Core of Ukraine’s Armed Forces is not HIMARS and F-16s, but infantry
Preserving infantry is the main resource and tactical goal of modern warfare
Commanders think the most important specialty is the HIMARS and F-16 operator.
Generals think that the most important specialty is the assault fighter.
Brigadiers think that the most important specialty is a drone operator and an artilleryman.
Combatants think that the most important specialty is company commander.
The company commander, the assault fighter, the drone operator, the gunner, the HIMARS and F-16 crew think that the most important specialty is the infantryman, who plays with death every second in muddy trenches, in the cold and heat, insects and mice, in damp little holes and dugouts, to gain a foothold under fire, to carry everything on their backs, to build everything with their hands, to take most of the hits, to carry the most dangerous burden on their shoulders.
The infantryman thinks about how to survive until the next rotation at the position, how to capture a trophy "Pokémon," how to get a trench dug by equipment and logs delivered at least once, and how to get a certificate of post-concussion syndrome with his company and rest for at least a couple of weeks. He also thinks that someone who has never experienced the complete destruction of a forest strip under the relentless artillery, drone, aircraft, missile attacks, or engaged in close combat fails to grasp the essence of a war of attrition, in which the most valuable specialty is the shovel and assault rifle operator.
The preservation of infantry is the main resource and tactical goal of modern warfare, and military technologies, equipment procurement, tactics and organizational structure of all other equally important branches of the armed forces, and the order of use should be concentrated around the infantry core. Unfortunately, this is not happening.
The time of the volunteer infantry, which rushed into maneuver battles against tanks with grenade launchers, is over, but in positional warfare the need for high-quality infantry has become even more urgent.
In order to survive, the infantry must become the most privileged branch of the army, the real core. This is not a matter of humanism; it is a key issue of military logistics and state economy, and the cost of war must be calculated. Saving the lives of infantry should be the goal of defense planning; it is the first condition for victory in a long war of attrition. Until this realization reaches the top leadership, there will be no end to the war and no proper planning.
About the author: Yuriy Butusov, journalist, soldier of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
The editors do not always share the opinions expressed by the blog authors.