Thinking Citizen Blog — Did Ukraine Turn the Tide of War? If So, How the Heck Did This Happen?
Thinking Citizen Blog — Monday is Foreign Policy Day
Today’s Topic: Did Ukraine Turn the Tide of War? If So, How the Heck Did This Happen?
The headlines make it seem that the tide of war has turned. Is this true? If so, what happened? Today excerpts from an article in Time magazine on the topic by James Stavridis, former NATO Supreme Commander. Will the Russians use tactical nuclear weapons? Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
THE HIGH MOBILITY ARTILLERY ROCKET SYSTEM (HIMARS) IS “CONFOUNDING RUSSIAN DEFENSES”
1. HIMARS is a “five ton truck that can fire long-range guided rockets.”
2. Range is 50 miles.
3. Payload is 200 pounds of explosives.
NB: 16 new models from the US, 10 older models from Germany and Britain.
SUPERIOR AIR DEFENSE SYSTEMS AND THE SWITCHBLADE DRONE
1. “But beyond HIMARS, there are a plethora of modern NATO military systems which the Ukrainians have quickly mastered, ranging from air defense systems protecting Ukrainian forces on the ground to high tech missiles that can destroy Russian aircraft and radars.”
2. “While NATO has thus far declined to transfer high speed jets to the Ukrainians (discussions continue concerning both MIG-29s and F-16s), the airspace over much of Ukraine remains contested, taking away another critical advantage Russia assumed it would have.”
3. “The ground campaign has been significantly aided by the transfer to the Ukrainians of highly capable small unmanned offensive aircraft, including for Switchblade “suicide drone” and other variants that have led to the destruction of numerous Russian tanks and armored personnel carriers.”
NB: “Conventional howitzers and massive transfers of ammunition for them, alongside body armor, communications gear, and combat vehicles are helping inflict tens of thousands of casualties (as high as 80,000) on Russian forces. This has also cratered Russian morale, leading to reports of Russian forces simply abandoning their positions and fleeing the battlefield.”
THE BLACK SEA SITUATION, INTELLIGENCE, THE MORALE DIFFERENTIAL
1. “At sea, western assistance has made the Russian Black Sea Fleet extremely wary, particularly after the sinking of their flagship, the Moskva several months ago.”
2. “A combination of maritime drones and medium range cruise missiles prevent the Russians from attempting any amphibious assault behind Ukrainian lines.”
3. “Perhaps the most important element of Western support has been intelligence.” That is “long-dwell assessments of Russian positions, vulnerable logistic nodes, troop and armor movements, maritime dispositions of the Black Sea Fleet, and a sense of general Russian intentions.”
NB: The morale differential: On the one side soldiers fighting for their families on the other side troops not sure what they are fighting for.
#2 “39 Songs, Prayers, and Poems: the Keys to the Hearts of Seven Billion People” — Adams House Senior Common Room Presentation, 11/17/20
Here is a link to the last four years of posts organized by theme: (including the book on foreign policy)
Please share the coolest or most important thing you learned in the last week, month, or year related to foreign policy. Or, even better, the coolest or most important thing you learned in our life related to foreign policy.
This is your chance to make someone else’s day. And to consolidate in your memory something important you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than otherwise about something dear to your heart. Continuity is the key to depth of thought. The prospect of imminent publication, like hanging and final exams, concentrates the mind. A useful life long habit.