The Ukraine War

Chris Murphy wrote an insightful article at the time of the withdrawal that points out the ‘magical thinking’ and contortions that the military used to justified staying in place (and expanding) v. the intelligence agencies’ accurate estimation of the costs/benefits of staying or leaving. Worth a peak: Why Biden's Afghanistan Critics Are Dangerously Wrong | Crooked Media

That’s another point to piggy-back on Goofy’s thoughts: in an autocracy, you rarely have the resolution tension or lack thereof between different arms of authority that will not be resolved more quickly.


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I like my Senator.

He was on NPR this morning saying we have today and tomorrow perhaps to pass a deal on the border, Ukraine, and Israel funding. He was sounding exhausted. He was positive it is possible before the recess beginning on Saturday or Sunday.

We all want the border reform because our factories in Mexico need more labor. Mexico’s unemployment rate is lower than ours.

But what we say and how we contort are a different matter.

“IF” The military had been honest with itself it would never have been in a war in Afghanistan. It would have been in and out after everything it learned in Vietnam as Powell was “supposedly” an expert on. I just shake my head at all the military that blames Biden for pulling our troops out. I have had 2 generation of family fighting in that war, wasn’t that enough? If the military couldn’t get it done in 20 years why do they think another 10 would have been enough?




Thanks for your family’s service but I certainly hear you it is BS to be there so long.

Trump chose the date of withdrawal.

The airport bombing was a shocker. Americans could not get over an explosion in a warzone. Of course, some decided to help broadcast what a horror a warzone is, and then how we were leaving a warzone in a mess. Can you imagine? An untidy warzone. Who’da thunk it?

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Leap thanks, but it isn’t right to thank me, I didn’t do it. Members of my family did. But yes I do thank them. It wasn’t easy.



No Plan B from the West.
Russia did not incinerate & collapse nor was Putin disposed.
Ukraine counter-offensive failed.
Sanctions failed to impact Russian military production.
Russia continues in the war of attrition in which the smaller nation eventually will lose.
Now what?

Now the media has begun to publish stories about inconvenient truths about the Ukraine war rather than mouthing the propaganda from government sources. This also occurred during the Vietnam war that in conjunction with student protests turned the public against that war. Also Ho Chi Minh demonstrated an indomitable will. He was willing to depopulate his nation entirely of young males to fight the outsider US. The US could have won if they had been prepared to lose several hundreds of thousands of young men in a war of attrition. We folded.
The US counted on Russia folding.
Again the US has badly misjudged Russian [Putin’s] tenacity as it did [Ho Chi Minh’s].

Russia subverted American export controls using its intelligence services and ministry of defense to run illicit networks of people who smuggle key components by exporting them to other countries from which they can be shipped to Russia more easily.

Western officials also believe Russia is on track to manufacture two million artillery shells a year — double the amount Western intelligence services had initially estimated Russia could manufacture before the war.

Russia’s production costs are also far lower than the West’s, in part because Moscow is sacrificing safety and quality in its effort to build weapons more cheaply, Mr. Salm said. For instance, it costs a Western country $5,000 to $6,000 to make a 155-millimeter artillery round, whereas it costs Russia about $600 to produce a comparable 152-millimeter artillery shell, he said.
It’s Time to End Magical Thinking About Russia’s Defeat

Not surprising considering the state of technology of anti-tank weapons. The era of tanks against opponents with such weaponry over.

Russia’s Key Economic Sectors Shrug Off Sanctions

  • Russia’s third quarter growth hits 5.5%, outpacing estimates
  • Recovery shows limits of sanctions to punish Moscow over war

How Russia Punched an $11 Billion Hole in the West’s Oil Sanctions

Moscow’s monthly income from oil exports is greater now than before the invasion of Ukraine, highlighting the failure of measures to curb its war chest
Washington Post 12/13/2023 article.
U.S. officials were ‘furious’ about leaks exposing Ukraine war concerns

The leaks included never-before-released casualty estimates for Ukrainian forces, weaknesses in Ukraine’s ability to service damaged armored vehicles and the country’s shrinking supply of air defense munitions, which left population centers vulnerable to Russian cruise missile strikes and drones. Other documents warned that Ukraine was struggling to sustain troops, artillery and equipment, which probably would result in only “modest territorial gains” that fall “well short” of Kyiv’s goals.

In early 2023, the public mood in Washington about the war in Ukraine was broadly optimistic.

“Ukraine is going to liberate Crimea by the end of August,” retired Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, the former commander of U.S. Army Europe, declared in January. “There are no bright lights on the horizon for the Kremlin.”

But the leak of classified U.S. intelligence documents — allegedly by Massachusetts Air National Guard member Jack Teixeira — in the early spring pierced those rosy assessments and revealed that, secretly, the United States harbored profound concerns about Ukraine’s prospects for success.

The documents warned of the “catastrophic situation” facing Ukrainian troops in the fight to retain the eastern city of Bakhmut. Another brief prepared by the Defense Department’s Joint Staff noted that Ukraine’s “ability to provide medium range air defense to protect the [front lines] will be completely reduced by May 23. UKR assessed to withstand 2-3 more wave strikes” from Russian missiles and drones.

Likely Jack Teixeira is headed toward a deep dark hole judging from how the US government has pursued Julian Assange & Edward Snowden. The American people have no right to know. Treat them like mushrooms.

“This is a serious number. I said I need more arguments to support this direction,” Zelensky said during a press conference.

“I need concrete information on what will (then) happen with the 1-million military of Ukraine.”

Asked whether he would sign a law on the mobilization of men younger than 27 and women, Zelensky said he would not support calling up women.

“(The mobilization of) women – no, I will not sign it.”

“As for (the mobilization of) 25-year-old men, (yes) if all the arguments are presented. As of today, I see that it is necessary, so I agree with it.”

Zelensky’s government has already been taking desperate measures and abusing its power under martial law to fill its ranks. The New York Times reported on December 15 that Ukrainian army recruiters have become “increasingly aggressive in their efforts to replenish the ranks, in some cases pulling men off the streets and whisking them to recruiting centers using intimidation and even physical force.”

The aggressive tactics have been used against men who ordinarily would have been exempted from the draft. In at least one case, one man diagnosed with a “mental disability” as a child was summoned by recruiters, but his conscription was prevented by a lawyer.

Ukraine Has a Civil Rights Problem

During the latter half of 2022, when Ukrainian victory over Russia seemed a distinct possibility, voices questioning Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s domestic policies were sparse. Today, however, while outright criticism of Kyiv’s military strategy remains taboo, we are beginning to see frank debate on Ukrainian social media about the country’s postwar future and who will be left to build it.

Ukrainians across the political spectrum—former officials, political allies to the current administration, longtime critics, and western Ukrainian intellectuals among them—are questioning the long-term social merits of wartime policies that effectively relegate Russian speakers to permanent second-class status. It should be noted that almost all of these critics reside in Ukraine and are fiercely supportive of Ukrainian independence. But they worry that the government is squandering its chance to forge a durable post-invasion social consensus by adopting policies that will alienate, criminalize, or deport a significant portion of the country’s population.

The debate over Ukraine’s freedom of religion, freedom of the press, and minority rights—about which very little is known in the West—reveals that even if Ukraine manages to win the war, it still has a long way to go in becoming a truly open and pluralistic society.
Ukraine’s Front-Line Troops Are Getting Older: ‘Physically, I Can’t Handle This’

Corruption and fear are hindering effort to rebuild army

Three recruitment officials accosted the stocky, gray-haired 47-year-old outside the barber shop in his small hometown, ordered him to get in a car and detained him for two days in a dark room at the local draft center until he had signed up.

“I got my haircut at the training camp,” he said.

Now known by his military call sign Dubok, the former electrical engineer offered to serve as a technician in the rear. “But to get that job, you have to pay bribes,” he said. Instead, he was sent to join an infantry unit depleted by months of hard fighting. His battalion of the 47th Mechanized Brigade is defending the city of Avdiivka against waves of Russian assaults, the biggest current battle in Russia’s relentless war on Ukraine.

Ukraine needs to rebuild its battered army. The infantry, which bears the brunt of deaths and injuries, is chronically short of men after nearly two years of resisting Russia’s full-blown invasion.

But a rickety draft system isn’t mobilizing Ukraine’s manpower effectively, providing the quantity and quality of troops needed, or sharing the burden fairly across Ukrainian society, say many soldiers and military analysts.

A combination of corruption, exemptions and political caution has protected much of Ukraine’s urban middle class against having to fight in the cold and muddy trenches. On the long front line, a disproportionate share of draftees are middle-aged men like Dubok. Often they are from villages and small towns and were too poor to buy their way out.
Hm sounds like the US during the Vietnam war.

The British navy has a proud tradition of press gangs and the lash.

When the made-up war in Iraq became less popular, the Shiny-land army was recruiting the mentally deficient and criminals.

Shiny-land put native born, loyal, USians, in concentration camps, because they were of Japanese descent.

Now there is an unimpeachable source! Surely, the Russians would never, ever, resort to disinformation.


The Brits did that in the lead up to the War of 1812. I haven’t seen much of that happening lately. Have you?

The US military did take those with criminal records but not mentally deficient because they were detrimental in unit mission achievement.

The US put ethnic Japanese American citizens into concentration camps during WW2.
I haven’t seen that occurring lately either. Muslim American citizens were left alone during the US War Agin Terrorism. with a few exceptions in which some were arrested for planning terrorist attacks within the nation.

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The British navy is now microscopic, compared to what it was 100 years ago. Yes, they did away with the press gangs, and flogging, eventually, and now they have taken away the rum ration.


Coincidence this 2 articles came out yesterday? Or are US politicians or the administration testing the waters?

Recovered territory is not the only measure of victory in this war.

With U.S. and European aid to Ukraine now in serious jeopardy, the Biden administration and European officials are quietly shifting their focus from supporting Ukraine’s goal of total victory over Russia to improving its position in an eventual negotiation to end the war, according to a Biden administration official and a European diplomat based in Washington. Such a negotiation would likely mean giving up parts of Ukraine to Russia.

The White House and Pentagon publicly insist there is no official change in administration policy — that they still support Ukraine’s aim of forcing Russia’s military completely out of the country.

Of course the bolded portion is the public line. But it seems the US is ready to move on.

The NYT oped author is of Russian ancestry, grew up speaking Russian at home. He may not be entirely unbiased. The current POTUS is getting pushback from both the isolationist faction, probably as well as the money interests whose profits are being hurt by the sanctions on Russia. Putin has openly threatened members of NATO, as soon as he has crushed Ukraine, so don’t know why people think throwing Ukraine under the bus will satisfy Putin’s “territorial ambition” (Munich 1938 anyone?)



Well the defense industry is in full support of continuing the Ukraine adventure.
I think the Domino theory was proven largely false after the Vietnam War. Only Laos & Cambodia went commie. Thailand Malaysia & Indonesia remained out of commie hands.

And Kiev has managed to stave off Russia. It is doubtful Putin would take on NATO. Unless you are suggesting that alliance is a house of cards.

He moved to the USA when he was 6 years old. If anything, people who “fled” Russia might be biased against Russia! :sweat_smile:

I agree with the larger point. Any cessation of hostilities would only serve to allow Putin/Russia to regroup/rearm and continue their campaign of aggression in a few years.


Only Laos and Cambodia. Well, there you go.



Did anyone else suspect the hand of the CIA in the overthrow of Prince Sihanouk and installation of the junta lead by Lon Nol? Cambodia had been more or less neutral, until then. Of course, Lon Nol’s junta generated a civil war, which he lost.



His bio on Wiki says he as visited Russia in recent years. Hardly the actions of a Russia hater. If he was a Russia hater, he would now be cell mates with Navalny.


I think Biden’s move is tactical.

Funding the Ukraine and Israel also depends on a deal on the border.

Biden is killing two birds with one stone. First he is not the desperate one in the negotiations with the House. Second Russia can spend more energy fighting. That costs the Russians to rearm. That causes hyperinflation in Russia.

Neither Russia nor Ukraine are going to win on the battlefield. Russia is going to lose an economic battle that might end Putin’s life.

We do not need to supply Ukraine right now. It is winter time. No one is going anywhere.

Biden will make a border deal with the House. We need the workers in Mexico. The Mexican labor shortage is critical.

The workers will be found and then trained–because they do not know how or what to do with the new facilities to be built. It will be a significant learning curve. Education may be needed to bring the workforce up to the level needed to work at the multiple types of businesses to be opened (not just the assembly factories). The Mexican govt should be on it NOW. Otherwise, there will not be a workforce large enough–and with the education needed–to meet the demand for workers.

Completely different situation. The Domino Theory was the notion that idea of Communism was so powerful we needed to bomb people in order to convince them to embrace democracy.

Putin invaded Chechnya, Georgia, and Ukraine in order to recreate the Russian Empire. He’s made it very clear in public speeches that’s his goal.
Thus far he’s only received light opposition from the West.

I’m reminded of how the US dealt with American hostages in Lebanon in the 1980s. Iranian-backed terrorist groups captured a number of Americans, at least two of whom were tortured to death. The US government groveled in front of Iran and gave into Iran’s demands for advanced US weapons. Once some of the hostages were released, Iran promptly took more Americans hostage knowing our weak and cowardly government would fold like a wet blanket and beg to give them more weapons.

This example of cowardice was cited by Osama bin Laden and other terrorists as an example of the benefits of attacking US civilians.

Putin is making the same gamble. He knows that many US politicians are either afraid of him or support him. We’ll see if he’s right.