Legendary US Army Commander Says Russia Would "Annihilate" US In Head-To-Head Battle

Tyler Durden's picture

Late in September, we brought you “US Readies Battle Plans For Baltic War With Russia” in which we described a series of thought experiments undertaken by The Pentagon in an effort to determine what the likely outcome would be should something go horribly “wrong” on the way to landing the US in a shooting war with Russia in the Balkans. 

The results of those thought experiments were not encouraging. As a reminder, here’s how Foreign Policy summed up the exercises:

In June 2014, a month after he had left his force-planning job at the Pentagon, the Air Force asked David Ochmanek - deputy assistant secretary of defense for force development - for advice on Russia’s neighborhood ahead of Obama’s September visit to Tallinn, Estonia. At the same time, the Army had approached another of Ochmanek’s colleagues at Rand, and the two teamed up to run a thought exercise called a “table top,” a sort of war game between two teams: the red team (Russia) and the blue team (NATO). The scenario was similar to the one that played out in Crimea and eastern Ukraine: increasing Russian political pressure on Estonia and Latvia (two NATO countries that share borders with Russia and have sizable Russian-speaking minorities), followed by the appearance of provocateurs, demonstrations, and the seizure of government buildings. “Our question was: Would NATO be able to defend those countries?” Ochmanek recalls.


The results were dispiriting. Given the recent reductions in the defense budgets of NATO member countries and American pullback from the region, Ochmanek says the blue team was outnumbered 2-to-1 in terms of manpower, even if all the U.S. and NATO troops stationed in Europe were dispatched to the Baltics — including the 82nd Airborne, which is supposed to be ready to go on 24 hours’ notice and is based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

To be sure, the fact that this is even under consideration is somewhat surreal. Sure, no one took Hillary Clinton serioulsy when she presented Sergei Lavrov with the now infamous "reset" button (which actually didn't say "reset" because thanks to a "typo" the prop said “peregruzka” which means “overcharged"), but with a Nobel Peace Price-winning President in The White House, no one expected things to deterirotate to the point that NATO was seriously contemplating a war with the Russians. 

Nevertheless, Moscow's intervention in Syria has the West concerned that for the first time in nearly thirty years, The Kremlin doesn't fear a direct confrontation. 

The problem for The Pentagon isn't so much that the US has fallen behind in terms of spending money on expensive war toys (i.e. we don't necessarily doubt that Washington has the best technology).Rather, the US seems to have fallen behind in terms of its ability to fight a conventional war against a formidable foe, presumably because there really haven't been any formidable foes in decades. 

Well now, it seems entirely possible that the US may have to fight a conventional war against the Russians (and possibly the Iraninans) and that means you can no longer depend on the fact that on a warrior-for-warrior basis, a handful of SEAL Team Six members can pull off battlefield miracles, because no matter how elite your spec ops are, you can't pit twelve guys against four thousand and expect them to win. 

It's with all of this in mind that Washington is beginning to assess whether the US could hold its ground against Russia in a conventional standoff. According to retired Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor, American forces would get "annihilated." Here's more, via Politico

For those villagers eagerly snapping pictures on the side of a road in the Czech Republic in late September, the appearance of the line of U.S. “Stryker” armored fighting vehicles must have seemed more like a parade than a large-scale military operation. The movement of some 500-plus soldiers of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment from Vilsack in Bavaria to a Hungarian military base was intended to strengthen U.S. ties with the Czech, Slovak and Hungarian militaries and put Russia’s Vladimir Putin on notice. 


But not everyone is convinced. “This Stryker parade won’t fool anyone in Moscow,” says retired Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor. “The Russians don’t do many things well, but they have been subverting, destabilizing, invading and conquering their neighbors since Peter the Great. And what’s our response: a small unit of light armored trucks.”


 Viewed by many of his colleagues as one of the most innovative Army officers of his generation, Macgregor, a West Point graduate with a Ph.D. in international relations (“he can be pretty gruff,” a fellow West Point graduate says, “but he’s brilliant”), led the 2nd Cav’s “Cougar Squadron” in the best-known battle of Operation Desert Storm in February 1991. In 23 minutes, Macgregor’s force destroyed an entire Iraqi Armored Brigade (including nearly 70 Iraqi armored vehicles), while suffering a single American casualty. Speaking at a military “lessons learned” conference one year later, Air Force General Jack Welsh described the Battle of 73 Easting (named for a map coordinate) as “a stunning, overwhelming victory.”


In the wake of the battle, however, Macgregor calculated that if his unit had fought a highly trained and better armed enemy, like the Russians, the outcome would have been different.


 In early September he circulated a PowerPoint presentation showing that in a head-to-head confrontation pitting the equivalent of a U.S. armored division against a likely Russian adversary, the U.S. division would be defeated.


“Defeated isn’t the right word,” Macgregor told me last week. “The right word is annihilated.” The 21-slide presentation features four battle scenarios, all of them against a Russian adversary in the Baltics — what one currently serving war planner on the Joint Chiefs staff calls “the most likely warfighting scenario we will face outside of the Middle East.”


“Macgregor scares the hell out of the Army,” says a senior Joint Chiefs war planner. “What he has proposed is nothing less than the dismantling of the Big Green Machine, getting the Army to embrace a future of lighter, more agile forces than the big lumbering behemoth which takes forever to spool up and deploy. I’ll bet the armor and airborne guys are furious. Reform my ass: Macgregor has walked into the zoo and slapped the gorilla.”

Yeah well, the US has already "walked into the zoo" and slapped the Russian grizzly bear. It sounds to us like Macregror may have a battle plan that actually isn't a joke, which means it will be promptly dismissed by The Pentagon. 

After all, it's all about covert ops these days. And that's working so well for Washington in the Mid-East. Why fix something that isn't broken right?...

Read the full Politico story here

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Haole's picture

Like rendering a U.S. destroyer a sitting duck with a little box of electromagnetic magic...

Truther's picture

The first stray bullet, and it's game on like a cluster fuck.

greenskeeper carl's picture

Pretty pathetic that we even have to have this conversation. When one country spends more than the next dozen countries COMBINED it shouldn't even be up for discussion who would win. But our bloated budget is all about corporate welfare. Expensive contracts for well connected companies who make sure the congressmen of their districts keep the pork flowing. I feel like we outta at least be able to keep our country safe, which is all I give a shit about, with a budget about the size of what it was when Clinton took office.

All we have, apparently, are a bunch of expensive toys good for killing hajji dirty farmers and nothing else, and especially not against another modern army. Funny how much cheaper it is to build a missile that will shoot down the 'most advanced fighter in the world' is than the fighter itself. So, who is spending their defense money more wisely?

Talleyrand's picture

The US Army has the 'Stryker'. In the words of someone who knows,"Harsh words will cause the Stryker to burst into flames".


I shit you not.


Occident Mortal's picture

Russia does have some technological advantages over the U.S. though.

Russian missile technology is superior.

The S-400 surface to air defence system is two generations better than anything else in the world.

Russian missiles are superior too. Their ICMB's fly random path trajectories. They are the masters of multiple engine rockets.

Only the Russians have the ability to put a man in space.

America is a little self deluded and they too often extrapolate their warplane technology advantage into a blanket technology advantage. That's just not the case.

New_Meat's picture


"Their ICMB's fly random path trajectories."

Yep, the old generation 1 "Intercontinental Ballistic Missile" has been replaced by the G2 ICMB.  Ballistic means it is on a trajectory like a bullet.  These modern maneuvering bullets are something to behold, if ever anyone can grok their randomness.

- Ned

TeamDepends's picture

Macgregor is correct-on paper. But when those Ivans catch a glimpse of our progressive cross-dressin' high-heel wearin' shock troops, they will suffer brain-freeze and we will strut all over them.

Implied Violins's picture

Hey, watch how you talk about our men - er, persons-in-arms. I can personally attest that high heels, when properly applied, leave behind quite the mark.

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

What the fuck national interest is it of ours in the Baltics?  Just like Syria?  We don't have any business starting a shooting war over countries that are meaningless.  They were part of the USSR sphere of influence for decades, and the world went on.  Of course, its more about keeping our boot on Russia's throat, so they can't get up off the floor than anything.

TahoeBilly2012's picture

The Zionist/Neocons shot their wad of Good Old Boy corn fed warriors....these families are not coming back so let's see how the "rainbow coalition" troops do from here.

OldPhart's picture

Unannounced missle launch from Edwards Air Force Base about 1/2 hour ago.



willwork4food's picture

It looks like a missle, but then why were there reports of military choppers shadowing it? Strange.

mkkby's picture

Defeated isn’t the right word,” Macgregor told me last week. “The right word is annihilated.

Bullshit.  This is the kind of scary language used for marketing.  This asshole is just selling a book, and selling congress on bigger budgets.

Read the linked article.  The fucker didn't even learn from Iraq and Afganistan.  He still thinks small forces can win and go home in weeks.  Never mind, the politicians want long term occupation for regime changes and making democray.

Total fail.

Bananamerican's picture

yep. that was my 1st thought as well..."MOAR for MIC cuz MOAR aint never enuff""

zaphod's picture

Exactly, it is just to increase budgets and power for military members. Russia could entirely give up it's military and go full Pasifist and these guys would still be screaming for much budget. It has nothing to do with help America people, it is just to help themselves. 

jeff montanye's picture

now is it the balkans or the baltics?  the lead paragraph of the post has both.  this is like saying it's canada mexico.

the baltics are by the baltic sea, northwest of germany and poland: latvia, estonia and lithuania.

the balkans are down in southeastern europe, long about serbia, romania, bulgaria, greece, etc.

in additon, "The scenario was similar to the one that played out in Crimea and eastern Ukraine: increasing Russian political pressure on Estonia and Latvia" strikes me as a crock of shit.  the political pressure that led to provocateurs was applied by victoria nuland and the cia.  they were the ones that ran a coup that subverted an elected government and led to civil war.

also how brilliant can this crying wolf colonel be if he starts out with the premise that the russians aren't good at many things? 

finally, david ochmanek may have an ancillary agenda like the thirty-nine other ashkenazis in the defense department elite (Of the one-hundred eleven(111) U.S. Defense Department senior officials, forty(40) are Jews (most of them) or have Jewish spouses (not many of them). This is a numerical representation of 36%. Jews are approximately 2% of the U.S. population. Therefore Jews are over-represented among the U.S. Defense Department senior officials by a factor of 18 times (1,800 percent).)

Manthong's picture

We didn’t participate…


Cadavre's picture

The bagboy's under our, employ,  who get comped at the K-Street Kiddie Brothels, are doing such a great job of annialating our constitutional republic, the Ruskies won't have to waste a single bullet.

NATO can't even see or hear whats going on in Syria, cause the Ruskies have a 600km "dome of silence", or the so called A2AD electronic jammer that nulls all frequencies and blinds look down satellite surveillance, see here, and here.

It's like a "phat" version of the gizmo that scared the sailors on the Aegis Class Donald Cook so bad, that 27 of them turned in their resignations when the Over Priced USS Donny Cooky jar finally got up and running snuff to make a port call.

What the fucking good is expensive stealth technology (aka  the zillion dollar hopelessness of a B2, F35, blah blah blah and cannot hit a tin can ten feet away) if it's blind?

Our rank and file civil and uniformed services should worry more about us than the next coffer filling false flag gimmick required by US genocide Industries. They'd do better to arrest every kiddie fondler on C-SPAN, than a dancing a powder keg mambo with the Ruskies. A tuss with nation that gave up 60 million souls in the last Banker World War is akin to French kissing a rattle snake, or forcing the Americans Commons seek a restoration of the rule of law with extreme prejudice. 

Don't tread on us, we're bred for violence, we're American assholes, and we tire of the DC kiddie fonders fucking us and robbing us blind.

They're our employees, for X's sake. They are not nobility, or even noble. They're self anoints who've lost their survival skills and need some time out.

AGuy's picture

"This asshole is just selling a book, and selling congress on bigger budgets."

Perhaps not annihilated, but winning against Russia would be far more challenging that bombing civilian wedding parties. Best option is not to play the game, especial agains a nuclear armed military.

FWIW: For the US Military to give pause to TPTB for war with Russia is better, regardless of the reasons. Better to raise doubt to prevent war than to promote it as winnable.


Bokkenrijder's picture

It's just scaremongering in order to get more grants/bigger budget for the military!

Follow the money and see if he's paid (bribed!) by the defence industry...

Money Counterfeiter's picture
Money Counterfeiter (not verified) Bokkenrijder Nov 8, 2015 5:48 AM

If China dumps T-bills and goes partial gold standard maybe we can destroy these Zionist bastards.   We are the evil empire.

Handful of Dust's picture

Head to head battle would result in mutual annihilation I suspect. This guy is simply talking hi sbook and wants moar spending on weapons, etc

SoilMyselfRotten's picture

Well now, it seems entirely possible that the US may have to fight a conventional war against the Russians 


Seriously, we just have to, no if and or buts(just don't ask for whys)

CheapBastard's picture

Conventional wars are something we should be good at since we've been continuously fighting one for over 15 years in the ME.

Matt's picture

No, most of it has been assymetrical warfare against guerilla forces. The conventional war ended within a couple weeks.

Arnold's picture

Agreed Mr Matt, our  contribution is CIA operations, seemingly inept, but really suffer from the the same short comings that the rest of us suffer from, a lack of good communication.

Coming from this POTUS, well we have a year left.


opport.knocks's picture

Wash your foul mouth with Zyklon-B!!! The Kagan and Nudelman families were from the Baltics. Nothing could be more important than to exact revenge on those invading and occupying Moskal bastards, I mean (in sweetest voice) "to protect NATO members from external threats."

Surviver22's picture
Surviver22 (not verified) opport.knocks Nov 8, 2015 9:33 AM

Do you wonder why are everyone preparing for WW3??


detached.amusement's picture

Soon as anyone starts talking about bible predictions, I go consult my other works of fiction to see what (else) may be (mis)construed

Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

~"What the fuck national interest is it of ours in the Baltics?  Just like Syria?  We don't have any business starting a shooting war over countries that are meaningless. "~

What the fuck is your problem, Beam me? Why are you obscuring the issue with facts? /sarc

Seriously, BMUScotty is smack on. Someone needs to explain to the folks on Main Street our dog in any of these "foreign entanglements". If Estonia wants to remain separate from the Russians, they need to figure out how they are going to make that happen without the blood and treasure of the Americans.

As far as Syria goes, I'm perfectly fine with a bunch of Muslims murdering another bunch of Muslims. That also applies to [insert Muslim country name here]. Fuck them and the prophet they soil their foreheads to. And no, when they blow up their country, they DO NOT get to come here as "refugees".

uhland62's picture

Indeed, any intervention only prolongs the conflicts between the various groups. They need to fight it out until they suffer from "WAR FATIGUE" which is not generated by doing there one thing or another.
But like always, they are not telling us the truth. The Australian Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson is on record as saying that we are in Afghanistan to "establish a free market economy'. So the war there is for the corporations, not for you and me. Iraq was about access to oil for petrodollars not €, and Syria is about a gas pipeline for gas companies operating in Qatar. 

Why they all see everything under a rivalry with Russia and/or China is actually totally paranoid. No government can rule against the population for long.

Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) Theosebes Goodfellow Nov 7, 2015 11:55 PM

1. Eurasia

2. Brzezinski said "he who controls Eurasia controls the world and gets the middle east by default"

3. Brzezinski has had a hard on for Russia for 50 yrs

sun tzu's picture

I would agree, but we're (CIA) instigating most of those wars

TimmyB's picture

Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner. Don't put American troops in the Baltic and the Russians won't be able to destroy them. You want to know what really does a fine job defeating Russian tank and infantry? The fucking oceans that separate us from them. How about we mind our business instead of the Syrian and the Baltic people's?

BooMushroom's picture

Sounds to me like you want to have a policy of avoiding foreign entanglements. Too bad nobody thought of that two hundred years ago and wrote it into our constitution.

world_debt_slave's picture

yep, as Smedley Butler in "War is a Racket", wrote, paraphrase, if our military was purely defensive and not trying to be the policeman of the world, we would not be fomenting war.

Baby Bladeface's picture
Baby Bladeface (not verified) TeamDepends Nov 7, 2015 11:03 PM


But when those Ivans catch a glimpse of our progressive cross-dressin' high-heel wearin' shock troops, they will suffer brain-freeze and we will strut all over them."

Shocking troop strut is choreographed 21 century interpretation of secret weapon known as Killing Joke.

Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) Baby Bladeface Nov 8, 2015 12:06 AM

Ivan will scare, they know about Gay rage as does the US military.

Tranny was attacking old Chinese people in San Francisco yesterday, its  real!!!


silvermail's picture

A Russian general in his speech on the first channel of Russia said:

"The military victory over Russia - it's impossible. Why? Because in our actions is always absent any logic.
It is impossible that anyone could understand our actions with logic.
If even we are not able to understand why and what we are doing, then any our opponent is not able to understand it even more so. "

robobbob's picture

when viewed from the publically projected image of american interest, our actions appear to be absent of logic

if viewed from a GLOBAL ELITIST ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT viewpoint, these actions show a systematic worldwide strategy to take control of the planet by integrating all key power centers, resources, or sources of resistance

punch line, America and some of its dimmer elites are being used as $10 crack whores to do the cartels dirty work, and when the job, or their usefullness, is over, will be kicked to the curb like a, well, used up crack whore.

Icelandicsaga...............................................'s picture

Good one! Prior to Russia going into Syria, military media outlets, Navy and Army Times, Mlitary.com, Stars and Stripes....I counted 5 stories in eavh about 2 females who made it in my opinion, dumbed dow Ranger school, 4 on changing breast feeding policies in Army allowing more time and flexibility for females to nurse their infants, 8 or more stories about lesbian and gay isxues, the corker was the transgender meeting of NATO military at some conference. I commented at the time, this crap is really going to scare the Chinese, Russians, and jihadis from taking us on. Sad thing, I do not think military media or Pentagram worries about the perception our adversaries have about us. Why worry,  a lactating female soldier is fearsome to behold. If we get into WW3..a lot of it will be based on how IMBECILIC and weak we appear. Pussies in camo.             Actually there was a story in local Ohio media about some ROTC unit being asked to drill in heels, to get a """feel"" how difficult females have it.

MarketAnarchist's picture

Cant both side's leadership just commit mass suicide?  


Then the rest of us can live our lives in peace/

greenskeeper carl's picture

Certainly would be a lot less costly, both in money and blood.

And in case there is some confusion about what I meant above- I am not saying the article is or is not correct in its assessment of US vs Russia in a military conflict. I am merely stating that it's pretty pathetic that a country that spends as much on "defense" as the US does would even have people QUESTION it's ability to defeat a hypothetical enemy that doesn't even spend but 10% or so of the US military budget. My main point is that, once again, we are getting taken to the cleaners as taxpayers.

And, I feel I should also point out - I don't even think it's a good thing if we can smash any other country in the world, since we clearly haven't used that capability responsibly. Just enough to defend this country, not everywhere we have an "interest" which seems to be the whole planet.

Occident Mortal's picture

Spending =/= performance

In 1965 NASA was concerned about astronauts needing to do hand calcs under duress and in a zero G environment there was a risk that the ink might not flow through their pens. So NASA spent $1.3million to develop the zero G space pen.

Russia used pencils.

Rostale's picture

Actually that is incorrect. NASA spent 1.3 million develping a mechanical pencil that failed to meet specifications. Paul Fisher of  fisher pen co. developed his pen with his own funds and on his own initiative. NASA purchased 400 of fisher's pens at $2.95 each($22 in 2015 dollars). The USSR also purchased a number of fisher pens as an improvement over the grease pencils they used.

Charming Anarchist's picture

Actually the entirety of NASA is a complete waste and a hoax.  Hollywood does a better job!

zelator's picture

Oh yeah, I remember.  Didn't Seinfeld have one those?


silvermail's picture

In fact, most Americans believe that the first man in space was an American. They also believe that the first woman in space was American too. This means that the majority of US citizens living in a prison their illusions from the Faux News and Hollywood.

Moe Howard's picture

The Russians also put the first black man in space, a Cuban, but if you look at his photo he really doesn't look black.

Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez


1033eruth's picture

Greenskeeper carl - That's our job as American taxpayers - getting taken to the cleaners.  We vote for it all the time.