Why I Study War | William Thomas Online | William Thomas

Why I Study War 

“When will they ever learn?” -Peter, Paul and Mary



by William Thomas

Last year, during a vax resistance dinner at a local home, I sat down on a wooden floor across from a women with whom I was delighted to converse. Over the years, I’d come to admire Linda Though we only spoke in passing, I observed how her quiet spiritual practice informed her respect for life, her community, and herself. 

    Putting aside my empty bowl, I remarked how the discussion around us brought back similarly earnest conversations during off-campus anti-war gatherings in Milwaukee during the ’60’s. Right down to sharing bread while sitting cross-legged on wood floors! 

    But Linda was not into indulging a Woodstock veteran’s nostalgia. Referencing my recently posted piece, in which I’d detailed the logistical impossibility of the United States sustaining a full-on conflict with Russia in Europe, she surprised me with her opening query.

    “How do you know all this? How do you know so much about war?” Just saying the word, “war” caused her evident distress. As well it should to any civilized person.

    “The first reason is because it’s in my blood,” I replied. I explained how my ancestors had fought the British at Valley Forge, the Yankees at Chickamauga, and the “Indians” out West. My own navy dad had flown lumbering flying boats in the Pacific, where he’d rescued a ditched Corsair pilot under fire in a Japanese-held lagoon.

    “I broke the mold,” I went on. On completing Naval Reserve Officer Training during the slaughter in Vietnam, I received orders to report to for flight training in Pensacola. A lifelong dream of flying jets off carriers was in my grasp when I realized that I could not napalm children and resigned my commission.

    “Another reason I study war,” I told Linda “is geopolitics. What’s happening in Ukraine right now is rearranging the world.”  


Last December, former German chancellor, Angela Merkle boasted that the 2014 Minsk Agreements she had so treacherously signed had given Ukraine “precious time” to “become stronger.” 

    An overly patient Putin was made to look like a durak for trusting the Western globalists who had pillaged his country throughout the 1990s. After the same capitalism-infatuted Yeltsin provided the antidote by elevating an unknown intelligence officer to Russia’s highest office, the necons have never forgiven Vladimir Putin for restoring Russia and taking away their toy.

    “For me, it was completely unexpected. It is disappointing,” the Russian president admitted, after personally apologizing to the widows of Russian servicemen killed in the Donbass. “I genuinely hoped that German leadership expected a settlement based on the principles achieved” during the Russia-sponsored peace negotiations. 

    “It appears to me that nobody planned to live up to these Minsk agreements,” Putin concluded. “They lied to us, and the only reason for these processes was to pump Ukraine up with weapons and get it ready for military action.”

    But the jujitsu blackbelt had thrown a head-fake of his own. Using those same eight years of failed Minsk implementation, his General Staff completely reshuffled and re-equiped Russia’s demoralized post-Afghanistan army into mobile brigades — each equipped with aircraft, drones, missiles, transport and artillery networked through myriad surveillance and targeting platforms. Crucially, two Russian war colleges focus solely on logistics.

     While issuing repeated promises never to advance “another inch” eastwards, NATO gobbled up former Warsaw Pact nations on Russia’s borders. After years of increasingly pointed warnings for NATO to back off, in December 2021 Putin issued an ultimatum: Pull NATO forces back to their original boundaries or we will take action. Starting with Ukraine.

    Washington laughed. 



War is how you compel an opponent to do your will, Carl von Clausewitz wrote in his iconic meditation, On War. Less famously, this Prussian general neglected to add: If you lose, this works in reverse. 

    The 19th century military theorist reminded contemporary neocons how “everything takes a different shape when we pass from abstractions to reality.” 

    But card-carrying sociopaths without conscience or empathy as staggeringly incompetent and vicious as “Fuck the EU” Nuland, bewildered Blinken, warmongering von der Crazy, “Jungle Josep” Borell, “360-degrees” Baerbock, lying Lloyd Austin, and perpetually angry Biden and Trudeau believe that whatever they believe is reality.

    Unfortunately for them and for us, war remains the ultimate reality check. Nothing changes geographical boundaries, corrupt governments and shaky alliances more quickly and irrevocably than bullets. Just ask the NVA and the mujahideen.

    By the same measure, nothing tests a nation’s unity, leadership, industrial capacity, resolve and restraint like a protracted conflict against peer hominids. Unless it’s the decision not to go to war. Known for his battlefield acumen, Japan’s first samurai Shogun, Ieysu Tokugawa, emphasized: “The greatest battle is the one you don’t have to fight.”  

    Before rushing into yet another conflict that will “be over by Christmas,” Sun Tzu advised today’s warhawks to “ponder and deliberate before you make a move.” This philospher general might have been addressing Zelenski and his delusional backers 2,400 years later, when he cautioned against becoming distracted by the “gongs and drums, banners and flags” of your own propaganda, while “ears and eyes” remain “focused on one particular point.” 

    Bad Vlad!

    Whatever would we do without Mr. P? Consumed by their pathological hatred for the little big man thwarting their last lunge at world domination, unthawed Cold Warriors in the Whitehouse, Whitehall, Ottawa and Brussels appear determined to wage war on their own feverish projections. At least until they can arrange a nuclear “exchange” over the Chinese province of Taiwan. Which happens to produce the microchips in your personal tracking device. Uncle Sugar’s weaponry. And darn near everything else.


Sun Tzu’s classic could have been comparing Biden and Putin when that ancient philosopher-general wrote: 

The COMMANDER stands for the virtues of wisdom, sincerity, benevolence, courage and strictness.

(1) Which of the two sovereigns is imbued with the Moral law that causes the people to be in complete accord with their ruler?

(2) Which of the two generals has the most ability? 

And speaking of long-term strategy, short supply lines, and inexhaustible resources and reserves…

(3) With whom lie the advantages derived from Heaven and Earth? 


“The opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself,” the oldest treatise on warfare helpfully points out. (Russians add: “Don’t get in the way.”)

    “Disciplined and calm, to await the appearance of disorder and hubbub amongst the enemy — this is the art of retaining self-possession,” Sun Tzu (soon-tse), advised today's  zip-lipped Russian leadership. This will freak out your loud-mouthed adversary. 

    And if you really want to win, seize something “which your opponent holds dear” — like the crossroads at Bakhmut, linchpin of the entire Donbass. Then “they will be amenable to your will.” 

    The Russians heartily approve of the showman Zelenski’s bloody-minded insistence on “winning” at all costs on social media. Why decimate your own army in assaulting the most extensive network of minefields, tank traps and mutually-supporting fortifications since those multiple lines of trenches in WWI, when you can simply let the enemy impale themselves on your layered defenses? 

    Just like Br’er Rabbit in the Briar Patch, Russian commanders in Donbass are publicly pleading with a cocaine-fortified, comic actor to please, please, please keep pouring tens of thousands of men into Bakhmut’s “meat grinder”. Until your third cobbled-together army is utterly smashed.

Torture ofUkrainian peace activist, Alexander Matjuschenko recorded by his  captors in Dnipro, Mar 3, 2022 -Azov

Torture ofUkrainian peace activist, Alexander Matjuschenko recorded by his  captors in Dnipro, Mar 3, 2022 -Azov


Obviously, protecting “freedom” and “democracy” is paramount for a Kyiv regime that jails its political opposition, assassinates its best peace negotiator, tortures young women and Russian POWs, outlaws independent media, persecutes and desecrates the Orthodox Church, guns down refugees required as human shields, and gets caught skimming at least $400 million in Western aid, while raining missiles and US-supplied artillery onto the city of Donetsk and surrounding towns almost daily since this conflict began in 2014

    At least 15,000 Russian-speaking Ukrainians died in Donbass before Vladimir Putin finally intervened on the eve of their publicly announced extermination at the hands of 20,000 swastika-waving Azov fanatics massing on their borders.

    Curiously, while “Valdomort” Zelenski prefers conversing in Russian (because he’s not fluent in Ukrainian), this Donbass native has made speaking, reading and teaching Russian by one-third of his own citizenry a criminal and “terrorist” offense.

    Keep waving those flags.

WAR 2.30

What have we learned so far from the year-long, high-intensity conflict in Ukraine?

Production, production, production. 

Drones, drones, drones.

Layered air defenses rule. 

Russian “retreats” can be a trap.

Tanks caught in the open are dogmeat.

American GPS targeting satellites can be jammed.   

Hypersonic missiles are a bitch. (Especially when you don’t have any.)


Logistics, logistics, logistics. 

Everyone sees everyone.

Fighting artillery with rifles doesn’t work.

Hyping false claims and expectations can backfire.

The worst time to kidnap reluctant conscripts is in the middle of a war you’re losing badly.


When rah-rah Western politicians with unbroken war records of failure and betrayal offer obsolete, incompatible and ineffective weapons systems lacking spares and ammunition to “keep the war going” into your own graves and their numbered accounts — beware.

Since the end of the 2nd World War the US empire has crept closer and closer to Russia's doorstep, will this be the last straw?


Our country and its armed forces today are opposed by almost the entire collective West,” the secretary of the Russian National Security Council has declared. After endless spittle-spewing Western threats to “destroy Russia,” “break up Russia,” “re-educate the Russians” and “git Pootin” — everyone in Russia understands this. 


When she announced her Azov-infatuated regime’s latest self-inflicted sanctions — this time against imports of Russian aluminum and steel needed for Canadian manufacturing — Foreign Minister Mélanie July emphasized that the goal of the West’s latest proxy war is “regime change” in Russia.

    “We’re able to see how much we’re isolating the Russian regime right now, because we need to do so economically, politically and diplomatically, and what are the impacts also on society, and how much we’re seeing potential regime change in Russia,” this tongue-tied globalist dizzyingly declared — inverting reality and ignoring Putin’s consistent 85% approval ratings, while dignitaries representing the World Majority crowd around his globe-trotting Foreign Minister, Sergie Lavrov, for handshakes and photos.

German tanks once again arriving in Ukraine

German tanks once again arriving in Ukraine


On Jan. 25, 2023, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock informed the world: “We are fighting a war against Russia.” 

    “If we add this to Merkel’s revelations that they were strengthening Ukraine and did not count on the Minsk agreements, then we are talking about a war against Russia that was planned in advance,” Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova (zak-har-uva) quickly pointed out.

    No Russian has forgotten the last time tanks with Iron Crosses crossed their western border from Ukraine. Long before recently declassified documents revealed that some 42 million Soviet citizens died in the ensuing conflagration that destroyed three German armies before the Soviet Army took Berlin — they vowed, “never again!” 

    “The Russians aren’t bluffing,” reminds Benjamin Abelow, author of How the West Brought War to Ukraine. With Russian-hating maniacs in Kyiv and eight Western capitols vowing to destory their nation, Moscow cannot back down

"Boneface" Kent McLellan sporting Azov wolfgangle patch

"Boneface" Kent McLellan sporting Azov wolfgangle patch 


Like Marine Gen. Smedley Butler before him, Boneface thinks the war racket sucks. Nor is this avowed neo-Nazi impressed by his virtue-signaling countrymen’s blue and gold emojis. 

    “They just think Russia decides to bomb the fuck out of places for no reason,” this Floridian snorts. Moscow’s defensive military operation under UN Article 51 was preciptatated, he correctly states, by “American meddling in Ukraine”.

    “It’s not a matter of playing an exciting military game,” Muscovite volunteer Nikita Vlasenko-Irsetsky explains from Donetsk, where “everyone knows that, if they back down today, their families will be killed or abused. Nobody harbors any illusions.”

    “Of course this has been the first armed resistance against globalization, against globalism and Western power structure,” adds Janus Putkonen in “the people’s republics” of Luhansk and Donetsk. Having fought alongside Canadian and American volunteers defending Donbass, Putkonen declares, “Our victories here are bringing hope for all the patriots in the world.”

    With 85% of world nations refusing to sanction Russia, he appears to be right.

Love in a dangerous time, Macron-Zelensky.


Mark Esper has a different take. Brave Ukrainian people are doing the dirty work of what we never wanted to do here in the United States,” the fired US Secretary of Defense recently admitted — while enabling American weapons makers to make a killing.

    “For so many people war is profitable,” agrees a former mercenary on his return from Ukraine. The State Department boasts that US weapons sales have surged by one-third since 2021, topping $154 billion in 2022!

    Another ex-merc implicates his own Ukrainian officers by complaining that NATO anti-aircraft guns vanished from his unit within days of receipt. As a result of this lucrative sidelne, a former US marine who also fought with the several-thousand-strong  International Legion reveals that Ukrainian commanders don’t have radios, artillery cover or extraction teams for wounded soldiers

    “Trucks deliver ammunition, provisions, etc. to the front line, and from there they take out and sell all the loot," human rights activist Larisa Shesler confirms. This is not great for morale. Or winning wars.

    NATO belatedly fears that this tsunami of diverted American arms is supplying criminal gangs flooding into Europe and the USA. African authorities have already uncovered Ukrainian arms caches. And Finnish detectives confirm that the world's three biggest motorcycle gangs in Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and Ukraine are being equipped with “man portable” anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles. What can possibly go right?

Anti-NATO demonstration during the July ’22 NATO summit in Madrid. -Diego Radames/SOPA/LightRocket/Getty


Maybe the German army can get in on these after-market arms sales. Since emptying its armories to supply Ukraine, the Bundeswehr has enough ammunition to fight the Russians for one or two days

    Ditto the UK. Bankrupted by Whitehall's incentivized purchase of 48 F-35B flying lemons (£80 million a pop and just £90,000/hour to operate), Britain's miniscule military is a knee-slapping Russian joke. 

    Forget France. Their vestigial army is needed on the streets of Paris.     

    As for war-addled Washington, the Pentagon had planned to draw on stocks prepositioned in Europe, which would allow the maritime-oriented US military to sustain a continental war at Ukraine's current tempo for two weeks. 

    But home inventories are dwindling. 

    At the end of January ’23, the Ukraine-fixated US Secretary of State announced “our 30th drawdown of U.S. arms and equipment for Ukraine.” Do it! beg the Russians. Send everything you’ve got and we will destroy that, too. But why stop there? Let your mischievous Commander in Chief drain the last of your strategic oil reserves to score more points with the WEF

    If anyone in the Pentagon is studying America’s current derangement as avidly as the Russian General Staff, it’s clear that a fantasized “surge rate” of accelerated production in decrepit US factories will take more than five years to replenish the one-million 155mm artillery rounds tossed into that black hole overseas — one-month of firing at current Russian rates.

This 1908 steam locomotive repair plant in Scranton, PA is slated to produce vast quantities of artillery shells -Vincent Tullo/TIME

     The Marine Corps is also being short-changed. If ordered to wade ashore in distant China, the “first to fight, first to die” will have to pause on Hangzou beaches for three years while the 38 HIMARS scrapped in Ukraine are replaced. In the meantime, if the hard pressed jarheads need to deploy anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, they will have to call for additional eight and 18 year timeouts to replace those proven ineffective weapons. They’d be better off repurchasing the stockpiles of Javelins and Stingers confiscated by the Rooskies, who don’t want them.

    Of course, having ditched their tanks, the reconstituted marines do not intend to storm the Middle Kingdom. Instead, their posture has pivoted toward boarding commercial ships heading to China — and starving the dragon. This might work, too. Shippers grow shy when their cargoes become uninsurable. 

    It wouldn’t be the first time Washington sanctioned piracy on the high seas, as the Greeks and Iranians know. But ocean-dependent Beijing is much more worried about the US Navy, proprieters of the world’s best submarine fleet. At least until 2025. By then, China's fast-multiplying gas and oil arteries, along with the recently opened Amur bridge and similar links, will have futher deepend a shotgun marriage to Russia by reorienting  vital sealanes to land corridors immune from blockade.

   Having frightened every sane government into fleeing the dollar by siezing Russia’s assests, the world’s fading hegemon can no longer print its way out of debt. 

    All that’s left is nukes.  


Incapable of questioning their own exceptional genius, after losing every war they’ve started against second-tier militaries over the past six decades, the neocons are determined to fight “to the last Ukrainian,” Chas Freeman observes. 

    You mean for money?

    “We are engaged,” says this retired senior US diplomat, “in a proxy war, and we’re selling a lot of weapons. That makes arms manufacturers happy.” For everyone raking in this bottomless bonanza of destruction and misery, “this is a freebie.”

    Some freebie! While the West studiously looks away from a junkyard stretching from the Black Sea to the Belarus border, onboard this dying planet the brutal box scores of our latest folly are appalling, grotesque and instructive.

    Concentrating on protecting their country, instead of looking for trouble abroad, in the 1970s the Bad Russians went all-in on developing an integrated air defense. Today, pilots of aging F-16s, refurbished F-18s and any speed-restricted F-35s that can be persuaded to fly must be contemplating the 401 NATO jets, 221 helicopters, and 3,425 drones removed from Ukrainian skies by those backwards Rooskies. The toll of intercepted Ukrainian missiles is not discussed in polite company. 

    Meanwhile, America's perpetual war planners have neglected ground-based air defenses, depending instead on Top Gun remakes and often grounded jets to achieve air superiority against a chosen enemy with the best proven air and missiles defenses on this wounded planet. According to a widely accepted Russian military tally, by January 2023 some 8,000 Ukrainian armored vehicles, 400 surface-to-air missile systems, 1,000 multiple rocket launchers, and 4,000 artillery pieces had been converted into mangled wreckage. Along with many of their operators.


Enlistment poster outside Kyiv -Washington Post

    On Mar. 16, 2023, Igor Konashenkov briefed the Russian Minister of Defesne, saying that 8,300 tanks and armored fighting vehicles, along with 4,363 artillery systems and mortars had also been destroyed. In April, Yevgeny Prigozhin, head for PMC Wager Group, claimed that up to 10,000-11,000 Ukrainian soldiers are dying every month. Prigozhin is known for providing accurate figures, and the 400/day AUF loss rate continues to be confirmed by other sources. 

    Except the day before, when a remnant AFU battalion attempted to storm Khromovo, 20 km west of Bakhmut. All 800 troops were killed instantly, apparently by an air-dropped Fuel Air Bomb, which burns out a one-square-mile area. 

    Still, Washington and its proxy refuses to negotiate. How much energy does this represent? How much pollution? Did someone with a British accent say, Depleted Uranium?

    Talk about entirely avoidable carnage and waste! At least 250,000 Ukrainian men have died so far — the Russian Ministry of Defense claims 400,000 — along with their country’s future. Plus another 400,000 wounded so severely they will never to return to duty. Casualties among the Donbass militias and their Russian, Chechen and Wagner allies are at least one-tenth of these figures. 

    The familial shock, grief and hardship on both sides of this civil war are not so glibly tabulated. 

Ukrainian Tochki missile strike on Donetsk city center, March 14, 2022

Aftermath of a NATO/Ukrainian Tochki missile strike on Donetsk city center, March 14, 2022


As for Ukraine’s impending “ultimate victory”… 

    “We do not have ammunition. For us the situation in the East is not good,” Zelensky told the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun on March 25. Ukraine’s puppet president forgot to mention how his regime is still using American HIMARS, howitzers and scarce ammunition — along with child-attracting “petal” mines — to randomly kill and maim moms, kids and elders in downtown Donetsk. And most recently in Petrovsky and Lisichansk, far from Ukrainian positions


Russian shelling in Irpin, Kyiv region -Sehil Nuzhnenko:Reuters

Russian shelling in Irpin near Kyiv region, Mar. 2, 2022. -Sehil Nuzhnenko/Reuters

    Disconsolate, displaced and some 14,000 dead Russian and Ukrainian residents are not consoled by the Rules of War, which permit Moscow's forces to demolish apartment buildings turned into strongpoints by NATO advisers extolling the use of “human shields”. By contrast, “Ukraine is targeting civilians for retribution in the east, while its Western backers turn a blind eye,” counters Vladislav Ugolny, a Russian journalist working in Donetsk.

    “Who did this?” aid workers invariable ask, pointing to the lower floors of shot-up apartment buildings. “Rooski tonks?

    Ukraini! Ukraini!” come the angry replies from old men and women emerging from basements with children in tow. Just like Bucha.      

Zaporozhye NPP -az-lyrics.com.ru


Meanwhile, Kyiv’s American minders continue targeting Europe’s biggest Nuclear Power Plant, jointly operated by Ukrainian and Russian technicians in Zaporozhye (zappo-roje-nee). 

    After months of shelling, missile and rocket attacks, and repeated amphibious assaults acroos the Dneiper River — apparently aimed at recovering or destroying US nuclear secrets — Nikolay Patrushev has warned Russia’s Security Council that “the consequences of these provocations could be very catastrophic, not only for the majority of the population of Ukraine and Russia but also for Europe. And in terms of their scale, they could surpass the tragedies that occurred at the nuclear power plants in Chernobyl and Fukushima.” 


    Zaporozhye Region administrator, Vladimir Rogov worries that constantly downed and repaired powerlines feeding the pumps cooling multiple reactors are exceeding operating parameters, risking a nuclear meltdown. But on-site inspectors from the Washington’s International Atomic Energy Agency refuse to point inconvenient fingers. 

    European “downwinders” remain unfazed. 



FREE ASSANGE   发件人     William Thomas 2023