Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 27, 2022

Ukraine - 'Game Changing' Policy Moves That Ain't Game Changing

When politicians throw around big numbers or plans one should always look at the details to see what they really entail.

In May Biden announced and Congress passed a $40 billion package 'for Ukraine'.

The former U.S. Marines intelligence officer Scott Ritter was very impressed with it. On May 22 he went on a talk show with Garland Nixon and Ray McGovern and claimed that Russia would have to change its special operation to counter all the new weapons. Ritter was very agitated (47:55 min). A few days later, in an email-interview with Sputnik, he called the $40 billion package a "game changer":

Sputnik: On 21 May, Biden signed a $40 billion military aid package to Ukraine. Could the provision of new weapons become a game-changer for Kiev?

Scott Ritter: It's not could, it is a game changer. That doesn't mean that Ukraine wins the game. But Russia started the special military operation with a limited number of troops and with clearly stated objectives that were designed to be achieved with this limited number of troops.

Today, Russia still has the same number of troops and the same objectives. But instead of going up against the Ukrainian military as it existed at the start of the conflict, it's now going up against a Ukrainian military that is supported by a weapons package that by itself nearly matches the defence budget for Russia in all of one year. I think the defence budget for Russia in 2021 was around $43 billion.

This package that was just provided nearly matches that and when you add it to what has already been provided during the first five months of 2022, that's $53 billion. That's nearly $10 billion more than Russia spends on the totality of its military in one year. That changes the game. Again, the $40 billion package is not all weapons. A lot of it is humanitarian support and then some other financial support. But it's still... The amount of money it's provided through in terms of weapons, it's a lot.

The United States and NATO are also providing real time intelligence support to the Ukrainians. That's a game changer. And NATO's countries have now provided Ukraine with strategic depth going back through Poland and Germany, where bases are being used to train Ukrainian forces on the new weapons that are being provided.

However, as Larry Johnson and others pointed out to him, the $40 billion was just a talking point and the real sum was much smaller:

Mark Cancian at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (aka CSIS) provides an excellent breakdown of what was actually appropriated. Here is a quick summary:

  • $19 billion for immediate military support to Ukraine
  • $3.9 billion to sustain U.S. forces deployed to Europe
  • $16 billion for economic support to Ukraine and global humanitarian relief
  • $2 billion for long-term support to NATO allies and DOD modernization programs

Right off the bat, you can see that Ukraine is not getting $40 billion dollars worth of military goodies to whack Russians. They are not even getting $19 billion. The $19 billion is carved up into smaller packages:

  • $6 billion for training, equipment, weapons, logistic support, supplies and services, salaries and stipends and intelligence support to the military and national security forces of Ukraine (and the specifics of the expenditures remain to be determined).
  • $9 billion to replenish U.S. weapons stocks already sent to Ukraine.
  • $4 billion for the Foreign Military Financing Program (this allows a foreign country like Ukraine to buy brand new weapon systems).

New weapon systems must first be build which takes quite some time, often years, to do.

Last week the Biden administration made another announcement:

Biden announces $3 billion in additional aid to Ukraine

President Biden announced Wednesday that the U.S. is sending its largest security package to Ukraine to date, valued at $3 billion. The announcement coincided with the six-month anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The package will come from the Ukraine Security Assistance (USAI) funds process, which means the U.S. will buy the weapons through contracts instead of drawing from existing Defense Department inventory and sending them immediately.

People got the impression that this was additional money on top of the previous announced numbers. But, as Politico detailed, this spending is part of the previously announced $40 billion package. More specific it comes out of the $6 billion for training, equipment, weapons, etc. It also only means that the Pentagon will start issuing contracts to manufacturers to produce the weapons and ammunition. The Ukraine is unlikely to receive any of them over the next months:

The Biden administration announced a new $3 billion package on Wednesday that will directly fund contracts with the U.S. defense industry for artillery rounds, mortar rounds, surface-to-air missile systems; a new counter-drone capability; additional drones; and 24 counter-battery radars. The move marks a major shift in how the U.S. has supplied Ukraine, from pulling existing weapons off of shelves to awarding contracts to defense firms for weapons that need to be built.

None of that equipment will arrive for months, if not years. But officials say the investment will allow Kyiv to begin planning for its own future defense. The hope is that other wealthy European nations, which have at times lagged in their support for Ukraine, might follow suit in the coming months.
In all, Congress has set aside $6.3 billion for the Pentagon-administered effort: $6 billion as part of May’s $40 billion supplemental assistance legislation and $300 million in a government-wide funding package that passed in March. As of Aug. 1, just $1.8 billion of that cash had been used, according to Pentagon documentation seen by POLITICO. Wednesday’s announcement leaves roughly $1.5 billion left to be spent.

U.S. weapons are notoriously expensive. A billion or three will not buy much.

A similar misinterpretation of a government announcements as Scott Ritter has made is now playing out on the other side. As the New York Times today headlines:

Putin Orders a Sharp Expansion of Russia’s Hard-Hit Armed Forces

President Vladimir V. Putin on Thursday ordered a sharp increase in the size of Russia’s armed forces, a reversal of years of efforts by the Kremlin to slim down a bloated military and the latest sign that he is bracing for a long war in Ukraine, where Russia has suffered heavy losses.

The decree, stamped by the president’s office and posted on the Kremlin website, raised the target number of active-duty service members by about 137,000, to 1.15 million, as of January of next year, and ordered the government to set aside money to pay for the increase.

In yesterday's analysis Dima of the Military Summary Channel debunked that announcement as a repeat of orders that had already be given months ago.

The Russian Federation consists of 85 federal subjects which are federal cities, oblast, republics or autonomous ethnic regions. In June the Kremlin asked the governors of each of these subjects to set up one or more volunteer battalions of former soldiers who are no longer active reservists. The bigger federal subjects, like Moscow and St.Petersburg, will set up multiple units. On August 8 Kommersant reported (in Russian) that some 20 federal subjects had already set up 40 battalions and that more will become available (machine translation):

In the Perm Territory, a motorized rifle company "Parma" of 90 people and a tank battalion "Molot" (about 160 people) are being formed. Another tank battalion named after Kuzma Minin is being created in the Nizhny Novgorod region. The Amur region, as reported in mid-July by local media, is gathering the Amursky motorized rifle battalion, which is expected to consist of 400-500 people. On the website of the government of the Leningrad Region, an announcement appeared about the recruitment to the artillery battalions "Nevsky" and "Ladoga". And in the Tyumen region, they announced the formation of three units at once with different specializations: the Tobol sapper battalion, the Taiga sniper company and the Siberia artillery battalion. According to the official version, Tobol was formed on the initiative of veterans of the Tyumen Higher Military Engineering Command School. The first groups of volunteers from these units went to the NWO at the end of July.

The people in these units have signed contracts with the Ministry of Defense. They will be equipped with refurbished weapons out of Russia's endless depot reserves that are left from earlier downsizing. These are now full times soldiers for which the Ministry of Defense had yet to have a budget. All that Putin's new order does is to arrange the funding for those new volunteer units.

To form military units, named after local heroes, from men who come from the same region has some advantages. These people will not feel like  strangers to each other which gives them some extra cohesion.The Chechen units which are already operating in Ukraine have shown that such an approach can be very successful. The regional approach has also the advantage of involving every part of Russia in the endeavor. It makes the 'special military operation' in Ukraine a national project.

While the men in these units will be older than fresh recruits they will also have valuable life and work experience. These new units will probably not be the most agile but they will certainly be able to do a decent job. Moreover these are trained soldiers who will have the standard tanks and other equipment for combined arms operations. Their units will be way more powerful than the drafted Territorial Defense and Jager Infantry Brigades that now make up the bulk of the Ukrainian forces. Currently the new units are training at various facilities throughout Russia. When they are ready they will start their rotation into Ukraine.

Likes Biden's 'new' announcement of the $3 billion 'additional' aid, Putin's decree is only a detail of a previously announced policy.

But neither of those announcements, nor the HIMARS systems, are 'game changers'.

Big Serge ☦️🇺🇸🇷🇺 @witte_sergei - 13:27 UTC · Aug 27, 2022

Ukrainian channels are reporting that at least 60% of the HIMARS have been destroyed, and they are doubtful of the attempts to destroy the bridge in Kherson. Another wonder weapon gone bust.

First saw this on Legitimniy, repeated by Rezident. Both reliably optimistic Ukrainian insider channels. HIMARS activity has definitely dropped off, so there isn’t any particular reason to assume they’re lying.

The thing about the HIMARS isn’t that there’s something particularly wrong with it. It’s a fine system. It’s just meant to function as part of a competent combined arms force. It has a specific role, and can’t single-handedly prop up a defeated army.

Posted by b on August 27, 2022 at 16:06 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Thank you, Bernhard, for bringing reality and truth into focus. Facts matter.

Ukraine is losing big, the US effort is futile.

The Game is not Changing. The Game is in Check, and soon will be Checkmated.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Aug 27 2022 16:17 utc | 1

The Biden administration announced a new $3 billion package on Wednesday that will directly fund contracts with the U.S. defense industry
That’s not a game-changer; it’s just the same old game.

Posted by: DocHollywood | Aug 27 2022 16:20 utc | 2

ahhh yes, CSIS The "Christmas Tree" Problem for trickle-down transparency and accountability war reporting.

One manifestation of the “Christmas tree” problem is the long spend out of some items in the package. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that about $5 billion of the $40 billion [appropriated by the US odious for UKRAINE "lethal aid"] will spend out in this fiscal year and the next (FY 2022 and FY 2023). However, $14 billion will spend out in FY 2026 and after, while some money will not be spent until FY 2031.

Posted by: sln2002 | Aug 27 2022 16:21 utc | 3

Russia continues grinding away within budget and within its real resource capability. Possibly the main danger to the Russian outlook is a really major economic and financial crisis in China.

Posted by: Ross | Aug 27 2022 16:22 utc | 4

The HIMARS has devolved into a terror weapon witness the most recent bombing of a Hospital in Donetsk city killing 3 and injuring 7.The Russian army I propose is to bomb the point of entry into the theater whether it be Romania or Poland.Step up the pressure and see how NATO responds.

Posted by: Ken B | Aug 27 2022 16:29 utc | 5

"b",thanksfor his exellent explanation on the above mentioned items. Again I must say.It put things in perspective. For me they look less dangerous, for the Russiains, now.
You act as a true info-detective :).

Posted by: DutchZ | Aug 27 2022 16:37 utc | 6

thank you b... appreciate all your work on this issue... their is a reason this is in the news constantly...

the way i see it, there were never any financial sanctions on usa-uk when they made their war on iraq... nor was their when they made their war on yugoslavia... the financial sanctions and attempt to isolate russia ( or venezuala, iran, and etc. etc. ) are all based on the fact that russia is not playing along in the game of allowing its resource wealth to be stripped by the 1%... people could see this if they were given a chance, but the msm pitches this story completely differently - ''russia invaded in feb 2022'' bullshit... it is a war for what type of system we have on the planet - financial capitalism, or a different type of capitalism where the wealth is retained by the country...

we see who are governments are supporting in all of this as real estate prices continue to be unattainable for young people, and the costs of living continue to go up... more and more people are living on the streets of our societies.. this is not an accident, but a byproduct of the same 1% oligarchs of the west who insist on how russia is bad, but how they never come under the microscope... our politicians have sold out to them, or been chosen by them too and of that nothing will be said... it will remain off the news... it is exactly as gil scott heron said - the revolution will not be televised....

the question is, how long does it take for ordinary people to wake up to this? i think some are... b's articles and many commentators words here certainly help..

i see this conflict going on for a long time, as i define the conflict as a financial one, not a military one... but it will be worked out on the world stage and it is hard to know how it gets worked out.. watching europe this winter will give us more details... how do they respond as they are being squeezed in all of this..

it appears the usa is not going to enter the war, although robert on a previous thread alluded to a wall st journal article that the usa is going to get involved... and yes - they and nato are clearly very involved here in spite of the bullshit about them being peace keepers... nothing could be further from the truth, but alas we live in the world george orwell prophesied many years ago..

Posted by: james | Aug 27 2022 16:37 utc | 7

Just another money laundering operation. How many Trillions have been washed by now ? Are these guys Legit with their article - probably.

Posted by: GMC | Aug 27 2022 16:43 utc | 8

Kiev regime continues acts of "nuclear terrorism" at Zaporozhye nuclear power plant.

Over the past 24 hours, artillery units of the Ukrainian armed forces shelled the station's territory three times.

A total of 17 shells were fired, 4 of which hit the roof of Special Building No 1, where 168 assemblies of US WestingHouse nuclear fuel are stored.

10 more shells exploded 30 metres from the dry storage facility for spent nuclear fuel and 3 more exploded near Special Building No 2, which houses TVEL's fresh nuclear fuel storage unit and solid radioactive waste storage facility.

Ukrainian artillery shelling of the nuclear power plant was carried out from Marganets area in Dniepropetrovsk Region. In course of counter-battery warfare in the area, 1 M777 howitzer was discovered and destroyed.

Radiation situation at Zaporozhye NPP remains normal.

The technical condition of the nuclear power plant is monitored and maintained by staff technicians.

Posted by: npp | Aug 27 2022 16:52 utc | 9

Ritter's panicky response always surprised me. He more than most should know the only game changer in this matter was Russia's original decision to invade.

Posted by: Kedmo | Aug 27 2022 16:57 utc | 10

Great article. It is funny how no matter what the media or politician say you can count on it to be disinformation, which is exactly what they claim of everyone who challenges their lies. Side note, The Disinformation Board was just officially disbanded permanently, although the chances of it going underground into another agency quietly is 100%, see this

Also, at this point of the war it only serves two things, to make as much money as possible for the military industrial complex in America and Europe, and to keep European people (read peasants) morally confused enough so their leaders can make excuses to stay away from Russian energy to buy the more expensive American for years and years.

I don't think it will work but they are clearly going to try. They didn't give up on their previous mad schemes to exploit the people for the profits of the super-rich, there is no reason they would think to stop in the future.

Posted by: Baba | Aug 27 2022 17:08 utc | 11

Ritter is constantly harping on about stuff he knows little about. He has changed his mind so many times on what is going on in Ukraine that it seems pointless to listen to anything he has to say. The only thing he hasn't changed is his belief that Russia will (already has) win (won).

Posted by: Ips Prez | Aug 27 2022 17:08 utc | 12

speaking of scott ritter, how about a plug for larry johnson?? from 2 days ago... go larry and take that pat and ttg! i guess ttg is a mercenary in ukraine by now.. we might never hear from him again...


Posted by: james | Aug 27 2022 17:17 utc | 13

The world’s largest fertilizer company Yara, based in Norway, had announced a 50 percent cut to its ammonia-based urea and nitrogen fertilizer production in Europe, citing “record high prices.”

This has a five-year effect. So, now in addition to energy Europe will have to find another fertilizer source, which of course they will be unable, resulting in massive consolidation of arable land ownershihp and violence in response.

It would be interesting to trace all this to one or two specific events in the last decade, because it obviously has little to do with the Russian response in Ukraine.

Posted by: Psrvi | Aug 27 2022 17:17 utc | 14

When people use the term "game changer" I smell bullshit. No game changes because it wouldn't be a game if the rules or the game suddenly changed. It is the way people try to make what they say more important when it really makes it sound stupid.
"Slam Dunk" is another one. If it isn't describing a real slam dunk on a basketball court it is bullshit.
There are dozens of these kinds of words that people use that are just indicating the statement is crap. "Exact Same" is bullshit. If it is exact and the same, then it is just the same. It is either exact or same, not both.
So any time someone uses to many words to describe something that only needs one word, the author doesn't have a lot to say but wants it to stink like it is important.
an easy guide to the understanding of print media. But that is just an opinion from this writer.

Posted by: Tard | Aug 27 2022 17:21 utc | 15


Ritter is OVERRATED. He's an Intel Dweeb - an Internal Military Journalist for Higher Ups.

He's had no notable Front Line Hostile/Combat Forces Operations Experience. From what I gather, No Infantry/Artillery/SAM/Armor School/MOS/Operations Exp, Not a Signals Intel / Crypto / SpySat Operator / Front Line SpecForOps-Insertion Type , either.

A Photo Compiling, Report Making Desk Journo and eventual Weapons Inspector.

Not a real Force Strategist, because that requires Frontline Operational Experience.

My Jarine(slang Jar-Head Haircut Marine) Upperclassman at Annapolis went to The (Marine Corps Officer) Basic School(TBS), then graduated Tops at Infantry Officer School, then after Field Duty, went to an Ivy Law School, then alternated Infantry and Legal Gigs - including a Tour doing War Tribunals.
*End Example*

I bet he lacks the TBM School + Field Training to be a TBM Missilier Officer - was assigned as a TDY to his Intel-Presentation Roles.


I wrote him off after reading his Wikipedia Bio, his Intel-Presenter Role, past Intel Work with ISR_Mossad and GBR_MI6, and Criminal Paedophila-based- Offenses/Arrests/Convictions/Incarceration.

At best, he's Compromised Controlled Opposition. He's most likely owned in part by USA Prosecutor/FBI/CIA, MI6, and Mossad. One wrong "Political Presentation"; and he's back in Prison with new/old/fake-or-real charges.

Therefore unreliable. So Sad, Too Bad.


Jumping to Mar-May 2022

Ritter's "Game Changing Howitzer" Rant exposed his lack of Frontline Operation Exposure. He's remembered his conventional Ground Force Invasion "Basic Maff Formulae" from his Marine Corps Officer Basic School (which accommodate many a General Studies and BullSh!+Artist/Humanities Majors).

Yet - he rarely discussed the Air Power/Missile Deployment/Logistics Scenario in UKR. Anyone Competent at MIC Production+Logistics+CombatOps knew nothing that NATO/EU would send over would change the Direction or Outcome of the SMO.

That was understood on the First Day RUS Missiles and Air Force Close Support and Fighter-Bombers were deployed - i.e., Day One.

UKRoNazi_AFU were the Kidney_Stab+Knee2Groin+Landmine meant to harm Donbass+Crimea Civilians and hinder+slow_bleed RUS Forces to Disgruntle RUS Civilians as NATO/EU tried to Collapse TEAM_Putin with Reserve_Currency/Trade_Boycott-Embargo Sanctions.

Blinken, Nudelman-Khagan, Kolomoiskyy, Soros-Schwartz, Zelenskyy, and Intel-Journo Ritter - ALL underestimated RF AirForce/Artillery/MissilePlatforms, which are smiting UKRoNazi Infrastructure AND Units Around the Clock.

Posted by: IronForge | Aug 27 2022 17:22 utc | 16

Ips Prez@12

He has a good understanding of military tactics and tells a good story. But he can't interview someone to save his life...

Posted by: Charlie C | Aug 27 2022 17:22 utc | 17

Thanks for breaking down the figures. By the names of the line items, they all seem prime for graft, siphoning, or other forms of misappropriation and "mistakes". The Pentagon regularly loses track of billions--where that goes is likely the usual suspects, and I'd assume a significant portion ends up with those that voted for it. Ukraine is excellent cover for more wealth vacuumed upwards, like PPP and the CARES act.

Posted by: D | Aug 27 2022 17:42 utc | 18

Ritter isn't infallible, as he himself has often said.
Contrary to an earlier post, Ritter was surprisingly good in his recent interview of a former senior Soviet & then Russian intelligence official. It was more of a dialogue and had less of the ranting that Scott can fall prey to when he gets worked up on programs where his is the only perspective.

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Aug 27 2022 17:46 utc | 19

Im amazed at how Ukro optimists continually ignore the Dnipro River water barrier. The decisive theater just now is East of the Dnipro, and all new weapons systems enter the Ukraine west of the Dnipro. This means they have to cross this river .. you know, on bridges

Which means these systems are sitting ducks as they approach. Russia certainly has the approaches to the bridges zeroed out. You show an intent to cross a bridge, you're dead!

Posted by: Callmelennie | Aug 27 2022 18:00 utc | 20

Ukro-mobilization proceeding well.

Posted by: unimperator | Aug 27 2022 18:23 utc | 21

They could almost buy 4 M1 Abrams tanks with that but it does not include ammo or spare parts. The package appears to be designed for small unit hit and run tactics to delay and hurt Russia.

The new big stuff is going to Poland and a few other countries. Ukraine is the sacrificial lamb. They are probably using it as a case study for combating Russia with small arms, ATGMS and other handheld platforms.

Even the artillery sent is a light air mobile variety. Sending M113's? You got to be kidding. I think you can get a used one for 160K. It is a death trap to make the NATO Anglo American Death Cult happy.

Posted by: circumspect | Aug 27 2022 18:29 utc | 22

Scott flips from Russia has already WON to Gamechanger at the drop of a spokesperson's lip-service.

We already knew weeks ago that only a fraction of that $40 billion would reach the frontline, barely equip Ukie forces with bulletproof vests and rifles.

Meanwhile I'm on the lookout for a castle surrounded by a 100 metre wide moat and 2 x s400's to guard it against the 10,000 Nazis the British Government are training on my doorstep (porch).

Posted by: WTFUD | Aug 27 2022 18:34 utc | 23

Scott Ritter, judging by what he said above, is a hack.

Reminds me of "experts" comparing Russian GDP to be less than Italy's or California's and concluding it is weak. It is a sign of deep lack of knowledge or, more likely, having mental limitations due to being brainwashed by western way of "thinking".

Simply put, Joe could sign new bill and give Ukraine 2 years worth of Russian defense budget in hardware and training and ammo - but you don't win wars by throwing money at you enemy.

You have to build that equipment and ammo (which US and NATO lost capabilities long ago), move that equipment into theater (via Atlantic full of Russian subs and ports within range of Russian missiles... etc), you have to train those people (it takes time and groups them as juicy target), you have to rotate them, supply them, repair, which is all within Russian reach.

Money doesn't win wars, or Switzerland or city of London would conquer world long ago.

Posted by: Abe | Aug 27 2022 18:35 utc | 24

21 - Well, when you're mobilising a million man army, you have to cut corners...

Posted by: Waldorf | Aug 27 2022 18:38 utc | 25

@ Paul D. 19

I agree. Ritter is prone to knee jerk reaction to new information as oppose to wait for the info to develop before commenting. But he himself has mentioned many times that war in general is a fluid and dynamic situation and he is ready to admit to his erroneous comments where warranted. Who can argue with that.

Having said that, He has spot-on on many other issues that others got wrong. Prime example was his call on the Kiev retreat early on. He said that it was a classic military tactic to keep Ukrainian army preoccupied with protecting Kiev and keeping the majority of their forces there while Russians advanced their operations in the south and east. He was proven correct while many others said it was a defeat for the Russians.

All experts and pundits have to be taken with a grain of salt, including our own b. Ritter’s fiery style makes him a target unfortunately. Nobody is privy to the whole truth and most are educated analysis at best.

Posted by: Alpi | Aug 27 2022 18:39 utc | 26

@ Abe 24

“Money doesn't win wars, or Switzerland or city of London would conquer world long ago.”

Funny line. “Throwing money” is not about winning wars or conquering. Is about control and making more money. As demonstrated many times in history by bankers financing both sides of the war. There is no refuting that.

We just have an illusion of having governments. City of London and to a lesser extent Switzerland DO control the world. Don’t kid yourself. Sovereignty is a just a word for you and me to feel good.

Posted by: Alpi | Aug 27 2022 18:55 utc | 27

Every fool and his dog know Americans in general have what is known medically as 'Grasshopper Minds', an incurable disease, related to other American illnesses/mental disorders, such as a false sense of exceptionalism masking deep insecurities.

Opioids, a police state and government expenditure to the tune of tens of billions annually on mainstream propaganda are the main causes with only cold-turkey reality the cure, with few takers.

Posted by: WTFUD | Aug 27 2022 19:07 utc | 28

Thanks for the posting b about the context of Ukraine funding by US

Cui bono? comes to mind. I am seeing those pronouncements of more money going down the Ukraine rat hole instead of dealing with US domestic issues as more fuel for the Red side of the Money that on purpose?

I see Alpi #27 already responded to Abe | Aug 27 2022 18:35 utc | 24 who wrote
Money doesn't win wars, or Switzerland or city of London would conquer world long ago.

Those with the money levers behind the curtain have been in tacit control of the world for quite some time but that control has never been total. That control is now being challenged and folks like you come forward to try and spread BS...why would that be?

The Ukraine war was intended as a banker's war against Russia and then China but it is not working out that way, is it?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 27 2022 19:07 utc | 29

I vote for Scott and I believe he was right on. I think he clearly defined, game changer. As an old 11 bravo blue rope and a pretty successful football coach I see it a little different. What matters most is the scoreboard not how tactics play out while the clock is running. What opposing offensive and defensive coaches are constantly doing is to discern how the other is attempting to constantly change the game in their favor and thereby put the numbers up on the scoreboard. If Walter Payton trust on the field into the huddle followed by Gail Sayers and the defensive coach ignores that the game will probably change very quickly as well as the scoreboard. In the same way that early on the introduction of stinger missiles and anti-tank javelins most certainly got the attention of Russian chopper pilots and fighter pilots and tank commanders. I'm quite sure all of these troops immediately changed their game tactics. And still are. So I think we need two more clearly defined the term, game changer. Does that mean body count, or negotiation table?? I think Scott Ritter understands that concept quite well as he often said all he did in college was drink beer and play football..

Posted by: Ron | Aug 27 2022 19:11 utc | 30

Posted by: Alpi | Aug 27 2022 18:55 utc | 27

> City of London and to a lesser extent Switzerland DO control the world.

Really? So all this fighting is between sides they control?

Besides, you completely missed my point ( psychohistorian | Aug 27 2022 19:07 utc | 29 perhaps too, because I can't decipher the point of his post).

Money and gold have value, but armies, trained men, hardware, industrial capabilities, R&D, logistics - these things enable kinetic and brute force that forces enemy into submission.

Here is one simple example: US can create trillions of dollars in single push of a button. It can create more money in an instant than all the money Russia spent R&D hypersonic weapons for years/decades. Does that money gives US capabilities they are lacking?

Posted by: Abe | Aug 27 2022 19:16 utc | 31

@: IronForge 16

"He's most likely owned in part by USA Prosecutor/FBI/CIA, MI6, and Mossad. One wrong "Political Presentation"; and he's back in Prison with new/old/fake-or-real charges."

I take it you've not actually read or listened to much of his output. He's highly critical of all the above, American most of all, and would be proving very poor value for money if any of that were the case.

As others have said, he's pretty open about being fallible, and about being out of the active loop, so (as he puts it) a prisoner of just the data he has. I like his passion: it comes from a good place.

Posted by: Gribble | Aug 27 2022 19:24 utc | 32

i think folks are being too hard on scott ritter, or expecting to him to some sort of military guru genius - which he isn't.... expecting this of anyone is foolish... what about gonzala lira or whatever his name is?? what happened to him? then there is larry johnson who i linked to up above... no one is infallible although b has a pretty good track record, he isn't infallible either... maybe some are looking for others to tell them how it is at without using their own brains.... take from multiple sources and quiet bellyaching about how someone got it wrong... dima on the military summary channel is pretty good too, but again not infallible.. no one is - obviously me included, lol..

slow saturday it seems... people must be out shopping and being good consumers,lol...

Posted by: james | Aug 27 2022 19:27 utc | 33

For understanding, here are approximate prices on the black market of transplantology:

♦️ Kidney up to $150,000;

♦️ Bone marrow $33,000 per gram;

♦️ Liver $250k or more;

♦️ Pancreas $70,000;

♦️ Lungs (pair) up to $200,000;

♦️ Cornea $350,000.

Now you understand that Ukrainian soldiers are great value for the West? Literally. And if to compare this with how many soldiers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces are listed as “missing” !!??

Despite the wringing of hands for six months, threats and blackmail, only 54 UN members from 193 countries signed a statement directed against Russia on the situation in Ukraine, which was prepared by Britain.

Posted by: MD | Aug 27 2022 19:32 utc | 34

i forgot to mention smoothie who also does good work.. he's not infallible either... none of this needs to be said, but i am saying it anyway.. i guess people like shitting on other people... kind of a drag, but it is what it is..

Posted by: james | Aug 27 2022 19:38 utc | 35

More interesting dirt on Bellingcat's leader and arms trafficker Christo Grozev

From Rybar"
The Czech Republic is cleaning up the traces of arms deliveries to Ukraine [Telegram in Russian]

It's a rather long post and I don't recognize a lot of the references, but this caught my eye:

"...But something else is interesting.

As part of the #Antiterror project, we analyzed the history of the weapons baron Emelyan Gebreva . The weapons belonging to Gebrev were stored in the warehouses, and he himself also became a victim of Bashirov and Petrov, although he did not believe in poisoning by the Russians. Later it turned out that the whole thing is in the redistribution of the market and the personal business interests of the current head of Bellingcat Hristo [ed: Christo] Grozev - he is associated with some of the arms oligarchs, whom he took out from under the blow..."

Between Telegram channels like Rybar and hackers Beregini, there's a lot of dirt on Bellingcat's 'boss' - Failed NATO spy and mafia thug Grozev, re: Ukraine arms trafficking and hit jobs. Not too much of a stretch to guess that SBU (CIA+MI6) probably whacked Daria Dugina because she got too close to the truth. And in all this, I keep seeing Azerbaijan (Israel's little arms-trafficking best buddy) popping up. What a surprise.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Aug 27 2022 19:45 utc | 36

All everyone can do is guess, and speculate. Those, who know what might be the "game changer" is the Security Council of RF, not the demented One, not Stoltenberg, not those "military experts" whatever nationality living in the US/NATO. All we'd know is after an action taken by the RF and allied forces. Its absolutely useless reading/listening to western MSM, even the western leaders, whatever kind -- they have no clue what the RF Security Council will do.

Posted by: rp | Aug 27 2022 19:49 utc | 37

The cabal will keep divvying up the lucre among its constituents for as long as it's proffered.

Survival of the fittest.

Posted by: john | Aug 27 2022 19:56 utc | 38

NATO is having a rough go of it in the States. ... 3 Dutch Commandos shot in Indy.

Authorities say three Dutch soldiers were shot and wounded early Saturday in downtown Indianapolis following what police believe was a disturbance outside the hotel where they were staying. The shooting occurred around 3:30 a.m. EDT in Indianapolis’ entertainment district. Police found three men with gunshot wounds and they were taken to area hospitals. The Dutch defense ministry said one soldier was in critical condition and the two others were conscious, while Indianapolis police said two of the soldiers were in critical condition and the third was stable. The Dutch ministry said the soldiers were in Indiana for training. Police say they believe an altercation between the three victims and another person or people led to the shooting.

I guess the 'pre-Ukraine deployment training' got a little too realistic for the Dutchmen.

Posted by: Robert | Aug 27 2022 20:06 utc | 39

@ Abe 24

Money doesn't win wars, or Switzerland or city of London would conquer world long ago.

@ Alpi 27
We just have an illusion of having governments. City of London and to a lesser extent Switzerland DO control the world. Don’t kid yourself. Sovereignty is a just a word for you and me to feel good.

When I read the first quote I was going to reply the same but you did it more eloquently than me.

@ Waldorf 25

when you're mobilizing a million man army, you have to cut corners...

Joe Tsu?

Ritter’s righteous enough, but spend too much time on youtube and you become a cartoon character. Ritter really needs an editor, or agent, or the guy with the old "Vaudeville Hook" just off camera.

Posted by: LightYearsFromHome | Aug 27 2022 20:15 utc | 40

Posted by: circumspect | Aug 27 2022 18:29 utc | 22

That’s an interesting take on the situation, thank you. I first read it as “sacrificial limb”, which is even worse =(

A front line of increasingly unprepared and frightened civilians it turning into a massacre. MIC ritualists must be chanting their depraved hearts out.

Posted by: anon2020 | Aug 27 2022 20:22 utc | 41

Paul Damascene #19:

Contrary to an earlier post, Ritter was surprisingly good in his recent interview of a former senior Soviet & then Russian intelligence official. It was more of a dialogue and had less of the ranting that Scott can fall prey to when he gets worked up on programs where his is the only perspective.

Here’s the link to Scott’s interview with former head of SVR’s Analysis and Information Department, former head of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, “retired” SVR Lieutenant General Leonid Reshetnikov for those who missed it:

Russian Special Military Operation: 6 months summary (Scott Ritter’s Show, August 23, 2022 — 47 min)

Let’s hope Scott continues interviewing various Russian military, intelligence and diplomacy figures, as well as political analysts, journalists and historians, and continues employing this translator who’s doing a very good job.

Posted by: S | Aug 27 2022 20:23 utc | 42

The super, highly advertised US weapon, Himars happened to be practically useless against Soviet structures. In the case with the Antonovsky Bridge Himars was a failure. After a month and a half of constant attacks, the bridge still stands. A lot of missiles have been spent, but the US Himars lost to Soviet engineering might. It was a case of PR and creating "noise" to distract the masses, especially the western masses, but militarily, it simply failed.

Also, its been said that ~60% of those Himars had been destroyed. The Ukies are hiding them, keeping them only for the "noise", but they will also be destroyed in time, together with the instructors.

Posted by: rp | Aug 27 2022 20:25 utc | 43

Ritter was right. It was a game changer. The billions was a bribe to Zelensky to prolong the conflict. Without the US pledge of extra billion$$$, Zelensky was ready to negotiate peace in Istanbul in March and the SMO would have been over months ago. The game changed by hundreds of thousands more deaths. The game changed from short term special military operation to US funded endless sabotage terror of civilians and civilian infrastructure. The game changed from Ukraine agreeing to some version of Minsk and surviving as a country to Ukraine becoming a landlocked rump state. The extra billions changed the game from short term sanctions to permanent economic damage to EU members.

Posted by: Willow | Aug 27 2022 20:27 utc | 44

@IronForge (16) Hey, lighten up on Scott Ritter. Sure, he may be too full of himself, and he has made some wrong calls, but he’s also one of the few military analysts with a public platform who has consistently said right from the start of the SMO that Ukraine cannot win this war. He is *not* a font of disinformation. For the vast majority of the audience, Ritter’s takes are valuable, even if they make you cringe.

Posted by: Rob | Aug 27 2022 20:28 utc | 45

Robert | Aug 27 2022 20:06 utc | 39 - Nope. Pre-US-deployment training. My psychotic leaders figure the EU going up in flames in a month or two might spread here. Waves of Blue Helmets (militarized White Helmets) 'peacekeepers' - most from the US - will fan out across Europe in a futile effort to maintain stability. After that doesn't go so well, they'll fly in NATO SF-types here to beat the crap out of rioting, non-compliant U.S. citizens (and non-Democrats) in another failed effort to maintain stability. I'm not afraid of that part. I'm saving up all my fear for when the U.S. military rolls out the Night Stalker (160th Special Ops Aviation Regiment) Apache gunships to enforce the nationwide 'shelter in place' orders and I need to go out and get food and water for the members of my freezing family that are still alive. Reap what you sow - nobody will be shedding a single tear for Americans.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Aug 27 2022 20:28 utc | 46

@ james | Aug 27 2022 19:38 utc | 35

I like yer style, James. I enjoy listening to Ritter and Lira, as much as reading here at the bar.

@ Ron | Aug 27 2022 19:11 utc | 30

Good way to look at it, seems to me. It’s consistent with Ritter’s *second* sentence in b’s block quote: “It's not could, it is a game changer. That doesn't mean that Ukraine wins the game. …”

Posted by: dfg | Aug 27 2022 20:29 utc | 47

@ PavewayIV | Aug 27 2022 20:28 utc | 46

Apparently, the Dutch Commandos had an altercation with the locals and it carried over to the hotel where they were staying.

Lesson Learnt: ... Elite Dutch Commandos are no match for America's inner cities. NATO had better surrender now.

Posted by: Robert | Aug 27 2022 20:34 utc | 48

@39 Maybe the 'pre-Ukraine deployment training' involved a bit of lap-dancing.

Posted by: dh | Aug 27 2022 20:36 utc | 49

Ritter is just one of many sources one must sift to arrive at a viable conclusion. One of the Big Lies from NYET is the reduction in Russia's armed forces due to cost cutting. OMG, what a Howler. With new aircraft and ships being added on a continual basis, Russia needs MORE trained people to operate those systems. In my review of Putin's 1 March 2018 speech yesterday, I briefly noted his emphasis on Russia's demographic problem and the efforts needed to be employed in an effort to solve it. IMO, too may dismiss that issue but it's critical to keeping Russia's security at an optimal level while also helping the economy to expand.

Now, my opinion on the formation of these new regional reserve units made up of former contract soldiers, meaning mostly NCOs and Officers. I don't expect those units to see much combat--just enough for a tune-up. Their main purpose is to be ready in case NATO decides to directly attack Russia. Some will have noted my manpower comparison between Russia and the Outlaw US Empire where they are essentially at par numbers-wise, although on the qualitative side Russia is far and away the better military. A few days ago, a repositioning of Russian AD assets within Belarus was reported that didn't raise much discussion. I went to a map to reacquaint myself with the geography which made the redeployment clear--the AD zone now covers all the Baltics and almost all of Poland, along with Ukraine. The approaches from Sweden over the Baltic Sea are also covered. Approaches from Finland would be covered by a different military district, but if I'm correct, they've been redeployed too. This is known as readiness. Yesterday's public announcement by Lukashenko that Belarus AF jets are now nuclear capable was also directed at NATO.

All these adjustments are being made as overtly as possible to make NATO nations think hard about attacking Russia and to scale back their support for the losing cause in Ukraine. Other political-economic points are being raised besides the energy issue like the billions of euros that won't be spent by Russian tourists this year and the next. The harsh realities of geoeconomic dependency are being hammered home to what are rapidly becoming very unpopular governments and the entire EU structure. Lots of We didn't vote for this shit protests are happening that will escalate in number.

Yes, Russia's doing all it can to destabilize EU/NATO so it breaks. Serbia seems to be joining that effort. Erdogan has one leg solidly in Russia's camp and Greece is again close to war with Turkey. Macron went to Algeria and wasn't very well received. Norway's planned maintenance on its gas pipelines is scheduled for the wrong time given events, but it must be done. In short, nothing's going Europe's way because it didn't prioritize Europe's interests over those of its Master.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 27 2022 20:41 utc | 50

@Gribble 32| Aug 27 2022 19:24 utc

I have - including his Pearl Necklace+Panties Grasping Vid panicking about the Game Changing. I expected a LifetimeTV™ or a Midol™ Commercial to be streamed-in as Sponsors.

You obviously lack the Reading Comprehension capabilities and the accompanying Intelligence to figure out that Ritter's talking out of his League, is Compromised, and also Unreliable.

How far, up your Arse, have you lodged your Head?

Posted by: IronForge | Aug 27 2022 20:43 utc | 51

@ dh | Aug 27 2022 20:36 utc | 49

The Police say that there are plenty of witnesses, but no description of the shooter yet.

Posted by: Robert | Aug 27 2022 20:44 utc | 52

Probably the game that is being changed, is that Biden is using US "Monolpoly money" as a "get out of jail card". While Russsia is producing "Budgets" and supports that they can hope to pay for.

Psychohistorian has got it right, that the money is for US "consumption", the arms industries are happy, the Senate and Congress will be happy to slice and dice bits for their possible (re)elections. The Bankers will possibly not be quite so happy as this only expands a US debt that will never be repaid - but who cares about them?

I disagree with Abe | Aug 27 2022 19:16 utc | 31.
"Money and gold have value, but armies, trained men, hardware, industrial capabilities, R&D, logistics - these things enable kinetic and brute force that forces enemy into submission.

"Here is one simple example: US can create trillions of dollars in single push of a button. It can create more money in an instant than all the money Russia spent R&D hypersonic weapons for years/decades. Does that money gives US capabilities they are lacking?".

The big question is why is it no longer doing so? If the 26+trillion dollar debt is anything to go by it hasn't worked up to now, even if the Feds fingers are getting feverish forever pushing buttons.

As a contrast, China is using it's monetary ability carefully with measurably results. RE: Syria, where there have been meetings between Assad and the Chinese and the Gulf States. These were said to have been about the BRI and financial support for the Syrian industries.
Result; Assad has announced a massive demobilization for many of his forces. Throwing out a strictly military doctrine, that he has little chance of taking to a peaceful conclusion while the US steals his resources, in favour of "Negotiations", and a rosier future for his people (He has learnt that from Putin).
(Some of his forces have been mobilized and fighting for ten years, so they deserve a "get out card").

This is what I call using your money wisely, as both the Chinese and the Syrians profit at a national and personnal level from a cessation of hostilities. Add to that the Gulf States now are more open to Assad's reintegration (Possibly with a small "encouragement" from China), and the whole Middle east changes.

Where does the US "force" prove superior? They have had rockets targetting them from near Deir Ezzor, so for the last three days they have been using fierce airpower against a tribal groupescule, that they say is Iranian backed. Will the missiles and drones stop after the use of "brute force"? Of course not.

As james | Aug 27 2022 16:37 utc | 7, said ..." i define the conflict as a financial one, not a military one... but it will be worked out on the world stage

Back to Ukraine.
The Russians tactics are working, using several thrusts at once designed to keep the Ukrainian reserve forces defending too many places along the 1800Km (or is it miles) front line. Then taking them down. If they don't get "artilleried" by the Russians they will probably get shot in the back by the UkeAzovs. The projected major fronts (projected by similar people to Scott I presume) are in the East, Center and South West. Three at once or simple chatter? I don't know, it is a bit like that three cup/bean scam, where you are supposed to find under which cup is the bean. All the while the "bean", (the dedollarization), has been slipped under the table out of sight.

PS. Saw today a "meeting" of Ferraris, Lambo's Porsches etc. on a days outing from Geneva. ALL of them were top rate, incuding several that quite frankly were exceptional. Even Bankers go on Picnics. As the phrase went in MAD magazine, "Wot, me worry?"

Posted by: Stonebird | Aug 27 2022 20:52 utc | 53

@Willow | Aug 27 2022 20:27 utc | 44

Hear hear!
Now we're talking.

The true reality - power, money and the fate of the powerless.

Posted by: Spinworthy | Aug 27 2022 21:00 utc | 54

I agree with the Post by:james Aug 27 2022 16:37 "i see this conflict going on for a long time, as i define the conflict as a financial one, not a military one..." allow to add that what is at stake is the end of the illusion of the creation of counterfeit money that has allowed the continuation, by covert means, of the predatory colonialism imposed long ago by the West, which is the very foundation of its economic power - a scheme in which the other half of the world exploited is realizing and finding the means to escape the disadvantageous paradigm -

Posted by: Antiochos | Aug 27 2022 21:00 utc | 55

Posted by: Robert | Aug 27 2022 20:44 utc | 52
How many Russians are there in the US?
Sorry just a thought

Posted by: mon3 | Aug 27 2022 21:01 utc | 56

As od August 24, Russia's underground gas storage facilities are 91.4% full, and the country is fully ready for the coming heating season.
- Gazprom

Posted by: rp | Aug 27 2022 21:02 utc | 57


Amerika is a country completely addicted to an unsustainable debt economy(government/business/private). Became a victim of its own generic propaganda. Thus surrendering the world leadership by default.

Here in the west, the entire overinflated modern economy is based on "greed is good". Which has been teetering near the very edge of a complete economic meltdown. Since the 1982 "Reaganomics era". Slipped over the edge of the abyss. When the alleged sanctions rebounded.

Only a completely retarded imbecile would believe the air that underpins all western currencies. Is heavier than gold.

The answer is blowing in the 21st-century winds of change.

Posted by: Bad Deal Motors On | Aug 27 2022 21:03 utc | 58

Scott Ritter gets a bit hot under the collar sometimes (as I do), but one has to admit that he did a great job interviewing Leonid Reshetnikov recently.

Yes, Scott can see that it's obvious that Ukraine has lost the war, and there are only so many ways to express this, but he did a good job in this interview.

Posted by: Contrarian_Ed | Aug 27 2022 21:07 utc | 59

@ mon3 | Aug 27 2022 21:01 utc | 56

I'm sure the Pentagon will try to spin it as your Russian innuendo implies.

My guess? ... It was probably the White Supremacist Dutch (NATO) arrogance that ticked off an African-American. You can imagine how these Commandos insulted them, and hence they got what they deserved. ... If that's the case, then no tears shed here. ... NATO White Supremacy in the US must be dealt with exactly as Russia is dealing with NATO White Supremacism in Ukraine.

Posted by: Robert | Aug 27 2022 21:12 utc | 60

many participants here likely know these already; Judge Napolitano's interviews with Col. Douglas MacGregor are thoroughly professional, short and sweet. latest:

something that's getting no attention now, but would immediately be in play if Germany
caves on energy, is the "Three Seas Initiative". was endorsed by Trump. terms and
conditions an open question.

Posted by: blp | Aug 27 2022 21:16 utc | 61

Dear Scott Ritter haters…I’m old enough to recall how days before, or perhaps THE day before the Russian troops crossed the border into Ukraine, Bernhard published a post based on his belief that they would not do so, as I happened to believe at the time as well, soooo…
Everyone makes a mistake now and again. Both B and Scott have been pretty consistent.

Posted by: nwwoods | Aug 27 2022 21:31 utc | 62

another wave of Scott Ritter hate passes over the bar, hopefully it will recede like the others soon. everybody gets shit wrong sometimes.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Aug 27 2022 21:42 utc | 63

Biden may as well have pledged 40 $trillion.

Of course everyone remembers several weeks ago how analysts and the more clued-in elements of the mass media "discovered" something they seemed oblivious to just weeks earlier? Something they christened "industrial warfare", as if it were something completely new? This is something that I have been discussing for YEARS now, mostly in regards to The Empire's conflict with China.

All wars are "industrial wars".

An industrially advance aggressor can pretend their war is something else when they are slaughtering farmers and goat herders, but that is because the massive disparity in industrial bases hides the industrial challenge of the conflict from that aggressor. It is true that Russia's industrial base was voluntarily eviscerated by the profoundly stupid decision to dissolve the Soviet economic model, and there is zero chance of them rebuilding to the level of the Soviet Union using the liberal capitalist model, or even the notional "mixed" model which is just liberal capitalism lite. With that said, vestiges of the Soviet economy remain, and even in their decrepit and cannibalized state those vestiges remain powerful.

More importantly, the United States, and the empire it assembled, have industrially declined to an even greater degree. Just ramping up domestic production of ventilators and face masks for the pandemic took a herculean effort, and trivially easy things like production of aluminum cans for cat food is still lagging years later. As a result the vestiges of the Soviet economy in Russia are a formidable challenge for the Empire in its present state of decay.

We can discuss how and why the US military shifted procurement to big ticket items, but suffice it to say that expensive aircraft, nuclear submarines, and aircraft carriers are like luxury SUVs relative to bicycles where profit margins are concerned. When all you are doing is kicking goat herders around anyway then profit margins are what matter the most. That is institutionalized in the United States and cannot be changed by anything short of a revolution.

Unless the US is going to commit its big-ticket military hardware to the fight then there is no 40 $billion in military assistance that the US has to offer. Nuke subs and aircraft carriers steaming for the Black Sea? I think not.

The 40 $billion in aid was just an empty gesture. The moron swamp creatures are struggling to come up with ways to spend 40 $billion that are in some way related to the conflict in the Ukraine. If they sent that much in real military hardware that the Ukrainians could actually use it would demilitarize the US and all 800 of its bases.

I realize that westerners fetishize dollars, and well-educated (business degree special ed style) fools who have never set foot in a factory before always skip the manufacturing part when visualizing the process from allocating a budget to receiving a product, but that manufacturing portion of the process is the only part that really matters in the real world. Their focus groups and business meetings are all just so much worthless economic masturbation. That factory is where real economy happens, not the boardrooms or the c-level office suites or the middle management cubicle warrens on lower floors. The notion that moving figures representing dollars from one column in a ledger to another column is some sort of creative act is delusional and infantile in the extreme.

Ritter is not that stupid. He should know better.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 27 2022 21:45 utc | 64

@ # 19. Paul Damascene | Aug 27 2022 17:46 utc
Contrary to an earlier post, Ritter was surprisingly good in his recent interview of a former senior Soviet & then Russian intelligence official.

Here is the link to the interview to which Paul refers.

Ritter’s interview of Leonid Petrovich Reshetnikov, (“a former Soviet and Russian secret service agent, Lieutenant-General of Foreign Intelligence Service, director of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (2009 - 2017)”), took place several days ago.

If one is short on time I recommend skipping to the described heart of the conflict between the west and the rest as articulated by the interviewee, at ~ 39:00 to ~ 42:00 — namely, the demands of the West as articulated by the US, its global hegemony [financial capital imperialism/neocolonialism]. That it is non-negotiable and disrespects the very values it claims to stand for, democracy, freedom, sovereignty, human rights, o.s.v. This is a divide without common understanding, and therefore possible peaceful, rational resolution...


Many thanks to our host b, an exemplary person to behold and imitate ( and support).

Posted by: suzan | Aug 27 2022 21:48 utc | 65

William Gruff @64--

The 40 $billion in aid was just an empty gesture. The moron swamp creatures are struggling to come up with ways to spend 40 $billion that are in some way related to the conflict in the Ukraine. If they sent that much in real military hardware that the Ukrainians could actually use it would demilitarize the US and all 800 of its bases.

Thanks for the excellent Carlinesque humor!! That's precisely what I mean when I write about demilitarizing NATO. Russia is inviting NATO to provide Ukraine with its advanced jets and other toys so it can crush them and thus disarm NATO. Russia doesn't need the USSR's WW2 sized combat formations as it doesn't face Hitler's military. Russia faces a Neoliberal Parasite Military of little consequence aside from its WMDs.

Back in February I wrote Russia could march from Minsk to Brussels right down the autobahn without meeting much resistance and arrive in a few days. But despite that capability, Russian planners had an even better plan--entice NATO to send its weaponry to Ukraine where it would be destroyed, which is what it's doing. That way the risk of nukes is almost completely eliminated. Brilliant!

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 27 2022 22:34 utc | 66

Ritter hit the nail on the head with his "game changer" call

Can anyone tell me where Ukraine would be today if they were not promised and nor given any of the 40 billion US bucks.

Are you telling me the Ukraine, without US money would be, today, wiping up the floor with Russian?

No way. Without US money, the Russians would have be in Kiev a long time ago.

The fact the Ukraine is making a fight of it is directly related to US $$$$. Subtract the $$$$$ and the game changes in the other direction. -

Posted by: Johnny Dollar | Aug 27 2022 22:45 utc | 67

This is curious.

The Montgomery County Police Department confirmed Sarah Joan Langenkamp, 42, was struck by a flatbed truck on the afternoon of Aug. 25 while riding a bicycle at the 5200 block of River Road in Bethesda.

Langenkamp was a diplomat at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine. Numerous offices have cited her as the head of the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Section at the embassy.

... With all of the Hunter Biden drug deals and Ukraine connections, is this just another mere 'coincidence'?

Posted by: Robert | Aug 27 2022 22:48 utc | 68

Currently the only negotiation which would be accepted by Russia after the assassination of Darya Dougina is surrender. Further: downsizing the military and denazification. Not negotiable.

Posted by: Olivier | Aug 27 2022 22:48 utc | 69

I have heard that a high percentage of weapons sent to Ukraine end up on the black market anyway, and I think it is Ritter that has said that in the recent Cynthia Pooler interview. He also says what is going on in terms of the US weapons that will eventually have to be paid for by Ukraine (or what is left of it) is worse than a Mafia operation and absolutely disgraceful profiteering. Just look at Lockheed Martin share prices, a dent in the peaks when the US pulled out of Afghanistan, but since February 24th it has been rising high again. The US are trying to flog off their F-35s to everyone in Europe but this aircraft will be ultimately controlled by the US Pentagon and Lockheed Martin themselves. The only ones rejecting this are the Swiss who are now forced into holding a referendum on the matter. It's like "buy our planes but they will never really be yours 'cause we control them". The lifetime cost of servicing these fighters is astonishing, so all countries that buy them will be indebted for life to the US in more and more payments. No one even knows how they will perform in combat, and the range of them is only 2,200 kms.

Posted by: George | Aug 27 2022 22:49 utc | 70

Why to listen to Ritter or Lira? It is only losing time. Imho.

Posted by: Olivier | Aug 27 2022 22:50 utc | 71

The US never wanted Ukraine to win it just wanted to bog down Russia which didn't work nothing

Posted by: Sam | Aug 27 2022 23:22 utc | 72

France and Germany intend in a joint statement to urge the EU countries to continue issuing visas to Russians not associated with the authorities.

Meanwhile, Hungary continues to pursue an actual independent foreign policy, Croatia retains some independant institutions in government and Serbia struggles to survive. I forsee a crisis in Moldova this autumn.

Posted by: Portnoi | Aug 27 2022 23:22 utc | 73

What I do not fully understand is why anyone hero worships any particular source of information or at least keeps that worship up over time.

The thing is about Ritter and most other ex government/military commentators is that the reliability of their information must always degrade over time. In the 5 years following departure from positions they will have excellent insight. The old friends they meet at a bar or over dinner are still well connected and even without giving away any secrets, a shrewd observer can accurately guess lots by a shrug/ raised eyebrow/ eye roll or other body language hints. The observer can guess the factional players who's in who's out etc. Knowing the players they can guess accurately the likely scenarios and even know just what information will be included in briefing notes to senior political figures. They know the questions to ask to find out who's sleeping with whom and who is jockeying for power.

Over time however, that information becomes less accurate and the commentator has to rely more on guesswork or perhaps on an old friend who also has now left the position. Information become second or third hand.

The other thing to remember is that all commentators even the good ones carry with them their own bias. Work that they did themselves aged 25 pr 30 will often seem much more important than more recent stuff. It is human nature.

When we accept this we can judge the comments of old timers- Ritter, Murray, PC Roberts, Saker etc, much more fairly. Getting it wrong does not mean they have been bought or switched sides, just that with time their info sources degrade.

Posted by: watcher | Aug 27 2022 23:29 utc | 74

There is a famous Australian political satire called 'The Hollowmen' which satires modern neoliberal managerial politics. (IE, the art of not doing anything or taking responsibility for anything and letting somebody else tell you what to do and let events just happen)

The best episode is also the most on theme, the guys from the treasury warn the resident hack against letting their minister get too addicted to big overly ambitious spending announcements. His eyes lit up when they mention how much they hate the trick of 'inflated figures' by announcing say 10 years worth of spending without mentioning it's over 10 years or in Biden's case, moving around money like a shell game implying multiple spending initiatives.

In true neoliberal fashion they produce an ad before they even have an idea with a pause for the name of the programme. Not being able to decide how to spend the large sum of money (IE, being politicians) given the risks of being held responsible for how it's spent and on what they eventually figure out they can just sequester huge sums of money into a 'future fund' and assign a committee of 'experts' to decide (And take the responsibility) for how it's spent. In essence they solved their bigger problem and reached the end state of neoliberalism. Of course, the 'experts' in the FT and NYT tell us how to run our countries and neoliberal politicians oblige slowing giving more and more power away and taking more and more policy decisions out of the political realm. Trade? Industrial policy? Immigration? War? You don't get to vote on those things anymore, not really.

Posted by: Altai | Aug 27 2022 23:36 utc | 75

The missing ingredient in the independent media landscape is the emergence of trusted intermediaries that integrate and evaluate multiple sources and prepare a reliable digest. Once this is accomplished, the mainstream media will die a well-deserved death. Places like this blog are a rough approximation of such a service.

Posted by: HH | Aug 27 2022 23:36 utc | 76

Much worthwhile discussion of Ritter (again) in the bar today. But scarce interrogation of what the term "game changer" signifies -- It almost implies that the advantage has flipped, with losers winners and vice versa, but not really. All it really says is that the game is not the same afterward as before... Time itself is a "game changer" in this sense. Not to mention entropy.

Disputes over terms so semantically slippery are fated to meaninglessness, imho.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | Aug 27 2022 23:39 utc | 77

Vladimir Golstein ..teaches Russian literature at Brown University in Rhode Island.
He writes about Ukraine. And he knows what he is talking about (Unlike one Antonio Negri at the New Left Review's sidebar.*)

"...Even more disturbing and significant is the failure to come to terms with violence. 1,7 million Jews were killed in Ukraine during the Nazi occupation. They were just killed on the spot, brutally, they didn’t even have a chance to make it to the extermination camps set up by Nazis in Poland. How is the country integrating this awful past? By denying it, and by celebrating perpetrators as national heroes.

"This failure to be honest with one’s contradictions goes to the present. Eight years of shelling and bombing Donbass. It is Russian fault. Burning people in Odessa in 2014 – they did it themselves. Killing Daria Dugina in the same way various leaders of Donbass were killed: Zakharchenko, Motorola, Alexei Mozgovoi – oh, we don’t do such sort of thing, declared their propagandists. Really? It looks like that’s the only thing you do! From burning innocents, to sponsoring hit lists, which collect the names and addresses of anyone who dares to question the current policies, to tying Roma people and other “non-Ukrainians” to the poles and pulling their pants down, to the declaration of the Ukrainian Ambassador to Kazakhstan that Ukrainian have to kill as many Russians today as possible, so that Ukrainian children will have less people to kill.

"Every culture deals with certain amount of denials, every country commits deliberate obliteration of the past. Every culture prefers to ignore certain aspects of its actions. But as in the case of psychosis, this amount has to be manageable, and there should be mechanisms of integrating opposite impulses. Without it, the collapse is inevitable. Contradictions are like an opening chasm, if you don’t bridge it, you fall down eventually. It is like dealing with a bi-polar person. Now he is nice, now he buys a gun and starts shooting..."

And don't miss the banned text from Facebook that Dr Golstein produced.

*Negri writes:"...we need a sober assessment of the objectives pursued by the coalition of countries supporting Ukraine. Is it to kick the Russians out of the country and to take back its eastern provinces? Despite the stunning performance of the Ukrainian military and even without considering Crimea, it is unlikely this can be achieved. Is it to put an end to the atrocious war crimes that Russian troops seem to commit on a daily basis?..."
But don't let that genuflection towards Authority put you off: the article has some insights.

Posted by: bevin | Aug 27 2022 23:46 utc | 78

Why all the Scott Ritter hate? A guy can be wrong in his analysis and opinion. I am a bit surprised and disappointed at the ad hominems - Bar flys turning into mean girls.

Posted by: Moses22 | Aug 27 2022 23:47 utc | 79

Posted by: Rob | Aug 27 2022 20:28 utc | 45

Thank you, Rob, that needed to be said. I have been a fan of Ritter since he spoke out about the US and UK lies about WMD's to attack and invade Iraq. The State Department on both sides of the two-party system gave him hell for speaking out. Like Julian Assange, the US tried to silence Ritter with a phony sex scandal that went know where.

Posted by: Guernica | Aug 27 2022 23:59 utc | 80

Posted by: Altai | Aug 27 2022 23:36 utc | 76
Trade? Industrial policy? Immigration? War? You don't get to vote on those things anymore, not really.

Amen. I don't remember voting to impoverish my country, force millions of people across Europe into sudden dire distress, and actively work to prolong the Ukrainian war, causing tens of thousands of needless deaths.

We just woke up one morning and it was the Current Thing. The previous Current Thing, Operation: Be Very Afraid of The Flu, had already been forgotten, just like the Operation: Worship Black People Current Thing it followed, and so on. In a sense it's naive to ask what Current Things are "about", they're all about the same thing - the Current Thing.

The Current Thing is what the powerful say it is. That's all the justification we'll ever receive. Weak people believe what is forced on them. Strong people what they wish to believe, forcing that to be real.

The idea that anybody in England might not actively hate Russia, might not be willing to put up with poverty, unemployment, and possibly worse "for Ukraine", doesn't even exist in British media.

Posted by: ZX | Aug 28 2022 0:10 utc | 81

@Aleph_Null, 78

I can't speak for everyone, but to me "game changer" implies a revolution in circumstances significant enough to alter the behaviors of the parties involved. Of that is the definition, Ritter was wrong.

Posted by: Altea | Aug 28 2022 0:11 utc | 82

In defense of poor old Ritter in his use of the 'game changer' phrase. He didnt say or mean 'game winner.' Its origin is from the place where the English language went to go and die. US sports commentary. “Game-changer” emerged in 1982, in the sports sections of US newspapers, referring to decisive plays in particular games, not to changes in the rules or methods of play. The term morphed into business jargon during the nineties (a jolly word for neo-liberal economics) and became ubiquitous in politics after the turn of the century. The Bush dictatorship claimed that “nuclear weapons are a game-changer” and that to invade Iraq would be “a geopolitical game-changer.” This culminated in the slipper ducker declaring “A free Iraq in the heart of the Middle East is going to be a game-changer, an agent of change.” Now that went well and therefore game-changing, doesn't always win. In fact the history of its use in US politics it probably is indicative of a disastrous loss. I do sympathise with people here for whom English is not their first language coming to grips with Americanese and the jargon of that appalling country, of which English is not even a second language.

Posted by: Paul McGrory | Aug 28 2022 0:39 utc | 83

@Abe 31

“Here is one simple example: US can create trillions of dollars in single push of a button. It can create more money in an instant than all the money Russia spent R&D hypersonic weapons for years/decades. Does that money gives US capabilities they are lacking?”

With all due respect you are wrong again. US does not print money. The fed and banker cabal do that honor. And then, You and I and generations after are left to pick up the tab. That’s how we are enslaved.

Also, US does not need to be capable of any kind of military force. All they need to do and have done, is to spend money to create chaos and disunity. That they are good at and that order comes from above. They already prove that many times in Viet Nam, Afghanistan and Iraq.

I think you mistake our government for an omnipotent body with financial and political powers. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. They are just figures held by strings. They do and say what they are told.

Posted by: Alpi | Aug 28 2022 0:43 utc | 84

I find Scott Ritter really unimpressive in his analysis, I get he has all these years of experience but when you step back and look at the results of his predictions its pretty ho hum.

Posted by: Joe | Aug 28 2022 0:45 utc | 85

“The other thing to remember is that all commentators even the good ones carry with them their own bias. Work that they did themselves aged 25 pr 30 will often seem much more important than more recent stuff. It is human nature.”
“When we accept this we can judge the comments of old timers- Ritter, Murray, PC Roberts, Saker etc, much more fairly. Getting it wrong does not mean they have been bought or switched sides, just that with time their info sources degrade.”
Posted by: watcher | Aug 27 2022 23:29 utc | 75

I don’t understand your problem with “old timers” like Scott Ritter, and other people with real life experience, if they are knowable and defend the right position. Scott Ritter has almost as many interviews with non-English speaking personalities (often Russian) as he does with the US and UK; and that is a good thing. It may be true that his Pentagon connections may not be what they used to be, but I think you underestimate the draw that being a public personality has with people on the inside. Especially with people who disagree with the present administration.
The Western censorship pushing the phony Western narrative has left those like you and I with very few anti-NATO public personalities like Scott Ridder. I am sure that B, while pointing out what he considers Ritters “mistaken” interpretation of current events between the Biden Administration’s funding Ukraine’s war efforts (and I quite agree with B on this point), I am sure that B does not intent to assassinate Ritters charter and usefulness in the discussion. If I am wrong, I would ask B to address that issue.

Posted by: Gurenica | Aug 28 2022 0:46 utc | 86

So any time someone uses to many words to describe something that only needs one word, the author doesn't have a lot to say but wants it to stink like it is important. an easy guide to the understanding of print media. But that is just an opinion from this writer.

Posted by: Tard | Aug 27 2022 17:21 utc | 15

I agree, but I'm afraid that at least in the US, many schools have for decades encouraged this dysfunctional form of writing. And generally, the more years of schooling a person has, the more these habits have been ingrained.

In my work as a freelance editor, I used to have many clients in the humanities and social sciences. But eventually I eliminated this segment of my practice because I found it too difficult not to get infuriated from reading the material.

Posted by: David Levin | Aug 28 2022 0:51 utc | 87

Aleph_Null | Aug 27 2022 23:39 utc | 78
Australia is running a new absurdist satire. Its called the Albanese government. Our Prime Minister (son of a one night stand of an Italian sailor) so not just metaphorical, Foreign Minister Wong and our Minister for Defense of the US industrial military complex, called on the office of the idiot son of Murdoch this week in Sydney to get their instructions. They couldnt even get a meeting with the old man. Albanese is the Zelinsky of the Pacific. All T shirt and no ticker.

Posted by: Paul McGrory | Aug 28 2022 1:15 utc | 88

Robert @ 69

Execution by vehicle is not unheard of nor are auto accidents. They way people drive in the cell phone era is insane. They like using big trucks as its a sure thing and the driver of the truck usually walks away.
US diplomat struck and killed by truck while riding bike

Langenkamp was a diplomat at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine. Numerous offices have cited her as the head of the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Section at the embassy.

Posted by: circumspect | Aug 28 2022 1:30 utc | 89

Posted by: Gurenica | Aug 28 2022 0:46 utc | 87

I suspect i did not express myself well enough - or at least in making my point it has given rise to misconception. I do not watch Ritter much because I do not watch many TV type commentators- not enough time and I prefer to read.

My point was not against old timers at all, except to encourage people not to assume any single one is always right and to make what I think is an obvious point that the longer it is since one leaves a position of knowledge the more time usually information degrades (not always of course).

Basically we must always filter everything and try to get confirmation. So Scott Ritter is mostly right but may sometimes be wrong. Big deal.

when i was talking bias i was mostly thinking of someone like Craig Murray, but I am sure it applies to everyone to a greater or lesser degree.

Posted by: watcher | Aug 28 2022 1:32 utc | 90

uncle tungsten | Aug 27 2022 23:35 utc | 278

A megawatt is a million watts, which is the amount of power used by the average microwave oven. A megawatt-hour is the same as one megawatt of power used continually for one hour.

*France = $1,003/€1,000 per megawatt hour
*Germany = $843/€840 per megawatt hour
*Hungary = $590/€591 per megawatt hour
*Czech Rep. = $577/€578 per megawatt hour
*Serbia = $539/€540 per megawatt hour
*United Kingdom = $468/£263 per megawatt hour
*Nordic = $278/€278 per megawatt hour
*Spain = $225/€225 per megawatt hour
*Portugal = $220/€200 per megawatt hour
*United States = $166 per megawatt hour

1. The Hague seeks an exemption.
2. Bulgaria seeks resumption.
3. Moldovia seeks extensions.
4. Germany is facing another suspension.

Posted by: Gilbert | Aug 28 2022 1:40 utc | 91

My God, I just had the audacity to pull up DW, for a once a month or so look. They LITERALLY repeat anything Ukraine reports.

Gerrmany; you are without a scintilla of doubt remaining, zombified beyond salvation. Auf wiedersehen, my dear zombies.

Posted by: Totally Shocked | Aug 28 2022 2:04 utc | 92

@ circumspect | Aug 28 2022 1:30 utc | 90

Many coincidences here. ... Killed by a truck while riding a bike. ... She was Head of the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Section at the Kiev embassy. ... Timing coincides with the discovery that Mark Zuckerberg had Facebook censor 'Russian disinformation' in the run-up to Biden's election. ... Also, censored Hunter Biden's laptop exposure which was full of drug dealing and Ukrainian criminal connivance.

But I guess we are supposed to accept it as 'just another news story'.

Posted by: Robert | Aug 28 2022 2:23 utc | 93

Posted by: Gilbert | Aug 28 2022 1:40 utc | 92

You are a little out on consumption. Microwaves run at 1000 watts so it would need to operate for 1000 hours annually to use a megawatt/hr - 2-3 hours/day. Few homes would use this amount but plenty of food preparation businesses might.The average home in Tasmania- the coldest area of Australia uses about 3 megawatts/hrs annually. That still means a heck of a cost for most people. Mind you this does not take into account use of gas, oil or wood for heating. I assume in Europe which is colder it would be typically 4 Megawatts per year plus much more use of fossil fuels.

Posted by: watcher | Aug 28 2022 2:31 utc | 94

Posted by: Gilbert | Aug 28 2022 1:40 utc | 92

You are a little out on consumption. Microwaves run at 1000 watts so it would need to operate for 1000 hours annually to use a megawatt/hr - 2-3 hours/day. Few homes would use this amount but plenty of food preparation businesses might.The average home in Tasmania- the coldest area of Australia uses about 3 megawatts/hrs annually. That still means a heck of a cost for most people. Mind you this does not take into account use of gas, oil or wood for heating. I assume in Europe which is colder it would be typically 4 Megawatts per year plus much more use of fossil fuels.

Posted by: watcher | Aug 28 2022 2:31 utc | 95

"Game changer" isn't exactly a scientific term, but it certainly seems as though HIMARS have had a significant impact. Consider that the first batch of 4 HIMARS saw its first use in the last week of June, right when Sieverodonetsk fell. Lysichansk fell a week later and Ukraine retreated from its salient south of those cities. Russia appeared to have the initiative and some momentum.

B made this extremely confident prediction following those events:

Now let's look at the bigger picture in east Ukraine. I have marked 5 defense lines (yellow) which all run north to south along major highways or railroads.

The two in the east (right side) will fall within the next two or three weeks.

The two lines in questions run through Siversk, Bakhmut, Sloviansk, Kramatorsk. That "next two or three weeks" prediction was made 6+ weeks ago. Go check LiveUAMap and see how that front has developed since mid-July. Obviously something changed in a significant way, and the fact that phase 2 ran out of steam just as HIMARS strikes started ramping up doesn't seem like a coincidence coincidence. The combination of tougher logistics with shell depots moved out of HIMARS range plus the underrated effect of continued counter-battery radar deliveries + Ukrainians getting skilled with those systems has taken away some of the artillery advantage that Russia enjoyed during its weeks of success in the east.

Posted by: Yenwoda | Aug 28 2022 2:35 utc | 96

I am really, really tired of people talking about Ritter's "game changer" comments as if he was totally wrong.

It was a game changer. I don't care what Larry Johnson has to say about how little money it was. It signaled US support for the Ukraine Nazis. And here we are seeing more of the same. With some telling us that the Screaming Eagles are on their way to Ukraine.

For those of you who, from the very beginning, I mean even before 24 Feb, openly declared that Ukraine was going to be fighting a proxy war against the Donbas Militia which meant the USA vs Russia -- OK for YOU guys, it wasn't a game changer.

For those of us who (perhaps naively) thought it was a Civil War where Russia was following UN rules WRT Responsibility to Protect, the change in US participation was unexpected and was a game changer.

Get off Ritter's case. He provide some great analysis of what's going on. Most critics of his "game changer" comments sound like sour grapes to me.

Posted by: Fiji Refuge | Aug 28 2022 2:46 utc | 97

I posted in whatever thread in the last day or so about the U$ announcing it was supplying *vampires* to Ukraine.
These are rocket launchers attached from civilian pickup /flatbed vehicles.
Think ISIS.
Or think Libya Tripoli yesterday. Think Mad Max.
This ^ is possibly the “future” hub-Ukraine has…. Competing bands of mini militias engaging in combat across cities and localities.. whole regions of “no go” zones.

Brian Berletic @ New Atlas has also picked the vampires and the latest US “package” for one of his diamond-grade analyses.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. is sending Ukraine “Vampire” kits that transform pickup trucks and other non-tactical vehicles into highly portable missile launchers.
>Vehicle-Agnostic Modular Palletized ISR Rocket Equipment system is a portable kit that can be installed on most vehicles with a cargo bed for launching the Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System or other laser-guided munitions.
>the small, four-barreled rocket launcher and sensor ball ― can be mounted in two hours and operated by a single person, the company said.
>It can be equipped with missiles to hit ground or air targets including unmanned aircraft system

Posted by: Melaleuca | Aug 28 2022 2:55 utc | 98

Game changers.
Surely a graph that shows this >> has to “change” the game?
Here’s the #dontpayUK
It’s not even the first quarter yet, and people are seeing they don’t like the way this is going to play out.

Posted by: Melaleuca | Aug 28 2022 3:19 utc | 99

watcher 96

Perhaps they don't build them as well in Scandanavia...

1 megawatt (MW) = 1,000 kilowatts (kW), or the power used by the average microwave oven EnergyNordic

Posted by: Gilbert | Aug 28 2022 3:21 utc | 100

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