The New Observer Uncategorized West knew that counter-offensive was a remote chance, according to Washington Post. No surprises there.

West knew that counter-offensive was a remote chance, according to Washington Post. No surprises there.

About 6 weeks ago we wrote:

A few months ago when the Ukrainian counter-offensive was just a pipe-dream I saw multiple experts, retired generals, or think-tank speakers perhaps (I can’t remember exactly who), on Western media channels saying that in order to attack a dug-in force the attacking force needs to be three times as big. That figure, 3x, was consistently repeated. In the last two months when it looks like the counter offensive is real I have not heard this mentioned once. Not once. Why? Could it be because the truth is that the attack force of NATO trained and armed troops is only 60,000 – and Russia has 300,000 men defending very heavily fortified positions? They are so desperate for this counter-offensive to take place, no matter what the risks or costs in Ukrainian lives, that they are blanking out such inconvenient truths.

Today the Guardian is reporting that the Washington Post is reporting that “Western leaders knew that Ukrainian forces were very unlikely to dislodge Russian forces from entrenched positions in the counteroffensive which began in the spring”. (I can’t cite the Washington Post directly as I am not willing to pay them any money). Well; surprise, surprise. Let’s go with the WP quote from the Guardian:

Deep and deadly minefields, extensive fortifications and Russian air power have combined to largely block significant advances by Ukrainian troops. Instead, the campaign risks descending into a stalemate with the potential to burn through lives and equipment without a major shift in momentum.

Western military doctrine holds that to attack a dug-in adversary, an attacking force should be at least three times the enemy’s size and use a well-coordinated combination of air and land forces. Kyiv’s troops lack the mass, training and resources to follow those prescriptions.

No Western military would also try to breach established defenses without controlling the skies.

So – why did they go through the motions? Unfortunately a large part of the answer is this; the billions being allocated to arms for Ukraine are not in fact being sent to Ukraine. They are being spent on arms bought from Western arms companies. Western leaders are doing what they have a deep instinct for in any crisis. They are figuring out how they can make use of it to launder tax-payer’s money to corporate firms and thus enrich themselves. Covid, 9-11 and Afghanistan – it never ends. During the pandemic the UK financial-political “elite” spent GBP 40 billion on a Covid “track and trace” system that failed. It failed predictably; of course you can’t scale up a system of tracing and quarantine which works on a village, to an anonymous population of 60 million where everything depends on: immediate diagnosis, (the tests were taking 48 hours so that was out for a start), contacting people by phone or SMS, and enforcing quarantine of contacts – even when you could identify them, which more often than not you could not; not to mention asymptomatic transmission. Of course you could not turn Afghanistan into a Western-style liberal democracy simply by spending billions on building roads, schools and hospitals. But the US contractors and their shareholders building the empty hospitals were never going to say that.

The whole system is totally corrupt and indeed evil. In Ukraine they are just doing what they usually do. They care no more for ordinary Ukrainian lives than the UK “elites” cared for elderly, less well-off people dying of Covid. Just throw some money at the problem and hope it might work. But if it doesn’t, nothing to worry about as we have got stupidly rich anyway. Ukraine would be advised to realise this and drop their connection with the West.

Another interesting aspect of this is the way that the media went along with it. As per my original post, it was a strange sight to see all the retired generals somehow forgetting what has now been re-remembered – that you need a massive manpower and equipment advantage to attack a dug-in army. The whole lot of them moved as a corpus in talking up the extremely unlikely counter-offensive.

As per my original post it remains possible that Kiev will pull off an extremely unlikely military success here – but even if so the basic point remains the same; the West engaged in a kind of pretence that this was realistic. All the while paying their own companies billions of tax-payers money.