Minion ‘Retired Spook’ is skeptical that Confucius’s plans for pushing back against Russian imperialism will gain any traction. He explains:
At the risk of sounding disagreeable and cranky (which I am, but I hate to sound like it) please allow me to comment on your proposals vis-à-vis Vlad the Impaler 2.0.
First, we don’t have anyone in Europe who will back us on anything, especially if it will cost them money. If I were doing it, I would immediately declare null and void all Russian non-diplomatic passports, and give the holders thereof 3 working days to hit the bricks for home. Then PNG all the diplomats. But under the current regime, that’s about as likely to happen as finding a pig that can whistle.
Second, tackling their petroleum business is a great idea, but one that should have been started 5 or 6 years ago. If we start it now, the impact will be minimal, and the foothold on the Crimean pennisula will be set in stone. It’s gonna take a lot to convince Vlad to give up the naval base at Sevastapol. And since ГАЗПРОМ provides most of the oil and natural gas to the rest of Ukraine, it’s gonna squeeze (or freeze) the very people we’re trying to help.
Third, other than the Brits, there are no NATO allies who have the wherewithal, either financially or politically, to do anything more effective than emotional hand-wringing. The missiles that should be going back should never have left, and if we had a real commander-in-chief, and a professional state department we wouldn’t be jumping through hoops trying to figure out how to get them back in place BEFORE they’re needed.
Fourth, from your mouth to G-d’s ears, but don’t bet the mortgage payment on it. The way the current crop of liberals, losers, RINOs, crooks, and morons (is that repetitious, or just redundant?) are running things, we’re going to have a 3rd World military in about 10 years. The A-10 is going away because there are no big-buck programs needed to keep it flying, which means there are no big-buck “bonus” (read “kickback”) incentives being spread around. After all, you can’t expect an O-3 to retire on a mere $8K a month, can you?
(Let me digress here for a moment. I was an intel geek for an A-10 squadron back during Sandbox 1, and learned a few things about Warthogs and the people that keep them in the air. First, A-10 pilots are actually misplaced jarheads Marines, who don’t have visions of glorious aerial combat. They want to kill people and break stuff, in job lots, at spitting distance range. And doing it in front of an appreciative audience of grunts and other ground pounders just adds to the fun! The pilots and ground crews say horrible things about the aircraft, things like It’s the only plane that records bird strikes from the rear, Or The airspeed indicator is a sundial. How about It doesn’t fly, it’s so ugly that it repels the ground. Pilots and crew dogs say that stuff. Nobody else does, or at least not more than once. But because the A-10 community is all about anti-armor and CAS, the Air Force contingent of zipper-suited sun gods won’t go to bat for them. There’s the Fighter Mafia, and the Bomber Mafia, and if you ain’t one of them, you ain’t shit.)
Fifth, well, that’s being done all right, just not the way you have in mind. The military is being (or has already been) purged of officers that want to do the right thing. Most of what we have left, at least at flag rank, are the ones who want to do the politically-correct thing. We’re almost at the point of anyone who would ally with us is really not someone you’d want as an ally. And given what we’ve done to allies in the past, I’m not surprised.
Sixth, anyone who actually believed that whole “reset” thing should probably not be allowed outdoors without a keeper, and not allowed sharp objects at the dinner table. Expecting the Russians to do something simply because it’s the right thing to do has us back to the whistling pig. Not gonna happen. The Russian government will do whatever it can to expand/improve it’s position in the world, and if that means using treaties for toilet paper, oh well.
Seventh, if we’re gonna ditch the A-10 in favor of something like the F-35, which costs exponentially more, but doesn’t do the same job, or at least not as well, I’d rather see the A-10s go to the Marines instead of somewhere overseas. As for the other aircraft in question, I’d like to point out that C-130s and B-52s are still mission-capable, even though some of the aircraft are older than the combined ages of the front-end crews.
I must agree, I think Vlad’s won this one. I can’t see the Ukrainians mounting the type of campaign the Afghanis did in 1979. (For one thing, they’ve got more to lose than the Muj did.) But I don’t see the Western world doing much to stop the Russian (or Chinese, or North Korean) programs of expansion, because western liberals have so little regard for reality and have a hard time envisioning a solution that does not involve green energy and kumbaya.
I really need a drink!
Well, as one of God’s own pessimists, far be it from the Œc. Vol. to dispute this type of criticism. The original post was designed as “what we should do.” Spook (Ret.) offers us “what we will do.” And one does suspect it will largely be a whole lot of nothing.
So, to our friends in Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, let us just say, Lai Jums veicas, sékmés, and edu! Which is to say, good freaking luck.
Now Confucius needs a drink…
Don’t ask impertinent questions like that jackass Adept Lu.