What military analyst Thomas Theiner believes about the Pentagon’s plans
Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin and Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov during a meeting in the Ramstein format in Brussels, February 14, 2023 (Photo:REUTERS/Johanna Geron)
NV editor-in-chief Vitaly Sych, during a broadcast of Radio NV with investment banker Serhiy Fursa, analyzed a publication by military analyst Thomas Theiner on the Pentagon budget, which partially reveals how the U.S. is preparing Ukraine for a large-scale offensive in the spring.
On Radio NV, Sych explained that Thomas Theiner is a former Italian military officer and an expert on NATO forces who has been studying and analyzing information from open sources about conflicts in the former USSR for the past 10 years and has about 100,000 followers.
One of his recent publications caused a lot of discussion on Twitter, explained Sych. In it, Theiner analyzed amendments to the Pentagon budget, specifically a $3.8 billion arms order. Theiner and his commentators believe that studying these documents indicates what exactly the Pentagon is sending to Ukraine. Sych noted that the farther one goes, the more positions of the weapons in these files are classified, but Theiner "has a good idea of what exactly is classified there, because he is an expert and he studies it."
Thomas Theiner's Twitter thread about the Pentagon budget
Mr. Sych explained that Theiner believes that these amendments to the Pentagon budget are “an excellent source of what kind of secret military programs the US leadership is implementing in Ukraine and what equipment it is sending.”
There was one thing that was difficult to understand,” Sych said.
“Many have concluded from this information that the Pentagon is preparing the Ukrainian army for a big offensive in the spring, judging by the weapons it is sending. ...Part of it looks like the Pentagon is replenishing its stockpiles of weapons. It has given a lot of older weapons to Ukraine, and this is a replenishment with new, modern, very advanced weapons that can defeat China – not only Russia. But some of these weapons will be intended for Ukraine.”
He also listed a number of points from Theiner's writing on the Pentagon order.
“It’s clear, $7 million for 120-mm mortars, almost a thousand new Javelins, 40-mm grenades – 185 thousand,” NV’s editor-in-chief explained.
“And then the curious stuff begins. The Pentagon is now ordering for the first time $230 million worth of 155mm shells – that's NATO caliber – and $200 million worth of Excalibur shells, also NATO caliber. And Thomas Theiner says this is the first time the Pentagon is spending the same amount of money on Excaliburs as it does on conventional shells. We should recall that Excaliburs are long-range projectiles, very accurate, controlled by GPS and with a margin of error of 1 meter. And they are almost completely switching to them. Then they are ordering a lot of HIMARS, worth half a billion dollars. And where these HIMARS will go is not entirely clear, because they may go to Ukraine, or they may keep them, or perhaps they’re for Taiwan. ... Then the next thing the Pentagon orders is GMLRS missiles, which they had previously ordered 3200 in total. Now they are ordering 7600 of them in a single order, and they have a range of150 km. That is – a lot. These are the missiles that we wanted to get.”
In response, Fursa suggested that perhaps some of these missiles had already arrived in Mariupol.
“There were rumors, leaks from the President’s Office that said that Biden did not come to Kyiv empty-handed, ... that more long-range missiles came,” Fursa suggested.
Sych stressed that before these missiles were ordered for half a billion dollars, and now this single order is more than a billion dollars.
As an example of an order almost 100% designed for Ukraine, he named the order by the Pentagon of demining equipment for $53 million.
“It’s interesting, because before they had ordered only a total of $1 million,” he explained.
According to Sych, Theiner concludes that Ukraine will soon be breaking through many minefields.
In addition, Theiner highlighted the fact that the Pentagon is ordering many new types of modern missiles, in particular the air-launched version of Harpoon missiles.
“They say that they used to provide us with Harpoons – these are anti-ship missiles,” Sych stated.
“Now they are ordering a more modern, more advanced 400 km version and ordering a lot of them. But here he [Theiner - ed.] concludes that the Ukrainians have probably learned how to mount anti-ship missiles on their fighters, and a batch of these missiles with a range of 400 km, the most advanced, the fastest in the world, they also ordered quite a lot of them.”
Sych cited Theiner's findings that the Pentagon provided Ukraine with excellent older missiles that are well suited to defeat Russia, and is now replacing them with new missiles designed to defeat China.
“That is, part of this will be intended for the U.S. army, and part, it is not known which, for the Ukrainian army,” he said.
NV’s editor-in-chief emphasized that many commentators have concluded that Ukraine is being prepared for a big offensive in the spring, and much of what Theiner listed and did not list due to secrecy will come into Ukraine in the spring.
On Jan. 20, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced that Ukrainian forces would be able to launch a counteroffensive in the spring.
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