Tough Talk, As Usual.

US State Department declares that it will counteract Russia’s “military activity” near Ukraine (in Russian) and we all know that it cannot but there are other ways. 

 

The U.S. imposed sanctions on a ship involved in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline as the Biden administration looks to exert more pressure on Russia without antagonizing Germany.

In related news, I have in mind a list of janitors and drivers from Gazprom who could be sanctioned by the US. Hey, that will show them, damn Russkies. And, of course, how can one live without Ted Cruz performing a simulation of productive activity. 

 

The move is unlikely to mollify critics of the Biden administration in Congress. Lawmakers from both parties want the U.S. to take a tougher stand against a project they say undermines European security by giving Russia more leverage over the continent. Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has held up most of President Joe Biden’s State Department nominees over the issue.

That’s modern America for you. Having said all that, I want to reiterate–NATO doesn’t have forces not only to “counter-act” anything Russia does but even if it wanted to it still has no means to fight a war with Russia. Meddling in 404? Absolutely! Throw in some advisors, some Javelins, some ammo and some boats. Of course, it changes absolutely nothing, but CJCS General Milley and Valery Gerasimov had a conversation today over the phone.

Amid growing tensions in Europe, Russia’s most senior military general, Valery Gerasimov, has discussed “pressing issues of international security” with his direct American counterpart Mark Milley, during a phone call on Tuesday. The Pentagon confirmed that the two “military leaders discussed several security-related issues of concern.” The phone call was part of efforts aimed at ensuring “risk reduction and operational de-confliction,” its statement added.Neither the Pentagon, nor the Russian Defense Ministry have revealed any additional details of the call in their respective statements. It came as Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said American nuclear-capable bombers had made dozens of sorties across Eastern Europe in recent weeks.The drills involved the bombers practicing “their ability to use nuclear weapons against Russia,” Shoigu said after meeting with Chinese defense minister, Wei Fenghe, in Moscow on Tuesday.
It is good that they talk, because the rest of a discussion in the US public policy sphere, including the US State Department, is a show for US media. Here is an example, General Keane providing zero content of any value on those hyper-sonic technologies (and Ukraine, of course). 

I respect General Keane’s career and all, but he really should update himself on “what the US learned” about Soviet Union and deterrence. I’ll give him a hint–US learned nothing. At this stage I doubt that General Keane who is retired and is 78, I believe, even despite his, I am sure, serious connections in Pentagon fully grasps what has already transpired. For starters the United States never could defend itself from the launch of Soviet cruise missiles and that is why were so anxious to sign the INF treaty which would make this missile removed from Soviet subs.Obviously we are talking about RK-55 Granat (SS-N-21) “Sampson” cruise missile. But never allow facts to get in a way of a good narrative, including this BS about Russia “invading” 404. 

But Keane struck me absolutely with his lack of understanding what it means to “intercept” hyper-sonic missile. Apart from the fact that US recon satellites and X-37 are already made obsolete, especially with S-550 and A-235 already deployed or about to be deployed in the nearest future, especially as mobile complexes, the main question is this: even if you see the hyper-sonic weapon’s launch, what are you going to do about it? Moreover, you can “observe” gliders, what are you going to do when you “observe” launches by 3M22 Zircon or Kinzhal from MiG-31K or TU-22M3M, how does it change the situation for the targets. I have the answer–changes absolutely nothing because you cannot shoot down those. There is nothing in the US arsenal now and in the foreseeable future which can intercept Mach=9-10+, let alone M=20-27, targets. That’s the issue. Same analytical method applies to a situation in 404. The only thing US (NATO) can hope for is to somehow provoke Russia into the invasion of this shithole of a country and then get ball SIGINT it can once Russia’s C4ISR gets into full combat mode. 
Only military “experts” from the US media still believe that:
Russia still has a military edge over Ukraine, but Ukraine has plans to make a future war more costly for Moscow.

They have no clue how this war, if it comes to it, will look like, including if NATO, headed by the US, decides to somehow “intervene”. Here is a question to General Keane–what are you going to do if this happens and provocation succeeds? Keane was in Vietnam, so he knows how it looks and feels like when things go not as planned. I am not counting all those “experiences” in Iraq and Kosovo as serious campaigns. I already gave a ball park number of a required NATO force to fight Russia in Ukraine–it has to be around a million of combat personnel to have any chance to accomplish anything, forget having some sort of “victory”, whatever it will be called such by NATO. Good luck assembling it in a month (while Russia can mobilize 2 million in approximately the same time), or even in 3 months and then trying to conduct combined arms operations in 404. The United States cannot conduct serious combined arms war in Europe even if it wants to–she simply has no resources for that and time doesn’t stand still. With each passing moment the myth of the “finest fighting force in history” evaporates and without this myth the scaffolding of the American Empire continues to collapse with the increasing speed. The time is running out fast, really fast.

This is what drives D.C. insane, especially humiliated Pentagon, which still has enough policy “advisors” (mostly civilian political scientists warmongers) who think that the US can fight Russia in Ukraine. As Bernhard of Moon of Alabama suggests:

The White House Needs An Off-ramp From War In Ukraine

For an institution which didn’t win a single war in the last 70 years with the exception of a turkey shoot against utterly backward Iraqi force and never faced equal of superior enemy (no surprise for an institution venerating a military mediocrity such as Patton as a “great” general) the desire to wash off, let’s speak without undue restrain here, the shame of Iraq and Afghanistan, the idea that they can fight Russia is down right preposterous. As are, for the most part, most of the military power metrics used till recently by the US policy-makers as a proof of the US military superiority such as… the size of military budget and visuals of, indeed, impressive US Navy carriers. As Bernhard concludes:

 

I don’t think that a deal would actually help Biden in the polls. The hawks would scream about it. They want a war in the Ukraine and the U.S. involved in it. However the U.S. public is still unlikely to support a war against Russia which would likely soon escalate. But a Ukrainian Russian war that the Ukraine is sure to lose and in which the White House does not intervene will lead to huge loss of face. That prospect then may indeed motivate Biden to give Russia the guarantees it wants.

Now, Andrei Raevsky gives a good write-up on Russia’s forces and their distribution at what one would call “threatening directions (axis)”. Andrei concludes:

And so, yes, of course, NATO commanders are frightened by what they see, this is true, and quite understandable.  What is not understandable is why these delusional idiots created the condition which left Russia no other choice than to be ready to fight a full scale war in Europe, including a nuclear one.
And that is why Milley and Gerasimov spoke to each-other. Russia’s and America’s war experiences can not be compared, Russian one dwarfs that of the United States both in scale, scope and in quality of enemies Russians fought in defense of their country. With the exception of the magnificent US victory in the Pacific in WW II, most of US military experience is that of an expeditionary force designed to fight utterly inferior opponent, and even here the American record is not impressive. But, as I am on record non-stop, the US is ungovernable and is immersed in the internal life-and-death struggle between several oligarchic clans which do not give a rat’s ass about the well-being of the majority of Americans, most of who are just decent folks who want to live their lives, and about once beautiful country which was the envy of the world.