Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 23, 2019

Book Review: The (Real) Revolution In Military Affairs

Considerable amounts of ink have been been spent in writings about the Revolution in Military Affairs. It is a concept that claims that new military doctrines, strategies, tactics and technologies would lead to an abrupt and significant change in the conduct of warfare.

U.S. 'experts' tended to use the expression to market expensive new concepts and weapon systems. Network centric warfare and precision strikes were both predicted to change the way wars are fought. But the U.S. wars on Afghanistan and Iraq demonstrated that there was no such revolution. Even with all its new toys the U.S. failed to win.

Andrei Martyanov's new book is about The (Real) Revolution in Military Affairs. Martyanov was a naval officer in the Soviet and Russian coast guard. He now lives in the U.S. and blogs at the Reminiscence of the Future... .

The real revolution in military affairs is the development of new types of weapons by Russia. Weapons which the U.S. can not defeat and to which it has no equivalents. The consequence of the revolution is the loss of the U.S. geo-political supremacy. One cause of this loss is at the core of Martyanov's earlier book LOSING MILITARY SUPREMACY: The Myopia of American Strategic Planning.

The new book takes an expanded view of the situation.

Public pundits in the U.S. have considerable influence over political decisions about war and peace. A huge number of 'experts' in a myriad of special interest think tanks and lobbies put out a steady stream of advice. Unfortunately most of these 'experts' fail to correctly measure geo-political power. They often lack the most basic understanding of military affairs and real wars.

Martyanov explains why the models the 'experts' use fail. He shows how the advantage of one weapon system against another one can be calculated. People who have had a military education know these formulas. Those who only studied political science have likely never heard of them.

The result of such calculations is well expressed in a quote from Admiral Turner who Martyanov cites: "It isn't the number of keels, or size of ships that count. It is the capacity to do what might be decisive in some particular situation."

The new extremely fast anti-ship missiles Russia developed make the U.S. fleet of aircraft carriers groups useless in a larger war against a competent enemy. Russia developed these weapons as defensive means to counter a potential U.S. aggression. As the Russian Defense Minister Shoigu just recently explained:

We don’t need aircraft carriers, we need weapons to sink them with.

The revolution in military affairs the U.S. believed in has largely disappointed. The precision weapon, computers and gizmos have not solved the basic law of war. The enemy always has a vote in the outcome.

In 2018 Russia presented a number of completely new types of weapons - extreme long range missiles, nuclear driven torpedoes and hypersonic systems.  Martyanov shows that these have taken away the invulnerability the U.S. thought to have. The U.S. has no comparable systems and it is years behind in developing them.

The U.S. war concept in a conventional war is always to first gain air supremacy. Only after that is achieved are the troops supposed to go in. New developments in Russian air and missile defense make it impossible for the U.S. to wage such a war against Russia or whoever else fields such weapons.

Weapons proliferate. Other state may soon have similar capabilities as Russia (and China) are now fielding. They may also decide to develop cheaper and more asymmetric weapons like drones. The Houthi in Yemen used cheap drones and cruise missiles against high value targets which were defended by very expensive but not very capable U.S. air defense systems. The attacks showed that the balance of power in the Middle East has changed.

Martyanov sees the world at the beginning of a new era in which global power will be rearranged towards a multi-polar system. The foundation for that is the real revolution in military affairs that Russia and others created while the U.S. was still busy with telling itself that its power will only ever increase.

In his postscriptum Maryanov states that the U.S. is in reality a power in decline.

Andrei Martyanov's book provides indispensable knowledge for anyone who wants to understand the current geo-political developments.

The (Real) Revolution in Military Affairs is available as paperback and in electronic form. It has 193 pages plus 22 pages of endnotes.

 

Posted by b on September 23, 2019 at 18:52 UTC | Permalink

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Oh well. As those skreaching kids at the UN are saying, we are all dead in 12 years anyway. Adults have let them down and ruined their youth and whatnot. So, who cares about the military developments when these kids are right - we adults have already killed us all anyway!!

Posted by: Sam Malone | Sep 23 2019 18:57 utc | 1

I've read it - very interesting along with his first book, Losing Military Supremacy.

They were eye-openers for me as growing up in the UK the myth of US invulnerability has been rammed home in countless films and in the news for as long as I can remember.

Posted by: evilsooty999 | Sep 23 2019 19:00 utc | 2

Here is an article that looks at one of the most wasteful programs that has been undertaken by the U.S. military:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-united-states-navy-and-its-littoral.html

Washington seems incapable of recognizing that it cannot win a war with its traditional military options. Fortunately, there is an endless supply of taxpayers' money to fund these failed programs.

Posted by: Sally Snyder | Sep 23 2019 19:14 utc | 3

It is true, the advent of the long range hypersonic missile (where Russia dominates, which is going to cause heart attacks in western supremacist circles) is the end of large surface ships and the BMD program. At least for the next 50 years.

Posted by: Passer by | Sep 23 2019 19:17 utc | 4

The revolution in military affairs the U.S. believed in has largely disappointed. The precision weapon, computers and gizmos have not solved the basic law of war. The enemy always has a vote in the outcome.

Speaking of American disappointment and connecting this subject with the "green new deal"/"green capitalism" one of the previous post:

MIT lab’s visionary ‘food computer’ project may be ‘selling fantasy’ to millennials and donors

Imagine a world where every family can grow fresh vegetables in a sealed high-tech box that controls every aspect of the process according to a ‘climate recipe’ downloaded from some private enthusiast on another continent. And the result is far superior to that tasteless food you buy in a supermarket today.

That is the vision of Caleb Harper, head of the Open Agricultural Initiative at the Media Lab ran by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as described by himself in numerous public speeches and media appearances. The box, or “food computer” as he prefers to call it, will be made from parts readily available on Amazon, the technology open source and easily hackable, and the exterior fully customizable to express the owner’s individuality.

This rosy promise seems like a millennial’s dream and so far Harper’s project has received positive coverage and steady funding. It may also be pure fantasy meant to cover up an ugly reality. It seems “food computers” are just ordinary hydroponic plant boxes with sensors that often don’t work. Plants shown in photos, and to potential donors given a tour of the lab, were bought elsewhere and placed in the boxes so as to appear as if they grew there, and some of the statements made by Harper were exaggerated or simply not true. At least that’s what some people familiar with his work told the media.

Posted by: vk | Sep 23 2019 19:27 utc | 5

Trump seems have some sort of understanding of the military ballance, judging by, when asked about Iran, he talks about how great US nuclear forces are.
Perhaps more important than any weapon system, is secure communications. China has been using quantum communications for some time now. China is building a huge scientific and math base that will pay more and more dividends in the coming years. They may well leapfrog a number of technologies before getting to the cutting edge of those technologies.
Regarding secure communications, Russia seems to have good insights into what the US is up to, but US often seems blind to what Russia is up to. Russian intel departments seem a few levels above their US counterparts.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 23 2019 19:31 utc | 6

And, btw, it takes 1 minute for russian submarine launched hypersonic missile to hit the White House or the Pentagon. A capability the US currently does not have.

Posted by: Passer by | Sep 23 2019 19:32 utc | 7

Alastair Crooke today uses that decline as a central part of his premise:

"Facing this [decline] humiliation, the US Administration has been ‘blowing smoke’: tossing around red-herrings about the origin and launch of the UAVs and cruise missiles. ‘It can’t be AnsarAllah (the Houthis), because such an operation was sophisticated beyond their capabilities’. Apart from the obvious Orientalism to this assertion (for, if Hizbullah can manufacture smart drones and smart cruise missiles, why shouldn’t the Houthis be able so to do?), do the exact, individual contributions towards the strike on Abqaiq really matter? What is most telling is that the US – with all its massive resources in the Gulf – cannot provide the evidence from whence came these UAVs to Abqaiq....

"What the precision strike has done is to shatter the ‘vessel’ of the US posing as somehow ‘guardian’ of the Gulf, and guarantor of the crude oil lifeblood feeding into the veins of a fragile world economy. This to say, it was a precision strike aimed at the prevailing paradigm – and It scored a direct hit. It exposed the hollowness of both claims. Anthony Cordesman writes [link at original], 'the strikes on Saudi Arabia provide a clear strategic warning that the US era of air supremacy in the Gulf, and the near US monopoly on precision strike capability, is rapidly fading'.

Perhaps Cordesman also read the book. Crooke allows Gareth Porter to weigh-in:

"Understanding Porter’s message represents the key to comprehending the nature of the ‘Great Shift’ taking place in the region. Robot planes and drones – simply – have changed the calculus of war. The old verities no longer hold – there is no simple US military solution to Iran." [My Emphasis]

The change in strategic balance is certainly incorporated into Rouhani's peace/security proposal as this article notes that the vaunted weapons of the Outlaw US Empire and its reluctance to militarily engage the nation it accused of the attack while offering zero poof all failed to do what their promoters have sold since the First Gulf War--there's no monopoly on Shock and Awe anymore.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 23 2019 19:58 utc | 8

Weapons technology is open to everyone, that is why Iran has decided to home produce weapons best suited to its circumstances, notably its missile systems [not having good aircraft] its purchase of the Russian S300 has enabled it to introduce its own anti aircraft systems like the Bavar 373 which is a much improved version of the S300, also other missiles like the one that brought the state of the art US drone down recently, it is only a matter of time before Hezbollah acquire copies from Iran, then Israel’s air force will be neutered., hence the reason US/Israel are going ape shit on the Iranian missiles, [nothing to do with nuclear activity]hence the US abandonment of the JCPOA at the behest of Israel.
I have posted this article by Gary Brecher before, it is most suitable for this article by b and as well as being informative is extremely witty, I regard it as a must read..
“I’ve been saying for a long time that aircraft carriers are just history’s most expensive floating targets, and that they were doomed. The Chinese military has developed a ballistic missile, Dong Feng 21, specifically designed to kill US aircraft carriers: “Because the missile employs a complex guidance system, low radar signature and a maneuverability that makes its flight path unpredictable, the odds that it can evade tracking systems to reach its target are increased. It is estimated that the missile can travel at mach 10 and reach its maximum range of 2000km in less than 12 minutes.”
“Ships currently have no defense against a ballistic missile attack.” What does that tell you about the distinguished gentlemen with all the ribbons on their chest who’ve been standing up on carrier bridges looking like they know what they’re doing for the past 50 years? They’re either stupid or so sleazy they’re willing to make a career commanding ships they know, goddamn well know, are floating coffins for thousands of ranks and dozens of the most expensive gold plated airplanes in the history of the world. You call that patriotic? I’d hang them all”. http://exiledonline.com/the-war-nerd-this-is-how-the-carriers-will-die/all/1/

Posted by: Harry Law | Sep 23 2019 20:09 utc | 9

"Martyanov shows that these have taken away the invulnerability the U.S. thought to have. The U.S. has no comparable systems and it is years behind in developing them."

Such weapons are so 20th century, and not 20th century in the good ways as well thought out, durable, easy to use repeatedly.

The USA, amongst others like Russia, has vastly more capable weapons, ones that need neither nuclear engines, nor war heads.

Yes, they appear to have been used quite recently, and not in Syria.

Posted by: Jay | Sep 23 2019 20:17 utc | 10

The revolution in military affairs resulted from the change in political affairs, away from employing large armies against other nations' large armies to gain political advantage. For the past few decades this has evolved into colonal resistance and regime change attempts pitting large military forces against piecemeal indigenous forces.

The concept isn't entirely new. There were earlier versions of this type of warfare, for example the US revolution against UK in the eighteenth century. Other colonial countries (UK, France etc.) have given up on this but the US as the new world hegemon (vice UK) has persisted in its efforts, finally quitting the use of ground units, because they failed, and going with aerial bombardment of population centers using bombs, rockets and missiles as we currently see in various countries in Asia and Africa.

I'm talking here about what is actually going on in the world. I'm not that concerned about how the major powers stack up against each other, because the odds of them engaging in warfare are not great. Better weapons systems in Russia are not an immediate problem for the US. It is the ongoing wars, rich against poor, which are causing the decline of the US. One example the recent failure of the extensive US land, sea and air forces in the Persian Gulf to defend its interests in Saudi Arabia, a key ally.

The failure of large-scale forces against small ones in their country can (for me) be easily summed up with this quote from Vietnam vet Mike Hastie: "One day while I was in a bunker in Vietnam, a sniper round went over my head. The person who fired that weapon was not a terrorist, a rebel, an extremist, or a so-called insurgent. The Vietnamese individual who tried to kill me was a citizen of Vietnam, who did not want me in his country. This truth escapes millions." --Mike Hastie, U.S. Army Medic, Vietnam 1970-71

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 23 2019 20:18 utc | 11

@karlof1 Robot planes and drones – simply – have changed the calculus of war.

No, they haven't. They show the need for a good layered air defense and electronic counter measures. That defeats them almost any time.

The problem for the U.S. is that it currently can not provide such system for itself and its clients. Russia can.

The U.S. will catch up when it gets its priorities straight. That hasn't happened during the last 30 years. It is not gonna happen during the next 10 but eventually the penny may drop.

But in the current mode it is still locking for more incapable F-35 planes, radar visible 'stealth' bombers, littoral combat ships that are actually unarmed fast boats and aircraft carriers that come at some $15 billion a piece but are useless against a peer competitor.

The U.S. intentionally makes those weapons that create the largest flow from the U.S. public and its client states to the privately owned weapon industry. Russia makes the weapons it needs for its defense. There is no practical reason why the U.S. could not do as Russia does.

Posted by: b | Sep 23 2019 20:18 utc | 12

Putin on future tech https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2M9lTx--7Y8
Danger of just one country mastering AI https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KIlMKtETEY

China - quantum computing and AI https://www.wired.co.uk/article/quantum-computing-china-us

US - Sunny Runny Burger at the open thread put a comment on a google 'breakthrough' in quantum computing. Seems google still has a long way to go to achieve a functional computer even if they are not simply putting out bullshit about what they achieved.
My guess is that one day China will simply announce it is using fully functional quantum computers. Game over for the US at that stage.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 23 2019 20:34 utc | 13

I expect that drug lords are salivating at the prospect of using drones to fly across Trump’s border wall ... unless they’re already doing it. Amazon is not the only parcel delivery service that thinks drones are a great idea.

Posted by: JohnH | Sep 23 2019 20:41 utc | 14

The era of military supremacy, frontal assault and etc. is over. In the event of a war, there are no winners.

He who holds the key to the global monetary system, is the winner. For the time being and alas, the US is reigning supreme with a weaponized dollar, without needing a hypersonic cruise missile. The other area is cyber weapons in which they are also formidable as well.

Although the book above is a worthy read, in the end conventional weapons are no match for the weapons mentioned above.


Posted by: Uncle Jon | Sep 23 2019 20:55 utc | 15

Haha JohnH #14, I think the drug lords have a reliable drone in the CIA and the air road to Arkansas. I guess that may have changed as the drone governor there became president and then the replacement drone failed acceptance testing in 2016.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Sep 23 2019 21:02 utc | 16

Uncle Jon
The use of money as a weapon is only possible if it is backed by military power. US money power is fast disappearing as US can no longer enforce this with military power.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 23 2019 21:07 utc | 17

A Senator said the reason the US government hasn’t dealt with the fentanyl crisis is inertia. Not true. It is corruption. Selling opioids or constructing the USS Gerald Ford makes money for the connected. The Pentagon is a scam. Anyone who pointed out how vulnerable the Saudi oil supply is would have the revolving door slammed shut by vested interests. But the real problem is the true believers. If they start a war with Iran, it is all over. As Donald Trump indicates, the only American military response to the destruction of Saudi Arabia and possibly Israel by Iran’s and Shiite militias hundreds of thousand missiles and UAVs is the use of nuclear weapons.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Sep 23 2019 21:08 utc | 18

Well now Uncle Jon, it's very reassuring that Russia and China don't have cyber weapons to match the US. Now of course, they don't have the weaponised dollar and I must assume that their large scale hoarding of gold is being done for no sensible reason.

Posted by: Thomas | Sep 23 2019 21:18 utc | 19

My theory is that the reason why US radar/surveillance didn't pick up the Houthi drones is that they were purposely designed NOT to detect low flying drones, so that drug dealers could keep bringing in drugs into the U.S. with impunity. Its an 'on purpose' oversight, that maybe the Houthi's were well aware of, for some reason. My point anyway, is that often the MIC (Military Industrial Complex) is designing for money, rather than to defend. And this is why US weapons have become increasingly obsolete yet a lot more expensive. Designed for expensive features, rather than robust operational functions. The system is corrupt, without real checks and balances on what budgets are spent on. In fact, when Lockheed Martin has a multi-billion dollar cost over run, no one hears about it, and the same people complain about welfare queens feeding off the government. Bad governance and management

Posted by: doggydogdog | Sep 23 2019 21:21 utc | 20

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https://www.claritypress.com/product/losing-military-supremacy/

Generous 50% coupon from Smoothie Martyanov2-469

Mercie bien.

Posted by: Taffyboy | Sep 23 2019 21:21 utc | 21

Alastair Crooke on the arms race between China and US.
"Nothing new here: yet behind that ambition, lies another, further ambition and a little mentioned ‘elephant in the room’: that the ‘trade war’ is also the first stage to a new arms race between the US & China – albeit of a different genre of arms race. This ‘new generation’ arms-race is all about reaching national superiority in technology over the longer-term, via Quantum Computing, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Hypersonic Warplanes, Electronic Vehicles, Robotics, and Cyber-Security."
http://www.conflictsforum.org/2018/americas-technology-and-sanctions-war-will-end-by-bifurcating-the-global-economy/

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 23 2019 21:26 utc | 22

the US is a power in decline? see VietnamVet's comment at 18. there will be new rounds of discipline on the domestic front to compensate for the loss of power globally. This obese, diabetic populace needs more than boot camp to defeat its leaner Asian enemies, something more like the zero gravity Space Farce Godfather Don has proposed. A massive blob of Harkonnens in anti-fat, i mean anti-grav suits, a la Lynch's "Dune", w/some "Starship Troopers" slogans thrown in: service guarantees Big Macs. However, it ain't gonna work, so the scam of the future will be making money off the inexorable decline of the US population, its ailing health, increasing "vice", etc., by, e.g., getting the gov't to pay for Suboxone treatment vel sim for the opioid crisis the gov't knowingly created. also various means to imprison more of the populace, incl in "treatment" programs for the multitude of sicknesses people develop responding to capitalism. more "mmmm, mmmm this Flint water tastes great" moments, more p/r stunts, and more violence, terrorism, to cover up for a society, not in decline, but mercifully almost dead.

the npr-listening managerial class walks around like the pinnacle of human moral evolution utterly unable to see the system they manage & benefit from in the meth addicted children running around outside. if you are not one of these assholes, you know that, unless you have money as the answer, state institutions, incl medical personnel but above all cops, are the most likely people to rape, taze, shoot, kill, burgle, rob, stab, assault, defraud, blackmail or otherwise abuse & traumatize someone. ICE is the icing on the shit cake. the whole thing can't die fast enough. since it's pretty clear this bloated cow is never gonna get up off its fat ass, we can be thankful mother nature is doing our work for us and wiping this experiment in mendacity off the map.

Posted by: rjb | Sep 23 2019 21:36 utc | 23

Britain, France, Germany in Joint Statement Blame Iran For Attack on Saudi Aramco's Oil Facilities

I told you that this "Climate Change Operation" was for "recrutiing" more funds for what it matters...war! ....from wherever....This means your pension will go to finance the MIC who nrutures NATO for US wars....

I bet you Greta smiles now...

Posted by: Sasha | Sep 23 2019 21:46 utc | 24

b @12--

Actually, your critique proves my point. The Outlaw US Empire will now be forced to manufacture the components of a multilayered terrestrial air defense since the "calculus" is now altered and its previous weapons systems proven inadequate to the task. I say terrestrial since its Navy employs such a multilayered system as several others have commented on over the past week.

Magnier also writes about the significance this episode has for regional politics as did the scholar cited in the Sputnik item I cited above. Magnier notes the great difference in how Iran and the Outlaw US Empire conduct policy in the region:

"Iran is confirming that gathering US personnel and military war equipment in the Middle East does not necessarily demonstrate real strength and military superiority, but rather an unjustified financial burden on the host countries! This is a real problem for the countries that play host to US bases in the area. They gambled by relying on such a large US presence and military apparatus that have now revealed themselves incapable of defending themselves, the main customers and hosts – having spent hundreds of billions of dollars on US weapons and equipment.

"The difference of attitude and support towards allies is enormous. Iran has managed to build a trustworthy chain of allies acting as a single body while the US bullies and humiliates its allies, most recently the Kings of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, while blackmailing these and other Arab leaders to buy US weapons....

"Unlike the US, Iran defends its allies and offers financial and military support to them: it shares warfare experience and technology with them so they remain well equipped and strong enough for the “collection day” when they fulfil their role. Tehran has managed to build a network of partners spread across different parts of the Middle East: from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea and Bab al Mandeb. Now it is the turn of the Yemeni partner to go through a painful labour, paying the price with blood and destruction before joining the “Axis of the Resistance”. It is already well along in the process after four years of war and tens of thousands of victims. This “Axis” has spread through Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. It speaks loudly its readiness to engage in a multifront war against the US and its Middle Eastern allies if ever Iran comes under attack."

Indeed, the entire previous calculus within the Gulf region that existed in 2003 has completely changed, as I believe you wrote yourself. What I see when looking at the evolution of the region's realities since Russia's intervention in 2015 culminated quite well with the Persian Gulf Collective Security Proposal Russia made to the UNGA to great approval then entrusted to Zarif to lobby within the Ummah and Gulf Region aided by the transpiring events proving its excellent basis and genuine need to all the region's members--in favor of all yet not favoring one. As I remarked at the time, the Outlaw US Empire was simply caught asleep as it has absolutely nothing to offer as a counter and has yet to do so.

The strategic changes in warfare also coincide with those at the tactical level and thus exert a newly profound leverage on regional and geopolitics. Lavrov's important essay builds on the collective security proposal which actually comes from various Cold War doctrines and even rests within the ideals of the UN and UNSC. More will be said in the coming days at the UNGA.

Indeed, it's likely few have noted what I consider a rather aggressive agenda for the entire UNGA, which included an attack on global BigMed and BigPharma by promoting the idea that all nations should employ universal healthcare. There are numerous events that activists ought to register to attend as little of what's presented ever gets media exposure--events like Sustainability Comes of Age and Sustainable Finance to name just two of dozens.

As unipolarity sinks while Multipolarity rises, a whole new calculus of geopolitics and geo-economics is being delivered as we watch and participate. Imagine the possibilities if a Collective Persian Gulf Peace and Security Pact is arrived at forcing the exit of the Outlaw US Empire from the region thus allowing for the acceleration of regional development based on amicable, peaceful relations that ought to have great impact on a solution for Occupied Palestine. Something similar could then be devised by the CSTO and SCO nations regarding Afghanistan and Kashmir. IMO, the time is ripe for a reordering of the global calculus.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 23 2019 21:57 utc | 25

Still in development, only titular, nit details...

"Two rockets hit the Green Zone in Baghdad, capital of Iraq"....

Posted by: Sasha | Sep 23 2019 22:01 utc | 26

"Russian Defense Minister Shoigu just recently explained:
We don’t need aircraft carriers, we need weapons to sink them with."

Something which is particularly true because of Russia's geographical position. The struggle as Mackinder predicted is between Eurasia, with its interior lines, and the peripheral maritime Empire. Russia, in alliance with Iran, China and most of the central Asian countries has no need for fleets, railroads and pipelines will do.

As to the question of Air Power, which has indeed been central to US military thinking since the days of Billy Mitchell, its last stand was the criminal Shock and Awe campaign of 2003.

My experience differed from evilsooty999@2.
Growing up in a British military family I was taught from an early age that the US military was incompetent and corrupt.

Apart from the glorious victory in Grenada and the triumph in Panama it is difficult to recall a US military victory which did not, like the stunningly effective diplomacy that welded Iran, Turkey, Russia and China quickly into an anti-US bloc, turn rapidly into a strategic defeat.
Next stop Saudi Arabia? That would leave the US with only the tiny, militarily inconsequential Gulf kleptocracies-Bahrain, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar of the total hegemony it inherited, on a plate, from the British Empire, not 60 years ago.

Posted by: bevin | Sep 23 2019 22:02 utc | 27

Very interesting reading.

I do believe though a revisiting of the Aramco attack should be considered as a priority.

It is altogether more likely the attack on the Aramco processing facility was a false flag event conducted by the West.

The Axis of Resistance chessmasters understood the implications immediately with respect to Iran's reputation and rather than allow the fell blow to strike Iran they parried it so the false blame generated by the false flag struck the useless for geopolitical purposes Houtbi.

The fact that the Houtbi claimed 10 drones is a good clue. The frustration in the West with the Houtbi claim is huge.

The game played by Macron seeking truth afterwards is telling also. Then add the statement released by Germany UK and France in the last few hours is even more of an indicator.

Posted by: Jasmine | Sep 23 2019 22:05 utc | 28

@Posted by: Sasha | Sep 23 2019 21:46 utc | 24

You can read the joint statement here...

https://twitter.com/descifraguerra/status/1176239499065614338

Posted by: Sasha | Sep 23 2019 22:09 utc | 29

Any carrier strike group has no chance against a swarm of anti ship missiles IMHO since the P-700 Granit(NATO name SS-N-19 Shipwreck). This known since the (last) eighties of last century(millennium). But realized in the 90s by some simulations. But never perceived by higher grades or simply ignored, for whatever reason. I believe for profit. But there is a wording: Don't assume badness, if stupidity as explanation enough! ;-)

Posted by: Wolle | Sep 23 2019 22:09 utc | 30

On this same theme, the Independent's Patrick Cockburn weighs in
The drone attacks in Saudi Arabia have changed the nature of global warfare

Posted by: gwilliard | Sep 23 2019 22:14 utc | 31

Lol. Russia can have the best weapons in the world and they will never win a war against the US. The world would be engulfed in a nuclear holocaust destroying all including Russia before the US would be defeated. The US military recognizes the benefit of perpetual war to keep budgets growing. Quick victories are not desired. These are wars of aggression and long term occupations, not defensive wars where there is any threat to the homeland.. So long as the US has a nuclear deterrent defeat is a concept its leaders need not worry about

In any event, its all fake wrestling. Russia needs the US as a threat so it can keep spending on the military. Its that threat that keep the Russian people from taking to the streets over reduced pension benefits and growing income inequality. US exploiting the Russia threat in the same way, we need more weapons to match Russia and more money to pay for them. The people on both sides are so easily fooled.

Posted by: Pft | Sep 23 2019 22:16 utc | 32

I have longed maintained that the only thing that stands behind the dollar is military superiority. When the world wakes up to the fact that America is no longer supreme, its reserve currency status will be revoked as happened with the pound at the end of the British Empire. When that time comes, de facto war by economic sanction will be off that famous table. Then it will be kill, be killed or make peace. Since America thinks peace means complete surrender of the opposition, prepare for some real fireworks. Unlike England, we are not going to go peacefully. A warrior culture like ours is more akin to Rome or Sparta.
In other words, we will die trying.

Posted by: RenoDino | Sep 23 2019 22:23 utc | 33

@1 & 24

While it is important to note that US has lost it's monopoly on military power, the costs incumbent of a runaway climate that the scientists have been warning us for 50 years will start to be noticed in fairly short order.

Outdoor existence in Middle East will become impossible with temperatures commonly exceeding 120 degrees and water vanishing. There will be multiple other costs such as cities without water, as in India, South Africa, and other places. There will be massive migrations that will cause more war. There will be starvation on a massive scale with a potential loss between one to nine billion people, since the growth of crops will deteriorate. The feedback loops already starting, within 12 years will become unstoppable; and people will have little time for hanging out on a blog, as they will be busy surviving.

There will be little money left in the US for development of fantasy weapons, as it will be dealing with it's own bankruptcy and feeding its own people. Economic warfare will not exist, since the US will have little economic power. The fact that it will not be able to nuke other parts of the planet without retribution will be a small godsend.

While people who do not understand the scientific method, will pooh-pooh this as delusions of an environmental cult, what they do not understand is that when 20,000 scientists reach a consensus regarding a hypothesis, you can bet that finding is a FACT, not a belief, and it has a very high degree of probability of occurring. Additionally, given the conservative nature of a scientific consensus, the probability of it being much worse is also very high. Tick, tock.

Posted by: Michael | Sep 23 2019 22:30 utc | 34

The simple problem Russia and China always had, is the not so hidden design by Western
powers to either assimilate them into their orbit as inferior entity — or outright defeat.

This paradigm is an old one, rooted in the same belief of intellectual and technological
supremacy. That belief was based on historic circumstances that caused both civilizations
to fall behind the Western world’s advances. But as thinking is based essentially
on self-perceived entitlement to be better — there is a danger of none of this being heard.
As surely, the superior people find the way.

This is why the advantage that Russia/China now have remains theoretical.
US for example will not see any of this rationally and try to come up with a formula for
coexistence. No such thing. If Russia will not use them — then life just goes in.
Other weaker country gets shattered and incapable to move on. That is the goal —
country by country chais is introduced, and no development, education happens.

In short, US has no need to attack either. Try to undermine, weaken. Get all allies
in line— no wobble. Then continue picking other targets one at the time, until Russia
and China stay isolated with few weak countries around them. End game.

The challenge for Russia/China is — where to draw a line. I am wondering if Iran is it.

In case of attack on Iran — no matter how limited, the regional chaos and paralysis
will reach new heights. Saudis lose sovereignty, so do UAE, Kuwait. Bahrain is
already under US control, and that will end Qatar and Oman ambiguity. Yemen case
closed. Sudan and Egypt will have to kneel, as US will get control of Bab Al Mandeb.

For China and Russia a strategic blow. The inly way to change that is to eliminate
force projection means U S needs. And for this, submarine drones are right tools.
They are not detectable nor can be hit by torpedoes. They can destroy all coastal bases,
or infrastructure. Aerial advantage is needed only to deal with countermeasures.

Since US is not likely to consider alternatives — just single minded forward, there is no
way Russia or China can ever have an advantage, unless they use it. In case of
crippling force projection mechanism in the seas and coastal bases, I am convinced
that European allies are likely to stay out of it, and cut a deal.

Otherwise, US enters more countries under whatever pretext and method — and
stays forever. Even in cheap — like using Kurds to control Iraq, Syria and Turkey
borders — making sure no development , roads, bridges, pipelines are built.

Just keep them paralyzed. In Europe, strategic Balkans have been paralyzed for
two decades. Eastern Europe paralyzed with Russia-threat narrative that idiots
are supposed to repeat daily. Ukraine has been paralyzed. Saudis are now in no
position to refuse US “generosity”, and the chain reaction goes from there.

Saudis -/ unless they redeem themselves somehow, are the biggest losers.
Thus — where is the line drawn?


Posted by: Bianca | Sep 23 2019 23:04 utc | 35

Michael @34,

One, bankruptcy is irrelevant becqause both money and property are social constructs. Two, what makes you think the USA is interested in feeding its own people?

Posted by: Jonathan^-1 | Sep 23 2019 23:07 utc | 36

@vk #5
The food computer is a scam. Here's a link detailing some of the faking practices.

But some of the researchers who have worked for Harper say that often, rather than engaging in genuine scientific inquiry, he’s selling a fantasy.

One former researcher described buying lavender plants from a gardening store, dusting the dirt off the roots so it looked as if they’d been grown without soil, and placing them in the food computer ahead of a photo shoot. The resulting photos were sent to news media and put on the project’s website. The same employee said the food computers that had been given to schools either didn’t work or needed extensive support from Media Lab technicians. Former employees also said that when Harper has given presentations on his work at the Media Lab, he has described research projects that either they didn’t know about or believed to be exaggerated.


Theranos, but with agriculture...

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 23 2019 23:08 utc | 37

@Peter AU 1 #13
There's a lot of hype around quantum computing.
In particular, for it to be truly useful, the quantum computers need to be 1000 bits or more - in order to handle the ginormous problems they're really needed for. Smaller problems are being solved already, so no real benefit.
What Google demonstrated was a carefully crafted demo - much like when they demonstrated a hash collision at the page level.
Not repeatable and equally not useful.
Quantum communications are different: you can have literally a single bit that turns on and off - that's just the telegraph all over again. The only real benefit is that you can't snoop on it; it isn't usefully faster than existing communications anyway.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 23 2019 23:12 utc | 38

RE Calculus of War: I view it as the old, attrition based calculus of war re-asserting itself after the interlude of RMA, fancy expensive weapons that are supposed to be so good you don't need a lot of them, Special Forces and Lily Pads littered all over like they were not exposed targets because nobody would dare attack us. Like piloted warcraft, giant ships too, all these things have long been understood to be on the way out. Warfare itself is no longer a paying proposition, the only parties who win wars are those who stay out of them, fight them on the other guys territory. With the advent of cheap unmanned missiles and drones etc. the wars are going to be happening on everybodies territory. Of course this is a very unpopular view in the defense business. Careers and pensions are at stake. Piloted aircraft are more expensive and pilots are so dashing. It's hard to envision and orderly transition happening soon.

Posted by: Bemildred | Sep 23 2019 23:25 utc | 39

c1ue "In particular, for it to be truly useful, the quantum computers need to be 1000 bits or more"

That is how I understand it. As I put in an earlier comment, I suspect China will be the first to come up with a useful computer.
And also from a earlier comment secure communication is perhaps more important than any weapons system.
Looking at the capabilities possible if a functional quantum computer can be built, current communication encryption methods will become obsolete. Those that don't have quantum communication may as well post everything to a public message board.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 23 2019 23:27 utc | 40

Thanks b,for the new book mark, and read.

Can't help but think, does all this parody, militarily, change anything for the peon working classes? I, for one doubt it.

Pft @ 32 said; "In any event, its all fake wrestling."

Yep, meanwhile, the milking of the working classes, by the 1%ers continues unabated..

Posted by: ben | Sep 23 2019 23:42 utc | 41

May get this. The table of contents suggests that it doesn't have anything on anti-satellite warfare, or on automated machine guns on wheels/tracks or automated mine seeders. Fuel/air antiaircraft defenses may be feasible. Laser antipersonnel weapons, adhesive bombs, foam bombs that block vision, IR camouflage. New weapons against helicopters would probably be most useful. I still believe both that Russia is BS on its weapons and that such strategic panaceas are still, in the long run, folly.

The US seems to me to be planning battlefield nukes.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Sep 23 2019 23:51 utc | 42

The russians are not going for weapons supremacy. They are going for 100% defense reliability, economy and effectiveness.

All Kreasukhar, S300 and S400 variants are designed to completely repel high volume attacks of drones and cruise missiles. The S500 will handle the remaining american attack capabilities of high volume land and submarine nuclear ballistic and hypersonic missiles by 2022 to 2025. Thereafter, the russians can completely incinerate very safely all threatening american bases and industrial support centers. The goal shared by russia and china is not to destroy the maga usa, but to reduce it to 5th world status -- a nation that even primitive african countries can kick around.

Posted by: Maxint | Sep 23 2019 23:58 utc | 43

Everything you ever wanted to know about Quantum Supremacy but were afraid to ask:

https://www.scottaaronson.com/blog/?p=4317

Posted by: FKA_Realist | Sep 24 2019 0:02 utc | 44

@ Posted by: c1ue | Sep 23 2019 23:12 utc | 38

Quantum computing is over the top, but quantum cryptography isn't. Huawei already has it and that's one of the reasons the American deep state doesn't want its technology dominating 5G in the US, Europe and other countries of its alliance.

Posted by: vk | Sep 24 2019 0:10 utc | 45

@ Posted by: Pft | Sep 23 2019 22:16 utc | 32

Russia's doctrine is entirely defensive. I don't think Russia uses the USA as an "enemy out there" in order to legitimize growing defense budgets at the people's expense.

However, it is possible that turns out to be the case once Putin is gone. Since the founding of the USSR -- which never had any formal succession process and thus made every succession a civil war -- continuity in Russia's supreme command has always been a coin flip. Lenin was the last incontestable leader modern Russia had, but he was its founder, so it doesn't count. After the fall of the USSR, Russia had Yeltsin -- by far the worst leader of Russia's History (although there's a close competition with Nicholas II and the provisory government).

During Yeltsin, it was consensus Russia was over: it was to be turned into a banana republic like Brazil and maybe even be balkanized like Yugoslavia. But then, surprise, Yeltsin falls and dies some years later and gives his office to Putin -- a complete newcomer who only became president by a serendipity of destiny. Putin turned out to be fine, rising Russia from the ashes and consolidating himself as potentially the greatest statesman of the first half of the 21st Century.

I said "potentially" because we have to see what will come next. Putin is already in his last mandate and doesn't have too much time left to live if we're to consider the average male life expectancy in Russia. His successor could be another Yeltsin (Medvedev without the leash?), or could be another Putin, or could be, most likely, a mediocre version of Putin. Everytime Russia has a succession, I hold my breath, and I don't have one inch of confidence Putin's achievements are long term.

Posted by: vk | Sep 24 2019 0:27 utc | 46

vk
I looked up Huawei and quantum cryptology. Seems what they are doing currently is introducing quantum computer safe cryptology.

This is interesting reading.
https://www.huawei.com/en/about-huawei/trust-center/post-quantum-cryptography

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 24 2019 0:30 utc | 47

vk @46--

I believe you'll find this article on Russian Defense spending a worthy read, and I suggest it to others. Teaser:

"Rather than consume the government budget, Russian defense spending is slowly declining as a share of GDP, which is in part what makes it sustainable well into the 2020s or perhaps 2030s. Moscow is cognizant of the runaway defense spending that led to the Soviet Union’s demise, at a time of economic decline. The reasons for the spending plateau include a conscious decision by the state to sequester defense spending so as to prioritize national welfare and the simple fact that the Russian military had already procured a tremendous amount of equipment during the first five years of modernization spending. Russian arms exports have also held steady at about $15 billion per year on top of domestic procurement."

Comparably, it makes sense to include all aspects of spending done to maintain the Outlaw US Empire, which would give a much higher % of GDP than just using the defense budget figure.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 24 2019 0:44 utc | 48

On quantum computing, please visit my comment here.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 24 2019 0:47 utc | 49

https://tass.com/defense/1079271

The United States’ belief in its own superiority could lead to various unreasonable ideas, posing a major threat to Russia and other states, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in his interview with Moskovsky Komsomolets published on Sunday.

"When you think - as the United States continues to believe so by inertia - that the balance of power has developed in your favor, various ideas may come to your head, including unreasonable ones. I consider this situation now as the main threat, and not only for Russia," Shoigu said.

Meanwhile, the recognition of your vulnerability and a wish to maintain balance and universal equal security "makes you turn your head on," the defense minister said, also stressing that the number of threats to Russia is not declining.

At the same time, Shoigu voiced hope that a full-scale war is not on the horizon.

The priority task now is to ensure information security, he stressed, noting that "at the current level of informatization and automation, there is a high probability of errors in the weapons control system.".

Posted by: Sergei | Sep 24 2019 0:53 utc | 50

rjb @23,

Eliminationist polemics are cute, but don't underestimate the difficulty level of insurrection in a 240-year-old police state, especially when not one of the rest of y'all have offered citizens any help against it. In fact, has your country aided and abetted it?

jt @50,

Nuke Washington from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

Posted by: Jonathan^-1 | Sep 24 2019 1:21 utc | 51

@Peter AU 1 #40
In theory, quantum cryptography can be secure at lower qubit numbers. The problem is: how do you test it?
How can any cryptographic algorithm be tested across 2exp50 states to show that it works correctly?
All of the yakety about quantum computers relegate this issue into "then a miracle occurs" box.
For computing, the problem is infinitely worse.
A related issue is collision. For 2exp50 states, any message if say, less than War and Peace length has uncounted numbers of duplicate cryptography outcomes.
This is just a few of the major issues with quantum anything.

Posted by: C1ue | Sep 24 2019 1:43 utc | 52

@karlof1 #49
The article talks about how a Moore's law can exist for quantum, but I didn't see an actual mechanism.
For silicon, the mechanism was reduced geometry.
What is the mechanism for quantum?
Without one, it is more hand waving.

Posted by: C1ue | Sep 24 2019 1:46 utc | 53

thanks for putting in a plug for smoothie b.. i like visiting his site and hope he sells many copies of his book..

Posted by: james | Sep 24 2019 1:51 utc | 54

C1ue
I guess I partly look at Chinese quantum communications. As far as I know, China was using it through optic fibre when many were still wondering if quantum communications was possible.

The Huawei piece I linked to @47 gives the date when they think sufficient quantum computer advances to break existing encryption will occurred by or anytime after 2024. They are looking at having encryptions resistant to quantum computing by that date.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 24 2019 2:06 utc | 55

Posted by: steven t johnson | Sep 23 2019 23:51 utc | 42

Yup, it is shocking that these russian savages can develop something better than the US, right? Too bad that the Pentagon agrees with that and Rand Corp. is calling for a treaty banning the proliferation of these weapons.

Vietnam was also shocking.

The Taliban Millitia gaining new ground against the US and NATO for the last 7 years is also shocking. I wonder what would happen if someone supplies manpads and anti-tank weaponry to the Taliban? Vietnam 2 in the middle of Asia?

Battlefield nukes are a 50s thing. A move towards tactical nukes is a pretty big admission of conventional military weakness.

Posted by: Passer by | Sep 24 2019 2:20 utc | 56

@ Sergei | Sep 24 2019 0:53 utc | 51


The United States’ belief in its own superiority

Problem is it's more than an ordinary belief. It's a component of The United States’ Weltanschauung. How can you modify that?

Posted by: Parisian Guy | Sep 24 2019 2:57 utc | 57

@8 karlof1

The Sputnik article you linked makes an astonishing (to me) point that I think is worth considering: that Iran has now moved beyond considering Saudi Arabia as its regional rival, and instead now considers the US as its regional rival.

And as you have postulated, Iran is fabricating the formal structures and doctrines now that its patiently earned alliances can join, for collective security and collective muscle, enough - as others here also suggest - to throw the US out of the entire region.

By calling upon Gulf powers to form part of its initiative, Tehran shows that it "no longer considers Saudi Arabia as its regional rival", suggests Dr Alam Saleh, a lecturer in Middle Eastern politics at Lancaster University.

"By moving beyond regional adversaries Iran is confronting US directly as its only regional rival today," the Middle East expert stresses. "Now and right before UNGA, by offering security coalition in the Persian Gulf, Tehran attempts to isolate US from its regional allies."

"This is particularly more evident since the recent Aramco attack," says Saleh.

That link again: Coalition of Hope: 'Tehran No Longer Considers Saudi Arabia as Its Regional Rival' – Mid East Expert

There are some remarkable shifts in the various balances of power happening in regions around the world, and the possibilities are very quietly very exciting. Thanks for emphasizing the UNGA discussions - they will indeed be interesting.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 24 2019 3:50 utc | 58

America's problem is that it is beset with a corrupt 'defense' industry that is filled with traitors. People who take money meant to defend a nation but then divert it to the profits of their company and/or to personal gain are traitors. We are simply seeing a comparison between a nation where the people designing, testing and building weapons are dedicated to defending their nation against a nation who sees traitors steal the money's meant to defend it.

Posted by: Ethan Allen | Sep 24 2019 4:22 utc | 59

Peter AU @ 13 You might find this of interest:

China’s Biggest Private Sector Company Is Betting Its Future on Data

Ping An built an empire around safe and staid products like life insurance. Now it's betting its future on inventive uses of big data—and gearing up to do battle with fast-growing tech giants like Alibaba.

Fender benders, even minor ones, used to mean interminable hassle for Chinese drivers. One could wait hours by the roadside for an insurance inspector—then lose hours more filling out forms. Reimbursement took days, and often weeks.

In 2017, Ping An, China’s second-largest insurer and its biggest non-state-owned company by revenue, rolled out a “Superfast Onsite Investigation” system—enabling policyholders to submit claims by simply opening a smartphone app and answering a few questions. But the app’s niftiest feature offers the option to not even wait for an inspector. Instead, customers can snap photos of a damaged vehicle and send them to a Ping An computer, which can respond with a repair estimate in three minutes or less. If the customer accepts the estimate, then wancheng! (“Done!”) Ping An can transfer funds immediately.

Last year, Ping An’s customers used this feature to settle 7.3 million claims, or 62% of the total. The service saves the company more than $750 million each year by reducing bogus claims and human error. But its simplicity belies the extraordinary sophistication of the artificial intelligence and data-processing operations that make it possible.

To generate accurate estimates, Ping An matches photos of vehicle damage against a database of 25 million parts used in the 60,000 different auto makes and models sold in China. The system assesses whether those parts can be repaired or must be replaced, then calculates the cost of parts and labor in more than 140,000 garages. Ping An integrates all that information with face-, voice- and image-recognition tech and a complex matrix of anti-fraud rules. Ping An chief scientist Xiao Jing says it took a team of A.I. experts, data scientists, and insurance managers three years to design, develop, and integrate the new service. It is, he exults, “the only one of its kind in the world.”

But automated auto inspection is only one of myriad marvels that illustrate how Ping An is using A.I. and big data to transform everyday life in China. There’s also the facial-­recognition technology the Shenzhen-based conglomerate uses in its consumer lending business; Ping An claims its A.I. can read 54 distinct “micro-expressions” to determine whether loan applicants are lying. Or take Ping An Healthcare and Technology, better known as Good Doctor, which offers consultations to 265 million patients registered via a mobile app—and aids physicians in diagnosing thousands of ailments. Over the past five years, Ping An has also built its own cloud and designed a suite of A.I.-driven software services to go with it—not just to support its own work but also to market services to thousands of smaller financial institutions, hospitals, and medical clients.

These products and services have a vital feature in common: They match online data, generated by China’s digitally native consumer masses, with a vast storehouse of “offline” data and insight amassed over three decades in the insurance business. Ping An believes that this offline information—which encompasses elements as disparate as business-loan default rates, symptoms of skin cancer, and the resale value of a car with sprung shocks—means that its data services are based on better data. “That’s where our advantage comes in,” says ­Jessica Tan, the deputy CEO who oversees Ping An’s technology companies. “We’re able to connect to the full picture.”

Posted by: pogohere | Sep 24 2019 4:29 utc | 60

Grieved @59--

Thanks for your reply! Yes, Iran knows there are others with ears in Saudi, including the exiled Prince wanting to form a Constitutional Monarchy. As you might recall, as soon as Russia made its proposal, Zarif took off on his intensive shuttle diplomacy to regional nations and those of the Ummah. I remember you commenting on the video lecture he gave in Malaysia talking about the new global dynamics and how they relate to security. IMO, what we will soon hear/read/see is a well thought out proposal, refined via numerous meetings with Iranian and Russian officials and shared with the Turks and Iran's regional allies. For the remaining Gulf nations, it will be an offer they'll find extremely difficult to refuse--even the Saudis. TrumpCo and the D-Party neocons will be incensed as they have zip to offer as an alternative other than the same old tired Imperialism. It will be interesting which nations walk out prior to Rouhani's talk. With their crap announcement late today, UK, France and Germany show they're beyond stuck-up and constipated in the most extreme manner as no amount of laxative will loosen their minds from their asses.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 24 2019 4:31 utc | 61

@28 Jasmine
I think you have it right. This looked like a false flag to me from the very beginning. The Judo-twist by the Houthis in claiming responsibility is brilliant if true.

Posted by: Norwegian | Sep 24 2019 4:33 utc | 62

It was quite noticeable during the times when Trump is actively threatening Syria with strikes that the carrier group that had almost always been in the eastern Med was pulled way back out of the line of fire. Trump's strikes on Syria were all conducted with cruise missiles and some long range bombers. Completely different from the way the USA had conducted previous strikes which always featured carrier air power.

So, the US is spending over $13 billion a piece on some brand new aircraft carriers. If they ever get the Ford to actually work, it is still a ship that the high command feels needs to be pulled out of the line of fire when the shooting starts. $13 billion is a lot of money for a warship that can't be in the fight, but instead has to head for rear areas. The Navy and the Congress of course insist that both the Ford and the next carrier after that must be finished. Good thing America doesn't have anything else to spend $26 billion or more doing.

Posted by: Halsey | Sep 24 2019 4:38 utc | 63

Michael @ 34

Re: "While people who do not understand the scientific method, will pooh-pooh this as delusions of an environmental cult, what they do not understand is that when 20,000 scientists reach a consensus regarding a hypothesis, you can bet that finding is a FACT, not a belief, and it has a very high degree of probability of occurring. Additionally, given the conservative nature of a scientific consensus, the probability of it being much worse is also very high. Tick, tock." [emphasis added]

I'm betting that what you described as determinative of "FACT" is not science at all. The scientific method consists of testing hypotheses that can be falsified by rigorous and well-designed experiments.

You may be right about the conditions people will face, but that's not based on science.

Posted by: pogohere | Sep 24 2019 4:41 utc | 64

@ Ethan Allen 60, The problem is not only ''traitors'' (acting within rules of financialized Reaganomics), even thought it's a significant part of reason why Murikkka is declining. The rot is systemic and extends to the educational sphere. The russians and chinese by fielding their new hypersonics systems are demonstrating their lead in material sciences. Their students regularly win math and physics olympiads. Deregulation and laissez-faire economics have destroyed our human resource base, the proof is in the pudding. Unfortunately, masses of deplorables led by Chumps want to double down, thinking they will prevail against dirigist powers. I hope they have another thought coming.

Posted by: Sol Invictus | Sep 24 2019 4:46 utc | 65

@Michael 34

what they do not understand is that when 20,000 scientists reach a consensus regarding a hypothesis, you can bet that finding is a FACT, not a belief, and it has a very high degree of probability of occurring.

Science is never decided by majority vote. "Consensus" does not exist in science, consensus is 100% political. Those government paid "scientists" are tools in a big political game of power. This power game is multi-faceted, it is military as described in the book by Martyanov, it is quasi-scientific as in "climate change" and every day propagandistic in all aspects of MSM media, but it is all the same game.

Posted by: Norwegian | Sep 24 2019 4:47 utc | 66

All the technological implementation in the world cannot defeat a determined enemy. The West has lost it's nerve. Tranny troops and feministas will never defeat true soldiers. The Israelis long ago figured out that women in combat are a foolish endeavor. And those were not the freaks of nature that the West is choosing to enlist. When the US or Eurotrash powers deploy untermensch, their opponents will be hardly impressed. In fact a real soldier will fight to the death before bending knee before this kind of filth. To expect mercy from jackals is a fool's errand, and the freaks that are promoted now will be the worst tyrants imaginable should they have the chance. Unless the fruits inherit a nuclear wasteland, the East will never submit to weakness. And all the acronyms in the world do not change the basic fact that the West has become weak and decadent, both without honor and duty. It's only a matter of time till the Jewish-dominated Empire is found wanting, no matter what smoke and mirrors the defense contractors pull out of their collective hats.

Posted by: York | Sep 24 2019 4:48 utc | 67

BTW, us old protesters who used to march and rally against Ronnie Raygun's Star Wars plans get to say a big "I told you so!"

A key argument against expensive missile defense systems is that an attacker has lower cost methods to defeat the missile defenses. As we have seen demonstrated in the last year or so by Russia.

I told you so. I told you so. I told you so. I told you so..... Can we now have our $billions back so we can rebuild our country?

Posted by: Hippie Jim | Sep 24 2019 4:48 utc | 68

#60

The US is stuck at feeding the growing MIC parasite, because voluntary backing down militarily will be regarded as a tacit admission of weakness to the world. Their enemies are more than happy to keep it that way.

Posted by: JW | Sep 24 2019 4:51 utc | 69

"The US seems to me to be planning battlefield nukes."
Posted by: steven t johnson | Sep 23 2019 23:51 utc | 42

That's just a ploy.
The Pentagoons are probably hoping it'll lead Russia, China & Iran to forget that the Pentagon looks like a bullseye...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 24 2019 5:06 utc | 70

pogohere 61

Thanks. It was interesting reading in itself, but if that is how far the private sphere in China has gone, the military and government research will most likely be much further advanced.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 24 2019 5:10 utc | 71

bevin | Sep 23 2019 22:02 utc | 27:

The Russians may not need aircraft carriers but China is very busy building them right now.

Posted by: Ian2 | Sep 24 2019 5:23 utc | 72

Historically, the armed forces of whatever country you care to name, are always prepared to fight the last war. In this case, the US armed forces are still frighting Wold War Two, even though that war ended in 1945.The reason for this is that the Cold War with the USSR prolonged the belief that huge armies, navies and air forces were needed for defense. The war in Vietnam should have shown that guerrilla or asymmetric warfare proved that belief false. But the generals and admirals never learned from the Vietnam debacle. The reasons for that is that the US armed forces had too much at stake; too many positions of command; too many openings for promotions; too many budget demands; etc. etc. etc. I need not mention the opportunities offered to the arms makers. As long as the current situation remains in place there will be no change, until some disaster or defeat happens that cannot be glossed over takes place. The military rarely, if ever, learns from history, or the failures of other nation's armed forces.

Posted by: GeorgeV | Sep 24 2019 5:51 utc | 73

@62 karlof1 | Sep 24 2019 4:31 utc

As you might recall, as soon as Russia made its proposal, Zarif took off on his intensive shuttle diplomacy to regional nations and 

Iran had proposed regional security plan with Persian Gulf neighbors about two weeks before Russian, MSM suppressed Iran voice ( no wonder that you have not heard initial proposal from Iran), two weeks later Russia announced almost the same thing with louder voice.

Posted by: arata | Sep 24 2019 6:27 utc | 74

Posted by: GeorgeV | Sep 24 2019 5:51 utc | 74
(But the generals and admirals never learned from the Vietnam debacle.)

No, but the CIA certainly did.
Hence the CIA's creation, recruitment and arming of Al-CIA-duh with Stinger MANPADS & IED know-how to humiliate the Russians in Afghanistan.
And at the same time as Christian Colonial Crusaders were losing the war in Vietnam, the CIA & Mi6 were overthrowing the government of Iran - which tends to make AmeriKKKa's military adventures look more optional, genocidal and profitable, than Heroic.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 24 2019 7:10 utc | 75

Shoigu also had this to say "When, however, you think, as the United States continue to do so out of inertia, that the balance is in their favor, you may have all kinds of ideas, including not very good ones, coming to you mind."

Iran has been pushing EU to make a decision as to which side of the fence they will stand. They have made their decision with UK, France, Germany all now standing on the US side.

In a comment under his piece titled ""If you hit them, they will behave ..." - the neocons' song.", he had this to say "The 12ers believe that at the apocalypse the Mahdi (hidden Iman) will return with Jesus to judge us all and the dead will be risen to greet them and be judged with the living. Not a good idea to choose to fight people who believe things like that, not a good thing"

US is trying to choke Iran, so Iran will keep striking as it has been doing, well chosen strikes that hurt, most likely escalating the damage.

Trump now talks about US nuclear forces when asked about Iran. I'm guessing Russia saw the way this was heading some time back, when I think it was Lavrov said that 'Russia is saddened by the course Iran has chosen to take', or words to that effect.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 24 2019 7:29 utc | 76

@ RinoDino -

The US is "a warrior culture" - ? Really? These people:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPfM-OqkoA4

Joke!

Posted by: Rhisiart Gwilym | Sep 24 2019 7:35 utc | 77

@59 Grieved | Sep 24 2019 3:50 utc

that Iran has now moved beyond considering Saudi Arabia as its regional rival, and instead now considers the US as its regional rival.

Iran considered US as the rival not Saudi Arabia, all the time. Iran had consistently tried by mediators to convince BinSaw to negotiate and reduce tensions in region. Sputniks article and Alam Saleh comments just scratched the surface, even some how it is misleading. From Iran's point of view US and Israel are enemies, the rest are captives ( captive in corruption, laziness, incompetence, ignorance), while people are struggling to pull them down.

Yes  a shift of power was built up and the recent events ( shooting US most expensive drone, hunting UK ship, etc) made it most apparent. Iran  knows well new proposal will not bear fruit so soon. Imperialism will not abandon the flow of energy and say good by. The nature of plunderers are different.  But Iran announcement in UNGA will reach the ears of masses of Arab peoples. The power comes from masses. Can envisage a new Arab spring or a winter of corrupt rulers. Even though there will be a long way to deport US and Europe from the region.

Posted by: arata | Sep 24 2019 7:37 utc | 78

@59 Grieved | Sep 24 2019 3:50 utc

that Iran has now moved beyond considering Saudi Arabia as its regional rival, and instead now considers the US as its regional rival.

Iran considered US as the rival not Saudi Arabia, all the time. Iran had consistently tried by mediators to convince BinSaw to negotiate and reduce tensions in region. Sputniks article and Alam Saleh comments just scratched the surface, even some how it is misleading. From Iran's point of view US and Israel are enemies, the rest are captives ( captive in corruption, laziness, incompetence, ignorance), while people are struggling to pull them down.

Yes  a shift of power was built up and the recent events ( shooting US most expensive drone, hunting UK ship, etc) made it most apparent. Iran  knows well new proposal will not bear fruit so soon. Imperialism will not abandon the flow of energy and say good by. The nature of plunderers are different.  But Iran announcement in UNGA will reach the ears of masses of Arab peoples. The power comes from masses. Can envisage a new Arab spring or a winter of corrupt rulers. Even though there will be a long way to deport US and Europe from the region.

Posted by: arata | Sep 24 2019 7:37 utc | 79

the whole country is taken hostage by the military & its outshoots, banks+media+intel denominations.

Posted by: nietzsche1510 | Sep 24 2019 7:41 utc | 80

@74 GeorgeV | Sep 24 2019 5:51 utc

the armed forces of whatever country you care to name, are always prepared to fight the last war

That is true.  In this case US last war was Iraq war or Syrian war?

In reality war is the smaller function of capitalism estate. The bigger function is the flow of capital. It is not difficult to calculate ( an estimation) to compare this two functions for every country around the world.

But the generals and admirals never learned from the Vietnam debacle

Some generals learned but army will not make the final understanding and final decision. Army is an element of the estate machine.

Posted by: arata | Sep 24 2019 8:03 utc | 81

The U.S. arm-chair generals, hundreds of them, which war did they win since 1945? Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria? yeah, I almost forgot the two glorious ones won by the heroic marines, Granada & Panama, where four thousand civilians were butchered, then, I was about to forget, came the hard-fought one: the 9/11. courageous military "patriots" outsourcing the killing of their own countrymen, three thousand of them, as a war trophy. a long trail of ignominy, shame, disgrace & last but not least, the theft of 22 trillion of unaccounted taxpayer resources.

Posted by: nietzsche1510 | Sep 24 2019 8:19 utc | 82

Having read the joint statement on the attack in Saudi Arabia put out by the UK, France and Germany and the weasel words of Johnson praising Trumps negotiating skills, and calls for Iran to comply with the JCPOA while calling for a new agreement which must include Iran's missile development program are unbelievable, to which any self respecting country could only have one reply.. GFY. According to this group Saudi Arabia was the innocent victim of Iranian aggression even before an investigation, no word of condemnation for years of Saudi war crimes and crimes against humanity in Yemen, it is clear the West are not going to implement their part of the JCPOA and are willing to play as vassals to the US, the 'arc of resistance' need to buckle up and expect a rough ride from the empire of arrogance.

Posted by: Harry Law | Sep 24 2019 8:36 utc | 83

vk #46, after Putin?

Not Medvedev that's for sure.

Shoigu perhaps if he dares to chance it. Lavrov maybe, Zhakarova is impressive, I am too remote to see that clearly but Russia dearly needs another brilliant leader to carry it forward. I would be interested in other suggestions.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Sep 24 2019 10:51 utc | 85

Just posted this at New Economic Perspectives. Bill Black did a great job prosecuting bankers during the Savings and Loan crisis but now has a pretty solid case of Trump Derangement Syndrome

http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2019/09/the-terrible-cost-of-politically-induced-hate-of-minorities.html
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financial matters | September 24, 2019 at 5:51 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Where to start?

“”It is insane to demand that Americans hold Israel and America to the same (pathetically low) standards of expectations we have of authoritarian states and polities like China, Russia, Iran, Egypt, Syria, the PLO, and North Korea. Expecting grotesque misconduct and corruption from Israeli or American governments akin to these authoritarian cesspools would be a prescription for global disaster. “”

Hate of minorities much?

Russia is showing itself to be the true fighter of terrorism. It stepped in in Syria to protect that country against blatant aggression backed by the US and Israel.

China with its belt and road initiatives is providing a multipolar economic model as a different model than the US moving in to steal resources using the IMF and World Bank to put countries in debt rather than assist them in meaningful ways.

The US and Israel routinely bomb other countries. How does Iran compare with this?
—————

“”The occupation has to end. It is a cancer.””

Very true and this has been going on long before Trump. Trump to his credit has a way of bringing these problems to the forefront of public attention where they have a chance at true solutions rather than the stagnation of the past.

Even more important Russian and China have developed weapon systems that are capable of limiting this US and Israeli aggression. https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/09/book-review-the-real-revolution-in-military-affairs.html

The US had a chance to be the light of the world but chose financial domination oriented towards the elite instead.

Posted by: financial matters | Sep 24 2019 10:58 utc | 86

Ungle Tungsten @ 85:

My suggestions are Dmitri Rogozin (a former Deputy Prime Minister and current Director of Roscosmos) and the current First Deputy Prime Minister Anton Siluanov. Both men will be in their early 60s in 2024, the year when the next Presidential elections are held and Vladimir Putin has to vacate the position.

Sergei Glazyev is the same age as Rogozin and Siluanov and he has campaigned for the Presidency in the past but I am not sure he is all that popular within the Russian government. He has some strong opinions about how to run the economy (he tends to favour more government control, less privatisation) and I believe he has clashed with Rogozin in the past.

The people you do not want to campaign for the Presidency in 2024 are Alexei Kudrin (may be too old anyway by then) and Elvira Nabiullina, current head of the Central Bank of Russia.

Lavrov will be in his mid-70s and Shoigu will be close to 70 years in 2024 so I would rule them out altogether.

Posted by: Jen | Sep 24 2019 11:49 utc | 87

Thanks b for the reading material, it's on my Christmas (opps neopagan unnamed all inclusive winter celebrations) list.

The cost of a Taliban fighter in Afghanistan is $5 per day. A NATO/US soldier is $150 (not including the medical support, training period, and pension welfare provision costs on their (hopeful) return to native Country. I imagine Houthi costs are something similar. From Carriers to boots-on-the-ground it's last war thinking, along with the struggle to make military interesting for present generations.

If there was a take away the US learnt from Vietnam, was that it could have equal effect bombing from the air against asymmetric forces - which brought the advent of drones. Perhaps US is being hung by it's own petard in this sense? (Though I still have issues about the accuracy and symmetry of the LPG(?) storage tank strikes, which I've said before has markings of a synchronous high altitude drop. I don't yet fully discount a live test of hardware by persons unknown).

After loosing his chauffeur to a very unusual high speed auto crash Putin had built a credible new armoured limousine brand. I doubt very much that any indication of his replacement will be made public, but that careful attention is been given to the succession. Putin strikes me as a guy who wants to retire in comfort and freedom - unlike his predecessors.

High Ground:

China is in early stages of a lunar base, built on the far side of the moon. Hypersonics are only the start.

Nuclear weapons - a hammer mechanic solution, if one has nothing better. Likely hypersonics and ground defenses have factored these in.

My guess is Putin and Xi will enjoy long and peaceful retirements.

Posted by: dennis | Sep 24 2019 11:54 utc | 88

The stories of faked performance of the Food Computer are hard breaking. Philantropic efforts of late Eppstein are all wasted! A mixed blessing that he did not live to see it.

If I were a billionaire, I would sponsor the following project. You will have a box with a screen on the side. You may through all inconvenient trash into the box, food scaps, coffee grinds, used batteries etc and what comes out is -- take your breath -- shiny exiting news! Genuine news!

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 24 2019 12:41 utc | 89

Harry Law | Sep 24 2019 8:36 utc | 83 : "... to which any self respecting country could only have one reply.. GFY." Including the according countries (the pepople) themselves: This after all is no Punch-and-Judy theatre like the Skripal affair any longer, this is fraught with nuclear and hence world war threats. To remind us of what Trump's ideas have been (twice) when asked about what to do in the Gulf region wrt Iran: ""Our nuclear was getting very tired..Now we have it in, as we would say, tippy-top shape. Tippy top. We have new and we have renovated and it's incredible. We all should pray we never have to use it."

Is the German grand coalition crazy?

Posted by: franziska | Sep 24 2019 13:09 utc | 90

micheal@ 34. Consensus is a political ethos, not a scientific one. Just because 20K scientists agree doesn’t mean that they are correct. This is easily demonstrated because at the levels of scientific knowlege and computer technology, a 100% precise model that can accurately predict the weather patterns for the next 72 hours, doesn’t exist at this time, let alone the model which would need to be able to calculate all the external influences from space to be able to accurately predict the climate over the next 100 years.

Posted by: Beibdnn. | Sep 24 2019 13:10 utc | 91

Several people hung up on @Michael's wording #34 rather than the actual meaning of what was meant by "consensus" - Does anyone really think that "20,000" scientists got together via some big group chat or rented out Staples Center in LA so that they could all vote on a unilateral consensus that "human beings are changing the Earth's climate"? The key here is that there hasn't been some concerted effort among a group of "scientists" that large but rather other people have attempted to survey the outcomes of numerous studies in the effort to try seeing whether any "consensus" can be extrapolated (and I'm sure someone will get hung up on the mathematical def'n of "extrapolated" but I am living la vida loca today).

https://skepticalscience.com/global-warming-scientific-consensus-intermediate.htm

Hence, "consensus" started as a passive quality - i.e. was there one in the body of work available to the people looking? And only later became an active one - Yes, after looking we found that there is a consensus - and - other bodies started to use this wording to describe the general scientific community's aggregation of findings such that the vast majority of studies (passively) agree that humans are warming the Earth's environment and the scientists/researchers as well as organizations are now (actively) making the claim that there is indeed a consensus.

Hope this helps.

Posted by: KC | Sep 24 2019 13:39 utc | 92

After reading b's book review this morning I Googled
Book: The (Real) Revolution in Military Affairs to find out where it was available for sale in Oz.

The first search result beneath a row of book covers and above some blurb on the book itself was...

Book Review: The (Real) Revolution In Military Affairs - MoA
https://www.moonofalabama.org › 2019/09 › book-review-the-real-revolu...
19 hours ago - Andrei Martyanov's new book is about The (Real) Revolution in Military Affairs. Martyanov was a naval officer in the Soviet and Russian coast ...

(This morning it was 9 hours ago but it's still the top review 10 hours later)

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 24 2019 13:42 utc | 93

@ Harry Law 83
Excellent comment. There is simply no down side to using Iran as a western punching bag. It's gone on for forty years and it is good for forty more, the US and its lap-dogs figure.
But other major countries being treated similarly are beginning to notice, especially Russia and China (also western enemies), plus thanks to western missteps Iran has been successful in supplanting the US in the Middle East. So Iran's continued resistance is key to future events. China especially takes the long view. Iran's geographical position and energy resources are key factors of China's westward financial expansion.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 24 2019 13:44 utc | 94

Dear B, thank you for your review. Greatly appreciated.

Andrei

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Sep 24 2019 14:06 utc | 95

@KC 95

It sometimes seems like Trump's utterances and policies are deliberately divisively incoherent.

Posted by: spudski | Sep 24 2019 14:06 utc | 96

@KC PS - no issue taken with your comment.

Posted by: spudski | Sep 24 2019 14:07 utc | 97

Bianca @35: paralysed

Interesting analysis. Thanks.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 24 2019 14:43 utc | 98

SmoothieX12 @96

Any thoughts on the commentary here? Examples: after Putin?; "paralysed" as a strategy; quantum computing; etc.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 24 2019 14:46 utc | 99

Just put a comment on Trump's UN speech over at the open thread. Trump is going to push and squeeze until Iran either surrenders or goes to war, perhaps a good old US style false flag operation to kick it off unless he can provoke Iran into doing something.
I guess Iran has got start looking at Putin's advise. If a fight is inevitable, hit first.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 24 2019 15:09 utc | 100

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