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The Other New Revolutionary Russian Weapons Systems: ASATs
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It would not be an exaggeration to say that the March 1st, 2018, speech of President Putin to the Federal Assembly, had a tectonic effect on the world public opinion. Initially, some tried to dismiss it as “Russian propaganda” and “bad CGI”, but pretty soon the reality hit hard, very hard: the Russians either had already deployed or were about to deploy weapon systems which were decades ahead of anything similar in the West and against which the West had no defensive measures.

For those interested in a good summary about these weapons, please check this rather well done RT video:

Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Air Force Gen. John Hyten, bluntly speaking of hypersonic weapons declared under oath that:

“Our defense is our deterrent capability. We don’t have any defense that could deny the employment of such a weapon against us, so our response would be our deterrent force, which would be the triad and the nuclear capabilities that we have to respond to such a threat.”

In plain English this means the following: there are only two ways to deter an attack – denial or punishment. Denial is when you prevent your adversary from striking you; punishment is when you make him pay dearly for the price of this attack. Punishment is a very tricky and undesirable situation, not only because it gives “escalation dominance” to the other side, but also because using nuclear capabilities against a peer or even higher than peer nuclear superpower like Russia basically entails collective suicide. Think of this in simple, practical terms. Say Russia disables or even sinks a US Navy carrier with a couple of hypersonic missiles. What would you do as a US President? The Russian Navy simply does not have as lucrative (and highly symbolic) target as a US aircraft carrier anyway, but even if you decided to strike at the Admiral Kuznetsov or the heavy nuclear missile cruiser Petr Velikii, would you risk using nukes even though the Russians might reply in kind? There is currently no US cruise missile capable of hitting, nevermind sinking, either the Kuznetsov or the Petr Velikii (who both have advanced air defenses which can easily defeat even a swarm of subsonic US anti-ship missiles, especially if they are escorted, which they will be).

The bottom line is this: the recent Russian advances in missile technology have basically made the US surface fleet pretty much useless in a conflict against Russia (and probably against China too). At the same time, Russian advances in air defenses have not only made the entire US ABM system basically useless, it also denies the US the cornerstone of all its tactics: air superiority. This reality is slowly but surely sinking in. This means that many billions of US tax dollars have gone to waste. Not only that, but the entire US military strategy is now obsolete.

But there is more bad news for the AngloZionist Empire: in a recent interview by General Iurii Borisov, Deputy Prime Minister for Defense and Space Industry named six weapons systems which, in his opinion, have no counterpart in western arsenals. These include two almost never (or very rarely) mentioned before:

  1. The “Sarmat” heavy MIRVed ICBM
  2. The Sukhoi Su-57 aka “PAKFA”, the 5th generation jet fighter being developed for air superiority and attack operations
  3. The revolutionary T-14 “Armata” main battle tank
  4. The long-range S-500 air defense system
  5. The mobile anti-satellite system “Nudol
  6. The ground-based mobile jamming system for satellite communications “Triada-2S

While the first four systems listed have been known for a while, very little is known about the Nudol ASAT or the Triada-2S jamming systems. A couple of years ago, in 2015, The Washington Free Beacon wrote one article about the Nudol system entitled “Russia Flight Tests Anti-Satellite Missile Moscow joins China in space warfare buildup” but I did not find anything at all in English about the Triada-2S. There are a few articles published about these two systems in Russian however, and I will summarize them here beginning with the Nudol system

The Nudol weapons system

Artists' representation of the Nudol weapons system

Artists’ representation of the Nudol weapons system

One Russian blogger posted what he says was a drawing of the Nudol system taken from an internal calendar of the Almaz-Antey Corporation. This is what Nudol is supposed to look like (see image). While still interesting, this image really reveals very little about Nudol. A transporter erector launcher (TEL) and two missile containers, just like in the S-300V, not much to go on. A Russian source identifies Nudol as part of a much larger system code-named “A-235/RTTs-181M/OKR Samolet-M” which is formed by integrating three separate systems, a long-range, intermediate range, and a short range. If true, this would indicate that while the Nudol missile launcher is mobile, it would probably have a targeting datalink from both mobile and fixed Russian air defense radars. In fact, the same source confirms that these systems will be fully integrated into the massive Don-2M (and, probably, the Voronezh and Darial) early warning radars. It appears that the Russians had been working on initial concepts for such a weapon system since the 1990s and that 30 years later, this system is still in development. However, some parts of it, such as the Nudol itself, seems to be near completion. It is also interesting to note here that the S-500 “Prometheus” system also mentioned by General Borisov, which is supposed to replace both the S-300s and the S-400s in the Russian armed forces also reportedly has (low-orbit) anti-satellite capabilities (along with anti-ballistic and anti-aircraft missile capabilities). While the specifics are still unclear, what appears to be happening is that the Russians have decided to build a multi-layered but fully integrated air defense, anti-ballistic and anti-satellite system and now that the US has fully withdrawn from the ABM Treaty, they are preparing to deploy it in the ABM and ASAT segments in the next couple of years.

The Triada-2S system

It appears that, again, we are not dealing with one system here, but two: the mobile anti-satellite complex Rudolf and the mobile complex of radio electronic destruction of communication satellites Triada-2S. Russian sources refer to Rudolf as a mobile “strike” system implying the physical destruction of the targeted satellite while the Triada-2s appears to be destroying the satellite’s electronic communications (called “electronic suppression” in Russian terminology). Just as in the case of the Nudol, these systems appear to still be in the development phase and have not been accepted for deployment yet. It is worth mentioning here that the late Soviet Union had already developed some anti-satellite capabilities, including the ASAT rocket 79М6 (fired from a MiG-21D interceptor) and the Rokot/Nariad-V land-based rocket/missile system. This is all highly classified stuff and the specifics remain unclear, but the fact that work is continuing on these systems and that General Borisov has decided to publicly mention these systems indicate that the Russians are making a determined effort to develop a robust anti-satellite capability.

Porubshchik-2 – the newly revealed ASAT

In a recent article by RIA Novosti news agency yet another ASAT system is described: the Porubshchik-2. RT picked up on this article and posted this article in English. While the RT article focuses mostly on the new electronic warfare capabilities of this aircraft, the Russian text puts more emphasis on the fact that this EW aircraft will have ASAT capabilities. This system is still in development, but at the very least these show that the Russians are now developing a full array of anti-satellite systems.

Let’s add this all up

The Russian plan to counter the US military threat is becoming clearer and clearer with each passing day. I would summarize as follows:

US CapabilityRussian Response
ABM systemmaneuverable hypersonic ballistic and very long-range cruise missiles
US aircraft carriers and surface fleetmaneuverable hypersonic ballistic and very long-range cruise missiles
US airpower and cruise missilesadvanced and integrated air defenses + 5th generation multirole fighters
US attack submarinesadvanced diesel-electric/AIP submarines in littoral and coastal waters
US command, control, communications, networks, and satelliteselectronic warfare and anti-satellite systems
US/NATO deployments near RussiaTank Armies with T-14s, doubling of the size of the Airborne Forces, Iskander missiles (see here)
US nuclear forcesDeployment of a next-generation SSBNs, road-mobile and rail-mobile ICBMs, PAK-DA (next generation bomber) and ABM systems

By targeting US space-based capabilities Russia is aiming at an exceedingly important and currently extremely fragile segment of the US armed forces and the impact of that cannot be overstated. It is already well known that the US military has almost no practice operating in a highly contested electronic warfare environment and that, in fact, US EW capabilities have stagnated over the years. In the age of advanced communication and network-centric warfare, the disruption or elimination of any meaningful segment of the US space-based capabilities would have a dramatic impact on US warfighting capabilities. Just like US tactical air is practically completely dependent on AWACs support, all the branches of the US military have grown accustomed to enjoying advanced command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities (C4ISR) and this is what the Russians want to deny them (and you can bet that the Chinese are working along the exact same lines).

This is not to say that Russia has achieved anywhere near full-spectrum dominance over the United States but it does mean that the United States has totally failed in its efforts to achieve anything near full-spectrum dominance over Russia and, therefore, over the rest of the planet. It is important to understand that while, for the US, it is crucial to achieving superiority, for Russia it is enough to deny that superiority to the US. Russia, therefore, has no need to achieve anything even remotely resembling full-spectrum dominance over the US/NATO – all she needs to achieve is to make it impossible for the Empire to make her submit by force or threat of force.

The big problem of internal competition

Just as I had predicted in my article “Making Sense of the Russian 5th Generation Fighters in Syria” there is now high-level official statements indicating that Russia might only produce a limited number of Su-57s. The reason? That the 4++ generation Su-35S is already very good good and much cheaper than the Su-57 and that Russian money should go towards developing a 6th generation multirole fighter. In other words, the main threat to the Su-57 program is not foreign competition (the Russians want to offer the Su-57 for export!), but internal competition. The same thing happened to the MiG-35 program (and before that to the MiG 1.44 project): they were beaten by Sukhoi. The MiG-35 appears to finally have been selected as a frontal aviation fighter, but the overall pattern is clear: unlike the USSR, Russia cannot afford to develop many similar or overlapping weapons systems at the same time. Some weapons systems will be produced in limited quantities while others might be canceled altogether.

Something similar will probably happen inside the Russian ASAT programs: projects will compete and not all will be deployed. Still, what is clear is that the Russians are working with a great deal of intensity on a number of different technologies whose purpose will be to take out US space capabilities in the early phases of any conflict. In contrast, the US has spent so much money on very lucrative but useless weapons systems, that to restart a full-scaled ASAT program will take a lot of time (even if Trump has already declared that he wants to build “space forces” – check out this excellent commentary by Philip Giraldi on this topic), probably decades.

Modern weapon system developments have a huge “inertia”: they are hard to start, hard to develop and hard to stop once started. This is especially true for a profoundly corrupt and delusional Military-Industrial Complex (MIC) like the US one (see my review of Andrei Martyanov’s excellent book on this topic here). Considering the current crisis of the AngloZionist Empire and the trade/sanctions war Trump is currently waging on most of the planet, the chances of the US force planners correcting their past mistakes and adequately reacting to the new reality is probably very close to zero. Trump’s attempt to develop space forces is therefore yet another case of too little, too late. The gap between the advertised and the actual US military capabilities will only get bigger in the foreseeable future.

• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, Russia 
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  1. Meanwhile, the affirmative-action diversity hires in the US Navy can’t even sail in peace time without crashing into civilian ships. Luckily, the stupid-girl serial-killer has been severely punished. Half pay for three months made her cry.

    Lt. j.g. Sarah Coppock cried during her court-martial at the Washington Navy Yard. She was sentenced to forfeit half of her pay for three months – an additional month on top of the two she forfeited as her nonjudicial punishment. She also received a letter of reprimand.

  2. swede55 says:

    Great analysis, but there is a typo, ASAT was from a Mig 31D not Mig 21D.

  3. Anonymous [AKA "Sunrise"] says:

    Thanks for a great review and for the hope of survival that balance of power restores to the Earth.

  4. Say Russia disables or even sinks a US Navy carrier with a couple of hypersonic missiles. What would you do as a US President?

    This is a science fiction/Hollywood scenario. It is an improbable triage quandary…it is simply not something that would be isolated or come out of nowhere.

    There would be a conflict that it would result from and an entire set of issues surrounding it that are not provided here by the Saker…

    …because it is fantasy.

    The President in such a situation would not be the one deciding what to do. It would most likely be Generals and Admirals.

    Watch Fail Safe or Dr. Strangelove for answers. Duh.

    • Replies: @Poupon Marx
  5. Speaking of weapons, I understand that Israel is arming Nazis in Ukraine. So Israel is an enemy of Russia and friend of Nazis. What is Bibi smoking?

  6. Hey, man! At least “we” Americans have the V-22! That will really strike fear into the heart of the Russian bear!

  7. More of Saker’s fantasies. Putin simply doesn’t have the money for most of what he’s bragging about. He’s also living on borrowed time. His horizon is not at all rosy, and the long suffering people of Russia are going to find themselves crushed again as they were at the end of the Soviet Union.

    • Agree: Nathan
    • Replies: @bluedog
    , @Sean
    , @aleksandar
    , @padre
  8. @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    Actually, allow me to disagree here in terms of tilt-rotors such as Osprey–it flies, it deploys. So, granted that technological issues are being addressed and technology inevitably evolves and matures–all in all, not a bad concept. But, of course, V-22s are very specific and narrow field.

    • Replies: @Vasilios
  9. Anonymous [AKA "BigScaryRussianBear"] says:

    statements like “rather well done RT video” are, but of course, matter of personal taste, but c’mon – have you seen Pacific Rim Uprising?!
    also, that “internal calendar of the Almaz-Antey Corporation” is obviously fake – everybody knows the real one sports scantily clad long-legged Russian chicks shagging “erector launcher”

    otherwise, I won’t even dare to doubt indisputable arguments like “one Russian blogger”, hence I’m wholeheartedly convinced that the country that never (never, in it’s entire history!) developed a single original working on scale technology, out of the left field “had already deployed or were about to deploy weapon systems which were decades ahead of anything similar in the West and against which the West had no defensive measures.

    Kudos to the author for restraining himself from “centuries ahead“!


    P.P.S. If you’re by chance interested in purchasing Bolshoy Kamenny Bridge for 1000 rubles (negotiable), please contact me at [email protected]

    • Replies: @aleksandar
    , @ohmy
    , @MacNucc11
  10. mikkkkas says:

    Looks like The saker is back on his antidepressant meds again, good for him and the few of us that have followed him through this unbearable “US has won”, “resistance is futile” and the “end is nigh” this time. The man have a serious problem,especially when ganged up with other dystopians like Paul Craig Roberts but while on meds he’s superb.

    His moderators on the other hand…

    • Replies: @James Brown
  11. Sean says:

    Only by standing the test of imitation and maybe time can a weapon be deemed a world beater. The application of proven design principles is a more likely way to come up with a world beater than trying to be revolutionary. EG

    Once you go nuclear in even the smallest way, you go nuclear for good. Nuclear weapons have no military purpose (wars cannot be fought with them), and no one

    well almost no one imaginable is going to initiate nuke use in response to a conventional defeat. The myriad tactical nukes of Russia are much more likely to be used for blasting a canal to take water from Siberia to China that destroying enemy fleets or armies. Russia will be forced to sell off every thing and the Chinese have the money.

  12. Sean says:

    Bostom the AIpocalypse pundit Article in the New Yorker
    A plaque indicated that one of them was the Arkhipov Room, honoring Vasili Arkhipov, a Soviet naval officer. During the Cuban missile crisis, Arkhipov was serving on a submarine in the Caribbean when U.S. destroyers set off depth charges nearby. His captain, unable to establish radio contact with Moscow, feared that the conflict had escalated and ordered a nuclear strike. But Arkhipov dissuaded him, and all-out atomic war was averted.

    Well at sea the might be a temptation for a sub to use tactical nukes against an opponent may exist,; the Russians should catch up with Sweden and build Stirling engine subs

    ONE program from 1981, called Eurisko, was designed to teach itself a naval role-playing game. After playing ten thousand matches, it arrived at a morally grotesque strategy: to field thousands of small, immobile ships, the vast majority of which were intended as cannon fodder. In a national tournament, Eurisko demolished its human opponents, who insisted that the game’s rules be changed. The following year, Eurisko won again—by forcing its damaged ships to sink themselves

    The traditional Russia strategy had been similar to the AI original strategy: cannon fodder. many small primitive weapons would overwhelm the gold plated US ones. However that might well be a double edged sword as Russia has to worry about war with China.

    In attack and defence, Russia is the land of strategic space. The Soviet Union was always capable of conquering Western Europe because nukes would not have been used to stop them. Nuclear weapons are a deterrent against nuclear war, and everyone knows it by now.

  13. Avery says:
    @Echoes of History

    {The junior lieutenant in charge of navigating the USS Fitzgerald when it collided with a commercial vessel pleaded guilty Tuesday to dereliction of duty and acknowledged her role in the deaths of seven sailors last year.}

    If this was not in the Stripes site, I would not have believed it.
    Doesn’t involuntary manslaughter carry a jail-sentence?
    7 dead and she is only reprimanded?

    I guess if you cry, bat your eyelashes, and appeal to the court-martial judges’ fatherly or some other instinct, then you walk. Those 7 dead _men_: clearly disposable.

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
    , @aleksandar
  14. @Avery

    A harsh punishment would only serve to deter more women from enlisting and the US military still lags in its diversity and gender equality quotas.

    I was more surprised at how there were so many other systemic problems contributing to the accident. I’ve heard of references to Swiss cheese when general sloppiness allows smaller dangerous situations to develop until they line up and a catastrophic event occurs.

    • Replies: @Ilham
  15. @Sean

    well almost no one imaginable

    No need to strain your imagination there: we perfectly well know who will do so.

  16. Anonymous [AKA "SOYEASFY"] says:

    When the Russians were prototyping initial ASAT concepts they were based on ranging lasers rather than radar. The work at Bear Lake was kept ticking over in a very efficient manner. Considering what they had to show the commenter back then, and the agility with which they adapted to ensuing technological advance, it is only prudent for the US to assume that the system is pretty damn far along. Uh, POGO, your C3 ‘nads are hanging out…

    • Replies: @aleksandar
  17. @Quartermaster

    Oh sure !
    As long as rednecks will go on ” thinking” like that, fed with lies, Russia will develop news weapons.
    By the way, can you give me the number of bridges in US in need for urgent repair ?

  18. @Anonymous

    One word is enough to shut your mouth:

  19. @Avery

    Maybe she belong to the LGBT tribe, I mean, protected people ?

  20. @Anonymous

    I don’t know if these systems are in use or near to, but when planning never forget :
    1 – Your enemy has the best weapons
    2 – Your enemy has the best soldiers
    3 – Your enemy is in the best combat situation
    Well guys, this is this your situation awareness.
    Now, give me a plan to win this war !

  21. Ok, they’ve got LEO covered.

    • Replies: @Kiza
  22. @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    Saw one over London the other day. Guess they have more faith in it nowadays.

  23. peterAUS says:

    As a “circuses” part of the proverb.
    The “breads” lag a bit, but no prob. Russians can take it. Used to it.
    Proles, I mean.

    All good.
    For a time being. Probably till next hit on Syria or something. Then a next piece of Kremlin propaganda.
    Rinse and repeat.


    • Replies: @m___
  24. Anonymous[298] • Disclaimer says:

    The Saker is missing the point of Anglo Warfare. Anglos don’t value direct warfare, so they don’t care if another military has better tech. Anglos realized a long time ago it is much less costly to just play divide and conquer to defeat a more powerful adversary by getting other countries to do the fighting.

    Hence trying to tarpit Russia in Syria which Putin wisely did not fall for.

    The Anglo-Zionist Empire would be foolish to directly confront Russia, so they won’t. Instead they will seek to economically strangle Russia and turn close allies against her such as Ukraine.

    This is something Russias weapons cannot protect itself with.

    • Replies: @ploni almoni
    , @MacNucc11
  25. Kiza says:

    I am very busy at the moment and have little time to comment. However, I did read the Saker’s review of Martyanov’s book and its comments. My small insight is that a son of a Soviet sovok and a son of White-Russian are cooperating. I always wanted for this to happen, but I still find it amazing and most significant. For me, it is a good explanation why modern Russia is so successful compared with US and Soviet Union. The Russians are mostly at peace with their 20th century history and look towards the future. Opposite to this, as the generals usually fight the previous war, US still fights a country which does not exist any more. The new Russian challenge is to fight the fifth column of the Russian Liberals, the lovers of the West, exemplified by Anatoly Elliot Karlin-Higgins, the customary Jewish ideologues with forked tongues.

    My apology for using the disparaging word sovok, which I read for the first time in disparaging comments by the above mentioned big BSer.

    Finally, it would be interesting if the current Russian and Chinese weapons development would initiate a weapons race which would help crush the already precarious US and Western financial system. It is not that US military spending is a problem as a percentage of GDP, but its further increase at this time could be the straw which broke camel’s back. In my mind, Saker and Martyanov with their writing, as well as the Russian civilian and military leadership with their public statements, show an honest wish to deter the West from attacking Russia. But the unintended effect on somebody bound on world-supremacy will be to spend even more (as inefficiently as before) to gain back the supremacy. As I have written many times before, the only possible solution for the preservation of humanity is the financial collapse of the US/West.

    Or maybe it is a bit like with the most recent US Presidential Election, the Russians win with either of the two terrible candidates winning. If US chase them in military technology development, they go bankrupt. If US do not chase them, they cannot attack Russia and China any more. Shaking down “the allies” for more money is already seriously destabilising the political order of the West. The overall direction of things is obvious.

    • Agree: chris
  26. Kiza says:
    @The Alarmist

    Communication satellites were mentioned in the article, that is not LEO since the Motorola’s Iridium died. Most if not all US military communication satellites are in the geo-sync orbit 36,000 km away. Any decent ASAT system would be targeting both GPS in LEO and C3 satellites in geosynchronous orbit.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    , @Joe Stalin
  27. ohmy says:

    If you doubt Russia’s technical capabilities just check out how a formal Russian education compares to a formal education in the USA. Especially electrical engineering. Common core flies in the face of common sense.

  28. Our carriers are basically dinosaurs anyway. Having them is the equivalent of fielding the world’s finest cavalry in 1940.

    In both cases, they retain their usefulness in bush wars, but are of marginal utility in a conflict with a major power

  29. Vasilios says:

    For someone with ‘so little time’ you are quite garrulous. I am forced to wonder who pays for your precious moments.

  30. Vasilios says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Aye, the Osprey was not a good design at first, and it is overpriced, but the US managed to make it work well enough after a decade or two. The US Military is a bit of a cluster, but it’s easier to throw stones than to stack them.

  31. chris says:

    It would seem that the safest course on which to proceed would be to develop weapons which would disable but not sink large ships.

    This would create huge logistical problems on top of the loss of face, and would make it difficult to justify an escalated response.

    • Replies: @The Scalpel
  32. @Kiza

    The one’s they want to hit first are the IMINT, MASINT, ELINT & other, to blind us, and those are relatively low. They don’t seem to have kinetic kill for the Comms in geostationary or geosynchronous orbit, and jamming those is still not a trivial undertaking.

  33. Ilham says:

    A thriving society needs its capable young women at home nurturing children, not doing men’s work on warships. These current trends and values are causing unsustainable societies.

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
  34. It of course is difficult to be sure about military capabilities, they just become clear in war.
    The British idea of bombing the German industries so that Germany had to stop fighting became an illusion soon, daylight bombing, suicidal, night bombing, three percent of th bombs fell in the vicinity of the targets.

    A few years ago something fell into the E Mediterranean, rumour was that it was a USA missile on its way to Syria, intercepted by Russia.
    USA and Israel declared it had been an excercise.

    The USA has no defence against the Chinese Silk Worm anti warship missile, it flies with over Mach three at wavetop height.
    Then there is the story about the latest USA warship in the Black Sea, an unarmed Russian plane flew several times low over the ship, the crew could not do anything, all systems dead.
    When the plane was over the horizon the systems came to life again.

    China is supposed to have a quantum computer in a satellite, do not ask me to explain how it functions, but the assertion is that the west is unable to monitor what it sends.
    If these things are true, then I wonder if the USA educational system is the cause.

    Lasch already in 1979 describes the deterioration of education.
    Varoufakis is of the opinion that since 1970 macro economics has not been taught anywhere in the world, in its place: market worship, what gave us the derivatives.
    Sarrazin warns how immigration destroys Germany, immigration by stupid immigrants who have lots of children
    Thilo Sarrazin, ‘Deutschland schafft sich ab, Wie wir unser Land aufs Spiel setzen’, München 2010

    The book denying CO2 climate change states that the Chinese government consists of engineers:
    Christian Gerondeau, ‘Le CO2 est bon pour la planete, Climat, la grande manipulation’, Paris 2017
    In western countries my idea is more and more that politics is something for those too stupid for any real job.
    One of our political leaders, Pechtold, studied art history for eleven years, Klaver has little more than primary school.
    Asscher everywhere made a mess.
    Historian Rutte knows next to nothing about history.
    Wilders, no more than high school.

    A few years ago by far the most intelligent of our members of parliament, Omtzigt, was put on an election list in such a position that he could not regularily be reelected.
    But we can vote directly on persons, so he was reelected.
    His party no longer allows him to speak on MH17, his questions make people doubt the official story
    Gresham’s law

    • Replies: @Joe Stalin
  35. @Echoes of History

    It indeed did surprise me.

    But, when the USA navy ship with a missile destroyed an Iranian passenger plane, the story is, unbelievable, that the 26th effort to feed the secret code into the missile had success.
    The TV report on how the USA naval officers deluded themselves into being attacked by a commercial airliner, also is unbelievable.

    But, the Tong Kin Gulf incident, same.
    Inexperienced USA sonar operators interpreting the bubbles from their own screws, caused by dodging imaginary torpedoes, same stupidity.
    USA naval staff in Japan knew quite well that N Vietnam did not have so many torpedoes, yet McNamara made sure Johnson escalated the war on the eight o’clock eastern time news

  36. m___ says:

    Rinse and repeat

    …on both sides, in all matters. Nothing in the public domain is remotely accurate. If we ask Saker his sources, they will be nothing of the kind of Wikileaks and Assange’s. He turns meat scraps into sausages. No risks there.

  37. padre says:

    Well, if anyone knows, how the things are, it is you!Speaking about money, how much money does the USA have?As far as i know it’s only debt you couldn’t repay in next hundred years! But as every mobster you refuse to pay it!

  38. @Sean

    Nuclear weapons have no military purpose? Wars cannot be fought with them?

    WWII was fought and won in the Pacific with nuclear weapons.

    Once you go nuclear in even the smallest way, you go nuclear for good?

    Ohio Class SSBN nuclear missile submarines were converted conventional weapons.

    Used for blasting a canal?

    Project Plowshares disproved that notion. Too much fallout.

    But your taste in movies is impeccable.

    • Replies: @Sean
  39. JR says:

    Substitute for “In plain English…….”:
    1) US ABM system push has been wasted by weapons specifically designed to circumvent these ABM systems
    2) US has not and will not achieve a ‘first strike capability’ as defined under MAD
    3) US is back to square one: nuclear balance under MAD
    4) Even better (from neocon and hegemonic perspective of course even worse) ‘First Strike Capability’ will remain most definitely out of reach indefinitely for now.

    • Agree: Andrei Martyanov
  40. @mikkkkas

    ” when ganged up with other dystopians like Paul Craig Roberts”

    I wouldn’t call them “dystopians “. George Orwell was a great “dystopian”; Huxley was a great “dystopian”…Both wrote novels that can be considered “dystopian” and “masterpieces”.

    “The saker” and PCR are just “useful idiots” repeating the same nonsense article after article.

    “The saker” found another interesting topic that someone on another thread called “the killing gap”

    I’m sure someone can win the next Presidential election just repeating this new and original “doctrine”.

    It will be a terrible shock for the American People but it won’t be impossible for the American MIC to bridge this “killing gap”.

  41. @Kiza

    ” Finally, it would be interesting if the current Russian and Chinese weapons development would initiate a weapons race which would help crush the already precarious US and Western financial system ”

    It may be that at present there is no weapons race in the classical sense.
    If the brains are lacking in the USA to develop technology superior to Russian or Chinese technology, money does not help.

    Writing this I’m reminded of WWII, German technology was far superior, except for the magnetron, to allied technology.
    The allies won through mass production in the USA, and mass sacrificing of Russian blood.
    Tiny Germany could not cope, however, had the German hydrogen bomb passed the test phase, I do not know what what would have happened.

    If the stories about Russian superior technology are true, it is something like Polish cavalry in 1939 against German tanks.
    The (Visi)Goths in one of their wars against the Roman empire did have siege engines, catapults and such, if these were of good quality I do not know, historians do not tell me, but anyhow, they were unable to operate them properly.

    There is an interesting story about an Iranian fighter pilot when the USA puppet shah ruled Iran.
    He fired missiles at an UFO.
    Philip J.Klass, UFO’s The Public Deceived, 1983, Buffalo New York debunks the story completely, he explains that Iranian pilots were unable to operate their USA fighter jets properly, that the UFO story was invented to hide this fact from the shah.

    • Replies: @Joe Stalin
  42. Anonymous [AKA "AnonymeToto"] says:

    I am really disappointed in this article.

    Was this really written by the Saker???

    I mean what the hell, no references to the evil “Anglo-Zionists” Masters of the Universe…

  43. Panic stations! Clearly the author beleives that Trump isn’t going to capitulate to Putin on Monday, so we get the umpteenth serving of the “Putin’s mighty horde will easily smite the puny American military” propaganda line. I don’t even recall Putin making the speech referred to and if it really had had the “tectonic effect” that author claims, he would feel no need to remind us of it!

  44. Thank God for Putin and Russia as they are the hope of the Christian world as a defense against the Satanist Zionists who intend to establish a satanic NWO/ONE WORLD GOV and the only country that is standing in the way is Russia and with these weapons the Zionists are up against the only thing they understand.

  45. @Kiza

    Iridium’s website states they are already on a 2nd generation system. Wikipedia refers to a 3rd generation in planning.

  46. Anonymous[392] • Disclaimer says:

    Who is “Anatoly Elliot Karlin-Higgins”?

    Is that the same Anatoly that posts here at Unz? If so I’ve never seen him referred to as a leftist.

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
  47. Che Guava says:

    On the site, the ‘moderators’ are not moderators, they just pass recommendations or flag things for ‘the Saker’, he is the only admin or mod. there.

    Interesting question, how is he controlling things on his sites where he is not much good at the language? Well, he was shutting one down.

    I was posting a factual and simple reply to a question raised by the entertaining Iranian man there, from Press TV (am not being sarcastic, apart from being a Moslem making some of what he is saying hypocritical, otherwise, I genuinely enjoy his commentary).

    Answering a simple question he had posed (to do with neither Islam nor Russia) in a two-line and accurate reply, from specific knowledge, little doubt that ‘the Saker ‘ was blocking my brief and inoccuous comment. It did not , after 48 hrs, appear. so of course I am thinking ‘it was blocked by him’.

    As anybody here is knowing. he is one of several commentators who *religiously is never* replying to a comment here.

    However, he does seem to take note of u-names with opinions not always the same as his own and block them on his site.

    So, if you feel a pressing need to participate in his ‘commumity’ or cult, do not use the same u-name as here.

  48. @jilles dykstra

    The Chinese Silkworm missile does NOT fly at Mach 3 at wave top height. It’s a subsonic winged cruise missile.

    Defense against such missiles is predicated on the SM-2s, Phalanx Vulcan cannons (R2D2) and Australian/US Nulka decoy missile. US Navy first use of Nulka under actual combat was in 2016 by USS Mason.;

    Perhaps you are referring to the Russian Sunburn ramjet powered missile. Note that the USA has operated supersonic ramjet powered missiles over 50 years ago, and has even KILLED Soviet-era communist North Vietnamese aircraft.

    ” In May 1968 the Long Beach scored the first recorded US Navy combat kill with a surface to air missile, downing a North Vietnamese MiG aircraft with a Talos at a range of 65 miles. In September 1968 the Long Beach downed another MiG with a Talos at a range of 61 miles. ”

    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
  49. The Saker seems to be obsessed with weapons for no good reason. Pax Americana will come crashing down under its own weight regardless of the quality and quantity of Russian weapons. The only useful purpose Russian and Chinese weapons serve is to scare the US elites and prevent them from triggering a nuclear war, which would destroy the whole world along with doomed Empire.

  50. @jilles dykstra

    How about RF proximity fuzes? USA had working units.

    “Vannevar Bush is said to have considered the radio
    proximity fuze the preeminent scientific and technical
    advance of the war. Considering the Manhattan Project
    and radar, this is a startling statement. Another historian
    ranked the fuze as follows “Considering the magnitude
    and complexity of the effort [it ranks] among the three
    or four most extraordinary scientific achievements of the
    war.” General George Patton said, after the fuze had
    performed notably at the Battle of the Bulge, “The new
    shell with the funny fuze is devastating . . . I think that
    when all armies get this shell we will have to devise
    some new method of warfare.”

    Or how about the work of MIT Radiation Labs in creating the SCR-584 radar that integrated it with a Bell Labs analog computer in order to create a tracking gun director?

    Interestingly, a 2014 Finnish article claims use by Finland of a near-Infrared tank mounted night vision device based upon the work of RCA (Without examining the IR convertor tube, can’t really say for sure if it’s German or RCA design):

    “Within 4 weeks the team had designed and built infrared searchlights and viewers to be fitted and used for the Skoda TNHP tanks. From the sole prototype example remaining in the Helsinki Military Museum, we know that the early viewing devices are largely based on Dr. Vladimir K. Zworykin’s viewers as built for the Radio Corporation of America. ”

    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
  51. @Anonymous

    Anatoly Karlin is quite clearly a thoroughly Westernized Russian globetrotting goof-off. He belongs to the Atlanticist persuasion and that qualifies as liberal in Russian political parlance.

  52. TG says:

    An interesting post. Yes, we tend to forget just how dependent the United States is on satellite systems, and how vulnerable they are.

    It also bears mentioning: low and slow cruise missiles are very hard to shoot down, but high, fast, and moving-in-a-mostly-straight-line satellites, not so much. How good or bad Russian air defenses really are against ground-hugging cruise missiles is unclear, as so much depends on the details of countermeasures and reaction times etc. But satellites in orbit following predictable paths? They can’t dodge (much), they can’t hide, they are basically unarmored. You might be able to use complete inertial guidance in an attack on them: jamming and electronic countermeasures become irrelevant. There is little doubt that the Russians can shoot satellites down – and, as you say, this would be a non-nuclear way for the Russians to inflict a lot of pain on the US.

    Sure most internet signals go via underwater fiber optic cables (another long-noted vulnerability). But so much is now dependent on GPS, imagine the chaos if that got taken out or even degraded.

    Oh, and p.s.: there is no Russian ship that cannot be easily taken out by a US submarine firing a torpedo, as long as it’s not in port (and possibly, vice-versa).

  53. Ron Unz says:

    The Saker seems to be obsessed with weapons for no good reason. Pax Americana will come crashing down under its own weight regardless of the quality and quantity of Russian weapons. The only useful purpose Russian and Chinese weapons serve is to scare the US elites and prevent them from triggering a nuclear war, which would destroy the whole world along with doomed Empire.

    While I don’t really disagree with this, you may be missing something important. To the extent that Russia’s very powerful new weapons cause our totally incompetent and corrupt ruling American elites to pump even vastly sums of money into the very leaky Pentagon bowl, the resulting increase in financial stress may speed the collapse of the system.

    For decades, there’s been a widespread belief in the West that the military overspending of the USSR brought about its fall, and whether or not that’s true, America certainly seems to be filling the supposed shoes of the Soviet Union these days.

  54. @AnonFromTN

    The only useful purpose Russian and Chinese weapons serve is to scare the US elites and prevent them from triggering a nuclear war, which would destroy the whole world along with doomed Empire.

    Using Deng Xiaoping’s “re-imagining” of Clausewitz’ classic dictum: Diplomacy is the continuation of war by other means(c). War and weapons are a decisive factor in formation of the world order (or disorder), always were, and they play even greater role in keeping the American runaway “military engine” from unleashing a global catastrophe. I guess this makes Russian weapons more than just useful but a critical factor in preservation of civilization. It is especially true once “moral” and professional qualities of current American power “elites” are considered.

    • Agree: Mike P
    • Replies: @nagra
    , @AnonFromTN
  55. @Ron Unz

    To a certain extent the weapons race certainly had effect.
    Chrustjow forbade communist revolutions in S America because the USSR had no money to support new regimes.
    Castro had to blackmail the USSR into supporting Cuba.
    However, what to me, and a Tsjech 1968 refugee, was the cause that a centrally controlled economic system is unable to deliver the consumer goods consumers want.
    This, and tv, and other means of communication, made the common man in the communist countries realise that his western counterparts lived far better lives.
    China understood this, that just the profit motive can deliver those goods consumers want.

  56. @Joe Stalin

    I have other information.
    But, not first hand.

  57. @Joe Stalin

    In no description of the Battle of the Bulge, suppose you refer to Kursk, read anything about this device.
    Same for tracking gun director.
    About German, and British, technological developments:
    R.V. Jones, ´Most secret war, British Scientific Intelligence 1939 – 1945’, 1978, 1979, London
    The Manhattan project, 30.000 men for developing the atomic bomb, Germany, three scientists for developing a hydrogen bomb.
    Rainer Karlsch, ‘Hitlers Bom, Hoe Nazi-Duitsland nucleaire wapens testte in een wanhopige poging om de oorlog te winnen, Tielt, 2005 (Hitlers Bombe, München)
    The jet engine, the rocket engine, inertia steering mechanism in V2’s, radar, the German better than the British, except that the Germans never understood the magnetron.
    Helicopters, tv guided missiles.
    The first cruise missile, V1.
    Magnetic mines, pressure mines.
    Accoustic torpedoes.
    Fuel cell propagated submarines, that never were constructed, the German industrial war effort was a mess until Speer had full control in 1944.
    Steve Coates, ‘Deutsche Hubschrauber 1930 – 1945, Stuttgart 2004 ( Helicopters of the Third Reich, 2002, Hersham, Surrey)
    The only thing the British wanted from the USA was a superior bomb sight, called Norden, if I remember well.

  58. utu says:
    @Ron Unz

    The only useful purpose Russian and Chinese weapons serve is to scare the US elites and prevent them from triggering a nuclear war, which would destroy the whole world along with doomed Empire.

    I do not see how balance or imbalance in conventional weapons has effect on probability of triggering nuclear war. If a conventional conflict begins it will be always the losing side that will be motivated to play the nuclear card. If one side decides to start nuclear attack the level of conditional forces will be irrelevant.

    Russia’s contingent in Syria could easily be wiped out by conventional means with Russia having no means of conventional retaliation in the ME area. W/o nuclear umbrella Russia would not go to Syria.

    Russia’s conventional build and weapon improvement has nothing to do with American wanting or not wanting triggering nuclear war.

    • Replies: @FB
  59. nagra says:

    Russia have really good nerve and lots of patience
    ( so far : )

  60. Che Guava says:

    I liked your earlier post, about anons, but your uname is not treated as ‘anon’ or ‘anonymous’, I think they are the only ‘anon’ strings, and the software handles the u-names as array variables. The array index depends on the IP address, and is, perhaps, a hash value from that.

    That is recent, since last year.

    I notice that one who was feeling the need to post as anon for some time is back under a boring u-name, as a fan at times, I like it, though nnt the new u-name.

    So, you may as well call yourself ‘Hillbilly Hellraiser from TN’ or ‘Wussy Pussy Boy of TN’

    Only responding at length because you seem to have a good heart and incorrect impressions.


    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  61. Anonymous[566] • Disclaimer says:
    @Ron Unz

    This is plausible, but didn’t the USSR spend vastly more as a proportion of GDP than the US? Some have estimated that the USSR spent up to one-third of its GDP on defense.

    Or is collapse coming because America today is more fragile than the USSR was?

    • Replies: @FKA Max
  62. nagra says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    politics is not even important
    what you have in arsenal it is

    • Agree: Andrei Martyanov
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  63. peterAUS says:
    @Ron Unz


    ……you may be missing something important. To the extent that Russia’s very powerful new weapons cause our totally incompetent and corrupt ruling American elites to pump even vastly sums of money into the very leaky Pentagon bowl, the resulting increase in financial stress may speed the collapse of the system.

    For decades, there’s been a widespread belief in the West that the military overspending of the USSR brought about its fall, and whether or not that’s true, America certainly seems to be filling the supposed shoes of the Soviet Union these days.

    Kremlin appears to be doing the same.

    Which one will collapse first is, perhaps, the question.
    Last time ……

    Now, should Kremlin fold first that will just strengthen/encourage Washington.
    Looks to me as, actually, a good strategy for Neocons.

  64. @Ron Unz

    Why isn’t this a more important news story?

    • LOL: FB, Kiza
    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @peterAUS
  65. FB says:

    ‘…Anatoly Elliot Karlin-Higgins…’


  66. @Ron Unz

    You may be right, although MIC parasite is already killing the US host even w/o these new Russian weapons. Recent increase in Pentagon budget equals the whole Russian military budget. With MIC drumbeat of “patriotism” in the background, the US is boldly marching towards financial self-destruction, spending on “defense” more than the rest of the world combined.

    • Agree: Ron Unz
    • Replies: @FKA Max
    , @FKA Max
  67. @Andrei Martyanov

    I hope you are right that Russian and Chinese weapons put enough fear of God into the US elites, who lack all moral scruples, to prevent the destruction of human civilization by the dying Empire.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  68. @Che Guava

    Thanks a bunch, I am perfectly fine with my current moniker: it’s unique, and that’s all that matters. If the rest was supposed to be humor, I can politely say “Ha-ha”.

  69. @JohnnyWalker123

    Maybe because it’s not true? Just saying.

  70. @nagra

    what you have in arsenal it is

    Politics is a first derivative of power. Power, in a larger sense, is the ability to coerce. You are correct–I agree to meet Mike Tyson being armed with AK-74 and, if need be, with some nigh-vision goggles.

    • Agree: nagra
  71. @AnonFromTN

    I hope you are right that Russian and Chinese weapons put enough fear of God into the US elites,

    I would omit China from this equation–at least for now. As per weapons–these are not just weapons, it is, in a larger sense, a posture, which matters. Russia has a forbidding posture and it is not for showing off.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  72. FKA Max says: • Website

    Here the figures from 1980 to 2015. According to these figures Russia is at the greatest risk of collapse:


    Very good article; USA vs. USSR 1930-1990 comparison:

    The Soviet Union: Military Spending

    As a share of GDP

    Per capita

    Source: Archived link:

    Saudi Arabia’s military expenditures are even higher as a share of GDP (10+%):


  73. peterAUS says:

    Well, perhaps, because you missed all the talk and info when that happened.
    Here, on this Webzine, that was discussed, at the time, in minute detail.

    Personally, I’d like to discuss relationship between building these wonder weapons and steady outflow of Russian educated class into West.

    For the last couple of years, where I live, I have noticed dramatic increase of Russian language wherever I go. People speaking the lingo look smart, sophisticated and mostly in their prime. Full families even.

    Maybe, just maybe, those people would’ve preferred all that money spent somewhere else where their life, in their own homeland, would be better.
    Not needing to emigrate and rebuild their lives from scratch in countries where, actually, people don’t like them very much.

    Oh, and in the process increase competition for already decreasing number of employment opportunities for locals, related pay and last, but not least, increase property prices.


    For the top layer in Russia all good.
    For serfs, well, “breads and circuses”. Those don’t learn from history.

    The middle layer does, apparently. At last, now, without Iron Curtain, they can go somewhere else.

  74. Moi says:

    We’ll be broke before the bullets start flying.

  75. FB says:

    The Saker once again ventures into scientific technical territory without consulting someone who knows what they are talking about…the result is a fanboy type piece that does nothing to inform people about the true state of competition between the technology superpowers…

    Andrei Martyanov earlier stated a solid truism…

    ‘…War and weapons are a decisive factor in formation of the world order (or disorder), always were…’

    That is why people are curious about who really has the intellectual upper hand in terms of weapons technology…unfortunately articles like this [citing obscure bloggers etc] have no chance of advancing that goal of enlightening the layman on important matters…

    Here is a perfect example of the author getting in way over his head…

    ‘…there is now high-level official statements indicating that Russia might only produce a limited number of Su-57s. The reason? That the 4++ generation Su-35S is already very good good and much cheaper than the Su-57 …The same thing happened to the MiG-35 program (and before that to the MiG 1.44 project): they were beaten by Sukhoi…’

    Wow…it is hard to know where to begin to unpack this slice of ‘insight’…

    Here is the real story…the MiG 1.44 project lives on in the heart of the Su57…its engines…

    That MiG project marked the start of a very ambitious program to develop a truly revolutionary next-generation engine technology that has not yet appeared anywhere, but which the Russians claim is close to ready…the so-called ‘Izdeliye 30’ engine which is the fruit of the AL41 engine project begun on the 1.44…

    The innovation here is what is called ‘variable cycle’ technology…and the US has been working on this for at least the same time period…ie the last 25 years…the US original project being the GE YF120 which was part of the F22 development program…

    Variable cycle is revolutionary because it is so difficult, yet holds such great promise…the best way to understand why this engine technology is such a big deal is to understand some basics about how propulsion physics works…

    At low speeds from takeoff through high subsonic cruise…a high bypass ratio engine is more efficient, making more thrust at lower fuel consumed…based on the physical principle that moving a greater mass of air more slowly is more efficient than moving a small mass of air more quickly…at least at subsonic speeds…

    Bypass ratio being a technique whereby some portion of air entering the engine inlet is bypassed around the turbine engine core…and is propelled instead by a bypass fan…itself driven by the same turbine core by means of a shaft…

    As the airplane speed exceeds sonic velocity…bypassing air around the turbojet engine core hampers engine thrust and efficiency…the Concorde used pure turbojet engines to cruise without reheat [afterburner] at Mach 2.0…here moving a small mass of air at high speed is more effective…exactly the opposite of what we saw at subsonic…yes physics can be a tough taskmaster…

    At higher airplane speeds yet…the entire turbojet engine core becomes superfluous and the ideal thermodynamic engine cycle is the ramjet…whereby air compression inside the engine inlet is achieved simply by the speed of the air ramming in…therefore no compressor is required, and no turbine to drive that compressor…the compressed ram air is simply ignited with fuel and the engine works with no moving parts…which is why it’s sometimes called a ‘stovepipe’…

    Actually building a working and usable example of such a device has never been done…and it would immediately give the owner of such a technology an unmatched wonder weapon that could provide a decisive advantage in any air combat conflict…just as the Messerschmidt 262 jet was basically unstoppable by the piston aircraft of WW2…[although it came too late to do any good]…

    Right now the goal is to achieve the first two steps only…ie to be able to change from higher to lower bypass…and foregoing the high speed ramjet part entirely [it is way too ambitious for any schemes executable with present ingenuity]…

    Even this variable bypass ability is only of limited scale…ie you cannot go from a high bypass engine where much more air is bypassed around the turbine core…to a pure turbojet where no air is bypassed at all…

    Even this seemingly modest proposal has been the object of desire for three decades of propulsion technology…if the Russian pronouncements are to be believed that the Izdeliye 30 [based on the AL41 tech of the 1.44] is nearly ready to go into actual production and service entry on the Su57…then that is a VERY big deal…

    GE is also making noises about its ‘adaptive cycle’ engine but there is scant info on if and when this will be ready…

    The fundamental physical problem of a truly variable bypass engine is enormous…this has to do with the fact that the turbomachinery inside the engine core is of a fixed volume design…ie you can’t change the diameter of a compressor or turbine wheel to make it bigger or smaller, on the fly…the turbomachinery is capable of ‘gulping’ only a certain amount of air determined by its physical geometry, within a relatively small flow range…

    [Think of a wind turbine…it can only work at a certain range of windspeeds…if you wanted to use it in hurricane speed winds, you would need entirely redesigned blades of much smaller diameter…]

    So even the present schemes that I am familiar with don’t really change the amount of air that is ‘gulped’ in by the engine core…but merely change the thrust that given volume of air going into the inlet will produce…big difference…

    The end result is really not a variable bypass engine [or variable cycle engine] but really it has to do with small improvements like optimizing the flow conditions inside the engine inlet…the efficiency of the ram pressure recovery inside that inlet…and the minimization of spillage at the inlet opening, which causes drag on the airplane etc…

    This just goes to show how difficult game-changing advances really are in the propulsion field…

    Still…if the new Saturn AL41 engine has made even a modest advance in the ‘variable cycle’ area it will be an indicator of the general state of the propulsion race for supremacy…a very important race and possibly a very good indicator of who is ahead overall…

    As for the Su57 versus the Su35 which the author mentions…the Su35 with the new ‘variable’ engines would be a superior airplane to the Su57 anyway, owing to the fact that ‘stealth’ skins are useless weight on any vehicle that needs to fly…and so the Su35 can carry 1,000 kg more fuel than the Su57…

    Trading useless ‘stealth’ for fuel is a no-brainer to anyone who knows anything and isn’t under the influence of koolaid…[or MIC graft]

    [Incidentally ‘stealth’ was invented by Russian scientist Pyotr Ufimtsev in the early 1960s from whose seminal book, translated into English by the USAF academy, sprung the F117 and B2…since then the ‘stealth’ hokey pokey has simply been an extremely efficient tool for extracting untold wealth into the pockets of MIC parasites…]

  76. FB says:

    ‘…Russia’s contingent in Syria could easily be wiped out by conventional means with Russia having no means of conventional retaliation in the ME area…’


    Would be really interested in hearing your ‘expert’ scenario of how this ‘wiping’ out would be accomplished…LOL…

    • Replies: @Kiza
  77. FKA Max says: • Website

    Recent increase in Pentagon budget equals the whole Russian military budget.

    You are aware of the fact that Russia spends around 60% more (5.4% in 2015) on their military on a share of GDP percentage/basis than the U.S. (3.3% in 2015), right?

  78. FKA Max says: • Website

    The U.S. Defense budget was actually higher in 2008 through 2012 in total numbers/amounts (666, 666, 691, 687 and 645 billion U.S. Dollars) than it is in 2018 (639 billion U.S. Dollars), if these figures are correct:


    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  79. @Andrei Martyanov

    In this you are right: posture scares the bastards more than the actual weapons. Neither North Korea nor Iran have weapons to worry the US, but their posture scares the US elites more than Chinese weapons (which are not as advanced as Russian, some copy-catted from Russian versions, some just purchased from Russia, but still pretty formidable). There is a reason for that: weapons do not win wars, will to fight does that. Look at Afghanistan: NATO troops with sophisticated and ridiculously expensive toys are afraid to venture out of their heavily fortified bases, whereas Taliban with primeval mentality and Kalashnikovs roams free all over the country.

    • Replies: @Poupon Marx
  80. @FKA Max

    By many estimates, the US GDP is inflated by about 60% (derivatives trading and similar gimmicks are counted). There many doubts about the real US GDP. You can find them at many websites, e.g., these ones:
    If this taken into account, the US spends higher percentage of its real GDP than anyone else.
    Also, do you dispute the fact that the US spends on “defense” more than the rest of the world combined? Are we “defending” from Martians? What’s the MIC story?

    • Replies: @FKA Max
  81. @FKA Max

    I am not even arguing with the numbers produced by the same US government that is wholly owned by the 0.01%, which includes the main beneficiaries of MIC. DoD budget does not include special funding for ongoing wars, as wells as DoE funding for maintenance of nukes, etc. Simple gimmicks for simple people (sheeple, as some put it).

  82. @Echoes of History

    I spent almost my whole working life as a licensed U.S. Merchant Mariner. I retired as Chief Engineer and spend most of my 34 years in supervising positions. I have had US Navy personnel come aboard as they came out of the Navy. All were far less than what I would have expected. Most are incapable of problem solving, open thinking, or just diagnosing machinery or a system that was not rote memorization or out of a manual. The Navy depends on quantity not quality to get the job done. Each Engine Department member is micro-trained for a limited scope job. Thinking of a better way, or a way based on being there that is not THE NAVY WAY will get you busted and disciplined. In the Merchant Marine, we depend on better ways because we are short handed. Typically, the Navy needs 5 or 6 times the manpower that we do to get the same job done on the same ship.

    There have been Navy supply or spy ships that were re-manned by civilian companies by bid. When we took over, I was amazed at the number of sailors we replaced. Early on, I noticed in Naval bases the quality of the crew coming off of supply ships, oiler, and even combat and submarine crew. They were embarrassingly low quality.

    By comparison, merchant mariners are Special Forces compared to grunts and “Leg M_Fers”. Four Engine Department engineers and a couple of unlicensed run the entire operation on huge ocean going ships.

    This stupid Afearmotive Ackshun twat would have not survived. As a Third Mate she would be shunned and made to debark. Likewise the rest of the “Diversity is our strength” riffraff and poodles.
    I have taken ships from one side of the Inland Sea of Japan, through the close anchorage of ships in Singapore, Hong Kong, up and down the Mississippi River to NOLA and Baton Rouge more time than I have fingers and toes. In every case, a Captain and one of his mates were on the Bridge calmly and conversationally communicating and issuing orders like they were talking about a dinner menu. Quiet confidence and efficiency. Like chess players, they see moves ahead, potential situations using radar and binoculars and feed back from the one unlicensed sailor on the Bridge.

    The fact that so many people have to be involved with a rapidly changing situation of a lot of pieces means the obvious: a lot of small horsepower engines are needed to move the machine. This is almost a parody of a tedious, overstocked government bureaucracy.

    I’m only half joking when I ask: were any crew members involved in the middle of supplications to Mecca on a prayer rug? Were any not quite up to snuff due to hormones raging imbalances due to sex change surgery? The entire US Military is multi-cults, PC rancid disease center, imposed for social research and verification of Critical Theory. Actual defense and the process of destroying an enemy are down the list from there.

  83. prusmc says: • Website
    @FKA Max

    Does Russia have a useless class of long term parasites wallowing in a portion of the GDP? Does Russia have open borders and a policy of supporting anyone who shows up on public funds? Does Russia bring thousands of incompatable and impossible to assimilate economic refugees into the country and then milk the working population to support them, forever?
    If the answer to any or all these questions is NO, then we have a partial explanation for the higher proportion of its military expenditure allocation.

    • Replies: @FKA Max
  84. @Johnny Rico

    While Chief Engineer on a survey vessel in the Arabian Gulf, a couple of hundred meters off the territorial boundary of Iran, I saw an Iranian fighter fly about 1000 feet crossways over the nuclear carrier about a mile away.

    Therefore, in tight waters like the Arabian Gulf, Suez, and especially the Straits of Hormuz, a vessel is an easy target. It’s like a cowboy movie where the posse rides into a narrow, boxed canyon.

    • Replies: @Johnny Rico
    , @Cyrus
  85. peterAUS says:
    @Poupon Marx

    Not a bad post.

    Still, you’ve missed a couple of points here.
    Big points, though.

    One:casualties and maintaining combat capability (re number of people onboard).
    Two: being under fire, dying and/or getting mutilated onboard (re “merchant mariners being calm, collected and competent”).

    This “conversation” (US Navy shortcomings) came up here several months ago. In that thread I posted a very good analysis of those collisions etc. by a Merchant Marine senior Captain/Master. It’s somewhere on the Net. Take a look if you want.

    So, while there is plenty of room for improvement, of course, the fixes aren’t, really, related to Merchant Marine.

    Or, to be (c)rude: how many Merchant Marine ships have been taken, en route, by a couple of skiffs with guys with AKs?
    Shameful, a?
    Or not.

    Different things………

    • Replies: @Poupon Marx
  86. FKA Max says: • Website


    From one of your linked articles:

    In 2000, the U.S. consumed a total of 98.8 Quadrillion BTU’s (Quad BTU’s) of energy to produce $10.6 trillion in GDP. Amazingly, in 2017, the U.S. only burned 97.9 Quad BTU’s to generate $19.4 trillion in GDP. It seems as if the U.S. economy has figured out some magical way to consume less energy to produce nearly double the GDP.

    Yes indeed, e.g. insulation, for example, and other energy efficiency and saving measures and technologies and the growth of service sector vs. the decline of (energy intensive) manufacturing jobs as a share of GDP:

    Chart of the day: In 2014, the US economy was more than twice as energy efficient (‘green’) as in 1970 when Earth Day started


    Cars in the U.S. are more fuel-efficient than ever. Here’s how it happened.


    Decades worth of progressive energy-efficiency standards for refrigerators have translated into big savings for consumers. Compared to refrigerators of the 1970s, today’s refrigerators save the nation about $20 billion per year in energy costs, or $150 per year for the average American family.

    The next proposed increase in refrigerator and freezer efficiency — scheduled to take effect in 2014 — will save the nation almost four and a half quadrillion BTUs over 30 years. That’s three times more than the total energy currently used by all refrigeration products in U.S. homes annually.

    How Jobs in the Service Sector Have Soared


    Also, do you dispute the fact that the US spends on “defense” more than the rest of the world combined?

    Yes, I contest that claim.

    Rank Country Spending
    ($ Bn.)
    % of GDP % of World share
    World total 1,739 2.2
    1 United States United States 610.0 3.1 35.0

    Maybe you meant all NATO countries combined instead of just the U.S. alone? Then you would be correct… according to these figures all NATO countries combined currently are 56% of total world defense spending:


    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @AnonFromTN
  87. @peterAUS

    I’ve seen your posts before. They are filled with chaff and irrelevant fluff. You are a copy and paste latrine jockey with little account that is substantial or concrete. In the marine world you are a nat, or more likely a nit and nabob who has accomplished nothing and talks and says little.

    I am not talking about casualty survival, and neither was the original poster, you dolt. It was strictly about quality of crew. Your outsourcing of opinions is ludicrous to me, as I am not what you are, namely a humbug who writes in a sub-literate manner with mangled syntax, a symptom of massive dysfunction in your control center.

    I will not stoop to argue and demolish a wounded child with mental problems. Be gone. I do argue or discuss with incompetents.

    • Replies: @FB
    , @peterAUS
  88. @Ilham

    I agree with you that women don’t belong on warships. My comment was tongue-in-cheek, but you missed that.

  89. FKA Max says: • Website

    Does Russia have a useless class of long term parasites wallowing in a portion of the GDP?


    Can Russia afford to be a great power?

    While Russia wants to be recognised as a great power, and has sufficient economic power and potential to encourage it to behave accordingly, there are economic limits to its behaviour.

    There have been significant increases in social spending in recent years. Still, allocations as a percentage of GDP remain below developed world levels: in 2013 total health spending was 3.2 per cent, against an average 6.5 per cent for OECD countries; in 2012 the figures for education were 4 per cent and 5.3 per cent, respectively.
    Social welfare has, however, become an ever more important contributor to the economic security of the poorer sections of Russian society. This is an issue of great political sensitivity, since it is generally considered that the recipients of non-productive social spending are the core of Putin’s constituency (as well as being the most vulnerable section of the population). So far the only social spending changes relate to means testing and eligibility requirements for social welfare payments — that is, measures that could claim to contain an element of social justice. But one, perhaps two, costly commitments remain. The first is pensions. Under the circumstances of the 2014 crisis, Putin accepted the need for the partial indexation of pensions for two years. Full indexation is included in the 2017 budget, although only for non-working pensioners, a sign of means testing in operation. But despite constant efforts by fiscal conservatives, raising the pension age remains firmly off the agenda. [This has since changed]:


    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
  90. @FKA Max

    The thing is, Russia does have the need for whatever defence spending is required as it has the ZUSA, ZUK and NATO loitering with hostile intent on its very doorstep and also provoking conflict elsewhere in the world wherever they can. The sheer volume of hostile propaganda against Russia should leave little doubt of that in any reasonable person’s mind. The USA, on the other hand, is not threatened by any other nation unless one considers civilian migration (invasion) of torrents of people from the Third World.

  91. @Ron Unz

    Russia is a CULTURE, and an ancient one, where identify, blood and soil and genetic history are in the forefront of consciousness. Having endured so much pain and suffering for centuries, the Russians have a resilience today that I and any other would be a fool to underestimate. I think of Russian as a bear but also a wolverine, that punches way above its weight. Such a country produces warriors that are motivated by the Motherland identity of extended family.

    America? Soldiers and fighting men, women, trans, cisgender, not sures? Please. Once forward American troops cannot text and the toilet paper runs out, they are all done. Just remember not only the bumbling of the patrol boat picked up by the Iranians, but the whole comportment and breakdown of the frosted doughnuts with sparkles Navy personnel. It would take 20 of these simpering, sniveling “Millennials” to equate to a Russian warrior. Ever hear of the expression “dormitory hands”? Russians and Chinese know all about our Cultural Marxism delusions, hallucinations and denials.

    Soft men with soft faces and soft hands. Aren’t they kinda cute?

    Now, repeat after me: ELECTRO MAGNETIC PULSE. HACKING. SOFTWARE VIRUSES. Our multi-cults, racially diverse, non White Priviledge, Disparate Impact, etc Armed Services are ready for bed and warm milk. And it’s downhill from here. One more Democrat Administration and we might as well sue for terms.

    This story will indicate who and what you think is keeping you safe when you sleep:

    • Agree: FB
    • Replies: @MacNucc11
  92. @FKA Max

    Sure, derivatives or even stock trading is “green”. I sell you a billion dollars’ worth of paper, then you sell me the same paper for the same billion, and GDP is increased by 2 billion almost w/o any energy expenditure. Not to mention that both of us have a legit job. Keep posting.

    • Replies: @FB
    , @FKA Max
  93. @FKA Max

    Let me get the last part straight: so the MIC story is that it’s not the US alone, it’s NATO countries collectively defend themselves against the neighboring galaxy? That surely changes everything.

  94. FB says:
    @Poupon Marx

    Regarding your reply to Potatohead Peter…

    ‘…I’ve seen your posts before. They are filled with chaff and irrelevant fluff. You are a copy and paste latrine jockey with little account that is substantial or concrete. In the marine world you are a nat, or more likely a nit and nabob who has accomplished nothing and talks and says little…’

    Always glad for a hearty belly laugh…’latrine jockey’…what a howler [because it’s so spot on]

    I trust Potatohead will make good use of that new asshole you ripped him…LOL

  95. @FKA Max

    Would that be the same Lowy Institute founded by billionaire, ardent Zionist and former Israeli “Defence” Force member, Frank Lowy? That would truly be an unbiased source for some, but not all, nor many.

  96. @AnonFromTN

    ” There is a reason for that: weapons do not win wars, will to fight does that. Look at Afghanistan: NATO troops with sophisticated and ridiculously expensive toys are afraid to venture out of their heavily fortified bases, whereas Taliban with primeval mentality and Kalashnikovs roams free all over the country.” An EXTREMELY important point. Think: What commitment does the typical American military person have to “defend the Homeland”. 51% of Millennials are “not extremely proud” to be American. Think: Compare American military motivation with that of Russia or China. They are fighting for their soil and blood, their ancestral home. There is no “iffy” cosmopolitan individualism here. At any given time a Muslim in America or Western Europe can enter a large room and auditorium and shout, “I’m going to kill all of you”! And what is most likely to happen is that the entire room or auditorium will scream and stampede to the exits. We are all Finns on a sinking ferry; waiting below decks to be told what to do and when it is safe again.

    I’m 70, grew up in a military family and worked with the Armed Services in logistics, sea lift, and ahem, on survey vessels as Chief Engineer. I’ve lived in different countries and visited many. I got to meet the people and interact face to fact. What’s real and actual is the important and essential.

    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
  97. peterAUS says:
    @Poupon Marx

    I’ve seen your posts before.

    I’ve seen yours too.

    You are still on “latrine”, “wounded child”, “mental problems”…..
    Feeding your true needs here.
    Got hungry I guess, slipped too fast. Wasted a handle change.


  98. FB says:

    Dude…why do you encourage Fartmeister to keep trolling here…?

    Just a minute ago ‘Poupon Marx’ tore Potatohead Pete a new asshole…calling him a ‘copy and paste latrine jockey’…that applies exponentially to Fartmeister…look at the insane collection of garbage he’s been slapping up here…everything from Tom Cruise movie posters to massive copy paste from WaPo and the like…

    What do you think would happen if you went and wallpapered an entire city block with spam…?…you’d get carted off to jail that’s what…

    Yet this friggin moron does the equivalent here and is encouraged to ‘keep posting’…?

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  99. @Poupon Marx

    Great commentary there! I’ve heard parts of what you’ve said before, but you’ve brought them together in a succinct way.

  100. FKA Max says: • Website

    I sell you a billion dollars’ worth of paper, then you sell me the same paper for the same billion, and GDP is increased by 2 billion almost w/o any energy expenditure.

    Are you sure about that?

    What is Counted in GDP?

    A product will only be counted in GDP one time in its life. So, current transactions involving assets and property produced in previous periods are not counted in the current GDP. For instance, if a laptop produced in the year 2000 is resold in 2006, the GDP of 2006 will not include the resale value of the laptop because this is a mere transfer of ownership entailing no creation of new value.

    Other things not included in the GDP are government social security and welfare payments, current exchanges in stock and bonds, and changes in the values of financial assets. Since GDP measures the market values of goods and services, economic activities that do not pass through the regular market channels are excluded in the computation of GDP. GDP doesn’t include activities that go on in black market channels. This is particularly important to note when looking at third world countries that may have a significant part of their economy involved in the sale of black market goods, in which case their level of productivity would not be accurately reflected by looking at GDP.

    Only stockbroker commissions are counted in the GDP in exchanges like you described, not the transactional value itself, as far as I know.

    GDP: Is it Counted?

    Cash received by a college student at WashU from the sale of Microsoft (MSFT) stock on the NYSE.
    excluded: financial transaction
    The commission paid to the stock broker for processing the sale of MSFT stock on the NYSE.
    Included: Consumer expenditures, service

    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
  101. Kiza says:

    Poor utu, he is wiping out the Russian contingent in Syria every night but wakes up only with his panties wet.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  102. FB says:

    Just a heads up to Linh Dinh’s latest ‘postcard’ article up here on the site…

    Obscured American: Chang the Owner of Jenny’s Place and Dollar City

    A little off topic for this thread perhaps, but generally ‘rhymes’ with the vibe of imperial decline that is a common thread to much discussion on this site…

    Some choice quotes from saloon owner Chang…

    ‘…When I open this bar, the people here didn’t like it. They say, “Hey, you Chinese and you own this bar?” They gave me problems the first five years, but you have to be strong. I beat up a tough guy. Once you do that, then they scare…’

    ‘…I have two son, one daughter. My son, they study at Drexel. Mechanical engineering and electrical engineering…’

    ‘…I been here 31 years. If you want me to go to another country and fight, I won’t go. Why?! If somebody invade this country, then I fight, because this is my country. Yes, I’ll fight to defend it…’

    ‘…All empire collapse. They go up, down. They all go down. The US is almost done. When US go down, I go back to China.

    I say this to everybody, and they all agree with me. Just ask them! They all say, Yeah, the US is going down…’

  103. Curt says:

    At Quartermaster July 13, 2018 at 4:05 pm GMT:

    The combined USA Bigly debt of both government and private is to the tune of 70+ Trillion Federal Reserve Ghosts.

    Know how much printed/coined FRN’s are in actual circulation?

    And I am betting that you think a portion of the USA Bigly citizen fair share in tax dollars PAYS for all our crap up front.

    But, but, but… “Putin simply doesn’t have the money for most of what he’s bragging about.”


  104. @FKA Max

    There are lies, big lies, and statistics.
    Do not know what definitions the USA follows, but the EU Bureau of Statistics now includes defense spending as income, drug trade as income, estimated.
    Anything to suggest economic growth, and getting more money for the EU, a % of GDP.
    GDP always was an arbitrary concept, the value of government spending is seen is income for the same amount.
    An interesting example: road accidents increase GDP, car sales, repair, medical care, etc
    My university professor in the 60ties already taught us how arbitrary the concept is.
    If two neighbouring housewives do each other’s household, and pay each other, GDP increases.

    • Replies: @FKA Max
  105. @Poupon Marx

    Weapons do win wars, but then the peace problems begin.
    The history of the Visigothic kingdom of Toulouse, it lasted 40 years, in this respect is very interesting.
    The USSR had to keep troops all over eastern Europe.
    Israel has been continually fighting since 1948.
    I wonder what would happen if the USA did not have the largest USA military base outside the USA in Germany, Ramstein.
    There are demonstrations against the base galore.
    The Japan people demonstrate against USA military presence.
    Trump now wants the NATO countries in Europe to pay more.
    Already comments are written that he just wants to sell more weapons.
    Politicians and mainstream media may try to portray Russia as a threat, the difficulty of course is that Russia keeps Europe warm by selling Russian gas.

  106. MacNucc11 says:

    All Putin needs to do is brag about some weapons and the tools in congress will call for more money for military spending. Eventually he wins by default when we have to sell off all this high priced junk at bargain prices. They are also in a much better position economically and the sanctions seem to be helping not hurting.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  107. MacNucc11 says:
    @Poupon Marx

    “One more Democrat Administration and we might as well sue for terms.”

    Thanks for that, too funny.

  108. MacNucc11 says:
    @Ron Unz

    Agree on this. The Russians play it smart with a fraction of our military budget. Also one must remember that our military is also a social program producing broken people dependent on the state. Because it basically exists to open markets for the global elites it cannot simply function as a deterrent as it should. It is designed to occupy and dominate at ridiculous cost.

  109. @Kiza

    Sounds like the Ukies: they daily destroy countless Russian divisions in Donbass (which they never manage to photograph: their phone batteries mysteriously lose charge as soon as they see Russian troops), yet their glorious victories always end up with wet pants and nothing else.

  110. @MacNucc11

    In the short term, the sanctions did hurt Russian economy, although they are likely to help in the long-term, making it a lot more self-reliant. Besides, Russian imports shifted from stupid suppliers who introduced genuine sanctions (say, Germany, France, and many other EU countries, not to mention hapless Ukraine that never misses a chance to make a self-defeating move) to smarter ones, who openly came out against sanctions (say, China and many Latin American countries), simply refused to march to the sanctions drumbeat (say, South Korea), or introduced only token sanctions to fool the US without hurting their trade with Russia (say, Israel, Japan). Some say that the fact that the sanctions championed by the US seriously hurt Europeans is an unintended consequence. I believe that it was intended: the US goal was to bring down both Russia and their European competitors. The latter blindly stepped into this trap. The US succeeded in bringing down Europe a lot more than in hurting Russia, but that does not mean that the sanctions policy failed, it just means that only half of the US objectives were achieved.

    • Replies: @MacNucc11
    , @Philip Owen
  111. FKA Max says: • Website
    @jilles dykstra

    That’s all well and good, but if this applies to the U.S. why doesn’t it apply to Russia as well, that is my question?

    Are there no car accidents and is there no medical care in Russia?

    Russia, for example, has a car traffic fatality rate almost double that of the U.S.’s, and even quadruple that if the total number of vehicles in the country is taken into account:

    Country Road fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants per year[4] Road fatalities per 100,000 motor vehicles[4]


    United States 10.6 12.9
    Russia 18.9 53.4

    So, bad Russian drivers/driving actually give Russia a GDP advantage over the U.S.

    I’m pretty sure economists apply uniform standards when they calculate countries’ GDPs.

    They compare apples to apples, so to speak, not apples to oranges.

    If we compare medical costs the U.S. has a massive GDP advantage over Russia:

    Total health expenditure per capita in U.S. dollars. Not inflation adjusted.

    Countries 2000 2005 2010 2015

    Russian Federation 95 272 567 524
    United States of America 4,562 6,453 7,950 9,536

    If we subtract the per capita medical costs from per capita nominal GDP:

    List of per capita nominal GDP for countries and dependencies [2017]

    United States 59,501
    Russia 10,608

    we get a per capita nominal GDP of :

    USA 59,501 – 9,536 = ~50,000 which is a ~16% decrease in nominal GDP

    Russia 10,608 – 524 = ~10,000 which is a ~5% decrease in nominal GDP

    For 2017 this would reduce :

    U.S. nominal GDP from ~19 trillion to about 16 trillion


    Russian nominal GDP from ~1.5 trillion to about 1.4 trillion


    This would put the Pentagon budget ( Source: ) of around 610 billion as ~3.8% of the adjusted/reduced U.S. GDP of about 16 trillion.

    For Russian with a military budget of 66 billion (same source as above) after the medical cost adjustment/reduction this would be ~4.7% of a 1.4 trillion GDP.

    Still about 24% higher than the U.S.’s military budget to nominal GDP percentage/ratio.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
    , @MacNucc11
  112. peterAUS says:
    @FKA Max

    ….if this applies to the U.S. why doesn’t it apply to Russia as well, that is my question?

    You appear to be questioning a religious belief here.

    In the “Team Russia” articles/threads/comments it’s an act of (simple) faith: Russia good/stronk, USA bad/weak.

    That’s the Kremlin line, implemented by certain people around and, much more importantly, desperately needed by majority of readers/commentators around.
    Desperation being a keyword.

    Funny and sort of sad at the same time. Say, 80/20 %.

  113. @Sean

    In about a decade and a half the US will no longer longer have tritium for nuclear triggers

    the main point from the article

    By the early 2030s, the viability of the entire U.S. nuclear deterrent is at risk from an inability to produce tritium for nuclear warheads

    Note this is roughly the time between now and when Bush JR. was President

    We don’t test them, we don’t know if they’ll work and counting on China, Russia, Pakistan, the Norks or anyone else not to just get a little payback and glass us is counting on too much

    If we aren’t going to be able to destroy our enemies on account of our IQ dropping and tech failing, maybe we should make nice.

    US tech is lagging in every area on account of joke of an education system, mass immigration and a population collapse among the smarter people do to our economics

    This is all public knowledge and if anyone thinks our foes and rivals aren’t making plans, thinks again

    That rosy scenario assumes the Left doesn’t get enough power to blunder us into a civil war of course

  114. MacNucc11 says:

    Things change. Just because it has not happened before does not mean that it cannot or won’t. Russia’s history as a modern world power start sometime around 30 years ago. They have gotten up to speed in pretty remarkable time.

  115. MacNucc11 says:

    I agree but then hurting the EU could also help Russia in the long run. If the EU goes away but whatever means, that is a win for Russia as there are more chances for beneficial deals with the desperate energy dependent states.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  116. MacNucc11 says:
    @FKA Max

    So what I am seeing from your numbers is that the total U.S. military budget by your calculations is at least 9 times that of Russia who is their closest competitor in spending. All this to end up with basically the same amount of deterrent capability. That can probably be explained by the fact that a huge chunk of the Pentagon budget has gone unaccounted for.

    • Replies: @FKA Max
  117. @MacNucc11

    Yes, but remember: the US elites have degenerated since 1991. Boundless greed and ridiculous shortsightedness are their major weaknesses. Shameless lies and cowardice are actually their greatest strengths: they would have been wiped out without those traits.

  118. FKA Max says: • Website

    Nuclear deterrent capability is not that important:

    Forget Britain’s nuclear deterrent – here’s what Russia is really afraid of

    Russia is being weaponised to justify big-ticket buys for the UK military, yet there’s little talk of what Moscow thinks matters

    Of course there are many other facets essential to the UK’s defence capability. What doesn’t seem to worry the Russians? Not once have I heard any taking our “independent nuclear deterrent” seriously. For all kinds of reasons, this is currently not under serious debate – though taking its cost out of the defence budget would make a massive difference – but let us not pretend it is because Moscow thinks it matters.

    The defence review must consider British interests in the round, of course. But if deterring the Russians is a major concern, then it is worth paying attention to what might really deter them: a flexible, fast-moving and versatile force of true professionals. Not necessarily with the heaviest kit, the biggest ships or the priciest aircraft, but able to get where they are needed, when they are needed.

    …Russia who is their closest competitor in spending.

    Actually, I think China and Saudi Arabia spend more than Russia. China considerably more (200+ billion).

    The U.S. is not worried about Russia militarily only (counter-)intelligence/propaganda-wise. China is a different story.

    But for China to compete with combined NATO military spending, which is roughly 1 trillon U.S. Dollars, China would have to almost quintuple its nominal GDP if it keeps its current, estimated 2% as share of GDP military spending level.

    So China would need an almost 60 trillion US Dollar nominal GDP, which would be a 1.2 trillion U.S. Dollar military budget at a 2% spending level, and all NATO countries would have to stop growing their GDPs and keep their military spending levels at today’s relatively low (except for the the U.S., of course) levels, e.g. Germany currently 1.2% of GDP.

    I believe China might never reach military spending parity with the NATO countries, but I could be wrong.

    Currently (2015 figures) NATO member states have a combined nominal GDP of about 36 trillion U.S. Dollars and they spend a combined about 900 billion on defense:

    NATO 932,645,526 36,211,501 904,913 2.9 934 3,515,000 –

    900 billion out of a collective 36 trillion nominal GDP is 2.5%, which is absolutely sustainable, in my opinion, especially if countries like Germany, Italy, Canada, etc. start increasing their military spending so that the U.S. doesn’t have to shoulder most of the financial burden:


    And then there is, of course, also “Major non-NATO ally” Japan in the mix whose current military spending level of 0.9% as a share of GDP is one of the lowest in the world. Japan raising its military spending to 2% of GDP would make it a major player, easily surpassing Russia.

    2049: JAPAN NOT CHINA Will be Asia’s DOMINANT Power


    China’s Militarized KABUKI THEATRE


    • Replies: @FKA Max
    , @MacNucc11
  119. Initially, some tried to dismiss it as “Russian propaganda” and “bad CGI”

    I didn’t watch Putin’s presentation and can’t comment on the CGI quality but I know for certain it was, at least in part, “Russian propaganda”. Every time a government spokesman, let alone a head-of-sate, makes a speech for public consumption you can be sure it contains elements of propaganda. It’s what governments do. Do you really think only western governments try to covertly influence their supporters and detractors? If so, that is beyond naive.

    Not all propaganda is of the over-the-top, batshit insane variety cooked up in the dank cellars of post-2016 CNN, BBC, NYT, Guardian et al.

  120. FKA Max says: • Website
    @FKA Max

    I found this blog post on why nominal GDP as opposed to purchasing power parity GDP is a more useful measure of a country’s military capability/capacity. Even so GDP (PPP) is not to be completely disregarded: Archived link:


    Furthermore, GDP-based PPP rates are of limited relevance for the conversion of military expenditure data into US dollars. Such PPP rates are designed to reflect the purchasing power for goods and services that are representative of spending patterns in each country, that is, primarily for civilian goods and services. Military expenditure is used to purchase a number of goods and services which are not typical of national consumption patterns. For example, the price of conscripts can be assumed to be lower than the price of a typical basket of goods and services, while the prices of advanced weapon systems and of their maintenance and repair services can be assumed to be much higher. […] Thus Crane et al (2005) argue that, while military services have large personnel costs, a substantial share of military equipment purchased by developing-country militaries is imported or incorporates components that are manufactured from materials and parts sold at world market prices, such as electronics, diesel engines, or aircraft frames. Thus they suggest that, for some purposes, GDP measured at market exchange rates may give a more realistic picture of changes in military capacity (Crane et al 2005, pp.16-17).

    Then the specific example of China is discussed and analyzed:

    Measuring Hard Power: China’s Economic Growth and Military Capacity

    China’s rapid economic development has facilitated a dramatic increase in its military capacity and international security presence. But there is considerable disagreement over how large its economy and military capacity is. Underlying the debate is the fact that market and PPP exchange rate comparisons give very different pictures of China’s relative economic size, and neither is the appropriate price deflator with which to compare relative military capacities. We address this issue by deriving a relative military cost (RMC) exchange rate for China which converts RMB to US dollar expenditures in terms of real military services. This shows that both market and PPP exchange rate comparisons of China’s real GDP understate its relative military capacity. Nevertheless we also show that the real expansion of China’s military capacity over the last decade has been much smaller than its GDP growth, due to the rapidly growing wage costs faced by China’s military. –

  121. Sean says:
    @Echoes of History

    Nuclear weapons are a deterrent to nuclear war, and in practice any conventional attack that has sufficient conventional wherewithal would be by a country with all types of nuclear weapons and thus backed by the threat of at best nuclear tit for tat escalating to an all out exchange.

    That is why Nato feared the tube artillery (and FROG aimed at airfields) and tanks that the Warsaw Pact had. A steamroller conventional Soviet attack could have been stopped with nukes, in theory, but the US would not have done that because the Soviets taking Western Europe would have won but round one in a global conflict against the world’s most powerful economy: a war that the Soviet Union could not possibly have hoped to win. This is well understood at the top level: Henry Kissinger brought in to teach Reagan advised him never to initiate the use of nuclear weapons.

    Keeping it conventional also suits Russia, because faced with a Barbarossa style attack it can always retreat into strategic space, with the possibility of future resurgence. There have been various worries about tactical weapons parity, and it is theoretically possible that a much weaker conventional opponent who is also weaker in strategic weapons might build such a battlefield nukes superiority that it could use one and present the opponent with the dilemma of whether to capitulate or go tit for tactical tat, but that assumes such an opponent could count on a country with strategic superiority not esculating the gambit up a level and replying with a single strategic strike–daring the tactical nuke agressor to start a strategic exchange.

    China is going to turn Russia into its Alaska. Before too long, China will have nuclear and conventional qualitative and quantitative superiority over Russia, and they already have the money to take all the resources Russia has to sell (the Russia economy is the same size as Italy’s). They’ll selling the oil and so why not the water? All those tactical nukes Russia has will only be good for

  122. bluedog says:
    @FKA Max

    And you know of course that GDP that scared cow which we love to worship means little to nothing,where debt is counted where decayed roads bridges culverts electrical grid is counted where slums are counted where financial debt,scams and schemes are all counted as all on the plus side of GDP…

  123. MacNucc11 says:
    @FKA Max

    Russia and China spending less is a benefit to them. Spending does not translate into military capability. The spending becomes a burden and a drain on the economy. The military spending is one of the biggest weaknesses of the U.S. What will be the game changer is low cost but effective weapons. The only winner in this game is the country that does not bankrupt itself on its military.
    Russian and Chinese are also not affirmative action military so they are not carrying any useless baggage. They can get a lot more bang for less rubles/yen. What interest would Japan have in doubling their military spending to become a major player?

    • Replies: @FKA Max
    , @FKA Max
  124. FKA Max says: • Website

    Russia and China spending less is a benefit to them.

    Russia is not spending less than the U.S. as a share of GDP! China is.

    That was the entire point of all my comments in this comments thread, starting here:

    According to these figures Russia is at the greatest risk of collapse

    After Mr. Unz brought it up, and which I happen to agree with:

    For decades, there’s been a widespread belief in the West that the military overspending of the USSR brought about its fall, and whether or not that’s true, America certainly seems to be filling the supposed shoes of the Soviet Union these days.

    Yes, China has much more sustainable military spending than Russia and the U.S.

    Military spending above 3% as a share of GDP is problematic and unsustainable in the long-term, in my opinion.

    So the U.S. is also in unsustainable military spending territory as well.

    • Replies: @MacNucc11
    , @anon
  125. FKA Max says: • Website

    They can get a lot more bang for less rubles/yen.

    I just commented on this: In terms of troop size you are correct, but military manpower is not what is going to win the conflicts of the future, in my opinion: Modernizing China’s Military Opportunities and Constraints


    Crane et al. (2005)

    In Chapter Seven we provided two sets of projections of potential Chi -nese military expenditures through 2025 in 2001 dollars. The high- end forecast was based on our assumption that the maximum share of output that the Chinese government would be able to spend on defense in the context of current relatively benign perceptions of ex -ternal threats would be 5.0 percent of GDP. The second forecast is a mid-range projection based on the assumption that military spending will not rise above 2.3 percent of GDP. Projections were made by ma -jor expenditure category in renminbi and then converted into 2001 dollars using projected market or PPP exchange rates, whichever was more appropriate. For example, personnel costs were converted into 2001 dollars using PPP exchange rates while procurement costs were converted at market exchange rates. We believe that this composite ap -proach provides the most accurate comparison between Chinese and U.S. military expenditures.

    Both projections yield substantial sums. By 2025, our mid-range projection yields spending of $185 billion. However, 44 percent of these expenditures consist of personnel costs: operations and main -tenance and procurement and RDT&E costs were projected at $52 billion and $51 billion, respectively. The projection of military spend -ing under the maximum expenditure scenario results in considerably higher numbers: military spending rises from an estimated $76 billion in 2003 to $403 billion in 2025, at which time China would be spend -ing close to a third more than the United States did in 2003. However, this projection is truly a maximum in terms of what China is likely to be able to afford. It is based on the assumption that the Chinese leader -ship would be willing to raise military expenditures to 5 percent of its GDP over a period when political pressures to increase spending on health, education, and pensions—not to mention infrastructure, the environment, and unemployment assistance—will be very strong

    – pp. 246-247

    Russian and Chinese are also not affirmative action military so they are not carrying any useless baggage.

    There is a problem whom, how and from where the U.S. national security recruits their personnel:

    The Most Militarized Universities in America: A VICE News Investigation

    While a tap on the shoulder by a campus recruiter at Princeton or Yale may have once led students down the path to joining the clandestine services, and a law degree may once have been a prerequisite to becoming a government special agent, those days, if they ever existed, are gone.

  126. Cyrus says:
    @Poupon Marx

    I must say as much as you have knowledge about merchant marine, your knowledge of geography is zero. It has always been the PERSIAN GULF. And will always be PERSIAN GULF. Hack that to your amusing brain sir.

    • Replies: @Poupon Marx
  127. MacNucc11 says:
    @FKA Max

    Russia’s military spending as a percent of GDP may be higher but overall it is still very low compared to the U.S. This could be for a lot of reasons. Most likely Russia is not spending a huge amount of money on other programs such as social services and education. Russia is much better off financially than the U.S. because they do not have anywhere near our debt levels. Whether their spending or ours is more unsustainable I guess we will see. Keep in mind that much of Russia’s spending in the past few years is due to them having to play catch up with the U.S. and NATO and to counter buildup of NATO on Russia’s borders. I don’t see Putin continuing to spend once he perceives he has what he needs. China improving their military helps Putin and allows him to spend less while it will mean we need to spend more.

    • Replies: @FKA Max
  128. FKA Max says: • Website

    Russia is much better off financially than the U.S. because they do not have anywhere near our debt levels.

    Agree there.

    The federal debt is headed for the highest levels since World War II, CBO says

    The CBO still projects debt rising very quickly, with particularly fast growth in the amount America spends on its debt interest payments. Interest costs are expected to approximately double as a share of the economy over the next decade and even overtake the cost of funding Social Security — the biggest expenditure in the federal budget — by 2048.

    Jerome Powell raising interests rates is a fool! He is the biggest menace to the U.S. at the moment, in my opinion. With current, high debt levels the U.S. needs to inflate away the debt through lower interest rates.

    Rising interest rates will be devastating to the US economy for one big reason


    For our exercise though, let’s stick with the CBO’s estimate. We are postulating that the interest rate on our national debt may return to the long-term, 30-year average of 5 percent. Note, too, that Treasury debt rolls over every three to four years, so the bonds maturing at low interest rates will be refinanced at higher rates.

    Let’s engage in some grammar school math. Take the CBO estimate of debt held by the public of $16.5 trillion in 2020. A 5 percent average interest rate on that amount comes to annual debt service of $825 billion, an unfathomable amount. (In 2017, interest on the debt held by the public was $458.5 billion, itself a scary number.)
    Under this 2020 scenario, one-half of all personal income taxes will go to servicing the national debt.
    Annual debt service in 2020 will exceed our newly increased defense budget of $700 billion in FY 2018.

    There is one area where Russia is (the) world leader, and which already is, but will increasingly become even more important in the coming years:

    Jim Rickards Says “Watch Russia’s Gold to GDP Ratio”

    More important as a measure of Russia’s gold power are gold reserves as a percentage of GDP. If we take GDP as a metric for the economy, and gold as a metric for real money, then the gold-to-GDP ratio tells us how much real money is supporting the real economy. It is the inverse of leverage through government debt.

    For the United States, that ratio is 1.8%. For China the ratio is estimated at 1.5% (China’s ratio is an estimate because China is non-transparent about the amount of gold in its reserves. The actual ratio is likely in a range of 1% to 3%).

    For Russia, the gold-to-GDP ratio is a whopping 5.6%, or three times the U.S. ratio. The only other economic power that comes close to Russia is the Eurozone. It consists of the 19 nations that use the euro and they collectively have just over 10,000 metric tonnes of gold.

    The gold-to-GDP ratio for the Eurozone is 3.6%; not as high as Russia, but double the U.S. ratio. On the whole, Russia is the strongest gold power in the world.


    • Replies: @FKA Max
  129. anon[108] • Disclaimer says:
    @FKA Max

    I wonder if GDP can be misleading .. Companies whose valuation are in multiple of billions but don’t pay taxes and don’t hire enough employees can distort GDP . Military spending from this kind of GDP doesn’t reflect true cost . Military budget comes from taxes received by government from companies and employees . Again I might be completely wrong .

    • Replies: @FKA Max
  130. FKA Max says: • Website

    I’m not sure I understand your points correctly?

    I don’t believe company valuations/market capitalization is counted in the GDP.

    But maybe I misunderstood your point?

    These are very good videos by Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz on inflation targeting and tax revenue maximization:

    Paul Krugman: There is an argument for doubling the Fed’s inflation target


    Joseph Stiglitz thinks the Fed should raise the inflation target

    Paul Krugman on tax revenue maximization

    Krugman Praises Paul Ryan’s Corporate Tax Reform Plan

    Border-adjustment tax (United States)

    In the United States, the Republican Party in 2016 included most of Auerbach’s recommendations in their policy paper “A Better Way — Our Vision for a Confident America”,[7] which promoted a move to “a destination-basis tax system.”[8]:27[9] As of February 2017, the proposal was the subject of heated debate – with Gary Cohn, Director of the National Economic Council opposing it[10] and the Koch brothers-funded Americans for Prosperity (AFP) lobby group, unveiling their plan to fight the tax.[11]


    ” It would “protect the U.S. tax base by improving business incentives” by “changing the system from taxing companies based on where they produce to based on where they sell.”
    Border-adjustment taxes would eliminate incentives that drive US corporations to “shift profit overseas and overcharge for purchases from subsidiaries abroad.”[5] For example, Apple Inc has been criticized for allegedly gaming the existing tax system.[5]

  131. Anon[420] • Disclaimer says:
    @Poupon Marx

    I was a naval officer for some years, including a tour with Sealift command, holding a make-work billet that was really to have a convoy control officer in place with the ships if the balloon went up and we had to get underway.

    Overall, you’re right about many things, but you overlook many others, and in some cases you are flatly wrong. Merchant Mariners are, I would say almost without exception, better sailors than their equivalents in the USN. You have been an engineer for 34 years, probably working at least 6 months a year underway.
    I was also an engineer but like all USN officers, due to our sea-shore rotation, if I had been in for as long as you, I would have somewhere between a quarter and a fifth of your actual ‘sea time’ at the end of it, since we have shore tours, joint staff tours, and numerous other things that take us off the ship for years at a time.
    So while you feel vastly superior to Navy officers, and perhaps you should, consider that 1) they are not tied to deck or engineering. You will do both in your career, about equally. 2) You frequently stand watch in deck, in the Navy, but your actual job is in engineering. This obviously greatly retards your development into true competence. 3) You have an additional, third watch station (your GQ station) that is unrelated to either of the other two billets, or shiphandling/engineering in general. Therefore, that 5:1 ratio of MM experience to USN experience is in reality more like 15:1. The Brits mitigate this by locking officers into deck or engineering tracks, like the MM, and I think we should do that also. It wouldn’t eliminate the problem, but it would take the difference from 15:1 down to something more like 6-7:1.
    Also, remember that Surface Warfare, both for enlisted and officers, is the bottom of the barrel in terms of Navy personnel. There have been four levels of ‘skimming’ off more qualified officers by time you get all the way down to Surface Warfare, which is the lowest priority and has the lowest standards. Again, there isn’t an easy way to solve this without giving the Navy Merchant Mariner pay and ‘I’m on unemployment for the 6 months I’m not underway’ scams which would nearly instantly bankrupt the DoD.
    It’s a tricky problem, but it’s also an ancient one. The Royal Navy has been struggling with a similar problem for at least 300 years.

    • Replies: @Poupon Marx
    , @peterAUS
  132. @Cyrus

    From Wikipedia:

    “Since about 2009, due to increased cooperation with Arab states of the Persian Gulf, various branches of the United States armed forces have issued directives to their members to use the “Arabian Gulf” when operating in the area to follow local conventions (“Persian Gulf” is still used in official publications and websites).[43] The practice of the United States Fifth Fleet, based in Bahrain, is to use “Arabian Gulf”:

    It is commonly understood to be a friendly gesture of solidarity and support for our host nation of Bahrain and our other Gulf Cooperation Council partners in the region to use the term they prefer

    — Spokesman for the United States Fifth Fleet, [44]

    Recall, as a parallel, “The War Between The States”, versus “The Civil War”. A turd by any other name is still a turd. Spanish: zurullo; german: Sheisse. Any questions?

  133. @Anon

    I agree with everything you said. Have we met before? It is a pleasure to converse with someone who knows what they are talking about, having “done the time”, “on the scene”, “in situ”, etc. That being said, to me, being a U.S. Naval Officer is a easier path than a Merchant Marine Engineer. And you are entirely correct that the Navy should have a separate career path for Engineer Officer in the Fleet. That includes the Coasting Guard, as well.

    I spent a number of years on Sealift ships, Hydrographic ones, missile trackers, etc.. all owned by the Navelry and crewed with poorly dressed and unshaven Merchant Mariners like myself. Appearance counts for exactly nothing in the MM. I was proud of my black Heavy Fuel Oil Stains on my work closthes.

    I became like Jake Holman, the engineer in the The Sand Pebbles. I had a great affinity and even love for the machinery, taking care of it, making it run better. Like a partnership. Machinery, like my cats, is always going to treat you loyally and reflects back on your treatment of it. I found individuality among machines that approached personality. People, in general, don’t measure up: unreliable, fickle, irrational, evil, deranged, etc, etc, etc. I always was very sensitive to sounds from machines. I could have been an orchestra conductor.

    Isn’t somewhat incredible that the Navy would not encourage DEEP involvement involving their engineers, choosing ones that have no interest than running The Plant, including every mechanical and physical system or unit aboard. Let them be separate and leave them relatively alone, using performance and output/efficiency as the sole criteria. Of course, this is the essence of Special Forces, yes?

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @FB
  134. Anonymous [AKA "Pete Anders"] says:
    @Echoes of History

    In the civilian world she would of lost her job at the very least and would probably be sued by the families of those affected. The military has become an employment agency for the unemployable, the only reason people join is for the benefits. It would be much cheaper for the US government to bring the troops home, park all these stupid useless, obsolete ships that they have and give everyone in the United States free medical and dental care.

    • Replies: @Poupon Marx
  135. peterAUS says:


    It’s like marksmanship. Competitive shooters are better shots than soldiers.
    Fieldcraft. (Serious) hunters are better in reading terrain and moving in rural environment than soldiers.

    But, naval officer has other responsibilities and duties apart from sailing. They are, actually, in his line of “work”, more important than sailing.

    That’s about personnel and their seamanship skills/experience.

    That article I mentioned, which the (resident) sociopath chose to ignore , describes another important element re those collisions.

    The CHAIN of report/order.

    I do suggest finding that article and reading it.
    In brief, in Merchant Navy there are three persons, tops, in that chain. Most of the time, on smaller ships, there is only one…a single officer of the watch on the bridge. He observers, makes a decision and executes it (change of course and/or speed). He also communicates, DIRECTLY, with the other ship. One guy….
    In naval shipt, FOUR persons, at MINIMUM.
    TIME…..and, ACCUMULATED small mistakes in perception and judgement. Bang.

    Again, that article really explains all that…….

    My two cents.

    • Replies: @Anon
  136. FKA Max says: • Website
    @FKA Max

    Maybe I was a little too hard on Jerome Powell. He seems to be aware of the debt problem/burden. But him saying we need to grow the economy faster than the debt and him simultaneously raising interest rates seems somewhat bipolar to me.


    Tax Cuts

    Jerome Powell says “U.S. fiscal policy has been on an unsustainable path for some time,” when asked about the tax cuts that Congress passed last year. “We need to get the economy growing faster than the debt.

    The Fed is raising interest rates. How does this affect you?

    Why rising US household debt is a sign of things to come

    Here’s the thing: Unlike government debt, which can be rolled over continuously, consumer loans actually need to be paid back. And despite low official interest rates from the Federal Reserve, those often do not trickle down to financial products like credit cards and small-business loans.

    Michael Lebowitz, the cofounder of the market-analysis firm 720 Global, says the US economy is already dangerously close to the edge.

    “Most consumers, especially those in the bottom 80%, are tapped out,” he told Business Insider. “They have borrowed about as much as they can. Servicing this debt will act like a wet towel on economic growth for years to come. Until wages can grow faster than our true costs of inflation, this problem will only worsen.”


  137. Sean says:

    Not necessary to sustain the spending after the opponent has been destroyed by war or political implosion under the stress of matching the spending. Financial reforms are important and frequently require a revolution . The Wiemar reforms included giving central German governments much stronger revenue raising powers powers that it had ever had before. Much of Germany’s success in WW2 is thus explained.
    Under the direction of King Louis XIV, France achieved unprecedented dominance in Europe, and her culture flourished. Louis’ court was renowned for its splendor and sophistication. He helped advance the arts in every field through his enlightened patronage. Everything French was in vogue on the Continent. The Sun King’s legacy was no less martial than cultural. Three of every five years during his reign were troubled by wars. Louis yearned to be a great king–another Charlemagne; yet historians continue to debate whether he deserved the epithet ‘great.’ Did he rescue France, embroiled as it was in the civil strife known as the Wars of the Fronde, or did his absolute rule hasten the Revolution of 1789? What cannot be disputed is that Louis and the formidable military machine he commanded elevated France to a position of pre-eminence during his lifetime and for a century thereafter

    On the other hand
    France got into such a terrible mess in the final two decades of Louis XIV’s reign. While war was the essential cause of heightened state spending, as the largest economy in Europe France should have been able to sustain a protracted and extensive conflict, but it could not. The underlying problem was the combination of two classic, fatal ingredients: a weak fiscal base, and a precarious and expensive credit system. The tax base was chronically enfeebled by vast numbers of exemptions and privileges that the government only began to tackle in 1695. But tentative attempts to make the elites — the top 2-3% — contribute more to the costs of the state would, over the following 90 years, prove politically contentious and divisive, sapping the legitimacy of the monarchy

    And the subsequent armies of Revolutionary France were unbeatable! The military spending was not France’s downfall, rather it was a venal elite. In Germany pettifogging regions caused financial problems; that seems to be the lesson as far as I can see it. Paul Kennedy’s thesis was the US was about to collapse under the weight of Empire and he specifically denied it would happen to the USSR.

    Soviet Russia was falling behind and it was not so much the arms race Reagan initiated as his less heralded but very real cutting off of Western technology to the USSR,technology combined with fantastical programs like Star Wars. According to John Mearsheimer, “Marshal Nikolai Ogarkov was dismissed as the chief of the Soviet general staff in the summer of 1984 for saying publicly that Soviet industry was falling badly behind American industry which meant that Soviet weaponry would soon be inferior to American industry. Professor Richard Pipes, of Harvard, said in his book, Survival Is Not Enough: Soviet Realities and America’s Future (Simon & Schuster;1984):

    In his three-volume detailed account of Soviet Purchases of Western Equipment and Technology … Sutton comes to conclusions that are uncomfortable for many businessmen and economists. For this reason his work tends to be either dismissed out of hand as ‘extreme’ or, more often, simply ignored. (p. 290)

    A combination of “Technetronic” isolation from the West and the yawning bounding behemoth of apparently unlimited future wealth on its south east border means if Russia continues to go it alone it is going to fall far behind China and face revolution as a result of failure to effectively marshal its resources for defence . The US is having its productive capacity hollowed out by China and Germany, which are concentrating on low military spending which for China is building up potential for unmatchable future military spending. The US can demand Germany pays its whack, cut off China from the free ride it has been getting, and pressure Russia with the carrot of technical cooperation to exploit its natural resources. Military power is the US strength, and it should lead with it.

    • Replies: @FKA Max
  138. @Anonymous

    This is, all in all, a Grubmint operation, piss soaked in PC, Critical Theory, and sloth and mediocrity that characterizes bureaucracy. The best option is to privatize these assets, form a pool of combat ready military and use competitive bidding to administer. Either that, or concoct a model that mirrors and incorporates the private sector.

    You state correctly the essence of the problem, which is either un- and underqualifed or less than total commitment and participation.

    Not a team, not even a country.

    Jews will not fight for a country they regard as plunder colony, the Black and Browns are not collectively smart enough, and the Whites are confused or genetically degraded, believing such service is beneath them.

  139. FKA Max says: • Website

    Great comment, Sean!


    I assume this was a reply to my various comments up-thread pertaining to military spending-to-GDP ratio, etc.:

    I’m always a little amused and bemused when people make claims about superior Russian technology when just till very recently Putin’s preferred mode of transportation was a German Mercedes S-Class limousine

    Amid controversies and heightened tensions with the United States, the United Kingdom, and other countries in Western Europe, Russia’s authorities have formally inaugurated Vladimir Putin as president for the fourth time. In a particularly symbolic gesture, the head of state rode to the ceremony in an all-new Russian-made limousine, the first time the country’s head of state has a traveled in a new, domestically produced presidential car since the 1990s.

    Russia’s Central Scientific Research Automobile and Automotive Engines Institute – abbreviated NAMI – a government-run automatic research and development organization that dates back to the very beginning of the Soviet Union, crafted the vehicle in cooperation with Sollers JSC, a Russian holding company with stakes in various domestic car companies. The new vehicle replaces the modified Mercedes S600 Pullman the country’s Federal Protective Service, or FSO, had previously operated.

    and Russia attempted to order Mistral amphibious assault vessels from France :

    Krylov “has conducted extensive studies on the creation of a next-generation universal amphibious assault ship design,” Valery Polovinkin, an advisor to the firm’s general director, told Zveda television, which the Russian ministry of defense operates. The ship would be more capable than the French Mistral-class, which Russia had previously attempted to buy, he added.
    But there’s still no clear evidence that Krylov, or any of Russia’s other shipyards, have the capacity or knowledge base to produce a ship like the Lavina. Since 2004, the Yantar Shipyard, located in Russia’s Kaliningrad enclave on the Baltic Sea, has been struggling to finish orders for two significantly smaller Ivan Gren-class landing ships. These 6,000 ton ships can carry 13 main battle tanks or 36 armored personnel carriers, as well as 300 troops, but have no flight deck or helipad. Yantar laid down the hull of the Ivan Gren in 2004, but didn’t launch her until 2012. The vessel began sea trials in 2016. The Russian Navy expects to get the second ship, Petr Morgunov, sometime this year.

    Krylov has never built an aircraft carrier or an amphibious assault ship in its history. The firm insists that, despite it turning into a debacle, the technical data Russia obtained from the Mistral arrangement has given it the knowhow, especially in the design of well decks for amphibious operations, to proceed with the project. As part of the deal with France, the conglomerates behind Mistral – STX Europe and DCNS – agreed to share a certain amount of information with Russian engineers as part of a planned joint venture that would have produced additional ships in Russia.

    Russia desperately needs and wants European, specifically German and French technology.

    This is a very good article. Highly recommended:

    Putin Builds His Moscow-Berlin-Paris Axis

    There can be no doubt, however, that Putin is agitating for the creation of his Moscow-Berlin-Paris strategic triangle. He is also trying to move Rome, Athens, and several smaller European states into this proposed concert’s orbit. If that were to occur, it would be under the aegis of an “anti-Atlanticist” political movement that would swear fealty to neighboring Russia. The Primakov Doctrine is most definitely in effect in Moscow and Putin’s efforts are being aided by the natural political changes occurring in the West.

    The EU’s collapse, I believe, is inevitable and the U.S. should not seek to stop it from happening. However, the U.S. must try and soften the landing. It must do so in order to buy time for the international economy to be better able to withstand the shocks, and for the U.S. foreign policy community to craft better policies that will allow for the U.S. push its agenda forward effectively. Also, as I argued in my recent (apparently controversial) talk at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C., the key line that America must straddle is a) punishing Russia for its unlawful aggression, b) managing the decline of the EU, and c) ensuring that Russia does not completely collapse due to onerous sanctions. The prevention of a Moscow-Berlin-Paris strategic triangle will be key. But, it will also be important to prevent the complete dissolution of the Russian Federation. Archived link:

    Russia’s Threat Is Overhyped – Brandon J. Weichert – Seth & Chris Show

  140. Sean says:

    His coat appears to be British naval dazzle camouflage of WW1, I wish I had the nerve. The article is interesting but I have a few worries about the historical background he gives.

    In fact, Bismarck’s dismissal by the hotheaded Kaiser Wilhelm II was a key reason for why Russia ended up as an enemy of Germany’s in WWI.

    Impetuousness would have impelled the Kaiser to attack France in 1905 when Russia was in chaos, and paid off by preventing Germany ending up fighting the entire world, twice. Currently, the German go to to opposite extreme of Nazism and hide inside a cocoon of Nato countries (Germany has no hostile state on her border for the first time in its history). Germany spends nothing on its own defence, while it deindistrialises the EU, and diplomats claim to have solved the (old) German question, which no longer exists. Germany has went to a lot of trouble to become defenceless, even getting rid of civilian nuclear power (thus creating an increased need to Russian energy pipelines like the one bypassing Ukraine which is under construction).
    As I see it, Germany cannot allow Russia to get overlordship, because Russia is too threateningly close to be a replacement for America. Germany’s economic alliance must leapfrog, and is is indeed a supplier of capital goods to China, just as it was allied with Japan in WW2. Germany had gone to the opposite extreme and is is keeping it economic anti-racist and pacifist. America must at the very least prevent anyone else from controlling Europe and the EU was pushed by the Americans foreign policy establishment such as Averell Harrimen after WW2 in odrer to make controlling western Europe easier. France needs Germany to bail out its greedy and stupid bankers (hence the rise of “Mutulisation” Macron), and the Italians prey on France and its Teutonic backer to take money without fulfilling the agreements. America is assumed to be on call for deterring Russia but Trump has explained that the US will no longer pay to defend those who will not defend themselves.

    Russia is not capable of making a luxury car, but it’s capable of making ICBMs and I do not think their economy of effort in other spheres, especially naval, is that significant. Indeed their weaknesses in everything but battlefield nukes, which they have a vast number of, would seem to be a deliberate strategy to indicate to any conventional aggressor (China basically) that Russia will use tactical nuclear weapons at the drop of a hat. China has been the beneficiary of a American strategy of building China up as a counter to the Soviet Union, unfortunately since it was instituted by the Carter presidency it has been left in place although a below the radar China is now exceeding Russia in potential power, and the relative power of Russia is almost all on show. Trump seems to be the first person in power to realise that the policy of hurting Russia by helping China is now counter productive in terms of America’s need to remain the world most powerful economy. china does not spend on defence as a sheep’s clothing strategy to grow in the future untill becomes too powerful for even the whole rest of the world to stop.

    A key point about Russia buying limos and advanced technology from Germany is that China is doing something very different and that is creating its own cutting edge production, and co-opting US firms into building manufacturing in China, thus exchanging US industrial secrets for access to the Chinese market. It is clear that , unlike Russia, China’s ambitions go far beyond maintaining rough parity and prestige with America, china aims to overtake America in economic and productive capacity.

    On being pressured to use its 200 billion dollar trade surplus with America to by advanced US technology products, China refused. China is willing to buy farm produce but not high tech, because China is intent on subsidising its own industries to a world lead in advanced production, a “real existential threat to U.S. technological leadership.” (
    Made in China 2025

    Going by how Imperial Japan reacted, if the West tries to close down China’s run at becoming a megapower, China will push back hard economically, and then start to build up their military to exert pressure. Russia will then be well placed to play off China and America-the West against one another, thereby creating a rather unstable multi-polar system. Russia is currently building a huge pipeline to China, and I think Putin is not particularly interested in Europe, seeing Russia’s future as a mediator between China and the US.

    • Replies: @FKA Max
  141. FKA Max says: • Website

    Another great comment, Sean!

    I think it is basically Samuel Huntington’s world we are living in:

    Source: Archived link:

    I think both Russia and India together, backed up by the West, will keep China in check.

    As you can see the in the above diagram there is a strong affinity between the Orthodox and Hindu civilizations.

    Interestingly, German steel concern Thyssen-Krupp just announced a joint-venture with the Indian conglomerate Tata Group‘s steel subsidiary Tata Steel, which could be the foreshadowing of things and alliances to come:

    In June 2018, ThyssenKrupp signed a final agreement with India’s Tata Steel to establish a long-expected steel venture. The 50-50 joint venture will be called Thyssenkrupp Tata Steel and will be the second largest steel producer in Europe, after ArcelorMittal.


    Rajiv Mehrotra has been a personal student of HH The Dalai Lama for more than thirty years & describes himself as “a most unworthy chela” of his. Till 2012 he was the host one of the country’s longest running, and most widely viewed talk shows on public Television, In Conversations. It was rated the most watched programme in its genre across all television channels in India. He was a familiar face on Indian television for more than 40 years. His books include The Mind of The Guru, The Spirit of The Muse, Understanding The Dalai Lama,The Essential Dalai Lama, Thakur – a biography of Sri Ramakrishna and Conversations with The Dalai Lama, on Life, Living and Happiness.

    • Replies: @Sean
  142. Sean says:
    @FKA Max

    China will leapfrog against India , it backed Sri Lanka against Tamils, and gave Pakistan missile technology.

  143. Also defeated the Indian army in the Chinese-Indian war.

    India has always been beset by a North-South division and the caste system.

    • Replies: @FKA Max
  144. FKA Max says: • Website
    @Jeff Stryker

    According to James Calvin, an analyst from the U.S. Navy, India gained many benefits from the 1962 conflict. This war united the country as never before. India got 32,000 square miles (8.3 million hectares, 83,000 km2) of disputed territory even if it felt that NEFA was hers all along. The new Indian republic had avoided international alignments; by asking for help during the war, India demonstrated its willingness to accept military aid from several sectors. And, finally, India recognised the serious weaknesses in its army. It would more than double its military manpower in the next two years and it would work hard to resolve the military’s training and logistic problems to later become the second-largest army in the world. India’s efforts to improve its military posture significantly enhanced its army’s capabilities and preparedness. [11] This played a role in subsequent wars against Pakistan.


    The China-India Border War
    CSC 1984
    SUBJECT AREA Warfighting
    Author: CALVIN, James Barnard, Lieutenant Commander,
    U. S. Navy
    Title: THE CHINA – INDIA BORDER WAR (1962)
    Publisher: Marine Corps Command and Staff College
    Date: April 1984

    Chapter VII Conclusions

    But we should not, on the other hand, be totally lulled
    into a false sense of security about China’s non-expansionism.
    Remembering that nations will go to war over strategically
    (including economically) important issues, we must remain
    alert to China’s rapidly expanding population and accompanying
    need for food to feed her hungry. Where will China get rice
    to give to her billion-plus numbers? To answer this, we must
    not forget another lesson of this Border War: China intends–
    eventually–to reclaim what is “traditionally Chinese.” An
    examination of Map Fourteen (next page) gives a possible
    answer to Chin’a need for food, should that need arise: the
    “traditional China” includes all of South East Asia!
    Thus, the lessons and implications of the 1962 China-
    India Border War could be relevant to us for decades or for

    • Replies: @Jeff Stryker
  145. @FKA Max

    China would have won the Kashmir war.

    India could not even get the Portuguese out of Goa until 1967.

    I spent years of my life in India. Malabar coast, mostly. With a few months in Andheri. I probably know India better than any other Gora on this site.

    • Replies: @FKA Max
  146. FKA Max says: • Website
    @Jeff Stryker

    I don’t disagree.

    Nevertheless India is a major thorn in China’s side and between it, Russia and Japan, China will have its work cut out for it, let alone dealing with the U.S. and potentially NATO, and other U.S. allies in Southeast Asia, e.g. South Korea, the Philippines etc. on top of that. I think China will be easily contained militarily if it ever came to a major conflict. Economically though, it is a different story…

    This is a good article:

    For all the chest-thumping, India cannot win a war against Pakistan

    Most worryingly, Pakistan and China have achieved military interoperability, which is the capability of their two armies to execute joint missions against a common target. Decades of mutual cooperation, technology transfer, training, equipment sales, and of course a common enemy, have welded our two adversaries into a formidable joint force. Pakistan’s accelerated achievements in nuclear technology, missile delivery systems, logistic supply chain of equipment, and spares as well as new-age technologies such as cyber and drone warfare are all the result of cooperation between the two countries.
    Russia, our traditional all-weather friend, has far greater bonhomie with both the US and China than ever before. The US needs Pakistan to achieve closure in Afghanistan so much so, that despite the blatant betrayal of shielding America’s public enemy number one, Osama bin Laden, the US has no choice but to continue supporting Pakistan financially and militarily. On the other hand Pakistan’s dependence on the US has reduced dramatically with China filling in the gap. Archived link:

    I probably know India better than any other Gora on this site.


    Commenter Malla has always insightful contributions on India, but she probably is not a Gora :

    There is one part in the above video which claims that this is first time that a non Western country has done a regime change in a different country for a century or two. That is rubbish. Our own Indian RAW (Research and Analysis Wing, the external secret service arm of the Indian government) had orchestrated a coup against the independent Buddhist King of Sikkim and thus Sikkim was absorbed into India, yeah we acted like a colonial power. Also our RAW regularly interferes and changes governments it does not like in neighbouring Nepal and Sri Lanka. For example when the Nepali Prime Minister Oli was getting too close to China, RAW orchestrated a political change by paying monies to the opposition parties and creating a opposition coalition to get rid of Oli.

    When the Sri Lankan PM Mahinda Rajapaksa was getting too close to China allowing Chinese submarines to dock at Colombo (making us very uncomfortable) similar tactics were used by our RAW agents to get rid of him.

    BTW Our RAW in collaboration with Mossad of Israel is very very active in East Africa now since China has a military base there. We have loads of agents there, most of them local blacks.

    • Replies: @FKA Max
  147. FKA Max says: • Website
    @FKA Max

    Very good article:

    With Sri Lankan port acquisition, China adds another ‘pearl’ to its ‘string’


    For its part, India is now taking an active interest in Hambantota. The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is reported to be in talks with Sri Lanka about taking over the airport near the port, which was built using Chinese funds that Beijing itself wants to manage and is pushing for control with the Sri Lankan government. During a media briefing last November, Raveesh Kumar, an official spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, would only say that New Delhi has “a lot of developmental projects” going on in Sri Lanka and declined to elaborate further. Colombo has yet to make a decision involving the airport.

    And New Delhi continues to actively participate in large-scale naval exercises in regional waters alongside allies Japan, and the US, and into the future, possibly Australia too, all to Beijing’s continued consternation. Archived link:

    The development of Gwader port by china in Pakistan is of international significance. Its geostrategic location may reshape the traditional maritime trade routes. The new oil trade route would financially and strategically benefit China and Pakistan. The other stake holders such as GCC and Iran would find opportunities and challenges both politically and financially as China and India compete for military/naval supremacy in Indian Ocean. This paper examine why Gwader port is important for all afore mentioned stakeholders, particularly for the major GCC oil produces and the ultimate giant energy consumer, China. The document also analyses the minimizing political and economic importance of Strait of Hormuz and Strait of Malacca in context of Gwadar emerging as new energy corridor for china, Pakistan.

    Source: Archived link:

  148. Anon[420] • Disclaimer says:
    @Poupon Marx

    The pleasure is mine. I can confess I enjoyed the company of merchant mariners a bit more than that of my brother unrestricted line officers, who have become almost unbelievably tedious and schoolmarmish over the years, with no corresponding increase in professional ability. It’s a disheartening combination.

    I would agree entirely that becoming a naval officer, or at least a SWO, is much easier than getting a Coast Guard certificate to be an engineer. I don’t think that should be the case, but it currently is. The Navy loses so many men after the first commitment that they pump tremendous numbers of ensigns in on the intake side to get the necessary number of department heads on the other. When I was in (left in ’14) there was an 11% conversion rate. Due to this ‘commissioned conscript’ approach you can forget about deep involvement in anything.

    It’s interesting to hear you talk about the mindset of the engineer. Although I was in engineering with Sealift (the staff engineer basically), I am more qualified and better as a topsider than in the black gang. But I noticed in the Navy there are only a few groups, all of enlisted men, mind, that are actual engineers with the mindset that you describe. That would be hull technicians (HTs), machinist repairmen (MRs, quite a rare rate), and of course enginemen, with a few electricians as well. Anyone of the gas turbine type fellows are more or less hopeless, I suppose because there is no chance of repairing or modifying anything that goes wrong in the turbines– it’s all black box as far as they are concerned. Merchant mariners combine the skills of basically all the good rates into a single role. The Navy could do that, that’s basically what enginemen were in World War 2, but unfortunately the promotion criteria for enlisted men doesn’t encompass many of the skills or mindset that you mention. Leaving them alone and only going off of the number of major casualties, fail to sail, repair parts budget, etc metrics would be an obvious step forward in the way their promotions are handled. It would be considerably easier to manage too– I could put together the spreadsheet myself, and we could fire about fifty personnel officers up in Millington.

    For officers they are putting a band-aid on the situation by using LDOs and Warrants and stuff like that, which to me is an admission that the commissioned engineering program is fundamentally broken. A dedicated career path that didn’t jump up topside and back down in the MERs would be the first step in the repair, as well as making Surface Warfare Officer’s school different for topsiders and engineers, and of course much longer. To give you an idea of how dire the situation is, I arrived at my ship with literally zero training after ROTC. The ship was in layup, all covered in that tyvek stuff, and I walked around the hull for almost an hour because I literally could not figure out how to come aboard. And I was probably the most on-the-ball JO. So it’s difficult to exaggerate how bad the situation is.

    Do you like the writing of Jack Vance? He really captures the spirit of the engineer to me. He was the second grandmaster of science fiction, and was himself a merchant mariner, torpedoed twice in the war, although I think he was a topsider. ‘The Planet of the Black Dust’ especially nails it.

  149. Anon[420] • Disclaimer says:

    You make good points about the chain of reports. The first link the chain (above the OOD) is the TAO, who in all likelihood is a worse ship handler than the OOD themselves, as it has been years since a TAO regularly stood deck watches. Things go back and forth with the OOD and the TAO for a while until your ram somebody. All I would ever use the TAO for was if I needed a more powerful radio than the furuno, which I can only remember happening once or twice in six years.

    Then JOs are far too reluctant to go directly to the Captain. You can feel the shit closing in– you’ll do a moboard and it will just look bad. Or you’ll be seeing the relative motion between four or five ships off Malacca or wherever and start clenching and you just want to go dead in the water and let them all clear out for a minute. That was my impulse, anyway. A lot of guys know they have a big power advantage on the merchants so they bring all four up online and try to thread through the gaps, which just seemed dumb and rude and unprofessional to me.

    The thing with the Chain of Reports is that it’s really how long you want it to be, at least in the Navy. If you feel like the ship is standing into danger, then you have a boatswains mate and a 1MC, you can call the captain to the bridge. And both times I had to do that, yeah, he was pissed for about two seconds until he looked out the window and told me I’d done the right thing. If you have a ship where the JOs are too cowed to call the skipper when they get in over their head, then don’t be surprised when they swap paint with someone somewhere. Like a lot of the Navy, the chain of reports is kind of bullshit. There aren’t any real penalties for breaking it, but too many JOs don’t know that.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  150. FB says:
    @Poupon Marx

    ‘…Machinery, like my cats, is always going to treat you loyally and reflects back on your treatment of it…’

    I like this observation a lot…and this one too…

    ‘…People, in general, don’t measure up: unreliable, fickle, irrational, evil, deranged, etc, etc, etc…

    I enjoy reading a lot of what you say…it carries the weight of authenticity…unlike a lot of poseurs here…

  151. peterAUS says:


    My point was/is that, obviously, there is plenty of room for improvement in ship handling in US Navy, but,and a big but, simply copying Merchant Navy ways isn’t the solution.
    It’s a complex problem and demands serious approach. A couple of us blabbing here is just a pub talk.

    Besides….the (resident) Team Russia and US haters are always quick to point that Navy, especially aircraft carriers, is obsolete. One wonders why they even get involved in discussing something not important anymore…….

    When we are on the topic, and you are, apparently, a guy from real (very few of those comment here…), what’s your take on blocking/unblocking Hormuz in a case of “fireworks” with Iran?

  152. @AnonFromTN

    No. Russian imports didn’t shift much especially after the Brazilians offloaded rotten pork. prices went up and consumption dropped. As for import substitution, in the 1990’s I saw many glass houses around Moscow going out of business because it is expensive to grow tomatoes in a Russian Winter. It will happen again. In fact it has. Magnit built huge glasshouses in Krasnodar. Now they grow cucumbers.

    But on your bigger point that the US needs to drive a wedge between the EU and Russia, you are completely right. In 2002, Russia was too big and poor compared to the old EU to be a comfortable partner. Things are different now.

  153. Che Guava says:

    I meant no offense.

    Some new posters here do have the delusion that any u-name with the prefix ”anon’ must be treated as anon or anonymous, and some people with access through multiple or selectable IP addresses appear to achieve that, but don’t. So, sorry for saying somethhng you already knew.

    My first jokey suggested u-name was because I like much of Hank Willians III’s country music, the second because my slightly drunken mind at the time made it fit the rhythm of his song Crazed Country Rebel, which the first was from, though contracted from the actual lyric, TN requiring expansion to ‘the state of Tennessee’.

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