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Ukraine’s fighting spirit will bleed the Russian military dry, a US special forces veteran has told Fox News.
“I watch the unconventional warfare or the combat that’s going on there, and I think you’re going to see a lot of guerrilla warfare soon,” said retired US Army Lt. Col. Scott Mann.
“These cities are going to be overrun, and it will be a long, very long road for the Russians,” Mann continued. “If they think that because they’re occupying these towns they’re finished – if you look at the fighting spirit of the Ukrainian people – they’re preparing for a nasty guerrilla campaign that will bleed them dry.”
The retired Green Beret commander told Fox News that the situation in Ukraine was unfolding the opposite of how things were unfolding in Afghanistan.
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“I have to think the Taliban don’t like what’s going on in Ukraine right now,” Mann said. “People are watching this and it’s inspiring, whatever your politics, to see people taking a stand like this.”
Mann, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, founded Task Force Pineapple, a group that helped evacuate Afghan refugees after the country fell to the Taliban last year.
The group is not involved in Ukraine because, according to Mann, the circumstances are different.
“Even though it’s a horrible war, you have a kind of linear battlefield and you have nation states,” Mann said. “I think volunteer groups, we have to be very careful about how we engage here and what we do.”
Mann equated the last days of the withdrawal from Afghanistan with the “wild Wild West”. He said Pineapple came together because of his team’s specific knowledge of the country, which would not translate to Ukraine.
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He told Fox News there were three reasons why the war in Ukraine was going differently than the fall of Afghanistan.
“The first is leadership,” Mann said.
“If you only compare the internal leadership at the top levels in Ukraine and Afghanistan, it’s striking,” he continued. “You have the President of Ukraine saying ‘We don’t need a ride, we need ammunition’…”If you can’t control the sky, give me planes”, against [then-Afghan President-Ashraf] Ghani and his team rush towards helicopters without warning to flee and leave their people dry.”
Ukraine’s embrace of nationalism is second, according to Mann.
“Ukraine has a national identity, and it’s deep, and they’re fighting for it,” Mann told Fox News.
“Historically, Afghanistan has not been so attached to a national identity,” he continued. “It is above all a status society, a tribal society.”
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“The last is the nature of the threat,” he said.
“If you look at Ukraine, it faces an external threat,” Mann continued. “Nothing brings people together more than an outside threat”
“It brings us together quickly, whether it’s a hurricane or the Russian bear,” he said. “While with the Taliban it was an internal threat, it was a long-term insurgency that, you know, really took a thousand cuts to the Afghan government.”