The Point has played out this subject back and forth over the week and the media and various experts seem intent on treating Russian military incompetence as if it’s either…
1. A secret plan and four-dimensional chess.
2. Evidence that Russia will lose.
It is most likely neither.
Russia’s military has a long history of incompetence. And against a major military power, such as the US or even the UK, the clown shown we’ve seen in the Ukraine, concentrations of undefended armor, terrible coordination with air power, would be potentially fatal. Against the Ukraine however it only matters so much.
In the final analysis what really matters is that the Russian military has the numbers and the firepower to get the job done against defenders who have performed fairly well, but are not about to somehow rout a vastly superior military force. The Russians have a plan and they’re slowly getting it done. It may not be glamorous and half the world’s generals are laughing, which is just as damaging to Russia as the Afghanistan withdrawal was to America, but in Lenin’s Who, Whom question, the steady odds are still on a world power with a massive show of force. Nor am I gambling on the extended guerrilla warfare that some of the Europeans seem to expect from the Ukraine. Ukraine is not going to be Afghanistan. It will however be an ongoing prolonged mess.
And Putin may end up losing as much as he has gained.