In Russia's invasion of Ukraine as in 1914, behind military failure lie deeper flaws, rooted in the fundamental nature of despotic government.
I was thinking the same thing, Tom. It doesn’t matter what amazing weaponry you have, if you can’t get it to the front into the hands of troops with trained junior officers and NCOs. Numbers mean nothing without training and discipline, and even Putin’s elite troops have shown a profound dearth of both. It’s going to take more than conscripts and the liberal application of the knout to turn this brutal invasion around. If you can’t even feed the troops you do have, what the heck are another million surly, resentful mouths going to eat?
Yes. I suppose there's a misapprehension out there about WWII. The 1943-45 Red Army was unique for its simultaneous size and effectiveness. Stalin relinquished significant control to get that result, which then had to be re-imposed at significant cost when the war ended. The opposite relationship to Western societies, where wartime means more restricted, followed in peace by relaxation. Totalitarian systems are always on a war footing, in effect. That's part of their make-up.
Anyway, what's happening now is far more reminiscent of 1905 and 1917, or the 1939-40 Finnish war. The first case led to a revolution of sorts, the second to two revolutions and actual disintegration of the regime. (Something similar happened 1917-21 to Ottoman Turkey.) Unlike the Stalin period, Russia today is a creaky, pseudo-modern society that has more in common with the creaky, on-their-last-legs autocracies of the late 19th century, especially Russia and Turkey.
The "realist" preachers of "great power rivalry" laid an egg: Russia isn't a great power any more. Modern societies and governments aren't defined and don't act this way. And the modern world has collective security (or better, cooperative security), or it has no security at all. The old "realist" balance-of-power world is gone forever. It was destroyed by the world wars and the industrialization of warfare.
“Others, perhaps the majority, may simply find it impossible to believe that a major world power, armed to the teeth, can be defeated in war by a much smaller country.” (Thomas M. Gregg)
Anyone who finds this impossible to believe has never paid attention to the defeat of the United States by the Vietnamese or the more recent defeat of the United States by the Taliban.
The barbarian will have a hard time with those 300,000 "reservists" being called up.
Mark Hertling, who knows something about training soldiers, had this Twitter thread on the so-called partial mobilization: https://twitter.com/MarkHertling/status/1572571676524838915
Trent Telenko, who's been a reliable and accurate commenter on the barbarian's war, had this on training the callups: https://twitter.com/TrentTelenko/status/1572925653644869634?s=20&t=fB0bKu3LycZGgBk1HUenVg
Which brings to my pea brain the apparent fact that the barbarian doesn't even have a Fredendall to sack (over far more than Kasserine Pass) and bring home to do a creditable job of training soldiers.
The barbarian's new strategy seems to center on attriting Ukraine's ammunition supply faster than they can reload.
The real question here is the continued timidity of the West, ably led by our own Joe Biden, in the face of the barbarian's nuclear threats.