The talk covers more topics and renders a larger picture but I’ll resume myself to his prognosis about the military phase of this clearly multifaceted war.
VDH believes Putin has about one week left to obtain a military victory. When this window of opportunity closes it’s game over for Putin’s ambition to conquer Ukraine and maybe even worse (for him) than that.
VDH assumes the collective West finally reacted in force and started to provide military help in sufficient quantities and with adequate speed to make a difference.
I’ve noticed the trust Hanson places on Javelin missiles capabilities.
The combat takes place in flat terrain. No forests, no hills or really rough terrain, nowhere to hide or defend behind. Sounds like good conditions for a 4 km range (tops) missile. Clear line of sight, aim, acquire, fire and forget. No certainty it will hit or, if it hits, what kind of damage inflicts. But there’s a certainty the hunter becomes hunted afterwards. Except if he hides in an urban area. And then we’re back to square one.
Ukrainian forces, Javelined or not, competent or not so much, are mostly confined to urban areas. Javelin and Stinger allow a relative and limited – range wise – protection, they don’t provide real offensive support. It is what Ukrainian army obviously lacks. No offensive possibilities, no chances to win.
VDH believes a lot of factors will kick in very fast – casualties, economic disruption, fall in morale, propaganda (western) successful destabilization, all translating to a fall in (Russian) popular support. They might, if a protracted war ensues. Protracted as in long (though maybe a bit less than 20 years).
A two weeks timeframe (including the past week) is not a long time, it is extremely short, the real world has its own pace and my guess is VDH got a bit carried away. It is quite possible though the encirclement of the bulk of Ukrainian forces will happen until then.
Afterwards, the waiting game could prove to be a double edged sword, even with a few thousand Javelins under the pillow.