The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Ukraine Has Lost

It’s all over but the shooting, as the saying goes.

Avdiivka is being encircled in record time. The US is transferring its attention to Israel and Palestine. The Russians now have the largest armaments industry in the world for the stuff that matters, and North Korea and Iran are supplying them massively (though Iran may be about to be distracted.)

Back in March 2022 Ukraine could have negotiated peace terms. My guess is that the next negotiations will be surrender terms.

It was always clear, and I have said so consistently from the start, that Russia was going to win. Ukraine cannot win a war of attrition with Russia, especially when Russia has air superiority and far more artillery and artillery shells.

The West has been unable to ramp up weapon production, mainly due to the arms industry being a very small oligopoly who are interested in earning more per unit and maintaining bottlenecks.

Last year I read in an article that Medvedev, I recall, explained to Russian arms company execs, in excruciating detail, exactly what the Soviets did to plant managers who didn’t meet quotas in WWII. Since Putin has a record of dealing harshly with capitalists who cross him, this was taken seriously. The West isn’t really taking the war seriously, except maybe Poland and the Baltic republics, and Poland has essentially no arms industry of its own.

U.S. News now ranks Russia as the most powerful military in the world. I suspect they’re overstating the case, but Russia is certainly number two or three. My suspicion is that, as in the Cold War where USSR military strength was constantly overstated, this has to do with wanting more money for the military budget.

The sooner Ukraine negotiates, the better deal they’re going to get. Fortunately for them, Russia would be insane to take non-Russian majority areas anyway. The real risk is the coastline, while it isn’t all majority Russia, the urge to make Ukraine into a landlocked country will be immense. And certainly Russia wants Odessa.

In a larger sense the loss of Russia to Chinese alliance is the loss of any chance of defeating China. The biggest geopolitical blunder of the early 21st century, and the end of the oil and gas deals with Russia is the end of German/European energy intensive industry, which is a LOT of it.

Oh well.

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Climate Change and Environmental Collapse (State of the World 2023 #2)


Open Thread


  1. Feral Finster

    Much as I hope you are right (lived for much of my adult life in Ukraine and some of the best people I ever have known are fighting with the Donbass militias for Russia), I don’t think the US is ready to throw in the towel.

    Biden wants to fund the war in Ukraine several times what he proposes for the already lavish funding of Israel.

    That Biden is also attempting to tie Ukraine funding to Maui, then Florida, then Israel aid, even threatening to veto Israel aid if Ukraine isn’t funded, now attempting to horse trade immigration restrictions, shows again and again where his real priorities are.

  2. Carborundum

    Public *opinion* based on a global sample of 17,000 respondents associated military strength with their conception of Russia (i.e., a key component of the Russian brand is its military strength). There are many things that public opinion is useful for – assessing the military strength of a nation (relative or absolute) is emphatically not one of them.

    I saw reporting go by today to the effect that the Ukrainian CDS assesses Russian and Ukrainian forces as essentially stalemated, so I expect they have a reasonably realistic idea of things. The downside of PGM-heavy force mixes is without decisive maneuver one ends up over-servicing targets without meaningfully challenging terrain control.

  3. VietnamVet

    The Ukraine War is inexplicable. Troops on all sides are cannon fodder. Maneuver warfare ground to halt. Like the US Civil War and WWI, it is a war of attrition. What is obvious and no one admits is that other than an armistice and new DMZ, the war ends when one side or both collapse like the Confederacy did in 1865 and Russia in 1917.

    When the US Army that defeated Imperial Japan couldn’t fought Communist China to standoff on the 38th parallel, realists signed the Korean Armistice in 1953 to prevent a nuclear war.

    Today my bank posted “Some deposits & payments may be delayed due to a processing issue. This affects …. & other banks. We’re working on this and will refund any resulting fees.” Coal mining has exploded to new record levels to keep Europe warm this winter. France was hit by a tropical bomb cyclone. All occurring so the rich can get wealthier at the expense of others and the environment.

    All of the neoliberal opponents in the escalating WWIII with frontlines in Europe and the Middle East, and provocations in Asia are simply incapable of governing, fighting wars, eradicating viruses, or controlling pollution. Mercenary profits outweigh human life.

    Around 2 million Chinese died from COVID in the two months after the communist government reopened the country avoid an economic downturn. Both West and East need a new 1991 level upheaval that restores government by and for the people and avoids a nuclear exchange. If not, the human occupation of earth is finished.

  4. Feral Finster

    To be fair, when the head of Ukrainian general staff, as part of damage control after the Time magazine article basically describing Zelenskii as the Führer holed up in the bunker, out of any kind of touch with reality, AND Zaluzhnyii is holding out the begging bowl, calling the situation at the front a “stalemate” is as close to an admission that things are truly dire.

  5. bruce wilder

    I think you are wrong to discount the many ways Putin could have misplayed his hand and lost a war of attrition against Ukraine plus NATO. If Russia’s reactionaries had their way, Russia would have flagrantly overreached and squandered their advantages in broad, ultimately self-defeating gestures.

    Russia was weak at the start of the war and had to play very conservatively. A significant fraction of young men in a country with a significant demographic deficit have fled abroad. The trade and financial sanctions have not been without effect on Russia, even if we accept the narrative that says they backfired most severely on Germany.

    Ukraine, the underdog, should also have played conservatively. But if Ukraine’s ruling political class could have played conservatively, they would not have poked the bear in the first place.

    Where Russia has built strength, augmenting its moral and physical resources, Ukraine has recklessly squandered everything it ever had. We recognize that Ukraine has lost the war of attrition from the signs of imminent collapse. Much of population has fled abroad — those in Russia might come back, but . . . ?

    The immediate problem is no one wants to represent an Ukraine willing to negotiate with Russia.

    Ukraine could only have “won” if the West had managed to topple Putin’s regime.

    If we admit a measure of symmetry, we can acknowledge that Ukraine will have to undergo regime change before it can negotiate. It is difficult to imagine a colorably “pro-Russian” regime willing to sign off on geographic and civil concessions and willing also to bear the loss of Western largesse floating what is laughably called the Ukrainian state. Ukraine bears a staggering debt load now and has fewer resources of all kinds on which to base industry.

    It ain’t over till the fat lady sings. I do not see any basis in the correlation of forces for a lasting armistice. We got this far because for going on thirty years no one in power or near power in the West could admit error in a way that permitted a reversal of course.

    Regime change in the West is possible if still improbable. A reversal of policy course is still harder to imagine.

  6. Soredemos

    No, the fighting isn’t stalemated. No, Russia isn’t throwing away men as cannon fodder. It’s amazing to still see people parroting these memes.

    Avdeevka is being set up by Russia into a now standard firebag, and the idiotic Ukrianian army is typically obliging them by walking right into it.

  7. Ian Welsh


    I don’t much like Putin, but I’ve always had great respect for his competence. He was a bit slower-going than I like, but that’s his way.

  8. mago

    But but the cover of Vogue, the congressional fist pumping and accolades, the billions of taxpayer money used to line the pockets of kleptocracy—you mean it’s disappeared in the face of Palestinian genocide?
    The world’s not fair.

  9. Eric Anderson

    Hmmm. The war of attrition is due to neither side being able to achieve air superiority. The U.S. and “western nations” have gone all in on military victory through air superiority. Russia and China just simply can’t compete right now if the west decides to go hot. All they can do is go nuclear. The jets would come from all sides. The jets would be numerically (30 to 1 at minimum) and technologically superior. Russia and China would lose all communication in a span of about 3 hours. They’d go dark, and the western powers would then take their time beginning maneuver warfare.

    Realistically though, it wouldn’t even need to come to that. Concentrate western air power over the areas Russia has gained in Ukraine. It’s over. Ukraine maneuvers in and resets the lines. The western powers are just itching for an excuse. If they get it, the entire story changes over night. Maybe I’m wrong and more peaceful heads will prevail and the stalemate will work out into some negotiated peace as you say Ian. But if it gets hot … the outcome is either nuclear war or decisive western victory.

  10. Ian Welsh

    No. Russia has air superiority, what it doesn’t have is air supremacy.

    Edit: against Ukraine. NATO, if it went all in would hair air superiority, but due to heavy investments in missiles, probably not supremacy.

  11. 225,000 miles away, idiots

    Russia should fake some moon landing photos like the US did. Lookout Mountain Lab redux.

  12. Gaianne

    “It is all over but the shooting,” but the shooting will go on for a long time. The Russians are okay with that. It is not the scenerio they wanted, but it is okay.

    Ukraine is not a war, it is just a theatre of battle. If Ukraine wraps up, there will be other theatres. There are other theatres right now. Syria, Iraq, Israel, northern Africa, and Taiwan sometime soon. The war will continue while the US exists. The Russians know this, they have already planned for this. It is okay. It is not the scenerio they wanted, but it is okay.

    The US declines, and much faster than expected–by pretty much everybody. Not only because the US is crazed and delusional, but even more because it is incompetent. So time favors the Russians, all they have to do is persist. This is why they move so slowly and cautiously–that and the possibility that they may yet have to take on the whole of NATO.

    It is very important to avoid nuclear war. The Russians plan to survive nuclear war, but even so, it would be a deeply horrible outcome to be avoided, It is worse than all alternatives. But how to avoid it? Half of Americas elites think the US would prosper. They are wrong–the US would be utterly destroyed, with a tiny feral population remaining concerned only with personal day-to-day survival–but half the US elites think nuclear war would be fine.

    So how to avoid it? By moving very, very slowly. The Russians are and have been ignoring countless attacks and provocations that are designed to be enraging–and are enraging–but are strategically insignificant. Only strategy matters, and the strategic shape of the world favors Russia for the foreseeable future.

    At the everyday level, the US is delusional about casualties. The Ukrainians lie, outrageously. Social media confirms that either the Russians are (deliberately, strategically) telling the truth, or are at least much closer to it. Ukrainian social media videos show vast military graveyards. Russian social media shows casualties on a much smaller scale. There are other approaches. They roughly agree.

    At the start of the war casualties were 3:1 favoring the Russians. During the counteroffensive they were 10:1 or more–again, favoring the Russians. This is important, because for the Russians the war does not end with Ukraine–it begins. Actually it began in 2008 in Georgia, but in 2014 it went hot and in 2022 it went hotter. The war will continue while the US exists, long after Ukraine is forgotten by everybody. The Russians will need troops through the long term. As of now, they still have them.

    The Ukraine is calling up teenagers and old men. This is what the German Nazis did in the last days. Ukraine is doing the same thing for the same reason–the Ukraine is finished as a polity and they would rather die than make peace. Personally I believe the Ukraine has been hijacked by US policy, but the outcome is the same as if they had chosen it themselves: Ukraine will disappear into history.

    Attrition warfare is the result of changes in technology. Improved surveillance and precision targeting mean that large maneuvers are impossible, because surprise is impossible at the physical level. Everyone can see what you are doing.

    It is also the result of the fact that Russians are not fighting for territory, but for military advantage. Very few pieces of ground are worth holding, in and of themselves. Crimea is an exception–always was–and of course the Russians are holding it.

    The Russians are also finding they have to defend Russian populations outside the Russian Federation itself. This costs strategically, but cannot be helped. This is why Adiivka is such a big deal: The Ukrainians have been shelling Donetsk City from Adiivka for nine years. The Russians could do nothing about it, as the cost of taking Adiivka was too great. Now that is coming to an end. Adiivka will be taken.

    Adiivka is a good example of western thinking: It was supposed to provoke the Russians into over reacting. It didn’t. It was always strategically meaningless.

    What is meaningful? That the US cannot produce weapons even WHEN THEY ARE NEEDED. Most of us did not know this–although dysfunctional weapons like the F-35 and the Littoral Combat Ship offered a hint that this might be so. Have the Russians already factored this into their plans? Or is it coming as a happy surprise?

    I have implied that the Russians have been telling the truth. Is that even possible? Maybe: Now that the rest of the world is becoming visibly fed up with the West’s endless and ever-changing lies, it becomes clear that telling the truth could be a good policy.

    Maneuver warfare will come back if technology changes. It may come back with electronic warfare (EW)–but the Russians are definitely holding back, not revealing whatever their capabilities may be.


  13. Purple Library Guy

    I don’t think Mr. Anderson gets a few things. First, Ukraine and Russia are BIG. So is China. NATO doesn’t have enough planes and ammo to flatten all the stuff they’d need to flatten to get the outcome he imagines, even if Russia had no air defence. One of the problems with emphasizing quality over quantity.

    Second, look at the Ukraine conflict. Russia has massive, lopsided air superiority in terms of actual flying machines, and has since the beginning of the conflict. If it was all about air force fighting air force, Ukraine’s would have been wiped out in a few days and Russia would simply be ruling the skies. That didn’t happen; only now after a year and a half is that air superiority gradually beginning to be used all that much against ground forces. That is because Ukraine has decent air defences, which Russia has been able to degrade only gradually, so flying over Ukraine is still dangerous.

    The same would be true of NATO attacking Russia. Yes, I’m sure in an air-force to air-force duel, Russia’s air force would lose, although they would probably give a better account of themselves than Mr. Anderson imagines. But that doesn’t matter all that much. Russia has very good air defences; the NATO air force would not mostly get shot down by Russian planes, they would get shot down by Russian surface-to-air missiles. NATO’s ability to do all that stuff Mr. Anderson talks about is distinctly limited when it has to deal with a bunch of S-400 systems and so forth.

    Anyway, none of that is going to happen. NATO cares about Ukraine a good deal; NATO does not care about Ukraine enough to start a nuclear war, which is what going in directly would do. So they’re not going to. If Ukraine looks like losing, the US and co. will throw some hissy fits, try to come up with even bigger and better sanctions, try to provoke colour revolutions in central Asia and so on, but they will not push NATO troops and planes into Ukraine.

  14. Purple Library Guy

    Oh yeah–I looked up some numbers. Ratio of NATO planes to Russian planes seems to be somewhere around 5:1, not 30:1. Add in China, maybe 3:1. Still a huge advantage, certainly. But hyperbole makes you look foolish.

  15. KT Chong


    So what do you think of Xi Jinping?

  16. ventzu

    Agree – Russia’s missile defence, hypersonic missiles, favourable kill ratio, and gradual attrition strategy has paid off, whilst minimising civilian casualties. Ukraine seems to be running out of conscripts. Seems a matter of time before it collapses. And NATO won’t go nuclear, since they never really cared about Ukraine – it was always a pawn which they thought would fatally weaken Russia and Putin. Neocon wet dreams. But even they are not stupid enough to go directly against Russia over Ukraine.

    The Middle East is another story. And the question is will matters escalate to a point that Iran is directly attacked. And then how will Iran respond, and how will Russia and China respond, Now that could get out of control.

  17. Ian Welsh


    seems to be basically competent, though I’m not impressed by the dictatorial instinct. Still w/o it he probably couldn’t clean up the oligarchs. We’ll see if he’s truly able to deal with self-dealing party members.

    I do remember the comment Lee Kwon Yee’s comment that he was one of only two people he ever met who had complete emotional self-control, no one else could effect their emotions. (The other one was Nelson Mandela.)

    Not doing enough about climate change, but more than any other major world leader.

  18. Carborundum

    I’m not so sure that I would be quite so sanguine about the potency of Russian air defences. I’ve seen something like half a dozen air campaigns prosecuted against what was then billed as “the most densely defended airspace in the world” and NATO or NATO-like forces have always been able penetrate them. In a number of cases where the political will existed, those air defence networks have been destroyed in toto. Warfare is inherently a dynamic process so it strikes me a certainly possible that next time might be different, but I don’t know that I would presume it.

    Two key things I would be looking for:

    1) Indications of true understanding of strategic air campaigns. The Chinese could well have a good understanding of this, but the Russians really lag here – I don’t know why, but maybe they’re hampered by their historical context (very CAS-focussed with aerospace forces subordinate to other arms).

    2) Significant investment in force on force freeplay. Large scale exercises with high fidelity to real world effects, limits, and opposing forces – where the rules do not pre-determine the outcome – are invaluable. Getting your ass kicked by OPFOR / Fantasians that first couple of times is way better than having it happen real world.

  19. Eric Anderson

    Purple Library Guy: my bad it was a typo. I meant 3:1 …obviously.
    But, per usual, you come with the insulting tone.
    In fact, it is closer to 5:1 … and those 5? Way superior to the Russians and Chinese craft for craft. Then, we get into ongoing production capacity should it become protracted. The West’s is unparalleled and difficult to target due to geography. The Russians would have none b/c it would all be blown up in the first wave. Couple this with massive missile strikes of the west’s own coming in at the same time to provide cover.

    Russia does not have that many missiles — esp after slugging it out with Ukraine. And the amount of aircraft that would be thrown at them in the first wave would entirely overwhelm their defenses.

    Have I mentioned my legal partner is a retired marine colonel Top Gun aviator? Have I mentioned we talk about this stuff all the time? Have I mentioned my Dad is retired Army airborne colonel with two silver stars. Have I mentioned we talk about this stuff all the time?

    Yes, the U.S. is in decline. I agree. That makes NATO even more dangerous. Make no mistake though, if NATO decides to act decisively, there is nothing on this planet but a full scale nuclear war that will stop it. They would most definitely achieve air supremacy in a very short period of time, and then they’d maintain it. That is game set match. Russia well knows this, and it’s the reason they dabble around the fringes just enough to keep the beast they really fear at bay.

  20. Eric Anderson

    What troubles me is nobody seems to see this for what it is. This is U.S. v. Russia ala Afghanistan. People are saying it is bleeding the U.S., but is it? Look at the markets … they love it. War = money for capitalists. And why did the U.S. build up the military so fast and hard in the lead up? Why did the west have no issues breaking its treaties? It is intentional provocation. It’s the bully in the schoolyard picking picking picking until the smaller kids snaps and gives the bully an “excuse” to bring the fists.

    Contrary to Hollywood lore … the bully always wins those fights.

  21. Tiago

    There is no energy non intensive industry unless you have a colonial arrangement with countries operating the energy intensive industries or have important and truly exclusive manufacturing technologies or have severe protectionist policies that will harm the people because what you need to improve costs is not possible to develop through protectionism. The cost of heavy industry outputs will put you out of business in the global market. European auto industry has no chance outside of Europe itself and then only if europeans are made hostages. The same goes for European renewable energy manufacturers. BASF and ArcelorMittal moving investments out of Europe for the foreseeable future has sealed the deal. During 2021-2023 European wind turbines have become twice as expensive as chinese ones, and European EVs are being produced at a loss and still more expensive than chinese ones. Europe would be the Africa of the future if only it had natural resources. There hasn’t been a wasteland such as it will become.

  22. different clue

    What will the “final peace” look like? The RussiaGov will graciously permit Galiciakraine to survive with its capital in Lvov-iv-ov-iv-ov-iv-ov. The RussiaGov will even graciously permit Galiciakraine to join NATO and EU, as a poisoned chalice gift full of poisoned apples.

    The various flavors of Galiciakrainian will then hold a long and bloody civil war over ” who governs Galiciakraine” and the Banderistas, the Azovis, the Svobodans, and etc. will try planting bombs and other stuff all over NATO EUFUKUStan in revenge for NATO EUFUKUStan not having supported Ukraine hard enough soon enough.

    Perhaps Kiev will be allowed to survive and govern a huge No Man’s Land between Russiakraine/Russia and Galiciakraine. Perhaps they will call it the Grand Duchy of Kiev.

  23. Yildo

    There is no such thing as a Russian area. Russophone isn’t Russian. Muscovites go home

    Putin’s policy with “annexed” “Russian” areas has been to feed them into the meat grinder head first. It’s not a good deal and people aren’t stupid enough to clamour for that deal

  24. StewartM

    Feral Finster

    That Biden is also attempting to tie Ukraine funding to Maui, then Florida, then Israel aid, even threatening to veto Israel aid if Ukraine isn’t funded, now attempting to horse trade immigration restrictions, shows again and again where his real priorities are.

    I think you are mistaken here. Biden has no firm priorities, he tends to listen to and follow the advice of the sage ‘experts’.

    When those experts are right, Biden has surprised me by fighting for change for the good. However, in foreign policy, what Biden has been doing on both Ukraine and Israel is to follow the so-called ‘sage’ advice of old defenders of the US empire. It may cost him in 2024 as he is alienating the Arab-American and (real progressive) vote.

  25. Ian Welsh

    Eric, the bully doesn’t always win. I know that for a fact, though I grant it is rare.

    However, what usually happens is that a third party gets tired of it and intervenes or even a group. Seen that happen more than once. I grew up in boarding school, I know how these dynamics work. (Actually, physically I was almost entirely left alone. My family is where the real problems were.)

    Often the third party doesn’t even have to use violence. It just warns, because quite often the bully isn’t the toughest guy in the school or the class. The real athletic superstars are rarely bullies. (Some are, but it is rare, in my experience.)
    As for the US vs. Russia, it would go nuclear, it’s that simple. The Russians have been very clear about this and unlike the Chinese, they’ll first strike.

    But don’t be so sure that a US vs. China and Russia would be a cakewalk. US arms industries are sclerotic and the US lacks stores for a long war against a real enemy. Two weeks, you’re out of the good stuff and can’t replace it and don’t have the manufacturing for the dumb stuff either. Most of NATO right now would be out sooner: the UK and Germany – a week.

    China’s industry is so spread out and ubiquitous that without nukes it can’t be taken out because it would be easy to refit non-military to basic military production, and even pretty sophisticated military production. Plus China has the means to take out your eyes in the sky, including sattelites.

    You’re also overweight what conventional airpower can do, and your relatives may be military men, but military men are often wrong. Especially Americans about airpower.

    I have a feel for hollow militaries. I was right about the IDF and I’m right about the US. Airpower isn’t enough, minus nukes, and y’all ain’t got the balls for a real war. The way American mercenaries and volunteers with tons of GWOT experience came back from Ukraine broken and whining if they came back at all was very instructive.

    The Russians and the Chinese, otoh, do.

    Anyway, my judgment is that NATO isn’t going to go all in in Ukraine and Ukraine has lost.

    Better hope I’m right, because if NATO goes in, the odds of nuclear war go way over 50%.

  26. Eric Anderson

    Fair enough, Ian. I do know your bully point is true. We disagree around some edges, but are in agreement on the article itself. The reason I took my comments where I did are highlighted in my last comment. People seem to focusing a lot on Ukraine v. Russia in a vacuum … like we aren’t ever. so. close … to the whole thing going sideways. Which scares the bejeezus out me. So I hand wave and shout about the motives and danger every opportunity I get.

  27. Carborundum

    American forces are a long way from hollow. I remember the era of rebuilding from the hollow army of the 70s and early 80s and the current situation is completely unlike that. If you want to know what a hollow army is like, take a look at ours. Procurement is a train wreck and force generation is even worse. It’s bad enough that when asked I advise people against joining. The number of people I know who have given everything the force asked and been treated shabbily afterward is significant and larger than in prior decades.

    Where US forces fall down is predominantly in areas that have to do with the upper echelons, rather than the mass of forces (as is the case when armies hollow out). The political – military interface (where the various forces meet civilian oversight) is a mess with both sides of the divide bearing responsibility, strategy is in many instances poor with magical thinking abounding (and not stamped out by military leadership), and business-think is the dominant mindset (lots of things that business reasoning is good for, but closing with and destroying the enemy is not one of them).

    Once can make a cogent critique that procurement is significantly overweighted towards systems that are so expensive they can’t be procured in quantities necessary to prosecute conflicts of the type and scale set forth in the national defence strategy, but that’s a qualitatively different thing than hollow forces.

  28. Ian Welsh

    Have things gotten that bad in our army? I knew people in it in the 80s and 90s and they were proud and morale was mostly good. Sad to hear.

    The US isn’t as bad as Israel, obviously, but they have some of the same problem. Israel’s is worse, beating up unarmed nobodies, sniping women, etc…

    But the US has spent too much time fighting insurgencies. They’re used to having air superiority, real time surveillance, medevac and so on. When they hit a real war, they’re going to be a lot weaker and more incompetent than they think.

  29. GrimJim

    US forces are absolutely dependent on instant communications and intelligence coordination, both men and weapons guidance. It is how they are trained to fight.

    Take that out with some serious anti-satellite and anti-communications warfare and what’s left?

    In Afghanistan, when they were able to use their full array of communications and intelligence, they were essentially unstoppable, an Army of One working in complete concert.

    When their communications collapsed, for whatever reason… It was another matter altogether…

  30. Carborundum

    There are trades in danger of losing their ability to self-regenerate (i.e., to build the people at the top end of the skills pyramid). Similarly, there are capabilities that exist on paper that really don’t exist in reality, at least not in the sense of high proficiency, deployable units in the numbers needed for a healthy force. This isn’t the norm by any means, but it’s common enough that it has real implications. As an example, we can deploy a troop or squadron of operators with intelligence support, but the level of that support and the types of systems and capabilities we can field has really not kept up with what really advanced forces (i.e., the Americans) can do.

    In my view, it’s not quite that US forces would find themselves more incompetent than they think against a near peer. What they’d find is that everything is just a lot harder when fighting with people who know what they’re doing and don’t obligingly allow one to do business how one is accustomed to (e.g., having to move your TOC every four hours, hot resupply at austere RVs without great security, etc.).

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