Tuesday, October 02, 2018

How long can GRU special ops sustain this attrition rate?

I'm watching this Chepiga crash play out in slow motion here. The Kremlin's information control on this is shot-to-shit - but that is not surprising - the Kremlin genuinely believes it can lie in a Trumpesque fashion out of any situation.

But here is the thing.

For something like Spetznaz (or any other really special unit) - the clearance rate is ~ 2%. They take 100 or so volunteers and about 2 guys make it through to the A grade troop. The rest go off to drown themselves in a bottle of alcohol somewhere and are never heard from again.

After that - the more operations you fling them into - the more you lose to attrition. Right now Putin's got his guys in the US, Syria, UK and Ukraine - and that is just the people we know about. That attrition has got to be bad. And it's the worst kind of attrition. Since you can't really train these people, you rely on their intelligence and wits to train themselves in the field. You lose a guy like this - you lose a giant.

You can't fill this gap with a random person - they would lost immediately. This kind of asset is carefully grown over decades. The only way you survive this type of attrition is by having a pipeline that talent spots, trains etc... but that is very expensive and requires long term thinking. Precisely the sort that is missing right now in Moscow.

This is not some Mercador level disposable asset - this is a full colonel with decades of experience in this line of work.

And thanks to this bizarre Skripal adventure - this guy is burned.

Sure can Putin appoint him to the Duma? - yeah but you know what? - he is still burned. He can't operate in the field. You are basically paying him not to defect at this point.

With each passing day - the Skripal hit makes less and less sense to me.

What was the point of this hit?

Was it supposed to remind GRU top brass not to defect?

What was Skripal sharing that was so important that they had to try (and fail) to shut him up?

These are questions no one will dare to ask in Moscow.

In a lifetime of watch intelligence guys fuck up - I have to say this is very high up in terms sheer fuck up per target.

Never seen anything like this - how long can this go on?


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