At present, the collective west is working itself up into a frenzy because Ukraine is losing.
Ukraine is losing because it is running its army as a political operation. Just like when the H. Man in W.W.II Germany was a pretty good orator who styled himself a great General, the Z. Man is a pretty good comedian / actor who has styled himself a great General. Both made decisions based on their Emotional Needs and Political Optics; both lost large armies as a result. Both OUGHT to have taken their highly trained and experienced Real Generals, put one in charge, and then sat back to watch. Putin has put a highly trained and experienced Real General in charge and is NOT micromanaging the war. So Russia is winning.
The West is full of a load of Talking Head Politicians who are not Real Military Anything but are SURE absolutely SURE that the path to “Victory For Ukraine!!!” is simple: “More”. More tanks, more ammo, more money, more dead soldiers. Except that Ukraine has shot up most all of the available ammo that fits the old Soviet Guns Ukraine started with, and is reaching the end of the US cannon ammo. Ukraine has also used up the army it started out with. Traded it for some mostly empty land of no strategic value in “Great Victories” ™ /snark;
Now, the collective West (mostly UK, EU & USA) can’t really give “more” cannons & cannon ammo. But since THE only answer is “More!”, it’s moved on down to armored vehicles. France with wheeled armor and a British gun; well suited to flying into Africa; but mud and ice of Ukraine, not so much. USA is sending a load of Bradley Fighting Vehicles. They have a nice, but small, 25 mm (about 1 inch) “cannon” on them, and TOW Missiles. They take a long time to lean to use, and have Aluminum “Armor” that will stop a .30 Cal (but not a .50 Cal or larger…). VERY good as an infantry fighting vehicle (as long as you have close air support, tanks in front, and effective artillery cover along with very good Air Defense Systems to assure the enemy can not get air dominance. We are not sending all that other stuff… So the Bradley’s will largely be “targets”… Then we can send “More!” when that doesn’t go well.
Germany is being pressured to send Leopard II tanks, and the UK has sent a few Challenger tanks. Those, like the Abrams, are big heavy complicated machines. All of them are good for about 300 miles then you do some serious maintenance (if not before). Typically they have a full support jungle of specialists to work on fixing all the complicated systems. Crews train for years to operate them without breaking them. They are heavy. The Abrams is, IIRC, about 60 tons. Few bridges can take them. A fully loaded US Semi-Truck & Trailer limits at about 56,000 lbs, or 28 Tons. Bridges strong enough for major trucks are not enough for a Tank. Ditto roads. Soft deep mud is an issue too.
To support western Main Battle Tanks, there’s a logistics tail of hundreds of folks highly trained in all sorts of specialties. Optics. Electronics. Turbines & Diesels. Tracks & Turrets. Loaders & guns. Just because you can overhaul a VW Diesel, doesn’t mean you can do a Leopard II and being good with Rolls Royce Jets doesn’t mean you can fix an Abrams multifuel land turbine. Oh, and Standard Procedure is to pull the engine, put in a working spare, and send the broken one for repair. That’s a 500+ mile Round Trip from Ukraine to Poland (at a minimum).
Just for fun, all these main battle tanks use different ammunition. Figure on a 3 x as complicated inventory management problem, plus shipping confusion getting the right ammo to the right unit at the right time. IF anyone has any spare ammo laying around to ship… from wherever it is in the world.
It is said that amateurs talk about tactics while professionals talk about logistics. Our “Leaders” are talking about anything else but Logistics. Where are the needed supplies, spares, tools, machine shops, shop manuals (in Ukrainian?)? Who are the needed service technicians, drivers, clerks, shop foremen? Where are they? Where can they be stationed and not be “Enemy Combatants”? Can all these things be brought together in a suitable facility and in time? How far will they be from the battle front? How will vehicles get to the repair facility when disabled? ALL of that must be answered (and more…) or your Main Battle Tank will rapidly become a Large Metal Brick, and then a flaming pile of junk.
Yet our political hacks running this shit show just DEMAND that we all chip in a few of many different tanks in a disorganized logistics nightmare.
There is ZERO strategy in “More!”. There’s very little tactics in “More!”. There’s a huge cost, risk, and logistics failure in “More!”. For any given weapon to be useful in a battle, it must be part of and integrated into a Battle Plan. All of the who, what, when, where, how and LOGISTICS for all of those things. NONE of that is in evidence. Just “We must send MORE!!!” ’cause that’s the ticket.
This kind of stupidity will just result in more destroyed equipment and more dead crews. Why? Because Russia does have a Battle Plan, knows about Logistics, and has carefully prepared for about 9 months now. (Yes, their first Battle Plan worked fine right up until Boris Johnson forbade any negotiated settlement with Russia and NATO got into the act to “fight to the last Ukrainian”. Then they had to go to Plan B – Fight NATO by Proxy.)
Oh, and it is highly unlikely any of the main battle tanks AND the logistics supplies & facilities to support them can make it to Ukraine in time to even show up at the front. At most, it might be that the 14 Challenger tanks sent by the UK might make it to Kiev in time to be blown up in about March… since they will not have all that supporting Close Air Support, Infantry, Air Defense, a few hundred other tanks around them, and all the other things needed for Combined Arms Forces to survive.
But all that does not fit on a cocktail napkin, so will never penetrate the skulls of Macron, Biden, Schultz, Whoever is running the UK this week, or anyone in Congress. Just “More!!”…
They’ve had a year and only have the three provinces they started with. This is not the sign of effective armed forces. They don’t work together, they don’t tell each other anything. Their logistics didn’t work well enough to support mobile warfare. The stores, the massive stores of equipment dating back to at least the Soviet era, have been ripped off by a corrupt system of false reporting and selling out of the back door.
They can still ‘win’, because ultimately numbers work in their favour, but it won’t be pretty and what they win will be control of a country where the population hates them, insufficient resources to take on a fight elsewhere, Wagner going home to Chechnya and deciding to kick Russia out, ongoing economic problems due to sanctions.
That’s what Russia looks like to me, with my COPIOUS military experience ha ha.
Nothing I write is an endorsement of western policies or actions, which seem as stupid to me as they do to you.
And no, I don’t have any faith in sanctions or real data of how effective they are. I do know they are affecting the economy of Naples FL. No Russians.
Here’s Boris again, in the UK MSM.
“What the hell is the West waiting for? … Let us be in no doubt. Ukraine is winning and will win this war. Ukrainian hearts are high and their determination is hardening every day. Drive around the outskirts of Kyiv, and you will see how ferociously they fought to protect their hearths and homes, and how ludicrously Putin misunderstood his enemy.”
Sanity is in short supply. But no shortage of delusional PR and spin. I’m reminded of the Iraqi Minister of Information.
“Germany is being pressured to send Leopard II tanks, and the UK has sent a few Challenger tanks.”
A friend with German connections says that there’s growing awareness – and resentment – in Germany over how well it’s been screwed over by the USA. Starting with (they shall not be named) whoever bombed the Nord gas pipeline and the effects on German industry.
Along with a visceral memory that the last time Germany sent tanks into Ukraine, it ended-up with Soviet tanks in Berlin. This is the kind of dimension that seems to be completely missing from US-thinking. Actions have consequences, but out-of-sight and out-of-mind for most folks in the US.
Meanwhile, the UK has *announced* it will be sending those 14 tanks – “in the coming weeks” – with armoured recovery and repair vehicles – sometime soon, honest! We’ve just got to get them out of storage, repair them and get them ready …
How to get them there? From where? The Royal Tank Regiment (with the spares) are in two bases, as they openly advertise.
These are about 40 miles and 80 miles south the RAF airfield used for most UK military heavy transport. That has a few Boeing Globemasters that could airfreight them (but just one at a time).
Perhaps (to maximise the NATO virtue signalling) they will fly out a couple early, with support crews, equipment and parts to follow.
To where? Presumably somewhere like southern Poland. Or Romania, which is in NATO as well, and closer to the action. But then what? Convoys of heavy trucks heading towards the front have a pretty strong thermal signature …
Like you say, logistics, logistics, logistics…
Boris thinks he is Winston, but most of the time he’s not even Boris. Nowadays he is a back-bench MP with no right to influence policy or take part in world affairs.
rhoda klapp: “And no, I don’t have any faith in sanctions or real data of how effective they are. I do know they are affecting the economy of Naples FL. No Russians.”
Ha! Yeah, pResident Biden can’t keep any old random Jose or Juanita out of the US. But by golly! Ain’t no Russkies gonna get through to the US.
Well, Germany has been “screwed”; but much of it was done by Germans. Yes, excluding Russia from NATO when they asked to join was, apparently, a major mistake. Flip side of that is European history and the centuries of grudges held by lots of folk. That’s partly why the royal houses of Europe tried intermarriage; to get past some of the grudges. My opinion, of course, said by an American “mutt” who has ancestry from lots of different places.
Oh, and when we talk bloody ideologies, tell me how much difference there is between national socialism and international (globalist) socialism. /sarc
@cdquarles, we would have to ask that between Lenin and Stalin. /sarc
They would give you the theory answer. The pragmatic answer was always bloody.
With all the excitement about sending some old tanks, perhaps it’s gone unnoticed what else we’re sending.
“The United Kingdom’s accelerated package consists of a squadron of Challenger 2 tanks with armoured recovery and repair vehicles; AS90 self-propelled 155mm guns, while preserving their commitment in Estonia; hundreds more armoured and protected vehicles; a manoeuvre support package, including minefield breaching and bridging capabilities; dozens more un-crewed aerial systems to support Ukrainian artillery; another 100,000 artillery rounds; hundreds more sophisticated missiles including GMLRS rockets, Starstreak air defence missiles, and medium range air defence missiles; 600 Brimstone anti-tank munitions; an equipment support package of spares to refurbish up to a hundred Ukrainian tanks and infantry fighting vehicles.
I’m not sure what commitment in Estonia means. More NATO forces on a different Russian border?
“minefield breaching and bridging capabilities” suggests they think/hope the Ukraine might even be able to go on the offensive.
“un-crewed aerial systems” – sounds like drones with video feed – perhaps one of the actually useful parts?
“hundreds more sophisticated missiles including GMLRS rockets, Starstreak air defence missiles, and medium range air defence missiles;”
I’m told the GMLRS are unguided 280mm rockets with a range of 40-60km
Starstreak is a British short-range surface to air missile – assuming aerial targets?
600 Brimstone anti-tank munitions – again, perhaps one of the actually useful parts?
Follow the money:
Some points to keep in mind:
1) At the start, Putin said they only wanted to protect the folks in the Donbass, which is those 3 provinces. To say they “only” have them, is to say they only accomplished their original goal.
2) Even the Ukrainian high ranking officials have stated that originally Russia entered with a very nice approach, not wanting to kill anyone if it could be avoided. The Russian goal was to get Ukraine to the negotiating table (so as to enforce the Minsk agreements to protect The Donbass). That sort of worked up until Boris Johnson & the CIA told Mr. Z not to make a deal. Again, high ranking officials advising Mr. Z. have stated publicly their intent (from 2014 to 2021) was to build up a large force to attack Russia / goad it into a war; and they had NO intention of honoring the Minsk agreements. (Nor, they have said lately, to ‘negotiate’ in good faith after the Russians first entered).
So don’t attribute to incompetence that which is in fact “trying not to kill and destroy” as a goal.
3) What is the source for your assertion that the Russians are not coordinated, or have bad logistics? What I’ve observed over the length of this war is the opposite. They ran a “Fixing Operation” that ran a tank column at Keiv which worked just fine. Anchored armies up north while they took the east. Then pulled the tanks back without much at all in the way of losses. Yeah, the stupid West said “Oh, look, Tanks out of gas!!! Ha Ha!!” completely missing that the actual goal was: NOT to kill and destroy, but to prevent moving forces south and east against the real action; THEN to retreat with pretty much full preservation of that force. All while they took exactly the places they said they wanted to take. Similarly, Kherson City was strategically evacuated in very good order and without losses. This freed their paratroops from “ground defense” of not very useful ground (and for use in future airborne operations…) while getting 5 figure sized military out of the potential flood zone when Ukraine was talking about blowing a damn.
From what I’ve seen, they have done quite well. Remember, too, that their initial incursion was with about 200,000 troops against a much larger (350k to 400k) Ukrainian force; yet they achieved their goals with minimal losses. (A “force conservation” mode of battle)
4) Their supposedly “ripped off” stores has them still shelling about 20,000 rounds a day… with no end in sight. Looks like it’s there to me… They are also outfitting a 400,000 man mobilization (of which about 80,000 are flat out volunteers… so morale seems pretty high) without breaking a sweat. What proof is there, other than bald assertion by biased MSM reporters, of this lack of resources? Eh?
5) Per Wagner packing it in: Nope. They are currently rolling up 2 or 3 cities / villages per day headed for the Dniper river. Bakhmut is nearly encircled (and they could close the door at any time they like, but Stupid Mr. Z. keeps sending more troops to be cooked in the Cauldron… so keeping the door open until the optimal packed Kill Box is full. These folks are speeding up, not slowing down, and not at all interested in leaving their money trough. (They are paid mercenaries…)
One group of them, just a couple of days ago, dressed up in Ukrainian uniforms, drove into a Ukrainian Tank HQ, killed everyone, and drove out in the captured Ukrainian tanks. THAT is going to be one big bonus and with zero losses on their part, per the report.
What I see is a Russian Military working Just Fine, a BIG store of weapons and ammo, and manpower to the horizon. Lots of motivation in the population and in the army, and successes racking up on the battlefield ( I check it daily).
There was one BIG F.UP, IMO: Putin tried to not kill and destroy and just nudge Mr. Z. to the negotiating table (he refers to the Ukrainians as fellow Slavs and Cousins, if not Brothers…). That was a mistake. We have now had all sorts of folks from Ukraine and the EU state that there was no intention to honor Minsk accords, nor to negotiate in good faith. The most recent said that during the early pause to “negotiate” in Turkey: Ukraine was only playing for time to mobilize.
That, then, had the result of NATO escalating at every turn. Putin wanted a negotiated peace with minimal death and damage, what he got was NATO not only activating the Ukrainian Assault they had planned and worked toward since 2014, but also a full on NATO War By Proxy. At that time (about Jan Annual Address), Putin gave up on the “nice” approach and announced the full mobilization. Also the turn to Asia economically.
So now we have NATO “in it to win it” with everything but troops in their own uniforms (they put on Ukrainian uniforms and call themselves “volunteers”…) and Russia is activating a 1.5 MILLION man army. No matter what we want to call this, it IS a NATO v. Russia war right now. Russia is ready for it, NATO clearly is not.
Putin asked for the status of the army report to be delivered to him by February. It is to detail that every soldier has what they need in clothing, weapons, chow, ammo, etc. My guess is that the Big Balloon goes up when he gives the OK. This will be way way before any western Vonder Vepons can be on their way to Poland…
Yeah, saw Boris in the stage managed greeting with Mr. Z. So we have 2 more or less nobodies saying how great things are going; all while Ukraine has well over 100,000 dead soldiers that we know of – remember they are not counting a lot of them, and likely to get another 30,000 in the Bakhmut Cauldron when that door closes…
Yeah, I saw the laundry list. Looks to me like a lot of arms manufacturers want to get some real world testing done… Just send a little bit of everything to see what works and what is trash…
The difference between them is pretty simple:
National Socialism (aka NAZI) wants socialism for ONLY their one nation. Then they want to set about killing folks who are not part of their nation as they expand their nation to cover the world.
INTERnational Socialism want’s to convert folks / countries to Socialism by persuasion and example, and if that doesn’t work, to invade, conquer and convert the survivors. It likes to spread by metastasis first, only killing and destroying if you resist…
See, big difference! /snark;
A couple example videos that show the German generals in WW2 are over rated: https://youtu.be/hzr6dD8fvVY https://youtu.be/nvjphjclEaQ
A hundred years ago, Lenin and Stalin (and Trotsky) did argue about the role of “nationalism” in socialism. Herr H. wasn’t on the radar yet.
This is interesting because of the echoes of it today.
For Lenin, the idea of building global communism was the primary goal, and Russia was only the means. Stalin was convinced that the most important thing was to retain power domestically, and ideas about a worldwide revolution could lead to its loss, and therefore was considered dangerous.
In 1921, Stalin looked at the possibility of joining all the Socialist Republics to Russia while granting them broad autonomy.
Lenin and Trotsky thought quite differently. They believed to a much greater extent in the idea of a world revolution and were also guided by the economic theory of communism. […] They believed in the need for a permanent revolution that would be exported from Russia, with subsequent unification of the economies of communist countries.
It’s confusing. Is Europe an example of One World, with Nations?
How could the idea of uniting three ethnically, linguistically, religiously, and culturally different peoples in one country have appeared at all?
Would the US be a better example, as the individual states have lost power to the feds?
Recommended reading – “Big Serge” – in the Col.MacGregor cold reality style.
Russo-Ukrainian War: The World Blood Pump
Gradually, and then Suddenly
Well, we’ll see, but with the first anniversary coming up, won’t it be as muddy as during the first push? WW1 all over again. It quacks like a sad reversion to attritional warfare. It works but it costs.
As far as relying on Chechen mercs to do the heavy lifting, we ought to remember Machiavelli’s recommendations.
Just for fun, I would like to see a boatload of Russian immigrants (maybe a few boats totaling 300 people) show up in Dutch Harbor, claiming the need for asylum.
(How many would be let go, into the USA, after processing. And how many would immediately be shipped back to Kamchatka?)
“Bang War Drums Loudly, Joe Biden Announces U.S. Sending Tanks to Ukraine as Deeping NATO War Against Russia Continues
January 25, 2023 | Sundance | 454 Comments”
More “penny packets” by the sound of it
Yeah, heard that on the radio today while running errands. USA sending something like 32 Abrams. Add that to the UK 14? tanks. Then the Germans and other folks with Leopards in for a couple of dozen (after they wake up to the fact that their “you first” bluff was called…).
This is essentially telling Russia that “Hell Yes, this is a NATO war!’. Which means that Putin may, with full impunity, take the war to the entire NATO membership, should they wish. Pray for Putin to continue his low key and non-expansionary approach.
But do realize, Russia has regularly been about a month, maybe 2 months, ahead of The West in understanding the actual state of play. Russia dispatched a nuclear missile capable ship to America days ago… As I understand it, one with hypersonic missile capability… and, oh, by the way, the USA doesn’t have any actual missile defenses along our own shores… So Russia (having some time ago dispatched some nuclear weapons bearing submarines, BTW…) is several months ahead of any NATO escalation. They are already prepared for a nuclear exchange while we are trying to decide how many western tanks might help Ukraine not lose before summer…
Does Western Europe have an added 1 MILLION soldiers already being called up, trained up, and equipped? No. Not at all. Russia is ready to walk over the entire EU and nuke the USA should that be required. The West has barely managed to agree to send a few dozen tanks (that will be more burden than benefit to Ukraine) and has no oil reserves with which to fuel its military, is run out of artillery ammunition, has sent any “spare” equipment to Ukraine (and it is either already destroyed or will be soon). Russia is making about 10,000 artillery shells a DAY at present, and can increase that if desired. The west? Crickets…
Again ONE MUST LOOK FROM THE RUSSIAN POV.
Sun Tsu. #1 rule. KNOW your enemy. From the Russian POV, this is a NATO war and has been since at least 2014 when NATO sponsored a coup in Ukraine and started building up their military to do the same in Russia. In 2000-something they tried to kill off the president of Belarus in another coup. (Can you guess why he’s now a good buddy of Putin?)
What did Putin SAY they were going to do?
1) Protect ethnic Russians in the Donbas. (check!)
2) De-Militarize (i.e. destroy) the Ukrainian Military that The West was ginning up to attack them. (WIP, but going very well with 10:1 kill ratios reported and 8:1 confirmed)
3) De-Nazify Ukraine. Largely done as the Azov Battalion has been eradicated; but with a bit more to do with killing off the ideologs and “leadership” who lean that way.
3) Prevent NATO expansion to Ukraine. Now the USA, UK, and EU have stepped into this one big time. They are busy draining their arsenals, their Strategic Petroleum Reserves, and crippling their ability to manufacture new war machines with “sanctions” (supposedly on Russia but cutting off their own fuel supplies… including nuclear fuel, BTW).
Frankly, THE biggest “problem” I see right now for Putin is that he has a Very Hard Choice to make:
1) Launch blitzkrieg type operation Feb 3 to finish off Ukraine NOW before any more NATO gear can get there.
2) Wait until NATO is fully engaged in this war and then take Europe and end NATO once and for all.
3) Hold off on the offensive. Continue the “War Of Attrition” as it is de-fanging NATO at a prodigious rate and economically crippling the EU. Just let NATO keep on shipping over modest bits of kit that are not enough to change anything, and destroy it one lump at a time until NATO is a big fat zero.
I’m sitting here pondering this, and I’m not sure which one is most attractive. (From a Russian POV).
On the one hand, #3 is working well and you can just let Ukraine continue to Do Stupid Things with NATO equipment until it is all gone. Major issue is that Ukraine will run out of citizens to send to the slaughter in about a year, maybe less. (They are already hard up…). You might not get through the NATO equipment before you run out of Ukrainians.
On the other hand, #1 has the least Russians killed and injured and wraps up the major goals in just a couple of months. Kicks some NATO butt in the process, and basically teaches the world (once again… seems about every 70 to 100 years the lesson must be repeated…) NOT to mess with Russia. Especially in winter. Personally, this is the one I would do. He has the 400,000 troops and material in place, just needs the GoCode.
Then there’s #2. It’s the most risky and takes a gutsy path of maximal death and destruction, but in the end, you have NATO gone. EU will disassemble. USA will be in chaos as the ROW decides it’s time to just tell the USA to bugger off (Chine takes Taiwan. Muslim World with their oil joins the BRICS. $US and € both crash, probably the £ too. Africa and South America turn to BRICS as “sanctions” has made a lot of enemies there too.) So IFF you have the backbone and gear to pull it off, this one is the biggest win… but it is also a heavy lift. It would likely require the aid and cooperation of China (Russia takes Europe, China gets the Pacific & Indian Oceans with beachfront properties…) and it is full on W.W.III by the time it is over.
I’m just waiting to see how Russia’s military destroys the tanks. That’s what he said they would do. I would pop some popcorn, but this is too serious for that.
That WOULD be fun to watch ;-)
Again, the “first push” was NOT “muddy”. It was deliberately gentle. Even the Ukrainian (now fired) Official Spokesman has said so. Russia was trying to NOT “kill people and break things” but mostly to intimidate Mr. Z. into negotiations. And it DID work. Right up until Mr. Z. was told by the USA CIA and Boris Johnson to NOT negotiate.
NOW is a very different state of play. Russia has accepted that “this is a NATO war” and is mobilizing for a 1.5 MILLION man army (fully equipped, BTW). The “gloves are off” so now Russia is just destroying whole cities and killing off Ukrainians at a prodigious rate (nearly 1000 / day in one city alone. Bakhmut). That is BEFORE they launch the Winter Offensive with that 300,000 soldiers camped all around from Belarus to the Russian border. Guess what happens when they are told “GO!”.
Oh, and when you are getting at least an 8:1 kill ratio, “Attritional Warfare” is just fine, thank you very much. Were I in charge of a war, and was told I had an 8:1 or maybe even 10:1 kill ratio in attrition, I’d tell my Generals “DO NOT Change a thing.”
I’ll take a look…
Was it the Generals, or was it that Mr. H. ordered them to do stupid things?
The Generals wanted to withdraw from Stalingrad. Hitler ordered NO! So lost the entire 6th army IIRC. Very Stupid.
Yeah, people out to Take Over The World often argue about the best way to do it; and so far have always failed…
Yeah, nice “practice size group” for Russia to work out the best way…
A different paddock of “knowing your enemy”
“Jordan Peterson was also amusing. He found a simple way to avoid protests by moving his university campus talks to the early morning. They were as well attended but the self indulgent leaders of the protestors were just too lazy to get out of bed. It’s what happens when you attack an analytical psychologist. He analyses your motivation.”
Via a comment at Jo Nova
You can’t believe anything a government tells you. Any government.
You can’t believe anything the Russians tell you. It’s a low/no trust society.
Is there some double negative effect that means you can believe something from the Russian government?
In military history terms the defender does not lose in an 8:1 ratio in an attritional fight. Any such claim must be treated with much suspicion.
I’m still looking for any sign of Russia fighting smart. Such a sign might be, just for instance, winning.
@Rhoda – I’ve said before, there are no good guys in the Ukraine mess, I don’t trust any reports** from any of the participants, so I’ll just wait to see how it all settles out after one or more of the participants call it quits.
What I can take as fact are the pronouncements of the various leaders that will escalate the conflict, pushing it closer to WWIII, such as ‘a little bit of nuclear warfare would be OK’. That sort of stuff is unhelpful for resolving the Ukraine mess and certainly takes it to another level.
You used an interesting word, winning. As I see it the West sees winning as the destruction of Putin and dismantling of Russia with the West deciding who will replace Putin and what to do with the pieces. My take is that Putin sees winning as preservation of his control and power and the preservation of Russia as a sovereign nation.
Putin definitely has me guessing as to his ambitions for the final borders of the Russian State. He’s been accused of wanting to “put the band back together again” and that could very well be true. I dunno where he planned to stop if it was his choice where to stop. I just don’t know.
It’s no surprise to me that the Brits here have a different take on Putin and Russia as there is some ‘history’ there with Russia that Americans just don’t have. Same goes for the Poles as I once read a bit on how the balance of power (and territory) between Poland and Russia waxed and waned over the centuries. It was something I didn’t know about, and it was not taught in US schools.
**It’s all propaganda all of the time, but that’s to be expected as all sides will put out propaganda that aids their side. It’s war. Heck! Sometimes the truth is put out there to sucker the other side because they know everyone will think it’s a propaganda lie and react as if it is a lie. But again, no one knows what’s what until it’s all over.
Yeah, people out to Take Over The World often argue about the best way to do it; and so far have always failed…
There are three ways to take over the world, or at least one bit at a time.
1. Brute force. Invade and conquer. Many examples of this.
2. Colonialize. Or maybe this is 1a. Once the big battles are won, force the natives to give up their “bad native habits”. I am told this has happened.
3. Send missionaries. Like Jesuits or Mormons or Jimmy Carter.
Some, like communists for example, have succeeded for long periods of time. But they are doomed to fail, because the system they impose cannot work. The direct, bloody approach generates lasting resentment, so that’s a problem.
The best way to take over is from the inside out. Convince the insiders that that is what they want. It works especially well if rot and corruption have set in, so the revolutionary spirit is “it can’t be any worse, so let’s do it!”. And brainwashing helps (eg, own the educational systems).
That could be a real revolution, bloody style. Or it could be a bloodless coup, which is what we have had in the US (and elsewhere), but we are only now starting to realize it has already happened.
BTW, “winning” is always temporary.
Rhoda “ In military history terms the defender does not lose in an 8:1 ratio in an attritional fight. Any such claim must be treated with much suspicion.”
Iraq losses defending vs the US was many time higher than 8:1. Training, stockpiles, quality, and logistics all play major roles in combat loss ratios. Artillery has historically been a major strength of Russian armies going back centuries. The US relies on air power to deliver high explosives where the Russians use artillery defended by the most sophisticated air defenses in the world.
The Ukraine battlefield is being dominated by artillery. Ukraine has been reduced to firing about 1500 rounds per day vs 20,000 rounds per day by the Russians. The west has given up on trying to match the volume of Russian artillery fire as their stockpiles have been burned up and they are reduced to only being able to supply from their very weak ( compared to Russia ) monthly artillery production amounts.
Russian battlefield tactics is to recon enemy positions, call in heavy and prolonged artillery strikes on the spotted enemy positions, and then move in to attacked the reduced defenses.
Almost no casualties on either side are from small arms in these attrition battles. Due to the disparity in artillery between the two sides, I would not be surprised that the loss ratio now exceeds 8:1. I expect the loss ratio to greatly expand as Russian counter battery continues to destroy Ukraine artillery and artillery ammunition stockpiles, making the artillery imbalance even greater over time.
Exactly, and if I am remembering correctly, our Founders and their descendants said that if the USA were to fall, it would be by our own hand. We are seeing that happen.
@YMMV: ““winning” is always temporary.”
That is a good aphorism. I would only add a bit.
“Winning” is always temporary. “Losing” may be permanent. (Ask the Carthaginians.)
I posted a Col Macgregor over on Wood
“Retired Col. Douglas MacGregor Discusses Status of Ukraine War and Background of Biden Sending Abram M-1 Tanks
January 26, 2023 | Sundance | 570 Comments”
From comments at The Tree House
“White House officials warned Wednesday it could take up to a year before Kyiv receives the tanks that President Biden publicly pledged because they would be purchased new with Congressionally approved funds as part of the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative.
Yes, those methods are how the deed is done.
But so far they have not taken the whole world. Different groups have taken parts of the world, but WORLD Domination has so far been beyond their reach.
Spain & Portugal had to split South America. France & England split North America. France picked up a bunch of islands and chunks of Africa. Japan took some chunks of China. Etc. etc. But nobody got the whole thing.
Now, our technical abilities may make it possible for a central group of Evil GEBs to actually take over the whole world. That is their goal. So far Russia & China are resisting them (The Americas not so much, and Africa is just resources to them… but the Muslim World is culturally resisting, even if they get beat up in various wars and subjugated).
I hope the world continues to successfully hold off Global Domination…
It isn’t just the tanks, but also the tank crews & leadership. In Iraq, our tanks had such a victory largely due to those 2 things. Had we gone “head to head” as was expected by Sadam, we would have lost a lot of tanks.
1) Our generals knew what their crews & tanks could do. Sadam ordered static defense aimed toward the sea & Kuwait.
2) Our folks planned a fake attack while the bulk of the tanks did an ‘end run’ out of the desert where “nobody can cross it”…
3) We came at them from behind (weak point of tanks) and with very well trained crews who could use the (excellent) thermal sites and long range gun to get “1st Shot” most of the time.
4) Our crews had live fire trained for a year (or longer for some). The Iraqi crews were not. We had surprise on our side, they where surprised.
As one learns in Karate (literally “empty hand”) it isn’t the weapon that matters most, it is the warrior. We practiced a lot of weapons “take away” movements. Knives, clubs, guns. A good weapon makes it easier to fight, but even a disarmed trained fighter can kill you.
@Rhoda & H.R.:
My worry is that The West (NATO) decides to make this an air war.
My hope is that they see Ukraine losing, so are promising “tanks when it is over”…
At present, the tanks from NATO will arrive too late and in too small a number to matter. Just a show to dodge blame for “not enough support”. (It isn’t possible to give enough support without nuclear W.W.III).
But that doesn’t mean Biden & Ursula will be smart enough to realize it. They could easily think “Tanks not in theatre fast enough. I know, make a no fly zone and send in the Jet Fighters!”. That would make it a NATO Hot War With Russia. At that point, Putin has already said ~”IF Russia starts losing, expect nuclear weapons”.
That would be very bad…
Realize that for Russia (not just Putin) this is a life or death situation. NATO leadership has said they want to break up Russia. Russia is saying NO.
You MUSt look at “winning” from the Russian POV to know if they are “winning”. What are their goals? Putin stated them, in Russian, to Russians.
One is “Demilitarizing Ukraine”. He did NOT say “take all Ukrainian dirt”. IF you define winning as “Russian Army in Lviv” you are looking for the wrong result. Putin has also said “Western Ukraine would be happier living under Polish rule than Russian”.
So what is happening? Ukraine is busy delivering all their military equipment and soldiers to a Kill Zone with Russia. Russia has already destroyed pretty much all the Ukrainian old Soviet gear and emptied the Ukrainian stockpile of ammo for it. Now they are working on the NATO supplies… The large (NATO Trained…) army that Ukraine started with is largely dead or wounded. They are running on 2nd tier folks now, along with foreigners. From the Russian POV they ARE “winning” as they are achieving that goal.
Note too that the Azov Battalion is basically gone. The Russian goal of “De-Nazify” Ukraine is about 1/2 done in that the military group is toast. Still some in leadership to go, though. So again “Russia Winning” in that they are achieving exactly the stated goal.
Then there’s the Russian goal of “Protect Ethnic Russians” in the Donbas. Also being achieved. Presently the fighting has left all but the western edge of a couple of provences (where Russia is busy destroying Ukrainian military as fast as Ukraine can send it). Shortly Bakhmut will fall (it is already surrounded) and that will be the end of it. Again, Russia “Winning” in achieving their goals.
What they are not doing it capturing pointless dirt that they don’t need or want. That seems to be what NATO & The West are defining as “winning”. That is the wrong definition to meet Russian stated goals…
Just promising tanks is a major escalation and technically puts NATO in as a combatant. In it in all ways but the uniform. Russians are reporting more Polish in the radio chatter than Ukrainian… So Russia is presently calling up enough soldiers to make a 1.5 Million Man Army. (Over 1/2 Million already in uniform on the ground spread around Belarus & the Russian Border with Ukraine) They are prepared for W.W.III, we are not.
Realize that Russia does not forget. It has hundreds of years of history of invasions from The West.
This guy, Baklykov, just walks around various Russian Cities doing a kind of travelogue. This one is from Volgograd / Stalingrad. It’s a bit wind-noisy at the start, but clears up later. At about 2 minutes 30 seconds, he starts showing the monument to the battle of Stalingrad. At about 4:30 or so, he mentions that 1.2 MILLION Soviet solderers died in Stalingrad. (And 1.5 million Germans…). Think on that.
At about 30 minutes, he covers the Monument to those soldiers. It is topped with a statue of “Mother Russia” / “Motherland Calls”. That statue is taller than the Statue Of Liberty (85 meters vs 46 for Liberty per the 45 minute point). At 37 minutes is the changing of the guard (of the dead… and the eternal flame). Folks with that awareness of their history will not just give up and surrender to NATO.
Russia knows how to defend itself. It isn’t as afraid of casualties as The West is.
So yes, having about 12,000 Dead in Ukraine is a hurt to Russia, but it isn’t a MILLION. And for the survival of Russia AS Russian, they will take a Million if that’s what it takes. They lost 20 MILLION in W.W.II, so a few thousand is nothing in comparison. That is the way they think about it.
Note that the Battle of Stalingrad was 1.2 Million in one year long battle in one city.
It is a very bad idea to pick a fight with Russia, and make no mistake about it, this fight was started by NATO in 2014 with the Maidan revolution (coup) and subsequent installation of a leader chosen by The West (followed up with shelling Russians in the Donbass and demanding Russians in Ukraine stop being Russian and lose their language…)
So from the Russian POV:
They have no choice but to protect Russians & Russia.
NATO has started this (and the attempted coup in Belarus…).
They are “in it to victory”, where “dirt” is not what matters but destruction of Ukrainian military is. NATO too if it can’t keep out of it.
A few thousand dead Russians is “small” compared to what they have done before.
They see themselves as winning as they are achieving their goals.
The West seems delusional in comparison. Pushing this further and further toward W.W.III is not a good idea. Nor is it “winning” for Ukraine or The West / NATO.
FWIW – Alexander M this morning
“Did you order the Code Red? You’re damn right I did!”
Around the start A.M. admits that he has a feeling that “something is in the wind” but he doesn’t know what.
Have we mentioned this?
“White House officials warned Wednesday it could take up to a year before Kyiv receives the tanks that President Biden publicly pledged because they would be purchased new with Congressionally approved funds as part of the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative.”
A different “More?
TAKE NOTICE! Israel up Iran?
“There’s no way to confirm this, but watching just the same: Multiple reports that Israel(?) has launched military attacks on Iranian targets.”
Thinking about that and polishing my tinfoil hat
Punt would be that the Israelis would be after things nuke.
Seems like things like drone factories
Who downstream might that benefit?
Nordstream 3 in action?
I’m prepared to be wrong – hopefully
“Not All Wars are Created Equal”
More targets incoming?
Pro Ukraine site but very well done analysis on a number of issues
Serious reading here (IMO)
“Shhh! Nobody Talk About World War III”
And, after a look around the net this morning, no one seems to be mentioning yesterday’s dust up in Iran either
Alex M today
“MSM Admits Russia About Capture Bakhmut, Ukraine Vuhledar CounterAttack Fails; US Equipment Crisis”
Interesting observations on the industrial front starts about 25 in and various traps along the way up to having to provide air cover