Vladislav Surkov: Without Sky

This was the first non-linear war. In the primitive wars of the nineteenth, twentieth, and other middle centuries, the fight was usually between two sides: two nations or two temporary alliances. But now, four coalitions collided, and it wasn’t two against two, or three against one. It was all against all.

And what coalitions they were! Not like the earlier ones. It was a rare state that entered the coalition intact. What happened was some provinces took one side, some took the other, and some individual city, or generation, or sex, or professional society of the same state – took a third side. And then they could switch places, cross into any camp you like, sometimes during battle.

.. The simple-hearted commanders of the past strove for victory. Now they did not act so stupidly. That is, some, of course, still clung to the old habits and tried to exhume from the archives old slogans of the type: victory will be ours. It worked in some places, but basically, war was now understood as a process, more exactly, part of a process, its acute phase, but maybe not the most important.

.. Some peoples joined the war specifically to be defeated. They were inspired by the flowering of Germany and France after being routed in the second World War. It turned out that to achieve such a defeat was no simpler than achieving victory.

.. Hundreds of thousands of airplanes, helicopters, and rockets destroyed each other throughout a day in the silence of the tomb. Even falling, they were silent. Sometimes dying pilots screamed out, but rarely, because almost all of the machines were pilotless.

.. At that time, automatic machinery was being hurriedly brought into general use, and not only in the field of transportation. They introduced hotels without staff, stores without sales people, homes without masters, financial and industrial firms without directors. Even a couple of “pilotless” governments were organized as a result of democratic revolutions, so airplanes were nothing to speak of.

.. The fighter aircraft of the Northern Coalition were super-light, made of almost weightless materials. Even if an entire one of these fighters fell on us, the whole airplane, it would not have caused us serious harm. And Papa had dug us in pretty deep.

.. If it was only that we didn’t see the sky above our village, that would be nothing, but our very thoughts lost the concept of height. We became two-dimensional. We understood only “yes” and “no,” only “black” and “white.” There was no ambiguity, no half-tones, no saving graces. We did not know how to lie.

We understood everything literally, and that meant we were absolutely unsuited for life, helpless. We required constant care, but they abandoned us. They wouldn’t let us work. They wouldn’t pay us a disability pension. Many of us deteriorated, fell and perished. The rest of us organized ourselves to stay afloat, to save ourselves together or perish together.

.. We founded the Society and prepared a revolt of the simple, two-dimensionals against the complex and sly, against those who do not answer “yes” or “no,” who do not say “white” or “black,” who know some third word, many, many third words, empty, deceptive, confusing the way, obscuring the truth. In these shadows and spider webs, in these false complexities, hide and multiply all the villainies of the world. They are the House of Satan. That’s where they make bombs and money, saying: “Here’s money for the good of the honest; here are bombs for the defense of love.”

We will come tomorrow. We will conquer or perish. There is no third way.

Top U.S. Military Commander to Meet Russian Counterpart

U.S.-Russia meeting in Azerbaijan will mark first such face-to-face since in 2014

The meeting between Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Russian Gen. Valery Gerasimov

.. senior military officials at the Pentagon are pushing to elevate communication and coordination between the two militaries. Under a Pentagon proposal, three-star generals at the Pentagon would routinely discuss operations over Syria with Russian counterparts.

.. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has expressed a harder line on Russia than other members of the Trump administration. During his confirmation hearing last month, Mr. Mattis said the U.S. must recognize that Russian President Vladimir Putin “is trying to break the North Atlantic alliance.” He classified Russia among the principal threats to the U.S.

.. During a congressional hearing last September, he classified Russia as potentially the most significant threat to U.S. national interests and said the American military had no intention of sharing intelligence with Russian counterparts.

.. “I believe that we should maintain military-to-military communications and relationships in the worst of times,” Gen. Dunford said early last year. “We did it throughout the Cold War, and we should do it now.”
.. Gen. Gerasimov is a figure who looms large in Washington. His 2013 article in a professional Russian military journal is widely viewed in Washington as the blueprint for Russian hybrid and information warfare initiatives—sometimes referred to as the Gerasimov doctrine.
.. The meeting also comes amid accusations that Russia is violating a Cold War-era pact, known as the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF Treaty, which bans Washington and Moscow from producing, maintaining or testing medium-range missiles.