Up to 50 M-1 Abrams MBTs to Ukraine

From NYT:

The Biden administration plans to send M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, U.S. officials said on Tuesday, in what would be a major step in arming Kyiv as it tries to seize back its territory from Russia.

The White House is expected to announce a decision as early as Wednesday, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the discussions. One official said the number of Abrams tanks could be between 30 and 50. It could take years before the U.S. tanks reach Ukraine, but would meet a request Berlin had made and clear the way for Germany and other countries to send their battle tanks.

The plan to send the Abrams tanks comes after a testy confrontation last week during a NATO defense chiefs meeting over the refusal by Germany’s chancellor, Olaf Scholz, to send the Leopards, which many military experts believe could be a decisive weapon in Ukrainian hands.

German officials privately have insisted that they would only send the tanks, among the most advanced in the world, if the United States agreed to send its own M1 Abrams tanks. Publicly, American and German officials have denied that the two issues were linked.

While it’ll take years for M-1s to get to be operational in Ukraine, the Bradley M-2 MICVs and Stryker should be deployed in-theater much sooner.

155 thoughts on “Up to 50 M-1 Abrams MBTs to Ukraine

  1. 2slugbaits

    It’s not clear just how much the M1A2 Abrams tanks would help the Ukrainians. Given the kind of fighting that’s expected, the German Leopards are probably a better choice; the Leopards are nimbler and much, much, much easier to support logistically. Abrams tanks require a lot of training both to operate and maintain. Even US troops rely upon contractor maintenance even at the direct support (i.e., first echelon in the rear) level. Fuel is also a problem. Abrams tanks get a pretty consistent 1.8 gallons per mile (note…that’s gallons per mile), largely because a turbine engine consumes almost as much fuel idling as when the tank is moving. It might well be the case that the Abrams tank, as great as it would be on the battlefield, might be an overall drag on Ukrainian capabilities. Integrating the Bradleys and Stryker vehicles along with the Leopards into a heavy 2×2 mechanized infantry brigade might be the best approach. I suspect that the US is only offering the Abrams tanks as a hand holding gesture in order to let the Russians know that NATO is in this together.

    Reply
    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      2slugbaits: I agree. It’ll take years for the Abrams tanks to be deployed. This step allows near immediate transfers of Leopards from Poland, and direct sales of Leopards from Germany. I think it’s upped to 100 M2 Bradleys and (to me) unknown number of Strykers. At a minimum, a signal, eventually, a change in the battlefield balance.

      Reply
      1. Ian Fellows

        I understand the logistical difficulties, but I would caution against being too pessimistic regarding time to deployment. War has a way of getting things that should take years done in months. Avoiding death tends to be quite the motivator.

        Reply
      2. Moses Herzog

        An NBC TV reporter reported tonight that Germany was saying the Leopard tanks would not arrive until sometime in March.

        Reply
    2. Steven Kopits

      Wasn’t the entire point of Abrams tanks to counter a Soviet / Russian threat? Of what use is the main US battle tank if it cannot be deployed for many, many months in Europe, cannot be operated on short notice by our allies, is not appropriate to fight on Eastern European terrain, is not well-designed to fight against the Russians, and has apparently no logistics support in Europe?

      And how can it be that, eleven months after the start of the war, no one had the foresight to pre-position, say, 300 Abrams tanks in Europe in the vicinity of Ukraine, say, in Poland, Slovakia or Romania? How can it be that no one thought to establish a maintenance base there proactively to train Ukrainians and other Eastern Europeans in Abrams tank maintenance in anticipation that tanks and their maintenance capability might be needed in the Ukrainian theatre on short order?

      The picture is one of simply colossal US incompetence, first on the side of Pentagon planning, strategic assessment, logistics management and, above all, procurement. We appear to have invested hundreds of billions of dollars in the wrong tank!

      And second, the incompetence of the Biden administration is again stunning. Did no one war-game the Russo-Ukrainian war? Was there no understanding that, because the US and allies were slow-playing Russia, that they would bait Russia into an on-going series of gradual escalations? Did none of these simulations suggest that the Russians would — as they did in WWI and WWII — lean on their organic advantage in military personnel? That Russia might seek to mobilize one million men to offset NATO’s military supplies to Ukraine? Did that not occur to a single person in the White House or the Pentagon, that the war could drag on for, say, four or five years as in the case of WWI or WWII and that therefore critical path issues should be handled proactively?

      I can’t claim to be an expert on military hardware, strategy, procurement or logistics, but if I believe Menzie when he writes “it’ll take years for M-1s to get to be operational in Ukraine”, the only reasonable explanation is gross negligence at the Pentagon and White House.

      Reply
      1. baffling

        steven, that is a very dishonest response. the abrams was developed for nato and the usa, not ukraine. and i can guarantee you it was not designed so that a platoon of 15 abrams could be operated in a remote location for indefinite amount of time. you are simply making stuff up to complain about.
        “We appear to have invested hundreds of billions of dollars in the wrong tank!”
        that is simply a stoooopid statement. what kind of analyst are you? a company would be a titanic fool for paying you a single dime for advice.

        let me point something out, steven, that you seem to be unaware of. russia is not touching nato soil. for how incompetent you believe nato and the president are, they have successfully fulfilled their mission. russia will not touch nato soil, unless they want abrams on russian soil. and if germany would commit to european defense, russia will be removed from ukraine sooner than later. the abrams is not the appropriate tool at this time. you win by using the appropriate tools.

        Reply
        1. Moses Herzog

          Try to remember, Kopits is the man who thought Ukraine should sell off its land to Russia:
          http://econbrowser.com/archives/2022/11/the-trap-closes-kherson-11-11-2022#comment-289286

          And to think, according to Steve Kopits, that’s the only thing Ukraine had to do to “avoid war”. If only Kopits had told Zelensky the answer: “Just sell off a huge portion of your nation’s sovereignty”. Why didn’t France or England do that with Hitler?? Strange……..

          BTW, Kopits still hasn’t answered me on why he is against America’s employers being punished for employing illegal immigrants, such as large fines and prison time. This means Kopits is in actuality a proponent of illegal immigration. What a kind transplanted Hungarian Kopits is.

          Reply
          1. pgl

            “Try to remember, Kopits is the man who thought Ukraine should sell off its land to Russia”

            Stevie pooh also told us that the Germans were not pulling their weight. Of course Biden’s decision comes along with the Germans also sending tanks. And now Stevie thinks this all a bad thing? As I have said before – Stevie pooh has very malleable opinions.

          2. Steven Kopits

            Land for Russia: $625 billion for title to Crimea. That’s 4x Ukraine’s pre-war GDP. To me, that deal is a no brainer. But perhaps you prefer the situation as it worked out, because, you know, both Russia and Ukraine are so much better off now.

            Moses, why don’t you read some of my writing on illegal immigration before heading straight into the weeds. Here’s the basic thing: Prohibitions, which rely upon enforcement, never work well. We would do much better to rely on compliance based systems using market mechanisms. That is again a no-brainer.

            To make sure you understand the distinction: Enforcement is about punishing people for doing the wrong thing; compliance is about ensuring that people do the right thing. So enforcement is about catching and punishing the murderer; compliance is about preventing the murder in the first place. Prohibitions force you into the former; market mechanisms channel you into the latter.

            I would note that, if you read my work, you’ll see that I call for reducing Border Patrol head count by 12,000 and redeploying that to ICE, that is, re-focusing efforts from border to internal compliance and enforcement, including wrt employers. The key here is not the punishment of either employers or migrants, but rather providing them a legal framework consistent with their needs and ways of operating. It’s the compliance, not the enforcement, part which is critical for success.

            Here’s the latest from me on illegal immigration, from Monday this week. https://www.princetonpolicy.com/ppa-blog/2023/1/23/dec-border-apprehensions-new-cy-record

            Here’s Breitbart’s coverage from yesterday.

            For 2021, Steven Kopits with Princeton Policy Advisors accurately projected that about two million border crossers and illegal aliens would be apprehended.

            Likewise, Kopits correctly projected that more than 2.3 million border crossers and illegal aliens would be apprehended in 2022, for a total of about 4.2 million apprehensions since Biden took office.

            As illegal immigration hit a record monthly high in December 2022, with more than 250,000 apprehensions at the border, Kopits writes that the figures “are simply surreal” and suggests that Biden is on pace to set a new illegal immigration record this year.

            Kopits writes:

            With December apprehensions exceeding expectations, we increase our calendar and fiscal year 2023 forecast for southwest border apprehensions to 2.7 million, which would represent a new record by 400,000 over fiscal and calendar year 2022. These are truly mind-blowing numbers. Annual southwest border apprehensions are beginning to approach 1% of the total US population.

            https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2023/01/25/analysis-mind-blowing-illegal-immigration-under-biden-approaching-1-of-total-u-s-population/

          3. Moses Herzog

            @ Steven Kopits
            So, just tell the truth, you’re against enforcement of laws discouraging illegal immigration, if the enforcement of laws hurts wealthy white males and large corporations, and skip the mental gymnastics. The illogical contortions you go through to rationalize why Republicans give lip-service to being anti illegal immigration when Republican businessmen and Republican politicians love the cheap and easily manipulated and abused labor it supplies would be hilarious, if it wasn’t so extortionate of American labor, both legal and illegal.

            What I would love to see, is Democrats call Republicans’ bluff of being “anti illegal immigration” by passing laws that would severely and punitively punish employers of illegal immigrants, and watch the weeping and gnashing of teeth of Republicans that would certainly follow as Republicans tried to block such enforcement.

          4. pgl

            Steven Kopits
            January 26, 2023 at 3:51 pm
            Where is my response to this, Menzie?

            Someone is certainly full of himself. Stevie reminds us of his past BS and demands we reply to it. No Stevie – no one gives a damn about your stupid babble.

          5. pgl

            Stevie is bragging that the racists at Breitbart are citing his racist immigration suggestion? I never knew that this blog would become a forum for MAGA style Stephen Miller blatant racism.

          6. Steven Kopits

            Regarding punishment:

            First, to be clear, all black markets are created by governments. Illegal immigration exists because of the Immigration and Nationality Act (Hart-Celler Act) of 1965. Illegal immigration is not a terrible malady or an act of God. It is a deliberate piece of public policy brought to you by our geniuses on The Hill.

            An incredible amount of criminality is created by the government itself — under communism, market prices were illegal everywhere in Hungary, and we saw equivalent behaviors. For example, in Hungary in 1990, if you earned more than $3,000, your marginal tax rate was 50%. Guess how people were paid? Under the table. Probably three-quarters of the population was involved in tax evasion, and the rest were stupid. So whom should I blame here? Poor people dodging taxes or some idiot who set the marginal tax rate at 50% for people earning a subsistence wage? Similarly, should I blame employers who need labor and poor migrants who need work for coming together to transact over what, it seems to me, is the human right to be able to sell one’s own labor? In what sense is that evil, other than the administrative transgression of crossing the border illegally, for the migrant, and hiring an undocumented worker, for the employer? Why should I condemn normal market participants over a piece of truly moronic legislation passed in 1965?

            If you want to end the illegality, lift the prohibition! Then you can enforce normally.

            Let’s take the border as an example. From the marijuana precedent, we know we can decrease smuggling — including that of illegal labor — over the border by 97% by using a legalize-and-tax approach. If you want absolute numbers (pre-1965 adjusted for population growth), that comes out to about 40,000 apprehensions / year, compared to 2.7 million for 2023. So then let’s consider the ratio of Border Patrol agents to illegal crossers. Today, we have 16,000 agents arresting 2.7 million illegal crossers, equaling about 170 arrests / agent / year. Under the proposed system, we have 40,000 arrests covered by 4,000 agents (the BP headcount under Reagan, by the way), which is 10 arrests / agent / year. (You will recall the other 12,000 agents have been seconded to ICE in a legalize-and-tax system.) Thus, there will be 17 times more border patrol agents per illegal crosser in a legalize-and-tax system than there are today. Isn’t that heavy enforcement, in fact, a whole order of magnitude heavier enforcement than we have today?

            And by the way, the ICE headcount goes from 20,000 to 32,000 in the proposed model. So enforcement there is also much stricter. If we target the arrest and deportation of 10 illegals / incremental ICE agent / month, that’s 1.4 million per year, that is, you could round up pretty much the entire population of illegals in eight years. Now that’s enforcement beyond even the wildest imagination of, say, Donald Trump.

            But that’s not their purpose. They are there to ensure compliance, to make sure that existing undocumented sign up for work permits and to ensure that employers use the system. For the undocumented, it’s great, because they can be legal! Employers will comply because all they want is the bodies, and if they can obtain them legally, they will — at least in the case of the larger employers.

            Prohibitions are incredibly destructive pieces of legislation, specifically because they attempt to prevent transactions between willing buyers and sellers at market prices. A prohibition is an attempt to prevent a market from working. Don’t do that.

            There is nothing remotely evil or bad about poor people working to support their families, businesses employing poor people to produce goods that consumers need, or companies making a profit. But we want to do that in a framework that creates ordered markets and ordered societies characterized by 1) safety, 2) safety, 3) safety, 4) legality, 5) propriety / conformity, 6) proper treatment of workers, and 7) fair (market) compensation to the government for providing on-demand access to the US labor market.

            If you want me to condemn employers and migrants for administrative transgressions related to the human right to work, well, you’re looking in the wrong place. What I will condemn is mindless, moronic legislation that has created so much hardship. And condemn it I will, whenever and wherever I can.

          7. Moses Herzog

            Anyone else get the strange idea, that if Steven Kopits was quoted in KKK recruiting pamphlets, he’d be here on the blog that same day, bragging to us he was “published” by “the greatest scholarly minds of the MAGA years”, had advanced above Breitbart, and finally “hit the bigtime”??

        2. Ivan

          Exactly. Abrams tanks were designed to be used by highly trained US soldiers who would be send over with the tanks as a second line of defense if a NATO country was being attacked. The perfectly well suited German (and French) tanks were going to take the first stance and defend any attacked NATO country. NATO has not and should not be set up to be an arsenal for a non-NATO country. The fact that we have ended up taking that job is another story. But complaining that we were not ready for it is like asking why NATO has not trained the people of Micronesia to use its submarines. Answer is that it wasn’t what the alliance was created to do.

          I think Trump may have war-gamed the Russian invasion of Ukraine and when he saw Russia lose he decided to deny them more weapons (unless they would do him a favor).

          Reply
          1. Steven Kopits

            What does that mean, “highly trained”?

            According to Zippia, here are the educational attainment levels of US tank crews.

            High School Diploma 42%
            Associate 22%
            Bachelors 18%
            Masters 7%
            Other Degrees 11%

            Only about 1/3 of the total have college degrees or higher. The typical tank crewmember has a high school diploma. So just how ‘highly trained’ are these guys? Or is this going to be like the M777s, where training was supposed to take weeks and the Ukrainians had it down in three days?

            https://www.zippia.com/tank-crewmember-jobs/demographics/

          2. pgl

            Steven Kopits
            January 26, 2023 at 11:59 am
            What does that mean, “highly trained”?

            Ivan – we all know what you meant? You do not have to respond to this pathetic little troll. Me thinks Stevie has caught CoRev disease. Stevie has no clue what he is babbling about and has decided to be a total jerk.

          3. Anonymous

            for kopits,

            tank crews require operating/training time to work as a team/unit. to be a useable weapon!

            leopard and abrams crew 4 soldiers, the legacy soviet tanks crewed 3. the fourth being the loader, soviet tanks had auto loaders, bc space and one added body, they traded a piece of equipment to fail….

            all this takes time.

            there is also soldier/crew maintenance including setting up sites etc, this take training. as well a crew soldier needs to oversee fueling 600 gals for abrams 400+ for leopard. the ‘sgt rock’ comics books are not in ukrainian!

            when something breaks which is beyond crew/soldier proficiency you call in unit support attached the the echelon that the 14 polish leopards is provisioned, they have tools and spares they can remove and replace. for the breaks they are authorized to fault isolate (usual computer run fault detection) and have parts a nd tools to do the repair.

            if a break is beyond unit support they call in general support repair assets, these are often assigned to the battalion level say 6 of the polish size units of leopards.

            if they cannot fix call in general support indirect, which is pulling in division or corps level support structure. or depot personnnel of the army or contractors.

            that is a brief on the supply chain to get and keep the tanks operating to go into skirmism.

            the tail for fuel: large capacity fuel available to fill 400 gal on leopard and 600 gal on arbams once per day…..

            then shells and rockets,

            then beans and blood for the crews and support soldiers.

            how much of this is a long lead time?

            then there is ‘where to get the parts’, european armies do not provision for the same training and operational levels as the us army.

            as to crew training: look how new soldiers of the us army were treated at kasserine pass in feb 1943.

            poles have only been trining up on abrams since aug 2022, but they have a support tail for their leopards.

          4. Steven Kopits

            Yes, thank you Anon

            First, I think it fair to say that the most experienced tank crews in the western alliance are the Ukrainians themselves, by two orders of magnitude. There are no Germans, Americans, Poles or Brits who have ever fought traditional WWII-style tank battles against the Russians. Only the Ukrainians have done this, and done so with probably hundreds of crews over eleven months in the full gamut of conditions, winter / summer, rain / shine, freezing / hot, wet / dry. They have done it under fire from artillery, from aircraft, mortars, anti-tank weapons, mines, and small arms. They have engaged Russian armor and infantry. Other than the Ukrainians, no military of any stripe has done so against the Russian army, or against any modern army for that matter. The Ukrainians are not the students in this regard, they are the masters. If they are still alive, I think we can assume they are expert in tank combat under real world conditions in Ukraine.

            Second, the Abrams tanks would no doubt go to the very best crews, because the best teams tend to get the best equipment. Therefore, the Ukrainian tank crews would not only be proficient, but also the best of their capability.

            The training would therefore be largely limited to the differences between the M1’s and the, say, T-72s. I would guess the Ukrainians could figure most of the rest out in a day or two. It make take some time to become fully proficient, but I would guess the Ukrainians at this point are far more prepared for real world combat than any US military. To that point, the US tanks were creamed at the Kasserine Pass for exactly that reason: they knew how to drive their tanks but had no idea how to use them. They learned fast on the job. The Ukrainians are already battle-tested.

            Maintenance will have to be learned. I’ve no doubt that Ukrainian mechanics, accustomed to nursing T-64s and T-72s back to health, will figure M1’s out. If they fry 50 M1’s in the learning process, so be it. We have lots of tanks. Time matters more than money in this case. Still, I imagine there will be a learning curve. Give them some tanks needing service or repair and let them figure it out. They’ll learn fast. Again, this is not a training exercise, but real life warfare.

            The Abrams-won’t-work line, upon closer inspection, appears more linked to the timidity of our politicians than to either the capabilities of the tanks themselves, the Ukrainian crews and mechanics, or to the specific conditions on the ground in Ukraine.

          5. Ulenspiegel

            ” Abrams tanks were designed to be used by highly trained US soldiers who would be send over with the tanks as a second line of defense if a NATO country was being attacked. The perfectly well suited German (and French) tanks were going to take the first stance and defend any attacked NATO country.”

            Sorry, both the Abrams and a Leopard could be operated by an NCO with three years on the job and 3 drafted men with 6 months of basic training. The difficulties of operation are the same at the tank level, only a clueless person would say the opposite. The logistics are different, and of course – that makes the topic interesting – the availability of tanks.

            The best solution would be 600 Leopards 2 + 600 Marder or other European IFVs, however, these are not available. The second best option are Abrams and Bradleys in sufficient numbers, that with a more complex logistical system. OK?

        3. Steven Kopits

          Baffs –

          I don’t understand the distinction between tank use in NATO and Ukraine. Do the tanks know where they are and somehow conk out when they cross the border into Ukraine? The default venue for tank use in a war against Russia is the northern corridor constituting principally the territories of Poland and Ukraine. That’s the template setting for tank battles, just as it was in WWII. If a US tank is not appropriate for that terrain and opponent, then it is effectively useless as a NATO tool. So is the Abrams useful in that setting, or not?

          Further, did the US not contemplate that, in a war with Russia, Abrams tanks would have to be deployed on short notice and operated and maintained by our allies? Is our war-gaming that myopic? I simply can’t believe it. The likelihood of a full-blown war between Ukraine and Russia had been in the works for at least eight years, that is, since 2014 at a minimum. If you model that out, at least one version of events has to include the possibility that the Ukrainians provide the personnel and NATO provides the hardware. Or the provision of personnel might have been provided by the Poles or the Slovaks or, heaven help us, the Hungarians. The implications are essentially the same as for the Ukrainians. Did no one at the Pentagon do the associated logistics modeling on the most likely hotspot wrt to Russia?

          The design, training, operations, re-supply, maintenance and general logistics specifications for the Abrams should literally have been dictated by the northern corridor, that is, the plains of Poland and Ukraine. That is exactly the base case scenario for a NATO war with Russia. And now we’re to understand that the Abrams was specified be inappropriate for tank battles across north-east Europe?

          I simply don’t understand that.

          Reply
          1. Ivan

            “Do the tanks know where they are and somehow conk out when they cross the border into Ukraine?”

            You finally got it, but appear to have failed to get that you got it.

            The tanks quickly realize they are no longer in NATO territory when they run out of fuel and trained operators and trained maintenance crews and trained repair crews. And yes then they do “conk out”.

          2. Baffling

            Steven, the abrams is perfectly adequate for a war fought in ukraine by nato troops. Ukraine is not, yet, a nato member. If it were a nato member, then this discussion is moot. Us troops would be at the russian border with abrams firing into russia. You either poorly understand the current situation in ukraine, or are being deliberately obtuse in your argument. Just because the abrams is not the best choice for ukrainian use does not mean it is impotent. I guarantee you the russians fear an abrams operating in ukrainian territory. The abrams is a star tank. Steven, i hope this example is not indicative of your analyst skills, because your efforts here are very poor. Seem to be based on an agenda rather than facts.

      2. 2slugbaits

        Steven Kopits Calm down. During the Cold War the US maintained something called Prepositioning of Materiel Configured to Unit Sets (POMCUS) stocks. The idea was that US troops would fall in on about six divisions worth of prepositioned equipment. After the Cold War those stocks were drawn down and the European continent rose six inches. In 2015 the US Army started a scaled down version with only one combat brigade’s worth of equipment. Forward support activities were established and stocked in the Baltics, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria. The 173rd Airborne Brigade did a lot of joint war game training with the Baltic countries and Poland. We no longer preposition large numbers of end items (i.e., tanks, Bradleys, trucks, howitzers, etc.) within Europe, just the materiel needed to support those end items. Rather, the US Army and Marine Corps rely upon prepositioned equipment in several ships afloat. Rest assured, if the Russians invaded a NATO country the US would be able to respond very quickly. FWIW, you might be interested in a very early version of the prepositioning of equipment in ships afloat back when the idea was first being tested. On page 15 you’ll see a list of the types of equipment that was included in those ships. Keep in mind, those end items are rotated out every 18 months, so today’s ships would have more advanced versions of those systems.
        https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/pdfs/ADA344448.pdf

        Reply
        1. Anonymous

          that’s what ‘pomcus’ means….. i heard the word years ago.

          in air force we called preposition equipment at deployed bases ‘station sets’, later the large “packs” were designated code terms…

          planning fighter deployments is always cleaner when the weapons flew themselves in….. and the tpfdl’s associated airlifted to airfield that could handle large transport aircraft.

          Reply
        2. Steven Kopits

          Slugs –

          “In 2015 the US Army started a scaled down version with only one combat brigade’s worth of equipment.” In 2015? You mean a year after the Russian invasion of Crimea? What genius thought that up?

          “Rest assured, if the Russians invaded a NATO country the US would be able to respond very quickly.” Then they can respond very quickly to Ukraine, too, no? Or can they? If they can respond quickly, then Menzie’s statement “it’ll take years for M-1s to get to be operational in Ukraine” is wholly incorrect.

          So which is it?

          Reply
          1. pgl

            Are you competing for troll of the year or what? If I were 2slug and baffling – I would tell you to bugger off with your bait and switch BS. I would ask you to have an adult honest conversation but then we know you too well for that.

      3. pgl

        ‘I can’t claim to be an expert on military hardware, strategy, procurement or logistics.’

        Well based on your latest bloviating – this is clearly true. Then again you are not an expert on anything and yet you bloviate as if you were.

        Reply
      4. Macroduck

        Stevie has utterly missed the point – willfully missed the point? – of the U.S. decision. Ukraine’s European allies are readying delivery of 80 Leopards. Germany has OK’ed delivery and is sending tanks of its own in response to the U.S. announcement. That is the result of the U.S. announcement.

        It cannot be the case that “the picture is one of simply colossal US incompetence” or that “the incompetence of the Biden administration is again stunning” when the immediate goal is not to deliver U.S. tanks, but rather to deliver European tanks. The U.S. is, once again, succeeding in its efforts to aid Ukraine.

        This is another case in which it is difficult to tell whether Kopits is ignorant or dishonest. It has to be one or the other, but distinguishing between them is tricky.

        The initial failure matters. Eventually, dishonesty leads to ignorance – one ignores facts to the point of not knowing the facts. If one begins with dishonesty, future dishonesty has to be expected. If one is merely ignorant, future ignorance can be expected, but we have no reason to expect future dishonesty. Dishonesty is, therefore, worse; it suggests future dishonesty and leads to ignorance.

        I’d ask Stevie to tell us which it is, but he either doesn’t know or would lie.

        Reply
        1. pgl

          ‘Stevie has utterly missed the point – willfully missed the point? – of the U.S. decision. Ukraine’s European allies are readying delivery of 80 Leopards. Germany has OK’ed delivery and is sending tanks of its own in response to the U.S. announcement. That is the result of the U.S. announcement.’

          Exactly. Now Stevie used to claim Germany was not pulling its weight. I guess that spin of his went bye bye.

          Reply
        2. Steven Kopits

          “the immediate goal is not to deliver U.S. tanks, but rather to deliver European tanks”

          The immediate goal is to win the war. Either the Abrams tanks promote that end, or they do not. The press and this post has been full of allegations that the Abrams are not suitable for the Ukrainian theatre because they are ‘too complex’, require sophisticated and extensive training, and cannot be supported in the field. I find these assertions shocking.

          The principal purpose of the Abrams tank is to defeat the Russians in armored warfare across the northern plains of Europe, that is, principally across Poland and Ukraine. This region saw the great tank battles of WWII between the Germans and Russians, including the battles of Kursk, Kalach, Piotrków Trybunalski, Prokhorovka, Radzymin, Raseiniai and Studzianki. NATO doctrine was literally built around countering Soviet / Russia aggression across the northern plains of Europe. And now we’re being told, sorry, the Abrams is too complex, too long to deploy, and not really geared for that task? If that’s true, people don’t need to be fired, they need to be hung (metaphorically speaking). That would represent a historical failure of the entire US military planning, procurement and logistics process.

          The other alternative is that the US Army actually does have a clue about what it is doing, and we are being fed a line for political purposes. In fact, if the Ukrainians can fuel T-72s, Bradleys, Gepard AA guns; Krab, Caesar and AS-90 self-propelled artillery; HIMARS trucks, BMPs and Toyota pick-ups, then they can probably find the filling caps on the M1. Half the maintenance on M1s is replacing the tracks and treads, which I can’t imagine is rocket science. Kids right out of high school do it in the US, if I believe what I read. And the best tank crews in the western world are Ukrainian, and by a large margin.

          So if the Abrams is applicable for the task, then yes, several hundred should have been prepositioned in Europe, the supplies and logistics should have been put into place starting from last summer at latest, as well as the training for maintenance. That we are so far behind the curve, it seems, would suggest a failure of leadership.

          Reply
          1. Steven Kopits

            Btw, I would add that there must be thousands of mechanics experienced at M1 maintenance and repair in the US. I would guess hundreds (of ex-military) would be willing to go to Ukraine if the wages were right. So, the notion that experienced mechanics are unavailable is almost certainly false.

          2. Moses Herzog

            Oh Menzie, you’re missing a crucial crucial point of Kopits’ logic that 95% of the commenters on this blog are just too slow to figure out, and maybe only UlenRussky is sharp enough to catch the multi-level and profound logic. Kopits wants to know why Ukraine tank crews aren’t heading over to the Ternopil community college to be trained on how to get a square peg to fit a circular hole. Come on Menzie, you need to get some of that UlenRussky mental acuity and stop your cerebral lethargy brother.

          3. Steven Kopits

            The Abrams “1,500hp Honeywell turbine engine can burn a variety of fuels including diesel, jet fuel, gasoline, and marine diesel. The advantage of a turbine engine versus a diesel engine is that it requires no warm-up period, has less moving parts, and needs no cooling system. Manufacturers that build parts for your truck also build equipment for the M1. For example, Alcoa makes the Abrams’ wheels, and the transmission is an Allison unit.”

            From MotorTrend
            https://www.motortrend.com/reviews/0902dp-m1-abrams-tank/

          4. baffling

            Abrams operated by usa forces have a depleted uranium armor to defend against incoming artillery. the export of this armor is restricted, and the Abrams sold to other nations do not have the armor. one of the hesitations of the military was to let those armor protected plates into the hands of Ukrainians. and the usa does not hold much non uranium armor. other nations are a better source of that version of the Abrams.

        3. Steven Kopits

          Are you suggesting, Menzie, that the Ukrainians are tapped out in how much fuel they can deliver to the field? What is that number, exactly, and how did you calculate it?

          Reply
          1. Steven Kopits

            So, the fuel use numbers.

            The nameplate fuel consumption for an M1 Abrams tank is 1.9 gallons per miles. Per a Swedish test, it was 6.25 gallons / mile. This was twice the consumption of a Leopard, in either case. The M1 consumption at idle is rated at 15 gallon per hour.

            The fuel tank of an M1 is about 500 gallons, so let’s call that 100 miles or, say, 24 continuous hours of operation assuming some limited local mobility. You’re going to have to fuel this thing pretty much every day in active use.

            That means each tank has to receive 500 gallons of fuel daily for active use.

            How hard is that?

            The capacity of a small tank truck of the sort that might be heating fuel to your home is 3,000 gallons. So one such truck could serve six tanks per the math above. That means serving 300 tanks would require 50 fuel trucks of the sort that brings fuel oil to your home. Now, how hard would it be to find 50 fuel trucks in all of Europe or Asia minor? I would think it’s a no brainer. With money, I could obtain those inside a week.

            Moreover, you could use pick up trucks if you had to. The payload of a Toyota Tacoma equals about 200 gallons of diesel. So any, say, two Tacomas could keep an M1 in the field. Do I think you could find 600 Tacomas or the equivalent on the European continent? No problem.

            I don’t see fueling 300 M1’s as any material challenge. You have been fed a line. Fueling the M1s is not an issue, to the extent fuel trucks can reach the M1’s near enemy lines.

          2. Steven Kopits

            As for maintenance. The US has 3,000 M1’s (apparently something like 8,000 old ones in storage, if I believe what I read). Figure 10% at any given time are in maintenance, so 300 M1’s in maintenance. Allow 5 mechanics per crews with average three years tenure. The M1 has been in service since 1980, so 22 years. So we have 1,000-2,000 mechanics for M1s active at any given time, with say 14 cohorts in the past 42 years. So the US should have something like 14,000-28,000 people with experience maintaining and repairing M1s. For a sufficient sum of money, I would think at least one thousand of them could be induced to go to Ukraine and repair M1s and teach the Ukrainians. That’s plenty for a fleet of 300 tanks.

          3. Moses Herzog

            I should have figured this out much sooner, Kopits has been czar of war logistics and czar of munitions inventory for Putin this entire time. I “missed all the signs”. All this time I had just assumed it was CoRev. This brings up an important precept Menzie keeps screaming to me~~never theorize before you have the data.

          4. Steven Kopits

            Logistics is bean counting, Moses. I have made a first order approximation. If you or Menzie or any other commenter care to refine those numbers, I look forward to reading your analysis.

          5. Steven Kopits

            Menzie, you write: “I’ll let you do the driving of Toyota Tacomas loaded full of kerosene.”

            This is phenomenally insulting to the Ukrainians fighting and dying on the front lines, as you seem to be suggesting that the risk involved in the provision of fuel should disqualify the M1 as a legitimate option in Ukraine.

            The purpose of the M1 is to

            1) better protect the tank crew than that they would receive in probably any other tank,
            2) protect frontline Ukrainian troops and reduce their risk, injury and mortality, and
            3) defeat the Russians at the earlier possible time

            You seem to feel the risk of fuel provision should outweigh the three concerns I list above. I think your attitude is cavalier, high-handed, and appalling.

            Providing fuel is a risky business. As of today, the Ukrainians claim to have destroyed 5027 Russian vehicles and fuel tanks, including 26 just yesterday. We do not have comparable information on the Ukrainian side, but it is probably in the thousands, and probably hundreds or more considering just fuel trucks. So, yes, the provision of fuel is a risky business, and I have little doubt that many drivers have died on both sides. That is no excuse not to deliver, or attempt to deliver, fuel to the field. Any suggestion that those who do so are taking unwarranted risks is profoundly insulting to those who put their lives on the line to support the men in the field every day.

          6. Baffling

            The logistics issue is that while you can operate on diesel fuel, battlefield performance really requires jet fuel. So you add an additional level of logistics by having a select number of tanks scattered throughout ukraine using a special fuel with very limited points of origin. How efficient and effective do you think that will be. Its not as simple as delivering 500 gallons a day. Lots of constraints, in an active battlefield, that are expensive and costly to overcome. As i said before, steven, if this argument is indicative of your analysis skills, a company would be a damn fool to engage you in consultancy. Your analysis is nothing more than hackery to cover for a predetermined outcome. Lacks common sense and technical understanding.

          7. baffling

            “Logistics is bean counting, Moses.”
            no, it is not. that is what the russians think. and that is why they are in such trouble with logistics. that is also why the us military puts such an important emphasis on logistics. i don’t think you actually know what logistics is, steven.

        4. Ulenspiegel

          “Ukraine’s European allies are readying delivery of 80 Leopards. ”

          The Ukraine needs 300-600 MTBs and 300-600 IFVs, these are numbers by Ben Hodges and also Europaean officers.
          And these numbers cannot be provided by Europeans with stuff that is NOT in active units. In contrast, the USA has more than 3000 Abrams and more than 2500 Bradleys in storage. A too small numbers of tanks is a waste, the result on the operational level would be zero.
          Try to understand this.

          Reply
    3. Not Trampis

      I am with sluggsy.
      What about giving Ukraine missiles so they tell russia the next time you target our infrastructure we will target yours. That wouls stop russia in its tracks. It is hard for ukraine to fight when one arm is tied behind their back

      Reply
      1. Ivan

        No it would not stop Russia it would give them a tremendous opportunity to escalate. They could legitimately state that the motherland has come under attack. The miserable morale of their soldiers would be boasted tremendously. The domestic screams for using nukes against Ukraine would become too loud to ignore (for those who already kind of don’t want to ignore it).

        Reply
        1. Anonymous

          good point.

          use of bombing, iron or missiles, harkens back to hitler and ‘bomber’ harris who used it as ‘morale’ weapons….

          after action studies show bombing impact on industry not what was expected.

          wmd’s may be different.

          Reply
          1. Moses Herzog

            Don’t get too excite NeverBeenInTheMilitaryKopits, you’ll spill your espresso on your chickenhawk war scribbles. Brent Oil at $87.30 in the middle of war in Europe. You’re a true genius. You and Larry Summers should get together and form a commodities trading business. Just promise me I can have the broadcast rights to the live video stream of you and Larry’s faces on options expiration day. Please??

          2. Moses Herzog

            @ BlueStatesResidentKopits
            If that’s your way of trying to say EVEN Larry Summers isn’t dumb enough to think soldiers get trained how to use military tanks down at the local state university, yes, EVEN Larry is not so painfully dumb.

            Or did you think the average E6 Staff Sergeant tank commander just recently got yanked out of an Advanced Game Theory class at Harvard??

    4. Ulenspiegel

      “Given the kind of fighting that’s expected, the German Leopards are probably a better choice; the Leopards are nimbler and much, much, much easier to support logistically. Abrams tanks require a lot of training both to operate and maintain. ”

      That misses the issue:

      1) Ukraine needs 300-600 MTBs and 300-600 IFVs to equip 5-10 brigades (Ben Hodges a few months ago), and some more to replace losses.

      2) There are only few Leopard 2 outside active army units in Europe and almost no good IFVs.

      3) Incontrast, the USA has more than 2500 Abrams and 2500 Bradleys in storage.

      4) Poland is buying Abrams, hence, the Polish army has to build up maintenance capacity for the Abrams anyway.

      Therefore, it is better to accept the logistical disadvantages of the Abrams – and complexity of operation is not an argument, it is the same in a Leopard- in order to get useful numbers to Ukraine.

      Reply
      1. Moses Herzog

        I think you’re indicating your love for Russia and Putin once again. Multiple experts have said the Leopard is much more simple to put in operation quickly and more effective for Ukraine’s geographic circumstances. UlenRussky, you’re showing your love for Putin again. Thankfully, more intelligent people than you aren’t going to listen to suggestions to have Abrams blown to hell 5 seconds after they hit Ukraine soil.

        Reply
        1. Ulenspiegel

          “I think you’re indicating your love for Russia and Putin once again.”

          Please, do not confuse the funny things in your head with reality. Thank you in advance!

          “Multiple experts have said the Leopard is much more simple to put in operation quickly and more effective for Ukraine’s geographic circumstances”

          Then we have only “experts”. Experts, i.e. active or retired tank officers, say the opposite. 🙂
          And you of course do not address the basic issue of too small numbers of Leopards or Marder.

          Reply
          1. Moses Herzog

            @ UlenRussky
            Let’s see ONE SINGLE LINK that supports your contention about Leopard tanks being just as difficult as the Abrams tanks to implement in Ukraine. Just ONE link that says what you claim.

          2. Ulenspiegel

            “Let’s see ONE SINGLE LINK that supports your contention about Leopard tanks being just as difficult as the Abrams tanks to implement in Ukraine. ”

            I do not say that the Abrams is from a logistical point of view as good as the Leoprad, it is not, in Europe the repair system for Leopard is wide spread, for Abrmas not, the fuel consumption and fuel requirements are easier to cover for Leopard.

            The point I made/make is, however, that too few Leopard 2 with better infrastructure are worse than a sufficient number of Abrams with a more complex logistical system. Got it?

            If you want high quality links, check Perun, he made two videos of one hour each on these topics and check the videos of The Chieftain (Nicholas Moran, active US tank officer), The interviews of Ben Hodges are also highly recommented as he very early defined the demand of Ukraine.

      2. Steven Kopits

        Well, I don’t think it’s both m not one or the other. The Abrams should be part of the package, and yes, we’re talking about more than a dozen tanks here and there. The required numbers are in the hundreds, at least.

        In any event, this is not about asking Germany to do all the heavy lifting, but rather sharing the weight. I am glad that Germany is stepping up, albeit under tremendous — and well-earned! — pressure. But I would note those Leopard tanks have not been delivered yet. We can recall the Gepard antiaircraft gun fiasco.

        https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20220616-weapons-delays-cast-doubt-on-germany-s-support-for-ukraine

        In any event, the US military has to be cut loose to deliver the M1’s to Ukraine and put together the logistics, training and maintenance on a shoe string if necessary. This is wartime. Go and do it, recognizing that you may lose fifty tanks as pure learning curve effects. Cost of doing business.

        As for M1 counts, according to Wikipedia, the Egyptian army has 1,360 of them. I am going to guess that for a reasonably sized check, they would be willing to part with, say, 700 of them on short notice. Some reassembly required.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M1_Abrams

        Reply
        1. pgl

          ‘The Abrams should be part of the package, and yes, we’re talking about more than a dozen tanks here and there. The required numbers are in the hundreds, at least.’

          31 Abrams not a dozen. And total tanks pledge is 105 to date. Come on Stevie – at least try to learn the actual facts before you bloviate incorrectly. And yes I know – Ukraine wants 300 tanks.

          Reply
      3. Baffling

        You assume nato troops on ukrainian soil. That is exactly why the abrams dont work. Different story if nato troops are direct participants in the war. We have plenty of other military tools that could defeat russia directly. But most of them cannot be operated by Ukrainians. Does not mean those systems are failures. It means nato will not put boots on the ground in a non nato country.

        Reply
        1. Ulenspiegel

          “You assume nato troops on ukrainian soil.”

          No, he does not. To operate an Abrams on the battlefield is not more complex than to operate a Leopard 2, you need an NCO with three years on the job and 3 draftees with six months training. The Ukranian crews would be in most cases much more experienced.

          The real issue are the number of Ukranian officers able to use larger numbers of tanks in an operation, here the situation is quite muddled amongst experts.

          Reply
  2. Macroduck

    Ukrainian forces have engaged successfully in what the press referred to as “thunder runs” with unarmoured, lightly armed vehicles. Those runs were centered on lightly defended Russian lines and often resulted in those lines collapsing.

    Maybe it would be difficult to pull off a trick like that using Leopards, given the scrutiny Russian intelligence is likely to focus on them. Thing is, Ukrainian strategy and tactics have surprised the world repeatedly. If Russian commanders have the imagination to realize how smart their enemy is, today’s tank news must be a nightmare.

    Speaking of which, look for Russia to do something despicable very soon. That’s what they do in the face of bad news.

    Reply
    1. Ulenspiegel

      “Ukrainian forces have engaged successfully in what the press referred to as “thunder runs” with unarmoured, lightly armed vehicles. Those runs were centered on lightly defended Russian lines and often resulted in those lines collapsing.”

      But that did not haoppened very often. Therefore, the critical question is whether the Ukranian forces have enough officers capable of maneuver warfare. Delivering tanks is essential, however, the delivery may not by sufficient to change the war.

      Reply
        1. Ulenspiegel

          Please, do not drink an post. You could spend your time instead with reading high quality articles on this topic or watch high quality interviews on youtube. ATM you are wasting your time because you are uneducated in the matter.

          Reply
          1. Moses Herzog

            @ UlenRussky
            You say I should “read high quality materials”, yet you provide not ONE single link in this entire thread which supports your contention that Leopard tanks would be the same level of difficulty to implement on the Ukraine battlefield as Abrams tanks. Not even ONE link

            Lay it on us Putin lover. Just ONE link that supports that.

          2. Ulenspiegel

            “ONE single link in this entire thread which supports your contention that Leopard tanks would be the same level of difficulty to implement on the Ukraine battlefield”

            See above. And please stop to operate with strawmans; nowhere I did claim that the Leopard requires as much logistics as the Abrams. That you use this “argument” only shows that you struggle with the basics, i.e. actual demand of Ukraine and limited ability to cover this demand with Leoprads and Marders.

  3. Macroduck

    “German officials privately have insisted that they would only send the tanks, among the most advanced in the world, if the United States agreed to send its own M1 Abrams tanks. Publicly, American and German officials have denied that the two issues were linked.”

    Well, both these reports are from today:

    https://www.cnn.com/2023/01/24/europe/poland-germany-tanks-request-intl/index.html

    https://www.cnn.com/2023/01/24/europe/germany-leopard-2-tanks-ukraine-announcement-intl/index.html

    In the normal run of diplomatic coordination, Poland waits to ask formally until German is prepared to say “yes”. So Poland knew Germany’s answer. Germany’s answer is now “yes” because Germany now knows the U.S. will send Abrams.

    Poland has German Leopard tanks ready to go. There is time for delivery, (more) training and deployment of Leopards by spring, perhaps before.

    How long it takes to get some number of Abrams tanks onto the Ukrainian battlefield depends in part on how badly U.S. planners want them in Ukraine. The entire 50 is a stretch, but there are well over a thousand in service in he U.S. military, some of which could be sent to Ukraine. Poland is either now takind delivery or soon will begin taking delivery of 116 used Abrams from the U.S. inventory. Australia, Egypt, Morocco, Taiwan and Saudi Arabia have some. Some will obviously not want to loan tanks to Ukraine. Other might. Butthe Leopards look likethe real win here.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      us army opened the Abrams training facility in Poland aug 2022, to train up operators and repair soldiers. this precedes the orderly stand up of polish army Abrams units.

      standard transition could be three years or so.

      hopefully the tanks will be new or like new from cycle maintenance.

      turning t-72 crews to Abrams crews could take some time.

      are tech manuals translated to polish and Ukraine?

      rumor Russia army has Russian language tech manuals for javelins, however they are getting them.

      Reply
    2. Macroduck

      By the way, the coordination of these decisions and announcements is another example of how well the Biden administration is handling its foreign affairs effort.

      Reply
    3. Ulenspiegel

      “In the normal run of diplomatic coordination, Poland waits to ask formally until German is prepared to say “yes”.

      Unfortunately, it was not that clear. Two weeks ago the Polish government proposed the delivery of Leopard tanks to Ukraine without German permission. :-))
      Then they shut up. IMHO they had first to learn that the Korean K2 tanks, which are being delivered for the Polish army, still contain German parts and breaking contracts may backfire…

      Reply
        1. Ulenspiegel

          Herzog, you can either get an education or you will again and again look like a complete idiot:

          If you followed European media not as shallow as you obviously do, you would understand that the Polish PiS government has a certain strategy in EU discussions and in internal Polish discussions. And with that background you would find that the official proposals of Polish “top” politicians were in many case stupid provocations. To sell the current state of affair as BAU is stupid and naive.

          Reply
      1. Macroduck

        I don’t see your point. Poland was pressuring Germany and testing its options. The U.S., meanwhile, found a way to obtain German permission and even participation. The U.S. approach worked. The Poles made a formal request, knowing the U.S. had cleared a path. Diplomacy is a contact sport.

        So, what is your point?

        Reply
        1. Ulenspiegel

          Your timeline is wrong. If you read German I would suggest to check the “Zeit”.

          1) Poland government is using anti-German stunts in the running election campaign for some months. First the “promised” delivery of Leopards by Germany a few months ago, then suggesting that the German Patriots go to Ukraine, now delivering Leopards without German consent. Poland is not testing options, sorry.

          2) The USA does not need German permission. It is simply about numbers that cannot be covered by European countries, therefore, Scholz was successful in convincing Biden to deliver Abrams. If this is enough future will tell.

          3) The basic issue of numbers and options has been discussed a few months ago, see interviews of Ben Hodges or with a little bit different perspective by the Australian guy Perun on youtube in high quality.

          Reply
        2. Moses Herzog

          UlenRussky’s “point” is to perform circle logic on a theater stage and muddy the waters, for his Master, bureaucrat Putin. But then you knew that already, so, why am I typing??

          Reply
        3. Moses Herzog

          Notice how UlenRussky, who has FALSELY presented himself as “German” here, but is simply a conduit for Russian propaganda, has presented incredibly weak arguments on how Poland and Germany are somehow in a conspiracy with each other~~with Alex Jones level “proof”. And how now he has suddenly and mystifyingly become a huge fan of Youtube when asked to present any link that supports his trash Russian rhetoric. Thousands of innocent Ukrainians dead, and UlenRussky argues for Russia. Here’s a word for UlenRussky to look up in a German-Russian dictionary, which I doubt he has ever heard or uttered in his entire life, and yet UlenRussky absolutely embodies the term—amoralisch

          Reply
          1. Ulenspiegel

            “FALSELY presented himself as “German” here”

            Herr Herzog, you are too stupid to read and process my contributions, you still confuse nonsense in your head with reality.

            I am German as German can be, in contrast to you, my work requires analysis of hard data, the results are published and I have to review scientific articles. Therefore I try to prevent rookie mistakes and do my homework BEFORE I post, e.g. I understand the technical issue and know my numbers. Your bad luck is that German (military) history and Energiewende are my hobbies which I do quite seriously with the same scientific methodology I do my paid work. :-))

            An intelligent person would ask, however, you assume that your stupid conclusions/insults are a substitute for work on your side or the admission of lack of knowledge. Please grow up and do not waste your time with kindergarten strategies. In a serious academic discussion you get slaughtered with your nonsense.

            (If you were clever, you could actually get my real name, the institution I work at, and check my academic credentials)

  4. Anonymous

    all the nato equipment supposes the ukraines are up to implementing nato operational doctrine???

    do the leopard and challenger use common ammunition?

    i am old enough to have seen small part of the logistics prep for operation desert storm….. general pagonis’ iron mountain and lakes of fuel.

    logistics: how many product lines of unique ammunition, how many packing and load lists of spares and unique supplies, how many general support pieces of support equipment and tools, unique facilities, how long are the lines of communication…..

    a bit of history on use of abrams in iraq:

    https://www.thefuldagap.com/2018/01/09/the-m1-abrams-and-iraq/#:~:text=The%20Iraqi%20Abrams%2C%20designated%20the%20M1A1M%2C%20featured%20stripped-down,the%20only%20armored%20division%20in%20the%20Iraqi%20Army.

    iraqi army, “trained primarily for counter-insurgency tactics and hobbled by corruption and “ghost soldiers”, the Iraqi Army’s resistance around the northern city of Mosul dissipated without much of a fight in the face of the jihadist onslaught. A small number of Abrams tanks were abandoned and captured by Daesh, who found them too technologically advanced/logistically demanding to use for anything other than propaganda value. ”

    i read somewhere the iraqi abrams were supported by us contractors.

    abrams uses a lot of fuel! which supposes a larger logistics tail in maneuver warfare. issues include how to quickly fill the large fuel tank as much as how to move forward volume of fuel needed.

    the bradleys are needed to keep the tanks from being eliminated by infantry with tlam’s. strykers are called whispering death bc the wheels let them ride up to urban targets quietly unlike tracked vehicles, but an armor friend warned they cannot go where tracks go!

    is bradley easier to keep riunning than 30 years ago?

    Reply
  5. James

    Dear Menzie – a story that doesn’t seem to get much notice is that Germany is no longer reliant on Russian energy – sure they are getting it from other sources and burning coal but they are also transitioning to green energy. It seems a remarkable achievement to go from what – 40-50%? of energy source to zero in less than a year. Gives me hope that we can decrease and transition away from fossil fuels. BBC: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-64312400
    BTW – I had an engineering friend who worked on tanks in India – the design parameter was move 40 tons at 40 mph. He called them machines for burning fuel. The supply logistics for these are insane – fuel, parts, and special tow and transport vehicles etc. etc. And the Abrams weighs 60 tons with a jet turbine engine,
    To me – Putin is an insane criminal and is destroying the Russian economy – (deaths, casualties, people leaving, bankrupting economy with war spending) – and making Russia an economic pariah – all to obtain a land bridge to Crimea – insane and stupid.

    Reply
    1. pgl

      Thanks for this interesting story. Your point is noted at the beginning:

      “Germany no longer depends on Russian imports for its energy supply, the country’s finance minister has told the BBC. Christian Lindner said Germany had completely diversified its energy infrastructure since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year. Following the invasion, Russia turned off the gas taps to Europe, leading to fears of blackouts this winter. But Germany had found new sources of energy, Mr Lindner said. “Yes, of course Germany is still dependent on energy imports, but today, not from Russian imports but from global markets,” he said. Germany previously imported around half of its gas from Russia and more than a third of its oil.But Russia cut off the country’s gas supply in August, while Germany halted Russian oil imports at the start of the year. In its race to find alternate sources of energy, the country has reopened coal-fired power plants, delayed plans to shut down its three remaining nuclear power plants, and pushed to increase capacity to store natural gas imported from other countries such as Norway and the US.At the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, Mr Lindner pointed to the speed with which a new liquefied natural gas terminal had been built in Germany – in a record of around eight months, he said. More infrastructure investments were planned, he added.

      Other areas of interest is the green energy discussions at Davos.

      Reply
    2. Moses Herzog

      I bet Putin misses the heady days of press conferences held together with donald trump, as trump tells the world media he trusts Putin more than his own national intelligence agencies. Not to mention “W” Bush telling us Putin was a moralistic partner because “He had seen his soul behind his eyes”. These are the “defense minded” and “military strong” Republicans. But the southern rednecks who can’t read at a 4th grade level will keep on voting for Republicans who cozy up and snuggle with psychopath lunatics, rest assured.

      Reply
  6. Ivan

    The Abrams announcement served two purposes. It fixed a political problem for our allies in Germany. It also sends a strong signal to Russia that the west is in this for the long haul and are planning to help Ukraine at least out into a next two year timeframe. The military usefulness of Abrams tanks are much less than the German tanks, in the Ukraine theater. Ukraine will be better off not getting Abrams tanks the next year or two.

    It should be noted that in spite of all the Russian fumbling and bumbling and miscalculations, the frontlines have not changed much since Ukraine took Kherson.and the right bank of the Dnipro river. By the spring Russia might be more organized and in a better position both for defense and for offense. Ukraine need these weapons to counter the risk of setbacks and be able to push back Russia further this spring/summer.

    Reply
    1. Ulenspiegel

      “It fixed a political problem for our allies in Germany.”

      It fixed a political AND a technical problem. Without US deliveries the German deliveries are useless IMHO.

      Reply
  7. pgl

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/i-will-not-support-this-charade-kevin-mccarthy-bleeding-gop-support-to-kick-dems-off-committees/ar-AA16JfbQ?ocid=msedgdhp&pc=U531&cvid=2403526c12dd461492fd696ed666f4d7

    McCarthy’s excuse for removing Schiff and Slawell from the House Intelligence Committee?

    ‘I cannot put partisan loyalty ahead of national security, and I cannot simply recognize years of service as the sole criteria for membership on this essential committee. Integrity matters more’

    This is so effing dishonest that several of the moderate Republicans are pushing back. Maybe it is time to remove the right wing joke from the Speakersship.

    Reply
  8. Bruce Hall

    US and German tanks rely of Active Protection Systems (APS) in battle to avoid being destroyed/disabled. So do the Russians:

    Russia has developed several APSs. The Russian military has installed two systems on a large number of its modern vehicles, including the upgraded T-80M and the T-90 tanks, as well as the BMP-3M infantry fighting vehicle. One of these systems is a “hard-kill” system, designed to use direct force to destroy incoming projectiles. The other is a “soft-kill” system, intended to prevent the accurate targeting of the vehicle.

    The Russian hard-kill system, developed in the 1990s, is called Arena (Арена). It consists of a sensor suite that uses radar to detect incoming projectiles and uses an arsenal of twenty-six small explosives. It is designed to defeat the full range of antitank rockets and missiles—from recoilless rifles to fly-over, shoot-down munitions. Its protection extends over a 310-degree arc, protecting everywhere except for a section on the back on the turret. Infantry can operate outside without becoming casualties of the system. This system can defeat the Carl Gustaf and TOW, except for the TOW 2B Aero with Gen 1, Gen 2 and Gen 3a missiles. The Javelin can defeat Arena while in top-attack mode, due to the missile descending from too steep an angle for the system to engage properly.
    https://mwi.usma.edu/on-killing-tanks/

    It will be interesting to 1) see if the tanks can be deployed anytime soon to be of use against Russian advances and 2) if the APS on the tanks can defeat drones/rockets aimed at them. The Russian systems did not seem to do that well and were relatively easy prey to the Ukrainian infantry armed with weapons such as Switchblades.
    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/switchblade-drone-how-the-kamikaze-anti-tank-weapon-works/

    Reply
    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Bruce Hall: Well, duh. I thought it true that almost all modern MBTs are equipped with APS’s. And I thought it quite clear that Javelins have been doing a number on Russian tanks including the most modern deployed (not sure about T-90s).

      Reply
        1. Moses Herzog

          I keep telling Kopits, in 2023, the real way to desperately cry out for attention, if you have zero talent, is to go on social media and tell people you have a small apartment with rats that play with your infant child. Kopits still thinks the only way for a no-talent person to get attention is throwing tomatoes at Democrats.

          I tried to help damn it.

          Reply
      1. Bruce Hall

        Okay, glad you understand my concerns then about the US and German tanks. What are the economics about sending $10 million tanks into battle when they can be successfully attacked by inexpensive drones? The asymmetry may be the wrong way.

        I understand the Air Force is retiring the A10 Warthogs which have been a superior close air support plane for 5 decades (yeah, the B52 is old, too). Maybe those heavily armored planes could be sent to Ukraine instead of tanks. Probably cheaper now that they have been fully “depreciated”. The Pentagon paper pushers don’t like the plane anymore.
        https://militarymachine.com/a-10-warthog/
        https://www.defensenews.com/air/2022/04/28/a-10-official-issues-warning-over-air-forces-devastated-warthog-fleet/

        Reply
        1. Menzie Chinn Post author

          Bruce Hall: We’ve been hearing about the demise of the tank since 1970’s wargames in Central Europe depicted TOW equipped infantry and attack helicopters beating the heck out of armored formations. Still, in a combined arms context (i.e., *not* sending a column of tanks down a constricted road in town unsupported by infantry and air support), I think tanks are still key for high mobility operations.

          So, I think it’s a good idea, and particularly good idea for Leopard II’s to be provided the Ukrainians.

          Is that sufficient?

          (B-52s have been continuously upgraded, as you well know; I don’t know what the upgrading schedule for the A-10s has been like, so I reserve judgment).

          Reply
          1. Moses Herzog

            They get “refitted” close to where I live. Soon you will no longer see the famous 4 trails of dark smoke which can immediately identify B-52s, as this will also be part of their refitting~~to get rid of that dark smoke. Becoming more and more the old man everyday, I have to confess I will be wistful when those 4 trails of dark smoke disappear. But you can still usually tell, if they are anywhere near the ground they make a monstrous noise that is exhilarating when you know they belong to your home country’s air defense. I have seen at least 3 nearby my house doing, I am pretty certain, test flights on the refitting or “trouble shooting” to find glitches. Yes they are lumbering and bulky, but they are still a monstrous machine to be admired I always wave at the B-52 pilots (and the C-17 pilots) even though I am aware they are totally unaware of me on the ground. Somehow it just makes me feel better to wave at them.

            I think after the B-52s get refitted, many of them (not all) head up to North Dakota.

        2. pgl

          What are the economics about sending $10 million tanks into battle when they can be successfully attacked by inexpensive drones?

          Oh gee Brucie – economics? Something you have failed at every turn? Are you afraid helping Ukraine will mean you have to pay an extra penny in taxes?

          Reply
        3. pgl

          ‘Probably cheaper now that they have been fully “depreciated”.’

          Gee – Brucie uses book value over market value or replacement costs? No wonder Ford went bankrupt with Brucie boy cooking its books!

          Reply
          1. Bruce Hall

            The Air Force is not planning to “replace” A10s with A10s. It is simply letting the plane support fade away. Might as well put them to good use. Tanks have been proven to be sitting ducks in Ukraine. One A10 can take out a column of tanks.

            But, hey, if the US and Europe were serious about giving Ukraine something to fight with, they’d be sending them medium range (300 km) surface to surface missiles. Currently only sending defensive missiles (Patriot). Wouldn’t threaten Moscow, but would threaten all Russian military forces in and around Ukraine. Nah, might offend the Russians.

            I think the Biden Administration and European nations are mainly interested in bogging down Russia in a war of exhaustion.

          2. pgl

            “Bruce Hall
            January 26, 2023 at 1:06 pm
            The Air Force is not planning to “replace” A10s with A10s.”

            I figured you would not get my basic accounting point. Come on Brucey – you have already proven you are the dumbest troll ever. But I do admit Princeton Steve is trying to catch up with you.

        4. Anonymous

          tanks need infantry screen or isis would get them with ied’s and helmets of mud to obscure siting…….

          turkish leopards were taken out by syrian isis in numerous ways only a couple with old russian tlams.

          this is why each tank delivered should have a number of bradley’s to keep them safe….

          Reply
    2. Macroduck

      “It will be interesting to 1) see if the tanks can be deployed anytime soon to be of use against Russian advances…”

      Russian forces have been in retreat, for the most part, since the failed advance on Kyiv. Your assume they will make advances, contrary to evidence. Why make such an assumption?

      Reply
  9. Moses Herzog

    Looks like I’m a few days late. I think it’s a long holiday though as I remember. Hope everyone who celebrates the Lunar New year is having a good time:
    https://chinesenewyear.net

    https://www.chineseamericanfamily.com/how-to-buy-and-burn-joss-paper/

    It’s interesting that I don’t remember most of the Joss Paper I watched Chinese people burning looked anything like the vast majority of these photos. My memory of it was that it was mostly yellow with red lettering..

    Reply
  10. Macroduck

    We’ve already seen some evidence that Russia’s tank operations aren’t the be-all and end-all of armored might. In fact, Russia is in the process of replacing T90s with a new tank, the Armata. In one ranking of main battle tanks, the T90 came in tenth among ten:

    http://www.military-today.com/tanks/top_10_main_battle_tanks.htm

    No wonder Russia wants a replacement. Ukraine’s own tank design, the Oplot-M, is ranked higher, but lack of funding prevented the Oplot from going into production. The Abrams comes in 3rd, ahead of the Armata in 5th. Ranked first is, what else?, Germany’s Leopard.

    Reply
  11. Macroduck

    Recommended Reading:

    https://harpers.org/archive/2023/02/is-liberalism-worth-saving-francis-fukuyama-cornel-west-deirdre-mccloskey-patrick-deneen/

    The title doesn’t do the discussion justice. Admirably, the discussion doesn’t include small-minded bickering or low-brow debating nonsense – troll choir take note. Interestingly, the moderator, Chistorpher Beha, who declares himself “of the right”, takes the position that climate change may derail much of the good done by economic growth. He takes this stance in opposition to Dierdre McCloskey’s assertion that economic growth will vastly expand the quality of human life over the remainder this century, barring screw-ups. Those familiar with McCloskey realize she is not a mainstream economist, but here she is, sounding like Julian Simon, despite 42 years (since the Ehrlich-Simon wager) of accumulated evidence that fossil-fuel-driven growth is not sustainable.

    It’s refreshing to read a discussion not cluttered up with fossilized notions and bad-faith argumentation. Even Cornell West comes off as level-headed.

    Reply
    1. CoRev

      MD, and you recommend : “Recommended Reading:” these NON- CLIMATE nor FOSSIL fuel experts on their future economic impacts?
      Exemplary of your knowledge (lack there of) of these subjects.

      Reply
      1. Macroduck

        CoVid! Why so desperate to score points?

        The discussion is about liberalism, and it is an enlightened one. There is a mention of climate change, with a self-identified righty worried that climate change may derail human progress. I took note because it demonstrated independence of thought. If you can’t keep up with what’s going on, it’s not my problem.

        Fr innocent bystanders, a brief explanation. CoRev routinely mocks any mention of climate change. He routinely resorts to trickery to cast doubt on climate science. I recommended the Harper’s discussion of liberalism as an example of what honest, intelligent discussion looks like in part because of the behavior of CoRev and others like him. And here’s CoRev, on cue, demonstrating he difference between intelligent discussion and hackery.

        Reply
        1. CoRev

          MD, show us where: ” He routinely resorts to trickery to cast doubt on climate science. ”

          Mean while in a comment you focused on the one subject in your own words: “There is a mention of climate change, with a self-identified righty worried that climate change may derail human progress. I took note because it demonstrated independence of thought.” No it did not show independent thought but did CONFIRM YOUR OWN BIAS from a ?righty? Taken from an article discussing liberal thoughts and ideology.

          What a silly demonstration of confirmation bias and debate hackery. What about asking questions and showing different conclusions in SCIENCE do you consider hackery?

          Science is based upon these steps. Religion not so much.

          Reply
    2. CoRev

      MD, and you recommend : “Recommended Reading:” these NON- CLIMATE nor FOSSIL fuel experts on their future economic impacts?
      Relying on experts on LIBERAL thoughts and causes, but far from expert on the cited subject matter is exemplary of your knowledge (lack there of) of these subjects.

      Reply
    3. 2slugbaits

      Macroduck Those familiar with McCloskey realize she is not a mainstream economist

      Boy Howdy you got that right. A million years ago I took a cliometrics class taught by freshly minted PhD Dierdre (then Donald) McCloskey and Robert Fogel. McCloskey’s lectures were spellbinding despite the speech impediment, which you quickly learned to ignore. One of the most eclectic and original minds I’ve ever come across.

      Reply
      1. Moses Herzog

        @ 2slugbaits
        Hehe, interesting. You darned name-dropper you. You’re getting like Larry King (friendly teasing).

        Enquiring minds want to know if the speech impediment sounded anything similar to Truman Capote or David Sedaris??

        Reply
        1. 2slugbaits

          Moses Herzog McCloskey struggles with stuttering. My point was that McCloskey’s lectures were so absorbing that it didn’t take long before you were unaware of the stuttering. One of those two or three profs who really made a big impression on me. McCloskey’s lectures are why I fell in love with econ.

          Reply
        2. Moses Herzog

          I just listened to it on YT. I don’t know if it’s “tacky” or “rude” to discuss (my intentions are not to be rude, but in this case to address something that shouldn’t be that “bigguh deal” and maybe if we talk it openly it becomes less of a bigguh deal). It doesn’t strike me as what I think of as a “speech impediment”. When I think of impediments I think of the shape of someone’s mouth or tongue which would affect pronunciation or speaking style. Hers seems more…. “throaty”?? (“throatal” seems like a better word but Oxford doesn’t list it as a a real word). So…… William Burroughs had kind of a weird voice, but the weirdness (to my ears) had a charm to it. McCloskey’s is not quite as charming, but she seems to have a sense of humor about the whole deal, which makes her more likable as a person. I always thought a small teaspoon of self-deprecation on one’s own issues makes a person much more charming. It’s not like she had a choice on her voice. She earns respect (as she obviously did with 2slugbaits, and many others) with the knowledge she imparts.

          Reply
          1. Moses Herzog

            I should add, when I was younger, many people would mistake me as a woman on the phone, and as a man who takes a lot of pride in my masculinity, it grated on me to no end when it happened. What are you gonna do?? I wasn’t going to switch my voice over to an Ed McMahon impression. It was what it was.

  12. Macroduck

    About the “Saving Liberalism” article, a slight correction. McCloskey does put words in Deneen’s mouth a couple of times. Deneen identifiesa problem. McCloskey accuses Deneen of offering solutions from the 1950s when Deneen has not yet offered solutions, nor has McCloskey yet asked him to. Bad Diedre.

    Reply
  13. Ivan

    According to the NYT covid tracker China just reported 1.7 million new cases and over 70K new deaths from Covid. I hope that is some kind of catch-up and not the new daily norm.

    Reply
    1. Moses Herzog

      @ Ivan
      Don’t you wish you could just reach your hand over the Pacific Ocean like Plastic Man to pat Xi Jinping and the leaders in Beijing on the top of their head like a little toy poodle when they even go halfway to telling the truth?? I just want to pat all those Beijing children on the top of their head like they are toy poodles. Really I do. They are so cute and adorable inside that one moment every 20 years they inadvertently fall ass-backwards into a step towards truth. They need to be told they are good little boys and get a reward for doing that. How is the dopamine going to be released into their tiny heads when they tell the truth if we don’t pat them on the head?? Think about it now.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic_Man

      Reply
  14. David O'Rear

    By the way …

    The US Economy v.2022

    The US economy grew 2.1% in 2022, down from 5.9% in 2021 and -2.8% in 2020. Private consumption (+2.8%), capital investment (+3.8%), and trade all grew faster than the overall economy, which is possible because imports out paced exports +8.1% to +7.2%. Only government spending fell short, at -0.6%.

    In seasonally adjusted and annualized terms, the October-December figure was 2.9%, down from 3.2% in Q-3.

    Inflation clocked in at 8%, after 4.7% in 2021 and 1.2% in 2020. The GDP deflator, the broadest measure of price changes in an economy, rose 6.4%, while the Fed-favorite PCE deflator increased by 5.8%.

    Merchandise exports exceeded $2 trillion for the first time in 2022 while imports were $3.2 trillion. Sales abroad rose 18.6% while purchases from foreign economies grew 15.2%. The physical trade deficit was $1.2 trillion, up 9.8% over 2021.

    The economy topped $25 trillion in nominal terms for the first time, reaching $25,461.4 billion in the first estimate. Private consumption was 68.2% of the total, the same as in the previous year. Both were the highest in a decade.

    On the basis of 333 million people, GDP per capita was $76,444 and private consumption per person $52,128, or $132,334 for each of the 131.2 million households.

    Reply
        1. pgl

          Thanks. I finally got around to reading the BEA release and indeed that is what they said. Now if we can take growth since Biden took office – we would get a bigger number. But no – we are not into Bruce Hall disinformation.

          Reply
    1. pgl

      Wait – I see what David is referring to:

      https://www.bea.gov/news/2023/gross-domestic-product-fourth-quarter-and-year-2022-advance-estimate

      Real GDP increased 2.1 percent in 2022 (from the 2021 annual level to the 2022 annual level), compared with an increase of 5.9 percent in 2021 (table 1).

      I was doing something slightly different 2022Q4/2021Q4. Note also:

      Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 2.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2022 (table 1), according to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP increased 3.2 percent.

      OK – the RECESSION cheerleaders were WAY off.

      Reply
  15. pgl

    As someone who disdains most lawyers, this from Kevin Drum made me laugh:

    https://jabberwocking.com/chatgpt-goes-to-law-school/

    So ChatGPT is performing at a C+ level on graduate level work. In a year that will be a B+ and in another year an A+. And remember, ChatGPT responds to criticism, so it can make changes based on conversation with a supervising lawyer. Anyway, my guess is that GPT v5.0 or v6.0 (we’re currently at v3.5) will be able to take over the business of writing briefs and so forth with only minimal supervision. After that, it only takes one firm to figure out that all the partners can get even richer if they turn over most of the work of associates to a computer. Soon everyone will follow. Then the price of legal advice will plummet, too, at all but the very highest levels.

    Putting overpriced lawyers out of business strikes me as a good idea. Then again lawyers are overrated in terms of their writing skills. Of course ChatGPT writes at an elementary school level and gets a lot of things wrong. But its essays are FAR FAR superior than the typical comments from Bruce Hall, CoRev, JohnH, and Princeton Steve.

    Reply
  16. pgl

    After David let us know about the latest from BEA, I started looking at Federal government purchases in table 1. It seems that from 2021QI to 2022QII, the Biden Administration has been lowering Federal purchases which had ballooned under Trump. Here is a picture from FRED on overall government purchases.

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/GCEC1

    I note this as we get one lie after another from MAGA Republicans (especially dishonest little Bruce Hall) on how it is the Democrats who gave us out of control spending. Well maybe we Democrats should take the blame from letting Trump anywhere near the White House.

    Reply
  17. pgl

    I think this title says it all:

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/mcdonald-s-president-who-made-7-4-million-last-year-says-proposal-to-pay-fast-food-workers-22-an-hour-is-costly-and-job-destroying/ar-AA16Mc7D?ocid=msedgdhp&pc=U531&cvid=a83c318030334340893246aad20c2c24

    McDonald’s president who made $7.4 million last year says proposal to pay fast-food workers $22 an hour is ‘costly and job-destroying’

    Maybe Mickie Dee’s should destroy this arrogant dude’s job.

    Reply
    1. Moses Herzog

      The franchisees are extremely unhappy with McDonald’s executive leadership right now. And I think anyone who stops by the local McDonalds knows why. Prices high, service is poor. I can still get a ribeye or a New York strip steak for around $6 a piece or lower. Why the hell am I gonna drop $8-plus for the worst looking burger you ever saw in your life, fried potatoes, and sugar water?? MAGAs may be THAT dumb, I am not.

      Bring back the Automat or I’m cooking at home
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Automat

      Reply
      1. pgl

        I have not been to a McDonald’s in over 15 years. Don’t miss it at all. Then again I used to live next to one and the rats ran the block. Our mayor has decided NYC needs a rats czar. No kidding.

        Reply
        1. Moses Herzog

          I miss David Letterman’s NYC rat jokes, which he often told at the start of the show, similar to Carson’s “How hot is it??” in LA routine.

          Reply
  18. ltr

    I just want to pat all those Beijing children on the top of their head like they are toy poodles. Really I do. They are so cute and adorable inside that one moment every 20 years they inadvertently fall ass-backwards into a step towards truth. They need to be told they are good little boys and get a reward for doing that. How is the dopamine going to be released into their tiny heads when they tell the truth if we don’t pat them on the head?? Think about it now….

    I just want to pat all those Beijing children on the top of their head like they are toy poodles. Really I do. They are so cute and adorable inside that one moment every 20 years they inadvertently fall ass-backwards into a step towards truth. They need to be told they are good little boys and get a reward for doing that. How is the dopamine going to be released into their tiny heads when they tell the truth if we don’t pat them on the head?? Think about it now….

    I just want to pat all those Beijing children on the top of their head like they are toy poodles. Really I do. They are so cute and adorable inside that one moment every 20 years they inadvertently fall ass-backwards into a step towards truth. They need to be told they are good little boys and get a reward for doing that. How is the dopamine going to be released into their tiny heads when they tell the truth if we don’t pat them on the head?? Think about it now….

    [ Such racism is simply terrifying; meant to be destructive of an entire people. ]

    Reply
    1. ltr

      https://english.news.cn/20230119/ecc7a17bda50431388088905b0cbbdb6/c.html

      January 19, 2023

      Chinese discovery challenges classical theory of astrophysics

      BEIJING — Chinese astronomers recently discovered a distribution law of stellar mass that applies when stars are born. The new finding challenges a classical theory of astrophysics, and will have a profound impact on frontier research in fields such as the evolution of stars, galaxies and the universe.

      [edited for length, MDC]

      * https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-022-05488-1

      Reply
  19. ltr

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-022-05488-1

    January 18, 2023

    Stellar initial mass function varies with metallicity and time
    By Jiadong Li, Chao Liu, Zhi-Yu Zhang, Hao Tian, Xiaoting Fu, Jiao Li & Zhi-Qiang Yan

    Abstract

    Most structural and evolutionary properties of galaxies strongly rely on the stellar initial mass function (IMF), namely the distribution of the stellar mass formed in each episode of star formation. The IMF shapes the stellar population in all stellar systems, and so has become one of the most fundamental concepts of modern astronomy. Both constant and variable IMFs across different environments have been claimed despite a large number of theoretical and observational efforts. However, the measurement of the IMF in Galactic stellar populations has been limited by the relatively small number of photometrically observed stars, leading to high uncertainties. Here we report a star-counting result based on approximately 93,000 spectroscopically observed M-dwarf stars, an order of magnitude more than previous studies, in the 100–300 parsec solar neighbourhood. We find unambiguous evidence of a variable IMF that depends on both metallicity and stellar age. Specifically, the stellar population formed at early times contains fewer low-mass stars compared with the canonical IMF, independent of stellar metallicities. In more recent times, however, the proportion of low-mass stars increases with stellar metallicity. The variable abundance of low-mass stars in our Milky Way establishes a powerful benchmark for models of star formation and can heavily affect results in Galactic chemical-enrichment modelling, mass estimation of galaxies and planet-formation efficiency.

    Reply
    1. ltr

      https://news.cgtn.com/news/2023-01-19/Chinese-discovery-challenges-classical-theory-of-astrophysics-1gIPzNM30wU/index.html

      January 19, 2023

      Chinese discovery challenges classical theory of astrophysics

      Chinese astronomers recently discovered a distribution law of stellar mass that applies when stars are born. The new finding challenges a classical theory of astrophysics and will have a profound impact on frontier research in fields such as the evolution of stars, galaxies and the universe.

      [edited for length, MDC]

      * https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-022-05488-1

      Reply
      1. baffling

        so ltr believes it is ok to promote Chinese science on an economics blog, because to deny such propaganda would be considered racist. I suppose ltr would be fine if I started posting links to all of the new scientific breakthroughs discovered by American scientists? or is that racist as well. and this would no longer be an economics blog. ltr, please stop posting irrelevant material and apologize to prof chinn for taking advantage of his hospitality on this blog. your actions are rude. it is especially galling to see such behavior during the lunar new year.

        Reply
        1. Ivan

          I guess the “China superior zero Covid” gig is up so she has been told to come up with something else. A girl has to earn her money somehow, right?

          (sure this was a little harsh, just wanted to see how many different complaints she could raise for a one line comment)

          Reply
  20. ltr

    https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202301/26/WS63d29e0ba31057c47ebab4ec.html

    January 26, 2023

    China makes headway in ecological protection of Yellow River

    BEIJING – China has made remarkable progress in the ecological conservation of the Yellow River, the second-longest river in the country, official data shows.

    In the Yellow River basin, the proportion of surface water rated at grade I to III in the country’s five-tier water quality system reached 87.5 percent in 2022, an increase of 5.6 percentage points from a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Ecology and Environment.

    Continued efforts have gone into ecological protection along this “mother river” of the country in recent years, with a Yellow River protection law coming into effect from April 1, 2023.

    The ministry said that it would step up pollution curbs with regards to industry, agriculture, urban and rural life, as well as mining in the river basin, and explore more regional-specific approaches for ecological conservation.

    Instructions will be provided for local governments to carry out the Yellow River protection law better, the ministry added.

    Reply
    1. ltr

      https://news.cgtn.com/news/2023-01-21/China-presents-white-paper-on-green-development-to-the-world-1gLWana32wg/index.html

      January 21, 2023

      China presents white paper on green development to the world
      By Stephen Ndegwa

      What started as a social and economic abstract has become a buzzword in development. The concept of “green development” was perceived as only a preserve of environmental lobbyists serving global environmental bodies to put multinationals in check.

      [edited for length, MDC]

      Experts believe that to achieve the foregoing twin goals, China requires a paradigm shift that involves scaling up green industries, while gearing up carbon-intensive industries towards net-zero emissions. But this transition must be a just and all-inclusive process, at both of the domestic and international levels. * **

      * https://news.cgtn.com/news/2023-01-19/Full-text-China-s-Green-Development-in-the-New-Era–1gIox1amvTy/index.html

      ** https://www.undp.org/sites/g/files/zskgke326/files/migration/cn/Policy-Brief-on-UN-Policy-Dialogue1210.pdf

      Reply
  21. pgl

    If this happens, it would be good news for both Ukraine and the average Russian:

    https://www.businessinsider.nl/russian-military-chiefs-are-losing-patience-with-putin-and-could-soon-turn-on-him-in-a-coup-former-aide-predicts/

    Russian military chiefs are losing patience with Putin and could soon turn on him in a coup, former aide predicts

    Putin is losing his reputation as a strong leader, a former speechwriter said on Thursday.
    Abbas Gallyamov said that military generals are growing frustrated with their losses in Ukraine.
    He said the frustrations could lay the groundwork for a possible military coup in the country.
    A military coup in Russia is likely as President Vladimir Putin is starting to look like a “second-rate dictator,” his former aide said on Thursday.

    In an opinion column for the Russian media outlet Mozhem Obyasnit, Abbas Gallyamov wrote that Russian military generals are growing increasingly frustrated as their troops continue to suffer defeats on the Ukrainian front.

    Gallyamov is a political consultant and ex-speechwriter to Putin. He has not worked for Putin since 2010 and has been living in exile in Israel since 2018.

    “It must be understood that the vast majority of commanders in the army of an authoritarian nation are not staunch supporters of the authorities, but run-of-the-mill opportunists,” Gallyamov wrote in the column, according to a translation from The Daily Beast.

    “As problems pile up in the country and the army, that the authorities are unable to solve, Putin is more steadily transforming in people’s eyes from a great strategist to an ordinary, second-rate dictator,” he said.

    Commanders will fight on the side of whoever seems most likely to win, he predicted.

    Gallyamov also argued problems on the battlefield are creating rifts among Russia’s military leadership, specifically with Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin, whose troops fight alongside the Russian army in Ukraine.

    “Prigozhin has completely discredited the regime in the eyes of service members with his rhetoric, and anger at the authorities for allowing a criminal to walk all over them is growing stronger,” Gallyamov said.

    “The longer the war drags on, the clearer its pointlessness becomes,” he added.

    Recent reports from the frontline indicate that some soldiers are refusing to fight in the war, and in some more extreme cases, even killing their own commanders.

    Ukrainian officials claimed this week that more than 6,500 Russian soldiers have sought to surrender through an “I want to live” hotline they set up in September, The Guardian reported.

    Despite this, Putin’s grip on power appears to remain firm, former Western diplomats and government officials told Reuters in October.

    Recent reports also indicate that the Russian president is in the war for the long haul, and is preparing for a new offensive in the spring.

    Gallyamov first worked in Putin’s speech-writing team from 2000 to 2001, and then from 2008 to 2010.

    Since the start of Putin’s invasion last year, Gallyamov has regularly commented on the state of the war and Russian politics in general.

    Last month, the former speechwriter said that Putin likely already has an escape plan in the event he loses the war in Ukraine, citing unnamed sources.

    Reply
    1. Moses Herzog

      @ pgl
      One of your more stellar comments, very interesting. The last sentence is kind of fascinating. What exactly would “escape plan” mean?? Running off to Europe or Latin America?? I would think it would nearly have to be undisclosed as he’d be a “marked man” from that point onward. I don’t see how he does it without just staying in Russia and getting an understanding (Ford-Nixon style) on his safety. But even that, I don’t know how the Kremlin wouldn’t just kill Putin off at that point. He’s too dangerous.

      Reply
    2. Ivan

      It appears that Putin want to do a spring offensive in Luhansk. He consider it a strengths that “Russians” are willing to suffer a lot of lost soldiers – and think this is going to win him the war. The west’s delivery of armored vehicles may have pushed his plans forward with a potential start day of the offensive within weeks (again brilliant move Biden). That would be a huge strategic (forced) error, because the weather and lack of proper preparation will make victory very hard to obtain for the Russians. Ukraine has already committed substantial forces for their offensive into Luhansk. They could turn them into a formidable defensive force in days (they just have to pull back to the best defensive terrain, and give everybody a shovel).

      Reply

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