The Future of Warfare: Why Vladimir Putin isn’t looking for a way out of the Cold War and why we should not underestimate him
We should not underestimate Putin. He thinks Russians can out-suffer the Ukrainians, Europeans, and Americans the same way they out-suffered Napoleon and Hitler. All of our NATO and western partners need to do in order to prove that Putin is wrong.
If Zelenskyy reached the conclusion that maybe we should stop the punishment, we should negotiate. I don’t think he can do that anymore because of the conviction of the Ukrainian people.”
The keynote speaker at the annual conference in Sea Island, Ga. was David Petraeus, who spoke about the importance of looking at the big picture of global security.
Petraeus, who is now the commander in chief of the US military. I think we should know that with a few exceptions, Ukraine is not the future of warfare. In large measure, it is what we would have seen had the Cold War turned hot in the mid-1980s – with largely Cold War weapons systems (albeit with some modernization).
A top Ukrainian official told a conference that the conflict needs to end with a Ukrainian victory on the battlefield.
But Paul Kolbe, a former CIA officer who runs the Intelligence Project at Harvard’s Kennedy School, says the Russian leader is not looking for a way out of the conflict. He says it’s the opposite. “Putin’s muscle memory when he runs into an obstacle is to escalate,” said Kolbe. “There’s a lot of tricks he can still pull out to try to undermine morale in Ukraine and in the West.”
Meanwhile, in addition to the Russian offensive I mentioned earlier, I fear we will also see additional Russian attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure with Russian missiles and rockets, as well as with Iranian-provided drones – which underscores the importance of doing all that we can to further constrain the Russian arms industries and also those of Iran.
That said, in the short term, having failed to take control of Kyiv and replace President Zelensky with a pro-Russian figure, Putin is seeking to expand the area of Ukraine controlled by Russian forces. To solidify Russian control over the southern parts of the country and in particular the provinces connecting Russia with Russia’s neighbor to the north, also known as the land bridge, because Russia does not have to rely on the Kerch Strait Bridge for connection with the peninsula.
“That is essentially a fire,” said Alperovitch. “What this means is that this war is likely to continue for many, many months, potentially many years, as long as he’s in power and as long as he has the resources to continue fighting.”
Petraeus: It is certainly possible that Putin could order Russian use of tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine, Peter, and we should be concerned about that possibility. He would have been in a terrible position if he had used the weapons, as they would make Russia be worse off than it was before they were used.
The Cold War with Ukraine and the USA: What do we need to do to keep us from acting so strongly in a world without nuclear power?
At the Georgia conference, in a ballroom filled with experienced national security types, no one suggested the war was near an end. “Most wars end with some sort of negotiated solution, whether that comes out of stalemate or defeat, but I don’t see any prospects of talks in the near term,” said Paul Kolbe, the former CIA official.
The war started with a Russian invasion in the summer of 2014 and has been intense ever since. Greg Myre is an NPR national security correspondent. Follow him @gregmyre1.
The US will provide Ukraine a missile system in addition to the required training after a visit by Zelensky to the White House last month. It was the first system that was promised to someone else.
It requires a relatively large number of personnel to be trained, according to CNN’s Barbara Starr and Oren Liebermann, who were first to report the US is close to sending the system to Ukraine.
“Earlier, many experts, including those overseas, questioned the rationality of such a step which would lead to an escalation of the conflict and increase the risk of directly dragging the US army into combat,” Zakharova said at a briefing in Moscow.
The Patriot system is expensive and complicated and requires intensive training for the multiple people it takes to operate it, but could help the country guard against Russian attacks that have left millions without power.
Russia has warned on unspecific “consequences” if the US provided Ukraine with Patriot missiles, viewing the shipments as further US engagement in the war. The official was clear, however, that Biden remained steadfast in keeping the United States out of direct conflict with Russia, despite the enhanced security assistance.
There’s a reason officials from a country that brutally attacked its neighbor chose to describe defensive systems meant to save lives and protect civilians.
“In terms of whether or not Russia is massing its aircraft for some massive aerial attack, we don’t currently see that. He said that Russia has a lot of capability left and a large number of aircraft in its inventory. “That’s why we’ve emphasized that we need to do everything that we can to get Ukraine as much air defense capability as we possibly can.”
In what may be a no less subtle message than calling the Patriot deployments provocative, Russia’s defense ministry shared video of the installation of a “Yars” intercontinental ballistic missile into a silo launcher in the Kaluga region for what Alexei Sokolov, commander of the Kozelsky missile formation, called “combat duty as planned.”
The commander of the Russian militia suggested on Russian state TV that Russia couldn’t defeat the NATO alliance in a conventional war.
The fate of the US air defense system in the face of a Turkish attack from Ukraine: Indications from German chancellor Vladimir Zelensky
Smaller air defense systems require smaller crews, and therefore fewer personnel to operate them. The training of the missiles takes many months and the United States will now have to do it with daily attacks from Russia.
The system is widely considered one of the most capable long-range weapons to defend airspace against incoming ballistic and cruise missiles as well as some aircraft. Russian missiles and aircraft could possibly be shot down because of its long-range and high-altitude capability.
With Scholz shouldering his way to the diplomatic helm, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky may find his territorial ambitions to restore the entirety of Ukraine’s sovereignty including Crimea, before peace talks with Putin, constrained. The German chancellor was at the forefront of a lot of friendly leaders who wanted a quick end to the war and the stabilization of Europe.
The secretary general of NATO told France 24 that the alliance still has two main objectives: to provide aid to Ukraine and make sure that NATO doesn’t escalate the war.
Old gun. CNN’s Ellie Kaufman and Liebermann reported earlier this week on a US military official who says Russian forces have had to resort to 40-year-old artillery ammunition as their supplies of new ammo are “rapidly dwindling.”
“You load the ammunition and you cross your fingers and hope it’s gonna fire or when it lands that it’s gonna explode,” said the official, speaking to reporters.
Zelensky’s US Mission to Ukraine: A Storyline in the War on Drugs, Arms, and Fortifications
The effect of months of military aid. CNN reported last month that the US is running low on some weapons systems because it doesn’t have enough. Look for that storyline to become part of the US aid debate after Republicans take control of the House of Representatives next month and promise more scrutiny of US aid for Ukraine.
In the trenches. CNN’s Will Ripley filed a video report from trenches and fortifications being built along Ukraine’s border with Belarus, where there is growing concern about Russia once again assembling troops. The sewing machine repairman is a tank driver.
An administration official says Biden discussed the possibility of Zelensky coming to Washington during a phone call with the Ukrainian leader. Zelensky accepted a formal invitation a week ago and then began consultations on the security of the trip.
The visit was hastily arranged by both the United States and the Ukrainians over the course of 10 days to demonstrate America’s continued commitment toUkraine at a moment where Biden’s ability to maintain support at home and abroad is being tested.
On their phone call, Biden and Scholz “expressed their common determination to continue to provide the necessary financial, humanitarian, military and diplomatic support to Ukraine for as long as needed,” a joint statement read.
The US set to work on executing those parameters after Zelensky determined that they met his needs. The trip was confirmed on Sunday.
Kuleba was second only Zelenskyy in carrying Ukraine’s message in the Russian ground and air war, and it needs to have an international audience even if it’s through 140 characters or less.
“We know that the days ahead, the conflict will continue,” the senior administration official said. The Ukrainian people will face a lot of hardship this winter, but we’ll keep going to help them.
The official said US troops would train Ukrainians to use the system in a third country. CNN reported the training would take place at a US Army base in Germany.
Zelensky’s Legacy: A Tale of Two Battles in the Ukranian Democratic Republic and a War of Independence for the American Revolution
She said Zelensky’s historic address “strengthened both Democrats and Republicans who understand what is at stake in this fight against Putin and Russian aggression and now with their ally, Iran, as well.”
The speech connected the struggles of the Ukrainian people to the revolution we have been involved in, to our own feelings that we want to be warm in our homes for Christmas, and to encourage us to think about the families on the front lines.
Petraeus: Western tanks and infantry fighting Vehicles are going to be added, as well as larger precision strikes for the US-supplied HImsars, that could allow precise strikes out to 150 kilometers.
Clinton met Putin as secretary of state and he said that the Russian leader was not likely to be predicted as the war turned in favor of the Ukrainians.
Clinton thinks that Putin is thinking about how to get more Russian conscripts into the battle in Ukranian.
This story was adapted from the December 22 edition of CNN’s Meanwhile in America, the daily email about US politics for global readers. Click here to read past editions and subscribe.
The comic actor-turned-wartime hero effectively put the fate of millions of Ukrainians in the hands of American lawmakers, taxpayers and families at a time when there is growing skepticism among the incoming Republican House majority about the cost of US involvement.
Zelensky gave a Ukrainian flag he retrieved from the hottest battle front on Tuesday to Pelosi and Harris during his speech in the House chamber.
“Our heroes … asked me to bring this flag to you, to the US Congress, to members of the House of Representatives and senators whose decisions can save millions of people,” he said.
Zelensky was a master of allusion and public relations theater. He argued the war in Ukraine was at a turning point – drawing an analogy to the Battle of Saratoga, a rallying point for an outgunned army against a superpower enemy in America’s revolutionary war. He evoked the heroism of US soldiers dug into freezing foxholes in the Battle of the Bulge during Christmas 1944, which thwarted the last effort by Nazi Germany to repel the allied liberation of Europe. He said President Franklin Roosevelt made a victory for freedom a priority during the war.
His comment addressed a rare point of contention amid the ceremony. Biden must consider more than the fate of the country, which he knows is desperate to take the fight to Russia.
Putin still believes that Russia can ‘out-suffer’ the Ukrainians, Europeans, and Americans in the same way that Russians out-suffered Napoleon’s army and Hitler’s Nazis.
— To the incoming House Republican majority, some of whose members want to halt aid, the Ukrainian leader’s hero’s welcome in the chamber suggested they would be shamed if they choose to forsake him.
What Can We Expect to Learn from a White House Christmas Address? A Reply to President Biden and a No-Go Theorem
“We will celebrate Christmas, maybe candlelit. Not because it’s more romantic, no, but because there will be no electricity,” he said. “We’ll celebrate Christmas and even if there is no electricity, the light of our faith, in ourselves, will not be put out.”
“What’s going to happen after Patriots are installed? Zelensky said during a White House news conference that they would send more signals to President Biden after that. In his address to Congress, he said: “We have artillery, yes, thank you. We have it. Is it enough? It wasn’t really. He was joking but he was deadly serious, even if he was joking. In his address to Congress, Zelensky pleaded with Washington to send more offensive weapons to spur victory.
The president has limited his weapons’ power to balance the need for defending a European democracy with the desire not to cause a disastrous clash with Russia and to avoid crossing often invisible red lines.
Why do you think we should just give them everything they need? Biden said at the White House, explaining that pushing overwhelming force into Ukraine would risk fracturing the transatlantic consensus needed to support the war.
Zelensky also had a message for some members of the incoming GOP House majority, who are skeptical of massive aid for Ukraine, and the possible new House speaker, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who warned again after the speech on Wednesday that he did not support a blank check for Ukraine.
However, given partisan fury that will erupt in a divided Washington next year, there is no guarantee that America’s lawmakers will even be able to fund their own government – let alone one fighting for its survival thousands of miles away.
Putin vs. Zelensky: Ukraine’s Foreign Minister is Defending Towards a Peace Summit by February 2023
Several Republican members who have expressed reservations about aid to Ukraine – like Reps. Lauren Boebert of Colorado and Matt Gaetz of Florida – did not stand to applaud when Zelensky was introduced.
Zelensky recalled a visit 81 years ago when another leader of a dark, bomb- ravaged nation was desperate for US help to turn the tide of victory over tyranny. Pelosi, likely presiding over her final great congressional occasion, recalled how her father was in the House, as a Maryland congressman, when British Prime Minister Winston Churchill addressed Congress on December 26, 1941. Zelensky borrowed one of the great statesman’s greatest lines, as he also presented himself as the symbol of a nation’s defiance.
KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s foreign minister on Monday said that his government is aiming to have a peace summit by the end of February, preferably at the United Nations with Secretary-General António Guterres as a possible mediator, around the anniversary of Russia’s war.
Asked about whether they would invite Russia to the summit, he said that Moscow would first need to face prosecution for war crimes at an international court.
Kuleba also said he was “absolutely satisfied” with the results of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit to the U.S. last week, and he revealed that the U.S. government had made a special plan to get the Patriot missile battery ready to be operational in the country in less than six months. The training usually lasts a year.
Kuleba said during the interview at the Foreign Ministry that Ukraine will do whatever it can to win the war in 2023, adding that diplomacy always plays an important role.
Zelenskyy at the U.N. Security Council: a good mediator for Ukraine and a bad negotiating broker for the United States
The United Nations could be the right place for the summit because it’s not about making a favor to a country, he said. “This is really about getting everyone on board.”
At the Group of 20 summit in Bali in November, Zelenskyy presented a 10-point peace formula that includes the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, the withdrawal of Russian troops, the release of all prisoners, a tribunal for those responsible for the aggression and security guarantees for Ukraine.
He has proven to be a man of principle and integrity in his role as a mediators and a negotiator, Kuleba said. So we would welcome his active participation.”
“They regularly say that they are ready for negotiations, which is not true, because everything they do on the battlefield proves the opposite,” he said.
“This shows how both the United States are important for Ukraine, but also how Ukraine is important for the United States,” said Kuleba, who was part of the delegation to the U.S.
He said that the U.S. government developed a program for the missile battery to complete the training faster than usual “without any damage to the quality of the use of this weapon on the battlefield.”
Kuleba didn’t say how long it would take, but he said it would be less than six months. He said that the training will be done outside of Ukraine.
On Monday, Ukraine called on U.N. member states to deprive Russia of its status as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council and to exclude it from the world body. They have been prepared for this step to uncover the fraud and deprive Russia of its status.
The Foreign Ministry says that Russian never went through the legal procedure for acquiring membership and taking the place of the USSR at the U.N. Security Council after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The NATO-Russia Military Supply Package: The German-Ukraine Deal for the End of Cold War and the German-Prussian War
The package of military equipment is the largest sent from the Pentagon to Ukraine since the war began. It comes as Ukraine prepares for intensive fighting in the spring as the weather warms.
Biden and the German Chancellor held a phone call on Thursday. Germany will also send Ukraine new fighting vehicles, along with a Patriot missile battery to protect against Russian air attacks.
Those systems had been at the top of Zelensky’s wish list because it will allow his military to target Russian missiles flying at a higher altitude than they were able to target previously.
Russia invested heavily in the 750-mile undersea pipelines to link it to Germany, in order to increase global sales and boost economic leverage over Europe. Germany was on board from the beginning. Washington was not.
The United States didn’t want the new, high-capacity subsea supply to supplant old overland lines that transited Ukraine, providing vital revenue to the increasingly Westward-leaning leadership in Kyiv.
Europe has been slow to respond to the deep fissures in US politics and the uncertainty another Trumpian-style presidency could wreak on its allies. Decades of a reasonably unshakable reliance, if not complete trust, in the US, has been replaced by stubborn European pragmatism – and Germany leads the way.
Europe had a moral compass. In front of Germany’s Bundestag on Wednesday, Scholz won thunderous applause and found unexpected metal in his ponderous, often stop/go/traffic-light governing coalition.
The Russian War on Ukraine, the German-Putinienko Agreement, and the MF/WF/Matrix Observations of the IMF
He said that they wouldn’t put you in danger. He spelled out how his government had already handled Russia’s aggression and how fears of a freezing winter and economic collapse were not realized. He said the government did a good job of dealing with the crisis.
The applause at each step of the speech was louder than his words. In short, Scholz got it right for Germany, bringing with him a population typically averse to war and projecting their own power, and deeply divided over how much they should aid Ukraine in killing Russians and potentially angering the Kremlin.
Putin’s popularity may be less relevant at this time, and his actions of sending tanks may help ease his grip on power.
Responding to Biden and Scholz’s decision, the spokesman for Putin said it could not prevent Russia from reaching its goals.
Dmitry Medvedev, former Russian president and deputy chairman of its national security council, has said Russia would never allow itself to be defeated and would use nuclear weapons if threatened.
The mixed messaging has some Muscovites CNN spoke with after the announcements by Biden and Scholz on tanks confused. Some people thought Russia would win, and lumped the US and Germany together as thelosers, but a lot of them were worried about the war, and they were frustrated that Putin ignored their concerns.
The pragmatist has said Germany wants hands on the controls, after being late to recognize Russia’s threat, reorient its military, and ramp up weapon supplies to Ukraine. He said Germany would “coordinate” supplies of the Leopard 2 from allies to Ukraine, a power invested in him by German legislation preventing any purchaser of the country’s war-fighting hardware to pass it on to a third state.
Zelensky will be told that weapons supplies will be on a leash by a longer debate about the next military moves for Ukraine.
This shift in the power dynamic may not change the way the war is fought but could impact the contours of a final deal and shape a lasting peace when it comes.
The International Monetary Fund releases its latest World Economic Outlook (Tuesday morning in Singapore, Monday night ET). The Russia-Ukraine war is a big factor in causing economic slowdown, according to the International Monetary Fund.
NPR’s State of Ukraine: The Russian takeover of Donetsk and the onset of an offensive in Ukraine during the week after the invasion
The European Commission leaders are expected to go to Ukraine on Thursday, and the European Union leaders plan to have a summit with the Ukrainian President on Friday.
The Russian takeover of Soledar was acknowledged by the Ukrainian military. Russian forces continued their offensive around Bakhmut and other parts of the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine.
New U.S. Ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy arrived in Moscow, at a time of strong tensions between the two governments over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. On Monday, Tracy was reportedly heckled by protesters as she entered the Russian Foreign Ministry to present her credentials.
The ambassadors of Russia were told to leave by the two Baltic states after the Kremlin said it expelled the ambassador of one of them.
You can read about it here. For context and more in-depth stories, you can find more of NPR’s coverage here. Also, listen and subscribe to NPR’s State of Ukraine podcast for updates throughout the day.
“These will be defining months in the war,” Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, told Sky News in an interview broadcast Tuesday.
“Russia is preparing for maximum escalation. It is gathering all of the available things and doing drills. When it comes to an offensive from different directions, as of now, I can say that we are not excluding any scenario in the next two to three weeks.”
“Not just on land, but on the sea and in air as well,” Natalia Humeniuk, head of the United Coordinating Press Center of Security and Defense Forces of the South of Ukraine, said on national television.
What Ukrainian War in Ukraine Means for Moscow and Kyiv, and what Putin’s ban on fighter jets would mean for Ukraine’s security services
The ministry said military representatives from the two countries would practice planning the use of troops based on their experience with armed conflicts.
German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said its Leopard 2s will reach Ukraine by the end of March, while UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said the Challenger 2s should be provided to Kyiv “this side of the summer.” And on January 26, Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said that deliveries of the Abrams tanks will take “months.”
OnJanuary 30th, US President Joe Biden made it clear that Washington wouldn’t send its F16 fighter jets to Ukraine, while German Chancellor Olaf Koch did not think so.
“We are on the edge of a very active phase of hostilities, February and March will be very active,” Andriy Yusov, representative of Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence, said on national television.
The war in Ukraine received less attention in the State of Union address this year than in the previous year, but that didn’t stop the Ukrainian Ambassador from attending.
According to the international team investigating the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 in 2014, there is a strong indication that Russian President Vladimir Putin gave the go-ahead to supply anti-aircraft weapons to the rebels.
Col. Serhiy Cherevaty of the armed forces said on television that soldiers need to remain focused on building defensive lines. But he also said that part of the reason for the order a day earlier barring civilians, including aid workers, from entering the city was to keep military operations secret.
As a prize, Bakhmut offers little in the way of strategic value for either Moscow or Kyiv. Its significance comes more from the amount of blood spilled to claim it.
According to the national security council spokesman John Kirby, even if Bakhmut were to fall, it wouldn’t have an impact on the war. I would say that it won’t have an impact on the fighting in the area.
The Challenge of Fighting for Russia: The Case of Petraeus, Putin, and the Ruling Crims of the Battles of Kiev
Western officials are unwilling to discuss whether or not Ukraine will be able to gain more powerful weapons to use against its Russian opponent.
Asked in Brussels on Tuesday whether fighter jets had been discussed, Mr. Austin, the American defense secretary, said, “I don’t have any announcement to make today.”
“It’s unlikely Russian forces will be particularly better organized and so unlikely they’ll be particularly more successful, though they do seem willing to send more troops into the meat grinder,” a senior British official told CNN.
The US military had said it would take as long as May for the Russian military to get enough power for a sustained offensive, but Russian leaders wanted action sooner. The US now sees it as likely that Russian forces are moving before they are ready due to political pressure from the Kremlin, the senior US military official told CNN.
A senior Ukrainian diplomat told CNN that they only had enough manpower to take one or two small cities. They were trying to build in Ukraine, and it was overwhelming.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Tuesday in Brussels that the US is not seeing Russia “massing its aircraft” ahead of an aerial operation against Ukraine.
Peter Bergen is a national security analyst at CNN, a vice president at New America and a professor at Arizona State University. CNN has opinions on it.
Petraeus. As a general observation, I think the developments in Ukraine have to be a cautionary tale for any country around the world contemplating a very challenging military operation – especially if that country’s forces have not engaged in major (or any) combat operations in many decades.
The person is Petraeus. Putin has yet to get a A grade. The first thing a strategic leader has to do is to get the big ideas right, because that is the most important thing to do. Putin clearly has failed abysmally in that task, resulting in a war that has made him and his country a pariah, set back the Russian economy by a decade or more (losing many of Russia’s best and brightest, and prompting over 1,200 western companies to leave Russia or reduce operations there), done catastrophic damage to the Russian military and its reputation and put his legacy in serious jeopardy.
The person who is Petraeus is: It’s not Russia. Russia has, after all, lost the Battles of Kyiv, Sumy, Chernihiv, and Kharkiv; failed to take the rest of Ukraine’s southern coast (not even getting through Mykolaiv, much less to the major port at Odesa).
It has lost the gains it made in the province. And it has had to withdraw its only forces west of the Dnipro River in Kherson province because the Ukrainians made the vital bridge connections to those forces impassable, took out the headquarters and logistics sites supporting those forces, and isolated them from the rest of the Russian elements east of the river.
Beyond that, I believe we will see Ukrainian forces that are much more capable than the Russians at achieving the kind of combined arms effects that I described earlier and that thus enable much more effective offensive operations and can unhinge some of the Russian defenses. We may not see all this, however, until the spring or even summer, given the amount of time required for Ukrainian forces to receive and train on the new western tanks and other systems.
We are, however, seeing some glimpses and hints of what the future of warfare might look like. We see the Ukrainian use of drones (of only modest range and capability) as aerial observers identifying Russian headquarters and other targets for the precision munitions the US has provided (which will double in range from 70-80 kilometers to 150 kilometers when the just announced US precision munitions arrive in Ukraine).
We can see the impact of weapons made by the west. We have seen how the missiles affect the ship. And we have seen use of offensive cyber capabilities, though not with enormous success, by the Russians.
Perhaps most notably, of course, we see a war taking place, for the first time, in a context that includes the widespread presence of smart phones, internet connectivity, and social media and other internet sites.
Infrared Operations in the Swarms: What Putin Did to Make Russia Great Again and what Putin Did not: How NATO had to become Great Again by the end of the Cold War
And there would incomparably greater numbers of vastly more capable unmanned systems (some remotely piloted, others operating according to algorithms) in every domain – not just in the air, but also at sea, sub-sea, on the ground, in outer space, and in cyberspace, and operating in swarms, not just individually!
Back in the Cold War days, I recall an adage that said, if it can be seen, it can be hit; if it can be killed. We didn’t have the right capabilities to operate that adage in those days. In the future, however, just about everything – certainly every platform, base and headquarters – will be seen and thus be susceptible to being hit and destroyed (unless there are substantial defenses and hardening of those assets).
We must take enormous actions to transform our forces and systems if we are to imagine all this. It is necessary for us to do everything possible to deter future conflict, and also to ensure that competition among great powers does not turn into conflict.
Petraeus: The question gets at something about the situation. Putin set out to “Make Russia Great Again.” However, what he has done is make NATO great again – with two very capable, historically neutral powers (Finland and Sweden) seeking NATO membership; with substantially increased defense spending by NATO members, most notably Germany; with augmentation of NATO forces in the Baltic states and eastern Europe; and with the greatest unity among NATO members since the end of the Cold War.
The description of NATO as suffering from “brain death” by French President Macron in the middle of this year has been more or less premature thanks to Putin.
All of the above and more are what Petraeus said. The list is long, including poor campaign design; wholly inadequate training (what were they doing for all those months they were deployed on the northern, eastern, and southern borders of Ukraine?); poor command, control, and communications; inadequate discipline (and a culture that condones war crimes and abuse of local populations); poor equipment (exemplified by turrets blowing off of tanks when fires ignite in them); insufficient logistic capabilities; inability to achieve combined arms effects (to employ all ground and air capabilities effectively together); inadequate organizational architecture; lack of a professional noncommissioned officer corps; a top-down command system that does not promote initiative at lower levels and pervasive corruption that undermines every aspect of their military – and the supporting military-industrial complex.
How Do Russians Feel About the Ukraine War? A Critical Question Asked by Bergen: Adapting Technologies to the Challenges of World Warfare
The leader is a dictator who hates his decision-making and who embraces a lot of grievances.
Bergen: You know the observation sometimes attributed to Stalin: “Quantity has a quality all its own.” Russia has a far bigger population than Ukraine: Will that make a critical difference to the Ukraine war over the long term?
Petraeus: If all of Russia were mobilized by Putin, it could happen. Themobilizations have been partial, as Putin seems to fear how the country might respond to total mobilize. In fact, reportedly, more Russian men left the country than reported to the mobilization stations in response to the latest partial call-up of reserves.
Nonetheless, it is estimated that as many as 300,000 new recruits and mobilized reservists are being sent to the frontlines, with up to 100,000-150,000 more on the way. That is not trivial, since quantity does matter.
The Ukrainians know what they’re fighting for and it’s not certain that the Russians know what they’re fighting for.
Petraeus: All of those technologies have proven very important, and the Ukrainians have demonstrated enormous skill in adapting various technologies and commercial applications to enable intelligence gathering, targeting and other military tasks.
In fact, the Ukrainians have also shown exceptional abilities to “McGyver” solutions for a variety of problems – whether adapting Western missiles for use on MiG-29 fighter aircraft, repairing battle-damaged armored vehicles left on the battlefield by the Russians (remember the Ukrainians’ “tractor army”), or jamming Russian communications.
However, having sat around the Situation Room table in the West Wing of the White House, I know that it is far easier to second-guess from the outside than it is to make tough calls in office. But there are some additional capabilities (advanced drones, even longer-range precision munitions, fighter aircraft, and additional air defense and counter-drone capabilities) that I would like to see us provide sooner rather than later.
Eventually, for example, Ukraine is going to have to transition from eastern bloc aircraft (e.g., MiG-29s) to western ones (e.g., F-16s). They have more pilots than aircraft at this time, as MiGs don’t exist anymore.
So, we might as well begin the process of transition, noting that it will take a number of months, regardless, to train pilots and maintenance personnel. I think the Administration has done an excellent job and proved to be an indispensable nation in this situation and has important ramifications for other situations around the world.
The Petraeus of the First Open-Source War: What Do We Know About Russia and How Do We Actually See It? The Case of the Ukraine
Bergen: The quasi-private Wagner Group is the force that Putin sends into the meat grinder of the toughest battles. Using mercenaries, who are often convicts, as a tactic could be a good idea.
Russia has done what it does with mercenaries, but in a way that is both innovative and inhumane, as it involves throwing former convicts into battle as cannon fodder, and with little to no concern for their survival.
These are not the tactics or practices that help foster development of well-trained, disciplined, capable and cohesive units that have trust in their leaders and soldiers on their left and right.
What do you think of the lessons of the Ukrainians if a Chinese invasion of Taiwan went through a neighboring land border and over a 100 mile body of water? Does the Moskva sinking affect how the Chinese think about this question?
If the target of such an operation is a large group of people willing to fight in order to survive, then it must have some form of sanctions and export controls.
It is vital that the US and other western nations, as well as China and India, convey to Putin clearly and repeatedly that using nuclear weapons against Russia will becatastrophic.
Bergen: Is this the first truly open-source war? The war in Ukraine is being fought in part on social media by Zelensky; commercial overhead satellites capture Russian battle groups moving around in real-time, and the social media accounts of Russian mercenaries in the Wagner Group document what they are doing.
There is a Petraeus. Yes, I believe it is. The first war in which social media has been widely utilized and available is the one that has just begun. The result is unprecedented transparency and an enormous amount of information on the internet.
What will the end of the Cold War tell us? German Chancellor Olaf Scholz tells the world from the beginning of the Iraq War
Given the limitations of the professional capability of the Russian forces and their demonstrated inability to generate a combined arms effect, there is no particularly innovative new plan.
Bergen: In 2003, at the beginning of the Iraq War, you famously asked a rhetorical question: “Tell me how this ends?” What happens to the war in Ukranian?
Petraeus: I think it ends in a negotiated resolution when Putin recognizes that the war is unsustainable on both the battlefield and at home, because Russia has taken multiple times the losses of the soviets in Afghanistan in the first year.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Friday that it is “wise to be prepared for a long war” in Ukraine, adding that Kyiv’s allies will remain together for the duration.
“The really important decision we should take all together is saying that we are willing to do it as long as necessary, and that we will do our best,” the chancellor said.
He said that he really appreciated his government’s strong alliance with the US.
“I learned many are not able to deliver the most modern things … but in the ones they are delivering we will give the support as well,” Scholz said. “And as you know, there is also a big number of older tanks which we will deliver.”
Scholz made sure to point out the need for “permanent production of the most important weapons.”
Delegation of the Working Group on ‘Cosmological and Social Security Issues in the Light of Russian Invasion’ (Journal Paper by Boris Pistorian)
Boris Pistorian, German Defense Minister, said the conference is important due to the Russian invasion.