Sunday, January 23, 2022

One thing I'm watching for in the upcoming Ukraine vs Russia fight.

 Anyone get the feeling we might (and yeah this is being alarmist) heading into a period where nation state vs nation state becomes the norm again?

Hope not, but I digress.

One thing I'm watching for in the upcoming Ukraine vs Russia fight is how they integrate Special Ops into a conventional fight between foes.

Back in the day we saw all kinds of people predicting virtual suicide missions on command posts by Rangers.  SEALs and Force Recon performing assassinations and attacking enemy shipping pierside.

Special Forces being turned loose in the enemy backyard to conduct all kinds of mayhem on any target they deemed appropriate.

We never actually saw any of that.

If you think about it, the last semi peer vs peer conflict we saw was probably the First Gulf War (before we realized how inadequate Iraqi forces were...before the fight they were considered well equipped and battle hardened).

In that fight the biggest thing we saw was a few rescue missions for downed pilots but the main visual was special ops roaming the desert looking for scuds.

With all the firepower being brought to the scene I wonder if the Russians will even bother with special ops missions.  The Ukrainians might but I believe it will be acting as a fire brigade to bolster collapsing conventional units.

If past fighting is any indication of the future then air power will play a VERY limited role.  Ukraine in particular might be looking at long range special ops missions (on the ground!) to carry the fight to the Russians.

This one feels all kind of wrong.  I hope there isn't a fight.  It will have Europe in turmoil for at least a decade.  But if a fight it is I hope everyone in the Pentagon has their notebooks open for lessons learned and strategies developed for our turn in the box.

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