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Calling Russia a Weak State with a Garbage Military Is a Mistake

Russia Su-34
Russian Air Force Su-34 Fighter. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Is the U.S. underestimating Russia? We Westerners often fancy ourselves as having the most brilliant, experienced, and capable militaries in the world. In America, we believe our economic might, backed up by our status as the world’s top oil producer, enables us to dominate all regions of the globe. Yet beneath the surface, there is a growing danger to our country that few recognize: uninformed confidence, lack of knowledge, and dangerous hubris.

Ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu famously wrote, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” America arguably epitomized the first sentence following World War II, fueling our rise as a global superpower; we’re now in danger of embodying the last sentence.

In some instances, over the past few decades, the U.S. has genuinely demonstrated a superior capacity to wage war. Yet as often happens, long stretches of success can produce, not more excellence, but hubris – and hubris often leads to laziness.

When I was a young second lieutenant in 1990 serving in the 2nd United States Cavalry patrolling the Cold War border between East and West Germany, our military leaders were relentless in compelling us to study our potential Soviet opponents ad nauseum. We had to commit to memory their tactics, doctrine, and capabilities of all major weapon systems.

We were never afraid of the Red Army, but we had a very healthy respect for what millions of Soviet troops and tens of thousands of armored vehicles could do if we waged war against them. Knowing our own tactics and abilities as well as those of our would-be Soviet enemies, gave us the confidence to believe we could defeat them if it ever came to war. Today, whether in the U.S. military, diplomatic corps, or in the political arena, there appears precious little interest in putting in the work to know anything about “the enemy.”

To the contrary, we presently believe our side is vastly superior to that of nearly any possible opponent. We routinely mock, ridicule, and condescend on the Russian army, routinely describing them as “incompetent,” “garbage” and in danger of outright “collapse.” There is little evidence that more than a precious few in the think-tank world, on Capitol Hill, or in the Administration – and even the U.S. military – spend sufficient time studying our Russian adversary.

Instead, we love to turn them into a caricature of the “evil” side, devoid of any valid points of view, and of little more than use as a media punching bag. We only seek information about Russia to confirm our existing bias that they are wicked to support our preferred outcome that they be defeated. Such attitudes result in the development of a dangerously inaccurate assessment of our opponent. The reality of this war, in contrast, is that there isn’t a “good” side and a “bad” side, there are just the Ukrainian and Russian sides, each with their own strengths, weaknesses, flaws, and attributes.

By refusing to study and understand the Russians in an open and honest way, we fail to arm ourselves with the information and knowledge necessary to create policies that have a solid chance of attaining outcomes beneficial to the United States. One does not need to love Russia or condone anything they’ve done. But by clinging to the arrogant view that Russia is a weak state, with a garbage military, led by evil men, we stumble into policies that may, through sheer ignorance, inadvertently produce outcomes antithetical to our interests.

We also don’t know ourselves. We believe that our military technology is the best in the world, and it is our sovereign choice as to how much of it we’ll give Ukraine to achieve the outcome we desire, believing the results are fully within our ability to control. We believe that we can force-manage all economic aspects of warfare, in that we consider ourselves brilliant enough to manipulate with a fine instrument measures intended to harm Russia but believe we can simultaneously insulate our own markets from any ill-effects or harm.

We believe we can successfully blunt Russia’s energy resources while maintaining oil prices for our oil that suits our preferences; we do the equivalent of thinking we can drain one end of a pool to deprive our neighbor of water while keeping our end of the pool happily full. By continuing to make policies based on too little knowledge and too much hubris, we play a very dangerous game of, pardon the intentional pun, Russian roulette, with the security and viability of our economy and national security at stake.

In the condition where we know neither our enemy nor ourselves, we are headed to a bad outcome – and if carried far enough, to catastrophe.

Also a 1945 Contributing Editor, Daniel L. Davis is a Senior Fellow for Defense Priorities and a former Lt. Col. in the U.S. Army who deployed into combat zones four times. He is the author of “The Eleventh Hour in 2020 America.” Follow him @DanielLDavis.

Written By

Daniel L. Davis is a Senior Fellow for Defense Priorities and a former Lt. Col. in the U.S. Army who deployed into combat zones four times. He is the author of “The Eleventh Hour in 2020 America.” Follow him @DanielLDavis1.

40 Comments

40 Comments

  1. Michael Droy

    November 22, 2022 at 11:02 am

    So the US, having talked up war with Russia, is now backing away.
    It sees:
    no support amongst American voters,
    strong opposition amongst other Nato members,
    absolute horror amongst non-aligned nations like Saudi or even nato Turkey,

    and David Davis has the job of gradually walking back on all the aggressions announced previously.
    He does his job well.

  2. froike

    November 22, 2022 at 12:20 pm

    Mr Davis has a penchant for excusing Putin’s illegal and immoral invasion of Ukraine. The Ukraine Invasion has proved, beyond any doubt, that Russia is a Weak Terrorist State, with a Paper Tiger Military.
    If this was not the case, Ukraine would have been conquered in March or April of 2022. So Mr. Davis, if anything, NATO has given The Russian Military way too much credit. Calling The Russian Hordes “A Military” is an insult to Militaries around The World.

  3. Mario

    November 22, 2022 at 1:10 pm

    Mr. Davis: Are you telling me that NATO is less of an army than the Ukrainian in the first weeks of the invasion? The small army that ridiculed the cream of the Russian military forces without Western help?

    The truth is that it has been shown (not elucidated as you usually do) that the alleged Russian army cannot withstand two days of contact with any medium NATO army. Completely, it would not last even hours. And that, sir, are battle-tested facts and not mere wishes and assumptions.

  4. Dan Farrand

    November 22, 2022 at 2:45 pm

    “spend sufficient time studying our Russian adversary.”

    Russia is only our adversary, because factions within the invisible government in the US have worked hard to make it our adversary.

    Ukraine is the result of a monumental 30 year foreign policy failure. A failure which may, happily, bring an end to the US Empire.

    I say Empire not as a derogatory. Empires are not entirely evil. They can bring order and create conditions for prosperity. Like all Human creations they are neither purely good or bad. On balance for many years, the US Empire has been a force for good. But that balance has shifted. When the tipping point was actually reached – I am not sure.

    It will be very painful to loose the benefits the Empire has showered on the American people, but the cost has been the corruption of our institutions and the debasement and dulling of our minds and spirits.

    Today, America lacks the belief and virtue to sustain the empire, yet our privileges cannot be sustained without the tribute the Empire brought to us.

    It will be painful and who knows if it will end in rebirth or decay? But just as the Ukrainian people are not innocent in the horrors befalling them, neither shall we be innocent of histories retribution that must inevitably visit us.

  5. Michael

    November 22, 2022 at 2:46 pm

    Russia is clearly a “gas station with nukes”…..nothing more

  6. Rick

    November 22, 2022 at 2:52 pm

    I knew from the title who wrote this drivel.

  7. Woodman

    November 22, 2022 at 3:10 pm

    Lately I find I can get comedy here as well as MAGA click-bait when reading Mr Davis’ articles.

    Sure Russia has millions of people they can throw into combat. So does Western Europe and the US which greatly exceeds Russia in terms of population, wealth and combined defense capability. As stated above logistics, coordination, discipline and effective leadership of the Russian military is sorely lacking and in many cases non existent as has been made clear by the current conflict.

    Of course they have nuclear weapons, but that’s about it other than being a “gas station” with a “military” and a remarkably ineffective one considering its (diminishing) size.

  8. Pete

    November 22, 2022 at 3:25 pm

    No point of commenting on an author who only seems to support Russia and belittle his own country he resides in. You’re not a patriot.

  9. Tomb

    November 22, 2022 at 3:28 pm

    Yes there is a good and bad side.
    Ukraine is the good side , however imperfect.
    Russia is the bad side, invading a neighboring country only to conquer and
    annex it.

    Until this is established, hard to hold any sensible conversation….
    However, I think he may have a point about weapons….
    Love to see the vaunted American M1 tank is combat in Ukraine.

  10. Roger J. Buffington

    November 22, 2022 at 3:41 pm

    I was a Field Artillery Captain during the Cold War. At that time we all knew that in the USSR we faced a large and dangerous military machine. From a conventional standpoint, we realistically knew that if we tangled with the Soviets we risked defeat.
    Today though, the conventional Russian military really does appear to be about as bad as most of us think that it is. The men are poorly led, poorly trained, and not motivated. Their equipment and logistics are quite literally inferior to World War I armies. It is not wrong to see your enemy for what he is, and that is what he is. The Russian air force (“aerospace force”) and what passes for their Navy appear to be even worse. Realistically, the Russian military appears to have been picked clean by corruption.

  11. Jim

    November 22, 2022 at 4:05 pm

    The diplomatic school of Realism demands a clear eyed look at capabilities & limitations, ourselves, our allies, and our adversaries.

    It takes into account present geo-political circumstances, and looks for ways to improve our international standing & economics, with war as a last resort… Realism suggests taking into account the national interests (including security) of other nation-states.

    Restraint as an opening approach and as Ronald Reagan put it, “Peace through Strength,” with a military to back it up.

  12. Paul

    November 22, 2022 at 5:22 pm

    When it comes to the art of underestimation and delusions there is really no competition, Putin is the champion. The evidence is clear.
    Putin thought his army could kick in the door in Ukraine and the rotten regime would collapse. Wrong, the Ukrainian people evidently is highly motivated and to resist and have done so with increasing success for 9 months.

    Putin thought the resources spent on his forces had given him a strong and well equipped military. Wrong, corruption have skimmed much of the money designated to military purpose and pillaged the military warehouses. His conscription army lacks basic supplies like winter uniforms, bulletproof wests, tents, food rations and basic medical kits. His army is ill prepared to train 300k conscripts, and they get sub standard training or none at all. His army is poorly led, poorly trained, poorly equipped and poorly motivated for the task he have given them. We learn this from the Russian armys inability to accomplish their tasks and failure to operate on a level previously believed they would manage. We can also see and hear what the Russian soldiers say in complaints made public about equipment, training and leadership.

    When it comes to western/Ukrainian hybris and underestimation or Putins army, well the evidence is there for all to see, Putins Russian army so far have shown themselves to be underperforming and is the second best in Ukraine.

    Of cause Ukraine and the west should not make the assumption that the Russian army is unable to turn this around. Daniel Davis cites Sun Tzu about knowing your enemy. But while underestimating your enemy is bad, so is overestimating. If you overestimate your enemy you might miss a possibility to strike while he is weak.

  13. Brad Ottens

    November 22, 2022 at 6:53 pm

    Thank you for your service; now STFU. You might as well be a troll. Maybe you are referring to the media underestimating Russia by reporting on its numerous failures. Maybe you can quote sources within the US military and/or government that are committing “hubris”.

    Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed?

  14. Jim

    November 22, 2022 at 6:56 pm

    “The evidence is clear. Putin thought his army could kick in the door in Ukraine and the rotten regime would collapse. Wrong…”

    Yes, they were wrong… it was a gambit hoping for a coup de maine… all that talk of three days was poppycock.

    A good head fake by the U. S. and Ukraine… eight years preparation… no way Ukraine was going to collapse… even their peace dalliance was fake… to buy time to buck up their military.

    Russia retreated in relative good order (there was harassing that caused casualties).

    Time for plan B…. and they did have a plan B.

    Your litany doesn’t leave anything out.

    But Russia is still standing… more than just standing.

    Building to something… I know not what… there are several directions they can go.

    Then we will see.

  15. Steven

    November 22, 2022 at 8:51 pm

    All Putin has right now is attacking Ukraine’s infrastructure. Petty, petualant, and weak.

  16. Steven

    November 22, 2022 at 8:52 pm

    *petulant

  17. Jason Hammerhead

    November 22, 2022 at 11:02 pm

    Daniel Davis, go to live in Russia if you like it so much,
    I bet you can get a spot in the russian state TV together with Solovyov.

  18. H.R. Holm

    November 22, 2022 at 11:17 pm

    If Russia were in such dire straits militarily as a lot of commentators here portend, then NATO would have mobilized months ago to prepare an actual campaign to push them back out of Ukraine, one which would have been well underway by now. But NATO hasn’t. Why is that? (Hint: modernized Russian nuclear forces vs. atrophying as well as considerably reduced U.S. ones.) Russian units still occupy erstwhile ‘Ukranian’ territories. Russia has upped the ante considerably recently, as its weaponry has taken down a huge chunk of Ukraine’s energy capability, and hence what remains of Ukranian economic activity on the industrial side of things. Winter approaches; this is not sustainable by Ukraine for much longer. We have yet to see what Russia has as a second punch, but do not doubt it will throw one. And does anyone think that Russia has not kept considerable conventional forces on the sideines/in reserve also just in case NATO finally decides to really get all macho about the situation? Think again. NATO may have now mobilized five carrier groups to ‘control’ the Atlantic’, for example, but, oh, what about that Russian combined submarine force? They will be among the first to go into action in case that dreaded balloon goes up, and don’t think they won’t have the carriers, et al, zeroed in on from minute one. Still lots of them to do it, too. None of us want to see this ultimate confrontation flare, but you people who are so smug-sure that NATO would slam-dunk it over the Russia would have the rudest of awakenings.

  19. Anon

    November 23, 2022 at 1:21 am

    Does this guy write anything other than pro-russian garbage? Look at his entire history on this site.

  20. Peter Surkov

    November 23, 2022 at 5:05 am

    «Such attitudes result in the development of a dangerously inaccurate assessment of our opponent.»

    That‘s rich coming from an author who has been spectaculary wrong in his assessments since the beginning of the conflict. At least now he refrains from analysis and predictions and keeps himself to vague warnings, reminiscing of his past and sprinklings of Sun Tzu. Good on him! At least it saves Davis and 1945 from further embarrassment.

  21. Jack

    November 23, 2022 at 9:14 am

    What does Russia’s strength derive from?

    – it can’t be its conventional army, it’s now using reduced to using outdated equipment, it doesn’t have a professional NCO corps and it’s loosing to what should (on paper) be a far weaker opponent which is by and large using the Russian operational playbook.

    – it can’t be the Navy, it lacks the strength to project force around the world and its sole aircraft carrier regularly breaks down.

    – Wonder weapons as the germans found out does not a super power make, and those weapons are still largely on the drawing board.

    – what strength it does possess boils largely down to possession of nuclear weapons, a legacy of the USSR. However other countries have such weapons and the principle problem in acquiring them these days is that doing so is likely to get you sanctioned back into the 12th century.

  22. Jim

    November 23, 2022 at 10:40 am

    Funny, the point Daniels was making is about underestimating your opponent being a dangerous practice.

    That is basic military 101.

    (And true for competitive situations in life.)

    Yet, many comments in response to Daniels’ article proves Daniels point… in spades…

    Do you see how unwise your comments are? Frankly, how stupid & useless those comments are and reflect more on the commenter than Daniels.

    Gentlemen, all Daniels did was state a Truism in War… Period.

    But you are so helplessly partisan, biased, and prejudiced you can’t even recognize a “Truism” when you see one…

    If this is the quality of thought that proponents of U. S. Ukraine policy bring to the table… it’s doomed to failure… and the only question is will this policy end up being the U. S.’s Waterloo.

    Seriously.

    (You can go off and be stupid, I don’t care… but when your pig headedness puts the U S. in danger the rest of us have to stop you… before you screw all of us.)

  23. Jim

    November 23, 2022 at 11:01 am

    Oops, I reversed the names… it’s Davis, pardon me… yes, we can all make mistakes… perhaps, that is a lesson, too… but the most dangerous mistakes are in warfare where lives hang in the balance… and hubris is the most dangerous mistake of all.

  24. Longtrail

    November 23, 2022 at 1:13 pm

    Jim,

    You comment is excellent and very true. Your assessment of the other comments is correct. Lt COL Davis is correct. He reminds me of COL Douglas McGregor.

    Beste

  25. Kelvin Clarke

    November 23, 2022 at 4:20 pm

    Davis has an ulterior motive in talking up Russian military competence. He wants the West to stop supporting Ukraine so that his Russian buddies get a reprieve and commence some kind of recovery. His idea is that we should tiptoe around the Russian Bear, because clearly it is much more powerful than we choose to see. Well, I also choose to see Russian military power for what it is:
    Russia has both failed to achieve its strategic goals and has been reversed repeatedly on the battlefield. This can only mean, after nine months, that they were either understrength and/or disorganised in the first place, and that they are incapable of rectifying these deficiencies. Anyone who imagines that there is effective military force left in Russia must answer why it has not been deployed already.
    Russia is currently trying to gain any possible advantage by wholesale sacrifice of hapless conscripts, systematic terror tactics against civilians, and construction of improvised defensive depth. None of these actions stand a snowball’s chance in hell against a well-provisioned and highly motivated enemy which correctly foresees Winter as a golden opportunity to destroy what remains of the Russian Army.
    Oh, and Russia’s behaviour of murder, torture, rape and abduction is no different to what is expected from their criminal past.

  26. T. Martin

    November 23, 2022 at 5:35 pm

    The ‘fog of war’; this is what happens when a British military specialist says that Russia is running out of missiles in the spring and no one asks the average urban Ukranian on the ground, his or her opinion, in the fall.

  27. Scipio

    November 23, 2022 at 6:30 pm

    A very interesting article and timely warning, thank you Mr. Davis.

    As some of the ignorant replies to your article demonstrate, there is sadly still a dangerous hubris in the West and in particular the United States, that produces a wilful and dangerous blindness about reality.

    For example, few would know about the disturbing state of the US military in 2022, even though evidence about it has been published by the GAO in recent days : https://www.gao.gov/products/gao-23-106217 revealing how the US is simply not ready for a prolonged conflict with a peer adversary, such as Russia or China.

    Few would understand that this debacle impacts the entire West. For example, a consequence of western leaders outsourcing manufacturing to cheap labour (available in say China) has been the loss of the industrial base required for prolonged warfare. This has destroyed the ability of western nations to produce weapons and materiel in a prolonged fight against a peer adversary. Simply put, the west runs out of ammo, and fast.

    Again, there’s no excuse for being unaware of this, as leading military thinkers have warned about it for years and as recently as 2022 see https://www.rusi.org/explore-our-research/publications/commentary/return-industrial-warfare

    However, we just can’t help ourselves in the West. We seem incapable of understanding ourselves in anything else but grandiose, delusional terms.

    In respect of the Ukraine crisis, perhaps the worst element of western hubris is the peculiar idea that Russia has a weak military and is a weak nation. Perhaps that was the case for a short period in the 1990s but since then the Russian military has been rebuilt, as has their society. In 2022, it is a far more powerful, sophisticated country than arrogant westerners realise.

    Proof ? The Russian economy is now stronger than when western nations imposed the US sanctions in February 2022. Proof? The Russian military is now on a par with, of not stronger than the American military and in terms of hypersonic technology, decades ahead. These are painful realities for Americans to consider, let alone accept, but the truth is that America got lazy from about 2008 and Moscow took full advantage, so here we are.

    A last point. The Russians are a martial nation, who understand warfare and are very good at it, too. Their military today has had far more experience in real warfare against genuine adversaries, than any American force has had since Korea.

    This is a culture seeped in war (unlike America, they have experienced multiple brutal invasions since 1800 and lost 25 million in WW2) and extremely resilient to its affects.

    The Russians understand real warfare, how to do it and how to win, better than western nations do.

    As the saying goes, ‘Don’t Poke the Bear’. The western performance in this Ukraine crisis has been a disaster of epic proportions. And while the Ukrainians have fought bravely, they never had a hope.

    Moscow has already achieved its SMO objectives. It will also achieve what its next objectives in Ukraine are. Meanwhile, the west will continue to decline in economic and military terms.

    The question is, will the West take stock and learn from this debacle? I hope so..because if it doesn’t, things will only get worse.

    • JMF

      November 23, 2022 at 11:25 pm

      Scipio: Just wanted to thank you for your remarkably intelligent and substantiated rebuttal to the various garbage-heads who ignorantly lambasted this impressive article.

      Ironically, that troll chorus unwittingly displays the exact defects that Daniel Davis so eruditely describes. “Blissful” ignorance and vain cockiness do not win wars. To the contrary, as I.F. Stone put it, “All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.”

  28. Neil Ross

    November 23, 2022 at 7:02 pm

    A good article, and some good thought provoking comments. I do not believe the leaders of NATO nor the U.S. military truly think Russia’s military is a joke, but they do see a degree of weakness and are using this as an opportunity to weaken an historical foe. For what ultimate goal, no one can be certain, as the list of possible outcomes are almost endless. Only time will reveal whether it was worth the risk taken by both sides. Sadly it does not look like the suffering will end any time soon.

    “If there’s a gun on the wall in act one, it must be fired by the third act.” Chekhov

  29. Newt

    November 23, 2022 at 7:27 pm

    This:
    “Yet, many comments in response to Daniels’ article proves Daniels point… in spades…” -Jim

  30. Jai

    November 23, 2022 at 9:42 pm

    There is a bit of sneakiness in this article: opening remarks about underestimating opposing military forces, followed by a non-sequitur paragraph suggesting that there is no right or wrong side.

    I don’t have any problem with Western democracies taking a good hard look at their military capability and beefing it up. It certainly can’t hurt – although I do think the Russian military is demonstrably trashed just now.

    But no assessment of relative military effectiveness leads to this paragraph:

    ‘Instead, we love to turn them into a caricature of the “evil” side, devoid of any valid points of view, and of little more than use as a media punching bag. We only seek information about Russia to confirm our existing bias that they are wicked to support our preferred outcome that they be defeated. Such attitudes result in the development of a dangerously inaccurate assessment of our opponent. The reality of this war, in contrast, is that there isn’t a “good” side and a “bad” side, there are just the Ukrainian and Russian sides, each with their own strengths, weaknesses, flaws, and attributes.’

  31. Jim

    November 23, 2022 at 11:01 pm

    Mr. Clarke, asks, “Anyone who imagines that there is effective military force left in Russia must answer why it has not been deployed already.

    Because their goal, initially, was to force a capitulation or negotiation for a quick settlement with minimum blood shed or destruction. The 35 Kilometer column pointed @ Kiev was that instrument.

    It didn’t work and the Russians suffered casualties & loss of equipment in that failed gambit.

    Russia took roughly 20% of Ukraine and still holds the lion’s share…

    Haven’t heard much good news from Ukraine recently.

    Seems battle lines have stabilized.

    Yes, both sides have men fighting & dying.

    We’ll see about your allegations of incompetence… rotten to the core… is that about right?

    This is a trial by battle… the final score will be settled on the field… for victory or death.

  32. Walker

    November 24, 2022 at 6:22 pm

    Interestingly, I served in Europe the same time as Davis and I have a completely different take than him. Profoundly different!

    We truly are lucky we didn’t have to fight the Soviet Union. Maybe someone is more aware than I, but we really have no idea what such a war would have looked like. Sure we were confident we would win, at least in our public views, but we also knew we were vastly outnumbered. And we had no idea of what the quality of Soviet troops were. Our weapons were mostly superior, but just. That was a time when our weapons were starting to make great strides in improvements. Interestingly, it was the Soviets who were likely more aware than we were. I have heard that in their attempts to keep up that they realized they were falling behind which lead to their collapse. That may or may not be true, but it makes sense.

    I think the unknown now however is not Russia’s military. We have watched them for 9 months. The unknown now is our own military and its ability to work in Europe with NATO if a war were to break out.

    But it really doesn’t matter. Davis is now on my list for the stupidest people I know. A general war between Russia and NATO is impossible. We know that Russia can not cross a single country to get to NATO. And if they miraculously do, we know that beyond some local travesties, they will fail really hard.

    We can even see how Russia’s military degraded since the Cold War. As Russia went from a communist dictatorship to a kleptocracy, the humiliated military went from strength to not wanting to miss out on all the wealth hoarding. You can’t have a strong military if the Generals steal from the troops.

    So we really can call Davis bluff and figure out what would happen if NATO was to fully release in Ukraine against Russia.

    First things would be that NATO would instantly take command of the air. Before even having a single NATO soldier on the ground. Ukraine troops would however quickly be able to feel the release of pressure from the skies. As we know NATO would be able to take out any aircraft Russia tries to put into the skies. The missiles would still bother the civilians at first.

    The second thing NATO would likely do is extend the air superiority over western Russia and take out Russia’s air defenses. That would be an interesting tactic where stealth planes would watch from forward positions to what happens on the ground when older aircraft approach. At this time NATO troops would enter Ukraine, while NATO bombs Russian troops from the sky. Ukraine would t be idle either. They would be rushing into sites where Russian troops were befuddled.

    The third step would be NATO and Ukrainian troops crossing into Russia. St Petersburg and Moscow would fall within 6 months of NATO entering the fight.

    Unlike what Davis says in his article. My opinion isn’t based on hubris. It is based on working in the military in the 80’s and 90’s. While he stayed in Europe, I watched from the front likes of desert storm. Also watched how our military worked since then. Our military does not have the unwarranted pride that Davis speaks of.

    So knowing what I know, I still wouldn’t suggest a war with Russia. For exactly the same reason that I wouldn’t have suggested NATO attack the Soviet Union. Russia still has Nukes that could end us all. I think Russia’s military use this as a way to avoid ever thinking about a real war against us and it makes sense. They will only ever fight against smaller countries. And they thought they could run riot in any of those type of wars. Ukraine has shown them they shouldn’t count on that. But we can also see that Russia would have won if the west had not supported Ukraine with weapons to stand up against them.

    Seeing all this it is utterly flabbergasting that Davis can continue with his stupid articles for 9 months straight and then have the audacity to say we are filled with hubris. He should take a look in the mirror.

  33. June

    November 25, 2022 at 4:41 am

    Read Mr Davis’ previous articles. You will know he is a passionate Russian supporter. Since his previous predictions of Russia’s winning miserably failed so far, he is trying to change his tone and strategy to support Russia. However, he still does not see what is evil and good. This explains why he can support Russia. Even a Russian propagandist denounced Russia’s attack on civilians and infrastructure. He considered attacks on civilians an evil act and war crime. To my surprise, there is a certain level of freedom of press in Russia. Although Mr Davis cannot analyse data, we can. We evaluate the Russian army as weak because it keeps retreating and the only way to wage the war is to attack helpless civilians. The Russian army does not have proper equipment and new Russian conscripts should buy their own equipment. Does this indicate the strength of the Russian army?

  34. Gary Jacobs

    November 25, 2022 at 10:14 am

    Jim,

    It’s so funny that you of all people would quote Ronald Reagan. True he made the “peace through strength” statement, and I am all for that.

    As well, he also engaged in proxy wars against the Soviets and their commie proxies in multiple countries around the world from Afghanistan to Nicaragua and more. And he also engaged in peace talks from a position of strength because he built up the military AND engaged in proxy wars with massive funding to fight communism on every level.

    The way the US is supporting Ukraine as a proxy against Russia would be right up Reagan’s ally.

    I will bet money you had somewhere between zero idea and very little idea of the proxy wars Reagan got us involved in. Otherwise you wouldnt have made that point which goes against every bit of your effort to undermine support for Ukraine.

    FYI: I will be bringing this up to you repeatedly in future comments.

  35. Gary Jacobs

    November 25, 2022 at 10:15 am

    Jim,

    It’s so funny that you of all people would quote Ronald Reagan. True he made the “peace through strength” statement, and I am all for that.

    As well, he also engaged in proxy wars against the Soviets and their commie proxies in multiple countries around the world from Afghanistan to Nicaragua and more. And he also engaged in peace talks from a position of strength because he built up the military AND engaged in proxy wars with massive funding to fight communism on every level.

    The way the US is supporting Ukraine as a proxy against Russia would be right up Reagan’s ally.

    I will bet money you had somewhere between zero idea and very little idea of the proxy wars Reagan got us involved in. Otherwise you wouldnt have made that point which goes against every bit of your effort to undermine support for Ukraine.

    FYI: I will be bringing this up to you repeatedly in future comments.

    1945, your comments module is going haywire again.

  36. Dan

    November 25, 2022 at 10:32 pm

    Another terrible article repeating pro-putin talking points.
    And always from the same author..

  37. Jake Dee

    November 26, 2022 at 12:36 am

    A very interest article. I’m always on the look out for different perspectives and I’m glad I found this one. We hear a lot of commentary and analysis of the various weapon systems being deployed in Ukraine (NLAWS, Javelin, HIMARS etc.) but it is well know that various information campaigns (perception management, PSYOPS etc.) are also an essential part of modern warfare. I wonder if Daniels Davis specifically or 1945 generally gas given or will give us a detailed analysis of those ?
    Or is that just giving the game away ? After all, the magician never reveals how the trick is done and the audience is never allowed backstage.

  38. Chris in Ch-Ch

    November 27, 2022 at 7:27 am

    WOW The author has made the point that underestimating the Russian Military while overestimating your own & your allies is not very smart . . . and it isn’t. Especially with this Army. There are actually not a large percentage of the Russians regular Army fighting -(they are being held back in case NATO want’s to engage but I actually think they are scared of the Russians advanced weaponry & manoeuvre speed. Plus NATO today is NOT the Nato of the 1980s – they are greatly reduced in numbers & preparedness imo) – 20% tops at any one time although everyone is being rotated in & out, all getting 2 or 3 weeks at the sharp end then rotated out. It’s missile troops, artillery, armour, AD and Guard Units being more involved. The Luhansk & Donbass militias who have been doing the hard shit since 2014 underwent full mobilization & along with the Chechens are doing the majority of the sharp end stuff. And they are pretty good at it. Contrary to reports in the MSM papers, ABCNNBCBS, etc. it’s the Ukrainians, Polish, Georgian, & other foreign “volunteers” (NATO just-handed-their-papers-in volunteers) have suffered catastrophic losses in men, material while the Russians losses have been far less. (Want to follow this war?? monitor it from Telegram) As for the destruction of the power substations & transmission infrastructure that is to achieve dual purposes IMO. Put a stop to troops, supplies & Western heavy weapons moving east & also to demoralise the civilians in the West – spiritual home of the Ultra Nationalists/Nazi/Azov, causing a refugee flood to Europe & maybe in turn, pressure on the Coke head of Kiev to negotiate. All the large “defeats inflicted on the Russians” have largely been organized withdrawls with minimal losses of men & material & when the Ukrainians poured into the abandoned ground they have been slaughtered in huge numbers by artillery, missiles, air strikes & the dreaded TOS 1 heavy Flamethrower. In Kherson they lost nearly 10,000 dead in a matter of days without them laying eyes on any Russian soldiers (eye witness testimony from Wounded Ukrainians) Today in Kherson 27th Nov they are attacking with 100 – 150 men & getting plastered – Russian drone footage all over Telegram showing different attacks. Ukraine is at the end of the line. General Winter is advancing, there’s little food, fuel, ammo (Russians are destroying ammo dumps daily), air support, clothing, C & C, Air Defence (AD). The latest mobilization in Ukraine includes men in their 60’s who are handed an AK shipped to the front & thrown against the Russian lines. The man running Ukraine, the Coke head cares nothing for the people of Ukraine, just as long as keeps getting the billions, he’ll launder the “Big Guys 10%” back to the White House until the Nazis or US/NATO decide he’s outlived his usefulness & he either flees or gets a bullet in the back of the head !! Until then the Russians will continue the slow grind, trying to keep their losses & the losses of civilians to a minimum while demilitarizing Ukraine, something they are achieving.

  39. Wesser

    November 29, 2022 at 7:03 am

    This is Davis weirdest article yet. It barely even have a point. Must be the slowing down of the war…

    I think at this point it is pretty obvious to anyone that in a conventional battle Russias forces have zero chances against a NATO army. Of course Russia is generally too vast and worthless to be conquered and theres always A-bombs, so its a moot point.

    Russia isnt going to defeat Ukraine on the battlefield with its garbage army.

    But Ukraine may eventually be too exausted to fight as Putin wont tire expending russians to win

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