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09 October 2017


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By the looks of Russian military organization and training, the emphasis seems to be on mass mobilization, counter-attack, artillery dominance, electronic warfare, and more recently advanced forms of logistics, command, and control. Thus, the regular Russian military has the opposite focus to the US.

The close advisory role in Syria must be an exceptionally profitable operation for honing proficiency over regular forces on the modern battlefield. I wonder if you could put a percentage on the increased efficacy the Syrian intervention has wrought for the russians?

The Twisted Genius


The Russians moved away from the mass mobilization and towards a smaller professional force. Their reliance on artillery and radio-electronic combat have long histories. Our problem stems from fighting and planning to fight "lesser" enemies rather than peer and near peer opponents.

steve g

Same Same “ Chu Lai bombers” GI?
A ten pack of prerolled for cheapie cheapie.


I honestly have no idea what could the glorious “Warriors of Light”, aka “Cyborgs” aka the Ukrainian veterans of the so-called “ATO” teach to their American counterparts. How to fight the war 17th c. style, more befitting the marauding bands of the 30 Years War? How to embezzle funds on unprecedented level and avoid punishment? How to force locals whom you are “liberating” from “separs” and “Moskals” to part with food, money, gasoline and, most important of all, horylka without paying for that? How to rot in trenches?

What glorious battles did the “renewed” Ukrainian military won to share the experience with the US or other NATO militaries? Also – note the lack of CAS in the ATO zone on both sides. Ukrainian military is having it easy, trying to find the excuse for its own incompetence in scary stories about Russian regulars.


By the looks of Russian military organization and training, the emphasis seems to be on mass mobilization

Russia does pay an enormous attention to mobilization resources (which is quite natural for the country with such history as Russia) but, actually, as TTG correctly pointed out--the emphasis is on professional and smaller force, albeit operating within very serious (close second to US in numbers and arguably better in technologically) conventional stand-off capability which is, as Article 26 of Russia's Military Doctrine states--are means for force (literally in Russian--silovoe--that is BY force, violent) strategic containment. It is a unified cross-force (services) vision of how not to allow attack on Russia. The posture is, actually, explicitly defensive.

The Twisted Genius


I agree with your comments. I don't know what the Ukies can teach us other than bear witness to the lethality of the modern battlefield.

Peter AU

With Crimea's Bastion coastal defence system covering much of the black sea, this little force better lean how to swim.

"NATO launches Black Sea force as latest counter to Russia"

Babak Makkinejad


Putin speaking on the strategic situation (2016):


4.2 million viewers.

scott s.

IIRC lack of training opportunities around Vicenza was cited in problems the 173rd had in Konegal Valley after relieving 3rd Bde, 10th Mountain Div.

In the 25th, they have reconfigured 2d Brigade from Stryker to light infantry and in the process cased the colors of 1-14 Inf so there are 2 infantry and 1 cavalry BNs now. A lot of Stryker infrastructure was built (I guess thanks to Sen Inouye) that now is useless. Meanwhile they also brought back DivArty and the 45th Sustainment Bde now is the 25th, I assume that is sort of like the old DISCOM. Just my observation as a "neighbor" of the Division in Schofield Barracks.



in my very humble opinion the most important, truly landmark speech which gives a good feel for Russia's strategic thinking was Lavrov's speech to officers (in Russia officers attending War Colleges and General Staff Academy are called slushately--listeners) in General Staff Academy in March this year. It gives a good insight into how Russians view power in general.



Indeed. The history of the Ukraine war in 2014 was:

1) Ukraine military throws a barrage into a civilian town with no clue as to exactly where the insurgents are.

2) Barrel ahead into said town in a column.

3) Insurgents surround the column forcing them into a pocket ("cauldron").

4) Insurgents call in artillery to blow the column to bits.

5) Rinse and repeat.

By all accounts, the Ukraine military lost hundreds of tanks, artillery pieces, APVs, and much of their troops in almost every battle in the same manner. Allegedly only once did Russian cross-border artillery fire aid in the resolution of any of these battles. All the broken tanks were brought back to a factory in Donbass where their components were used to create new tanks to add to the Donbass militias.

So the Ukraine military is an excellent teacher of what NOT to do in modern war.

Clueless Joe

Being used to fight lesser enemies and not peer with a strong military isn't just an issue with US military. Same goes for UK, France and Israel, and has been mentioned by many commenters in the past decade.
I wonder to which extent the remarks about US current unpreparedness apply to these armies as well - and actually, to which extent it might be even worse for these.


I made the comment that the article pretends this all happened in a bubble and the last eight plus years have nothing to do with.

What happened? The tripod of CAS/drones/commandos became the preferred method of war because it appeared "cheaper". Meanwhile the combat arms got the social petri dish treatment with the NEED for an m2f tranny Ranger. A buddy of mine still in as an NCO told me he wasn't allowed to teach land navigation during some down time cause he has no safety brief, no sign in roster, and no command clearance. The soldiers can't zero an M4 but they know the regs surrounding transsexuals, SHARP, and EO.

The 11 series exists as a recruiting ground for the 18 series. There's maybe a few battalions not infected by the pos, but honestly I don't think a Kesserine Pass level event would be enough to right the ship.



This is nothing new. 1969-70 2/503rd cherries had a week of orientation, then it was all on the job training. If it was ever calculated, the actual time in the field during Operation Washington Green's pacification program would have been less than six months before being medevaced for trench foot or wounds never to return. WWI it was generally two weeks in the trenches and two weeks in the rear.

Ukraine is a stalemated trench war. I don’t know what they’d be training for. The only way to end the revolt is a peace treaty separating the Russian majority region from the rest of Ukraine, a united neutral nation, or an armor/artillery attack to break through the trenches. The 173rd can’t do that. But, Russia can. The best training is digging holes, keeping your head down and praying no one ignites a tactical nuclear weapon overhead.


Lyttenburgh, How to get caught in a kettle and obliterated.... On the other hand, I have not see the US or our proxies in Iraq and Syria, using this classic maneuver.

I agree (TTG) that this is atrophy from fighting third world militaries and insurgencies and an unwillingness to self-reflect critically at the highest levels. I am guessing self reflection does not lead to promotion at the general level. In fact, it seems to lead to early retirement (Shinseki vs Petreus)

godfree Roberts

"It is a sober report… a damning assessment....When Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014,..This isn’t a matter of being under equipped or under manned so much as it is a matter of being woefully ill trained".

It's far, far worse than being woefully ill trained. It's being woefully ill-informed. Tragically bad intelligence at the time and disastrously poor military history embodied in the report.

Russia didn't invade Ukraine in 2014. It just plain old didn't. Ask anyone in a position to know and an obligation to speak honestly:

OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier said he saw no Russian troops in Ukraine. http://sputniknews.com/europe/20150213/1018221522.html

Ukraine Chief of Staff Admits No Russian Troops in Donetsk 

No Evidence of Russian Military Hardware Presence in Ukraine – French President Hollande

NATO Unable to Provide Proof of Alleged Russian Troops in Ukraine

Markian Lubkivsky, the adviser to the head of the SBU (the Ukrainian version of the CIA) stated there are NO RUSSIAN TROOPS ON UKRANIAN SOIL. He said the SBU counted about 5000 Russian nationals, but not Russian soldiers in Donetsk and Lugansk Peoples Republics. He further clarified that there were no organized Russian units in Donbass.
http://www.opednews.com/articles/Ukraine-2nd-Day-of-Heavy-F-by-George EliasonAtrocities_Congress_Genocide_Holocaust-141107-203.html

Former NATO General Kujat: I don't believe evidence of Russian invasion – ENG SUBS. https://youtu.be/l0_yaWyA-1s


"By all accounts, the Ukraine military lost hundreds of tanks, artillery pieces, APVs, and much of their troops in almost every battle in the same manner. "

It's monitored here: http://lostarmour.info/

Destroyed/captured hardware by type on both sides - with photo and other evidence.


TTG, Colonel,

Did you see video of the Russian-Belarus Zapad 2017 exercise? It is also telling.


Interesting. I got my GED while serving in a 105 outfit just South of the Imjin in 1967. We had diddly shit, 6 rounds per tube and a basic load for our 14's. When Joe came south on the Blue House Raid and they took the Pueblo we figured we were goners. It worked out and 30 years later I wrote my dissertation about GED grads. Keep on pushin.

The Twisted Genius


We never seemed to have a shortage of ammo for training. On a Big Island live fire, my mortar section fired a 30 minute FPF with illumination. We were cooling the tubes with water from five gallon cans and did end up burning one out. An artillery battalion commander was watching from the company defensive position and was in awe as we totally overwhelmed the fire of the accompanying 105 battery. The Division Commander, MG Willard Scott, forcefully intervened before a report of survey could be completed and directed that no one will be found liable for replacing the tube. He declared we were training as we should train and congratulated us on our skill. That old redleg loved mortars and professed that love often.

Fuel, OTOH, was often in short supply. We often had to walk to and from the training areas with all our gear including the mortars and the TOW systems. We looked like an African safari carrying those TOWs along with our extra pioneering equipment. We also found out we had no atropine in our Division supplies. Not to worry. We had no chemical suits either. We used those ponchos that wouldn't keep the rain out and the black leather glove shells.


Our situation was strange. We were 7th ID and most of 7th DivArty was in the 2nd ID's AO. Our ASP was way the hell over in Tongduchŏn , nearly a half a day round trip on the dirt roads up there in those days. Our diesel came in by train to Munsani and it was all hands on deck to off load the 55 gallon drums onto deuce-and-a-half's, drive them back to the compound and stack them. When we went to "Little Chicago" for live fire we did have plenty of ammo but back at the fort it was slim pickens. I assume someone somewhere had a plan but we didn't know what it was.


“When Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014" Huh? Neocon drivel.


Training always gets the short end of the stick in budgets. It does not provide pork to Congress critters. They prefer to vote on and spend for new acquisition projects. Many of those will never be seen at brigade level, let alone down at platoons.

I saw the same cycle of zero training dollars in the half decade prior to Viet-Nam. My father saw the same prior to Korea.


Training exercises, ah yes! "But we don't have that equipment Sir!" "Well imagine you do and act as if you did!". The Naval and Air Force version is "fitted for but not with".


"We never seemed to have a shortage of ammo for training. On a Big Island live fire, my mortar section fired a 30 minute FPF with illumination. We were cooling the tubes with water from five gallon cans and did end up burning one out."

That reminds me of my time on the range in Daaden twenty plus years ago. It was during carnival time, and in February it was effing cold, wet and windy down there. We had snow, hail, rain and fog and the weather was very 'westerwald-isch' i.e. rotten.

In that sense, in direct comparison, it was quite a poor comparison to having a carnival party on the roads of, say, Cologne. Either way, there we were firing all the time, do count of hits, had to account for every bullet fired and all that.

One evening our sergeant major came along with a bright idea of how to show us why we are able and expected to change machine gun barrels, and to do so at speed.

He did teach us that lesson by having us fire the MG-3 at evening with loooong belts. And so we fired. Eventually, the gun barrel ended up glow in the low light and had to be thrown away after that stunt.

But we changed it and went on until the belts were fired. That exercise was entertaining and silly, but the lesson was teached and it was not forgotten.

As for chem suits, we had the full program - coal filter overgarments and these heavy duty rubber overalls. Since I eventually was in the NBC recce and decontamination team of our regiment I had to use and wear them a lot.

Being suited up in such a thing, with a mask and having a geiger counter tick scrary infos to you was like walking on the moon. Creepy thing, and the sound of the geiger counter is unforgettable.

I had to be ready for emergency service on the days the US removed their chems to ships then. Thank god these beasts are gone and thank god that nothing happened.

And how again was that? By doubling the distance to a radio source, you'll only receive a quarter of the radiation? Something like that. It led us to cunningly mount the geiger counter sensor on the end of a broomstick. That was sensible but it also was quite silly to use.

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