This is a time for me to gather thoughts, for me to take notice if what I know and what I THINK I know, they are not thee same. You see in continuation of yesterday I got to think. I giggled at the people stating that when we send F16’s to the Ukraine the war will be over pretty soon. So who will be piloting them? Americans? Other NATO nations? The learning line of an F16 is months if not a year and there will be little left of the Ukraine when that is done. Tanks are a different matter, basic tank skills are within every tank operator and training them to a new tank takes weeks at best and some will be ready in days, that is something we can use. I know because my first education was as a military instructor (small arms). So when these tanks are delivered, will instructors be coming along to train them? It is a serious question, I reckon that they thought of it, but how is still unknown to me. Perhaps military advisors like the start of Vietnam, all kinds of options. It takes a day and a practice day to get people ready on most small arms including the LAW (M72), it isn’t enough to stop a tank nowadays (although the Russian tanks are not that good as news shows us), but it will wreck havoc on a truck with supplies, its inhabitants will require more than a bandaid.
So why the thoughts?
Well we need Russia to lose for all our sakes, we need Ukraine to win for pretty much the same reason, the fact that it is the right thing to do is merely icing on the cake. Yet most people forget that wars are not won in a day and such settings require infrastructure and operational points to make it work and when we introduce hardware that is not native to its army, the lines become a lot more important. The infrastructure needs more and that is where my mind was at.
And it is the Lithuanian news give us ‘Lithuanian military instructors leave for UK to train Ukrainian troops’ (at https://www.lrt.lt/en/news-in-english/19/1874591/lithuanian-military-instructors-leave-for-uk-to-train-ukrainian-troops) a mere 14 hours ago. So when we see “Ukrainian troops are being trained in Lithuanian military units to use 60 mm mortars and are taking part in training courses for military police instructors.” I see nothing wrong, it makes perfect sense, but at some point (a month ago was better) some people will have to decide to place boots on the ground in the Ukraine. It does not solve the issue to ship hardware and leave the software in the west. We need to consider setting the stage there to train people THERE. There really is no other way. We can train a set of officers and NCO’s in the UK or any place, but at some time we need to train troops and there is a time gap between any NCO having certain skills and the point where he can actively and efficiently transfer that knowledge to troops, this takes time and as such as the image grew, my thoughts were with the instructors and how to get the knowledge into the Ukraine. It is a school out setting, a field exercise and the exercise is in the Ukraine. Of course any volunteers optionally get to shoot Russians as well, for some a boyhood dream in a real stage where buildings are slammed to the ground by missiles. It is not a fun place and it does remain a dangerous place. Even if the Russian Army (or Wagner) can’t shoot straight (as some news reports), a missile could accidentally hit you whilst shooting a civilian building, so this is no ones clambake, but it has become an essential one. The west needs to realise that the Ukrainian troops need to be taught, need to become efficient making the numbers (bad for Russia, good for Ukraine) more appealing. So 1:100 (one Ukrainian for every 100 dead Russians) could then become 1:800 or even 1:1000. Skills have that much of an impact in the field. There is of course more than merely shooting down Russians, other skills are required, but I never had those. In the field of survival the ability to properly wield hardware is essential and my thoughts are with how are these skills ending up in the Ukrainian heads? Perhaps it is already solved, but I would not know anything about that at present, hence the thoughts came to me. This war has been going on for a year now, as such the Russian opponent is already a first class loser, but I feel we need to do more to make it worse for Russia and the FBI not aiding oligarchs is an essential first.