As Andrei Martyanov has frequently and correctly noted, the U.S. Army and its legacy officers are demonstrating remarkable incompetence in assessing the Russian military. The latest in this parade of clowns is Joel D. Rayburn, a retired Colonel and current fellow at the New American Foundation. I think Andrei would agree that Rayburn is a poster child for the grandiose fecklessness of retired U.S. Army officers.

Why focus on Rayburn? He was recently interviewed by a New Yorker correspondent and offered up an astonishing analysis that is the product of either gross ignorance or deliberate misinformation. You judge for yourself his motivation. Here are Rayburn’s key points from his interview:

I think, over all, the campaign design was flawed from the start. It was an invasion force that was too small for the task, just in straight numbers—in the numbers of combat units, combat formations they were able to put on the battlefield.

But then they didn’t have sufficient logistics in place to support even that force.

What we can now see is that they simply do not have the institutional capacity to support offensive operations deep into enemy territory and aren’t able to give units supply and combat support of all kinds: artillery support, air support, air-defense support. With an already weak logistics base, it was an enormous mistake for them to chop their main offensive into four major axes that were widely geographically dispersed.

Then there’s the kind of equipment that’s showing up on the battlefield. . . . And then they’re showing up on the battlefield in the axis of advance toward Kharkiv and Chernihiv and Kyiv with Cold War-era, non-modernized, armored combat vehicles—both infantry vehicles and tanks.

It seems like one of the priorities for their modernization project was the air-defense systems, and also their precision-guided munitions—both aircraft-borne and surface-to-surface missiles—and ballistic missiles. But those all failed.

Yeah, of course that’s part of the story—and, listen, I’m not an expert on the preëxisting Russia-Ukraine conflict—but it does seem that the Ukrainians have been under attack from the Russians and Russian proxies since 2014.

I think everyone assumed that they were going to set Kyiv as their primary objective and their main effort. . . . But, if they were going to do it, I think the expectation was they were going to throw all their best equipment, their best units, and their logistics capabilities at Kyiv. And they obviously didn’t do that.

A bad army was ordered to do something stupid. They were sending armored units just ambling down the road with no infantry screen, no reconnaissance, no air cover. And then the Ukrainians just picked them off with anti-tank weapons. It’s not surprising.

They’re a poor-quality military with poor-quality leadership and poor logistics—and seemingly highly inclined to corruption.

Their losses have been astronomical. Their units have taken such a beating. Their logistics are weak. Their leadership is poor and their troops so poorly trained and motivated. I just don’t see how the kind of force that has been defeated in the north over the first six weeks of this war can suddenly transform itself into a force that’s going to be able to get done what they appear to want to get done, even in eastern Ukraine, southeastern Ukraine.

The units that got destroyed in the north, their remnants are not magically going to have been reorganized into effective units on the ride from Belarus down to the southeast.

What we’ve seen in action is a military machine on the Russian side that could not pull off a confrontation with any NATO power.

Let’s give Mr. Rayburn credit for one thing–he admits he has no expertise on events in the Donbas over the last eight years. That is evident. He ignores the glaring fact that the Ukrainian Army failed to conquer the territory and that local militias with support from Russia held off a NATO trained force. That is a cold, hard fact.

I am shocked by his grotesque ignorance of Russia’s air-defense systems and their precision-guided munitions and ballistic missiles. According to Rayburn, “But those all failed.” Really? Someone needs to tell him about the repeated strikes in western Ukraine around LVIV that have destroyed Ukrainian military bases and weapons depots. Just this week, Russia carried out multiple successful strikes in Dnieperpetrovsk, Kremenchug, Druzhkovka, Poltava, Kharkov, and Odessa using sea launched Kaliber’s and KH-101 Missiles from Tu-95MS’s.

Here is the recent video of the inaccurate, dysfunctional Russian missiles pummeling targets in Lviv:

If Russia’s crappy, old equipment can do that just imagine what the newer stuff could do (sarcasm alert).

The United States and its western allies are sending a large amount of material equipment and weapon systems to Ukraine and, shortly after they arrive and are being assembled, are blown up with missile systems that Rayburn insists do not work. If Rayburn’s conclusions reflect the thinking of U.S. military leadership then we are in big trouble. It is not Russia’s air defense systems that are failing. It is the NATO systems that have proven worthless in stopping hypersonic missile strikes.

I am amused by Rayburn’s conclusion that the Russian military leadership is corrupt:

They’re a poor-quality military with poor-quality leadership and poor logistics—and seemingly highly inclined to corruption.

Thank God we have military giants like Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, who was promoted for reasons other than his military accomplishments (soldiers I know who served with him in combat theaters charitably describe him as a “dumb ass”), in charge of our national defense. As I recall he left the military to make mega bucks working for one of the Pentagon’s largest defense contractors by helping win new defense contracts for his private sector employer. Nothing corrupt there, right? I think that Rayburn is engaged in the psychological act known as PROJECTION. We are what he says the Russian are.

The delusional thinking on display in Rayburn’s interview is best illustrated by the following quote:

A bad army was ordered to do something stupid. They were sending armored units just ambling down the road with no infantry screen, no reconnaissance, no air cover. And then the Ukrainians just picked them off with anti-tank weapons. It’s not surprising.

Do you recall the 40 mile column of Russian armor that sat north of Kiev for more than a week prior to withdrawing from the area? It was neither seriously damaged nor destroyed. It was used as a decoy to pin down Ukrainian units. The entire length of that column was accompanied by air defense units that prevented what was left of the Ukrainian Air Force from striking and destroying the stationary column.

The video evidence emerging from the war in Ukraine is rife with images of bodies of dead Ukrainians and tons of captured weapons and military supplies. If Russia’s Army is a paper tiger, it is doing a remarkable job of grinding the Ukrainian military capability into dust.

The post Is Russia’s Army a Paper Tiger? appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.


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