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Marine Corps Analysis Calls Russia’s Military Operation in Ukraine ‘Revolutionary Warfare’

Aug. 13, 2022 (EIRNS)—Despite the lying narrative that comes out of the bowels of the Pentagon, there is, in fact, competent military analysis of the Russian special military operation (SMO) in Ukraine by the U.S. military in at least one location, the U.S. Marine Corps. An article appears in the August 2022 issue of the Marine Corps Gazette, the service’s professional journal, which calls the Russian operation “revolutionary warfare.” In doing so, the author puts the lie to the claims from Kiev, Brussels and Washington that Vladimir Putin is trying to conquer all of Ukraine and that the Russians are losing in the Donbass.

The article is published under the pen name of “Marinus,” who is described as “a senior Marine officer who regularly writes on warfare.” Marinus treats the SMO as consisting of three fronts each of which followed a model that had been part of the Russian operational repertoire for a very long time. The first front was the incursion in the north early in the SMO which the Russians described as a “raid,” which was not the Marine Corps concept of a raid, which is to get in quickly, carry out specific tasks of short duration and then get out quickly. Rather, the Russian conception is that of a “reyd,” which “creates significant operational effects.” According to Marinus, “a reyd is a more open-ended enterprise that can be adjusted to exploit new opportunities, avoid new dangers or serve new purposes.” The famous column that approached Kiev, but never entered it, “convinced the Ukrainians to weaken their main field army then fighting in the Donbass region, to bolster defenses of distant cities.”

The second front is in the south where Russian forces, unlike in the north, took possession of comparable cities, among them Kherson and Melitopol.

“While some Russian formations in the south consolidated control over conquered territory, others conducted raids in the vicinity of Mykolaiv” which encouraged the Ukrainian leadership to take forces away from the Donbass and devote them to the defense of cities. In both cases, the Russians avoided the use of field artillery, in the north to avoid antagonizing people who identified themselves as mainly Ukrainian and in the south to preserve the lives and property of people who consider themselves Russians.”

“In the east however”—the third front—“the Russians conducted bombardments that, in terms of both duration and intensity, rivaled those of the great artillery contests of the world wars of the 20th century,” Marinus continues. “Made possible by short, secure, and extraordinarily redundant supply lines, these bombardments served three purposes.” The first was to confine Ukrainian troops to their fortifications, making it impossible for them to do anything else. Secondly, they inflicted large numbers of casualties. Thirdly, “when conducted for a sufficient period of time ... the bombardment of a given fortification invariably resulted in either the withdrawal of its defenders or their surrender.”

“In the Russian campaigns in Ukraine ... a set of operations made mostly of movement complemented one composed chiefly of cannonades,” Marinus writes. “One way to resolve this apparent paradox is to characterize the first five weeks of the war as a grand deception that while working little in the way of direct destruction made possible the subsequent attrition of the Ukrainian armed forces. In particular, the threat posed by the raids delayed the movement of Ukrainian forces into the main theater of the war (the Donbass—ed.) until the Russians had deployed the artillery units, secured the transporting network and accumulated stocks of ammunition to conduct a long series of big bombardments.”

“The stark contrast between the types of warfare waged by Russian forces in different parts of Ukraine reinforced the message at the heart of Russian information operations,” Marinus goes on. That is, that the SMO serves three purposes, the protection of the D.P.R./L.P.R., demilitarization, and denazification of Ukraine. “All three of these goals required the infliction of heavy losses on Ukrainian formations fighting in the Donbass.”

“The three ground campaigns conducted by the Russians in Ukraine in 2022 owed much to traditional models,” Marinus writes at the outset of the concluding session (he cites the historical origins of these models which is not repeated here). “At the same time the program of missile strikes exploited a capability that was nothing short of revolutionary. Whether old or new, however, these component efforts were conducted in a way that demonstrated profound appreciation of all three realms in which wars are waged. That is, the Russians rarely forgot that in addition to being a physical struggle, war is both a mental contest and a moral argument.”

Marinus concludes that the Russian operation in Ukraine may herald a “long twilight struggle” that may be comparable to the Cold War which ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union. “If that is the case, then we will face an adversary who, while drawing much value from the Soviet military tradition, has been liberated from both the brutality inherent in the legacy of Lenin and the blinders imposed by Marxism. What would be even worse, we may find ourselves fighting disciples of John R. Boyd.” That last reference is particularly notable. Boyd, a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot in the 1950s through the 1970s invented the OODA loop—Observe, Orient, Decide, Act—to describe the mental processes a pilot goes through during air combat. In other words, Marinus is saying that the Russians now have the capability to out-think the West.

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