Friday, March 28, 2014

A total of two decent articles on the military situation in the Ukraine

You wouldn't think it would be so hard to write something that goes beyond book reports from wikipedia on the military forces, but I haven't seen much.

One decent article from Jane's notes how the Ukrainian navy and air force lost a lot of their forces in Crimea. Farley argues that the navy probably doesn't matter so much, which sounds right. What seems more disturbing is the large percentage of the Ukrainian navy personnel that defected to the Crimean/Russian side. That may indicate that the Ukrainian military isn't willing to fight if Russia attacks eastern Ukraine, and as important may be perceived by Russia as an indication that they won't face serious military opposition.

A broader Foreign Policy article discusses the (bad) shape of the Ukrainian military while not being too impressed with Russia. It concludes the window of opportunity for an invasion starts in early April (ground dry enough for off-road travel by tanks, experienced Russian military conscripts still in uniform) and ends in late May (experienced conscripts mustered out, Ukrainian elections legitimize the government).

The FP article makes sense as to what's the best window now - I still think the Russians would have thought the best window to attack was at the same time as when they went into Crimea, gaining surprise and with the Urkainian military fractured and political structure unstable. The fact that they didn't attack is therefore hopeful. OTOH, maybe they're just indecisive so far, and could change their minds.

One thing to note about the FP article is the April through May window degrades over the time period - conscripts are mustering out over time, the approach of May elections make it more obvious that Russia is trying to crush democracy, and Ukrainian military has more time to get its act together.

On what we in the West should do, Ian Brzezinski argues we should supply military aid and move up previously-scheduled joint military exercises in the Ukraine from this summer to ASAP. While sending ambiguous messages is sometimes helpful, I don't think it is in this case. If Russia invades Ukraine, we won't and shouldn't engage in direct military action to push them back - so we shouldn't have forces there in potential harm's way, not now and not this summer. OTOH, we can and should provide military assistance in case of invasion, and we can signal that to Russia now by providing military assistance now.

Cancelling summer exercises while initiating military aid should be a mixed message that isn't provocative while still confirming the cost side of the sheet as Russia considers its options.

7 comments:

Força Força Camarada Vasco said...

both articles are alien to the political ethnic and economic chaos that is ukraine

more than 5 millions ukr's live outside ukraine since the 1986 blow-up of Cherny.....i accept the Jane's bill

and the ukranian debt is going to be paid for the imf? ....yep

we die for Dantzig only Freie Stadt Danzig is worth my dead body i don't like the new namen wolne miasto vo gdańsk

Força Força Camarada Vasco said...

military aid like in Egipt?

or Iran?

yes is a good thing

the germans sold 12% of the greek debt in what is the name? weapons

yes that is the name of the aid....

400 to 600 million's for each submarine 700 million's for frigate
The Greek Frigate Hydra (F-450) (Greek Φ/Γ Ύδρα) is the lead ship of the ... AG and THYSSEN RHEINSTAHL TECHNIC to build the first Frigate in Germany. b.

PARIS/ATHENS (Reuters) - In a bizarre twist to the Greek debt crisis, France and Germany are pressing Greece to buy their gunboats and

New frigates for Greek Navy
Hellenic navy (HN), as is the right name for Greek navy, is going to buy 6 new frigates to upgrade it's capabilities and put out of order the Standard class frigates.
The main role the ships will have is AAW but they will also have the ability to take Anti-Submarine warfare and Surface warfare missions.
The candidates for this program are:

- the French-Italian FREDA
- the German MEKO-D
- the Dutch LCF
- the Spanish F100

Also most (2 in twelve? 14?) of the ships will be built in Greek shipyards

aid

kool aid

cool....

Millicent said...

Could Russia put enough boots on the ground to occupy a country the size of the Ukraine?

Russell Seitz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Para a Posteridade e mais Além said...

germany have how many boots?

shapechangers of euroasiatic political divide

slow softening of the bonds and bones in ukraine

leather skin boots?

john wilkes ,,,.b,,,

Anonymous said...

What should Russia do?

Exactly what the US would do IF:

Russia had spent $5 billion* to engineer a Nazi putsch in Mexico City with the intent of putting ballistic missiles next door to us.

*as revealed by Victoria "fork the EU!!" Nuland,
State Dept Undersecretary of State for Europe and Eurasia.
http://tinyurl.com/oesuph2

John Puma

Brian said...

Really John? And are you going to say that 70+ demonstrators that were murdered were killed by provocateurs?