech, the President couldn’t remember Austin’s job title.
Sending M1 tanks is a dangerous escalation in the conflict. The President and mass media have done a great job of hyping the war as a harmless venture for lay citizens to discuss for social status in between viewing TikTok videos and working on pronouns. The reality is that although Russia is not nearly as powerful as they once were as the mighty USSR, they still command more nuclear warheads than the US does. Even at the height of the Cold War, US Presidents never called for regime change and further didn’t call Soviet leaders ‘murderers.’ Proxy wars were fought, but great care was taken to ensure they did not escalate into World War 3. Sending advanced US armor to Ukraine is an escalation. This past week a key German leader even stated that NATO is already at war with Russia.
Technology and modern society have made the business of starting wars increasingly dangerous. Drones and separation of the US from most battlefields by thousands of miles have made the harsh reality of war invisible to most Americans. Such rhetoric to joyfully embrace war has not been seen for over 100 years when European leaders and populations gleefully marched to war in 1914. Ukraine face paint and flags on Twitter accounts are all the rage. In 20 years of war, less than 1% of Americans served in Iraq and/or Afghanistan. The US population is so committed to risking war that the US military cannot even come close to meeting its recruiting goals. Modern America has become increasingly content with a small warrior caste fighting its wars so that its non-military majority can go about their lives, pausing only to wave Ukraine flags and fan the flames of larger conflict. A harsh reality of consequences for misguided policy may await America. Is America prepared to lose millions of US military members’ lives if the Ukraine misadventure escalates to a full scale NATO war? Is America prepared for a draft again? How about entire US cities being reduced to rubble in even a limited nuclear exchange. Likely not.
The job of the SECDEF is to advise the president on matters of national security and war. SECDEF Austin, a veteran of war, should know more than most that wars have consequences for nations and for individual soldiers committed to fight. However, he appears to have tipped his hand nearly 20 years ago at a press conference in Iraq in 2003 that he has no grasp of the strategic level of war. Iraq was relatively “cheap” at a loss of approximately 4,000 dead and $2 Trillion in funding. War with Russia will be exponentially higher. As a physician who served in war, however, I view the avoidable loss of even one soldier in battle as too many.
There seems to have been little thought to outcomes and end states. As is most wars, the root causes of this war are not nice and neat. While Russia should never have invaded, both belligerents have strategic grievances with the security situation in Europe that emerged after NATO and the US failed to consider the implications of post-USSR Europe. Further, there seems to be little consideration for how Russia will fit in to the post-conflict world. SECDEF Austin is in over his head.
John Hughes, MD
Veteran of Iraq/Afghanistan
Member of www.starrs.us
Host L Todd Wood speaks to 'Alex' on the inside in Kyiv as to what is happening with American aid.
Guest post by Colonel Jim Waurishuk, USAF (Ret.)
Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) need to shut-up and sit the hell down on Ukraine, NOW! I don’t care if they are Senators and veterans, they show ignorance about military strategy and operations, especially in the context of Russia's 'near abroad'. They certainly are totally clueless on the history of the region. They are out of control in their call for escalation in Ukraine -- as they are calling for boots-on-the-ground, massive deployment of military equipment -- tanks, missiles, and combat aircraft.
Geopolitically, they are completely ignoring the lack of national security imperative for the confrontation. Ukraine is not an ally of the U.S., nor is it an ally of NATO. Both fail to admit there is absolutely no “vital national interest” in Ukraine for the United States, never has been. PERIOD! No U.S. national security plan, directive, or policy addresses or identifies Ukraine as a vital national security interest in any way, shape, or form. Both of these Senators are absolutely wrong on policy, wrong on objectives, and wrong on their stance for increased U.S. involvement.
FACTS and HISTORY: To be blunt, everyone needs to understand this is a ‘border dispute’ between Ukraine and its eastern Russian speaking border which has been on going for centuries. The people and locally run provincial governments of the two main border provinces are Russian, speak Russian and want to be Russian. These provinces and people have absolutely no interest in being part of Ukraine. They never have been interested. Ukraine should let them go, and as a concession (for peace), let those provinces decide for themselves. Don’t let yourself be fooled like Graham and Cotton are.
Neither grasp or conceptually have an understanding of what is at play; in fact, they are being led, coerced, and obviously bankrolled by the Defense Industrial Complex. They are reckless and are proposing an absolute disaster. They are part of the Washington Establishment NeoCon War Machine and are LOCKSTEP with Biden. We are on the precipice of getting into a hot war with Russia. Their failure to grasp and understand the geopolitical ramifications, and the lack of missionm the lack of objectives, are literally “Sleepwalking into World War III”. And then there is this third idiot, Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) who is not ruling out a ‘nuclear first strike option’ by the U.S. These members of the UniParty Coalition (Leftists and Establishment Republicans) in Congress are pushing for much greater escalation. They are “gaming the system”, essentially “wagging the dog” for the U.S. to get into a shooting war with Russia.
Graham, Cotton, and Wicker have demanded a complete surrender on logic and policy and have joined with “permanent Washington” and the radical, illogical Democrats, and the ‘forever war NeoCon warmonger defense contractor corporatists.’ These three are the same ‘Republicans in Name Only leftists’ who signed on with their close friend, the installed and current occupant of the White House Joe Biden on the Omnibus Bill. If fact, Cotton has never been critical of Biden saying, “Biden has not been ‘escalatory enough’ on Ukraine” by not getting U.S. troops involved directly with Russia quicker.
WHAT IS MISSING? A THING CALLED DIPLOMACY. I must ask … whatever happen to diplomatic negotiation – aka peace talks? Have they heard of the Dayton Accords, which were implemented and negotiated in Eastern Europe 28-years ago, following the fall of the Soviet Union and the Communism in Yugoslavia? Since Biden was installed, there has been zero effort to hold talks with Putin. Zelenskiy needs to sit down and talk. In fact, in September 2019, President Trump told Zelenskiy he needed to sit down and talk with the Russian president. Granted, there needs to be discussions and concessions worked out from the standpoint of both sides. But the process called “Diplomacy” needs to be attempted to the ‘nth degree’ -- that must happen first, and so far, the Biden Regime has refused to allow it.
Let’s remember, as President Trump said, he could and would deescalate the current situation within 24-hours, as was the case during his 4-years as President. President Trump will be laying out his solution and plan for Ukraine, on Saturday, January 28th during his events in New Hampshire and South Carolina.
We are now on a fast track for WWIII rather than rationality, reason, and logic. Where will the trillion dollars, or more for this insanely contrived catastrophe come from to pay for this new wartime venture before we are all “lit up” by an RS-28 SATAN II?
Hosts L Todd Wood and Dan O'Shea give the latest developments from the Ukraine War, with a special appearance from reporter on the ground in Kyiv.
Russian forces have just suffered what may be their single biggest loss of the war in an attack, after a Ukrainian strike killed multiple dozens, or possibly hundreds, of newly mobilized troops in the east of the country. Moscow is now pointing to a US role in the devastating attack.
"Russia’s Defense Ministry said Monday that Ukrainian forces used a U.S.-supplied Himars rocket system to destroy a facility used as a base for mobilized troops in the city of Makiivka," The Wall Street Journal reports of the attack in Russian-occupied Donbas.
The defense ministry confirmed that 63 Russian troops died in the blast, saying that a wave of HIMARS rockets delivering "high-explosive warheads" struck the facility that housed the troops...
To read more visit Zero Hedge.
Ukraine has a new Western backer. It’s not a nation-state, or a military contractor. It’s the financial firm BlackRock.
Ukraine announced Wednesday that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had a video teleconference with BlackRock Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink. The pair apparently struck a deal to coordinate investment efforts to rebuild the war-torn nation.
A readout of the meeting on the Ukrainian president’s website boasted BlackRock’s involvement, calling the firm “one of the world's leading investment managers” and noted that it “manages client assets worth about 8 trillion dollars.”
“Zelenskyy and Larry Fink agreed to focus in the near term on coordinating the efforts of all potential investors and participants in the reconstruction of our country, channelling investment into the most relevant and impactful sectors of the Ukrainian economy,” the readout claimed.
To read more visit American Conservative.
Ultranationalist Ukrainian politician Oleksii Danilov, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, went on the Ukrainian television station 24TV to call for a dangerous expansion of the war with Russia beyond the country’s borders, seeking to draw other countries into the conflict.
Danilov called on the Republic of Moldova to resume a decades-old military conflict with the separatist region of Transnistria, claiming that if it fails to do so, Moldova cannot remain an independent state. He also called on Georgia to take military action to reclaim Abkhaziaand South Ossetia, occupied by Russian forces since 2008.“I am certain that, sooner or later, the Moldovans and Georgians will have to join this war because the war of liberation of their territory is mandatory for any country,” Danilov said.
The Ukrainian official noted that it would be easier for Ukraine to fight against Russia if the Republic of Moldova and Georgia joined the military conflict to free their territories from Russian control. Not surprisingly, Danilov did not call on Romania or Moldova to liberate the territories of Northern Bucovina and Southern Bessarabia, as well as Snake Island, seized from Romania by the Soviet Regime and currently occupied by Ukraine.
According to an article published in the Royal Navy’s official magazine, the Globe and Laurel, Lieutenant General Robert Magowan confirmed that 350 marines were deployed to Ukraine for two separate missions since January – the first prior to the invasion and the second in April.
The first mission was to evacuate British diplomatic staff across the border to Poland prior to the invasion. The second mission occurred in April after Russian troops withdrew from the area around Kyiv. According to the article, Magowan said, “In April, they returned into the country to re-establish the diplomatic mission, providing protection to critical personnel.” Magowan added, “During both phases, the commandos supported other discreet operations in a hugely sensitive environment and with a high level of political and military risk.”
While the UK Defense Ministry had previously confirmed that soldiers were sent to protect diplomats at the embassy, Magowan’s commentary provided the most detail that has been released since the missions occurred. Although Magowan did not specify what the “other” missions were, he is the first British official to confirm that special operations had taken place in Ukraine since the Russian invasion.
When the Royal Navy was questioned about Magowan’s remarks, a spokesperson only said that Marines were “deployed to Ukraine to support the UK’s diplomatic presence” and said that “they served no combat function.”
The Marine unit deployed for both missions was the 45 Commando unit which it is now known allegedly specializes in “Arctic warfare,” according to the Times, and had previously taken part in the Falklands conflict and the U.S. invasion of both Iraq and Afghanistan.
At the time of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, troops from 45 Commando were in Norway conducting winter military exercises when they were called in to assist with evacuations from Ukraine to Poland of embassy staff and diplomats.
Magowan also confirmed that Royal Marines had previously trained Ukrainian troops in other countries adding that the Marines have been “heavily involved” in the training and that they are now planning to train “Ukraine marines.”
While British military trainers were pulled out of Ukraine earlier this year to avoid conflicts after Russian forces invaded Ukraine, special forces have since resumed training efforts.
Overnight into Tuesday a third airfield deep inside Russia came under attack, suffering a fire after an oil storage depot was bombarded by what the Kremlin described as a drone attack that was repelled after the initial blast. A large blaze raged throughout the night as emergency crews responded.
It came the day after two explosions rocked a pair of air bases even further inside Russian territory, which killed three military personnel in the Ryazan region, and Russian Engels-1 airbase in Saratov. Those incidents were also subsequently described by the defense ministry as the result of drone attacks.
The Russian city of Kursk, which lies closer to Ukraine than the other two sites of attack, had thick black smoke rising over its airfield in the early Tuesday hours. “Oil tankers at a base near the city of Kursk, around 60 miles from the border, were on fire and streaming smoke into the sky early Tuesday morning,” The Daily Mail writes based on regional sources…
To read more visit Zero Hedge.
L Todd Wood appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight last evening to discuss the ongoing corruption in Ukraine.
What has now been identified as a Russian-made, but Ukrainian-launched S-300 air defense missile, landed in the village of Przewodow in eastern Poland on Tuesday, 15 miles from the Ukrainian border. The errant missile landed on a grain silo and the explosion killed 2 people.
Immediately following the incident, Polish Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki called an urgent meeting with the government committee for national security and defense affairs while Poland’s foreign ministry issued a statement saying that a “Russia-made” missile had landed on the border with Ukraine and summoned the Russian ambassador for a meeting.
The Russian Defense Ministry issued a statement saying that the country had not engaged in “strikes against targets near the Ukrainian-Polish border” as Polish sources had claimed. The Russian statement went on to accuse Poland of attempting to escalate the situation. While the Pentagon said that it could not corroborate the reports at the time, a senior U.S. intelligence official told reporters that Russian missiles crossed into Poland, killing two people and a Pentagon spokesperson said that the U.S. was ready to “defend every inch of NATO territory.”
Meanwhile, U.S. President, Joe Biden, offered his condolences to Polish President, Andrzej Duda...
To read more visit Tsarizm.
In 2011 I wrote a master’s thesis titled “The Children of Aphrodite” where I emphasized America’s lack of readiness to manage the threat posed by drones to our own forces and our homeland. It’s become an often-cited source document for further research in government agencies and private companies since then. Now we see the war in Ukraine taking a heavy turn toward drone use since the attack on the Kerch Bridge. This change also highlights the challenges to Russia’s logistics chains and their inability to maintain the more expensive aircraft. The Russians now destroy infrastructure across Ukraine using a variety of drones, including Kamikaze versions. The world should take note, as the advent and growth of drones mirrors the historical growth of aircraft capabilities and tactics in history. But what once took years and decades starting in World War I can happen in months and years today.
My thesis highlighted potential uses for drones in the future that have since become reality. I analyzed state actors like China, Iran, and Israel. I also highlighted non-state actors like Hezbollah in the Middle East and drug gangs on America’s Southern border. The key predictions I made in 2011 were:
It’s clear to all watching the conflict in Ukraine and the narco wars along America's Southern border that drones are fulfilling these predictions. Iran supplying Russia with drones demonstrates Iran’s continuing ties to Russia while exposing Russia’s own logistics challenges. Israel recently targeted drone assembly facilities in Syria. Syria’s parts, manufactured in Iran, are a clear display of the expected proliferation of not only the completed systems but the supply chain supporting them. China is using drones to agitate and collect intelligence against Taiwan. Lastly, their use by drug gangs is common, and sources in the Border Patrol admitted to me that they were not expecting how quickly the gangs would employ them.
The drone wars highlight that the minimal training and cost required to employ them means drone use will increase. A million-dollar tank can be destroyed by an $80,000 javelin after minimal training. A $25 million MIG-29 would buy 25,000 drones at $1,000 each. That same MIG-29 can also be destroyed by an inexpensive Stinger missile. Countries counting pennies while in conflict see the advantage of low cost, easy to procure systems. The math behind drones says we better get used to them in all future conflicts.
America’s military has improved our own drone systems significantly since I authored my thesis. But the U.S. is still plagued by considerable expense and bureaucracy behind how we procure our systems. While Russians successfully targeted vehicles, convoys, and structures using simple off the shelf quadcopters costing $750-$1000, Americans paid $10,000 for the Raven drone, not including their ground equipment and support costs. Also, by the time our systems are fielded, the technology is already old. America’s drone fleet is another victim of an antiquated procurement process.
America is not ready for conflict on a battlefield where drones are more common, versatile, and effective than tanks. We must consider that the total cost of the systems we are accustomed to employing combined with the speed of technological developments is driving them to extinction. We’ve improved our ability to counter the drones used by other nations, but we must learn the lessons coming out of Ukraine and our own Southern border. There are companies developing technologies and techniques to win the drone wars. But we are hindered by our slow-moving government acquisitions process. We must change to make sure the speed of the developments in drones is at least matched and then exceeded by our ability counter drones from other nations.
The conflict in Ukraine is a window to the future, we better see it clearly.
Lt. Col. (Ret.) Darin Gaub is an Army veteran, Blackhawk helicopter pilot and former Air Assault Battalion Commander, international military strategist, and Co-founder/Executive Director of Restore Liberty. Col. Gaub spent 28 years in military service, with 7 years in command, and three years training military forces for combat, including “hybrid warfare” environments. He helped to build contingency plans for the unique characteristics of a conflict in Eastern Europe based on lessons from Russian operations in Georgia and Syria. He completed four deployments to Afghanistan, as well as South Korea, Eastern Europe, and North Africa.
The U.S. has now provided Ukraine with over a million rounds of howitzer ammunition since it began shipping arms to the embattled nation to aid its fight against Russia, according to the latest figures from the Defense Department.
That includes up to 903,000 standard 155mm howitzer rounds as well as 3,000 M982 Excalibur guided rounds, 7,000 Remote Anti-Armor Mine System (RAAMS) projectiles, and 180,000 105mm howitzer shells.
All told, that’s more than 1.09 million rounds which weigh well in excess of 50,000 tons combined — close to twice as much as the Statue of Liberty...
To read more visit The War Zone.
Democrats and NeoCons are rushing toward nuclear war with Russia, and even President Biden seems resigned to that possibility. Not since the Cuban Missile Crisis has the nuclear clock ticked closer to midnight. The federal government is so concerned they have purchased $290 million in drugs to combat radiation sickness. New York city has run public service ads for what to do in the event of a nuclear war. And former and current military leaders talk openly about winning such a war. They seem to believe that a nuclear exchange would be limited to the Ukraine, therefore acceptable. What they do not know is the mind of Putin and his generals.
From the first days of the war, it was clear that on paper, Russia should easily have beaten the Ukrainian army, but Western intervention has evened the odds. Russians have lost territory over the past few months due to their own military weaknesses in combination with NATO weapons deliveries. The US has supplied Ukraine with tens of billions in aid, irrespective of the disposition of those arms and money. Reports have been that much of the equipment is not reaching frontline units, rather sold.
During Russia-Ukraine negotiations for a ceasefire in March 2022, where Russian’s main demand was permanent Ukrainian neutrality, failed when Western nations pushed for a military victory for Ukraine, along with regime change in Russia. As a result, the war continued, and thousands more were killed, wounded or made homeless.
Now, more than seven months later, Western intervention has convinced the Ukrainians and NATO nations that the war is winnable. Media and the political class continue to fan the flames of war. Worse, they provide an endless parade of former generals to explain how Putin’s threat to use tactical nuclear weapons, while possible, would only lead to a NATO response that would destroy the Russian army. Foreign affairs experts explain to us how Putin is a desperate, isolated madman who needs to be removed. How can they not see that cornering the proverbial wounded animal is not a good idea. This is the same madman whose army we threaten to destroy should he use tactical nuclear weapons, without mentioning that might possibly result in his use of thermonuclear weapons on the US and Western Europe. They forget that Saddam Hussein expected the Gulf War to be limited to Kuwait, only to find the US strategy was to eliminate “centers of gravity”. It is a core principle of US military strategy.
Gen. Sergey Surovikin has now been named the commander of Russian forces in Ukraine. Surovikin is a veteran of brutal wars in Afghanistan and Chechnya, and most recently Syria, where he earned the nickname “General Armageddon”, for his indiscriminate destruction of Aleppo. In Syria, Surovikin bombed civilian targets, using everything from conventional to chemical weapons. It is clear with his appointment that Putin is willing to do anything to avoid defeat, including tactical nuclear weapons. In his first week as commander, Suroviken authorized the launching of missile and drone attacks on Kiev. It seems Western leaders did not contemplate his actions based on months of reporting an imminent Ukrainian victory.
Western leaders have forgotten the shocking information we gathered in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union. For five decades, NATO operated under the assumption that neither side in a European war would resort to first use of nuclear weapons. The treasure trove of documents we obtained after the collapse indicated that not only were the use of nuclear weapons possible, but they were integral to Soviet war plans to defeat the airpower advantage NATO had over the Warsaw Pact. Their day one plans were to strike our airfields with chemical and nuclear weapons to disable our air forces, and deny the use of those bases by reinforcements.
If the generation now leading the Russian Federation, both politically and militarily, were trained in a system that used nuclear and chemical weapons as just one tool in their arsenal, it is also reasonable to assume the war in Ukraine could result in a tactical nuclear war, then escalate to nuclear Armageddon. Western leaders possess two of the most dangerous attributes -- naïveté and overconfidence. The American political leadership was 'selected' not for their experience, but their gender pronoun and ethnicity. Our military leadership has been promoted despite military failures in Afghanistan and Iraq for similar qualities as their civilian counterparts. We stand on the precipice of a nuclear war, with ideologs at the helm. Only time will tell, but our best hope may lie with the man they have declared a madman, and his willingness to exercise restraint.
A USAFA grad, Brent flew F-15 combat missions during Operation Desert Storm. After completing his service, Brent immigrated to Israel, where he was drafted into IAF active service.
U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), which has grown to become the world’s top counterterrorism force over the past 20 years, is now facing some change in mission and reductions in personnel under the Biden administration’s National Security Strategy.
During that period, SOCOM grew from about 45,700 military and civilian personnel in 2001 to about 73,900 in fiscal year 2021.
SOCOM Commander General Richard Clarke and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations Christopher Maier announced last April in their Vision and Strategy statement, Special Operations Forces (SOF) must evolve “from the world’s premier Counter Terrorism (CT) force into one optimally suited to support the Joint Force and the Nation as part of integrated deterrence...”
To read more visit The Cipher Brief.
There is massive propaganda from both sides in this Information War in the Ukrainian conflict.
Armed Forces Press will launch a weekly program that will livestream every Sunday at 3:30pm EST starting 09 October 2022. The name of the show will be called 'Ukraine SitRep' to try and bring sense to chaos. Guests of the show will have direct in-country experience and expertise.
Russian authorities said that an explosion involving a truck on Saturday caused a fire and destroyed a section of a bridge linking Russia and Crimea. The bridge is regarded as a key supply route for Russian troops in southern Ukraine.
The Crimean Bridge – also called Kerch Strait Bridge or Kerch Bridge – is a structure 19 kilometers (12 miles) in length that passes across the Kerch Strait and links southern Russia to the Crimean Peninsula. The Kerch Strait links the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, writes Zero Hedge.
“Crimea, the bridge, the beginning. Everything illegal must be destroyed, everything stolen must be returned to Ukraine, everything occupied by Russia must be expelled,” wrote Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s aide, Mikhail Podoliak on Twitter.
To read more and watch the videos visit Tsarizm.com, our sister site in Eastern Europe.
For around 60 years, the United States published an annual study called the World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers (WMEAT) report. The document provided detailed information on global arms transfers, defense spending, and a range of other military-related topics.
For reasons that remain unclear, last year’s defense spending bill put an end to the report. The State Department published its final edition last month, quietly marking the end of an era in military disclosures.
“At one point in history, the WMEAT report was the model for transparency around the world,” Jeff Abramson of the Arms Control Association said, noting the importance of its Cold War-era origins...
To read more visit Responsible Statecraft.
Guest post by Nikola Mikovic
Seven months after Russia launched the so-called ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine, the Kremlin has decided to raise the stakes. It seems to be a matter of time before Moscow incorporates the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic, as well as southern Ukrainian regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia into the Russian Federation – a move that will undoubtedly lead to further escalation of the conflict.
On September 20 leaders of the Donbass republics set out plans for referenda on joining Russia. In an apparently coordinated move, Russia-controlled military-civilian administrations of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions also announced their plans to hold a plebiscite on becoming part of the Russian Federation. Referenda are scheduled for September 23-27, and the results will be published on September 28. After that, the four regions will send the official request to Moscow, and the Kremlin is expected to act promptly, which means that by the end of October Russia might de facto and de jure get new territories.
The problem for Moscow, however, is the vast majority of the United Nations members will not recognize the results of the referendums, and will continue to see the Donbass, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia as part of Ukraine. The Kremlin, for its part, will treat the territories as an integral part of the Russian Federation, meaning that – from the Russian perspective – any Ukrainian attack on Donetsk, Kherson or Melitopol will represent an attack on Russia. That is why Moscow seems to be preparing to fight an “all-out war”.
On September 20 Russian President Vladimir Putin held a meeting with bosses of the country’s military-industrial complex, urging them to boost production of weapons and ammunition. He emphasized the Russian Armed forces must receive the necessary equipment “as soon as possible”, and that Russia must ensure “a one hundred percent import substitution” in the field of military industry. More importantly, Russia’s lower chamber of parliament, the State Duma, has passed a bill introducing the concepts of “mobilization” and “martial law” into the Criminal Code, which suggests that the Kremlin intends to soon change the form of its special military operation in Ukraine.
It remains to be seen how he Russian sanctions-hit economy will manage to adapt to a new reality, and increase production of military hardware. Unlike the Soviet Union, that was a relatively self-sufficient country, Russia’s military-industrial complex is dependent on the import of various components. Thus, in order to ensure “a one hundred percent import substitution”, Russia would have to completely transform its current neo-liberal economic model. It is not impossible for Moscow do make such a move, although it is a long-term process, and it is rather questionable if time is on the Russian side.
The West will undoubtedly continue supplying all sorts of weapons to Ukraine. Moreover, Kyiv will likely attempt to restore control over significant parts of the Donbas and southern Ukrainian regions before they officially become part of the Russian Federation. But even afterwards, Kyiv will unlikely stop fighting. The only difference is that Russia will fight the war on de facto its own territory, which means that Moscow can implement its military doctrine and eventually use nuclear weapons.
“Judging by what is happening and what is about to happen, this week marks either the threshold of our imminent victory or the threshold of a nuclear war. I can’t see any third option”, said Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of the Russian state-owned broadcaster RT.
As the United States President Joe Biden recently stressed, using nuclear weapons would “change the face of war unlike anything since World War II”. Although such a scenario is not improbable, at this point it is more realistic that Russia will attempt to change the situation on the ground by deploying more troops to Ukraine. That is one of the reasons why Putin declared a partial mobilization on September 21. For the foreseeable future, Moscow will likely continue implementing short-term solutions, but eventually it might be forced to take some radical steps.
Russian political leadership is quite aware that a military defeat in Ukraine could have dramatic consequences for the very existence of the Russian Federation. Still, it remains unclear if Moscow is determined to fight “until victory”, or if it will continue seeking to reach a deal with Kyiv. Thus, even a potential use of tactical nuclear weapons could represent a method of pressure on Ukraine to sign a peace deal under the Russian conditions.
Even though Russia has decided to mobilize 300,000 reservists, there is no guarantee that such a move will help the Russian military to seize more territory. Mobilization itself is not a magic wand. It takes time to prepare troops for fighting. But does Russia have time?
Finally, it remains to be seen if the Russian political leadership still aims to establish full control over all of Ukraine and achieve the original goals of its “special military operation”, or if it now sees the Donbass, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia as a “consolation prize” in a “new cold War” between Russia and the West.
Nikola Mikovic is a freelance journalist from Serbia. He covers mostly Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. Nikola writes for several publications such us Geopolitical Monitor, Global Security Review, Global Comment and International Policy Digest, among others. He is also a regular contributor to KJ Vids YouTube geopolitical channel where he writes video scripts on geopolitical issues.
The Ukraine war is now essentially a stalemate. Yes, Ukrainian forces have had some recent success near Kharkiv, but at a high price. The brutal reality is that Russia has approximately 150M people, Ukraine has 40M. Ukraine is a border region of the Russian Federation, and very important to the Kremlin. Now that he has committed forces, Putin cannot let control of the Donbass region go, no matter the casualties. If he allowed that to happen, he would lose power. So, he will follow the old Russian tactic of throwing bodies at the conflict in a long war of attrition. After all, worked well against Napoleon, Hitler, etc.
Ukraine is not fighting this war against Russia. In reality, it is the United States with a mercenary army. America is supplying the weapons, the logistics, the tactics, and many highly-trained troops.
I have personally spoken to dozens of former U.S. special operators who have been involved in recent months in Ukraine. America is fighting this war alright, just not with uniformed soldiers.
The globalists in control of The White House want nothing less than a continuation of the conflict, so they can sell lots of weapons. The globalists desperately do not want to lose control of the Ukrainian playground, where they can launder money and run ‘bio research facilities’.
So, they are throwing the kitchen sink against Russia, and having some recent success.
However, this strategy will lead to continued escalation. The Ukrainian military leadership recently said the quiet part out loud – this could lead to the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons by Russian forces.
Putin will have nothing to lose.
Perhaps this is what the globalists want.
WASHINGTON ― Several U.S. senators on Tuesday asked for additional briefings and reports on President Joe Biden’s new $13.7 billion funding request for Ukraine in the wake of Russia’s invasion.
The White House budget office last week announced the latest Ukraine aid request, which includes $11.7 billion for security and economic assistance through December. It also seeks an additional $2 billion to reduce domestic energy costs driven up in part by the war.
Defense spending panel chairman Jon Tester, D-Mont., told Defense News he wants Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin or Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks to provide more information on the request...
To read more visit Defense News.