Russia can’t defeat NATO, but Putin might still try

Of late, there’s been an increasing amount of concern about what Russia and President Putin are up to in Ukraine.

The Administration has decided it’s time to stand a little firmer, it seems. We’ve now decided to send US troops to Ukraine to give medical training, and we just paraded US military vehicles 300 yards from the Russian border.

The tension is certainly concerning, especially with Russian overflights and constant hyping by our media.

Nonetheless, this article below is the best I’ve seen yet about the situation. It’s easy to get worried and panicked by the non-stop news of that terribly scary Putin, but this article provides a great reality check from an expert at the Naval War College, who’s got quite a background in Russian studies.

Russia can’t defeat NATO — but Putin might still try. (Also interesting is the link inside the article that leads to a Russian article, which I hit the “translate” button and read. That article describes what a poor job Russia has done at updating its weaponry, from tanks to artillery to air power.)

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

About me: I’m a full-time, action-fiction author with books similar to Vince Flynn, Stephen Hunter, and Tom Clancy. I’m also a prior infantry Marine with Combat Action Ribbon, and a guy who spent 10+ years writing every day in the newspaper business. Please consider subscribing for email alerts — I mostly post about things American foreign policy, national security, and all things Marine Corps.

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U.S. Military news round up from around the world, 2/23/15

In Ukraine…

More evidence of Russia sending troops directly to Ukraine has emerged. This news should surprise no one. And in other news, Ukraine is saying it can’t pull back its heavy weapons because of continued “rebel” attacks.

If I were in charge of Ukraine, I’d be digging in, recruiting more soldiers, and preparing my country for all-out war. And lets hope Europe steps up and starts getting more serious about their own defense and NATO commitments.

Back to the F-35…

A couple of weeks ago, I shared a post of the U.S. Navy not being that sold on the F-35.  I went on to say that I continued to have concerns because when an Admiral is speaking up about a super-controversial weapons program, there just may be more news here than any of want to think about…

On the front of me possibly being wrong, which I sincerely hope I am since this is the Pentagon’s most expensive weapons program EVER, Israel appears to be in love with the plane. They just ordered 14 more of them, on top of the 19 that they already have.

In Iraq…

There’s been lots of talk about taking Mosul back from ISIS/Daesh by the administration, and that led to torrents of criticism about announcing the plans ahead of time.

Turns out, most of this talk doesn’t matter anyway, since now the Iraqi’s admit that basically their forces suck and they can’t take Mosul when the administration hoped, anyway. Well, they didn’t quite say it so clearly, but I’ll save you some reading and you can trust me on what they said.

I would take the time to compile a ton of links of all the times that Iraqi’s with better weapons and tanks (provided by the U.S.) have run from ISIS like complete cowards, but I’m betting most of you already know this truth. (Seriously, how do you ever give up if you even have one, single M1A1 tank? I mean, seriously, guys. Come on…)

So, instead of researching a bunch of links, let me just show you a little training.

I’m thinking it’s time we send this guy back over there to chew some ass…

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

About me: I’m a full-time, action-fiction author with books similar to Vince Flynn, Stephen Hunter, and Tom Clancy. I’m also a prior infantry Marine with Combat Action Ribbon, and a guy who spent 10+ years writing every day in the newspaper business. Please consider subscribing for email alerts — I mostly post about things American foreign policy, national security, and all things Marine Corps.

My latest thoughts on Ukraine and ISIS/Daesh

A couple of good things on the news front.

Things seem to have stabilized and quieted in Ukraine, after “rebels” seized a key town. (I add the quote mark on “rebels” because while many truly are, there are also quite a few Russian soldiers involved, not to mention heavy weapons from Russian units.)

It sounds stupid, since I’m a fan of peace, but to me all these cease fires are a complete waste of time. Both sides are just using the time to position units and resupply.

I might be wrong, but this war in Ukraine is far from over, in my opinion. I sincerely hope both Ukraine and other Western countries are using this time to further prepare, as well. Because if you think Putin isn’t, then you’re either Gandhi or a pretty big fool.

If you want peace, prepare for war…

Don’t get me wrong though. I’m not saying Putin is wrong for doing so. If I were Russian, I might even support it. No matter how we spin it here in the West, we helped create the uprising in Ukraine, and if the situation were reversed and Russia had assisted in such an uprising in a country near us, I’m pretty sure our country would be acting quite similarly. (Note: Some say this assistance is false, but we did spend $5 billion to assist that country in helping it to stand on its own two feet since it exited the Soviet Union back in 1991.)

On the ISIS/Daesh front, they’re still getting hundreds or thousands of new fighters volunteering from the West. I guess I’m okay with that, in that if that’s where your allegiance is, go ahead and go join them. I’d rather these folks go there than stay here.

But not everything is going well. They’re in danger of losing their main supply route — a pretty serious threat, I’d say — and things aren’t going so well for them in Syria.

That’s it from here.

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

About me: I’m a full-time, action-fiction author with books similar to Vince Flynn, Stephen Hunter, and Tom Clancy. I’m also a prior infantry Marine with Combat Action Ribbon, and a guy who spent 10+ years writing every day in the newspaper business. Please consider subscribing for email alerts — I mostly post about things American foreign policy, national security, and all things Marine Corps.

Iraq Shiite militias rush to defend oil-rich Kirkuk from Islamic State

Great story in Stars and Stripes regarding some of the tricky realities on the ground.

Iraq Shiite militias rush to defend oil-rich Kirkuk from Islamic State.

To me, it’s hard to not call this a civil war in Iraq. Three competing groups, each with its own fighters. And a national government and military that’s shown practically no will to fight when it must.

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

About me: I’m a full-time, action-fiction author with books similar to Vince Flynn, Stephen Hunter, and Tom Clancy. I’m also a prior infantry Marine with Combat Action Ribbon, and a guy who spent 10+ years writing every day in the newspaper business. Please consider subscribing for email alerts — I mostly post about things American foreign policy, national security, and all things Marine Corps.

Commandant’s Marine Corps sea-basing plan due soon.

It appears the Marine Corps is going back to its roots in the Continental Navy.

Commandant’s Marine Corps sea-basing plan due soon.

I can certainly see some advantages to this, but I could also see it becoming a supreme waste of time with forces too small and ineffective to make much difference. Looking forward to learning more about it.

Do you all have any initial thoughts?

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

About me: I’m a full-time, action-fiction author with books similar to Vince Flynn, Stephen Hunter, and Tom Clancy. I’m also a prior infantry Marine with Combat Action Ribbon, and a guy who spent 10+ years writing every day in the newspaper business. Please consider subscribing for email alerts — I mostly post about things American foreign policy, national security, and all things Marine Corps.

Military news round up from around the world, 2/9/15

Quite a few things have happened since my last military news post.

Things got uglier in Ukraine, as I’m sure you heard. And here’s a heart-breaking story of their troops at the airport being outgunned, exhausted, and finally defeated.

The latest “non-Russian” aggression is really causing some raised eyebrows. President Obama is beginning to consider arming the Ukranian rebels, though German Chancellor Angela Merkel remains opposed to such a position.

NATO is increasingly taking the threat from Russia serious. They decided to boost the NATO rapid-reaction force in response to growing threats. Additionally, NATO is deploying small units to six Eastern European nations for planning purposes, in case reinforcements needed to be rapidly moved forward.

*     *     *     *     *

Moving to the Middle East, things are pretty hot there, as well.

The country of Jordan is now bombing ISIS/Daesh, as well, after they burned one of its pilots alive. Additionally, Jordan executed two prisoners to avenge the pilot.

Because of the captured pilot from Jordan, the U.S. has taken additional preventive measures and moved rescue aircraft closer to Syria.

Of course, Iran is still in the picture as a potential threat. The Senate is preparing sactions against Iran if Nuke talks fail.

And I’ve got to bring up that old questions about Saudi Arabia and 9-11 are coming up again. (Me thinks — having barely read the latest news — that there’s probably more here than either the Saudi government or our government wants to discuss.)

But while it’s easy to argue things should be black and white, right or wrong on this, the truth is that the leaders of Saudi Arabia are in a complicated position. And I certainly don’t think it’s in America’s interest for the fundamentalists to topple the monarchy that largely supports us, so I’m not too in favor of airing out this dirty laundry in public…

*     *     *     *     *

Finally, in other news, North Korea is heading toward another food crisis. I’m sure they’ll threaten invasion of the South again soon.

Moving to China, Sen. McCain is making waves about our carriers potentially visiting a Chinese port city.

And speaking of the Navy, not everyone there is sold on F-35 stealth technology. The plane is supposed to replace the F/A-18s, and the Marine Corps just received their first aircraft, but I continue to have concerns. And when an Admiral is speaking up about a super-controversial weapons program, there just may be more news here than any of want to think about…

To me, this plane could still go down as a huge bust for our military… From cost over-runs to delays… We’ll see. And I truly hope I’m wrong. There have been other new technologies that started out rough, but I’m pretty nervous on this one.

I’ll end the post with what was huge news at one point, but now is just barely mentioned. Ebola, which was supposed to kill us all — along with the bird flu and Y2K — is winding down in Africa. The fight against Ebola in Liberia, in which U.S. troops were sent to assist the impoverished country, is drawing to an end.

Infection rates are nearly zero now, and I must admit that even I should eat some crow over this.

I had serious concerns when President Obama deployed troops there. But now that I’ve eaten my crow, I wonder how many other Congressmen and commentators will?

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

About me: I’m a full-time, action-fiction author with books similar to Vince Flynn, Stephen Hunter, and Tom Clancy. I’m also a prior infantry Marine with Combat Action Ribbon, and a guy who spent 10+ years writing every day in the newspaper business. Please consider subscribing for email alerts — I mostly post about things American foreign policy, national security, and all things Marine Corps.

17 Brilliant Insights From Legendary Marine General James Mattis

In our unending task to remain warriors for life, we must stay sharp and and ready to flip the switch at a moment’s notice.

I figure there are few better ways to motivate ourselves than to hear the words of today’s modern-day Chesty Puller.

So, as part of your training for this week, here are 17 Brilliant Insights From Legendary Marine General James Mattis.

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

About me: I’m a full-time, action-fiction author with books similar to Vince Flynn, Stephen Hunter, and Tom Clancy. I’m also a prior infantry Marine with Combat Action Ribbon, and a guy who spent 10+ years writing every day in the newspaper business. Please consider subscribing for email alerts — I mostly post about things American foreign policy, national security, and all things Marine Corps.