“US war-gamed with Ukraine ahead of counteroffensive and encouraged more limited mission”

“In the buildup to the current Ukrainian counteroffensive, the US urged Kyiv to keep the operation limited in both its objectives and its geography to avoid getting overextended and bogged down on multiple fronts, multiple US and western officials and Ukrainian sources tell CNN.

Those discussions involved engaging in “war-gaming” with Kyiv, the sources said – analytical exercises that were intended to help the Ukrainian forces understand what force levels they would need to muster to be successful in different scenarios.

The Ukrainians were initially considering a broader counteroffensive, but narrowed their mission to the south, in the Kherson region, in recent weeks, US and Ukrainian officials said.

Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told CNN that “the United States has routine military-to-military dialogue at multiple levels with Ukraine. We will not comment on the specifics of those engagements. Generally speaking, we provide the Ukrainians with information to help them better understand the threats they face and defend their country against Russian aggression. Ultimately, the Ukrainians are making the final decisions for their operations.”

Officials say they believe there is now increased parity between the Ukrainian and Russian militaries. But western officials have been hesitant to label the nascent Ukrainian operation – which appeared to begin on Monday in the southern province of Kherson – a true “counteroffensive.”

How successful Ukraine is likely to be in regaining lost territory remains an open question, sources familiar with the latest intelligence tell CNN. Ukrainian officials have already said this offensive will likely be a slow operation, and punishingly cold winter weather is coming and then an early spring mud, both of which could force pauses in the fighting.

Still, there is a distinct feeling amongst Ukraine’s US and western advisers that the Ukrainian military is on much more even footing with Russia than was believed even just a few short months ago, multiple officials told CNN. Russia still maintains superior numbers in overall manpower and massed artillery.

But Ukrainian capabilities, bolstered by sophisticated western arms and training, have closed an important gap, officials say – particularly the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, that Ukraine has been using to launch attacks behind Russian lines.”

Comment: Well pilgrims … IMO it will be a grave error if the UA follows some sort of slow, grinding method in this offensive. Russian forces in the Kherson Pocket are now severely disadvantaged but if this situation is allowed to drag on, they will recover mainly by reinforcement and replenishment through Crimea.

The way to do this IMO is to smash narrow holes in the Russian “prepared positions,” and once inside, roll back the shoulders with the assault force. The “prepared positions” should be considered intermediate objectives by the UA. After smashing those, a mobile reserve that has not been previously committed should exploit through the hole or holes to final objectives facing the Dnieper River and some line that faces Crimea.

If they can do that, then a next phase can be attempted. That phase should already be in the process of development by the general staff. pl


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13 Responses to “US war-gamed with Ukraine ahead of counteroffensive and encouraged more limited mission”

  1. eakens says:

    Russia is simply dragging this out now and waiting for Winter to fight their battle for them on the economic battlefield.

    • Peter Hug says:

      I don’t think that is likely to work. Europe appears to have been reasonably successful at finding non-Russian gas. I think gas supplies in Europe this winter will be tight but not catastrophically short; the net result of this will be a rapid accelleration in building out PV and wind, and pretty much eliminating the need for Russian gas within 18-24 months. Another major policy win by Putin.


      • Barbara Ann says:

        The world will be unrecognizable in 18-24 months whatever happens, the center cannot hold.

        • Bill Roche says:

          BA; the falcon swings out of call, the center can not hold. Some truths which strike me:
          NATO is a lie. Europeans never intended to make a real contribution. America, despised and resented by Europe, can’t afford to defend all of Europe. Finland will not pay for Macedonia’s defense. Germany won’t pay for her own. New associations are in order.
          Absent NATO will the N.W. Balts and Slavs assert themselves against their Russian betters. They’d better.
          If Ukraine is made subservient Estonia is next.
          Expect to see a northern European defense alignment.
          Russia does not have a behemoth army filled w/10 foot tall soldiers after all. But it has gas and since Europe won’t exploit their own hydrocarbons it will kiss Russian dupa and get gas (inartful but accurate choice of words).
          E.U. is on tender hooks. Will Europe agree to give up nationality to Brussels. The question over budgets and voting will cause Europeans to finally confront this. Brussels is Germany and France. Is Charles the Great still an acceptable King? I’m betting no.
          In 2023 the year of the Dragon will have arrived. The embarassment of the Opium Wars/Unequal Treaties is over. You WILL kow tow, now. Fortunately I could eat Chinese 7 nights a week. I may have to.
          The U.S. has lost its ability to compromise over individual freedom and socialism. A split or violence is in store. I hope the socialists lose the House this Nov. but they will not “lose” their violence. It is built in.

          The Falconer has lost his charge. We are approaching a world very different from that in which I grew up.

        • Peter Hug says:

          The center will hold. We are not yet that close to the edge.

  2. cobo says:

    I hope all the blabber-mouthing from CNN, etc. is a psyop. Those Ukrainians are tigers, and better disposed to what you have suggested than going inch by inch. Those who dare – right?

  3. Jose says:

    Colonel, AFU moved 10k troops to Kharkiv/Kharkov thinning the offense, this will not end well…

    The KIA rate is too high to substain, waiting for the AFRF to begin counter operations soon…

    Russia is burning $10M worth of natural gas to do maximum economic damage to the West…

    Prediction, Germany will fold first…

    This could have been avoided if we kept Ukraine out of NATO and guaranteed better treatement the 20 to 25 percent Russian minority…

    Respectfully, this is madness…

  4. Bill Roche says:

    I don’t know ship from shinola on military matters but common sense says kill the beast completely in Kherson b/f it can get help from Crimea. Crimea is where help is being prepared. Kill b/f Crimea comes to the rescue.

  5. Babeltuap says:

    Russia historically owns winter. Not so much hot climates. They lost more Soldiers to infection in Afghanistan than actual fighting. Horrible at hygiene but bacteria is horrible against the cold. This is prime fighting season for them.

    • TTG says:


      Don’t forget that the Ukrainians are heirs to that same historical ownership of winter. Soviet winter kit during WWII was better than the winter kit the Russians had when they invaded Ukraine last February. Ukrainian kit was much better.

      • Peter Hug says:

        I expect Ukrainian cold weather gear will be up to NATO standard within a month or so, if it isn’t already.

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