It is not my intention to provide a blow-by-blow account or political/military commentary on the War in Ukraine. This is merely a cold analysis of the facts on the ground as they appear to the onlooker.
I started this post in mid-March 2022. It’s been more than a year since and the war, which I had hoped would come to an end, continues to grow. The situation is now direr. Global alliances are shifting. The conflict threatens to engulf the whole world. I can only pray it doesn’t escalate any further.
We all know how wars start but nobody knows how they end. Putin didn’t want to go to war in Ukraine. He was forced to by the West who didn’t care how it ended. The West only cares about maintaining its geostrategic relevance. The world today is starting to shift away from the unilateral model forcefully imposed by the United States of America, at the end of the Cold War.
New economic blocs are fast emerging (BRICS) that challenge the supremacy of the US dollar as reserve currency. Gold is in high demand and at a premium, having gone from a low of USD 1,054 in December 2015 to a high of USD 2,018 in April 2023.
This estimate may well prove to be wildly conservative considering the West’s dumping gold bullion on the markets in an effort to reassure them. Without these artificial injections of precious metal into the commodities exchanges, the price of gold, as well as the value of the dollar, would have been severely affected. Suffice to say, that gold is underappreciated, while the dollar is reaping the effects of the US Treasury inflationary policies.
In the East, the BRICS are moving towards consolidating their economic gains by launching a currency backed by gold. This return to the gold standard will signal the end of United States financial supremacy. The world will return to a purely economic model, whereby resources, labour, and money are all related to supply and demand.
Adrien Venport, one of Frank Herbert’s Dune characters, reminded me of that Clausewitzian concept stating, “War is the continuation of politics by other means.”
In justifying his commercial takeover of the sole source of spice mélange in the known universe, the planet of Arrakis, Adrien enunciated that which must be repeated nowadays until everyone on planet Earth knows it by heart.
War is a violent form of business.Adrien Venport “Commercial Plan for Arrakis Spice Operations”
The Russo-Ukrainian War is just that, an immense and violent form of business, opposing two business competitors, which Putin ironically calls “partners”, meaning America and the European Union.
But unfortunately for the future of humanity, this crisis is more than just that. This crisis has the potential to engulf the world in the flames of nuclear war. The rhetoric is there. Everybody uses it with reckless abandon. For we must remember, words have a way of becoming true.
Former President Trump has also been evoking the specter of world war.
A geopolitical singularity / entropy is fast approaching. And it will feel and look more like a reckoning than a cosmological event horizon. It will be messy, brutal, and chances are shorter than the last two cataclysmic events we’ve had in the past.
Why do I say this? What reasons does one have to use such language? Plenty, it turns out, that one has plenty of reasons to fear this day of reckoning.
At the beginning of the Ukrainian-Russian War, President Biden mentioned he had two choices. One – he could press the red button, and we all know what he meant by that. Two – he could take drastic sanctions against Russia.
At this, most people would sigh and say well, good job, President Biden, for making the right call. Most people would take away option number #2 and be glad about the outcome.
Unfortunately, Putin and the Russian High Command are unlike most people. They do not see it that way. They see it in a different light. What Putin saw was how President Biden hesitated between world war and economic war.
Putin saw how America could have gone nuclear. Putin did not see that America did not go nuclear. Putin did not see that America dropped the pretense of a proxy war, dropped the act, and quit acting as an honest go-between.
Because America imposed sanctions against Russia, the largest array of sanctions ever imposed on any country to date, Putin realized how America was ready to go toe-to-toe with Russia with nukes. Because the last time America imposed economic sanctions on a country already set on a warpath (Japan, spring of 1941), within seven months a state of war existed between Japan and the USA.
And that is why Russia increased the battle-readiness of its nuclear arsenal. And that is not good for business. That is not good for our Health. That is entirely bad for the whole human race.
So, ask yourselves this question, ladies and gentlemen. Is it worth the lives of hundreds of millions of people, perhaps billions, to see who is right: The West or the East? Because the way I see it, Russia did not start this. The West did. One thing is certain: Russia will see this through. And by this, I mean to say, Russia will see Ukraine in her orbit, or else.
“I do not care for a world without Russia, or where Russia is diminished and relegated to a footnote.”Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation.
Now Putin does not suffer from the tragedy of perfection. Far from that. Putin does care about Russia though.
Vladimir Fedorovski, an Ukrainian-Russian writer living and working in France, had this to say about Putin.
He said that Putin will go all the way, and see the crisis through, no matter what. His were ominous words.
But sometimes, most times even, people are wrong about other people’s motives. We always, but always see in others what we want to see, our projections and what people want us to see. So, yeah, I guess Marcus Aurelius was right to say that, “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”
To this I would add that the same could be said about people judging people, too.
For us to understand who Putin is, we need to go back in time and take stock of what happened on December 5, 1989, in East Germany.
During the fall of the Berlin Wall, while the German Democratic Republic was still a thing, crowds of East Germans took over the STASI headquarters in Dresden and East Berlin. After securing 8 linear kilometers worth of files, a part of the crowd thought it best to get the job done. And so they went liberate the rest of the files, from KGB custody, at its headquarters in Dresden.
A group of 15 to 20 people, according to German sources, or 5,000 demonstrators, according to Russian sources, headed over to the KGB station in Dresden. But while STASI was an East German department, and its citizens were certainly in their rights, during a revolution, to be there, the same could not be said about the KGB premises.
You see, the KGB station was part of the extraterritorial status accorded to diplomats and embassies, under the Vienna Diplomatic Convention of 1961. Whatever happens on its premises is considered a matter of national import. Trespassing is akin to violating state sovereignty.
The problem with the hundred to a few thousand crowd, because 20 people daring to go on their own to the KGB house, is beyond stupid even for hot-headed East German revolutionaries, drunk on their worthy ideals, was that they didn’t realize what they were doing. Or perhaps they did, and both the German and Russian versions of the events are correct.
The way I see it, they were both right. A 5,000-strong crowd went to the KGB station. But once they got on the premises, only two dozen individuals, armed with courage and in possession of balls of steel, went to the front door and started knocking, perhaps a bit too forceful. A 37-year-old Vladimir Putin answered the door, with his service weapon drawn in one hand.
He politely explained in fluent German, as he was also a STASI officer, that they were trespassing on Soviet territory, and that they must leave at once. They argued that there were many of them and only one on his side of the door. Putin told them that he was sure he could not stop all of them, but he would surely put down the first eight who would try to violate Soviet sovereignty.
So, this is the man, America, NATO, and the EU are staring down and engaging in brinksmanship with. The West is insane to think they can do that to Putin.
A Country too Far
During WW2, in fall of 1944, the Allied High Command, emboldened by Field Marshall Montgomery, came up with a reckless plan to overturn Germany’s flank in Holland, by launching a massive paratrooper assault on a number of key bridges situated deep behind enemy lines. The gamble was that the British Red Berets would capture the bridges over the Rhine, their infantry would break the German front, reach out and link up with their commandos, and invade Germany before Hitler knew what had hit him.
A bold plan, but one that was born in the insecure mind of a nincompoop poltroon (Montgomery), who had spent the totality of two minutes thinking about its logistics.
The plan was a monumental failure, leading to the capture, maiming, and death of thousands of British commandos. It yielded minor tactical advantages, none of which justified its execution and failure. But Montgomery got to steal the wind out of the sails of his rival, General Patton. Out of the four divisions of airborne troops committed (2 US, 1 UK, 1 POL), or 41,268 troops, cca. 15,000-17,000 were destroyed. So it cost the Allies 41 percent casualties to advance 97 km in 1 month.
Now opinions are split between those who consider Operation Market Garden an utter fiasco (spoiler! I am one) and those who consider such losses as normal in wartime. Again a spoiler, it is usually generals who are extremely, but extremely cavalier with the men’s blood, who take those odds every time.
What NATO and the EU are doing in UKR is akin to A Bridge Too Far. Not only that but they are also failing, just like Montgomery’s plan. They are failing because they did not take into account Russia’s war goals. In their defense, almost nobody including myself could foresee this. Nobody, except for an obscure Professor of geopolitics, PhD. Mearsheimer, that is.
This academic realized that Russia was not going to occupy UKR. Putin knows all too well, having just witnessed America’s 20-year Afghanistan fiasco come to an end, last year, that occupying UKR would grind Russia’s land forces. Putin doesn’t want a repetition of the 8-year war that saw the Soviet Army leave Afghanistan in 1988 and brought down the USSR only three years later.
If Russia fell into that accidental trap, the West unknowingly laid for Putin, it would lose the War.
No. Instead Russia is going to destroy, to wreck UKR until the country is no more. This will serve as a lesson to all other countries thinking of joining NATO and the Western camp.
Most people believe Russia to be the aggressor here. Because it did go into UKR, killed a lot of innocent people, destroying huge swaths of the country, as well as the world public trust in the post-WW2 collective security arrangements (United Nations, rule of law, etc.). Or at least that’s how the story goes. Because in the end, that is the storyline that the media has been propagating 24/7 ever since this war began.
And now America has a new reason to act unilaterally, arm UKR with tens of thousands of anti-tank and anti-air missiles, tanks, airplanes, costing hundreds of billions of dollars, and fight Russia to the last Ukrainian.
But the Truth is quite different and often, complex. It requires the study of a hundred moving parts, ranging from the actors involved, their allies, strategic and economic interests, global financial flows, questions of current and future geopolitics, both short- and long-term, the reactions of neutrals (if any), the shifts in the balance of power, backdoor politics such as the 2022-coup in Pakistan, orchestrated by America against its Prime-Minister Imran Khan, because of his going to Moscow to kiss Putin’s ring, etc, etc, etc.
It’s an extremely complicated array of intertwining relations between Western actors and their alliances around the world on one side, and the Eastern Bloc starting to coalesce around Russia, China on the other. India and surprisingly Pakistan seem unlike partners, but they may well be on their way to joining the Eastern Camp, along with most if not all of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) and others perhaps (Iran, Saudi Arabia,).
When and if the War engulfs the whole World, it will be fought everywhere at once. This will truly be a world war of monumental proportions. Chances are it will also turn nuclear, in which case Humanity will regress about 150 years to the last level of sustainable technology. If that comes to pass, we will regress to the Industrial Steam Era from before returning to the Age of Electricity. We will be set back but we shall make a comeback, in good time, I’m sure.
And if you think all this to be farfetched, bear in mind that people all over the world are revisiting their plans of building anti-atomic bunkers. Interestingly enough, Prof. Mearsheimer evokes, and is quite correct to do so, America’s reaction during the Missile Crisis. Back in 1962, Khrushchev who wanted America to remove its ICBMs from Turkey, sent Soviet ICBMs to Cuba. When JFK found out, he placed Cuba under embargo, and set up a naval blockade whose enforcement would have led to the US Navy attacking Soviet submarines in international waters, and or bombing of Cuban missile sites.
The Soviets did not back down, until America pulled its Jupiter rockets from Turkey. Then they followed suit and pulled their own ICBMs from Cuba.
Incidentally, having just consulted the Wikipedia file on the Cuban Missile Crisis, I found out that Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, the general secretary of Romania’s communist party, sent a letter to President Kennedy dissociating Romania from Soviet actions. This got the American administration thinking that Bucharest intended to cut the umbilical cord from Moscow.
I brought up this apparently unrelated diplomatic factoid because of two considerations.
- Khrushchev had pulled all Soviet troops from Romania in 1958. So, Bucharest was getting uppity with the USSR.
- Withdrawing from a country without solid guarantees that that country will not abandon your camp, and join your enemy’s, is a direct guarantee of failure in your foreign policy. Think Afghanistan after the Soviets pulled out in 1988, and after the Americans got out in 2022. The first time, the Taliban got in and started implementing Sharia law, blowing up Buddha statues, and making the country into the mess we know and fear. The second time, a few days after the last American cargo plane took off from Bagram Air Base, the Chinese made it their own. You see, Bagram is 90 minutes away from China’s nuclear ICBMs.
In the end, any European or global security arrangement that is made against or without Russia’s participation, will come to naught. War is the likeliest consequence of any such arrangement as events on the ground can attest.