Russo-Ukrainian War: Pentagon Classified Leak Biopsy – Big Serge Thought

The most significant implication of the documents is simple: Ukraine’s combat power is significantly degraded, and in particular their mechanized units and artillery forces are in very rough shape.

The relevant material here in particular is a page entitled “US Allied & Partner UAF Combat Power Build”, which details the force generation, training, and equipment tranches that will create the mechanized package which Ukraine will use in its spring offensive. The plan calls for a force of twelve nominal brigades, nine of which will be equipped by NATO and three internally generated by the Ukrainians. The leak does not offer insight into the three Ukrainian brigades, but the intended complement of the nine NATO brigades is meticulously listed).

All told, the combat power build calls for these brigades to field a total of 253 tanks, 381 Infantry Fighting Vehicles, 480 Armored Personnel Carriers, and 147 artillery pieces. This implies that these will be brigades in name only, and will in fact be far understrength. Parceling these systems out across nine brigades will give an average strength of a mere 28 tanks per brigade, along with some 95 IFVs/APCs and 16 artillery tubes. Compare this to a US Army Armored Brigade Combat Team, which would have almost 90 tanks and almost 200 IFVs/APCs. An American Stryker Brigade (a lighter, rapidly deployable formation) would have about 300 Strykers – the Ukrainian 82nd Brigade is listed to receive only 90.

An ancillary but important note at this point is the fact that, as best we can tell from these documents, Ukraine’s prewar tank park is almost completely gone. Ukraine went to war with about 800 of its workhorse T-64, but the NATO combat power build notes only 43 now on hand. There are others, of course, that are currently being operated by Ukrainian frontline units, but the build plan indicates that Ukraine has virtually none in reserve to equip this vital attack package, on which all their hopes will depend.

The overall picture of Ukrainian combat power is atrocious. Their overall combat effectiveness faces a hard ceiling due to systemic shell shortages, and the mechanized package slated for the spring offensive is going to be far less potent than advertised. Those nine NATO-created brigades will have the striking power equivalent of (if we are being generous) perhaps four genuine full strength brigades, augmented by three internally generated Ukrainian brigades of dubious quality. Ukraine’s hopes for a glorious assault on the Russian land bridge to Crimea will rest on, at most, 400 tanks and perhaps 30,000 men.

Russo-Ukrainian War: Leak Biopsy – Big Serge Thought

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