The Tank is not Obsolete and Other Observations about the Future of Combat

The Tank is not Obsolete and Other Observations about the Future of Combat


“The available data from Ukraine, as well as the recent war in Nagorno-Karabakh, indicate that tanks are still critical in modern warfare and their vulnerabilities have been exaggerated. Russia’s heavy tank losses can be explained by employment mistakes, poor planning and preparation, insufficient infantry support, and Ukrainian artillery. The use of Javelins and other light anti-tank systems in Ukraine has not demonstrated that the tank is obsolete any more than the Sagger anti-tank guided missile did in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, as discussed by David Johnson in these pages.”



Pre-WWIII Practice Exam

Pre-WWIII Practice Exam


Here’s a simple way to test your understanding of the current US-Russia standoff. All you need to do is answer one very-basic question about the nature of the conflict, and that answer will determine whether you understand what is actually going on or not. Here’s the question:

What is the source of the confrontation between the US and Russia in the Ukraine:

  1. Russia has amassed over 100,000 combat troops near Ukraine’s eastern border and is threatening to invade.

  2. Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to rebuild the Soviet Empire by expanding Russia’s territory beyond its borders.

  3. The western media has concocted a fake storyline about a “Russian invasion” to divert attention from Moscow’s reasonable demands for legally-binding security guarantees that address the pressing issue of hostile foreign armies (NATO) and nuclear missiles on Russia’s doorstep.

  4. None of the above.

If you picked Number 3, then pat yourself on the back, that is the right answer. (Please, see: “There Is No Russian Invasion Threat To Ukraine”, Moon of Alabama; Quote: “The story of Russian preparations for an invasion of the Ukraine is made up from whole cloth.”) The current crisis has nothing to do with the fictitious “Russian invasion” that was invented to conceal the real issue. The real issue is Russian security and the demands that Russia has made in the form of two draft treaty agreements. The western media– in concert with the Intelligence agencies, the Pentagon, the Biden administration, and the US foreign policy establishment– have done everything in their power to prevent the American people from reading the contents of these draft treaties for fear that they will see that Russia’s demands are both reasonable and appropriate. Russia isn’t asking for anything more than any sovereign country should expect. As FDR famously said, “Security for one, is security for all.” We support that sentiment and we think the American people do too.

*Some really Helpful Maps via Matt Bracken.


No Blood for Burisma

No Blood for Burisma

If you read one article this week, read this one, and then pass it on to somebody you care about.

My friend NC Scout hit’s the nail on the proverbial head with a fine piece of writing.


The Role of Snipers in the Donbas Trench War



Make no mistake, Snipers can turn the tide of a battle and demoralize the enemy with FEAR.

Stay Alert, Armed and Dangerous!


The Long History of “Little Green Men” Tactics and How They Were Defeated


In both Crimea and the subsequent fighting in the Donbas region of Ukraine, Russia’s signature tactic has been the use of so-called “Green Men,” soldiers without identifying insignia whose identity as Russian soldiers the Kremlin denied. Ukraine, Georgia, and even NATO members like Estonia now fear that they could be the next target for Russia’s Green Men.  NATO, alarmed by the need to prepare for this unexpected tactic, has committed to develop new countermeasures to defend against this threat. Green Men, or deniable forces, are a central part of what has come to be called “hybrid warfare” in the “gray zone” between war and peace.  All of this seems to be a new and innovative departure from traditional tactics, perhaps even a new model for conflict in the 21st century.

However, deniable forces are nothing new. Nor, in fact, is the specific phenomenon of using them to seize a piece of territory, as Russia did in Crimea. There is a long history of hybrid warfare in general and of intervening with deniable forces in particular. This history points not just to the enduring nature of the threat, but also to the contours of a “counter-hybrid” strategy to defeat it.

In the course of a broader research project for which I compiled data on every land grab since 1918, 105 land grabs in total, I found three instances before Crimea of deniable forces seizing territory. In 1999, Pakistani forces crossed the Line of Control in the Kargil region of Kashmir, occupying positions overlooking strategically important roads in Indian territory. Like the Russians, Pakistan used deniable forces that they described as Kashmiri insurgents. Unlike the Ukrainians, the Indians counterattacked, absorbing heavy casualties to expel the Pakistanis.

 Read the Remainder at War on the Rocks