HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » ColinC » Journal
Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 Next »


Profile Information

Member since: Fri Mar 13, 2020, 03:54 AM
Number of posts: 5,673

Journal Archives

Atlantic: Why Can't the West Admit That Ukraine Is Winning?


America has become too accustomed to thinking of its side as stymied, ineffective, or incompetent.

About the author: Eliot A. Cohen is a contributing writer at The Atlantic, a professor at The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, and the Arleigh Burke chair in strategy at CSIS. From 2007 to 2009, he was the Counselor of the Department of State. He is the author most recently of The Big Stick: The Limits of Soft Power and the Necessity of Military Force.

When i visited iraq during the 2007 surge, I discovered that the conventional wisdom in Washington usually lagged the view from the field by two to four weeks. Something similar applies today. Analysts and commentators have grudgingly declared that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has been blocked, and that the war is stalemated. The more likely truth is that the Ukrainians are winning.

So why can’t Western analysts admit as much? Most professional scholars of the Russian military first predicted a quick and decisive Russian victory; then argued that the Russians would pause, learn from their mistakes, and regroup; then concluded that the Russians would actually have performed much better if they had followed their doctrine; and now tend to mutter that everything can change, that the war is not over, and that the weight of numbers still favors Russia. Their analytic failure will be only one of the elements of this war worth studying in the future.

At the same time, there are few analysts of the Ukrainian military—a rather more esoteric specialty—and thus the West has tended to ignore the progress Ukraine has made since 2014, thanks to hard-won experience and extensive training by the United States, Great Britain, and Canada. The Ukrainian military has proved not only motivated and well led but also tactically skilled, integrating light infantry with anti-tank weapons, drones, and artillery fire to repeatedly defeat much larger Russian military formations. The Ukrainians are not merely defending their strong points in urban areas but maneuvering from and between them, following the Clausewitzian dictum that the best defense is a shield of well-directed blows.

The reluctance to admit what is happening on the ground in Ukraine stems perhaps in part from the protectiveness scholars feel for their subject (even if they loathe it on moral grounds), but more from a tendency to emphasize technology (the Russians have some good bits), numbers (which they dominate, though only up to a point), and doctrine. The Russian army remains in some ways very cerebral, and intellectuals can too easily admire elegant tactical and operational thinking without pressing very hard on practice. But the war has forcibly drawn attention to the human dimension. For example, most modern militaries rely on a strong cadre of noncommissioned officers. Sergeants make sure that vehicles are maintained and exercise leadership in squad tactics. The Russian NCO corps is today, as it has always been, both weak and corrupt. And without capable NCOs, even large numbers of technologically sophisticated vehicles deployed according to a compelling doctrine will end up broken or abandoned, and troops will succumb to ambushes or break under fire.

The evidence that Ukraine is winning this war is abundant, if one only looks closely at the available data. The absence of Russian progress on the front lines is just half the picture, obscured though it is by maps showing big red blobs, which reflect not what the Russians control but the areas through which they have driven. The failure of almost all of Russia’s airborne assaults, its inability to destroy the Ukrainian air force and air-defense system, and the weeks-long paralysis of the 40-mile supply column north of Kyiv are suggestive. Russian losses are staggering—between 7,000 and 14,000 soldiers dead, depending on your source, which implies (using a low-end rule of thumb about the ratios of such things) a minimum of nearly 30,000 taken off the battlefield by wounds, capture, or disappearance.

Leaked Russian comms: Fighters for Russia dead (incl mercenaries): 17,265


Victor Kovalenko
A former internal affairs minister of #Ukraine @AvakovArsen shared the intercepted Russian military summary for March 18: Rus. Army troops killed 12,814. Private company Liga (former Vagner) troops killed 4,451. Total number ofservicemembers killed at war in Ukraine: 17,265.

CNN: Signs point to a stalemate in Ukraine


Natasha Bertrand
Signs point to a stalemate emerging in Ukraine, a senior NATO intel official said today.
“If we are not in a stalemate already, we are rapidly approaching one. It’s quite a thing to say when you consider the disparity in strength when this fight began.”
Neither side is backing down in the conflict, senior NATO official says
9:08 AM · Mar 21, 2022

Some clarity on "stalemate":


Jennifer Cafarella
It is also important to unpack what stalemate means.

It does not mean an end to the killing.

Stalemates can be even more violent than prior phases.

Amidst this grinding attrition, #Russia’s violence against #Ukraine’s civilians will likely grow

"Ukrainian forces have defeated the initial Russian campaign..."


ISW- “Ukrainian forces have defeated the initial Russian campaign of this war. Its culmination is creating conditions of stalemate throughout most of Ukraine.”
NEW: Ukrainian forces have defeated the initial #Russian campaign of this war. Its culmination is creating conditions of stalemate throughout most of #Ukraine.

Read the latest Russian offensive campaign assessment from @TheStudyofWar and @criticalthreats: https://isw.pub/RusCampaignMar19

Ukraine forces rescue Melitopol mayor.


olexander scherba🇺🇦
Ukraine conducted a “special operation” and rescued #Melitopol mayor Ivan Fedorov from captivity in the occupied #Luhansk! Melitopol is Ukraine! Thank you all who supported the #FreeIvanFedorov hashtag!




The Kyiv Independent
⚡️Melitopol Mayor was exchanged for 9 Russian conscripts.

The soldiers were 18-19 years old, according to Dasha Zarivna, a spokesperson for the presidential chief of staff. Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov was abducted and held captive by the Russian forces for five days.
3:50 PM · Mar 16, 2022

Do you support the US enforcing a no fly zone in Ukraine?

Generally the way I'm starting to feel about this is that we are not the ones being attacked. We are not fighting this war, and we are not directly on the border with a country that has made clear they think we belong to them. eastern European countries have been increasingly supportive of intervention such as no fly zones and peacekeeping missions entering the country.

These are the countries that are under direct threat, and if attacked even in a small way, would trigger a direct war with Russia. To me, all of the assumptions about a no fly zone are skipping several steps of escalation, some of which are already occurring without further action. To assume direct intervention would result in world war seems to be ignoring the fact that no intervention could also lead to the same thing. It is possible to consider options of greater involvement like a no fly zone in a risk-informed manner which does not directly result in world war 3 -as none of the previous skirmishes with Russian and NATO troops ever actually resulted in such a thing.

US Officials fear China already decided to send Russia economic aid


China has already decided to provide Russia with economic and financial support during its war on Ukraine and is contemplating sending military supplies such as armed drones, US officials fear.

The US national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, laid out the US case against Russia’s invasion in an “intense” seven-hour meeting in Rome with his Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechi, pointing out that Moscow had feigned interest in diplomacy while preparing for invasion, and also that the Russian military was clearly showing signs of frailty.

FT: China poised to help Russia


The Kyiv Independent
⚡️ Financial Times: China poised to help Russia.

FT quoted unnamed officials, writing that “the U.S. has told allies that China signaled its willingness to provide military assistance to Russia to support its invasion of Ukraine.”
11:16 AM · Mar 14, 2022

Original Source: https://www.ft.com/content/52ea7aab-f8d1-46b6-9d66-18545c5ef9b9

When should the US get directly involved militarily in the Ukraine crisis?

Forbes: Secure humanitarian corridors for 2nd Berlin Airlift over Ukraine


As Moscow thrashes about in Ukraine, unable to unwind an increasingly disastrous invasion, the situation is bleak for Ukraine’s non-combatant civilian population. Ceasefires on the ground to allow civilian passage out of Mariupol and Volnovakha have collapsed. With nothing on the horizon to relieve the situation, one humanitarian option is to establish a set of secure life-saving air corridors within Ukraine.

Time is of the essence. Within days, the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine will be intolerable.

In Europe, secure air corridors have been used for humanitarian purposes before. The United States, Britain and France employed humanitarian air corridors in 1948 and 1949, after the Soviet Union began a blockade of Berlin. The Berlin Airlift used three contested air corridors to resupply the besieged German city.

Go to Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 Next »