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Visual Propaganda and Extremism in the Online Environment

August 29, 2014

Excellent book, well worth reading!

Visual Propaganda and Extremism in the Online Environment, by Carol K. Winkler and Cori E. Dauber, eds.

How Russia Works

August 28, 2014

NOT the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

It works like this:

  1. Russia does.
  2. Ukraine reports.
  3. NATO confirms.
  4. US confirms
  5. Russia denies.
    1. Russia denies.
    2. Russia denies.
    3. Russia denies.
    4. Russia denies.
    5. Russia denies.
    6. Russia denies.
  6. (several days-weeks later) Someone in Russian government admits.
  7. (several weeks to months later) Russian government (Putin or Duma) admits publicly.

Easy, huh? 

Soviet Tactics 101

August 28, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 2.24.39 PM

US Army FM 100-2-1

Soviet Tactics, FM 100-2-1, here.

All of you former US Army Military Intelligence officers, here is a book you all know and probably have long forgotten or thrown deep into your closet of books, templates, maps, grease pencils and acetate.

For you young pups, raised and teethed on computers, JOPES, ASAS and Commander’s terminals, you would be wise to pay attention and heed the advice I am about to give to our Ukrainian brethren, fellow soldiers in arms.

For all you Ukrainian intelligence officers about to put the lives of your soldiers at risk, I urge you to take a few hours and study this book, from cover to cover.  This is the best book out there to teach you what all the Russian officers are taught.  Their tactics have not changed since this book was written, and if they do, you need to report what they are doing to your commanders and their intelligence officers.  Don’t forget, it has been many, many, many decades since the Soviets fought and the Russians have never fought a single battle.  You now have more experience than they do.

A word of caution before you begin.  You will not see the operations and tactics shown in this book, not exactly.  You will not see clearly delineated advance guards.  You will not see clearly defined flanking forces.  You will not see rear guards.  There will not be signs around their necks saying this is a Motorized Rifle Regiment. You might not see a Tank Regiment or a Motorized Rifle Regiment.  It might also be difficult to pick out a Tank Battalion or a Motorized Rifle Battalion.  Heck, it is going to be difficult enough to pick out a Company or a Platoon!

OMG.  It doesn’t mean what you’ve learned in the past, it is an Operational Maneuver Group.  You will have a difficult time picking one of these out, if at all.

But you need to read this book in its entirety because these are the tactics the Soviets used and probably will use whenever possible.  The equipment in this book also conforms to the equipment you are going to see on the battlefield.  Chances are most of their time training was spent on how to maintain the vehicle and perhaps how to fire the weapons. If they were not trained how to maintain their vehicles, they will break down and will stop being a threat to you.  I am sure they got in a little maneuver training but chances are they’re going to go “single file” as soon as they hit the road.  When they come into contact with your brave forces, they will fall into chaos.  I hope you know what a defilade position is (graphic below), where your tanks are behind an earthen berm, with only the turret exposed – that way you’ll kill a bunch of Russian tanks while staying relatively safe.  Construct fall-back positions and know how to get there.  Then construct more fall-back positions.  Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.  When the Russians attack, they are completely exposed – if you are in a defilade position you are almost completely hidden and protected.  When you are about to be overrun, use plenty of smoke and move to your fallback position.  Repeat as necessary.

Defilade position

The Russians and the pro-Russian forces are using ancient equipment, like T-64 and T-72 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs), and variants of each.

Just pray you don’t start to see T-80 and T-90 MBTs.  Thank goodness the T-99 won’t be available until 2015.

Let me make a few predictions.

The pro-Russians are not trained to fight as a unit.  They will use mostly individual tactics in support of each other.  If they get some professional Russian officers, they might start to fight as a platoon, perhaps even as a company, but I seriously doubt you’re going to see Battalion or Regimental tactics.  Your defense has a huge advantage – if you fight as a cohesive unit.  The old Soviet formula was to have a minimum of a 7:1 ratio on the offense, before they’d even consider an attack on a defending unit.  10:1 was preferred.  But, as you have seen in the past few months, they don’t care about force on force ratios, a company may attack a defending battalion, hoping that through sheer audacity and the massing of firepower they can break through and defeat the defenders.  Their only support was artillery from Russia, now they have an accompanying Grad systems, but they’re going to break down.  Their logistics tail is probably not strong enough to support sustained combat operations.  So, in addition to killing the big boys up front in the tanks and BTRs and BMPs, take out their logistics and supporting artillery.

Look for their food, shelter and water.  Take those away and the Russians will cease to exist, they’ll surrender in droves. Take away their ammunition and they will be converted to mere targets, because they cannot attack.

They seem to be restricted to the roads, use that against them.  Construct obstacles (an Abatis

Abatis Obstacle

is good) and cover it with fire – kill the engineers who try to clear the way with mortars and artillery.  Then use bulldozers to make tank ditches that are very long, very deep and very wide.

If you construct minefields, make a map, someone eventually is going to have to clean it up.  Again, cover the minefield with mortar, artillery and machine gun fire.  Don’t waste a good obstacle, cover it.

Communicate.  Tell each other where the Russians are, what they’re doing and make sure every commander, all the way to the top, knows what is going on. If your radios conk out, send messengers.  Two way communications is absolutely essential.  But keep all conversations short, very short.

Be professional, be calm, and do your absolute best. No matter what the circumstances.

Good luck.

Propaganda, Inc.: Selling America’s Culture to the World

August 28, 2014

I strongly recommend this book.

Propaganda, Inc.: Selling America’s Culture to the World, written by Dr. Nancy Snow, has been out for a few years and well worth the read.  

An eye-opening overview of American cultural policy fully updated through the end of the Bush presidency, Propaganda, Inc. reveals how the United States Information Agency became a bureaucracy deeply distrustful of dissent, and one-way in its promotion of American corporate interests overseas. Nancy Snow spent two years inside the Agency, and here provides an insider’s account of its crooked relationship to corporate interests and war—a must-read for those concerned with American propaganda and the war on terror.


Take Mariupol, Odessa – Russian Objective

August 28, 2014

Original at Russian objective in Ukraine is clearly punitive, Russia intends to punish Ukraine and take away all of their access to the Black Sea. Russian troops have stated taking Odessa as their goal.   

If Russia intends to take Mariupol and Odessa, it may ruin the Ukraine economy.  If they retain Donetsk and Luhansk, a large part of the economic production in East Ukraine will be gone.  It does not appear, however, that Russia intends to retain Donetsk and Luhansk, after multiple factories in East Ukraine have been disassembled and shipped to Russia.  This has been historical practice for the Soviets, it does not seem to be lost on the Russians. 

If Ukraine access to the Black Sea is taken, one of Ukraine’s most valuable means of shipment will be lost.  This would be a strategic loss for Ukraine and a major gain for Russia. 

If NATO, the EU and the US do not act immediately, at the current rate of advance for the Russians, Odessa may fall in a matter of days.   

This is a weakness on which Russia is basing its strategic plans.  The US cannot think and act on multiple fronts.  Ferguson, MO and ISIS in Iraq are higher priorities.  Unless there is a major wakeup call in the White House and Congress, Ukraine is being sacrificed. The US Congress does not return from vacation until September 8th, 2014, which is simply ludicrous.

Mr. President, please take the unprecedented step and recall Congress. Be Presidential. 

Canadian Humor Trolls Russia

August 28, 2014

Oh, Canada.

The Canadian delegation to NATO just slammed Russia with a simply superb pic.  This, of course, refers to the Russian paratrooper incursion in which they crossed into Ukraine territory.  Russia dismissed it as an “accident”.

Simply epic troll. Thank you!


August 28, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 6.43.06 AMForeign Minister of Sweden Carl Bildt is calling the full scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia a war.  

Zorian Shkiryak, adviser to the Minister of Interior of Ukraine, announced that Russia has launched a full scale invasion of Ukraine. 

The troops on the ground in Ukraine say this is a war.  

Geoffrey Pyatt, US Ambassador to Ukraine, tweets that it looks like a full scale offensive by Russia.  Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 6.46.16 AM

Ukraine has been asking the EU, NATO and the US for assistance, weapons and other equipment, for months.  President Obama, don’t you think it’s about time to unilaterally do something? Don’t you think Congress should be recalled and forced to act?  

The war of words is now over.  It is time, now, to act. Yes, giving them weapons can lead to greater consequences, but if we don’t act, the world loses.  Mr. President, you, above all, will lose in a big way.  It’s about time you get the National Security Staff to work and energize the big machine.


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