Retired Officers Still Lying About Ukraine While Media Coming to Grips with the Unfolding Debacle

Retired Officers Still Lying About Ukraine While Media Coming to Grips with the Unfolding Debacle

Whew! That’s a long title. Sorry, but needed to be said. Let’s start with David Petraeus. He never learned the the first rule of crisis management — “when you’re in a hole, stop digging.” If he keeps this up he will carve out a hole that leads to China. Here is what he posted recently on his Linked-In page:

2 September 2023: An exceptional report by the NYT’s Marc Santora that describes how the Ukrainians are conducting the offensive operations that are now slowly retaking territory in the south — and validating assessments that the Ukrainians have adapted their tactics effectively…

Key points:
“The mission for the Ukrainian unit was to take a single house, in a village that is only a speck on the map but was serving as a stronghold for Russian soldiers.

Andriy, a veteran marine, had waited for three days with his small assault team — none of whom had seen combat before — as other Ukrainian units crawled through minefields, stormed trenches and cleared a path to the farming village of Urozhaine. Finally… the order came to move. . . .

The months long campaign to breach heavily fortified Russian lines is being conducted in… many forms of battle, with artillery duels and drone strikes across the breadth of the front… But the engine driving the effort are hundreds of small-scale assault groups, often just eight to 10 soldiers, each tasked with attacking a single trench, tree line or house.

In this tactical approach, small villages loom large. They line paved roads, facilitating transport, and the buildings, even those ravaged by shelling, provide a measure of cover…

Effective operations? Not so fast. NY Times is out with another piece. How about the canard that Ukraine is taking more territory than the Russians? The graphics in the NY Times piece tell a different story:

The New York Times is loathe to admit that its reporting has been wrong — the article praised by Petraeus is a case in point — about Ukraine’s progress in its long-awaited counter offensive. But the Times does make this grudging admission:

Ukraine’s counteroffensive has struggled to push forward across the wide-open fields in the south. It is facing extensive minefields and hundreds of miles of fortifications — trenches, anti-tank ditches and concrete obstacles — that Russia built last winter to slow Ukrainian vehicles and force them into positions where they could be more easily targeted.

When both sides’ gains are added up, Russia now controls nearly 200 square miles more territory in Ukraine compared with the start of the year.

Russia is taking a page out of Muhammed Ali’s playbook — Rope-a-Dope. This is especially true on the southern front. Ukraine is relentlessly throwing troops and vehicles against rugged Russian defenses. The three “Surovikin” defensive lines are not Alamo emplacements. What do I mean? Russia troops have not taken a vow to defend each line to the last man. Nope. The Russian doctrine is to bend, withdraw to new positions and create a salient. They then clobber the Ukrainian units with massive artillery, missile and bomb barrages, which forces the Ukrainians to retreat, suffering horrific casualties in the process. I guess we can call this “Rumble in the Steppes.”

Ali’s strategy entailed letting Foreman punch himself into exhaustion and then nailing Foreman with punishing shots. That is precisely what Russia is doing in the south along the Surovikin lines, which is why Ukraine has not even defeated the first line of defense.

Petraeus is not alone in his foolishness. The British version of General Dave is retired Air Vice-Marshal Sean Bell. Here is his latest punditry on Sky News:

Bell is a lousy analyst. He falsely claims that Russia’s declining use of attack helicopters on the front lines is because Ukraine is shooting them down. Nope. The Russian Alligator copters are used against armored columns. Guess what — Russia has destroyed so many of the Ukrainian armored assets that Ukraine — confirmed by the New York Times and others — is no longer sending those vehicles forward. Instead, Ukraine is using pick up trucks to drop small groups of soldiers off and they have to march forward into fields of fire without armor. If you have fewer targets to hit you are going to have fewer flights.

Oh, and one more thing. Russia is producing helicopters faster than Ukraine can shoot them down.

Ray McGovern and I talked about this and other facets of the war in Ukraine with Judge Napolitano today:

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Author: Larry Johnson