[March 19, 2023] Can we predict the outcome of the Ukraine War? Nearly 13 months into the war and the outcome is still uncertain, so even an informed prediction will be suspect. Additionally, extensive Western propaganda, state secrets, and an unofficial and unstable coalition surrounding Ukraine, all combine to make a mess out of any prediction.
The Ukraine military has performed much better than expected, and the Russians have stumbled. Both have strong leaders determined to see the war to a conclusion in their best interests. If the war were only between these two nations, the outcome would be a Russian victory; that is reasonably certain.
However, the West has made it their business by supplying equipment, ammunition, intelligence, tactical and strategic advice, and aided in propagandizing the war to benefit Ukraine’s war effort. The question not asked is what are the strategic goals of the West and are those goals reasonable and achievable, as well are they compatible with Ukraine’s goals. That question has not been answered.
There are two major views on how the war will end. On one side, the U.S. Government and the West argue that Ukraine will win if we supply them with what they need to prosecute the war. The other side argues that Ukraine will lose and lose badly no matter what the West does to support Ukraine.
From the perspective of the West, we have yet to define “win” and “lose” in the context of this war. The Ukrainian and Russian governments have done a better job defining the ends, but since the West plays such a crucial role, what we have to say counts. Ultimately, the victor will set the terms.
The first viewpoint comes from the West and the U.S. Government, the face of it being GEN David Petraeus, that says Russia is a paper tiger, has poor logistics, an inept army (a scared navy and air force), cannot conduct offensive combined-arms operations, a poor national economy, a corrupt military system, and Russia is running low on ammunition and soldiers. And the Ukrainians are running circles around the Russians. In time, Ukraine will win by ejecting Russia from all of Ukraine, including Crimea.
The second viewpoint comes from the COL Doug MacGregor faction, which says Ukraine is about to be annihilated. He believes the end is inevitable and that the Russians have established the conditions in eastern Ukraine to destroy what is left of the main elements of Ukraine’s army and force the Zelenskyy government to surrender or collapse. As soon as the Spring season gives us dryer ground so that tanks can operate effectively off-road, the much-anticipated Russian offensive will begin, which will be decisive. The war will be over by Summer this year, and Russia will win. And the U.S. government knows this and is not being straightforward with the world.
Who will win the Ukraine War? The Russian Spring offensive will determine the answer to that question because Ukraine can win only if they can stop it.
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