• February 29, 2024

Explaining The Failure To Properly Assess Russia

 Explaining The Failure To Properly Assess Russia

Kudos to Andrei Martyanov for highlighting an article I missed — Bad history makes for bad policy on Ukraine — by Robert English. Andrei correctly takes English to task for butchering the statistics regarding the Battle of Kursk. I want to take a deeper dive into Mr. English’s article because he embraces a number of false assumptions about Russia but still manages to come to the correct conclusion about the failure of U.S. and NATO planners to understand the cause of the Ukrainian debacle, which is:

. . . a broader analytical failing that has yet to be acknowledged: flawed and often facile historical analogies led defense planners to underestimate Russia’s resilience.

Okay. There is the benchmark — i.e., Identify the “flawed and often facile historical analogies” that produced the delusional analysis and predictions pumped out by a raft of “military experts” during the last 20 months. But English immediately displays his own ignorance with this passage:

One example is Russia’s acceptance of mass casualties and use of “human wave” attacks where they lose three or more soldiers for every Ukrainian casualty. Time and again — right up to the present — commanders and commentators cite this as a sign of severe Russian weakness.

Okay. Time for a reality check. Russia has not suffered mass casualties and has not used “human wave” attacks. Seems that the Russian General Staff are not a bunch of cretins. They entered Ukraine with an estimated 70,000 to 100,000 soldiers and attacked a Ukrainian Army that consisted of 196,000 soldiers and an active reserve of 900,000, according to the Business Insider. English could argue that the Russians were guilty of hubris, but I think that move reflected their confidence in being able to deal effectively with a force two to three times larger. There is no evidence that Russia conducted any human wave attacks during 2022 or 2023 and certainly did not suffer mass casualties. Just the opposite. The Russian General staff conducted operations specifically designed to minimize Russian casualties.

Russia has done two basic things to pulverize Ukrainian forces. First, it used its decisive advantage in missiles and artillery to pound Ukrainian trenches, bases and supply depots. Second, it used drones in an unprecedented fashion (and with increasing sophistication) to conduct “drone wave” attacks on Ukrainian soldiers hunkered down in bunkers.

How do we know that Russia avoided mass casualties? Very simple. The social media platforms in Russia do not show massive new graves nor are there posting by grieving relatives about the loss of

Source: The Gateway Pundit

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