If You Are Looking for a Belly Laugh. Read Fred Kagan's Latest
Saddam had Baghdad Bob. He was damn entertaining as he spilled his nightly delusions trying to convince the West that the Iraqi Army was keeping American troops at bay back in March 2003. Well, as the saying goes in Poker, I’ll see your Baghdad Bob and raise you a Fred Kagan.
Fred Kagan, spouse of the corpulent Victoria Nuland, is a “scholar” at the American Enterprise Institute and part of the Institute for the Study of War is out with an article that is worthy of a free ticket on the crazy train — How the Ukraine Counteroffensive Can Still Succeed. Here are some of the low points:
Hey Fred, no it cannot. Chubby academics with no military experience should not write stupid stuff like this. As long as Ukraine does not have a size-able force of combat air, mobile air defense and mobile artillery, it lacks the offensive power to penetrate the grey zone outside the first of the Surovikin defensive lines.
Let’s indulge Fred’s fantasy and assume a Ukrainian force of 10,000 men (two brigades) breach the first line of Russian defenses. This creates a salient, i.e. a bulge. At that point Russia can (and will) launch attacks on both flanks of the Ukrainian advance. What does Ukraine have in its arsenal to thwart a Russian counter attack? The answer is simple — NOTHING.
But that is not how Fred sees things in his rich fantasy world. He insists that the Russian army is weak and running out of ammunition and manpower reserves. Of course, he has no evidence to support this. He is like Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz clicking his ruby slippers together and repeating the mantra, “there is not a Russian army.” But no amount of wishful thinking can change the fact that Russia’s defense industry is churning out tanks, planes, artillery, ammunition and drones at an increasing level.
What astonishes me is Kagan’s complete disregard for the losses the Ukrainians are suffering. Even if the United States and NATO can continue to send tanks, artillery and ammunition to its beleaguered ally in Kiev, the number of trained Ukrainian personnel capable of operating these weapon systems effectively is diminishing rapidly, not increasing. Even if Ukraine manages to squeeze out one tactical victory, it does not have the resources in manpower and equipment to sustain that success. Ukraine’s army is in an irretrievable death spiral. Its fate is determined. It is just a matter of time.
Larry C Johnson is a veteran of the CIA and the State Department’s Office of Counter Terrorism. He is the founder and managing partner of BERG Associates, which was established in 1998. Larry provided training to the US Military’s Special Operations community for 24 years. He has been vilified by the right and the left, which means he must be doing something right. You can also follow me on telegram (t.me/sonar_21 (https://t.me/sonar_21), Patreon and Substack (https://larrycjohnson.substack.com).
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