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What the U.S. Military Is Learning from the War in Ukraine

Posted on Saturday, August 6, 2022
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by Ben Solis
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AMAC Exclusive – By Ben Solis

Ukraine

Throughout Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Russian missile attacks have proved a constant terror for the Ukrainian military and civilian population alike. In their efforts to help the Ukrainians turn back Russian aggression, the United States and its allies are learning how absolutely critical it is to maintain a technological advantage in both offensive and defensive missile capabilities.

As part of the most recent aid package, Ukraine has received four new advanced rocket systems from the United States, capable of striking deeper behind the Russian front lines – a desperately needed offensive weapon as the Russian military ramps up missile attacks of their own. For months prior, the Ukrainians had been reliant on 40-year-old combat hardware like Stinger and S-300 missile defense systems. As a result, Russian missile attacks have taken their toll on Ukrainian resistance. According to government estimates, more than 500 Ukrainians are being killed or wounded every day by Russia missile barrages.

These missile attacks are a serious threat to military bases equipped with hardened protections, and are absolutely devastating to skyscrapers, multi-floor residential buildings, and shopping centers in modern cities and towns. According to Ukrainian officials, the Russian military is now increasing its targeting of cities and residential areas, which are located far from military installations. As of last month, 30 percent of Russian missile attacks had been aimed at civilian structures.

The city of Vinnytsia was the target of one such attack last month that left dozens dead and more than 100 wounded – most of them civilians and non-combatants. The city, which is hundreds of miles from the front lines, traces its history all the way back to the 14th century and is home to some 370,000 citizens, but has no sizable military infrastructure.

The Russian military has claimed that it was targeting Ukrainian air force officials who were meeting with arms suppliers. However, Ukrainian officials have denied that any such meeting was taking place. Just hours later, Russian missiles landed in two major universities in the southern city of Mykolaiv, continuing this pattern of Russian attacks targeting civilians.

After the attack against Vinnytsia, NATO provided Ukraine with a critical new tool for missile defense – the National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System, or NASAMS to shield its capital, Kyiv.

Though NASAMS was first envisioned nearly 20 years ago, today it is deployed in 12 different countries, including in the United States to protect the Washington, D.C. area from cruise missile threats. The system, which was developed as part of a joint venture between Raytheon and the Norwegian firm Kongsberg, is a massive upgrade over the Soviet-era S-300 systems that the Ukrainians had been previously using.

The main advantages of the NASAMS system over other systems are its ability to successfully intercept and shoot down everything from drones to cruise missiles and adapt to nearly any warfighting environment. Its software system has also allowed for numerous upgrades since its introduction, allowing the U.S. to outfit the units sent to Ukraine with the latest American radar technology.

Ukraine received two batteries of the system, with each battery consisting of nine to 12 truck-mounted launchers armed with six AIM-120 missiles each. The launchers are in turn supported by six to eight radar vehicles, and command-and-fire direction center vehicles. Over its decades of service, NASAMS has downed dozens of enemy fighter jets, and has even successfully eliminated a dummy cruise missile flying at just 100 feet off the ground in a simulated attack.

U.S. officials should pay careful attention to how Ukraine fares against Russian missile attacks with these new defense systems entering operation in the conflict. While the prospect of Russian missiles flying over the U.S. mainland is highly unlikely, even in a hot war with Russia, the United States protects many of its overseas assets with these same systems – including in the Indo-Pacific region, where the prospect of a Chinese strike is not so far-fetched.

The effectiveness of current U.S. missile defense systems in the South Pacific – many of which are older and more outdated than the latest NASAMS technology, should be a top concern for American military leadership. After all, Ukrainian forces were able to use old weaponry to sink the Russian warship Moskva in the early months of the war – showcasing a glaring weakness of what was believed to be advanced Russian missile defense technology. In potential future hostilities with China, Russia, or a Sino-Russian alliance, how well U.S. military outposts can defend against and respond to missile threats may prove the most critical determining factor in the outcome of the conflict.

In the 21st century, ensuring U.S. national security at home and abroad means being able to deploy a defensive shield against missile attacks at a moment’s notice. The Ukrainians have learned this lesson the hard way in their war with Russia. As the United States and the West continue to fuel the defense of Ukraine, they should look toward future conflicts, learning from this experience how to deter aggression from adversaries like Russia and China, and to be prepared when it occurs.

Ben Solis is the pen name of an international affairs journalist, historian, and researcher. 

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Gary
Gary
1 year ago

Russia doesn’t like the 46 US bio labs in Ukraine, in their backyard. Russia also will not be part of the Great Reset. All the billions sent to Ukraine has been nothing more than a massive money laundering scheme.

Michael J
Michael J
1 year ago

Does anyone wonder why the Biden’s had so much interest in Ukraine? Sending in U.S. weapons is asking for another political disaster that will escalate us into a war based on hearsay.

David Millikan
David Millikan
1 year ago

That WOKE brainwashing WON’T WIN WARS.
That’s the lesson learned.

David Millikan
David Millikan
1 year ago

Why is Ukraine President asking Communist China to rebuild Ukraine after War with Russia after DICTATOR Beijing biden gives him OVER a $Billion $’s in OUR Tax Money and Military Weapons?
Sounds like Ukraine President is in back pocket of Communist China just like DICTATOR Beijing biden.
Immediate cut off of ALL aid to Ukraine must be enacted immediately.

Old Silk
Old Silk
1 year ago

In other words we made conditions conducive to the scrap between Russia and Ukraine so that we could study a war game and learn something? We are talking about our old weapons systems effectiveness with no accountability for the trillions spent on military over the decades? To whom was the money appropriated and where did it go?

CoNMTX
CoNMTX
1 year ago

Th U.S. doesn’t want to learn anything. They just want to keep to their agenda of destroying America and building back socialist in the one-world government. We keep making the same mistakes anyway. Of course, Loopy Joe just does and says what he is told to say and do.

Patty L
Patty L
1 year ago

Could we please shift our focus to the invasion on OUR southern border? We don’t belong in Ukraine!

DrScottD
DrScottD
1 year ago

For no other reason than to protect DC and military assets from aerial attacks is better than turning on the TV to witness their burning. Peace Through Strength! Wake Up American Citizens. Wake Up. We’re about to get hit hard and fast by the enemies of our American World. These CCP people have so indoctrinated their culture against the USA, like Iran has been doing for generations. Russian people who witnessed the collapse of the USSR have longed wanted our harm. Please don’t take the vitriol from North Korea as just some stupid dictator with nothing to back it up. These 4 have become a force against US, and they don’t want US to have anything. No power to be the Superpower we’ve enjoyed and used as a good for our alliance. There’s such a weakness in our manchurian corrupt and sold-out, so called president, they’re looking to hit us.I’m praying daily, as many of you probably are also. We have failed in our society to prevent the invasion, or infestation, of the greatest perversion of morality since times of biblical failure of a nation. What is being rammed upon us by this corrupt DC government and immoral cabal of idiocy must stop. Our future generations of family are facing the very failure of our nation. I’m asked by others when I speak up about this, “So tell us preacher, when will all this happen?” Look at the signs of all that our nation is facing now. Fires like we’ve never seen before. Flooding in places that are important for our country’s survival. The greatest evil nation in our time buying our farmlands, the largest pork processing company, businesses with military and vital resources (using the fake pres son’s illegal business deals), and forcing our industries and universities to provide all technical information about EVERYTHING. Are you AWAKE YET?

Mario Capparuccini
Mario Capparuccini
1 year ago

“To deter aggression from adversaries like Russia and China”. Well and good. How do we defend ourselves against stupidity from Democrats?

Mjb
Mjb
1 year ago

As former President Ronald Regan had the backbone to call a spade a spade when he stood up to Russia and called it an “Evil Empire” we need someone in charge who will stand up to our adversaries and do the same !

The only problem is we don’t have anyone with the balls to do that!
Besides, after today’s political raid on Mar-A-Lago by Biden’s not so secret police force, the FBI, Our worst enemies are in Washington!

Arm yourselves people of America, not against China or Russia, but against the communist rulers in Washington!!

tika
tika
1 year ago

U.S. Military Is Learning biden makes all the wrong moves.

papayec
papayec
1 year ago

The US military is run by Democrat-appointed, CCP-owned traitors.

Gloria
Gloria
1 year ago

The war in Ukraine, as far as I believe, from all the propaganda I receive, was started way back in 2016 or before, by U.S. folks named John (traitor) McCain and Lindsey (RINO) Graham – telling the Ukraines that U.S. would “have their backs” if they would attack Russia. Most likely they were some of the participants who had money in the U.S. bio-labs.

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