And now traitorous Macron calls for security guarantees for Russia! The US has been stabbed in the back. I await for calls for a return of “Freedom Fries”. Remember when the congressional cafeteria renamed French fries to “freedom Fries” when the cowardous French came out in opposition to the 2003 Iraq invasion.
“One of the essential points we must address — as President Putin has always said — is the fear that NATO comes right up to its doors, and the deployment of weapons that could threaten Russia,” Macron added.
Any future peace deal between Russia and Ukraine would require a guarantee that Kyiv will remain neutral and won’t join NATO. Russia made the demand during the lead-up to the invasion, but the US refused to make the promise. Last week, NATO doubled down on its pledge that Ukraine will eventually join the alliance.
With winter, the economic stress upon the EU increases. Methinks EU are starting to question the costs upon their nations due to the Ukraine War especially as similar costs are not being borne by the USA. And we must remember the EU is quite unhappy new US trade/economic policy. (See my “France J’accuses USA” post)
A German news article now questions whether the oil embargo & new price cap will hurt the Russia economy enough to force an end to the war.
I expect more questioning from our European partners. But the coalition will be maintained because the US will not be deterred from finishing Russia as a world power. The number of battle casualties & amount of Russian military equipment destroyed plus the severe Russian demographic problem should be sufficient to reach that goal. A fitting end to a nation that defeated the US Syrian adventure. Hmm…Perhaps Syria can be revisited?
The destruction of the “conventional” Russian military, whether by the US or by Russia banging its head against a brick wall, will bring the scenario that Russia feels an existential threat with only significant (strategic/nuclear) weapons left closer. Without a guaranty that foes capable of destroying Russia (re: NATO) are not on its doorstep will be important.
In the absence of regime change to one sympathetic to those of the West (unlikely), it is unlikely that Ukraine has the ability to bring Russia to its knees and pretty clear that Russia has the ability to use strategic bombers to carpet-bomb Ukraine’s major cities to piles of rubble (using HE, rather than nuclear) if it wanted to.
In the absence of Russia being able to occupy all of Ukraine (which, if possible, would be extremely costly in money/equipment/personnel), their goal, since the beginning of the conflict, has been to create a sympathetic buffer zone and keep the Crimean Peninsula on a permanent basis - a goal which is mutually exclusive with giving Ukraine back all of its former territory (which is Ukraine’s minimum negotiating position).
So, in the absence of NATO’s direct participation, these two are going to punch the snot out of each other in a Mexican standoff for the foreseeable future until one side or the other runs out of stones to throw. As long as NATO (et al) keep supplying Ukraine and Russia can source through countries like North Korea and Iran, it will be a war of attrition, in both personnel and physical infrastructure. Russia has a larger reservoir of potential soldiers and Ukraine does not have the means to significantly damage Russian infrastructure (and, if it did, would have to be concerned about retaliation by those strategic bombers).
Allegedly, both sides have lost about 100K military personnel and Ukraine has lost an additional 40K civilians. Both countries have had hundreds of thousands of their population leave their boundaries. That said, unless there is a dramatic shift, the next year is going to be a very cold and dark one for those living in Ukraine.
If Russia could bomb, they would. They have no problem flatting towns with artillery. In fact, that was their MO in Chechnya and Syria as well as Ukraine. But strategic bombing requires air superiority, which Russia has yet to achieve and that’s not even taking into account surface-to-air defenses.
That said, I believe Ukraine can and will defeat Russia militarily. By that, I mean eject Russia to the 2014 borders. Russia’s sole advantage is the enormous amount of soldiers and equipment, especially artillery which at one point was something like 10:1 over Ukraine. But by all accounts Russian soldiers and equipment have been performing poorly on the battlefield.
Similarly, Ukraine’s military hasn’t been great, but by all accounts has been getting better and their equipment is getting a lot better. Their training has been getting better too. It is happening slowly, but it is happening. To that end, Russia has not had a significant military victory since July and has been forced into two major retreats.
I don’t know how this plays out over the next few months (Russia is reportedly preparing for another mobilization early next year) but it seems that Ukraine will increasingly be able to gain localized military advantages and use that to exploit breakthroughs. At some point, Russia won’t be able to stop it.
More serious is the threat to Europe’s stance from below. European publics were much more solidly behind Ukraine in the early months of the war, when it seemed that the existence of Ukraine as an independent state was imperiled; but after a string of Ukrainian successes, and the restriction of Russian forces to limited areas of eastern and southern Ukraine, cracks in European solidarity and willingness to make sacrifices for Ukrainian victory are inevitably beginning to appear, especially in[ Germany]*(https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/25/russia-ukraine-energy-europe*/).
If the economic cost to EU infringes upon EU citizen’s social benefits; support for the Ukraine could ebb.
Tensions are worsened by increasingly bitter divisions between EU members over the sharing of the resulting energy shortages and economic suffering between different EU members. Resentment of America is also growing at the fact that due to domestic fracking, U.S. gas prices are a fraction of European ones, so that the suffering of the U.S. public as a result of the war is limited. Macron has accused American (and Norwegian) energy producers of exploiting the crisis to earn “superprofits” from exports to Europe. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has said that U.S. exporters are using the energy crisis “to further U.S. economic domination and weaken Europe.”
The Economist has estimated that the steep increase in electricity prices may lead to 147,000 more deaths in Europe this winter, compared to previous years. European opinion over the next few months will be shaped by whether the winter is harsh or mild, and the impact on energy supplies, mass suffering, and mass unrest are serious or limited in consequence. It is predicted however that barring an end to the war and a resumption of Russian gas supplies, the European energy crisis will extend into 2024 at least; so it is not just this winter that Europe will have to survive.
The Ukraine has simply worn out the barrels & they will need to be replace. So definitely there will be a pause in any Ukrainian offensive.
The artillery pieces have to be taken out of service and sent to a repair center outside of Ukraine.
That facility is in Poland and overseen by European Central Command. Work most generally is on the howitzer barrels, as it’s work that can’t be done in the field.
The biggest issue so far has been keeping the artillery crews supplied. The heavy use of artillery in the war has already put a strain on Western nations’ own stockpiles of ammunition, including the United States. The United States has initiated measures to boost munition productions and recently negotiated an arms deal to buy 155mm rounds from South Korea to ship to Ukraine, rather than tap into its supply.
That’s what US analysists seem to think. Ukrainians are indicating they want to keep pressing on. A related problem is that Ukraine is firing far more shells than the world can produce, by a lot. The Russians seem to be having similar problems with worn out artillery and lack of ammunition.
rough housing the numbers some 750? or 1500? Howitzers in the theater. Of them 1/3 are not in battle but being refitted in Poland usually at any time. The rest are in use. Also some of the shells the Ukrainians got from other EU nations were problematic wearing out the barrels. The practice of using those shells has ended or greatly slowed.
Here is a different view of the rift of the Western alliance, a return to “bugger your neighbor” mercantilism. I can’t vouch for Mark Moss but he sounds very plausible.
Is This The End Of NATO, EU and Globalization?
Is This The End Of NATO, EU and Globalization? The world as we have known it is ending and what we are going into is something you and I haven’t lived through before. I am speaking about the END of globalization, global cooperation, free global trade, the European Union and even the end of NATO!
…It’s a big claim but the pieces are being laid out and we are heading there without any sign of stopping. So what does all this mean?
Besides the artillery barrels wearing out Ukraine needs more ammunition for those artillery pieces.
Russia & Ukraine fire incredible amounts of artillery rounds. That’s according to U.S. defense officials, who told CBS News that the two sides are firing 4,000-7,000 and 20,000 rounds daily, respectively. At that rate, the official said, both sides would need to heavily resupply come the nearing winter.
the U.S. is looking to purchase 100,000 rounds of 155mm artillery rounds for howitzers. The deal has not been finalized, but if it is, the United States would pay the ammunition with funds from the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative.
The US has to buy artillery rounds from S Korea? I guess US artillery amunitiion supply has been diminished. Well why don’t we crank up production of said ammo?
We are but our factory has a limited ability to do so.
Army Secretary Christine Wormuth separately told reporters that the U.S. will go from making 14,000 155mm shells each month to 20,000 by the spring and 40,000 by 2025.
I guessing the reason we only have one artillery factory* is that the US utilizes airpower rather than artillery to pound an opponent. Thus we have limited supply & production limitations. And so there is a bottleneck production problem.
*that one factory is owned by General Dynamics & is located in Scanton PA
The US DOD is on the hunt to find a US or Canadian factory that could product 155mm ammunition. Assuming they find such a factory it will take time to set that factory up to be able to produce 155mm rounds.