The Security of Russian Nuclear Weapons

This statement by the Deputy Chairman of the Security Council carried by the Russian news service RIA Novosti doesn’t set my mind at ease—

Медведев: мы не позволим событиям пойти по сценарию, чтобы ядерное оружие оказалось у бандитов, как бы этого ни хотелось свихнувшимся преступникам

Medvedev: we will not let events go according to the script so that bandits get nuclear weapons, no matter how crazy criminals want it

What has Wagner captured?

UPDATE—It’s always nice to make Twitchy.

About That Young Airman

People are wondering how a young airman could have had access to the classified information compromised in the recent leaks. It’s quite simple, the low-level clerical jobs in military facilities are handled by privates, seaman, and airman who are supervised by more senior specialists and by NCOs. The PFCs and Spec4s in the comm center I ran in Viet Nam were all 19 or 20 years old, and they handled classified traffic on a routine basis every day.

Of course, the young men working in that comm center were highly motivated to do their jobs well. The consequence for screwing up was loss of one’s security clearance, which meant leaving the nice, air conditioned, underground comm center bunker and serving in one’s secondary military occupational specialty. All my men had a secondary MOS of 11B (Infantryman).

The Fog of War

This bit from a Stephen Green at PJMedia post on a missile strike by Ukraine on a Russian troop housed dangerously close to an ammo dump shows how war reporting gets scrambled—often on purpose.

HIMARS is a fast-moving, hard-hitting missile system, designed and built in the United States, and known for its pinpoint accuracy. So far, Kyiv has received 20 of the truck-based missile launchers, of which Moscow has claimed to have destroyed more than 40.

A Tale of Three Cities

London, Kyiv, and Dresden.

Frasier Nelson makes an interesting observation.

Putin’s going after Ukraine’s energy infrastructure is an attempt to use winter as a weapon against the civilian population. He will undoubtedly be successful in inflicting a lot of hardship, but as Nelson notes in his column, shared hardship strengthens the will to resist and survive.

For all the terror it caused, the Luftwaffe did not have the resources to bomb London back to the Stone Age. OTOH, the RAF did have the wherewithal to pound German cities into dust, helping to crush that country’s will to resist. This is what Dresden looked like in 1945.

It’s ironic that much of the Third World is armed with Russian equipment, because Russia has now become a Third World power armed with nukes. Unless Putin resorts to nukes, he doesn’t have the resources to completely destroy Kyiv.

I’m betting on the Ukrainians.

Breaking: Biden Administration to Obey a Law

Although the Biden Administration has spent a significant amount of effort and political capital promoting the agenda of transsexual lobby, it is requiring strict obedience to the Selective Service Act. Except when they are members of the Armed Forces on active duty, all biological males between the ages of 18 and 25 must be registered with the Selective Service System.

Maxwell Q. Klinger was unavailable for comment.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

Because the members of Team Kimberlin tell whatever lie they believe is useful at any given moment, they often wind up contradicting themselves. This post about Cognitive Dissonance & Military Timekeeping first ran nine years ago today.

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This evening, Sore Loserman Bill Schmalfeldt tweeted this:

RadioWMS [redacted] My [redacted] #2 — this is my hobby, not a job.
10:27 PM – 2 Aug 13 GMT

It seems to be a response made to comments here at Hogewash!, and it appears to be a rather odd position for Schmalfeldt to take considering that he told the Circuit court that the

Peace Order violates the Americans With Disabilities Act by discriminating against Respondent, an American with advanced Parkinson’s disease, by limiting his employment

Then again, the Cabin Boy writes lots of odd stuff.

One other thing … 2 am? In the Navy? How about Oh-Two-Hundred or 4 Bells? Which reminds me of a great line an AFVN (Armed Forces Viet Nam) DJ once used:

This is AFVN, the Armed Force Viet Nam Network. Stay tuned for the news at 1600. For the Air Force, that’s 4 o’clock. For the Navy, that’s 8 bells. And for you Marines, Mickey’s little hand is … [fade to newscast opening]

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BTW, the Cabin Boy™ did spend part of his tour as a Hospital Corpsman imagining that he was storming the beach in Lebanon with the Marines.

The Usefulness of Ammunition Control

The Kyiv Independent reports that Ukrainian forces are working to offset Russia’s advantage in artillery by targeting Russian command posts and ammunition supplies.

Now that Ukraine has acquired advanced Western artillery and rocket systems, it has gradually begun a campaign to take out Russia’s key military infrastructure. Over the last four weeks, nearly 20 Russian ammunition depots in Russian-occupied Donbas and Ukraine’s south, including some of the largest, have been hit or completely destroyed.

As Russia continues with its slow but steady advance in Ukraine’s eastern region of Donbas, Ukraine’s military is working to undermine Russia’s overwhelming artillery power and disrupt its logistics deep in occupied territories.

Devastating strikes upon Russian command posts have become increasingly frequent since mid-June when Ukraine began using the first of four M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, provided by the U.S., nearly a week before their arrival in Ukraine was publicly announced.

On June 15, a massive explosion occurred near the city of Khrustalniy (formerly Krasniy Luch) in occupied Luhansk Oblast.

Explosions continued for days. According to satellite images, the blasts created a destruction zone spanning some 500 meters around the epicenter. The site was one of Russia’s largest ammunition depots, built after Russian forces occupied the area in 2014. In the Azotniy neighborhood in the northeastern part of Donetsk where Russia established ammunition depots through the city, successful attacks have continued on an almost daily basis.

While it still isn’t clear that the Russians have bitten off more than they can chew, if they do manage to swallow all or part of Ukraine, the resulting indigestion will last for a long, long time.


Military Base Renaming

The Naming Commission set up by Congress to propose new names for military bases named for Confederate generals has recommended that eight bases be renamed. I served at two of them. If the recommendations are accepted, Fort Gordon will become Fort Eisenhower, and Fort Bragg will become Fort Liberty.

One of the persons whose name was under consideration for a base name was Alvin York. York, who won the Medal of Honor in WW1, did his stateside training at (then) Camp Gordon and served in the 82nd Division in France. The 82nd is one of the principal units at Fort Bragg.

Although the recommendation proposes to rename four bases after Medal of Honor recipients, Sergeant York’s connections to either base apparently didn’t impress the Commission. Or perhaps he was passed over because he was a Southerner.

Changing Geopolitics

The Russian Army has lost substantial amounts of irreplaceable (on any short term) equipment and a large number of irreplaceable professional soldiers during Putin’s adventure in Ukraine. As the war continues, the Russians will have to move more of their remaining cadre of professionals from around the country to the active war zone, and that will require staffing other garrisons with inexperienced, poorly trained conscripts.

If I were a senior commander in the Peoples’ Liberation Army, the view to the North across the Amur River might become more tempting than the view to the East across the Taiwan Strait.

Don’t Know Much About History

Drone footage shows that the Russians set up a field camp and dug trenches in the Red Forest near Chernobyl. The forest got its name when the trees there turned from green to red as they died from radiation poisoning. They were bulldozed, a layer of sand spread over them, and new trees planted. After more than 35 years, the place is still so radioactive that the Ukrainians stay away.

It appears that the young Russians were unaware of what had happened at Chernobyl in 1986. It’s not something that fits into approved State History in Russia. (You’ve got to be carefully taught.)

Of course, the senior military leaders who were alive in 1986 would have known, but they didn’t tell the men under their command—yet another leadership failure.

Warfare: 20th Century v. 21st Century

My podcasting partner Stacy McCain has a post up about the Russian casualty figures that were “leaked” yesterday. If true, they indicated that the Russians are taking around 1,000 casualties (400 killed) per day. I’m skeptical. That the figure seems high, but, considering the Russians’ general incompetence, their losses could be that bad.

While the Russians have improved the technology of their weapons since the Second World War, they made few significant changes in the structure of their army. It is in many ways the same force Zhukov led almost 80 years ago, mostly a bunch of poorly trained conscripts led by corrupt NCOs and inept officers. The equipment may be more technologically advanced, but that makes it more susceptible to poor maintenance. However, today’s Russian army is very different from the Zhukov’s force—it is not repelling an invader; it is not fighting a Great Patriotic War. For now, the Russians are losing senior officers to snipers and drone strikes. How long will it be until the fragging begins? If it hasn’t already.

Meanwhile, Ukraine is fielding a highly motivated force armed with some of the be best weapons of the 21st century. The best Western technology backed by the West’s manufacturing capacity isn’t being sent as aid to Russia but to Ukraine. The Javelin and other anti-tank weapons are doing to Russian armor what the machine gun did to Infantry in the First World War. And Western intelligence service are clearly providing real time information.

The Russians may still win through brute force and sheer numbers, but the race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong. Sometimes the victory belongs to the smart and the brave. That’s beginning to look more like the Ukrainians than the Russians.

Keeping Warm and Fed

One of the reasons the Russian advance had gone more slowly than Putin expected is that the Russians are having trouble getting food, fuel, and other support to their troops.They clearly lack the assets to maintain a reliable supply train. Poorly maintained trucks running on cheap, unreliable Chinese tires may be the undoing of their campaign. While the Russians may not be able to keep their soldiers fed, the Ukrainians are helping them stay warm by the fires of vehicles set alight by Javelins and Molotov cocktails.

Of course, the Russians may still pull off a costly win via overwhelming numbers, but the war in Ukraine shows the truth of the principle that amateurs study tactics and professionals study logistics.