Tuesday, December 12, 2017


30 October 2017

Political solution with Russia on its way

By: Karsten Riise

A political solution with Russia is on its way – Europe must rethink security

Only a political solution with Russia is possible

While some European countries (like Denmark) speak confrontation and buy military for billions, high energy is at work to create a western political solution with Russia.

A good indication of this came in September 2017, from the influential International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), headquartered in London. It was written by Michael O'Hanlon, Foreign Policy Research Director at the Brookings Institute, one of America's most influential foreign policy think-tanks.

The proposal for a solution with Russia must thus be assumed to be a political initiative with solid support among key leaders in the US-NATO. It is in line with several announcements from other influential foreign policy thinkers in the USA, including Henry Kissinger, Prof. Mearsheimer and Prof. Walt, and the CATO Institute (with strong business relationships), who all support President Trump in the desire for a more constructive US policy with Russia (see my analysis 12 January 2017, below).

What could a western agreement with Russia look like?

The IISS and Brookings Institute propose a new East European Security Architecture (EESA) with Russia, with the following main points:
  1. Stop for western sanctions against Russia – stop for tensions and provocative military exercises and maneuvers on both sides.
  2. Acceptance that Crimea “due to is unusual history” and “as an experience not to be repeated” - is now part of Russia.

    A formal western recognition of Crimea’s new status is perhaps not politically possible in the USA. As the second best solution, IISS and Brookings Institute propose that the issue of Crimea is simply by-passed by the west: No official recognition and cooperation on Crimea, but on the other hand no western sanctions against Russia because of Crimea. If symbolic western sanctions must continue (due to internal western political circumstances), future ”Russia-sanctions” should deliberately be designed to be without real effects – but even this is not recommended by IISS and Brookings Institute.
  3. Stop for NATO-expansions. Expansion of NATO is now by key-persons in the West recognized as a problem: NATO-expansion is a security-political own-goal.

    Sweden, Finland, Kosovo, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Macedonia should remain neutral. NATO’s promise from 2008 of membership for Ukraine and Georgia should be taken back, reneged. Countries have a legal right to choose many things, but no country has any legal ”right” to become a NATO member.

    An East European Security Architecture (EESA) will bring more security faster for neutral countries, than bad promises about a NATO membership, which will either not be forthcoming, or (even worse) will be false, because large NATO-countries will in practice not be willing to honor the security-commitment (ref. NATO Article V).
  4. NATO cooperation with other countries is still envisaged, for instance with new Membership Action Plans (MAPs).
  5. EU membership should be distinguished from so-called ”EU-security-membership”.

    Not all EU countries will be fully integrated in the growing EU security structure and the security provisions of the EU Treaty - for instance if the Ukraine and Georgia should (one distant day) become members of the EU.
  6. No NATO military build-up in the Baltic countries.

    Nothing more than a minimally increased ”tripwire-force”, maybe a ”few thousand” above 5,000 NATO soldiers, including the stationing of one US brigade. Not a force able to stop an invasion. This suggestion of an only minimally increased force level in the Baltic countries is probably just a negotiable starting-position towards Russia, a point which NATO may discuss and moderate.
  7. Solution of regional disagreements with Russia.

    East-Ukraine should be solved according to the Minsk II agreement with local self-determination and withdrawal of Russian military forces. In Georgia, a corresponding agreement could be made for the Russian controlled areas of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
  8. Very limited western military supplies to ”neutral” countries in Russia’s periphery.

    No significant western arms supplies for Ukraine and Georgia. No fixed weapons-limits, but a written ”understanding” on this issue. The proposal from IISS and Brookings Institute mentions the precedence of the US-China agreement from 1982 to cap (and gradually reduce) US arms sales to Taiwan – an agreement which has worked well, in spite of some expected disagreements between USA-China. The USA-China agreement still works today, after 35 years.
  9. Implementation of a control-system for military presence in the periphery of Russia.
  10. No legally binding treaty with Russia – but a written understanding.

    A legally binding treaty cannot expect to be approved by the United States Congress. Instead, a written agreement between the parties in style and spirit of the Helsinki Accords of 1975 can be effective in practice without being legally binding. Although the Helsinki Accords were criticized (by hard-liners) in the West at the time, this arrangement actually came to function well as a practical basis for East-West cooperation and development a long time after.

    Countries between NATO and Russia should preferably also be signatories to such an agreement – but this is not ”needed”.

The above is a cautious outline – a first accommodating suggestion from the western side. Russia is doing fine. Given global strategic facts in Russia’s favor, the final result will most surely be better for Russia.

Russia needs guarantees for Kaliningrad, a guaranteed low military NATO level in the Baltic countries, and political influence in the Ukraine. The Ukraine has strong historic-cultural ties with Russia – can the Ukraine serve as a “bridge” between East and West (in Henry Kissinger’s words)? Russia also needs safeguards for its interests in the whole Caucasus region (including Georgia). Caucasus is not only a sensitive Russian security zone, but serves also as a vital corridor for Russian influence and friendship in relation to Turkey, Iran, Syria and the Middle East.

All these issues can be solved and will be solved. The West needs Russia and vice-versa. None of the parties West-Russia have interest in the current tensions, or risks of a European war.

European countries must chart the right course – or fall behind

Leading EU countries Germany, France, Italy and Spain, as well as the USA (with President Trump), do not want to bind a big force in the Baltic countries for the next 30 years, like the USA has done in South Korea. A big standing force in the Baltic countries will be very difficult support anyway, and will therefore even be at risk, should a conflict arise.

Nobody in Europe wants to risk their own prime-forces and hence their homeland for an indefensible protrusion of land (sorry for this straight-forward expression), which in some eyes even might better have remained neutral. Most importantly, Germans have had enough of war-destruction, and will not want this at all. The Baltic countries must also themselves be helpful in creating a prosperous relationship with Russia: After all, since 1945, Finland has proved that this is possible. The largest EU countries want cooperation, not war - with Russia.

With their recent Cold War attitude, some smaller countries like Denmark run the risk of ending up on the “losing side” after a new European security agreement. Once a western agreement is achieved between leading EU-countries and Russia, business will start up again, and Russia has an enormous market potential. Cold-war countries like Denmark run the risk of being put ”back of the queue”, once the West again opens up for billion-mega-deals with Russia.

Germany and Poland already have sufficient heavy forces to secure themselves and Central-Europe. According to open sources (Wikipedia), Russia has 100 4th latest generation main battle tanks (Armata) and 800 modern 3rd generation main battle tanks, to defend its enormous territory from Vladivostok to Kaliningrad. Poland, for its territory alone, has 481 modern main battle tanks 3rd generation, and Germany 432 of the very most effective 4th generation Leopard 2A7+ main battle tanks, with additionally 38 more 4th generation Leopard 2A7+ tanks shared between Germany and the Netherlands. This NATO balance is basically enough for a defensive force – especially given all the other NATO assets.

Some force modernization is needed in NATO. But given the great-political development, it would be a complete lack of brains, if small countries like Denmark invest in building up heavy military units, which due to their nature even are strategically difficult to move quickly over considerable distances, and which will be too one-sided for use in totally different kinds of conflicts in other places of the Earth.

A European military modernization is needed, but additional heavy units in countries like Denmark will be of the wrong kind - they would not even constitute the proverbial ”security insurance policy”, because they are too difficult to bring to the front (Baltic) in a timely manner to influence a quick development. And any protracted (attrition) war with Russia, putting all Europe at risk, will be totally out of the question anyway - Russia is a nuclear power.

Different security thinking needed

Conflicts must be avoided and solved with integrated political-social-economic-military thinking.

This calls for totally different kinds of approaches. The experience in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya has been absolutely disappointing (to put it mildly). And the emergence of extreme situations in Syria was probably only possible because the West for too long made the big mistake to use this as a way to pressure a government, they did not like.

Africa is becoming a continent of 2 billion people – they need jobs, city-jobs with exports.

The global security picture calls for absolutely new concepts.

Karsten Riise
Partner & Editor


Baltic instability

Published by
Prof. Martin van Creveld


2 June 2016

Sarajevo in the Baltic?

By: Karsten Riise

Ever since Russia took over Crimea from the Ukraine in 2014, Western analysts have often pointed fingers at Russia and its leader. Then US Secretary of state Hillary Clinton even compared Putin with “Hitler.” Enough of that; here I want to point out the strategic dilemmas Russia is facing and the consequences that may result.To start with, it ought to be clear that Russia cannot live with the fact that Ukraine is becoming an instrument in the hands of NATO. Russia could, should it want to, launch deep military pincer operations with the objective of taking control of that country. In my view, a Russian-inspired regime-change in the Ukraine must and will come.

The Baltic Countries May Become a Threat to Russia
 NATO cannot possibly counter a Russian regime-change operation in Ukraine. However, it is also necessary to analyze the military pressures which NATO can build up against Russia in other theaters, especially the Baltic. The following are some of the possibilities: 
1.    NATO, with bases in the three Baltic countries, can block international shipping and air traffic to St. Petersburg;
2.    NATO can blockade and starve-out Kaliningrad;
3.    NATO can build up its forces in the Baltic, so as to threaten a coup de main-type attack against Minsk, which is only about 125 km from Lithuania.

Briefly, NATO, by reinforcing its military presence in the Baltic, can answer a Russian regime-change in the Ukraine by strangling Kaliningrad and threatening Minsk, the capital city of Belorussia, Russia’s closest ally. In the long term, NATO can also use its foothold in the Baltic to build up growing military pressure on St. Petersburg and Pskov. Seen form Moscow’s point of view such moves would be unacceptable, perhaps unbearable.

Western media, politicians and “experts” are forever pointing fingers at Russian “provocations.” They conveniently overlook the provocations which NATO itself is carrying out right now, as well as those it may want to carry out tomorrow. We should not be naïve. Back in the days of President Reagan the US carried out numerous simulated nuclear bombing attacks deep into Soviet territory. Had this become known at the time, the US would have denied it. NATO thinking is that these simulated nuclear attacks were helpful in causing the Soviet Union to break down.Needless to say, what worked for the USA against the Soviet Union is something NATO would like to repeat against Russia today. Indeed, it is possible that NATO is even now secretly continuing Reagan’s policy, using its forces in the Baltic to launch simulated air, sea and land attacks on Russia. Even if it does not, it may be only a matter of time before NATO has gathered enough strength to do just that.

Time for Russia to Take on the Baltic Countries is Running Out 
A RAND study, completed in 2016, shows that NATO does yet not have sufficient forces in place to protect the Baltic countries. It would take Russian forces a maximum of sixty hours to reach the capitals of two of the countries in question. Such a Russian move would leave NATO with some bad, very bad, options.

Though NATO has begun to significantly upgrade its forces in the Baltic, its position there remains very insecure. Partly because the three Baltic countries are geographically isolated, and partly because, should there be a confrontation, NATO reinforcements passing through the straits of Denmark into the Baltic Sea could be interdicted by Russia. But Russia should not expect the window of opportunity to remain open for very long.

Baltic Membership in NATO is Destabilizing 

When both sides have good reason to feel insecure, the relationship between them becomes unstable and something dramatic may well happen. This is currently the case in the Baltic where Russia may feel an understandable need to take action, to remove the future military threat from the three Baltic countries before proceeding to liquidate its unfinished business in the Ukraine.Any Russian operation in the Baltic will have to take place before NATO’s growing presence there makes it too dangerous. By NATO Treaty, such an operation will be considered an attack on all NATO countries, the US included. But honestly: In such a case, will the US and Europe risk a nuclear war? Probably not. Thus, Russia may bet on a limited conventional war; one which would lead to the end of NATO.On 17 May 2016 one of Denmark’s largest newspapers, Berlingske Tidende, published an article by a retired NATO brigadier general. The article was written with some typical NATO rhetoric. But under the rhetoric the Danish brigadier general seemed to be genuinely scared. He fears that something violent may take place in connection with NATO’s maneuver, BALTOPS 2016, schedules to take place in the Baltic Sea from 3- to 19 June, as Russia’s window for action in that region may become smaller in the future. As I just explained, his worries are in line with own my analysis.

Russian Interest in (Temporary) Stabilization in Syria

The Russian operations in Syria bear strong similarities to those of the German “Legion Condor” during the 1930s Spanish Civil War. They enabled the Kremlin to test and train its most advanced weapons—and watch them working perfectly well. The lesson to NATO? Beware!

For a conflict in the Baltic, Russia will prefer, to have all its air force back after its success in Syria. Land operations in the Ukraine are better undertaken in the summer time, and a Baltic operation will have to take place before NATO builds up too many forces in the Baltic. Therefore, Russia has an interest in reaching a settlement (at least temporary) with the West on Syria; one that may allow it to bring the rest of its military aircraft home. As NATO’s build up in the Baltic accelerates, Russia may only have short time left to act.

A Sarajevo Effect?

A 2014 study by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and Business Assessment (CSBA) shows that China has enough missiles to wipe out all ports and airports on Taiwan, and destroy Taiwan’s air force on the ground. Several RAND studies, including a US-China military balance assessment published in 2015, show that the US no longer enjoys an advantage over China in the Taiwan Strait. America’s overall advantage over China is also shrinking. Accordingly, why should China not exploit a US involvement in a European conflict, in-order to take over Taiwan? And why should Israel not use such an opportunity to strike at Iran’s nuclear installations? And why should Turkey not use it to invade Syria and northern Iraq? Other countries, such as Saudi Arabia and India, may also try to solve some issues the hard way. Insurgents in various North African, Central Asian and Southeast Asian countries may also seize the opportunity.
The price of oil has already started rising again. In a world such as the one we have just described, it may not stop at 50 or 100 or 150 dollars. It may go up all the way to 200 dollars, with gold rising in proportion. Stock markets have already peaked. If they cannot go higher, an insecure world will cause them to go off the cliff. And what about the dollar? The US can only finance its huge +3% foreign deficit and big public spending, as long as its capital markets are safe and attractive, and the country itself is seen as a world-heaven of security.Should the US turn out not to be strong enough to be on top of the situation, if conflicts explode in Europe, Asia and the Middle-East, trillions of dollars may flee the US, totally “reconfiguring” a world economy at war.

Welcome to the 21
st century.

Karsten Riise

Partner & Editor



MH17 - the inconsistencies

16 October 2015

Inconsistent investigation of MH17

By: Karsten Riise

The Netherlands do not deliver, what the public deserves.

The Research Question

On 17 July 2014, civil airplane MH-17 crashed in Eastern Ukrane.

The question for the investigation committee is: How did that happen?

Two Possible Theories

Already the Preliminary report provided evidence that the crash of MH-17 was not a normal accident – the MH-17 was shot down.

There are two possible theories:
  1. The MH-17 was shot down by an surface-to-air Buk missile.

    Buk missiles have been deployed by rebels in Eastern Ukraine – but a Buk missile could also have been fired by forces loyal to the current Ukrainian government.
  2. The MH-17 was shot down by military fighter aircraft from Ukraine by one - or two (!) air-to-air missile with a warhead big enough to simulate the warhead of a Buk missile.

    Attack by military aircraft may have been preceded by machine gun fire against the pilot cockpit.

A report from the think-tank Australian Air Power 2012.04 (attached) on Russian air-to-air missiles demonstrates that an endless variety of air-to-air missiles exists that could be available to the Ukrainian air force. Several of these may in size and blast pattern be similar to a Buk surface-to-air missile. A missile blast is itself only with difficulty to be established whether it comes from a surface-to-air missile or from a big air-to-air missile the same size and type: From this aspect theory A and B can deliver very much the same resulting facts to the investigation.

The “truth early propagated by official media from nearly all NATO and EU countries was theory A. However, though the rebels in East Ukraine may not be perfectly competent in using the Buk missile system, they do not have any motive to target a foreign civilian aircraft. The Ukrainian government was at the time of MH-17 in dire need of international support, and with the shoot-down of MH-17 the Ukrainian has won decisive propaganda advantages and garnered unprecedented support from USA and EU. The tragic event of MH-17 was really a turning point for the new Ukrainian government in getting international (Western) support.

The Ukrainian government has all the military means to shoot down MH-17 - and even make it look like the rebels did it.

An attached analysis for the American Political Science Association 2015.09.03 also supplies proof that circles close to the current Ukrainian was organized the shootings of their own protest-supporter at the Maidan square that lead to the regime-change in Ukraine. Killing people to blame it on the enemies – that could very well be part of their “method”.

Prime suspect of MH-17 was from the beginning is the Ukrainian military – not the rebels:
Circles within the Ukrainian government have the motive and the means and the demonstrated will to use criminal methods (ref. attached document 2015.09.03) - to shoot down MH-17 in a way that could be used to blame it on the rebels.

The two theories above must be judged against the evidence (and ‘evidence’, as some may be misdirected) presented by the official investigation of MH-17 delivered by the Dutch Safety Board on 2015.10.14.

Missile blast – one or two?

The Dutch Safety Board fails to give proof whether one or two missiles exploded. Radio recordings in the cockpit (fig. 9 p. 46) show two transient sounds. The second sound is identified as a missile blast few meters side-left-above of the cockpit – but the source of the first sound transient, which was recorded only by one of the 4 microphones, the Cockpit Area Microphone (CAM), is not explained by the Dutch Safety Board. This does not increase confidence in the work of the Dutch Safety Board.

Maybe the first sound was an explosion from another direction – from another source, another explosion more to the aft of the airplane. That possibility would better than given “missing microphone cap” wishy-washy explanation account  for the fact that the first transient sound was only recorded by one microphone. The Dutch safety board also strangely fails to mention if or if not the remnants of MH-17 bear proof of a second hit by something.

Maybe the Dutch Safety Board already possesses evidence that no second missile hit the MH-17. It could also be that the first sound recorded in the cockpit pertained to the same source as the second sound. But it is not assuring that the Dutch Safety Board has suppressed the vital issue – two transients and according to their story only one blast.

If only a single missile blasted, this does not in itself prove either theory A or B, as similar missile warheads could come from a Buk missile and from a big air-to-air missile fired by the Ukrainian air force.

But a second missile would rule out Theory A above, and place heavy suspicion upon the Ukrainian air force. This omission could be a sign of politicized misdirection in the investigation.

The above failure of the Dutch Safety Board provokes doubts about their work.

Machine gun fire – yes or no?

The Dutch Safety Board fails sorely to check precisely whether machine gun from a military aircraft fire hit MH-17.

It is proven that the majority of holes in MH-17 come from a missile blast. But the Dutch Safety Board fails to inform the international public whether MH-17 was also attacked by machine gun fire before the missile hit.

Blast holes from missile can be mixing with and obscure other holes from 30 mm machine gun bullets. The Dutch Safety Board fails to investigate if bullet holes were between the blast-holes. Disturbing.

Machine gun ammunition could be of two kinds: Ordinary machine gun bullets would give rather neat round or elliptical holes. Other kinds of bullets blast and might even make holes looking like missile fragment holes. Fragmenting bullets will have left traces of bullet-fragments which the Dutch Safety Board have not considered. The Dutch Safety Board in appendix X sect. 4.9 claims that a Mig-29 machine gun should only carry 150-260 pieces of bullet-ammunition for close-combat. This may be true, though it seems highly improbable. However, the fact remains, that machine gun holes can be present without them having to be the reason for all the holes, as the Dutch Safety Board erroneously argues.

The failure of the Dutch Safety Board to recognize this aspect provokes uneasiness about their work.

Radar “story”

According to sect. 2.9.5 the Dutch Safety Board received no primary radar data, neither from Ukraine nor from Russia. The explanations given for this are not believable and probably due to military concerns. Video of primary radar screen was delivered from Russia only, but Russia claims not to have radar data from Ukrainian territory. This is of course untrue, but neither country wants to reveal too much about what they can see on radar. What raises suspicions is the lack of raw civilian radar data from Ukraine due to “scheduled” maintenance.

Only processed secondary radar data are provided. Importantly, secondary radar data depend on a transponder on the aircrafts to send out a signal. Military aircrafts always turn off their transponder before going into sensitive action – this way military aircraft become invisible on secondary radar. Everybody in aviation knows this. It is thought provoking that the Dutch Safety Board fail to point that fact out.

Ukraine has sent no primary radar data of video of primary radar screens. Russia claims not to have any radar data from Ukrainian territory – this may unbelievable, but fact remains that Russia has not sent such data. The sum of these inconsistent facts is that the Dutch Safety Board is not believable when they claim (sect. ) that radar data “prove” that no military aircraft was within 30 km from the point where MH-17 ceased on the radar – because secondary radar does not always reveal military aircraft, and Russia’s primary radar for Ukrainian territory was allegedly not available, and Ukrainian radar was out for “scheduled maintenance”.

The Dutch Safety Board story about “proof” of no military airplane near MH-17 is not supported by their conflicting explanation about radar data.

The “radar-story” put together by the Dutch Safety Board is either untrue or needs better explanation.

Suppressed Facts about Missile Range

Air-to-air missiles (especially Russian types) fired from a military aircraft against MH-17 can have very long range – up to 200 km. The list of long-range air-to-air missiles in Table 14 p. 128 does not indicate their range. I have checked the relevant ranges, from unofficial sources (incl. Federation of American Scientists) and their ranges are from 30 km and upwards. Meaning they could more or less all have been fired from a position outside the radar screen.

The Dutch Safety Board makes us lose trust in their good will and objectivity when they fail to mention that air-to-air missiles could not have been fired upon MH-17 and instead claim “proof” of something which they must know themselves is not proven. Such an untrue statement could by less polite people be called a lie. On that background, the Dutch Safety Board’s omission in Table 14 of the range of the shown air-to-air missiles does not seem accidental, but political !

According to the Dutch Safety Board’s inconsistent “radar-story” (ref. above) no military aircraft was within 30-90 km of MH-17 when it fell down. But a heavy air-to-air missile with a warhead the same size and composition of a Buk, can very well have been fired beyond 30-90 km range (even 200 km away) from a Ukrainian military aircraft slightly above MH-17 to disguise its trajectory, homing in on radio emissions from the cockpit of MH-17. That would have been easy for a military !

Trajectory simulations

The Dutch Safety Board has made extensive trajectory simulations – fumbling with parameters until the computer gave the “right” results of a Buk coming from rebel controlled area. A horizontal analysis pointing to rebel area is delivered, but a vertical flight path is not delivered. This resulting picture of a possible flight path for a Buk missile may be true possibility – which is not a proof that it happened – or it may even be untrue.

The Dutch Safety Board gives no explanation as to WHY a missile they claim came from the ground, should hit MH-17 from above. It’s not logical.

There could be a natural explanation, that a missile from the ground explodes above, but it attracts doubts about the Dutch Safety Board that this logical aspect is not treated.

The Dutch Safety Board fails to deliver alternative computer simulations analyzing the many possible trajectories of an air-to-air missile with could carry a heavy fragmentation-type warhead with similar to a Buk missile. The Dutch Safety Board supplies only one simulation of an air-to-air missile - and it is clearly of the wrong type of air-to-air missile.

The Dutch Safety Board must have been aware that the air-to-air flight path simulation was of the wrong type – raising suspicion that it is a deliberate attempt at misinforming the public.

The trajectory analysis of the Dutch Safety Board is incomplete – it lacks explanation why a missile from the ground should explode above – and it attracts suspicion that air-to-air simulations are not carried out with the heavy long-range type of fragmentation air-to-air missile.

Butterfly Fragment Shapes

There is evidence that fragments from the missile that blasted close side-above MH-about 3 meters from to the captain’s position were “ferrous alloy” and had butterfly shapes (“bowtie” shapes they call it).

The Dutch Safety Board claims that no air-to-air missile has been available to the Ukrainian military with butterfly shape fragments. How do they know this? Have the Dutch Safety Board seriously tried to find all the kind of fragmentation types available to the R-33, R-37, and R-40 air-to-air missiles? (Table 14). I repeat my reference to a study from Australian Air Power from 2012.04: Russian made air-to-air missiles come in all types, sizes, distances, seeker systems, air-frames – and warheads ! Russians are smart – their air-to-air missiles are intelligently constructed as a Lego-system, where the operator can put together many different types of missile.

Seekers exist that would make such a Ukrainian air-to-air missile go directly against the frequencies of the weather-radar or radio close to the cockpit of the MH-17. An air-to-air missile from a Ukrainian attack aircraft could have been sent from above MH-17, that can explain why the missile exploded above the cockpit.

A military like Ukraine can even (maybe with help from a big outside nation) have made their own butterfly shaped (bowtype) fragments (like fig. 56 center+right, p. 132) and fitted onto a long-range air-to-air missile to make it simulate a hit from a Buk missile. The Dutch Safety Board is disturbingly shallow about their metal analysis of the fragments. To make a safe conclusion, the Dutch Safety Board should have analyze the exact fragment metal structure, its processing method, and precise chemical composition, and compared this to a Buk warhead – to check if all these match. A thorough metal analysis of the fragmentation pieces would have been easily possible – but was omitted. Strange. Before explosion, the layers of lose fragments around the warhead are bound together with a gel or glue. Remnants of glue chemicals on fragments should also be studied exactly and compared to an unexploded Buk warhead – but this procedure was also omitted.

The Dutch Safety Board fails here again.

Types of explosive

A mix of explosives were discovered on remnants of the MH-17 – ref. sect. 2.16.3 p. 93.

The Dutch Safety Board then goes on to say, that one of these explosives also is used in a Buk missile. That proves nothing. What about the other types?

The same different kinds of propellants and explosives are probably used in a wide range of missiles – also air-to-air missiles.

Also here, the Dutch Safety Board fails to deliver a thorough investigation.

Remnants of Buk missile found

The Dutch Safety Board presents that remnants of a Buk missile was found at one of the many sites of debris (p.81).

Many people have had access to these areas – not only war-tourists, but also members of Ukraine’s secret security services. If Ukrainian military circles have been cold-blooded enough to murder nearly 300 people on the MH-17, they will certainly also have had the will power and capacity to place remnants of a Buk missile at one of the many crash sites.

Blast proximity

Evidence shows that the missile blast came just a few meters from the captain’s cockpit window. What a coincidence – silencing the radio at once. And if machine guns were fired at the cockpit before the missile hit. their holes would be disguised by hundreds of missile fragment holes !

A Buk missile has a radar proximity fuse. According to unofficial sources, a Buk missile is set to blast already at a distance of 17 meters – not just a few meters. There could be a logical explanation, but it creates uneasiness that the Dutch Safety Board fails to deal with this issue.

If someone deliberately sent an air-to-air missile to down MH-17, they could very well in advance have adjusted the proximity from to make a “close-hit” – much less than the 17 meters to silence the cockpit crew and their radio instantaneously.

This problem is suppressed by the Dutch Safety Board.

Missing parts of the wreck?

The Preliminary crash report p.22 shows some of the parts of MH-17 recovered which are not accounted for in the final report p.55. For example, p.22 in the preliminary report  shows a piece left above the cockpit which seems to be missing on p.55 of the final report. Inconsistencies also seem to exist between photos of wreck parts and p. 55 in the final report. Disturbing.

This detracts from credibility of the Dutch Safety Board – are they showing all?


Paint remnants have been recovered from debris. These paint remnants are of same color and layer composition as the remnants of a Buk missile found within the crash area (p. 95, top). This is very important.

This would normally have been a conclusive proof of a Buk missile – according to theory A above.

Maybe due to lack of competence, maybe because they lack faith in their analysis of the paint, the Dutch Safety Board fails to stress what could otherwise have been their only really convincing proof of their conclusion, of which they are so certain that they even made a computer-video about it on their homepage.

Does the Dutch Safety Board realize themselves, that the paint analysis p. 95 (if it holds) it their only conclusive evidence?

In view of all above inconsistencies, suppression of information, and indications which justify fear of a political pressure to manipulate the investigation carried out by the Dutch Safety Board – there is even doubt about the paint as a proof. It must be followed up – checked and confirmed or negated.

The Dutch have done their work now – some for good and some for not quite so good.

The EU must get involved now – conclude the final investigation of MH-17.

Shame or no shame on the Netherlands

I take credit that due to my sharp complaint 2015.09.14, the investigation into the crash of MH-17 is much more thorough, taking more issues, aspects and weapon types into consideration, than it would most probably otherwise have been.
In my mail 2014.09.14, I cast shame on the Netherlands for mocking victims and the public with a politicized investigation - hiding facts. From the above it is clear, that the investigation of the Netherlands still suppresses issues which cast doubt on their conclusion. This does not clear the Netherlands that the investigation is politicized to yield certain “results”.


As part of an EU investigation, the full 30 min. of cockpit inboard and radio recordings must be publicized. Things of great importance can have happened much earlier than before the last few minutes, like for instance inconsistencies in why the Tower adjusted their flight path (“due to weather”) or sightings or communication regarding military aircrafts while under way.

Karsten Riise
Partner & Editor


Preventive action

This study explores Russia's strategic military position. 

Russia can anytime implement a fast military procedure like the one I have arrived at below. This has so far prevented USA and NATO from sending heavy military reinforcement eastwards. My plan below still holds.

21 September 2014


By: Karsten Riise

In spite of Russian cooperation to create an armistice in war-torn Ukraine, Western Powers continue with ever more ”sanctions” against Russia, with efforts to integrate Ukraine with NATO – there will even be those in Washington, who now want to give Ukraine nuclear weapons. Ukraine’s worthless law of “autonomy” for the East is void of significant content, it can be cancelled again any time, and it is time-limited. A trick.

Western hypocrisy bashes Russia for “human rights issues” while at the same time the West silences the horrible violations perpetrated by Kiev’s half-private Nazi-volunteers, who are guilty of a catastrophe of  300,000 thousand Russian-speaking refugees.

Murder on Malaysian Flight MH17 pilots by machinegun-fire from fighter-jets penetrating cockpit-floor from above  with “high-energy-objects” (see Preliminary Crash report Figure 10, page 25) – truly reveals the West’s fanatic cynicism.

Any-one with eyes that can see will recognize that the current situation is just a pause for NATO to build up Ukraine as an aggressive “front-state” against Russia.

Russia has no other option than to enforce a friendly regime-change in Ukraine.

The following analysis demonstrates how Russia can do this efficiently.


Russia can win this conflict – comparatively easily.

But it requires that Russia implements a Grand Strategy concept, to let military, business, finance, culture, diplomacy, global communication – and moral rightness all work together.

USA and EU believe naïvely, that their material power is the key. That leads them to defeat. The strongest power is the moral level – as people in developing and Muslim countries know. 

As an example of how mentally backward USA, EU and NATO are, I refer to a study from the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) made on this conflict in April, 2014.

In the RUSI study from April, 2014, on page 3 fig. 1 a reader will notice an embarrassing lack of understanding of the underlying driving dynamics from both sides of the conflict, a lack of creativity and small talent. One of NATO’s supposedly most famous military institutes is brain-dead. No surprise, that NATO bungles and fumbles everything since 1980.


The operational preconditions for Russia’s Necessary Action are:

(1) Russia has no choice – to let Ukraine continue as it does, will in 3 years result in a fatal destabilization of Russian itself due to NATO efforts, abusing Ukraine as platform.
(2) Russia has prepared everything to turn the West’s ”sanctions” into Russian advantage.

In the 21st century, the USA-EU only command about one third of the World’s purchase power – they can never “contain” Russia and the two thirds of World.
(3) Russia has superior military forces for an instant intervention in Ukraine.


Global Objective
New World Order

-       Make EU see that USA just create problems – USA is a partner to avoid
-       Break USAs global prestige
-       Raise Russia’s global prestige – for doing the right thing
-       New World Order in 21st Century –  establish Russia as a main driver in those 2/3 of the World, which are successful - which is the non-USA-EU-Japan World

Objectives in
Theater of Ukraine

-       Regime change in Ukraine
-       Recognition of Crimea’s secession and integration into Russia.
-       Recognition of Novo-Rossiya in East-Ukraine as an autonomous republic which stays inside Ukraine, but has a written right (with no time-limit) to secede any time it wants.
-       Establish a military-economic Union of Ukraine and Russia: One army – one currency.

Russia must take a responsibility for Ukraine, which the West cannot and will not take.

Military Objectives

1. Establish a strong Russian base-area for military operations west of Dnepropetrovsk
2. Neutralize all opposing military capacities east of the river Dnepr (=Dnieper)
3. Secure humanitarian aid, orderly conditions, and reconstruction in East-Ukraine
4. Put Kiev in an iron-grip of economic-military-energy and moral break-down
5. Create an alliance with friendly Ukrainian forces to overtake power in Kiev
6. Support new Ukrainian government in securing order in all of Ukraine
7. Reverse Ukraine’s road down – make Ukraine a success with Russia.

Economic and Communication Objectives

Russia must turn risks to economy and foreign-relations into opportunities for a better future


Description below refers to fig. 1 at end of text.
Russia creates groups for military operations: Group A, B, C1, C2, and D. Each group will correspond to a vector of advance. Reinforcements and reserves will be mobile and ready.

Operational risks for Russia must be kept minimal. The amount of blood-shed should be minimized, except possibly for what Machiavelli may have called the necessary cruelties.

Operations Group A: 
Point of departure: West of Rostov-na-Donu – around Taganrog
Objective: Penetrate forward to create a bridge-head on the west-bank of Dnepr at Zaporizhia. In target area establish an operational zone for heavy advance in all directions.
Mission can encounter opposition from heavy regular army-units and air-attacks.
This mission is the most demanding of the military operations – all military  branches of land-air-sea (bombardment, landings etc.) must be coordinated and no delays should be accepted.
Air superiority and suppression of air-defenses must be established immediately.
Support from parachute units and Spetsnaz commando-units are advisable.
Bridges across river Dnepr must be secured – field-construction of additional bridges prepared – the first bridge-heads on the west-bank of Dnepr must be secured.
Stretch to move forward: 300-400 km

Target-area west of Dnepropetrovsk must be secured in 7 days.

Speed is of esssence. To keep up speed, Operational Group A must apply Blitz-krieg principles; pockets of local resistance are bypassed to be cleaned out by later upcoming units. Larger urban centers (Dnepropetrovsk) are circumvented and simply sealed off by later up-coming troops. From the Russian border to the target of operations west of Zaporizhia, the terrain is open, relatively flat and roads are good – perfect conditions for quick advance of heavy army forces. Securing a large area of operations west of Dnepropetrovsk is facilitated by the bend of the Dnepr-river, which will protect both flanks of Russian forces from counterattacks. Supply-lines across river Dnepr must be kept open against air-raids and sabotage.  To secure the left flank and land access to Crimea, an expedition south is needed.

Operations Group B:
Point of departure: West of Rostov-na-Donu – around Taganrog (same place as Group A).
Objective; Engage and cut-off the Kiev-militias operating south and east of Donetsk
Mission will encounter resistance from light armed but fanatic units with a few heavy support units. Time is important, but not as critical. This is the relatively more simple of all the missions, but should not be underestimated, because surprise always comes up in conflict.
Stretch to move forward: 60-90 km

After engaging Kiev’s half-private militias, an iron-ring will cut-off the opponents at Donetsk from the south and west – as well as protect the right-flank of advance of Group A.

Operations Group C (subgroups C1 and C2):
Point of departure: Valuyki – east of Belgorod, south of Liski.
Objectives: C1+C2: Drive a wedge in between Kharkov-Slovyansk C1: Complete the encirclement of Kiev-militias in Novo-Rossiya from north and north-west. C2: Cut-off and neutralize regular army units north of Novo-Rossiya; probably stationed in the army-districts of Kharkov and Poltava.
Mission can experience flank-attacks incl. heavy weapons and air-raids from regular units based near the cities of Kharkov and/or Poltava.
Stretch to move forward: 200-400 km

The Kiev-regime should quickly be overturned by friends in Ukraine’s armed forces (a Russian secret services job) so that Operations Group D (stationed west of Belgorod) would not have to be activated. Russia’s first military objective must be to establish an absolutely dominating military position inside Ukraine - but not to occupy everywhere (unless need be).

Dnepopretrovsk and Kharkov should be sealed off (their air-ports taken, of course) but should hopefully not need to be taken. Let a new Russia-friendly Ukraine take care of its own cities.

International access to the operational areas is not needed. Selected journalists can later be invited, they should first be screened and accredited, and then escorted as ”embedded” inside a few designated Russian army-units with journalistic contact-persons inside the Russian army: That is the internationally accepted procedure which USA invented and implemented in Iraq. Russia should not obey to more “free” press-standards than the West.

Russia must at beginning of operations send out a NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) instructing all civilian air-traffic to stay out of all Ukraine’s air-space up to unlimited height, and enforce a total no-fly zone all over Ukraine. After regime-change in Kiev, Russia will want to incorporate Ukraine’s surviving military aircrafts into a Russian-Ukrainian military-economic Union. If responsible people in Kiev understand, that Ukraine must keep its military aircrafts grounded, they can be spared – Russia must eliminate all threats.

Do NOT make a smaller operational plan:
What I have described here is the absolute minimum.

It may look easier to make a smaller operations-plan, to just free Novo-Rossiya, forgetting all the rest. Don’t think that would give Russia peace. It would be dangerous for Russia.

A more simplistic plan would fail the objectives stated above – risking Russia

A smaller operational plan would give Ukraine time to fortify everything, and make defenses in the depth. USA-EU still believe they only need to worry about losing a small area of eastern Ukraine – that is their basic worst-case scenario. If Kiev is not touched, USA-EU will build Ukraine up to a deadly enemy of Russia which sooner or later will start actions inside Russia.

Russia’s Necessary Action must give the West a chock – a defeat far worse than anything USA-EU feared in their worst-case-scenario – to resonate in the World.

Turn whole Ukraine into a full Union with Russia.

Do not accept a western part of Ukraine. Only a large operation can create the regime-change that Russia need have in Kiev. That will upset the fundamental balance of power in Europe into Russia’s favor - and kick USA (which is already stumbling) further down the hill globally.

Russia has hitherto proceeded with deliberate moves according to the word: festina lente (hurry slowly). Though Russia has spent the time very well making efficient preparations, maybe Russia has also been waiting for “Godot” (the man who never came) in hopes that the USA-EU would one day finally make a fair deal with Russia. USA-EU will never do that.

It is time Russia and the World take realistic consequences. USA-EUs “partnering” with Russia was always a cheat - to play on hopes. USA-EU want global supremacy. Russia needs to implement a full operations plan described in this paper with a forceful occupation of the area of the Dnepr-bent west of Dnepropetrovsk.

and PLAN

An optimal moment for this humanitarian and political aid-action in Ukraine will be on a Friday eve, at around 2200 Hrs. On Friday evenings most people go home and are mentally off-duty. Saturday and Sunday, banks and financial markets are closed. During the weekend the World will have time to accept the new realities that Russia can create. During the weekend Russia can announce and implement a pre-planned package of stricter finance-procedures to protect its economy. Protective new finance-procedures can then take effect immediately, first-thing Monday morning.


When financial markets open the next Monday, Russia can have introduced a general ban (for 3 months) against taking cash and gold out of the country without special permit. This way, Russia can protect against a sudden drain on currency reserves.

To support military operations in Ukraine, Russia can also stop all money transfers from Ukrainian guest-workers to Ukraine – a blow that would take out 4% of Ukraine’s economy.

Companies in Russia will under the new set of rules from the Monday morning need approval from Russian authorities for foreign money transfers above a minimum size. It must be a system which Russia has prepared silently in advance. Russia is a business friendly country, so the great challenge for Russia will be to make a currency control-system (1) run smoothly without undue irritation of big and small businesses all over Russia, and (2) avoid that the currency control-system is destroyed by corruption. Likely, the system may exist only 3 months, until a new normal is established. After the regime-change in Kiev, Ukrainian families will again receive their payments from honorable relatives working with Russia.

Russia can also introduce a system of differentiated exchange rates (normal and priority). China has had enormous long-term economic success with similar currency-rules.

Vital Russian private and public international business assets and finance-arrangements must have been transferred from Europe to Far-East banks as preparation to this operation. Goodbye to the vanity-fair of financial markets in City of London and Frankfurt.

Vital import-items must have been identified on a confidential list and future alternative suppliers pointed out – preferably from friendly countries with a high-tech industries like China, Brazil, even India and South Africa. Supplies of raw-materials can be pre-planned.

Some components of military importance may take a little while to substitute. But with cooperation China, Russia, India, Brazil and others, all supplies of military parts will get back running again within 6-18 months. All items can be copied !! After such a transition, Russia’s strategic military production-base will happily be broader and more secure than ever before.

Most USA-owned companies in Russia can quickly go out of business or be taken over by Russian interests. USAs burger-chains are now being stamped as ”unhealthy” by Russian authorities. USA do the same kind of tricks, so that is morally acceptable. Russia is a serious business partner to serious countries – therefore European companies should be spared (unless of course, EU does something really foolish).

These months, Russia is introducing China’s successful pay-card system to replace Visa, Mastercard, American Express, which were known to have harassed Russian customers. Goodbye to the preeminence of American banks.

Russia must introduce its own server-hub for all interbank money-transfers (SWIFT). As it is today, USA-EU control the SWIFT computers in Belgium and USA, and they have free hand to spy, block and manipulate all Russian international money-transfers. The BRICS countries plus all the World’s ambitious developing countries quickly need to agree on a separate SWIFT money-transfer IT-system – with a quantum encryption not breakable by USA.

As a consequence of this conflict, Russia faces fantastic economic opportunities together with the World’s developing countries. Read my separate analysis “Russian Opportunity”.


According to IMF, Ukraine had 2013 a GDP/inhabitant of only USD 3,862 – just like Mongolia. Iraq had the double level of Ukraine. Albania was also higher. Previously, Ukraine could stay at level with countries like Egypt, Congo (Br.), Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Morocco. But the  West’s puppet regime in Kiev is taking Ukraine on a catastrophic way down to a level like Bolivia at USD 2,701 per inhabitant. A regime-change is needed, so Russia can change that. 

Ukrainian guest-workers in Russia send home money that make-up about 4% of Ukraine’s GDP – just much as is sent home by Ukrainian workers in the EU. Ukraine also depends on Russia for some of its biggest export-industries (including weapon-components for Russia) from companies which are located in East-Ukraine. But Kiev’s current elite is from the West.

Creating total defeat for Kiev’s punitive militias in East-Ukraine, with Russian forces entering west of Dnepropetrovsk, with gas-resources going down to only 1 month of consumption before Winter, and with a financial disaster for Ukraine, the operation described in this paper will quickly lead to moral, military, economic, and energy break-down for the regime in Kiev.

After this operation, Russia will have all the trumps to change the regime in Kiev, and to create a much better future for Ukraine within a close military-economic Union with Russia.

West-governments, banks, and IMF will lose billions of dollars they lent out to support a defunct violent puppet in Kiev, when a new friendly constitution dissolves Ukraine into a new legal state-entity - a Union with Russia. Such losses along with masochistic “sanctions” from EU that hurt EU itself – all that can predictably result in a new Western financial crisis.


Russia has room for improving its foreign communications. Communications must especially address the World opinion at large, diplomatic relations, and global business – to help them understand morally and intellectually that Russia is acting with fairness and from necessity.

Moral & Legitimate

Ukraine is a failed state. Regime change is necessary – Ukraine is already about to become a nest for Nazi-terror, refugee-waves, and serious destabilizations, which also threaten EU.

Regime-change does not need a declaration of war - and the UN is as usual totally irrelevant. These real-world principles of international law have been firmly established by USA on many occasions, including Panamá, Grenada and Iraq. UN restrictions are to be ignored – ref. Libya.

When it comes to lying about own secret wars, USA is a master-teacher: USA even invented the word for it: “Deniability”. USA conducted secret bombing of civilians and denied its army-operations in Cambodia for a long time, before USAs public could not be cheated any longer. In the first of USAs many wars in Afghanistan, USA armed their friend Osama Bin-Laden with Russian arms so that USA could deny, that USA had supplied the weapons (later USA betrayed Osama Bin-Laden, turning Osama Bin-Laden into what he later became).

When it comes to cutting out pieces of other peoples’ countries for own purposes, USA are supreme: Kosovo, Panamá, Texas, Florida, California, Hawaii, Philippines. Inserting puppet-regimes into neighboring countries is also a USA-expertise (Honduras, 2009).

Ukraine is billiard-game for USA-EU:  Billiard pushes one ball to hit the next. USA-EU have created a client-regime in Kiev, to take on Russia. After making Russia their client, they will operate Russia to encircle China and take on China from all sides. It really is that simple.


Novorossiya flag.pngNovo-Rossiya’s own institutions will probably without much external interference implement the consequences of the crimes committed by Kiev’s half-private fighting-units, staffed by Nazi-elements whose leader (a close friend of top US-politicians) paid a visit of Nazi-“solidarity” to the lawyer of convicted WWII KZ-guard criminal John Demyanyuk. Half-private Kiev-units, whose ethnic violence with Western support have destroyed apartment buildings and villages - making 300,000 East-Ukrainians refugees, cleansing much over 100,000 Russian-friendly refugees out of Ukraine. That is supported and silenced by the Western media and politicians, who are always loud against Russia.


After change to a friendly government in Kiev, Ukraine and Russia must form a Union for Defense and Economic Cooperation. Ukraine’s own interior-forces will assert the new Union’s sovereignty in all Ukrainian cities and provinces. In the new Union, large parts of Ukraine’s standing army will be dispatched to assist in the Union’s support of Central Asia, and to counter NATO’s build-up in the Baltic countries. In exchange for Ukrainian support in Central Asia and Siberian regions, some Russian forces will permanently be based in Ukraine to bolster the new Union’s south-western defenses. Also is in the interest of China and BRICS.

Ukrainian independence in 1990 was in many ways a mistake. Ukraine is in a dangerous state of disarray, worsened by cynical western manipulation of Ukraine’s internal affairs. Only Russia has the strength and motivation to put Ukraine on a good track. The new situation from a Russian operation in Ukraine will result in a win-win for Russia and Ukraine.

As demonstrated above, USA-EUs self-satisfaction can collapse easily. USAs so-called ”military guarantees” for Europe inside the NATO-cooperation are worth nothing. USA will never shed blood for Europe anymore. USAs cooperation with dark forces in Ukraine is about to create a catastrophe in Europe. The NATO-organization is just a high-profile career-ladder, which has created no usable political outcome since 1990 – just look at Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Pakistan, Somalia - and so on. NATO is expensive - puts out fire with gasoline.

As I wrote to the EU Parliament 18 October 2012: Without a Military Union inside the European Union, the EUs eastern flank is in reality unprotected, because NATO is not a believable organization. The Baltics are undefendable, Slovakia and Cyprus (for Turkey) are all raisins in a cake –to be picked out any time.


Karsten Riise
Partner & Editor