Ukraine War, August 30, 2022: HIMARS decoys in Ukraine: Orchestrated leaks could lose this war

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To see a list of previous articles, enter “Ukraine” in the Search Box on the upper right, on The Trenchant Observer web site, and you will see a list in chronological order.


1) John Hudson, “Ukraine lures Russian missiles with decoys of U.S. rocket system,” Washington Post, August 30, 2022 (2:00 a.m. EDT);

2) “Ukraine War, August 20, 2022: Pelosi visit–White House spins history, instead of getting it right; Large, orchestrated intelligence leak on Russian intelligence failures. To what end?,” Trenchant Observer, August 19, 2022;

3) “Ukraine War, May 7, 2022 (II): Biden administration blunders on intelligence sharing leaks points to need for personnel changes on foreign policy team,” Trenchant Observer, May 7, 2022;


Hudson reports on the latest orchestrated leaks from U.S. and Ukrainian officials:

KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine may be outgunned but in the latest sign it is not yet outfoxed, a fleet of decoys resembling advanced U.S. rocket systems has tricked Russian forces into wasting expensive long-range cruise missiles on dummy targets, according to interviews with senior U.S. and Ukrainian officials and photographs of the replicas reviewed by The Washington Post.

Why top U.S. officials would permit the release of such information, which is little more than chest-thumping by officials by releasing sensitive information that could help the Russians, is utterly unfathomable.

Why would you want to tell the Russians this?

Unfortunately, the release of such highly-sensitive information is consistent with a pattern of official leaks that goes way back and which suggests that White House officials think they can win the war through leaks and massaging the narrative. It is highly likely that these officials lack high-level experience in any major war.

These are probably the same officials who earlier orchestrated leaks about the high degree of coordination between U.S. military and intelligence officials and Ukrainian military officials, which probably included–despite denials–the provision of targeting information.

The release of this information suggests, once again, the urgent need for much stricter control of the release of sensitive military information, and the introduction of some form of military censorship regarding ongoing operations.

The Ukrainians should definitely not follow the bad example of American officials.

We are fighting a war with Russia. The sooner U.S. officials recognize and admit that fact, the better off we will all be.

The Trenchant Observer


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1) John Hudson, “Ukraine lures Russian missiles with decoys of U.S. rocket
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About the Author

James Rowles
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by James Rowles (aka "The Observer"), an author and international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. Dr. Rowles is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States OAS), in Wasington, D.C., , where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, Dr. Rowles has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. Dr. Rowles speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.=LL.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, Dr. Rowles has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on some the best articles that have appeared in the blog.