Moon of Alabama
NATO is continuing its disarmament mission.
France to send an extra 12 powerful Caesar howitzers to Ukraine
French Defence Minister Sebastien Lecornu’s announcement that France will send 12 additional Caesar howitzers to Kyiv is “clearly important for the Ukrainians, particularly the Caesar artillery system”, said FRANCE 24 Chief Foreign Editor Robert Parsons.
“They’ve been very successful in Ukraine, so the Ukrainians will be delighted, I am sure, to get another 12. I think that brings that total to over 40 now, closing on 50 Caesars in Ukraine.
France has only 77 Caesar howitzer left. Others though are worse off.
Estonia Sending All Its 155-mm Howitzers to Ukraine
Estonia will donate all its 155-millimeter howitzers to Ukraine as part of its most extensive military assistance yet.The package, previously reported to be worth 113 million euros ($122 million), is expected to boost Kyiv’s defense capabilities amid continuing Russian aggression.
Estonia currently operates 24 NATO standard FH-70 towed howitzers.
Apart from the howitzers, Tallinn will send thousands of 155-mm artillery shells and hundreds of Karl-Gustaf anti-tank grenade launchers.
We know how all that artillery will end.
Several weeks ago Russia launched a special counter-artillery campaign. There are dedicated counter artillery radars, electronic warfare and airborne surveillance systems and long range artillery batteries with precision ammunition engaged in this.
So today I did some staff work and summed up the claimed artillery destruction as listed in the daily ‘clobber list’ provided by the Russian Ministry of Defense.
Here are the results:
In the last seven days Russia claimed to have destroyed a total of 40 truck pulled howitzers, 32 self propelled howitzers, 8 Multiple Rocked Launcher Systems (MRLS), 15 counter artillery radars and 23 local artillery ammunition depots.
On top of that it engaged Ukrainian artillery positions with normal counter fire on 651 occasions. This will have caused additional damage and losses.
Additionally 55 MLRS rockets and HARM anti-radar missiles were intercepted by Russian air defenses.
If you think that the field reports the ministry receives are exaggerating the numbers, which is likely, simply divide them by half.
In just one week it was still more than Estonia and France promise to deliver.
Yesterday I explained why a NATO or U.S. intervention with ground troops is unlikely. We can add the acute lack of NATO artillery and artillery ammunition to the reasons.
NATO has disarmed its ground forces and is no longer combat capable.
On A U.S. Ground Intervention In Ukraine
A European financial research company has sent me one of their quarterly research letters. It is a ‘contrarian review of political and military ramifications’ of the war in Ukraine. It analyzes ‘winners and losers’ of the war.
It is contrarian only in the sense that it counters the false views of ‘western’ mainstream media with reality. The losers of the war are all on the ‘western’ side with the only two winners being the owners of the U.S. defense industry and Russia.
I was sent the courtesy copy because, as the company writes, the discussions at Moon of Alabama were “immensely helpful” in forming their view.
Note to the authors: You are welcome.
I will not quote from the paper as it seems to be a somewhat confidential business product. But I will steal two graphics from it that will help to understand the size of the war in Ukraine and how it will NOT end.
There have been theories that Poland or some U.S. led coalition force would intervene with their troops on the ground in Ukraine to ‘kick the Russians out’.
The two graphics though dispel any hope for such an operation.
The following is an operational map of Desert Storm. The U.S. led operation in spring 1991 to kick Iraq out of Kuwait.
It took the U.S. some nine month to assemble a forces of some 700,000 U.S. and 250,000 allied troops with all their equipment. Iraq had an estimated 650,000 troops in the theater. The U.S. first created total air superiority by destroying Iraq’s fighter aircraft and air defense forces. With that done it took only 100 hours of ground operation to destroy a third of the Iraqi forces. The rest of the Iraqi army retreated under fire towards Baghdad.
There are some 550,000 Russian troops in and around Ukraine. A hypothetical operation to ‘kick Russia out’ would thereby have about the same size as Desert Storm. But the geographic dimensions differ drastically.
The following is an operational map of Desert Storm from above overlaid in scale on the map of Ukraine.
The map was turned to the left by 90 degree. North is to the left, east at the top and Crimea in the south to the right.
Russia occupies some 87,000 square kilometer of Ukraine. The Desert Storm theater around Kuwait was five times smaller.
A hypothetical U.S. coalition of the size of Desert Storm could probably cross the Dnieper and cut of Crimea. But it could do little more than that. The Donetz and Luhansk oblasts and Crimea itself would still be in Russian hands.
But there are many reasons why no such operation will ever be planned and executed.
- The U.S. no longer has a force of the size it committed to Desert Storm. Nor do its allies.
- The U.S. was able to create air superiority in Iraq because it could fly from nearby Saudi airfields and from aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf. Air superiority in eastern Ukraine could only be achieved with the destruction of long range air-defenses within Russia. The next safe air fields the U.S. could use are in Poland and Romania. No U.S. aircraft carrier will dare to enter the Black Sea. U.S. fighter planes to not have the necessary reach for combat missions in eastern Ukraine.
- The Ukrainian rail system is by now a mess. It is incapable of moving a large force from the west into east Ukraine.
- Any attempt to move a large force through Ukraine would be subject to deep battle interdiction by Russian and Belorussian forces.
- Iraqi equipment was badly maintained and Iraqi forces were barely trained. Russia has a well trained high tech army.
I could go on but you can certainly see the point.
No U.S. ground troops will move into Ukraine. It is ludicrous to think otherwise.