Thursday, April 20, 2017

It's Just Plain Old Warfare

Stripping out the cyber-war, fake news, denials, and irregulars, Russia's aggression in Ukraine's Donbas is just plain old aggression. Stop trying to over-think this as an excuse to do nothing.

Don't forget the conventional warfare part of Russia's aggression against Ukraine!

[What] is often lost in the discussion of the technological innovation of Russian hybrid warfare is that a conventional line of effort resides just below the surface. The Donbas campaign of the Russo–Ukrainian War (2014–present) highlights this idea. The Donbas campaign showcases innovations in Russian land warfare through the actions of Russian land forces—working in conjunction with separatist land forces—throughout the campaign. Most notably, these innovations include the development of the battalion tactical group (BTG)—a formation that possesses the firepower to punch at the operational level of war—coupled with a reconnaissance-strike model not seen on contemporary battlefields. Furthermore, the BTG and reconnaissance-strike model work in tandem to create siege warfare opportunities for the Russian and separatist forces, allowing them to generate high levels of destruction while operating beneath the notice of the international community. [emphasis added]

As I understand it, one reason for the use of the BTG is that Russian brigades are not capable of being committed, requiring the Russians to tap brigades across the entire Russian expanse to pick out the acceptable troops in those brigades (the RUSI report link is broken):

Russia is compelled to bring in troops from all over Russia, compel draftees into becoming "contract" soldiers, putting troops from different units together to form battle groups for the Donbas, and even using Interior Ministry troops behind the lines to keep Russian troops from retreating.

As for operating beneath the notice of the international community, that's just BS.

We know the Russians invaded Ukraine yet the West has chosen to ignore the blatant invasion. How on Earth are multiple battalions with hundreds of tanks directing massive and sophisticated firepower so subtle that we can't notice it?

And as much as I hope the Ukrainian lawsuit works, even the Ukrainians go along with the fiction by asserting that Russia is  "'sponsoring terrorism' by financing pro-Russian separatists and failing to stop military aid from seeping across the border into eastern Ukraine's Donbas region."

It's not only financing separatists--it's an invasion.

And it isn't "failing to stop military aid" from crossing the border like it is a problem to be solved by tougher border controls--it is a deliberate policy to send aid into the Donbas.

Face it, hybrid warfare is just Russia invading a country with conventional and special forces at the side of an astro-turfed secessionist movement while denying Russia is responsible, and the West going along with that fiction. The Russians could commit entire numbered armies to the fight with that kind of thinking on both sides.

And if the Russians could do that kind of large invasion, they would have. This "hybrid warfare" theory is just dressing up Russia's inability to do a fast smash and grab with overwhelming force.

Do you really think the Russians chose from ingenious thinking to stretch out the war in the Donbas this long and wouldn't have preferred to pull the bandage off fast if they could to avoid the Western sanctions that were imposed when it became embarrassing to ignore Russia's aggression any longer?

That's how Russia avoided sanctions over attacking Georgia in 2008 and cementing their control of that country's breakaway provinces. Heck, that's how Russia has gotten away with seizing Crimea with a direct attack bolstered by reinforcing troops, special forces, and astro-turf local rebels. Who talks about getting Russia to relinquish that conquest as the focus remains on Russian-occupied Donbas?

There is a full report at the first link. I'm so disgusted with the willingness of the West to go along with Russian fiction that I'm not inclined to read it (although I know I will eventually when I get a paper copy).