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Name: Tom Conroy
Gender: Male
Hometown: CT
Home country: USA
Current location: Langley, Virginia
Member since: Sat Mar 6, 2021, 08:56 PM
Number of posts: 7,114

About Me

Member of NAFO. Living large on an enormous CIA paycheck.

Journal Archives

Ukraine has encountered a large trench complex SW of Robotyne causing a delay in the offensive

This from last night's Institute for the Study of War report:

"Russian forces are conducting tactical counterattacks in the Robotyne area as part of their elastic defense against ongoing Ukrainian offensive operations in western Zaporizhia Oblast. The situation south of Robotyne is fluid as some tactically significant field fortifications have changed hands several times. Geolocated footage posted on September 30 shows Ukrainian forces striking Russian troops trying to enter a trench system about 1km southwest of Robotyne near the T0408 Robotyne—Tokmak road.[1] Footage posted on September 13 shows that Ukrainian forces had previously occupied segments of this trench and thus appear to have lost it to Russian counterattacks between September 13 and 30.[2] ISW has recoded this area from Ukraine's counteroffensive to Russian advances.

A Ukrainian soldier analyzed the footage of the area and noted that the aforementioned Russian-controlled trench is a strongpoint in an interconnected system of trenches, firing systems, and dugouts that lie between Robotyne and Novoprokopivka.[3] The Ukrainian soldier noted that the trenches are connected by underground tunnel-like structures and that Russian forces are prioritizing the defense of these positions, which have tactical significance in the area between Robotyne and Novoprokopivka.[4] Geolocated footage posted on October 1 shows Russian forces striking a Ukrainian vehicle just south of the middle of the three trenches and about 1km west of the easternmost trench in the system, suggesting that Ukrainian forces control the easternmost trench and are attempting to push westward to recapture the remaining two trenches and connected dugouts and firing positions.[5] Commercially available satellite imagery indicates that Russian forces destroyed this vehicle between September 25 and 28, indicating that Russian forces repelled a Ukrainian attack and reconsolidated Russian positions near the trench systems in late September. The reported continued presence of Russian forces in the western and central trenches suggests that Russian forces have been conducting successful limited tactical counterattacks south of Robotyne and that the tactical situation in this area is complex and dynamic."

The numbers of Russian casualties Ukraine lists each day has been down the last 3 or 4 days. This may reflect a pause while Ukraine regroup. I suspect the US answer would be a bunker buster bomb. Don't know what Ukraine will do.
Awaiting developments. Hoping there will be an answer soon.

NY Times: Why We Can't Stop Illegal Immigration? Because It Works! (No paywall)

Migrants, employers and government all conspire to evade harsh immigration laws. Because America needs the workers!

"There is one more reason the problem of unauthorized immigration has become so intractable. Over the past 20 years, incendiary rhetoric about migrants has become a powerful and popular political tool, and many elected officials now or recently in office have built their careers by wooing voters with such rhetoric. This path to power makes it difficult for them to compromise on any issue related to immigration, no matter how rational such flexibility might be given the facts of global migration and the demands of American businesses and consumers. For many of these politicians, blocking all or nearly all immigration to the United States is a top priority.

And though the Biden administration and congressional Democrats have cast themselves as more realistic on matters of global migration, they are also unlikely to spearhead much significant reform. Over the past three years, they have prioritized objectives that affect a larger portion of the electorate, like infrastructure and education bills. This also makes sense. Most voters, even Latino voters, rank immigration below the economy, education, gun policy and health care as a top concern. By definition, voters are already citizens. For most of them, rationalizing our immigration system is not a bread-and-butter issue.

Democrats like to blame Republicans for their own inaction on reform, but that’s only part of the story. The day Biden took the oath of office, his administration introduced a plan for comprehensive immigration reform, one designed to secure the borders, keep communities safe and “better manage migration across the Hemisphere.” Legislation based on that plan was introduced in the House weeks later as the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, with 80 co-sponsors. The Oval Office, the Senate and the House were all under Democratic control. But the act died in subcommittee, along with several more modest immigration bills.

The only immigration policies that Congress can bring itself to enact, it seems, are funding more border security and ICE raids. But these actions alone will never fix America’s immigration problems. No matter what anyone says on Capitol Hill, migrants know that if they can just make it inside the United States, they will find relative safety — and plenty of work."

Why Can’t We Stop Unauthorized Immigration? Because It Works. https://www.nytimes.com/2023/10/01/magazine/economy-illegal-immigration.html?unlocked_article_code=_uG3S7KdEI3XI_bfTJ5LJCbdHgsEJSMFgl71tS4wxFh2Yb5WwIRSCN5YMcYCuQmjk7cKpBYvJ4gSIe8E41CA3L6pz9az2U2q06i1zRR8UUCxFTk04mYh7OQ-bjdj0KGtZ6TukoxxVu2i_GMzILbQrYSQFz74oNn9wPnV5U96dwdBtGXFiyCh1VHbqYhhmlmxQe8BqzA8Lfwmx_x8n5GcVlRTSNjfmW-UcVjzqtQiqdmDkqLtZuLxF0btlcbv23iJfaw9LuyeesSGw3KMSnzN7SAN7I5HF4kGHTCYi0uvSvz-XuSfGH_vDnKw5mRZd3h9JysYUDj-SDC7NJML0j9_jAckeQSX6Q&smid=nytcore-android-share

Video of sapper Patron at the front!


The Daily Kos on the current state of the war in Ukraine

"Regardless of whether you see the Ukrainian counteroffensive as promising or disheartening, one thing is abundantly clear: Ukraine and Russia are locked in a battle of attrition, drawing comparisons to World War I.

If we must compare World War I to the Russo-Ukrainian War, it is helpful to remember two things:

Ukraine Update: Data shows Ukraine is laying down the heaviest firestorm of artillery in the war

World War I ended in a decisive Allied victory, not in an inconclusive stalemate; and
World War I ended in four years and 106 days, compared to World War II, which lasted six years and one day.
I’ve written this before, but battles of attrition do not imply endless stalemates, or endless deadlocks. They most certainly do not imply wars without end. And one of the most decisive battles of attrition ever fought was the Allies’ gradual and grinding efforts to wear down German defenses around Normandy in late summer 1944, during World War II, before steamrolling the Germans all the way through France."


Ukraine is making a great deal of progress, just not the kind you can see on a map. Yet.

The situation in Ukraine: Operational silence holds.

Ukraine is saying little and even Russian military commentators have little to say. Except they do say this: Ukraine has been firing an enormous volume of artillery shells along the Robotyne-Verbove main line of advance and the shelling has also reached the russian rear in the city of Tokmak and other nearby villages. The russians describe a volume of Ukranian shelling not seen before in the War. "Apocolyptic volume" Of shelling
Several experts I have some regard for agree this all is a prelude to a major push. There are reports Ukraine has moved reserve brigades close to the Robotyne front. The thought is that the shelling will attrite the russian forces in the area. But when the push by Ukraine forces will come: no one knows.
Waiting and hoping.🙏🙏🙏

Good summary of Ukraines offensive to date from USA Today:

Ukraine launched a counteroffensive against Russia's invasion earlier this summer with high hopes, but some experts have been skeptical that Ukraine will achieve its goals due to limited progress. Others, such as Ambassador John Herbst, senior director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, a Washington, D.C., think tank, have a more positive view of Ukraine's efforts.

"The offensive has gone pretty much the way I anticipated. I've been saying since March that given what we are sending Ukraine by way of weapons, the best we could expect would be modest Ukrainian gains, which I'd define as several square hundred kilometers liberated. And, in fact, by the end of July, Ukraine had liberated over 300 square kilometers (186 square miles). And now it's gotta be triple or quadruple that. Maybe even more.

"We saw a lot of hand-wringing from both commentators and administration officials on background, going back to the middle of August, in the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Washington Post, and elsewhere, about how the offensive is not living up to its expectations. That's nonsense.


Today's missile strike on the Black Sea fleet HQ appears to have targeted a specific meeting.

It took out top level army officers as well as Navy ones. The fate of the commander of the Black Sea fleet is not known at present but rumors fly.



ATACMs for Ukraine at last. Thank You President Biden!


The Kerch Bridge awaits!

UAW to strike at additional GM and Stellantis plants, but not Ford


Ukraine Intelligence Chief Budanov comments on today's missile strike against Russian Navy HQ:

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