New tanks will be heading to Ukraine….will this change the equation?
With this new addition to the Ukrainian military will the war get hotter than it is now?
In the clear sky over the winter-yellowed marsh grasses on the outskirts of the town of Huliaipole, the bang and crump of artillery picked up pace like the thunderclaps of a distant but approaching storm.
The Russian armed forces declared on Sunday that they had launched a new offensive in Zaporizhzhia region, but the Ukrainian soldiers seemed unperturbed. The frontline here has not moved for 10 months, and the Russians are hunkered in their trenches, which run across the rolling hills of black-soil farmland. They are not going anywhere soon, the soldiers said.
“There is more activity in these past couple of weeks with shelling from artillery and even from tanks, but they don’t send infantry over the line because they’re scared,” said Vitaly, a senior sergeant in the 56th Mariupol motorised infantry brigade, which is holding the line around this town 60 miles (100km) east of Zaporizhzhia city.
However, Vitaly acknowledged that the frozen line was beginning to heat up. The number of incoming shells and rockets on this segment of the southern front has more than doubled this month to 4,000 a day. Two weeks earlier, the Russians had twice sent a handful of tanks forward to probe the Ukrainian lines only to pull back under fire.
Sooner or later, most likely in the next few months, one side would make its move and try to break the deadlock. The question is: who will strike first and where.
I fear that any escalation could involve the US…and apparently some in our military are hoping and planning for this event.
“I hope I am wrong,” an Air Force general told commanders under him as he warned in a new memo that he expects the US and China to be at war in two years. “My gut tells me we will fight in 2025.” Gen. Mike Minihan, who has nearly 50,000 service members as head of the Air Mobility Command, which handles transport and refueling, told his commanders to prepare for battle, NBC News reports, partly by shooting at a target. “Aim for the head,” he said. No other senior Defense official has said such a war is imminent, per the Washington Post. Minihan ordered his commanders to report back on their preparations by the end of February.
The four-star general points out that Chinese President Xi Jinping has won a third term in office and “set his war council.” Part of Miniham’s reasoning is that Taiwan and the US will be preoccupied with presidential elections in 2024, giving China an opportunity to move against Taiwan. The next stage of preparations for everyone in his command, Minihan said, is to get their personal affairs in order in March. And they should commence rigorous training, he wrote. A spokesperson confirmed the authenticity of his memo, dated Feb. 1, though a Defense Department official said, “These comments are not representative of the department’s view on China.”
What is the likelihood that the US is inching closer to that so-called ‘red line’?
Seems NATO thinks they should be more involved…..
Last year, NATO placed new battle groups in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia on top of the ones that have been deployed in Poland and the Baltic states for years. The US also deployed troops on its own, sending tens of thousands more to Europe, including many that are stationed near the Ukrainian border in Poland and Romania.
Bauer, a Dutch naval officer, also said NATO countries should discuss shifting to a “war economy,” where civilian factories started producing military goods, similar to what the United States did during World War II.
“We have to increase defense industry production, and there are already more and more talks on the subject at the national level,” Bauer said in an interview with Portuguese TV.
“This could mean prioritizing certain raw materials, certain production capacities needed for the defense industry rather than the civilian one. Those priorities should be discussed about, partially, a war economy in peacetime,” he added.
The US is taking measures to ramp up arms production to keep arming, including a Pentagon plan to increase artillery ammunition production by 500% over the next two years. The 2023 National Defense Authorization Act granted the Pentagon wartime purchasing powers to speed up arms deals, but the US has yet to take any measures as drastic as Bauer suggested.
I am guessing that few will find this unacceptable….after all the events happening in Ukraine is far more important than anything occurring here and now.
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