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13 March 2022



OK, I'll play Putin.

I just hit Ramstein with a nuclear Ikander-M.

Your move.



pardon. 'Iskander'. I was looking at something else and my fingers dun slipped.

George Rebane

scenes 502pm - OK, I'll play Biden. We let Putin take Ukraine, and motivated by that Xi invades Taiwan, and Putin advances on the Baltics. Your move.

Bill Tozer

Dr. Rebane

I may not like your strong feelings on a no-fly zone with maybe the Brits and a few Canadians helping out, but you just laid out the formula to win.

I remember Trump’s Inaugural Speech when he went briefly of script at the end of the sentence and said we will no longer be involved in wars…..trail off…that we cannot win. That we cannot win…..heard it with my hears, saw it with my eyeballs, but not in the official WH text of the speech. Akin to Obama at in his early weeks in Cairo telling the Shias, “I am one of you.” Not in the official WH transcript.

We will no longer be involved in wars we cannot win. Winning is the goal of war. We can’t win doing what we are doing. We can do the Article 5 stuff for the Baltics and protect NATO until the end of time, but that ain’t winning against Vlad the Impaler Putin.

So, I can’t argue with your plan, strategy or passion….if we want to win. That is the question. Do we have the political will and to lead the charge? Ukraine winning is synonymous with our winning? Perhaps.

Putin announced that civilian food aid and clothing convoys from the south and SW will be considered the same as enemy military convoys. He will strike any aid to Ukraine, be it military or humanitarian. It’s all aiding and abetting the enemy to him.

Did you know that Nord Steam 2 is but one of four Nord Streams. Another is carrying natural gas to Germany as we speak. Never stopped.
Looks like this is a job for the guy with the Big White Hat in Washington to lead the charge with a few deputies following close behind. Whether I like it or not, the US is still the world’s cop. France may kick it up a notch, you never know. Poland is ready to get in there and kick some ass.

But, do we have the political will to win? Majority, per recent polls, is ready for a no-fly zone. Those bombs that detonate 150’ off the ground suck at the oxygen out of your lungs on the ground and with a slow be explosion burning the oxygen out the whole city block. War crime stuff. Putin is willing to win at all costs….are we? We are the only western nation in the world, besides Britain to a lesser extent, that has the military power to fight two wars on two fronts at the same time. Is Putin winning not an option? Putin winning is appearing to be not an option.


" OK, I'll play Biden." Pudding cups incoming.

You didn't do anything as Biden. You just moved the Putin and Xi pieces.

Don Bessee

The mask is slipping off sometimes especially when stressed like this lap dog -



Don Bessee

And another example of them really believing how stupid the voters are -

Pelosi claims government spending is ‘reducing the national debt,’ not causing inflation




Don, you're probably in the wrong thread.

George, I thought of a good first step as Biden, so here's my suggestion.

Step 1. Use Russia as a tool for political gain. It should be worth a few points in the midterms.


In the final analysis, it's all about seizing and holding power after all. The rest is just a sideshow.

George Rebane

scenes 607pm - Au contraire Mr scenes, I did much more than just 'move the pieces'. I showed fears like yours to lead us to check, mate, game on the new world order. It was ever thus.

Don Bessee

The people know that the bs about putins inflation is not going to erase the last year of disastrous decisions largely based of kissing the green luddites' asses -

Biden ‘does not care’ about small-town America, South Dakotans say: 'If he did care, Keystone would be going’
After canceling the Keystone XL Pipeline, President Biden's slogan should be ‘butchering booming business,' an energy CEO says




” I did much more than just 'move the pieces'. I showed fears like yours to lead us to check, mate, game on the new world order.”


George....you want to take another run at this sentence....I have no idea what message you are trying to convey here?

Don Bessee

Yelling get off the lawn is not a stagey creepy grampa joe and the axis of evil owns your weak ass -

The general’s claim of total invincibility came hours before as many as 12 missiles struck near a sprawling U.S. consulate complex in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil on Sunday, in what a U.S. defense official and an Iraqi official said was a strike launched from neighboring Iran.

No injuries were reported in the attack, which marked a significant escalation between the U.S. and Iran. Hostility between the long time foes has often played out in Iraq, whose government is allied with both countries, as Breitbart News reported.




GeorgeR: "scenes 607pm - Au contraire Mr scenes, I did much more than just 'move the pieces'"


I gave you a move, a highly likely one. As Biden you could respond, or not. You might as well just have claimed that aliens landed and forced everyone to the peace table.

Truth is, a no-fly zone at this point, while fun to think about, is wildly irresponsible. Insanely irresponsible and would likely cause escalation to use of theater nuclear. and then off to the races.

Hopefully any sane US administration does the obvious thing and cuts a deal with the Russians. Having taken the ridiculous route of already shooting all of the non-military ammunition, we are left with just our good looks.


fish: " George....you want to take another run at this sentence....I have no idea what message you are trying to convey here?"

Rather than a countermove, perhaps he's proposing that if we don't defeat the communists in South Vietnam, they'll be on to Thailand, so we should bomb Vladivostok.

Any plan that involves truly backing the Russians into a corner needs to include giving me a couple of weeks notice for house hunting in eastern Idaho.


...it is interesting to think about the current rules of engagement in Ukraine. These proxy wars look to evolve in the same way.

It's OK to ship in arms, but the handover is a sticky issue. Foreign volunteers appear to be OK. Any use of NATO personnel actually within the country has to be on the extreme down-low. Absolutely no airplanes or indirect fire allowed across a national, non-neutral boundary. Physical transfer of planes in a hay wagon or something is pushing the limit. Refugees are allowed as a form of weapon. Someone should write up the rules (probably already done in internal documents).

My own feeling is that some US planners got exactly what they wanted, for the Russians to exhaust themselves on the backs of a neutral country. Their optimal strategy is to keep the war going as long as possible by importing the right amount of fuel. Twas ever thus.

Scott O

scenes 12:11 - Ha ha!
Yep - Eastern Idaho.
On the western side the prices are stupid. The house at the end of the block just went up on the market for 3 times what they paid 6 years ago.
Right now I'd be more worried about the US dollar than the bomb. Current events just might push China to align with Russia to start the move towards the Yuan as the world's 'stable' currency. As stupid as the Biden admin is about a shooting war, the current bunch of insanity in DC is worse as to a currency battle.
"Increasing the fed budget decreases the debt."
and "increasing our oil production won't lower prices."
Yeah - and aiming the rifle at yourself is the best way to shoot the enemy.

George Rebane

Mr scenes, thank you for engaging on this much debated tactic. My apologies for not making the 547pm response so obtuse. The likely modes of expanding the war are an important topic to consider and debate. I was hoping someone here would respond with the 'no-fly zone equals nuclear war' argument that is today's widely shared wisdom. Chamberlain's 'peace in our time' was also widely welcomed at his 1938 return from Munich. Only curmudgeons like Churchill (not PM at the time) called it correctly. I'll addend a more complete response above.


A decent article.

"Russia’s war in Ukraine has an infinite number of scenarios, but scores of war games point to two likely paths.

Wars sometimes start easily, but it is a tenet of strategy that they are always unpredictable and extremely hard to end. Putin’s war of choice in Ukraine is already escalating faster than most experts would have imagined just a week ago. ...."


Bill Tozer

Another view: Buck Sexton


George Rebane

Of course there are more ways to counter the Russians than establishing a no-fly zone. But none of these appear to our pusillanimously intrepid strategists as being less likely to piss off Putin. And hour after hour, that continues our main concern which has got to warm the cockles of Vladimir's heart. We have him right where he wants us.

Paul Emery


Of course the big concern is that Putin will push the button so to speak if we go no fly. Can you assign odds to him doing that if we follow your strategy?


Punchy, "assign odds"? Really?

I suspect Putin has been waiting for gas prices to be filling his coffers since November 2020.

show me kid

A review of gas price increases show a steady rising since the end of January 2021. Yeah, I'll agree Putin pushed them up in the last month, but they have headed up since Biden took office.

Barry Pruett

I would give you good odds Paul.

George Rebane

PaulE 359pm - Anyone can "assign odds" on anything yet to happen. I don't know what use such an exercise would be outside of soliciting bets. But one can also elicit a quantitative measure of belief - i.e. a probability - for such events that can be used for decision making by the subject himself or others using the subject as a 'domain expert'. Claiming no such expertise for myself, my assessment is that the probability is at most 0.01 that Putin will escalate to WW3 subsequent to our establishing a Ukrainian no-fly zone. And my probability for Putin continuing to invade neighboring territories is 0.999, were he allowed to conquer Ukraine and make it a Russian fiefdom again. Biden's cowering is killing Ukrainians, and will kill uncountable numbers more should Ukraine fall.

Paul Emery

Thanks George

Do you think Trump would be following your suggestion?

As far as our assessment on what things would be like in two weeks I believe that in a short time we will be focusing on humanitarian support for the refugee's and those left behind. Terrible situation.


[EMERY] "Do you think Trump would be following your suggestion?"


Oh for God's sake.

George Rebane

PaulE 620pm - Would Trump dive under his desk every time Putin rattled his saber like Biden is doing? NFW! As I stated before, I don’t think the invasion would have happened had Trump been re-elected. It is remarkable how many talking heads and commentators are now calling for Biden to stop cowering so as to shorten the war and save what’s left of the world order.

Bill Tozer

Show Me Kid @ 4:54 pm

Prices have been rising since the day of the Nov, 2020 election. Good thing Trump filled all the strategic reservers to the “tippy top” when it rock bottom @ 9 bucks when they put the global economy to sleep (coma?) in March, 2020. Thank you President Trump. To the tippy top at that price.
Punchy is just looking for George’s assessment of what will happen in Ukraine. What are the odds? What are the 17 Intel Agencies best guess, their probabilities, their take a stab at it? Nothing wrong asking Dr. George’s best guess with the information he has, which are only publicly available information. Nothing wrong with that.

But, Punch Punch Punch you could not control yourself and had to ask for the 9th time what would Trump had done if he created this killing field in Ukraine clustergluck? Solve it. Fix the mofo. “If you guys can’t fix it now, then You’re Fired.” Get out of here, knucklehead. That is what Trump would have done. In addition, he would be on the phone with Putin promising Hell Fire and Brimstone will be raining down on Vlad the Impaler’s head the kind of which the World has never seen.

BTW, the Book of Proverbs means Book of Probabilities.

You can boil it all down to two paths. The fork in the tree. The rest of the top 4-12 are just branches of the two scenarios. But then again, things can turn on a dime, the wildcard.

Don Bessee

The snowflakes would just melt away when faced with invasion -

Further disheartening is that the youngest Americans, those ages 18-34 and most physically capable, were even less likely to stay and fight. Only 45% said they would remain, while 48% would flee.

Comparatively, two-thirds of the 50-to-64-year-old cohort said they would remain. That’s not wholly surprising given that so much of the recent discontentment with America is concentrated among the youth. Equally unsurprising is that political differences also play a role in willingness to defend our nation.



Paul Emery


You never have expressed why that would be so (no invasion) if Trump were still President. You only express that Trump would be unpredictable which is a weird policy for a President to have.

Don Bessee

SO the ponytail of ignorance thinks being a dottering old predictable pussy is a good thing LETS GO BRANDON!


Don Bessee

Creepy grampa joe is hurting the ones he wants to think its vlads fault but they dont -

Inflation hitting nonwhite voters hardest, imperiling Democrats in 2022 midterms, new poll finds
Inflation hit a 40-year high in February



George Rebane

PaulE, no president has ever played poker with his cards exposed.

Paul Emery


So are saying you think Trump has the smarts to play poker with Putin and you trust him even though worldwide destruction by nuclear war is a possibility with a wrong move.

Don Bessee

Must be a statment not a question since there is no question mark @917 Quick call the fue LOL


Bill Tozer

Well, we have an assessment of what is going on in Ukraine on the ground, then we have an assessment of how Putin will react, and now we have an assessment of what Trump would have done if he had to deal with the problems go Biden faces in the here and now.

Ok, Punch, an assessment of Trump, Putin, and Joe Biden.

1) Putin snatched Crimea and put troops in the two eastern Ukraine oblasts in 2014 under the Obama-Biden Administration.

2) Putin did not invade Ukraine under Trump, Trump winning election in 2016.

3) Putin invaded Ukraine again, early in the Biden-Harris Administration.

Putin invades Ukraine before and after Trump’s Presidency. The common denominator is both invasions is Joe Biden, 2014, and 2022.

So, the real question that begs to be answered is not what Trump would do if Putin invaded under his watch, put rather, what did Trump do to keep Putin from evading? What did Trump do that the Democrat Administrations of Obama-Biden and Biden-Harris did not do or have not done that Trump did?

There is nothing in the history of the Trump Administration’s relations with Russia that suggests Vladimir Putin would have invaded Ukraine under Trump. Not a shred of evidence anywhere. We have ample. evidence that Putin chose not to invade Ukraine with Trump at the helm and even more ample evidence that Putin will invade if Joe Biden is either VP or POTUS.

Why did Putin not invade under Trump is the question which must be answered to understand Putin, Trump, and Joe Biden. Putin feared Trump’s strength, like all bullies fear strength. Putin does not fear Biden and sees only weakness. Again, like all bullies do.
Putin is being opportunistic now. There is absolutely no reason based on past results that could even remotely suggest Putin would act differently that he did under Trump’s first term than Putin would behave under a Trump second term.

Joe Biden is the reason Putin acted differently before Trump and after Trump. No other explanation is plausible.

Punch, Punch, Punch. Can’t answer, you promised.
Dr. Rebane, if you utter the name Punchy in a reply, Paul Emergy vowed not to respond and you would instantly be off the hook of ‘What Would Trump Do?’ Tempting, isn’t it lol.
Or, one could simply say is not what Trump would do, it’s what Trump did.

Scott O

"You never have expressed why that would be so (no invasion) if Trump were still President."
Just possibly...
Trump WAS president and Putin didn't do shit.
As soon as Pudin' Cup wandered in, Putin saw his chance and the invasion was on.
We don't have to guess or imagine what-ifs.
All the dead and suffering Ukrainians are certainly grateful for Paul and his millions of fellow idiots for voting in Biden.
"Yeah for sure we are suffering and our country is being ruined, but thank God for no more mean tweets!"


In the interest of countering Paul's inevitable shanghai of an otherwise interesting question. (remember, it's all about Paul, not Trump. People who make a living on stage can't stand not being the center of attention, even if it's negative...)

"The west’s current response that lets Russia maintain air superiority"

oddly: https://www.nzz.ch/english/despite-advantages-russias-air-force-playing-limited-war-role-ld.1674497

Not only is airspace in play, but it's used less than you think. The result of poor practices on both sides? the presence of decent anti-aircraft capabilities on both sides? Russians holding back for self-protection from NATO? Russians AF essentially set up for defense rather than offense? Dunno.

My bet is there is a lot to learn here by everyone. It's the first time in quite a few years that you have a conflict between tolerably competent people on both sides. Planning built around blowing up tribesmen with Toyota pickups tends to fall apart.

The capability no doubt translates to hard problems for a 'no-fly zone' as in the past they assume ownership of the sky. In this case, it's really code for 'unrestricted air war' which inevitably leads to targeting bases (wherever they are), radar/antiaircraft facilities, the mobile type of same, etc. Escalation chances are 100%. Hilarity ensues.

from the 'odd corners of the conflict' department, check these out.


Bill Tozer

What ever happened to the outcry that T Rex and and Exxon Mobile and Putin would take over all the oil in Europe and the Middle East and The World!! ??????

What ever happened to the BIG CONCERN that Trump had no foreign policy experience and Putin would play Trump like a puppet? Trump is in Putin’s back pocket, don’t you know?

Punchy, punchy, punchy.

paul emery


Thats it???

"Just possibly...
Trump WAS president and Putin didn't do shit."

Thanks for the deep thinking

Scott O

Paul -"Thanks for the deep thinking"
It's called noticing reality, Paul - you should try it some time.
Trump=peace in Ukraine.
Biden=national and international dumpster fire.
But you prefer the mess we're in just so you can do your 'ha ha, we got rid of Trump' dance.

paul emery


Biden got us out of Afganistan with minimal casualties something Trump, Obama and Bush didn't or couldn't do.

Who is responsible for the thousands of American casualties in the 20 year disaster started by Bush and the Neo-cons.


Scotto, you are breaking the rules.

Now and in the future I will not respond to any question unless address it to my name. Paul Emery or just Emery will do.


You have to admit it would be amazing if the Russians shut the door on these guys. How do you extricate them? Russian military transport plane? A PR stunt that could go massively wrong.


Bill Tozer

Punchy @ 8:21 am

Who is responsible? Why, the Ragheads, of course. Remember 9/11? I did not think so. Man, Biden could have taken the billions of military hardware he left for the Tailban tally wackers and given it to Ukraine. But, nooo. How many Americans and civilians lost their lives on Sept 11th? Sept. 11 was the day Biden originally chose to exit Afghanistan with the bands playing and joint American and Afghan flags flying and a big televised departure of American troops from the Kabul Airport? All that pomp and ceremony went down the tubes, thus proving the deadline to withdrawal from the hellhole was arbitrary and based on conditions the Ragheads must abide to.

Last 18 months of Trump’s superior foreign policy: 0 (zero) American military deaths.
First 7 months of Biden Presidency: 13 US Marines killed.

Trump told the Taliban that if one hair on an American head is touched, he would rain down Hell Fire on the Tailban leader’s home village where all his family lived and where he grew up and Trump and destroy that village and wipe it off the face of the Earth.

The withdraw from Afghanistan was contingent on conditions and OUR timetable, not the camel jockeys and bush rats timetable.

Punchy, punch, The Ponytail of Ignorance and his unicorn pony tales.

Scott O

from Paul - "Biden got us out of Afganistan with minimal casualties..."
The subject here is the Ukraine, Paul.
Bringing up the disaster of what Biden did in Afghanistan hardly helps your case.
BECAUSE of what Biden did in Afghanistan probably added to Putin's decision to invade Ukraine.
Weakness and timidity invite bullies and thugs to act.

Bill Tozer

Scenes @ 7:20 am

‘Russia Fired Cruise Missiles At Ukraine From Russian Airspace, Pentagon Confirms’
Makes no-fly zone irrelevant


George Rebane

The liberals continue (e.g. @821am) to celebrate Biden's deft (daft?) exit from Afghanistan - demonstrating once more that alternate realities are real.

George Rebane

Ward Carroll (retired USN RIO) delivers a comprehensive summary of the Russian invasion to date – ‘EXPOSED! What the Ukrainian Invasion has Revealed about Russian Military Power’. (H/T to reader and correspondent)

paul emery


Why do you think Trump failed in his promise to pull us out of Afganistan? We were there for 20 years before Biden with thousands of casualties so you can't blame that on him or can you?.


"‘Russia Fired Cruise Missiles At Ukraine From Russian Airspace, Pentagon Confirms’
Makes no-fly zone irrelevant"

It definitely makes it less relevant, along with cruise missiles generally. It's all about the Benjamins I guess, a cruise missile is certainly more expensive than artillery. Drive the price of each round down far enough (and the intelligence up) and you end up with an air force consisting of surveillance and the occasional flying truck. No new thought there, but you do have to wonder about the wisdom of the F-35 program.

Given the (claimed) Ukrainian strike on Millerovo Air Base within Russia, it works both ways. Given the fibs that come out of the Ukrainians (we don't hear the Russian fibs), it's hard to tell the truth of the matter...but every time the Ukrainians blow up something in Mother Russia, the Russian self-justification for turning up the knob to 11 grows. Naturally,as the Ukrainians and Ukrainian elite are fighting for survival, their interest in involving the rest of the world in their war is nearly unlimited.

Lotsa lessons for everyone since people always equip and train for the last war.



Why do you think Trump failed in his promise to pull us out of Afganistan? We were there for 20 years before Biden with thousands of casualties so you can't blame that on him or can you?

Probably best to just think of Punch as a child in these matters George. Naggy and repetitive childlike questions, an inability to incorporate any nuance into the discussion.....all the trademark of your (painfully dull I imagine) lunch buddy.

Just be grateful he's not nagging you for a pony.

Bill Tozer

Scott O @ 9:03 am

“The subject here is the Ukraine, Paul.
Bringing up the disaster of what Biden did in Afghanistan hardly helps your case.
BECAUSE of what Biden did in Afghanistan probably added to Putin's decision to invade Ukraine.
Weakness and timidity invite bullies and thugs to”

‘How Could This Happen?’: Secretary Of Defense For Obama Admin Says Biden Fumbled Afghanistan Withdrawal


“Bringing up the disaster of what Biden did in Afghanistan hardly helps your case.
BECAUSE of what Biden did in Afghanistan probably added to Putin's decision to invade Ukraine.”

Scott: Punchy believes that ‘Bringing up the disaster Biden did in’and to Afghanistan actually helps his cause.

George Rebane

PaulE 937am - I continue to have the feeling that somewhere within your TDS episodes you are desperately trying to make a point. Perhaps more astute readers understand your apologetics, but unfortunately, you have left me behind. If you actually do have a point, maybe including it with your comment would help readers like me.

Don Bessee

Useful luddite idiots like the mentally ill greta game -

"I have met allies who can report that Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called non-governmental organisations - environmental organisations working against shale gas - to maintain European dependence on imported Russian gas," Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the former prime minister of Denmark and then-secretary-general of NATO, said, according to the Guardian.



Bill Tozer

Dr. Rebane @ 10:42 am

You addressed Punch as PaulE. According to Paul emery, calling him PaulE is not in his list he will respond to if questioned. Thus, Paul by his own words and solemn promise will not respond to your question. Smart move, sir.

If Paul responds to PaulE, that would make the former tiny FM station news director a BOLD FACED LIAR. Well, a liar anyway. Hard to call him bold faced.

I applaud you, sir. Paul set the rules and as a man of high moral character, he will surely abide my his word.

Keep digging Punchy, you are officially slightly more than half way to China.

Paul Emery


You fail in any way to hold Trump accountable for not fulfilling his promise of pulling out of
Afghanistan. Why did he fail to pullout Bill?

Biden accomplished that complex feat with minimal casualties in comparison to the thousands of Americans who died there under Bush, Obama and Trump. Should not those who created the situation in Afghanistan be held responsible not Biden who got us out?

Bill Tozer

“Now and in the future I will not respond to any question unless address it to my name. Paul Emery or just Emery will do.

Thanks “

Your are welcome, Punchy. I showed you were you said that Punchadodo.

Scott O

Oh Lord, Paul - give it up!
"Biden accomplished that complex feat..."
You do mean F'ing it up as badly as he did?
Biden can't do anything more complex than deciding what flavor of ice cream to choose.
But you enjoy that "Victory In Kabul" Paul.
The Ukrainians have a slightly different of idea of what victory looks like.

Paul Emery


So you have no response as to the question as to who should be held responsible for the thousands of deaths in Afghanistan. Also you don't have a clue as to how Trump would be tougher on Putin as evidenced by your failure to express an opinion on the matter other than stating that Putin wouldn't have invaded if Trump was President. .

Bill Tozer

What if…..we all know where Pat Buchanan stands of neo-cons and illiberal tyrants. I do enjoy his historical perspective and consistency.

Is There a Peace Deal Putin and Zelensky Can Accept?
By Patrick J. Buchanan


Don Bessee

Charlie Browns teacher @1131! LOL




You should probably ask Punch if he still believes a president who has had as many die “on his watch” as Grandpa Badfingers should resign as he advocated with Trump.

George Rebane

Administrivia - we're getting a little far afield from Ukraine and the no-fly zone. Go to the Sandbox, especially to endlessly rehash the latest recurrence of TDS. We must all remember that diversion to Trump is literally ALL the progressives have to shield the most incompetent president in American history. They dare not let people focus on such a political failure that the Dems foisted on the country (well, actually two failures when you throw Kamala into the package). Sandbox please.

Don Bessee

Vlad and his buddies are going medieval -



Barry Pruett

Paul. You incorrectly conflate MAGA and Party affiliation. Yes, Trump ran as a Republican but his intent was to change the party from a bunch neocons to MAGA. Neocon Republicans and Democrats who started all the wars over the past 20 years are going the way of the dodo bird. I would posit to you that these neocons are responsible for these wars. Neocons in both parties. Trump and his supporters are generally anti-war. We don’t want these endless wars. You are in the midst of a sea change in politics. You and I agree that war is bad. All of them whether in Ukraine or Iraq or Afghanistan or Yemen or elsewhere. My opinion is that we are the one’s fighting everywhere and it needs to stop.

Don Bessee

BP, you can look at what Trump did after team 0 sent mre's to Ukraine as a model. Give them the means and quality training and let them hold their own space. Just think how much different it would have been if there had been a surge of modern quality weapons in the year of creepy grampa joe and if there had been sanctions when it was obvious what would happen. Hell they even told the chi coms they knew vlad was gonna do it weeks in advance.


Don Bessee

The mess vlad is in is a direct result of not really having a professional army with well-trained infantry thus throwing out the well-established combined arms concept. The fact that vlad is bringing in syrian cannon fodder with little training proves his conscripts won't fight -

Experts warned this might happen. “Shortages in ready maneuver forces, especially infantry, significantly limit Russian maneuver capabilities,” U.S. Army Capt. Nicolas Fiore explained in a 2017 paper for Armor, the official magazine of the Army’s tank corps.

Tanks with their thick armor and big guns are powerful and imposing weapons, but they’re not invulnerable. A tank is supposed to fight while facing its foes, so its armor is thick up front and thinner everywhere else.

At the same time, a tank crew suffers limited visibility while buttoned up inside the turret and hull. Those two factors—armor distribution and uneven situational awareness—can leave a tank vulnerable to ambush by infantry.

In particular, infantry hiding in the rubble of a half-destroyed city while packing anti-tank guided missiles such as the American-made Javelin or Ukraine’s own Stugna-P.

The remedy, for the tankers, is infantry. Dismounted squads that can clear the streets, alleys and buildings along the flanks of a tank platoon’s path. In the doctrine of pretty much all modern armies, tanks and infantry travel and fight together in combined-arms formations.

But the Russian army long has suffered a dearth of trained, professional infantry. Russia is an aging and shrinking society that still relies on conscription to fill its military’s ranks. But short-term conscripts are all but worthless in combat—and, in fact, don’t usually deploy for combat.

The Kremlin however did send conscripts into Ukraine, in clear violation of its own policies. When conscripts starting getting killed and captured, a Kremlin spokesperson uttered a rare public apology.

The point is, professional infantry are the Russian army’s most precious resource. A Russian army brigade, which on paper possesses several battalions, in reality can generate just one BTG with around 36 squads, each with around a dozen professional soldiers. A U.S. Army brigade, by contrast, can field 60 squads.

In Ukraine, this imbalance is most evident in dramatic videos of Russian T-80 and T-72 tanks fighting alone in cities—and often catching a missile from hidden Ukrainian troops. Those missileers have a clear shot, and the tankers have no idea they’re there, because too few infantry—or no infantry—are accompanying the tanks.

“Russia's disastrous tactics have been a terrible advertisement for tanks,” tweeted Nicholas Drummond, an armor consultant. “But we should be careful to avoid drawing the wrong conclusions,” he added. “No artillery support. No infantry support. No air support. This is not how combined-arms tactics work in an era of multi-domain operations.”




Don Bessee

Vlad is desperate squandering his decoy on nuclear capable strikes. That is a little concerning considering they are already counter programing every air denial munition on natos east flank. -

The New York Times

American intelligence officials have discovered that the barrage of ballistic missiles Russia has fired into Ukraine contain a surprise: decoys that trick air-defense radars and fool heat-seeking missiles.

The devices are each about 1 foot long, shaped like a dart and white with an orange tail, according to an American intelligence official. They are released by the Iskander-M short-range ballistic missiles that Russia is firing from mobile launchers across the border, the official said, when the missile senses that it has been targeted by air defense systems.

Each is packed with electronics and produces radio signals to jam or spoof enemy radars attempting to locate the Iskander-M, and contains a heat source to attract incoming missiles. The official, who was not authorized to speak publicly about intelligence matters, described the devices on the condition of anonymity.

The use of the decoys may help explain why Ukrainian air-defense weapons have had difficulty intercepting Russia’s Iskander missiles.

Powered by a solid-fuel rocket motor, the Iskander can reach targets more than 200 miles away, according to U.S. government documents. Each mobile launcher can fire two Iskanders before it must be reloaded.

Photographs of the dart-shaped munitions began circulating on social media two weeks ago. They had stumped experts and open-source intelligence analysts — many of whom mistook them for bomblets from cluster weapons based on their size and shape.

The use of the decoys may point to some level of carelessness or urgency by Russian military leadership, Lewis said, given that Russia knows they will inevitably be collected and studied by Western intelligence services so that NATO air defenses can be programmed to defeat the Iskander’s countermeasures.

That suggests to me that the Russians place some value on keeping that technology close to home and that this war is important enough to them to give that up,” Lewis said. “They’re digging deep, and maybe they no longer care, but I would care if I were them.

“I think that there are some very excited people in the U.S. intelligence community right now.”



Bill Tozer

Dog Whistle Alert!


Last I looked, Odessa has not yet fallen. Those Nazis down near the Sea of Azov are some tough bastards. Gotta root them on or else you are rooting for Putin. Go, Nazi Bastards, go kill those Red Bastards.

Bill Tozer

May not go here…..but it’s kinda nuke related.

‘Biden Caves on Sanctions over Russia’s War Crimes against Ukraine to Preserve Russia’s Sponsorship of Terrorist Iran’s Nuclear Program’


George Rebane

[Yesterday I received the following extended comment as an email responding to my above commentary on the Ukrainian no-fly zone. The author is Gary Irving, my longtime dear friend and cohort in many adventures both professionally and recreationally(?). Gary is a professional engineer educated on a track parallel to mine in the systems sciences. He is still in the saddle working in middle management for a large multi-national defense/systems contractor on the east coast. In socio-political affairs Gary likes to position himself as a middle roader, although by any measure most RR readers would apply, he is a liberal short of being a progressive. His response, as received, and name are used by permission. gjr]

Your writeup misses a major point: that the war is no longer limited to blowing things up. We (and Russia) have other choices: we have Economic weapons, already deployed but a not quick deterrent, and Russia has a Cyber superiority over our corporations and critical infrastructure. In all your historical references, the combatants didn’t have this diversity of war weaponry. I’m much less worried that Putin would start throwing Nukes around than that he would shut our corporations down along with our power grid. This would cause economic chaos on our end. We would dig out of it and certainly survive, but how long would it take? No one knows. To respond in kind has a lot of visceral satisfaction. Still, I would be worried that we have a war-weary citizenry, and the enthusiasm would dim when the inevitable body bags started coming home. Let’s not kid ourselves; we cannot contain a no-fly zone in a neat surgical fashion. The conflict would escalate immediately. Putin would invade Poland for sure. I’m outdated on how our Military technology stacks up to theirs. Ground-to-air missiles are cheaper than F-22s and F-35s, and replacements can be manufactured more quickly. Additionally, a highly trained pilot asset (very difficult to replace in the short run) is much more vulnerable than the crews manning such stand-off weaponry. I don’t know how our tanks would stack up to theirs, but our tank teams are ten times better than the Russians. I agree that the only way to deal with an egomaniacal bully is to punch him in the nose…repeatable. I also agree that if Putin conquered Ukraine (which might be imminent), it would take ten years of negotiations and concessions to get him out. Finally, I wouldn’t want to send US troops into a European war without NATO fully behind us. I’m afraid that would take forever while they fussed and dithered. From what country would you launch fighter planes? Poland? Or somewhere deeper into Western Europe? They might not permit us. We could use carrier launched warcraft, but you know my opinion about the vulnerability of WW II platforms (sitting ducks.) Maybe we could convince the Brits to use their Airbases; I don’t know the impact of such a round trip distance on fuel. So, though fraught with grave risks, I agree with imposing a no-fly zone combined with a list of demands to Putin. However, I wouldn’t pull the trigger without warning corporations and power companies about their cyber risks and deploying both active military and national guard to support the resulting economic and social chaos. It would be like a class 5 hurricane hit the whole country. Let’s be chess players and poker players against the Russians. (not like guileless Trump did in his tariff war with China.)

BTW, as much as you and your readers enjoy kicking Biden for his cautious approach, do you really think Trump would launch planes against his buddy Putin (c’mon man!).

George Rebane

Re 217pm - In responding to Gary, I would begin by stating my belief that Gary avails himself to a more limited spectrum of news and socio-political commentary. From my experience I believe that he limits himself overwhelmingly to what I have here labeled as lamestream media – CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, NYT, WaPo, Daily Kos, … . Although most of those leaning right (including me) read from both sides of the spectrum, we also focus more on the ‘rightwing’ media – Federalist, Daily Caller, FN, FB, Newsmax, Wash Times, NY Post, … . From our experience, these outlets’ coverage is a superset of the items covered by the lamestream. I’ve corroborated this with many left-leaning friends including Gary. But in the end our separate worldviews come down to having our own peculiar facts, histories, values, utilities, senses of justice, equity, equality, and so forth.

My assessment of the relative cyber security cum warfare status of both sides is that 1) cyber warfare has been going on for some years now and continues today; 2) in our technical match-up, the west (led by US) gives at least as good as it gets. Our cyber defense capability has been widely distributed throughout the private sector, the public utilities, and the public/private institutions. While more needs to be done, neither Russia nor China are today able to reduce our IT infra-structure to cyber-rubble, nor will they necessarily want to try given our ability to impose MAD in that arena.

Russia’s military has shown itself to be a shadow of its advertised (to the Kremlin) capacity in troop training, military equipment/systems (combat and logistics), field operations, and leadership. As usual, the Russian field commanders have been lying to their national leadership about their status of forces. Regarding leadership, since czarist times their military continues to suffer from an ‘initiative constraint culture’ – their field and company grade officers and NCOs are afraid to deviate from ‘the book’ and current standing orders, even though the situation on the ground would call for obvious innovative actions (that’s why today their flag officers have to be exposed with point units to get anything done, and are getting killed in the process).

In the more empirical domain of military field operations, there is not a single aspect of Russia’s combined arms deployments (mechanized infantry, armor, artillery, ground-support gunship tactics, air superiority) that the US would not annihilate the Russians. They have now demonstrated their ineptness in almost all areas of operations save perhaps their use of a now dwindling inventory of cruise missiles launched from their own landmass. And we haven’t even addressed the lack of support the long-suffering Russian people have for this war as corroborated by Putin’s latest public tirades against Russia’s opposition, calling them “traitors” and “scum” that must be “purged” from the homeland. And then there’s always the possibility of someone with a 9mm Grach in the Kremlin changing the whole game.

Finally, there is little chance of 1) getting Putin et al to give up Ukraine through negotiations once they are victorious. In resources, demographics, and strategic geography, the Russians need what the Ukrainians have; 2) the Russian military is relatively small and already two-thirds committed to the Ukrainian invasion. Without years of consolidation, repair, and build-up, they would have little capacity to successfully invade a mainstream NATO country like Poland, led by UK, Germany, and France, the EU itself would crush whatever Putin ordered into Poland or the Baltics. And in that case the US would become fully involved under Article 5. Putin knows all this and has so far depended on Bumblebrain’s cowering to bluff his way to a Russia-dominated cessation of hostilities, all in the name of avoiding WW3.


BillT: "Those Nazis down near the Sea of Azov are some tough bastards. "

I'm talking out of school here, but have a strong feeling that the Russians have put the 'Azov' folks on their naughty list.

My guess is that the Azovs have to be right careful about not being cornered (possible at this point) and to keep plenty of what are essentially hostages (civilians and buildings) nearby. It's a case where things get hairy once they are cut from the herd.

Do you get Fallujah II? Maybe. A costly and ugly situation no matter what. Interestingly, those 'thermobaric' weapons you keep hearing about? Used in Fallujah.

There ain't much new in the world I guess.


GeorgeR: "the Russian military is relatively small and already two-thirds committed to the Ukrainian invasion. Without years of consolidation, repair, and build-up, they would have little capacity to successfully invade a mainstream NATO country like Poland, led by UK, Germany, and France, the EU itself would crush whatever Putin ordered into Poland or the Baltics. "

So if Russia is simply unable to expand beyond a part of Ukraine, why the need for a conventional war with the Russians (which a no-fly zone would become in about 10 minutes)? Why is there so much tearing of hair and rending of clothes over the danger to the Baltic states or Poland?

The US model of fighting to the last Ukrainian has limited value also.

It's probably just best to bribe the Russians to leave, that's what the Byzantines would have done (and did).

Bill Tozer

Another opinion.

‘Victor Davis Hanson: 10 realities of Ukraine’



The thing is that we'll never know a tiny fraction of the sketchy doings, by both sides, over the last decade.


BillT's quote: "Three — Europe, NATO members, and Germany in particular have de facto admitted that their past decades of shutting down nuclear plants, coal mines, and oil and gas fields have left Europe at the mercy of Russia."

I'd say that decades of depending on the US to carry all the military water can't have helped much. If nothing else, take the cost of an F-35 and put it to a proper militia program with a lot of anti-tank/anti-plane magic.

GeorgeR's quote: "he (Putin) would shut our corporations down along with our power grid."

Methinks there's a whole bunch of single points of failure that just require bolt cutters, a hammer, and/or a bolt action rifle. No software exploit needed.

Bill Tozer

Not on the No Fly Zone, bit war news in general. What perked my interest three weeks ago there was some uproar propaganda blurb that Sweden had violated its neutrality by sending arms and troops to Ukraine and violating some Article of Neutrality Proclamation.

Turns out it was Lithuania. :) Do you know that Lithuania was once a kingdom? Big deal in the 1300’s. Anyway, I am doing my geography homework now and learning about ‘the place’ above Budapest. :).

PS to the Doc: Estonia has been invaluable in moving stuff through the routes. One of the first to jump all in. They were the first to send two American made fighter jets to another NATO country BEFORE the invasion….and were richly rewarded. :) Even the Turks are horse swapping trying to get rid of some of their older stuff for something new.

Feb 15: Lithuanian Troops in Ukraine to Provide Missile Training


Feb 24. “Ukraine attack leaves Baltics wondering: Are we next?

“To Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians — particularly those old enough to have lived under Soviet control — Russia’s belligerence toward Ukraine has some worried that they could be the Kremlin's next target.”

“The battle for Ukraine is a battle for Europe. If Putin is not stopped there, he will go further,” Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis warned last week in a joint news conference with U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.



George Rebane

scene 255pm - Don't know who believes that Russia won't be able "to expand beyond a part of Ukraine." I most certainly don't. If the west keeps limiting its support of Ukraine, and the Russians keep pouring in more troops, no matter how inept, Ukraine will fall. And as I've stated before, I belong to the school that does not believe a no-fly zone will lead to WW3. Poland and the Baltics are NATO countries whose invasion would trigger Art5 and start a regional war. I believe that in such a case the Russians would just be pushed back to within their borders; there would be no ensuing march on Moscow. Even with his residual army Putin can do a lot of damage to the Baltics, but not so much to Poland. For the near term Putin just wants Ukraine and then consolidate the resulting new world order. We shouldn't let him. But I think your idea of a bribe deserves more thought.

As a native Estonian, I would like to see a peaceful and prosperous Russia securely integrated into the European community, and looking west for its long term security against the inevitable Chinese foray into eastern Siberia.

Bill Tozer

The American public is so fickle. Some observers say schizophrenic.

‘Most Americans Oppose A No-Fly Zone, Don’t Want To Risk War With Russia To Help Ukraine: Poll’



A no fly zone doesn't *risk* war with Russia.

It *is* war with Russia.

We should continue to ensure Ukraine has the stuff to resist.


GeorgeR: "Don't know who believes that Russia won't be able "to expand beyond a part of Ukraine." I most certainly don't."

They don't seem to be able to subdue Ukraine.

In your words, "They have now demonstrated their ineptness in almost all areas of operations ".

So they are going to sweep to the English channel?

It's a thing I read a lot lately, that the Russians are incompetent and bogged down yet will take over all of Europe given the chance. It seems to involve just what point the author is trying to make that paragraph.

"As a native Estonian,..." Well, see, that's definitely a difference. I feel the same filial duty to Eastern Europe that I might to Tibet. It's obvious that the politics of that whole swathe of humanity is so complex and so crazy-making that I would prefer to think in terms of US national interests only. Don't be angry, but it's like discussing the IRA with Irishmen in Boston...best to avoid the issue.

Gregory: "
A no fly zone doesn't *risk* war with Russia.
It *is* war with Russia.
We should continue to ensure Ukraine has the stuff to resist."

Got it in one.

There appear to be agreed-upon rules for this sort of situation as Afghanistan and South Vietnam have shown. If you want to keep a country burning until another larger country finally gives up, you can keep shoveling in arms. If the population of the invadee is cool with it, who am I to tell them to stop fighting?

Just don't be surprised if the natural countermove is to pound the bejeepers out of the entry points for new fuel for the blaze. You could probably expect a few warehouses just across the border to accidentally catch fire. It ain't just applying force with a known outcome after all, the opponent is a reasoning critter and will respond.

Given the elegance of the invasion (whatever that was on paper, didn't survive contact with the enemy as usual) disappearing, I think that the big question is whether the Russians extricate themselves by deciding on less expansionist objectives or if they simply form a line and flatten the place bit by bit. No doubt there are different teams at the Kremlin trying to convince Fearless Leader of each approach.


Just a side thought on a corner of the war.

Since (a)Mariupol seems to be where the infamous Azov Battalion hangs out and (b)the Russians appear to have it in a cauldron, you have to wonder how that whole thing will come down.

For one thing, the Russians are bound to be looking closely at any people hightailing it out of town or who are captured.

pro tip: if you're an extremist in a war, don't have a bunch of tattoos installed showing your affiliations. The SS even had that problem with blood group tattoos.


" Even with his residual army Putin can do a lot of damage to the Baltics, but not so much to Poland."

Just to show that I read that.

If I had to guess, what is needed here are tolerable exit strategies for the Russians. For all I know, some other office at the State Department is interested in that rather than involving us/them in a forever proxy war.

Just to throw out a flyer from my EZ-chair, I think things will change somewhat once they take Mariupol. It not only frees up battalion tactical groups (enabling the Russians to negotiate with more strength), but they can now claim that they removed a 'Nazi menace' from the gameboard and thus achieved a major objective.

Dunno if the Ukraine leadership is serious or not when they list non-negotiable demands (return of Crimea) with Russian non-negotiable demands (nonreturn of Crimea, in fact, official recognition of it's current status). Of course, Zelenskyy wants to make his war into my war, with no upper bound, and I'm right tired of it.

There's no solution here that consists entirely of punishing the Russians, regardless of what many people seem to want.

George Rebane

scenes 917pm - Don't misunderstand. Despite my Estonian heritage, I view the possible Russian conquest of the Baltics totally from the national interest perspective of the US. In that light I don't think it in the west's interest to have Russia reestablish a fortified boundary on the shores of the Baltic Sea. And the current state of Russia's military does not mean that they cannot improve in men and materiel. As long as 'the west wants to destroy Russia' mentality endures in the Kremlin, Russia will continue to be a burr under the blanket for Europe. They can wait, but in the interval we shouldn't have national leaders who invite Russian adventurism.

Paul Emery


Who specifically are the "national leaders who invite Russian adventurism." I assume you are referring to China and North Korea. Who are the others?

George Rebane

PaulE 230pm - No Paul, I'm talking about our national leaders.


GeorgeR: "As long as 'the west wants to destroy Russia' mentality endures in the Kremlin"

Is that a false statement?



I consider ourselves fortunate Ukraine didn't choose NATO when the chair was pulled out for them.

No, I don't think Ukraine is worth risking a Russkie MIRV'd ICBM dropping a warhead on, say, Beale AFB. Or Estonia for that matter, but a treaty is a treaty.


And, before we go to war with Russia there had better damned be a proper declaration from the Congress.

Paul Emery

So specifically George are you saying that Biden and the Dems "invite Russian nationalism" and can you share a few examples?


Golly, Punch, what words of George's did you translate into that? I can't find those words except in your comment.

Are you inventing words to put into other's mouths a'gin?

Paul Emery


Perhaps you're referring to Republicans like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) who is quoted as saying on her facebook page " "If we truly care about suffering and death on our television screens, we cannot fund more of it by sending money and weaponry to fight a war they cannot possibly win!" she said. "The only effect of more arms and more money from America will be to prolong the war!"
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his people are giving "false hope about a war they can't win."

Here's a link to the video where she says these things.



punch... rawstory? really?


Gregory: "And, before we go to war with Russia there had better damned be a proper declaration from the Congress."


It made me curious just what declarations had happened.

11 of those suckers.

Great Britain in 1812.
Mexico in 1846.
Spain in 1898.
Germany and Austria-Hungary in 1917
Japan,Germany,Italy,Bulgaria,Hungary,Rumania in 1942
Strangely no Finland or Vichy France

"punch... rawstory? really?"

Oh well, you can argue that it's simply a news-aggregator-that-agrees-with-you. It's Infowars minus the gay frogs.

Having said that, it sounds like Rep. Greene makes an arguable point. It would make a good half of a debate and I can't say which way I would go on it.

Strangely, to Paul Emery, this whole war is about US domestic politics. That's really all that matters. I've run into the type before, you veer away from them at parties.

George Rebane

scenes 315pm - that is a preposition made up of a conditional phrase (indicated in semi-quotes), the truth of which instantiates the predicate (here, burr under blanket). Think of it as an 'if/then' statement.

Paul Emery

Follow the links reader (18 March 2022 at 04:47 PM) and you'll here her exact words.

Paul Emery

Yeah I'm with you scenes about declaration of war from congress. No declaration for Korea, no Vietnam, no Afghanistan no Iraq on and on and on and on......

Scott O

No, Paul - the Dems "invite Russian (and Chinese) nationalism and adventurism" by being weak and making horrible deals with our enemies. See: Iran.
"Please be nice or we'll have to send you pallets of cash".
You lefties are such a laugh. You ignore the Chinese brutalizing the Uighurs (as well as their general citizenry) while puffing out your chests against Russia. Save it, please.

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