Publisher's Note: This new series, from The Correspondent, will be an evolving fixture here on Eastern NC NOW, so keep your visits on a frequent basis, and we will keep you full of even a greater variety of knowledge.
All summer they drove us back through the Ukraine
Smolensk and Viasma soon fell
By autumn we stood with our backs to the town of Orel
Closer and closer to Moscow they come
Riding the wind like a bell
General Guderian stands at the crest of the hill
Winter brought with her the rains, oceans of mud filled the roads
Gluing the tracks of their tanks to the ground while the sky filled with snow
And all that I ever was able to see
The fire in the air glowing red silhouetting the snow on the breeze - Al Stewart
The Correspondent and The Colonel consult, November 28, 1999, Vucitrn, Kosovo: Above. Click image to enlarge.
Nine thousand battle-hardened Russian shock troops arrived in Belarus the past week in addition to several hundred armoured fighting vehicles and advanced air-defence elements. Once the ground is frozen, they will join another thirty thousand regulars as the Russian winter offensive strikes western Ukraine in a blitzkrieg-style assault -- highlighted by the first application of the emerging primary strike element of the early 21st century:
The Drone Swarm
Surprise attacks in warfare are a key element in operational success on the battlefield, however, more often than not, these victories do not translate into decisive strategic conclusion. The ability to capitalize on opportunities provided by a collapsed front are limited through the nexus of time and space hampering breakthrough advances (both physical and geo-political).
Thus the "Zhukov"
drone-swarm strategy was born (or hatched if you will) and developed in recent months since the opening setbacks for Russian forces in the preliminary phase of the conflict. With Russia's primary drone command-structure now operating from Crimea (with much assistance from Iranian technical specialists), the "Zhukov"
form involves a much lower technical threshold as -- with some 1500 plus lower end units acquired and stockpiled -- the Russian soon to prove the old adage once more:
"Quantity has a quality all its own."
The Winter strike from Belarus will collapse the entire battlefield front and put intense pressure on western financial markets, already most shaky for a myriad of reasons. The talking heads on TV and podcast will express alarm, shock and outrage (you get hit by three waves of five hundred suicide drones across your entire front followed by a fresh Russian Tank Army, and it will get your attention most bigly) but in reality they know now what is coming and they are shaken.
Unlike Putin, who is certainly quite stirred ...
Russia controls the energy flow with General Winter approaching and the conflict tempo by retaining the initiative. Notice the much heralded Ukrainian "counter-offensive"
suddenly not in all the headlines as better than a thousand Ukies KIA each day.
NATO on the road in Ukraine about like Texas at Oklahoma State. Every "expert"
on Gameday, except Desmond Howard, laughingly called it a Texas blowout in the much-vaunted pregame show. However, you saw reality once the aerials started flying -- resulting in the public blowing stacks of currency on the Littlehorns. Same thing with the bought and paid for "analysts" on CNN and MSNBC discussing the Ukraine war.
The Russian Army has not yet started the campaign. The war launched in late February and thus Russia's winter advantage was negated while the early season rains and mud of Spring made strategic advance impossible. Now the Russians about to start the war on their own terms.
The strike from Belarus will cut the country in half and sever communication links to Kiev. With the capital isolated it is game over. If the West is foolish enough to intervene, then the nuclear card comes out in an environment where but a single low-yield blast will collapse both the UK Gilt and American bond markets.
Putin is Master of Europe. All that oppose him will be destroyed.
Somebody a little wound up about this Ukraine thing. Probably best not to think too much about nuclear annihilation or the price of Pepsi going up at the Food Lion. Only one of those two crises we can impact and, regrettably, the folks at Pepsi no longer returning our calls.
To make matters worse, our regular analyst that writes each selection post-mortem has been reassigned to the struggling Ted Budd campaign as that joker running a terrible race and only up two points now. Once again this leaves us with nothing but Farnell's insight -- which is sort of like a Bill's hot dog without chili.
In other words, a plain Bill's hot dog without the secret sauce. Two things you never want to have in River Town without an ample dose of the secret sauce: Bill's hot dogs and local campaigns running a little less than full throttle.
Through the miracle of modern technology, we join Farnell now with Moon, Sunday morning River Town, at that most nuanced eatery across from the new police station, in the minutes before the arrival of "Lucky Ned"
Moon: "Man, we were really sweating the game early, but me and The Pruze just kept saying 'Mike Gundy' every time it looked tough. Is it really about the coaches and the programmes and not the players?"
Farnell: "Man, I'm tellin' ya, just look at the second half and which team adjusted. The Cowboys shut down that Texas run game and the Texas QB had only played five games since being a junior in high school. The weather forecast was for a 20 MPH crosswind at a stadium where the fans are right on top of you. Texas had 14 penalties and State had none. That's coaching, Man."
Moon: "Yeah, well when they were down 14 it wasn't looking so good."
Farnell: "Poor special teams execution by State the only reason it was close. The better team, with the much better quarterback and far superior coaching staff was getting six and the hook at home -- on homecoming against a big rival with a little weather going."
Moon: "Well it was still too close. My nerves were shot yesterday. I was running on empty at the end there"
Farnell: "Yeah, yeah, so was Jackson Browne back in the day. Look Man, today your wallet is full. Main thing to remember is that Texas is one of the most over-rated teams in the country and not because they are any good. But because they are a bunch of whiners with a lotta kwam -- never take them as road favourites. Unless, of course, they are playing Rice. Then load up on them."
Moon: "Why's that Man? Is Rice that bad?"
Farnell: "For the same reason America will b-slap Beijing something silly up-side-da-head if they try us on Taiwan."
Farnell: "The classic Texas Longhorn student body cheer back in the day -- when everybody understood there were only two genders total -- and peeps had sufficient cojones to stand up and tell it like it was:
"What comes out of a Chinaman's azz?"
"Rice, stinkin' Rice."