The following two articles are opinions and analysis of the ongoing war in the Ukraine. One is from a respected and distinguished writer who has a large background in modern war and diplomacy. As well as this he is very much respected on this side of the divide.
The other article is from one of us ragtag bunch of online dissidents who likes posting the hawt chicks and has a dubious predilection for the most awful heavy metal music imaginable. He also has no background in the subject matter, is not a recognised expert in anything much, and he’s an Indian to boot.
They are also on polar opposite sides of the fence as to what is happening in this war. The recognised expert is convinced that Russia has already lost. The online drooler is of the opposite opinion.
Martin van Creveld – “The Guessing Game”
Just what the final settlement will look like is impossible to say; most probably, though, it will include the following elements. First, there can be no question of doing away with Ukraine as an independent country and nation. Second, there will be no subservient government in Kiev as there is in Minsk. Third, Russia will make no important territorial gains beyond those made in 2014 and even its ability to hold on to those is in some doubt. Fourth, Ukraine will not officially join NATO, let alone have NATO forces stationed on its territory; but other, more limited, forms of cooperation between the two entities will certainly be established and maintained. Fifth, Putin may, but not necessarily will, lose his post.
Didact – “Sun Tzu 101”
The realignment of forces away from Kiev and Chernigov last night was nothing more than a deceptive feint, precisely in line with the 3rd-Generation method of warfighting that the Russians have displayed throughout every step of this campaign so far. That redeployment will ensure the final liquidation of those 60,000 or 80,000, or even maybe 100,000, troops in the eastern cauldron, which is the best fighting force that the Ukies have. Their destruction would be a truly DISASTROUSmilitary defeat for Ukraine, and would hasten the breakup of the country.
For eight long years, the Russians desperately tried to negotiate their way out of the necessity of war. Now, when they have found themselves without any choice, they have demonstrated a mastery of methodical, precise, combined-arms warfare that has made all of NATO sit up, gulp fearfully, and realise just how badly they have underestimated and needlessly antagonised one of the world’s most powerful nations.
And never forget that the entire military strategy is merely a subset of an ongoing geopolitical and economic encirclement of the entire Western world. After tomorrow, in theory, the Russians will stop sending gas to Europe. The Euroweenies have refused to pay for natural gas in rubles, believing that the Neo-Tsar is bluffing.
This is the height of hubris and stupidity. The overriding lesson of the past 8 years, and especially of the past one month, is that RUSSIANS DO NOT BLUFF. They WILL stop the gas if Europeans don’t pay in rubles. And they WILL take the economic hit, because they know damned well that they can absorb it, thanks to the ongoing realignment toward Asia.
Both analyses are fascinating in light of the context of this war. Because I believe that this is a century landmark war; the kind of war that changes fundamental preconceived ideas of modern warfare and turns them on their head. The winners will be those that are able to recognise and to most quickly take advantage of the new paradigm.
Creveld states that the Russians had a numerical superiority. Didact states the opposite. Each of the two men are receiving their information from obviously different sources. The nature of those sources itself is one of the key changes that are happening before our eyes. This is why so much of what you presently read and hear concerning this war is outmoded; it is stuck in a former time and the interlocutors cannot change their mindsets to reason their way out of it. They can see but they are blind. They can hear but they are deaf. They can think but they cannot reason.
The world is changing, right before our eyes. If you have the foresight to understand it, this is as fascinating a seat as it gets.