The Long Run

I could do something popular and give you a You Tube of the Eagles song….but why it would not add anything to the post.

The US has been throwing money and equipment at Ukraine for about a year now…..Russia is said to be losing its hold on the country…..then we are told that ….well we are told a lot of things and some believe every word of it….I am not one of those mindless minions.

Some of us are asking ‘how will this end’?

I have seen and read many opinions on the Ukraine/Russia conflict….do not get me wrong I do not disqualify anyone’s thoughts on this conflict and there is a wealth of these….but few have any answers to the deeper questions.

My interest in international relations lets me read many report and white papers on different subjects…..so when I read a white paper issued by the RAND surprised me since this think tank is mostly funded by the M-IC…the study says something that seems to contradict all the promises made on this war.

The RAND Corporation issued a new report that warns against a “protracted conflict” in Ukraine and says a prolonged war is against US interests, breaking from the view of many hawks in Washington that the US should support the fight against Russia for the long term.

RAND is funded directly by the US military and often shapes US policies, including hawkish ones toward Moscow. A 2019 report titled “Extending Russia” examined the risks and benefits of ways the US could try to “extend” Russia, and many of those policies have been implemented, including the provision of “lethal aid” to Ukraine, sanctions on Russia, and “hindering” the country’s gas and oil exports.

The new report from RAND titled “Avoiding a Long War” examines the risks of the current conflict and acknowledges a protracted conflict heightens the risk of nuclear war.

A summary of the new report reads: “Discussion of the Russia-Ukraine war in Washington is increasingly dominated by the question of how it might end. To inform this discussion, this Perspective identifies ways in which the war could evolve and how alternative trajectories would affect US interests. The authors argue that, in addition to minimizing the risks of major escalation, US interests would be best served by avoiding a protracted conflict.”

The authors say the war in Ukraine makes it harder for the US to focus on its efforts to prepare for a future conflict with China. “The US ability to focus on its other global priorities — particularly, competition with China — will remain constrained as long as the war is absorbing senior policymakers’ time and US military resources,” the report reads.

The report says that the major risk of a long war in Ukraine is that there would be “a prolonged elevated risk of Russian nuclear use and a NATO-Russia war.” It says that “avoiding these two forms of escalation is the paramount US priority.”

When it comes to Ukraine retaking more of the territory that Russia captured, the report says this is only a “less significant benefit” and that “avoiding a long war is also a higher priority for the United States than facilitating significantly more Ukrainian territorial control.” It places “weakening Russia” as a greater benefit to the US than Ukrainian gains, but still not worth the risk of a long war.

The report recognizes that there is currently little hope for peace talks and suggests that the US could “condition future military aid on a Ukrainian commitment to negotiations.” Another suggestion to foster negotiations is for the US to establish conditions for sanctions relief for Russia. The authors acknowledge the Biden administration has made no effort to push the warring sides toward peace talks.

The conclusion says that due to the political situation in the US, a “dramatic shift” in US policy toward Ukraine is unlikely. But the authors say that “developing these instruments now and socializing them with Ukraine and with US allies might help catalyze the eventual start of a process that could bring this war to a negotiated end in a time frame that would serve US interests.”

(antiwar.com)

Will all the West’s support for Ukraine help end this event?

I say no it will not and I am not alone……

American and European officials now assess that time is on Russia’s side, according to the Wall Street Journal. Washington and its Western allies transferred billions in weapons to Kiev under the mistaken belief it would force Russian President Vladimir Putin to negotiate.

“Officials in some capitals now fear the Kremlin…could gain the upper hand in any lengthy war of attrition,” the outlet reported on Sunday. Adding, there is “a worry in some Western capitals that time might be on Russia’s side.”

The Journal spoke with Western officials who believed the massive military aid packages that members of the NATO alliance provided Kiev would break the Kremlin’s resolve. However, Moscow has weathered Western economic sanctions and a fall offensive by Ukrainian forces. Moreover, Russian soldiers are now on the offensive.

Questions.   There are always questions and as usual few answers.

The West sent aid then it sent artillery then it will be tanks and what will be next?

First artillery, then tanks, then warplanes, then what?

Next will be long range missiles (that should be a hoot)….

The US is preparing another major escalation of military aid to Ukraine as Reuters reports the next arms package will include rockets that have a range of 94 miles, almost double the range of the munitions Ukraine was provided for the HIMARS rocket systems.

Citing two unnamed US officials, Reuters said that the US will provide Ukraine with the longer-range Boeing-made Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB) for the first time as part of an over $2 billion arms package that could be announced as soon as this week.

(antiwar.com)

None of this sounds like there is any inclination to find a solution for this situation….

As the war in Ukraine nears the end of its first year, Americans are starting to believe Washington is sending too much support to Kiev. Pew Research conducted a poll in January and found the number of Republicans that are opposed to the current level of support for Ukraine is now 40%. The U.S. has pledged well over $100 billion in aid to Kiev, mostly in arms and military equipment.

In March 2022, Pew reported 49% of Republican voters believed the US was not giving enough aid to Ukraine and only 9% responded that Washington was sending too much support to Kiev. Those numbers have now nearly reversed with 40% saying there is too much support for Kiev, while only 17% said the Joe Biden administration is not doing enough for Ukraine.

Democratic voters have had a far slower, but a similar trend. In the early months of the war, only 5% of blue voters believed Washington was sending too much aid; that number has grown to 15%. However, Pew’s poll conducted in 2023 found nearly a quarter of Democrats want the White House to do more, up three percentage points from the September results.

The Pew results reflect polls conducted by Morning Consult and Concerned Veterans for America in September. The surveys found a growing number of Americans opposed to giving more aid to Ukraine, led by Republican voters.

(antiwar.com)

What’s next?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

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Is Ukraine Heating Up?

New tanks will be heading to Ukraine….will this change the equation?

With this new addition to the Ukrainian military will the war get hotter than it is now?

In the clear sky over the winter-yellowed marsh grasses on the outskirts of the town of Huliaipole, the bang and crump of artillery picked up pace like the thunderclaps of a distant but approaching storm.

The Russian armed forces declared on Sunday that they had launched a new offensive in Zaporizhzhia region, but the Ukrainian soldiers seemed unperturbed. The frontline here has not moved for 10 months, and the Russians are hunkered in their trenches, which run across the rolling hills of black-soil farmland. They are not going anywhere soon, the soldiers said.

“There is more activity in these past couple of weeks with shelling from artillery and even from tanks, but they don’t send infantry over the line because they’re scared,” said Vitaly, a senior sergeant in the 56th Mariupol motorised infantry brigade, which is holding the line around this town 60 miles (100km) east of Zaporizhzhia city.

However, Vitaly acknowledged that the frozen line was beginning to heat up. The number of incoming shells and rockets on this segment of the southern front has more than doubled this month to 4,000 a day. Two weeks earlier, the Russians had twice sent a handful of tanks forward to probe the Ukrainian lines only to pull back under fire.

Sooner or later, most likely in the next few months, one side would make its move and try to break the deadlock. The question is: who will strike first and where.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jan/27/the-big-battle-is-coming-ukrainian-forces-prepare-for-the-wars-most-intense-phase

I fear that any escalation could involve the US…and apparently some in our military are hoping and planning for this event.

“I hope I am wrong,” an Air Force general told commanders under him as he warned in a new memo that he expects the US and China to be at war in two years. “My gut tells me we will fight in 2025.” Gen. Mike Minihan, who has nearly 50,000 service members as head of the Air Mobility Command, which handles transport and refueling, told his commanders to prepare for battle, NBC News reports, partly by shooting at a target. “Aim for the head,” he said. No other senior Defense official has said such a war is imminent, per the Washington Post. Minihan ordered his commanders to report back on their preparations by the end of February.

The four-star general points out that Chinese President Xi Jinping has won a third term in office and “set his war council.” Part of Miniham’s reasoning is that Taiwan and the US will be preoccupied with presidential elections in 2024, giving China an opportunity to move against Taiwan. The next stage of preparations for everyone in his command, Minihan said, is to get their personal affairs in order in March. And they should commence rigorous training, he wrote. A spokesperson confirmed the authenticity of his memo, dated Feb. 1, though a Defense Department official said, “These comments are not representative of the department’s view on China.”

What is the likelihood that the US is inching closer to that so-called ‘red line’?

Seems NATO thinks they should be more involved…..

Adm. Rob Bauer, the head of NATO’s Military Committee, said that NATO is “ready” for a direct confrontation with Russia, citing the alliance’s recent efforts to boost its presence in Eastern Europe.

Last year, NATO placed new battle groups in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia on top of the ones that have been deployed in Poland and the Baltic states for years. The US also deployed troops on its own, sending tens of thousands more to Europe, including many that are stationed near the Ukrainian border in Poland and Romania.

Bauer, a Dutch naval officer, also said NATO countries should discuss shifting to a “war economy,” where civilian factories started producing military goods, similar to what the United States did during World War II.

“We have to increase defense industry production, and there are already more and more talks on the subject at the national level,” Bauer said in an interview with Portuguese TV.

“This could mean prioritizing certain raw materials, certain production capacities needed for the defense industry rather than the civilian one. Those priorities should be discussed about, partially, a war economy in peacetime,” he added.

The US is taking measures to ramp up arms production to keep arming, including a Pentagon plan to increase artillery ammunition production by 500% over the next two years. The 2023 National Defense Authorization Act granted the Pentagon wartime purchasing powers to speed up arms deals, but the US has yet to take any measures as drastic as Bauer suggested.

(antiwar.com)

I am guessing that few will find this unacceptable….after all the events happening in Ukraine is far more important than anything occurring here and now.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Is Ukraine Winning?

A great question as this war approaches its year anniversary…..if you read the headlines in the news (corporate media)all the weapons and cash sent to Ukraine is paying dividends as the Russian keep losing territory.

We never hear any negativity on this side of the pond from our major news sources……so no news is good news, right?

Not necessarily so according to German sources…..

The German foreign intelligence service assesses that Kiev is losing a “three-digit number” of soldiers daily, according to a report in Der Spiegel. Berlin informed politicians of the assessment during a secret meeting this week.

Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND) is “alarmed” by the high number of losses Ukraine is suffering. The report says Berlin believes Ukraine was losing a three-digit number of soldiers every day during the battle of Bakhmut with Russian forces. The BND informed German politicians of the high number of injured and killed Ukrainian forces during a covert Bundestag meeting last week.

The BND believes the Ukrainian casualties will have severe consequences during future battles. The German intelligence service also believes that Russia is suffering high casualties and using its soldiers as “cannon fodder.”

Reuters reported officials in Washington believe Kiev spent significant resources attempting to defend Bakhmut. The White House is currently advising Ukraine not to launch any major counteroffensives to recapture the city. The Joe Biden administration is additionally advising Kiev that continuing to pour soldiers into defending Bakhmut is preventing Ukrainian forces from attacking Russians defending other cities.

Ukraine is seeking tanks from its NATO partners. However, many countries, including the US and Germany have resisted sending their modern tanks to Ukraine.

Bakhmut is located in the Donetsk region. The BND believes if Russia takes the city, it will open the door for additional gains. Bakhmut has seen fierce fighting for several months, but the intensity picked up last week. Russian forces have made some gains in the city.

(antiwar.com)

The War Department will pull all punches and lie to keep the cash following and the ill-advised popular support for a war that shows no signs of ending.

Why is that?

It is called mission creep.

When the United States involves itself militarily in a conflict, it often finds it hard to get itself out, let alone avoid deep entanglements that blow well past lines it had drawn at the start of the intervention. 

It happened in Vietnam, when U.S. military advisers helping the South Vietnamese fight Viet Cong eventually became U.S. soldiers fighting an American war. It happened in Afghanistan, when an initial invasion to capture al-Qaida and overthrow the Taliban morphed into a nearly two-decade-long nation-building project. And it could be happening right now in Ukraine. 

Little by little, NATO and the United States are creeping closer to the catastrophic scenario President Joe Biden said “we must strive to prevent” — direct conflict between the United States and Russia. Despite stressing at the start of the war that “our forces are not and will not be engaged in the conflict,” current and former intelligence officials told the Intercept back in October that “there is a much larger presence of both CIA and US special operations personnel” in Ukraine than there was when Russia invaded, conducting “clandestine American operations” in the country that “are now far more extensive.” 

Mission Creep? How the US role in Ukraine has slowly escalated

I ask once again…..what does the US expect to be the return on their investment in Ukraine?

Out newest investment is Abrams tanks…..31 total…

As expected, President Biden on Wednesday announced that the US is following Germany’s lead and will supply Ukraine with tanks. Some 31 Abrams tanks, which the president described as equivalent to one Ukrainian battalion, will be sent. Standout points:

  • BBC Washington correspondent Gary O’Donoghue writes that the US has previously indicated that the complexity of the high-tech Abrams tanks in terms of operating and maintaining them was holding it back from making the commitment. It had pushed for the delivery of Leopard tanks, which are used by more allies and require less training.
  • But Germany, which on Wednesday announced will send 14 Leopard 2 A6 tanks, had said it would only do so if the US “put its Abrams on the table, not wanting to incur Russia’s wrath without the US similarly committing its own tanks,” per the AP.
  • The New York Timesreports the tanks contributed by Germany and other allies would equal two additional battalions. Ukraine has said it would take 300 Western tanks to make a meaningful difference; it has thus far relied on Soviet-era tanks.
  • While training on the Abrams will likely begin right away, the BBC reports “the funding process for the tanks themselves means they will not be deployed for months” and “not in time for Russia’s anticipated spring offensive,” per the AP.
  • They’re part of a $400 million package that also includes eight M88 recovery vehicles, which can tow the Abrams if it gets stuck.
  • A logistical detail from the AP: The 70-ton tanks rely on a turbine jet engine that burns a minimum of two gallons a mile regardless of whether they are on the move or idling; as such, a bevy of fuel trucks is required to keep the tanks mobile.
  • Last week, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl described Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s thinking as such: “that we should not be providing the Ukrainians systems they can’t repair, they can’t sustain, and that they, over the long term, can’t afford, because it’s not helpful.”

Another waste but that is what we do….waste money on worthless endeavors while children starve…..good plan.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Putin’s Future

I read this article and thought I would pass it on to my readers especially those that have no love for the criminal Putin.

People have envisioned all sorts of scenarios for the demise of Putin…..from being crazy to an internal revolution that would sideline him and his policies……

This article will be music to some of those ears…..

Vladimir Putin is reportedly set to “disappear” from his leadership position within the Kremlin because there is “clearly something wrong” with his health, RadarOnline.com has learned.

In a sudden development to come amid rumors and reports the 70-year-old Russian leader’s health is quickly deteriorating, intelligence officials have revealed Putin is preparing to step down as Russia’s leader.

The surprising revelation also comes as Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine is “going from bad to worse,” and Putin’s political career is “hanging in the balance” as his forces struggle to take the neighboring nation one year after first invading in February 2022.

“He’s probably faced with another call-up. That clearly is deeply unpopular in Russia,” Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6, recently said according to Daily Star. “There must be massive tensions within the leadership group inside the Kremlin, there must be massive tensions socially across Russia over this whole issue.”

“I just don’t think we can say if he will be deposed,” Dearlove continued. “I rashly predicted last year that on the grounds of probably his health, he gets shuffled off into a sanatorium and would disappear and then you would just have a probably a continuation of the same regime and in someone else’s hands.”

“I still think that that’s a possibility,” the former head of MI6 added. “There’s clearly something wrong with him. Physically, I think. I’m not a clinician but I know there are clinicians analyzing his movements. There’s something wrong with him and maybe that is affecting his political judgment as well.”

(radaronline.com)

I have not been able to verify this report…..so please take this prediction with a grain of salt….I know many of you are pulling for something to befall the Russian leader…..do not celebrate too soon….this may be just rumor….or another social media hoax.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Those Russian Sanctions

The big push these days is for a cleaner energy and the dash toward nuclear power is growing in anticipation.

For this renewed interest will take uranium and this is where this post picks up….

Remember when the Ukraine invasion started and the US and its allies first attack was to put massive sanctions in place to punish the invader.

What about all the uranium that the west gets from Russia for its nuclear programs?

Many world powers have sped-up plans to introduce new nuclear power plants in a bid to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and decarbonise. Due to the high energy demand, many countries around the globe view renewable energy as insufficient in the mid-term to provide enough energy to meet the needs of the growing world population. However, nuclear power could provide a low-carbon alternative, offering abundant energy and low emissions. However, experts now worry that the global reliance on Russian uranium to power many of these projects could put many world leaders in a quandary, having already introduced sanctions on Russian energy and attempted to reduce their reliance on Russia.  Earlier this year, the U.S. announced a $6 billion bailout for its existing nuclear plants. The government and the Department of Energy (DoE) partnered on a scheme to help nuclear plants across the country facing severe economic challenges to support the longevity of U.S. nuclear power, as part of the country’s green transition. Despite being controversial, nuclear power is considered carbon neutral, and therefore key to transitioning away from fossil fuels. Since then, the launch of Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) has encouraged greater investment in the nuclear energy sector. It offers a variety of subsidies, including a production tax credit to help preserve the existing fleet of nuclear plants and tax incentives for the development of new nuclear reactors.  

While developing its nuclear assets demonstrates a step forward in the movement to carbon neutrality, the U.S. has one very big challenge to overcome for its nuclear power plants to be a success – its reliance on Russian uranium. The type of uranium that U.S. nuclear reactors require to run is only sold commercially by one company in the world, a subsidiary of the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation (ROSATOM). At present, U.S. nuclear firms buy around half of the uranium they use from state-owned companies in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan. Scott Melbye, Executive Vice President at Uranium Energy Corp., stated “We estimate that there is more than $1 billion in annual U.S. dollar purchases of nuclear fuel flowing to ROSATOM.” 

(oilprice.com)

As usual these sanctions are not as sweeping and all inclusive as they would have you believe.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Let’s Return To Ukraine

With all the celebrating surely we have not forgotten Ukraine.

Most have but not me…I am like a wolf on the trail of a weak bison.

Did you know that before we had a deal to keep our government up and running we had to promise to give even more cash to Ukraine.

What part of that would keep the government up and functioning?

Can anyone remember back to the 60s and that far away place Vietnam?

It became a ceaseless war….can there be others?

That my friends is what is called a “Proxy War”….between the US and the USSR.

Now we have Ukraine…..and that is also a proxy war…..

Will the Ukraine conflict become another of these ceaseless wars? It is difficult to see why it should not, since neither Moscow nor Kyiv is likely to win a decisive victory but they still hope to improve their political and diplomatic position on the battlefield. The Russians are using precision-guided missiles and drones to destroy the Ukrainian infrastructure and the Ukrainians are beginning to fire missiles back at ostensibly military targets. It may not be long before they decide that if they are going to sit in the dark, so too will the Russians.

A crucial question is whether or not the progressive destruction of the Ukrainian electrical-generating and transmission system is unstoppable, however many anti-aircraft missiles are sent by the Nato powers.

If the missile barrage cannot be intercepted then we can expect another great exodus of refugees from Ukraine into the rest of Europe with no reason for them to return. Some 4.4 million Ukrainians applied for temporary protection in the EU in the first nine months of the year. Poland alone received 1.3 million. Migration fatigue is visible and is likely to grow. Resentment at the influx will benefit right-wing groups as did the Syrian influx in 2015-16.

Will Ukraine Become Another Ceaseless War?

Then a NATO big wig adds fuel to the fire of a ceaseless war when he states the more weapons will bring peace.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg claimed in an interview published Friday that the quickest path to peace in Ukraine is through NATO countries sending more weapons to Kyiv.

“It may sound like a paradox, but military support for Ukraine is the fastest way to peace,” Stoltenberg told the German news agency DPA. “We know that most wars end at the negotiating table – probably this war too – but we know that what Ukraine can achieve in these negotiations depends inextricably on the military situation.”

Stoltenberg’s comments come as there is no indication that Ukraine and Russia will come to the negotiating table. Kyiv maintains that its goal is to push Russia out of all the territory it has captured, including Crimea, while Moscow vows it’s not leaving the areas it has annexed.

NATO Chief Says Sending More Weapons to Ukraine Is Quickest Path to Peace

(You now know who this yahoo really works for)

2023 will be a continuation of wasted money and death and destruction in Ukraine.

And the American roll over and defend the work of a Congress that is corruptible and spineless.

And then there is the bunk about democracy and truth for Ukraine….another crappy tagline….

President Volodymyr Zelensky has signed a new bill into law which strengthens government control over public access to news in Ukraine. Zelensky has already nationalized the country’s media under martial law powers invoked after Russia’s invasion last year, stoking criticism from press freedom groups.

Signed on December 29, the law expands the Ukrainian broadcast regulator’s powers over news agencies ”dramatically,” now including both print and online sources, according to the Kyiv Independent. The measure requires publications to obtain licenses to operate, and any media org without the proper paperwork can be shut down, the outlet reported, adding that the body handing out the permits will be under Zelensky’s control. 

https://libertarianinstitute.org/news/zelensky-expands-crack-down-on-news-media-in-ukraine/

Pay Attention!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Falling Russian Syndrome

There has been an uptick of a dreaded disease that is running rampant through Russia’s ‘High Society”…..a situation that started during the dark days of the Covid outbreak in Russia.

I wrote about it before in the early days……

Those Russians And Windows Are Back!

The disease has struck again…..

It’s been a while since the murky death of a Russian oligarch or other high-profile exec has made headlines, but this month saw that streak broken. Per the BBC, 65-year-old sausage magnate Pavel Antov, who’s topped Forbes‘ list of the richest Russian businessmen, was found dead Sunday at a hotel in Rayagada, in the Indian state of Odisha—apparently after a fall out of a window, according to local cops. The Jerusalem Post notes Antov, who’d just celebrated his birthday, was discovered lying in a pool of blood.

A local police superintendent suggests Antov died by suicide, as he’d been “depressed” over something that had happened at the hotel just two days earlier: His friend Vladimir Budanov, a 61-year-old Russian businessman who’d accompanied him on the trip, had been “discovered unconscious” in his own hotel room, surrounded by wine bottles, per the Daily Beast. He later died at a nearby hospital. Budanov was said by Indian and Russian officials to have died of either a stroke or heart attack. As is often the case in these mysterious Russian deaths, Antov’s past included alleged criticism of the Russian government: The BBC reports that in June, he’d reacted to a Russian missile attack on a Kyiv neighborhood, posting on WhatsApp, “It’s extremely difficult to call all this anything but terror.”

Antov later denied he was the one behind the post, which was deleted, claiming someone else had posted it and that he was a “patriot of my country” who supported President Vladimir Putin and his invasion of Ukraine. WION reports that an investigation is ongoing, and that “they are probing all angles in this case, including an accidental fall.” The Beast notes there’ve been more than a dozen strange deaths of Russian businessmen this year, often executives in the gas and oil industry. One of those deaths happened over the same weekend that Antov and Budanov died: Alexander Buzakov, head of Russia’s Admiralty Shipyard, died “suddenly and tragically” on Saturday at age 66, his cause of death unclear.

How far will this go?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Peace In Their Time

I know to most I am an old hippie, a peace-nik, but sense I am antiwar what would you expect?

I believe that there is an opportunity for a negotiation….below is a plan offered up by Medea Benjamin and Nicholas J.S. Davies (I post the full plan because most do not bother to click on the link and this is a good plan and deserves more exposure)

Here are eight reasons why this holiday season too offers the potential for peace and a chance to move the conflict in Ukraine from the battlefield to the negotiating table.

1. The first, and most urgent reason, is the incredible, daily death and suffering in Ukraine, and the chance to save millions more Ukrainians from being forced to leave their homes, their belongings and the conscripted menfolk they may never see again.

With Russia’s bombing of key infrastructure, millions of people in Ukraine currently have no heat, electricity or water as temperatures drop below freezing. The CEO of Ukraine’s largest electric corporation has urged millions more Ukrainians to leave the country, ostensibly for just a few months, to reduce demand on the war-damaged power network.

The war has wiped out at least 35% of the country’s economy, according to Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal. The only way to halt the meltdown of the economy and the suffering of the Ukrainian people is to end the war.

2. Neither side can achieve a decisive military victory, and with its recent military gains, Ukraine is in a good negotiating position.

It has become clear that U.S. and NATO military leaders do not believe, and possibly have never believed, that their publicly stated goal of helping Ukraine to recover Crimea and all of Donbas by force is militarily achievable.

In fact, Ukraine’s military chief of staff warned President Zelensky in April 2021 that such a goal would not be achievable without “unacceptable” levels of civilian and military casualties, leading him to call off plans for an escalation of the civil war at that time.

Biden’s top military advisor, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, told the Economic Club of New York on November 9, “There has to be a mutual recognition that military victory is probably, in the true sense of the word, not achievable through military means…&quot

French and German military reviews of Ukraine’s position are reportedly more pessimistic than US ones, assessing that the current appearance of military parity between the two sides will be short-lived. This adds weight to Milley’s assessment, and suggests that this could well be the best chance Ukraine will get to negotiate from a position of relative strength.

3. US government officials, especially in the Republican Party, are starting to balk at the prospect of continuing this enormous level of military and economic support. Having taken control of the House, Republicans are promising more scrutiny of Ukraine aid. Congressman Kevin McCarthy, who will become Speaker of the House, warned that Republicans would not write a “blank check” for Ukraine. This reflects the growing opposition at the base of the Republican Party, with a Wall Street Journal November poll showing that 48% of Republicans say the US is doing too much to help Ukraine, up from 6% in March.

4. The war is causing upheavals in Europe. Sanctions on Russian energy have sent inflation in Europe skyrocketing and caused a devastating squeeze on energy supplies that is crippling the manufacturing sector. Europeans are increasingly feeling what German media call Kriegsmudigkeit.

This translates as “war-weariness,” but that is not an entirely accurate characterization of the growing popular sentiment in Europe. “War-wisdom” may describe it better.

People have had many months to consider the arguments for a long, escalating war with no clear endgame – a war that is sinking their economies into a recession – and more of them than ever now tell pollsters they would support renewed efforts to find a diplomatic solution. That includes 55% in Germany, 49% in Italy, 70% in Romania and 92% in Hungary.

5. Most of the world is calling for negotiations. We heard this at the 2022 UN General Assembly, where one after another, 66 world leaders, representing a majority of the world’s population, eloquently spoke out for peace talks. Philip Pierre, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, was one of them, pleading with Russia, Ukraine and the Western powers “to immediately end the conflict in Ukraine, by undertaking immediate negotiations to permanently settle all disputes in accordance with the principles of the United Nations.”

As the Amir of Qatar told the Assembly, “We are fully aware of the complexities of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and the international and global dimension to this crisis. However, we still call for an immediate ceasefire and a peaceful settlement, because this is ultimately what will happen regardless of how long this conflict will go on for. Perpetuating the crisis will not change this result. It will only increase the number of casualties, and it will increase the disastrous repercussions on Europe, Russia and the global economy.”

6. The war in Ukraine, like all wars, is catastrophic for the environment. Attacks and explosions are reducing all kinds of infrastructure–railways, electrical grids, apartment buildings, oil depots–to charred rubble, filling the air with pollutants and blanketing cities with toxic waste that contaminates rivers and groundwater.

The sabotage of Russia’s underwater Nord Stream pipelines supplying Russian gas to Germany led to what may have been the largest release of methane gas emissions ever recorded, amounting to the annual emissions of a million cars. The shelling of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants, including Zaporizhzhia, the largest in Europe, has raised legitimate fears of deadly radiation spreading throughout Ukraine and beyond.

Meanwhile, US and Western sanctions on Russian energy have triggered a bonanza for the fossil fuel industry, giving them a new justification to increase their dirty energy exploration and production and keep the world firmly on course for climate catastrophe.

7. The war has a devastating economic impact on countries across the world. The leaders of the world’s largest economies, the Group of 20, said in a declaration at the end of their November summit in Bali that the Ukraine war “is causing immense human suffering and exacerbating existing fragilities in the global economy – constraining growth, increasing inflation, disrupting supply chains, heightening energy and food insecurity and elevating financial stability risks.”

Our long-standing failure to invest the relatively small proportion of our resources required to eradicate poverty and hunger on our otherwise rich and abundant planet already condemns millions of our brothers and sisters to squalor, misery and early deaths.

Now this is compounded by the climate crisis, as entire communities are washed away by flood waters, burned out by wildfires or starved by multi-year droughts and famines. International cooperation has never been more urgently needed to confront problems that no country can solve on its own. Yet wealthy nations still prefer to put their money into weapons and war instead of adequately addressing the climate crisis, poverty or hunger.

8. The last reason, which dramatically reinforces all the other reasons, is the danger of nuclear war. Even if our leaders had rational reasons to favor an open-ended, ever-escalating war over a negotiated peace in Ukraine – and there are certainly powerful interests in the weapons and fossil fuel industries that would profit from that – the existential danger of what this could lead to absolutely must tip the balance in favor of peace.

This war needs to end….the death and destruction only effects the Ukrainians….that should be the ONLY reason for this conflict to end.

Since you do not have the problems, the death, the hunger, the cold and the constant war….maybe you should look at it from the average Ukrainian before you make any observations.

I know we hate Putin and want to see him destroyed….fanciful for I do not think that end will be realized….so I think that all aspects and plans should be considered.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

What Is Russia Fighting For?

We are closing in on one year of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine…..I have asked what are the results that Russia is looking for that would prod them into this conflict?

A good question since very few of Russian objectives have been realized……

It’s curious to see the US military advocate diplomacy to end the war in Ukraine, while President Joe Biden and his senior officials oppose it. Much to the embarrassment of the administration, Mark Milley, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, says that Ukraine is unlikely to win back the Crimea and it is time for talks. “You want to negotiate from a position of strength,” Milley said in a speech in New York last week. “Russia is on its back.”

Soldiers tend to have a better balanced sense than politicians about the way in which advantage in war can swing backwards and forwards. They ought to have after their grim experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq, in both of which the US thought at one point that it had won a total victory.

Milley may well be right, but it is difficult to see why Ukraine should negotiate while it is winning victories on the ground. As for President Vladimir Putin, he will scarcely want to talk until his army has achieved something other than stage shambolic retreats and lose territory captured in the first days of the invasion.

What indeed are Russia’s war aims? On 24 February, and for a couple of days afterwards, they were clear enough: Russia wanted to conquer Ukraine and install a proxy government, much as in Czechoslovakia in 1968. It did not happen: the invasion failed miserably to achieve any of its objectives, so what exactly is Russia fighting for today?

As for the war itself, the Ukrainian victories at Kharkiv and Kherson show that the Russian army is a shambles and it has never recovered from the initial debacle. But the ground war in Ukraine is only one part of the conflict: another is the Russian drone and missile assault on Ukrainian electricity, gas and water supplies. As we have seen in conflicts in the Middle East, precision-guided missiles and drones, once the monopoly of the US, are the new face of war, against which total defence is impossible. The Russians are avoiding direct attacks on the two nuclear plants in western Ukraine, but they are destroying the transmission cables and substations that cannot be speedily replaced.

The other front in the conflict is the economic war against Russia which has turned out to be a spectacular boomerang with ruinous consequences for European economies. Sanctions are a collective punishment on ordinary Russians, but do not directly target the Kremlin. Sanctions did not remove Saddam Hussein in Iraq over 13 years or Bashar al-Assad in Syria over a decade, and there is no reason to suppose that they will work against Putin.

What is Russia Fighting for Today?

Kherson is back in the news after being liberated from Russian control…..

Weeks after filling the streets in celebration after the city’s recapture, residents again are fleeing the southern Ukraine city of Kherson.

Unable to win on the battlefield, “Russia is bringing death, starvation and hypothermia to civilians,” said Mateusz Morawiecki, who was attending the International Summit of Food Security in the capital. Saturday was the 90th anniversary of the start of the “Holodomor,” or Great Famine, in which more than 3 million people were killed over two years when the Soviet government seized food and grain supplies. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz marked Ukraine’s solemn commemoration with a message by video. “Today, we stand united in stating that hunger must never again be used as a weapon,” Scholz said.

The Ukrainian battlefield is very fluid….it will not be over until it is over….and if the US has it’s way it will never be over.

I am still waiting for someone to answer my question of what does the US hope to get in return for our massive investment in Ukraine?

Could this be the answer?

High-level European officials are furious with the Biden administration and are now accusing the US of profiting from the war in Ukraine while Europe is facing a potential energy crisis.

In comments to POLITICO, a senior EU official said, “The fact is, if you look at it soberly, the country that is most profiting from this war is the US because they are selling more gas and at higher prices, and because they are selling more weapons.”

The US-led sanctions campaign on Russia has backfired on Europe as it has ratcheted up energy prices to the point where Europeans may face blackouts this winter. On top of the energy situation, European leaders also fear they will lose out on investments due to unprecedented subsidies included in the US’s Inflation Reduction Act, which President Biden signed into law in August.

The Inflation Reduction Act includes $369 billion in subsidies and tax breaks for green businesses, incentivizing companies to invest in the US instead of Europe. European leaders have publicly criticized the US for the legislation and are considering subsidies of their own, signaling the beginning of a new trade war.

The senior EU official told POLITICO that the double whammy of high energy prices and loss of trade to subsidies could turn public opinion against supporting Ukraine. “We are really at a historic juncture,” the official said. “America needs to realize that public opinion is shifting in many EU countries.”

(antiwar.com)

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Oh Crap! Article 5!

First what the Hell is Article 5?

Article 5 is the cornerstone of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)  and states that an attack on one member of NATO is an attack on all of its members.

Now that missile that hit inside Poland.

Poland said early Wednesday that a Russian-made missile fell in the country’s east, killing two people, though U.S. President Joe Biden said it was “unlikely” it was fired from Russia.

The blast, which Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy decried as “a very significant escalation,” prompted Biden to call an emergency meeting of G-7 and NATO leaders. A deliberate, hostile attack on NATO member Poland could trigger a collective military response by the alliance.

(apnews.com)

Now my questions are…..

Who is provoking who?

Is this truly an escalation by Russia?  Trying to draw NATO into this conflict.

It is a Russian made missile then was it fired by some other entity to draw NATO into the conflict?

Shortly after the accusations Biden made a statement…..

President Biden told reporters in Indonesia on Wednesday that it’s “unlikely” the missile that hit a village in Poland Tuesday near the Ukrainian border was fired by Russia and that “preliminary” information indicates otherwise.

“There is preliminary information that contests that,” Biden said when asked by reporters if the missile was fired by Russia. “I don’t want to say until we completely investigate. It’s unlikely in the minds of the trajectory that it was fired from Russia.”

After Biden’s comments, three US Officials told The Associated Press that “preliminary assessments” suggest the missile that hit Poland was fired by Ukrainian forces and was meant to intercept a Russian missile.

Biden is in Indonesia for the G20 summit and held an emergency meeting of NATO and G7 leaders over the news that a missile fell in Poland, killing two people. He said that the allies agreed to find out exactly what happened and make a decision together from there.

“Then we’re going to collectively determine our next step as we investigate and proceed. There was total unanimity among folks at the table,” Biden said.

Over in Poland, President Andrzej Duda told reporters that there’s no clear evidence of who fired the missile. “We do not for the moment have unequivocal evidence of who fired the missile. An investigation is ongoing,” he said.

Poland is considering holding consultations with NATO members under Article 4 of the alliance’s treaty. NATO’s Article 4 states: “The parties will consult together whenever any of them have the opinion that the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any party is threatened.”

Since Poland is a NATO member, there has been concern that the country may ask to invoke Article 5, which states that “an armed attack on any party is an attack on them all.” But so far, there is no sign that Poland is looking to escalate the situation, and there’s no evidence that Russia launched the missile.

When news of the missile landing in Poland first broke, a US official told The Associated Press that Russian missiles hit Polish territory. But when asked about the situation, the Pentagon said it could not corroborate the claim, and Russia issued a strong denial.

The lack of evidence has not stopped Ukrainian officials from accusing Russia of hitting Poland. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wrote on Twitter that he spoke with Duda and expressed “condolences over the death of Polish citizens from Russian missile terror.”

(antiwar.com)

I will wait to see if the news actually reflects the facts as they are known….or will the warmongers get their way?

Which question is the more accurate?

Final thought…..US is planning yet another $37 billion in aid to Ukraine.

The White House on Tuesday asked Congress to approve $37.7 billion in new aid for Ukraine, which would bring total US spending on the war to about $105 billion.

According to The Hill, the request includes $21.7 billion in military aid for Ukraine and to replenish US military stockpiles that have been sent to the country.

A total of $14.5 billion in budgetary aid to directly fund the Ukrainian government is included, as Kyiv is expecting the US and its allies to pay its budget deficit for 2023.

The request also includes $626 million for the US Strategic Oil Reserve and for nuclear safety for Ukraine and $900 million for healthcare and other services for Ukrainians.

It’s possible Congress will increase the White House requests as media reports said lawmakers in both parties were looking to pass a Ukraine aid bill of about $50 billion before January.

(antiwar.com)

I know no on cares how much we spend on Ukraine but let children get a free lunch and all Hell breaks lose.

How disgusting is that?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”