This is a podcast done by the American Council and University of Texas. In it General Hodges is discussing the war with the senior fellow for the Estonian defense center and is moderated by an Atlantic Council military analyst. It is long but it is good.…

The only war game I really looked at and took seriously was their game (the Atlantic Council) — by their  senior military fellows in March — they have proven pretty correct so far, within reason I think. That once they break them at the Izium triangle the war goes to the south to full effect. That was in March, like I said. And every discipline did it together — army, navy, air force etc…

The main reason I am pointing this out is that they make a profound observation that was kind of interesting to me. One can see this fight as really three different operations  (and god knows how many tactical deals) — to the north to the center and to the south. But it is not. It is one operational movement. That has pretty significant implications.

It means, for example, that Ukraine has already planned to exploit any break in any part of the  line with any part of it’s full force — that is to say, that in reality there is not three different commands and structures with three different operational goals — but one centralized command prepared for any break in the entire maybe 250 or so mile line.  That it streamlines attacks is a gross understatement. For them to do anything like this they must have really good mobility and Russia they calculate, does not. That they can handle any vertical response.

Now it is sure true they have interior lines and all that but it is so much deeper. It means that movements we see in Kharkiv or in the Donbass are directly connected to what is going on in Kherson — that it is one fight. That it is very centrally commanded. That they can shift the fight about on a dime with no operational friction — that they can attack very fluidly — at maybe near full strength at weakness without much warning. Sure puts the total blackout they pulled off in Kherson in a whole new light — doesn’t it? Because it is all one movement, every movement a part of other movements — all coordinated to one operational objective.

Breath taking to me for a little country that was just thrown into a major war 7 months ago against a supposed super power can pull this off. I know I am not doing this justice here — how sophisticated this really is. Really — is their really a main thrust with supporting attacks if they can pivot like that? The answer is NO. Of course not. That is why they got Kharkiv so wrong — it was only out of the blue, so to speak, if they could not pivot like this. But they sure can, isn’t it? They saw the weakness and stuck — opportunistic. 

There was other things they said that are pretty interesting — like did you know Ukraine didn’t just kill a lot of tanks but also got 500 operational tanks from Russia. 500 of them that work. That their movements in Kharkiv destroyed or captured the equivalent of two full divisions of armor. Divisions, not battalions — wow. The whole US army only has about 10 or 11 divisions active you know. That their logistics are all fucked up a lot worse than we may understand and getting worse everyday —  cannot get the shells to their armor in anywhere near what they need (just as Ukraine is picking them off and taking or destroying the stores), cannot really feed them now and when they even try and stick those poor conscripted bastards up there in any strength it will be in the middle of winter— they won’t even be able to get supplied, that they will starve and freeze and what they do get is at the direct expense of the guys already there. And Ukraine is indeed prepared for this winter war coming — they will not let up at all and in fact will turn it up. Like think Fredrich the Great. Or I suppose Napoleon from the Russian perspective.

Yes — the fight gets to it’s head at the Black Sea — that is when Crimea comes under full attack — that is where this goes in the end. All really clear —that is and always has been the key geography. No mystery about it. Faster Ukraine gets to the Black Sea the quicker this war ends I think.

There are discussions about Putin’s nuclear threats —  basically there is no possible military advantage to this. It won’t be that easy for Putin to get his generals to go along with this and all that. But moreover — at the minimum, we will launch an air campaign that will completely destroy Russian offensive capability in Ukraine in days. That their Black Sea fleet has 35 minutes to live at that point — really, 35 minutes (don’t know how they calculated that so precisely but that is what they said).

There is a lot more — but the above is what got my interest. How Clausewitz this whole war really is. Hertling said that you know — that if you understood On War you should know how this likely turns out. But I do think — all war is the same in the end anyway.

All academic above — here is the practical — IMHO

They really do believe — our generals — that these conscripts just get slaughtered — I think most of them will just run. I do hope so — for their sake, it is not their war and they just don’t belong there.  I think they will get very creative when their ass is on the line. I have said this before.

Really true — surrender is a contagious thing. Boy is Russia about to find out the hard way. My god — stick really weak guys in the middle of a real shaky army —  what could go wrong???????

PS — I really do think their artillery is about toast by now in any event. I have not changed my mind about this. It is true that I was not a 13. But I sure had an interest in knowing what they could really do to help when trouble came. So I did pay attention I think and they always came through. But they were SO careful with those guns.

This whole post is too long — sorry. I don’t think I could make it any shorter. Sort of sensitive about going too long in a paper — I got a bunch of shit about that in military school so I really try and keep it short. I should have been able to make it shorter probably.

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