Mark Hertling Profile picture
Retired soldier. Loves family, dedicated to nation. Student of leadership, nat’l security & healthcare. Cardinals fan.
Fellakommando Südost 🇩🇪🇪🇺🇺🇦 Profile picture Barb Profile picture corq Profile picture Ella Sanders Profile picture Dame Chris🌟🇺🇦😷 #RejoinEU #FBPE #GTTO🔶️ Profile picture 385 subscribed
Mar 14 9 tweets 4 min read
Woke up to several texts from journalists asking my thoughts on "West Point dropping duty, honor, country from their motto?" and one wrote "does this mean the Academy has gone 'woke'?"

My first thought: "let me get a cup of coffee before addressing this craziness."

A 🧵 1/9 Image This week, graduates received a letter from LTG Steve Gilland -the Superintendent (the USMA college president)- of @WestPoint_USMA informing of changes in the MISSION STATEMENT (NOT the motto).

The letter specifically said the MOTTO "Duty, Honor, Country" has NOT changed. 2/ Image
Mar 10 9 tweets 4 min read
"Logistics determine the art of the possible."

Many of you have heard me say this multiple times with respect to the war in Ukraine.

Now we'll start seeing the same in Gaza with JLTOTS pronounced "Jay-Lots" for the media).

A 🧵 1/9 Image "Logistics determine the art of the possible."

Many of you have heard me say this multiple times with respect to the war in Ukraine.

Now we'll start seeing the same in Gaza with JLTOTS pronounced "Jay-Lots" for the media).

A 🧵 1/9
Feb 20 16 tweets 3 min read
On 24 Feb 2022, I scribbled some thoughts about what I believed were Putin's strategic objectives in invading Ukraine (see chart).

In the 1st 18 months of the conflict, Ukraines' action, NATO collaboration & US support caused him to fail.

We're at an inflection point. A 🧵1/ Image Addressing each:
1. Zelenskyy is still strong
2. Ukraine's army is still fighting
3. Ukraine's population is resilient
4. Ru does not control the Black sea ports
5. The west - especially the US - has returned to being divided, and NATO may now take fewer risks. 2/
Feb 8 9 tweets 4 min read
Many US media outlets proclaiming "Zelenskyy sacks Zaluzhnyi" or "Zaluzhnyi fired!"

I don't see it that way.

Allow me to provide some context. A 🧵

1/ GEN Zaluzhnyi is 51 y.o., extremely young for a Commander of any nation's Armed Forces. Most 4-star generals are in their 60's with much more experience.

Since Feb '22 he's been the tactical, opn'l & strategic leader of the toughest fight we've seen in the 21st century. 2/ Image
Feb 4 8 tweets 2 min read
Expanding on what I said on @CNN this morning.

Deterrence defined: The action or actions used to discourage an event by means of instilling doubt or fear of the consequences over time.

Many say deterrence against Iran & its proxies is failing.

It's too early to tell. 1/8 DETERRENCE is one technique that MAY contribute to national security strategy.

Some define strategy as the use of different MEANS in specific WAYS to reach on END STATE or OBJECTIVE.

I agree with that definition...and it's sorta like deterrence. 2/
Oct 24, 2023 11 tweets 2 min read
This afternoon I had a conversation w/ a very savvy Jewish journalist. We were talking about the films we’ve both seen of Hamas atrocities.

The horrific murders, the beheadings, child rapes, burning of bound mothers & children…all filmed on GoPro cameras & distributed. 1/11 She was shocked when I said I had seen many of these acts before. Al Qaida, ISIS & even Russian soldiers

It’s part of the playbook of intimidation w/ the message: this is our land, you don’t belong!

It’s a technique from past centuries. 2/
Oct 15, 2023 4 tweets 1 min read
Flying to NYC to be w/ @CNN in my role as military analyst next week.

Praying for strength to address this war & help others gain insight. But like the war in Ukraine, it is always very difficult.

Because having seen & studied war, I know about fighting.

But…1/4 …what’s hard is not being on the field, yet trying to explain battles & operations and the horrific associated civilian suffering & death, criminal acts & terrorism.

These 2 wars - Ukraine & Israel - require tough decisions & hard calls by leaders in govt & military. 2/
Oct 5, 2023 7 tweets 2 min read
A short 🧵

On 21 Feb '22, @CNN asked me to come to NY for the potential start of RU's invasion of Ukraine.

To do the job as military analyst, I knew I had to first link Putin's political objectives to his general's military operations. I scribbled this list on the flight: 1/7 Image I did the same for Zelenskyy (below) & then started to consider what would be the resulting operations from both sides.

Putin's political objectives were too ambitious for his force...and Zelenskyy had a competent force that would need a lot of help. 2/ Image
Oct 1, 2023 9 tweets 2 min read
Having had the great fortune of spending 16 years in overseas locations during a 38 year military career, I always think of how US current events are seen from the perspective of our allies, partners & foes.

A short 🧵 on those thoughts. 1/9 Serving 12 yrs in EU, 3 yrs in the ME, & many non-consecutive months in Asia & S. America, it seemed most -not all- foreign views of the US, what we claim we stand for & believe in, were positive.

To be sure, there are a few ugly Americans who besmirch our reputation. 2/
Aug 31, 2023 13 tweets 4 min read
After boneheaded comments by 'anonymous sources' & commentary by mostly uninformed who have never seen combat, there's been increasing back-and-forth about how @NATO shouldn't "lecture" Ukraine's army on anything re their offensive.

IMHO, none of this is helpful. A 🧵1/13 The conversations between senior military leaders is likely a lot different than what's reported.

In my experience, these exchanges - in combat & in training - are extremely helpful. I'm sure GEN Zaluzhnyi is thankful for the support. 2/…
Aug 24, 2023 4 tweets 1 min read
The Marshall Center’s @andrewmichta is absolutely correct on this.

The “pivot to Asia” commentary was a mistake made during the Obama admin, and we should avoid it at all costs. It not only gives options to our foes/competitors, it confuses our allies & partners. 1/4 I happened to be in Tblisi for a visit with my Georgian counterpart in 2012 when @StateDept first messaged that term. The 🇬🇪 President called me to his office and asked what “pivot” from Europe meant.

It was a tense conversation. 2/ Image
Aug 21, 2023 11 tweets 3 min read
Since the start of the Russia invasion, I believed Ukraine would persevere. That hasn’t changed, though the battlefield conditions have.

Recently, many have reported “slow movement,” “stumbling,” “lack of success,” of UAF, from those unfamiliar with operational details. 1/ By “operational details,” I mean conditions of the battlefield…those things that affect gaining ground or achieving success by a force.

Often times in combat, units take 3 steps forward, 2 back.

I know this from personal experience. 2/
Aug 6, 2023 11 tweets 3 min read
On @CNN today, @VictorBlackwell surprisingly asked about the state of the Peace Conference being held in KSA.

This conference hasn't received much coverage but it is important to Ukraine's should guide those offering thoughts on what will bring peace to UKR. 1/ Over 40 countries participated (Russia wasn't invited). Unlike most "peace conferences" this gathering allowed @ZelenskyyUa to inform and garner support for his 10- point plan while addressing issues of global order.

@Reuters outlines the strategy.2/…
Jul 8, 2023 9 tweets 2 min read
After @biden's tough call to provide Ukraine with 100s of 1000's of rounds of cluster munitions, Ukrainian MOD @oleksiireznikov provides rationale & assurances (in 5 statements) of how they will be used.

But the debate continues, as some US senators now question that call. 1/8 Reznikov's 5 principles:
-only used for "deoccupation" of UKR territory
-won't use in urban areas (unlike Russians)
-UAF will keep records of where rounds are fired
-those areas will be "prioritized" for de-mining after the war
-UKR will report effectiveness to allies. 2/
Jul 5, 2023 14 tweets 5 min read
During the 4 July holiday, had a chance to speak with @vausecnn of @cnni about Ukraine. A relatively long on-air discussion (below).

One thing we didn't address: battlefield conditions & fear.

A new 🧵. 1/14… In the last few weeks, many have questioned the speed of Ukraine's offensive.

Most doing so haven't ever been on a high intensity battlefield. Fewer still have fought in those conditions.

While debate usually centers on forces, tactics, equipment, few discuss "conditions." 2/
Jun 30, 2023 15 tweets 5 min read
My @cnn colleagues @NatashaBertrand & @jimsciutto are reporting on the "cluster munition' decision that seems to be at a critical point.

They go by many names:
-"Cluster munitions."
-DP-ICM (Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munitions).
-"Steel Rain."

Here's a 🧵on them. 1/ I'll start by saying this: Approval will be a tough call for the Biden Administration. I can understand that.

It's because I have a bit of history w/ these weapons, from Desert Storm. I'm mentioned in this article. 2/…
Jun 30, 2023 4 tweets 1 min read
The great @ErinBurnett did a lead in to this story tonight at 7 ET, and I was hoping she'd ask me about this.

This could either be a big deal, or no big deal.

Suvorikin is an RU air force general. He's been with Prigozhin in several conflicts. 1/4… "General Armegeddon" & "Putin's Chef" share the same approach...scorched earth, terrorize civilians, commit unchecked war crimes, pay no attention to the rules of land warfare or international law.

Oh, and they don't really care for/lead their own troops, either. 2/4
Jun 26, 2023 13 tweets 4 min read
"The greatest distance on the battlefield is the 6 inches between the ears of the commander...and that's the commander at EVERY level."

Words of wisdom from a much respected military mentor of mine.

What's that mean & how does it relate to the weekend's events in RU? A 🧵 1/13 Good commanders of military organizations serve their country, their leaders, the people (in the US case, that is why we "support & defend the Constitution").

That service is based -to paraphrase 1 of Clausewitz's many trinities of war - on "trust." 2/
Jun 24, 2023 5 tweets 1 min read
It hit me we're thinking of Prigozhin in the wrong way.

His actions have confused us these last 48 hours (and beyond) because we see him as the leader of a large mercenary body, fighting for pay (or freedom from jail) instead of what soldiers fight to defend (the state). 1/4 After some research, I'm now concluding he fits the definition of a modern day warlord, with these attributes:

Here are the characteristics of a warlord: · an individual with limited military skills, who is accountable to no one, who has no true ideology... 2/4
Jun 16, 2023 11 tweets 3 min read
"Soldier's Heart."

2 decades ago, I met a unique person at West Point.

An Ivy League English Literature Professor teaching Plebes (Freshmen), Elizabeth Samet was writing a book about how cadets were facing the wars that would define their generation. 1/11 Image In that book, she describes what it was like coming to a place like @WestPoint_USMA, and learning the military culture.

She would teach cadets about war, masterfully using literature to describe what they would soon face.

They loved her for that. 2/…
Jun 13, 2023 12 tweets 2 min read
A former President is being indicted - for the 2d time - & there's non-stop coverage.

Some good analysis, some not so good.

Many keep bringing up how "those in the military are likely the most upset about Trump absconding with intel secrets."

Yes, but there's more. 1/ Having read the indictment (4x's now), the amount & type of classified information Trump took, hid, did not secure, and refused to give back is, IMHO, gobsmacking.

Many analysts have called them "war plans." I doubt any documents fit into that specific contingency category. 2/