Wars are still about warfare more than about casualties, and it is a feature of historical discourse that we spend too much time worrying about the character of leaders. If there is an actual humanitarian corridor, between for example Kyiv and Poland, that should be a no-fly zone, and enforced by both UN and NATO assets. OTOH Laura Ingraham feels sorry for the oligarchs.
A no-fly zone is airspace certain aircraft are not allowed to enter. In wars, NFZs are used to stop banned aircraft from launching attacks, transporting troops, etc.
NFZs must be enforced militarily, which can include shooting down banned aircraft.
Zelensky has asked for an NFZ several times.
He said if the U.S. and NATO will not establish an NFZ, they should provide warplanes so Ukraine can defend itself.
If Western countries impose an NFZ, they would be responsible for enforcing it, which could mean bringing down Russian military planes.
Unlike past conflicts in which NFZs have been enforced, Russia has a sophisticated military and is a nuclear power.
There are also major logistical hurdles.
Not only would NATO need to decide which countries would be responsible for it, the alliance would also have to figure out a defense system for monitoring and enforcing it.
Biden has repeatedly said the U.S. won't send troops to fight Russia, including to enforce an NFZ.
Psaki: "It would require... the U.S. military shooting down Russian planes and causing ... a potential direct war with Russia — something we want to avoid."
NFZs have been used in 3 countries before:
But, the militaries of the U.S. and other countries enforcing the NFZs were vastly superior to those they faced in these cases.
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A disaster was averted, but if Ukraine has 15 nuclear power plants, there’s going to be more of these incidents.
Consider an instructive parallel that Paul Massaro and his readers neglect: Czechoslovakia. In September 1938, Britain, France, Germany and Italy met at Munich and agreed to cede Czechoslovakia’s border regions to Germany, and from October 1 the Wehrmacht occupied this hilly defensive perimeter that we call the Sudetenland, with its mostly German population. Massaro and his readers do not mention Munich because Czechoslovakia did not fight. Rather, its leaders, refusing to “lead the nation into a slaughterhouse,” gave orders for their highly professional and well-armed soldiers to pull out of the border zone without firing a shot.
Otherwise the two cases reveal a host of similarities. In both, dictatorial leaders of humbled behemoths—Germany’s Hitler and Russia’s Putin—sought to restore their countries’ greatness by subduing weaker neighbors. Both claim that co-ethnics on the other side of the border face discrimination culminating in systematic violence. In Czechoslovakia the supposed victims were the Sudeten Germans; in Ukraine, Russian speakers concentrated in Ukraine’s east.
Like Hitler eighty-five years ago, Putin falls back upon imperialist chauvinism, asserting that a smaller state has no right to exist. For Germans, Bohemia—today’s Czech republic—“naturally” belonged the Holy Roman Empire of the German nation, and the Czechs’ “destiny” was to assimilate into the infinitely higher German civilization. Today, many Russians find Ukrainian independence absurd because Ukraine long belonged to Russia in some form, either Tsarist or Soviet. Traditionally, Ukraine was called “little Russia.” During imprisonment a Russian officer told the Ukrainian activist Ihor Kozlovsky, “There are no nations. There are civilizations, and the Russian world is a civilization, and for anyone who had been part of it, it does not matter what you call it, a Tatar or a Ukrainian, you don’t exist.”
Such condescension began producing outrage many generations ago. Before 1918, all Czechs and many Ukrainians lived in the liberal Habsburg monarchy, and their political elites demanded autonomy so that their cultures and traditions would be protected. After that monarchy’s collapse, the victorious Allies promised to promote national self-determination across Eastern Europe, and suddenly new states began popping up: Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Poland. But further east, in the lands of Ukraine, numerous armies fought for territory, white and red, Polish and Ukrainian. In the end, Ukrainian armies were too weak to defend nascent statehood, and in 1921 Polish diplomats divided Ukraine and Belarus with Bolshevik counterparts in the Treaty of Riga.
We don’t have the historical perspective to assess Vladimir Putin’s ultimate goals, but we do know that he shares with Hitler an imperial mindset.
GRU / SVR’s view of what must be done:
A questionable source:
There are many lessons that can be taken from the battle for Stalingrad. However, any appreciation of those lessons must be tempered by the caveat that some of them may not be applicable to present-day militaries. For example, Stalingrad took place in a theater with a large number of army groups with a total of a million soldiers involved on each side; modern armies are unlikely to fight with these numbers. Thus, the analysis on the lessons learned for Stalingrad will focus on those that can be applied to the present environment.
Strategically, Stalingrad illustrates that the reasons a nation would engage in high-intensity combat in dense urban terrain against a peer adversary may not be rational. The city was not a decisive piece of terrain for either side, but political reasons came to the fore: Hitler wanted to take the city named after his rival, Stalin; Stalin wanted to ensure that his namesake city did not fall. Arguably the battle was fought more for pride than for rational military or national objectives.
Operational reach is a function of intelligence, protection, sustainment, endurance, and combat power relative to enemy forces. The limit of a unit’s operational reach is its culminating point—the point at which a force no longer has the capability to continue its form of operations, offense or defense. The ability to resupply an army can become more important than tactical capabilities. In high-intensity urban operations a higher number of resources will be needed: four times the amount of ammunition required in non-urban environments and up to three times the amount of consumables such as rations and water are the norm. Operationally, then, Stalingrad emphasized the necessity of a military’s recognition of its own limits of operational reach and its culmination point. Once German forces could no longer be resupplied, they were defeated.
Due to the scale, duration, and intensity of the battle, Stalingrad offers enough tactical lessons to fill entire books. The importance of combined arms in urban operations was clearly one of the most important lessons demonstrated. After-action reports of the battle discussed how German armor was too vulnerable to enemy fire and worked better as fire support behind the infantry. Combined arms teams—armor, infantry, engineers, and fires from artillery and mortars—must be trained together to achieve the high level of cooperation, teamwork, and tactical capability required by high-intensity combat in dense urban terrain.