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John Kettler

Incisive commentary on Georgia War

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Was doing some research on the current excitement in the Ukraine when up popped this short, incisive military-historical morsel.

The Russian Bear on the Warpath Against Georgia

2009, Kaarel Kaas

Ministry of Defence Yearbook 2008

International Centre for Defence Studies

http://icds.ee/index.php?id=73&type=98&no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=456&tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=223&cHash=92d982521c

Regards,

John Kettler

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And now that Russia has invaded the Crimea, timely.

This old 'cold' warrior is watching how this plays out. Things look right frosty right now, and I am not talking about the view out my window...

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And now that Russia has invaded the Crimea, timely.

This old 'cold' warrior is watching how this plays out. Things look right frosty right now, and I am not talking about the view out my window...

Nobody is going to war over the Ukraine, lol.

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BlackMoria,

What I found of great interest was the involvement of forces I had no idea were in the Georgia War; the Russian planning, logistics and force posturing; the much worse than reported Russian air losses, coupled with Georgia's superior military-technical capabilities in that it had UAVs for effective artillery direction (drove Russians nuts trying to find hostiles FOs; Russians had no idea a UAV was the eye) and body armor for their men, armor so good Russians didn't like to close with them.

Despite all their active IR gear and whatnot, the Russians couldn't operate at night. Very embarrassing, considering what the Syrians did just that in the Yom Kippur war with their Russian gear. Syrian around the clock combat traumatized Western military officials and analysts, since this forced a sudden fundamental rethink of the entire model of how to wage modern warfare.

Regards,

John Kettler

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Nobody is going to war over the Ukraine, lol.

Not what I was about. My comment was the cold war could be back, with Russian/US posturing over Syria and now the Ukraine. Putin is old guard. Sure, the thaw of the cold war and reforms have changed Russia and enriched him but the loss of so many countries from when Russia went nearly bankrupt sticks in the craw of the old guard Soviets who lament the loss of 'empire'. I think Putin dreams of putting Russia 'on top' again and to do that is get the countries that declared independence back under Russian dominance, either militarily or politically.

I remember the axiom of my cold war days was 'never trust the Russians'. Recent events seem to confirm that there is some truth to that.

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I remember the axiom of my cold war days was 'never trust the Russians'. Recent events seem to confirm that there is some truth to that.

I think the Russians are quite reliable when you assume they will protect their interests.

It is now clear that the Crimea will not be part of a Western oriented Ukraine.

The big question at the moment is what will happen to the Eastern provinces.

Although I think Russia doesn't have a very friendly government, the case of Edward Snowden proves that the presence of independent strong nations does have its merits.

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BlackMoria,

What I found of great interest was the involvement of forces I had no idea were in the Georgia War; the Russian planning, logistics and force posturing; the much worse than reported Russian air losses, coupled with Georgia's superior military-technical capabilities in that it had UAVs for effective artillery direction (drove Russians nuts trying to find hostiles FOs; Russians had no idea a UAV was the eye) and body armor for their men, armor so good Russians didn't like to close with them.

Despite all their active IR gear and whatnot, the Russians couldn't operate at night. Very embarrassing, considering what the Syrians did just that in the Yom Kippur war with their Russian gear. Syrian around the clock combat traumatized Western military officials and analysts, since this forced a sudden fundamental rethink of the entire model of how to wage modern warfare.

Regards,

John Kettler

I am not surprised actually. One of the guys in the IT department where I work is Russian. From what he says, the Soviet military is a paper tiger. Sure, a lot if their equipment is top shelf but their training is pathetic. When he was conscripted for obligatory service, he fired 20 rounds through his weapon in a training year. 20 rounds. Tank gunners fired one round a year. Soldiers not knowing how to maintain and use their equipment was a common problem.

Sure, the Russian military is learning lessons from the Chechnya wars and from the invasion of Georgia but the lessons are hard learned and come slow and often such lesson don't amount to any real reforms in military thinking or doctrine. Russia should have learned and retained some of the lessons of 10 years in Afghanistan about fighting an insurgency yet their initial days during the first days of the first Chechnya conflict where their armor and infantry ran afoul of Chechnya tactics not much different that insurgent tactics in Afghanistan, it displayed that change comes slow and appears not to be lasting.

The Georgian conflict where their usage of night vision equipment and training was lacking is a solid case in point. Fighting at night is nothing new. In fact, it is expected in conflicts in the 21st century. You would expect that that is something the Russians would have down pat by now and yet the Georgian conflict showed that it lacking.

Needless to say, I, among others, is watching the Ukraine situation unfold, to see if the Russian military had implemented any meaningful changes in training standards and military doctrine.

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Not what I was about. My comment was the cold war could be back, with Russian/US posturing over Syria and now the Ukraine.

The US is not even really posturing. No one important gives a crap if Russia beats up on nations in their sphere of influence. They've done a pretty good job of staying away from stuff the US actually cares about, so there is precious little reason to antagonize them over one of the poorest European nations around.

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Such a pity that BigDuke is no longer here to inform us from the inside, like he did during the war in Georgia.

I hope he's ok.

Any chance this is about a drug pipeline into Europe?

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What happened to him? I remember well how knowledgeable he was.

Yeah, he just sort of disappeared off the boards, didn't he? As I recall, he was based in Kiev, so presumably he is in the thick of things at the moment. I just hope he is okay.

Michael

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BlackMoria,

As far as Cold War Russian practices being revived, one of the first things Putin did was to again have Tu-95s Come over the North Pole to test NORAD's defenses. Apropos of the main topic, I noted with interest that yet again the Russians didn't have their CAS act together. And paid for it.

Frankster,

Bigduke6 then was an English speaking reporter (also spoke Russian), not sure for whom, who covered Georgia, among others. He lived in Kiev, Ukraine, was married to a Ukranian woman and gave us phenomenal insight into the Georgia War. Talking on the ground eyeballing and talking to the Russian tank and BMP crews.

Here's a sample of his insightful analyses.

http://ftp.battlefront.com/community/showthread.php?t=83000&page=7

Here he is under his other handle (no idea why), BigDukeSixField.

http://ftp.battlefront.com/community/showthread.php?t=82981&highlight=bigduke6+georgia&page=20

He was also a top tier CMx1 gamer and all over CMSF. Note here that out of a very long list of players in a CMBB Rumblings Of War tournament, in a tough Battle of Berlin scenario, he was 4th.

http://ftp.battlefront.com/community/showthread.php?t=49623&highlight=bigduke6+cmbb&page=9

All,

Link in this post of pictures Bigduke6 took of terrain in the Ukraine!

http://www.battlefront.com/community/showthread.php?t=43984

Regards,

John Kettler

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BigDuke is just fine and not in Ukraine right now. He's... somewhere else. But he is headed back there soon for "vacation". Way to spoil a vacation!

We've exchanged a number of emails about the current events. He's got some good insights, as one would expect, but he really doesn't have much more info than we do.

Steve

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White Phosphorus,

Thanks for that referral. shall have a look. Speaking of tanks, have you read Grau on Grozny?

Russian AFV vulnerability

http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/row/rusav.htm

Russian Urban Tactics

www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA394517‎

Grozny Lessons learned

http://fmso.leavenworth.army.mil/documents/Rusn_leslrn.htm

Steve,

Great to hear, even if he is at an undisclosed location! Would it be possible for you to tell us whom he works for and where he originally hails from? In any event, please say hello to him for us, if you get the chance.

Regards,

John Kettler

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White Phosphorus,

Thanks for that referral. shall have a look. Speaking of tanks, have you read Grau on Grozny?

Russian AFV vulnerability

http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/row/rusav.htm

Russian Urban Tactics

www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA394517‎

Grozny Lessons learned

http://fmso.leavenworth.army.mil/documents/Rusn_leslrn.htm

John Kettler

That guy has a very appropriate name.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GRAU

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White Phosphorus,

In my entire career in military aerospace, I never once saw that designator chart. Sometimes we did have the GRAU nomenclator, but that wasn't often. We also had sightings of new weapons at GRAU facilities, notably Perm. Grau is also German for gray.

Regards,

John Kettler

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I think the Russians are quite reliable when you assume they will protect their interests.

It is now clear that the Crimea will not be part of a Western oriented Ukraine.

The big question at the moment is what will happen to the Eastern provinces.

Although I think Russia doesn't have a very friendly government, the case of Edward Snowden proves that the presence of independent strong nations does have its merits.

Agree with all you say, except about Snowden. Personally I think Snowden was a Russian spy. I don't buy his idealistic bull for one second.

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