Fascinating Article in The Atlantic

Jackson_Slugger

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This inventive use of airpower reveals that the Ukrainians might even have a more sophisticated understanding of air operations than even many NATO countries, which take their dominance of the air for granted. What the Ukrainians have done—contesting the skies against a richer, more powerful enemy on the cheap—is extremely difficult. The West has much to learn from Ukraine’s successes, Deptula told us. “We have become so dominant in the air that we have never had to think through how we would use airpower if we were the inferior force,” he said. “Ukraine is posing us some very interesting questions that we should seriously consider, if only to understand how a clever opponent would take us on.”

From:


About the authors: Phillips Payson O’Brien is a professor of strategic studies at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. He is the author of How the War Was Won: Air-Sea Power and Allied Victory in World War II. Edward Stringer is a retired Royal Air Force air marshal and a senior fellow at Policy Exchange.
 
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Well this will get locked in three minutes, but here goes: Russia doesn't want a neat, tidy, Done-By-The-Middle-Of-Summer War.
They want to break Ukraine on the wheel, & freeze & immobilize Western/Central Europe next winter .....
That takes time. A lot of time. From the country with more time zones than any other. This conflict has already pulled all other countries down, cost of staples being the obvious issue. Everyone gets to pay.
 
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I always enjoy a good scholarly written article. Thanks OP. It's been awhile since I've read The Atlantic....
 
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Back to the OP, one thing I noticed in the above article is very similar to what I read in articles about Russia's ground forces: the Russian "middle management" officers (sergeants and higher) are not allowed freedom to command based on their practical, experienced based wisdom.

I'm sad that mankind will never change, regardless of spiritual beliefs, past history ("never again"), etc.. We are morons. I also cringe about people in the U.S. that cannot look beyond our shores to realize how today's circumstances are driven by global events. My old man rant for today.

EDIT: yes, the Atlantic rocks!
 

Jackson_Slugger

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Back to the OP, one thing I noticed in the above article is very similar to what I read in articles about Russia's ground forces: the Russian "middle management" officers (sergeants and higher) are not allowed freedom to command based on their practical, experienced based wisdom...

The US and British armies in WWII allowed a certain degree of delegation of authority to its NCO's and mid to lower officers while in contrast the French were very strict with written orders being hand passed down by couriers with rigid micromanagement of the battle from the rear. What we often ascribe to a "Blitzkrieg Legend" is the superiority of the German Heer (army) in WWII tactically speaking is actually their Prussian lineage. Their tactical acumen has some truth to it but it is often overstated or misinterpreted.

The German command encoded much of their Prussian military tradition that ironically was not as rigid and had certain tenets like "mission to tactics" that gave a lot of freedom to junior officers and NCO's to step in and achieve their missions without constantly asking for permission or waiting for orders to come down to tell them explicitly how to go about their operations. Sometimes it even went to an extreme where panzer commanders like Rommel or Guderian simply ignored their radios when the OKW commanders told them to stop or slow down. In essence, the command hands down the mission, the men taking part decide how to best achieve it on a local level once planning inevitably starts going to **** because they are the ones at the front that know what is happening. This tradition has been adopted and encoded by NATO and NCO's are often far more capable than the junior officers of some rigid, top-down militaries like the Russians. The Ukrainians have had eight years of Western training and it shows with a much more flexible and tactically capable bunch. The number of dead Russian generals and senior officers also illustrates the lack of initiative of their underlings...
 

Jackson_Slugger

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Ukraine has been given some great weapons.
Yes. But even the more pedestrian ones they make great use of. I think the day before yesterday a Russian T-90M tank (their most modern fielded with a few hundred in service) costing around $4.5 million dollars was taken out by a shoulder fired recoilless rifle designed in 1948 (but much improved), the 84mm Carl Gustav. The T-90 has an "active protection system" making it difficult for missiles to get through, but the Ukrainian operators merely fired the round(s) into the road wheels obliterating the tank with maybe two shots. The latest improved Charlie G costs about $20,000...
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Remember guys when I mentioned several times throughout the years how Serbia bought 10 new engines for MiG29s and 7 only started during testing when delivered?
There is your answer to numerous questions you might have.
 
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