Sunday, November 26, 2023


 As one reads through the shattered debris of Eastern Europe one is left with the overwhelming sensation that France, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium and all the rest of NATO are willing to trickle a little aid into the frontline states that may engage in combat but that there is really nothing left to give or sell to those states. It's all gone. NATO's last 'pure' effort was to attack and destroy Libya which it did pretty thoroughly. Prior to destroying Libya and bringing about the complete collapse of all international borders inside NATO's European members it oozed into attacking Yugoslavia and then crippling Serbia. I don't think it could do either of those today.

Unlike Russia, which put everything left over from the USSR that it didn't need into storage or depots or simply left to rot, the West put nothing away from the salad days of European pan-empire sabre rattling. The US took most of its tanks and warships and turned them into reefs or scrapped them. God only knows what the Europeans did with their weapons but they for sure aren't stored waiting for call of duty. On top of that we left a lot of hardware in Afghanistan where I'm sure Joe's negotiators are telling the taliban that we'll gladly pay top dollar for return of our stuff FOB Khabul and leave it up to the Army and Air Force to figure out how to get any of it out of that shi'hole.

All this is going on and there is still absolutely no sign of urgency in fixing any of the US Navy's ships and submarines and heaven only knows how many of its aircraft can actually fly and fight in a strongly contested 5th generation airspace. Nobody is fixing anything at all and nobody is building any weapons with any sense of purpose.

There's a reason for all that of course. The PTB know as well as you and I do that there is literally no way to defeat Russia, or China for that matter. Defeat implies at a minimum regime change and there is no way on earth to make that happen with those two powers. Some of us still laugh a little at the idea that imbeciles in the US shipped 95% of all our steel, electronics and pharmaceutical industries to China, a country that we were still technically at war with since we never really got around to finishing off that whole Korean Police Action thing with a peace treaty.

There's not much of an Army here in the United States to send to Europe anyway. On top of that, there's not many ships to send even that tiny army overseas. The Army some of us remember is long gone and has been replaced by a collection of people that are in a swirl to rename things and re-imagine other things and trying to convince older soldiers to stick around despite the dearth of junior soldiers who aren't joining the Army to do all those tasks suitable for 18 year old men and women serving in the armed forces. We used to joke about too many chiefs and too few indians but that's what it looks like when recruits no longer show up to learn the duties and tasks of an army.

I don't see any evidence that any of the armed forces around here are observing and critiquing the ongoing war in Ukraine and there is no sign at all that they are adapting and adjusting doctrine and tactics that are now as woefully out of date as cavalry charges in World War II. It used to be the business of the professional officer corps to take note of reality, adjust their tactics, techniques, procedures, doctrine, training and equipment to deal with that reality. I'm not seeing any signs of that.

If I was still in the business I'd be alarmed that GPS spoofing is now widespread and it appears that some idiot hooked up inertial guidance systems to gps inputs thus corrupting the backups. The employment of true hypersonic weapons appears to have passed unnoticed by those whose principle concern should be missile defense of ships, battle groups and headquarters. The employment of light expendable warhead armed drones that are almost autonomous killing machines over the battlefield doesn't seem to have started any fires in the way we mean to deal with them. One can say the same thing for electronic warfare and I don't even want to talk about cyberwar because what's the point. The best minds are not engaged and even if they were the full details and working models would be in enemy hands by nightfall because our intelligence and C4I systems are more porous than a wet paper bag.

It would be nice if any of the 4 stars we have so many of would show up and tell us that they are burning the midnight oil and working round the clock 24/7 and have spun up acquisition commands, contracting and research and development but I know how it works. They farm the task out to the various military/government labs and then let the labrats slowroll every single damned thing in a pointless intellectual pursuit driven almost purely by the need to continue the funding to the labs in order to keep them all comfortable, forever.

Something tells me that General Austin and the new AFCOS have a very different set of priorities. I think it's safe to take them at their word and simply say that the first priority is making DIE the premier activity in the Department of Defense and the Air Force and that the Navy isn't that far behind and I've lost track of what the USMC is up to but it didn't look good going by me a couple of years ago. Also, it's never a good sign of a strong leader to nearly expire of a heart attack while out for a jog. Maybe that's why the old military/navies were filled with portly generals and admirals....

I'd like to think that something like Deep Blue is still out there churning out good stuff for the highest echelons of the Navy but I doubt it and even if there is still an office with that name and someone answers the phone there, it is unlikely to have anybody of the caliber of Admiral Stavridis running it and it looks like the highest echelons of the USN have been completely divorced from any and all aspects of warfighting, planning or preparation.

Good news though for all those guys not doing their jobs in the military! Nobody gets sacked for miserable terrible performance of duty as long as there's no hanky panky or racial rumors. You can get away with massive, epic, insane disasters that will rank right down there with the British experience fighting in Afghanistan and suffer no harm or blight to your ongoing and future career prospects!

Go Navy, Beat Army


tsquared said...

There is a shitload of Abrahams tanks in Kuwait. They have been maintained and had upgrade modifications.

HMS Defiant said...

I Rembrandt seeing them there back in 1996 and another POMCUS site was going in another country over there when I was there and there are probably a bunch on the Army War Reserve afloat but think about how old they are and the truism that you get what you inspect and consider that nobody is accountable for all that gear and it is 100% maintained for decades by the lowest bidder. I read several months ago that most of the material pulled out of camp Doha failed every level of maintenance.

HMS Defiant said...

Remember seeing them, dammit!