Things really started to go downhill, when they cut back the compulsory draft from 2 years to 1 year. This interview from a former officer is mind-boggling. Download this PDF file to read it.
Russia is the last Colonial Empire; having conquered, at one time or another, most of her neighbors, many of whom are still subjects. China is the latest wanna be colonial power with their floundering Belt and Road initiative. This article points out a fatal flaw in their plans for world domination that has reoccurred throughout history.
The criminals that ran the black market during the Communist days, came to power during the chaos of the 1900s, during the collapse of the Soviet Union.
In November 1996, to consolidate his power, Putin and his friends founded the Ozero Cooperative, which bonded together oligarchs and the mafia families. Over the many years of the state within the state that was the gulag system, a bizarre caste system arose in the prisons. At the bottom of the cast where the so-called Roosters. Recruiting these Untouchables into the Ukraine “Special Operation” has upset this brutal hierarchy and troop morale.
The lowest caste, and the one that every prisoner fears degradation to, are the roosters, also known as the “offended,” the “pederasts,” or the “downcast.” That is a position to which it is extremely easy to fall down to, but one that you can never climb up from. They’re forced to do all the worst jobs—such as cleaning the cell’s latrine, washing everyone’s underwear—because no, your average Russian prison does not have any washing machines—and often serving as sexual slaves. They also get the worst sleeping spots in the cell, usually next to the latrine.
A rooster is untouchable outside of sex. One is not allowed to share anything with a rooster except as a payment for services—not only is it taboo to touch them, but also anything that they have touched, as that instantly moves one to their caste. Their kitchenware is explicitly marked as such, for one, and whenever transferring cells, they’re supposed to publicly announce their suit status and move in with “their own” accordingly.
. Gay and transgender prisoners are automatically placed among the roosters, but so are those who foolishly admit to having given oral sex to a woman—an act that, as among the ancient Romans or the modern Italian mafia, is seen as fundamentally impure.
A rooster’s status is truly miserable. It’s driven many people to suicide and made people so miserable that they used to rebel and intentionally touch blatniye inmates as a last attempt of revenge—sure, they would be instantly killed by other inmates, but the prisoner who previously belonged to the higher caste would instantly be a rooster inside the prison system and out, and would never be able to move upwards in the hierarchy
Lack of Maintenance Like the Rest of their Equipment
6 min read
When Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, a curious thing happened: Putin’s modern, lethal fighting force turned out to be a broken-down, two-bit shadow of its former self.
There are many reasons for this, but the biggest seems to be unbridled corruption at a level that shook even the most hardened analysts in Western defense intelligence.
Particularly egregious was the poor maintenance on display with most, if not all, of Russia’s war machines.
Looking back now, with the benefit of time (and watching Russia flounder around in Eastern Ukraine for over a year), it’s easy to see how funds intended for operations and maintenance might have been diverted.
Hell, this story of a Russian army commander stealing engines from Putin’s prized T-90 tanks is a perfect example.
Japan had the first world leader to meet with President-elect Trump. For the first time in eleven years, Putin just visited Japan for two days of talks. Trump’s proposed Secretary of State was awarded a Friendship medal by Vladimir Putin. What if anything do these have in common? Maybe nothing, but I can’t help but consider the implications for a Grand Alliance between Japan, Russia and the United States to contain China’s expansionist tendencies
Until recently, only Mao and Deng Xiaoping have achieved the title of “Core Leader”. Deng wanted the Communist Party to become a consensus-based system with rotating leadership and he would be the last Core leader. Current Premier Xi has put the end to that with his recent appointment as Core leader. We will have to see if this turns out to be an over-reach or the start of Emperor Xi’s dynasty.
China has always been a difficult country to rule. There are five distinct regions and multiple languages. There have only been a few times where a dynasty has been able to rule them all. Revolutions start, not when things are at their worst, but when rising expectations are dashed. Xi can see the demographic wall they are about slam into, as a result of the one-child policy lasting too long. He also knows that there will be economic dislocations, as they try to change from an Export-driven to a Consumer Society.
His biggest threat internally may not come from the aging establishment’s backlash, but from a youthful burgeoning left-wing Maoist movement. That is why the charismatic populist Bo Xilai was the victim of one of the first Stalin-like Show Trails. Xilai’s popular message was that Mao’s revolution has been hijacked by the corrupt Princelings – a group that Xi was fortunate enough to be born into.
China doesn’t it view itself as a Rising Power, but a a Returning Power. After all, with just 250 years under their belt, these Americans are only upstarts. While Kissinger was secretly meeting with Deng for Nixon’s Machiavellian opening to China, he asked Deng what he though about the French Revolution. After a pause, he said “We’ll have to see how it turns out”. China takes the long view of history and their future.
Embattled leaders will often use external threats to distract a restless populace. Xi knows the end of China’s economic miracle will bring unrest. Xi’s expansionist foreign policy has unnerved its neighbors, the most powerful of which are Russia and Japan. They could be open to a Grand Alliance with the United States to counter China’s rise. After all the US joined with Stalin to defeat what we thought was the greater foe – Hitler.
There is no love lost between Russia and China. They fought a seven month undeclared border war in 1969. China is financially taking over Mongolia and expects its other neighbors to eventually become vassal states also.
Russia had always been torn. It’s either a European or an Asian power. The construction of St. Petersburg was supposed to tilt Russia to the West. Putin rose to power from there. He has revived the Russian orthodox church. Putin’s Russia feels more comfortable with the West than the East. Russia is a declining power, who is afraid of the dragon’s growing power on it’s western borders. Japan is afraid too. Fear of a common enemy can make for strange bedfellows. Trump’s unconstrained collection of no-nonsense generals and plutocratic deal makers could think far enough outside the box to try and pull off such a Grand Bargain.
From China in Asia to Russia in Europe and the Middle East, and ISIS just about everywhere, 2015 has seen the flourishing of conflicts that exist in a gray zone, one which is not quite open war but more than regular competition, which is attuned to globalization, which liberal democracies are ill-equipped to deal with, and which may well be the way power is exercised and conflict conducted in the foreseeable future.
China’s doctrine of the Three Warfares pushes these non-physical aspects even further, using “legal,” “psychological,” and “media” warfare to, in the words of the analyst Laura Jackson, who directed a Cambridge University and U.S. Defense Department research project on the subject, “undermine international institutions, change borders, and subvert global media, all without firing a shot. The Western, and especially American, concept of war emphasises the kinetic and the tangible—infrastructure, arms, and personnel—whereas China is asking fundamental questions: ‘What is war?’ And, in today’s world: ‘Is winning without fighting possible?’”
One of the great fears in all this is that a gray-zone conflict—involving, say, U.S. and Chinese military vessels sparring in the South China Sea, or Russia threatening to deploy its nuclear arsenal—could tumble into an open one when some party miscalculates.
More likely, however, is that the patterns on display in 2015 will become more pronounced in the coming year. According to Laura Jackson, China sees the sea, and the earth generally, as only the start of its Three Warfares campaign—a testing ground for ambitions to control portions of outer space, which Chinesemilitary and legal thinkers see, in the words of one Chinese official, “as a natural extension of other forms of territorial control.” Russian military theory envisionsthe wars of the future moving from “direct clash to contactless war,” from “direct annihilation of the opponent to its inner decay,” from “war in the physical environment to a war in the human consciousness and in cyberspace.” In June, aNew York Times investigation uncovered how a series of web campaigns tried to sow panic in the United States by spreading fake Twitter messages, Wikipedia pages, and online news reports about everything from an ISIS attack in Louisiana to Ebola outbreaks and police shootings in Atlanta. This was not the work of mere pranksters, but targeted disinformation operations launched from a Kremlin-backed “troll farm” in St Petersburg. They were perhaps some of the first skirmishes in what Russian military theorists believe to be the battleground of the future: the minds of men and women, where every business deal, retweet, and Instagram post becomes a way of influencing what these theorists call “the Psychosphere.”
It’s a brave new war without beginning or end, where the borders of peace and war, serviceman and civilian have become utterly blurred—and where you and I are both a target and a weapon.
we are witnessing four changes in international affairs that will lead to renewed great power conflict.
The first change is the slow disengagement of the United States from the dominating role it has played after World War II, marked most notably by a lowering of its defense spending and commitments. America has retreated from its role of protector of the world order, but the current occupant of the White House clearly ranks foreign affairs as an annoyance compared to an ambitious domestic agenda and has telegraphed his desire for America to have either a light or non-existent footprint across much of the globe.
The slow American withdrawal coincides with the second change, in which four of the current great powers (Russia, China, India, and Japan) are revaluating, amplifying, or changing aspects of their grand strategy in a way that resembles a similar reshuffling that took place late in the nineteenth century.
Third, there are ominous parallels between the cauldron that created the conflict of the Great War and those simmering today. China, playing the role of nineteenth-century Germany, seems determined to upset the economic and military stability created by the United States and Japan, especially in the area of naval power and power projection. Japan is playing the role of the United Kingdom, an old power clinging to its power base by mobilizing nationalism and militarism. Russia, attempting to resurrect its glory by aggressive action, reminds us of a turn-of-the-century France. India, coming on the world stage for the first time, yet not quite ready for a big role, is reminiscent of the newly unified Italian peninsula of 1861.
Q: Why doesn’t China want Russia to fight with the West?
A: I think you have to understand that China is patient. China is growing. China has 1.3 billion people. The world will come to China. If China waits, China will have more power, more influence and be able to determine outcomes to their favor, without war, without conflict. They can just use their influence.
The Russians, of course, are declining and so Russian power is greater today than it will be in five or 10 years’ time. If you’re China, you really don’t want the Russians to “rock the boat” too much in the near term. Causing problems for the U.S. is fine, but you don’t want them to become a pariah state for everyone else.
Q: Is there a possibility of a Cold War between the U.S. and China?
A: Longer term, that is a bigger concern. It’s not a concern today. But if you asked me in five or 10 years’ time, one of the potential scenarios of post-G-Zero is that the United States and China fundamentally move into different blocks. It’s possible.
Q: Will China become a big power, as big as the U.S?
A: No. The future is a long time, but if you ask me in 10 years’ time, China will probably be the largest economy, but their military will be a tiny fraction of that of the United States. Their technological capacity will be a tiny fraction of the U.S. Their energy production capacity will be a tiny fraction of the United States. Their diplomatic capabilities will be a tiny fraction of the United States. Their soft power will be a tiny fraction of the United States. Their cultural power will be a tiny fraction of the United States. Their universities will be so much worse. They will be a superpower, looking purely in terms of their economic might and they will not be a superpower in any other way.