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August 08, 2022

Policy By Other Means - By Helmholtz Smith

by Helmholtz Smith

"Hybrid war". Western propagandists love the expression "The bad guys are doing nasty underhand things to counter our clean-cut decent and wholly justified activities" but they are just making noise. As Clausewitz knew, however, there is an actual meaning:

We see, therefore, that War is not merely a political act, but also a real political instrument, a continuation of political commerce, a carrying out of the same by other means. All beyond this which is strictly peculiar to War relates merely to the peculiar nature of the means which it uses (...) for the political view is the object, War is the means, and the means must always include the object in our conception.

In this sense, all intelligently-conducted wars are "hybrid wars" advancing on many levels to achieve the "political object" by "other means".

What is the "object"?

Cont. reading: Policy By Other Means - By Helmholtz Smith

Posted by b at 6:54 UTC | Comments (7)

August 07, 2022

Ukraine Open Thread 2022-124

Only for news & views related to the Ukraine conflict.

Off topic comments will be deleted and repeated offenders WILL get banned.

The current open thread for other issues is here.

Posted by b at 12:24 UTC | Comments (115)

The MoA Week In Review - (Not Ukraine) OT 2022-123

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

Other issues:

Cont. reading: The MoA Week In Review - (Not Ukraine) OT 2022-123

Posted by b at 12:15 UTC | Comments (93)

'Western' Conflict Reporting Has Come Down To "Officials On Our Side Said ..."

Larry Johnson is rightfully appalled by a New York Times piece that quotes a lot from 'officials' but fails to check any of their obviously false claims:

I never cease to be amazed by the utter failure of journalists to assemble facts. I think it boils down to laziness. Why should you do any independent research or thinking that requires you to go to the front lines when you can gobble up and regurgitate pre-packaged talking points? You get paid the same and hell, you might even get a Pulitzer if you are the most enthusiastic purveyor of regime bullshit.

A recent piece in the New York Times, Russia’s Shortfalls Create an Opportunity for Ukraine, Western Officials Say, illustrates this phenomena. Here are the salient points from the article by Julian Barnes and Eric Schmitt: ...

The NYT piece is also available here.

I am not going to join Larry in dispelling the myths those 'journalists' try to spread. These people do not go out into the field to look at the facts. They do not consult frontline maps, casualty statistics, structure of forces or economic data. They have no experience in the art of war. They are mere stenographers, highly paid ones, who hang on the lips of 'officials' and write down whatever the 'sources' who invite them want them to tell.

Hard to believe that? Well, here is the sourcing mentioned in the NYT piece Larry Johnson is raging about:

Cont. reading: 'Western' Conflict Reporting Has Come Down To "Officials On Our Side Said ..."

Posted by b at 8:12 UTC | Comments (117)

August 06, 2022

China's Reaction To Pelosi's Visit Reveals Its Taiwan Conflict Plans

China's response to Pelosi's visit of Taiwan continues:

Taipei, Aug. 6 (CNA) Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) said on Saturday that multiple Chinese military aircraft and vessels had operated near Taiwan in the morning in what it believed to be a simulation of an attack on Taiwan's main island.

In a brief press statement, the MND said multiple Chinese military aircraft and vessels conducted activities near Taiwan Saturday morning, with some of them crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait -- an unofficial buffer zone normally avoided by both Taiwanese and Chinese military aircraft and vessels.

The MND added that the Chinese military was likely "simulating an attack on Taiwan's main island."

The median line of the Taiwan Strait was drawn in 1955 by U.S. Airforce General Benjamin Davis. It no longer has any meaning.

Marine traffic around Taiwan continues without much trouble. Taiwan's harbors are still accessible. Ships avoid the zones China had designated as target areas.


Cont. reading: China's Reaction To Pelosi's Visit Reveals Its Taiwan Conflict Plans

Posted by b at 16:37 UTC | Comments (199)

August 05, 2022

Ukraine SitRep - Casualties Leak - Ukraine Admits Russian Breakthrough - Southern Front Paralysis

There is an report on Ukraine making the rounds that was allegedly written by the higher command of the Ukrainian army and leaked from somewhere.

Dr.Snekotron @snekotron - 12:50 UTC · Aug 5, 2022

Ukrainian channels are discussing what might be a leaked data from AFU General Staff:

- The AFU are only at 43-48% strength
- medical workers at their limit
- small arms and armor are not enough
- 191 thousand soldiers were killed and wounded (only AFU, not including others)
- there is not enough hydraulics and liquid nitrogen for M777 howitzers
- no one cares about the missing - there are no statistics
- the equipment transferred by the West is running out
- western weapons are operated by amateurs, since there are no qualified specialists
- no way to repair weapons on the spot due to the lack of spares and specialists - everything is sent to Poland

BTW, even with this dire report, I would caution against predicting a decisive break in morale. As with Peski, the walking wounded are sent straight back into the trenches

There are some pictures of documents written in cyrillic script attached to the above tweet.

The documents look legit. The overall numbers and issues mentioned seem plausible to me. The high number of casualties (plus the missing) is not astonishing. It would be astonished though if the Russian army and its allies have more than one tenth of those. This is mostly an artillery war and the Russian side has had a vast superiority in guns and missiles.

Cont. reading: Ukraine SitRep - Casualties Leak - Ukraine Admits Russian Breakthrough - Southern Front Paralysis

Posted by b at 16:49 UTC | Comments (200)

August 04, 2022

Ukraine Open Thread 2022-122

Only for news & views related to the Ukraine conflict.

Off topic comments will be deleted and repeated offenders WILL get banned.

The current open thread for other issues is here.

Posted by b at 9:30 UTC | Comments (215)

Open (NOT Ukraine) Thread 2022-121

News & views NOT related to war in Ukraine ...

Posted by b at 9:29 UTC | Comments (194)

How Pelosi's Visit Hurts Taiwan

When Nancy Pelosi made her 'woke' flight to Taiwan the U.S. seemed to hope for a Chinese military reaction to it. It positioned an aircraft carrier and two amphibious landing ships in the region. It also shipped additional fighter planes to Japan and South Korea.

Chinese and international commentators drew up potential scenarios for a clash like a forced diversion of Pelosi's plane. However, the Chinese government kept its calm. The reintegration of Taiwan into China is not an urgent matter. It had planned for longer term measures designed to press the pro-independence government in Taiwan into obedience.

Chinese military exercises will now be held around the island without regard for what Taipei claims as its borders. These missile launches, sea and air maneuvers will not be threatening enough to cause a dangerous military confrontation. But they will be repeated over the next years and will steadily move closer and closer to Taiwan's coast.


The median line between China and Taiwan, never officially recognized but adhered to, will now be ignored.

Cont. reading: How Pelosi's Visit Hurts Taiwan

Posted by b at 9:14 UTC | Comments (215)

August 03, 2022

Ukraine SitRep - On The Ground Report - Ukrainian Frontline Collapses

Below is a slightly edited machine translation of a piece which appeared yesterday on the Ukrainian side The piece was promoted by Yuri Butusov, a well known Ukrainian military correspondent. It is originally a social media post by someone who was on the frontline in Pisky, immediately northwest of Donetsk city.


Over the last two to three months the Ukrainian side has used its positions in the vicinity of Donetsk city to more or less randomly shell the civilian population on the Russian affiliated side. After some serious protests the Russian military command agreed to launch a dedicated counter-artillery operation to shut down the deadly Ukrainian harassment.

Its daily 'clobber reports', here is yesterday's, have since included lines like these on nearly each and every day:

As part of counter-battery warfare 2 artillery batteries of Giatsint howitzers near Dzerzhinsk and Novhorodskoye, Donetsk People's Republic have been hit.

4 platoons of Grad MLRS and 9 artillery platoons at firing positions near Seversk, Kirovo, Artemovsk, Avdeevka, Peski, Orlovka, Shakhterskoye, Velikaya Novoselka in Donetsk People's Republic, Dobropolie in Zaporozhye Region, Shirokoye, Bereznevatoye in Nikolaev Region, Russkaya Lozovaya and Nortsovka in Kharkov Region.

The systematic counter-artillery campaign has seriously deteriorated the already rare Ukrainian fire power.

The Russian side has also changed the primary direction of its thrust from the northern front of the Sievierdonetsk-Lysichansk-Siversk direction to a push further south. The current offensive operation is concentrated north-west and west of Donetsk city in the direction of Avdivka. There is an envelope operation going on its north and south to surround that extremely heavily fortified town.

The red territory to the left of the red line marks parts of recent progress.

Cont. reading: Ukraine SitRep - On The Ground Report - Ukrainian Frontline Collapses

Posted by b at 8:07 UTC | Comments (269)