28 Comments

Agreed & I'll add the Iranian attack on Israel is more likely to be the future of war.

Yes, Iran telegraphed their strike & the entire thing was a pantomime, sending drones that took 9 hours to reach Israel, laughable.

Now if Iran really wanted to hit Israel, they'd have smuggled hundreds of cheap Chinese drones into countries bordering Israel. Launched drones from multiple sites,launched Fu-Go ballon bombs, launched cruise missiles at the Iron Dome itself, within 20 minutes your overwhelmed by a thousand bogeys in th air. The moment air defenses are hit, targy airports, runways, etc.

The scary part is how cheap they're getting. Soon it'll be realistic to see thousand drone military fleets and the West is used to using expensive superior technical weaponry.

The moment it becomes apparent that rogue nation states and pirates can with ten thousand drones destroy a US Navy vessel actual choices will have to be made, we leave the sheltered world of Kumbaya behind

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Even with the forewarning, Iran overwhelmed the Iron Dome and the US air cover. There were lots of drones and slow cruise missiles in the first wave that distracted the AD systems allowing the much faster ballistic (and probably hypersonic) missiles to come in and hit their targets; there are at least a dozen videos of Iranian missiles hitting targets in Israel.

This was a fairly small attack and it nonetheless effectively penetrated Israeli/US AD systems. Had Iran wanted to target high-value/high-casualty targets, they would have succeeded.

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I see the goal as the strike having been to map Israeli defenses rather than any true penetration. The entire attack was for information gathering.

For 6 months to a year the region will have a very good idea of how to strike Israel and where if hostilities are rekindled

The question will become if their proxies have the capabilities to capitalize on it or is this information only useful to state agents at this technological point

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I think it was really just what the Iranian's said it was: a response to the Israeli bombing of the Iranian consulate. I'm sure there are plenty of Iranian intelligence agents with Hamas and in the West Bank (and in Israel) who are observing the Hamas rocket attacks on the Israeli defense systems. Further, plenty of Iranian operatives with the Houthis observing Israeli/US response. I think the Iranians are getting plenty of technical data about Israeli/US capabilities.

One secondary benefit of the Iranian strike was probably testing some of their newer/newest systems and practicing the "layered" attack system that the Russians have perfected in Ukraine. I am sure there are at least a few Iranian observers in Ukraine learning quite a bit from Russia.

I think their Houthi proxies have demonstrated their ability to penetrate advanced western AD both in Saudi Arabia (whose systems were the best the US could make and were likely run by US contractors) and during the ongoing Blockade of the Red Sea. I am sure Hizbullah (which demonstrated pretty advanced capabilities in 2006) could give an excellent accounting for itself against Israel. Of course, some non-state actors are better than others.

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Of course it was. Every drone attack is information gathering.

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This is already apparent. The Houthi blockade remains effective to this day.

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May 25·edited May 25

I think we'll also see refitting of some existing airframes for drone warfare. I would be surprised if work is not already underway to use the venerable B-52 to deliver air-launched drone swarms.

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Even more than for military equipment Ukraine needs western funding to support the entirety of its government functions from paying the salaries of bureaucrats to paying pensions. Without western money Ukraine as a viable state entity would have collapsed more than a year ago.

It is interesting to note that during the initial mobile phase of the war in Feb/March 2022 Russian artillery usage was at its height at over 30k shells fired per day. Many days over 40k. And that with a TINY force of ~80-90k men (90 battalion equivalents) committed. Now Russia has around 450k men committed (400+ battalion equivalents) and seems to be topping out at about 20-25k arty rounds fired per day. The USA currently can produce about 35k rounds per month. Lesson: even with small, mobile armies committed peer combatants would still need massive industrial capabilities to sustain the artillery consumption of both shells and barrels. As far as I can determine the US is making almost zero spare artillery barrels.

I would also posit that complex intrenchments would still likely pertain in a peer conflict outside of the parameters pertaining in Ukraine. Simply put the ISR and strike capabilities of peer forces are simply too good. At the outset Ukraine had the advantage of the entirety of the western ISR capabilities: satellites, drones, sensors, etc. Even with their limited firepower they were able to inflict a fair amount of casualties on advancing Russian forces. Far less than was propagandized on the TV, but still a good amount. In the Ukrainian "counterattack" in the Kharkov region the Ukes took advantage of the extremely thin screen of poorly equipped LDNR/weirdo militias sponsored by Russian corporations that was used by Russia as an economy of force to advance rather rapidly. However, once Russia transferred actual Russian units and concentrated their ISR they were able to inflict massive casualties and damage on the densely-packed Uke units out in the open.

Now, with the current advancement of ISR and drone technology, nobody is safe out in the open. Russians stay safe (and well dispersed) in their trenches with a vast amount of non-to-sortof portable EW equipment that to a large degree prevents drones from snooping around and provides extremely limited targeting opportunities for Ukrainian strike complexes. Even where the Ukrainian front has almost totally crumbled to nothing (the Artemovks-Chasov Yar axis for example) Russia has to engage in massive planning and coordinating just to move very small (15 men and two to three vehicles) bodies of men and machines forward outside of the protective trench/EW sanctuary. One, because the EW necessary for survival in the open is not particularly mobile or reliable. The frequencies and devices used require an immense amount of planning to operate. Two, mines. Mines can be delivered quite rapidly by MLRS and this needs to be accounted for. Three, groupings must necessarily be very small and very fast moving because ISR will instantly see any large groupings starting to mass and strike complexes are so fast and accurate (and long range) that large groupings will incur prohibitive casualties even before they leave their safe-havens. Of necessity these tiny units do not have the "oomph" to penetrate very far and after seizing a small objective must rapidly construct a new trench/EW safe haven. Four, coordination of all the EW. strikes complexes, ISR, and movement for the assaulting forces is massively difficult, and the Russians have been doing it for two years now and are extremely good at it. Ukes (trained and largely commanded by NATO) have been doing it for two years and are not very good at it; see summer 2023 counter-oink, actions around Artemovsk after its liberation, etc.

All four of those conditions will still apply even on a front of 4000 miles length. Or 20,000 miles length. Thus, while I agree that a lot of the conditions in the SMO are unique, I don't think the character of the fighting really is. I think any peer conflict would likely be very similar. At least for a while. I think the racial characteristics of the Slav has made the war last far longer as the Slav seems to be far more hardy than his western counterpart. Its like the meme: Hard times create strong Slavs: strong Slavs create hard times: Hard times create strong Slavs. There is simply no way a western state could endure the casualties that Ukraine has suffered and not completely disintigrate politically and socially.

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It is a contemporary "Mig Alley" where U.S. military and intelligence services are practicing "modern" warfare under the false pretext that it is the Ukrainians who are making the war. They're just doing the dying. I don't for a minute think Ukrainians are actually running any of the tech. Maybe present to nominally execute a command, but all done through our contractors and "advisors."

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Look into the large number of simultaneous "suicides" at key US army bases whenever a large Russian missile strike happens.

Russia has also constantly reported from the beginning of the war that they intercept a large amount of radio command traffic in English, French, and German.

Last time I checked Russia had positively ID-ed about 15,000 foreign mercenaries in Ukraine and claim to have killed a good 70% of them.

Russia has also captured a fair amount of equipment used ONLY by western special forces.

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May 25·edited May 25

Your claim is the purported suicides of domestic deployed soldiers is cover for those soldiers' combat deaths during covert foreign deployment?

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Im pretty sure the front isnt moving because much like drones theres been industrial mine production

while I dont think every population is technically adept to make mines out of whatever they hell they have on hand; enough of the world is stem educated and have some chemistry industry; drones plus mines makes for a defensive war any urban center will likely be fought inch by inch going forward

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Yes, they’re so unglamorous and basic they’ve been ignored by commentaries about this war but literal minefields have been incredibly influential in hampering “big arrow” mobility.

It was possible to see within hours of its start that the much-touted Ukrainian counteroffensive would be a failure when the first armored platoons moved off the start line and… immediately blew up on mines.

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I think my current theory is that heavy tanks used to be the counter to mines but jerry rigged drones counter heavy tanks in a way youd need a 1 million dollar missel before so the main lesson everyone should learn is mines and mine dispersal and making drones that kill tanks 100x their price

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Yeah... I was in a special place to be bamboozled by the whole thing at first, having been working remotely for a company founded in Ukraine when the first bombs dropped, and then having spent the weeks afterwards getting people out of Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus and into Dubai.

But the whole thing is a fucking symphony of corruption I see now. Mahler, Shostakovich, and Paganini all got together to compose this one. What a godsdamned mess.

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I think, indeed I wrote a substack recently (https://ombreolivier.substack.com/p/attack-of-the-drones-revisited?r=7yrqz ) that the key takeaway of the Ukraine war is drones. As we have recently seen, Ukraine has managed to blunt Russian attacks despite a significant lack of artillery because of drones. It has also managed to attack targets way behind the expected front lines because of drones and it has effectively gained control of the black sea because of drones.

In fact there have been recent pictures of Ukraine mounting anti-aircraft missiles on naval drones which will mean the Black Sea is going to be an untrusted environment for Russia aircraft as well as ships. For a country without a navy to exert control on such a large area of water is unprecedented

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The Ottoman Empire defended the Black Sea and Constantinople during WW1 largely through land guns and mines.

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All true enough, but are there really articles saying that the Ukraine model is the future of war? There are plenty of scaremongering quotes from public figures saying that Russia will keep pushing the front west if Ukraine collapses, which is ridiculous for many of the reasons you've gone into in your post.

One thing I would offer a counter argument to, is the idea that neither Ukraine or Russia are able to move the front line. Russia is only using a fraction of its military power, and why should they push the front forward when the clowns giving Ukraine its orders keep sending troops to the Russians to be annihilated?

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> When commentators say this is a war between NATO and Russia they are almost entirely correct. If you combine all the economies that are funding, arming, or fighting on one side or the other of this war you get a majority of the entire global economy.

On the other hand, almost none of those economies are on an actual war footing.

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I watched the other day a very good video clip about desert warfare during WW2. While I was watching it, I asked myself how the battle would turn out now, with satellites, drones, and other surveillance methods. Very much like what is happening in Ukraine, I think.

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What are these agreements that the Ukrainian negotiators reached but were rejected by Kiev / the West?

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But let's not forget that somebody hates both sides.

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A bit surprised by the presence of a Discord server. Aren't libertarians supposed to be hyper-techy paranoiacs? Matrix is what I've seen most people on our side of the field use.

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Well written!

But unfortunately I wouldn't discount down to zero the odd of our technocratic government that poses as a democracy slip trip and fallin us into WW3...

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What, is humanity going extinct soon?

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I don't think Hitler and Stalin would have been shocked at attritional positional warfare, because they saw it happen (one in person, the other via news reports) in the Great War. Most of the interwar work on tanks, aircraft and so on was done precisely to try to avoid that sort of miserable slugfest in future.

Where Putin et al differ from Kutetsov, Napoleon, Stalin and Hitler is that the historical figures would not have hesitated to use nuclear weapons. Nowadays there's much less tolerance for huge casualties in warfare, whether military or civilian.

Consider that in the 79 years since the end of WWII, we've had fewer deaths from wars worldwide than we had just in 1942 or 1943. This video's in need of an update but remains broadly true.

https://youtu.be/DwKPFT-RioU?si=cgmVc6AlS1SlMLnT

Your article reads to me like someone saying, "well, we were wrong, but we weren't COMPLETELY wrong, so really we were right."

No. I think we were completely wrong, and the reason we in the West are not fighting Russia directly is that we know we'd lose.

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Even our wars are done by delivery now. Hypersonic missiles are just the Ubers and doordashes of death.

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