RUSSIA’S PULLBACK STRATEGY IS A HEAD FAKE
We saw this play before in Hungary 1956
JAVELIN ANTI-ARMOR MISSILE Credit: Creative Commons
Russia’s strategic consolidation at Ukraine’s eastern front strengthens the Kremlin’s spread-out forces susceptible to off-road and pincer attacks. Russia’s move portends signs of a head fake, meant to take the West’s focus off the more important southern flank and Russia’s grab of Ukraine’s essential seaports.
The Kremlin’s ineffective initial logistical support or its incursion and huge losses in the field required Russia to change its strategy. Not off the table is Russia’s plan, the re-invasion of the rest of Ukraine. The last phase is retesting NATO’s non-aligned nations at Ukraine’s western flank with excursions into their bordering areas. Meanwhile Russia intends to continue negotiating – a distraction playing for time.
Negotiations between Russia and Ukraine will bear fruit only when NATO “ups the game”, produces the necessary war material, outfits Ukrainian forces with better weapons and supplies, and significantly increases its own fighting forces.
ALL THINGS ARE GOOD TO KNOW, BUT NOT ALL THINGS ARE GOOD TO SAY!
Forget about Joe Biden’s pretend-cooperation. The Biden family is massively compromised with many conflicts of interests. This president is paralyzed, conflicted, and lost. His talk is hot air. It is why he is slow-walking effective assistance to the beleaguered nation and is helping Russia.
Biden will continue to support Putin's war to drive energy prices higher and cement the Green New Deal.
NATO needs to demonstrate it has the overwhelming monopoly of force.
In the east Russia will circle the wagons. Its strategy is to empower its fighting forces. Afterward, Russia can destroy Ukraine’s military power in the south and east.
After having consolidated its power in Donbas and Crimea, Chernihiv, Zaporizhzhia, Sumi, Kharkiv, Kherson, Luhansk, Donetsk, and Simferopol, Russia can take full military and political control - and then move into Ukraine’s interior in Phase-3.
Russia’s deception can meet its goals for later expansion. The invasion was planned and developed over years. The consolidation in the northeast is a head fake that could blind NATO and the non-aligned forces to reduce their vigilance, readiness, and strategic planning for unforeseen outcomes.
CHESSMASTER GARRY KASPAROV: When Putin says pullback, Putin means RELOAD!
Russian planners have been correct. NATO’s response, unlike the Russian campaign, has been piecemeal, reactive rather than proactive, and predictably indecisive. Putin smelled Biden’s insubstantial bluffs and empty talk, and used them to his advantage. Had it been otherwise, NATO would have assembled its forces upfront at Ukraine’s borders, with successive backups embedded behind the initial lines.
Non-threatening responses to Russia’s strategic moves and head fakes were mistakes. Aggression has never been averted by slow-walking weapons to the front.
Rather than reacting to the Kremlin’s games for which it has already adjusted – NATO must plan its chess moves ahead of Russia’s. Exploit the Kremlin’s earlier disastrous execution and its army’s low morale. The consolidation in the east will supply Russia’s armies faster before its next push westward. Russia’s weaknesses in the field may not continue.
Before it happens, NATO must act, diplomatically, logistically, and by showing its teeth.
The Black Sea ports under Russian control are of vital security interest to NATO/EU, Turkey, Italy and Greece. The Russian domination can sabotage the successful defense of America’s allies in the Mediterranean region, North Africa, and Israel.
The Black Sea ports are priority. The cruise missiles that hit Lviv were launched from the Black Sea. These sovereign ports must be reclaimed, otherwise Ukraine becomes landlocked. Russia must not be left with one inch of forcibly-taken beachhead from which it could project power and future invasions.
Seafaring supplies to and from these areas depend on unfettered access. To preserve NATO’s interest, Russian forces operating in the region cannot be allowed to encircle Europe’s underbelly.
Rather than to continue being unprepared as it was during Russia’s months-long buildup before its coordinated attacks, NATO must demonstrate more than defensive planning and deployment. No offense is no deterrence.
Russia’s next attack will be coordinated, devastating, overwhelming. Putin will fire all cannons.
He will threaten.
Russia’s eastern consolidation provides NATO an opportunity to up its game. NATO’s forces are now better positioned to redeploy and supply Ukraine’s military and civilian population.
Meanwhile Russia’s rulers must be clear that the international community, its governing bodies, member nations, associates, organizations and NGOs, will keep in place the sanctions on Russia’s invaded regions that the U.S. has already placed on Russia itself.
The community of nations will not accept the membership in, representatives of, or recognize as legitimate, any annexed Ukrainian territory. No government of annexed territory seized by force of arms can represent the people of Ukraine’s annexed regions.
Penalties and reparations for the unprovoked catastrophic carnage and leveling of towns and cities must be imposed on the Russian Federation. Ukraine must condition its acceptance of terms, agreements to Russia’s face-saving, after Russia surrenders back territory it acquired by force of arms.
Russia does not hold the cards.
We, NATO, and the idea of freedom, do.
I call it REALPOLITIC.
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Andrew G. Benjamin is in finance, real estate and equities, a former advisor to New York City mayor ‘s office (Subcommittee on Taxation, Finance and the Budget). Benjamin wrote extensively about politics, transnational and domestic, intelligence and military affairs, security and strategy, economic issues, Mideast, terrorism, technology and high end audio.