SCOTT RITTER: John Kirby v. Russian Military

Something is happening between Ukraine and Russia that has the U.S. National Security Council spokesperson desperately trying to prepare the U.S. audience for significant developments.

Russia’s National Defense Management Center headquarters in Moscow. (, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 4.0)

By Scott Ritter
Special to Consortium News

The Biden administration has a lot to cope with now when it comes to Russia.

As the 2023 War in Gaza has drawn attention away from a losing effort in Ukraine, a disastrous NATO-sponsored, Ukrainian counter offensive has run out of steam, with close to 100 percent casualties among the men and equipment participating. 

(NATO trained a force of 90,000 Ukrainian soldiers for this effort, and supplied them with approximately 300 tanks; Russia has published figures that put the Ukrainian casualties since the start of the counteroffensive at some 90,000 killed and wounded, with some 300 tanks destroyed.) 

Russia has assumed an offensive posture; the initial reading from the battlefield is that it is enjoying greater success in the first few weeks of its attacks than Ukraine had for its five-month-long counteroffensive.

To add insult to injury, U.S. News and World Report just published the rankings of the world’s most powerful militaries and Russia edged out the United States for the No. 1 spot.

In times like these, the White House turns to its spin doctors to manipulate the narrative, and there is no finer practitioner of the art of spinning in the White House stable than the spokesperson for the National Security Council, John Kirby. 

“I do want to, if — if you’ll allow me to, just to take a couple of minutes,” Kirby told the press on Oct. 26, “to update you on the battlefield situation in Ukraine.”

Russia, it seemed, was on the attack, having, Kirby noted, launched a renewed offensive in eastern Ukraine “across multiple lines,” including around Avdiivka, Lyman and Kupiansk. This offensive, Kirby said, 

“was not a surprise. We’ve been watching this build and come. And we’ve warned that President Putin still aims to conquer Ukraine and we’ve been working to ensure that Ukraine has the equipment it needs to defend its territory.”

Kirby’s tune was different back in June 2022. Then Kirby stated

“They [Ukraine] are getting as much as we can send as fast as we can send it. … We’re going to be committed to helping Ukraine’s armed forces defend themselves and try to take back the territory, particularly in the east, in the south, that they’re trying to take back now.”

John Kirby during a press event in 2021. (DoD, Lisa Ferdinando)

Now, there is no more talk about Ukraine taking back territory. Instead, Kirby emphasized that a new support package, which focused on air defense and anti-tank missiles, as well as artillery munitions, was enabling Ukraine “to hold on and hold the — on the defense against this offensive, successfully repelling Russian tank columns that have been advancing on Avdiivka.”

The Russians, Kirby was quick to point out, had “suffered significant losses in this offensive attempt of theirs, including at least 125 armored vehicles around Avdiivka and more than a battalion’s worth of equipment.”

Saint Michael Church in Avdiivka in the Donetsk region on April 1, during the battle for the city. (National Police of Ukraine, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 4.0)

Despite this setback — for which Kirby offered no proof, Russia was expected to continue to attack the Ukrainian lines. “This is a dynamic conflict,” Kirby said, “and we need to remember that Russia still maintains some offensive capability and may be able to achieve some tactical gains in the coming months.”

The difference between “Ukraine is going to recapture lost territory” and “Russia is on the offensive and may achieve some tactical gains” is of an order of magnitude that cannot simply be dismissed.

Something is happening on the ground between Ukraine and Russia which has Kirby desperately trying to prepare the American audience for some significant developments on the battlefield that exclusively favor Russia. 

Following a Failed Counteroffensive 

Trying to minimize these gains as “tactical” in nature doesn’t alter the fact that they are taking place in the aftermath of a failed counteroffensive which had been backed by the collective military and economic might of the U.S., NATO and the European Union.

The transition from a major counteroffensive designed to recapture most, if not all, of the territory annexed by Russia, to a defensive posture where Russia is expected to capture even more territory, cannot be written off as “tactical” in nature. This is a strategic shift in fortune which may very well represent the final trajectory for both sides to the conflict.

Vladimir Trukhan is a reserve colonel in the Russian Army affiliated with the Central Military District of Russia who has recently returned from the frontlines of the Special Military Operation. He says the situation on the battlefield is far worse than what has been portrayed by Kirby. 

In a wide-ranging interview on my “Ask the Inspector” podcast earlier this month, Trukhan noted that in Avdiika the Russians aren’t seeking “tactical gains,” but rather operational control of the battlefield designed to create a semi-cauldron to replicate the “meatgrinder” scenario that transpired in and around Bakhmut earlier this year. 

Surrounding Avdiika, Trukhan said, is not the objective. The Russian goal is to put the Ukrainian command in a dilemma, where abandoning Avdiika could lead to the collapse of morale among the Ukrainian defenders and staying could lead to a massive loss of life due to the difficulties associated with reinforcing the garrison. 

In Bakhmut, the Russians were able to kill, wound, or capture more than 70,000 Ukrainian soldiers, representing roughly the number of troops that had been gathered and trained by NATO to carry out the counteroffensive.

Trying to hold on to Avdiika could prove fatal to the entire Ukrainian defensive effort, as the Ukrainian reserves have been depleted and Ukraine is forced to take troops from elsewhere on the line of contact, creating additional offensive opportunities for the Russian soldiers. 

Western Bakhmut during battle on April 5. (, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 4.0)

Kirby made mention of Kupiansk as another area where Russia could achieve some “tactical” success on the battlefield. The Kupiansk battle represents the manifestation of the Russian operational art, an example where Russia was able to exploit a lack of frontline manpower on the part of Ukraine by initiating offensive operations in areas of the battlefield where Ukrainian forces had been thinned out to provide additional manpower to the special military operation. 

Another Semi-Cauldron

In Kupiansk, Russia is seeking to produce another semi-cauldron, a new Bakhmut-like “meat grinder,” which will compel Ukraine to either retreat or commit troops it doesn’t have, exposing another location on the front to Russian offensive operations. 

Aftermath of Russian shelling of Kupiansk, Jan. 25. (Main Directorate of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine in Kharkiv Oblast, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 4.0)

And thus, the cycle repeats, until there is a general collapse along the Ukrainian line of contact.

But this isn’t the most important aspect of what is going on in Kupiansk. Unlike the defeat of the Ukrainian counteroffensive in Zaporizhia, and the semi-cauldron battles of Bakhmut and Avdiika — all of which were fought on territory claimed by Russia and, as such, fulfilling President Vladimir Putin’s stated objective of liberating all Russian land — Kupiansk is unequivocally on Ukrainian soil, part of the Kharkov Oblast. 

While Russia had maintained a military presence in the Kharkov Oblast following its withdrawal in the fall of 2022, this presence was designed to secure the northern territory of the Lugansk Republic more than it was to serve as a springboard for Russian offensive operations. 

Had Ukraine sought a negotiated settlement to the conflict, Trukhan notes, Russia would have withdrawn from the territory of Ukraine. Because Ukraine opted to continue fighting, Russia has gone on the offensive on the territory of Ukraine.

This represents a signal by Moscow that Russia — to secure the safety and security of the ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine — would initiate operations that could result in Ukraine losing five more oblasts to Russian control.

This is a new, critical inflection point in the conflict which is of strategic significance. 

John Kirby can try to dismiss the Russian offensive in Kupiansk as little more than a “tactical” success. It is, instead, a game changing moment in the conflict.

Top Military Ranking 

By focusing on the Special Military Operation, Kirby misses the forest for the trees. U.S. News and World Report, however, has not.

Somehow Russia — whose military, according to western media and Kirby, has been suffering horrendous casualties that have resulted in operational paralysis due to poor morale, ineffective leadership and insufficient logistics — has surpassed the United States as the world’s most powerful military.

This ranking not only belies the notion of Russian incompetence in its conflict against Ukraine, but also reflects the reality — largely ignored in the West — that at the same time Russia is successfully prosecuting its Special Military Operation, it is also expanding its active-duty military force structure from 900,000 to 1.5 million soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. 

 Putin, second from right, during an inspection of military equipment in January 2018. (, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 4.0)

This effort requires not just a massive recruiting effort — at the same time as the fighting in Ukraine — but also a huge effort on the part of the Russian military industrial complex, which is tasked not only with supplying weapons to the Russian forces engaged against Ukraine, but also equipping and logistically supporting an additional force of 600,000 men.

All those new men in uniform, on top of the 300,000 mobilized reservists and 300,000 volunteers for the Special Military Operation — that’s an increase of 1.2 million men under arms at a time the NATO collective struggles to form up a 300,000 rapid reaction force and the United States finds itself some 15,000 recruits shy of a 60,000-recruiting goal

The Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States has just published a final report that finds that the United States needs to dramatically increase the size of its conventional military force.

The question of how this will be done beyond allocating money is not addressed. But even a modest increase of 150,000 men at a time when the U.S. Army is unable to recruit sufficient manpower to sustain the current force structure seems like a mission impossible.

Beyond the lop-sided comparisons of competency when it comes to recruiting and sustaining large numbers of new military formations, the real significance of what Russia is doing was alluded to by Colonel Trukhan, who pointed out that the expansion of Russian military capacity takes a higher priority than the conduct of military operations in the SMO theater of operations.

What this means is that at a time when the collective West — the U.S., NATO and European Union — is struggling to find how to sustain the Ukrainian war effort, Russia has seized the strategic initiative in the SMO even while relegating the SMO to second-tier status. 

Russia’s primary focus is building a military capable of standing up to and defeating the combined forces of the West. Russia’s effort involves the creation of new units, equipped with modern equipment and sustained by the output of the Russian defense industry. 

The West, meanwhile, struggles to transform a military that exists largely on paper or in the imagination of its leaders, into something capable of taking the field in a large-scale ground war in Europe. 

The Russian Army today is combat-hardened, combat-tested and incorporates the myriad of tactical and operational lessons it has learned the hard way over the course of more than 600 days of fighting.

The armies of the collective West, meanwhile, have difficulty getting out of the barracks, are organized and equipped using pre-SMO legacy standards and can sustain themselves for barely two-weeks in the case of large-scale combat.

John Kirby can spin information all day long, but he can never untangle this reality — Russia is winning the war in Ukraine and dominating the U.S. and NATO in terms of overall military strength. Thanks to Vladimir Trukhan, we can get some meaningful insight into the reality of the Russian military, insight that helps sustain the findings of U.S. News and World Report that Russia, not the United States, has the most powerful military in the world.

Scott Ritter is a former U.S. Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. His most recent book is Disarmament in the Time of Perestroika, published by Clarity Press.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

Donate to CN’s
Fund Drive




53 comments for “SCOTT RITTER: John Kirby v. Russian Military

  1. Adam Gorelick
    November 2, 2023 at 20:10

    Washington’s propaganda output is easy to see through if one understands only two of it’s clumsy aspects. Every conflict is presented in an ahistorical bubble. A total lack of context should be apparent to anyone discerning enough to question the likelihood that one of the world’s more intelligent and pragmatic leaders would wake-up one day and decide to invade a neighboring country just to be evil. The other predictable strategy in U.S. obfuscation of reality is an inversion of the facts. Russia, though a major threat to America and global democracy in general, also has an incompetent military that bleeds casualties and morale – presumably undermining Vladimir Putin’s dastardly plans for global domination. Nonetheless, be afraid, be very afraid. Meanwhile Ukraine is a bastion of democracy; it’s incorruptible, freedom loving people fighting valiantly to preserve Western values we all hold dear. That Russia apparently has the world’s most powerful military and Ukraine has had it’s ass handed to it, never fit the narrative. Nor that Ukraine has been over-run with actual Nazis, that never really went away after the Second World War- and American support. Or that said Nazis were slaughtering ethnic Russians in a civil war in the Donbas for eight year prior to the invasion. Or that they rose to powerful positions after the U.S.-backed fascist Maidan Coup – further threatening Russia’s national security. The time for abandoning the U.S./ Russia proxy war, the selling off of large chunks of the smoldering remains to Black Rock, or use of Ukraine as a technocratic dystopia model for the near future West is coming anytime. After all, America has a genocide in the Middle East to finance, a new proxy-war with China, vis a’ vis Taiwan, and possibly World War III.

  2. James White
    November 2, 2023 at 11:54

    While I respect and appreciate anyone who would serve in the U.S. armed forces, I harbor no illusions about the U.S. military. For every Douglas MacGregor or John Mearsheimer there are 3 Lloyd Austins, Mark Milleys or John Kirbys. How John Kirby ever attained the rank of Admiral in the U.S. Navy is beyond me. Even more surprising is that the White House would choose his permanently furrowed brow to lead as media spokesperson for all things military. Apparently they were expecting a lot of bad news. And boy, did Joe Biden deliver. From Afghanistan, to Ukraine to the Middle East and no doubt soon onto the Pacific. The Confounder in Chief has lived up to his reputation of being wrong on absolutely every policy decision. But now with the added peril of extending his incompetence to the very lives of our troops on the line. The U.S. military gets more than a fair share of high quality people. But the closer they get to the top of the chain the more their careers are elevated only by how well they can kiss the asses of corrupt politicians. Any officer with strong leadership qualities need not apply.

  3. SH
    November 1, 2023 at 22:59

    “Half a league, half a league,
    Half a league onward,
    All in the valley of Death
    Rode the six hundred.
    ‘Forward, the Light Brigade!
    Charge for the guns!’ he said.
    Into the valley of Death
    Rode the six hundred.”

    Written about a disastrous foray during the last – Crimean War

  4. Andrew Thomas
    November 1, 2023 at 21:34

    There is considerable evidence that Adeevka will not become the ‘meat grinder’ that Bakhmut was because the Russian plan is to truly starve it out. This is the place from which the artillery has been fired on Donetsk City civilians for nearly ten years. The ‘tactical’ reason to take it away is motivated by stopping this continuous assault upon what are now Russian citizens. Therefore, the plan is not to allow any more troops and supplies into the place, but to destroy them before they can get in. If it turns into a meat grinder that allows the continued shelling of Donetsk City by the Ukrainian army, it will not be because the Russian army wanted it that way. It will be a disaster for Ukraine either way. Abandoning the place now would save tens of thousands of Ukrainian lives, but Zelenskiy will have none of it.

  5. Anon
    November 1, 2023 at 20:28

    Ironic that the very geographic reality which has aided the USA in successful world domination: two huge water bodies separating us from our military rivals… now makes supply line logistics more costly and difficult.
    Bearing in mind that NATO and EU largely have little in the way of war material, one must wonder why American war hawks, many of whom likely also have conflict experience, seem to blithly ignore this most critical strategic factor.
    Uhhh… & just 4 fun… a little alt-history? I mean… What if… America never bought Alaska?
    Tnx Scott Ritter, CN 4 continuing alt- (actual?) Truth!

  6. William F Johnson
    November 1, 2023 at 18:55

    Thanks Scott. Always informative.

  7. Paula
    November 1, 2023 at 14:31

    Why were Israeli special forces in Ukraine? It’s not their fight and I thought Putin was friends with Israel. Surely Putin knows the kind of man he is dealing with in Netanyahu. Netty has no alliances he wouldn’t throw under a bus.

  8. Realist
    November 1, 2023 at 13:24

    What’s even more amazing, and I’m surprised that Admiral Kirby is too modest to mention this personally, President Putin was so distraught over all this Ukrainian/American/Nato success that he allegedly died of a cardiac arrest! At least his demise was noted on-line all across the world wide web (of deceit). His subsequent resurrection, however, seems little noted across the intertubes.

    • Valerie
      November 1, 2023 at 18:10

      Funny, i thought he fell down the stairs and soiled his pants, then died of cancer. OMGodzilla Realist, we really must keep track of things. They change so frequently.

  9. Smedley
    November 1, 2023 at 12:49

    This is war of attrition. Thus, it will end similar to World War One, another war of attrition. What happens is that one side simply ‘runs out’. Of stuff. Of people. Of Ammo. Of Morale. Of Everything. No dramatic breakthroughs. Just that one side ‘runs out’ before the other.

    In 1918, on the Western Front, Kaiser’s Germany felt compelled to launch a big offensive to try to win the war. They failed. They had more success than the Ukrainians have had. They actually moved the lines on the map. But they still failed. After that, the front began to move backwards on them. Not in any huge breakthrough, but instead just start to creak and give way. Too many commanders calling for reserves that were no longer there, so they got pushed back from their positions.

    The Ukrainians are now starting to call up the people who were not fit for the military before. They are trying to get the EU to send their refugees back to serve in the Army. The ‘west’ can’t make artillery shells fast enough. The front is starting to creak. All those reserves are now burning tanks in the summer fields.

    This means a big risk of escalation. The western politicians have said that they can not allow Russia to win. But, Russia is winning That means these western politicians can either escalate with NATO troops filling the growing shortages on the front. Or they can admit that Russia has won, which they have sworn can not be allowed to occur. What will NATO decide … accept defeat, or escalate?

    Got that bomb shelter dug yet?

    • James White
      November 3, 2023 at 13:32

      All of Europe got sucked into this stupid war in the very same way that all of Europe got sucked into the stupid First World War. By creating an intricate web of alliances between competing power groups of European nations large and small. Once the trap was set, a fairly isolated incident between two competing interests set all of Europe ablaze. Almost every single book ever written about WW1 begins with this premise. Completely ignoring this first and central lesson of WW1, NATO was created in 1949 to offer the best chance that the entire idiotic exercise would be duplicated. The same manic, war fever again gripped all of Europe two years ago at the outset of the conflict and now the grim reality of war has once again begun to set in.

  10. Randal Marlin
    November 1, 2023 at 12:20

    Presenting Russia as having superior military powers is an old trope used to scare gullible Americans into fattening the defense budget.
    I would be wary of taking USN&WR’s story at face value.

    • anaisanesse
      November 1, 2023 at 14:39

      The USA thinks that spending lots of money makes the “defense” system better. Evidence over the years shows that this is false. Russia makes weapons to win wars, not to make money for the MIC.

    • Andrew Thomas
      November 1, 2023 at 21:13

      Agreed. In the specific area of this kind of war, Russia may well have no current peer. However, this does not extend into other areas in which the US holds a significant advantage. And, those being the areas most profitable for the military industrial &intelligence complex, they will have the vast majority of increased military spending thrown at them. Unless this misleading report is memory-holed, it will be used for this purpose, as you say. Missile Gap redux. BS 63 years ago. BS now.

  11. nwwoods
    November 1, 2023 at 12:14

    Kirby: “…and we need to remember that Russia still maintains some offensive capability and may be able to achieve some tactical gains in the coming months.”
    Lol…One wonders if Admiral Kirby is in any way related to the Kirby vacuum cleaner brand, because he sucks.

    • Andrew Thomas
      November 1, 2023 at 21:13


  12. torture this
    November 1, 2023 at 12:07

    You’re welcome, Russia!

    • Smedley
      November 1, 2023 at 14:12

      Shocking, you mean the Russians might have a winter offensive? :)

      That is of course unheard of. As long as you’ve never heard of either Napoleon or Hitler, that is. The Russians have an old habit of thinking of winter as an ally. In the American military, you can apparently get that uniform and all that shiny stuff without knowing a bit of history.

      What I find interesting is that they are attacking now, even before the fall muddy season. I’d have had half expected them to sit and wait for winter. They appear to be feeling very confident, if they didn’t even wait for General Winter to arrive on the battlefield.

  13. Janet
    November 1, 2023 at 10:30

    And the interesting thing in the U.S. News and World Report article was the spending estimates: Russia has the #1 military in the world at a fraction of the cost of the US’s #2 military.

    • Gordon Hastie
      November 1, 2023 at 12:26

      Very interesting indeed! I somehow doubt that nugget will be repeated on MSNBC, CNN etc

      • Smedley
        November 1, 2023 at 13:58

        Military Industrial Complex Television.
        No, that conflicts too much with Disney (aka ABCnews) which is already “Mickey Mouse News.”
        Not to be confused with Warner (aka CNN) which is “Bugs Bunny News.”
        But still, there’s something there … MIC-TV as a group … I can’t just put my finger on it. Is there a poet in the house?

  14. Dude
    November 1, 2023 at 10:04

    The Truth Shall Set You Free. Great article, it was a foregone conclusion.

    I know: Reality sucks

    • Robert
      November 1, 2023 at 19:38

      The 8 Dead Ukrainian Heroes of Snake Island died, were given post death medals, and then when Russia said you can have them back they were resurrected and given medals in real life. So Putin’s death and resurrection is not unusual in that neck of the woods. Maybe something in the water.

  15. Teleman
    November 1, 2023 at 10:01

    Well come on Generals let’s move fast, your big chance has come at last. Gotta go out and get those Reds cause the only good Commie is one that’s dead. And you know that peace can only be won if we blow them all to kingdom come. — Country Joe and the Fish.
    We’ve learned nothing from the 60’s.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      November 1, 2023 at 11:51

      Some of us HAVE learned from the 60s. Those of us who are protesting against war (again). Watch out for that “we” word. The government of the U.S. is not us. The government of the U.S. doesn’t give a damn about us. I really hate people who use “we” when talking about the corrupt and violent empire. Not in my name, buster.

  16. Steve
    November 1, 2023 at 09:13

    What is self evident, IMO, is that when the mighty US forces, or the mighty NATO forces, or the mighty IDF comes up against a determined foe then, even with all their hi-tech toys, they rapidly fall to bits. Their might has been based upon the model of the playground bully rather than the seasoned fighter. One good punch in the face and the bully panics and runs away.
    Maybe it’s time for the USA(and West) to grow up and exercise some common sense and mature behaviour.
    If america wants to be great again then it has to learn humility and respect for non americans and set examples that decent people can believe in and relate to.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      November 1, 2023 at 11:52

      The United States (which is only a part of “America”) is a dying empire. I hope it dies soon. It has become a danger to the entire planet.

      • Smedley
        November 1, 2023 at 13:04

        Danger to this sector of the Galaxy.

        If humans got off this planet, it would be a repeat of Columbus and Colonization. The ‘explorers’ would be funded by oligarchs, expecting reports on all the gold and riches that were found. It would be a ‘for-profit’ enterprise. Just like the throne of the Spanish Empire expected reports of gold and spices from Columbus, today’s oligarchs would expect the same. Nothing has changed. If anything, it has gotten worse.

  17. Daniel Good
    November 1, 2023 at 08:48

    Nowhere in the main stream discourse are questons asked about where the hundreds of billions in defense spending went over the past decades. That spending was surely one of the biggest factors in fooling NATO partners, and everyone else, into believing the US had their back. Is it not time to complete the audit of the Pentagon? Before long the new Central European NATO partners will realize their interests may not be on the side of NATO after all.

    • Janeway
      November 1, 2023 at 12:36

      Don’t forget that Rumsfeld admitted the Pentagon ‘could not track’ $2.3 Trillion on September 10, 2001. (Since it was not ‘lost’ it was only unable to be tracked – fact checkers love to rest on that).

      Being unable to track Trillions in defense spending – it’s a feature, not a bug!

      • Robert
        November 1, 2023 at 16:08

        I’m a retired auditor and can confidently state that both a privately or publicly held business would consider “unable to be tracked” in an audit report as just a euphemism for theft. The US Department of Defense is notorious among government agencies for its inability to account for inventory and for paying contractors high prices for products and services. Our media likes to discuss waste and fraud in the Russian military. I don’t think Russia comes anywhere near the US in that category.

        • Valerie
          November 1, 2023 at 18:28

          Remember those pallets of money in Iraq? Didn’t they disappear? Or is that something else i’m thinking of? There’s so much skullduggery it’s hard to keep up. And hard to differentiate between fact and fiction. And now we have AI.!!!!!!

        • Ricardo2000
          November 3, 2023 at 13:49

          My guess is the US government doesn’t employ competent accountants or auditors. The Pentagon hides behind arrogant “national security” BS.
          America’s military is like all their “allies”, it only exists to rob the locals.

      • Peter Loeb
        November 2, 2023 at 09:21

        Read Tim Weiner’s “Blank Check” about the black budget.

    • Smedley
      November 1, 2023 at 13:15

      I laugh every time I hear that some EU power is raising their defense budget … then you hear they also agreed to buy F-35’s. Nothing like a bunch of overpriced junk to spend the public’s money. That’s been the ‘story’ that can not be talked about in America … that even when the money can be accounted for, what they bought was overpriced junk.

      Another verse in that Country Joe McDonald’s song …. “there’s plenty of good money, to be made, selling the Army, the tools of the trade.”

      Nobody says it has to work. The officers in the Army already are lining up their Defense contractor jobs for after they retire, and all the Congress is bought by those same contractors. The civilians in the DOD are on revolving doors to those contractors, or their think tanks. Which means they all only care about the size of the moneybags going to the contractors. Nobody says the stuff has to actually work.

      Too bad we didn’t use the money to give teachers and nurses a raise instead.

  18. TP Graf
    November 1, 2023 at 07:45

    What has surprised me (though given our countries jingoism, not too surprising) is how long it has taken for our young adults to awaken to all the reasons NOT to join the military. In my lifetime from Vietnam onward, the rich and powerful of our country have seen the poor and patriotic into one Bakhmut after another. We have carelessly expended the lives of our soldiers and diabolically slaughtered “the enemy” by the millions under our bombs. Once home from the battlefield our troops live with the weight of our national crimes through physical and mental disability and too often homelessness and despair.

    Of course, our government will fix its recruitment problem sooner rather than later. I have little doubt the draft is coming back and a war with Iran will be plenty to get it going.

    Is it just me? Kirby and Blinken look like AI programmed automatons who, no matter the question or the atrocity, coldly give a machine reply to every inhumane act we commit and spout every talking-point lie no matter the facts on the ground.

    • Smedley
      November 1, 2023 at 13:24

      I wish people wouldn’t insult AIs. Personally, I think that if we were ruled by AIs, they’d make much smarter decisions. They simply could not be as dumb as what we are seeing. Even random chance would make a good decision every once in awhile.

      And, an AI could fake compassion and caring much better than these two botox dudes.

    • Robert
      November 1, 2023 at 16:14

      Yes, Kirby and Blinken come across exactly as you described. But I feel compelled to add the King of that category: Jake Sullivan.

  19. Eagle
    November 1, 2023 at 07:40

    Russia destroyed the Ukrainian army by mid-May 2022, Ukraine has long been only a supplier of the “body” component for the Nato proxy war (armament, command, intelligence, supply, targeting, maintenance) with Russia. More than 1.24 million Ukrainian men died, and about 14.8 thousand Russian (but Russia also captured 8.1 million former Ukrainian citizens, replenishing its demographic potential; also, mortality is constantly decreasing in Russia, and in 2023 it is the lowest in history, in pm lower than in 2019). About 88% of Nato’s combat-ready land potential has been destroyed in this proxy war, and in February Russia will finish off the remnants. There were no “bitter lessons” for Russia, from the very beginning, as it went according to the developed plan, so it goes. From the very beginning, everything was fine with equipment, intelligence, training, etc. Only small details are being polished – improvement, of course, is constantly happening and will always happen. Only God is perfect

  20. Kobus Olivier
    November 1, 2023 at 03:40

    Another brilliant article by Scott, sticking to the facts and reality. Something Blinken can’t do, because that would be admitting the failure of the Ukrainian counteroffensive and defeat.

    • Smedley
      November 1, 2023 at 13:34


      It should be plural. This was multiple attacks along the front, and each was a recreation of the bloody Somme, with generals sending the troops forward time after day after day, week after week, with the strange belief that ‘one more good push’ would lead ‘to the breakthrough’.

      The singular form helps to hide the horror that the idiot generals have created. Which is why of course the MSM uses it. The PR flaks have learned, even if the generals haven’t … they don’t call something “The 11th Battle of the Isonzo” anymore. Just like even though we are in year 23 of The Forever Wars, you don’t hear it called ‘The Thirty Years War” or anything like that.

  21. ISL
    November 1, 2023 at 03:28

    Scott, always appreciated your analysis. I would also add that Russian military now has experience defeating many NATO systems; however, the reverse is largely not the case.

  22. Afdal
    November 1, 2023 at 03:13

    I hope such an assertion doesn’t give the military-industrial-congressional complex the perfect excuse to blow up military spending even more than they do on an annual basis.

  23. Jeff Harrison
    November 1, 2023 at 00:46

    Thanx, Scott. Following MoA, The Duran, yourself, and the Russian and Chinese press as well as CN, I’ve gathered that the Ukies are sucking wind. I think the big thing that our, ah, leadership is preparing us for is throwing the Ukies under the bus.

    But I think that the really new variable is Gaza. If the Arab nations and Iran step in, Israel and the US could easily be sucking wind. In the meantime our long desired war with China recedes into the distance as we consume more munitions and come under increasing attack in Iraq and Syria – where we have no authority to be – and I doubt that many will come to our aid.

    Of course, the US could just stop being the world’s asshole and stop shooting for global hegemony.

    • robert e williamson jr
      November 1, 2023 at 21:04

      The perfect example of real evidence that our leadership is ineffective inept, delusional resulting in them being in effective in their pursuits. You have nailed the causes for this “worlds asshole” condition by explaining to them the right thing to do.

      This idiots should listen up and stop this friggin’, “super power” Bullshit ASAP.

      In parting Jeff I learned long ago it takes very little “exceptional talent” to be an asshole, we are all capable with little or no effort on our part.

      Thanks CN

  24. Dr. Hujjathullah M.H.B. Sahib
    November 1, 2023 at 00:25

    Good to know that the U.S. News and World Report has distinguished itself from the Western MSM rot by being surprisingly objective and honest. Whether it is meat grindering on or a strategic game changer, Russia is clearly coming out tops and NATO should be ashamed of brainlessly sacrificing precious lives in pursuit of mere lucre !

    • Guest
      November 2, 2023 at 11:22

      They’re not necessarily being objective and honest. They’re getting us ready for a massive increase in “Defense” spending

  25. gcw919
    October 31, 2023 at 23:38

    Ritter writes, “The Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States has just published a final report that finds that the United States needs to dramatically increase the size of its conventional military force.”

    Here’s a thought: It is hard to conceive of anyone invading or attacking the US, with its thousands of nuclear weapons(for better or worse). As such, we probably need a small fraction of our current military. For decades, as the World’s Policeman, we have accounted for millions of lost lives, and trillions of dollars wasted, all to maintain an empire that serves the needs of a relatively few, while our own citizens languish in an ever-growing divide between the rich and the rest of us. We need to stop the fear-mongering (I’m old enough to remember the Yellow Peril that threatened the West Coast), and start focusing of the very real and threatening problems (EG Climate Change) that should be getting our attention. Otherwise, we are on the path of self-destruction, and for what?

    • ThisOldMan
      November 1, 2023 at 14:24

      Those whom the Gods would destroy, they first make mad.

  26. Miggs
    October 31, 2023 at 22:20

    All Russia wanted to do was protect Russian ethnic people residing in eastern Ukraine that the Ukrainian government wants to rid itself of.

    It’s why Ukraine bombed them mercilessly for 8 years before Russia intervened and thus prevented Ukraine from entering and engaging in ethnic cleansing in eastern Ukraine.

    The US seeing its proxy Ukraine facing certain defeat, has pivoted to the mid-Easast.

    Evypt told Israel recently that Hames was coming. Lot’s of people that as well.

    Dark forces in Israel allowed such to happen as there’s no way that Hamas could possibly break-out out of their prison given the multiple levels of sensors and human spies.

    Until one deals with that fact they can’t begin to see what’s next.

    As the neo-cons who control US foreign policy hope to suck Iran into the conflict. That was obvious on day one when the Neo-quickly pointed the finger at Iran. They have manipulated Biden into taken the bait by supporting Israel as the hope to draw Iran into firing missiles so they so Israel can destroy Iran, and have hopes of drawing Russia into the frey. .

    This is a possible three act play. Stay tuned.

    • Litchfield
      November 1, 2023 at 12:09

      ” Egypt told Israel recently that Hames was coming. Lot’s of people that as well.

      Dark forces in Israel allowed such to happen as there’s no way that Hamas could possibly break-out out of their prison given the multiple levels of sensors and human spies. ”

      It is important to connect Ukraine and Gaza dots. Not that I have a good enough understanding to be able to do it. It took awhile to understand how the Syria and Ukraine dots were connected.

      We are still talking about the same two regions of the world, so there must be ongoing connections.

      My basic question at this point:
      Why in the world would Egypt want to help Israel commit ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians?
      As the US and Israel seemed to fondly hope?

      • Miggs
        November 2, 2023 at 08:42

        Egypt told Israel that Hamas was going to attack in the hope that Israel would prevent Hames from escaping from their enclosure.

        As for Hamas, one has to understand that Israel funded Hamas in 2006 as the Israel government preferred Hamsas to the PLO because Israel doesn’t want a two-state solution and the PLO does, and Hamas doesn’t because it’s religiously based.

        Also, it appears that some of the Hamas leaders were pro western, as Hamas did US and Israel bidding by going to Syria in 2012 and 2017 to fight and try to overthrow the Syrian government.

        Israeli dark had to have allowed Hamas to breakout of their enclosure as both they were told it was coming by Egypt, and Israeli security is surely better US prisons where no prisoner has recently escaped. .

        These dark devious Israeli’s sacrificed the lives of their people in order to gain the support of the populace, to advance the goals of those who want only a one Israel policy, and oppose a two state solution.

        US neocons and the Israel government also hope to take out Iran, and US forces are now positioned to do so if Iran joins the fray.

        This is the ugly world we live in. The US should have no part in this.

    • robert e williamson jr
      November 2, 2023 at 12:08

      I beg to correct and over site of fact here. Biden was not manipulated into supporting Israel my friend a democratic neocon, one of many and a self professed Zionist I’m sure he is in lock step with the Department of Defense and certain CIA officials in their insanely driven policies around the world, per the Deep States wishes.

      Other wise I read you 5X5 (loud and clear).

      Be safe friend.

      Thanks CN

Comments are closed.