Monday, November 14, 2016

Changing face of Russian warfare


This linked article from provides a good overview of Russian weapons making  difference in the Ukraine conflict.  The five key items are:
  • Cyber war - perhaps a deniable nuisance more than a decisive factor but a costly one nonetheless
  • Air Defense - which has effectively shot down Ukrainian manned aircraft and helicopters. Perhaps this is an early indicator of the end of manned aircraft in modern state on state warfare.
  • Little Green Mem - deniable methods of changing the facts on the ground before diplomatic and political 'soft power' methods have a time to react.
  • Artillery - with air defenses providing cover, artillery turns out to be surprisingly effective when counter fire options are not available. Perhaps we should be providing counter fire solutions to the Ukrainians.
  • Drones- combined with artillery, scout drones turn out to be a poor man's air force and amazingly effective at a tactical level. America has focused on weaponizing and long duration, but the fact is, cheap short range drones combined with artillery firepower are devastating combinations.
One wonders what the US or NATO could do in this situation? Perhaps the only solution is to make the intervention by Russia extremely costly. Economic sanctions have done a lot of this slow and painful work. But providing defense weapons to Ukraine, counter fire, anti-drone and drone systems and support in cyber warfare may also discourage this and future Russian military actions in Eastern Europe by making is prohibitively expensive.

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