The contest was over from the start. Below are ten strategic points why, most of them obvious from the git-go. (For efficiency purposes, I’m defining “git-go” as mid-February 2022, two years ago, but I agree with you if you hold that this whole thing began well before that.)
- Russia has three times the population, 30 times the land and ten times the economic output. To call Ukraine an underdog is a understatement.
- For the Russian military, the consequential military distances from potential battlefields in Ukraine vary from zero miles to maybe five hundred. The consequential military distances for the United States military vary from a few hundred to a several thousand.
- Russia’s leader knew what his goals were and made them pretty obvious. Ukraine was going to be controlled from Moscow, was not going to be part of NATO and was not going to be the locus of anti-Russian military forces.
- Ukraine’s leaders could state a clear goal of kicking the Russians out, but it was a goal whose attainment was entirely dependent on outside help. Why did they even think they could count on American support? Maybe because the corruption schemes and secrets so indicted high-level American government and party individuals that high-level Ukrainian corruptionists figured they had some omerta impunity leverage.
- The Ukraine is new as country entities are concerned; its statehood not won but gifted to it by the Russian government. The current regime didn’t come to power organically, either. Power was evidently lent to it by foreigners. As such, the intensity and sincerity of national identity, and popular loyalty to the regime, can be legitimately questioned region-by-region within the Ukraine. They are obviously not all-in. This is not to say that no Ukrainian national fervor existed. It did and does, and the enthusiasm explains some of the mistake, but the sense of defending the homeland was and is not evenly spread or universal.
- The Ukrainian government leadership and ruling elite were and are no more democratic or less corrupt than the regime in Russia. It was easily predictable that they would divert much of whatever help came in. That the US government made so little effort to audit US aid did nothing to ameliorate the look of mutual corruption.
- The notion that somehow Ukrainian territory was essential to US security was clearly absurd on its face. The backup argument was dominoes – that if the Russians were allowed to take Ukraine, they would take Germany or something. That argument was as absurd as the first. The US government cloaked the absurdities using the standard, albeit effective, technique of repeating them very loudly and shaming anyone who disagreed. For critical thinkers, this was just another tell. The foggy disingenuity coming out of the White House made it seem that the Democrat regime’s goals for Ukraine were actually to maintain a shady business partner and to guard impunity for whatever had been going on there.
- Economic sanctions are known to be nearly always counterproductive. As the Russian economy continued to improve and European economies continued to weaken, sanction talk should have faded, but it did not.
- The Nordstream pipeline bombing made so little sense, it too came across as some kind of Hail Mary play and a ponderous illegal mistake.
- The sham of NATO unity was exposed by the decisions of the Turkish president.
The Afghanistan debacle just wasn’t enough. Now it seems the Democrats want to at least affect the timing of Russian victory in Ukraine so as to avoid yet another in-our-faces reminder of Democrat strategic fecklessness right before the elections.