Scott Ritter Catches Up to Anti-Empire

Only spewed absolute garbage for 80 days...

Mike Whitney has a piece where he documents how Scott Ritter — one of the founding fathers of the “the war was won in the first 3 days” theory (garbage) — is starting to change his tune.

Anyhow, in Whitney’s write-up we learn that Ritter is incredibly surprised that Ukraine is already using the 155mm guns the US provided in combat:

Scott Ritter (start at 47:50 minute mark) — “The thing that frustrates me… is that, it was my assessment that it would be very hard for Ukraine to absorb this new equipment and material but the howitzers are already operating against Russia. They are having an effect in the Kharkov region. Not all 90 of them, but they have several batteries in place that are being used.

How did this happen?

While this former Marine and presently a clown is “frustrated” since he had been assuring his readers that this would be “very hard” for Ukrainians to do — I wrote more than five weeks ago that this would actually be very easy:

Operating a howitzer isn’t far different from operating any piece of heavy and precise machinery. Like a lathe operator switching to a new lathe, a person who is already an artilleryman can retrain to a new tube inside a week.

Ritter loves to make sure everyone knows he is ex-Marine, but turns out he knows as much about machines as you would expect an “intelligence officer” (desk jockey) to know.

Here an ex-machinist (that would be me) knew that transiting to a different machine type of the same kind isn’t a big deal. Someone shows you the new controls and the rest is a matter of experience.

There is a learning curve and you won’t be able to squeeze the full maximum out of the machine until many hundreds, maybe thousands of hours, but there isn’t any other way to “train” than to operate the thing and do the job.

I didn’t just correctly state that introducing a slightly different tube wasn’t going to be a lengthy process. — I was talking about the significance that escalating US aid (that he now finds so “game-changing“) could have, while he was still dispensing triumphalist garbage.

— In fact, I was writing about the significance US artillery shipments would have BEFORE anyone (including the US) was even talking about shipping artillery over. 

I cautioned that US willingness to prop up Ukraine meant that Russia did not have the luxury of going it slow with small forces:

That said, there are other circumstances that dictate urgency and speed. Every week gives the Ukrainians more time to train and raise the cohesion of new and reserve units, and the US is escalating arms shipments. The first $800 million package has been delivered and another $300 million package is on the way. That will still leave another $2.4 billion to be supplied of the $3.5 billion Congress allocated for arms transfers in March. Doubtlessly when that has been distributed, if Ukraine is still standing, even more will be voted in.

And I specifically singled out artillery as the most consequential way (aside from financial aid) in which the US could interfere:

Meanwhile, information has been placed that Ukrainians are running out of 152mm artillery ammo that in Europe only the Serbs are still manufacturing. How I read that is that the public is being prepared for eventual transfers of big-item hardware of Western make to Ukraine, starting with 155mm artillery for which ammo exists in Western storage aplenty.

Let’s say 60 days from now, if the war is still going on and the Ukrainians are still giving a good account of themselves I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see them start getting Western artillery pieces

While I was the first to raise alarm about where things were going, even I was surprised at the speed with which they got there. Not 60 days. Just 3 days later the US announced it would escalate weapons shipments to heavy guns.

While Ritter is only now waking up to the reality it is something I have been talking about for months. That is why I barely have any readers. Ahead of the curve is a lonely place. Most people do not voluntarily surf the internet in search of frustrating truths, but of soothing garbage.

Fuck the USMC
  1. Pink Unicorne says

    Now marko, Scott ritter is pretty rare among us military, because us military does its job rooting out dissenters. Not all dissenters are Scott ritter dumb, though. (Douglas McGregor and Tucker Carlson surely are dumb, no doubt about that)

    1. Oscar Peterson says

      Scott Ritter is not dumb. Nor are the others you mention.

      He may have been wrong is some of his assumptions in this instance, and slow to recognize his mistakes, but he has the honesty to grapple publicly with that. And, in my view, he has gotten plenty of things right in the past.

      Examining why someone as smart as Ritter made unwarranted assumptions is a question worth asking.

      But the gloating over whatever analytical errors he has made is unworthy.

      1. Pink Unicorne says

        Scott Ritter is an institutional dissenter who managed to radicalize against the U.S. of A. in his 50s. In my analysis, he partook in the Iraqi war, (2003) had a change of heart(~2008), and had been railing against the Empire and looking for any narrative that supposedly show US’s weakness ever since. And he stayed in this mental state for at least a decade, if not more.

        Simply put, he went into his analysis of the Ukraine war with a very obvious anti-Western bias because his previously deeply held grievance against the US is a strong enough incentive for him to simply reject every piece of evidence simply as “Western.”

        If you read Consortium News, there is a piece of him interviewed by Strategic Culture. Scott Ritter sounds frankly like a snowflake (original meaning!) who got triggered by the Empire and has been looking for safe space in the alternate Empire of Russia. It just reads awful and cringe-worthy, and doubly so if you remember this dude is actually 60yo.

        For the love of God, if you’re to radicalize and turn into a boy-scout crusader of supposed immoral American imperialism, do it in your college years, NOT when you have 1 wife, 2 kids, 3 mustangs and 4 mortgages.

        1. Oscar Peterson says

          Ritter was already dissatisfied with the direction US foreign policy was headed in 1997 or so when the US insisted on pulling IAEA inspectors (of whom he was the team leader) out of Iraq to start building the case for regime change.

          And he has certainly grown more disenchanted over time.

          The video of then Senator Joe Biden attacking him after his Senate testimony is on Youtube and quite illustrative of what kind of individual Sleepy was even before his mind started to decay.

          I get that you fundamentally disagree with him.

          I agree with him much more than I disagree.

          But in any case he is certainly not a dumb guy.

          1. Pink Unicorne says

            I’m not against dissenting views. His case is simply looking for infos that fits his preconceived narrative moral play (US bad, Russia pew-pew US, Russia win!), and when he couldn’t find any, he simply made them up. That’s EXACTLY how propaganda works. You don’t develop THAT kind of bias overnight, or out of intelligent disagreement over US foreign policy.

      2. Pink Unicorne says

        Oscar, cohesion operates on multiple levels. If the military spends extended time deployed, their in-group cohesion will develop and eventually overshadow the civilian society cohesion. These are both VERY shallow (yes, even after intense indoctrination) compared to the deep small-group hunter-gatherer tribe-like cohesion that frequently develops in the trenches. Should this happen, and assuming the new cohesion is anti-authority for whatever reason as it often is (e.g. you sent us to fight and die a war, but we don’t want to/you sent us to quash the enemy’s military, but we get more kicks out of killing&torturing&raping civilians, so you don’t push the war as hard as we want to), and also assuming this resonates with a much larger group in the military or even back home (this group doesn’t have the same deep cohesion, instead they merely agree), then the authority has a truly massive problem. A professional military can withstand this dynamic better than a militia or conscripts because the latter two are haphazardly armed groups without efficient hierarchy and policing mechanisms while being on the broad and large winning side lessens the chance of deep anti-authority cohesion developing because being on the losing side provides the same amount of dice rolls (# of engagements/battles/campaigns) as the winning side but the dices themselves are MUCH more heavily loaded towards radicalization.

  2. SteveK9 says

    Not directly related to Scott Ritter, but I think Marko and others might find this enlightening.

    ‘The main reason not to hurry with the liberation of Ukraine’.

    This is a brilliant and subtle article on the situation in Ukraine, past and future (requires translation). It discusses the military realities (e.g. why the ‘first phase’ failed), but focuses mostly on the political situation, in particular the changing end goals of the ‘operation’ (e.g. ‘Why are we kept in the dark?), including the psychology of the people in various parts of Ukraine.

    I think one important point made here was that Bucha was a turning point, in the sense that the Russians realized they could not return the ‘liberated’ territories to the Ukrainian State. To quote from the article: ‘*After Bucha, Moscow was convinced that it was impossible to leave the territories occupied in Ukraine, it was necessary to establish a new life there and create a new government.’*

    Another point made is that the slowness of the operation works against the ‘elite sixth column’ in Russia and favors Putin’s desire to ‘return the country (Russia) to its people’.

    Every bit of this article strikes me as rational and well considered.

    1. Oscar Peterson says

      Thanks–looks interesting. But the site doesn’t seem to permit me to copy text and paste in a translator.

      Did you read it in Russian or translate it somehow?

      I’ve been thinking recently that we should be considering this very question, that is, what might account for Russian decision-making besides a total unwillingness “to do what needs to be done” with respect to mobilization and interdiction?

      It’s always possible we are generating a new group-think/conventional wisdom about Russian failure replacing the old group-think, so I hope I can access the article one way or another.

      1. Pink Unicorne says

        Mobilization is extremely risky move for just about any government. When a unit fights, group cohesion deepens, and ordinary people realize the power of being armed, trained and organized. In a war that’s going well, this leads to feelings of superiority against enemy and loyalty to their own leader. However, typically you mobilize because the war isn’t going well. In such a scenario, intra-group cohesion develops just as well, only towards resentment against their leader. Psychology shows the LOSING side actually produces more coherent groups geared toward out group aggression. This is the real reason why veterans often give governments headaches. It’s the case with WWI US veteran, US Vietnam veterans, Soviet Afghan veteran, and Putin’s own KGB club as well. Going into a high casualty war you cannot win often bring down the regime if dissent develops inside ranks and charismatic leaders emerge. Frankly this scenario is end of Russia waiting to happen.

        1. Oscar Peterson says

          “Psychology shows the LOSING side actually produces more coherent groups geared toward out group aggression.”

          Interesting, but I don’t think France was more cohesive than Prussia/Germany in 1870 or 1940.

          Nor, clearly, was the US more cohesive than North Vietnam.

          Nor was Russia more cohesive than Japan in 1905.

          I suppose it might be true to say that in the modern world there is a correlation between the an environment in which the flow of ideas is likely to generate war-winning technologies and a RELATIVELY low level of social cohesion and, therefore, an inverse correlation with relatively high levels of cohesion. This might lead us to say that more often than not, losing states will have higher cohesion. Or it might simply be that the prospect of defeat and the fear that inspires intensifies the in-group cohesion. Or it might be that higher levels of cohesion in a powerful state are frightening to other states, who are then likely to ally against it.

          As far as mobilization goes, you mobilize to the extent you think you need to to win. So, yes, it probably follows that those who can get by with less mobilization are probably in a better position in general, though I can think of exceptions there too.

          What do you mean about the US WW I veterans? The only headache they presented to the government was in connection with when they were going to get their bonus payments from the government during the Depression. That’s a pretty narrow issue.

          1. Pink Unicorne says

            Oscar, the cohesion of the nation that the soldiers come from has very little bearing on themselves. In an entrenched ground war, long-term deployment makes the civilian life eventually fades away, and the unit quickly develops bonds with each other rather than to the high command. It’s this cohesion, not the cohesion of the military as a whole (which you pointed out might actually be winning the war but losing a battle, or vice-versa) that is extremely problematic for the state. A US-style air/naval superiority war completely eliminates this possibility. Repeated but not crushing defeat (e.g. getting JDAMed) in the hands of an outgroup perceived as evil serves as the most effective bonding ritual that produces a cohesive group geared toward out-group aggression, and the target of said aggression is frequently first the enemy then one’s own government. (or they could turn into ISIS, as an alternate route) It’s not a trick that works in every circumstance, but in a gruelling LAND war, the dice is rolled enough times to produce the result. Not a whole lot of war is needed to produce this effect, in fact, it needs not to be a war at all (such as in organized sport where antagonism is explicit and 2 sides are clearly defined).

            The military is an institution, and the importance of this fact cannot be overstated. An institution is where you build the cultures and norms that serve as guardrails to dangerous radicalization mechanisms such as this. A haphazardly mobilized paramilitary has absolutely none of this. Yes, this also applies to Ukraine, but Ukraine is out of options.

            The WWI example actually needs a little bit of explaining. While US’s participation in it is limited, the domestic situation was so bad (Woodrow Wilson), WWI veterans were actually a major source of the most enthusiastic rioters, partisans, ideologues, and of course just general scoundrels. To think of it, veterans are frequently young men in their 20s from the lower classes being sent to a war that’s known to be a meat grinder in a distant land during one of the deadliest viruses that killed mainly the youth, many with a deeply held, preexisting grievance against the then rampant inequality, government, and “the elite” in general, it’s going to take a miracle to NOT have them turn against the US when the war to end all wars ended not ending wars at all. Russia today is WAY worse than that.

            1. Oscar Peterson says

              I agree that a war in which one side’s tech can dominate means that cohesion might be discounted–if that is what you are saying.

              “An institution is where you build the cultures and norms that serve as guardrails to dangerous radicalization mechanisms such as this.”

              Well, yes. But an army indoctrinates its members, which is a form of radicalization in itself. It’s a controlled radicalization.

              “The WWI example actually needs a little bit of explaining. While US’s participation in it is limited, the domestic situation was so bad (Woodrow Wilson), WWI veterans were actually a major source of the most enthusiastic rioters, partisans, ideologues, and of course just general scoundrels. To think of it, veterans are frequently young men in their 20s from the lower classes being sent to a war that’s known to be a meat grinder in a distant land during one of the deadliest viruses that killed mainly the youth, many with a deeply held, preexisting grievance against the then rampant inequality, government, and “the elite” in general, it’s going to take a miracle to NOT have them turn against the US when the war to end all wars ended not ending wars at all.”

              Still don’t understand this.

              If you were talking about Italy or Germany, I would understand. But the intense fighting for the US lasted only four months or so, and it’s not clear to me that influenza had any radicalizing impact on veterans.

              The labor and class violence of the time in the US was not driven by returning veterans. It had been developing since the 1870s in any case and heavily featured radicalized immigrants from Europe. Aside from the Espionage and Sedition Acts (really the Espionage Act and amendments to it,) the government response took the form of immigration restriction to reduce the flow of radicalized Eastern and Southern Europeans.

          2. Pink Unicorne says

            Oscar, the indoctrination in the military is so hard because:

            (1) It just works. Repetition is truly the first and most effective tool of instilling legitimacy of the brutal hierarchy that the military must have to just function. This is also how religion spreads.

            (2) The military’s job is so freaking hard. Humans are not naturally evolved to fight large-scale, 30%+ casualty wars. Their nature tells them to first fight for their own lives, then fight for the lives of their own small immediate group with whom they have FACE TO FACE contact. With military indoctrination, you are not only expected to develop deep-seated loyalty to the high command but, more importantly, POLICE the (ideally) small amount of members who couldn’t maintain it. No other similarly large and high functioning hierarchical group competing against adversaries (e.g. multinationals) exhibits this level of indoctrination.

            When I say “radicalization”, I mean “hostile to the hierarchy/high command/authority.” If the authority’s stated policy goal is out-group aggression (as is frequently the case with the military), and the rank and file successfully carry out said aggression, then it is NOT radicalization, but an institution functioning as intended. Of course, the authority could simply not adopt out-group aggression as a policy goal, but that is another topic.

      2. Pink Unicorne says

        internal dissent is less problematic for standing army because they are professionals with deeply anchored value of respecting high command and, more importantly, policing EACH OTHER, preventing the formation of dissent groups

      3. Oscar Peterson says


        OK, I figured how to use a link to get the translation.

        Very interesting.

        I’m bookmarking that site.


  3. Klaas says

    Excellent content, but you may have to rename your website to attract more readers from a broader spectrum. Marjanovic Global Intelligence and Analysis or something like that.. 🙂 Or Eurasian Review..

  4. YakovKedmi says

    Professional charlatans are solely in it for the money. They have no other purpose than to generate donations. They have been leading their donors in circles to nowhere for decades. Reporting on cluster-fook is not good for revenue —groupies and stupid-dumb animals don’t like to hear that their chosen idol is a dummy on a rope. There is no money in telling ignorant groupies that by February NATO painted their patron-saint into a corner (from which he could only have gotten out if he truely had been a 5D grand-chess player). Dumb groupies don’t like to hear that their guy in shining armour was played by NATO and fooled into a death-trap.

    >>> “While I was the first to raise alarm” —in your revised dream
    There were people who noticed that V.V. Putin lost this special operation by February 29.

    You cite your article of April 11. In March, Mr. Strelkov Girkin already explained that the first 29 days were a cluster-failure. By then even Vladimir Soloviev changed his attitude from “we sneez and the Ukrainian armed forces line up and salute” to “Ukraine has a strong army, there won’t be a quick end”.

    February 2, 2022.
    No quick war. All those rosy day-dreams are just that —fantasies of Margarita and Olga

    1. Oscar Peterson says

      What money is there connected with this issue?

      I see none at all.

    2. YakovKedmi says
  5. GMC says

    All our wars are full of psyops , opinions, technical facts/ falsehoods, propaganda, lies, cheerleaders – you name it , it’s out there for all to see. All this gets us geared up or down and enables us to make an educated guess at what’s happening. Hell, even the guys in the war understand little of what we know because they are in the Zone.

    Russia is not the enemy here , the One World Order is and Ritter showed this with facts. Beyond these facts – battles will be won here, lost there , maybe a stalemate for awhile but if we choose to look like it as a ball game – how many innings are we going to play .? i would hope that everything that Scott, Marko, Strelkov, and the others are pointing out are known or maybe even taken seriously by the Russian command, but Russians are real stubborn. If the Russian people are asked to be part of the mobilization – I think they will want to destroy Ukraine’s infrastructure and armies , then go looking for their relatives and friends. My 2 rubles. Spasibo A E

    1. Greg says

      Indeed and then there is this:

      a must listen…

      If Jack not Robert sees or know this, then they are also into the dark and no clue what is really going on and then there is this:

      If everyone can see like you see it, then there can be REAL change, but change trough war is an illusion bc you cannot get peace trough war. That is just dumb and now look al at these war guys that think they know sh*it 🙂

      1. GMC says

        Good comment Greg, after listening to the 1st odyssey interview I have to disagree with some of the Maidan opinions on what happened with Yanukovych and Crimea. I first worked in Ukraine in 08 and had retired in Crimea in 2012 so any theories that Russia invaded and took Crimea is wrong. And Yanuk was run out of office the day after he agreed to new elections – but all of our opinions ended up with the same outcome – no matter what really happened. lol The other theories on the old CCCP and the new Russia are interesting but I think Putin has re-thought the future of Russia and has taken a more likeable plan to save the Russian people from the NWO enslavement. True , that Putin is going to watch the USA fall down, but he understands the possibility of the crazies in the US , with regards to a failing Empire of Lies. Spacibo

      2. GMC says

        And Chernobyl – No Accident.

  6. RegretLeft says

    “I barely have any readers” – I think I am a reader but I am having trouble keeping the analysts straight – and just who “I” here is, is not clear (to me).

    Anyway – I just ran across this from early May; a guy (Clint Ehrlich) having a Ritter-like change of heart – interviewing two unnamed bloggers “Russians with Attitude”.Mr Ehrlich seems to claim, in part, he was led astray by the “US Intelligence community” (I guess that can happen!)

    “my belief was mirrored by the U.S. intelligence community, which projected that Kiev could fall within the first 72 hours of a Russian invasion, as the Ukrainian military surrendered en masse. ”

  7. peterinanz says

    “I barely have any readers.”
    That’s the price for having intellectual and moral honesty.
    You said it yourself: “Most people do not voluntarily surf the internet in search of frustrating truths, but of soothing garbage.”
    Your choice is either to be popular or true to yourself. The fundamental choice for a man.
    IMHO, you’ve chosen well.

    “Ahead of the curve is a lonely place.”
    It is.
    But, if it’s any consolation, I know something about the topic and keep in contact with similar people around the world. We follow a couple of online places, only. Yours is around the top of the list.

    I am, personally, quite surprised as how good you are in this topic with your, apparent, background (no officer level combat experience).

    Looking forward to reading more of your material.

  8. marko says

    I don’t believe these guns (esp the M777) will have a lasting effect. Towed guns cannot be defended from the air or counter battery. The PZH2000 will have a greater impact. Those are more then tubes though, so I am not sure how hard they are to learn. Also at full intensity they need 30T of ammo/hour, so if you just reduce that to 5T an hour the logistics strain is enormous. If Russia cannot prevent Ukraine from moving this volume of ammo and large weapons to the front then it will pay a price for sure.

    1. Oscar Peterson says

      The real concern is that they couldn’t be destroyed BEFORE getting to the front.

      I wonder what route they took, getting into Ukraine.

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