If you have already shown your hand to your opponent, i.e. we won’t give jets, we won’t escalate, we won’t etc., then you have already lost the pot.
Think Texas Hold’em. Everyone sees 5 cards. The 2 face down cards are the killers.
There is a big difference between havng a "cool head’ and being frozen. Putin knows that right now NATO is frozen into inaction.
The NATO alliance is a defensive alliance. If you attack one, you attack them all. There is nothing in the NATO agreement that I’m aware of that states let’s respond to a non-NATO country that’s been invaded.
Putin is a great student of history and so far has made all the correct moves to achieve his aims.
He may be a student of history, but he’s getting a F unless his aim was to resuscitate NATO from being mostly dead (He’s only mostly dead. If he were all dead, there’s only one thing you can do. Go through his pockets and look for loose change), cripple the Russian economy, unify the world against Russia, and have countries like Finland even remotely suggest maybe they should join NATO (check out a map and see who Finland shares a 3,000+ km border with - hint: it’s not Sweden).
U.S. estimates that 7,000 Russian troops have been killed.
iirc, Putin admitted to 498 KIA two weeks ago, and nothing since.
For comparison, over ten years in Afghanistan, Russia lost 14,453, according to official Russian sources. If the US estimate is accurate, Putin is on trend to match that number in six weeks.
Another comparison: US suffered the most dead in Nam in 68: 16,899, and we old phartz remember what the public reaction to that was.
No wonder why Putin is trying to recruit Iraqi and Syrian mercs to do the dying for him. No public pushback for foreigners being slaughtered.
This site documents vehicle losses by both sides, based on either photo or video evidence. In other words, they only count stuff they have pictures of. Russia has lost a lot of equipment:
If they could include stuff farmers have hidden in their barns, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Ukraine actually has a net gain in military vehicles.
On Putin’s win column, Chechnya, Crimea, Donbas, Belarus(satelite state), Kazakhstan(satelite state), back into Armenia(Peacekeepers) and the jury is still out on the Ukraine.
So what will be next if NATO doesn’t stop him?