CORRELATION OF FORCES
Posted by Jack Heslin on 16:52:37 06/28/23
Capabilities may be objectively measured whereas intentions are not known until they are revealed by behavior.
It is self-evident to say the world is a dangerous place with the potential for armed conflict anywhere in the world at any time. International agreements between nation states are designed to provide some level of security by specifying the intentions of the participants in the agreements. However, the military capabilities of the participant states must always be kept in mind even if the stated intentions are to not be hostile toward other member states.
As we watch the escalating Ukraine conflict, the true combat capabilities of the warring parties are being revealed and they do not match the assumptions some may have held before the beginning of armed conflict, especially those held by the leadership of NATO. Assumptions of a NATO trained and equipped Ukraine military being able to defeat Russian forces on the battlefield in Ukraine appear to be false assumptions. The word surprise is now often being used in Western media outlets as the full scope of the disaster of the Ukraine offensive is being revealed. Why are they surprised ?
Was there an accurate correlation of forces done before the decision was made to position the largest European army on the northern border of the Donbas Region of the Ukraine? The telegraphing of military intent to invade the Donbas Region by the Ukraine forces was obvious to anyone paying attention and certainly it was clear to the Russian leadership. Russian President Putin s gambit to rapidly push forces toward Kiev as a threat in order to get an early negotiated settlement almost worked. It is clear now, that an agreement had been tentatively reached in March of 2022 between Ukraine and Russia which would have ended the conflict and saved thousands of lives. However, the last-minute interference by the Western leadership, especially the American and British political leaders ended any hope for a quick end to the conflict.
Now, as I have written in a previous article, Pandora s Box has been opened and we are watching a rapid escalation that may engulf all of Europe and much of the Western world in a nightmare conflagration of epic proportions not seen since World War II. The race to build military capability by the Western nations is now moving ahead at full steam. However, the enormous manufacturing capabilities of Russia to produce armaments and munitions has now kicked in to full speed and it will likely dwarf efforts by the west to match it.
The correlation of forces is tipping dramatically in favor of Russia with the West trying desperately to catch up.
America and the NATO countries are emptying their war stocks of weapons and munitions at an ever-increasing rate as they try to meet the needs of the now desperate Ukraine war machine. Faced with trying to provide the necessary equipment and munitions, European nations are trying to build up their own military to not only support Ukraine but to insure their own defense against a perceived threat from Russia. We are watching as Poland is amassing a huge army with weapons and munitions provided by America and other NATO states. It will soon have the largest army on the European continent.
What purpose will this massive Polish Army have? To defend itself from a Russian invasion? Will it be used to occupy Western Ukraine as a block to Russia moving into Western Ukraine? Will it be used to attack its neighbor Belarus? No matter what the intent is for this military force, the reality is, Poland will have a military capability it has not had since it was part of the Warsaw Pact.
In the longer term, in the post Ukraine conflict period, the large military capability of Poland may create a military imbalance among the European member states and may cause other European countries to expend vast amounts of their GDP to achieve some level of parody with Poland. Could it be possible that a large Polish military might be intimidating to its closest neighbor Germany? Could it create a tension within the NATO organization between member states?
Military capabilities must always be respected even if there is currently no hostile intent. The correlation of forces is something Russia has paid attention to for decades. I remember a time when we in the West used to find it humorous that the old Soviet Union and later Russia, did not scrap thousands of old tanks from the 1950 s and 60 s but rather put them in storage. It was reported that they continued to count those old tanks in their calculus of the correlation of forces. We are now watching as many of those old tanks are being refurbished and brought back to the battlefield to play a limited role in the battle.
It appears that even as America deploys some of its late model M-1 Abrams main battle tanks to Poland, there are some indications that old 1960s era American M-60 tanks are being rolled out to send to Europe and the Ukraine. I guess we might ask now: who is scraping the bottom of the barrel?