What good is a turret without a tank under it?

They’ve seen better days.

 

Proxy Wars

There are a number of private military corporations (PMC) that are now present in Ukraine, keeping a low profile. I have no idea what they are ALL doing in specific,  but it’s the newest thing in modern warfare. Yes, there were the famous Genoese crossbowmen and the Swiss Pikemen in antiquity. Plenty of English longbowmen sold their skill as well, but by the 1900’s it was all about state-sponsored militaries. In the late 1900s and 2000s, it changed. When people don’t want to get their hands dirty, they hire the job to be done by private armies.

After the pull-out from Afghanistan where the PMCs flourished, there is suddenly a new war for them to fight in. It begs the question of who fights better, the Ukraine Army or the mercenaries in their ranks?

The going rate is $2,000 (£1,523) per day – plus skillset bonus – to the ground pounders (double that for supervisors, triple for managers) plus offensive hardware and other associated expenses. The overhead for war is very high.

The extraction business is one, sending mercenaries forward to the kinetic point of contact is quite another but there is a lot of money out there. Some of it comes from Ukrainian oligarchs, some of it from the secret warfare budgets of MI-6, Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure – DGSE and CIA. Usually, it’s deniable.

There are 710 Ukrainians in the French Foreign Legion. Rumor control has it that the French allowed them to separate from national service to go and fight (being paid from a different and more obtuse pocket) in Ukraine.  To save French face, they were labeled as “deserters”.

There is a bidding war in some quarters for these well-trained Franco-Ukrainian troops who once wore the colors of France, speak the language fluently, and know the country and its people. There is also a deeply embedded hatred for Russia. See, they’re perfect and can wear any uniform you give them and if anyone asks, they’re Ukrainian Army.

The Ukrainian Legion generally takes the people that the PMCs don’t want.

 

Follow the Money

 

Life Inside (a continuation of a thread on Thursday)

In many countries – don’t ask me how many, but many, inmates doing time in prison must buy their food. If they don’t have the money, their families must contribute. One of the jobs delegated to the USSTATE is to make sure that Americans incarcerated overseas don’t starve to death. If you can’t pay, you can offer what you have to inmates who have the ability to pay. They sponsor you.

In Mexico, some wealthy cartel magnates have their own chef, can pay for female companions who spend time with them in prison, and book suites of cells. It’s very much pay to play.

Rafael Caro Quintero (Rafa), is DEA’s most wanted. Mexico released him from custody and he’s running around but back when he was in prison, he got weekends out of prison. He used to attend parties. I had a source close to the situation and advised DEA usually two or three weeks in advance where he would be partying. They couldn’t get him on their own and the Mexican Army wasn’t interested in capturing him and taking him back to prison. They’d tell the DEA SAC (or Assistant Director depending on the timeframe I’m referring to) that he’d be back in prison on Monday or Tuesday if he was hungover.

DEA hated Rafa, still does, but he was a respected man, referred to as Don Rafa. Wealthy Mexican people fought over his schedule and his presence was in demand at parties.

Crime and punishment are very relative things.

 

Woke Picture of the Day

 

Of Note

Commander Salamander writes: “I’m embarrassed for myself, my Navy, my nation, and for our friends for showing them so much disrespect by showing up as their guest like some late-Soviet trawler.”

It’s a good commentary on American greatness in the Brandon era.

 

22 COMMENTS

  1. The price of scrap metal in my area, as of yesterday, is $220/ton. I’m sure that tank would scale out to a pretty decent payday, if a guy had a way to load and transport it to the recycle center. We used to produce all of our domestic needs plus export steel. Our road to foreign dependence has been a long strange trip.

    • The Globalists and One-World Advocates were able to ruin much of what we had. President Trump tried to bring back steel. I honestly don’t know what has happened there, after Brandon took over. We exported a lot of things – once. We still export food/grain, but with the green lobby shutting down fertilizer plants, maybe no longer?

      It’s like electric cars. We can’t come close to producing the number of batteries needed without resources from China and Africa. To me, that means it is not a viable option. We can produce nuclear powerplants and fuel them, so we can/should do that.

      • Been reviewing gate openers for a couple of projects, both solar operated (no AC), some use 12vdc and some use 24vdc (batts in series). The normal 12vdc package includes (1) 10w solar panel and (1) 7ah battery, two for 24vdc units. We are in Zone 3, lots of sun, but to a manufacturer they suggest an additional panel and batteries. More cost.

        We have reliable power, at least until the Dem’s make the full switch to wind and solar as they want to do. My power pole is 300’ feet away, i could use my Harbor Freight coupon, get a bunch of decent extension cords for $80 and plug the opener in, use the solar/batt set up only as backup.

        I can’t make power cheaper and more reliable than REA, which is why we install three poles when building the house, solar would have been twice as much and the batteries replaced at least twice (more cost).

        • Be careful about running an ac motor at the end of a very long extension cord. Because of the voltage drop, the motor is getting less power, but still trying to run at full speed — hard on the motor.

          You might consider the solar/DC option with a backup battery charger at the end of the extension cord.

          You might also consider talking to a real electrician instead of listening to me.

          • You are correct, a consideration with voltage drop over that distance through stranded cords, and rodents chewing on it, deer tripping over it, etc. Running a 12ga UF-B line with a GFCI would be best. But I was being semi-tongue in cheek…substituting solar for a robust power source (depending on application) requires more than a cord plugged into a circuit, with the added potential for failure and more maintenance. Even wireless sensors and keypads require someone to go out and replace the batteries. Th8s aspect is lost on the “renewable” crowd.

          • The gate at the White Wolf Mine is hooked up to the grid. It breaks down in heavy snow, but I can throw down a spike strip (under the snow) when the gate is left open. People should heed the signs.

          • You mind me asking what mfr/model you have? Swing or sliding? (I’m using dual swing, prefer the aesthetics). Did a full comparison spreadsheet including op temps, IP ratings, etc., cost over the four different ones is within a few hundred dollars with all the extras added in (bundle dependent). Don’t need a Liftmaster or US Automatic level unit, so Ghost Controls and Might Mule Heavy Duty are tops on my list thusfar.

          • I am reminded of a welding cell I was installing. We had a 24vdc power supply on one end but devices were failing on the other end at 15vdc.
            I suggested doubling up the supply wire. The boss insisted on a $1000 40Amp power supply.
            You know how the story ends.

        • Consider carefully how wide a gate you really need.

          Then buy a wider one.

          Do not ask me how I know this.

          • Agreed, most people don’t plan well for access or turn around. We get hay semi’s in our place. The plan is for 16ft+ width using dbl 8’ gates and a 75’ lead in. The dbl opener helps speed up the gate swing time.

            Didn’t mean to co-opt the blog with this, the solar aspect should work well for the application, but it requires more components and maintenance over grid power.

  2. Who is funding all the uproar around the Black Sea? Is it even possible to follow the money? What return do the moneybags expect? Way over the head of this retired car peddler, who long ago learned to find the cash source in any deal.

    • It can be difficult to tell the players without a program. It’s just about as complex as Syria when you consider the interests of the Moldovan mafia, various Ukrainian mafia groups, the Russian railway mafia, and others, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Russian Orthodox Church, Orthodox Church HQ in Turkey (Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople), the Russian Federation (Moscow), the Russian oligarchs, the Ukrainian oil magnates, the Ukrainian government (Kiev), Turkey, Romania, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, USA, China, UK, France, The Big Guy & Hunter, etc.

  3. Turrets. When I was in uniform, one of my barracks roomies was a tank turret repairman. In repair school, they were admonished about the importance of their work–“If the main gun is inoperative, what you have is a 52-ton self propelled radio”.

    • RHT, in the Air Force we used to call fast movers without munitions low capacity unscheduled airlines.

  4. i’ve seen tank turrets mounted on pillbox style fortifications. saw one in africa mounted on the back of a very large flatbed. i doubt they ever had gonads to fire it though.

  5. That second tank is missing most/if not all of the ‘reactive’ armor on the right side. Guessing they took a hit from a missile on that side. Re the Cable, she’s 44 years old and hasn’t been back to the states in years. No wonder she looks so bad!

  6. Question. Why would AZOV and Right Sector fight under the degenerate banner of Zelensky? Shouldn’t they be on the other side? Maybe it’s a paymastzhir issue.

    • Tuesday the Azov regiment is up for discussion here. I think that they are more the victim of bad press than anything else.

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