The Cost of War, etc.

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The Cost of War

The Viet Nam War began as a “police action”.  The Gulf of Tonkin Incident, which we now know was a sham pretext followed.

In 1995 Vietnam released its official estimate of the number of people killed during the Vietnam War: as many as 2,000,000 civilians on both sides and some 1,100,000 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong fighters. The U.S. military has estimated that between 200,000 and 250,000 South Vietnamese soldiers died.  Total American losses were 58,220 (including 9,107 who died in accidents in the theater).

After ALL that carnage and national treasure, what was left to show for it?

There is a lesson in this but it doesn’t seem that anyone has learned from it.


A Shiny New Krasukha 4!

According to photos shared on social media, the control unit of a Krasukha 4 electronic warfare system, (formerly) belonging to the Russian army, was captured by Ukrainian soldiers in the northern part of the city of Makarov, near Kiev. The photo was taken at least a week ago,  which means it’s likely now in Western hands, being dissected. The seized system is a control unit for an electronic warfare system “1RL257 Krasukha-4”.

The system is used to prevent radars and satellites from monitoring airborne early warning aircraft to monitor conflict zones. Operating in the 8kHz-18GHz band, Krasukha 4 has the range effectively to disrupt low Earth orbit [LEO] satellites and can cause permanent damage to targeted radio-electronic devices.

The system’s targets include low-Earth orbit radar reconnaissance satellites, ground-based search and scanning radars, aircraft-based early warning radars, and radar-guided munitions. The system also can destroy the enemy’s EW systems.

Sorry Ivan.


Q and A

Q – Is it just me or are the Russians using their outdated tanks in Ukraine?

A – Unfortunately for the Russians, the T-72B3 and T-80BVMs they’re throwing into Ukraine are their most modern MBTs.

Q – What about the T-14?

A – They’ve built 20 at last count. (there have been over 10,000 M-1 Abrams built for comparison) They promise to be better than the tanks in service now, and it would be fun to see them in action in Ukraine, but it’s unlikely that the Russians would offer what few they have up for destruction and humiliation.

The only T-80UM2 prototype was destroyed by the Ukrainians in combat, which gives a good indication of the Russian losses.

It was destroyed on March 17, or its remains were uncovered on this date. The tank is rumored to have been knocked out in Sumy Oblast, in northeastern Ukraine, apparently in the vicinity of the town of Trostyanets.

The T-80UM2 is said to have been part of a larger column of Russian vehicles that came under attack by the Ukrainian Armed Forces and photos show destroyed trucks alongside the T-80UM2. Its turret was knocked off and its hull burnt out, although it’s not immediately clear how it was hit and by what.


WSJ Report

(The Wall Street Journal) NATO says that up to 40,000 Russian troops have been killed, wounded, taken prisoner or are missing in Ukraine, said a senior military official from the alliance.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization calculates the figure based on information provided by Ukrainian authorities and information obtained from Russia–both officially and unintentionally, the official said.

NATO estimates that between 7,000 and 15,000 Russian soldiers have been killed since the invasion began on Feb. 24. Using statistical averages from past conflicts that for every casualty roughly three soldiers are wounded, NATO analysts reach their total figure.


F-16 Nuclear Consent Switch


Identify the Tank



46 thoughts on “The Cost of War, etc.

  1. Obviously a Leopard 2 of some sort, I think it’s the Swedish Stridsvagen 122.

    Nice the Ukes caught that big EW truck, the Russians have been going on about how awesome their EW gear is, now we can see. Of course they always bragged about all their other army gear too, and I think that one’s finally in the grave.

    The Russians do have some T-90s in Ukraine, they’re a little newer than the -72 and -80. I expect India is not as happy about all the ones they bought, as previously. Not that they had a ton of options. Arjun is no world-beater.


    1. Congratulations!
      The uniform is a strong hint pointing to Sweden.
      Otherwise the STRIDSVAGN 122 is pretty much a 1:1 version of the LEOPARD 2 A4, excepting some minor details like the rangefinder optics and the radio antennas.
      Well done indeed — it is always a pleasure to meet a connaisseur.

      1. Kle beat you to the punch, Martin. Both are right.

        The Russians lost a few T-90s in Eastern Ukraine and some have been captured. Their performance in actual combat was on par with the other MBTs that they brought to the fight. The crews abandoned functioning tanks once those around them started burning. I’m sure that somebody’s ass was roasted over that – or maybe not. The Russians are suffering from the disease of denial. Of course, by this point, the bandaid has been ripped off.

        1. The Pentagon needs to hire those two, and a couple of others who chime in here…some expert consultants are much needed or our military will end up like Russia’s.

          1. Our woke generals at the top are the problem. They would definitely not like to hear from the un-woke who visit this blog.

          2. Or you…vastly qualified. But as you mentioned, it’s never about who’s right for the job (male/female/non-biological, race, or intellect aside)…so guess they’re not calling you either. But if they did the billable hours would be enormous straightening out their mess, could buy Epstein’s old island, I hear it has a mosque looking thing…you’d be closer to woke.

          3. Sir,
            I take it that you mean me but I would politely decline that offer.
            I would not last an hour in today’s woke gender-oriented and politically correct environment in the Pentagon (and most other MinDef) before someone kicked me out.
            I am better off here in Africa: I do not have to shovel snow and life is easy here … compared to most other places.

          4. Hehe…doubtful any of us would…end of day would require an extra long shower. I get the “no shoveling” thing, here in Colorado warmer weather has arrived, but we know it’s just a tease for heavy Spring snows and wild temp swings. But we never complain about getting moisture.

          5. Ha, no – I have no qualifications, I am just a hobbyist.

            I also doubt I could swim in the Shit Sea, and they would not like my opinions, anyway.

            But thanks for the compliment!

  2. We had to destroy the village of SE Asia to save it, Larry. Not that I’m bitter about it or anything.
    But I betcha ten bucks that number for ARVN KIA is too low.

    1. Somewhere, somebody has the accurate number, but I’m sure that it’s TS/NOFORN/WNINTEL/LIMDIS/ORCON, etc. The numbers on US casualties is about as accurate and public as it’s going to get. I don’t doubt them. Then there are the secret wars in Laos, Cambodia, Burma, etc. We almost fought the war in Laos to the last Laotian male, and left Cambodia with Pol Pot and the “killing fields”. Those numbers aren’t included because nobody has anywhere near an accurate count beyond “many millions”.

      It’s time for a shameless plug for the novel WHITE POWDER: A Novel of the CIA and the Secret War in Laos (see the sidebar, right).

      1. Known only to God are the true numbers of Asian casualties on all sides. Lest we forget. And mostly we (as a country) never knew or cared in the first place.

        White Powder very good, like the rest of your stuff, of course……

        1. No, the philosophy was that inside every Vietnamese was an American trying to get out. If you reversed that, the generals who promoted that bullshit would have been completely offended – and clueless.

          1. Knew some South Vietnamese officers, back in 1985ish. When slightly drunk, the stories they told were very scary. The numbers of heads collected by one officer’s unit was measured in truckloads. Very believable. And we pissed it all away.

            The name “Cronkite” was a cursed word, banned and almost as bad as mentioning “CHE!” in certain sections of Miami.

            We fucked up monumentally there. Between stupid ROE and other bullscat (just like in Iraq and Afghanistan) we caused so much damage to ourselves.

            One of my good friends was in Vietnam. His stories of blowing up elephants (95% chance of secondary explosions) were humorous and dark as copulation.

            So much thrown away, and then thrown away again in ’75.


  3. I read somewhere that one of the new T14’s (Armata?) was used in Syria and was destroyed or disabled. The generals have to know they would be taken out quickly if they sent them to Ukraine and the last thing they want is for the west to get ahold of one. The Brits and Americans have sent thousands of Javelins and other anti-tank weaponry to the Ukrainians and they seem to have learned how to use them. It’s a target-rich environment apparently, with lone Russian tanks slowly cruising down streets with no infantry support. Wiz…bang…ka-boom….run away, tovarich! I’m also sure that US and Brit spec. ops are in country doing what they do best.

    1. There are also the 700+ French Foreign Legionnaires, born in Ukraine, released by the French to go back home and fight the Russians.

  4. the russians accidentally posted the death toll as 9800 and change but immediately pulled it down….i’d been suspect of putin’s vaunted new armor since they broke down on the parade route and had to call out techs from the manufacturer to get them restarted. and i’ve read reports that they, like china, have some very high tech coolguy stuff but only enough of it for one small unit. the fact that they have to bring hessians along on their little invasion should be telling as well. but i find it mind-boggling that their commo, logistics, discipline and even leadership sucks so badly. one russian general was complaining his recon was being destroyed so he had no eyes on the ground and therefore would not advance. that is what lost lee at gettysburg and the war along with it.

    1. The recon consists of companies of Russian armored infantry advancing in their buttoned-up BMPs, and yes, they’re blown up. As you know, leg infantry needs to move in and take out the AT gunners. Since there is no armor/infantry coordination with artillery because coms don’t work, they have a big problem.

  5. here’s a thought no one is talking about….
    most of the high tech equiptment the russians are building is for the export market. they cannot afford to build this high tech stuff for their own army, without money from sales to foriegn customers.
    so how are they going to replace all those lost tanks, apcs and rocket launchers to sustain a long(er) engagement…..and what happens when they run out of equiptment??

    1. A lot of their export tanks and ammo are complete crap. I take what you’re saying. They advertise how inexpensive their gear is and it’s bought by countries on a budget. It works against unarmed peasants.

      I strongly doubt that what they’re losing to combat/capture/abandoned because of mech failure will be easily replaced. The front is stalled. They’re hoping to win with artillery alone and their arty isn’t precise. Sitting outside any major city and lobbing rounds at random will not get them where they want to go.

      1. Wonder if the Ruskies could get me a Hydra-6 knockoff for a decent price? (my mood this morning)

      2. We’ve known that ‘chimp’ versions of their equipment was shit, but now we find out their home-stuff, supposedly the prime bestest they can make, is also shit. Who knew? (Except anyone who could read between the lines of their own propaganda.)

        As to the T-14, well, it’s most likely a POS just like all Russian equipment. All paper and vapor, no real substance. And Russia can’t afford to build them.

        Sucks to be Russia right now. And sucks to be everyone else, with an increasingly paranoid and insane nuclear-armed Russia.

        1. Russia, with a massive inferiority complex, does try to make cool war machines now, but the T-14 along with their stealth fighter, are prototypes and may never be ready for prime time. They’re part of the vast Potemkin Village that is modern Russia.

          I think this is my point, Beans. It’s a LOT of frontline Russian equipment against Ukrainians with more or less the same equipment in much fewer numbers. Putin was right, it should have been a cakewalk to Kiev, but it wasn’t. So far Russia’s biggest enemy is Russia, and Western aid fits in somewhere down the line. They should have air supremacy and don’t. They should be able to push the Ukrainians around, and can’t. The men drink the brake fluid and wait for food and fuel.

  6. The novel “White powder” was a good story!

    The photo of the F-16 Nuke switch was a depressing reminder of one of the possible paths of the road we are all on today….

    1. Thank you!

      A lot of people want a nuclear exchange with Russia (and China) in the hopes that their nukes won’t work as advertised. It’s a real gamble.

  7. Reading through the Swagger novels, Time to Hunt speaks to similar aspects of ‘Nam. But that’s what you get when politicians and war-mongers need a project, the good people get killed. And for what? Moving right along to the next “project” of screwing things up. Speaking of…

    Wonder how many “missing” Russian soldiers are in Poland and other parts unknown? Vlad doesn’t have the pull his insecure narcissist brain told him he did. And for what? Brings to mind that scene in The Equalizer (Denzel’s not Latifia’s, gag), in Pushkin’s bath. Need some of that happening to clear out the world’s noxious human weeds, like in Old Testament times. But the chest-pounding cowards in Congress have no stomach for it, instead focusing on a “greatest legal mind” woman who does know her own biology…or DST edicts…or [pick anything useless yet harmful to America].

    1. I don’t think that a lot of the Ukrainians are keen on accepting Russian prisoners/defectors. There will always be a few, but there is a lot of anger.

      1. The hatreds born of old ethnic conflicts are everywhere, including in perhaps unexpected places and professions. In the, call it “upper middle class” sex trade there are Korean girls who get extensive cosmetic surgery [1] and pay it off by working as “K-girls” (prostitutes) in the US (and I presume other first world countries).

        Anyway – and this is the part relevant to the topic at hand – many of them will not service Japanese clients, because they purely HATE the Japanese. Negros are another class that are not welcome, as a rule. Often despised, but less hated than the Japanese.

        [1] ROK is very big on cosmetic surgery; both men and women patronize the “blades”. (The clinical medical world is largely divided between Surgery [“blades”] and Internal Medicine [FLEAs]. FLEA stands for f*cking little esoteric a$$hole and is a term of affection that the surgeons apply to Medicine docs because the latter care about things such family history. Surgeons just wanna cut.)

        1. From an outsider’s view in ROK, the arranged marriage cultural norm (which applies to other Asian and South Asian cultures) tends to drive the K-Girl business in-country. Buddhism doesn’t transfer guilt at visiting a prostitute in the same way that Christianity does.

          Outside of ROK, it’s a different thing entirely. I wrote a federal grant that was funded called. “PLUG” Prevent Laundering from Underwriting Gangs. It attempted to address the problem of gang-controlled whorehouses funding gang activity. Even though funds derived from prostitution are only a state laundering issue, it can still be used as a requisite act in a Federal RICO prosecution (18USC1960). The Plug Team became a subset of the Southern California Organized Crime multi-agency strike force that I ran. Somewhere around 95% was Korean prostitution. I was shocked that there were somewhere around 200 Korean whorehouses in Orange County and 500 in Los Angeles. A typical whorehouse can generate $5,000 a day. The gangs/org. crime extort the whorehouses and it accounts for a large slice of their income.

          I can go on and on about this stuff. I don’t know if it’s boring to readers or not.

          Prostitution in Korea is very different in practice than it is in the US, for example. It’s money for sex, but not necessarily. Often the bar girls just listen to drunk men unload their sorrows. May end up in sex, maybe not.

          1. I figured you’d know about this stuff from your law career. But 500 in Los Angeles County ??!! Wow. I wonder how the coof has affected business over the last couple of years. Anyway, go on. Always interesting to hear the professional’s perspective on trades, professions and subcultures largely unknown to me.

            “just listen to drunk men unload their sorrows”
            Holy crap! Does that make *me* a Korean bar girl? (Prolly not — you all have seen the meme of a beggar with a cardboard sign saying ‘Please help: Too ugly to prostitute’. Sigh.)

          2. Mike_C & LL – that’s some ugly evil stuff. It exists, yet people prefer to not know that it’s real or could be right around the corner with the quiet house at the end of the street. Some things have never changed.

          3. In Korea, in every restaurant I’ve been in, there is no communal dining. Not even in US restaurants in Korea. The space inside is broken up into small rooms where every party dines separately.

            There are four classes of bars in ROK. Class 4 is essentially a bottle shop liquor store. No bar girls. Class 3 is a semi-communal bar with an open common area and private rooms for entertaining. Bar girls bring beer, cut up oranges and fruit, they will sing to you and entertain you. In the 80s and 90s $25 per girl was the going rate. You had no choice of girl in Class 3. Class 2 you do have a choice of girl and they entertained you and served a better quality of alcohol. Class 1 featured truly beautiful and cultured young women. If you’re smart, you buy a couple of bottles of Johnny Walker Blue Label for mamasan. She’ll resell them at 1000 times what you paid at the Base Exchange a shot at a time. Winning mamasan’s black heart is the key to a good time in a Class 1 establishment.

  8. Unless the “woke” in the Pentagon are keeping them on a short leash, the shadow warriors must be having a blast in the Ukraine.

  9. Even if they don’t work as advertised the defenders will still have to deal with the results of a fizzle or a very dirt nuclear accident.

  10. “the un-woke who visit this blog.”….. Did somebody call?
    As someone who grew up during the Cold War I find myself very concerned over the number of intelligent people I know who say that we need to ‘call Putin’s bluff’ about nukes. They seem to feel that we in the CONUS wouldn’t be affected. They can’t understand how once the nuclear threshold is crossed it could escalate out of control in a matter of hours. That what we view as a tactical strike would be viewed as a strategic strike worthy of retaliation to them.
    What if he isn’t bluffing? I do understand that the Russians have safeguards to prevent one man from launching nukes, but it wouldn’t take many Putin loyalists to start it off. If backed into a corner, he may gamble that NATO doesn’t have the balls to respond.
    Like 2 teenage boys playing chicken in muscle cars, both drivers confident the other will flinch. The only way to win is not to play.

    Just finished White Powder. Good stuff! A lot of it I knew, a lot I didn’t. Very eye opening.

    And for anyone wanting to know more about the Viet Nam war, how and why it escalated and the behind the scenes fiasco it became I recommend “Dereliction of Duty: Johnson, McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff” by H. R. McMaster. Regardless of what you thought of him as NSA, he is a smart guy and had access to previously classified material. Very long but enlightening….and depressing.

    1. Thank you for the McMaster recommendation. I hadn’t heard of it.

      Why Viet Nam: Archimedes de la Patti
      The Living and the Dead: Robert McNamara and Five Lives of a Lost War, Paul Hendrickson
      A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Viet Nam, Neil Sheehan
      Street Without Joy, Bernard Fall (you want the last edition where he tags the beginning of the American involvement onto the earlier one, especially for his thoughts on revolutionary war).

      1. I am not an HR McMaster fan primarily because he’s a swamp creature. He’s owned and he’s loyal to his masters. I respect him for that, though. We lens the world a bit differently.

        1. Oh. I’m not a fan. He showed his true colors as NSA. But the book was enlightening (at least for me).

  11. Regarding that F-16 switch, my dad flew the mighty Republic F-84G in Korea after the shooting stopped. He loved practicing the nuclear bomb-toss maneuver but did not like the actual nuclear bomb thingy. (The F-84G was the first single-engine nuclear carrying plane.)

    I, too, am worried about our leftist brethren and overlords that think prompting a nuclear Russia is a good idea.

    1. There was a whole Cold War based on the premise that nuclear war wasn’t in anyone’s best interest. That generation – our Generation, Beans, seems to have forgotten that.

  12. a)
    Re — portrait of Krasukha 4 ‘at least a week ago’
    The metadata indicates that photograph was taken April, 2017.
    In other news, sources suggest the Smith/Rock incident was scripted and rehearsed… partly to boost their lagging careers, mostly to acquire viewers to an uninteresting awards programming.
    All part of hollywood and show-biz.

    1. Some of the graphics that I use, like one that will appear on Sunday, April 3, are old but better illustrate what was captured than the photos (which are available) out of Ukraine.

      The Oscars’ ratings were. the second-worst ever. Maybe live-action bitch-slapping will bring back viewers? It is show biz, right?

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