SOME UNCOMMON THOUGHTS ON THE BATTLE FOR UKRAINE
This is not the beginning of WW3 as some claim. Russia’s attempt at nuclear threat escalation is just posturing. It means nothing. All of the nuclear powers are always on high alert; that is their job.
What fascinates me is the implications of this unnecessary war for Russia, the EU, the USA, China and the rest of the world.
Every courtroom lawyer knows you never ask a question you do not know the answer to. In a similar vein, one should never start a war whose outcome is not ensured. Unbelievably, the sly KGB fox in the Kremlin has done just that. Analyzing only the Russian front, the following ideas emerge:
- Putin overrated his military. There are severe logistical problems and some Russian troops are surrendering rather than killing fellow Slavs.
- The power bases in Russia are concentrated: Putin, the oligarchs, the military/intelligence/police apparatus and the very diffuse and usually frightened mass of Russian citizens. Putin depends on the oligarchs and the military/police to remain in power. So here are the pertinent questions:
- Will the oligarchs continue to support Putin as they lose their wealth to Western and international sanctions? These are very unhappy men I suspect.
- Will the military, revealed to be partially a Potemkin force, continue to support Putin as the resistance from the Ukrainians has wowed us all. What will the military tell the grieving mothers about the death of their beloved young boys in a war against fellow Slavs? The grieving mothers forced the end of the Afghan-Soviet misadventure. Will they end this war?
- Putin overestimated the morale of the average Russian soldier. They apparently have no great stomach to kill fellow and beloved Slavs.
- The only significant war Russia under Putin has won was the war with Chechnya. The way he won it was to obliterate through airpower the capital city of Grozny, reduced to rubble. If he chooses, from frustration to “Grozny” Kyiv, he will be loathed by all Slavophiles.
- So the question becomes, unbelievably, will Putin survive or will a free Ukraine whose only desire is to become a Western democracy, incite the Russian population, oligarchs and military to oust the obscene ex-KGB judo expert. Ukraine and the West may have just thrown Putin to the mat for good.
- Not the pushover Putin thought.
- The Ukrainians show a patriotism that every American should emulate, being willing to fight for their country. We have sublet America’s defense to a hired army. We need citizen soldiers — female and male, of all genders, again.
- As the Russians close in on Kyiv, the Russian army has no recent experience in urban warfare. They contributed to Assad’s murderous Syrian regime by bombing hospitals and innocent civilians. So, by my calculations, the last time the Soviet (Russian) military engaged in urban warfare was Stalingrad, 80 years ago. The Ukrainians know every inch of Kyiv, the Russians know none of it. Urban warfare consumes soldiers at a fast rate. More lead-lined coffins back to Moscow.
- The Allied shipments of arms, including anti-tank Javelins and anti-air Stinger missiles, will put a dent in the Russian military. If I were a Russian tanker in a Russian tank, I would be afraid, very afraid, as the Ukrainians are already resorting to guerilla warfare tactics.
- The biggest surprise is that what Putin did not want, a united West is what Putin is getting — in spades and shovelfuls of sanctions, restrictions, increased defense spending and most important — the response of the new German Chancellor, Olaf Scholtz. Even typically neutral Sweden, Finland and Switzerland are enforcing sanctions. Literally, unbelievable!
- Germany has agreed to increase defense spending and suspend the Nordstream 2. This is NOT what Vladimir expected.
- The revival of NATO (nearly killed by Trump as a Russian decoy, is underway with participant states vowing to increase defense spending and moving troops to Poland and the Baltics. Not in Vlad’s plans.
- And a long list of daily-growing Russian-economy killing sanctions.
- Biden is now a wartime president. They tend to win midterms
- The GOP, with its initial support of Putin, is further discredited.
- Fox News is similarly discredited.
- The man who is watching this unexpected situation the closest is the Chinese autocrat, Xi Jinping.
- Imagine his chagrin when the West and the rest of the world quickly responded to the invasion of the Ukraine.
- I wonder how excited he is now about invading Taiwan. Could he have second thoughts?
SUMMARY: IT AIN’T OVER UNTIL IT IS OVER. PUTIN IS IN DANGER AND THE WORLD, NOW LARGELY POST-COVID, IS UNITED FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE TRUMP ATTEMPTED TO BE PUTIN’S LAPDOG. WOW!, THE WORM TURNS, THANK GOD!