Seen on the street in Kyiv.

Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

“The Mob takes the Fifth. If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?” -- The TOFF *

"Foreign Relations Boil Down to Two Things: Talking With People or Killing Them." -- Unknown

"If you believe that you are talking to G-d, you can justify anything.” — my Dad

"Colt .45s; putting bad guys underground since 1873." -- Unknown

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Eck!" -- George the Cat


* "TOFF" = Treasonous Orange Fat Fuck, A/K/A Dolt-45,
A/K/A Commandante (or Cadet) Bone Spurs,
A/K/A El Caudillo de Mar-a-Lago, A/K/A the Asset.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

A Procurement and Support Argument as to Why the Russian Army Has Screwed the Pooch in Ukraine

Frequent commenter Jon Jones put a link to this video in a comment. I watched it and I think it's worthy of some more attention,



I'll give an executive summary:

The Russian military may not be shit, but, knowing for years that they may have wanted to invade and occupy Ukraine, they continued to spend money on things that made no sense and were unhelpful to the task in front of them. They didn't spend money on what would be necessary for the mission. The Ukrainians, on the other hand, have known for about eight years that Russia would likely invade and they spent their defense money on being ready for that war.

The Russians, for example, have been spending money on insanely unhelpful projects. The Poseidon Torpedo is a sterling example of a very expensive weapons program that makes zero sense and is completely useless for every possible scenario. Even running at high speed and great depths, the fucking thing is going to arrive long after all of the ICBMs and SLBMs have done their slaughter. What is the point of floating a nuclear weapon into New York harbor after the city has been blasted out of existence days before?

Partly because of such wasteful spending, the Russians have not been spending money on basic things that keep an army running. Their advanced secure comm system turned out to be useless (it requires a working 3G cell system, which the Ukrainians deactivated for Russian numbers; the Russians also destroyed some towers). So they are using unsecured comms and, partly due to that, they are losing generals at an alarming rate. Generals have to exercise command and control, especially in an army as unused to independent action and initiative-taking as the Russian army. That requires communicating and if the comms are unsecure, oh, well. As it's pretty hard to operate with one-time pads or codebooks in a fluid situation, secure comms are a must. Their vehicles have been showing signs of poor preventative maintenance and outright corruption (cheap tires instead of military-spec ones).

There is a lot more detail in the video, which is, as I said, is worth the time to watch, or at least, listen to.

12 comments:

CenterPuke88 said...

The “General” issue will also likely bite as it did when Stalin purged the Officer Corp. The General’s dying are likely the hard-charging and (potentially) most competent ones. Their replacements and colleagues will learn the lesson, and stay in the rear areas, reducing the effectiveness of the Russian Army even more.

A bigger problem is the Ukrainians like like they might actually be able to repel the Russian assault and push them back, which would possibly leave Vlad no choice but chemical, biological or nuclear weapons to maintain his grip on Russia itself…

Stewart Dean said...

It occurred to me that the Russian IFF system consists of painting a Z on the side of the equipment. It isn't only encrypted commo that was a bust.

Jimmy T said...

That was a really well produced video. I found it helpful in understanding the ongoing conflict. Jon Jones may not be an expert in warfare, but his analysis of the state of the Russian military is the best I've seen so far. Not bad for a gamer guy...

Jones, Jon Jones said...

I'm not the gamer guy. Chapter 9 of The Dictator's Handbook talks about how democracies and autocracies do war: https://www.amazon.com/Dictators-Handbook-Behavior-Almost-Politics/dp/1610391845/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1UHZ2V7S9JA13&keywords=the+dictators+handbook&qid=1648422390&s=books&sprefix=the+dictator%2Cstripbooks%2C132&sr=1-1
A physics manual for geo-politics. Germany is a democracy so this should be predictive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IdwjJUtuJE

Bonus prediction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2IaFaJrmno

Jimmy T said...

Sorry about the gamer guy comment Jon, but your video was and is excellent...

Jimmy T said...

Oh, and I will look up those references...

Old NFO said...

Nicely done, thank you for sharing that!

Jones, Jon Jones said...

Anyone can do OSINT
https://www.bellingcat.com/

Casglwr said...

The Poseidon appears to only need 20 ft or so of water to be entirely submerged. I find myself wondering if a modified version of it might have a first-strike mission, to go as far up the Potomac as possible.

dan gerene said...

Spending a lot of time and money on James Bond movie type weaponry could be just an ego trip or a way for the oligarchs to accrue more of the Russian taxpayers money by skimming off the top. We seem to have the same problem here too, but we got more to spend. Reagan pointed that out years ago when the USSR broke up. The problem with the ego thing is Putin has a huge one and might not be capable of backing out of what he started no matter what the consequences.

Comrade Misfit said...

Casglwr, it makes no sense to me to have a first strike weapon that will take days to reach its target and, apparently, cannot be recalled.

I doubt very much if that thing can cross the oceans undetected. And if that's the mission (swim up the Potomac), century-old technology (torpedo nets) can defeat it.

BadTux said...

A lot of the reason for the Russian "bling" projects is that they are attempting to get export sales of advanced weapons systems in order to pay for bread and butter projects -- and failing. For example, the T-14 Armata was supposed to be the bestest tank in the world. So Russia sent a company of them to Syria and... they performed about the same as the Cold War era T-72.

Oops.

Foreign interest in the Armata plummeted to somewhere between zero and negative infinity. So Russia has quietly abandoned that project, instead focusing on upgrading old T-72 tanks to modern T-90 standards. By "modern" meaning about equivalent to an early 90's M1A1 tank, at best.

Look at Russian special projects, and you see this all over the place. The SU-57 "stealth" fighter, for example. It was specifically to get Indian money. India pulled out, complaining that it was expensive and unreliable and not particularly stealthy. It's likely that the Su-57 fighters that have already been delivered are all that will ever be delivered.

The reality is that Russian export weapons sales in the past ten years have been dismal. Russia thought it was because they were seen as a "budget" supplier of weapons, and tried to build high-tech weapons that were competitive with the rest of the world. They failed. The weapons they designed were expensive, unreliable, and didn't fulfill real needs of most potential customers.

Meanwhile, Russia relies on old Soviet gear for most of their military, other than a division or two near Moscow kept as a strategic reserve that has modern gear. This is no way to win any wars unless you have a massive manpower advantage over the target country. Or even not -- Russia's Army is literally nine times larger than that of Ukraine. That doesn't help when the target country refuses to engage in set piece battles and instead uses small flexible units that pop up, take out a few trucks or a tank or two, then disappear back into the countryside before any response can be organized. Ukraine has been very strategic about use of its conventional army divisions, they're too vulnerable to being destroyed from the air if they're used as conventional army units since Ukraine doesn't have air superiority. So they're chopping them up to move in small units, and forming up along with local self-defense militias only for short battles to blunt Russian advances in critical locations then they break up and disappear again rather than attempting to engage in some grand set piece battle like WW2. It's a lesson plan on how to make a relatively small military punch way above its weight when faced with an overwhelming numeric superiority on the part of an invading army.