Reality And Fiction Collide

Sometimes the boundaries between the real world and fiction are somewhat smudged. Events taking place in real time can bear a striking resemblance to those found in a favorite novel or movie. That’s the situation we find ourselves in at the present time. Russia is massing large numbers of troops, tanks and artillery on the border of a nation that is, if not an ally of NATO, then can be considered at least a good friend. They appear ready to use major exercises in Belarus and in the seas surrounding Russia as cover for the final phase of their buildup and the outbreak of hostilities. The Russian government insists there is no plan to invade Ukraine, however at the same time Moscow is warning NATO to cease its eastward expansion and provide assurances that Ukraine will never become an alliance member.

Sounds a little familiar, doesn’t it? Turn the clock back twenty-five years or so, replace Ukraine with West Germany, exchange Suwalki Gap with the Fulda Gap and this could easily describe the leadup to war in June and July of 1987. And as was the case in the fictional world of WWIII1987, I think the Russians are going to jump and the balloon will go up within a couple of weeks.

Unnerving times we are living in, to say the least. If you look at the situation facing Vladimir Putin you’d probably consider gobbling up Ukraine (and maybe more) as soon as possible. Here in the US we have weak leadership in Washington and a population distracted by a pandemic, supply chain crises and a host of other variables. NATO is nowhere close to being united and the same goes for the European Union. To make matters worse, Germany, NATO’s strongest member-state on the continent, cannot decisively support Ukraine or NATO’s Eastern Flank because it relies too heavily on Russia for natural gas. Berlin is vulnerable right now.

The next two weeks are going to be interesting, to say the least.

As for this blog, I’m going to keep on pumping out entries. With a real world major conflict in Europe now a very real possibility, I might revamp the tone of some future entries. In between the WWIII posts, I might take some time to discuss the current crisis. Maybe even set up a Discord channel where I can shoot the shit with you guys and discuss the direction this crisis is going in.

If hostilities do erupt, I might temporarily suspend the WWIII entries until the dust settles. I’m up in the air about that and will wait until the balloon actually goes up before making a decision. But for now, we’ll push forward and see what develops. Western Pacific D+20 will drop tomorrow afternoon or evening and then I’ll decide whether to follow it up with an in-depth Politics of Armageddon entry or a summary. Keep an eye on the news coming out of Europe and we’ll talk again soon! –Mike

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30 Replies to “Reality And Fiction Collide”

    1. Ever read the book Chains of Command by Dale Brown? Ukrainian pilots did something similar to that in the book…..after Russia invaded Ukraine. 🙂 Another example of reality and fiction rubbing shoulders . Good book though

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  1. Good points, the west is divided but the Ukraine will not be a complete pushover. Plus capturing is very different from occupying, remember the Ukrainians fought a guerilla war for 11 years after ww2 and that without any outside help. This would be a Russian Quagmire something the cannot handle economically or militarily.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ukraine could make an occupation very bloody. Question is; will it matter once all is said and done? Russia can’t afford a quagmire, but Putin is ruthless. He’d go to extreme lengths to put any uprising or resistance down before it got out of hand

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  2. Discord channel is a pretty good idea, if you are looking for another time sink.
    The CMO and HypOps channels, I am sure, would be enjoyed by some of your readers.
    The saying ‘life imitates art’ springs to mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve dabbled with the CMO channel a bit. Kushan does a great job with it.
      Life certainly does imitate art, usually when and how we least expect

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  3. How’s the weather around Ukraine? More to the point, is.the ground sufficiently frozen for off road vehicle operations? You mentioned on your other blog that it had been unseasonably warm. That was an excellent point.

    One of the best courses I took in grad school was an elective geography class taught by a retired.Marine O-6. Though we were mostly civilians, he taught us to look at terrain, climate, logistical throughput by road and rail, and choke points. Then we.layered on cultural and linguistic issues.

    Awesome class, and it taught me to take most talking-head “analysts” with a grain of sand. Anyway, keep up the good work!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. For the next week or so, temps in Eastern Ukraine will be below freezing. It was unseasonably warm for the first part of January but now that’s starting to change. I think it’ll be enough for heavy forces to operate in. So we might be moving into a window for Russia to move.

      That sounds like a class I would’ve enjoyed too. That colonel seems like he was worth his salt and he was right. Look at the factors that will affect operations first and foremost.

      And he’s on target about the talking-heads and ‘expert analysts’ we see on TV and social media. They just like to hear themselves talk.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I cannot believe the current administration in the US is about to become in a land war, in Russia, during the winter.

    Fuck’s sake, people. (sorry for the harsh language, Mike)

    Anyway, please do set up a Discord channel! I want a nice low-number membership card 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can. But I don’t think we have to worry about Operation Ukrainian Freedom or anything. That country is the proverbial ‘Bridge Too Far.’ Can’t defend it effectively.
      But we can defend Poland, Romania and the Baltics if we have to. I hope….

      I’ve heard the word before, and usually say it many times each day LOL

      Single digit number, I promise, Bill!

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  5. I tend to ignore most of the “talking heads,” especially retired officers who called themselves COINdinistas during the Iraq/Afghanistan wars and now want to be taken seriously as Russia Mil experts.

    As for the weather factor, not sure if the whole “strike while in winter” thing is accurate. After all, Russians/Ukrainians fought a pretty successful campaign against the Germans throughout 1944 despite the rasputitsa.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know what you mean. Some of the retired officers that the cable news networks bring out simply like to hear themselves talk.

      I don’t know if its a matter of ‘strike while in winter’ or just utilizing weather conditions as best you can. Hard, frozen ground makes it much easier to move armor and wheeled vehicles cross-country. But the Ukrainians are tough and they’ll make the Russians pay a price in blood for whatever path they choose

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  6. I think if/when Putin invades, it’s going to be for limited goals only. Perhaps the eastern regions of Ukraine which is already fighting with “rebels” inserted by Russia. He’ll take that in return for withdrawal of his forces. Limited Objectives to limit his chances of a quagmire.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Partitioning Ukraine is the most logical move, I’ve always thought. Cut it in half at the Dnieper and then come to a diplomatic settlement with the West, since any will be in Russia’s favor. This reestablishes some semblance of a buffer zone, weakens what’s left of Ukraine and gives Russia some breathing room to prepare its next move.
      And there will be a next move later on

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  7. I’d be very interested in a Discord channel.

    I’ve been following this build up and tension for years now… hate to say it but I think it has come to a head.

    I am put in mind of the 2008 invasion of Georgia… another post Soviet state that was getting too close to the west for Putin’s liking.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m going to look into Discord a bit later this week.

      I agree. And with regards to Ukraine, and even Georgia, the Russian have been seriously warning about NATO expansion for a long time. Unfortunately, NATO wanted to hear none of it. Whether expansion was right or wrong isn’t the point to me. The point is that Russia had legitimate security concerns that possibly could’ve been addressed much earlier. Might’ve made a big difference.

      Now we’re stuck, so to speak

      Liked by 1 person

  8. What I’ve heard is that while the most powerful COA (going for broke from Kharkiv to Liviv) is available given how Russia’s been strip-mining every other unit and sending them west, the most LIKELY is still similar to that of Georgia in 2008 (only bigger scale), where the goal is to smack them to the table and avoid an occupation with more benefits than costs (even the friendly Donbass has been a gigantic money pit).

    A major Russo-Ukrainian conflict was basically inevitable after 1991, and the astounding thing is that peace between the two lasted for 23 years. Fighting in a former republic that was part of the Russian Empire long before 1917 cannot be compared to the average WWIII scenario, IMO.

    Where I do have the eerie similarities is my draft where a surviving, advanced USSR and its allies build up a gargantuan force of multiple fronts to finish off the annoyance of Ceausescu’s Romania… Yikes…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like that draft. Think the idea of the Pact ganging up on Ceausescu is very thought provoking. To put it bluntly, the guy was an asshole who rubbed Moscow the wrong way. I doubt many Soviet Politburo members were sad to learn of the fate he met in 1989

      Liked by 2 people

  9. The timing with the pending Olympics is also very interesting…Does Putin rain on Xi’s parade? does he wait until after? Does he pull a Northern Fury and use the Olympics as cover, know that his athletes are in safe hands with a fellow comrade? Going to be a long few weeks…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Think back to 2014 when the Winter Olympics were held in Russia. Euro Maidan was happening during the game and Putin couldn’t do a damn thing with the world watching. But once the game was over, Russia swung into action. Could see something similar here in a couple weeks.

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  10. “Threads” (and a good quality posting of it too) was on my YouTube feed last night and I sat there and watched it for the unpteenth time in my life. This ain’t gettin’ healthy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting movie to watch given what’s going on. Dunno if I could watch it now. Seems a bit too similar to what’s going on in the real world. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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