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The Fall of Bakhmut and Beyond – What Next …?

Updated: Aug 31, 2023

Russia’s long grind to take the city of Bakhmut was completed last Friday,

with the clean-up and capture of abandoned Ukrainian units still inside the

city and surrounding area continuing as the priority task for the Russian

military, now underway. Bakhmut became to Zelensky, in many ways, what


Stalingrad became to Hitler during WWII. In many ways, the Russian High

Command turned Bakhmut into the graveyard of the Ukrainian Army.

Years from now on, when we look back at this war, Bakhmut will occupy a

special place as having been a turning point … for now, to what end.

It is important to understand that Bakhmut is not as economically

important as Mariupol to the south, which fell to the Russians a year ago in

May 2022, but it is geographically significant. That is why Ukraine fought

so desperately to hang on to it and expended the lives of tens of thousands

of its soldiers in a vain effort. It was also too important to Zelensky because

it kept the lie and the narrative going in order to continue to justify the war

in an attempt to justify the flow of U.S. aide – military equipment, arms

and munition and DoD contract assistance. It is a vicious circle. Again, all

built on a lie spewed by the U.S. political and military leadership, the

military industrial complex, and the defense contractors to produce and

make billions in profits off of U.S. taxpayer dollars. All echoed by the

corrupt and phony NeoCon, Neo-Liberal War Mongering Forever War

politicians on both sides of the aisle – Democrats and Republicans. They

are all the stupidest and the most ignorant fucking morons to ever walk the

face of the earth, literally. Every one of them -- and equally their fans,

supporters and donors.


Having served on the White House NSC staff, I can tell you that, anyone

who walked into the Biden Oval Office or into the conference rooms of the

NSC staff and said the things that I do about the Ukraine conflict would be

escorted off the grounds immediately ... or worse.


It is important to understand that the administrative stated, aka the Deep

State, is an ideologically-pure organization that has decided that it is

winning a war or must win a war against Russia in order to extend

LGBTQRS, and everything else to the rest of the world. And that our way is

the only way. It's us or destruction.  It lacks clear strategic imperative, geo-

political logic and clearly driven by 100% manipulated and politicized

intelligence orchestrated by the politically placed leadership and longtime

indoctrinated civilian senior ranks that began on day one of the Clinton

administration and accelerated during the Obama reign.

Now with Biden Regime, there can be no compromise. Their attitude

transcends lunacy with the holier than thou, ‘We are right. We are morally


superior. The Russians are evil and deserve to be destroyed. If you don't

take that position, you're out.’

In the meantime, the Russian’s military’s contract private military company

(PMC) similar to the U.S.’ “Blackwater” … Wagner’s senior leader, Yevgeny

Prighozhin, announced on Friday that, “Ukrainian troops completely

retreated from the eastern border of Bakhmut, noting that the fighters of

the Wagner PMC began operations to clear the area from the soldiers

remaining there, who, most likely, would not be able to retreat.

The reality is that nearly a month ago it became clearly obvious how bad the

situation was for Ukraine as the Ukrainian Vushniks began to withdraw

from the center of the city along secondary roads, after Russian forces and

Wagner PMC took fire control of the main supply routes and Bakhmut’s

defenders were essentially running out of time and again, by early Friday

Bakhmut has fallen into Russian hands.


Bakhmut marks the second time since the start of the Special Military

Operation (Russian operations inside of Ukraine) that Ukraine has been

unable to stop a comprehensive Russian attack and unable to mount a

counter offensive to rescue trapped forces. The first failure was Mariupol,

last spring. That attack was led by the Chechen units of the Russian Army.

Once Mariupol was secured and the Ukrainian troops rounded up, the

Chechens were redeployed to the rear to rest and refit.


Just like the Chechens did in Mariupol, the Wagner Group was the

spearhead of the Russian attack in Bakhmut. We anticipate in the coming

weeks, the Russian General Staff but if past is Russian prologue is correct,

we expect the Wagner Group to be pulled off the line, as happened with the

Chechens, and be that force will redeploy – being sent to a secure area in

the rear to rest, recuperate and refit.

Russia’s siege on Bakhmut started a year ago in May 2022 by intense

shelling, with the main assault on the city starting on August 1, 2022,

following the fall of Mariupol the damage inflicted on the Ukrainian

military is stupefying, its staggering. By the numbers: Ukrainian casualties

(military and civilian), including missing and captured, exceed 600,000.

Roughly 50,000 Ukraine military. Even if we assume the numbers are cut

in half, the scale of losses, again are staggering. One year ago, from the

standpoint of the Ukraine military alone (based on 2022 numbers) has


250,000 active-duty troops, plus another 290,000 reserve personnel, and

approximately 50,000 paramilitary units that could be activated in a full-

fledged conflict with Russia. It now appears, conceivably, that will not

happen.


During the last year, Ukraine has enlisted hundreds of thousands of new

recruits, but these new soldiers are being sent to the front with only

minimal training and most were lost. Ukraine does not have the number of

trained, experienced soldiers required to mount a massive counter

offensive, despite the claim of a forthcoming “spring offensive.” The lack of

personnel is compounded by the inability of the West to supply

ammunition and vehicles in sufficient numbers to sustain intense Ukraine

military operations. The U.S. simply does not have the stockpile needed.

In fact, the U.S. has already stripped our own military in order to provide

what we have already given to Ukraine. In fact, the U.S. is ill-equipped to

fight a second front conflict with China over Taiwan because of lack of

weapons and other major problems within the U.S. military.

Also, it should be noted that in Russia, the 300,000 reservists that were

called up last August, actually have not yet been deployed to the front lines.

Since they have been training, equipment and becoming proficient in their

skill-sets. What does this mean? It simply means — Russia enjoys a

massive advantage in terms of manpower, tanks, artillery, ammunition,

missiles and combat air capability.


For everything that the U.S. has put into Ukraine -- the fall of Bakhmut is a

major blow, not just to Ukraine, but to the United States and NATO. This

sets the stage for the West doing something desperate, while Russia is

content to continue to pulverize what is left of the Ukrainian military and

acquire territory to its benefit.


So, what is next, what can be expected from the West, particularly the

Biden Regime, the Globalist NeoCon “escalate the war” even more?

Well, that question has been surfacing for the last several months – its

called F-16s and it goes well with the notion … or narrative of the U.S. doing

something desperate and stupid because it will a waste of Billions and

untold lies to justify its rationale.


So with that, serious questions and considerations need to be asked and

addressed.

Well, the key question has been surfacing for the last several months is

called F-16s For Ukraine -- and it goes well with the notion … or narrative

of ‘the U.S. doing something desperate and stupid’ … why? … because it will

a waste of Billions built on untold lies in order to justify a decision.

Of course, the warmongering Biden administration has signaled to

European allies that the U.S. would allow the export F-16 fighter jets to

Ukraine as the White House comes under increasing pressure from

Neocons and Neo-Liberal members of Congress and allies to help Ukraine

procure the jets to defend Ukraine against Russian.

A number of European countries have a supply of the U.S.-made F-16s and

would be willingness to provide to Ukraine. However, the U.S. by law is

required to oversee and approve any third-party transfer because of the jets'


sensitive U.S. technology, which Russia would love to shootdown and get

their hands on.

U.S. officials have said the Biden administration is prepared to approve the

export of the jets to Ukraine if that is what allies decide to do with their

supply.

National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John

Kirby said that the U.S. has been forward-looking about "future

capabilities" and needs. F-16s are "not on the agenda" at the G7, he said,

though the aircraft could certainly come up on the sidelines of the summit.

Wink, wink, nod, nod …

U.S. lawmakers and Congressional staffers have joined in with the F-16

lobbying campaign, urging the Biden Regime to provide the jets so that

Ukraine can establish control over its skies – so they think and so they

claim.


Both Democrat and Republican members of Congress said the transfer of

F-16 fighter aircraft to Ukraine is essential for providing Kyiv with the air

support capability required to fully defend their nation against Russia's

unprovoked, illegal, and brutal invasion, and to make the territorial gains

necessary to reclaim their country." The group of Republican and

Democratic lawmakers wrote in a letter to Biden last Wednesday stressing

the need to send Ukraine F-16s.


In the meantime, the issue is expected to be a subject of debate at the next

NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, in July. Of course, that is two months

past what the impatient Congressional members and the Biden officials

who claimed they are needed for the upcoming 2023 Spring Offensive.

Note, today is May 23.


Which raises my other question: Where would the pilots come from? The

Ukrainians are trained, qualified, proficient or ready. Secondly, where and

when would Ukrainian pilots train on the F-16s. A spokesperson said that

the UK and the Netherlands were looking to form an "international

coalition" to procure the jets and also to train Ukrainian pilots on the 4th

generation fighters, which are more advanced than the current Ukrainian

fighter fleet, which are old Russian made jets.


U.S. allies with F-16s said they could conduct training for Ukrainian fighter

pilots, or the aircraft's manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, could carry out

training as a private military contractor (PMC). However, that said -- such

an arrangement would need a significant level of U.S. participation. It

would also require an official U.S. sign-off on the transfer of the U.S.

weapon system overseas, to include, armaments (defensive and offensive

missiles and rockets) used on the F-16.


While those in support of the transfer state that the sophisticated fighter

jets would make it easier for Ukraine to target the Russian planes, some

Congressional staffers argue, it would be cheaper without having to expend

expensive Patriot munitions that were made to intercept ballistic missiles. I

can tell you this -- that is in and of itself a massive lie and an insanely

stupid copout by the warmongering Neocons anxious to escalate the

conflict with Russia.


I like others are both skeptical and correct of that argument because for

one, Russia has extensive and highly sophisticated and highly accurate anti-

aircraft systems that could easily shoot down the F-16s. In fact, it is for that

reason that Ukraine has not been conducting many air missions with their

fighter planes for precisely that reason.


Further, as was previously raised regarding training on the F-16 by

Ukrainian pilots, one such a requirement would be the “timeframe for the

training Ukrainians pilots on the sophisticated fourth-generation fighter.

The required timeframe based on American pilots out of UPT training is

approximately at least one-year, and perhaps, another six-months training

on the weapons and armament systems. There is also a deconfliction and

deprogramming phase where Ukraine pilots must become unfamiliar with

old ways of flying Russian aircraft. Then comes the time needed for

proficiency, especially immediately going into potential battle against both

Russia pilots and Russian anti-aircraft system, and the ability to engage

with undeniable success. There will be no room for a single error – either

from a crash or being shot down. For Ukraine, from beginning to end --

from transfer, the aircraft, training packages, logistics (tooth-to-tail)

repair/parts, maintenance, and the same for bombs, rockets, missiles, we

are looking at an additional $8 to $10 Billion – not to mention lubricating

the oligarchican corruption and graft pipeline, add perhaps another $5

Billion. I work one small aspect of this with Poland in the early 2000’s – it

took years, well after I transferred out of NATO.


Then there is the argument regarding the debate and Pentagon statements

that the F-16s would only be flown for “defensive purposes” – that’s a lie.

In addition, the other concern and that I have, and this is based on critical

sensitive information that I have been provided, is that in the interim

period following the transfer of F-16s as related to the so-called “defensive

air missions” – accordingly the plan is that those would be flown by U.S.

PMC pilots or U.S. military pilots,’ until the Ukrainians pilots are fully

trained and proficient in both the F-16 aircraft and its associated

employment of the weapon systems. Essentially, a period of one and a half

to two years from now, if of course, the F-16s were delivered in the next

several months.


That prospect opens up many, many more questions regarding

international legal issues, laws of armed conflict (LOAC), and the Geneva

Convention for that matter. Unfortunately, the Biden Regime could give-a-

shit and is both anxious and impatient to move forward with getting the

U.S.-made fighters deployed into Ukraine as soon as possible. By any

means necessary, at whatever the cost – politically, diplomatically, illegally,

and militarily. What could possibly go wrong? In all seriousness, you have

to ask these questions of these people who work off of emotion and

spending Billions to line their political and personal coffers.

In the meantime, there is a belief in both Washington, NATO, and in Kyiv

that with enough public pressure, the Ukrainians can eventually secure the

weapons systems that were once deemed a red line by the west. HIMARS,

main battle tanks, and the Patriot battery were all once considered off-

limits -- all are now either in the country or in the pipeline and or heading

there soon. The same is being heavily debated and argued for the F-16. The

“Forever War/Never Ending War, NeoCon, Neo-Liberal War Mongering

legislators, Defense Contractors and Pentagon leaders are foaming-at-the-

mouth -- clamoring and yelling; “Remember Bakhmut!”… as their rally call

for further escalation.


Today, Ukrainian Zelensky said that Kyiv and London were "actively

moving forward" on a plan to procure all the necessary systems now. "We

need F-16s," Andriy Yermak, head of the office of the Ukrainian president.

"And I am grateful to our allies for their decision to work in this direction,

including training our pilots."


And oh, by the way – we haven’t discussed the Russian reaction and

response based on how the weapon system is used and engaged against

Russia forces. How the capability is strategically executed and against what.

Certainly, there are multiple tripwires for a radical and rapid escalation into

a phenomenon called, wait for it “World War III” -- of course that is never a

concern for the Biden Regime who has zero-sense of geo-political and the

strategic imperative anywhere in the world. Nor of the Consequences like

opening up your southern border so it can be overrun by 12-million illegal

aliens – which include, drug dealers, human traffickers, rapists, child

molesters, sex-traffickers, terrorists and murders.

___________________________________________________________________________________

Jim Waurishuk

Colonel, USAF (Ret.)

Political Strategist

  “America First”

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