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The Russia-Ukraine War of 2022: What We Learned

Ukraine
Russian artillery firing. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

The Russia-Ukraine War as 2022 Comes to a Close: A recent New York Times expose on Russia’s military performance in the war’s opening rounds describes an army that was grossly ill-prepared for modern combat. Though the Ukrainian side has been justly lauded for its courage and tenacity, it too has made many egregious missteps. As we wrap up the final days of a tumultuous and violent 2022, it is useful to consider the performance of the two armies – and the support provided by their many backers – into context for clues as what 2023 may hold.

While the outcome can’t be predicted with any certainty, Washington is obligated to form the best policy possible, in this dynamic and unstable situation, to give our country the best chance at ensuring the interests of the United States are assured, no matter how the conflict is eventually resolved. The good news is Washington has within its power – at the moment – to virtually guarantee the U.S. remains secure, prosperous, and free.

(Note: This is Part I of a three-part series. You can read part II here. You can read part III here.) 

The foundation of that confidence lies in the reality that the U.S. Armed Forces still retain the most robust air, land, sea, and space forces in the world. We have the natural, energy, and financial resources, along with the requisite human capital, to build and sustain the military capacity necessary to keep America safe from all potential aggressors.

What we must be very careful of, however, is the temptation to believe those resources are limitless and able to support an expansive, equally limitless foreign policy. More on this below, but it is vitally important, even with our abundance, that Washington carefully weigh potential missions or policies with a detailed cost-benefit analysis. Stretching ourselves too thin globally – or foolishly stumbling into a war with Russia – could place our security at unnecessary risk. The conflict raging in Ukraine illustrates the necessity of establishing well-conceived defense priorities.

This will be the first of a three-part analysis of the war as we close out 2022. These works will assess the current state of the war, look at where the conflict might go in the first half of 2023, and most importantly consider how Washington can and must ensure U.S. vital national interests are secured regardless of how the war may unfold.

Russia’s Opening Disaster

Earlier this month, the New York Times published an extensive analysis of the reasons for Russia’s many military failures in the opening phases of its war with Ukraine. Titled merely “Putin’s War,” the assessment chronicles six primary reasons the Russian military failed in its initial war aims. The most crucial were a) tactical, operational, and strategic blunders; b) arrogance by Russian leaders; c) and institutional rot of the pre-war military buildup.

As I have covered many times in these pages, Russia indeed made a number of egregious, avoidable mistakes at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels of war. Tank crewmen were poorly trained. Small unit leaders did not appear to have even basic understanding of combat tactics. Higher level commanders chose to split the limited number of Russian troops allocated for the war into four axes, violating one of the most elemental principles of war: massing effects. By splitting their force by four, they handed Ukraine vital time necessary to survive the initial blows by massing their own troops on each axis, slowing and later stopping each thrust.

At the strategic level, Russian leaders set themselves up for failure in that they assumed they would win quickly and had no viable ‘plan B’ at the ready. It should be a basic understanding that in war, plans go awry with first enemy contact; commanders must anticipate setbacks and unexpected enemy successes, and have resourced and rehearsed contingency plans at the ready. Moscow doesn’t appear to have had a strategic reserve so that if one or more of the axes got bogged down, they could reinforce it with a reserve to push through and secure the objective. As it was, all four axes were met with unexpectedly strong resistance and there were no combat-ready units available to help any axis.

As disastrous, Russia’s most senior commanders failed to anticipate a tough, extended fight and thus launched the offensive with vastly insufficient stocks of ammunition, spare parts, fuel, and other required items necessary to sustain combat. When Putin finally accepted in September that the force he initially allocated for the mission would never succeed, he ordered a partial mobilization. But the Kremlin had been caught flat-footed again, and didn’t have anywhere near enough equipment to outfit 300,000 new troops, didn’t have their training base resourced with supplies or even instructors, and had not prepared the hundreds of armored vehicles mobilization required which were still in storage.

Russia started to learn from mistakes early but did so at a snail’s pace. In the third month of war, Russia suffered one of its most egregious tactical defeats when it tried to cross the Donets River with a large armored force. Owing to poor tactical planning and execution, the unit suffered a catastrophic defeat when Ukrainian forces wiped out nearly 500 Russians in the single operation. Eventually, however, Russia recovered, forced other river crossings, and by the beginning of July had taken the major cities of Mariupol, Severodonetsk, and Lysychansk. The successes, however, came at a premium cost.

Because Russian strategic leaders had refused to mobilize additional forces even after it was apparent the roughly 200,000 troops they had allocated for the invasion would never be enough, upon the capture of Lysychansk in July they were a spent force. They would require months to recoup and replace the losses, relying on a trickle of volunteers. Ukraine again took advantage of the mistake and began covertly preparing for a late summer twin offensive of their own.

In a recent interview, Ukrainian Ground Forces commander Gen. Oleksandr Syrsky said all of the Ukraine tactical “success are due to the face that we never go head-on” against the Russians. He skillfully demonstrated how effective that tactic can be in the northern part of the twin offensives, the Kharkiv region. Since April, Russia had manned the Kharkiv region with an economy-of-force mission whereby they keep just enough troops in an area to prevent the enemy from flanking their main force (which was the Kremlin’s focus on the Donbas). In yet another failure, however, Russian leaders became fixated on the fighting the main effort and missed Syrsky’s forces massing for a strike.

Ukraine’s southern prong of its twin offensive was in the Kherson region. Initially, Ukrainian attacking troops made slow progress, suffering very high casualties while gaining minimal ground. Russia had been preparing for this well-publicized attack and initially put up a stout defense. But Syrsky’s surprise offensive in the Kharkiv region caught the small Russian force – the BBC estimated the UAF outnumbered the Russians 8-to-1 – and routed them. By October the UAF had regained thousands of square kilometers and driven the Russians back to the Kreminna-Svatovo line.

Meanwhile, the southern wing of the attack took advantage of Russia’s now divided focus and put renewed pressure on the city of Kherson. Russia had spent months reinforcing the city of Kherson for an expected attack, but their efforts had been complicated by a relentless Ukrainian campaign to interdict supply lines across the Dniper River, without which it would be very difficult for Russia to sustain a defense.

New Russian campaign commander Gen. Sergey Surovikin eventually made the “difficult decision” to withdraw his troops from Kherson rather than fight for it. By the end of October, Ukraine had achieved successes against the Russians in both the north and south. But just as Russia’s summer offensive came at great cost, so too did Ukraine’s fall offensives.

On November 30, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen apparently inadvertently let slip that Ukraine had lost 100,000 soldiers killed since the war had begun. Kyiv angrily denied the report, insisting the number was a mere 13,000. Though the official number seems implausibly low, the casualty count is a state secret. Yet regardless of what the actual number of dead and seriously wounded is, the impact has been significant on Kyiv’s troops.

Since making major gains in October and November, Ukraine’s offensives eventually ran out of steam and the front has generally stagnated along a line near Svatovo in the north, Bahkmut in the east, and the Dnipro River in the south. As 2022 winds down, both presidents are meeting with their senior commanders to consider what moves they’ll make as 2023 opens. Part II of this study will consider the possible options available to each military.

 A 19FortyFive 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.

25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. TG

    December 30, 2022 at 12:00 am

    An interesting and well-reason post. But.

    “We have the natural, energy, and financial resources, along with the requisite human capital, to build and sustain the military capacity necessary to keep America safe from all potential aggressors.”

    Except that we are being invaded by the surplus population of the third world. something that will drive the average American into dire poverty (but make the rich richer!), and we do nothing about it. As far as I am concerned, I would be better off WITHOUT a military as all they seem to be doing is enabling and assisting this invasion.

    America’s primary aggressor is a corrupt ruling class that values their own short-term profits over the prosperity, strength, and social cohesiveness of the nation. Russia and China are not even on my radar screen.

    Great empires rot from within, not from without.

  2. 403Forbidden

    December 30, 2022 at 1:39 am

    What useful things this big proxy war has taught us.

    1)Beware of the US the world’s warplanning master-in-chief.

    2)When fightin’ fascist forces, always go for the jugular, don’t play, play.

    3)Always have a mount everest-type arsenal of rockets.

    4)Set up & always maintain a countrywide cottage industry making rockets & rocket parts.

    5)A nuclear arsenal is the best (ultimate) national type or form of insurance for survival. No nukes, ya dead.

  3. pagar

    December 30, 2022 at 1:56 am

    The ukraine-russia war of 2022 provides several important lessons for beleaguered nations, or nations surrounded and hemmed in by multitudes of military bases, aircraft carrier fleets, spyplanes and all kinds of sanctions & provocations.

    But for brevity’s sake, just let me list two of them. (You can write a whole BOOK about them.)

    One – The USA will never leave you alone if it senses you aren’t with its security order.

    Two – The war has demonstrated that a total revolution in battlefield weapon design is long overdue.

    You can no longer depend on cold war era weaponry. They’re just derelict technology.

    Aircraft carriers, tanks with multiple turret hatches, fighter jets that can’t carry hypersonic missiles, rockets that don’t come with city-wrecking warheads are all obsolete.

  4. marcjf

    December 30, 2022 at 3:04 am

    After 310 days of fighting whilst out-gunned, I could well believe that Kiev has suffered 100,000 KIA with another 300,000 WIA/MIA.I could make a plausible argument that the figures are even higher.

    The West generally believes that Russian casualties are higher still. Personally not so sure. But either way they have been serious.

    Events on the ground in 2023 will determine who is going to win this war, or if a stalemate persists.But neither side seems serious about talking at present so the carnage will continue.

  5. Jai

    December 30, 2022 at 5:57 am

    Oddly, this piece is written by Daniel Davis but is credited to Harrison Kass.

  6. TheDon

    December 30, 2022 at 7:23 am

    What we haved really learned.
    Russians dont trust american leaders,
    Americans dont trust Russian leaders,
    Russians by majority dont want to fight and kill Ukrainians
    Ukrainians are pretty frinkin tough.

    Russia is confused.
    Missile attacts only strengthen resolve.
    Russia would be more secure switching policy to allie with Ukraine and eu and pull out.

    Its obvious I would want these guys on my side as china grows hungry for more land to feed their 1.4 billion.
    They already suffer brownouts due poor farming and dry land.

    Russian orthodox krill made a historical damage splitting two orthodox nations with so much common ancestry.

    Historically wars end on new leadership.
    Now Generals should act in best interest of Russia.
    Free elections
    Sell gas
    Rebuild alliances
    Negotiate with your neighbors

    The Russians should be proud of their neighbors, they helped build thes countries they are destroying.

    Children grow up.
    You dont try to run their house after raising them or you dont get invited back.

  7. Rob

    December 30, 2022 at 8:25 am

    Only 1 in six modern wars ends with a decisive victory. It is unlikely this war will have a clear winner in a year or two. Ukraine has the momentum, but it is unclear wether it has the means to make a decisive move. (But I do hope so). Russia is in it for the long run, hoping sanctions can be mitigated with the help of China, India and Iran.
    The first question is of course what will China do? Will it allow Russia to continue, will it offer more active support on the war or diplomatic front? In general China domestic affairs have little impact on its foreign policy. But the present pandemic and economic stress might make Beijing more cautious in its actions (be it less in its rhetorics).
    On the other side the (present) US government is fully committed. Question is what will happen after next presidential election? And what will Europe have done in 2024. It is clear that the war greatly increased the influence of Poland and Turkey, whereas Germany, and to some extent UK and France lost it. They have to make choices and put the money where tere mouth is: Will Germany set up its own army, will lead the way to a common European army or will it prioritize other goals? Wille Europe shifts its economic investments to other countries (Vietnam, Indonesia and its own continent).
    Japan seems to have made up its mind.

  8. Jimmyf40

    December 30, 2022 at 8:29 am

    Joe Biden thinks, or his dementia addled brain thinks, it is his manifest destiny to mold the rest of the world in his country’s image.

    Through use of crippling strangling sanctions and bloody wars if necessary.

    Yet he (biden and also his fellow geriatric democrats) is fully unable to look in the mirror. Crippled or spastic.

    America today, in 2022, is deeply divided by media-driven mud slinging and dogbarking between GOP & dems, still heavily segregated in many cities, troubled by children living in poverty, especially among coloreds and people living in reservations and having a large prison population that endures various abuses from the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) staff.

    Yet biden thinks america is the model for the rest of the world to follow.

    And he is ever ready to unleash military might and economic stomping to getvhis message across.

    Biden, america is babylonia of our age, definitely not something to worship or drool over. Go purify your brain.

  9. Michael Droy

    December 30, 2022 at 9:22 am

    It must be tricky having to stick to US narratives and trying to maintain some credibility at the same time but I dare say it is worth it.

    Certainly trying to take Kiev and large areas of NE Ukraine with some 50,000 troops would have been a huge error and quickly lead to a massive reverse. But the way the Russians withdrew with no apparent signs of large scale losses suggests that they never seriously tired that. Instead the distraction allowed them to take up strong positions in front of the main Ukrainian force which had been digging in a stronghold in front of the Donbas*. The distraction was the move that made it possible for the superior (in quality and 3 times the size) Russian artillery to take apart the Ukrainian forces piece by piece over the next 4 months.

    * No one talks about the Ukrainian stronghold – which was built over a period of 8 years specifically to prepare for an attack on Donbas and used to shell civilians over that whole period (as confirmed by OSCE reports). There were ,many many defence lines, each with several fall back lines and taking it should have been impossible since casualty rates should largely favour the defenders (they didn’t) and Russia would never have got their artillery in place without the distraction.
    Of course mentioning the stronghold would not just reveal how badly the Nato lead Ukraine has performed, but how prepared it was in advance. Mention that and pretty soon people will be remembering how Zelensky promised Ukrainians that his forces would take back all the lost land militarily back in 2021. Who did start this war?

    Lt Davis knows all of this well.

  10. Paddy Manning

    December 30, 2022 at 10:42 am

    Lt Davis is achieving nothing with this article as he is, sadly, an utterly untrustworthy source given his robust efforts here to have the flow of arms to Ukraine stopped.
    The Don, in his comment, is groping in the right direction but Ukraine, forced to be Soviet, was never Russian.

  11. Gary Jacobs

    December 30, 2022 at 10:44 am

    LoL,

    Davis never fails to… fail. Ukraine’s offensives didnt ‘run out of steam’.. they ran into weather. The mud came early this year, and the freeze is coming late.

    And yet still the Ukrainians have managed to close in on Kreminna, now within 3km and the town is nearly surrounded with the Russians having one way out. I give it 2-6 weeks max for the Russians there. Depending on the weather, and how many Russians shoot other Russians for attempting to retreat from the lost cause that is Kreminna for Russia.

    As well, Davis finally admits to Ukraine’s success in Kherson, after prematurely calling it a failure…”their efforts had been complicated by a relentless Ukrainian campaign to interdict supply lines across the Dniper River, without which it would be very difficult for Russia to sustain a defense.”

    And yet still after making this admission, he fails to see this strategy now being extended to the south of Kherson on the left bank of the Dnipro. The Russians have been forced to pull back most of their forces out of HIMARS range, and all they have left is to conduct hit and run terrorist attacks by launching grad rockets at the city of Kherson itself.

    As I have said repeatedly, what Ukraine needs is the longer range GLSDB which at 150km puts just about every Russian at risk from the north of Crimea and Southern Kherson all the way east past Mariupol. It’s a weapon that costs a third of what the GMLRS costs. More bang for our buck.

    As well, Biden floated a trial balloon yesterday about sending Bradley IFVs to Ukraine. It’s a decent Plan B considering we have thousands of them, and they are about to be replaced anyway.

    We continue to empty our storage closet to support Ukraine with hand me downs. The US could send them 1000 without skipping a beat. From the 2 Iraq Wars the Bradley, with its twin TOW missile launchers, apparently has an even higher kill count of Russian tanks than the M1 Abrams…both are well into the hundreds. And with an optional airburst round the Bradley can also shoot down drones with its main gun.

    Have a liberating day.

  12. TopoJijo

    December 30, 2022 at 11:18 am

    One could write a several hundred page book about how many things Daniel Davis doesn’t know about military matters.

  13. dj918

    December 30, 2022 at 11:21 am

    What we learned is that Daniel Davis is a Russian bot.

  14. Paul

    December 30, 2022 at 2:00 pm

    Gary:
    You write: “And yet still the Ukrainians have managed to close in on Kreminna, now within 3km and the town is nearly surrounded with the Russians having one way out. I give it 2-6 weeks max for the Russians there”
    When I look at the maps provided by ISW the city is sort of 50% surrounded with the R66 East as the only open escape route. I really hope your prediction is correct but it seems as if the front have been rather stagnant for weeks now. Do you have any other good open sources you base your optimism on?

    And by the way, good work on shooting down every troll trying to insert some bullshit Putin agenda here.

  15. Jim

    December 30, 2022 at 4:15 pm

    In the 21st Century trench warfare still works.

    Tactics employed over a century ago…

    War does not change… men fighting & dying.

    Only the technology changes.

    How high tech is digging a trench?

  16. Gary Jacobs

    December 30, 2022 at 5:28 pm

    Paul,

    ISW is conservative with their maps. They do a bit too much of taking into account some Russian sources that are less reliable unless and until Ukrainian Military personnel posts geolocated footage.

    I follow other sources through Twitter, some military I know personally in my home town of San Diego, and some Ukrainians I know. My family was ethnically cleansed by Russians from the Pale of Settlement in 1909, and there is a certain gravity that brings others with a similar family history together. Many have family and friends still in Ukraine.

    As far as open source, last time I posted full twitter handles, 1945 disallowed that post. But I will give a shot for names you can look up.

    Rob Lee – US Marine, & Foreign Policy Research Institute

    Def Mon – US mil ret.

    Michael Kaufmann CNAS

    Dmitri – WarTranslated

    NOEL reports

    (((Tendar)))

    Once you follow them on Twitter you get into the loop with a number of others as well. I like this group because they are certainly pro-Ukrainian, but they are not afraid to question things that are overly optimistic from others in the pro-Ukraine community, including from each other.

    As for Kreminna, you can see in NOELreports map from yesterday the city is surrounded on 3 sides. Others are reporting the same, and there is footage of Ukrainians in the forests near Kreminna as well as in Dibrova to the south west. Russia’s WarGonzo confirmed Chervonopopivka north on the p66, and Dibrova -to the south west- both now controlled by Ukraine. WarGonzo is usually the last to admit defeats.

    It isnt just where the UUkrainians are, you also have to look at the rivers. Using Google Maps you can zoom into see where the Krasna River is and the Siverskyi Donets River is. The Russians have been notoriously bad at river crossing under fire. And those rivers put a further squeeze on where the Russians can maneuver and/or retreat to/from.

    Control of Chervonopopivka allows Ukraine to cross the Krasna River and begin to come in behind the Russians in Kreminna from the north.

    I hope this helps. Have a liberating New year.

  17. Scottfs

    December 30, 2022 at 10:19 pm

    European Christians killing European Christians.

    Hussein Obama’s dream.

  18. Walker

    December 30, 2022 at 11:04 pm

    When Davis writes multi-part articles, I find his first article to be the most accurate and the later ones start to fall apart and follow his normal articles in their poor accuracy or overly pessimistic with calls for the US to drop support for Ukraine immediately for fear of angering Russia. Let’s see if this set follows the norm. But for starters, this is the best article he has written on the war so far.

    He has clearly and correctly listed Russian failures. There really are very few successes. And all those by huge waste of resources.

    He may be right about Ukrainian losses. I would expect them to be quite high. 13,000 surely doesn’t sound very realistic. But I think that casualty numbers between Russia and Ukraine are not apples to apples. Ukrainians are fighting for their land, country and families. They see what happens to their citizens when they can’t protect them. Russians soldiers do not have that. They are off in a war they didn’t make, fighting people they shouldn’t be and all they have to look forward to is a quick death. The quality of fighter is different from the very bottom. Russian families will soon want their boys to be coming home alive and not in a ditch for Putin’s pleasure.

    The real question we as Americans need to consider is how much support we should provide. Davis will for sure in one of his articles say it isn’t any of our business and we shouldn’t be helping for fear of going to war with Russia. I don’t think this is to be feared. We obviously don’t want direct war with Russia, but I don’t think we are in any danger of that. Russia is safe as long as Moscow is safe. Ukraine will not be going to war in Russia beyond Military targets and bases used to attack Ukraine. So in my mind, not only should we support Ukraine but it is our obligation to our way of life as an inclusive economy that works for everyone and we all benefit from.

  19. Freeborn John

    December 31, 2022 at 9:40 am

    A good article for once by Daniel Davis. He should stick to writing about past events because if there is one thing we learnt in 2022 it is that he is completely hopeless about predicting events in Ukraine.

  20. Michael Droy

    December 31, 2022 at 9:56 am

    @ Gary Jacobs
    “ISW is conservative with their maps. ”
    ISW – seriously – the Nuland Kagan family is shy in shouting out for UKraine?
    If you tried to imagine what the most crazy anti-Russian sh1t-stirrers could be you would take the Kagan/Nuland family, put them together and call them a Think Tank.
    Robert Kagan -= arch neo-con
    married to Victoria Nuland ( Obama secretary of state she of cookies and “Yats is our man”)
    and the rest of the family

  21. Paul

    December 31, 2022 at 10:06 am

    Hi Gary

    I understand, so you have a personal reason to be allergic to racist autocratic empires in general and wannabe Russian Tsars in particular then.

    I’m not on Twitter but I see some of the content is available in non-twitter ways. I found the analysis on FPRI about how the battle for Donbass shaped Ukraine’s success interesting. Hope the Russian army is about to recreate the same scenario in Bakhmut. For the day to day situation I’ll stick with ISW and spice it up with Noel when bigger events is about to unfold.

    Thanks and I wish you a happy and wannabe-Tsar-free new year

  22. Jim

    December 31, 2022 at 10:58 am

    Lessons of war:

    prerequisites are critical:

    A thing that is required as a prior condition for something else to happen or exist.

    Zbigniew Brzeziński, former National Security Advisor, wrote the The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives (1997).

    This was Brzezinski’s grand opus.

    His road map for U. S. domination… to remain the hegemon of the world.

    To do that the U. S. had to reduce Russia from being a great power to being a regional nation-state.

    That required a weak Russia.

    Brzezniski made assumptions which in 1997 seemed accurate: Russia was weak economically, politically, militarily, and had little standing in international diplomatic relations.

    China would be officially neutral, but (secretly) ready to take advantage of Russian dismemberment by forging special economic advantages in Eastern Siberia, turning Siberia into, in effect, a protectorate (with tacit approval from the U. S.).

    But none of those prerequisites were present when the United States decided to force the issue with Russia.

    Russia in 2021, as opposed to U. S. assumptions & assessments, was stable & dynamic across the board: politically, economically, militarily, and perhaps most important had strong diplomatic international standing among neutral nations (the Global South).

    China is officially neutral, but is not (secretly) on America’s side, okay with dismemberment of Russia and looking to take Eastern Siberia into a protectorate status.

    Quite the contrary, China is hostile toward the U. S. and is basically on Russia’s side (practically an alliance) in the Ukraine war.

    Here is the problem: all these prerequisites were not in place as foreseen by Zbigniew Brzeziński when he wrote the Grand Chessboard in 1997.

    But the U. S. went forward, anyway, jamming a square peg into a round hole… it just doesn’t go well… the squared corners get splintered off in the process.

    And, thus, now, the Ukraine Project is not meeting its own metrics… Russia was supposed to collapse from U. S. sanctions… that didn’t happen. Russia’s military was supposed freeze up, if not from economic collapse, from running out of weapons… that didn’t happen, either. Russia was supposed to be isolated diplomatically… that didn’t happen.

    The lesson for the U. S.; not meeting political/military prerequisites identified for success in a political/ military project is reckless, dangerous, and liable to backfire… hurting America.

    America has been damaged by the failure of the Ukraine Project.

    It says something about the foreign policy elite that they went forward without the prerequisites necessary for success.

    Arrogance & hubris leads to jamming a square peg down a round hole.

    What do you do with a supposed smart foreign policy set which are so arrogant they ignore their own road map to success… and instead bring geopolitical disaster?

    Lessons to be learned from the experience?

    You can’t fix the problem until you acknowledge you have a problem to fix… is the smart set able to reflect on their failures and correct course?

    I don’t know… but so far… they haven’t.

  23. wesley bruce

    December 31, 2022 at 10:08 pm

    I am not sure stagnated is the right term for the situation now with Ukraine. Its fighting a defensive war with gains in territory when it breaks Russian units and commands. This is opportunity attack. Its wearing down the foe in strong static lines and hit and run attacks. The key apparent philosophy is to not advance far beyond the range of dug in artillery or go too fast that the engineers are left behind. When hit hard do a fighting withdrawal mile by mile though properly prepared layered defenses.
    Some armies, particularly America, has little experience in fighting withdrawals or the need to limit your push because of limited supply. The only time the US tried a fighting withdrawal in WW2, the Philippines, they went the wrong way into a cul de sac peninsular. In the battle of the bulge it was not attempted in any real sense. In Korea and Vietnam it cost a lot of lives. Its just not something the US command trains properly for.
    This is not a pause because of the mud or resources its a pause waiting for the next big Russian mistake or until intelligence gives you the new Russian commanders GPS coordinates. It also may be a mercy pause knowing the Russian soldiers are not there willingly but can’t surrender. There’s is no point killing such men.

    Note: In one batch of artillery footage shown on various YouTube channels the gun loads and fires a leaflet round. Most don’t notice because such rounds are so rare.

  24. ZT

    January 2, 2023 at 9:27 am

    Know thy enemy.
    Know thyself.

    Anyone who believes the USA (and it’s vassal Ukraine) is a benign democratic force for good, and that Russia is a fascist autocracy with revanchist imperial expansionist ambitions fails on both counts.

    The USA is simply an institutional front for the Atlanticist banking cartels that want to privatize and financialized the world under the moniker “liberal democracy” while Russia and China are industrial state capitalist societies that are resisting precisely that–particularly in their own spheres of interest where their own security is at stake. If youre not supporting Russia in this war then you’re a lapdog for Larry Fink.

  25. Dan Farrand

    January 4, 2023 at 4:05 pm

    Dear Mr. Davis, please make an effort to get your basic facts from some other source than Ukraines facebook page.

    I find your analysis useful, but you continually take whatever the MSM says as being a description of reality. That in turn derails some of your analysis.

    Ukraine is, and will be badly defeated. Russia will emerge stronger from the war, more unified as a nation with a shared appreciation that the West is a threat.

    The US will emerge weaker. After the kinetic war is done, the US grip on Europe will weaken. USD reserve currency status will decline making it more difficult for the US to borrow unlimited amounts at low cost. Much of the current US economy, including military spending will become more and more unsustainable. US influence in the global south will diminish.

    Unfortunately, the magnitude of the disaster will probably not be enough to discredit the current leadership in the US.

    Every outcome from this foolish, US engineered war will prove to be negative. Even US energy sufficiency is being squandered as world oil markets are distorted and starved of capital.

    The US is outclassed in every way except hubris, corruption, money printing and shinny gadgets.

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