Not Meeting Expectations on Any Front

After months of predicted success and weeks of asserted success, the media narrative is finally beginning to accept the obvious fact of a failed Ukrainian offensive:

Ukraine’s ongoing counteroffensive against Russian forces is “not meeting expectations on any front,” Western and US officials told CNN on Thursday. Ukrainian troops and armor are proving “vulnerable” to Russian minefields, missiles, and air power, they added.

“Russian lines of defense have been proving well-fortified, making it difficult for Ukrainian forces to breach them,” CNN reported, paraphrasing the anonymous officials. “In addition, Russian forces have had success bogging down Ukrainian armor with missile attacks and mines and have been deploying air power more effectively.”

According to one official, the Russian defense has proven more “competent” than expected. However, the source insisted that the US is still “optimistic” that Ukraine will turn the failing operation around, and that Washington will re-evaluate the offensive next month.

Ukraine’s counteroffensive began on June 4 with a failed attack on Russian positions near Donetsk, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. Waves of attacks followed along the Donetsk and Zaporozhye sectors of the front line, all of which the entrenched Russian forces have managed to withstand, the ministry claimed.

The attacks have reportedly cost the Ukrainian military dearly. With their dwindling number of air defense systems weakened by Russian drones and missiles, Kiev’s forces have been unable to counter Russian jets and helicopters. Relying on armored thrusts through minefields, Ukraine lost over 13,000 troops and more than 800 tanks and armored vehicles between June 4 and 21, Russian Security Council chief Nikolay Patrushev stated on Thursday.

The US will be “optimistic” right down to the last Ukrainian. But, as Scott Ritter observes, it’s hard to be successful on the real battlefield if you’re going to build false assumptions into your training and simulation models.

Ukraine sent one of its best brigades into combat earlier this month as part of its long-awaited counteroffensive aimed at retaking areas controlled by Russian forces.

Leading the charge near the town of Orekhov, in Zaporozhye Region, was the 47th Mechanized Brigade, armed with NATO equipment and – most importantly – employing it using the US-led bloc’s combined arms doctrine and tactics. Prior to the operation, this brigade spent months at a base in Germany learning “Western know-how” in combined-arms warfare.

Helping them prepare for the fighting to come was KORA, the German-made NATO computer simulation system, designed to allow officers and non-commissioned officers to closely replicate battlefield conditions and, in doing so, better develop ideal courses of action against a designated enemy – in this case, Russia.

If there was ever an example of how a purpose-built Ukrainian NATO proxy force would perform against a Russian enemy, the 47th Brigade was the ideal case study. However, within days of initiating its attack, the group was close to literally decimated, with more than 10% of the over 100 US-made M-2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles destroyed or abandoned on the field of battle, and hundreds of the brigade’s 2,000-strong complement dead or wounded. German-made Leopard 2 tanks and mine-clearing vehicles joined the Bradleys as wrecks in the fields west of Orekhov, having failed to breach the first line of Russian defenses. The reasons for this defeat can be boiled down to the role played by KORA in creating a false sense of confidence on the part of the officers and men of the 47th Brigade. Unfortunately, as the Ukrainians and their NATO masters found out, what works in a computer simulation does not automatically equate to battlefield success….

Logic dictates that any responsible use of the KORA simulation system would have predicted the failure of the 47th Brigade’s attack. According to The Washington Post, the officers of the 47th Brigade “planned their assaults and then let the [KORA] program show them the results – how their Russian enemies might respond, where they could make a breakthrough and where they would suffer losses.” The KORA simulation allowed the Ukrainian officers to coordinate their actions “to test how they’d work together on the battlefield.” Given that the Ukrainian force structure was insufficient to accomplish the mission-critical task of suppression, there was no chance for the Ukrainian forces to accomplish the actual assault requirements of a breaching operation – the destruction of enemy forces on the opposite side of the obstacle barrier being breached. The Ukrainians, however, came away from their KORA experience confident that they had crafted a winning plan capable of overcoming the Russian defenses in and around Orekhov.

Simulation models are only useful if they actually reflect the real situation. And if there is one thing we know about globohomo, it is that its servants believe that their imagination creates reality. Speaking as a game designer, one can safely predict that no simulation created by people who believe that a man can be a woman can be even remotely accurate.