The primary purpose of war is the destruction of the enemy’s ability to resist. That is a long process – weapons and ammunition destroyed, supply routes blocked, war production stopped, political will broken. And it’s a bloody process – the enemy’s soldiers must be killed or maimed. Clausewitz –
Fighting is the central military act… The object of fighting is the destruction or defeat of the enemy… Direct annihilation of the enemy’s forces must always be the dominant consideration.
Why “dominant consideration”? Simple – once you have destroyed the enemy’s power, you can do anything you want. Take territory without destroying power? Not so good. One may wonder whether this is understood at West Point given the number of TV generals who say Russia is losing because it’s given up territory and was “defeated” in Kiev. Don’t they remember that the US took Kabul and Baghdad quite early? That didn’t end either of those wars, did it?
Demilitarization, denazification, securing safety of Donbass are Russia’s stated aims. They can happen only when Ukraine’s power to resist is broken. Moscow may have hoped the job would have been easier (and it nearly was in April) but here we are. A bigger job earns a bigger reward and the territorial (safety) aims have probably expanded to take in all of Novorossiya.
The Economist (interesting choice of venue – Larry speculates on why this and why now) recently interviewed Zelensky and Generals Zaluzhny and Syrsky. Neither general was very upbeat. What struck me was Zaluzhny saying “I need 300 tanks, 600-700 IFVs [infantry fighting vehicles], 500 Howitzers.” To put this in perspective, according to Wikipedia, the German Army has 266 tanks, about 650 IFVs and about 350 artillery systems. The British Army has 227 tanks, about 700 IFVs and about 230 artillery systems. A year ago, Ukraine was estimated to have had 2400 tanks, thousands of IFVs and 2000 artillery systems. What happened to them? And all the other weapons Ukraine has received? One may see Zaluzhny’s request as being in the form of “if… then”. Well, the first condition won’t be met – he is essentially asking for half of what the the UK and Germany have between them (plus all their guns) – and therefore the second can’t be. Is this his way of admitting that Russia has nearly finished “the destruction of his forces”? (Calling for stronger penalties against deserters doesn’t give a confident ring either, does it?)
First destroy the enemy’s power, then make your choice.
Russian commander Surovikin is surely approaching the judgment call. Ukraine has lost a huge amount of its power of resistance and its friends in NATO are running out of what they can send. He has plenty of options. Which, of course, can be combined. To be carried out with caution, because, as Merkel has told those who hadn’t already figured it out, USA/NATO is not “agreement-capable” and therefore not stable.
- Continue attrition and watch Ukraine and NATO demilitarize themselves. With forces in place, trained and equipped, take advantage of any opportunity that presents itself. (Sun Tzu “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting“.) This is the easiest option but, because it is the slowest, it carries the risk of a desperate USA/NATO doing something irretrievably stupid.
- “Big arrows”. All or some of these. Deep penetrations to cut off the remaining Ukrainian forces in the east and move to total victory. Or powerful raids into the Ukrainian rear to destroy and disrupt. (John Helmer explains the purpose here.) Or a drive to Trans Dnestr leaving Rump Ukraine landlocked. Any “big arrow” have the advantage of destroying the Ukraine-is-winning fantasy.
- Block the border with Poland and the supply of NATO weaponry and wait for the the whole thing to collapse.
- If the Ukrainian collapse at Bakhmut is big enough, just move to the desired end-state borders.
I don’t see any point in trying to take Kiev or any other major city in “Ukrainian” Ukraine – there’s nothing to be gained from acquiring a population infused with hatred. (Nazis in Ukraine? Down the Memory Hole – the Guardian wouldn’t show this video today. Nor Vice this. Nor the BBC this).
Timing? Not my decision but I would bet it happens after the collapse of the Ukrainian last-ditch position in the Bakhmut area. (Are the Western media masters preparing us for that event? Berletic suggests they are. “Bakhmut is not an especially strategic location“, “low strategic advantage“, “lack of strategic importance“, only important because “it would enable Putin to show some form of military victory“. They of course don’t ask why the Ukrainians are sacrificing thousands of lives to hold these “unimportant” positions).
Would this be a defeat for NATO? Of course not, victories are easy when you have a managed news media – Afghanistan, what’s that?
Thanks for the nice summary of the state of the war, Helmholtz,
“Would this be a defeat for NATO? Of course not”
True, and given the Russian goal of re-negotiating security arrangements to the 1999 lines, I wonder if Russia’s plan “requires” direct large scale NATO involvement and defeat – i.e., bait Poland/the US to enter the fray in Ukraine and retaliate hard.
““Would this be a defeat for NATO? Of course not””
Excellent news as the purposes have never been so limited.
This is excellent analysis. And I referenced when finishing off my recent article on the Endgame of the Ukraine War.
“Would this be a defeat for NATO? Of course not”” Not a “defeat” in the public eye certainly. But a recent Gallup poll shows that Americans are not much interested in foreign affairs. Their opinions are easily manipulated because they don’t really have any.
However, Russian defeating NATO indicates that it cannot square off against Russia or China directly — certainly not the two together. The US has always done strategy looking backwards at previous wars. It did that in Vietnam in Linebacker losing a lot of B52s unnecessarily. While it looks backwards, it rarely learns the right lessons.
By contrast the Russians look forward learning from the past, maybe because the past has been catastrophic.
“Hate” , as HS, makes clear it important. But let us keep in mind that the Azovs are not all Ukrainians and a lot of the hatred is inculcated through propaganda. “Russians are going to barbecue your babies”. When this is proven wrong, attitudes change — as we see with UAF POWs, generally treated better by the Russians than by their own people.
I live in Japan. Americans were surprised how the brainwashed Japanese could fight viciously– and the, on defeat, start loving the Americans.
When propaganda works on a population, it works because the population don’t really think. It’s group think. Change the situation. Change the story. And the Sheeple go ba-ba-ba and move in different direction. The Azovs are sheep dogs. The Russians will be the new sheep dogs.
I have read that the primary reason the Japanese cooperated, even imitated us post war (McArthur team had a lot to do with writing Japan’s new Constitution..long unchanged since, I’ve read): The new masters (USA,over time, treated the Japanese people better, or no worse than their old masters). Also, it seems that it did not take long for Vietnam to “forgive” Americans and move on to growing their communist capitalism economy.
Biswapriya Purkayastha says
Just today my girlfriend and I were discussing the fact that the same people obsessed with Afghanistan in July last year would blink in confusion if you mentioned the country. More than that, do you remember the deification of Amrullah Saleh and Masoud Jr, who were supposed to sweep away the Taliban from their impregnable stronghold in the Panjshir Valley? Where are these people now? Who remembers them now?
That said, there is a point to taking Kiev, but one after besieging it leaving one route open for the Russia hating part of the population to flee west into Europistan. Let’s be clear: this war will continue to be waged from Europistan by any means.
Let me predict that if the Ukranazis lose huge swathes of territory, Patriots and other NATO supplied missiles (crewed, naturally, by NATOstanis in Ukranazistani uniform) will be stationed in Polandistan and possibly in the Baltic slagheaps; NATO will claim that it isn’t a direct intervention by them since “Ukrainians” are crewing the systems, but at the same time any Russian attack on them will be “an attack on NATO”.
How do you fight under these conditions? One way is to swamp Europistan with hordes of ungrateful, sponging, demanding, nazis. And Kiev is a Russian city; let Polandistan have Lvov if it really wants it. At most.
All this said, the only thing standing in the way of a Russian victory today is the same thing that stood in its way in 2014; that is, Putin’s political will to make the decisions necessary to secure victory. It is only with the appointment of General Surovikin and the setting up of a unified command that one can finally have some confidence that this political will has been developed and that the LDNR (and other liberated territory) will not be thrown under the blueyellow nazi bus.
“That said, there is a point to taking Kiev … ”
You don’t even have to take it BP, you just need to empty it. Similar to the surrender of the Nazi defenders of the Azovstal plant in Mariupol, only magnitudes larger, the whole UkeRegime and the last best bits of its army forced to march out of the capitol city under the white flag, and into the glare of the dumbfounded Western media.
As for seeking out the armies of the enemy and destroying them, Clausewitz style, I’m all for it. But if what if these armies retreat behind city walls, as use the cities themselves as “historic” shields?
“We know you will never commence a bloody street battle operation, and certainly never consider reducing this city to rubble with your cannon. For this is lovely Kiev, the jewel of the Dnieper!”
Sun Tzu: “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
That’s called siege warfare. I think people equate sieges with scaling ladders and boiling oils, but the most productive sieges are the ones where you sit outside your opponents walls, and ask him politely to surrender, and if he says no, you wait a few weeks, and ask him again.
If he hasn’t starved to death by then, well maybe this time, he will say yes.
“All this said, the only thing standing in the way of a Russian victory today is the same thing that stood in its way in 2014; that is, Putin’s political will to make the decisions necessary to secure victory.”
Better watch it with that stuff, I see b at MoA has started to cull dissenting opinion, and could be on his way to transforming a superb comment section into a mindless echo chamber.
Let’s hope not. I don’t give shit about the “Western Narrative,” it can do whatever it wants, but what’s made this last 10 months an intellectual thrill ride for me, is the “Russian Narrative” allowed for roiling debate.
Free speech!!! Lmao … imagine that. The irony.
Your are not a troll if you believe Russia is in the right as it pertains to the Ukraine, but at times, believe there may be different, and perhaps even better way, for the Russian Federation to proceed.
But more and more it seems, if you stray from tight confines of “the Russian Narrative,” you are a troll, just like in the west.
“I see b at MoA has started to cull dissenting opinion, and could be on his way to transforming a superb comment section into a mindless echo chamber.”
Funny. I read MOA on a daily basis and haven’t noticed any such trend.
Perhaps it was just your way of expressing yourself in some comment. Can you provide an exemplary link?
Otherwise this sounds like just so much unsubstantiated character assassination. And b’s analyses, like Larry’s, are certainly too significant to just ignore.
“Otherwise this sounds like just so much unsubstantiated character assassination.”
Hardly character assassination. It’s b’s blog and I respect his right to do whatever hell he wants.
It just saddens me that the Moon of Alabama comment section, one the great ones in history of the blogoshere, has suddently contracted troll f*cking fever. “The trolls are everywhere b! Everywhere! You must get in here and cull this thread immediately, please b, please!”
And who are these trolls? Outside of a handful of (if that) Western Narrative adherents, mostly people like, moaobserver for instance, who is hardcore pro-Russia, but one who daily questions, as he sees it, the fitness of the neo-liberal, privatized, oligarch infested leadership of the Russian Federation to combat to the existential death, the neo-liberal, privatized, oligarch infested nation-states of the West.
For a long time now, I’ve looked forward to moaobserver comments, and the give and take that his observations have always illicited, but unfortunately, his last three comments were removed, and if it proves that I will never run into the thoughts of moaobserver again, this will not be a surprise to me.
GIOVANNI DAVIDE LOCICERO says
but who are you to make this judgements? you’re more accountable than moa? no. writing these statements you just assure that your analysis capacity is lacking cause of your biases.
Sounds to me like you’re at war with the world, and any observation or opinion will have you foaming at the mouth. You have certainly lost all ability to draw rational conclusions based on facts. Not a good place to be.
Gerrard White says
As for b at MoA you are right – not only is there an infestation of tell me why trolls concern trolls and the merely stupid, there is a refusal to go beyond a comfortable endorsement of the russian ‘side’, with no analysis of the fundamentals, emanating from a PMC class of those who think they have nothing to lose
This b encourages with his refutations of the NYT, as if the NYT’s very purpose was not to excite such tea lady refutation
A recent discussion of ‘trolls’ was hijacked into an ivory tower examination of Nordic folk lore
To soften your categorisation of the Russian “side’ as merely the flip of the Ynakee, I might point out that, nonetheless, this war has galvanised alliances though out Asia and Africa to resist/overthrow EU US imperialism
This is winning without fighting by the Russians – and offers alternatives, as the streets of Bamako Ouga Kinshasa have shown
Olivier Sauvage says
B careful with the acronyms, they’re not smart bombs: For a second I thought you meant “Mouth on Ass” when you meant “Moon of Alabama”. Lazy at typing, lazy at thinking.
I noticed today that half the comments were missing when I refreshed.
The answer to a fortress is a siege. Has been for centuries. Cut off the supply lines and wait. So far the Ukrainian fortresses have not been cut off (exception of Avostal), so the battle goes on and on. I realize everything is easier said, than done.
Up the wooden hills.
One step at a time.
Olivier Sauvage says
Excellent exposé. I concur absolutely.
Not to diminish his outstanding leadership in rebuilding Russia, had President Putin shown a little more resolve and confidence in 2014 by reducing the Ukrainian army when it was possible, the Donbass problem would have long been solved, as he recently recognized his blunder. Secondly, Had he played tit-for-tat and extracted payback for the Kerch and NS1/2 outrageous attacks, warmongering neocons and UK hawks would not have kept upping the ante in this deadly Poker game. Putin should have destroyed a bridge in London and one in Kiev, or Poland, and he should have destroyed the newly inaugurated Norway-Poland gas pipeline as payback.
His continuous silence regarding these wanton acts of aggression against Russia has emboldened his enemies to think that he’s scared of the consequences of an eventual Russian retaliation. This attitude indicates that his country is acutally not ready on the strategic-arms level, contrary to what his propaganda keeps telling us, such as the anti-American propaganda put out by people like Andrei Martyanov. Here’s a man who thinks he’s the only definite expert on Russian arms, and all others are “uneducated liberal arts f….ks who don’t know s**t from shinola” – his words!! – and who keeps qualifying American intellectuals, politicians, and military elites as “morons”. Don’t laugh, but he does it all the time, the crude oaf, and with the language of a man who must have been born in a house of pleasure ! He’s really something, a real cliché of a crude brutish Russian oaf.
I think that most “fabled” Russian strategic weapons are not operational yet! That’s the big secret that the Russians are trying to hide, and that would explain why they are taking all kinds of insults lying down.
I hear that many Russians are quite unhappy with Putin’s meekness.
You’ve got Martyanov right. I used to try to post some comments on his site, reflecting what I considered a bit more of reality, but that just causes outrage there.
The USA is not capable of agreement, only escalation (we hear this all the time).
This is because this “local war” has turned into a war of economic and military attrition between Russia and the West and Russia has successfully involved BRICS and the global south and Turkey on its side (or at least not against it).
In effect. it is not that USA is incapable of agreement, it is that it is facing an existential problem. We are not talking about just loss of face if Ukr loses, we are talking about loss of reserve currency, loss of dominion and ultimately rebellion by everyone “non western” against USA/UK and to a lesser extent the EU. Imagine being USA today and tomorrow being poor, all those dollars printed being worthless, every Tom, Dick and Harry challenging you on their turf – the whole country of United States is built on the assumption that the rest of the world produces cheap stuff for us, we skim the % as “middlemen” (pardon, middle (men, women, its)), make “global conglomerates” and at the same time the 300+ million “middle class” Americans continue enjoying life in their bubble of big trucks, campers, second homes, cheap Amazon gadgets etc. etc.
See, if the above were to disappear, there would be violent riots on the streets of USA and they would put Bosnia to shame, as everyone in America is armed….
So, better choice is to escalate as there is no other choice. I now fully expect this to become a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO. I think this decision has already been made in Washington.
Biswapriya Purkayastha says
The rainbow haired liberal freaks who get their talking points over their morning lattes will not be going to the frontline anyway so they can support escalation from the comfort of their yoga studios and safe spaces.
It only seems like the yoga latte drinkers have safe spaces. Of all the countries on earth, Russia is one of top ones capable of dishing out pain globally if sufficiently threatened.
The only way I can explain western behavior is some type of insanity. Virtually no sentient person would have thought provoking the USSR back when it existed was a good idea. Now the DC ‘expert’ class brags about climbing the escalation ladder to see what Russia might do. They seem to think Putin is weak every time he doesn’t launch a missile strike on us, while claiming he’s a madman. Do smart people provoke madmen with nukes? They lie and contradict their own lie because they get away with it.
US action is at least in part based on an invulnerability complex. But that’s never reality.
I agree will escalate. West will not just give up 450 years of global domination. USA and it’s ancestor poodles in Europe will do something. My bet is false flag nuke and with it’s media complex and state pressure try and convince the rest of the world to cut off Russia. Could work.
I do not think NATO/USA will intervene militarily. Can’t win conventionally. Not enough men willing to die for Ukraine. There was also a F22 pilot on Fox saying we’d get wrecked by Russia’s anti air defenses so I question if we could even fight a ground war vs Russia materially and brass knows it. Nukes? everyone loses so that aint happening. Although Russia is actually braced better to survive a nuclear war having massive public shelters like Finland. After dust settles millions of Russians would still be alive to cut the Western elites out of their vaults and shoot them.
I fully concur. Nothing else explains the complete capitulation of the entire US political gentry in Washington to funding the Ukraine wallet. Faced with a sustained 5% Federal funds rate to halt inflation, the US budget deficit grows exponentially (the simple arithmetic of compounding interest) highlighting and re-enforcing to the rest of the world the insolvency of the US (and other western nations) government and therefore a colossal shit-show in the bond markets worldwide.
Olivier Sauvage says
The real question is: Why Russia does not retaliate with escalation, or at least, tit-for-tat?
Answer: The USA escalates out of a sense of power and strength, while Russia takes each escalation and outright aggression out of a sense of weakness, even if logistically in a better position!
Don’t fool yourself into thinking that Russia is bigger that it really is because the facts surrounding the conduct of the war indicate the contrary. A really powerful nation does not take lying down insults such as the destruction of NS/1/2 and direct attacks on its territory such as the Kerch bridge, and the strategic air base attacks without extracting payback! Look at what a truly powerful nation did for a group of Muslim terrorists who attacked and destroyed two towers in New York: they unleashed a third Holocaust on the whole Muslim world.
Russians don’t have to go nuclear, but just tit-for-tat: you destroy my pipeline, I’ll destroy one of yours; you destroy my bridge, I’ll destroy one of yours!
That’s the major blunder of Putin in this power play where perception is essential and it has put him in a corner, a real dilemma.
You don’t realize the short period of time over which this change occurred. I am not ancient (69) but I can remember clearly when virtually everything sold in America was made here. Having something ‘imported’ was so noteworthy, that it was explicitly stated in advertising. In fact, 94% of goods sold in American in the late 60’s early 70’s was ‘Made in America’. That was when our Zionist bankers on Wall Street got the idea to improve profits by forcing retailers to import everything and force manufacturers to move manufacturing ‘overseas’.
It was very notable to me personally, to suddenly find everything was coming from China or elsewhere. The quality was poor, but it did improve, and the price was really low. Even at the time I felt ambiguous about this. It was nice to have such low prices for everything, but putting all the factory workers out of work, was devastating to many people’s self worth, lifestyle, etc. … see opioid epidemic. This was the beginning of the destruction of the core American nation, and its replacement by some bland materialist ‘globalist’ conception.
Oh and you may find this humorous but the phrase ‘made in Japan’ was a synonym for ‘junk’.
Carlton Meyer says
At one time I assumed they would push north from Kherson and then west to Moldova to cut off Odessa. It’s open country with few cities in the way. I was surprised when they pulled back in that area. I looked at the road and rail lines and it’s a far longer logistics route with big limitations, making it difficult just to support current forces in the south.
Putin must take all Ukraine, probably after a coup in Kiev after supply lines to Poland are cut. He can’t leave a hostile Ukraine nearby that NATO will rebuild and may conduct endless terror attacks. Make it like Belarus, then Moldova remains a semi-ally for cheap Russian gas, and Russia can supply Balkan nations with its cheap gas at one-fifth the cost of the LNG the Americas and Arabs are selling. Hungary and Austria will give the EU the finger and takes this gas as German industry moves south to use this cheap gas to stay competitive. Romania, Bulgaria and even Italy may choose peace with Russia and cheap gas.
I agree, no need to fight for the big cities. Cut them off and wait for their surrender.
Putin may be waiting for more NATO arms to arrive in Ukraine so he can seize more. NATO Generals must realize they can’t secretly ship big Patriot systems to Ukraine and set them up without getting hit by the Russians before they are ready to fire. They can’t just hide these in shipping containers. The Russians will track them moving through Poland.
Jim Christian says
Who wants Kiev? Turn off the lights, the water, bypass it. Thing I want to know is, why has Russia not turned the power off in Liviv, Livov and every city along the Polish border clear to Moldova? Why let NATO be comfortable there? That clears the way to Odessa to Transnistria . No, they’re talking about Poland is training 300,000 reserves? To fight Russia, or to bite off the NW portion of Ukraine after the deed is done? This thing is so fluid, but in a state the size of Texas, given it’s Russia’s backyard, one wonders why this thing isn’t well in progress or done by now. I well understand the impatience of many Russians who wonder same. That’s all, I’m not shitting on Putin. But I was hoping things would have moved along by now.
just saying says
In Syria, Russians have been clearing the land from terrorists by deporting them to Idlib region (and letting them fight amongst each other there). It seems to me that here they want to push all the nazis to Galizia region, and then give it to Poles. Once most of the nazis move west, and most of the army is destroyed, taking big cities like Kharkov would be much easier.
Poles are already fighting Russians in Ukro uniforms, and aren’t doing very well. All of the neighbouring countries want to take a bite of the territory, and Poles are the most eager to have a go, but Russian grouping in Belaruss is keeping them from it. Hungary will probably just wait out untill Russia gives them a chunk.
This is a global game of 3D chess and, keeping that in mind, things are moving along at breakneck speed. A year ago, could you have guessed that we would be here now? I sure couldn’t. Who knows where we would be in a year, or if we would be at all.
There is no rush to launch an attack. Ukraine can do nothing to damage the Russians. Each and every day the Kraines have to deal with a cold, frozen environment without much in the way of electricity, heat, or food. Let that work on their psyche over the winter months and then launch in late winter.
Let Europe feel the same environment and stress. Let the European progressive politicians try to keep a lid on the patience of their voters who will continue to see the degeneration of their economies and personal wellbeing. Patience.
He can’t leave a hostile Ukraine nearby that NATO will rebuild and may conduct endless terror attacks. — Carlton Meyer
This… but it would be better to end NATO. And not necessarily through direct force of arms, except in Ukraine. Looking at their economies, the US and NATO/EU seem to be cooperating — spending money they don’t have, not to mention weapons and ammo they can’t immediately replace, while their debt-ridden economies circle the drain…
I think you are on to something, but I would modify – surround big cities and leave a humanitarian corridor to NATOstan for the diehard anti-Russians to escape.
We saw this in Syria, where the ISIS fighters were actually bussed to a region where they could continue the fight, which de-ISIS-ified the rest of Syria.
Otherwise, Syria would have faced a continuing low-grade guerilla war, funded by the west and Turkey for years.
Shinmen Takezo says
Regarding the Patriot battery being gifted away to Zelensky. Jeeze–it costs one billion US ponzi-chits for just one complete missile battery… and 3 to 6 millions dollar every time you press the big-red-button to fire one of these missiles. Perhaps I should run out and put everything on black (Raytheon stocks that is).
And they are shipping the latest version (Pac 3) to the Ukes. No doubt there will be US contractors (wink-wink, nude-nude) who in reality will be sheep-dipped US officers and enlisted types pull the stings of this circus over there–which most likely will be positioned in Keiv (most likely adjacent to a hospital or pre-school).
I know–as well as everyone on this forum knows that once these containers cross the border in to Ukistan–Putin will be spanking a massive chubby and fixating everything, all his resources, all his powers to zotz them as soon as the phased array fires up.
I have no doubt that the destruction of this missile battery will be televised and replayed world wide–and it will be a massive political coup for Presidente Putin, who with the strike of a wave of Kinzhal hypersonic missiles (which the Patriot cannot stop BTW) will make the DC political zipper-heads, four-star-momo’s and President Poopy-Pants look 1000 times more foolish and incompetent than they were after the Afghanistan debacle.
Gerrard White says
Many are saying that demilitarising and de nazifying does not , necessarily, involve increased land capture
Others say further that the best way to obliterate the enemy and wipe out the generations of Ukie extremists or even loyalists, and so prevent guerrilla or terrorist insurgency, is to do what Franco did to the republicans – avoid decisive ‘winning’ and keep on fighting them until they are all dead
No need to take Kiev – hoist expensive if not impossible reconstruction onto the EU
Bert Huber says
German media are telling big stories because Ukr will now get the Patriot system.
I was wondering : when will they get some ? how many systems ?
How many systems would be necessary to protect such a big country ?
how efficient is it really,escpecially against cheap iranien drones?
German media should know!
1945 Zee Bunker in Berlin with Russians down the end of the street fighting door to door as Hitler and his Generals commit suicide. Yes ! you can trust the Germans on this one, just ask the fat chick in the primary coloured tent suite.
Smile like a teenager at the prom then knife a man in the back. This war is an education. The tide is out and it looks ugly all the way to the bone.
PS.How many Pathetic’s will they get? Ask the Saudis, they don’t work on drones and get confused in a crowded sky.
Jim Christian says
Introducing Patriot Pac 3 will require American soldiers/mercenaries to operate. And in the end, they’re irrelevant to the fight. As soon as Patriot lights up their radars, Russia will destroy them. It’s 60 year old tech picking up radars and sending a missile their way. A Ukie can turn on his phone to call home and the inbound shooting starts in the trenches. What chance does Patriot have> And Patriot doesn’t set up or break down quickly.
The Ukrainian S300 systems were being fed targeting info from US satellites and recon aircraft flying along the Polish border. That way the radar was only switched on just before firing then the S300 would disappear before it could be targeted. I guess that won’t work if the Patriot systems take too long to move.
Shinmen Takezo says
Lighting up a Patriot radar would be like marking your pos with some of those hi-intensity spotlights used for mall-openings… combined with a fireworks display. Stealthy–not. Putin will put everything into zotzing this missile battery. I bet it will be destroyed on the first day of operation and you could not pay me enough to be an operator–which in this case would be death sentence. When it goes up in flames, it will be a massive propaganda and political victory for Putin as it will make the fools in DC seem ten-thousand times more foolish than they appear now.
just saying says
Patriots are the new Javelins, a.k.a. wunderwaffe.
> “The primary purpose of war is the destruction of the enemy’s ability to resist. ”
.. or profit. It depends on who’s doing the war.
just saying says
There should be a like button here.
Yes…..normal doctrine would be to destroy the enemy with the least outlay in blood and treasure….but the Military Industrial Complex arm of the central bankers has different ideas….they are not confined to one nation and hence have no loyalty to it….it’s aim is to create conflict as a means of an overall economic growth and profit to shareholders. The longer the war ..the more bullets bombs and bandages are sold. It’s perverse
The US govt is now solidly a mafia. There are no good results.. collapse of the united states is assured now. It’s hard to watch.
It’s always been a Mafia. Read War is a racket from the 1930s. They just controlled the information space better and told us sweet lies about God and country and were believed. Vietnam changed all that and gotten worse since. Few trusts .gov these days.
I can’t believe they let this begging grifter, Zelensky, address Congress. Lots of Americans are moving from indifference to active hate of this jackass. Tired of seeing our tax dollars fund this idiot.
Jack Gordon says
But Congress was the proper place for him, there among all the other grifters, liars, perverts and freaks. Right at home.
If one has been paying attention to what Vladimir Putin, and other Russians have been saying for a few Years now, it is clear that the War in the Ukraine is just a Tactical Exercise- regardless of the need (now) to Escalate it. Russia sees that it is “World War 3” against the ‘west’, the Globohomo/WEF/BIS/commie/bolshevik ‘Axis of Evil’.
Take Note that all of the satanic perversions promoted in and by the FUSSA are Banned in Russia, China and Iran. “Drag Queen Story Hour” or Teachers promoting ‘gender confusion’ get serious Prison Time in Russia. Merely protesting such in the ‘west’ gets you Persecuted to the fullest extent of the ‘law’.
Russia has not committed much of its available forces at all yet – some estimates are that maybe 10% of the Red Army is involved in operations to drive the nazis and their owners out of the Ukraine – that leaves more than enough Conventional Forces to roll up NATO all the way to the English Channel.
The FUSSA/NATO military forces for the past 20 Years have been optimized for Colonial Wars for Resources, making a Profit for the MIC/Congressional Complex, and protecting the occupation of Palestine.
Russia has spent that Time (and a lot less Money) in Rebuilding the largest modern Army in the World, equipped not only with state-of-the-art Weapons, but with the Industrial Capacity to back it up.
The Artillery Units in the Ukraine have been firing 20,000+ Shells a DAY for the past Month – the entire production capacity of the FUSSA for a Month. Bakhmut and its environs look like Paschendale in WW I.
Russia isn’t going to Lose this one, and it is increasingly Immoral for the Politicians here to support it – of course, they are doing their Duty to the synagogue of satan….
Ukraine has to keep fighting in Bakhmut at least long enough for Elensky to do his dog and pony show in DC and get the next round of moolah. As Brian Berletic points out, Elensky usually shows up in an eastern Ukrainian town (as he just did in Bakhmut) to promise it won’t fall … right before it falls.
May God bless the Russian effort.
Joe Dollin says
Americans don’t care. They are oblivious morons. Look at Zelensky disgrace in just how he dressed. He comes here dressed like some kind of street thug and they hand the pos billions of dollars…uhm……money funneling for their foreign bank accounts. Got to make it all look good of course.
This whole thing we call the U.S. is collapsing right now. It’s over folks. Just look at their desperation. The last thing to go will be your retirement accounts. This will be the last thing they will be able to seize and once they do this, they will flee to their safe havens….if it is worth anything by then.
just saying says
There is a meme about Russian wearing tracksuits all the time. Zelensky is a living meme of an anti-Russian that can not get away from his roots. The only thing missing are three stripes on the sides.
(a video of some Russians in tracksuits dancing to hardbass tune)
Eric Newhill says
I totally agree that Russia needs to stop screwing around and end this before US/NATO does something stupid. The screwing around is only encouraging US/NATO to convince themselves that Russia is weak, timid, lacks resources and can be pushed around and their red lines mean nothing. Been saying that for months.
The Russians should not attempt to take Kiev. It’s a big city and urban warfare is a bitch. Leave it alone. It will collapse by itself with no water or electricity in the winter. The Zelensky regime will either flee in exile or be hung Mussolini style. Either way, they’re done for sooner or later.
Send one large Russian column down the Eastern bank of the referenda territories to complete control of them by mopping up remaining Ukro-units. Simultaneously send another large column down the West bank as an anvil upon which to crush any Ukros fleeing from, or attempting to reinforce into, the referenda territory + to take out Ukro artillery batteries firing into new Russian lands. Go all the way South with that column. Recapture Kherson in the process.
Send a third, but smaller force on a mission to interdict rat lines from Poland.
I don’t understand why there would be a need to wait until Bakhmut falls. In fact, it is not smart and is just so much more screwing around. Bring in the fresh units now and have them poised to crush both any survivors fleeing Bakhmut and to take on any reinforcements trying to enter the area. Aside from those considerations, generally, why wait? What is gained by waiting? If the enemy is struggling in Bakhmut, then that is a perfect time to amplify his misery by attacking across a broad front.
The Russian screwing around has brought Zelesnky the time to plan a trip to Washington where he is no doubt greasing Biden’s and congress members’ palms. He is greasing the public too with his presence and all the talk of endless commitment. The Russians are screwing around t the point where the US is going to end up in an escalation spiral with US and Polish combat boots on the ground + air war + missiles + Navy. That is exactly what the Russians didn’t want, but they are 4D chess playing and cheap skating their way straight toward it.
The nerve of that little punk, Zelensky. He complains to congress that $65 billion is not enough. Then demands the US downgrade the status of Russia to agrressor nation or state sponsor of terrorism, which makes it easier for the US to go to military confrontation. And to think I questioned his Jewish heritage. He’s a one-man Israel.
I’m starting to suspect that Russia’s establishment is now finding desirable a direct confrontation with NATO within Ukraine, as it will allow them to crush NATO forces in a somewhat neutral ground, thus minimizing risks for nuclear war. And I tend to agree with that.
In some aspects, this is already happening and is in progress right now, just because this is an existential struggle for both sides and none of them will easily let go. This belief seems to be confirmed by the sheer amount of military equipment Russia has been transferring in and around Ukraine for the last 2-3 months, including some of their most modern ones, just like what US/NATO have been sending for the last 8 years, and ramping up since February 24.
It will however take some time to fully be evident to the general audience, Western in particular, but those in the power circles already know.
External observers will grow impatient on how things are developping, but as Dimitri Orlov put it: Russia has a bigger fish to fry than Ukraine, and it requires time to correctly fry a fish and avoid digestive problems latter.
Eric Newhill says
Yes, I can see it that way too. I just think it is a bad way to go. Why? because, in my humble opinion, Poland and the US + some others are going to start direct combat operations against Russia once the Ukrainian forces are no longer even marginally combat effect. Sure, at that point Russia engages the new foreign troops (+air +navy) and begins to reduce them as well. Supply line issues + manufacturing issues mean that, all else being equal, US/NATO loses in a long, slow, painful, bloody grind.
Once US troops start dying in large numbers + a US Navy ship or two or three is sunk, the US is going to go full out war. I 100% guarantee it. They will hit targets within Russia. Russia will have to hit targets outside of Ukraine. From there the game becomes go nuclear or go home.
Maybe Russia believes the US isn’t crazy enough to go that far. I think Russia would be wrong on that assumption. The US has become plenty crazy in the past few years. Our US leadership is of, by far, the worst quality I have seen in my lifetime.
Now you might ask why the US going crazy isn’t the outcome whether Russia finishes the job tomorrow or in two years. It’s a good question. It might, indeed, be too late at this point to alter the path. Had Russia swiftly 100% taken eastern Ukraine and held the referenda back in June, I think they could have gotten away with it. It has something to do with all of the doubling down in Washington DC and all of the pay-offs from Ukraine to Congress and Biden that have increased over time. There’s the 2024 election that grows nearer. A loss of Ukraine would be played against Biden/democrats. The revolutionary usurpers for whom Biden is the face man cannot lose. They will not permit that. There are economic issues that are at stake. Lots more that I don’t totally understand, but sense is at play both domestically and internationally (see UK, Germany, China). The US just isn’t going to allow the loss of face at this point. It really can’t.
I sure don’t know everything, but I do know that you don’t afford the enemy an opportunity to regroup, resupply or formulate a new plan when you have him on the ropes and sucking wind. That’s a fundamental to my mind. Maybe Russian 4D chess surpasses my puny American capacity for thought. Martyanov has made something of a career out of endlessly explaining the stupidity of Americans like me. Martyanov’s rambling harangues from the hot stove league HQ aside, my guess is that the Russians are in uncharted waters as well and they are making decisions based on assessments with 60/40 favorable probability *at best*- and they know it.
Eric Newhill says
Should have added that my stupid American brain figures the Russians know the fix they’re in b/c they are smart and b/c they have been holding back militarily and b/c they continue to signal the will to negotiate. They know the risks of WW3 are high and they don’t want that. They have held back militarily so they have the strength to defend against a US/NATO attack on Russia. They have not deployed a lot of their best stuff b/c they don’t want the US/NATO to learn what those capabilities are, how much they are and how to defeat it – not b/c they are good guys that don’t want to unleash too much on Ukraine. They want to negotiate to mitigate risk. I think that is smart. I’m sympathetic to the Russian position before Feb 24 and currently (seriously, not concern trolling). I just think the Russians miscalculated at the outset. They should have smashed Ukraine with overwhelming force and wrapped up the SMO with total military victory and referenda by June at the latest. Then dug in and prepared.
Shinmen Takezo says
Eric–US, Poland and Romanian may indeed come in like the Calvary when the Uke lines begin to collapse and are being routed in this coming Russian offensive. Yet the MSM narrative of “Ukraine is winning” continues unabated–and for what reason? They all know (as we all know) that the Ukrainians are suffering massive casualties now (and have been). That they have been bled white in these offensives.
What I think all of the MSM (spoon fed propaganda by the alphabet agencies) is prepping us for, is the massive surprise then the big-arrow moves begin with the Russian army. I think they are prepping us all for the, “we’ve got to do something” pitch that will be replayed over and over by CNN at the rest of MSM lap dogs.
The public fell for it in the 60’s with the Gulf of Tonkin. fell for it again with Gulf War I, dived in headlong after 911 and again for the WMD hoax that brought us permanently into Iraq. And this I believe is why Putin is publicly prepping those big Sarmat candles that can hold 24 MRV’s. I think Putin knows this is where it is all heading and is openly dusting off his strategic missile forces now and stocking up the civil defense shelters openly.
I think the fools pulling President Poopy-Pants strings want a war that will bring chaos and an amount of destruction to the USA–in order to remain permanently in power through the use of emergency orders… which will turn this country into a full-throttle tyranny.
Eric Newhill says
Demilitarization, denazification, securing safety of Donbass are Russia’s stated aims. — Helmholtz Smith
Those were Russia’s original stated goals, but since then Putin has admitted to this being a conflict with the US/NATO/EU…
What are Russia’s goals now? De-NATOification?
Keeping the US from triggering WWIII?
HELMHOLTZ SMITH says
Stated aims. Overthrowing NATO was always the unstated aim.
just saying says
Removing USA hegemony and creating multipolar world was the main goal all along. All the things you mentioned are part of that.
HELMHOLTZ SMITH says
Agreed. Aims come in various sizes and that one is the biggest. most difficult and dangerous and will take the longest to happen. Grand strategy, strategy, operations, tactics. From the perspective of the Big War, Surovikin is making a tactical decision. From the perspective of the Ukraine part of the Big War, he is making an operational decision.
IMO many many commentators cannot understand that there are these layers. I am pretty confident that Putin and his team can see them. Not so confident that anybody in the West can.
Eric Newhill says
Helmholtz, You are correct about the layers, but the danger is the US simply standing up and flipping over the table, hurling all of the pieces across the room in random directions. That would happen when it becomes undeniable that Ukraine is lost. Ukraine is the focus, the game board. IMO, the US knows exactly what is at stake and the Ukraine is the dashboard for how the various layers are trending.
If the US is willing to go to WW3 – whether it makes sense or not – to prevent the sea changes in geopolitics that we think Russia is building towards, then all of the strategy and operational decisions, etc are moot. See? “we will go full-on crazy on you” is the US counter – and it’s a pretty good one. I can’t imagine how Russia overcomes that; especially if the impending loss of Ukraine is the triggering event. It’s a lot like MAD, though the threshold is shifted to “destruction” from the US perspective, being loss of hegemony.
just saying says
Those that rule The West know that all their money & power is worthless in a nuclear bunker (or grave). Russian nukes are preventing them from flipping the table (which is why they have invested heavily into making them as good as they are). Loss of Ukraine won’t end their hegemony (unlike nukes, that would end it instantly). Ukraine is expendable, and so is Poland, Romania and most of Europe for that matter. My guess is that they would go with Ukraine for as long as possible, and then switch to someting else like pushing Poland into Galizia, or Romania into Moldova, or bombing Serbs again, or who knows what. One thing they won’t do is risk getting nukes on Washington, because they love their asses more than anything else.
The US starting a nuclear war is almost inevitable because Ukraine is loosing and will eventually be destroyed. as a 70+ year old Brit tracing my ancestry back to before the US existed I welcome this nuclear armageddon because the US and Britain have become totally evil, with a tiny bit of luck in some far flung corner of the world some will survive to start again. US aim in the world is not dominate the world but profit from endless wars and murder, it is set up for nothing else, it offers nothing to the world but misery and pain.
Eric Newhill says
Sorry, “Just saying”, but sooner or later, if that’s the way NATO goes, all of those new conflict zones lead to WW3. Perpetual initiation of war on Russia’s borders can’t be tolerated – that is what Russia has already stated by invading Ukraine. If NATO is having difficulty produces all the weapons and money to support wars against Russia, then nuclear is the only way they can keep fighting.
The US has influential factions that believe the US can win a nuclear war. They also believe that if they take it to the very brink, that the Russians will back down.
Remember, that during the Cuban missile crisis, Kennedy’s staff wanted to do a first strike. Notice that US first strike policy has recently changed to make first strike more “legally” possible. The brinksmanship and threat escalation has already begun. So, with respect, I disagree with your happier scenario. IMO, the US is already building into spiral that I outlined and wants Russia to know it. This should not be ignored, nor summarily dismissed as an outcome.
just saying says
It is not a happier scenario. I am from Eastern Europe and would prefer nuclear end of the World, than to go trough another war. In addition to that, I would prefer another war than to remain in a colony of US/EU.
Btw: today being Winter Solstice, I wish Larry and all of you Many Happy Returns of the Sun!
Congress just declared a de-facto war against Russia. These people are insane applauding that little green shrimp.
just saying says
Congress declared a de-facto war against Russia in January when Lend-Lease Act was introduced. I bet you did not see that in the news.
S.3522 – Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022
Sponsor: Sen. Cornyn, John [R-TX] (Introduced 01/19/2022)
I did. But this week was a disgusting public display meant to galvanize American opinion. The shrimp’s “democracy” is; banning opposition parties, persecuting the Russian Orthodox church, jailing opponents and assassination. And no American politician is going to stand up and say so (Maybe Rand Paul). 2023 is going to be the beginning of a long and terrible war where millions perish.
just saying says
What new war do you expect to start in 2023?
Russia/China versus the collective West. I see no de-escalation.
Thanks for another very informative article!
The very point I was making in TG, commenting on Biden’s remarks that “Ukraine won in Kiev, Kherson and Kharkov, and have already received 2000 tanks and IFVs, and 800 artillery systems”, in addition of what it had before February 24: “But they still want 300 more tanks, 700 more IFV and 500 more howitzers as per Zaluzhny, i.e. most of those 2000 tanks and IFV, and 800 artillery systems have already been destroyed!
And some idiots like Biden still think those people are winning…, including some “renowned” US and NATO generals! They definitely need to read Boyd and Von Clausewitz, they were not paying attention in their military strategy courses! No wonder they have not been able to win any war for decades…”
Helmholtz: A very fine analysis here. Danke schoen!
The Bakhmut meat grinder carries on… breaking the Ukrainian army on the wheel over time.
The Russians want to contain the battlefield.
But they also want to end the “Ukraine is winning” in Western media… because in the West this is an information & political propaganda war… focussed on the Western public… or do I say against the West’s citizens.
An undeniable portrait of Ukraine losing is important to any public reaction which forces the collective West to negotiate in good faith… although, I agree with the author… it maybe impossible.
Taking territory & cities does that.
There is chatter Ukrainian soldiers are refusing orders at some points on the front.
The best result… although hard to cause… is a military coup… marching on Kiev.
Short of that…
Encirclement @ Bakhmut… at a time of breaking in the Ukrainian morale… in the trenches.
For any sane person… you don’t want a General European War.
Containing the battlefield to its present extent… or close to… is the best route to avoiding General European War.
The consensus seems to be that Russia is going to have around 550,000 combat troops available in the Ukrainian theater. There are many if’s and but’s as to what Russia will be able to do with this force. Ukraine is said to have around 200,000 combat troops with a few tens of thousands more being trained in various NATO countries. Ukraine is fighting along inner lines, a big advantage. News have recently appeared that Poland is mobilizing around 300,000 troops to be ready by May. Making any big pushes from Belarus to the South is hampered by marshes, woodlands and a dearth of roads in Northern Ukraine. Such pushes would also expose long flanks that would require lots and lots of forces to secure, especially if Poland decided to move in. Attacking railway lines and roads with long range munitions is impractical as they are too difficult to hamper with the conventional long range munitions that Russia has. A Kalibr or Geran can blow up a few meters of railway track at best, which are then easily and quickly repaired. It’s similar with roads and bridges are easy to cover with air defenses. Soviet-built bridges are also very sturdy. The only practical option in this regard consists of attacking the electrical grid, and this is what Russia is already doing. Other news have come out that Ukraine is assembling a strike force in the Khakov region to attack towards Belgorod, and as recently as yesterday there have been reports of the Russian leadership speaking about the war in Ukraine going to be a long one. Summing it all up, this commentator predicts that there aren’t going to be any big arrow offensives from the North. Perhaps there will be a push towards Kiev, but not to take it but to just shell it just like Ukraine is shelling Donetsk. That will force Ukraine to divert considerable forces in an attempt to push Russian forces away from Kiev. Note that Russia couldn’t achieve this effect by attacking Kiev with drones and missiles. Russia will have to keep considerable forces around Belgorod to prevent Ukraine from moving in this area. That’s unless the Russian plan is to provoke such a Ukrainian offensive to get a justification for using nuclear weapons. In that case all bets are off. If a conventional Russian offensive occurs, then it will be from the South towards Zaporizhzhia, possibly accompanied by the diversionary move towards Kiev. This area is perhaps not as fortified as neigbouring Donbass to the East, the city itself is of strategic importance because it hosts the Motor Sich turbine factory, moving into the region would make the land bridge to Crimea more secure, and it would bring Russian forces into the rear of Ukrainian forces in the Donbass. Otherwise, it will just be a continuation of the long grind. Russia will use its forces to rotate them in and out of the current front line and to deter any Ukrainian and Polish offensives at other fronts. Maybe Russia is waiting for the Poland to move in because that would deprive Ukraine of all the resources in occupied areas. If Poland decides to keep these resources available to Ukraine, then it becomes a direct participant in the war and can be attacked. Other NATO countries would have to ask themselves whether they really want to help a country that has decided actively and without any provocation to send military forces across the border into Ukraine. Taking out the electrical grid in Poland would render the supply situation in Ukraine very difficult. It would also make the energy situation in Western Europe even more difficult than it already is, because Poland is an exporter of electrical energy.
James K says
Plot twist — NATO is just fine with keeping Russia backed in a corner forcing Russia to play some last-ditch “war of attrition” (even if out of somewhat more defensible position) over $68-100 billion/year (what is chump change for NATO anyway) all to keep the vaunted Ukraine money-laundry operation alive and well. Now should Ukraine’s + NATO’s capabilities falter in the present areas, there would be still plenty of other NATO states/allies/”colonies” then with which to continue simply more of the same…
Patrick Armstrong says
Money? Russia Inc is rolling in moolah https://finance.yahoo.com/news/russia-oil-revenue-sanctions-iea-113433083.html
James K says
Haha nice benefit for Russia, but NATO’s operation in Ukraine is still succeeding (keeping up a long-term quagmire both (1) backing Russia into a corner/last-ditch “war of attrition” and (2) protecting their Ukrainian money-laundry all for just a few couple billions / year aka chump-change for NATO!)
*Edit: the folks on this forum all seem to think NATO is actually serious about “winning” in Ukraine. Don’t get me wrong — that’s a nice side goal, but the primary objective is just to keep the quagmire + money-laundering operation rolling along smoothly for as long as they can milk it. So far, just a few billions annually just enough to pin Russia over into a little corner / last-ditch “war of attrition” seems to be an acceptable overhead)…
Whilst Europeans freeze and get poorer, doesn’t affect the US they don’t care but sooner or later Europeans will wake up that they were had and destroyed not by Russia but by their best buddy. will not make any difference they have zero pride and are now America’s bitch
La Bastille says
Block the border with Poland and the supply of NATO weaponry and wait for the the whole thing to collapse.
21 December 2022 by HELMHOLTZ SMITH
Weaponery Collapse ?
Perhaps Russia don’t even needs to block this border….
I wrote yesterday on MoA
Let’s face it, the European Union’s arms industry is a relic of the past.
Let’s take the example of tanks.
The French Leclerc tank, a project from the 1980s, was produced from 1990 to 2007 in 876 units. Production has never reached 100 units per year. For the past 15 years, France has not built any more tanks, and it is difficult to maintain 220 tanks that should remain in service until 2040.
The German Leopard 2 tank (Bernhard will correct me if I am wrong) is even older. Produced from 1979 to 1992 at 2950 units, a maximum of 300 per year.
What is left of the production capacity and how many years would it take to be able to produce say 500 tanks per year?
Is it feasible without the capacity to produce even steel? Not to mention titanium….
Combat aviation or even the military adaptation of civilian aircraft is more a matter for the air and space museum. The Franco-German SCAF project has been abandoned and Dassault will not survive.
What remains? Some Mauser, Glock and Beretta….
And , yes, a few Exocet for friendly fire.
Posted by: La Bastille | Dec 21 2022 21:19 utc | 44
Can I add that in Germany perhaps a few hundred Howitzer2000 are in order to fire. In France a few dozen ….
Yes, yesterday the last question to Ze and Brandon was: why not give them all the weaponery they need.
Brandon ( une fois n’est pas coutume) says The Thruth
“We’ve given Ukraine what they needed when they needed to defend themselves,” the US leader insisted, listing hundreds of tanks, armored vehicles, artillery, and ammunition that Washington and NATO have handed over to Kiev.
Doing more would have “the prospect of breaking up NATO, breaking up Europe, and the rest of the world,” Biden said, noting that he’s spent “hundreds” of hours persuading US partners around the globe to help Ukraine, but “they are not looking for a Third World War” by fighting Russia directly. “But I’ve said too much.”
Patrick Armstrong says
One of the engaging things about Biden is that he sometimes says things he shouldn’t.
US foreign policy-making has been commandeered by neoconservatives, one of whose core beliefs is that war is not a bad thing, but a good thing, as long as none of them is personally involved in the fighting. This takeover began during the Bush II presidency and has grown increasingly powerful in the ensuing years. How convenient it is for the military-industrial complex to have such a congenial group pulling the strings and fattening the MIC’s purses. It is becoming increasingly difficult for me to imagine any future president (or Congress) changing course without paying a prohibitively high price. You know, the Deep State sort of price.
A good overview, but the relevant counterexamples are missing.
In particular: Carthage won repeatedly against Rome – but the Romans kept fielding new armies. A literal early model for the Monty Python “but the 4th time, the castle stood!”.
Some of this was probably demographic (more people) but clearly at least some of this was the willingness of Romans to keep fighting.
So the question is: are the Ukrainians, Roman-esque? Or are they merely Romanesco cauliflower?
Chris Lanzi says
“One may wonder whether this is understood at West Point given the number of TV generals who say Russia is losing because it’s given up territory and was ‘defeated’ in Kiev. Don’t they remember that the US took Kabul and Baghdad quite early? That didn’t end either of those wars, did it?” I completely agree with this (though my opinion carries little weight, since I have zero military experience and/or expertise). All of the claims that Russia was ‘defeated’ in Kiev stuck me as projection at the time. U.S. strategists apparently expected Russia to act precisely as the U.S. did in Iraq: achieve premature victory by seizing the capital without actually defeating the opposing army first. Russia’s approach is more difficult, but it is the only approach that is capable of achieving real, sustainable victory. Never take advice from a nation that no longer wins wars (that is, the United States).
Andrew M says
Judging from how Kiev keeps trying to fight in Bakhmut and how it keeps advertising Russian retreats in other areas as some sort of a victory, it seems that Ukraine and the West still don’t understand Russia’s objective in this war. Maybe after thousands more perish they will finally get it.
“Why “dominant consideration”? Simple – once you have destroyed the enemy’s power, you can do anything you want. Take territory without destroying power? Not so good. ”
This is nothing but a cope and a lie. The goal of this war is control over Ukrainian territory. Every piece of land in Ukraine is either occupied by the Russian army or the NATO/Ukraine army. Who wins is determined by who controls the land.
Russian liberal/putinist/soviet propaganda wants to tell you putin the neoliberal soviet boomers who have epically screwed up this war are brilliant that everything is going according to plan. It’s a preposterous lie and the more the dissident right swallows this
The ‘Russia is perfect’ websites can be ridiculous. Russia’s ‘shock and awe campaign’ to topple Zelensky, and the ‘hold huge territory with virtually no regular soldiers’ campaign both failed. That said, I think it is practically a requirement to screw up at the beginning of a war, and either continue screwing up (Afghanistan) or figure it out. Russia is still figuring out what to do. But, taking this long is obviously dangerous, given the ever-increasing US involvement.
What is the endgame in Ukraine? Nobody is more aware of the fact that Ukraine war is just a mere sideshow than the Russians. This Ukrainian scenario is really just the tip of a much bigger iceberg. For Russia and her allies ending it quickly by sending the entire Ukraine into the stone age, would enable NATO/US get more opportunities creating troubles elsewhere. So the war in Ukraine will end when the current Jewish-run petrodollar financial casino is replaced by the new Eurasian World Order. That happens when Richard Nixon’s ties with the Laurence of Qhawar is finally revoked and a new SCO, BRICKS network takes hold. Sorry no more free lunch for Hollywood. It can be followed by the creation of a new fully demilitarized Palestine-Jewish Israeli nation with its capital Jerusalem and a new UN with its HQ anywhere but the west.