The deeply flawed execution of the February 24 Russian three-front invasion of Ukraine raises the question whether Putin has been surrounded in the Kremlin by “yes men” who are a Russian equivalent of the American neocons who spoke of the Iraq invasion of 2003 as a cakewalk, and a slam dunk, in which Iraqis would greet American troops with flowers and cookies befitting liberators. Putin seems to have been convinced that the invasion of Ukraine would be a 72-hour affair after which pro-Russian Ukrainians would be installed as a new government in Kiev. Col. Lang has done a great service in providing insights into the failures of the Russian military and the underlying causes for the shockingly poor performance.
Below is a piece by well-known military analyst William Arkin, based on discussions with U.S. DIA and other military personnel who provide their thinking on why Putin has not conducted the all-out bombardment of civilian centers that appears in the official narrative coming from the Biden Administration.
March 22, 2022
Putin’s Bombers Could Devastate Ukraine But He’s Holding Back. Here’s Why
BY WILLIAM M. ARKIN
William M. Arkin is an award-winning journalist and best-selling author of more than a dozen books on national security issues. He is author, most recently of On That Day: The Definitive Timeline of 9/11 (PublicAffairs), History in One Act: A Novel of 9/11 (Featherproof Books), and The Generals Have No Clothes: The Untold Story of our Endless Wars (Simon & Schuster).
As destructive as the Ukraine war is, Russia is causing less damage and killing fewer civilians than it could, U.S. intelligence experts say.
Russia’s conduct in the brutal war tells a different story than the widely accepted view that Vladimir Putin is intent on demolishing Ukraine and inflicting maximum civilian damage—and it reveals the Russian leader’s strategic balancing act. If Russia were more intentionally destructive, the clamoring for U.S. and NATO intervention would be louder. And if Russia were all-in, Putin might find himself with no way out. Instead, his goal is to take enough territory on the ground to have something to negotiate with, while putting the government of Ukraine in a position where they have to