One branch of intelligence is called intentions and warnings, which is the study of actions taken by a potential adversary that will warn you of what they plan on doing in the near future.

I recently told you about reports that Russian strategic bombers were active at a base far away from their normal, closer to Ukraine home base. The base where they are located just happens to be where Russia stores a large number of its nuclear warheads.

Another disturbing report is that Russia has deployed its largest nuclear submarine from its homeport. Its whereabouts are unknown, but it is presumed to be in the Arctic ocean.

A third piece of news that indicates something is amiss is the fact that Russia has mobilized troops belonging to the 12th Chief Directorate of the Russian Ministry of Defense. This directorate is responsible for the safe-keeping, technical maintenance, transportation, delivery, issuance, disposal, and care of Russia’s nuclear arsenal. The troops from this unit have some of the most modern vehicles in the Russian arsenal, all equipped with modern NBC warfare capabilities. Those vehicles have been loaded onto trains that are kept for the exclusive use of moving nuclear weapons and their security forces around the country, destination unknown, but have been seen moving east.

To me, these developments signal one of a couple of possibilities:

Scenario 1: Saber Rattling

The Russians are going to do nuclear drills and/or testing. This is the essence of nuclear saber rattling. You do this to remind other nations that you have nuclear weapons and can use them. The ultimate warning will be the detonation of an above ground warhead as both a test and a warning. If this happens, the US will instantly know this due to the NDDS satellite detection system. It would be a violation of the test ban treaty, but would be a way for Putin to show them he means what he says when he warns them to back off. This is the most powerful warning he could send, short of actually attacking someone with a nuke. If this were to happen, I doubt that our morons in this administration would get the correct message.

Scenario 2: Nothing to Lose

The second possibility is that we have backed Putin into a corner where he feels has is about to be tossed from power in the Russian way, meaning a bullet to the head. After all, we are shutting down the Russian economy. His own citizens are starting to riot and push back. All he needs to do in order to join the Romanovs in their retirement villa is maintain the status quo. Having little to lose, he is actually planning on using nukes. If that is what he is up to, and it is certainly possible, then there are a couple of ways that I see him doing this. He will either attack Ukraine under the assumption that the other NATO countries will do nothing (because our leaders are senile and/or cowardly pussies), or he will do it in conjunction with a decapitation strike. Kill the President and bet that whoever is left in charge won’t have the guts to do anything about it. Could you see Harris ordering a nuclear strike?

Scenario 3: All of this is an illusion

All of this mysterious activity is merely large scale military readiness drills. Putin is bluffing. The movement is just business as usual. While it is certainly true that this may just be a readiness exercise, it is dangerous to do drill involving the movement of strategic units when your opponent has announced that they are watching closely to see if you are preparing for the use of nuclear weapons.

The more signs that are becoming available, the more troubling it appears. The US is in a bad spot. The only way that a nuclear arsenal is a deterrent is if your adversaries think that you have the capability and the willingness to use them if the other side crosses the line. The Biden administration is constantly projecting. They have no intention of ever using nukes for any reason, and are projecting that upon Putin. They think he is bluffing because they themselves are bluffing.

I just don’t see Biden attacking the Black Sea fleet directly with US forces, as the administration has threatened. That is a huge risk. There is a US carrier in the Med that is begging to be an Order of Lenin for some adventurous Russian submarine Captain.

As for the Russians, they and the Chinese (as well as the rest of the world) have gotten the message of last year’s Afghanistan disaster loud and clear: the US is bereft of real leadership and intestinal fortitude. They may well be thinking that we don’t have the guts to do anything but posture and make speeches.

The Russians are threatening to use nukes. This is not a time to be coy or vague. What is needed is to say that the use of nuclear weapons in Europe will result in a nuclear response and make the Russians believe it. You have to make them KNOW that there is no coming out of a nuclear exchange as a winner. As soon as they begin thinking that this is the path to victory, the Russians will start to think that it is a viable option, and your deterrent has failed. Ronald Reagan won the cold war because the Soviets were terrified of him, they were terrified of out military and its capabilities, and they knew deep down that a conflict with the US would result in a national disaster. That knowledge kept the peace.

The world knows that this President isn’t capable of decisive action and may just be willing to roll the dice.

That is the scariest thing of all.

Categories: Presidency


Aesop · October 3, 2022 at 3:01 pm

Scenario 4:
Putin’s serious, but his command staff aren’t batshit insane.
He starts limbering up the nuclear arsenal, and walks right into a faceful of Makarov, and becomes modern art on some Kremlin wall.

Command reports he’s suffered an unfortunate heart attack, and interim leader is revealed.
Closed casket service.
Gradual drawdown in Ukraine, and eventual abandonment of his whole Russian/Uke anschluss, leading to slow return to status quo ante.

    Divemedic · October 3, 2022 at 4:55 pm

    Always a possibility, it IS Russia, after all. Their politics are never boring. However, you are just as likely to get a follow on leader who is even worse.
    The Russians have a long memory, and the entire country is institutionally paranoid. They still have artillery pieces left over from WW1 that they keep in storage in case they are ever needed.
    This war between Ukraine and Russia has been going on for nearly a decade, and the US has been involved for nearly the entire time. It isn’t like we are the innocent protectors. Zelensky is in power because we put him there.

      Exile1981 · October 4, 2022 at 12:04 am


      The one item that bothers me lately is all the oligarchs dying in mystetious accidents.

      Theoreticly those are Putins allies, so you would think he is not inclined to be the one killing them.. If he is ordering them that implies he is worried they were going to withdraw their support. If itsnot him then someone is trying to weaken his support. Which one of those is true changes the tone of his threats.

      He said the west was trying to start a color revolution in russia… likely true. If its him ordering the deaths he’s preventing disloyalty among those whose support is waivering and threats of nukes are just threats as he has an internal issue needs to appear strong domesticly. If someone else is taking out his allies, especially if they arenot local then the threat of nukes isn’t an idle threat, he really is going to use them to prevent what he sees as foreign assassination of his alies.

      No way to know which though.

      Aesop · October 4, 2022 at 12:21 pm

      Yes, but…
      there were quite a few million Ukrainians tired of Putin-puppet leadership involved in that coup too, IIRC.
      Nothing happens in a vacuum.
      And whatever anyone says about Zelensky, he’s clearly not Russia’s puppet, and the citizenry has made it loudly clear they’re fighting for their own independence from Russia, not for love of Z or his leadership.

      Russia’s multi-millenial paranoia is what drives most of their collective psychosis for that same period of time, and why they’re a turd world country with a soon-to-be-turd world military.

      I also don’t think anyone else could try to take Ukraine any harder than Putin has without opening the door to twelve more republics splitting off for good, and inviting China to expand its borders all over the Siberian wilderness.

      Putin eating a bullet would be best for Russia, and best for the rest of the world, if Russia simply dropped him as a mulligan, and tried as rapidly as possible to return to the status quo ante.

    Exile1981 · October 3, 2022 at 11:55 pm

    Not saying your wrong Aesop but does anyone actually know howthe nuclear order is given in Russia?

    I remember thatsome info was released after the fall about how thete was a junior officer who was supposed to monitor a sensor and if he detected a US launch he was supposed to give the command for full launch, which didn’t go through the kremlin. I remember he detected a launch was suspicious of the sensor and it turned out it had detected a solar flare. He was punished for not launching if i remember the story correctly.

    What i’m getting at is your assumption is that any launch command by Putin goes through the generals. If it doesn’t he can give the order and a pistol shot may not stop the balloon from going up.

      Aesop · October 4, 2022 at 12:14 pm

      I doubt most strenuously that he has a red button he alone can push.
      Russia is the home of government by committee.

      BTW, a lot of/all of those defenestrated allies had also recently taken public positions voicing misgivings about the Ukraine War, almost to a man.

      There’s not a lot of mystery why they’re all dying of gravity overdoses.

Bluey · October 3, 2022 at 3:20 pm

With all the declarations Russia needs to stop existing, the collective west certainly made the whole thing an existential threat.
I doubt they’re playing around, no matter how hard some try to argue they’re incompetent etc.
Be nice to still be able to live on the planet.

Steve S6 · October 3, 2022 at 4:39 pm

Pity the intel analyst trying to talk sense to the morons in charge.

BobF · October 3, 2022 at 7:11 pm

The longer it goes on the more I hope/expect Putin to have some really bad food for supper – some ingredient not in the recipe, odorless, tasteless, and untraceable IF they want it that way.

    McChuck · October 4, 2022 at 4:47 am

    /find “Putin” /replace “Biden, Harris, Pelosi, Schumer, Soros, …”

Noveskes Rock · October 3, 2022 at 8:19 pm

Scenario one followed by a flux compression generator EMP strike (non nuclear) on either the City of London (square mile) or SHAPE headquarters in Brussels. The US Space Farces just completed exercise Dark Skies – a message to Russia. Their response might be targeting some of the civilian space assets providing targeting information to the Ukrainians. From my perspective time is on the Russians side. They need to keep slowly boiling the kettle while reassuring the frog not to jump out.

Francis W. Porretto · October 4, 2022 at 4:50 am

Ukraine, while a valuable prize to Putin, is of no real importance to the U.S. except as an excuse for exactly this sort of chest-beating. And being the sort they are, the Bidenites can’t resist it.

Someone should remind the Usurpers what came of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s bragging in 1914.

tfourier · October 4, 2022 at 7:07 am

If you ever followed the pre invasion pattern of Russian military exercises and movements for any amount of time you would see that nothing unusual in any of those stories.

There is even a twitter feed which has was a interesting source of RU military movement info over the years pre invasion. Now almost all just propaganda material .

The clearest discussion I’ve seen of actual current Russian tactical nuke doctrine is here.

Although overtaken by events as it was written just before invasion its not the usual ill informed garbage you see everywhere else in the general media. The cited sources are very interesting too.

The section on Russian escalation steps, escalation control, and escalation doctrine are the most relevant. Just like in the Cold War the Russians are playing a totally different game.

As for Putin. He now has that thousand yard stare. The overwhelming self confidence of the criminal psychopath evaporated a few weeks ago. Just after the Moscow 875 celebration appearance. He now just looks and sounds like a cornered rat.

Toastrider · October 4, 2022 at 7:23 am

Alexa, play ‘Christmas at Ground Zero’ for me…

Matthew · October 4, 2022 at 10:03 am

Someone in the US Military knows where all the submarines are, especially that one. Whether they know what to do to counter a threat posed by any particular one is doubtful. Even if they knew exactly what to do, what they can do, or will do anyone’s guess, but they do know their locations.

    Divemedic · October 4, 2022 at 11:11 am

    You are giving them way too much credit. During the cold war, the US Navy spent a lot of time learning and perfecting the art of ASW. Even back then, finding submarines was no easy feat.
    The US Navy, first in its quest to stay relevant during the GWOT, and later in the race to become woke, has given up nearly all of its ASW hardware and institutional knowledge in hunting submarines.

      Aesop · October 4, 2022 at 12:35 pm

      Not “given up” certainly, but inarguably “reduced to criminal levels of non-ability”. The Los Angeles,Seawolf, and Virginia classes are world-beaters, still crewed by the best of the best at that game, but where once we had near 100, we’ve now got half that number, which is 20% of the front-line fleet, and we have essentially no frigates.

      “Gutted” doesn’t begin to describe current ASW readiness and capabilities.

        Divemedic · October 4, 2022 at 1:51 pm

        The CVBG used to have a robust helicopter ASW capability, several frigates, and a squadron of S-3 Vikings.
        The frigates and S-3s are gone. The old Helicopter ASW squadrons are gone, with the helicopters transitioning to become “Sea Combat” squadrons. The ASW capabilities resident in the HS squadrons were lost in the transition and they now concentrate on sea logistics, Combat Search and Rescue, Naval Special Warfare Support, and Anti-Surface Warfare capabilities. In short, carrier battle groups are now virtually without ASW capabilities.

Jonesy · October 5, 2022 at 8:03 am

It’s hard to know what Russia will do, but I always think in terms of what countries would be tempted to do when we have weak leadership. DM mentioned above the whole world saw our disastrous OEF pull out, and watching this administration bumble about with their LGBQT characters doesn’t exactly paint the picture of strength. Biden doesn’t scare anyone let alone command any respect, and can you imagine Kammie launching a harshly constructed word salad in Putin’s or Xi’s direction? Does anyone take Blinkin seriously?

Putin invaded Ukraine and Xi has been alot more aggressive since Biden became president. Putin took Crimea when Obama was president for the same reason – weak leadership. Everyone has seen Gen. Milley rooting out white rage and Llyod Austin implementing all that wokeness telegraphs that our military is not serious about fighting anymore. Any bad actor would know they have a limited time left to do what they want. The question is, with all those potential scenarios, what do they think they can get away with?

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