Into the 21st Century

By David Glenn Cox

I know already from scanning the headlines, that all the news is about the Trump Indictment. But it is a bit overblown for what it is. If you’ve read one article you basically know all there is that can be known. The trial will start in about a year. But on the fields of Ukraine something is going on that will soon reveal itself.

The Russians and the Wagner group have been trying to capture Bakhmut now for eight months and taking horrendous casualties Stalingrad style. After promising that there wouldn’t be any further draft call ups in Russia. Putin is calling up another 130 to 150,000 draftees. Under Russian law those draftees can’t be sent outside of Russia but tell that to the Russians soldiers around Bakhmut. Everyone knows how law-abiding Vladimir Putin is.

Why he’s so law-abiding, he’s even defended by the Republicans in this country. (War criminal? What’s that?) Reports say the Russian draftees are given one magazine and sent in mass waves to probe for Ukrainian positions. So, the Russians can target the Ukrainian positions with artillery and then do it all over again tomorrow, with more draftees.

The only reason on earth for such primitive battle tactics are those of a degraded military. The Russians have been sometimes losing a 1,000 men or more per day. To gain maybe 100 yards of territory.

Did you know field artillery require regular maintenance? After firing a 1,000 or so rounds the barrels need to be replaced. If the barrels aren’t replaced, the gun could explode and kill the crew. Does anybody believe the Russian barrels are being replaced on a timely schedule?

Recently, Russian casualties have dropped appreciably. Losses in tanks and armored personnel carriers and equipment have also dropped. Either the Bakhmut offensive has failed, and the Russians are running low on supplies, or the Russians are anticipating the spring Ukrainian offensive. Convoys of T-55 Russian tanks have been spotted headed for the front. The 1958 model tanks have been robbed from museums and mothballs.

Meanwhile, Ukraine is receiving over 100 western made modern battle tanks. Along with several dozen Soviet era fighter jets and western rockets and artillery. The British made Challenger tanks in Iraq were untouchable by the Iraqis in their Russian built tanks. Ukraine just received a promise of one million 155mm artillery shells from the European Union.

The Ukrainians have been in training for several months to use these new tanks. Only, you don’t need to give an experienced tanker several months of training to switch from one tank to another. They are being trained in something else. They are being trained in combined arms operations.

First come the drones and then artillery and then the tanks as the air force takes control of the airspace above. As the infantry arrives in armored personnel carriers with shoulder fired missiles mortars and grenade launchers.

Whatever the Russian Army was 13 months ago, they aren’t anymore. Intelligence shows Russians using field telephones because they lack radios. Using draftees to find positions means they are running out of drones and lack battlefield intelligence. Russian missile attacks have decreased as their supply in inventory declines. Why did Putin threaten to place battlefield nukes in Belarus? Is it because Belarus offers a better strategic position?  Not really, it is actually farther from the battlefield.

Putin is threating nuclear terrorism because he can read the handwriting on the wall. His air force is depleted of front-line aircraft but even more depleted of capable pilots. The shoulder fired missiles have made piloting those jets a risky business. The Russians have been buying ammunition from client states. But it becomes clearer day by day that this is a tired and degraded military machine. Putin places battlefield nukes in Belarus to threaten Poland.

The bully making threats again. “You better not or I’ll, I’ll, I’ll, you’d better not!”

But it is a hollow threat as the first nuke would be the last day of the Putin Administration.

The western tanks have a longer firing range than Russian tanks and the Challengers and Panthers will plink the Eisenhower era T-55 Russian tanks without a loss. One fine spring morning soon the Russian sentries will spot forty of fifty western battle tanks headed their way. And they’ll pick up the phone, but it will be too late. As they’re hit by cruise missiles or bombs or drones from above and there will be no defense. Their artillery will be neutralized and in possibly 48 hours the military conflict could be over.

In 2018, in Syria, a convoy of 500 Syrian troops with tanks and military vehicles supported by Wagner group mercenaries crossed the military demarcation line. American commanders picked up the hot line to warn the Russians to pull back or else.

After no reply, the Americans opened up with artillery and combined airstrikes destroying every vehicle in the convoy and field reports said the Syrian/Russians lost over 200 men without single allied casualty. It wasn’t just the weaponry but the command and control of the weaponry.

The original German storm troopers from WW1 were sent to attack command posts to blind the enemy leadership. In Desert Storm, the Allied air forces took out the Iraqi command control centers on the first night. An Australian company is selling Ukraine drones made of wax coated cardboard. Cheap and able to carry cameras or ten pounds of explosives. Funny thing about cardboard, it doesn’t show up on radar.

Russian Army Doctrine has always ruled from the top down and junior grade officers don’t take the initiative. Their doctrine assumes Russian control of the airspace over anti-aircraft weaponry. And as has been shown repeatedly Ukraine has been able to attack Russian targets almost unhindered. The Russians respond with attacks on civilian targets and power plants because that is all that the Russians are capable of doing. If they could do any better, they would.  

Russian aircraft losses have virtually ceased because Russian aircraft have become so scarce on the battlefield. Russia still has a numerical superiority in aircraft. But the Ukrainians only need to dominate the limited airspace over the offensive for several days as the Russian ground forces are degraded and made up largely of draftees.

AWACs planes over head and drones near the ground. Superior weaponry used with superior tactics of a combined arms operation means the Russians can only hold their breath. The Ukrainians can also choose the time and place of their spring offensive and the Russians can only guess.

Russia lost this war a year ago. Hoping for a quick strike decapitating the Ukrainian leadership and installing a puppet regime before the world could respond. Using Cold War era tactics in Cold War equipment and Cold War era leadership soon to be welcomed into the 21st Century.

Erc Trump, the Trump son not considered to be as smart as his Quinn the Eskimo snow snorting brother. Says he was hugged on a plane when the announcement of his father’s indictment came. Because of course, the passengers felt sorry for him. Wouldn’t you feel sorry for him being considered the less smart of the Trump sons? Their sympathy was tempered however by the need to make certain they still had their wallets after the hug and counting their rings and jewelry. He may be dumb but he’s still a Trump.

“Wheels of justice grind slow but grind fine” ― Sun Tzu

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