Assessment of U.S. Contributions Based on Nazi Apologetics

Kris Osborn, President of Warrior Maven, the Center for Military Modernization in Washington, DC, who previously served at the Pentagon as a Highly Qualified Expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army–Acquisition, Logistics & Technology and also worked as an anchor and on-air military specialist at Fox News, MSNBC, the Military Channel and the History Channel, well represents the kind of NATO propaganda in favour of arming Ukraine to isolate and crush Russia.

Osborn writes that multiple Russian news reports "are printing sharp criticisms and what could be called 'propaganda-type' spin related to the planned arrival of U.S. Abrams and German Leopard 2s in Ukraine."

"Of course, Leopard and Abrams tanks are very powerful vehicles. However, these tanks are garbage unless they are protected by fighter jets and enjoy strong defence and artillery support," Vice President of the Russian Academy of Missile and Artillery Sciences Konstantin Sivkov told the Turkish newspaper, Aydinlik.

While inviting "substantial skepticism" about the criticisms and comments, he says "several of the comments and quotes mentioned in Russia's TASS news agency and the Russian-owned Sputnik point to important questions related to the war in Ukraine and some of its tactical dynamics and concepts of operation.

"Both TASS and Sputnik essays argue that U.S. Abrams tanks will encounter a 'survivability' problem against Russia given the current state of anti-armour weapons and a lack of fighter jets, close air support and Combined Arms Maneuver integration."

Osborn reports what the former U.S. arms inspector Scott Ritter has written in Sputnik: "The decision to provide Ukraine with Western main battle tanks is, literally, a suicide pact, something those who claim they are looking out for the best interests of Ukraine should consider before it is too late," To a large extent, "the value of heavy armour such as tanks may have been 'outstripped' by the advent of anti-armour weapons and other technologies," Ritter writes.

Osborn then goes about refuting such criticisms by presenting spurious arguments, including by quoting WWII Nazi sources, claiming that Russia is too weak to achieve its objectives in Ukraine! His NATO war propaganda is so shameless, one would think it was the Nazis who won World War II.

According to Osborn, Russia is losing in Ukraine because, besides other things, it has "substandard reconnaissance," which he writes "may have its origins as far back as WWII, according to a well-documented February 2 essay in the National Institute for Public Policy called 'The Unchanging Nature of Russian Combat Methods,' by James Lariviere." Osborn nicely referring to the Nazi generals as "Germans" not Nazis, writes: "The essay documents and catalogs and articulates many observations made by German generals during their WWII invasion of Russia, including that, among other things, Russians were terrible at reconnaissance. Somewhat surprisingly, the Russian's poor reconnaissance tactics may not have changed much, if at all, since the WWII era, the essay explains."

He continues: "The generals [German] noted that Russian infantrymen were not 'inquisitive' and as such, Russian reconnaissance was extremely poor. They also noted that if reconnaissance elements met no resistance, Russian forces would plunge [...] ahead into the unknown without further reconnaissance. This seems consistent with some early video of Russian reconnaissance units in Ukraine being surrounded, destroyed, or repulsed in the early days of the conflict even as major assault elements seemed blind to Ukrainian defences."

Osborne argues, "When used with ISR [Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Operations], artillery, dismounted soldiers, infantry carriers, drones, rockets and other key elements of a Combined Arms Maneuver formation, arriving Abrams and Leopard tanks are likely to prove extremely impactful. Naturally, this is a reality which Russian newspapers might not be inclined to suggest."

Continuing, he writes: "Russia's poor history with Combined Arms Maneuver might explain why their incomplete or inaccurate view of how Abrams and Leopards will be operated, as the critics don't seem to recognize or perhaps understand Ukraine's use of Combined Arms. First of all, in a manner perhaps unlike Russian forces, Ukrainians have ISR, both NATO-supported satellite and drone surveillance. As part of this integrated ISR approach, Ukrainians are also operating smaller, hand-held, more organic drones such as U.S.-provided Pumas. These smaller drones are operated by and in close coordination with advancing ground units, offering critical forward reconnaissance and targeting specifics for attacking forces. Secondly, the Ukrainians continue to effectively use counter artillery radar, mobile 155mm artillery and long-range, land-launched rockets such as HIMARS [High Mobility Artillery Rocket System] and GMLRS [Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System] to great effect, meaning arriving tanks will quickly plug into a broader, more synchronized Combined Arms formation.

"Also, not to be overlooked is, simply put, the performance and technology of the Abrams itself. Ukraine is naturally getting export variants without certain sensitive technologies unique to the U.S., the Abrams brings what many suggest is the world's top tank. The fidelity, range and resolution of its thermal sights, for instance, were proven in the Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom as they were able to find, target and destroy enemy formations and vehicles such as Iraqi T-72s from undetectable, safe stand-off ranges. [No mention either of the outcome of the Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom -- both wars of destruction which in no way constitute U.S. victories or foreign policy successes -- TML Ed. Note.]

"The Abrams also now operates as an almost entirely new vehicle when compared to its inception in the 1980s by virtue of years of paradigm-changing upgrades to include improved armour components and configurations, computing and electronics, sensors and targeting, fire control and of course ammunition fired from its 120mm smoothbore cannon. Essentially, contrary to the Russian claim that Ukrainian Abrams and Leopards will be extremely vulnerable, the tanks will most likely be deployed by Ukraine within the context of a Combined Arms Maneuver framework, meaning they will operate with ISR, dismounted infantry support, rockets and artillery and a strong contingent of logistical and maintenance support.

"The Ukrainian tanks will likely be operating in coordination with medium-altitude and hand-launched drones, artillery, overhead surveillance, rockets and other support armoured vehicles such as Bradley infantry carriers and logistical platforms such as tactical trucks, MRAPs [Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles] and Humvees."

Osborn continues his attempt to shore up an outlook that Ukraine can defeat Russia on the battlefield by repeating that the Pentagon is in full control of operations in Ukraine.

"Specifically, the Pentagon has in recent months been sending tactical trucks and other critical logistical supplies able to provide the logistical support structure for arriving Abrams, meaning they can transport critical items such as ammunition, fuel and key maintenance equipment.

"The Russian critics, who also cite well-known logistical challenges associated with Abrams tanks, may not have fully recognized recent history during which the Pentagon has sent impactful numbers of tactical trucks, wheeled vehicles and critical supplies. Tactical vehicles can, among other things, ensure that the requisite supplies, maintenance personnel and critical items such as food, fuel and ammunition are forward transported in support of mechanized units."

He fails to point out that more and more, the U.S. is directly participating in the proxy war which makes it a war party subject to the rules of war. He continues:

"The Russian critics do make one point which seems quite significant, and that is simply a question of numbers. Reports are clear that the Pentagon is sending 31 Abrams tanks and Germany is sending 14 Leopards. This is a number which could clearly help enable counterattacking Ukrainian forces to break through a Russian perimeter, close to contact and reclaim territory to some degree, larger scale defence against thousands of Russian tanks and an ability to penetrate and hold the wider swaths of critical terrain necessary to sustain a victory may require more heavy armour and Wide Area Maneuvers with larger numbers of tanks.

"Global Firepower's 2022 military assessment reports that Russia operates as many as 12,000 tanks. The Pentagon does seem to recognize this, which is likely why U.S. military officials say DoD will use its new, Ukraine focused contracting vehicle enabling U.S. industry to specifically engineer and manufacture weapons and platforms for Ukraine. Abrams, the Pentagon says, will be part of this. The question is, can larger numbers of Abrams arrive fast enough? How many will Germany ultimately send?"

He then lambasts "Russia's inability to gain air superiority despite having hundreds more fighter jets. Certainly the Russian critics' point that lacking air superiority does make advancing ground forces and tanks more vulnerable seems accurate, yet this vulnerability is mitigated by the fact that 'neither side' has air superiority and Ukrainian tanks will almost certainly operate with ISR, artillery, air defences and perhaps even some kind of closer-in air support in the form of helicopters."

This article was published in
Volume 53 Number 1 - February 2023

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