When Will Experts Answer for Their Rosy Forecasts of How Ukraine Invasion Would Proceed?
A Russian realist military commentator demands to know
Source: Военное обозрение (Military Review)
The abundance of political experts on television and on the Internet, who talk about the future and make various, often loud, forecasts, today is amazing. However, few people thought about the quality of these forecasts and the extent to which these experts give adequate estimates. After all, journalists almost never ask them to compare their forecasts with what actually happened.
That is, the main problem is that the same experts and political scientists wander from show to show, making more and more “predictions”, but no one asks them which, in fact, of your predictions came true? Agree, the question is quite logical, but it is not asked. Experts voice low-quality forecasts, and sometimes they even speak outright nonsense, because they know that they will still be invited to federal channels.
Many will say — so what, some guys in jackets talked to the camera about this and that, what is the harm from such forecasts? Without understanding the answer to this question, you do not realize the essence of the problem, so we will try to reveal it in sufficient detail.
What is the harm of false predictions?
Often we can read high-profile predictions that are actually made “out of the blue”, not supported by facts and driven by the desire of an expert, for example, to flatter the political leadership. Or, to put it another way, the intention is to give such a forecast that management wants to hear.
After all, it must be admitted that most of the forecasts that we are now seeing in the media are not aimed at actually predicting the future, but are made only in order to assure the public that everything will happen according to the expected scenario and that all hopes and expectations will be justified. Quite often, in such cases, an illusory picture is created that can mislead, and, as practice shows, not only ordinary citizens.
Let’s take a few specific examples. Let’s start with the statement of the well-known expert and political scientist Rostislav Ishchenko, whom I have already mentioned in my previous articles. In February 2021, he stated that the Armed Forces of Ukraine have no experience in conducting combat operations according to modern standards, in fact there is no aviation and air defense, so no one will resist the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.
Ukraine will not even resist the Russian army, and Lvov and Dnepropetrovsk will compete in who will give her flowers faster… The Ukrainian military does not have the necessary range of weapons and sufficient funding.
Three years earlier, in 2018, the Vzglyad publication published an article “How the Russian army will force Ukraine to peace.” Its author, in fact, who answered the question indicated in the title, was military expert Yevgeny Krutikov:
“The Armed Forces of Ukraine do not have any ability to resist the Russian army. Especially if we also remember the quality of the equipment available to the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the morale of the personnel.
All Russian units are fully equipped, provided with ammunition and fuel in reserve. They do not need to work out additional coherence, since the level of combat training is constantly supported by exercises and checks. If we limit the operation to pacify the raging Kiev to a week, then the massive use of high-precision weapons and aviation can stop a potential Ukrainian offensive in just a few hours. All the rest of the time will be spent on the formation of a front configuration that is more acceptable from a military and political point of view. And this issue is more political, since the main military task is to destroy the combat capability of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the east of Ukraine,”
Even more entertaining is the commentary given in November 2021 to Svobodnaya Pressa by political scientist, Associate Professor of the Department of Political Science and Sociology of the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics Alexander Perendzhiev:
Neutralizing the enemy or forcing him to peace consists in strikes against his command posts, as well as at the locations of large formations, especially their transport communications. In addition, in this case, electronic suppression of all enemy control systems will be carried out: communications, radar stations and video surveillance. That is, we are talking about a significant weakening of the enemy’s activity, bringing him to a stationary, or very inactive state. For these purposes, just the Black Sea Fleet will suffice. But we are talking about units that are located not only in the Black Sea area, but also on land.
We believe that these examples will suffice. One can, of course, also recall the statements made by Yakov Kedmi, a frequent guest on federal channels, two days after the start of the special military operation in Ukraine, that “the Ukrainian army has been defeated”, and therefore “the Armed Forces of Ukraine will no longer be able to carry out sabotage on Russian territory and on the territory of the LPR and the DPR. But there were too many such “predictions”, and it makes no sense to list them all. We have the opportunity to compare all these forecasts with what happened in reality.
Therefore, it’s time to move on to answering the main question – why are forecasts “from the ceiling” are not only harmful, but also dangerous? Because they create illusions that begin to be perceived as reality. Thomas’ theorem says:
“If people define situations as real, they are real in their consequences.”
It is obvious that initially the military operation proceeded precisely from the assessments that we read on the pages of the media. And incorrect assessments led to the setting of incorrect tasks.
Initially, the SVO was not planned as a real war, otherwise the RF Armed Forces would not have launched an offensive in several directions at once with the numerical superiority of the enemy, and in some cases without air cover, and would not have refused missile attacks on the barracks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the first weeks of the operation.
There was a hope that Zelensky was fleeing from Kyiv, and that is why such “ducks” were spread in the media: as soon as the Russian army was a few kilometers from the Ukrainian capital, and the Armed Forces of Ukraine did not offer serious resistance, he would capitulate along with the Ukrainian regime.
This calculation was not justified. And those who gave false forecasts about the situation in Ukraine are also to blame for this. If initially the political leadership of the Russian Federation had real information, then perhaps the situation would have developed according to a different scenario. As Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee for the Development of Civil Society, General Vladimir Shamanov, said:
Those who expected that we would be greeted with flowers… This is one of the main mistakes that we felt very keenly in the first five days of the special operation.