Archive for March 1, 2022

To the American Media and the Biden Administration (but I repeat myself) the War in Ukraine is a disaster, not because of the invasion, the loss of life, the human suffering and the violation of borders but because it has exposed to the entire world the weakness, fecklessness and incompetence that 81 million Americans supposedly voted for.

At the state of the Union address with Democrats facing electoral disaster even before this happen Biden is going to have to go up that and somehow try to look strong and paint a positive picture while all of this is going on. I suspect he will do a lot of waving the Ukrainian flag and talking about standing tough against Russia while at the same time doing all he can to keep America from returning to it’s energy independent days of the Trump administration which is the one way to actually checkmate Putin.

In short the Biden Administration needs an out. Fortunately for them Putin is in a position to provide them with one if he so chooses.

I submit and suggest that Putin’s base plan involved the two breakaway republics in the Ukrainian west east but seeing the Biden administrations’ weak response choose to roll the dice for the whole shebang and undo the government install in an Obama supported coup back in 2014.

Stronger than expected resistance from Ukrainians combined with a stronger than expected response from a surprisingly united Europe have become complications for Russia. As I noted yesterday the military facts on the ground might override those problems but if the cost gets to high Putin has one card that he can play at any time.

Putin can choose to make a deal whereby Russian troops move out of Ukraine Proper while staying in the two break away western sections. This would be a Godsend for Biden as it would not only give him the chance to claim a diplomatic success (albeit of a mess of his own making) but it would guarantee that the various corrupt activities that he and his family have been involved with in Ukraine stay off the radar.

Meanwhile Putin would have picked up what he wanted in the first place and would still have an army in a position to try again if he so chooses at a later date and of course the Ukrainians can claim a victory as well particularly as they had no prospect of chasing the Russians out of the west anyways.

This card is in Putin’s hand and can be played anytime the wild card is will a Europe now worried about Putin decide to play along?

If you asked me two weeks ago I would have said “yes” without hesitation it remains to see if they’ve been woken beyond their ability to go back to their days of slumber I mean cripes Germany is rearming (and amazingly that doesn’t seem to worry anyone).

Update: I accidently typed west when I meant east on the breakaway republics, thanks to the reader who spotted the error.

The Germans get on board

Posted: March 1, 2022 by chrisharper in Uncategorized

By Christopher Harper

One of the most important developments from the invasion of Ukraine is the apparent change in Germany’s government toward Russia.

The Germans have played footsy with the Russians for years, expanding economic ties with Moscow and weakening military forces, particularly with NATO.

In neck-snapping changes, Germany said it would send 1,000 antitank weapons and 500 Stinger surface-to-air missiles to Ukraine. That’s a reversal of Berlin’s policy since World War II of not supplying lethal weapons to other countries.

After the reversal, Chancellor Olaf Scholz went even further, announcing a massive overhaul of German security and defense policy. Berlin is stepping back from its decades-long entente with Moscow and is going all-in on NATO.

“Putin wants to establish a Russian empire,” Scholz said Sunday. The critical question, he said, is “whether we can summon the strength to set boundaries to warmongers like Putin.”

Scholz vowed to increase defense spending to 2% of gross domestic product, as all NATO members are supposed to do, and added $113 billion to the defense budget. The money will purchase weapons such as F-35 fighter planes and Israeli drones. 

Germany had slashed the number of main battle tanks from 5,000 in 1989 to 300 currently while reducing its armed forces from nearly 500,000 personnel to around 180,000.

It’s worth noting that Donald Trump called upon all NATO members to bump up their spending dramatically while he was in office—an action most European leaders rejected.

In an editorial, The Wall Street Journal noted: “The Russian invasion of Ukraine has been a shock to German politicians and voters who assumed diplomacy alone would secure Europe’s borders. It’s been an embarrassment to a government caught flat-footed by Mr. Putin’s marauding.” 

And that’s not all. Scholz vowed to cut Germany’s reliance on Russian energy, a reversal of a decades-long policy that enabled Berlin access to cheap energy but tied it ever closer to Moscow. Berlin gets more than half of its natural gas and a quarter of its oil from state-controlled Russian exporters.

Earlier this year, Joe Biden and Scholz removed all restrictions to constructing a new pipeline, the Nord Stream 2. Since the invasion, all work on the pipeline has stopped.

The next important step for Germany and other European members of NATO will be to insist on the provisions that an attack against one member is an attack against all.

Although Biden has said the United States will back any country that is attacked, it is critical to make sure troops are available to fight any Russian advances on any NATO country.