Julian Macfarlane: The Rite of Ritter

Julian Macfarlane: The Rite of Ritter

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Written by Julian Macfarlane, Tokyo based investigative journalist, writer, author, geopolitical and military analyst

USMC hot dog-ma

I like Scott Ritter —he is often almost right.

What the Ukrainians have had to do is pull in reserves and take forces out from other fronts, including the Kharkov front and the Odessa front, to come into the battlefield where they’ve been eliminated, or they’ve been worn down and there are no replacements…what’s going to happen is Ukraine will be compelled to withdraw reserves from the Kiev region and from Odessa, to go to Kharkov to fill that gap. While they do that, the Russians will then launch a second major attack somewhere in the Zaporozhye area, and Ukrainians are going to be put to the classic horns of a dilemma where if they go north they lose, they go south they lose, if they stay in the middle they lose – there’s no good option for them.…

Scott Ritter to Ria Novosti

I say “almost” because he is a USMC officer whose understanding is framed by USMC doctrine. Asking him about Russian strategy is like asking a Catholic priest about evolution.

To understand my point of view, you need to read my upcoming, much-revised, over-due longer article on military strategy—but let’s (over) simplify and say that NATO, never having been a peer-level war, thinks of “war” as having just two discreet modes strategically– “maneuver” (mobility especially in attack). and “attrition” (firepower, especially in defense) — offense and defense as in American football, which is the keystone of all American intellectual activity. Along with hotdogs and beer.

As I said, this is oversimplification! But bear (bare?) with me.

The now famously NATO directed and bungled Ukrainian counteroffensive demonstrates the danger of simplistic prescriptions.

At face value, Ritter’s idea of a Russian summer offensive seems like a good idea. Beer and hotdogs,

But look at the map – Ukraine is huge, and in that blue part is Nazi occupied Ukraine!

Julian Macfarlane: The Rite of Ritter


An additional problem is that the Banderites have had a decade to brainwash the locals, a lot longer than Hitler had with the German people. So lotsa crazies.

Julian Macfarlane: The Rite of Ritter

No, not Ukrainians….Canadians!

Victory in the areas now under contention—where Russian Ukrainians are in the majority –are probably meaningless without neutralization of the rest of the country.

To do that, it is far better to encourage suicide attacks by the UAF, defending occupied Russian ethnic towns and villages. Brainwashed or not, the average “non-political” Ukrainian will start to ask questions. Who bit the first zombie?

Julian Macfarlane: The Rite of Ritter

I do not mean to disrespect the death. I do mean to disrespect those who condemned them to their fate.

The Russians are already contesting the Zaporozhye area—focusing, as elsewhere, on dismantling the Maginot Grid—maneuvering to attrit Ukrainian forces in towns and villages.

What Ritter is talking about seems to be launching a large-scale attack, a conventional attack in force—division size — which means brute force assaults rather than mobility and flexibility. Probably with the goal of taking Zaporozhye city and its 728,000 inhabitants.

How to do that without destroying the city?

How to do that without tying up Russian forces who could be better used elsewhere?

How to reduce casualties?

Better to isolate the city and force an unconditional surrender from Kiev or force the regime to flee to the West.

In either case, UAF forces in the cities, including Odessa, would be cut off from supplies and reinforcement, in a potentially hostile environment. What would be the point in continued resistance?

As it stands, the Russians are making good progress in Kharkov, which is mostly open fields and a few poorly fortified villages where the local troops flee when birds poop. The Kiev regime has been drawing reserves from Odessa and Kherson and Kiev and elsewhere, with losses increasing every day. Figure 30,000 a month. May…June…July…/

With most of the Banderite regime, including Zelensky on Russia’s criminal list, there can be no negotiations with them. And since the Banderites purged everyone else….

At some point, the Nazis must flee. It is then not a clean slate — but a dirty dish that needs detergent.

Oh well, maybe Russia gets to add F16s to its arsenal.


Julian Macfarlane: The Rite of Ritter

I learned to think “linear” when I was 18, thanks to a talented therapist.

Until that time I had a lot of time communicating logically or writing essays. It wasn’t easy.

People like me are “rhizome” thinkers, just as in the picture. Most people can do think this way, especially children but they shift to the linear mode when they go to school. If they don’t, they have trouble reading and writing and with arithmetic (as I did).

Schools don’t like non-linear kids because schools are…well…all about straight lines, and numbers and letters in sequence or order, a, b, c, d — 1, 2, 3, 4 — not a, 4, x, 7, g, 2. Straight lines, squares…. Oh— and groups! EQ means your ability to fit in.

Non-linear kids are also usually eidetic — meaning, the organize things in pictures or images. We have really messy minds. We don’t fit in. And our EQs suck.

So, when I write things, I am putting a lot of strange stuff together.

Because of that rhizome thing, my special articles take time —not just the one on the coming US collapse but also the one that was supposed to come out today on strategy—why the West cannot understand Russian strategy, and what that means for the future.

What does Miyamoto Musashi have to do with that?

What do Godel and Heisenberg have to do with that?

How about the high school dropout became the most famous strategist in modern history? This guy:

“Tiger,” he would say, “one day you will come to a fork in the road:

And you’re going to have to make a decision about which direction you want to go.”

He raised his hand and pointed.

“If you go that way you can be somebody. You will have to make compromises and you will have to turn your back on your friends. But you will be a member of the club and you will get promoted and you will get good assignments.”

Then Boyd raised his other hand and pointed another direction.

“Or you can go that way and you can do something — something for your country and for your Air Force and for yourself. If you decide you want to do something, you may not get promoted and you may not get the good assignments and you certainly will not be a favorite of your superiors. But you won’t have to compromise yourself. You will be true to your friends and to yourself. And your work might make a difference.

To be somebody or to do something. In life there is often a roll call. That’s when you will have to make a decision. To be or to do? Which way will you go?” (John Boyd)

Did I forget the Toyota Way? That’s strategy too.

Everyone’s disability is an ability.

To read more articles please click here to go to Substack page.


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scott is the man, my man. live with it.


i have no idea wtf he is talking about with “rhizome thinkers v linear thinkers”. i would need some sort of concrete example of rhizome thinking before i accept that it is a real thing, rather than a learning difficulty.


not to mention that “the most famous strategist in modern history” is a guy i’ve never even heard of.


i have to admit that i have never heard of rhisome thinkers either. that said i think it was a well written article and i thought the writer made some valid points and provided some insights into the militarys thinking.


how on earth did this get published? it reads like it was written by a high schooler. scott ritter is more or less correct. you can split hairs if you’d like, but ultimately what’s going on here is that russia finally wised up and started bringing to bear their superiority in manpower and equipment against already overstretched and work out ukrainian defenders. if ukraine pulls men from other fronts, those fronts collapse. if they don’t, then kharkov is likely to fall.


look, my name is julian macfarlane, i mix everything up, i think in 4-5-6 dimensions while most people barely think at all, in other words i’m great. you may not be able to follow me but at least you can admire my writing. please follow me on substack for some other out-of-this-world toughts.


i always distrust people who don’t know the difference between “discreet” and “discrete.”
or even “bear” and “bare,” for that matter.


what is this nonsense? juvenile meanderings of a damaged prefronal cortex? drugs or frontal impact? stick to basketry or whatever you played at before attempting to write. ritter’s not always right but your efforts make him shine.