If Putin wanted to take Ukraine, it’s my professional opinion as a former SEAL, they could, and easily. Allow me to put it simply on the whiteboard for you.

“Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime.” -Hemingway

Putin has the capability, put in simple terms below, to completely annihilate Ukraine if that’s what he really wanted. We’ll get to that in a minute. This is how Putin should have done it if his objective was to take Ukraine outright.

Identify key strategic infrastructures like communications, power, command and control leadership, and then destroy them completely. Then take out the Ukrainian President and his advisors with strategic airstrikes, or send in Special Ops teams to decapitate the government.

It’s one of the reasons we, snipers, look for who’s in charge, then take them out first, then the radio guy is next. Total chaos ensues while you pick the rest off.

Bomb the bridges, railroad tracks major roads, and airports to prevent Ukraine from moving reinforcements to the front quickly.

Isolate the battlefield by jamming their communications and hitting their supply lines constantly in the rear constantly.

Defense think tanks like RAND have done various war game scenarios over the past few years, and Russia wins in an invasion of Western Europe. NATO and the rest of Europe just can’t mobilize fast enough.