The Red Army marches east

“You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.”
― Leon Trotsky

So while the US military struggles with "what comes next" after a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, combined with an indifferent Administration that has their foreign policy made by a bunch of emotional teenagers, the Russians are becoming resurgent and flexing their collective muscles in Ukraine.

Yes, the picture is somewhat humorous, if sadly instructive, but what the Russian military is doing is not.  Interestingly, one of the best analysis of the "new" de facto Russian military strategy comes out of....wait for it...Latvia...yup, not the White House or Defense Department, or any other arm of this Administration, but an Eastern European country that is definitely feeling the hot breath of the Russian bear.
National Defence Academy of Latvia Center for Security and Strategic Research
I mean wow, whooda thunk the Latvians...that's the shaded country on the map of Europe for all you public school know Europe, that place far across the ocean where merely five years ago all those paltroons thought Obama was the COOOOLESST President ever because he wasn't George W Bush and he was gonna hit the RESET button with the Russians....hey, how's that hopey-changey thing working out for you Ukraine?  Poland?  Latvia?  But I digress.

Well, the stars and unicorn dust have fallen out of the eyes of our eastern NATO allies and now they are looking at a resurgent Russian Army eyeing their countries like I look at a plate of bacon.

More importantly, gone are the days of the old clunky Red Army...with waves of tanks and waves of infantrymen being led to slaughter in a mindless battle of attrition.  The new Russian military showed a surprising adroitness in achieving their military and strategic objectives in the Crimea and Ukraine.  This little table out of the Latvian pub summarizes things very nicely.

I have to say, I am pretty impressed...Marshal Mikhail Tukhachevsky is alive and well in modern Russia.  The paper goes on to describe eight phases of this new generation warfare that quite frankly, I don't believe the US or our NATO allies are ready to meet:
  1. First Phase: non-military asymmetric warfare (encompassing information, moral, psychological, ideological, diplomatic, and economic measures as part of a plan to establish a favorable political, economic, and military setup).
  2. Second Phase: special operations to mislead political and military leaders by coordinated measures carried out by diplomatic channels, media, and top government and military agencies by leaking false data, orders, directives, and instructions.
  3. Third Phase: intimidation, deceiving, and bribing government and military officers, with the objective of making them abandon their service duties.
  4. Fourth Phase: destabilizing propaganda to increase discontent among the population, boosted by the arrival of Russian bands of militants, escalating subversion.
  5. Fifth Phase: establishment of no-fly zones over the country to be attacked, imposition of blockades, and extensive use of private military companies in close cooperation with armed opposition units.
  6. Sixth Phase: commencement of military action, immediately preceded by large-scale reconnaissance and subversive missions. All types, forms, methods, and forces, including special operations forces, space, radio, radio engineering, electronic, diplomatic, and secret service intelligence, and industrial espionage.
  7. Seventh Phase: combination of targeted information operation, electronic warfare operation, aerospace operation, continuous airforce harassment, combined with the use of high precision weapons launched from various platforms (long-range artillery, and weapons based on new physical principles, including microwaves, radiation, non-lethal biological weapons).
  8. Eighth Phase: roll over the remaining points of resistance and destroy surviving enemy units by special operations conducted by reconnaissance units to spot which enemy units have survived and transmit their coordinates to the attacker's missile and artillery units; fire barrages to annihilate the defender's resisting army units by effective advanced weapons; airdrop operations to surround points of resistance; and territory mopping-up operations by ground troops.
Some of these are simply repackaging of military tactics and operational constructs the US has used very effectively,  but the willingness and ability of the Russians to use psyops, disinformation, propaganda, and outright intimidation are notable.  

Although this Administration is well versed in the use of all these tools, particularly disinformation and propaganda, they usually reserve them for their domestic political opponents-racist, bigoted homophobes that they are-rather than using them on our enemies abroad......but I digress again.

This is an excellent read, and is highly recommended. Although this Administration is belatedly trying to reassure our NATO allies that we will defend their socialized medicine and six weeks of paid summer vacation, I am not sure either our allies or the Russians take the US seriously anymore.
President Obama seeks Congressional backing for $1B boost to U.S. military presence across Europe 

So, good luck still have two long years to hope Putin stays busy absorbing Crimea and cementing his alliance with China.

Beware Collusion of China, Russia
because you know, that can only end well...don't worry though...Barney Fife and the Apple Dumpling Gang are on the's gonna be a long, long 900+ days until Obama retires to the rubber chicken circuit...