A Moment of Strategery
Averil Haines talked at the Reagan Library the other day. More or less, she said the war in Ukraine isn’t going well for the Russians, there is a lull in the fighting, and a few other things. I’m going to take a stab at predicting the war right here in public. While Haines supposedly has all the information and intelligence from all sorts of agencies to back up here comments, I have no inside information whatsoever. On the basis of almost nothing, I’m confident I can do a better job for you with my crystal ball than she can with her public comments, especially if you are betting with other peoples’ money. I will depend for my description of how things are going on the strategy basics (as exhaustively intertwined in Multiform War and in prior writings. I’lll also draw on my abiding distrust of the top tier of leaders in our intelligence apparatus. Whatever they say in public I have to presume is somehow off. So here it goes:
Distance. The kilometric distances greatly favor the Russians in this war, but the more important distances are the risk distances, the relative distances to the operational culminating points. TO refresh, the culminating point is a theoretical point in time and space beyond which it is imprudent to continue an advance or to stay in a place. Imprudence in this case means an unacceptable likelihood that the missin will fail and or that ones’ own forces are going to take terrible casualties.
Mens Rea. One of the historically recurring situations, which On Multiform War covers ad-nauseum, is of the need to close with and neutralize the Mens Rea, that is, an enemy’s ultimate source of direction and power. If the Taliban core enjoys sanctuary in Pakistan, or the URNG in Mexico, or the FARC in Venezuela, or the Vietnamese Communists in Hanoi, or on and on, then a war is gonna go on and on. Get to Berlin to take out the head Nazi — that’s it. Everything else is a dubious, probably futile long shot. If we’re willing to send a simultaneous thermonuclear nuclear strike to every possible Putin safe space, that’d do the trick to “win the war.” What a strategically pure and beautiful answer total annihilation of the enemy could be. Might be costly.
Coup d’État. Historically, the coup is the nifty way to avoid all the other inconveniences of field strategy principles and the messiness of battles. Is it possible that our intelligence community has in place the institutional capacity to bring down the Putin regime from within? Nah, infinitely slim chance they can do to Putin what they enthusiastically and effectively did to American President Trump. Again, the distances, physical and cultural, are far too great.
Adam Smith’s Pimp Hand. Messing with the market by trying “economic sanctions” is almost for sure a step into the horsecrap of unexpected and completely predictable negative consequences. No way we’re gonna make the Putin Regime, or even Mother Russia for that matter, suffer more than our supposed and soon to be erstwhile “allies.”
Allying with the French. Oooof
Semantic Oblivion of Poly-Sci. There is too much weak Poli-Sci grammar to go into here. Hans Morgenthau, Henry Kissinger, Otto Bismarck. They all almost spoke English, and they all fed American Poli-Sci. Seems no getting away from it. But one example for now – “West vs East.” Listen for it, it is ubiquitous. What should the West do? How should the West react? Evidently the subliminal is that France and Germany are West and Russia is East. I can’t help but ask how the hell Ukraine got into West and not Russia. One flimsy election of a comedian? Not buying it. If Russia is still “East” then we have extended into to the East to war within the East.
All in all, given the basics of Multiform War, given the strategic principles, I’d say that by April Fool’s Day the Russians will own all the parts of Ukraine they really want and will declare the war over. The “West” will take it and like it, claiming to save Rump Ukraine after uselessly having helped visit ruin, death and dismemberment upon all kinds of Ukrainians, who the NATOites will then say were never in NATO anyhow.
Don’t worry, Averil will be fine.