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Wildly off-topic #8 – Ukraine attacks

After more than six months of war that some were thinking was going to enter a stalemate, Ukraine flipped the tables on Russia.  Ukrainian forces are driving Russians back in multiple areas, although this is a hard slog.

Ukraine has several distinct advantages in this war.

  1.  Russians don’t really know why they are in Ukraine. Ukrainians know why they are fighting.  The ones on the front lines certainly do and pretty much every other Ukrainian does as well.  Their homes have been attacked, children murdered, and their economy wrecked by a madman. The will to fight is critically important.
  2. The west’s support of Ukraine has enabled it to hold Russia off while building the capacity to defeat the invasion.  We’ve spent billions – thanks to you, American, British, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, French, Polish, Italian, Pakistani, Czech and other tax payers. This has been an investment worth every penny, as the West’s total commitment has shown other would-be territory grabbers (looking at you China) that far from being the “decadent west” we are guarantors of peoples’ right to self determine their government. (sure we get this wrong far too often, but on balance we’re mostly on the right side.)
  3. Russia’s kleptocracy (a state ruled by thieves) has ensured their armed forces have crappy, outdated, and poorly maintained equipment. Sure they have far more cannons and tanks and planes and rockets – but a lot of those don’t work, are worn out or hopelessly obsolete – or their soldiers don’t know how to use them effectively.
  4. Russia’s army has a fundamental flaw – they can’t get the food fuel ammunition and spare parts to where it’s needed. (posted  on this way back in March with lots of details)
    If anything it has gotten worse. The HIMARS rocket systems and other really good artillery we’ve sent Ukraine are destroying ammunition and fuel dumps, blowing up communications centers, and killing dozens of high-ranking colonels and generals, de-capitating Russia’s army just when it is being attacked.

That’s enough of the cheerleading.

The awful truth is Ukraines’ military is losing hundreds of soldiers each week – far less than Russian losses, but devastating nonetheless. I cannot imagine how painful this is to each and every family that’s lost members due to Russian aggression; killed in an apartment building bored by the Russians, blown up by mines near a school, dead in combat or crushed in a shopping mall hit by Russian rockets.

What does this mean for you?

I’m very proud of what we Americans have done and are doing to support Ukraine.

You should be too.

Yes fuel and food prices are higher – make no mistake, that’s due to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.  

4 thoughts on “Wildly off-topic #8 – Ukraine attacks”

  1. Love these wildly off topic posts Joe! I’m thankful the “West” did not fail this test in helping Ukraine and sticking up for liberal, democratic values. You are spot on that it will hopefully be a deterrent with China ala Taiwan. Part of me wonders if the U.S. and NATO actually engaged in combat against Russia this would all be over much quicker. Instead, we seems to be doing our best to help them not lose the war, but not doing enough to help them get over the finish line. The last thing we all want to see is a long, costly, bloody, protracted war, which at the end of the day ends up favoring Russia. Lots of implications in putting US/NATO boots on the ground, but there are a lot of implications if we don’t. Totalitarian regimes are on the rise and the West has to show solidarity and yes, at times, force.

    1. thanks for the contribution Brad and glad these posts have been useful.

      I’m a bit more concerned that if NATO and the US specifically got involved things might get very bad very fast. My slightly-educated view is the US and other allies – especially the UK and Poland – are doing a LOT with intel, targeting, cyber, and other technical support in addition to training and logistics. There are often US surveillance planes doing long racetrack loops over the Black Sea, during which bad stuff happens to Russian assets, generals, air bases and ships.

      From a brutally realistic perspective, showing potential bad actors that asymmetric warfare is hugely costly and very counterproductive is extremely valuable.,,if the Poles hadn’t had to fight on two fronts in 1939, Hitler may well have had the same experience when he invaded that country.

      be well Joe

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Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates



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