Saturday, February 15, 2020

Lesson learned from conflict in Ukraine? Expect heavy vehicle losses in a peer conflict...

Ukraine's military says 2,576 units of its weaponized armored vehicles and equipment were damaged between April 2014 and June 2016 in the combat zone of the two easternmost regions where a war with Russia-backed separatists still rages.

Most of the losses -- 2,185 units -- were caused by enemy shelling, armed clashes, and landmine explosions, the Ukrainian-based Defense Express magazine reported on February 11, citing data received from the Defense Ministry.

Exactly 1,201 infantry fighting vehicles and 440 tanks were damaged during this period, the most among the various armored vehicles.

According to the cited data, the most common cause of damage was fire from rocket-launcher and artillery systems, as well as mortars.

Forty-five percent of the total damage, or 1,159 armored vehicles, were damaged in July-September 2014. This occurred around the time when Russia allegedly engaged in systematic cross-border shelling of Ukrainian positions, something which Moscow denies.

Russia followed up on the purported shelling from its side of the border with regular forces who crossed into Ukraine's eastern Luhansk and Donetsk regions in late summer, culminating in the disastrous battle of Ilovaisk in which Ukrainian forces found themselves surrounded.

Altogether, 2,410 armored vehicles, including 475 tanks, were damaged in the first 365 days of the war.

In 2015, Ukraine lost 410 armored vehicles, including many during the battle for Donetsk airport and near Debaltseve in the Donetsk region, a key rail-transportation hub that Kyiv eventually lost to combined Russian-separatist forces.

Twenty-six armored vehicles were damaged the following year consisting of either infantry fighting vehicles or armored personnel carriers.

You know what has me spinning a bit?  The fact that lessons from the past are being forgotten.

In this instance I'm going over the USMC's plan for going against China.  I'm beyond stoked that they're focused on the threat.

I'm miffed that they're taking the approach that they are.

I have evolved on my thinking.  I don't think we'll see a straight match between the US and China at first.  I think we'll see smaller wars at first.  A return to the past of proxy wars.

China will lavishly fund a smaller nation to go against one of our allies.  Who that is I have no idea, but I believe that it'll be as much a spoiling attack as it is an effort to gain a particular objective.

China gets nation A to attack nation B.  We rush to supply military aid.  They do the same.  Suddenly we're digging into war stocks to keep them in the fight (and if we're using the old play book...sending advisors). 

How long could we keep up such an effort in the modern era before we start running out of gear?

Would we be forced to actually engage in a manufacturing war?  Could we win that type fight?

Ukraine is teaching us a lesson.  I hope we're paying attention.

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