Ukraine Messaging

Trump has had his day in court… can we get back to stuff that is really important?

As I watch the daily news dump I see a lot about the war in Ukraine.

I would say that the messaging management of the conflict in Ukraine has been spot on.

The comments here tells me that few look beyond their favorite news media.

But the truth of the matter is that the messaging public and private are not the same thing.

“I want Russia to be defeated in Ukraine,” French President Emmanuel Macron publicly told the media. But it’s not what he privately told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. He also said that now is not the right time for dialogue with Moscow and that France is ready to sustain “a longer conflict.” That’s not what he told Zelensky either.

“America…will stand with you as long as it takes,” President Biden publicly promised Ukraine in his State of the Union Address. But it’s not what his administration privately told Zelensky.

“The war I know about is not the war you are reading about,” investigative journalist Seymour Hersh said recently.

Managing public perception about the war to control the narrative and maintain support seems to have required a divorce between what NATO officials are telling Ukraine privately and what they are telling the public they are telling Ukraine.

Biden’s public mantra has been “nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine” and “will stand with you as long as it takes.” Privately, neither seems to be true.

Contrary to the public message of as long as it takes, as long as it takes has a private expiration date. “We will continue to try to impress upon them that we can’t do anything and everything forever,” a senior administration official said. CIA Director William Burns secretly communicated to Zelensky that “at some point assistance would be harder to come by.”

Contrary to the public message that the U.S. supports Ukraine’s aspirations to reclaim all of its territory, the private message to Ukraine is that that is not going to happen. After the war, Ukraine will be a divided nation.

The key to this disconnect is what the article called “managing the perception of war to control the narrative”…..I have been telling readers about this disconnect and few have seen the problem….basically because Putin is an ass (simplistic dribble).

Even a US general does not see this ending well at all….

Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine is unlikely to end on the battlefield and will instead come to a conclusion at a negotiating table, the top US general predicts.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said he believes that neither Russia, nor Ukraine, will likely be able to achieve their objectives through military power. The highest-ranking US military officer recently told the Eurasia Group Foundation in a podcast that he believes diplomats from various countries will be the ones to eventually put an end to the fighting.

“At some point people will figure out that the cost of continuing to execute this war through military means is extraordinarily challenging. It doesn’t mean it can’t be done. And I applaud the Ukrainian will and their courage and their resilience,” Milley said on the podcast, which was released on Tuesday, according to a transcript of his remarks.

Zelensky has hired a bevy of PR firms and lobbyists to help sell the war to Congress and the public…..and it is working if the comments here are any indication.

This is probably basically a fart in a hurricane….the comments will tell.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”


8 thoughts on “Ukraine Messaging

  1. It appears that Zelensky wants to win the war by kicking out the Russians as quickly as possible. I perceive the US and NATO, being fearful of Putin’s toying around with nukes in some form, would prefer a war of attrition.. sucking manpower and breaking the Russian will and economy… “so let’s not get too hasty on what weapons we send to Ukraine” kinda strategy.
    One problem with wars of attrition is that public opinion back home will change over time as well. Yet, since WW2 America has not “won” any war, attrition or not. We fail to intervene decisively when we intervene militarily (although kicking Saddam out of Kuwait was a good military show). We prefer to linger (along with this damn obsession in thinking we need to export democracy wherever we go… but that’s a whole other story).
    Wars of attrition also are inherently costly in lives, on both sides, over the long run.
    Now, to me it seems that if the strategy is not to piss off Putin too much for fear of him using “battlefield” nukes, we are just delaying him being pissed off either way. A war of attrition that sucks off Russian will, manpower, and economy will likely piss him off just as much (albeit down the road) as if we gave Zelensky kick-ass weaponry that literally pushes Putin out of Ukraine right away. A “pissed-off Putin” seems inevitable either way. Perhaps we should then piss him off on our terms and on our timetable as a strategy. If he actually lobs a battlefield nuke somewhere, then we let the world marinate for a while on the idea of what he did and what that could mean for mankind… and pressure Russia all the more. We don’t respond in kind… but we certainly can threaten it and up that ante a bit.

    1. Doug….the president wants to keep the war manageable….if we go whole it it will create resentment and a blow back….so throwing money at it is better than throwing troops at it…..and this way the M-IC continues to make obscene profit at the expense of this country. chuq

      1. Well, keeping it “manageable” is attrition. I’m not sure sending troops was even on our list of viable options. As for resentment and blowback, that’s gonna happen either way.
        As for the M-IC.. I understand your distaste for making profits off weapons of war.. and their propensity for wanting war for profit.. but it is part of our GNP, and our national military dominance and preparedness.

  2. Zelensky is in Poland today, probably trying to scare the Poles into giving more support. When you have such a big border with Ukraine and Belarus, it is easy to imagine the Russians making you ‘next on the list’. But the truth is, they can’t even take Kiev, let alone roll across eastern Europe. I don’t think Zelensky will get more from the Poles, except words of support and possibly empty promises.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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