"Our soldiers are doing the training with the Ukrainians and we've learned a lot from the Ukrainians," said Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges. "A third of the [Ukrainian] soldiers have served in the ... combat zone, and no Americans have been under Russian artillery or rocket fire, or significant Russian electronic warfare, jamming or collecting — and these Ukrainians have. It's interesting to hear what they have learned." (c)
This is from Joe Gould's piece in the Defense News:
Ben Hodges, yet again, repeats here the, now standard in US media, baloney about "Russian artillery fire" and things of this nature. I want to reiterate yet again (especially for Mr. Ben Hodges) that if there would have been a "Russian artillery or rocket fire" in Ukraine--the Ukraine as we know it today would cease to exist in 72 to 96 hours, Ukrainian Armed Forces would cease to exist even faster. Ben Hodges, of course, knows this (or maybe he does believe in BS, akin to Orwell's 1984) and that is what important about this article in DN.
1. I said it many times, I will repeat it again--the US Army hasn't encountered serious opponent, capable of conducting competent combined arms warfare operations, in ages. Turkey shoot against supremely incompetent Saddam's Army or low-intensity semi-police operations in Afghanistan are not the type of operations one really learns from in order to fight Continental War(fare) and defeat peer or near-peer, that is the nation-state. As Laurie Buckhout states "Our biggest problem is we have not fought in a comms-degraded environment for decades, so we don't know how to do it," Buckhout said. "We lack not only tactics, techniques and procedures but the training to fight in a comms-degraded environment." Well, Laurie, welcome to the real war.
2. In the case of Ukraine's civil war, I am really surprised that it took so long for some news of a "culture shock", when dealing with actual serious warfare, to start trickling into the information universe of American triumphalist "We are the best army in the galaxy" and "We can defeat anyone", despite stark evidence to the contrary. The article above is a good start and, possibly, a good argument for all kinds of the internet "warriors" convinced in their profound understanding of intricacies of the modern war and how Osipov-Lanchester Equations apply when fighting the enemy who, actually, has means and will to fight back.
3. While Russia does support Novorossia Armed Forces, including through numerous volunteers, she never demonstrated in full (which is reasonable) her electronic warfare capabilities. What was demonstrated, however, evidently produced an impression, and then comes this touchy-feely issue of US Army's "advisers" training Ukrainian forces. As many sources reported some Ukrainian veterans of war were, frankly, puzzled with what US Army can actually teach them since none of the "teachers" ever experienced what those Ukrainian veterans did--that is real warfare which, as Colonel Macgregor states in his article in Time magazine:
"In 110 days of fighting the German army in France during 1918, the U.S. Army Expeditionary Force sustained 318,000 casualties, including 110,000 killed in action. That’s the kind of lethality waiting for U.S. forces in a future war with real armies, air forces, air defenses and naval power.
Ignoring this reality is the road to future defeats and American decline. It’s time to look beyond the stirring images of infantrymen storming machine-gun nests created by Hollywood and to see war for what it is and will be in the future: the ruthless extermination of the enemy with accurate, devastating firepower from the sea, from the air, from space and from mobile, armored firepower on land."
4. For those competent and thoughtful observers who still populate politically correct corridors of power in D.C., it was clear that what happened in Georgia on 08-08-08 (yes, it is 7th anniversary of Saakashvili's and his US curators' suicidal adventure) IS the real war, which involves whole complex of heterogeneous forces and does involve maneuverable combat by armor (including in MBGs--Maneuverable Battalion Groups). Ukraine's civil war only confirmed the dominance of artillery and armor in serious combat against peers. The COIN crowd should have noticed that, but I only assume. But at least Gould comes to the correct conclusion in his article:
'Future of War Is in the Ukraine'
Or, I would rather say, not the "future" but never-interrupted evolution from the past (see the title of this blog) when nations fought nations with all they have got. Writing of the American "book" on war failed. The serious war WILL have large masses of troops, armor, aviation and full C4SIR complex involved in a Clausewitzian activity "to compel the enemy to do our will"(c). These are the bad news for US military. These are also horrible news for neocons in State Department, since they never had understanding of this process of "compelling" and what it takes, and fully bought into the alternative reality of US military blowing shit up with impunity by using stand-off weapons against supremely incompetent and backward opponents. Will we see tank armies again? Yes, we will:
Now, in conclusion, to the ever important and crucial question for internet warriors and couch troops: Can US Army conventionally defeat Russian Army?
My answer is simple--not in Russia's immediate vicinity, such as Ukraine. The worst news here, in the same time, are not even that it can not, but that Russia is not intent to "invade" Europe and this fact is very difficult to hide. Especially against the background of US-led "global democratization", which resulted in millions of civilians killed, maimed, displaced and their nations destroyed. As for war. War is NOT a linear affair, at the very least, in its foundation are differential equations of Osipov-Lanchester, which describe, in the most basic form, the Square Law.
It is from here where serious subject of Theory Of Operations derives itself, but that is a separate topic in itself and, maybe, some time in the future, I will touch upon it. It will involve a lot of mathematics. Because the war is more than just non-linear it is also probabilistic in nature and it is often up to people, their resolve, skills and courage, to change its outcome. Especially for people who fight on their own land.