Malcolm Nance, intelligence analyst and MSNBC talking head, joins the fight in Ukraine

If the idea is to mint a bunch of new soldiers by sending untrained civilians through Boot Camp then yes, it makes more sense to favor young adults because they are likely to be faster, stronger and easier to mold. But this isn’t a situation where Ukraine gets to be choosy, nor is it a situation where they have a lot of time and resources to spend on training.

Any way you slice it, a reasonably fit 60-year-old with years of combat experience is going to be a net asset rather than a net liability.


The true asset here is that he stopped talking and walked the walk.

If the rest of the World did the same maybe Ukraine would be better off.


Exactly. One of the reasons the median age of American soldiers in Vietnam was so much lower than the median age of soldiers in World War II is because older soldiers might just have enough life experience to start questioning their superiors.


Indeed, if he wanted to help (and spoke Ukrainian) perhaps he would be better behind the lines, perhaps organizing logistics or training others. Or, staying in the US, and working 24/7 for Ukraine there. Shaking down connections for funds and weapons systems. Or, just personally writing a fat check. Going to Ukraine, giving interview in full battle gear, has a scent of Meal Team Six.

I can think of a lot of scenarios. Actual combat, for one.

He’s all those things… and the thing you think he should be doing is holding a rifle?

Except unlike those LARPers he actually went.


As someone who’s been reporting on the situation hopefully he’s well informed about what he’s getting himself into and can make a useful contribution, but per this article in Vice a couple weeks ago many foreign volunteers had a change of heart once they saw the situation firsthand. And apparently Ukraine already has enough people filling “training” roles.


Nut roaster


I dare you tell that to a bunch of Navy SEALs. The average age for active SEALs is 30-40.


Because there are no translators anymore???
Like @Brainspore said, There is pretty much no scenario in which a relatively fit 61 year old combat veteran would not be an asset.
And this guy has 20 years military experience, combat experience, expertise in intelligence, cryptography, terrorist strategy and tactics, and literally taught the course of how to survive as a POW.
It’s baffling to me why anyone would want to make the argument that him volunteering to help would be anything but a good thing. :woman_shrugging:t2:

ETA: I’m not sure why you replied by editing your previous post instead of continuing the conversation, it confuses the thread flow. But since you did…

No. I don’t think anyone should be holding a rifle. I don’t think Russia should be invading Ukraine. I don’t think people should be getting bombed.
What I think is that Nance will be an asset, and I have faith that the Ukraine military learned from their missteps with the first round of volunteers. I trust that they will vet volunteers, not take those that would be a burden, and find appropriate roles for those that will be an asset.


Can we not do things like edit comments to cause replies to be out-of-order to readers? If your primary goal isn’t readability of your comments, one has to question why one would make them in the first place.


It’s entirely possible that the higher-ranked Ukranians have some fluency in English, too. Back in my college days, one of my classmates was from Romania, and she had fluency in four languages and partial fluency in three more. While I don’t know what Ukranian schools require, some European universities have a strong emphasis on knowing several languages well, so the language barrier might not be as big a problem as some might assume.


I think anyone who might have to be in combat should be issued a rifle and have it near by, even if their primary role isn’t the front lines.

Though it is possible this was used more for a prop for the interview, I don’t think the army is actually hurting for small arms. I have seen calls for more heavy equipment, not small arms.

Exactly. If they let him join the group of foreign fighters, then there is a reason for that.


Ukraine is drafting its own up to his age and letting older fight.

When you’re in an existential crisis- it’s all hands onboard.


He has huge PR value for them as well. And connections in the US military leadership.

Even if they just use him to sell bonds. Like a certain WW2 veteran who was fighting well into his 90’s.


I don’t know if Steve Rogers really counts.


Apparently he lived there for a bit and had connections from people there he knew via the Defense Language Institute.


Understand Captain America GIF



Guns are very equalizing devices. If you’re hit by a bullet in the dark, you would have a very hard time telling if the person shooting were 16 or 60. Combat hardened troops tend to do better than green troops.


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