This document, based on what you see, appears to be Unclassified. If there is a classification marking in the upper right hand corner, it is obscured. As you can see, it primarily provides a summary of the Composition & Disposition of the U.S. forces — air, maritime and soldiers — in the European theater. There are 92,000 U.S. military personnel in the European AOR (i.e., Aera of Operations), but they are not in Ukraine.
The image also shows the US/NATO Special Operations Forces in Ukraine (you can read Jim Hoft’s report on this here) and the total US presence in Ukraine, which is 100 persons. According to the image of the document published on Twitter, the Department of State has more people in Ukraine than the Department of Defense. There are 71 people listed as State Department (i.e., DoS) and 29 military personnel. Of those 29, 14 are SOF aka Special Operations Forces. the remaining 15 consist of the Defense Attache (DAO), personnel with the Office of Defense Cooperation (essentially traffic cops handling the flow of U.S. military aid to Ukraine) and the Marine Security Augmentation Unit (MSAU), which provides security for U.S. diplomatic facilities.
What about the CIA? Yes, they are there, but I do not know if they are listed under State or DOD or both. The briefing slide pictured above is quite explicit that the total U.S. official presence in Ukraine is 100 souls (and that includes the Ambassador).
I do not believe that the U.S. SOF personnel are there on a combat mission. They are most likely involved in providing training for special Ukrainian units and in providing advice in a liaison role to the Commanders of Ukrainian Brigades deployed on the Eastern front. I believe the SOF forces of the UK, France, Latvia (LVD) and the Netherlands (NLD), are carrying out the same kind of duties as their U.S. counterparts.
What I find surprising is that France and Latvia have more SOF personnel in Ukraine than the United States. Latvia outnumbers France with a total of 17 personnel.
Some may argue that this is a fabrication intended to mislead about the true number of American diplomats and military personnel in country. Not true. One of the purposes for putting these kind of numbers in a briefing is to ensure that the Commander of U.S. European forces knows how many official Americans are in Ukraine in the event an emergency evacuation is ordered and the military has to rescue them.
This is just another Peggy Lee moment, i.e., Is that All There Is? Yes. This slide debunks the story circulating among the blogger/Telegram channels that the Russians killed 200 NATO personnel in a missile strike in March.
What’s more important? The true numbers or the official numbers? I am sorry but this is the same game the degenerates are playing with our children. ‘Well technically we’re not doing x so its ok.’
This smoke is not for the author, I’m sure I can see what he’s getting at.
Dave Hansell says
There was an interview a few months back – which, to the best of my limited recollection may have been with a Canadian military figure – who observed something along the lines that the easiest [plausible deniability?] way of escalating NATO personnel presence in the combat area would be to re-designate NATO personnel as “contractors”.
Indeed, it was noted as far back as last autumn the substantial increase in the number of combat operatives on the war zone with American, British and other accents.
The point being that its perfectly plausible for NATO personnel of very senior ranks to be operating under the designation of “contractors” in back office/non front line combat roles within the theatre of conflict.
Given that the contractor model is operating in every other organisational context within the West – from Government administration to Education; health and social care to transport; utilities to elections and beyond it would be surprising indeed that this is not the case with the NATO run military operation in Ukraine.
The question of whether or not this is an operationally fit for purpose methodology in such a context may well be questioned by professionals in this field. I have certainly raised such questions about this way of operating in regards my own limited field. Regardless, such questioning – and whether I or anyone else like or approve of it or otherwise – has not prevented its wholesale adoption as the only acceptable game in town by the oxygen breather’s making the decisions.
Consequently, that claim of having killed 200 senior NATO personnel in a strike on a NATO bunker is not necessarily de-bunked by these documents, whatever their origin.
bob bonobo says
“degenerates”? degenerate from what? from sexuality and morality like yours? that would make your comment a boast and virtue signal, wouldn’t it? abd that would be degenerate.
Hubert A. Monteiro says
With all due respect for your expertise as a veteran in the business as well as your truth-telling character (something in desperate scarcity on our planet), can a piece of paper, the reasons for its appearance still a mystery, dispel any doubts about or negate any past events in such categorical way, like the claims that Russia killed 200 NATO personnel?
If we are still conjecturing about the veracity of these leaked docs, or at least whether they were surreptitiously or intentionally leaked, doesn’t that preclude us from placing too much credence to any info contained in them?
I agree as well. Look at Wagner.
Wagner isn’t really Russian military, despite thousands of “employees” on the job in Ukraine. I don’t suppose the US, or more specifically the CIA, has ever put a lot of “contracted” boots on the ground anywhere to avoid/bypass any classification of US military presence? Except of course for dozens of instances like central America, etc.
Numbers mean squat without clarity on their accuracy and exactly what they represent (and don’t represent). Numbers, data and statistics I know. Undefined or not well defined numbers are generally just noise. Numbers without a definitive source or known accuracy are generally useless.
Wagner’s not Russian military seem to be doing most of the heavy lifting while the Russian military for the most part, is amassed on the borders. So, just like the data released, Russia isn’t really invading Ukraine at all, right? It’s mostly just Wagner. I’d suggest working the same logic back the other way and maybe there are a few more NATO resources there than you may be told. If not a few thousand. To paraphrase Bill Clinton, it all depends on what the definition of “NATO troops” is.
John Plumridge says
Wagner are young Russian citizens, not mercenaries, winning a reprieve for themselves from their penalty prison. They cannot be drafted, or ’employed’ on commission by the Russian Army, or work under commissioned officers, but can soldier as volunteers, with non-commissioned officers of any kind (veterans etc_
Neither are Wagner soldiering in disguise, they work under the Russian flag.
They are a group of Russian military; Earning reprieve from a Russian penal institute implies that, because its earned in service for Russia, with risk of greatest personal sacrifice. Officially Equipped and maintained at the states expense, and awarded by the state.
It’s the West that call Wagner otherwise, and fails to recognise their precise status; Non-commissioned and non-drafted soldiers in uniform. A special force. The western parrots, even if they were’nt stupid (voluntarily), wouldn’t recognise them anyway because they are dishonest and like to project slurs.
Wagner are an excellent idea when a nation fights for its existence, for all including the sons who went astray. This Wagner business is born out of a fatherly understanding and love for all his people.
All heavy fighting is heavy fighting; As for Wagner doing all or most of the heavy lifting, do not forget the people of Donbass, not the several thousand Russian soldiers who have risked their lives and got killed in doing so. Perhaps ‘most’ should be changed to ‘much’, to be more precise or not misleading.
Fighting occurs away from Bhakmut, that you are not paying attention to.
Wayne Bonin says
I remember a press conference some years ago (5 or more?) when Trump was president, after he had ordered US troops out of Syria. Some military official said something about the 5000 US troops in Syria, and (I think it was a reporter) said something like don’t you mean 500? The official said yes, 500, and everyone laughed.
It certainly looked like ignoring the Commander In Chief’s orders was just a big joke for them. Sometimes it is hard to accept that the organization you worked for your whole life is corrupt to the core. It took the Covid “vaccine” almost killing Dr. Malone to wake him up to the state of Big pharma.
Bakhmut is toast then these secret thingies appear.
The paper clip Admiral pleads within the compliment press corp..”please don’t publish or talk about these secret documents.” Talk about a bad actor.
It’s all too narrative approved for me. Genuine documents, yes they may well be, but some how it all stinks of a get out of jail card.
It is getting into the comic opera zone.
Scot Ritter now thinks the Russians should be fighting a manoeuvring, US Marine Corp Iraq manual style combat in Bakhmut .
Pepe Escobar has lost his mind and now smokes a fat cigar as a Groucho Marx impersonator. Completely abandoning the great intellectual icon image.
Then the other chap in Kharkiv, cigar smoking, with dog barking, air raid sirens blaring , living undetected and blogging in the streets. Unnoticed by Ukrainian locals and or secret police.
Last time I watched him he was bragging about doing cocaine and driving around with two hookers…(buy me a coffee). Then repeated intones, “come on, we have all done it?” Hunter maybe but give me a break.
It’s a shit show and going to spin out of control, forsure.
Taiwan : the US has been defeated in EVERY war “gamed ” invasion.
15 or 20 years ago the USAF pilots were baiting on the bit to take out them Chinks. Russian and Chinese reality descends upon them with their high tech air defence and puts a stop to that. Yet Washington now wants to flip Ukie war, for war with China.
Someone up there must of has noticed I am retired, comfortable, able to afford little luxuries. If seeing the world in reality is a sin, I’m stuffed and will be dying of radiation poisoning with everyone else.
I paid cash for the best automatic espresso machine on the market. It paid for itself in 12 month! ……..Is anyone listening?
About the “Kharkiv” chap, actually bragging about his lurid and lascivious soirées…hmm! You don’t say!!!! Well, you know what Aaron, logic is supreme and anyone with a critical mind as you, relying on it, can usually infer when something just isn’t right about something or someone. Over the years, I’ve developed certain “linguistic indicators” to determine this. It often seems to me that the “Logic and Language” class I took way back in my University years somehow grafted its theories deep into the recesses of my unconscious mind and now maybe due to osmosis, are finding their way increasingly to my conscious mind.
Related to your assertion of the Kharkiv guy, I have a theory. I have developed it more or less since Google-YouTube began their witch-hunt of channel owners and commenters alike, right around the time of the start of the pandemic, but probably going back even further when they kicked off people like Alex Jones and David Icke from their platform. Pretty much the theory goes like this, to uncover any deep disinfo agent who is still able to post on YT, do the following: post a comment, preferably at the onset of comments, and see what happens to it . If it receives no likes and is pushed down to the bottom, you will have the proof that you are “persona non grata” to the content creator and have more than likely been “shadow-banned” by said individual. I have done this with the Kharkiv guy including others who I will not mention and as you might have guessed, he has failed the test miserably. People and situations are not often as what they appear to be.
YT is evil! i have seen this personally.
nothing anti-Semitic abut what i said (some years back), it was facts i read elsewhere: 3 of the 5 original CP Russian politburo (top decision making body) were jewish. the first president of CP Russia was a jew. the chief executioner of the Tsar and his family was jewish. I was erased because of this. I said explicitly at the top that this wasn’t an anti-Semitic post. I harbor no ill-will towards jewish people.
@MAUP Google’s founders, Sergei Brin and Larry Page are both Jewish. Brin a full-blooded Russian Jew and Page an American half-Jew. It says a lot about their true intents and purposes. Thus, it doesn’t surprise that YT, with its full-blown US trash advertising campaign, has become worse than any US media channel. Pornhub and similar sites ads on YT are just around the corner.
The Jews of which you speak are not Semites. Speaking ill of them therefore is not anti-Semitic.
They are a Turkic people from eastern 404, southern Russia, Georgia.
Anti-semitism is a straw man. He’s not real, he’s made of fucking straw.
Olivier Sauvage says
Welcome to the club! Merely stating objective historical facts about the chosen ones is verbotten thus causing a lot of repressed resentment. That’s why it’s called “the tribe” in posts on the internet. The powers that be have concocted an official narrative regarding the so-called h0l0c4ust that they work hard to make the one and only one heard publicly in order to use it as tool in their power politics games. They have created laws that make it a crime to merely emit an opinion on the subject. Yet, they commit the worst atrocities against the people of Palestine and are working very hard to ethnically cleanse them out of their ancestral homes. The tribe has become so powerful that they have successfully imposed their diktat thus creating increasing hatred towards them across the globe. It will eventually boomerang into their faces when the critical point of accumulated resentment, deception and lies is reached. I have no particular hatred towards them, but I hate to see my freedom of speech repressed by them and their stooges.
PS/ There’s a good chance the moderator won’t let it through, and I understand their predicament.
Add ZeroHedge to the Google controlled outlet. Fight Club has sold out.
Yes, KG is clearly not what he appears to be. That is not to say he is under anyone’s “control,” but there are a few things that stand out:
1. He is very much a cultural American with anti-establishmentarian views.
2. He was briefly targeted by the American secular Jewish machinary.
3. He is not viewed as a threat by the Ukrainians.
4. His family is being protected in Europe.
5. He does not mesh well with alpha dissenters – particularly Americans.
6. In media matters he tends to punch down rather than up.
My guess is he is regarded as a low level asset in Kharkiv and he is aware of as much, though he tends to regard himself as a freelancer. But the speed with which he was released by the Ukrainians says it all.
An observation pertaining to KG’s actual whereabouts. You mention his family is in Europe, correct? Then, I would deduce that, as witnessed by his videos of the last few months, KG is in Europe with them, and I would say somewhere in Southern Europe, more than likely Italy. How do I know this? By simple photo/video analysis which gives his true location away. If you watch his videos, he is filming them from a balcony. Do you notice the stucco pattern in the background? That’s an exterior stucco primarily used in Southern Italy and the Italian islands. I descend from master masons and sculptors, not the Free ones, so I can pick that out in a second. Believe it or not, I have nearly the same color scheme on my house here in Sicily. Funny, eh??
i am know paying very little attention to this war. i do not check this site as near as often anymore. it is becoming a vietnam like quagmire with russia looking like the usa not being willing to do what is necessary to just win the damm thing. i think allot of people on both sides are making a pile of money from this and just want to keep the thing going for as long as possible. Am also very leery of the chabad influence over putin in russia as well as zelensky in the ukraine.
Then Peter Zeihan must have a pretty list of shadow bans.
And is having bots praising him.
What a tool. But people here who know about this state actor are already aware of this fact.
the blame-e says
Scott Ritter’s last podcast with Alex Jones had him screaming incoherently into the microphone, talking well ahead of his thoughts, and even farther ahead of his words.
The bottom notes said the video was just an hour old. A “leaked” podcast? I thought Alex Jones was dead. That, or out digging up the $1-billion dollars he owes the “good people” of Newtown, Connecticut.
Col. Douglas Macgregor, too.
They are all just losing their cool over this thing. Why? Are they looking into the future and seeing fewer hits on their YouTube channels?
It’s like watching the last part of “The Big Short.” The characters know the financial system has collapsed, but nothing has happened. The financial system continues to behave like its business as usual. “It can’t be this rigged.”
Yes, it can. Everything is rigged one way or another. Right now, with this obsession upon so-called “leaked intelligence” everybody has taken their eyes off the ball.
These people are asking what happens when World War III breaks out, and it has been nothing but World War III — since 1945.
Meanwhile . . .
“This business will get out of control. It will get out of control, and we will be lucky to live through it.”
i quit listening to scott ritter when he said the morgenthau plan should have been fully implemented in germany after ww2. that was enough for me.
Re ‘flipping’ the Ukraine war, as campaigning Obama did in 2012 by contrasting Iraq/Afghanistan as the good/bad war – I forget which was which.
Not that it matters, the USofAs lost both, bloodily, ignobly and expensively.
Afghanistan was the so-called good war.
I respect your skills and experience Larry, but I really struggle with the idea that the numbers being that low.
To send many tens of $b worth of equipment with no real means to control its deployment seems like a way to guarantee very poor RoI for the US.
But I have no contravening data to offer, just a strong feeling that seems unlikely. I mean, when was the last time the US relinquished control of anything voluntarily?!
“… seems like a way to guarantee very poor RoI for the US.”
Written words without body language and tone of voice to provide context can often be taken as rude when that is not the intention. Thus it is here. You are making the mistake (as have so many others including me) of excessive abstraction.
All analysis whether scientific, political, or other involves viewing highly complex reality and making abstractions (removing what is not important to answering the question the analyst is tasked to answer). The purpose is to simplify what is under consideration enough so that the essential elements of the system can be reduced to a conceptual model that is more easily understood and (usually) from it limited predictions of the future made.
A classic error in this process is excessive abstraction. Depending on the question that needs answering, in a physics system some terms in the equation can be safely neglected and some cannot. Physics abstraction is guided by natural law. Political abstraction has no such framework upon which to draw. If we abstract away that which is necessary, then we will misunderstand the dynamics of the system essential to answering our questions. An inevitable consequence is that our predictions will be wrong and policies developed from them predicated on their veracity will be ineffective or counterproductive.
Returning to the comment: there isn’t an independent actor called “the US” getting a return on investment (RoI). There are around 330 million souls living inside the Globalist American Empire (GAE). The views and activities of the overwhelming majority can be neglected because their only contribution is to be harvested for taxes. They have negligible understanding of GAE activities in Ukraine and even less control over them.
Who exactly is getting return on investment (RoI)? Those who have a direct stake in GAE funding for Ukraine are a complex web of governmental, corporate, and ethnic networks and institutions, the proper subject of a book not a blog comment. They are not a monolithic entity. Some are decision makers (power) while most are decision implementers (authority). Many of the former and most of the latter are in it for the money, at this (hopefully late) stage of imperial collapse with its associated corruption and uncertainty. We don’t have a coherent grand national strategy because we don’t have a real nation, or even a real country that could be called a federation of nations.
I don’t think that most of the decision implementers care a whit about the imperial or ethnic strategies that guide the decision makers. The RoI for these folks is feeding at troughs filled with cash. If the feeding process serves imperial interests, that’s fine, and if it does not, that’s fine, too. So, venal greed is at least one component of a good explanation. Most of the people involved ARE getting a RoI, irrespective of whether anything changes inside Ukraine. We make the involuntary investment and they take the returns.
This is perhaps the best comment that I’ve seen in the year or so that I’ve been frequenting this site.
Fair call – personal political interests and returns are different than collective ones.
In an at least half-functioning society, there’s at least some alignment.
The argument that congress critters would vote away huge chunks of the nation’s cash without caring at all about the result may be more cynical than I’m ready to entertain.
Business as usual says
NEW YORK, April 12. /TASS/. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Willam Burns provided Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky with a list of 35 high-ranking Ukrainian officials and military officers, whose corruption was known to the CIA, during his visit in Kiev in January, US investigative reporter Seymour Hersh said in his article Wednesday.
In his article, published on the Substack platform, Hersh claims that Zelensky was forced to react to pressure from Washington, and he later publicly fired ten people from Burns’ list. However, he limited his fight against corruption by these measures alone, firing only the officials that were “brazenly bragging about the money they had.
Hersh also states that the Ukrainian President and his entourage embezzled at least $400 million from the aid, provided to Ukraine for purchase of diesel fuel.
I had the same thought on those numbers and agree with you: assuming these documents are genuine as seems the case, then including wrong numbers of US personnel on purpose would be super dangerous. So they are probably accurate.
Supports the notion that there is limited US in depth supervision of this war at the operational level. To do so would surely need far more boots on the ground in subsidiary Ukrainian head quarters to be on top of operational decisions. Seems clear that such a commissar style or advisor system permeating the various HQs is not in place. Just not enough in country personnel for it. Plausible then that the US really has limited idea of what is happening on the ground, beyond what it can find out via satellites and what Ukraine discloses.
I am surprised at this, given how much money is flowing to Ukraine. My assumption had been that Ukrainian senior officers would need permission from the US to visit a rest room or take a coffee break. Cannot imagine that the Pentagon likes this state of affairs so much but might have zero choice. Perhaps there has also been a political decision to be “hands off” operationally.
The Round Table was very good, by the way. Your comments when Gonzalo got cut off about American people not being empire minded (I am not American) felt spot on. America is simply like most empires in history – they are driven by an elite that then does not want to relinquish its power. Seventy years after Suez we still have the same problem in the UK. The elite empire mentality can take a long time to die. Arguably, both world wars were at least in part (albeit not exclusively) caused by the British Empire seeking to maintain itself (an unpopular view in Britain, of course) and a clear worry is that decline of the US empire may lead to similar tragedy. Tony Schafer on the Judge channel made the smart point that Russia realizes that totally humiliating the US in Ukraine would be a bad idea because the administration is loath to lash out and do anything. Declining empires are like cornered animals To build on your other theme: they also deny reality. British elites are particularly good at that. The west as a whole is perfecting its ability to do that too.
Elites who feel under threat, with ebbing power and who have the ability to deny reality feel like a very toxic and dangerous group.
the blame-e says
Doubling down is this hegemon’s SOP.
Putin has given the United States notice: the Ukraine | Russian “conflict” is not Afghanistan. The United States’ proxy war is going to follow them home. No more being protected by oceans.
So, the choice for the U.S. government is between fighting Russians in the Ukraine or fighting the Russians in the United States.
Putin will respond with “Both.” The United States will double itself down to the last Ukrainian, the last Pole, the last German, the last Brit, the last everything.
Pym of Nantucket says
I think that is extreme. Maybe a different Russian administration would do that but I see they currently are very tight assed in legality and on frugality. The obsessed megalomaniac trope doesn’t fit Putin IMO. I see him more like a control freak.
Why chase the US as it runs into its grave? I think Russia and now China both saw the US was a house of cards while trying to bully everyone, and decided to pop the bubble. I say they grab the 1922 border, MAYBE Odessa too, then go back to hedgehog while the US train wreck takes care of itself.
U.N. OUT OF USA, USA OUT OF U.N. says
The Anti-NATO Coalition telegram channel today claimed that Russia’s Maria Zakharova said that “Odessa would become free.”
Make of that what you will but to me it says that the SMO will not end until Odessa is firmly back in Russia’s control and whatever, if anything, remains of “Ukraine” will be landlocked.
the blame-e says
Putin has to take Odessa. Odessa is a huge grain exporting port.
Ukraine must be de-Nazified and de-financialized. Taking Odessa is only logical.
Also, parts of the 101ST Airbourne are stationed in Romania. There had been some speculation of the 101ST moving on Odessa when the Ukraine military was wiped out and had collapsed. Back in January of 2023, force status of the 101ST was given as 4,700. Hardly enough to secure Odessa and keep it from being taken back by the Russians.
“Currently, about 100,000 U.S. troops are carrying out missions in Europe, up from the roughly 80,000 ahead of Russia’s full-fledged invasion of Ukraine one year ago.”
I wonder how many soldiers were added to the units of the 101ST. Probably not enough.
the blame-e says
Nothing wrong with your scenario, except the United States must be rendered powerless. That mean de-militarization and de-financialization.
Since everybody seems fixated upon comparing World War II with World War III, Ukraine is going to fall and fall hard. For Putin to not take it all, would be the equivalent of Hitler not going into Dunkirk and wiping the British army out, especially when Hitler had the Brits on the ropes. You don’t de-Nazify that way.
Pym of Nantucket says
It reminds me of chipping away at the thick layer of ice on my driveway in the spring, when each day new melt water covers it again by day, and freezes each night. If I just wait two more weeks, the sun takes care of it and I save my time and sore shoulders. I’m also less likely to have a heart attack or slip when I’m inside relaxing.
I think accurate perspective .. I like the “hedgehog” analogy.. perfectly sums it up
“Supports the notion that there is limited US in depth supervision of this war at the operational level. ”
Listening to podcast today about West Palestine and the actions of the “authorities”. It’s so like the US – as indicated by this document dump – simply delegating all decision-making to the culprit. That’s the big damning thing in the document dump and I still find it hard to believe that the US is simply taking 404’s numbers as gospel. Really??? But that’s exactly what the EPA and CDC and so forth are doing with the railroad spill – taking the perp’s numbers and the contractors they pay for – as gospel. And if I push that, what was the COVID response – simply a delegation to those with the greatest self interest.
Not a fully coherent thought, I admit. Only an observation that the “authorities” – who are supposed to be responsible to those they nominally serve – simply no longer are. It’s all self interest. There’s a racket going on? Oh, how do I get in on it?
Good germans? Maybe.
I do not believe things have always been like this. I’m 68, used to be a classic liberal democrat, Kennedys, Kucinich, etc… Now all I see is looting across the board. Greed is good!
Joan Of Arc says
Old Microbiologist says
I think this is deceptive or perhaps wildly inaccurate. For example the Office of Defense Cooperation established a unit specifically to account for the billions of US weapons supplied to Ukraine. This unit based in Wiesbaden is commanded by a three-star Army general. Three-stars don’t command 14 people. To perform the amazingly difficult task of going around to every unit and attempting to scan the property book numbers (all TO&E items in the military are bar coded and accounted for using a property book accounting system). It “should” be simply a matter of tracking them down but I imagine the Ukrainian system is a morass of corruption with obfuscation at every turn. This is going to require literally hundreds of soldiers visiting every Ukrainian unit to account for all this stuff. These people aren’t even listed.
What I think is happening is that soldiers are assigned to somewhere and go into Ukraine on TDY so they show up accounted for physically as somewhere else, like Wiesbaden of Germany or even in Florida. You can be TDY for up to 90 days without having to account for a permanent change of station (PCS). All soldiers are on the books somewhere and at some level there is a O-3 company commander accounting for them. Even the Generals are “commanded” by a low-level captain somewhere for personnel activities and pay. This would be a better way to run the manpower accounting because they will be receiving imminent danger pay which is tightly monitored. The military is very stingy on any extra pay for soldiers. No soldier at any rank will be present on a battlefield (hostile theater) without demanding imminent danger pay. It is vital to get credit for things like combat service stripes, combat qualification badges, and ultimately promotions. So, I don’t buy that there aren’t literally thousands of US soldiers running around loose in Ukraine.
may have been tdy for longer than that : )
as i recall – had to phone in occaisionally…
would be nice to have had disposition over time.
if someone produced for example the afghanistan number from a month ago maybe its a couple dozen – of course two years ago would have been more!
in other words – the way i learned it: 297 – 200 = 97.
there is such a thing as calling the folks back home (to Jesus or elsewhere)…
and of course there’s “contractors”
and of course the whole thing might be fake leak – did not used to think it was fake but the willingness of NYT/post to keep attention on it says something is up.
Yes, I have assumed there would be at least hundreds and maybe thousands of US military personnel in Ukraine at any one time. So your assessment that they may be “visiting” but on the books elsewhere makes sense. Presumably, those numbers would be tracked and reported within the military (eg for the potential evacuation purposes Larry mentions) but are just not in this specific tranche of documents.
All analysis of these documents, of course, assumes that they are genuine and / or are intended to give the accurate picture to whomever they were used to brief. Lots of assumptions needed which may or may not be valid!
Michael Cassidy says
if Gilbert and Sullivan were still alive I would be buying a ticket for the Savoyards summer season to see their new comic opera
Charles E. Fromage says
I am the very model of a modern Major-neocon!
Wradish Wrangler says
A little tangential to the topic in hand, but, this has been niggling at me for a while, and I haven’t seen it addresses anywhere:
Regarding the Times report on the ZNPP assault – apparently the Ukrainians believed there were only light infantry guarding the area, and an amphibious coup de main would work. This seems to be a damning indictment of US/NATO intelligence – how did everyone miss the mechanised forces, artillery and on-call helicopters?
Given this failure to assess forces, what confidence do we have in anything else they report?
Zaporozhie Avenger says
You make a mistake by assuming that those in charge care about casualties, or proper assessment, or anything else for that matter (excluding PR & profit). They have been shelling that nuclear power plant for months, not to mention hourly sending people into their Bakhmut death. When put into perspective, this “British signature raid” is one of the more sensible things, right next to Snake Island saga.
Mothy Jim says
A layman’s naive observations in hope of expert explanation:
1) crumpled nature of image suggests done in a hurry without time to keep flat with a heavy book or similar at each end…
2) Belarus coloured as neutral
3) the black squares with numbers are not listed in legend (only 1 partially visible as aircraft carrier group). Why in particular is 5 spread over so many countries and such wide area?
Apologies for basic nature of these!
the blame-e says
“Leaked” or otherwise, this material is over 30-days old. That means it no longer even qualifies as “intelligence.”
“A [whole bunch of] layman’s naive observations in hope of expert explanation” is the perfect way to explain the otherwise prurient and obsessed interest in anything much longer than they deserved.
This is like handing over one hour of your life to watch Alexander Mercouris uncontrollably and repeatedly pick his nose in public during one of his videos. You feel sorry for the guy, but after a while the fidgeting just becomes too revolting. “Show a little self-control, man.” Surely, they have drugs for this kind of thing.
Art Thomas says
Yours was a very mean spirited comment about Alexander Mercouris.
the blame-e says
No, I am not. If I was making fun of him that would be mean-spirited.
Even if I scroll down past his image to just listen to him, you can’t help but hear him knocking about.
We get enough of that with all this Fog of War stuff, and having our attentions distracted away from the real story. That’s what I was saying.
To paraphrase Goethe: Mercouris’ fidgeting shouts so loud that sometimes (most of the time), you can’t hear what he is saying.
Some of this behavior is so over the top that I wonder if Mercouris isn’t doing it on purpose.
Kind of like messing with the living.
To paraphrase Bette Davis about speaking ill of the dead: “Just because they are dead doesn’t mean they have changed.”
At least I am not doing that. But I would, if they had been really unpleasant when they had been alive.
Personally, i’ve stopped following his show as there’s very little of substance there and many erroneous claims.
For example, anything he says about Russian economy is based solely on official figures and reports. At a time when pretty much every Russian economist is saying their Central Bank is on IMF payroll and actively sabotaging economic growth.
Another very good example was his comment about Russian planes attacking Sumi more freely because Kiev’s air defense was depleted. Precluded by his usual “i’m not that good at reading maps”. Dude, how bad you have to be at reading maps not to notice these 2 cities are 300km apart? So bad that you didn’t bother to even open Google maps?
So even listening to him at x2 speed to just get another pov has kinda lost its value. If those are mistakes i did notice, how many more i did not, because i know nothing about that particular subject?
Francisco Viñuela says
Thank you to
“The blame-e says”
Honestly, I laughed! great comment!
Especially the Alexander Mercouris comment, what unbearable gestures on camera…
The Leak it is not a ‘true’ Leak, is more false than Judas…
It is not a true leak, it is done at purpose, previously accepted by those in control…
And albeit the correct information,
the real ingredients…are out of date…
of course !
You forgot to mention the snot snorting. Especially when he is not getting his share of air time.
As a barrister ? Did he really defraud one of his clients?
The nose picking, twitching, snorting plus barking dog in back ground quickly deleted his site.
Larry’s on the other hand is like your own dad, not that flash but knows what he is talking about with authority and extreme prejudice. (on occasion)
It’s a mad, mad world.
Why don’t you learn more about Alexander Mercouris’ background before you talk shit: https://medium.com/@alexandermercouris/my-battle-with-depression-how-misdiagnosis-and-medical-malpractice-almost-killed-me-c24c0d3673fc
Get real, no nose picking ever. A bit of sinusitis maybe and a quick smirk. Greeks and Italians seem to have more than their fair share of deviated septums.
But why he insists on using a 5 syllable ‘organization’ for Wagner ‘Group’ is beyond me. It’s just unnecessarily fastidious.
Other than that, wouldn’t miss a minute. I just run a mental compression app.
What do these docs say about mercenaries? I saw a video yesterday of a British bloke – with a union jack on his uniform – getting rescued by two soldiers, only to see all three killed in a mortar strike seconds later. Are these “special forces” or just guns for hire? Would guns for hire be wearing Union Jacks on their uniform?
Zaporozhie Avenger says
Bunch of adventurists from around the World went there, with all kinds of flags (UK, US, Poland, Georgia, ISIS, you name it).
Early in the conflict a video appeared on YT showing a Ukrainian APC somewhere in the field with a group of combatants on board in high spirits (it was, after all, early). One of the combatants had an RAF patch on his combats and was carrying an assault rifle – making him SAS. The patch was in camo green/olive. Special forces know better than to wear bright full-color identification.
Carlton Meyer says
That’s the big story. How many thousands of ex-NATO soldiers are working as contractors in artillery and air defense units? I suspect thousands of ex-NATO mechanics are shadowing the new NATO equipment.
These figures do not include contract soldiers in the Ukranian military that have US passports. There could be any number of them as we have seen with Polish army units being sheep dipped into Ukranian contract soldiers. The Azovstal Mariupol bunker contained some high value ex NATO personnel that required futile attempts with helicopters to extract and wherever the 6 hypersonic missiles landed could have been the replacement for that command post.
If the numbers of Russian/Ukrainian KIA have been “doctored” as has been suggested, is it not likely that lots of other numbers have been changed?
Excellent point, Glasshopper.
It’s totally pointless to take any number as reflecting the true state of whatever the number is said to stand for, it’s all guesses, it likely that not even the Russian or the Ukrainians know what the true numbers of casualties are, it’s all estimates, anyone who’s been involved in a destructive disaster (say) an earthquake, knows how difficult it is to firm up on the loss of the human life, and that’s in peacetime, in a warring environment it’s close to impossible.
Btw, taking pictures in Ukrainian cemeteries is now barred.
Given the importance of the Ukrainian theatre of war (need to show a win after Afghanistan, the forthcoming 2024 Presidential election, the shocking diplomacy achievements by Xi in the ME… ) it’s unimaginable that NATO and the Americans themselves would have only 100 personnel in Ukraine, the numbers must be running in the thousands, there is too much at stake to leave anything to the Ukrainians considering the DA of Kiev is in charge and corruption and the thieving bloom.
the blame-e says
I’m estimating at least 50,000 U.S. boots on the ground in the Ukraine. 7,000 here, and 7,000 there, and pretty soon you’ve got a sizeable deployment going on. Parts of the 82ND Airbourne that was supposed to have been deployed to Romania and Poland have now been in Kiev for at over a year now. “Weapons inspections.” When are U.S. boots that are not supposed to be on the ground in the Ukraine in Kiev? Maybe they are just wearing flip-flops.
Das Boot says
Since there’s so much of it around, I think they just call them shit-kickers.
the blame-e says
“[The] need to show a win after Afghanistan, the forthcoming 2024 Presidential election, the shocking diplomacy achievements by Xi in the ME…”
Hate to break it to you.
It didn’t bother our government one bit to show a defeat and retreat in Afghanistan. The American people’s opinion counts for less than nothing. The American peoples’ taxes used to be the weight that controlled the government. No more. The government is funded by debt.
The “forthcoming 2024 Presidential election” matters not at all. Just another rigged affair.
The “shocking diplomacy achievements by Xi in the [Middle East] ME” are just a distraction from the full import of the destruction of the USD as the world’s reserve currency. If you think taxes, mandatory fees, food, housing, consumer goods, services, a college education, and gasoline prices are high now . . . .
Carnaby Jones says
“The American peoples’ taxes used to be the weight that controlled the government. No more. The government is funded by debt.”
On this particular thread I’ve heard more loose talk and beyond conjecturing than I could have ever imagined–
You single statement was worth reading all this blather-based super conjecture.
I’ve said nothing about your statement as it needs no clarification whatsoever. It is fundamental. And yet it is unadmitted. Deserves consequent articulation on all its implications.
(not this idiocy of extrapolating on very thin air).
the blame-e says
Who said anything about “very thin air?” 90-percent of the time we’re extrapolating in a vacuum.
Good points, the blame-e, except that in geopolitics not one of the internal warts you list matter much of at all, the American hegemony rests on the rest of the world either respecting or fearing the power of the Republic, the taxes, mandatory fees and stuff don’t come into it, breaking up or at least visibly subduing a perceived rival does.
the blame-e says
All geopolitics are local.
One of many gems from the Big Serge piece:
The American military increasingly seems to be a hollowed out simulacrum of its past glories, decaying behind a façade of shiny machines and bloated budgets – a trillion dollar technobureaucratic jobs program coasting on the residual patriotic fumes of red state American boys.
the blame-e says
The Big Serge is a cool guy. He could stand to be a little bit more plain-spoken. Words like “simulacrum” and “facade” and “technobureaucratic” need to be refined down to their basic (or baser) elements. Debased would work, too.
Junior G-Man says
Careful using the word ‘debased’ minus the de. I’ve heard the FBI earmarks anyone using that word in internet babble as an ‘extremist’ and ‘potential threat to ‘society’, i.e. the DNC’s loyal followers.
Big Serg’s statement deserves a place in the all time quotes hall of fame. Besides hitting the nail on the head, it’s just pure gold.
War of the Words says
He certainly has a way with words.
How woud you simplify ‘facade’?
Simulacrum is pretty cool though. Had to look it up, first introduced in the 16th Century. (A simulacrum is a representation or imitation of a person, esp. of a god).
I think that’s what kicked off the Crusades, the right to use simulacrums in Jerusalem, in contradiction to Islamic majority practices.
Big Serge is big on religion and history, so there you have it.
Roberto Buffagni says
That’s my hypotesis about the leaks.
BY WHOM WERE THE NATO DOCUMENTS DISSEMINATED, AND WHY?
I find especially clarifying the April 10 articles in the “Daily Telegraph ,”Ukraine’s counter-offensive to fall ‘well short’, according to leaked intelligence” and the “Washington Post”, “U.S. doubts Ukraine counteroffensive will yield big gains, leaked document says”
Let me preface by saying that mine are only assumptions, which may very well turn out to be wrong; but at this point I would say that we can begin to understand:
(a) by whom the documents were disseminated.
(b) for what purpose they were circulated.
My guess on a): the documents were leaked with the blessing of someone very high up, who belongs to the group that heads the faction opposed to the escalation of the war, hinged on the Pentagon.
They were disseminated in this way because:
1) plausible deniability
2) pressure grows for escalation (direct intervention of Western forces in the war) from the opposing extremist faction, centered on the bipartisan establishment that directs US foreign policy + its Ukrainian extremist allies.
My guess on (b): the Pentagon faction most opposed to escalation fears that the ‘agreement between the more extremist Ukrainian and U.S. factions most in favor of escalation will confront U.S. decision makers with a fait accompli: i.e., launch an offensive with everything Ukraine has left, bring it to the brink of decisive military defeat, and force the U.S. to make an immediate choice: either intervene with Western troops, or accept a colossal political defeat and be blamed for “not saving Ukraine & democracy.”
In a nutshell: the Ukrainian-US extremist faction wants to start an offensive that is clearly doomed to fail in order to provoke direct Western intervention in the war. Indeed, only direct Western intervention can change the context of the war, which otherwise has as its predetermined outcome Ukraine’s decisive military defeat.
The anti-escalation faction, hinged on the Pentagon, disseminates NATO documents to publicly attest that:
(a) the U.S. and NATO advised against large-scale offensive action by the Ukrainians
b) the U.S. and NATO cannot do much more than what they are doing now; they do not have the material capabilities
(c) therefore, the Ukrainian hardliners, and the U.S. faction with which they are allied, must come down to milder terms, avoid large-scale offensive actions, and basically give the U.S. time to extricate itself from the trap it has gotten itself into.
Above all, they should NOT hope that they can confront the assembled Major States and the Pentagon with a fait accompli of an offensive that would bring Ukraine to the brink of defeat, and believe that this would be enough to provoke direct Western intervention in the war, probably in the form of a “coalition of the willing” (Polish, Romanian, Baltic, etc. troops intervening under their own flag but not as NATO members following a request for military aid from the Ukrainian government).
There is a very instructive historical analogy, the 1961 “Bay of Pigs” operation. CIA and Joint Chiefs of Staff knew full well that the landing of the Cuban exiles would be defeated, without direct American intervention. They also knew that the newly installed president, John F. Kennedy, was opposed to having U.S. forces intervene in Cuba.
So, they did two things: 1) they deceived Kennedy, telling him that the landing could succeed, that the Cuban people would rise up and support the Cuban exiles 2) they assumed that as soon as it became apparent that the landing would fail, Kennedy, to avoid a major political defeat, would authorize them to intervene with U.S. forces on Cuban soil. JFK refused and accepted defeat.
Here the sides are reversed: it is the politicians who are extremists, and the military who are moderates, because on the other side is not Cuba but Russia, and probably also because with all the flaws of the U.S. FFAA, in the assembled MS there are no criminal lunatics like Gen. Curtis Le May.
Thank you for your attention.
Can't judge a book by its cover says
This curious MSM attention is already making me very suspicious of someone deliberately ‘underplaying’ the counter-offensive NATO has in the works.
Larry Johnson says
No. the MSM is just stupid.
This is a report on current forces.
It doesnt mean at an earlier point of the conflict their wasnt a lot more troops such as the 200 killed in March were not in the country.
A good snap shot but lets keep it in perspective.
C’mon the thing is a load of crap … for this kind of leaks, the agency don’t need a plumber but a diaper.
At the same time , in Kremenaya Forest :
– Can we have an Ukrainian army ?
– You already had two Ukrainian armies !!
– What about the third Ukrainian army ?
The United States , NATO and Ukraine chose a PR war. Russians chose a real war. Perhaps some people in DC are in cover your ass mode. Problem is that it’s way late in the game for forgiveness. Kinda like telling everyone the medicine is safe and effective only to say “ oops mistakes were made”. Let have a committee to waste more time and money and never fix the problem. I have seen the problem and it’s rooted in ALL of DC.
idk if this is legit, but it’s out there now;
feel free to delete this post if you think it may compromise your blog Larry.
According to Philip Giraldi, most Eastern European support the NATO presence in Ukraine: a hangover from the Soviet era. Thus, the large presence of Latvia or other Eastern European countries is not that surprising.
Spiders in a Jar says
It’s one of umpteen Ukrainian rackets. (It’s ingrained in the culture). Hersh says Zelensky and his inner circle have skimmed at least 400 million from our ‘aid’ and I think he, or someone, mentioned it was laundered through Latvian banks. I know from past readings that Latvia’s banks have been a money laundering hub since ’91.
Kolomoisky was a big shishka in that world, until I assume he wanted to wet his beak too often and Zelensky gave him the boot.
Only 100 Americans in Ukraine, tell me the Easter bunny is real which is more believable. Looks like someone has become controlled opposition.
Zaporozhie Avenger says
Also no US soldiers in Syria. Some of them still managed to get injured in Syria somehow.
My impression is that when they get killed in Syria (etc) their families are told they had an unfortunate fatal accident in US/Germany/Bahrein/anywhere else where they could have been officially present, to disguise their real location. Probably the same in Ukraine.
Larry P. Johnson says
Perhaps comments are missing the point. The US is showing that it is not investing lots of “advisors” into the Ukraine fray. Unlike Vietnam. If the administration wanted to present some sort of solidarity message for Western puppets, they would lie and pad the numbers. This seems to show much less of an interest in the war on the ground and for US involvement.
Contract mercs can do the same job, paid by Uncle Sam. Thousands there? Why not?
I do think these numbers are largely correct – but – how many of the 92000 are frontline troops. Given the high maintenance needs of NATO hardware, the logistical tail is long if fighting anywhere outside a NATO base (with resupply nearly impossible), so I would read that as 20,000-30,000 front-line troops using Gulf war levels, though if medevac becomes untenable, I would expect even lower.
OTH, where are the polish troops – there is lots of evidence of sheep dipped poles buried in large graveyards in Poland. And of course the mercenaries are not there, nor presumably, other out of uniform NATO personnel.
There is just too much US hardware that Ukrainians are insufficiently trained to operate (or too likely to sell to the Russians).
So here is an idea to round the square peg into a hole – there is another (not released) document with the out-of-uniform and sheep-dipped forces.
Larry Johnson says
No more than half of the 92,000 are “front line troops.”
The original “200” killed in NATO bunker story was “30” when it first came out & I read it. Then ballooned to 200. Thirty was logical.
As for the song “is that all there is”…as far as US/NATO, it’s a bit sketchy. What’s a US/NATO presence exactly?
For decades now, at least 2, the US assets have grossly enlarged via organizations and mercenaries.
Using and calling the MEK, PKK, Kurds, ISiS and affiliated groups, Nazi organizations, any and all subversive organizations in their proxy wars. None of these assets are going to show up on DOD/CIA paperwork.
I think honing in on whether US/NATO ground assets are “citizens” of the US & EU, and their “numbers” is pretty pointless. Most military & cia assets are in Poland and Germany and that’s pretty obvious.
Just getting tired of the rhetoric of whether US “has boots on the ground” or “US citizens” when they’re ALL US paid for deaths.
ALL Americans are forced to participate in these State Dept. Proxy wars by treasury or physical bodies, and that causes all of our hands to be dripping with blood.
This “rationalization” US citizens numbers is all rather mute and disgusting.
Vallhalla Rising says
Just to reiterate my comments from yesterday’s post…”something is just not adding up here”…reference the document leak. One does not just walk out of a SCIF with 100+ pages of classified documents even if it occurred in several cumulative instances.
That aside, it’s starting to look and feel like an intentional leak that was part of a greater DoD deception plan. I could be wrong on this and I guess we’ll see shortly. I look at two possibilities to distinguish between an intentional leak or not:
1. Unplanned legit leak: The SMO OPTEMPO maintains its status quo e.g. the “long-slow grind”…the same goes for other global events e.g. no significant escalation in China-Taiwan, Syria-Israel, Serbia etc…saber rattling continues on all sides.
2. Intentional deception plan leak: SMO escalation (Spring Offensive) occurs or NATO puts maneuver units (Battalions/Brigades) boots on the ground in the UKR…similarly, we see significant escalation elsewhere around the globe.
Stated differently, significant escalation would indicate that a planned leak deception plan failed and that options are running out for US/NATOstan in relation to the 2024 US election cycle.
The Biden clown show administration is fast approaching panic mode and that is a dangerous thing my friends.
Charles E. Fromage says
Yes. It seems most Fed.gov psyops and disinformation campaigns are NOT directed at “enemies” (they are too smart for that), but rather – at the the American public and non-state-run media.
Bingo. And that’s what this is. In advance for something to come, 4-6 weeks at most.
The legend on the piece of paper (for what it’s worth) is quite clear – it is listing US DoS and DoD pax only. And in terms of NATO, it is listing SOF only.
In addition to TDY type games, there is SAD/SOG, people who have “resigned” from any formal job they have with any entity in the USG, “volunteers” (private citizens, retired mil).
It is quite possible that there are more US citizens (and Permanent Residents – long-time Green Card holders, American except for the passport) in Ukraine, engaged in a variety of activities.
How many more? Who knows. How much could the numbers change month to month or day to day? Who knows.
Sorry Larry, isn’t Poland a part of nato? Hence I have no problem regards the 200 dead in a missile strike in March.
Larry, you don’t know the context of the meeting or briefing where these slides were used/disseminated.
do you really imagine this slide shows the full picture? do you think the Nord Stream destruction team was properly noted on similar slides back in September?
I think you need to regain your proper cynicism (not just sober skepticism). there are criminals and liars in these echelons. and they lie to each other. if they didn’t it would be impossible to prosecute such a war for so long.
I did not know John Kirby’s name or that he was formerly a high ranking
military official when I saw him say to the reporter who did not ask this question,
“Are we worried about it?” (The leaked documents)
I just haven’t seen another face on public media that could so easily be sketched
into a cartoon. I did not know I was diminishing an officer by my observation.
He just seemed like the worst liar I had seen all year, and that is saying something!
So then I heard all this valuable thought and serious discussion and saw that
unlike Kirby, at least as he appears to me, a lot of people around here care and think
very earnestly about the consequence of numbers when they mean people or their
efforts’ outcomes. Thank you all for being admirable and real.
The US is paying for all mercs. That skews these numbers badly. .
Gavin Longmuir says
I am still wondering why the same LameStreamMedia that has downplayed & ignored the NordStream attacks is focusing on these photos of crumpled sheets. Why? Presumably, the media are doing what they are told, but Cui Bono? I suspect disinformation.
Stepping back — what do we actually know about the war? We know there is a very long line of contact between US/NATO/Ukraine and Russia/Wagner, and that long line of contact is largely stable. We hear about little except Bakhmut, and there the Russian side is advancing very slowly and the Ukrainian side is hanging on surprisingly doggedly. We know that Russia can attack targets deep inside the Ukraine with missiles/bombs — but rarely does so. We know that the Ukraine can carry out pinprick attacks quite deep inside Russia — but to no great effect.
There are two very different common explanations for this strange semi-frozen state of affairs:
(1) The military forces of Russia/Wagner are incompetent, and this is the best they can do against the highly-capable US/NATO/Ukrainian forces.
(2) Russia’s aim for now is not to control territory but instead to destroy US/NATO/Ukrainian military capabilities — and Russia is quite happy for the other side to keep pounding their face into Russia’s fist.
Is there any way to tell which of those alternative explanations really describes what is going on in this war, given that the fog of disinformation on all sides is so thick? Which brings us back to the probability that those photos of crumpled sheets are disinformation.
Explanation 2 is the obvious one.
Ukraine are on their last legs, while Russia is just getting into its stride.
Russia do not want to lose any more soldiers than necessary, while Ukraine/NATO are happy to “fight to the last Ukrainian”.
Russia/China are winning the economic war.
Game, set and match!
Mars is hot and intensive
where the inner life
has its place
there is burning
by the cuffs of Mars
its center now
the sacrifical altar
where now the multinational front
armed multinational conciliation
has taken the town-center
15. week 2023
“Majesticly Shining Week in Hell – “in the beginning was the (s)word”
“There are two very different common explanations for this strange semi-frozen state of affairs:
(1) The military forces of Russia/Wagner are incompetent, and this is the best they can do against the highly-capable US/NATO/Ukrainian forces.
(2) Russia’s aim for now is not to control territory but instead to destroy US/NATO/Ukrainian military capabilities — and Russia is quite happy for the other side to keep pounding their face into Russia’s fist.
Is there any way to tell which of those alternative explanations really describes what is going on in this war, ”
Seriously? How can any intelligent person not know by now.
Former US Army SOF here – the number 14 is interesting.
A standard Army SF A-team is 12 people, and a B-team (IE company command) is 11.
I’d wager what we have there is an A-team for training plus a couple of ancillary officers or support pukes.
I’m looking forward to what Larry will have to say about Seymour Hersh’s latest Substack report, which focuses on the significant Ukraine corruption of US aid it’s received:
Having been raised with the Gulf of Tonkin, Viet Nam body counts, Iraqi WMD, Mission Accomplished, and winning in Afghanistan for 20 yrs, Covid statistics, Inflation trends, etc, etc, etc.; I tend to be skeptical about government issued statements. Numbers and the truth seem to be malleable. The problem with the release of the recent documents is that with AI and a programmers creativity, soon there will be an App titled: TS Document Swap. This will mean that any computer hack will be able to produce real looking briefing material with cooked numbers for any upcoming date. This will transform the fog of war into manuevering inside a ping pong ball. Nothing will change, the NYT, et al, publishes apparently ‘real documents’ which contradict all previous propoganda without missing a step or a admitting the contradictions. None question Nuland’s war to take Crimea and none ask at what cost?
Jack Barry says
At this point nothing would surprise me
Zelensky could come out and say he’s doing the world a favor and working WITH Putin to kill of the Neo Nazis
They did threaten him once he was elected after all
Zelensky is also Russian speaking first and Jewish (Both enemies of the Neo Nazis)
Who the fuck knows…
But I am encouraged by recent statements out of the EU that they are finally coming to their senses. It would appear Israel is also coming around as peace breaks out all around it thanks to China & Russia.
I guess the EU and Israel are watching the musicians and realize they have an existential threat on their hands if they keep poking the DragonBear – which has really stayed on the sidelines for the most part.
Wagner is quite something isn’t it?
Oblomovka daydream says
Pentagon Leaks: 5 Key Revelations
The appearance online of what looks like secret documents concerning US intelligence assessments of the conflict in Ukraine and their proliferation by media have sparked widespread controversy, with observers divided into two broad camps: those who believe the docs are genuine, and those who have reservations. Here’s what we know right now.
The leak of over 100 photographed pages of documents dated between late February and early March and labeled “Secret,” “Top Secret,” and “NOFORN” (not for viewing by foreign nationals) related to the ongoing NATO-Russia proxy war in Ukraine continues to generate global headlines. It has also had a real world impact, with Washington officials scrambling to contact and reassure allies amid embarrassing revelations that the US has been spying on its own allies (although, of course, that’s nothing new to anyone who’s been paying attention).
As the dust settles and the potential security implications of the leaks (including, potentially, the judiciousness of further US and NATO military assistance to Kiev), several facts seem to stand out among the info gleaned.
1. A page from a “Top Secret” assessment from February highlights apparent major “force generation and sustainment shortfalls” within Ukraine’s Armed Forces, and warns that Kiev would be able to secure only “modest territorial gains” if it decided to launch a spring offensive.
The assessment is significant because it highlights the contrast between the glum internal appraisal by the Pentagon, and the gung ho, everything-is-awesome sentiment expressed by officials in Washington and Brussels, and by President Joe Biden’s brash talk of Kiev’s impressive capabilities to conduct large-scale offensive operations with US support.
The information also raises questions about just where the tens of billions of dollars in US and NATO security assistance to Kiev has gone, given growing concerns about Western weapons sent to Ukraine somehow popping up in the hands of European gangs and African and Middle Eastern rebels and terrorist groups, while the dollar value of arms deliveries to Ukraine comes close to matching Russia’s entire annual defense budget.2. Another significant document, also dating from February, highlights President Volodymyr Zelensky’s recommendation that Ukrainian forces carry out massed drone strikes against “Russian deployment locations in Russia’s Rostov Oblast,” and complaints that Kiev does not have the necessary long-range missile capabilities for such strikes.This piece of info is significant because it highlights President Zelensky’s apparent desperation and readiness to attack Russia directly despite warnings by some of his NATO paymasters that doing so might undermine their support for Kiev.3. The leaks challenge longstanding claims by the Pentagon and the Ukrainian military about casualties. A document entitled “Top Secret – Status of the Conflict as of March 01, 2023” estimates total Russian losses could be up to 16,000-17,500 killed in action, and 61,000-71,500 on the Ukrainian side.
That’s a far cry from the assessment by Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley in November, which estimated Russian deaths at “well over” 100,000 troops, as well as the Ukrainian military’s pie in the sky “eliminated personnel” figures of 180,050 (i.e. nearly matching the 190,000 troop total that Western intelligence estimated were near Donbass in February 2022 before the escalation of the crisis). Ukrainian officials and Western media have sought to downplay these figures, accusing Russia of “doctoring” the stats (despite possible secondary corroboration) and assuring that Russian casualties are much higher, and Ukrainian ones much lower. Wherever the truth lies, the figures serve to undermine confidence in Ukraine’s NATO-supported and equipped army of super soldiers.
4. Another key revelation relates to the extent of NATO involvement. While alliance officials have consistently assured that no Western forces are on the ground fighting against Russia, a “Top Secret” document dated March 23 indicates that nearly half-a-dozen NATO powers do in fact have “boots on the ground” in the form of special forces troops. These include Britain (50 troops), Latvia (17), France (15), the US (14), and the Netherlands (1).
It’s unclear what exactly these forces are doing there. The document doesn’t say. Apparently realizing the grave implications of this information, Britain’s Defense Ministry offered a catch-all dismissal of the documents, assuring in a Tweet Tuesday that “the widely reported leak of alleged classified US information has demonstrated a serious level of inaccuracy,” and that “readers should be cautious about taking at face value allegations that have the potential to spread disinformation.”
What’s significant about the NATO troops on the ground in Ukraine? Well, for one thing, they serve to confirm longstanding allegations made by senior Russian officials including President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that the US and its allies are waging a “total war” against Russia. Moreover, it raises important questions about the dangerous potential future of proxy wars. How, for example, would the US react if Russia or China deployed special forces troops to fight NATO forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, or Yugoslavia? The presence of Western alliance forces in Ukraine has effectively opened that can of worms.5. One final significant piece of information that can be gleaned from the documents relates to the state of Ukraine’s air defenses. A Pentagon assessment dated February 28 projected that Kiev’s stocks of Soviet-made Buk and S-300 missile systems – which make up almost 90 percent of the country’s air defenses, would be “fully depleted” by mid-April and May 3, respectively. A second slide from an assessment from February 23 predicts that Ukrainian forces’ frontline protection would be “completely reduced” by May 23.
This information is significant because it seems to confirm that the US and its allies are running out of time to shore up their client’s air defense protection before Russia gains total air superiority similar to the kind its Air Force enjoyed in the counterterrorism operation in Syria, or the kind the US and its allies typically have when they decide to bomb a third world country.
The US has promised to provide Ukraine with its bulky Patriot missile system and to ramp up deliveries of other anti-air weaponry, but observers have expressed concerns about the ability of the US military-industrial complex to ramp up production quickly enough, and questioned whether Washington will be willing to send additional sophisticated air defense hardware to a conflict zone where losses would mean a significant hit to US weapons makers if the equipment is lost.
Skepticism is Healthy
The leak of the documents online, and the fact that they were picked up by major legacy media resources in the West, has caused understandable consternation in some circles about whether or not they are genuine. After all, these are the same newspapers, outlets, and television networks that have pumped out story after debunked Russia-related story over the years and decades, from the claim that Russia paid bounties to the Taliban to kill US troops in Afghanistan, to the allegation that Moscow meddled in America’s elections in 2016 and secretly installed a “Manchurian Candidate” named Donald Trump.
“We don’t have a position,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told Sputnik when asked about the leaks. “Maybe it’s a fake, deliberate misinformation.”
Ryabkov explained that since Washington is a key party to the Ukraine conflict and is waging a hybrid war against Russia, the documents may be a ploy to mislead the Russian side. “I’m not confirming anything, but understand that various scenarios are conceivable here,” he said.
Publicly, at least, officials in Washington have treated the leaks as if they’re the real thing. Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin vowed that his department would “turn over every rock” until the “source” of the leaks was found and their extent clarified. CIA chief William Burns echoed Austin’s performance, calling the leaks “deeply unfortunate” and saying they were something the US government “takes extremely seriously.”
Amid reports that the Pentagon has been trying to scrub the leaked docs from the net, Twitter CEO Elon Musk sarcastically quipped that “yeah, you can totally delete things from the internet – it works perfectly and doesn’t draw attention to whatever you were trying to hide at all.”
Kiev, predictably, has blamed Moscow, calling the leaks a “Russian propaganda ploy.” Chinese media dismissed these assertions, suggesting that if Russia had gotten its hands on the documents, it would likely hold onto them and use them to its advantage against Ukraine and NATO instead of spreading them online.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the leaks “quite interesting.” As for the suggestion that Moscow might somehow be involved, he said that “the tendency to constantly blame Russia for everything is a widespread disease right now.”
The truth about who leaked the documents and why may never be found. However, a stream of retired US officials, Washington-based security advisors, and CIA analysts have told Sputnik that the “leaks” may be an attempt by “dissenters” and “realists” within the US security state establishment to provide Washington with a much-needed “offramp” from the ever-escalating conflict with Russia in Ukraine before it turns into a world war.
Strange That ‘Pentagon Files’ Were Released on Gaming Site Rather Than to Journalists or WikiLeaks
The apparent Pentagon leak seems to be legitimate and has to some extent hurt the US, says author and journalist Daniel Lazare, adding that the alleged whistleblower used photographs rather than the original documents, apparently to disguise their origin.
The scandal over the alleged Pentagon leak is raging on, with a National Security Council spokesman admitting that some documents appeared to be genuine, while others were altered. The files in question contain a wide variety of information, including Ukraine war plans; Washington’s spying on its allies and adversaries alike; and its allies’ concerns about the possibility of being dragged into a conflict with Russia. Some observers don’t rule out that the entire episode is a covert operation. Meanwhile, the Justice Department has opened an investigation into the leak, while the Pentagon has signaled that it is taking steps to restrict access to classified documents. The dump prompted a heated debate over the veracity of the docs and the forces behind the leak.
“I’m inclined to think they’re legitimate,” Daniel Lazare told Sputnik. “How’s that for a waffle? I mean, I think I haven’t seen any strong evidence that they’re not. So I assume they are. But there’s always a possibility that someone is playing a trick on somebody else. As [for] the damage to the US, I don’t think it’s very great, but I think it does. In a few instances it could be significant. I mean, the stuff on Israel, the fact they have inside information that Mossad, the Israeli spy agency, was encouraging anti-government demonstrations against Netanyahu. And that’s pretty something if true. But the Israeli government has denied it. And so we’re sort of left in the dark. So I don’t know what to make of it. Is it much ado about nothing? Is it something real? I can’t see anything terribly earth-shattering here, but I could be wrong.”
Photographs of the allegedly leaked documents first emerged on Discord, a messaging platform popular with gamers, weeks earlier. They remained largely unnoticed until they were shared on Twitter and other popular sites and platforms. The US Department of Defense is continuing to assess the validity of the photographed documents that appear to contain sensitive and highly classified material, as per Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh.
“I don’t know that the fact that they’re photographs rather than the original documents, (…) that may have been an attempt to disguise their origin, to throw investigators off the track,” suggested Lazare. “That sounds possible. I don’t know. It could also indicate that they have a roundabout way of reaching the Internet. That’s also possible. And the fact that they weren’t released to a journalist, but rather to a gamer or a gaming site is certainly strange.”
There is a lively debate as to who could have leaked the documents as well as what the purpose of the alleged whistleblower was. Some experts have suggested that it could be a new Edward Snowden or some disgruntled Pentagon official’s concerns with the Biden administration’s military adventurism in Ukraine. For their part, some Russian military observers have not ruled out that the dump is aimed at diverting Moscow’s attention from Ukraine’s forthcoming spring offensive and contains disinformation regarding Kiev’s ability to launch the advance. Others referred to the US mainstream media’s enthusiasm in disseminating the alleged Pentagon leak, something that the Western press has not demonstrated so far with regard to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh’s Nord Stream bombshell.
“What strikes me is the real question who leaked it. I mean, clearly the information is contained, reportedly, in self-contained computer units with no access to the Internet. So if that’s true, then it suggests that somebody very high up decided to, you know, to make off with this information. And that’s really interesting. I can’t provide any hard information as to who might have done that or why. But it certainly sets my antenna abuzz,” Lazare concluded.
Hi Larry, this is my first comment on your blog. Something seems off about these docs. For someone to go through the trouble of printing and sneaking these docs out of a high security facility, they would need a very compelling motive to take the risk of being charged with treason. Also, this person must have understood that they would certainly have been caught eventually. If the motive was similar to Snowden, then this person would have aimed to release these docs to a major media and immediately seek asylum somewhere. Even if US media didn’t pick up the story, an international media certainly would have. Release by the media would also have helped to conceal the identity of the person releasing the docs. Yet this was not the case. Also, there doesn’t seem to be compelling need to inform Americans about some degrading of civil liberties or illegal conduct by the military, so the Snowden motive seems less likely. It doesn’t make sense that someone with weak motives would release these docs.
As far as I can gather, the origin of how these docs hit the public is still not clear (one of the origin stories I read claimed that the docs first sat on a Discord server for a month). Can you speak to how these docs were released, why they were released that way, and what that says about the motives of the person who released the docs?
Also, what’s the likelihood that the original docs were purposefully altered and released with the aim of misinformation? if these docs are genuine but altered, surely the original docs would still have accurate operational info (# of Americans in Ukraine) that would then be used to extract Americans if it came to that.
Larry Johnson says
Nothing off about them. You clearly have never held a TS clearance and never worked in a SCIF. If you had, you would not be expressing doubts.
Oblomovka daydream says
Russian RT quotes the Washington Post https://russian.rt.com/ussr/news/1135463-ssha-ukraina-poteri
Washington Post: The US government believes that the Armed Forces of Ukraine have lost up to 131 thousand soldiers
According to US government estimates, during the conflict in Ukraine, the Ukrainian army lost between 124,000 and 131,000 soldiers killed and wounded, which is five times higher than the figures announced by Kiev, the American newspaper The Washington Post writes, citing “secret documents” caught in the network.
“Ukraine needs more soldiers, and fast. Kiev is preparing to advance on Russian forces, and although Ukraine does not disclose data, field commanders claim huge losses, ” the newspaper writes .
On September 21, 2022, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that the Armed Forces of Ukraine during the special operation lost more than 61 thousand people dead , another 49 thousand were considered wounded at that time.
In March of this year, the minister said that the losses of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are growing, and in February alone they exceeded 11 thousand people .
The American newspaper Politico, citing officials, wrote that over 100,000 Ukrainian soldiers were killed , including the most experienced soldiers, and many of these losses occur in Artyomovsk (Bakhmut).
Yeah, but at some point the AI nuanced news will have no audience. We will all be killed off one way or another, at this rate. I have just one prayer.
God please teach the neo-cons to learn to lose gracefully, ok asking too much. Can they run out of ammunition before we run out of sanity.
I wonder if the document above is only numbering those personnel whose ‘Home Duty Station’, is inside Ukraine.
Any number of personnel could be in Ukraine on ‘Temporary Duty’. These folks would still be listed as assigned to RAF Lakenheath, Ft Hood, or where ever.
They could be rotated in and out as required.
“Our FPV copter can easily lift an 82 mm mine (3100 grams) into the air. In the video, a British mercenary (not identified) and a couple of horsemen were covered with 82-mm mortars. Views from a Russian copter and from the face of one of those riders. All three of them became two-hundredth from one mine.”
Second and third video
Now we know at least one brit mercenary/uk/nato was at the front.
When was this slide dated & when was the 200 nato personnel taken out? I remember at the start of the smo, there were quite a few well publicised Russian strikes on nato bases that took out many nato personnel. AND, lets not forget that since 2014 nato has been training, arming & building up UAF. How could they possibly do what they did with these miserly low numbers? So, Larry knew the answer to his rhetorical question. So do we
Hal Duell says
I will admit that I was pretty happy cruising along not paying much attention, and then 9/11 happened followed the next year by the formation of the SCO. Then came GWOT.
Fast forward a few years and the Covid phenomenon shut us all down.
Then came Ukraine and the SMO.
Wokeism raised its silly head.
Link them up.
Curt Nichols says
I have a question for the very astute folks on this board. Transnistria. It is my understanding that Russia has about 6000 troops there. Which ain’t much. I understand they are manning a absolutely enormous stash of weapons and armaments. And it is probably rigged to blow. But why has Ukraine not made a move on it? Russia cannot get thru Odessa yet. They can’t get across the Dnieper. Paratroopers are a fancy way to get entire detachments slaughtered. Their ass is just hanging out in the breeze there. I see no military reason for Ukraine not to do it. Moldova is an EU client state, and a willing jump off point for subrosa NATO assets. Did Putin lay a serious red line? You touch it and nukes? Transnistria. Absolutely baffles me.
just saying says
What would they get from it, except big fireworks?
Head of the EU Commission last November in 2022 admitted that Ukraine at that time had lost KIA over 100,000 men. She was told to shut her mouth. So really they have probably, 150000 KIA and 3x that wounded. By this time.
John Plumridge says
“One of the purposes for putting these kind of numbers in a briefing is to ensure that the Commander of U.S. European forces knows how many official Americans are in Ukraine in the event an emergency evacuation is ordered and the military has to rescue them.”
That purported purpose can be amended for special operational reasons, like a proxy war: Should an evacuation be ordered, which happens upon orders given, then we’ll let the rescuers know then.
There is nothing to learned from such documents by taking them as being fit for military planning purposes.
Who are we briefing, politically-vetted employees? Politician parrots? Who are the decision makers here? Who is giving orders? The people we brief, or the people the intelligence serve? Are they the same?
The people who apparently run the proxy war military strategy are a loose gaggle of puppets place in political circles (neocons, liberal neocons – all neocons really); that is incompetents with no strategy. The Military intelligence and service generals cannot be seen to be running the war, and it is not handed to them to dos so, as would be in a declared war. The movers here are hidden, and only run the war by suggestion and in private breifings to certain owned individuals.
Larry Johnson says
You obviously have zero experience in this field. All of the briefing slides are routinely produced as daily sitreps. It is for the commanders and their troops with clearances. Don’t over think this.
Seems like your site has attracted a number of trolls, who are engaging in ad hominem attacks on people like Lira, Mercouris, Escobar, etc who are carrying the counter narrative to the MSM transmitted Empire of Lies BS.
probably way less now after rus nuking the bunker with foreigner consultants,
still not seeing any major breakthrough from this positional deadlock within next 6 mo+