The New Observer Uncategorized The elephant in the room in the Ukrainian counter-offensive

The elephant in the room in the Ukrainian counter-offensive

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.

It seems to me that Western media and pundits are uniformly talking up this counter-offensive and turning a blind eye to certain realities. Apart from the numbers imbalance there is the fact that Ukraine does not have air superiority and cannot do a US style B52 carpet bombing campaign to soften up the enemy positions in advance. The US is denying them the 300 Km Himars rockets that would enable them to attack Russian supplies and logistics in Crimea, which many military strategists seem to think would be an essential part of military success.

I think firstly, that there is something immoral about this. Ukraine is being asked to fight in a way that the US or NATO would never dream of fighting. Secondly; it seems to me that Western pundits and media are engaged in a kind of “deep fake” about this counter-offensive – turning a deliberate blind eye to the problems I mention above.

It may be that the counter-offensive achieves some “success”. Even if it does, that doesn’t obviate the points above.