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An essay on Armchair Generals

Any 'Armchair General', commenting on the war in Ukraine, will have to know the operational plan of at least one of the combatants. And, on top of that, he or she has to have highly accurate intelligence from the battlefield, and a fairly accurate understanding of battlefield strategy used by both parties. As such, count me out. I'm no 'warrior', let alone one who is leading the troops, or could have been, if given a chance. These people are in a different league altogether. 


The Ukrainian 'Offensive' in the Kharkiv-area succeeded in conquering terrain, previously occupied by the Russians and their allies from the DPR and LPR, and privatised military group 'Wagner'. Does this mark a major change? A change which can be listed as a major victory for Ukraine? The first of many more to come? I don't know. What is Russia's goal? Do they want to secure territory? Or something else entirely? 


The Spanish 'Toreador' doesn't want to kill the bull quick, but he wants to 'amuse' the crowd with his moves, exhausting the animal, before killing it becomes an act of mercy. Something any decent man would do. The suffering lasted long enough. My assessment of the goal of NATO, confirmed by truckloads of comments from various politicians in the west, was to bleed Russia to death. Using Ukraine as bait. The original goal of Russia was to secure the 'Minsk-accords' by enforcing them on NATO/Ukraine, while demilitarising Ukraine, and 'denazification' of that country. But since NATO didn't retreat after its strategy (of using 'Stay Behind' Al Qaeda-like terrorists in occupied Ukraine, and using devastating economic warfare) failed, Russia announced it would be forced to increase the 'pain'. 


At 'Turcopolier' they are celebrating. TTG states that the Ukrainians fooled the Russians in the south, with a fake offensive, costing 'only' a few thousand Ukrainians their lives, very much like NATO/Ukraine was fooled in February by the Russians with their fake offensive on Kiev. To be sure, TTG and those on his side, the NATO-cheerleaders, still refuse to concede that the Russians fooled NATO back then, and insist that it was the heroic Ukrainian army which deterred the Russians, and defeated them. Western 'Armchair Generals' impressed with Russia's strategy and tactics are not convinced (yet) that this time NATO fooled Russia, and they are hitting the brakes, although they acknowledge the advances made. By the way, I saw a video spread by the Ukrainian side, which depicted a very black man in Ukrainian fatigues, which underscores suspicions that foreigners from NATO-countries are doing the heavy lifting, turning this war into World War III, or IV, as the 'neocons' would prefer, adding the 'Cold War' to that list. Which is also why I no longer mention Ukraine as the party at war with Russia, but NATO, for clarity.


To be sure, all the 'Armchair Generals' have been wrong from time to time. But those at 'Turcopolier' have the advantage of being able to claim that their careful analysis and predictions about the upcoming offensive in the direction of Kherson were part of the deception that preceded this recent success in the north-east. In other words, they are part of the team, and not independent commentators. They are 'Trolls', as they themselves would label anyone who disagrees with them. While those leaning towards praising, or even supporting Russia's effort do not have access to privileged information on what the Russians are doing. And in the past we've seen clear disappointment in those circles when their own predictions (of a fast and furious victory) never materialised. But, interestingly, the 'NATO-Trolls', thinking their opposite numbers are as 'well connected' as they themselves are, but with Russian 'horse-whisperers', tend to draw conclusions from such failures which are unlikely to be correct. Creating nothing but confusion on all sides.


Since I'm not a 'military man', although I served my country as an officer, and because I distrust much of the frontline news, while I have no way of knowing where the 'action' is before it is done, and by then part of history, my focus is on intentions, and why certain choices are logical. Like opting for 'grinding' those Ukrainian forces in their fortifications and trenches, instead of doing a 'Fast and Furious' assault and get it over with. Commentators on the 'NATO-cheer-squad' said it was a clear sign of weakness, which appeared to be confirmed by the 'Russia-cheer-squad' when they predicted it would be over in no-time. While those who couldn't bring themselves around to support Ukraine and NATO considered it smart (after admitting they had been wrong to predict a quick victory). Turning it into an artillery war, and avoiding the need to turn the cities into a battleground, saved Russian and civilian lives. And this is why 200.000 Russian troops defeated 600.000 defending Ukrainian soldiers these past six months. 


The massive superiority in numbers has a clear disadvantage in case Ukraine would go on the attack. Breaches of defensive lines were likely to occur. They did occur in the south, in the Kherson area, but the highly mobile Russian forces, enjoying air superiority, and high-tech surveillance installed in the area to know exactly where these Ukrainians were, allowed the Ukrainians to advance, then cut them off in the back, and bombed them to smithereens. I have no way of knowing if something like that will happen in the area around Izium, or that the Russians will have to concede defeat, and start all over. Ben Hodges, a former general and now a 'consultant' for the military industrial complex, is already predicting victory for NATO, when it will take Crimea from the Russians within one year from now. I'm thinking: Nuclear war. If he is correct, which I doubt. 


The more important developments for those who want to predict the outcome of World War IV are (at this moment in time) not of a military nature. The most important question is if the stamina of the European and American population is sufficient to take the 'bruising' coming their way. Which is not to say that developments on the military front are of no importance. But understand that while NATO is stuffed with 'Trolls' working the internet and the media, Russia isn't feeding their supporters privileged information as far as I can see. They serve the 'community' with official updates, but refrain from using the community as a tool. Which appears to be 'Stupid' from our western way of thinking, since lying and cheating is what we do all the time, and no government of ours would even consider itself as working for any community, but the other way around. Understand that lying and cheating are different from the vaunted 'Maskirovka', masking what you are doing, and what you know. Did NATO surprise the Russians in the north-east? Did the Russians miscalculate? Are they, as the 'Trolls' will tell you, exhausted and out of their dept? We'll have to wait and see. Keep your powder dry, and your eyes on the ball. Will you be warm and able to feed yourself this winter? Will you still have a job? Will that be a real job, or a bullshit job, like being a sponsored 'Troll', or working for a cheating government in any other nefarious way?

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