Russian army so degraded it won’t recover in ‘Lifetime’: Ukraine adviser

A combat veteran and US Army executive who traveled to West Point and is now making his fifth trip to Ukraine notes that Russia’s military shortcomings could negatively impact the country for decades to come.

Dan Rice, president of the Thayer leadership and a former infantryman who fought in Iraq and was wounded in Samarra, currently serves as a special adviser to General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, the supreme commander of the Ukrainian armed forces.

During his trips to Ukraine, he has watched T-72 tanks destroy Russian targets in the Donbass region and stood on the outskirts of Kyiv as the Russian military made narrow gains in May 2022.

Rice told how he embarks on a new mission news week The Russian military “is poorly managed at the strategic, operational and tactical levels”.

“At least 300,000 military-age men left Russia, and Russia claimed to be conscripting 300,000,” Rice said. “They suffered 110,000 dead and another 300,000 wounded. They lost most of their best army units and best tanks and armor.

“The entire Russian military will be demoted in less than a year and will not recover in my lifetime. Russia and China were considered ‘peer competitors’, but after this war they are no longer. The US only needs to consider China a ‘peer competitor’ and after destroying the Russian army, China will think twice about trying to take Taiwan.”

He blamed the Russian armed forces for their inability to follow only two of the nine principles of war, namely “mass” and “offensive”.

“They throw more and more bodies at the same targets without any significant changes with each attack. They’re not a learning organization,” Rice said. “They are a vast country with many resources, but they are not unlimited. They are running low on many of their weapons and ammunition.”

“They will be forced to go to the ‘Axis of Evil’, Iran and North Korea, for extra artillery shells,” he added. “They are taking huge casualties and are out of troops and have to go to mobilization/conscription.

Dan Rice Ukraine Russia War Advisor Weapons
Ukrainian soldiers of the Kherson Territorial Defense reinforce their positions January 7 in Kherson, Ukraine. Dan Rice, President of the Thayer leadership and US Army combat veteran, is pictured near a destroyed bridge on the outskirts of Kyiv in May 2022. Rice makes his fifth trip to Ukraine to advise General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, the supreme commander of the Ukrainian armed forces.
Pierre Crom/Getty Images; Dan Rice

Rice said he worked with Zaluzhnyi to educate the American public about what was going on in Ukraine and let the nation under attack what capabilities the US could potentially provide

Between 2005 and 2013, he made dozens of unsecured trips to Iraq and Afghanistan as an investor at the Marshall Fund and later as a contractor at SunDial.

“Intervening, understanding the issues, and contributing to the largest war in Europe in 70 years is my mission,” said Rice, who as Thayer’s president oversees about 100 staff and faculty members who teach the principles of military leadership at the company .

Through a chance encounter with a woman in a Miami restaurant in the early days of the Russian invasion, he became personally involved in the war effort. The woman showed him films of her family under fire in Kyiv, leading to Rice encouraging her to head west and get out of the country immediately.

Rice later welcomed the refugee family at his home when they reached the United States. The woman’s non-English speaking mother saw West Point materials around the house and inquired if he would be attending, prompting her to ask if he would like to meet General Zaluzhnyi.

That led to a Zoom meeting with the general, where the two discussed leadership, leadership development, and strategy. Rice, who holds four degrees in the military, business, leadership and learning, asked if he could be of assistance.

Saluzhnyi accepted his offer. Two days later, Rice was on a flight to Kraków, Poland, and upon arrival boarded a civilian bus bound for Lviv, Ukraine. Once there, he was transported to Kyiv to interview the general for two hours.

Rice was sent to interview battlefield commanders who had helped Ukraine become victorious at the Battle of Kyiv.

“I realized very quickly that they had just left the bunker, they were desperate for Western support and that my role would be to advocate for additional weapons and ammunition, starting with howitzers, then HIMARS, then F-15/F- 16, cluster artillery shells, etc.,” Rice said.

With the weapons provided by the US as part of the tens of billions of dollars in support, Rice said Ukraine has the “fire” aspect of effective combat operations under control – supported by weapon systems, Javelins, Stingers, NASAMS, Howitzers and Patriots – but it also needs the “maneuver” aspect.

That includes an additional armored combat force of tanks and armored personnel carriers, he said. He touted the US for finally providing M2A2 Bradley combat vehicles — the US is starting with 50 vehicles, but he believes that number “will increase dramatically to around 500.” Several donor nations have also provided T-72 tanks.

“Ukraine needs a lot more tanks to go on the offensive and we should provide M1A2 Abrams tanks,” he said. “If we provide Ukraine with enough tanks, combat vehicles and the right artillery ammunition for both howitzers and HIMARS rocket launchers – especially improved conventional dual-purpose ammunition – I believe Ukraine will win.” Russian army so degraded it won’t recover in ‘Lifetime’: Ukraine adviser

Rick Schindler

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