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The Next 10 Days Will Decide This War: an article by a retired US Gen

Nomad4Ever

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I wanted to share a really interesting article I stumbled across. It's written by a recently retired general who's been following the conflict. I encourage you to read all of it, but I'll pull out the key quotes that paint a rather grim picture for Russia:
Russian generals are running out of time, ammunition, and manpower. That’s not based on any inside intelligence — it’s clear from open source information and my own experience. I could be way off, but I am confident of this assessment.
The Russians are experiencing ammunition shortages. Their transition to attrition warfare is driving up consumption rates beyond what they had planned and what they can sustain.
The Pentagon has said that 50% of Russian combat power was committed in Ukraine. At the height of our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we were about 29% committed. And it was difficult to sustain that....Russia does not have the manpower or firepower to encircle the Ukrainian capital, let alone capture it.
Reports of low morale, dissension between commanders, mutiny on at least one vessel, desertion, and so on, all within the first two weeks are indicators of major manpower problems. And in pure numbers, the Ukrainian armed forces still outnumber or closely match Russian forces actually on the ground in Ukraine.

He also refutes the idea that Russia has some secret reserves it has yet to draw on.
There is no suggestion that the Russians have big units lurking in the woods somewhere (and the Pentagon has said it sees no signs of significant reinforcements.) So it’s apparent that the notional 900,000 strength of the Russian military is a hollow number.  Their public call for 16,000 troops from Syria and elsewhere indicates this....The next 10 days are decisive. It is a race and I’m not seeing enough urgency. We need to push the gas pedal to the floor now, immediately.
I personally find this convincing. If Russia could field the manpower to roll over Ukraine, they would have. If they had to ability to establish air superiority, they would have. If they were capable of taking Kyiv or Mariupol, they would have. Now that Russia has shown their hand it seems probable that Ukraine will emerge victorious. Every day this conflict drags on seems to reinforce this with more evidence. Indeed, today Ukrainian forces are staging multiple counter offensives.
There has been a “radical change” between Ukrainian and Russian forces after Kyiv launched counter-offensives in “several theaters of operations,” said Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak....The British Ministry of Defense, meanwhile, has said Ukraine is “skillfully exploiting” the “lack of manoeuvrability” of Russian forces and inflicting heavy casualties.

The TLDR is essentially that Russian forces are close to the breaking point, and that if we increase the pressure now that could be all it takes for their offensive to collapse.
 
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Juin

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I wanted to share a really interesting article I stumbled across. It's written by a recently retired general who's been following the conflict. I encourage you to read all of it, but I'll pull out the key quotes that paint a rather grim picture for Russia:





He also refutes the idea that Russia has some secret reserves it has yet to draw on.

I personally find this convincing. If Russia could field the manpower to roll over Ukraine, they would have. If they had to ability to establish air superiority, they would have. If they were capable of taking Kyiv or Mariupol, they would have. Now that Russia has shown their hand it seems probably that Ukraine will emerge victorious. Every day this conflict drags on seems to reinforce this with more evidence. Indeed, today Ukrainian forces are staging multiple counter offensives.


The TLDR is essentially that Russian forces are close to the breaking point, and that if we increase the pressure now that could be all it takes for their offensive to collapse.




Today is the 16th. So ten days time will be the 26th of March. Beware the 26th of March, Nomad, you have a prediction on the table. :)
 

ataraxia

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I wanted to share a really interesting article I stumbled across. It's written by a recently retired general who's been following the conflict. I encourage you to read all of it, but I'll pull out the key quotes that paint a rather grim picture for Russia:





He also refutes the idea that Russia has some secret reserves it has yet to draw on.

I personally find this convincing. If Russia could field the manpower to roll over Ukraine, they would have. If they had to ability to establish air superiority, they would have. If they were capable of taking Kyiv or Mariupol, they would have. Now that Russia has shown their hand it seems probably that Ukraine will emerge victorious. Every day this conflict drags on seems to reinforce this with more evidence. Indeed, today Ukrainian forces are staging multiple counter offensives.


The TLDR is essentially that Russian forces are close to the breaking point, and that if we increase the pressure now that could be all it takes for their offensive to collapse.

Very interesting analysis- thanks for sharing. I hope it's right, and the Ukrainians can hold out for that time period.

One more drawback that this invasion had for Putin: it showed the world that the emperor has no clothes and the Russian military is not some huge unstoppable juggernaut.

(But of course, unfortunately, they still have nukes though- and they may still use them if their back is against the wall enough).
 

Nomad4Ever

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Today is the 16th. So ten days time will be the 26th of March. Beware the 26th of March, Nomad, you have a prediction on the table. :)
*Hey Siri, set a reminder in 10 days*
 

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I was wondering, just what will happen if Ukraine wins? Do we think Putin will just admit defeat and move on? I just don't see that happening.
 

Nomad4Ever

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I was wondering, just what will happen if Ukraine wins? Do we think Putin will just admit defeat and move on? I just don't see that happening.
I have no idea. It seemed unthinkable at the start of the conflict. I'm still skeptical he would resort to nukes as I've seen some people claim. But I also agree that he won't just admit defeat. I really don't know and that's a little scary.
 

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Perhaps the Kremlin forgot just how large Ukrainian cities are. I lived in Kyiv for a year and still didn't see all of it.

I agree with Gen. Hodges. The West must keep pushing anti-armor/anti-air weaponry into theater. Start pushing Harpoon anti-ship cruise missiles also.

Share satellite intelligence. The Ukrainians probably also need portable counter-battery radar.
 

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Little Old Ukrainian Lady walking up to young Russian conscript...

"Here...Here...", she says, "take these seeds...Put them in your pocket so sunflowers can grow on your grave when you die in Ukraine"...
 

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The TLDR is essentially that Russian forces are close to the breaking point, and that if we increase the pressure now that could be all it takes for their offensive to collapse.
An excellent find. There is nothing in the analysis that I don't subscribe to. I think Putin thought Ukraine would be like incursions in Georgia and Moldova, and the taking of Crimea. He bit off more than he could chew.

Ukrainian forces are now counterattacking, and that bodes ill for Russia. With MANPADs like the Stinger, and ATGMs like the Javelin and Switchblade pouring in, Russian forces are going to be more than decimated. Estimates are that "More than 7,000 Russian troops have been killed in less than three weeks of fighting" (that's what the US lost at Iwo Jima). If Ukraine gains momentum, and with the International Court of Justice order, I see NATO supplying aircraft to the Ukrainians. With that, it could become a rout.
 

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....and with the International Court of Justice order, I see NATO supplying aircraft to the Ukrainians. With that, it could become a rout.

The problem with the MiGs, as I see it, is that the entirety of Ukraine's airspace is covered by Russian S-400 anti-air systems in Russia proper, Kaliningrad, and Belarus.

The S-400 is very deadly which is why Israeli jets remain in Jordanian airspace when attacking targets in Syria (a/k/a stand-off attacks).
 

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It is hard to express how badly the Russian forces are faring. They are probably at 10% casualties of their 150,000 troops, and have lost 4 of 20 General Officers. That is staggering. US doctrine identifies 10% losses as making a Russian unit "combat ineffective" or at least impaired (because of their inferior communications and operational networks), US units are deemed combat ineffective at about 30% losses.

It is that state of affairs, I think, that explains the heavy reliance on stand-off weaponry (which has to be running low) and the takeover of hospitals to use as human shields (a war crime). The Russian ground forces have to be running low on everything, and resupply has been a problem, especially in the north. They are getting desperate.
 

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The problem with the MiGs, as I see it, is that the entirety of Ukraine's airspace is covered by Russian S-400 anti-air systems in Russia proper, Kaliningrad, and Belarus.

The S-400 is very deadly which is why Israeli jets remain in Jordanian airspace when attacking targets in Syria (a/k/a stand-off attacks).
You are entirely correct. I think the reluctance has been that if Ukrainian jets sortie to take out anti-aircraft installations, they'll be hitting Belarussian and Russian locations and expanding the war. I think US analysts believe that Ukraine can defeat Russian ground forces and that Russian air power will be the main method of continued force (as it primarily is now).
 

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I think US analysts believe that Ukraine can defeat Russian ground forces and that Russian air power will be the main method of continued force (as it primarily is now.

Which is why the continued US/NATO resupply of Stingers and NLAW's is critical. Russia must be denied air-superiority.

Russian cruise missiles fired from Russia, Kaliningrad, Belarus, and ships in the Black Sea/Sea of Azov continue to be a huge problem.
 

Nomad4Ever

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I think Putin thought Ukraine would be like incursions in Georgia and Moldova, and the taking of Crimea. He bit off more than he could chew.
Looking back now, it seems insane that an offensive operation was started with an attacking force marginally larger in size than the defending one. 200,000~ troops is not enough to take a country the size of France. This is largely what has driven my belief that Putin bought his own propaganda and really believed the civilians population in Ukraine would welcome Russia.
If Ukraine gains momentum, and with the International Court of Justice order, I see NATO supplying aircraft to the Ukrainians. With that, it could become a rout.
In my opinion the most likely situation that would cause a rout is a breakdown in supply lines. If Ukraine is able to put enough offensive pressure on Russia and effectively continues to disrupt their supply lines I could see that potentially forcing Russia to retreat.

The Russian ground forces have to be running low on everything, and resupply has been a problem, especially in the north. They are getting desperate.
It is hard to express how badly the Russian forces are faring. They are probably at 10% casualties of their 150,000 troops, and have lost 4 of 20 General Officers. That is staggering. US doctrine identifies 10% losses as making a Russian unit "combat ineffective" or at least impaired (because of their inferior communications and operational networks), US units are deemed combat ineffective at about 30% losses.
If I am confident about anything, it is that between the high causalities and their supply problems they will have to take an operational pause in the next week or two. I think what happens after that is much harder to predict.

It is hard to say exactly how much of the subpar performance we have been seeing so far is simply due to bad planning, but I suspect most of it is. If, after their operational pause, they properly build up logistics, properly plan joint force operations, and establish a more realistic time table and military objectives that actually align with reality we could see a much more effective Russian army begin to form.

That said, my money is still on Ukraine. Russia has been really slow to adapt to Ukrainian tactics and their failure to quickly blitz the country has given NATO time to ship a truly staggering amount of modern military equipment as well as given Ukraine time to mobilize. Also, real life isn't a real time strategy game. The theoretical ability for Russia to wage a war that drags on for months does not necessarily translate into the political ability to do so.
 

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I was wondering, just what will happen if Ukraine wins? Do we think Putin will just admit defeat and move on? I just don't see that happening.

I think he’ll turn to internal enemies. He’ll create a narrative that Russia was “stabbed in the back” and begin purging the military and society of his enemies.
 

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Which is why the continued US/NATO resupply of Stingers and NLAW's is critical. Russia must be denied air-superiority.

Russian cruise missiles fired from Russia, Kaliningrad, Belarus, and ships in the Black Sea/Sea of Azov continue to be a huge problem.

Stingers aren’t going to stop cruise missiles.
 

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retired general who's been following the conflict. I encourage you to read all of it, but I'll pull out the key quotes that paint a rather grim picture for Russia:
Cheap CIA propaganda.

They know pretty well that Russia has enormous firepower, much more than what is necessary to overwhelm Ukraine.

They also have plenty of time. They deliberately slowed down the offensive so that several other millions will flood the EU - this is very important, as it's a way to punish the EU for the sanctions, as the EU will have to pay for them, the EU will have to provide them with jobs(possible at the expense of the locals - which will lead to resentment and other problems, precisely what Russia wants!!)
 

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Is the retired US General left-libertarian?
 

Nomad4Ever

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They also have plenty of time. They deliberately slowed down the offensive so that several other millions will flood the EU - this is very important, as it's a way to punish the EU for the sanctions, as the EU will have to pay for them, the EU will have to provide them with jobs(possible at the expense of the locals - which will lead to resentment and other problems, precisely what Russia wants!!)
Ahh, I'm so foolish. I didn't realize Russia was deliberately not taking cities, suffering heavy losses, and prolonging an expensive war in order to...mildly inconvenience EU nations. How masterfully tactical. My mind simply wasn't able to conceive of such genius.
 

Nomad4Ever

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Is the retired US General left-libertarian?
Sure. Why not. In fact, everyone who disagrees with you is actually a libertarian socialist.
 

Nilhus

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mildly inconvenience EU nations
Ukraine has 44 million people and borders the EU directly. We might see +10 million refugees, which is enormous! Combine that with all the issues caused by price increases for energy and food - and we don't know where these prices will stop! Things don't look good at all! The only ones that are very little affected are the Americans! The EU has a lot to lose from this war and nothing to gain! We might see a split between the EU and the US, despite all the seeming "unity" these days!
 

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Cheap CIA propaganda.

They know pretty well that Russia has enormous firepower, much more than what is necessary to overwhelm Ukraine.

They also have plenty of time. They deliberately slowed down the offensive so that several other millions will flood the EU - this is very important, as it's a way to punish the EU for the sanctions, as the EU will have to pay for them, the EU will have to provide them with jobs(possible at the expense of the locals - which will lead to resentment and other problems, precisely what Russia wants!!)
Lol show me a source that Russia is slowing down its offensive and not losing momentum
 
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