"Russia’s Army is a Paper Tiger?"
Larry Johnson
A Son of the New American Revolution (April 24, 2022)

As Andrei Martyanov has frequently and correctly noted, the U.S. Army and its legacy officers are demonstrating remarkable incompetence in assessing the Russian military. The latest in this parade of clowns is Joel D. Rayburn, a retired Colonel and current fellow at the New American Foundation. I think Andrei would agree that Rayburn is a poster child for the grandiose fecklessness of retired U.S. Army officers.

Why focus on Rayburn? He was recently interviewed by a New Yorker correspondent and offered up an astonishing analysis that is the product of either gross ignorance or deliberate misinformation. You judge for yourself his motivation. Here are Rayburn’s key points from his interview:

Let’s give Mr. Rayburn credit for one thing–he admits he has no expertise on events in the Donbas over the last eight years. That is evident. He ignores the glaring fact that the Ukrainian Army failed to conquer the territory and that local militias with support from Russia held off a NATO trained force. That is a cold, hard fact. [emphasis added]

I am shocked by his grotesque ignorance of Russia’s air-defense systems and their precision-guided munitions and ballistic missiles. According to Rayburn, “But those all failed.” Really? Someone needs to tell him about the repeated strikes in western Ukraine around LVIV that have destroyed Ukrainian military bases and weapons depots. Just this week, Russia carried out multiple successful strikes in Dnieperpetrovsk, Kremenchug, Druzhkovka, Poltava, Kharkov, and Odessa using sea launched Kaliber’s and KH-101 Missiles from Tu-95MS’s.

Here is the recent video of the inaccurate, dysfunctional Russian missiles pummeling targets in Lviv:

[video from rumble - Intel Slava Z: Missle strikes in Lviv]

Man, if Russia’s crappy, old equipment can do that just imagine what the newer stuff could do (sarcasm alert).

The United States and its western allies are sending a large amount of material equipment and weapon systems to Ukraine and, shortly after they arrive and are being assembled, are blown up with missile systems that Rayburn insists do not work. If Rayburn’s conclusions reflect the thinking of U.S. military leadership then we are in big trouble. It is not Russia’s air defense systems that are failing. It is the NATO systems that have proven worthless to stopping hypersonic missile strikes. [emphasis added]

I am amused by Rayburn’s conclusion that the Russian military leadership is corrupt:

Thank God we have military giants like Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, who was promoted for reasons other than his military accomplishments (soldiers I know who served with him in combat theaters charitably describe him as a “dumb ass”), in charge of our national defense. As I recall he left the military to make mega bucks working for one of the Pentagon’s largest defense contractors by helping win new defense contracts for his private sector employer. Nothing corrupt there, right? I think that Rayburn is engaged in the psychological act known as PROJECTION. We are what he says the Russian are. [emphasis added]

The delusional thinking on display in Rayburn’s interview is best illustrated by the following quote:

Do you recall the 40 mile column of Russian armor that sat north of Kiev for more than a week prior to withdrawing from the area? It was neither seriously damaged nor destroyed. It was used as a decoy to pin down Ukrainian units. The entire length of that column was accompanied by air defense units that prevented what was left of the Ukrainian Air Force from striking and destroying the stationary column.

The video evidence emerging from the war in Ukraine is rife with images of bodies of dead Ukrainians and tons of captured weapons and military supplies. If Russia’s Army is a paper tiger, it is doing a remarkable job of grinding the Ukrainian military capability into dust.