Ukraine News at Christmas Time

 

I’ve been away from the news for two days for a family Christmas. No following the news, just time with my son and his family. They only live about ten miles away, but my wife and I packed the presents, and we were house guests.

On Christmas Eve, we prepared a smoked salmon fettuccine dinner. We enjoyed some champagne, and some adult libations in the late evening hours. We helped the two grandsons prepare cookies and milk for Santa and sent them off to bed.

Christmas morning when the boys came downstairs, they found packages under the tree that were not there the night before. The small plate of cookies was empty as was the glass of milk. After wrapping paper was bundled away, breakfast and then the preparations of a Christmas dinner began.

I checked Ricochet on my cell phone once, but I had no intention of posting a comment, or to redact any comments. We are back home this afternoon.

Like Helen of Troy, the face that launched a thousand ships, a post on Ukraine launches hundreds of comments, as well some insults.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is close to its one-year anniversary. Kiev still stands as the capital. I do not see a quick victory or loss for either side. I hear pundits that say this is a very complex problem. I see YouTube bloggers that have no combat experience opining on tactics. Then we have the morality police on how immoral either side is. Lots of cheerleaders, but all that matters is sometimes things go well for Russia and on other days, things go well for Ukraine.

The bottom line is Russia has not taken Kiev. Russia has moved Finland and Sweden to seek NATO membership. In about two more years, Poland will have the largest armored force in Europe. Germany, which has been ignoring the battle readiness of its own armed forces, is now increasing their defense spending.

As the old saying goes, what does Russia have that Norway, Finland, and the Baltic States don’t have? A good neighbor. Putin is going to get exactly what he didn’t want. You can add Ukraine to that list.

A link to the ISW Ukraine report.

Published in Foreign Policy
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  1. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    Doug Watt: As the old saying goes what does Russia have that Norway, Finland, and the Baltic States don’t have?

    Hydrogen bombs.  And a likely half-deranged leader.

    • #1
  2. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    I’m a bit puzzled.  What does being “a good neighbor” to Russia entail?  Helping them invade other countries?

    • #2
  3. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    Doug Watt: As the old saying goes what does Russia have that Norway, Finland, and the Baltic States don’t have?

    Hydrogen bombs. And a likely half-deranged leader.

    Well, one would hope that Putin is not that delusional. If he is there is nothing, we can do about that. Our choice would be to cave to every demand he has or hope that someone brings a pistol to the next meeting in the Kremlin.

    • #3
  4. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    Doug Watt: As the old saying goes what does Russia have that Norway, Finland, and the Baltic States don’t have?

    Hydrogen bombs. And a likely half-deranged leader.

    Well, one would hope that Putin is not that delusional. If he is there is nothing, we can do about that. Our choice would be to cave to every demand he has or hope that someone brings a pistol to the next meeting in the Kremlin.

    Or if Putin’s order to launch missiles etc, is just rejected.  Supposedly the Cuban Missile Crisis would have turned out very different if one Soviet officer – a submarine captain I think, not sure now – hadn’t refused an order to launch missiles.

    But whoever refuses Putin’s order better have a pistol too.

    • #4
  5. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    Doug Watt: As the old saying goes what does Russia have that Norway, Finland, and the Baltic States don’t have?

    Hydrogen bombs. And a likely half-deranged leader.

    Given the effectiveness of the rest of the Russian military I would be surprised if Russia uses its nuclear arsenal. It’s a bigger threat if it unused than if it is used and goes phssst instead of boom. Right now the Russians can comfort themselves with the thought it will go boom. But they have to be worrying about it going phsst.

    A lot of things have to go absolutely right to put a nuclear-tipped ICBM on target. The launch has to work, the fuel has to work, the guidance has to work, the navigation has to work, the reentry system has to work, the targeting has to work, and the fusing system has to work, and finally the bomb has to explode. All require a lot of maintenance to work reliably and if any link in the chain fails, the attack fails.

    The last thing you want is to launch a strike where only a small fraction strike home. In Russian eyes if that happens they would invite a massive nuclear attack since their deterrent has been exposed as a bluff. That is what they would do if the US nuclear counterstrike capability were exposed a ineffective and they are sure we would do the same thing given the opportunity.

    • #5
  6. navyjag Coolidge
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    As much as I hate giving away my taxpayers dollars, destroying the Russian Army might be worth $100 billion. Then we can just focus on China.  Israel will take care of Iran.  And Japan watching N. Korea with an eagle eye.  So maybe we can get out of this.  Unless Biden wins in 2024. Then we are cooked. 

    • #6
  7. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    navyjag (View Comment):

    As much as I hate giving away my taxpayers dollars, destroying the Russian Army might be worth $100 billion. Then we can just focus on China. Israel will take care of Iran. And Japan watching N. Korea with an eagle eye. So maybe we can get out of this. Unless Biden wins in 2024. Then we are cooked.

    Almost as valuable: Xi Jinping gets to see tanks that are better than his being knocked out by teenagers dropping anti-tank grenades from the kind of commercially available drones that Taiwan sells and their teenagers already tinker with all the time.

    • #7
  8. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    navyjag (View Comment):

    As much as I hate giving away my taxpayers dollars, destroying the Russian Army might be worth $100 billion. Then we can just focus on China. Israel will take care of Iran. And Japan watching N. Korea with an eagle eye. So maybe we can get out of this. Unless Biden wins in 2024. Then we are cooked.

    Speaking of Japan, our daughter-in-law is a Japanese citizen. Japan is increasing their defense spending. At the present time they have more frigates and destroyers than France and Britain combined. They are going to invest in US cruise missiles for long range strikes. They have the ability to land Japanese Marines on any number of islands. Japan has ship to ship missile capability and fly F-15’s. Japan also has a modern submarine capability.

    The Japanese Self Defense Forces see China, North Korea, and Russia as a direct threat to Japan.

    • #8
  9. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    Doug Watt: As the old saying goes what does Russia have that Norway, Finland, and the Baltic States don’t have?

    Hydrogen bombs. And a likely half-deranged leader.

    Well, one would hope that Putin is not that delusional. If he is there is nothing, we can do about that. Our choice would be to cave to every demand he has or hope that someone brings a pistol to the next meeting in the Kremlin.

    The Putin situation is somewhat analogous to our dilemma with Biden; his successor may very well be less desirable than having him continue in office.

    • #9
  10. navyjag Coolidge
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    navyjag (View Comment):

    As much as I hate giving away my taxpayers dollars, destroying the Russian Army might be worth $100 billion. Then we can just focus on China. Israel will take care of Iran. And Japan watching N. Korea with an eagle eye. So maybe we can get out of this. Unless Biden wins in 2024. Then we are cooked.

    Speaking of Japan, our daughter-in-law is a Japanese citizen. Japan is increasing their defense spending. At the present time they have more frigates and destroyers than France and Britain combined. They are going to invest in US cruise missiles for long range strikes. They have the ability to land Japanese Marines on any number of islands. Japan has ship to ship missile capability and fly F-15’s. Japan also has a modern submarine capability.

    The Japanese Self Defense Forces see China, North Korea, and Russia as a direct threat to Japan.

     

    I think Ukraine with U.S. and Nato support will take care  of Russia. Assuming Israel will take out Iran than leaves only two dominos. 

    • #10
  11. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    Doug Watt: As the old saying goes what does Russia have that Norway, Finland, and the Baltic States don’t have?

    Hydrogen bombs. And a likely half-deranged leader.

    Well, one would hope that Putin is not that delusional. If he is there is nothing, we can do about that. Our choice would be to cave to every demand he has or hope that someone brings a pistol to the next meeting in the Kremlin.

    The Putin situation is somewhat analogous to our dilemma with Biden; his successor may very well be less desirable than having him continue in office.

    That is certainly a risk as far as a Putin successor goes. There would be no winner in a nuclear exchange. Sometimes lost in all the hype of Putin spokespersons make about using Nukes, and then the hypersonic missile hype from Russia is that one Ohio class sub can strike 28 different Russian cities. Trident missiles that have a top speed of 18,000 MPH. One would hope that the yes men in the Russian military would remind Putin that you will not be able to dig a hole deep enough to survive that attack.

    • #11
  12. navyjag Coolidge
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    Doug Watt: As the old saying goes what does Russia have that Norway, Finland, and the Baltic States don’t have?

    Hydrogen bombs. And a likely half-deranged leader.

    Well, one would hope that Putin is not that delusional. If he is there is nothing, we can do about that. Our choice would be to cave to every demand he has or hope that someone brings a pistol to the next meeting in the Kremlin.

    The Putin situation is somewhat analogous to our dilemma with Biden; his successor may very well be less desirable than having him continue in office.

    That is certainly a risk as far as a Putin successor goes. There would be no winner in a nuclear exchange. Sometimes lost in all the hype of Putin spokespersons make about using Nukes, and then the hypersonic missile hype from Russia is that one Ohio class sub can strike 28 different Russian cities. Trident missiles that have a top speed of 18,000 MPH. One would hope that the yes men in the Russian military would remind Putin that you will not be able to dig a hole deep enough to survive that attack.

    I think Doug is right.  Nucs would be a disaster for sure. Would cause a lot of damage here and many deaths. But Russia would be destroyed. Like 5th century destroyed. And their military problem has probably figured this out. 

    • #12
  13. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    navyjag (View Comment):

    As much as I hate giving away my taxpayers dollars, destroying the Russian Army might be worth $100 billion. Then we can just focus on China. Israel will take care of Iran. And Japan watching N. Korea with an eagle eye. So maybe we can get out of this. Unless Biden wins in 2024. Then we are cooked.

    But if those things happen like you want, Biden will take credit for it and a lot of people will believe it and vote for him.

    • #13
  14. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    navyjag (View Comment):

    As much as I hate giving away my taxpayers dollars, destroying the Russian Army might be worth $100 billion. Then we can just focus on China. Israel will take care of Iran. And Japan watching N. Korea with an eagle eye. So maybe we can get out of this. Unless Biden wins in 2024. Then we are cooked.

    Speaking of Japan, our daughter-in-law is a Japanese citizen. Japan is increasing their defense spending. At the present time they have more frigates and destroyers than France and Britain combined. They are going to invest in US cruise missiles for long range strikes. They have the ability to land Japanese Marines on any number of islands. Japan has ship to ship missile capability and fly F-15’s. Japan also has a modern submarine capability.

    The Japanese Self Defense Forces see China, North Korea, and Russia as a direct threat to Japan.

     

    Now they just need to start having more children so they don’t age themselves out of existence.

    • #14
  15. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    navyjag (View Comment):

    As much as I hate giving away my taxpayers dollars, destroying the Russian Army might be worth $100 billion. Then we can just focus on China. Israel will take care of Iran. And Japan watching N. Korea with an eagle eye. So maybe we can get out of this. Unless Biden wins in 2024. Then we are cooked.

    Speaking of Japan, our daughter-in-law is a Japanese citizen. Japan is increasing their defense spending. At the present time they have more frigates and destroyers than France and Britain combined. They are going to invest in US cruise missiles for long range strikes. They have the ability to land Japanese Marines on any number of islands. Japan has ship to ship missile capability and fly F-15’s. Japan also has a modern submarine capability.

    The Japanese Self Defense Forces see China, North Korea, and Russia as a direct threat to Japan.

    Now they just need to start having more children so they don’t age themselves out of existence.

    The trend might change in Japan concerning children. Our daughter-in-law is very active in the Japanese community in Oregon. Some of these families that are here in on short term visas are having more children, to include one family that went back to Japan with six children. Her sisters in Japan have more than one child. I suppose it depends on the family.

    • #15
  16. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    navyjag (View Comment):

    As much as I hate giving away my taxpayers dollars, destroying the Russian Army might be worth $100 billion. Then we can just focus on China. Israel will take care of Iran. And Japan watching N. Korea with an eagle eye. So maybe we can get out of this. Unless Biden wins in 2024. Then we are cooked.

    Speaking of Japan, our daughter-in-law is a Japanese citizen. Japan is increasing their defense spending. At the present time they have more frigates and destroyers than France and Britain combined. They are going to invest in US cruise missiles for long range strikes. They have the ability to land Japanese Marines on any number of islands. Japan has ship to ship missile capability and fly F-15’s. Japan also has a modern submarine capability.

    The Japanese Self Defense Forces see China, North Korea, and Russia as a direct threat to Japan.

    Now they just need to start having more children so they don’t age themselves out of existence.

    The trend might change in Japan concerning children. Our daughter-in-law is very active in the Japanese community in Oregon. Some of these families that are here in on short term visas are having more children, to include one family that went back to Japan with six children. Her sisters in Japan have more than one child. I suppose it depends on the family.

    It’s easier for Japanese people in the US to have more kids, they aren’t as limited to small houses/apartments as they are in Japan.

    • #16
  17. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Now they just need to start having more children so they don’t age themselves out of existence.

    The trend might change in Japan concerning children. Our daughter-in-law is very active in the Japanese community in Oregon. Some of these families that are here in on short term visas are having more children, to include one family that went back to Japan with six children. Her sisters in Japan have more than one child. I suppose it depends on the family.

    Has anyone looked at whether it is even possible for the population declines in Japan to be reversed within the next 2-3 decades? I think it may not be. I’ll post on this.

    • #17
  18. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    iWe (View Comment):

    Has anyone looked at whether it is even possible for the population declines in Japan to be reversed within the next 2-3 decades? I think it may not be. I’ll post on this.

    It depends. If the remaining population is into large (4-6 kids) families, sure.  that is 24 to 30 grandkids in the following generation.  If they only want 1-2 kids fuggetaboutit.  Since you will have a large die-off of the elderly (from the generations born from the 1940s through 1950s) there will be a lot of resources available for those having large families. Due to the small families in the 1970s through the 2010s, Japan’s demographics will shift from primarily elderly to primarily youthful when those born from 1940-1960 die off.

    • #18
  19. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    iWe (View Comment):

    Has anyone looked at whether it is even possible for the population declines in Japan to be reversed within the next 2-3 decades? I think it may not be. I’ll post on this.

    It depends. If the remaining population is into large (4-6 kids) families, sure. that is 24 to 30 grandkids in the following generation. If they only want 1-2 kids fuggetaboutit. Since you will have a large die-off of the elderly (from the generations born from the 1940s through 1950s) there will be a lot of resources available for those having large families. Due to the small families in the 1970s through the 2010s, Japan’s demographics will shift from primarily elderly to primarily youthful when those born from 1940-1960 die off.

    Unless they import Mexicans…

    • #19
  20. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    iWe (View Comment):

    Has anyone looked at whether it is even possible for the population declines in Japan to be reversed within the next 2-3 decades? I think it may not be. I’ll post on this.

    It depends. If the remaining population is into large (4-6 kids) families, sure. that is 24 to 30 grandkids in the following generation. If they only want 1-2 kids fuggetaboutit. Since you will have a large die-off of the elderly (from the generations born from the 1940s through 1950s) there will be a lot of resources available for those having large families. Due to the small families in the 1970s through the 2010s, Japan’s demographics will shift from primarily elderly to primarily youthful when those born from 1940-1960 die off.

    Unless they import Mexicans…

    The Mexicans who migrate tend to be young, so that doesn’t change my prediction.

    • #20
  21. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    iWe (View Comment):

    Has anyone looked at whether it is even possible for the population declines in Japan to be reversed within the next 2-3 decades? I think it may not be. I’ll post on this.

    It depends. If the remaining population is into large (4-6 kids) families, sure. that is 24 to 30 grandkids in the following generation. If they only want 1-2 kids fuggetaboutit. Since you will have a large die-off of the elderly (from the generations born from the 1940s through 1950s) there will be a lot of resources available for those having large families. Due to the small families in the 1970s through the 2010s, Japan’s demographics will shift from primarily elderly to primarily youthful when those born from 1940-1960 die off.

    Unless they import Mexicans…

    Or muslims, like Europe does.

    • #21
  22. Manny Coolidge
    Manny
    @Manny

    Excellent post.  Russia has no one to blame but itself.  No matter the outcome, they already have lost.  I’m intrigued by your smoked salmon fettuccine.  What kind of sauce was that in?

    • #22
  23. Quietpi Member
    Quietpi
    @Quietpi

    navyjag (View Comment):

    As much as I hate giving away my taxpayers dollars, destroying the Russian Army might be worth $100 billion. Then we can just focus on China. Israel will take care of Iran. And Japan watching N. Korea with an eagle eye. So maybe we can get out of this. Unless Biden wins in 2024. Then we are cooked.

    I follow, and that sounds great.  My worry is that we have an administration that is friendly toward China, only as hostile toward Russia as necessary for window dressing for its constituents, will do everything in its power to stifle Israel, and doesn’t want to do, or permit anything that could upset North Korea.  And it simultaneously doing everything it can get away with to emasculate our own military.  One can’t help wondering just who’s side this administration is on?  

    • #23
  24. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Quietpi (View Comment):
    One can’t help wondering just who’s side this administration is on?  

    Whoever gives the Big Guy and his family the most money.

    • #24
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