The Ukrainian Armed Forces' counteroffensive through the eyes of Jack Watling: what are the costs of Western partners' mistakes at the front today?
The mistakes made by the West affect not only the level of training and equipment of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, but also the pace of the counteroffensive. Find out what mistakes the West has made, according to British expert Jack Watling, and how they affect the results of offensive actions
The Ukrainian Armed Forces are advancing in almost all areas of the frontline, but the pace of the offensive has not met the expectations of some Western leaders and experts. Earlier, we described the main problem with the Ukrainian counteroffensive, but today some analysts have also said that the West made serious mistakes in training and equipping the Armed Forces, which caused the slow advance on the front.
Thus, according to Jack Watling of the Royal United Services Institute for Defense Studies, the West risks losing control over European security and paying a high price for the mistakes made in training Ukrainian troops. So, what omissions on the part of our partners are discussed further in the article with reference to the Observer.
Problems identified during the direct training of the military
According to the British expert, the training conducted by the Ukrainian Armed Forces does not meet the requirements dictated by the russian invasion. In particular, Western training plans do not take into account the real situation at the front, as well as the fact that in combat clashes, Ukrainian troops use a very large percentage of their own equipment and weapons (from drones to fire control systems), and therefore cannot receive full training at Western training grounds. In addition, the main problem with the exercises, according to Watling, is that they are based on Western models that require a special structure and time that Ukrainians do not have.
The British expert suggests adapting the training program for the Ukrainian military and focusing on the strengths of the Armed Forces rather than Western standards, and accordingly allowing instructors to change lesson plans and Ukrainians to participate in the development of new programs.
Mistakes made by the West in providing equipment and weapons
The main mistake regarding the transfer of heavy equipment and weapons is the delay. After all, in late summer 2022, Ukraine clearly emphasized what its troops needed for a successful counteroffensive. In particular, it was about artillery, engineering equipment, tactical air defense, infantry fighting vehicles, and armored vehicles. However, it took months to make decisions on the supply of certain types of weapons, and some of them are still only partially implemented.
Returning to the main problem of Ukraine's counteroffensive, it was the many months of delays in the supply of weapons that allowed the russian army to gain time to create a multi-level defense line with minefields and concrete positions. And it is these defense lines that prevent the Ukrainian army from actively breaking through russian positions. Moreover, almost all minefields have to be cleared manually by sappers, as the amount of available equipment does not cover even 15% of the needs.
Wotling also notes that Ukrainian troops, on average, have about two months to master most Western systems and train all personnel to solve complex problems.
Why is the main threat to Europe's security not russian aggression but bureaucracy?
It has long been obvious to everyone that the security of the entire European continent depends on Ukraine's victory. However, some Western leaders continue to work based on "peacetime approaches," which creates a serious problem for both Ukraine and those countries that do not think about their own future. For example, the lack of systematic steps and appropriate decisions aimed at improving the defense capabilities of the alliance countries and Ukraine jeopardizes the success that Ukrainian troops are currently enjoying. In particular, Jack Watling emphasizes the need to expand the production of ammunition and spare parts for equipment.
"Thus, the future of European security depends on whether Western capitals are able to take a broader view and make timely decisions. We are reminded of the cost of delay every day by the images of the carnage in eastern Ukraine," Jack Watling concludes in his article for the Observer.
We remind you! Vadym Prystaiko is the closest and oldest ally of the President of Ukraine. Read what role the former British ambassador has played all these years and why he was so unexpectedly removed from the international arena in our previous article.
Photo: General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
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