Third parties act with speed and initiative that risk-averse government bureaucracies lack

Monday, May 15th, 2023

NGOs are delivering equipment directly to Ukrainian units on the frontline, bypassing its Ministry of Defense:

Several Ukrainian soldiers told us that “It’s more common for the average Ukrainian unit to have 100 percent of its drones sourced from these non-governmental organizations [Prytula Foundation, Come Back Alive, and Monsters Corporation], not our Ministry of Defense…and these drones already come ‘modified’ so they’re ready for combat use when they arrive.”

These soldiers also told us that “Most Ukrainian units have half their vehicles coming from non-governmental organizations,” and that Come Back Alive arms all “Territorial defense units with ready fire support” by providing them “120-mm mortars with vehicles.” Volunteer organizations are providing night vision goggles and medical supplies, collecting and analyzing battlefield intelligence. Many international volunteers also serve a vital role with training simulators, delivering lethal aid, and buying and modifying simple drones to drop grenades.

Informal security aid reinforces a global narrative that Ukraine’s battle against Russian invaders is a just cause worthy of support. Third parties act with speed and initiative that risk-averse government bureaucracies lack and provide a low-profile and low-risk lever that Western governments can use to amplify the impacts of conventional assistance and strategic-level communications. Such hobbyists often work through important networks of people and trusted information sources beyond the reach of government agencies. Thus, private aid fits within the scope of irregular warfare.



  1. Gavin Longmuir says:

    One wonders how many of those “hobbyists” are getting paid by the CIA — courtesy of the much-abused US taxpayer?

  2. Bob Sykes says:

    NGO’s are supposed to be peace-making organizations, but in Ukraine they are revealed to be war-making. Of course, the US/NATO/EU has long used them to instigate coups and revolutions.

    Should the members of NGO’s be targeted as military units? Is there a reason not to?

  3. Jim says:

    I’d known that there was something dreadfully wrong in the world—I could feel it. Since 9/11, I’ve felt a gnawing sensation eating away at me. Then the TBTF Crisis of ‘08 unsettled my stomach, then the Ronahoax hit like a punch to the gut. ‘Tis awful stuff, permanently weakening; my constitution will never be the same. But I was never able to figure out who was responsible, I could never know quite who to blame. Now I know…and somehow I’ve always known.

    I hate hobbyists.

  4. Tom says:

    Unvetted ‘volunteers’ at the front line. Ripe for spies and saboteurs. Reasonable to expect a barrage after an aid package. Beware of Geeks bearing gifts.

  5. Pseudo-Chrysostom says:

    I wager such NGOers are in fact heavily vetted for faith in their shared religion (what modernes might call ‘ideological purity’). Noone who is not loudly enthusiastic about impressing the wonders of gay anal fisting and feminism on any and all benighted refuseniks around the globe gets to stay in the social circles and move up in the clubs.

    Tangential example illustrating these dynamics:

    Whenever vietcong would go around to settlements around the countryside, their number one priorities were to… what do you think, steal food? shanghai ‘recruits’? make caches or boltholes?

    If you thought any of those things you were wrong. Of course all this would indeed happen more often than not, but the *number one* motivating animus that the vietcong would go to population centers in search of, was faith. Faith in communism. Finding people who did not have faith in communism, and killing them. Being Fishers of Men, as it were. Stealing in over the middle of the night to LARP as a government, complete with kangaroo courts to mete out Judgements on Class Enemies, and dipping by morning. Everything else was secondary

    On one level this may seem farcial; they are in the middle of fighting a war, why are they bothering to care about whether Long Duc Dong, rice farmer of Bum Fuc, Vietnam, is making the right mouth noises about Party Class Theory or not? And in some part it is indeed farcial, a reflection of the totalizing control-freakery that is typical of the congenitally solipsistic in general.

    But on another level, it was also effective in its own way anyways, because *shared faith is the basis of all large scale, extended coordination*. Whether they consciously intended too or not, their priestly monomania on spreading and enforcing arcane ideological precepts over random peasants manufactured compliance for them, while smoking out any who would be opposed to them, removing compliance with their enemies. Effectively, they occupied ‘ground’ that the USG forces never even stepped foot on. The USG forces did legwork for them even, by destroying every other social organism that could or would compete with them over such ‘ground’, leaving them the sovereigns by default.

    The American forces were nominally there to fight communists, but offered no faith as an alternative to communism, and perversely seemed to spend an inordinate amount of attention on actually demolishing faiths opposed to communism. They were nominally there to fight communists, but under the direction of leadership that themselves shared personal affinity with their marxian fellow travelers. If they were to have endeavored to establish and enforce a state church, it would have been functionally indistinguishable to that of the communists; but then they were there to fight communists; but then if they were the kind of force that could establish and enforce a state church that communism was antithetical too, that would have brought them into conflict with their own leadership too; so they did nothing at all instead, and merely went through the motions of doing something. Instead of fighting a war, staging cargo cult kabuki theater facsimiles of fighting a war, spending egregious sums of blood and treasure in the process, and achieving less than nothing in the end. The history of the late Wilsonian Order is a history of futile geopolitical masturbation sessions.

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