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The Russian Way Of War
There’s a hint of war in the air—maybe more than a hint. Sundance, for example, is saying that a “hot war” with Russia is no longer a question of “if” but of “when”:
While I don’t fully agree with Sundance on this—nor with Tom Luongo (below)—that may not matter. At a certain point, if enough tripwires are set, things can go: Boom! These are the tripwires that Sundance and Luongo see:
BREAKING: @POTUS announces new US military deployments to Europe:
1. Create permanent HQ for US 5th Army Corps in Poland
2. Deploy additional rotational brigade to Romania
3. Deploy 2 additional F-35 squadrons to the UK
4. "Enhance" rotational deployments in Baltics
5. Deploy 2 additional Navy destroyers to Spain, bringing total from 4 to 6
6. Deploy "additional" air defense to Germany, Italy
So it seems like a good time to offer an explanation of what the Russian way of war actually is, to the extent that we can glean it second hand from what’s going on in Ukraine. I came across an interesting twitter thread today that sets this all out. Who is this guy? I don’t really know, but it seems sensible to me. If it seems otherwise to you, well, comments are enabled. So we’ll look at that first:
🧵Observations on the Ukraine War
I've watched a LOT of drone footage from this war. I've seen, from a bird's eye view, the construction and logic of the field fortifications Ukraine constructed, with US guidance, over the course of eight years.
The logic of these ubiquitous pre-prepared fortifications harkens back to the 1864-65 Battle of Petersburg (US Civil War), with many WW1 innovations – a logic where victory depends on:
- you not running out of men and ammo
- the enemy being comparatively stupid
Of course, when you think about it, the revealed logic of Ukraine’s long-prepared strategy for this war is, in many ways, a reflection of American military delusions and vanities, which multiplied and solidified over the course of the brief and fleeting “unipolar moment”.
Despite not having “won” a war since 1945 (and then only truly against the Japanese), the US military is consumed with the vanity that it has *always* dominated opposing forces in every conflict.
There is some measure of truth in this perspective.
But it is irrelevant. Because, since no later than the Korean War, the US has not faced a peer or near-peer adversary in a high-intensity conflict. The US military has not been, for almost three-quarters of century, truly tested “under-fire”.
This is an indisputable fact.
The US has measured its battlefield mettle, for decades, against brave sandal-shod men with AK-47s, RPGs, and a certain savoir faire for constructing IEDs.
But they have *never* faced anything like Russian artillery or missiles. Not even in Hollywood movies or video games.
Consequently, the Pentagon’s self-perception of unquestioned supremacy has served to disinform and corrupt its doctrinal and procurement decisions for multiple generations of its officer corps. For most US generals and admirals, all putative opponents are underestimated.
This morning I saw, somewhere, someone quoting Scott Ritter, who says that for many years the US has not trained for maneuver warfare. This is why Ritter and Doug Macgregor insist that the US military is emphatically not ready for a conventional war with Russia.
That said, I believe a great many have now been awakened from their intellectual slumber by the manner in which the Russian armed forces quickly assessed the Ukrainian order of battle, and then professionally adapted their strengths and tactics to decisively defeat it.
Here is a brief summation of the Russian tactical approach to the Battle of the Donbass:
Step #1: advance reconnaissance units (often in force, with dozens or hundreds of drones overhead) to assess the situation; draw fire; relay to commanders raw video and geo-coordinates
Step #2: with target-correcting drone swarms relaying real-time strike video, proceed to savage the fortifications with towed and mobile artillery, MLRS in gradations of strength and precision, and even horrific thermobaric munitions for particularly suitable targets.
Let smoke clear.
Repeat Step #1.
Still something moving there?
Repeat Step #2.
Repeat Step #1.
Dead bodies everywhere?
Step #3: Send in tanks and infantry to mop up.
Move to next series of fortifications.
And so on and so forth …
This is why Ukraine now suffers hundreds of KIAs every day.
And why, for months, the Russians have suffered very few casualties – at least a 1 to 10 ratio. Probably much lower.
The artillery (with occasional air and precision missile strikes) is doing all the fighting.
But back to Ukraine’s apparent strategy for this war, and the apparent US influence on that strategy.
I will preface my commentary on this issue by stating that I am now thoroughly convinced Ukraine’s fatal blunder was following NATO's advice.
I’ll grant the remote possibility that the Pentagon/CIA had a cogent view, far in advance, of the relative unlikelihood that a half-million-strong, well-armed, and presumptively well-trained (by NATO) Ukraine military didn’t have much chance against Russia.
But watching drone video of Ukrainian fortifications has convinced me the NATO brain trust effectively disdained Russian military capability, and its commanders, in the course of their eight-year-long preparation of the eastern Ukrainian battlefield.
They clearly believed the Russians would be stupid enough to assault Ukrainian fortifications using “modern” tactics entirely ill-suited to the task at hand.
Their vanity persuaded them the Russians would beat themselves to pieces against an entrenched well-armed force.
Indeed, they were so confident of the genius of their plan that they persuasively encouraged many hundreds (if not thousands) of now-killed or captured NATO veterans to “share in the glory” of humiliating the Russians and bringing down the Putin regime once and for all.
They deluded themselves into believing the Russians lacked: strategic and logistical acumen, a sufficiently well-trained force, and – arguably the biggest miscalculation of all – sufficient stockpiles of ammo to conduct a protracted high-intensity conflict.
In short, I have come to believe the US/NATO actually persuaded themselves that this “Mother of All Proxy Armies” they built in Ukraine seriously had an excellent chance to soundly whip the Russians in a battle situated on their borders.
In other words, they not only grossly underestimated their enemy, but they ignored centuries of history that they somehow convinced themselves had no relevance to their 21st century aspirations to defeat Russia militarily and take a great spoil of its resources.
But, as is now readily apparent to all objective, knowledgeable military analysts around the globe, the US/NATO-trained Ukraine proxy army been savaged by a patient, methodical, and significantly outnumbered Russian force, using century-old doctrines and tactics.
Even more revealing is that once-vaunted and universally feared US/UK weaponry – almost all of it rather antiquated – has proven to be far less “game-changing” than the pea-brained strategists in Washington and Whitehall mistakenly believed.
Javelins, NLAWs, and Stingers have been exposed as effectively useless against their intended targets. M-777 howitzers break down after just a few fires. GPS-guided “precision” munitions are routinely jammed by Russian EW counter-measures.
Worse yet, the inculcation of NATO field doctrines in the minds of the AFU officer cadre has resulted in pervasively inflexible responses to battlefield events that developed contrary to expectations; discipline has disintegrated; improvisation has been paralyzed.
To be sure, if one were to go by the laughable assessments of western think-tank propagandists and their dutiful lackeys in the media, “Ukraine is winning” and “the inept Russian military has been humiliated”.
But more discerning observers around the world know better.
What sober military men in potential adversary countries across the globe see is that Russia has, with one hand tied behind its back, eviscerated the massive, relatively well-armed and well-trained Ukraine military. The US intimidation factor has been forever compromised.
What he means by “with one hand tied behind its back” is that Russia is doing this with only its standing professional army—it has not mobilized its reserves.
More geopolitically significant, at least in the near future, is that European NATO members can also read the scorecard of this war: they now understand as they never could previously that standing on the NATO side of the field is hardly a guarantee of security.
I am convinced NATO will not survive the results of this war in Ukraine. Sure, they’ll “keep up appearances” for the time being, but there can be no doubt that most now understand that siding with a rapidly declining empire is fraught with great risk and minimal gain.
More concerningly, the Chinese have been watching all of these developments with great interest. They are almost certain to be emboldened to act decisively to secure their sphere of influence in the emerging multipolar world.
Great dangers now await in east Asia …
The thing about all this is, is that US/NATO have still only seen a limited part of Russia’s capabilities—those capabilities are those geared toward the Ukrainian defensive strategy. How Russia would react to a US/NATO offensive is yet to be seen. For that reason I doubt US/NATO has sufficient information to counter the Russian military without severe damage. This is especially important to bear in mind because of the Russian hypersonic missile force. These weapons are not merely pinpoint but can also be used as area weapons—as in, take out, for example, an entire carrier group.
Now, Tom Luongo has a somewhat similar post—to that of Sundance—this afternoon. I highly recommend the entire post, but I’ll quote the concluding portion. I particularly like Luongo’s idea that the US’ federal system is still functioning well enough to pull us through this crisis—bloodied but still able to move forward within our limits. His reference to the SCOTUS is well taken in that regard, because the consistent theme of this term—quite a few cases, not just the high profile ones—has been the revival of federalism.
Luongo’s big picture view is pretty much the same as Sundance’s—Davos and its Neocon minions in DC are behind this war on Russia. Opposing Davos is the Fed and Jamie Dimon and the SCOTUS majority.
Russia and China will cut Europe off from global trade if Europe defaults on its debt, which ECB President Christine Lagarde just told the world she is ready to do. The Fed’s hawkishness is already destroying the Eurodollar markets, the source of Davos’ power.
The vestiges of US Federalism still function at a high enough level to thwart all of their plans. c.f. the SCOTUS decisions last week and Ron DeSantis’ track record as Florida Governor.
Speaking of DeSantis, he’s rapidly emerging as the front-runner for the GOP nomination in 2024.
So, in conclusion this is what I see next:
Russia will not stop with their victory in Donbass
They will take Nikolaev, Kharkov and Odessa (Note Russian spelling, screw the BBC!).
Russia will not take the bait over Kaliningrad, but will cut off all gas to Germany.
The German government will fall, but it won’t matter b/c the Greens, who set policy, control the Bundesrat.
Russia will continue to not give Davos the excuse to start WWIII, even with Finland and Sweden entering the alliance.
They will keep upping the stakes while further exposing the emptiness of their threats.
The Biden Admin. will keep trying to start a war over Taiwan
Eventually China will oblige them, even though they don’t want to.
Bulgaria’s collapse is just the start of the end of the EU in Eastern Europe.
NATO will either collapse or nukes will fly…. I’m still betting on the former.
Erdogan caving over NATO expansion means Putin will oppose him in Syria.
The Fed will continue raising rates while the ECB hangs on for dear life.
In desperation I expect a false flag provocation to force the Russians into a move or simply justify the Davos pulling us into their next war, i.e. another virus or chemical weapons attack this time blamed on Putin.
The goal of this project is an independent Europe, a broken US and vassalage for Asia.
They will achieve, at best, one of those three things. An independent, but broken Europe under the vassalage of Russia and China, the the US retreats and licks its wounds. That’s the future I see now, if the nukes don’t fly.