Small Wars Journal

Russia’s Superior New Weapons

Russia’s Superior New Weapons by Robert H. Scales, Washington Post

In November, while visiting the headquarters of the U.S. Army in Europe, I received a briefing on the performance of the Russian army in Ukraine. In a perfunctory tone, the young intelligence briefer recited the details of the July 2014 Battle of Zelenopillya, in which a single Russian artillery “fire strike” almost destroyed two Ukrainian mechanized battalions in a few minutes.

I couldn’t help imagining a U.S. armored battalion subjected to a similar fire strike. I realized then that Ukraine had become Russia’s means for showcasing what might happen if we ever fought a firepower-intensive battle against it. “You know, guys,” I mused in the moment, “this is the first time since the beginning of the Cold War that an American war-fighting function has been bested by a foreign military.”

This revelation was all the more disturbing because artillery firepower has been a centerpiece of U.S. land warfare for almost a century. At Normandy, the Germans had nothing good to say about the quality of U.S. armor and infantry. But they feared U.S. artillery. The Germans could not mass fire across unit boundaries. But an American invention, the coordinated-fire “time on target,” could bring hundreds of guns to bear on a single target, delivering thousands of rounds simultaneously. The effect on the Germans was devastating…

Read on.



Sat, 08/20/2016 - 11:14am

I would advise caution when shaping an Operational argument as to a perceived AD, EW, Artillery ‘gap’. Jomini inspired paranoia/delusion doesn’t inspire much confidence in my mind at least.

Needless to say processor speed has opened a capability gateway that wasn’t even dreamed of back in the day, but I am still skeptical of the capacity of all this glass to function as it says on the tin in a full-blown shit-storm.

WW 1 technology (Maxim MGs mated to a down-sized 13.2 mm TuF round) shot down nearly 6000 very robust helicopters in Vietnam. The exact same weapons - DsKh 12.7mm, Goryunov 7.62mm, RPDs, PKMs etc. aimed by untrained Taliban MOEs still terrifies our pilots flying $50 million helicopters. 5 bucks of hillbilly explosive in a cooking pot does likewise to our folks riding $50K gun trucks.

This persistent trend suggests the Longbow/Swiss Pike school of ‘yeoman innovation’ has a potency that 700 years of war-fighting has yet to condemn to obsolescence.

The article draws attention to the supposed capacity of MLRS to deliver ‘game-changing’ levels of fires that we cannot currently hope to match. My experience suggests we should examine more closely the lethality of massed fires of rocket propelled artillery.

Obviously if you are in the open the sheer amount of acreage a MLRS battery’s salvo can put down in seconds is terrifying. However, in my experience, if you are dug in the destructive effects of 122mm rocket artillery are surprisingly ineffective.

Unlike an aerial bomb, the crater rendered by a 122 mm rocket is surprising small. As opposed to conventional rifled artillery round, the 50-70 kg MLRS round is fin stabilized and it tends to pitch-pole when striking the ground, whereas a spin-stabilized cannon shell (driven by the laws of physics) dives on impact and thus penetrate the bosom of earth you are hoping will save you.

Only 30% of a 122mm Grad around is warhead and much of the rocket motor housing follows the path of least resistance, which is obviously not down into the ground. The low trajectory of the MLRS round conspires to further undermine the lack of penetration and the remains of round tends to cart-wheel after the warhead detonates on impact. Needless to say 40 kgs of tumbling and breaking apart motor housing will cut you in half – but you have to be above ground for the debris to pose any danger.

The lack of effect of traditional artillery on prepared defensive positions is well understood from extensive experience in WW1 wherein the target was under direct observation across No-Mans-Land by FOs linked by field telephone.

Folks often argue the velocity of the detonation wave in modern explosives poses a lethality that greatly surpasses the lessons shaped by WW1/2 bombardment. The added speed is true but what does ten, twenty or forty percent increase in Specific Impulse in the explosive grain actually bring to the fight. We dropped 7 times the amount of supposedly higher energy explosive on little ol Vietnam than we dropped in all of WW2 and how did all that enhanced bombardment/firepower end for us? Someone obviously forgot to tell the Vietnamese how badly all that Al composite enhanced detonation velocity was going to end for them.

Furthermore, unlike an aerial delivered piece of ordnance - and to a lesser traditional rifled artillery battery, if you have LOS you can precisely locate with your Mark One Eye-ball the exact location of a MLRS battery from a good 10 km. The launch signature kicked up by a single BM-21 letting rip with a full rack, is enormous and persistent.

The impossibility of concealing the MLRS launch signature and the lengthy reload time-lines means the MLRS’s 3-meter-long rounds are extremely vulnerable to suppressive mortar and ATGMs fires.

So what?

Rather than fretting over supposed Jomini inspired ‘gaps’ I believe we have a much more important lesson to learn from Putin’s adventures in Eastern Ukraine.

Unlike the Soviet/Russian ventures in AF, Chechnya and Georgia, the first, foremost and supreme question Bare-chested Idiot on a White Horse needs to answer is the what and the why if he wants the Russian Army to push deeper into the Ukraine. IMHO the answers have little to do with complicated RMA Mickey Mouse and more to do with human complexities.

The sullen looks of hostility from Afghans directed at the Russian conscripts had little impact on the Soviet Army (for the first year or so at least) as they rumbled thru Afghan village, town and city. To the conscripts these folks were very much the ‘Other’ and in my experience it took considerable time for the lack of an acceptable answer to the first, foremost and supreme question to expose the failed thinking behind the Soviet adventure in Afghanistan.

When the average Soviet conscripts began to realize for themselves that there was in fact no acceptable answer, and the realization they had been fed a feeble lie based on ‘Internationalism’ horseshit, the defeat of the mighty Red Army was only a matter of time.

Those who were at Ia Drang in 1965 will get the drift.

If the Russian’s push west into Ukraine, the troops will be confronted by little old ladies and stone throwing children yelling curses at them in un-accented fluent Russian and these curses will come out of solid ruddy Slavic faces. It is one thing to have all manner of foreign curses raining down upon your head by folks in flowing robes, pajamas, beards and turbans but when someone who looks, walks and talks like your own grandma, mother, daughter or kid sister shakes her fist and screams in your face “WTF do you think you are doing you sonsofbitches “ in perfect Russian, young Ivan will need some very powerful answers from Bare-chested Idiot on a White Horse if he is to run them down with his tank.

IMHO the dilemma for the regular Russian military would be similar to the dilemma faced by the US military if we decided to invade Canada. Every burning house, every dead Canadian women or kid beside the road would throw up profound questions that even the most highly disciplined individual would find deeply traumatic and IMHO would pose insurmountable motivational barriers for any invading force going forward.

Up to this point Putin has relied heavily on well-paid Spetsnaz and emptying the prison systems and mental institutions for his little green men army (much as the Wahhabi are finding). But that supply is either dead or exhausted and to escalate he will need to tap into the vast pool of Russian youth.

All the Jomini heralded artillery, drones, propaganda, cyber this and cyber that certainly plays a role but IMO it is just noise. The fact that it is deadly noise doesn’t bother too many Russian 19-year-olds if it kills Arab women and children in Syria, but killing folks who are essentially kin-folk is considerably different.

With all the cell-phone imagery flying around the world in an instant, it would rapidly begin to matter a great deal to those at the sharp end as well as those back home. Serious military and political questions would be asked of those in power once images of dead and injured Slav civilians and long lines of wretched refugees started appearing on social media. If good answers were not forth-coming, those questions would become demands and if the leadership continued to ignore the outcry things would start to unravel on all fronts very rapidly indeed.

No doubt Bare-chested Idiot on a White Horse has been racking his brain for all manner of good answers to the first, foremost and supreme question of what kind of war he wants his Army to fight and why he wants them to fight it. Having only penetrated 150 kms in 4 years suggests he is more worried about what CvC had to say and less so Jomini.

IMHO I believe it has finally dawned on Putin and his goon-squad of Mafioso that the simple reason they are stuck for a good answer is there isn’t one and there never was.

Hi Ho Silver!


Outlaw 09

Sun, 08/14/2016 - 6:28am

Is in fact Russia now "backing away" due to a number of social media open source commenters shredding publicly and openly the so called FSB launched false flag for what it utter farce.......

BTW...the open source analysis was done without a single input from NATO or US intel sources....not even sure they would have picked up on the position of the moon in the FSB video.....

Mark Galeotti @MarkGaleotti
A reassuring dose of realism from #Ukrainian military intel: #Russia has not massed the force an offensive wd need

Kerch Strait ferry crossing resumed

Outlaw 09

Sat, 08/13/2016 - 12:31pm

US Warns #Russia Against ‘Provocative Rhetoric’ on #Ukraine

Russian Armed Forces TV presents its case (lies/excuse/pretext) for a
pre-emptive military operation against Ukraine

VoiceofAmerica: #US urges #Russia to behave in more diplomatic way towards #Ukraine

US "urges" Russia?! Russia is 2 steps down the ladder from full-scale military operation involving 180k troops!

Russia should allow OSCE/NATO observers to attend upcoming military drills in #Crimea - General Ben Hodges.

Somethings we note:
Russian Airborne Forces (VDV)
Elite 2nd MR Taman & 4th Kantemir Tank Divs
9th MR Brigade (Boguchar)
all keep very quiet

Outlaw 09

Sat, 08/13/2016 - 12:14pm

In reply to by Outlaw 09

Last night there was a solid report that large numbers of Russian army and her mercenaries had driven their tanks up close to the forward edge of the Minsk 2 front line....information was backed by photos that a Russian mercenary posted to his VK account.....

Aug12-13 night, heavy tank movements #Makiivka @GirkinGirkin

Aug13 #Zuhres @666_mancer After the night, tracks traces of 4 armoured vehicles from #Makiivka #bypass via #Zuhres tow/#Shakhtarsk

July 2016 #Makiivka, #3 reads "T-64 #960. Commander captain A.V.Paschenko, driver private V.S.Boriskov"
via @Ukr_Che
Photo taken while tank was hidden in a garage....

Mentioned locations:
#Stepano_Krynka =
#Zuhres =

Donetsk, #Tetrovskyi #mine29 settl.
4-5 SPG or tanks traces fr/#Karhanova to #Brusnychna tow/#forestry
by @avecom10
Location: #lang=en&lat=47.955839&lon=37.666411&z=16&m=b

From last night......
01:21 #Svitlodarsk Bulge, UA positions @Helgi__UA "2 RU decided they are 'stealth', infiltrated to our platoon strongpoint. Were stabbed"
Ground fighting is getting more intense on the front line.....

Russian shelling's have been ongoing all day today...has been ongoing since early yesterday......

09:48 #Mariupol @iMariupol Since 6am they shelled well. Artillery was working in #Shyrokyne direction

09:32 #Volnovakha @solomazheka Since morning, heavy booms. Very far away, by sound, like from #Hranytne direction

15:04 #Donetsk #Putilovskyi ds @rjpthjuljytwr41 We started to listen to a battle. Medium loud small arms' bursts and heavy booms

15:09 #Donetsk #Kyivskyi @Shymanovski Fr/NW some hellish stir, dense rumble of heavy ones, #Avdiivka?

15:29 @GirkinGirkin "Ongoing battle #Promka - #Yasynuvata CP, with booms"

15:31 #Avdiivka @BertaBerta234 #Promka: quiet

15:30 @rjpthjuljytwr41 [fb?]
#Makiivka #Gvardeyka, #Pastukhivka: listening to the north, powerful ones.
#Promka - #Yasynuvata CP: battle

16:03 #Avdiivka @Cryion1 #Hug[=#OSCE] left, the war goes on. #Avdiivka: all day sporadic shooting

Outlaw 09

Fri, 08/12/2016 - 4:45pm

In reply to by Outlaw 09

BREAKING: Lithuania accuses Belarus of violating its airspace

Russia deploys Bastion-P coastal defense missile system near border with the #Baltics…

Week August 4-11: Russia 13 times crossed into Ukraine with military cargo - MoD Intel

30,000 soldiers, 500 tanks, threaten Latvia:

Outlaw 09

Fri, 08/12/2016 - 4:26pm

In reply to by Outlaw 09

Putin now is either engaged in expensive military deployments to intimidate #Ukraine+NATO -- or he's planning offensive(s). We'll know soon.

Warning: Russian state propaganda is back on track of inciting hatred towards Ukraine, preparing Russians for war. Level of rhetoric=2014

Whatever horrors the Russian Army may inflict on Ukraine in the next few hours, days and weeks, Ukrainians will always prevail.

To Victory!

We are now close to WW3.....a single misstep and it will go forward......

Outlaw 09

Fri, 08/12/2016 - 4:14pm

Condor, Vicrasta

I pointed to the Russian need to take Odessa for a land corridor to link Crimea and Transnistria and to provide a Russian need for a land corridor to Crimea from Russia BACK shortly after the invasion of eastern Ukraine in 2014....initially when the separatists were moving massively to take land...they focused largely on Odessa and were beaten back by the Azor Volunteer BN and UAF Marines...the Russians wanted Odessa badly.....check the Ukrainian thread from 2014 and early's there.

Russian roulette. Putin/Kremlin/Generals believe the West/NATO will not retaliate if Russian Forces seize Ukraine's Azov then Odessa coasts

They're right. As long as the Russian military doesn't touch Moldova or move west of Kyiv, NATO won't do very much.

Russian Military Doctrine allows "de-escalation" - limited nuclear strike. Russia gambles this will deter NATO if they seize Mariupol/Odessa

In case they delete it again (it is same as before)... Implication is: "We do to Ukraine what we did/do to Georgia"

Russian Mission UN Verified account 
Sometimes history gives lessons which one doesn't take -

Russian UN Mission issued (then deleted) veiled threat against Ukraine, particularly Odessa (ref' to @SaakashviliM)

Russian plans involve bypassing Mariupol City (land bridge to Crimea). But, Russia covets Mariupol Port. This is why

We mapped all sighted #RussianArmy columns en route to northern #Crimea between August 8 and 11.
Thanks @infoBILD

To remind: #Russian base with #nuclear weapons has been found near #Ukrainian border

Put in perspective: Golovchino (Belgorod-22) nuclear arsenal is only 16km from Ukraine border, 65km from Kharkiv

Tactical nuclear warhead arsenal "Belgorod-22" part of 12th Chief Directorate of the Ministry of Defense (12 GU MO)

"Discovered" in June 2016 acc'd to @EuromaidanPR
We reported on "Belgorod-22" in Aug 2015!

Large Ukr military convoy near Pyryatyn yesterday, moving towards east

The window between Nov & Pres-elect and Jan out-going Pres when few decisions are made is highlighted on the Kremlin calendar

Putin has doubtless assessed that his boy Trump has imploded, & Hillary hates him, so his window for action is down to now until year's end.

It's all there: RU A2/AD assets deployed forward in Black Sea & Baltic Sea regions. Enough to distract+deny NATO.

Russian army on high alert across the border
#Latvia reports #Russia forces on high alert in the #Baltic region.

Outlaw 09

Thu, 08/11/2016 - 2:04am

In reply to by Condor are so correct in your one who has spent a majority of my life in Europe....we are close to an open war .......not so even at the height of the Cold War days as both side fully understood neither would win with MAD and then even came close once due to a misunderstanding and false interpretation of the others actions much as it is today.

But Putin and his MoD do in fact believe they can win...why...the evidence is in the sudden change away from MAD as their nuclear doctrine (up to late 2012/early 2013) to the believe that they can in fact use a nuclear tactical missile first strike "in order to deescalate"...(is in their 2014 doctrine now. … Ukrainian intel official in Defense Ministry says Russia has nukes deployed in Crimea and it’s ready to use ‘em.
(What is interesting is that this is in full violation of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum which was designed to keep Ukraine nuke free.)

Thus they have since 2014 actively during their rather large snap exercises that should have been OSCE registered and were not thus no foreign observers were allowed...exercised this doctrine against targets in Poland, Sweden and Denmark.

Secondly, there is in fact two full scale active wars that are in eastern Ukraine and one in Syria.

What is interesting is that both of these started out as peaceful civil society demonstrations against two dictators which then escalated to internal violence which then morphed into a war...ALL while the West just stood by and did nothing....

My complaints voiced here so many times since Crimea is that at this exact moment in time we have a US administration that believes one can "talk problems away", which has actively and fully tilted to Iran in the ME and who has retrenched US FP to a degree that now any President after Obama will spend the next 20 years repairing the damage done by a President whose main FP was and is "to do no stupid shit" UNQUOTE.

This FP was surprisingly admitted to in his 20,000 word interview.

Supporting all of this is the Russian violation of the INF, the deployment of tactical nuke ballistic missiles in Kaliningrad and now in Crimea with a tactical range of 500km....and some are saying they have in fact violated the New START by increasing their weapons count above what is allowed and have now to mobile basing of the ICBMs and have not fully admitted that they have a land based mobile nuclear cruise missile which fully violates INF.

AND on the other hand they are in full violation of the three OSCE disarmament agreements and have not crushed 2000 tanks and 1000 AFVs...500 of those tanks were sent to eastern Ukraine.....

OSCE has basically given up in trying to get the Russians to comply.


Wed, 08/10/2016 - 2:23pm

In reply to by Outlaw 09

I agree. I believe we are living in much more dangerous times now than in the last 20-30 years. Unfortunately, it seems so many people today in the West are asleep at the wheel. I'm starting to see many eerie parallels to the 1930s right now (world economic depression, isolationism, nationalism, extremely polarized political discourse across the globe, mass immigration fleeing areas of turbulence, drumbeats of war in Asia and Europe with the ME already being at war...just think China/Japan and Germany/Spain in the 1930s).

Outlaw 09

Wed, 08/10/2016 - 6:11am

In reply to by Condor

Condor....this goes to my previous comment......we never ever exercise this during a major NATO and or US is now about time to.....

Russia "New hybrid strategy has nuclear force at its centre".…

For this Russian Army it is their constant training with their tactical nuclear ballistic missiles...remember they recently changed their nuclear doctrine to read.....we will if need be use tactical nuclear ballistic missile first strikes in order to "deescalate"...AND how many times since Crimea have officials of the Russian government Putin included uttered nuclear threats???

It's an interesting article that does raise a red flag or two. If one is a student of Soviet military history, you know that the Soviets have always excelled at massing artillery fires. In World War II, the Soviets may not have had the best infantry or armors crews as compared to their German counterparts, but they always were able to outclass the Germans in massed artillery fires. This disparity became worse as the war dragged on. Just read "Zhukov at the Oder" for a good primer on what Soviet artillery was like during the closing stages of the war. If I recall correctly, the Soviets were able to mass one division worth of artillery per every kilometer of front facing Berlin. It's been a few years since I read the book, but I do vividly remember the opening chapters where the author described first hand accounts from Germans who survived the Battle for Berlin and were able to recount their personal experiences. I believe one of the German's described the situation as "so bad that the ground was literally shaking so hard from the explosions and noise that it was lifting people off the ground as they tried desperately to bury themselves further into the ground for protection".

Outlaw 09

Sun, 08/07/2016 - 8:36am

In reply to by Vicrasta

Vicrasta.....get back to the basics of the true Cold War targeting process...I tried via the NTC and ISR Top Off programs and then with the MC programs to get unit Staffs back to this model...but failed as the powers to be thought we never would need it just as MC failed for the same cultural reasons.

The targeting process run under a solid leader and a staff that can dialogue in a fear free environment of trust is the speed factor we need to get to at the staff/commander levels...speed is where we have to get to as that is what the Russian full time/contract VDV units have been practicing the last four years...

THIS was exactly the intelligence gathering the Russian General Staff wanted to fully understand and they did learn from our Atlas Vison 2012/13 exercises complete with a fully translated MDMP process.

THEN all exercises must be run under a complete EW environment..everything from signal, voice and radio jamming to internet disruptions as well as GPS disruptions.

The ability to operate in a full black out environment is a must..and that if need be for days......

Next, the ability to discern when and where Russian deep strike/sabotage/ambush forces ie Spetsnaz will be used as diversions and or in support of a "deep strike" ability of the VDV mech/armored units....

Next, fully understand how to block the traditional but updated Russian battle tactic of "envelopment using two prongs and or one sweeping prong".

Next, fully understand the massive use of Russian artillery "fire strikes" which requires constant unit movement and excellent camouflage abilities of US/NATO units.....never presenting a "large lucrative target of opportunity"....

Next, fully eliminate extensive Russian UAV surveillance and recon abilities.....

Next, the USAF may never been fully able to conduct CAS due to heavy Russian A2/AD bubblies...learn to exist and function without USAF CAS...rely on organic abilities...

Next, get back to long distance recon and sniper abilities

Next, learn to fully integrate all artillery tubes of various calibers TOGETHER with mortar units...weave far more artillery use into the scenarios...

Next, learn how to fight and survive under heavy artillery strikes 24 X 7......

Next, get back to tank on tank combat engagements with accompanying mech infantry....with combined interwoven artillery support while on the move..AND US ground forces has got to get back to some kind of supported AD that is just as mobile....

Next......learn to fight without USAF CAS due to the A2/AB bubbles...and get use to virtually no copter support for the same reasons ESPECIALLY with the Russian modern AD systems that are amazing mobile and effective from low altitudes to the upper levels and can detect yes even stealth these days....

Next. USAF has got to get back to SEAD missions interwoven with ground combat ops.....

Next, get back to using US/NATO SOF in deep recon/sabotage missions against key LOCs....

Lastly, relearn how to resupply as the resupply points being deep strike/fire strike targets....

AND remember....ALL that so called modern and sophisticated ISR we have bought in the billions since 2003....will absolutely not work in a total EW and A2/AD environment......

AND remember all the new great IT secure networking of all soldiers and units....will not work in a heavy EW environment...what then is to replace it....

Get that going and you are a long way to getting there...

It is going to take about two full training cycles of five years each to reach where the Russian VDV units are now....

We absolutely lost 15 years of hard won tank on tank maneuver abilities while we were off fighting "COIN" that in the end "failed as well"....

Finally on the top of all of prepared to fight in a CW/tactical nuclear environment as the Russian VDV units have been practicing this for the last five years...especially using tactical nuke first strikes in order to "deescalate"....especially need to look how to identify when these types of units are in the filed and where are they located.....and if necessary eliminate them as targets....

There is a totally different set of Next's if one is encountering a full scale hybrid environment....when on drops in...which has been developing before Article 5 is triggered......

All accompanied by a developed and deployed strong cyber and info warfare campaign...

But most of all go back and inhale the eight phases of the Russian non linear warfare in order to be able to fully recognize them as they unfold....


Sat, 08/06/2016 - 4:27pm


I know you have addressed a variety of DATE and NATO training shortfalls here before with regard to the War in Ukraine. Aside from recent comments below, what should the next iteration of the DATE scenario consist of? Additionally, what OE considerations and operational dilemmas should be present for NATO exercises involving NATO and non-NATO member states?

Outlaw 09

Sat, 08/06/2016 - 2:29am

As one who has been following Crimea and then eastern Ukraine intensively since 2014 I have repeatedly posted "numerous...way to numerous" "indicators" that the US Army was and is not still prepared to fight a conventional war similar to what the Russians are practicing daily in eastern Ukraine against the UAF.....

When we decided to fight "COIN" we basically gave up those fighting skills necessary to defeat a peer and or near peer conventional force tank on tank.

What I have also pointed to is the total lack of the US Army to hold it's own in a true EW environment where all comms are jammed and all electronic means of communication fail...AND the USAF has lost all of it's SEAD skill sets needed to defeat the current five bubble Russian A2/AD air environment that is fully up and running as we speak.....let's not even get the Navy involved in a serve lack of ASW skill sets and or ASW equipment.......

Unless the US military gets back to the basics of infantry, tank and artillery coupled with a massive EW ability..we simply cannot match the Russian full time active duty first echelon VDV units...line unit for line unit. NOR can we match the field exercising of "escalating to deescalate" ie the use of tactical nuclear weapons....which the Russians have been exercising extensively for over four years now....

We cannot even field the first new EW equipment sets until early 2020...REMEMBER in 1993 we had complete CEWI fully equipped active and reserve units...where are they now??....WHERE are the hundreds of CEWI officers needed for a full scale EW environment...nowhere to be seen...

In late 2012, not even our remaining active duty artillery units had never fired in anger for over 13 years as most artillery troops were pushed into infantry or military police, prision guard duties/roles during the so called COIN fight.

Ask the artillery school in Ft. Sill what they thought of the active duty artillery units in 2013???

The author is fully and completely correct in what he wrote.....

BTW..where we could have gained invaluable information about the countering of Russian artillery by allowing the UAF to field some of our newer counter battery radars...the Obama WH basically folded and denied their requests...until this month.

We are now just deploying to the UAF the 36/37 counter battery radars AFTER being modified because the WH assumed they could be used as an offensive weapon system.....after two full years of fighting in eastern Ukraine.

Anyone who has been following the Ukraine threads knows that the Russian military and her mercenaries have literally spent hundreds of hours on their artillery ranges and have fired in practice literally thousands of rounds of all tube calibers....and have fully integrated mortar and artillery together with UAVs.

HOW many rounds do our artillery units fire PER year and how often are they are on the artillery ranges??????

Right now we are not even in the same league.....

BTW...all of our so called DATE training center scenarios as well as those supplied by TRADOC DATE scenario developers/organizations has never come close to replicating eastern Ukraine....absolutely none of the training scenarios comes anywhere close....especially in the integration of Russian Spetsnaz into the Russian battle tactics....

Even with the latest round of NATO exercises....there was nothing comparably close to the eastern Ukraine environment being exercised....why is that???

We had a golden opportunity to train against the ever developing and long ongoing Russian used eastern Ukraine battle tactics...yet we did not take the opportunity...why is that....

That should have been the single question coming out of this article.....


Fri, 08/05/2016 - 10:18pm

In reply to by TRD

Actually, it's not the WaPo's opinion here, it is a retired Army MG who has written extensively about such subjects. Not defending his position, just saying.

The WaPo was never noted for its military expertise, but I'll abide.

The obvious question, given this "superior" weaponry, is why are the Russians stalemated in Ukraine? Their early gains there were more about SpecWar and masses of "little green men" than weapons.

But, one reads the WaPo for rewrites from the DNC, and DOD's latest trans-gender triumphs. The things involved in actual war are a mystery to them.