Ukraine has already lost the war

Homepage Forums Politics Ukraine has already lost the war

This topic contains 210 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Unseen 8 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 151 through 165 (of 211 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #47515

    Unseen
    Participant

    Seems like some of us learned lessons about how to deal with territorial expanding militaristic dictators and some have not. So yeah, I’m good with that and good with the message the West has sent to all dictatorships, especially the Chinese leadership, who are not nearly as stupid as Putin.

    The problem has been summed up as “The generals (insert also political leaders) are always preparing for the last war.”

    #47516

    Unseen
    Participant

    Both the UK and France are nuclear powers. European nations combined could probably overpower Russia. I’m not sure why the U.S. should even belong to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, not being a North Atlantic country.

    NATO is the primary cause for Putin’s belligerence. Imagine, if you will, that Canada or Mexico invited China or Russia to bring in weapons and or hold military maneuvers (war games) just over the border. We enforce a Monroe Doctrine. Russia feels a need to do the same, though with NATO surrounding it, it’s a bit late to do so.

    As Mearsheimer points out, this is a war of attrition and in such a war, the key weapon is artillery, but Russia has six or seven times as much artillery and ammunition than all the NATO nations combined, and if Russia starts to lose, it will likely use tactical nukes for which the only Western reply would be an exchange of nuclear ICBM’s, which nobody wants.

    It’s likely to be a protracted war that Ukraine can’t win.

    It’s hard to imagine a greater expert on European politics than John Mearsheimer. You don’t need to point out that this is a Chinese channel. Mearsheimer says the same things on every channel, so that’s beside the point. I chose this video because at only about 30 minutes, it’s relatively brief compared to the others.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by  Unseen.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by  Unseen.
    #47520

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I’m not sure why the U.S. should even belong to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, not being a North Atlantic country.

    #47522

    Davis
    Moderator

    LOL Simon that was a good one. I believe that America does indeed border the Atlantic ocean, and if memory serves me…it is in the Northern Portion of that Ocean? It would make sense that the US were in a North Atlantic Treaty indeed, especially considering that the whole thing was set up in the first place to ensure US geopolitical interests, first during the cold war and later to ensure American trade interests remain stable, including access to strategic resources. And Ukraine is as much about strategic resources as it is about Putin staying in power.

    By your logic, Unseen, if taken to its logical conclusion, someone should only do something if it is in their self interest. So for example, why would I spend time/money on helping a stranger in distress when I can do just about anything else I feel like doing (assuming I’m not breaking some good Samaritan law). I’m also curious why the rest of the World would not slowly look to other spheres of influence outside of the US seriously when it meddles in every obscure corner of the Earth (including conflicts which have had devastating consequences for the rest of the World including its allies) but do nothing while an Ally is pointlessly hurt by a non-Ally.

    Intervening when an Ally is pointlessly invaded by a non-ally makes sense for strategic reasons. I would rather, if I live in a nation like the US with an absurdly bloated defense budget, use those resources on helping an Ally than invading an oil rich country like Iraq to benefit the share holdings of those in Power. I’d rather it go to humanitarian aid and military spending on assisting allies than developing expensive and fun but otherwise pointless military toys. Defense spending and aid is rarely a write off for a country.

    #47523

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Unseen,

    Again, the Babushka Doll has not yet sang on Ukraine.

    And with Putin now having a warrant out for his arrest by The Hague, he takes serious risks in venturing out of Russia, as he most recently did in Mariupol. There are lots of Soldier-Of-Fortune types globally who would love to catch Putin and haul him to The Hague for a hefty bounty!

    Putin basically has few choices, He can leave Russia and risk arrest, trial, and possible execution, or he can stay, attempt to rattle nuclear sabers, and risk a coup by his own Generals or an uprising from his own people and returning troops, or he can go down to his bunker and give his basal ganglia lizard brain a Lead injection with a Makarov syringe. (I would prefer he do the lattermost option. It would be more viscerally satisfying and would allow both Ukrainians and Russians alike a chance at peace and a better, freer life.)

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by  TheEncogitationer. Reason: Spelling
    #47526

    Unseen
    Participant

    @simon

    You got me. Good one.

    Let me change my assertion a bit, though, by taking the geographical reference out. I’m not sure why the U.S. should even belong in NATO since it is European nations which need to worry about Russia invading and, as I pointed out, their alliance, with the U.S. gone, still would contain two nuclear weapons powers and, with forces combined and the ability to respond on multiple fronts, should be able to easily fend off such an excursion. As Prof. Mearsheimer points out, Russia isn’t a threat to the U.S. and we need Russia on our side if we’re to counter China’s expansionism. Instead, we are driving Russia into China’s arms. BTW, they just agreed that China would pay for Russian petroleum with Chinese currency (Yuans). And, presumably, Russia will use its Yuans to buy stuff from China. Bye-bye petrodollars.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by  Unseen.
    #47527

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Ya know what is really kicking the can down the road?

    It is not about this particular conflict. Not really. What is the underlying issue? The sine qua non of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine? DICTATORSHIPS DICKtatorships ought not be tolerated. Giving one person that much power is a kick in the can. It is beyond lazy, stupid, shortsighted, irresponsible.

    Oh fuck it. What is the point?

    #47529

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I’m not sure why the U.S. should even belong in NATO since it is European nations which need to worry about Russia invading

    But the world is interdependent.  The US can’t survive alone, with a busted-up Europe.  It would fuck up the world even worse than it already is.

    #47532

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Unseen,

    Russia and Red China are already partners and Russia doesn’t need driving into the arms of Red China. Relations warmed in the early 2000s and IIRC they did joint military exercises in 2007.

    And now, Russia, Red China, Saudi Arabia, and Iran are all in together…against us, as I pointed out here:

    All In Together…Against Freedom for the Rest of Us!

    John Meersheimer simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about and needs to join that General in the VFW game room with the darts.

    #47539

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Simon,

    But the world is interdependent. The US can’t survive alone, with a busted-up Europe. It would fuck up the world even worse than it already is.

    Ackshuyally, it might be a better avenue of defense if Russia had to contend against several mini-superpowers with resolve than one big superpower without resolve. The U.S. arms industry could still supply arms on a cash-and-carry basis, but the financing would still be the responsibility of individual nations.

    Mind you, it would mean that the governments of Europe would have to choose between guns and butter.

    It may mean the French may have to actually work 40 hour days instead of 33, and retire in their sixties instead of their fifties.

    It may mean that Brits may have to buy First Aid kits for little boo-boos and actually make choices on health care providers for bigger ails.

    It may mean fewer rides on the Metro for Germans and that Swedes will have to cut out allemansrätten to build walls and battlements. (How do you say: “Get off my lawn!” in Swedish and put some heart in it?)

    It may mean all immigrants throughout the Continent have to be self-supporting or voluntarily sponsored and actually have no affiliations with terrorist groups.

    It will mean a booming consulting business for Switzerland as they teach their neighbors techniques for being a little land island among bigger superpowers.

    *Tongue click!* Life is trade-offs. Decisions, decisions, decisions…🤷🤷‍♀️🤷‍♂️

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by  TheEncogitationer. Reason: Spelling and punctuation
    #47540

    Unseen
    Participant

    John Meersheimer simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about and needs to join that General in the VFW game room with the darts.

    That’s a funny quip, but what do you know? He’s a renowned scholar on international politics. You might want to read his biography before simply dismissing him with a childish cheap shot and embarrass yourself.

    #47547

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Unseen,

    I mentioned before that I read John Meersheimer’s Wikipedia page and I’m simply not wow-ed by his CV. Talking nonsense and dishonesty is not made any less nonsense and dishonesty by credentials.

    And so-called “Realists” in foreign policy are the most unreal school of thought. For one thing, they don’t acknowledge the reality of individual human rights and that world leaders are bound by the same moral and ethical strictures as anyone else.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by  TheEncogitationer. Reason: Putting a name to the modifier
    #47549

    Unseen
    Participant

    And so-called “Realists” in foreign policy are the most unreal school of thought. For one thing, they don’t acknowledge the reality of individual human rights and that world leaders are bound by the same moral and ethical strictures as anyone else.

    You think Mearsheimer talks nonsense? He talks perfect sense. For example (and this covers your “moral and ethical strictures”) he points out that governments act in their country’s interest before they consider international law. In other words, the only way a country can preserve its own safety and security (in theory, anyway) is to achieve absolute hegemony.

    Thus, no country is going to lose a war if there’s a way not to lose it, even if winning involves doing something supposedly forbidden under international rules of engagement (cluster bombs, chemical warfare, targeting or terrorizing civilians).

    No leader wants to explain to their now-subjugated people “We lost this war because the only way to win it would have been to violate international rules of conduct.

    You’re the one spouting nonsense here.

    #47559

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Unseen,

    You think Mearsheimer talks nonsense? He talks perfect sense. For example (and this covers your “moral and ethical strictures”) he points out that governments act in their country’s interest before they consider international law. In other words, the only way a country can preserve its own safety and security (in theory, anyway) is to achieve absolute hegemony.

    Well, no existing Government yet fully speaks for my individual interests or any other moral, ethical person’s interests, which, just saying, don’t involve plunder, enslavement, and murder.

    And winning a conflict does not always require absolute hegemony over the opponent. Zelenskyy does not have to conquer Putin’s Russia to win, simply to kick Putin and his Putineers out and keep them out.

    Thus, no country is going to lose a war if there’s a way not to lose it, even if winning involves doing something supposedly forbidden under international rules of engagement (cluster bombs, chemical warfare, targeting or terrorizing civilians).

    No leader wants to explain to their now-subjugated people “We lost this war because the only way to win it would have been to violate international rules of conduct.

    You’re the one spouting nonsense here.

    Well, Putin’s Russia is in absolutely no danger of being subjugated by Zelenskyy’s Ukraine, even if Zelenskyy wanted to do so.

    For an excellent refutation of “Realist” foreign policy, both as a norm for nations and as a descriptor for how nations act, and John Meersheimer’s takes in particular, this article comes highly recommended.

    Meersheimer: Rigor or Reaction?
    by Matt Johnson
    https://quillette.com/2023/02/15/mearsheimer-rigor-or-reaction/

    #47565

    Unseen
    Participant

    @Enco

    I think you’re missing Mearsheimer’s point on hegemony. It’s not about winning battles, it’s about national survival in the long term. The U.S. has been hegemonic since WW2, but if it doesn’t get past these bank failures and avoid the depression that may follow, the “petrodollar” may give way to the “petroruble,” “petroyuan,” or a BRICS currency and then we won’t be able to just print money to buy whatever we need, especially if it comes from outside our borders.

    Who the hell is Matt Johnson and what makes him an expert on anything? I’m not saying that his being a non-expert makes his views false, but it’d be nice to know where his opinions are coming from. I hope it’s more than a few hours or days of research in order to land a quick $500, which is what Quilette pays for articles it accepts, placing it a notch or two above Medium, which it resembles in many ways.

    Mearsheimer’s scholarly works are subjected to peer review, Johnson’s only by an editor who likely has no qualifications, and not a scholarly editor.

    Many of Johnson’s examples of (as he seees them) Mearsheimer’s failures of prediction are based on writings from the late 1990’s or early 21st Century. Well, a lot of shit can happen over the course of a decade or two. He also fails to appreciate that Mearsheimer’s project is analytical and descriptive, not predictive or prescriptive.

    BTW, did you read the rebuttal down in the comments?

    Johnson has given a thorough presentation of his case in over 5000 words, so one can’t cover the ground in 200. But my point is that he gets one thing very wrong about Mearsheimer and foreign policy ‘realism’. First let’s summarize Johnson in his own words:

    //[Johnson says:]we are unlikely to see another large-scale shift toward command economies. Just as there has been significant universalization of political and economic systems, many states and societies have fallen into alignment on a wide range of ethical norms. The number of countries that abolished the death penalty began to surge in 1970 and continued accelerating in subsequent decades. A similar trend is visible with the decriminalization of homosexuality and gay rights. Over a longer timespan, states abolished slavery, gave women the right to vote, and banned inhumane forms of punishment (a major cause of the Enlightenment, advanced by figures such as Cesare Beccaria).

    [Johnson argues, further: ]For Mearsheimer’s argument to make any sense, we would have to assume that this process of universalization has come to an end, but he provides no evidence that it has. Liberals aren’t delusional for recognizing the universal appeal of democracy, human rights, and market economies—if anything, the past several years have strengthened the case made by Francis Fukuyama in The End of History and the Last Man that liberal democracy is the most sustainable political system.//

    In short, Johnson argues that things are improving, the world is becoming a freer, more democratic, more rights-respecting place; capitalism with a few social welfare tweaks is more people’s preferred choice. This is Pinker and Fukuyama. Johnson doesn’t consider the evidence for a variant thesis–that things have plateaued. E.g., have women’s rights improved in the US in the last 40 years. Has the number of US persons in prison declined? Similarly look at the advanced nation of the UK: Has life improved over the last 40 years? In the US, democracy was just imperiled with a near coup, and the US legislative machinery is immobile in key areas such as infrastructure. It’s hard to judge a world picture, but Johnson does not really look disinterestedly at the evidence.

    Now to the main point: I argue thus, against Johnson: “Realism”–Mearsheimer’s approach– is at its core, *descriptive*; it purports to account for how nations behave–in their perceived self interest. Consider Johnson’s main point against Mearsheimer: It’s that Putin invaded Ukraine; he seems, says Johnson, to have the goal of restoring an empire like that of Peter the Great. Johnson catalogues other failures of prediction. But ‘realism’ is NOT (mainly intended) to generate infallible predictions! It’s a general proposal about, a description of, how nations act. Being wrong on the Ukraine invasion doesn’t affect the core of a realist approach. We might compare and ask How many liberals predicted the invasion?

    Johnson fails to *compare* frameworks, and doesn’t look across the board, disinterestedly. Example: Do we understand US actions in Afghanistan better in terms of its stated concern for democracy and women’s rights? Or shall we be realistic and talk about a great power’s attempt to secure a greater sphere of influence? He says elsewhere that ‘realists’ are in effect appeasers of dictators like Putin. He doesn’t critique US liberal policy. What predictions have been made in terms of its *stated* goals, e.g. bringing democracy to Vietnam or Iraq or Afghanistan? He doesn’t note US support–much more than appeasement– of dictators such as the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. Is that better predicted by US stated ideals of freedom and dignity? What we see, in fact, suggests that concerns for world dominance push aside idealistic, liberal proclamations about freedom and democracy. In the example of US support of the Saudis, one gets better predictions from an analysis based on “realism.”

Viewing 15 posts - 151 through 165 (of 211 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.