The level of crazy in the United States and Europe keeps growing Are you familiar with the expression, “Denial ain’t a river in Egypt?” Lots of denial in Washington and the European capitals. Yet, some bits of very uncomfortable truths are being acknowledged.
Pentagon, for example, admits, “It will be difficult for Kiev to maintain the combat capability of “Abrams” tanks.” When I was at the CIA we called this NSA (No Shit Analysis). Thank you Captain Obvious.
The Pentagon also admitted the following:
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US currently does not have additional M1A2 Abrams tanks in its arsenal to send them to Ukraine, so the transfer process will take several months – these tanks will need to be purchased from manufacturers, said Deputy Pentagon Spokeswoman Sabrina Singh.
The “mishmash” of different models of NATO tanks, each of which has different delivery times, creates unprecedented logistical difficulties for Kiev. Therefore, military experts are not sure whether NATO tanks will have a decisive impact on the battlefield this spring.
Think of the propaganda victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin if pictures emerge of disabled American tanks on a Ukrainian battlefield. – CNN
I think (at least I hope) that the readers of my blog understand that just because a tank is heavily armored and has some nifty technology for shooting while moving is worthless without a properly trained tank crew. And training takes months, not weeks. The Ukrainians do not have the luxury of time. Russia’s current offensive is larger than most of the commentariat realize. Compounding the problem presented by an absence of trained crews, the logistics supply line to provide munitions, spare parts and personnel with the ability to repair battle damage tanks (or provide basic maintenance) is not in place. This is a recipe for chaos for the Ukrainian military.
Sane, responsible policymakers should be looking for an off-ramp. But those people do not reside in the Biden Administration. They are doubling down like a deranged gambler that has lost all of his money and is borrowing new capital from the Mob>
United States does not exclude the possibility of supplying F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine – Deputy Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh.
“We are not going to withdraw anything from consideration <…> I will not get ahead of any packages (of military assistance) that have not yet been announced, or decisions of the president or the Minister (of Defense),” she replied to a question about the possible dispatch of F-16 fighters to Ukraine.
The insanity is not confined to the corridors of Washington. Key European states are embracing the madness espoused in Washington:
France and Italy are close to finalizing the technical details for the delivery of SAMP-T air defense systems to Ukraine. This was reported by Reuters on Thursday, citing diplomatic sources.
The Defence minister, Guido Crosetto evokes the specter of a devastating conflict and much more enlarged than the current one, the Third world war, which “starts in the moment when Russian tanks arrived in Kiev and to the borders of Europe. Make sure that they arrive is the only way to stop it”. He says at an event, in Rome, after having participated in a bilateral with his French colleague, Sébastien Lecornu,received at villa Madama in rome in the afternoon.
Not content with burning their bridges of reconciliation with Moscow, the Europeans want to punish Belarus as well, apparently not considering the likelihood that such an action will solidify ties between Russia and Belarus:
The EU has proposed new large-scale sanctions against Belarus for its role in supporting Russia. The measures will bring Belarus in line with many sanctions previously imposed on Russia — BBG
Is no one in any of the Western intelligence agencies briefing on the fact that the historical record on the “effectiveness” of sanctions shows that sanctions are impotent in effecting regime or policy change.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian sources claimed there were major explosions at the Zaprozhye Nuclear Power plant. The Russians say, “Nyet!”
The IAEA’s information about powerful explosions near the Zaporozhye NPP is a provocation to convince the public that Russia cannot ensure nuclear safety, Renat Karchaa,” adviser to the General director of Rosenergoatom
The reality on the ground for Ukrainian troops is grim. Last year I posted a number of videos of Ukrainian soldiers who posted their pleas on social media begging the political and military leadership to provide support. Since July there have been very few such videos. A new one came out this week from a decimated company of the 144th Territorial Defense Battalion. This appears to be a legitimate plea for help and provides a bleak picture of what the Ukrainian units in the Donbas are facing:
“At the time of the large-scale offensive and armed aggression of Russia, I and hundreds of men and women joined the ranks of the 144th Territorial Defense Battalion. We were sympathetic to the lack of VVK, the lack of adequate weapons and uniforms. From February to December, about 5 shootings with AKs and training in tactics took place in my unit. Although, according to papers, we almost every day had fire training for the development of different types of weapons.
In January, we were sent to the combat zone in the Soledar operational-tactical formation. The first combat clash took place with elements of an assault, for which we were not prepared. We were without communication with the command of the mortar battery, we suffered losses in the dead and wounded. We encountered tank fire, which broke up our group.
After 2 days, without proper medical assistance, the remnants of my platoon and other platoons were again sent to the line of contact with combat contact and direct artillery shelling, which did not allow us to raise our heads. We were sent there wounded, shell-shocked, without providing the things that we had lost. We again had the wounded, and the condition of the previously wounded worsened. And besides, our base was destroyed by artillery fire.
Some of us were left without winter things, without everything that we had on at the time of the operation, that is, bulletproof vest, unloading, machine gun. Some of us have in our hands hospital certificates about the need to be released from duty for 5 days.
None of us refused and does not refuse to perform combat missions, most of us are simply not combat-ready due to injuries, lack of support, communication and coordination.”
I do not believe this is an isolated, exceptional case. I think their message reflects a broader problem that highlights the inadequacy of the Ukrainian military commanders to adequately supply and support their troops in the field.