Monday, December 31, 2018

You Can Read Me Now In US Naval Institute Blog.

Russian Navy, Mission Found?

You may read my new piece on some doctrine-technology issues in today's USNI Blog post. Link is below. 

Let's Try Q & A And Whatever Else Sticky Post

Here is the post which I will try to keep sticky for people to ask questions and share their thoughts which are not on topic. This, I think is known as Open Thread. Fire away.

You May Read Me on Unz Review Too.

1. I got my first piece published on Unz Review today, so you may check it out there

2. You can read my piece on some peculiarities of Russo-Chinese "alliance" at Unz Review. Here:

The Russo-Chinese "Alliance" Explained 

3. Here is the latest One. 

Russia's Stand-Off Capability: The 800 Pound Gorilla in Syria

4. On INF Treaty.   

 The Sand Castle INF Treaty

5. New piece on geopolitics and navalism.

The Russo-Chinese "Alliance" Revisited 

Friday, January 19, 2018

I Don't Know If It Was Staged?

But If It wasn't, this English woman is a true hero and a mother. 

But it is Friday and we should have some music, a really good one:

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Utterly Hilarious!

So, it is not just Russians anymore, eh? First, let's face the fact--Olympic Movement is dead! No, it is worse than dead--it is utterly corrupt and is long ago a national vanity fair where anything, including political pressure goes. Doping is one of such tools which allows for a classic double standard. Last time these were Russians, including absolutely clean Russian Paralympians, who were bundled up with those in Russia's National Winter Olympic team who, no doubt, took performance enhancement drugs. What was done in Rio to Russian Paralympians has no name--it is atrocity, those who perpetrated it know who they are, they have no honor, nor any other redeeming human qualities. But we knew it was a classic geopolitical gambit--and Russia's recent "outing" as a prime doping evil-doers was nothing more than just another step in a pressure applied to Russia and Russians since the return of Crimea back home. Of course, as we all know only Russians do doping, everybody else are totally clean and honest... wait, BBC is on line? Ah!

Grigory Rodchenkov: Russian whistleblower suspected British cheats

The hell you say, Grisha. Say it ain't so. Doping, in the West, oh come on--who would ever believe that? 
"If there is specific intelligence relating to British athletes, then we would welcome that information being passed on in full to us." The British Olympic Association (BOA) declined to comment.
Indeed, why comment on anything that anyone with a half-brain knows for a fact. But as they said in Frank Herbert's Dune: "The forms must be obeyed." So, it may take a while before they will be obeyed and all media and political games played out and maybe someone will be "caught". Maybe not until the age of Padishah Emperors unfolds. Meanwhile, I think this whole Olympic business should go out of... business, plus Soccer World Cups are on the order of magnitude more important sports events and more legitimate expression of a national pride, or, in case of Russian team--national shame, than some doped bunch trying to improve yet another one hundred thousandth millisecond over some record established 20 years ago. Most of those Olympic winter sports events, bar figure skating and, maybe, biathlon (hockey is a completely different thing altogether), are as exciting as curling (sorry, Canada).   


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Postoponed! Again?

By now you probably figured it out that I consider Elon Musk and most what he peddles as some wonder technology a glamorous fraud. But now it becomes really ridiculous and I wonder if these two news-pieces are related. 
First, of course, being yet another, now indefinite, delay of Falcon Heavy static tests. This was going on now for many days. As article states:

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket — described as “the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two” — is in position on a launchpad at the Kennedy Space Center, but the static-fire engine test set for today has been postponed indefinitely due to logistical and safety concerns. An Atlas 5 rocket will roll out to a nearby launch pad on Thursday.

But what caught my attention was a yesterday's piece on reputable Space.Com which reads as an indictment of Musk's faulty engineering: 

Could these two be connected and could it be a start of a long overdue process of unmasking Musk as a fraudster that he is? It is one thing to produce some shitty electric jalopy which exists mostly for satisfaction of tender egos of some rich liberal boys, who are still stuck in infancy--but dealing with serious space vehicles, especially ones carrying manned missions is a totally different universe altogether.  And even if Falcon Heavy's tests finally commence at some point of time, there are already serious doubts about Musk and his "company", whose financial records are guarded better than Fort Knox, are adequate for the immense task of space exploration. But, I guess, for a generation (or two) of iPhone users who think that it is real hi-tech, the idea that some Tesla will be launched to Mars seems quite attractive, despite total imbecility of the concept. 

In related news: Tesla Model 3 now will be (at some point) able to follow voice commands. Yes, all my life I was waiting for this "feature", that is granted that those who would want that thing will have to continue waiting for years before their car will be delivered. As Ben Stein used to say:

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

What Is The Tune?

Dancing to Russia's Tune--is the title of the latest "analysis" from Foreign Policy magazine which pretends to be an expert publication on foreign policy subject and this "analysis" is nothing more than lament. As any recent laments from US media and "analysts", this piece is an exhibit A of most of American "elites" lack of any grasp of the nature of military power and of its appropriate application. It is not surprising for the environment which still continues to sincerely believe that the United States defeated Hitler in WW II and that, as some propose, was very successful in Iraq and Afghanistan. I derived (it was easy) long ago an obverse of classic Clausewitz's dictum that diplomacy is a continuation of war by other means. For people who really care about causality, that is about relation between cause and effect, it is not difficult to understand military-political dynamics in Syria. One doesn't have to be a military professional  to understand a simple fact that, apart from Syria's and Iranian efforts, it was Russia's entrance in the conflict in Syria which completely changed the balance of power there and defeated a terrorist international there. Of course, Russians were diplomatically active on Syrian "front" even before entering the conflict. But no matter how one extols, deservedly so, diplomatic abilities of Sergei Lavrov, even his virtuoso diplomacy means nothing without military force. As Russian strategic dictum goes: if you don't want to speak to Lavrov, you will speak to Shoigu. Here, what is stated by FP pundit:

Moscow’s growing diplomatic clout in the Syrian endgame has been made possible, in part, by Washington’s passivity. The Donald Trump administration has focused more on fighting the Islamic State and fending off Iran than on shaping the political future of the war-ravaged country. “Syria is an example of how U.S. diplomacy is not front and center,” one U.N. Security Council diplomat said. “The U.S. has lost ground to Russia on that issue.”
Even if the United States wanted to play a bigger role in postwar Syria, its disengagement has weakened its ability to do so, said retired Marine Gen. John Allen, the former U.S. envoy for the anti-Islamic State coalition. “In many respects, the political trajectory has been decided by the Russians,” Allen said last month. “And sadly, the United States has little capacity now to exert leadership in this process or to participate.”
The "growing Moscow's diplomatic clout" in Syria has nothing to do with "Washington's passivity". In fact, Washington was extremely active in Syria supporting and arming a variety of anti-Assad forces (including Al-Qaeda affiliates) and was not "focused" on fighting Islamic State. The "focus" description is a hilarious statement. Washington was busy with wrecking Syrian State under, what's new, completely false "assumptions". In reality, of course, the main driver behind Washington's effort was and remains mostly Israeli and Saudi interests in the region, which can not tolerate any kind of secular Arab government. US didn't lose ground diplomatically--diplomacy as such, as a civilized, peaceful negotiated firm promotion of national interests does not exist in Washington anymore. FP author, obviously, is not well-versed, despite being some "diplomatic correspondent", in the art of diplomacy, which is also a euphemism for a compromise. American so called "diplomacy" today has nothing to do with diplomacy-proper. Most American "diplomats" are trained in only one thing--to give ultimatums and blackmail. They are utterly unqualified to conduct foreign policy in civilized and sensible manner. In fact, most of them are not diplomats at all, as James Bruno described Obama's State Department in 2014:
I may add--most of those people have not a clue about the role military power plays in international relations--such obliviousness is expected from people most of whom always were and are completely detached from any realities of the warfare and its effects. In this sense it really makes no difference what party affiliation those people have--the cancer of exceptionalism and illiteracy in war metastasized by now into most American government and media institutions. Foreign Policy magazine, once one considers a tripe it publishes regularly, or gives a tribune to such insane neocons as Max Boot, is one such institution. So, it shouldn't surprise anyone that instead of looking deep into the real reasons for, as they formulate: 
But with the United States taking a back seat in Syria, a parallel diplomatic push seems to be exactly what is taking place.

They continue to provide platitudes dressed in some media lingo reminiscent of speeches at the Communist Party Congresses without naming a single real reason for why the US foreign policy is an unmitigated disaster both for the outside world and the US itself.  The United States took a back seat because it's effort to destroy Syrian State was defeated militarily. It was defeated by doggedness and, often, heroism, of the Syrian Arab Army,which bled white for years but still offered some resistance to Jihadist armies on service of the US and its "allies" in the region. It was defeated by support of Iran and Hezbollah to Syrian government. In the end, it was decisively routed when Russia stepped in militarily and ensured that enough amount of high explosives was delivered with precision to the jihadist to reduce their numbers and capabilities in such a way that no amount of foreign "aid" will change the outcome. Judging by the latest news from the fronts--the process of removal is ongoing and is very successful.  Moreover, refusal of Saudi Arabia to support those "rebels" pretty much closes off any legitimization of Jihad in Syria. In this sense, especially after Vladimir Putin's talk on the phone with Saudi King on 21 December 2017, the endgame does indeed plays out to a  "Russian Tune". But it should be understood that this tune is not a sound of Lavrov's voice, however important, but of the Russian munitions hitting terrorist targets. The distinction is crucial precisely for the reasons of letting diplomacy not war decide the issue. In the end, if you don't want to speak to Lavrov, you will speak to Shoigu.