November 3rd Led to February 24th

 

The Russian attack on Ukraine can be traced to the 2020 presidential election. Leaving aside the question of voter fraud, the replacement of Trump by Biden strengthened Russia’s economy. One of the first actions Biden took was to cancel the Keystone pipeline. He also discouraged drilling. Gas and other fossil fuel prices jumped. Russia depends heavily on energy exports so this was a huge cash infusion into its economy.

Biden appointed incompetent people such as Austin who became secretary of defense. When he wasn’t chowing down, he appeared to think that his most crucial issue was to root out conservatives in the defense department. A friend of mine knew a young man who joined the Air Force to work on cyber defense. With the emphasis on transgenders getting surgeries, he’s getting out as soon as his enlistment ends.

Austin also thinks that forcing people who are not at risk from COVID to get a leaky vaccine is critical. When push came to shove in Afghanistan, no one stood up to Biden and said that we should hold Bagram Air Base until the very end. It’s much more secure than Kabul but none of our generals were willing to put their careers on the line on behalf of the safety of our military. And in the debacle we left tens of billions of dollars of weapons behind.

Biden was always a gaffe machine, but by Election Day 2020 he was clearly unfit to be president. He barely campaigned. In his few press conferences since he’s become president, he calls on specific reporters and has the answers written out on 3×5 cards. His recent performance shows a man who is almost comatose.

 

Putin attacked Georgia when Bush was president. He then seized Crimea during Obama’s presidency. Now he’s attacking Ukraine. The only president he appears to have respected was Trump. The people who supported Biden are to blame for this debacle. And the escalation which is being pushed by Bill Kristol and other war hawks is dangerous. It’s good for Raytheon but no so good for Ukraine. We need to encourage de-escalation rather than ramping up the rhetoric.

Published in Foreign Policy
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  1. DrewInWisconsin, Oik! Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik!
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Raxxalan (View Comment):
    We have an incredible maleducated elite that instinctively practices empty virtue signaling.  They have absolutely no concept of what the impact of any policy is.

    Because it never impacts them. We need to somehow make them feel the effects of their own policies.

     

    • #31
  2. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    I would be liking a bunch of posts right now but I have computer problems that stop me. 

    I forget the figure, but you take the staggering amount of man hours of labor that oil creates, times labor rates and it equals $550,000 / barrel or something. 

    I forget where I saw it, but I read a pretty convincing article that having people sell back power with their solar panels is really stupid. Wind turbines are patently stupid. 

    Doomberg says that hybrids kind of move things along in the right way because of the way the resources are consumed, but all of their other fantasies are just terrible. You don’t even need to subsidize hybrids because people want them anyway.

    • #32
  3. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

     

     

     

    • #33
  4. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    It’s one thing to say that the perception of American weakness emboldened Putin to invade a sovereign nation; it’s another to say that Ukraine is thus obligated to lay down and accept the boot.

    It’s good for Raytheon

    Well, we can’t have that. If it’s better for Russia, that’s irrelevant?

    OK.

    What is the endgame here where Ukraine wins? What does that look like and how do we get there?

    Jen pSaki says that that’s not for the US to determine. And the DHS ministry of truth says that we must support Ukraine in the mean time.

    I just want something spelled out for me that is a plausible victory. Russia has to give up. I don’t think they will. 

    • #34
  5. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    It’s one thing to say that the perception of American weakness emboldened Putin to invade a sovereign nation; it’s another to say that Ukraine is thus obligated to lay down and accept the boot.

    It’s good for Raytheon

    Well, we can’t have that. If it’s better for Russia, that’s irrelevant?

    OK.

    What is the endgame here where Ukraine wins? What does that look like and how do we get there?

    Jen pSaki says that that’s not for the US to determine. And the DHS ministry of truth says that we must support Ukraine in the mean time.

    I just want something spelled out for me that is a plausible victory. Russia has to give up. I don’t think they will.

    My issue has to do with our leadership.  If I felt we had even a halfway honest, halfway competent POTUS and leadership then I would be for stepping on Putin like a bug and be done with the idiot.  Sadly we are lead by a group that has a POTUS that shites himself regularly and is unsure about the world and a leadership team that is more likely to use its military might against MAGA than the enemies of the country.    

    • #35
  6. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    It’s one thing to say that the perception of American weakness emboldened Putin to invade a sovereign nation; it’s another to say that Ukraine is thus obligated to lay down and accept the boot.

    It’s good for Raytheon

    Well, we can’t have that. If it’s better for Russia, that’s irrelevant?

    OK.

    What is the endgame here where Ukraine wins? What does that look like and how do we get there?

    Jen pSaki says that that’s not for the US to determine. And the DHS ministry of truth says that we must support Ukraine in the mean time.

    I just want something spelled out for me that is a plausible victory. Russia has to give up. I don’t think they will.

    The maximal negotiated settlement for a Ukrainian victory would be the following:

    1. Russia out of all Ukrainian Territory – Including Crimea, and the two separatist republics
    2. Ukraine free to seek its own security and foreign policy agreements without foreign interference.
    3. Some sort of Reparations/ War Crimes investigations 

    I don’t think that any of these are likely achievable.   Equally  it seems unlikely Russia can achieve their maximal position which keeps changing.   I doubt that Russia gives up; however, they could get to a point where continuing isn’t really possible either depending on what they can do for logistics.  Russia’s GDP can’t support an unlimited military industrial capacity.  Ukraine is using NATOs military industrial capacity which is vast, but they have their own logistics and training issues. 

    This fight as it is currently constituted doesn’t favor the Russians at all, which is what makes it so dangerous.   The best case we and Ukraine can probably hope for would be something like this:

    1. Return to the prewar borders and formal recognition of the breakaway states
    2. Ukraine excluded from joining NATO but free to join the EU and arrange other security arrangements.
    3. No sort Reparations
    4. No War Crimes investigations or perhaps a proforma world court/ U.N. war crimes investigation that is toothless.

    If Ukraine starts to take territory in the separatist regions it is going to get ugly and world opinion may sour on the Ukrainian cause that has the possibility of being a off ramp but it will be very ugly for Russia.  I think before that Russia would escalate.  Also so far the Russians are doing modestly well in the east.  I could be Ukraine suffers some setbacks and that could provide an off ramp.  

    • #36
  7. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    It’s one thing to say that the perception of American weakness emboldened Putin to invade a sovereign nation; it’s another to say that Ukraine is thus obligated to lay down and accept the boot.

    It’s good for Raytheon

    Well, we can’t have that. If it’s better for Russia, that’s irrelevant?

    OK.

    What is the endgame here where Ukraine wins? What does that look like and how do we get there?

    Jen pSaki says that that’s not for the US to determine. And the DHS ministry of truth says that we must support Ukraine in the mean time.

    I just want something spelled out for me that is a plausible victory. Russia has to give up. I don’t think they will.

    The maximal negotiated settlement for a Ukrainian victory would be the following:

    1. Russia out of all Ukrainian Territory – Including Crimea, and the two separatist republics
    2. Ukraine free to seek its own security and foreign policy agreements without foreign interference.
    3. Some sort of Reparations/ War Crimes investigations

    I don’t think that any of these are likely achievable. Equally it seems unlikely Russia can achieve their maximal position which keeps changing. I doubt that Russia gives up; however, they could get to a point where continuing isn’t really possible either depending on what they can do for logistics. Russia’s GDP can’t support an unlimited military industrial capacity. Ukraine is using NATOs military industrial capacity which is vast, but they have their own logistics and training issues.

    This fight as it is currently constituted doesn’t favor the Russians at all, which is what makes it so dangerous. The best case we and Ukraine can probably hope for would be something like this:

    1. Return to the prewar borders and formal recognition of the breakaway states
    2. Ukraine excluded from joining NATO but free to join the EU and arrange other security arrangements.
    3. No sort Reparations
    4. No War Crimes investigations or perhaps a proforma world court/ U.N. war crimes investigation that is toothless.

    If Ukraine starts to take territory in the separatist regions it is going to get ugly and world opinion may sour on the Ukrainian cause that has the possibility of being a off ramp but it will be very ugly for Russia. I think before that Russia would escalate. Also so far the Russians are doing modestly well in the east. I could be Ukraine suffers some setbacks and that could provide an off ramp.

    I fear even that can’t happen.  Well thought out. Thanks.

    • #37
  8. DrewInWisconsin, Oik! Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik!
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

     The best case we and Ukraine can probably hope for would be something like this:

    1. Return to the prewar borders and formal recognition of the breakaway states
    2. Ukraine excluded from joining NATO but free to join the EU and arrange other security arrangements.

    Both of those were on the table in early attempts to negotiate the peace. Not sure what happened to spike those efforts but that was about the same time Biden started babbling about regime change and “This man cannot remain in power!”

    • #38
  9. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    RufusRJones (View Comment):
    I would add coal as well. Nobody is going to give a crap about anything except energy if it gets bad enough. Personally, 25 more years of clean coal doesn’t sound that bad to me. Everybody talks about natural gas, but the logistics are horrible compared to nuclear and coal.

    Of course, one problem with coal is that the power plants and supporting infrastructure are usually removed as soon as a power plant is decommissioned.  They can’t just be re-activated, they would have to be rebuilt.  And does anyone even manufacture the necessary equipment any more?

    • #39
  10. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    What is the endgame here where Ukraine wins? What does that look like and how do we get there? 

    The Ukrainians expel the Russians from their territory, then hold a plebiscite (with international observers) in the Donbass to see if the locals want to remain attached to Ukraine or join with Russia. 

    Whether it happens is a different matter, and some will say lol fair election, we can’t even do that or some other means of eeyoring any attempt to do something, but that’s an endgame scenario.  

    • #40
  11. Locke On Member
    Locke On
    @LockeOn

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik! (View Comment):

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    The best case we and Ukraine can probably hope for would be something like this:

    1. Return to the prewar borders and formal recognition of the breakaway states
    2. Ukraine excluded from joining NATO but free to join the EU and arrange other security arrangements.

    Both of those were on the table in early attempts to negotiate the peace. Not sure what happened to spike those efforts but that was about the same time Biden started babbling about regime change and “This man cannot remain in power!”

    Might have had something to do with certain Russian atrocities, IIRC.  The problem I have with parts of this discussion is it seems to deny agency to the Ukrainians, eastern European NATO allies, the EU, and even the Russians.  We can make things harder or easier on the Ukrainians, but we can’t stop the war unless we’re willing to use our own strategic means, and I am certainly not advocating that.  From a completely cynical, realpolitik point of view, it likely makes sense to bleed the Russians dry using our weapons and Ukrainian bodies.  A wrecked Russian military will require a lot less of an arms build up to deter in the future (I share the opinion that Putin is likely going nowhere and unlikely to change his ways).

    • #41
  12. DrewInWisconsin, Oik! Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik!
    @DrewInWisconsin

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    What is the endgame here where Ukraine wins? What does that look like and how do we get there?

    The Ukrainians expel the Russians from their territory, then hold a plebiscite (with international observers) in the Donbass to see if the locals want to remain attached to Ukraine or join with Russia.

    Step one there is a mighty big step. So let’s answer the second part of the question, because that’s crucial: “How do we get there?”

    • #42
  13. DrewInWisconsin, Oik! Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik!
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Locke On (View Comment):
    From a completely cynical, realpolitik point of view, it likely makes sense to bleed the Russians dry using our weapons and Ukrainian bodies. 

    That does seem to be the plan.

     

    • #43
  14. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik! (View Comment):

    You’re willing that Ukraine fight to the last man. Are you willing that the United States fight to the last man for Ukraine?

    No. I don’t advocate the US send troops. I never have.  Put it this way: if I believe that an independent Poland is preferable to a Poland under Russian domination, am I willing that the US fight to the last man to prevent it? Or have I just stated two scenarios and ranked them in order of preference, depending on how the outcome shapes the future both of the occupied nation and the region in general?

    What I will is irrelevant. I just hope Russia loses, which seems oddly controversial sometimes. 

    • #44
  15. Roberto Member
    Roberto
    @Roberto

    Whatever your position on Ukraine it is worth noting some of the side-effects of our current policy such as this:

    The Pentagon has shipped about a third of its stock of Stinger anti-aircraft and Javelin anti-armor missiles to Ukraine. The missiles have given the embattled Ukrainians an edge over Russia, but they will be difficult to replace anytime soon.

    In testimony given before the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Department of Defense’s top acquisition official, Ellen Lord, explained the situation to lawmakers. The Pentagon won’t be able to replace Stinger anti-aircraft missiles “within the next couple of years,” as production lines for the Cold War-era missile have been shut down. She added that some simpler components for Stinger missile production could be hard to source.

    Lord added that “we are probably five years” away from replenishing the stock of Javelins, even though the Javelin production line has not closed.

     

     

    • #45
  16. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Roberto (View Comment):

    Whatever your position on Ukraine it is worth noting some of the side-effects of our current policy such as this:

    The Pentagon has shipped about a third of its stock of Stinger anti-aircraft and Javelin anti-armor missiles to Ukraine. The missiles have given the embattled Ukrainians an edge over Russia, but they will be difficult to replace anytime soon.

    In testimony given before the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Department of Defense’s top acquisition official, Ellen Lord, explained the situation to lawmakers. The Pentagon won’t be able to replace Stinger anti-aircraft missiles “within the next couple of years,” as production lines for the Cold War-era missile have been shut down. She added that some simpler components for Stinger missile production could be hard to source.

    Lord added that “we are probably five years” away from replenishing the stock of Javelins, even though the Javelin production line has not closed.

    Especially the Democrat administrations always seem to be so dumb about these things.  They’ll throw around billions in funding to teach white-guilt to kindergarteners, but they “economize” a few million by shutting down and perhaps dismantling critical manufacturing capacity for defense not just for ourselves but also allies.

    And in some cases, shutting something down might cost more than keeping it open.

    • #46
  17. DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax)
    @DonG

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik! (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    What is the endgame here where Ukraine wins? What does that look like and how do we get there?

    The Ukrainians expel the Russians from their territory, then hold a plebiscite (with international observers) in the Donbass to see if the locals want to remain attached to Ukraine or join with Russia.

    Step one there is a mighty big step. So let’s answer the second part of the question, because that’s crucial: “How do we get there?”

    The only outcome given the current level of effort by both sides is a stalemate and protracted fighting in eastern/southern Ukraine.  Neither side is strong enough to overwhelm the other.   I don’t see what is going to cause Kiev or Moscow to stop supporting the fighting.   Being that our aid to Ukraine exceeds their federal budget, Kiev should be able to hold out a long time.   The premium on energy prices is enough incentive for Moscow to keep up the hostilities. 

    Somebody third party is going to have step in and broker a deal.

    • #47
  18. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    The good news is, javelins don’t have any chips in them.  l  o  l 

    I try to avoid criticizing foreign policy or talking about it, but I cannot understand why all of those adjacent countries weren’t / aren’t massively loaded to the teeth with every gradation and level of defensive weapons and plans at all times. 10X Switzerland. Forget NATO, that is obviously the obvious priority. 

     

    • #48
  19. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) (View Comment):
    The premium on energy prices is enough incentive for Moscow to keep up the hostilities. 

    Why shouldn’t we nuke Germany and the EU? 

    The globalist ruling class sucks. 

     

    • #49
  20. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    ?

     

     

     

    • #50
  21. DrewInWisconsin, Oik! Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik!
    @DrewInWisconsin

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    What I will is irrelevant. I just hope Russia loses, which seems oddly controversial sometimes. 

    I just want our leaders to focus their energies (and our tax dollars) on our own country and secure our own borders, create our own energy, feed our own people, manufacture our own products, give our own people jobs, which seems oddly controversial sometimes.

     

    • #51
  22. Fritz Coolidge
    Fritz
    @Fritz

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik! (View Comment):

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    The best case we and Ukraine can probably hope for would be something like this:

    1. Return to the prewar borders and formal recognition of the breakaway states
    2. Ukraine excluded from joining NATO but free to join the EU and arrange other security arrangements.

    Both of those were on the table in early attempts to negotiate the peace. Not sure what happened to spike those efforts but that was about the same time Biden started babbling about regime change and “This man cannot remain in power!”

    And that was when Ukraine’s president said relinquishing any territory whatsoever was off the table and non-negotiable.  Voila: instant stalemate.

    • #52
  23. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik! (View Comment):

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    The best case we and Ukraine can probably hope for would be something like this:

    1. Return to the prewar borders and formal recognition of the breakaway states
    2. Ukraine excluded from joining NATO but free to join the EU and arrange other security arrangements.

    Both of those were on the table in early attempts to negotiate the peace. Not sure what happened to spike those efforts but that was about the same time Biden started babbling about regime change and “This man cannot remain in power!”

    Biden has not helped, but the man has been famously wrong about every foreign policy decision of the last 4 decades.  What do you expect.  

    The real issue is early on both sides thought they could obtain their maximal war aims, so neither had a reason to come to the table.  Now it is a case of it has been too costly for both sides to go to a negotiated settlement and both sides are “hot”.  Exhaustion has to set in or something has to cool things down for there to be a climb down. 

    • #53
  24. DrewInWisconsin, Oik! Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik!
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Raxxalan (View Comment):
    Now it is a case of it has been too costly for both sides to go to a negotiated settlement and both sides are “hot”.

    But if we keep sending billions to Ukraine, it’s very costly to us, keeps things hot, and it gives Putin an excuse to nuke the West.

    He’s threatening it . . .

    So yeah, if you don’t want peace and you want to prolong the war, let’s just keep sending money and equipment to Ukraine. Ukraine will be a pile of rubble in the end, but Biden doesn’t really care about that.

    You know where regime change is sorely needed?

    Here:

    About The White House | The White House

    • #54
  25. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    Locke On (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik! (View Comment):

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    The best case we and Ukraine can probably hope for would be something like this:

    1. Return to the prewar borders and formal recognition of the breakaway states
    2. Ukraine excluded from joining NATO but free to join the EU and arrange other security arrangements.

    Both of those were on the table in early attempts to negotiate the peace. Not sure what happened to spike those efforts but that was about the same time Biden started babbling about regime change and “This man cannot remain in power!”

    Might have had something to do with certain Russian atrocities, IIRC. The problem I have with parts of this discussion is it seems to deny agency to the Ukrainians, eastern European NATO allies, the EU, and even the Russians. We can make things harder or easier on the Ukrainians, but we can’t stop the war unless we’re willing to use our own strategic means, and I am certainly not advocating that. From a completely cynical, realpolitik point of view, it likely makes sense to bleed the Russians dry using our weapons and Ukrainian bodies. A wrecked Russian military will require a lot less of an arms build up to deter in the future (I share the opinion that Putin is likely going nowhere and unlikely to change his ways).

    I am not advocating just analyzing.  I will say that Ukraine depends on NATO and the EU to continue to supply their war machine.  That means NATO and the EU have a say in how long this war continues.  Again this is analysis not a value judgement.

    • #55
  26. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik! (View Comment):

    Raxxalan (View Comment):
    Now it is a case of it has been too costly for both sides to go to a negotiated settlement and both sides are “hot”.

    But if we keep sending billions to Ukraine, it’s only costly to us.

    And it gives Putin an excuse to nuke the West.

    He’s threatening it . . .

    So yeah, if you don’t want peace and you want to prolong the war, let’s just keep sending money and equipment to Ukraine. Ukraine will be a pile of rubble in the end, but Biden doesn’t really care about that.

    You know where regime change is sorely needed?

    Here:

    About The White House | The White House

    I agree that having Biden as president in this crisis make this a huge problem.  Harris would not be much better.  A competent US president could and should be brokering a peace right now.  Neither side is going to achieve its maximal war aims.  This conflict is going to disrupt the global order and is inherently dangerous.  I agree that it may be in the US interests in the most cynical way possible to bleed the Russians, but the risks of this strategy and the cost of it are not in anyone’s interest. 

    • #56
  27. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    What is the endgame here where Ukraine wins? What does that look like and how do we get there?

    The Ukrainians expel the Russians from their territory, then hold a plebiscite (with international observers) in the Donbass to see if the locals want to remain attached to Ukraine or join with Russia.

    Whether it happens is a different matter, and some will say lol fair election, we can’t even do that or some other means of eeyoring any attempt to do something, but that’s an endgame scenario.

    I find that senerio to be utter fantasy. 

    And, in no way do I trust Ukraine to have a fair vote. Make fun of me all you want. Call me names like Eeyor. Ukraine is one of the most corrupt nations in the world. That is fact. I like to deal with them not flights of fantasy. 

    So, seeing I have no belief at all in your exit plan, please lay out for me how it can happen.

     

    • #57
  28. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik! (View Comment):

    You’re willing that Ukraine fight to the last man. Are you willing that the United States fight to the last man for Ukraine?

    No. I don’t advocate the US send troops. I never have. Put it this way: if I believe that an independent Poland is preferable to a Poland under Russian domination, am I willing that the US fight to the last man to prevent it? Or have I just stated two scenarios and ranked them in order of preference, depending on how the outcome shapes the future both of the occupied nation and the region in general?

    What I will is irrelevant. I just hope Russia loses, which seems oddly controversial sometimes.

    You do seem to advocate using our hard to replace military weapons. That is what we are doing now.

    I don’t think advocating a Russian loss is controversial, at least it is not to me. I just think it is a forlorn hope.

    • #58
  29. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik! (View Comment):

    You’re willing that Ukraine fight to the last man. Are you willing that the United States fight to the last man for Ukraine?

    No. I don’t advocate the US send troops. I never have. Put it this way: if I believe that an independent Poland is preferable to a Poland under Russian domination, am I willing that the US fight to the last man to prevent it? Or have I just stated two scenarios and ranked them in order of preference, depending on how the outcome shapes the future both of the occupied nation and the region in general?

    What I will is irrelevant. I just hope Russia loses, which seems oddly controversial sometimes.

    You do seem to advocate using our hard to replace military weapons. That is what we are doing now.

    I don’t think advocating a Russian loss is controversial, at least it is not to me. I just think it is a forlorn hope.

    In a certain dimensions they already have lost.

    1. They have lost a tremendous amount of geopolitical prestige and therefore power because of their military performance
    2. They have lost a tremendous amount of war material that will be costly for them to replace.
    3. They have lost a large number of highly trained troops.
    4. They have strengthened NATO rather than weakening it.
    5. They are now the junior partner in their alliance with China.

    Long term almost no matter what the outcome in Ukraine,  Russia’s strategic position has been made worse by this conflict.   An intelligent President could use these facts to convince Russia that it is in its strategic interest to accept some face saving settlement and wrap this up and use his leverage with the Ukrainians to get them to agree with something that they could live with.  Alas we don’t have that president today.

    • #59
  30. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):
    what has the world — who has seen him up close — been thinking about Biden for the last year?

    Didn’t Putin meet him last summer? How did that factor into Putin’s calculations?

    I think Putin knows more about who runs the US government than we do.

    • #60
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