A Real Good Plan

Falling through the universe at the speed of life

By David Glenn Cox

A funny thing happened the other day. In a game that has gone on since the early days of the Cold War. The Russians would fly planes at Alaska, just to see if we were paying attention. Fighter planes were scrambled and directed the Russians back out into international airspace. Events so common, we could identify individual aircraft. And likewise, NATO would fly jets towards the Russian border to try and catch them napping, but only as an exercise. An exercise without a strike mission attached, just a game of chicken played with jet planes and international borders.

But the other day, two Royal Air force F-35s were out playing the game. Making a beeline for the Russian border across the Baltic. And when they got there, they were all alone. The Russians were no shows. Gee, that’s odd, they’ve always showed up before. Joe Stalin would sure be pissed if he heard about this. How can you account for this? “Yuri! Wake up and watch your radar screen! If I catch you sleeping on the job one more time!” Or it could have been clever Russian ploy. “Wow, I’ll bet if we don’t show up, that’s gonna really freak them out!” But Occam’s razor is Occam’s razor, isn’t it?

If trucks are abandoned, they are probably short of fuel. If soldiers steal food, they probably short of food. If nobody shows up to guard the border, they are probably robbing Peter to pay Paul and left poor Peter with none.

Sometimes is seems that those with absurd ideas like “Let’s rebuild the Soviet Union.” Think that they are still the Soviet Union. That they could pick up an oddly shaped telephone and order the tractor factory to start turning out T-34s tanks again by lunch time. Ford won’t be converting the Rouge to turn out B-24s and the Plymouth factory won’t be used to churn out tanks. Modern wars are run what you brung with you.

If you’re firing a hundred of those laser guided, super gismo can’t miss rockets per day. And the factory at full production turns out around a 100 per week. You need inventory or a shorter war. What have we learned recently about the Russian military? A model of efficiency or Gilligan’s Island on the professor’s day off?

Using forty-million-dollar aircraft to drop dumb bombs, because they ran out of the good stuff. They only had a token inventory for threat and display purposes. So, they’ll use their super sonic aircraft as sub sonic B-24s and get them blasted out of the sky. Just take your attack helicopter and fly across that open field over there. We are Mother Russia; we will just pick up the oddly shaped phone and order a new air force to arrive immediately. But it doesn’t work like that.

“You men; occupy Chernobyl and dig in!” If you took a team of the world’s greatest scientists and tasked them, with finding the worst fucking place in the entire fucking world to dig in. Even with a big fat budget and zero accountably. In no time at all, would decide the Red forest around Chernobyl.  To be the worst place in the entire fucking world to dig in. The professor takes one day off and look what happens. “Congratulations, on behalf of the Academy of Science, we are proud to present you with this Darwin Award! For most men lost, without firing a shot.

Russia has many, many tanks, but only a few good ones. They have many, many  airplanes, but only a few good ones. They have hulks of tanks without engines. Leftovers from the good ole days and odds and sods. Pull em out of the bone yard, dust them off and give em the old Earl Shibe once over paint job. Mark em with a “Z”  and send them out on their way!

This is where the delusion comes in. In his mind, Vladimir Putin sees the legions of tanks passing in review before the Kremlin balcony on May Day. But the world see’s Pull-a-Part, a salvage yard for the masses. “I’m looking for a tranny for my 74 Chevy pickup truck, have you got one?” The highly touted S-300 anti-aircraft missile system has officially been declared junk, due to its inability to see incoming drones. “Yuri! Wake up! Don’t make me tell you again!”

The Russian public plan, whatever that means. Is to redeploy to the South of the Ukraine and start again. Start all over again. Try this attack business, one more time. Everybody ready? “Yuri, pay attention this time!” But modern wars don’t work like that. You can’t just sweep the floor and make up new units. Pick up the phone and order a new army to be constructed.

The Ukraine’s sunk a Russian warship in the Black Sea. The Russian ship followed a straight-line course, without any deviation. No need to zig zag or occasionally alter its course. The Ukrainians plotted where the Russian ship would be and fired a volley of missiles sinking the ship. No, memo was ever sent. “To all Russian ship Captains on Black Sea. Due to the recent loss of a warship, it recommended Russian ships in future, zig zag or alter course occasionally, when approaching Ukrainian waters. We know this memo wasn’t sent, because the Ukrainians were able to do it again.

You only get one shot at the surprise attack game. Russian tanks are made of butter on a warm day. Russian aircraft when used improperly, are like shooting crows off the telephone line. The Russian army is a poorly trained rabble, without the disciple of third world boy scout troop.  Russian pilots are firing off missiles up in the air, so they can hurry up and get the hell out of there. Not caring where the missiles eventually land, but only caring about getting Yuri back to the airport. Not like Star Wars with a dedicated Luke, gonna blow up the death star do or die.

Maybe the Russians will move south, declare victory, and go home. Maybe they will have too. Without the Western components to build more whiz bang missiles, they’ll have to use whatever they’ve got on hand, from wherever they can get it. “Sir, we’ve lost one hundred tanks!” Then send one hundred more! “Yes sir, right away General Yuri!” It appears the most defective equipment in the Russian arsenal seems to be the soldiers themselves. Drunks and dropouts, thugs who couldn’t get an honest job, led by thugs, who couldn’t get an honest job.

Gonna refight World War Two in their Soviet era tanks. Gonna start all over again down South, are you? Yeah, sure you are. You just gotta get Earl Shibe up and busy painting the new army. Gonna sweep the floor and replace all that defective, obsolete equipment and take what’s left of the air force and start all over again. “That sounds like a real good plan Yuri. A real good plan! I’ll wait on that plan with bated breath.” As the diagnosis of insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting a different result.

I think if I were a NATO commander, Today I’d send four Royal Air Force F-35s to the Russian border, just to see what happens.

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