Final week retired Normal David Petraeus was interviewed by three reporters from the Telegraph and asserted that Russian forces may “crumble” within the face of the Ukrainian counteroffensive. My preliminary response was that this was simply David’s loopy musing, however I’ve since realized that there are a selection of senior energetic obligation U.S. army personnel banking on the identical not possible dream. The overall spin is that Russian morale is falling by way of the floorboards and the Ukrainians are making very gradual good points (one small city at a time) and the entrance will finally collapse. It’s only a matter of time. I can perceive a retired man like Petraeus indulging such nonsense, however it’s alarming that there are senior U.S. army leaders spouting the identical nonsense.
It’s not simply the Generals praying for indicators that Russia is crumbling. Enterprise Insider contributes its two cents in regards to the alleged financial issues buffeting Russia — There are 5 things the West could do to put even more pressure on Russia’s struggling economy, think tank says. The neo-cons on the Atlantic Council are behaving like drowning passengers on the Titanic, frantically greedy for all times jackets:
Western nations must do extra to additional weaken Russia’s financial system, in keeping with researchers from the Atlantic Council.
Consultants say that Russia’s financial system is struggling greater than officers have urged, and the Kremlin has avoided publishing key statistics whereas under-the-radar data present a far grimmer future for Russia than Putin has let on.
I suppose the scribes on the Atlantic Council are too busy conjuring fantasies to learn the New York Instances newest — Russia Overcomes Sanctions to Expand Missile Production, Officials Say – NY Instances
Moscow’s missile manufacturing now exceeds prewar ranges, officers say, leaving Ukraine particularly susceptible this coming winter. . . .
Earlier than the warfare, one senior Western protection official mentioned, Russia may make 100 tanks a yr; now they’re producing 200.
Western officers additionally consider Russia is on monitor to fabricate two million artillery shells a yr — double the quantity Western intelligence providers had initially estimated Russia may manufacture earlier than the warfare.
Because of the push, Russia is now producing extra ammunition than america and Europe. General, Kusti Salm, a senior Estonian protection ministry official, estimated that Russia’s present ammunition manufacturing is seven instances better than that of the West.
Russia’s manufacturing prices are additionally far decrease than the West’s, partly as a result of Moscow is sacrificing security and high quality in its effort to construct weapons extra cheaply, Mr. Salm mentioned. As an illustration, it prices a Western nation $5,000 to $6,000 to make a 155-millimeter artillery spherical, whereas it prices Russia about $600 to provide a comparable 152-millimeter artillery shell, he mentioned.
Ukraine, in contrast, now not has sufficient forces to maintain a breakthrough and is completely depending on Western assist. One of many benefits of doing evaluation with out counting on categorised data is that common media and social media posts present a reasonably dependable indicator of the standing of the battle. For instance, there are a number of video clips of Ukrainian troops complaining about lack of weapons and horrible management. I’ve but to see something comparable from the Russian aspect.
Social media is a two-edged sword. It’s a dandy platform for data warfare and spreading false data. We noticed that in abundance within the first month of the Particular Navy Operation when Ukrainian sources posted the video of an intrepid Ukrainian pilot downing a number of Russian fight plane. Just one little drawback — the video was lifted from a online game. The exploits of the Ghost of Kiev have been phantasmagorical. I’m positive a lot of you keep in mind the fixed predictions throughout 2022 that Russia was working out of missiles and ammunition. I suppose the New York Instances newest piece has pushed a stake by way of the center of that drained meme.
However social media is so ubiquitous that it may well nonetheless overwhelm the efforts of any authorities to squelch unhealthy data. The cemeteries of Ukraine seem often with grieving family members standing amid a subject of tons of of flags flapping over newly dug graves. We aren’t seeing any posts like that from the Russian aspect.
One other knowledge level is the protection of the principle stream media. I make it a behavior to verify in on Sky Information to see what the Brits are saying. Six months in the past you could possibly depend on at the least one section in an hour broadcast at midday London time extolling the success of Ukrainian troops and dishing dire information about Russia’s flagging efforts on the battle subject. That’s now not the case. Sky Information barely mentions the warfare in Ukraine today. If Ukraine was steam rolling to victory you possibly can make sure that the British correspondents could be ebullient in regards to the Ukrainian counter offensive. On this case, the proverb — silence is golden — doesn’t apply. The silence a couple of purported Ukraine victory (or a Russian military in chaos) is telling. There isn’t a excellent news to report if you happen to’ve wager your home on Ukraine successful.
I like to recommend you watch the Petraeus interview as a way to achieve appreciation for the thoughts set of the pro-Ukraine lot and their detachment from actuality.
Ray McGovern and I did our weekly spherical up with Decide Napolitano at this time and touched on these points.