Tanks are on the way… finally – TTG

Der Speigel is reporting that Scholz has decided to sent “at least” a company (14 tanks) of Leopard 2s to Ukraine. It’s still not official official … but that seems official.

On Tuesday morning, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the United States is “leaning” toward sending M1A2 main battle tanks Abrams tanks to Ukraine, with an announcement expected this week.

The announcement would reportedly come as part of a deal in which Germany would also send its Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and would include Germany approving the release of Leopard tanks to be sent by other nations. The deal would break the deadlock created when Germany refused to release the Leopard tanks even after the U.K. announced that it was providing a company of its Challenger 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine.

The U.S. has previously been resistant to the idea of sending the Abrams, for a long series of reasons, including the difficulties in supporting the tank and its impact of Ukraine’s already burdened logistics. Pentagon officials have repeatedly stated that they feel the M1A2 isn’t well suited to Ukraine, for reasons ranging from the fuel to the long time needed to train on the vehicles to the lack of any nearby facilities to deal with major repairs. 

However, Biden reportedly shifted his position following a Jan. 17 call to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. If sending the Abrams is the only way to break through the current roadblock, Biden appears ready to take that step.

https://m.dailykos.com/stories/2023/1/24/2148975/-Ukraine-update-Biden-reportedly-about-to-announce-shipment-of-M1A2-Abrams-to-Ukraine

Comment: So Scholz finally caved to the pressure, both external and internal. Reuters is saying that Germany will send 14 Leopard 2A6 models as a start. The most likely model the Poles, Finns and others will send are the A4 model. Between the two or more models of Leopards, a company of Challenger 2s and most likely a company of Abrams, Ukraine is going to have a rough time integrating all that into a unified armored force. They will also be getting several different IFVs besides the Bradleys. Yup. This is going to take a while. My guess is that Ukraine will not field a fully integrated, corps sized, combined arms force with all this NATO equipment until after the spring mud season. But I’m also pretty sure some of this new stuff will be on the front line well before the spring thaw.

TTG

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82 Responses to Tanks are on the way… finally – TTG

  1. Fred says:

    Fourteen tanks? They’ll be in Moscow in no time. On a related Ukraine story, what happened to the Interior Ministry leadership? Rumor has it they weren’t getting enough graft and they got an explanation of why they shouldn’t complain instead of a bigger cut.
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-64315594

    • blue peacock says:

      Fred,

      Corruption is rampant not just in Ukraine. How much was it in the several trillions that we spent in Afghanistan & Iraq? How much is it in the $800 billion we spend on our military each year? How much was it in the trillions that Trump & Biden spent on the covidian lockdowns? Apparently, the fraud just in California on all the covidian spend was over $100 billion.

      • Bill Roche says:

        BP you are woefully wrong. Only Ukraine is corrupt. How many times does that msg need to be repeated. World honest, Ukraine corrupt.

    • Leith says:

      Fred –

      Roughly about 100 Leopards coming in dribs and drabs from multiple countries. That’s a brigade worth. But you are right, they need more.

      • TTG says:

        Leith,

        I think trained tank crews will be the limiting factor rather than the number of Leopards and other tanks coming in. The newer tanks will be replacing the older Soviet designed tanks in existing brigades.

        • Lee Patten says:

          So what happened to all the Russian tanks we were told Ukraine captured earlier in the war? Have they been destroyed by any chance? Do the maths. Ukraine has lost over 5000 tanks and APC’s. What chance 14 Abrahams and 14 Challengers? Once more delusional thinking.

          • TTG says:

            Lee Patten,

            Ukraine captured over 300 tanks and about the same number of IFVs from the Russians. That more than makes up for Ukraine’s losses to date. The problem is a lot of those captured tanks and IFVs are in need of repair or overhaul. Even a lot of Ukraine’s original vehicles need repair or overhaul. A dozen Abrams and a couple dozen Bradleys would be enough to capture a village or two.

            Ukraine may have had 5000 or more tanks back in 1991. The bulk of those are in the same condition as the bulk of Russian tanks… sitting in a field rusting and serving as homes for small woodland creatures.

            Russia has the same overhaul problem although they can’t rebuild with modern electronics and sighting/ranging gear. Sanctions on high tech items means they can only use gear that’s now several generations old. The only good thing about that is that 65 year old mobiks may remember that gear from when they were teenage studs in the Soviet Army.

      • Fred says:

        Leith,

        Equipment doesn’t fight, men do. They needed more of them during their 3 day beer break in Lymon or wherever back in September when they were poised to bag 10,000 Russians on the wrong side of the river with a wide open flank. They weren’t there, but there was plenty of puffery in the press to cover that fact up.

        • Leith says:

          Fred –

          They opted to let the Russkies out of the bag in order to save civilian lives. The lunch break washed down with a beer in Lyman was 300 miles east.

          • Fred says:

            Leith,

            TTG had a trio of excuses the three or four times I asked about this back in September too. Now it is stopping to save the civilians, not beer break or rearm/refuel or any of the others. They didn’t have enough men.

          • Leith says:

            Fred –

            You are right that they did not have enough men. That shortage might be more critical in the near future when (and if) a half million more mobiks arrive at the front. Let’s hope that Putin under-equips them.

            By the way it was captured Russian beer, a symbolic act while mugging for the camera. Plus Lyman is a long, long way from Tipperary: 500 road miles, or longer to avoid occupied territory. I don’t think you expected them to reinforce Kherson area units with a massive airlift by a fleet of Chinooks. Or did you? That would have greatly pleased the Russian brigades in the Luhansk regions.

          • Fred says:

            Leith,

            “a symbolic act while mugging for the camera”
            Just like the Ghost of Kiev and the snake island postage stamp. They were good for “A few dollars more”.
            As posted on 19 September 2022:

            https://turcopolier.com/the-kharkiv-offensive-is-continuing-it-may-become-the-donbas-offensive-ttg/

            Not enough men.
            The graft machinery functions smoothly, other than for the late head of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, and maybe all those people in the UA government that just resigned; still the killing machinery grind away. At least the EU elite will not have to risk their lives, their fortunes, and God forbid, their sacred honor, for Ukraine. Or their own nations. Though the German Foreign Minister said ” “We are fighting a war against Russia and not against each other,” Baerbock said, according to the A News TV network.”
            https://www.newsweek.com/germany-says-quiet-part-out-loud-about-ukraine-war-1776593

          • Leith says:

            Fred –

            Photo ops and PR are important: Putin’s bare-chested horseback riding. Dugout Doug MacArthur wading kneedeep in the surf at Leyte’s Red Beach and noticing the great press it got so he did it again at Lingayen Gulf in Luzon.

            And where did you get that 10,000 number? Roskomandzor or Igor Konashenkov? They retreated in chaos and left most of their equipment. There was panic in some units as they scrambled to escape. Many of them were told to dump their uniforms and flee on their own however they could. Those claims by the way come from Russian soldiers on telegram channels.

            But all was not lost. Before the rout the FSB managed to loot the Kherson Art Museum of thousands of paintings. And some Davy Vladimirovitch Crockett managed to liberate Ricky Raccoon from the Kherson Zoo and evacuate him to the Left Bank.

        • Fred says:

          Leith,

          MacArthur actually helped win a war, unlike most of our current generals. I’m sure Zelinsky’s photo-ops are as inspiring to the commentariat as GWB’s “Mission Accomplished” operations were. Obama did that the “color revolution/Arab Spring” way. Some things never change.

          The Russians fled locally, and could have been routed had there been sufficient mass behind the Ukrainian attack to follow through. The rest of the Russians didn’t leave that area until November, almost a month later. That was because they couldn’t supply the forces on that bank of the river due to that most important thing: logistics. As in the “allies” helped smuggle in missles that could target the bridge from Crimean peninsula to the mainland and that, coupled with other bridges closer to the front being destroyed with different weapons, ruined the logistics tail for the Russians.

          BTW Davy Crocket was a member of Congress from Kentucky and opponent of President Jackson’s Indian removal policy. He was also at the Alamo. But by all means take a cheap shot to score an internet brownie point. The Russians looted an art museum? Hardly a surprise given their historical conduct. As to what is actually happening, do you have some actual intel on the OOB for both sides? That’s been missing from public discussion for some time. Colonel Lang pointed out that in his post on “EEI needed for judgments about the Ukraine campaign” back on 9/15/22. His comment to Lars in particular on that thread.

          • Leith says:

            Fred –

            Colonel Crockett has always been my hero. How anyone could not like the man is way beyond my ken. My cheap shot was at the Russkie who kidnapped Odessa’s raccoon (raccoon cap, get it). Sorry I did not make that clearer. I believe his son was also a member of Congress.

  2. Babeltuap says:

    Russia has thousands of tanks and is producing more than NATO is sending in a matter of weeks. I do not understand the uncommon level of ignorance and stupidity of people but I should by now considering they wore masks when over a dozen professional studies stated clearly masks do not work against viruses were easily available to read. Nobody wanted to read them.

    The vaccines also do not work because of the same level of stupidity. They are not vaccines. But go ahead and knock yourselves out. I will watch this implode all over again from a distance. Have fun.

    • Bill Roche says:

      One day in Valley Forge Pa. George Washington wrote and asked Congress for shoes. He said he needed about 3000 pair. Sometime later (much later) 300 pair arrived. He was said to have remarked “you can’t always get what you wa ant; no you can’t always get what you wa ant etc etc”. Despite all the difficulties w/training, integration, fuel, mntnce, and ammo; who thinks the UKM is not better off with about 100 additional (guessing German, Finnish, Polish, British, and American) tanks? Hurry hurry, February is upon us.
      Of course Ukraine c/h submitted to the Russians. Bent their knee and (use your imagination). They won’t. Like Washington’s soldiers they value their independence. This has always been a fight for Ukrainian independence. I wonder if today’s Ukrainian gen’l staff understands Washington’s lamentations. Every one told him to give it up too.

      • Fred says:

        Bill,

        Of course Yemen c/h submitted to the Saudis. Who thinks they wouldn’t be better off with new equipment. Of course Syria c/h submitted to the jihadis…… Why aren’t their sides in our national interest?

    • Lee Patten says:

      Well said.

    • Sam says:

      Babeltuap,

      I’m perplexed. If the Russian army has thousands of tanks, why haven’t we seen them in action in Ukraine? Or more broadly why aren’t they in Kyiv?

      When one looks at the invasion, from the initial airborne assault on Hostomel airport to the thrust from Belarus to Kharkiv and Kherson, to a non-military observer the Russian army has not performed at the level of their supposed military hardware superiority, both in terms of unit volumes and capabilities. They should have crushed the much smaller Ukrainian army. Instead of a quick victory they seem to be bogged down nearly a year later.

      Maybe they’ll crush the Ukrainian military forces in their reported next offensive that they seem to be preparing. However there is also a possibility that they may not get very far.

      How do you think the Russian army is going to defeat Ukrainian armed forces or compel them to surrender?

      • borko says:

        According to Arestovich who is supposed to be in the know, crushing Ukrainian army was not the original Russian plan.

        He said something like this:

        “They (the Ruskies) tried to wage a smart war…
        Such an elegant, beautiful, lightning-fast special operation,
        where polite people, without causing any damage to either a
        kitten or a child, eliminated the few who resisted.
        And they didn’t even eliminate them, but offered to surrender,
        switch sides, understand and etc. They didn’t want to kill
        anyone. Just sign the renunciation.”

        I don’t think the Russian are going to pull some miracle offensive and crush the Ukrainians. They are however, capable of attriting them into submission. If they can keep up bleeding them and destroying their economy and energy/industrial infrastructure, eventually the damage will add up.

        This could be a good time to consider negotiations, since currently neither side has a clear and overwhelming advantage.

        • TTG says:

          borko,

          Yes, it was designed to be over in a few days with the near bloodless decapitation of the Ukrainian government. It was supposed to be a grander version of the seizure of Crimea, a Pristina Dash writ large. And this could be a good time to consider negotiations. The Kremlin should start preparing their people to view the vanquishing of Western sanctions as a great and complete victory in exchange for returning to the pre-war (pre-2014) borders.

          • borko says:

            ttg

            The Kremlin seems to be preparing, not for signing surrender but for a much longer and bloodier war, with Ukraine and the rest of NATO.

          • LeaNder says:

            It was supposed to be a grander version of the seizure of Crimea, a Pristina Dash writ large

            Why would you want to compare events at Pristina airport? Wesley Clark was right???

          • TTG says:

            LeaNder,

            The Russian seizure of Pristina Airport was a rapid maneuver with a small force that had political effects far beyond the size of the force. It was a brilliant and gutsy move. If Russia succeeded in decapitating the Ukrainian government and subduing the Ukrainian armed forces in three days, we’d have to talk about a brilliant and gutsy move rather than a fiasco for the Kremlin.

        • blue peacock says:

          borko,

          Putin’s original plan got mugged by reality. Attrition in this war at least, is a 2-way street. 100k KIA for each side.

          Negotiations, IMO, will only happen after either one or both sides are exhausted. Putin wants to annex Ukrainian territory. Zelensky wants it all back. There’s no common ground and a lot of sunk “costs”.

          • Peter Hug says:

            In the final analysis, Putin’s war aims only work if he can in actual fact create that reality on the ground. Failing that, he will eventually find himself with Russia controlling only the pre-2014 borders (including no Crimea).

            At that point, I suppose his realistic choices are either to sue for peace, or continue tossing missiles and drones into Ukraine. If he chooses the second, eventually NATO will greenlight long range strikes into Russian territory to destroy the enabling infrastructure and materiel. (By then I expect Ukraine to have indigenously developed and manufactured cruise missiles with 1500+ km range.)

  3. Leith says:

    Gonna take awhile. But I wonder if perhaps training has been going on for the last couple of months, at least on the Polish Leopard 2A4.

    Meanwhile UKR Special Forces are busy raiding across the Dnieper River:
    https://twitter.com/CovertShores/status/1617987765744070658/photo/1

    Rumors are that it was commandos from the 10th Special Recon Unit of Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate or GUR. Testing RU defensive reactions? Gathering intel on a specific location? Distraction, i.e. sending Gerasimov a message that his flank could be precarious?

  4. JamesT says:

    It will be interesting to see M1s finally go against a competent enemy without the benefit of air supremacy, rather than against a bunch of ragtag Arabs while enjoying the benefits of air supremacy.

    When I was in high school the father of one of my friends worked on the M1 while employed by a contractor here in Canada. That friend enthused about the M1 endlessly. Now it is going to see real action.

    • borko says:

      James

      They will get blown up just like any other tank. There’s nothing mythical about Leopards, T90s or M1s.

      These are all both good and bad tanks depending how they are used. Even the Slovenian, upgraded T55s are an asset if used correctly.

  5. plantman says:

    So Biden caved in about sending tanks to Ukraine just weeks after they found classified documents in his garage?

    Of course, there’s probably no connection at all, right?

    • Fourth and Long says:

      Holy Cow, a kindred soul! Kinda obvious isn’t it?

      No connection Ha ha. There’s a snappy jingle waiting to be written.

      Josephine Biden remembers the fancy haircut JFK got after refusing to send air cover at the bay of pigs. Or was it for not attacking during the Miss Sillies crisis?

    • Fred says:

      Plant man,

      Naw, can’t be. The Borg get the war they always wanted, if it goes bad then they promote “Kamala the Peacemaker”, first woman president and Nobel Prize winner to be. Sorry about all those dead people though. That was all Biden/Putin’s fault. And Trump, can’t forget to blame him, too.

  6. drifter says:

    Looks we’re reaching the top of the escalation ladder for fancy NATO army gear. It won’t turn the tide, alter the course of the war, or even move the needle (much). So what’s next? Planes? Troops? Nukes?

    • TTG says:

      drifter,

      What we’ve given to Ukraine has already altered the course of the war. Russia’s high water mark was back in late spring. It’s been mostly downhill for them since then. Planes are next. Poland’s MiG-29s and somebody’s F-16s will most likely be next. Polish pilots are already training on the F-16 in the US.

      • Babeltuap says:

        We had all these weapons and more in Afghanistan and FAILED. I know because I was there. Russia does not even need tanks or planes. Just target and kill low level local officials like the Taliban did. Do that for a while and eventually nobody will want the job. Nothing more is needed, just takes a little longer. Oh, and some brown lamp wire. Need lots of it.

        • TTG says:

          Babeltuap,

          If the Ukrainians invade and occupy Russia, the Russkies can have a go at it. But back in reality it is the Ukrainian partisans who are targeting and killing low level FSB officers and their Quisling collaborators.

          • Fred says:

            TTG,

            Sounds like a great strategic plan for the US. Again, what is our national interest?

          • blue peacock says:

            Fred,

            What was our national interest in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria? And all the proxy wars in Africa and elsewhere during the Cold War?

        • Fred says:

          Blue Peacock,

          Afghanistan, that was a 9/11 punative expedition that turned into neocon nation building. Iraq? My goodness you forgot about those nuclear weapons, the threat to the greatest ally you know where, and Kuwait (depends on which war you are referencing). Syria, that’s the neocons again. I certainly know you don’t need that much of a history lesson. There have been a lot of wars since the battle of Pork Chop Hill. Most of which we weren’t involved in; certainly not like this one.

          I suggest those concerned call (202) 224-3121 (the U.S. House switchboard operator) and give your opinions where it matters.

          • blue peacock says:

            Fred,

            Did you get through that number? What did she say?

            We have got into more wars directly & indirectly since the early 20th century than any other country. We spend more on our military than the next 5 biggest spenders combined.

            What is your definition of a war that we enter directly or indirectly that would be in our national interest?

          • Fred says:

            Blue Peacock,

            the Honorable Deborah Dingell stands with Ukraine. The Honorable Deborah Stabenow, the now senior senator from Michigan (soon to retire) who I helped get reelected once, also. So does the guy down here in Florida that’s my current rep. Feel free to call yours and report back, along with your views as I asked before.

        • “brown lamp wire”
          Can you explain the significance of such?
          Thank you.

      • borko says:

        IMO Russian’s are getting stronger, Ukrainians not so much.
        Ukraine can maybe survive this year if showered with billions of dollars, hundreds of tanks, dozens of fighter jets and the rest.
        Once that gets attrited however, what do you send them then ?

  7. TTG said: “Tanks are on the way… finally”

    Beyond whatever effect this may have on the battlefield in Ukraine,
    I think the more important issue is:
    How will the Russians react?

    Does that matter to you, TTG?

    I think it is an error of the greatest magnitude
    to ignore, or be indifferent to, where this is so clearly heading.

    • blue peacock says:

      “I think the more important issue is: How will the Russians react?”

      They already did by invading Ukraine. But haven’t been able to finish the job…yet anyway.

    • TTG says:

      Keith Harbaugh,

      How will the Russians react? They’ll continue their invasion of Ukraine along with their campaign of torturing, murdering and kidnapping noncombatants. They’ll go forward with their half million man mobilization and send them forward ill-trained and ill-equipped. And they’ll continue to cry like rats eating onions. They’ve been threatening nuclear war for many months now.

  8. blue peacock says:

    After months of stalemate in the battle for Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, Russia has a victory to celebrate.

    The town of Soledar has fallen to the Kremlin’s forces – but the win has been brutal, bloody, caused in-fighting in the Kremlin, and is far from the breakthrough that Moscow claims.

    Chris Pleasance’s video guide explains how tens of thousands of soldiers died after being used as canon fodder in pointless human wave attacks, froze to death in their trenches or were slaughtered in hellish artillery barrages.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11676075/How-Putin-won-Battle-Soledar.html

    I remain intrigued by the planned offensives by the Russian army & Wagner forces. And how the Ukrainian army will counter them. And what their offensives might be. This next phase will be a crucial test for the two rival armed forces. After nearly a year of fighting, Putin has to demonstrate Russian army dominance early. It appears he may follow the Soledar model as it is being reported that he is committing 500K men in the fight. The question is what will be different in the Russian army strategy and battlefield tactics this second go around on offense?

    Ukraine on paper at least may be in a tough situation as the meager quantities of western heavy weapons may not arrive in time to aid the defense of the Russian offensive. The Eastern Europeans are all in on the side of Ukraine not losing to the Russian military onslaught.

    • Bill Roche says:

      BP; Finns, Swedes, Balts, and Slavs can’t be happy over the prospect of Ukraine being wiped off the map as a sovereign nation. B/c then “the bell tolls for them” and they will be compelled to submit to Russia. I’ll guess in a year or two Moldova will be in Moscow’s eyes. Then, nagging pressure against the Estonian border and some flights over Northern Finland will get everyone’s attn. Some will say “we’re not going to nuclear war over Moldova, Estonia, or Finland”. Articles galore will be written about Russian secty concerns but no one will write about Polish or Slovak security.
      The escalation is coming from Putin. Hell, the entire war was Russia’s idea. Eastern Europe is looking at a hard choice; fight or kiss Russian dupa. If I were a Stone or Hungarian I’d rather the contest and destruction takes place on Ukrainian soil than mine. Better they stand together, b/c surely they will fall if apart.

      • blue peacock says:

        Bill,

        It is not just the Eastern Europeans, the Western Europeans should be concerned too. What army does Germany, Belgium, Holland, Austria, or Luxembourg have to defend against a Russian army attack as Babeltuap has said possesses thousands of tanks? Only the US army has stood in the way for European security these past decades.

        The German politicians got Germany completely dependent on Russian gas and hobbled themselves by shutting down their nuclear power plants. Of course a few them made some nice moolah! Why has Scholz and the other western Europeans dithered on more military support?

      • LeaNder says:

        BR, come off it. What’s your evidence that Russia wants to conquer Europe. Other then the cold war narrative.

        It helps to blank out that this war could have been prevented by the ones, irony alert, now celebrating it?

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTTC_fD598A

        • Bill Roche says:

          LN; I never said Russia wants (nor could) conquer Europe. I said Russia wants to conquer Ukraine, the Baltics, and subdue the Finns, Swedes, and Slavs on their western borders. Evidence? Russian history, communist Russian history, and Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Let me turn it around. You have evidence that Russia wants only benign and cordial relations with her western neighbors??

          • LeaNder says:

            wants to conquer Ukraine and subdue the Finns, Swedes, and Slavs on their western borders.

            Subdue “on their western borders”? What’s that suppose to signify. Telling/showing Finns, Swedes, “Slavs” this far, but no further? “Slavs?” I didn’t know they share borders with Russia. Still they are treatened? Poland, obviously, Czech, Slovaks, Slovenians but not Hungarians? They aren’t Slavs, after all. Politically Hungarians are right, except for its relationship with Russia?

      • borko says:

        There were no serious issues between Finland and Russia since WW2.
        Even now, the Russians don’t see Finland joining NATO as an issue unless foreign troops, missile sites and god forbid nukes start appearing on its territory.

        Russia wasn’t happy with NATO expansion but did not throw a fit until Poland and Romania decided it would be a good idea to host Aegis ashore missile facilities.

        Even in Ukraine there was peace until the West sponsored a faction they liked, broke a fine balance between proWest and proEast Ukrainians and got the ball rolling on this whole mess.

        NATO greed and ambition brought this war on more than any Russian imperialism.

        IMO, Balts and Slavs and Finns are not Ukraine’s friends. They just see this as an opportunity to weaken Russia using Ukrainians as cannon fodder.

        • Bill Roche says:

          Borko; I don’t know if Balts, Finns, and other Slavs are friends of Ukraine. I KNOW Russia does not see Ukraine as worthy of nationality or sovereignty. Putin has said so (and Russians I know agree w/him). NATO ambition (don’t know where the greed comes in) may have prompted Russia to act but war was guaranteed the minute Ukrainians had the audacity to declare independence from their Russian masters. I KNEW in the summer of ’91 this war would come. I d/n know when. Look, Russia is an Empire. The Russian people are superior to their Baltic and Slavic neighbors. How dare those “bumpkin bullacks” believe otherwise. Putin and the Great Slavs are teaching Ukrainians a lesson in humility and the neighborhood had better pay attn.

          • LeaNder says:

            The Russian people are superior

            As Americans are pretty much to the rest of the world????

          • borko says:

            Bill

            you keep pushing this notion that Russia is an empire and they feel superior to other Slavs.

            I’m sure many do, as do many Polaks, as do many Brits. How about the US empire and American feeling of superiority over others ?

            There’s plenty of that cr*p going around, but it is not the cause of this war.

            Putin, for 20 years kept calling for understanding between “Partners”. If anything,
            the Russians felt like they were being treated as second class by NATO and the EU.

            Poland as one of the main enablers of this war is not Ukraine’s friend.
            In dealings between states, friendship (if there ever was one) takes the back seat to interest.

            Today’s Poland is fueling the conflict because it thinks it is in its interest.
            In 2014. though, Polish foreign minister Sikorski gave Ukrainian oposition leaders an honest advice.

            “Negotiate, or you’ll all be dead”
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoKyqoiq5b4

        • Bill Roche says:

          Borko; can some Brits, Poles, and Americans have a superiority “problem”. You betcha Red Ryder! But that has nothing to do w/the Ukr/Russo war. That war, this war, is about Russia reasserting herself as superior to a people who are not, and a region which is not. It’s 2023 not 1914 and Ukrainians won’t take it anymore. On my parents graves, when Ukraine announced her independence from Russia in the summer of 1991 I KNEW there would be war. I am not a genius (that’s for sure). I just applied a little history. The basic, fundamental, simple question is … why won’t the Russians let’em go? Borko my answer is they will neither let the Ukrainians, Balts, nor Moldovans go. Russia (or at least Putin’s circle) believes those people “belong” to Russia. I genuinely hope U R Rite and Russia only wants amicable and friendly relations w/her neighbors but Russia d/n see Ukraine as a neighbor state. Russia sees Ukraine as a Russian region. Therein lies the problem, no?

          • LeaNder says:

            On my parents graves, when Ukraine announced her independence from Russia in the summer of 1991 I KNEW there would be war. I am not a genius (that’s for sure). I just applied a little history. The basic, fundamental, simple question is … why won’t the Russians let’em go?

            Dramaturgy applause. Russians id not want to let them go? Where exactly did they want to shift their earth? Cross Atlantic, closer to the US and Canada?

            You have Ukrainian roots? You were recruited to serve over here since you grew up with the language?

          • borko says:

            They let the Baltics go, and the east Germans and everyone else. They couldn’t let the Chechens go because that could mean the end of Russia.
            However, even the Chechens do pretty much whatever they want inside their republic although formally still a part of the RF.

            After witnessing the continual expansion of NATO to the east, the only red line they drew was “Don’t go further east”.

            The US did not want to listen, forced the issue and in 2014 broke the country.

            Patrick Armstrong summed it up nicely in his 2014. piece.

            “First Rule of Ukraine”: “do not attempt to force a choice between east and west” or, more plainly, “do not demand that one half of the country swallow what only the other half wants”. Violate that rule and the whole thing could tear apart.”

            https://patrickarmstrong.ca/2014/05/27/the-destruction-of-ukraine/

    • Leith says:

      BP –

      All of those 500,000 mobiks are not going to be committed to Ukraine. Two new military districts are being formed, one in Moscow and one in St. Petersburg. A new army corps is to be amassed in the Republic of Karelia, which is on the border with Finland. I doubt they are going to try to invade Finland. But they may be used to help put down any potential insurrection by ethnic Finns or other Finnic peoples in Russian Karelia. Or maybe they are there to stop a perceived Finnish invasion.

      They will also need to add some of that personnel strength to their Air Force, their Air Defense Forces, and the Navy – at least according to TASS.

  9. LeaNder says:

    Not that it matters, but Spiegel is spelled with the dipthong “ie” pronounced [i:], stressed. It’s meaning is mirror. The “ei” dipthong would be pronounced [ai]. Speigel is meaningless.

    For the Trump fans around here:
    https://truthsocial.com/@realDonaldTrump/posts/109755096828949225

  10. Bill Roche says:

    Fred wonders about American interest in helping Ukraine preserve her independence. BP reminds about other countries to which the US has committed blood and money. One could also wonder why America helped W. Germany, Greece, and Italy remain free. After all, the Communists weren’t botherin nobody in Ohio. What’s the point of allying with the Japanese, Tawainese, and Philippeans? The Chinese aren’t setting up airfields in Georgia are they? Washington’s Farewell Address said it all in 1786; beware entangling foreign alliances and as a libertarian/isolationist I agree! Problem is it isn’t 1786 anymore and we don’t live b/h two big oceans. For the gazillenth time its worth remembering what this war is about. Russia invaded Ukraine. Ukraine d/n invade Russia. Ukraine’s existence d/n threaten Russia’s. Ukraine as a SOVEREIGN NATION does threaten Imperial Russia and that is what the war is about. Denying Ukraine independence is the first step to rtng the Russian world to 1914. If one thinks it better that nations from Sweden to Bulgaria, give up their independence and obey Russia than Fred is right. America has no interest in Ukraine.

    • Fred says:

      Bill,

      If you want a discussion with me feel free to address me directly rather than slander me with inuendo. I did two tours of duty in the navy while Ukraine was still an enemy of the United States. I won’t apologize for serving in the armed forces of the United States. I won’t appologize for your hurt feeling, either; but I do fully support you enlisting in the Ukraine forces, selling off your assets and giving the proceeds to the Ukrainian government, and even calling your representative in Congress to demand “America do more”. (I know, it is presumptuous of me to assume that you are an American citizen given that this is the internet [and you come across as a third rate troll who forgets what he writes from day to day. Keep a log will you])

      Please remember that some other guy typing an opinion on the internet that differs from yours doesn’t deny Ukraine a damned thing. Nice strawman arguements though. I really liked the part about commies in Ohio and wonder if in refering to Italy you meant Prime Minister Meloni, who denounced her fellow EU national (President Macron of France) while she was running for office. Something about regime change in Libya both to prevent Italian oil independence from Brussels policies ,and the civil disruption that created “refugees”, often shutted over by various French based NGOs funded in part by French municipalities. (feel free to look those up) Fun times ahead.

      • TTG says:

        Fred,

        In referring to Italy he was talking about the period after WWII, especially the 1948 election. Washington funneled big sums of money and know how to the Christian Democrats while the Kremlin was doing the same for the socialists/communists. It was the same covert war between Washington and Moscow in Greece around that time. Things haven’t changed much. Meloni definitely has her differences with France and other EU members, but she is keeping Italy solidly on the side of Ukraine. She’s still shipping weapons to Kyiv and is building energy ties with Algeria to break a reliance on Russian oil and gas.

        • Fred says:

          TTG,

          I was replying to Bill Roche. Glad to know that’s you’re other nom de plume. Things have changed plenty as anyone who watch the rebuilding of Europe would have recognized when both of us first began active duty. The entrenched mindset of the think-tank elites, career bureaucrats, and wealth concentrating elites hasn’t though.

      • Bill Roche says:

        Fred; Even a “third rate, forgetful, inuendo slandering troll” has feelings but I have no hurt feelings. I’d never ask you to apologize for your svc in fact I admire your two tours w/t Navy. America needs more patriots like you. If you know any Ukrainian Americans you might (?) doubt whether Ukraine was ever an enemy of the U.S. Its been under Russia’s thumb for over 100 years. The war in Ukraine is about Russia denying Ukrainians sovereignty and their own nationality. MY comments re Italy and Greece were about the Marshall plan (1948-52) and have nothing to do with the new Italian P.M. Melitoni. My reference to Germany results from my experience there (V Corps 69-71) when I realized Germans were happy to have Americans pay for their defense. America would rather continue the contest for freedom in Bonn then have it fought in NYC. My impressions of Germans is that they have never been captured by the spirit of individual freedom and are not upset if Russia denies that to Ukrainians. Of course some other guy can disagree w/me. In fact, Col. Lang’s site encourages, vigorous dissent. Many years ago I was not polite enough in debate and Col. Lang shut me down. These days I try to speak my mind but do so dispassionately.

    • drifter says:

      Communism was a threat to America. America was the Ayatollah shooting silhouette for Communist activists (and still is). America is the pinup centerfold in Russia’s tea house today.

  11. Sam says:

    Check out our latest episode “The Secret to Military Success is Picking the Right Enemy: An Upbeat Outlook on the Next Phases of the War in Ukraine,” featuring analysis from @djrothkopf, @michaeldweiss, and @MarkHertling.

    https://twitter.com/deepstateradio/status/1618746875686920194?s=21

    Don’t have the military expertise to make a judgment on this analysis. IMO, we’ll have to wait to see how the Russian and Ukrainian army perform in their upcoming kinetic phase of this war.

    • TTG says:

      Sam,

      That was a good interview. The main point was that there are a lot of training, logistical and doctrinal considerations to go along with the new tanks. It will take a while for the new tanks to be used to their full potential. True. This is obvious to anyone who’s worked in or around force development. The same was true with each of the Western systems brought into the Ukrainian armed forces. We should pay attention to any innovations the Ukrainians come up with as they integrate these tanks into their force. We may learn something.

  12. It may be useful to record some of the debate within the Western alliance that led up to this decision.
    Politico has done a good job of covering that debate:

    https://www.politico.com/news/2023/01/25/inside-washingtons-about-face-on-sending-tanks-to-ukraine-00079560

    See also:
    https://www.politico.com/news/2023/01/26/us-sends-ukraine-advanced-abrams-tanks-00079648

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