Mapping Russia’s Strategy

Russia is in a geographically vulnerable position; its core is inherently landlocked, and the choke points that its ships would have to traverse to gain access to oceans could be easily cut off. Therefore, Russia can’t be Athens. It must be Sparta, and that means it must be a land power and assume the cultural character of a Spartan nation. Russia must have tough if not sophisticated troops fighting ground wars. It must also be able to produce enough wealth to sustain its military as well as provide a reasonable standard of living for its people—but Russia will not be able to match Europe in this regard.

So it isn’t prosperity that binds the country together, but a shared idealized vision of and loyalty toward Mother Russia. And in this sense, there is a deep chasm between both Europe and the United States (which use prosperity as a justification for loyalty) and Russia (for whom loyalty derives from the power of the state and the inherent definition of being Russian). This support for the Russian nation remains powerful, despite the existence of diverse ethnic groups throughout the country.

As a land power, Russia is inherently vulnerable. It sits on the European plain with few natural barriers to stop an enemy coming from the west. East of the Carpathian Mountains, the plain pivots southward, and the door to Russia opens. In addition, Russia has few rivers, which makes internal transport difficult and further reduces economic efficiency. What agricultural output there is must be transported to markets, and that means the transport system must function well. And with so much of its economic activity located close to the border, and so few natural barriers, Russia is at risk.

It should be no surprise then that Russia’s national strategy is to move its frontier as far west as possible. The first tier of countries on the European Peninsula’s eastern edge—the Baltics, Belarus, and Ukraine—provide depth from which Russia can protect itself, and also provide additional economic opportunities.

With regard to the current battle over Ukraine, the Russians have to assume that the Euro-American interest in creating a pro-Western regime has a purpose beyond Ukraine. From the Russian point of view, not only have they lost a critical buffer zone, but Ukrainian forces hostile to Russia have moved toward the Russian border. It should be noted that the area that the Russians defend most heavily is the area just west of the Russian border, buying as much space as they can.

The fact that this scenario leaves Russia in a precarious position means that the Russians are unlikely to leave the Ukrainian question where it is. Russia does not have the option of assuming that the West’s interest in the region comes from good intentions. At the same time, the West cannot assume that Russia—if it reclaims Ukraine—will stop there. Therefore, we are in the classic case where two forces assume the worst about each other. But Russia occupies the weaker position, having lost the first tier of the European Peninsula. It is struggling to maintain the physical integrity of the Motherland.

Russia does not have the ability to project significant force because its naval force is bottled up and because you cannot support major forces from the air alone. Although it became involved in the Syrian conflict to demonstrate its military capabilities and gain leverage with the West, this operation is peripheral to Russia’s main interests. The primary issue is the western frontier and Ukraine. In the south, the focus is on the Caucasus.

It is clear that Russia’s economy, based as it is on energy exports, is in serious trouble given the plummeting price of oil in the past year and a half. But Russia has always been in serious economic trouble. Its economy was catastrophic prior to World War II, but it won the war anyway… at a cost that few other countries could bear. Russia may be a landlocked and poor country, but it can nonetheless raise an army of loyal Spartans. Europe is wealthy and sophisticated, but its soldiers have complex souls. As for the Americans, they are far away and may choose not to get involved. This gives the Russians an opportunity. However bad their economy is at the moment, the simplicity of their geographic position in all respects gives them capabilities that can surprise their opponents and perhaps even make the Russians more dangerous.

Greatest Risk

Martin Armstrong writes:

The greatest crisis we face is the destruction of liquidity that government is causing by their hunt for loose change. Their desperate need for money is tearing the world economy apart at the seams. Even in Europe, the attempt to force a political union upon people by denying them the right to vote is ripping apart the cooperative connections established following World War II with the Treaty of Rome. The forced monetary and political union in Brussels undermines what they were trying to create – European Peace.

Source: http://www.armstrongeconomics.com/archives/35078

Death from a swarm of tiny drones: U.S. Air Force releases terrifying video of tiny flybots that can can hover, stalk and even kill targets

  • Air Vehicles Directorate at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, is already developing prototypes of tiny drones that can hover
  • The Micro Air Vehicles will work in swarms to provide complex surveillance of a battlefield
  • They can also be armed with incapacitating chemicals, combustible payloads or even explosives ‘for precision targeting capability’

By Michael Zennie for Daily Mail Online

The U.S. Air Force is developing tiny unmanned drones that will fly in swarms, hover like bees, crawl like spiders and even sneak up on unsuspecting targets and execute them with lethal precision.

The Air Vehicles Directorate, a research arm of the Air Force, has released a computer-animated video outlining the the future capabilities of Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs). The project promises to revolutionize war by down-sizing the combatants.

‘MAVs will become a vital element in the ever-changing war-fighting environment and will help ensure success on the battlefield of the future,’ the narrator intones.

‘Unobtrusive, pervasive, lethal – Micro Air Vehicles, enhancing the capabilities of the future war fighter.’

Scroll down for video

Hovering: Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs) are the future of the unmanned drones program, according to a new video from the Air Force. The Air Force has already developed a drone capable of hovering like a moth

Hovering: Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs) are the future of the unmanned drones program, according to a new video from the Air Force. The Air Force has already developed a drone capable of hovering like a moth

Perching: The video, released by the Air Vehicle Directorate, shows a pigeon-like drone that can draw power from an electrical wire while its camera watches a target

Perching: The video, released by the Air Vehicle Directorate, shows a pigeon-like drone that can draw power from an electrical wire while its camera watches a target

Crawling: The drones will be equipped with legs so that they can crawl through tight spaces like an insect

Crawling: The drones will be equipped with legs so that they can crawl through tight spaces like an insect

The project, which is based at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, was revealed in the March issue of the National Geographic magazine .

Air Force officials said they have already produced tiny remote-control prototypes – but they consume so much power that can only operate for a few minutes. Researchers estimate that it will take several years of advances in battery technology to make the designs feasible.

Still, the Air Force has a clear concept of what it hopes to accomplish with the program.

The promotional video begins with a swarm of tiny drones be dropped on a city from a passing plane.

The drones will work in concert to patch together a wide, detailed view of the battlefield – singling out individual targets without losing sight of the broader scene.

‘Data will be communicated among the MAVs to enable real time, reliable decision-making and to provide an advanced overall picture for other platforms or operators,’ the Air Force says.

Killing: The video demonstrates how MAVs could be used to sneak up behind unsuspecting targets and kill them with a single, lethal shot

Killing: The video demonstrates how MAVs could be used to sneak up behind unsuspecting targets and kill them with a single, lethal shot

Lethal: The drones could be equipped with incapacitating chemicals, combustable payloads or even explosives 'for precsion targeting capability'

Lethal: The drones could be equipped with incapacitating chemicals, combustible payloads or even explosives ‘for precision targeting capability’

As the drones fall, they begin to fly – not like planes, but like insects. High frequency flapping wings allow the drones to hover and maneuver in tight spaces.

The military has already produced a drone patterned after a hawk moth that can flap its wings 30 times a second. However, the activity exhausts the drone’s tiny battery in just a few minutes, according to National Geographic.

Another drone type soars like a pigeon and perches unobtrusively on a power line to observe a surveillance target with a camera.

The Air Force is working on technology that will allow the drones to steal electricity from power cables and other sources – so they can continue to operate for days or weeks on end.

Swarming: The drones couple be dropped en masse over a battlefield or a city and would work together to create a complex surveillance network

Swarming: The drones couple be dropped en masse over a battlefield or a city and would work together to create a complex surveillance network

Working together: The drones would use advanced software to navigate by 'sight,' rather than GPS - which can be blocked by buildings or by jamming from the enemy

Working together: The drones would use advanced software to navigate by ‘sight,’ rather than GPS – which can be blocked by buildings or by jamming from the enemy

The Air Force training video shows a winged MAV following a target as he drives through the streets of a dense city.

Advanced sensors will enable ‘optic flow,’ which will allow remote pilots to fly by ‘sight’ – rather than flying by GPS, which can be disrupted by buildings or deliberately jammed by enemy forces.

The video depicts three drones following the target into a house, where they maneuver hallways and rooms undetected.

‘Small size and agile flight will allow MAVs to covertly enter locations inaccessible by traditional means of aerial surveillance,’ the narrator says.

The video follows the drones as they fly through an open door and sneak up behind a man who is aiming a sniper rifle.

‘Individual MAVs may perform direct attack missions and can be equipped with incapacitating chemicals, combustible payloads or even explosives for precision targeting capability,’ according to the video.

On screen, a small, hovering vehicle pauses before shooting the man directly in the back of the head.

Video: The lethal micro-drones that can crawl, hover and perch

Why U.S. Military Was Defeated in Vietnam (well worth watching)

Understanding of the US military-industrial process shown in this 1987 interview with sociologist Bill Gibson. Posted by Michael S. Rozeff at lewrockwell.com

Gibson’s discussion of the attitudes and ignorance of the U.S. military and the American people during the Vietnam war has major parallels to America’s recent engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan. Indeed, in an important sense, Gibson forecast that these wars would occur.

This is an approximately one hour and a half interview over 10 you tube clips, but is must viewing. Find the time to watch all the clips, you will have a bunch better understanding of the Vietnam War, the war in Iraq and the Afghan war and you will learn why U.S. technical war superiority just can’t seem to defeat “primitives”.

Source: http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/112430.html

U.S. Military Defeated in Vietnam: Part 1- Quantity over Quality:

U.S. Military Defeated in Vietnam: Part 1- Quantity over Quality

U.S. Military Defeated in Vietnam: Part 2 -False Wars for Corporate Profits

U.S. Military Defeated in Vietnam: Part 2 -False Wars for Corporate Profits

U.S. Military Defeated in Vietnam: Part 3 –Predictable War By-the-Numbers

U.S. Military Defeated in Vietnam: Part 3 –Predictable War By-the-Numbers

U.S. Military Defeated in Vietnam: Part 4 – Who is the Enemy?

U.S. Military Defeated in Vietnam: Part 4 – Who is the Enemy?

U.S. Military Defeated in Vietnam: Part 5 – South Vietnamese Forced from their Farms

U.S. Military Defeated in Vietnam: Part 5 – South Vietnamese Forced from their Farms

U.S. Military Defeated in Vietnam: Part 6 -Consumerism Good

U.S. Military Defeated in Vietnam: Part 6 -Consumerism Good

U.S. Military Defeated in Vietnam: Part 7 -Border Fence/Wall Not Built to Keep NVA Out

U.S. Military Defeated in Vietnam: Part 7 -Border Fence/Wall Not Built to Keep NVA Out

U.S. Military Defeated in Vietnam: Part 8 -Tet Offensive Clears Way for NVA

U.S. Military Defeated in Vietnam: Part 8 -Tet Offensive Clears Way for NVA

U.S. Military Defeated in Vietnam: Part 9 -Gadgets vs. Guerrillas

U.S. Military Defeated in Vietnam: Part 9 -Gadgets vs. Guerrillas

U.S. Military Defeated in Vietnam: Part 10 – We are Still Clueless

U.S. Military Defeated in Vietnam: Part 10 – We are Still Clueless

Source: http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/112430.html