Friday, January 5, 2024

Ukrainian Post-Mortems Starting to Appear

By Larry C. Johnson - January 05, 2024 at 01:18PM

The war in Ukraine continues to grind on and Ukrainian troops are falling back all across the 600 mile front. Not a good start to the New Year for Zelensky and the future is bleak at best. Russia is methodically destroying Ukrainian factories set up to manufacture military tactical clothing, ammunition, drones and vehicles. Repair facilities also have been hit and obliterated. Ditto for military training facilities aka bases. Ukraine’s recent use of cluster munitions on Belgorod and Donetsk killed a few civilians but enraged Putin and his military commanders. In response Russia has unleashed a devastating series of missile, drone and rocket attacks across the breadth of Ukraine and vowed to keep doing so. So much for Western hopes of building manufacturing plants in Ukraine to keep it in the war.

Panic among Western analysts about Ukraine’s looming defeat has escalated. Robert Clark, writing in the U.K. Telegraph, wailed his lamentation in an op-ed titled, Ukraine’s new year may end with a brutal Western betrayal. Clark blames Western leaders for Ukraine’s debacle:

The mood in 2024 is very different. The counter-offensive failed to deliver a decisive blow to Putin’s forces in the south. Russia’s economy has withstood Western sanctions, rapidly militarising to provide an ongoing stream of munitions to the front. Ukraine, meanwhile, is undergoing one of the largest aerial bombardments since the war began, and its united front is beginning to fray as conscription takes its toll. . . .

To turn our backs now on the Ukrainian people, so swiftly after months of brutal fighting, is morally bankrupt and strategically negligent. 

It is understandable, if not forgivable, that governments have begun questioning their levels of commitment to a deeply destructive war with no end in sight. At best there now appears to be a likely short to medium term stalemate across much of the 1,000 kilometre front line. 

Meanwhile, Western economies and budgets are still grappling with recovery from the pandemic and last year’s energy shock. Global supply chains are still in flux, and as the Middle East flares up the Houthis are increasingly able to dictate the terms of trade and passage in the Red Sea, delivering another blow to a fragile global economy.

And the proverbial elephant in the Ukraine war room – a Republican administration potentially returning to the White House in twelve months-time – raises the spectre of a sudden stop to American funding. Even the current Biden administration has struggled with a mutinous Congress. In the EU, meanwhile, Viktor Orbán has been blocking the transfer of funds.

Clark, who served previously in the British Army, didn’t learn a damn thing during his time in Iraq and Afghanistan. He ain’t fighting goat herders and camel jockeys. (Come to think of it, those camel jockeys kicked Western ass.) He continues, like many other delusional Western analysts, to insist the current state of the war is a stalemate. How is it a stalemate when Russia is outproducing Ukraine and all of the NATO countries in tanks, artillery shells and drones and is building up its standing Army to the tune of 42,000 men per month? While Putin’s war machine is on a roll, Ukraine can’t even come up with a workable plan to conscript new cannon fodder. Word to Clark, this ain’t a stalemate bud.

Colonel Jacque Baud, a Swiss officer, a strategic intelligence and a former head of the United Nations peace operations doctrine, is not saddled with the analytical deficiencies of Mr. Clark. Baud is author of a new book, The Russian Art of War: How the West Led Ukraine to Defeat, and presents a detailed breakdown of Ukraine’s hopeless task. He summarizes the problem succinctly:

The problem with the vast majority of our so-called military experts is their inability to understand the Russian approach to war. It is the result of an approach we have already seen in waves of terrorist attacks—the adversary is so stupidly demonized that we refrain from understanding his way of thinking. As a result, we are unable to develop strategies, articulate our forces, or even equip them for the realities of war. The corollary of this approach is that our frustrations are translated by unscrupulous media into a narrative that feeds hatred and increases our vulnerability. We are thus unable to find rational, effective solutions to the problem. . . .

The reason the Russians are better than the West in Ukraine is that they see the conflict as a process; whereas we see it as a series of separate actions. The Russians see events as a film. We see them as photographs. They see the forest, while we focus on the trees. That is why we place the start of the conflict on February 24, 2022, or the start of the Palestinian conflict on October 7, 2023. We ignore the contexts that bother us and wage conflicts we do not understand. That is why we lose our wars…

The Postil has posted the first chapter of his book and it is must reading for anyone wanting to understand why Ukraine and the West is getting its ass handed to it in this war. Kudos to Baud.

I will leave you some of the latest video evidence about the waning fortunes of Ukrainian troops.

It does not matter if the United States Congress decides to pour another $60 billion dollars into the yawning maw that is Ukraine. Money cannot buy Kiev trained soldiers. Money cannot buy Kiev an effective air defense to stop the Russian onslaught of hypersonic missiles. That is what Jacque Baud gets and Robert Clark misses.

Reprinted with permission from

from Ron Paul Institute Featured Articles


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