Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 24, 2022

A War In Ukraine Is Tactics - Putin Does Strategy

The 'western' media buildup for war in Ukraine was launched 63 days ago on November 22:

The U.S. has shared intelligence including maps with European allies that shows a buildup of Russian troops and artillery to prepare for a rapid, large-scale push into Ukraine from multiple locations if President Vladimir Putin decided to invade, according to people familiar with the conversations.

That intelligence has been conveyed to some NATO members over the past week to back up U.S. concerns about Putin’s possible intentions and an increasingly frantic diplomatic effort to deter him from any incursion, with European leaders engaging directly with the Russian president. The diplomacy is informed by an American assessment that Putin could be weighing an invasion early next year as his troops again mass near the border.

Nothing has happened since but there has been no letup:

The sheer size and scope of the Western information operations right now regarding Ukraine and Russia in my opinion dwarfs what was done in the lead up to the second invasion of Iraq.

Even in unimportant Australia, the commercial and public broadcasters feature daily stories about the plucky Ukrainians getting ready for an imminent Russian invasion and the print media feature think-pieces about Putin trying to recreate the glory days of Catherine the Great and a new Russian empire, etc. Then there are the stories of gallant NATO members rushing to assist little Ukraine. I am now completely unnerved by the scope and obvious imbalance of this coverage. The media is totally on board the war train.

Most of the propaganda is just crap. Today we hear about a recall of U.S. and British diplomat families from Kiev, additional weapon and money promises to Kiev, the repositioning of NATO forces and so on. None of this would have any effect in the case of war. But everything is done to keep this item at the top of the news. This is without doubt a CIA/MI6 run campaign.

There is only one thing missing and that is a Russian interest in invading the Ukraine.

Still, former ambassador M.K. Bhadrakumar thinks it will happen for strategic reasons:

Basically, the US has gained the high ground through sustained efforts through the past three decades since the Bill Clinton administration put into effect a concerted strategy in anticipation of a resurgent Russia in a matter of time. Now that the US has gained the upper hand, it is loathe to give it up.

From Washington’s viewpoint, this is a key template of the geopolitical struggle unfolding over the new world order after China’s rise and the shift in power dynamic from the West to the East. Cutting down Russia to size and to be able to intimidate it is a pre-requisite of the situation before the US tackles China comprehensively. Suffice to say, Ukraine has become a battleground where a titanic test of will is playing out.
The ultimate Russian objective will be a federated Ukraine through constitutional reform with the country’s sovereignty, national unity and territorial integrity intact while the regions enjoy autonomy. Europe may welcome this as the best way to stabilise the situation and remove the potential for future conflict.

Well, maybe. There are several threads on how such an invasion could plausibly proceed. No one doubts that Russia would win militarily.

Russia has good reasons to invade the Ukraine but there are also good reasons not to invade it. It could become a millstone around Russia's neck.

Russia's aim is to change the aggressive position the U.S. and its NATO proxy are taking towards it.

Invading Ukraine would do the opposite. It would increase the number of troops in east European NATO countries and would have negative impacts on Russia's strategic position. Only the western military industrial media complex would profit from it.

I believe that the current 'western' media campaign is supposed to give cover for an Ukrainian campaign against the rebelling Donbas provinces.

Murad Gazdiev @MuradGazdiev - 12:47 UTC · Jan 24, 2022

❗️President Zelensky speaking to the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine:

“We have learned to contain external threats. It is time we begin offensive actions aimed at securing our national interests. Our citizens are united in wanting their territory returned”

Embedded video

Russia must be pushed to either not intervene in the Ukrainian campaign or alternatively intervene with a huge invasion. Both would fit U.S. desires though the first is preferred. That is why the U.S. is threatening Russia with sanctions. (Sanctions that would drive oil above $100/b? Sanction which would hurt the European NATO countries and the U.S. stock market much more than Russia?)

Russia's President Vladimir Putin is a Judoka, not a boxer.

Should the Donbas get attacked Russia would certainly intervene but it can and likely would do so without an invasion. Artillery and maybe some air campaign would be sufficient to destroy the Ukrainian attackers.

The real picture is much bigger. Russia wants to compel the U.S. to agree to a non-aggressive posture in Europe. That requires a threat to the U.S. itself. Washington will only come to its senses when it feels that it is under a direct threat. A threat that is new and highly visible.

That is why I find this news item intriguing:

Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of the Republic of Cuba Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez.

January 24, 2022 18:10

The leaders had an in-depth exchange of opinions on bilateral cooperation in trade, the economy and investment. The President of Cuba thanked Russia for the humanitarian aid supplied to the republic, including in the context of countering COVID-19. The presidents discussed further coordination of Russia’s and Cuba’s actions in the international arena in line with the principles of strategic partnership and the traditions of friendship and mutual understanding.

Vladimir Putin and Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening bilateral relations and agreed to intensify contacts at different levels.

Four days ago a similar call was held with the president of Venezuela:

The leaders reaffirmed their commitment to close coordination in international affairs in keeping with the principles of strategic partnership that underlie bilateral relations.

When Russia gave Washington two draft treaties it threatened 'military technical' steps that would follow should the U.S. reject Russia's demands. I believe that is code for the deployment of existing or new weapon systems.

During the cold war the stationing of Russian missiles in Cuba compelled the U.S. to pull back its missiles from Turkey and Italy. Nothing else had worked but the missiles on Cuba did it.

So why not learn from history and repeat such a step?

Posted by b on January 24, 2022 at 18:39 UTC | Permalink

next page »

thanks b.. you touch on all the bases and cover it all... very good! i don't think some are interested in learning from the past... instead they would like to repeat it..

Posted by: james | Jan 24 2022 18:50 utc | 1

During last century's Missile Crisis we came rather too close to a nuclear exchange. We owe a huge thanks to one Soviet officer for our still being here today.

Will we be as fortunate in this century's reincarnated Missile Crisis?

Posted by: Vintage Red | Jan 24 2022 18:55 utc | 2

well the western gov'ts in the '60's weren't threatened with destruction thru their malicious negligence of a virus, were they?

you think the USG is going to close its abattoirs and auto factories? why would it change anything about the MIC when they can't stop killing cows and pigs for 5 minutes?

and just look at all the Brave New World "Death Acceptance" Phd lecturers who show up around here. more of the same is the only plan. give 'em their ivermectin so they can get back in line at the Jack in the Box and die off like the diseased hoof-in-mouth sheep they are.

did anybody bother to notice that the public health measures and national unity China has adopted to eliminate successfully the virus going on 3 years will also work wonders, for China, for the multitude of other problems the world faces?

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Jan 24 2022 19:05 utc | 3

Again, excellent coverage, much appreciated!

Something from RIA Novosti on Belarus that caught my attention:
"Lukashenko signed a decree on convening an "extraordinary session of parliament on January 27."

So I'm guessing a couple of days more before...

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Jan 24 2022 19:11 utc | 4

The pathetic Australian news MSM have certainly become shrill over this imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine. They even set the date of invasion, this being 20 February 2022, after the Beijing Winter Olympics, President Xi supposedly having asked Putin to delay the attack so as not to take the news spotlight off the Games.

All this sudden upsurge in news about Russia invading Ukraine to the extent of it becoming a regular item in newspapers and even on commercial daily free-2-air TV news comes just after the visit by the UK's Foreign and Defence Secretaries to our shores. Tank girl Liz Truss gives a speech at neocon think-tank Lowy Institute and UK Defence Secretary Wallace (?) hobnobs with our defence establishment. Our media is now an extension of British war propaganda - it had always been in the process of becoming such, what with all the nauseating attention on the British Royal Family over the past 10 years, but the capture now appears complete.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 24 2022 19:13 utc | 5

"So why not learn from history and repeat such a step?"

Times have changed b. If a missile base ever got built on Cuba it wouldn't last 5 minutes. The Cubans/Venezuelans might agree to hosting a Russian warship or 2. Hard to say how the US would deal with that.

Posted by: dh | Jan 24 2022 19:15 utc | 6

"As for the residents of Donbass, where hundreds of thousands of citizens of our country live, Russia will take all the necessary measures to protect them. We will continue to make efforts to resolve the internal Ukrainian conflict by political and diplomatic means" Lavrov Dec 2021

Posted by: powerandpeople | Jan 24 2022 19:19 utc | 7

b, once again I think you got it excactly right. Putin even said somewhere that his side would have to (reluctantly) do something with its navy when the US/Nato refused the security agreement sought by Russia. Hypersonic missiles on submarines would fit that idea. It would concentrate the minds of the warmongers in the Biden regime.

Posted by: Paul J | Jan 24 2022 19:21 utc | 8

Another aspect is the very dire state of Ukraine’s economy. Ukratnian economists predict a probable default on various loans. The ‘ crisis ‘ is exerbacitating the situation as lenders are refusing to make loans at normal interest rates. Ukraine is running out of time before it’s economy crashes.
Russia is well aware of the finiancial situation in Ukraine. It doesn’t have to do anything because this contrived crisis will achieve far more for Russia than for the west. Europe appears to be waking up to the real situation, whether the more level headed in the U.S. administration are, is another matter.

Posted by: Beibdnn | Jan 24 2022 19:23 utc | 9

RT this morning reports 2 corvettes heading off on a long distant voyage. Perhaps to stoke and spread the paranoia to the Caribbean.

Russian Navy warships embark on ‘long-distance’ mission amid NATO tensions

Posted by: Dim sim | Jan 24 2022 19:25 utc | 10

Russia must be pushed to either not intervene in the Ukrainian campaign or alternatively intervene with a huge invasion.

Come on. There is third option discussed by lot of people - Russia uses stand off weapons to obliterate all Ukraine forces and installations. No need to cross border or do any kind of invasion.

Donbass folks can hold out on their own once Russia defangs Ukraine offensive capabilities.

Posted by: Abe | Jan 24 2022 19:30 utc | 11

What would Russian missiles on Cuba do that Russian strategic submarines do not already do?

Posted by: Lysias | Jan 24 2022 19:31 utc | 12

1. USA loses nothing by stirring the pot.

2. Ukraine military are well aware the first move to attack Russian citizens will be their last.

3. Russian doctrine has long been that those who attack will be punished, and those who order the attack - senior military - will be punished.

4. The huffing and puffing is necessary for the West public to build up enough fear that a security treaty between US and Russia will be welcomed, rather than pushed back against.

5. Joe Biden is no fool. The Ukraine has changed legislation to sell off State assets, and we can guess who will benefit.

6. Germany, where all dissent is prohibited, is slowly waking to the fact that it needs Russia for hydrocarbons.

7. The West in Europe is slowly waking to the fact it needs Russian carbohydrates - wheat. Wheat will be in short supply as climate changes and Mid East population demands for wheat grows.

8. Russia hypersonic missiles means NATO is irrelevant.

9. Russia has constantly said its allaiances are not 'against' anybody, but are mutual security. Any Cuban etc agreements will be defensive to Cuba and to Russia. But it already has dominace over USA via missiles offshore USA on both coasts, unstoppable, a few minutes from downtown Washington. USA knows this.

10. Let the kabuki play out. Yes, Biden is right, there will be more changes in the world in the next 10 years than the last 50. And these changes were not caused by any policy. They are an unwanted side effect of human life and evolution on earth.

Posted by: powerandpeople | Jan 24 2022 19:31 utc | 13

As I wrote earlier - 'western' media and secret services are raising a false alarm.

Some of our partners contribute to panic. This is beneficial to Russia - Danilov (machine translation)

Whether BBC News Ukraine asked the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleksiy Danilov whether there is a reason for panic or whether the Russian invasion is so real today and what the Ukrainian authorities are doing.
BBC: What is happening near the Ukrainian borders? Is the number of troops increasing, are they maneuvering?

Alexei Danilov: The number of Russian troops is not increasing in the form in which many people paint today. Do they have maneuvers there - yes, but they were in them all the time. This is their territory, they have the right to move left and right there. Is it unpleasant for us? Yes, it's unpleasant, but it's not news to us. If this is news to someone in the West, I apologize.

Posted by: b | Jan 24 2022 19:32 utc | 14

Yes, why not learn from history? Well, that's the guideline I used in my comment about Ukraine from the open thread:

And then there's Ukraine. For the Ukronazis to launch an attack with any chance of success, they'll need to employ massed artillery fire in an attempt to punch a hole in Donbass lines that will easily be detected just as Georgian artillery was in 2008. Far too many eyes will be watching for NATO to claim it was fired on first. Given the amount of time to prepare the battlespace, IMO it will be close to impossible for any advancing force to escape being channelized into ferocious kill zones. IMO Ukronazi forces will need a 10:1 superiority for any chance of success as casualties will be 80%+. On the Donbass side, much depends on how well dug-in and concealed its forces are, the accuracy of its counter-battery fire, its ammo supply, how well it prepared the battlespace, and the size and mobility of its reserves. The morale and motivation issues are easy with Donbass far above Ukronazis, the latter are susceptible to quick demoralization given the expected casualty rate.

All the above is based on the history of what's already occurred in Ukraine. IMO, Donbass has the ability to defend itself as it's already received reinforcements and proper supply levels from Russia. Then there's the history of very poor Ukrainian military performance and the average Ukrainian soldier's "Red Badge of Courage" quotient (gallantry/courage/willingness to die versus self-preservation/cowardice). What I describe above is very similar to a WW1 set-piece battle as there's very little room to maneuver where you won't get shot at. I wouldn't at all want to be on the Ukrainian side, and I'm certain a large % of Ukrainians feel that way.

In the same comment, I mused about hypersonic drones given China's engine development. But that's not good enough for the deterrent b envisions, nor I. In my recent articles, I've declared MAD to be a dead letter given Russia's strategic advantages the Outlaw US Empire is keenly ignoring as it goes about business as usual. Martyanov pounds that reality in almost every posting or Q&A at his blog and I agree that Russia now has first strike capability but won't use it unless it absolutely has no other choice. Martyanov shows us that a few NATO military know the reality they face but almost none of the politicians do, which is why we see the continuing escalation. From what I've read, Russia doesn't see the need to enlist other nations to do a Cuban Missile replay, which means it has something just as good. No, it's not a traditional Boomer. IMO, we'll be seeing a drone boomer armed with hypersonics--one that can sit on the ocean floor for years until it's needed as it has no humans that need food or oxygen. One could easily creep into the Chesapeake Bay and sleep until needed, its weapons only seconds away from DC, New York, etc. Yes, eventually the Outlaw US Empire could deploy something similar, but not until it perfects its hypersonics, which will take it several more years. The Russian drone could even be an old, converted diesel boat, not new construction. But of course, for it to serve the purpose of threat/deterrence, it would need to be showcased being commissioned or leaving port or displayed in some other public manner.

Another demonstration as I suggested could be showing the interception of a hypersonic by AD, but that doesn't seem forceful enough. I've also speculated about the probability of Russian energy weapons far more potent than a mere laser that could target land and aerial targets. But whatever it/they is/are, it seems to me that Russia has shared with China and Iran the fact that it has something new based on the behavior of those nation's leaders--there's a confidence that comes from knowing you're superior and can focus on development that I've seen displayed by Xi and Raisi and is ever-present with Lavrov and Putin.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 24 2022 19:32 utc | 15

A Chinese guy on Quora offered a profound opinion: The World Is Waiting. The US is in decline, China is rising. The EU and others are waiting for a permanent resolution of the superpower situation. So, you could witness these nations 'flip' in alliance rather suddenly ( as vassals).

So my question is, what's left in the US obstruction toolbox? I can't think of anything more than US dollar hegemony and US computer chip production. Russia building Baikal and Elbrus chips isn't secure because TSMC actually makes them - and the US has veto power over that ( witness all the billions they lost with Huawei sanctions).

Digital yuan takes care of potential SWIFT issues. Building lithography/foundries in China takes a bit longer. Following those, I think the tipping point hits.

Posted by: Eighthman | Jan 24 2022 19:32 utc | 16

I think there is more at stake now than during the Cuba crisis in the 60's

China is part of this equation now where it wasn't before

This is about who get to dole out the financial marbles of the future, a private cult of humans or an attempt at a structured sharing system like China but with a Western "edge"

Ukraine is just the current proxy in the center ring of our circus.

I agree with the scenario of making Russia's military presence felt right off the East Coast as being quite likely.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 24 2022 19:37 utc | 17

TTF futures back up to around €80/TWh (back to roughly $25/MMBtu). Compare to mid €60's last week. This is going out a year or so, so not weather, and no fundamental economic change I'm aware of. 10% daily swings have been the norm for a couple months now though, so not reading too much into it.

At the same time, Ukraine just got its money from EU, €1.2 billion, which should be easing tensions. Maybe they were hoping for more?

Posted by: ptb | Jan 24 2022 19:37 utc | 18

@ vintage red - Long live Vasily Arkhipov! Thank you for mentioning him. May cooler heads prevail during this insanity. Hopefully it's just a tempest in a teapot, but coming just on the heels of the Kazakhstan stupidity, I get a sense of desperation in the west. And unfortunately, I live in the west.
Much love everyone.

Posted by: lex talionis | Jan 24 2022 19:38 utc | 19

What would it take for US to become aware that it had lost? US just took a defeat in Afghanistan, that one did last a few news cycles, did nothing to shake the certainty America has the greatest and most potent military the world has ever seen. Biggest consequence was Biden took a bit of a hit in the polls.

US was,just thoroughly and completely defeated in Kazakhstan. 99.999% of the American public is completely unaware. At least 99% of apparatchiks in State Department and Defence Department are completely unaware. It never happened. If you think it happened you are a thoughtcriminal.

If Russia inflicted a major defeat on US/NATO on the territory of Ukraine it would be the sound of one hand clapping. If a Bear shits in the woods why should anyone care? To inflict a strategic defeat on US only certain method is to eliminate US.

Russia could choose a slightly less drastic course, that is up to them. US is become The Black Knight.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jan 24 2022 19:46 utc | 20

sorry, meant to add, there is no unity in the west. none of "the people" of any western country is for war with Russia, for any reason. conflict with Russia will only hasten their dissolution. But since the only thing uniting the US is its militarism, sure as hell not its concern for the "general welfare", what else can they do but increase hostility toward Russia as, inter alia, a way to shield blame from the millions of covid casualties?

whatever particular tactics Russia might consider in a future conflict, the immediate eruption of civil war at home is not one of them. unlike Ukraine, Britain, the US and others.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Jan 24 2022 19:46 utc | 21

for kicks, how about destroying Ukraine positions from ships in the the Atlantic?

whatever it is, some demonstration has to be in order, instead of just flashing weaponry, but a demonstration that doesn't trigger a hot war. something like disabling or nullifying Aegis radar would fit the bill. something along those lines. a new tech not seen before.

Posted by: mastameta | Jan 24 2022 19:48 utc | 22

Russian troop movements and, perhaps, Western hysteria, have prompted Ukraine to stop massing forces on the contact line with Donbas and instead spread their military formations in anticipation of a Russian attack all along its perimeter. According to blogger/analyst Yuri Podolyak, analyzing data published by DNR military intelligence, the contact line is currently manned with mostly second-rate military formations and comparatively thinly, in comparison to previous stages of the conflict. At the same time, both Russia and Donbas are making statements to the contrary, complaining about Ukraine reinforcing its positions on the contact line.

Not entirely sure what to make of that, provided of course that it's accurate information. It's perfectly logical, on one hand, that Russia would use its troop movements to make any hostile action by Ukraine against the Donbas untenable. But what is their objective in overestimating Ukrainian military build-up on the contact line? Are these calculations genuine, or miscalculations on the part of Yuri or military intelligence?

In lighter news, I just saw a report of some representative of Luxembourg being asked whether he's considered evacuating his embassy staff in Kiev, to which he responded that, unfortunately, Luxembourg does not in fact have an embassy in Kiev from which to evacuate any staff. Had me in stitches for a good couple of minutes.

Posted by: Skiffer | Jan 24 2022 19:54 utc | 23

with the recent announcement by china that its space station had to maneuver multiple times to avoid Musk's satellites from colliding with it -- those things clearly have a military function on top of their civil use -- I keep thinking about how a great power conflict will play out in space, how satellites will be disabled or destroyed. the US cannot fight without GPS and all the space infrastructure and commutations it takes for granted.

it would be amazing if Putin's military technical demo is in this arena. disabling satellite functions would be radical. and also stir an arms race in this arena. but if everyone lost their satellites, it's the US that would suffer the most bc their military depende so much on it, especially since they need to project power instead of just defending the homeland, and they are also less capable of fielding new satellites now

Posted by: mastameta | Jan 24 2022 20:04 utc | 24

Just a comment on the tendency here to underate US power. US has a very powerful covert op cadre. They use individual threats to leaders and, more importantly, they have an almost unlimited budget for bribery and the hiring of terrorists and local paramilitaries. Also, this cadre is also close to various organized crime gangs.

As for Ukraine, the US has nothing to lose and a lot to gain. If the Ukie military gets trashed it can churn out the Mighty Wurlitzer around the world and, most importantly, unite various tribal units within the US to support the imperial project and bring in and authoritarian of totalitarian regime in earnest.

Posted by: Chris Cosmos | Jan 24 2022 20:09 utc | 25

This is a slightly edited repost from the MoA week in review 007. Stonebird | Jan 24 2022 19:34 utc | 143
I posted this before I saw b's new article. I think it is relevant

Putin is a Judoka, he will keep the US and UK off balance and guessing for as long as possible. b's comments about Cuba and Venezuela are valid, but seem to me, to be only some of ways that the US/UK axis is going to be treated.
My conclusion was this; A situation that could lead to a fundamental separation of interests, between the EU and the USUK
So we shall see what transpires.

Don't worry, it is all under control. The question is whose?

I suspect we are seeing the beginning of lateral thinking by the Russians. ie. Who will do the same (or worse) to NATO and the US (with the EU and Israel thrown in for good measure). ie regular, but small pin-pricks.

Today, there was some sort of panic by the UK and US, with spy planes and a RQ-4A Global Hawk flapping around. One around Crimea, one (the Hawk) over Donbas and Kiev. One in Finland opposite Lulea in Sweden and one around Kalingrad, both from the UK. Swedish fighters were visible this morning, US fighters in the UK and a couple of large US planes left for the atlantic, from the UK escorted (at least part of the way) by US warplanes.

The French have commented they don't seee the reason for the panic.
*BUT; There has been a coup in Burkina Faso (Gold, gold, 4th largest producer) It could be the Wagner group will be the "advisors" to the new Government.
*BUT; The Russian have announced naval exercises 240 miles off the south-east of Ireland - EU sort of area. Ireland s not amused.
*BUT; Syrian and Russian fighters have started patrols along the Golan heights, which are slated to become regular. The "rules" or at least the radar capabilities vis-avis Israel have seen no more direct bombings and two or three aborted attempts.
*BUT, the declared Russian 40 ship exercises, at a location that is not yet sure.

Add to those items, the recent explosion on the Ceyhan pipeline (takes stolen Syrian oil from Kurdish area to Israel),
- and one gets the idea that the NATO/US/Israel pot is being "stirred and a bit shaken".

The Ukranian Zelenskists apparently want to start a war today all by themselves. Must be feeling the cold and wanting something to eat (Could be cold Turkey for Zelensky?). That does make about 130'000 troops and mercenaries. I wonder who pays them, the EU?
So of course stock markets in the US, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Russia have all slipped and fallen. Which doesn't help the Ologarchy sleep any sounder.

Why am I optimist? Simply that Western Europeans don't like to see their comfort shredded by the US and UK, and are now faced with the prospect of a war along all the Russian (Belarus) border, by a couple of non-Europeans. When common sense says that they would be much better off relying on the ELEZ. (Eurasian Landmass Economic Zone). The Baltic States, are being told they will have a massive influx of US troops (from where?) to screw up their countryside and economies. Even Lithuania has been told to make-up with China.

A situation that leads to a fundamental separation of interests.
So we shall see what transpires.

The best way to ensure that Missile launchers are removed from Poland or elsewhere, is to make them unwelcome in the countries that host them.

Posted by: Stonebird | Jan 24 2022 20:13 utc | 26

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Jan 24 2022 19:05 utc | 3:

did anybody bother to notice that the public health measures and national unity China has adopted to eliminate successfully the virus going on 3 years will also work wonders, for China, for the multitude of other problems the world faces?

I did! I did! I noticed that, while everyone else is struggling through negative economic growth in 2020, China notched a positive advance. While everyone else were nursing growing poverty due to the pandemic and the non-productivity, China achieved historic elimination of poverty. While everyone else is seeing their covid vaccines losing potency and effectiveness, China's vaccines are registering successes around third world countries (sorry Brazil, I accidentally swept you into the third world).

There may be other areas, but I'm not well informed enough to know the details. Begging better pundits to chime in.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Jan 24 2022 20:17 utc | 27

@chris I don't think anyone is underestimating US power. but even with near unlimited funds to bribe and stir up shiz, assets still take time to cultivate. yet the US burned up all its assets in Hong Kong and Kazakhstan and have nothing to show for it. arguably, it actually backfired. (in HK they sold most of their embassy properties too. that's a permanent step down). those efforts cannot be repeated anytime soon.

measured by results, US power is clearly in decline. but in terms of ability to stir trouble, they are as good ever

Posted by: mastameta | Jan 24 2022 20:18 utc | 28

The media still have room for more "Chinese incursion in Taiwan Airspace" BS, (but include a map showing the planes closer to the mainland than Taiwan). And someone on TV is blathering about how we are protecting "our Emirati partners" from missiles.

Posted by: Keith McClary | Jan 24 2022 20:21 utc | 29

Skiffer @23--

You raise an important point--just how accurate is intel along the FEBA (Forward Edge of the Battle Area)? The scenario I forwarded assumes all invasion forces at their stand-by positions, ready to go over the top within a 48-hour notice. Donbass personnel would be in a similar readiness position with reserves ready and all leaves cancelled. Civilian behavior would be a key for monitoring on both sides. Given Russian EW/SigInt capabilities, they probably have good intel, while NATO/Ukronazis may possess good targeting info for whichever of several plans they might employ. Satellite intel is likely of equal quality, which then means camo ability becomes crucial. The Phony War was broken by means that can't be used in this case. IMO, this is equal to 6th Army trying to break out of Stalingrad--the entire area is a massive killing field--and prospects are worse than slim.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 24 2022 20:22 utc | 30

@lex talionis, Jan 24 2022 19:38 utc | 19

Yes, long live Vasily Arkhipov—a true hero for the world. The scary thing is, as he just *happened* to be on that submarine at the time its Captain decided to launch a nuclear response. As Flotilla Commander he vetoed this order.

One might say "... and the rest was history" but it would be more correct to say "... and so history continued on..."

My own attention was drawn to the linked article because I noticed the author was one of my professors back in college. It turns out his brother-in-law was Captain of the US Destroyer attacking the Soviet sub. Talk about degrees of separation.

Posted by: Vintage Red | Jan 24 2022 20:22 utc | 31

@mastameta, #24:

Yeah, you pointed out another Chinese achievement that I overlooked. 55 successful space launches against 0 failures in 2021 alone. Bravo!

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Jan 24 2022 20:23 utc | 32

France's Macron has been sort of a loose anti-US cannon recently. . . .Will he stand by while the US plots possibly to destroy Europe?
..some various remarks (chronological). .
>Emmanuel Macron has said Nato is in the throes of “brain death” and European countries can no longer rely on the US to defend its allies
> Biden Wants to Restore NATO. Macron Is Looking to Move On
>I do believe NATO needs a new political momentum and clarification of its strategic concept. NATO needs a more political approach
>Macron has been pushing for the European Union to stand on its own feet when it comes to security, and no longer rely solely on U.S. military protection
>Like Charles de Gaulle, Emmanuel Macron would unify Europe under France’s conception, with Germany footing the bill.
. . .and this coming up tomorrow--
BERLIN, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Chancellor Olaf Scholz will discuss Russia with French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday, said a German government spokesperson, as major Western powers aim to resolve tensions with Russia regarding Ukraine.
A spokesperson for the German government declined to comment on a report saying Scholz turned down an invite at short notice from U.S. President Joe Biden to discuss the Ukraine crisis.
Macron's office said on Friday that the Jan 25 meeting in Berlin with Scholz would discuss international security and other topics such as the online economy, climate change and Germany's presidency of the G7 group of leading world nations. . .sure. .climate change. . .here . .How about if France and Germany act like adults and agree on a way to solve this US-created mess? . .like: 'no NATO in Ukraine'

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 24 2022 20:26 utc | 33

@Eighthman, #16:

So my question is, what's left in the US obstruction toolbox? I can't think of anything more than US dollar hegemony and US computer chip production...

There is a good article by Tarik at Saker's today regarding the sweating the Empire is doing now. He links it to even the shenanigan the Empire is doing in Ukraine. It's worth a read.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Jan 24 2022 20:31 utc | 34

"There is third option discussed by lot of people - Russia uses stand off weapons to obliterate all Ukraine forces and installations. No need to cross border or do any kind of invasion."
Abe | Jan 24 2022 19:30 utc | 11

Exactly right -- if the stupid USniks somehow force Russia into taking military action, not one single Russian soldier will cross any border, anywhere.

Every official in the US government, from Biden on up, is behaving like children.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jan 24 2022 20:33 utc | 35

@Don Bacon | Jan 24 2022 20:26 utc | 33

Macron's office said on Friday that the Jan 25 meeting in Berlin with Scholz would discuss international security and other topics such as the online economy, climate change and Germany's presidency of the G7 group of leading world nations. . .sure. .climate change. . .here . .How about if France and Germany act like adults and agree on a way to solve this US-created mess? . .like: 'no NATO in Ukraine'

Well they may be on to something about climate change, it is snowing in Athens today as you can see from this report about Biden's Ukraine foreign policy disaster .

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 24 2022 20:33 utc | 36

Putin's spokesman Peskov did not deny those plans when asked by a journalist a week ago.
Russian missile bases in America's "back yard" are as justifiable as what the US is now doing close to Russia's border, and are the kind of direct challenge that the USA could not ignore. That's what many senior political figures in Russia have been hinting at lately.

Posted by: Brendan | Jan 24 2022 20:35 utc | 37

The current brain-snap re. Russia-Ukraine in the US owned parts of the world is likely a response to the way Russia handled Kazakhstan. They didn't expect it or were, at the very least, shocked by the speed & effectiveness of that action.
So, now, the US is seeking some way to protect all the other colour revolutions it had lined up on Russia's borders; and is hitting out in fury at being thwarted so comprehensively. A response to battered ego & pride a la Trump.

Posted by: digital dinosaur | Jan 24 2022 20:37 utc | 38

Posted by: Vintage Red | Jan 24 2022 18:55 utc | 2

Not to mention two other guys, one who paid with his life and the other who ended his career. The back-channel messages between JFK and Nikita Khrushchev are what did it. There's a great book, highly recommended by Yoko Ono of all people, JFK And The Unspeakable. Check it out.

Posted by: Napolean Blownapart | Jan 24 2022 20:45 utc | 39

Many of Russia's outstanding weapon systems can already reach and destroy the US from where they are.

But the only thing that would make the stupidly arrogant Americans realize their vulnerability, is to move it closer to them.

Posted by: mikhas | Jan 24 2022 20:56 utc | 40

"what's left in the US obstruction toolbox?" the tools are the same, tho as chris reminds us, still formidable. after the hong kong, belarus, kazakhstan operations all failed (on top of the going-nowhere xinjiang campaign), central asia is a dead end, so, for china's vicinity, the remaining battlegrounds are myanmar and thailand.
with thailand, they dont even need to install compradors through regime change; they just have to break the thai monarchy, already vulnerable, and create a longterm bed of instability to insert their colorizing assets.
there's been little in the MSM to suggest that anything in thailand is immanent, but the timeline is close: to prevent chinese high speed rail from connecting southwest china to singapore, thereby linking all of southeast asia by rail (and using China's rails standards), and solidifying the RCEP trading block through concrete infrastructure.

Posted by: mastameta | Jan 24 2022 21:05 utc | 41

At the US embassy in Kyev, non-essential staff and all embassy families will evacuate. That won't include an ambassador, because as important as Ukraine is, it hasn't had a US ambassador for almost three years. Pompeo dismissed the last ambassador (Marie Yovanovitch) on Trump's orders, and Biden didn't think Ukraine was important enough to cause him to nominate anyone. So Kristina Kvien the deputy chief of mission is in charge of this 'unimportant' country where, as you know, Russia has amassed upwards of 100,000 troops on Ukraine’s borders (the US wrongly says).

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 24 2022 21:05 utc | 42

What worked in the 1960's is unlikely to work now as weapons have changed significanty. A sall corvet or submarine overtly navigating off shore in coastal USA will terrify the local elites. More so with the fear preparation in place.

Dragging any USA neighbouring state into this foul Western pretence would be counter productive for Russia and pointless. I see the Russians outfoxing the yapping dogs not confronting them. The hegemon is in decline and particularly nasty so why risk others and decades of diplomacy when you have stand alone weaponry of huge potential.

IMO the entire Ukraine focus is the UKUSA game given their defeats over the last few years. Under this cover States elsewhere that are occupied by UKUSA forces and merceneries can be liberated to great advantage.

Europe might slowly wake up from its vassal state and realise how vulgar the UKUSA occupation has been. Ever the optimist for sure but, given months of this brinkmanship, there is a nonviolent way forward.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 24 2022 21:09 utc | 43

This article points out that Russia/Putin holds all the aces and that Biden is bluffing, on aspect among many is that Europeans would be in big trouble if Russia shutdown the energy pipeline. That alone would see the people of Europe's fuel bills go through the roof and European prime ministers or presidents would ultimately be voted out along with their parties come the next elections. This applies to Biden as well, he'd become pretty unpopular quite quickly his ratings aren't too good at the moment either.

No I think the idea of a civil war type conflict to try and retake Eastern parts of Ukraine that will be logistically backed by the West might be the plan, combined with more severe sanctions against Russia. If by chance war does breakout between Russia and Ukraine and the US does get involved it would logistically impossible for it to get enough troops and equipment to Eastern Europe and maintain them them there before Russia attacked and destroyed them. Russians are hardy folk they are already under multiple sanctions from the West, and I read that they can also get by without SWIFT.

In my opinion I think the violence of war will be contained to Ukraine and the likes of Donbass with proxy troops involved and backed by both the West and Russia. The UK media went into frenzy mode today the Russia/Putin bad trope rang from just about every media outlet.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Jan 24 2022 21:11 utc | 44

Amerika is playing pick-up sticks. Russia is playing chess and China is playing go. This is long but follows what b is writing about.

Posted by: jo6pac | Jan 24 2022 21:12 utc | 45

It would help if I posted the article eh?..duh!

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Jan 24 2022 21:12 utc | 46

Watching all this from the side-line, I think it's apparent that the only confused party in this show is the collective West. All the hot air emanating from the Western corridors of power is a proof that the West has lost the plot over this show and knows it. So it's left to just shouting for the sake of shouting. I agree that Donbass would prove Ukronazi's waterloo, should it try to overrun the region. And Russia would not need to invade. A sharp and decisive slap like Georgia received in 2008 would be all it needs. M.K. Bhadrakumar sometimes get it right but in most cases he's often off the mark.

Posted by: Steve | Jan 24 2022 21:45 utc | 47

Don Bacon @33--

Macron has a serious challenge for the presidency from the left, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a previous candidate who has proclaimed the need for France to reset its negative relations with Russia which he rightly blames on Macron. He should be considered a worthy candidate, having "previously ran in the 2012 presidential election for the Left Front (coming fourth with 11.10% of the vote in the first round) and in the 2017 presidential election for La France Insoumise (coming fourth again with 19.58% of the vote in the first round). Mélenchon was elected to the National Assembly in the 2017 legislative election." Aside from Napoleon, France has always had very good historical relations with Russia, often allying with it, so Russophobia doesn't work well there. Germany and France are trying hard to recover their political position within the EU and NATO to squelch the yapping Russophobes from the Baltics and Poland, although it appears Estonia has recently taken a different position as it sees its economic future tied to the EAEU/BRI universe, not the EU. Putin's gambit of ignoring European NATO members by going directly to the Outlaw US Empire for negotiations was a very icy slap in the face for both France and Germany which it appears they both felt very keenly. France's presidential elections as of now have 40 entrants with voting to take place on April 10 with the runoff on April 24.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 24 2022 21:47 utc | 48

Jan 4
Saker: White House discussed plans to send up to 50,000 troops to Eastern Europe
NPR: Biden is considering sending up to 5,000 troops to Eastern European countries, including Romania and Poland, a U.S. official told NPR.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 24 2022 21:51 utc | 49

Back when US/UK used MH17 to force sanctions on Europe, Putin told Russia that it did not what Russia did or did not do, those sanctions would never be lifted. US/UK is now trying force anti Russia sanctions onto Europe again. When Ukraine attacks its ethnic Russian population in Donbass, western media will be screaming Russian invasion regardless of what Russia does and Whatever sanctions the US has prepared will be forced on Europe. I assume Russia will protect the ethic Russians of Donbass, but in the past Putin has always been able to somehow turn situations like this to Russia's advantage. I would guess roadrunner will have a surprise waiting for Wiley E Coyote.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 24 2022 21:55 utc | 50

@ karlof 47
Thank you for the France/Germany info. This is an ideal time for them to cut to the chase, take the reins, and grab the bull by its horns.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 24 2022 21:57 utc | 51

God, what a media circus, but, as expected, the U$ leadership is brain dead.

Possible "Cuban missile crisis" a la 1962.

Posted by: vetinLA | Jan 24 2022 22:03 utc | 52

The objects of this exercise are the decision makers in Germany and France. It is to maintain NATO obedience to the Pentagon that this war scare is being fabricated.
The great fear of the US oligarchs is that the integration of Eurasia will continue to develop by bringing western european capital and technology into cooperation with China's BRI.
The logic of the BRI points inevitably towards trade from China to Hamburg, Paris and London- the resulting bloc would reduce the US and its empire to the position of giving up its pretensions to hegemony and taking up a position in the world consonant with reality.
Nothing would benefit Americans more, but it would shatter the political status quo based on permanent war, ever escalating arms races and the inexorable immiseration of the American people including the rump of what sociologists used to call the "middle class."
The business of preserving US hegemony is longstanding; what is different now is that it no longer has any basis in reality except a military capacity which, while it could undoubtedly wreak havoc a kill billions of civilians, is almost certainly inferior to that which the Eurasian alliance can muster. Washington can no longer rule by threats and bluster. Sensible people in Europe see this just as they see-as their parents realised in the seventies and eighties- that it is Europe's cities and people who would bear the brunt of any war between the US and Russia.
They also realise that solving any of the serious issues that face humanity requires the end of wars waged simply to benefit a tiny ruling class and real international cooperation and planning. And that process begins by knocking the Empire on its empty and ugly head.

Posted by: bevin | Jan 24 2022 22:04 utc | 53

@Don Bacon #50:

This is an ideal time for them to cut to the chase, take the reins, and grab the bull by its horns.

Or, to grab Empire's rinky dink and sling it across the pond.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Jan 24 2022 22:07 utc | 54

Don Bacon |48

White House discussed plans to send up to 50,000 troops to Eastern Europe

If they do that in Ukraine, it will turn into an occupation and they will be flying the Secretary of State over to help count the ballots, like in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Posted by: Keith McClary | Jan 24 2022 22:08 utc | 55

@ bevin 52
The logic of the BRI points inevitably towards trade from China to Hamburg, Paris and London
It's been done by commercial interests, whether or not the pols like it.
. . .from the web:
CHINA Railway (CR) says 13,187 trains and 1.322 million TEU traveled between China and Europe between January and November 2021, a 23% and 30% respective year-on-year increase. More than 15,000 trains and 1.46 million TEU were expected to make the journey by the end of 2021.
....A TEU or Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit is an exact unit of measurement used to determine cargo capacity for container ships and terminals. This measurement is derived from the dimensions of a 20ft standardized shipping container.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 24 2022 22:11 utc | 56

jo6pac @44--

That article by Ehret was also published here in tandem with this one by Tim Kirby I linked to late yesterday, "Russian River Transport Revolution – A Project With Geopolitical Ramifications". I wanted to include Ehret's essay into the discourse I was trying to promote but time got the better of me as the main point of both is Geoeconomics influencing Geopolitics. Tying into both was Iranian President Raisi's visit to Moskow at Putin's invitation and the 20-year joint "strategic" development plan he brought along.

The relationship of those projects with this thread is that all three nations are proceeding as if there's nothing threatening on the horizon or beyond. Xi's speech to Davos was given with much more confidence than last year. Of the maps Ehret presents, the two most important are those showing the population densities of Russia and Asia, where China will go West and Russia East. IMO, setting up a logistics business near Astrakhan where the Volga enters the Caspian Sea would be an excellent business venture, while those wanting to retire in an inexpensive locale might consider Caspian Sea frontage within Kazakhstan. Why choose to continue to be a member of the Neoliberal Rat Race where the odds are all stacked against you when a huge number of real opportunities beckon those with vision and drive.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 24 2022 22:12 utc | 57

U2 incident Gary Powers happened in the last year of Eisenhower presidency … espionage through reconnaissance, and quality of photography was superb. This surprised the Soviets, the technology was recovered from the wreckage.

    High-altitude U-2 spy planes began making reconnaissance flights over the USSR in 1956, giving the U.S. its first detailed look at Soviet military facilities.

The move of missiles into Cuba had to be a clandestine operation under the nose of US Navy and Coastguard, the Soviets succeeded. After the U2 overflights above Cuba the missiles bases were uncovered, the US implemented a strict embargo around Cuba, entering all ships. A complete mess … the ballistic missiles in Turkey were removed in the negotiated deal. That too had to be kept quiet in agreement with the Kennedy administration. 😖 🇷🇺 🇨🇺

In 1962, the UN Security Council functioned poorly … in 2022 the same Council is broken, as diplomacy has been replaced by unilateralism, especially after the fall of the Soviet Union.

During the Cuban Missile Crisis the platform for debate was extended in the United Nations with television broadcast for all to witness the drama. Today news is biased, split in East and West and more …. social media has become a factor to spread lies and misinformation. No protests this week … the world is occupied by the Coronavirus in all is variations.

Reminder, during the Cuban missile crisis, China took advantage to attack India.

Posted by: Oui | Jan 24 2022 22:21 utc | 58

I mentioned Ray MacGovern's article before about missile treaties. While I have no strong opinion on it I want to point out it can fit right in.
Rather than talking about strategy and tactics though I prefer to talk about "what do we really want".

If against NATO there is only one small thing you can achieve what would you want that to be? Then with NATO is its defensive capability a large concern or is it its offensive capability? Missile treaties can reduce the offensive capabilities, the first strike threat. Maybe Russia can decide that having NATO forces on their borders is something they can live with as long as the offensive capabilities are curtailed.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Jan 24 2022 22:31 utc | 59

“Cyber Partisans” has hacked Belarusian Railways and claims they have slowed movement of Russian military trains.

Widely reported and very quickly reported. Meaning this could be just a PR initiative.

However, two can play that game. Any number can play that game. If it occurred it is an act of war. Only a child would imagine this is done by native Belarusian dissidents off their own bat.

So it begins.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jan 24 2022 22:31 utc | 60

@50 They could grasp the nettle too while they're at it.

Posted by: dh | Jan 24 2022 22:38 utc | 61

Some other gopher holes appearing -
1) Random Guido is calling for demonstrations in Venezuela in February.
2) Pomposo has reappeared to state that he understands the Russian stance in the Ukraine situation.
3) Supposed to be a lower level meeting of 'advisors' from France, Germany, Ukraine, and Russia meeting tomorrow to discuss implementation of Minsk II. If it happens, it would probably be overshadowed by meeting between Macron and Scholz.
4) Two large targets (US aircraft carrier groups) cruised into or toward the South China Sea.
5) Turkey, Israel, Poland, India, and others very quiet at moment, while UKUS going nuts.

Posted by: PAUL SPENCER | Jan 24 2022 22:41 utc | 62

Given Russian EW/SigInt capabilities, they probably have good intel, while NATO/Ukronazis may possess good targeting info ...

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 24 2022 20:22 utc | 30

Judging from videos of Donetsk/Lugansk forces, they have tons of "human intelligence", observations that could come from Ukrainian grunts (thus highly anonymous).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 24 2022 23:02 utc | 63

Wow, there are a lot of words uttered on this subject. To me, in a few words, it is this. US/NATO needs to avoid all out war but can't just back-off. (Election year in US). So much noise and build up of US/NATO military assets in and around The Ukraine until 20 Feb and then no invasion by Russia (as it never intended to anyway). US/NATO then says see how effective we are - made Russia rethink invasion plans. We can de-escalate now because we have shown how effective and necessary NATO is.

Posted by: Big Al | Jan 24 2022 23:06 utc | 64

Tom Fowdy disgards the niceties and lays out reality, "America is in danger of having more rivals than it can handle". I would alter the essay title just a smidge: The Outlaw US Empire has More Rivals than it Can Handle.

"American foreign policy strategy since 1991 has been fanatically obsessed with affirming its unilateral hegemony over the entire international system at all costs, irrespective of how realistic that is. This makes a balanced policy impossible. Now, Washington finally finds itself facing pushback on multiple fronts, from rivals who are much stronger than they were. This factor is the true driver of the burgeoning China-Russia strategic partnership, their growing closeness with Iran, and Pyongyang doubling down on its nuclear program. The Biden administration’s foreign policy may die on this hill of conflicting pressures....

"The problem is that America has, for the past few decades [since the end of WW2 actually], attuned itself to believe it must be the sole unipolar power in the world, and that its hegemony affirmed after the Cold War amounts to a form of destiny and fate. This has produced a foreign policy premised on extreme levels of aggression, zero-sum thinking, and a rendition that any competitors in any region of the globe must be subject to the full weight of military and economic containment. They cannot be dealt with pragmatically or creatively, or allowed to join a partnership with the US in what might be in the world’s best interests. Unless the world is permanently and irreversibly molded to America’s image, there never can be peace.

"In some ways, this hegemonic thinking has corroded its domestic politics as much as it has its place in the world. Slogans such as 'Make America Great Again!' and 'America is back!' are affirmations of a sense of self-status which, in fear of losing dominance in the shifting geopolitical world, must be regained. This all-or-nothing approach to foreign policy has led to a new cold war with China, a growing conflict with Russia spurred by NATO expansionism, a series of proxy conflicts in the Middle East against Iran, and a nuclear North Korea which, despite facing maximum sanctions, continues to build its military capabilities.

"All of these foreign policy frontiers have very different contexts and historical backgrounds, but all are rooted in the doctrine that compromise with these countries on any level is unacceptable, short of their accepting American military and strategic supremacy over them. If they respond in kind to Washington’s belligerence towards them, they are then branded 'aggressors.'

"In the midst of all this, America’s relentless campaign against Beijing has only emboldened others to find the strategic space to push back even harder. The China-Russia strategic partnership, and their growing trilateral partnership with Iran, is not a plot for global hegemony or even an alliance in formal terms, but a coalescing set of shared interests against American attempts to impose military and strategic hegemony over each respective country’s peripheral regions."

Fowdy's realistic assessments in his closing paragraphs will find agreement amongst most barflies but complete denial from Depravity Central:

"But the main problem for the US is that it is in danger of overstretching itself. How can it attain supremacy on so many fronts? All while not being prepared to compromise or cede an inch? This is indicative of how US foreign policy is not so much strategic, but power-obsessed at its core. Washington talks of the 'Indo-Pacific' as its priority, but has fingers in every single pie to the point that, even when it wants to downplay certain issues, such as North Korea or Iran, or Russia, it cannot....

"No, it is all seen through the dangerous prism of continued American dominance – bow down to us, or we will hurt you.

"This zero-sum and universalist rendering of US foreign policy means there are some hard lessons ahead, as well as more potential crises as Washington pursues its crusades on multiple fronts. An America in denial of its fading place in the world is the true danger to peace, and there’s little inclination Washington is about to have an epiphany about that, as it seeks to impose its policies on the Middle East, the Indo-Pacific, Eastern Europe and the Korean Peninsula." [All Emphasis Mine]

The Outlaw US Empire has a history of overreaching that invites Blowback, although far moreso since WW2, to which it doubled down in 1991. IMO, at this juncture, the key is to not backdown as has happened at critical moments before, but to keep on pushing since Russia has the high ground and the initiative. The ideas of Primacy; of being King of the Hill; We're #1; We're the Champions; Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better, I can do Anything Better Than You; are all Anglo-based, a product of the ancestral homeland, and the mindset of its elites, of its Royals and consorts. IMO, it's clear Anglo elites are beyond drunk on their hubris. There's no place for them in democratic society or in an equitable human existence.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 24 2022 23:09 utc | 65

Biden is going to slap sanctions on Russia, until they move their country away from Ukraine.
For too long have they been allowed to aggressively posture their entire country menacingly near other countries.

-according to sources I totally did not just make up. Uh, probably some anonymous official of some sort. Yeah.

Posted by: Invalid Username | Jan 24 2022 23:10 utc | 66

The Kremlin announced on SputnikNews that Kiev have amassed Troops at the Donbass Line of Contact.

AngloMurican ZioMasons and their Caucaus-Slavic Khazar-Ashkenazi Jewish Tribals will continue antagonizing, sabotaging, and exploiting All they can get their Hands On.

Tribal Zelensky(with nods from Burisma-Biden and Tribals TwinkBlinken+Nudelman-Khagan) is looking at Scortched-Earthing the Donbass to whittle away at the Residents; and provoking RUS to Defend the Donbass by Force.

Obviously War-Fodder; but triggering an All-Out Round of Sanctions that include Canx/Suspending NordStream2 may be Objectives.

Kiev think that Canx NordStream2 will cripple and Alienate RUS while forcing RUS to use UKR Pipelines; but RUS can simply respond to Sanctions by Suspending Long-Term NatGas Contracts, forcing SpotPx, while Canx UKR Transit and focus on Yamal and Blue-TurkStream Pipelines.

RUS will simply build PowerSiberia_3/4/5 for more profitable Asian Markets.

I'm expecting for any Armed Conflicts in the Donbass to force an acknowledgement of DNR+LNR as Sovereign Nation-States, followed by Invitations to the CSTO, SCO, and Belt&Road.

Posted by: IronForge | Jan 24 2022 23:18 utc | 67

@Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 24 2022 21:47 utc | 47

I have to disagree with your take on France/Russia relations, a variance from your usual excellent takes. There was also the UK/French war with Russia, the Crimean War, but also much else about French aggression toward Russia.

Guy Mettan is his book "Creating Russophobia: From the Great Religious Schism to Anti-Putin Hysteria" does an excellent job of documenting the centuries-old Western phobia of everything "East", especially Russia. For example:

"The myth of Russian expansionism was born under Louis XIV with the fabrication of Peter the Great’s fake will, written with the aid of Polish aristocrats. The myth of oriental despotism took shape in Enlightenment times, with Montesquieu, the later Diderot, and the liberal intellectuals of Restoration, Guizot and Tocqueville in particular." (Mettan, p. 137).

It was the UK that had historically allied with Russia, until Russia became a great power after defeating Napolean:

"Russophobia is a paradox in the history of Great Britain. Within the United Kingdom there developed early in the nineteenth century an antipathy toward Russia, which soon became the most pronounced and enduring element in the national outlook on the world abroad. The contradictory sequel of nearly three centuries of consistently friendly relations, this hostility found expression in the Crimean War. (John Howes Gleason, quoted in Mettan 2017, p. 178)"

The French also intervened in the Russian Civil War that followed the Bolshevik Revolution. It was De Gaulle in the post-WW2 era that brought French-Soviet relations to their peak (followed by Mitterand in the 1980s - "Gaullism by any other name") but it has been downhill since then.

Mettan's book:

A good paper on Franco-Soviet relations from De Gaulle to Mitterand:

Posted by: Roger | Jan 24 2022 23:23 utc | 68

b, glad to see you have referred to the thinking of Michael Kofman.

He seems to be a non-nonsense type of guy with no big ideological axe to grind.
He also has the self-confidence and experience to do an excellent job in analyzing Russian troop movements/deployments and their political implications. (and he is usually way ahead of the pack (Left, Right and Middle).

Your own writing today was excellent and nicely balanced.

Posted by: Gulag | Jan 24 2022 23:25 utc | 69

@psychohistorian 17, @ Brendan 37 @mikhas 39

Russia (and China) delivered the message WEST of Hawaii mid 2021 (see below).

Since then, Russia has built a couple of Zircon-carrying long distance vessels - ready for operation either this year or next (don't recall which).

Russian Pres. publicly warned US in 2018 that Russia's development of hypersonics was in response to the US deliberately destroying the security architecture in Europe (nuclear swappable aegis ashore 'conventional' missiles in Poland, the failed move to take Crimea and put same missiles there).

Pres. Putin wanted the US to come to the table, openly stating that the US & other countries will develop the same hypersonics at some point anyway. Thus, given their unstoppable nature, it's time to agree on hypersonic restrictions as well. Nukes are passe.

But the US was hoping to catch up before a bilat was signed.

But, after several failed tests, the US now realises that ship has well and truly sailed. It will always lag Russia's tech. So it will sign.

And then do everything possible to poison the well for Russian-EU interaction & business, with the aim of advantaging it's own business to the EU. And continue to try to de-stabilise and demonise Russia. (btw, it has publicly psych-op prepped to bar RT from USA airways.)

Mark my words - THE US WILL FAIL.

"U.S. military officials confirmed Tuesday that an “irregular air patrol” by three F-22 fighter jets from Honolulu this weekend was connected to a large Russian military exercise off the coast of Hawaii.

"The Russian navy is conducting what Russian officials are calling its largest exercise in the Pacific Ocean since the end of the Cold War. The exercise, which is taking place about 400 miles west of Hawaii, includes a variety of warships, anti-submarine aircraft, fighter jets and long-range bombers."
June 15, 2021

Posted by: powerandpeople | Jan 24 2022 23:38 utc | 70

Yesterday I read a report that Germany was pulling people out of Ukraine but appears to be wrong. Just three of the five-eyes US, UK and Australia. Looks like the rest are out of the loop. Canada I doubt would be out of the loop but have heard nothing on them pulling people out.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 24 2022 23:50 utc | 71

On the Normandy Format thing.

There is some bad blood there.

Back last year the French and the Germans combined in pulling a dirty trick on Lavrov. Or at least trying.
They tried to fix him as the individual who was blocking the peace in the Ukraine.

It was for that reason that he published the correspondence.
But he won't forget it.

One of them, the German, is gone. Because there is a new, and different government.
However, in one of those difficult to explain features of the "democratic process", the man that caused the trouble (Maas?) is now a part of this new, "different" German government.

Don't know how Lavrov feels about that.

The French guy can't be changed until after the coming elections for President.

Personal relations matter.

Back in 1992 the British Prime Minister got involved in the US Presidential election.

Bush asked him to look for the dirt on Clinton. Bush knew that Clinton was CIA. Bush knew that Clinton had been an agent provocateur in London. Most famously at Grosvenor Square.

Major broke the rules and went nosing around in Home Office files. He got caught.

Clinton never forgave him.
I remember the 1997 General Election in the UK.
I've never seen a politician so evidently relieved to have lost.

He sauntered off, and after a respectable time had elapsed, he was put into the Order of the Garter.

What followed shortly afterwards was the Anglo-Irish (Belfast) Agreement.

Blair got all of the kudos.

Posted by: John Cleary | Jan 24 2022 23:50 utc | 72

@70 Canada is more likely to be putting people in. Canada is run by Ukrainians at the moment. Nobody seems to mind much.

Posted by: dh | Jan 24 2022 23:54 utc | 73

powerandpeople 69 "But, after several failed tests, the US now realises that ship has well and truly sailed. It will always lag Russia's tech. So it will sign."

For the boost glide ground launched missile, R&D and testing has finished and production is starting. Air launched boost glide - they are using a 'surrogate' booster, trying to adapt an existing rocket which as yet is not launching from the aircraft. Scram jet powered cruise missile is still in R&D stage.
Perhaps a year, maybe a bit sooner, maybe a bit later, US will be fielding a ground and surface vessel launched boost glide missile.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 25 2022 0:00 utc | 74

Russia's aim is to change the aggressive position the U.S. are taking towards it.

This will never happen and the more the Amerikastani Empire declines the worse it will get.

Should the Donbas get attacked Russia would certainly intervene but it can and likely would do so without an invasion. Artillery and maybe some air campaign would be sufficient to destroy the Ukrainian attackers.

As in 2015. That did nothing except empower the nazis further. Either go in fully (not necessarily with ground troops, but a massive air strike, artillery, and missile campaign with full support for the Donbass armies in a westward offensive to take at least Slovyansk and Mariupol if not Odessa), do the job properly, or don't go in at all.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Jan 25 2022 0:12 utc | 75

The smartest response would be to test fly a few burevestnik missiles around Atlantic, or Pacific coast of the USA back and forth. If they are as good as promised, the war will be over without Cuban deployment.

Posted by: Choderlos de Laclos | Jan 25 2022 0:12 utc | 76

>>>>: dh | Jan 24 2022 19:15 utc | 6

Times have changed b.
Sure have but not in the way you think.
If a missile base ever got built on Cuba it wouldn't last 5 minutes.
These days you wouldn't see any missile bases. Just some containers doted around the island. Russia has ability to package Kalibr cruise missiles in containers from where they can be launched. Kalibrs can be fitted with thermonuclear warheads with a range of 2,500km. which covers as far west as El Paso and as far north as Chicago and the entire eastern seaboard up to New Hampshire west Kalibr-Ms (under development according to Wikipedia) have a range of 4,500km. which covers the contiguous 48 states. Unit cost to Russian military of Kalibrs is ~$1,000,000. $1billion would buy an awful lot of damage. My guess, those containers have already been shipped to Cuba, whether or not they have thermonuclear-tipped Kalibrs in them is anyone's guess. Maskirovka says the Americans won't have a clue. Bear in mind that the closest the Scud hunters in Gulf War 1 got to a Scud was 10-20 miles.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jan 25 2022 0:13 utc | 77

@Posted by: dh | Jan 24 2022 23:54 utc | 72

Too true with our ex-Ukrainian Foreign Minister and now Finance Minister, I have lost hope that she will remember that she is a CANADIAN government minister. The PM is an ex drama teacher good at following off-stage direction (also a WEF young leader). The current foreign minister was a WEF young global leader, and received a scholarship from the British Foreign Ministry to study/be indoctrinated at Oxford.

In the 1960s Canada could be said to be a junior noble aligned with the US sovereign, now we are just a vassal.

Posted by: Roger | Jan 25 2022 0:20 utc | 78

@76 I get your point about fixed missile bases. But I think Cuba should think twice about getting any Kalibr missile containers. US intel would know exactly where they are. And they wouldn't care about a bit of collateral damage either.

I notice a tendency on MOA to fight to the last Cuban.

Posted by: dh | Jan 25 2022 0:22 utc | 79

So my question is, what's left in the US obstruction toolbox? I can't think of anything more than US dollar hegemony and US computer chip production. Russia building Baikal and Elbrus chips isn't secure because TSMC actually makes them - and the US has veto power over that ( witness all the billions they lost with Huawei sanctions).

SMIC makes 7nm chips on a small batch basis.

Large batch is 24 & 14 nm...

US no longer has fabs...

US claims jurisdiction because FABs at one time use software coded in the US...

Probably no longer...

What makes you think EurAsia won't interdict the following purchases by NATO...

Oil/Gas Semiconductors.... Rare Earths.... Aluminum..... Titanium.... Magnesium....Cobalt...
Nickel Lithium....


Posted by: George W Oprisko | Jan 25 2022 0:30 utc | 80

@rjb1.5 #3
@Oriental Voice #27
The conclusion that China’s COVID response was better economically is false.
Among many things:
1) China GDP last year was way under trend, so clearly the lockdowns and what not DID affect China.
2) China is a manufacturing giant, and basic manufacturing far more than “advanced goods”. People don’t use less of the basic manufactured stuff; they arguably used more since commercial/residential supply chains were so screwed up.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 25 2022 0:31 utc | 81

@77 I guess you are right Roger. My impression is Canada is still a good place to live. Seems to be the destination of choice for refugees and migrants. But the foreign policy baffles me. Britain used to have the most influence there. Maybe because there are so many people now with dual loyalties Canada just keeps getting dragged into international affairs.

Posted by: dh | Jan 25 2022 0:33 utc | 82

I agree with b's perception of the conflict: that Zelensky proposes an attack on the Donbass; he likely has covert US support for such action.

As multiple other barflies have commented, RF has no need to invade. RF has sufficient long range fires they can destroy the entirety of any forces massed by Zelensky and achieve this within a matter of hours. RF is making a dirty Harry response: it holds the military equivalent of .45 magnum and is asking "Do you feel lucky punk?"

The reason for the massing of RF forces is to address the possibility of NATOstan forces seeking to enter the conflict, and or provide material support. NATOstan lacks the force necessary to confront the totality of force available to the RF. Sending 2 F-35 to Lithuania is a militarily meaningless gesture.

If we want an answer to why now? I think we need look to Brandon's declining poll numbers, his administration's response to COVID, the decline in public trust, concern over WOKEism, and the Democrats facing the loss of both the house and senate at the mid-terms. Boris Johnston has recently spoken out about the danger of RF "invasion" and he has similar motive as his own party seeks a vote of non-confidence against him.

By asserting threats to Europe, demonstrating the need for US led NATO, the Brandon administration diverts public attention away from its domestic failings and generates the possibility of uniting the nation against an external threat.

Zelensky has enough cunning to realize he is looking down the barrel of a .45 magnum; he will be unwilling to see the trigger pulled. If he is rash enough to act, this results in the destruction of his own military - I cannot see him last long in power. I think he is also smart enough to realize NATOstan would abandon him to his fate and not risk a confrontation.

The real danger is that of a false flag intended to provoke a RF response. This danger increases the longer Putin demonstrates statemanships and alternate forms of dispute resolution. I believe the other members of NATOstan have a more realistic appraisal of the situation and are unlikely to put their own futures, or that of their populations, at risk to assist Brandon's or Boris' re-election.

Posted by: Sushi | Jan 25 2022 0:34 utc | 83

@76 I get your point about fixed missile bases. But I think Cuba should think twice about getting any Kalibr missile containers. US intel would know exactly where they are. And they wouldn't care about a bit of collateral damage either.

The containerized missiles are Club-K.....

As for US intel knowing which containers are missiles.... and which aren't....

It's the old three shells and a pea problem...

Also.... the days when USAF could just show up and wreak havoc ..... are gone.... one need
only look at the Club-K promo video.... the suite includes AAMs... Surprise.... Surprise...

As for Cuban Missile Crisis and WWIII.... had that sub fired a nuc torpedo... the USN would have been toast....

Could JFK start armageddon over that incident?? I very much doubt it....
Would the USN... have backed off??? Most likely....
Nothing like a crazy man backed into a corner...

Would Venezuela/Cuba/Nicaragua... host anti NATO missiles??? If they were smart, they would...
Because... those would be the necessary hammer to shatter the sanctions against them....


Posted by: George W Oprisko | Jan 25 2022 0:36 utc | 84

Also, this Russian harping on the need for the Ukranazi coup regime to fulfil its Minsk Agreement obligations is ridiculous. Even if the Nazis could somehow be arm twisted into accepting Minsk, under no circumstances would the Donbass Republics agree to dissolve themselves and submit to Kiev rule ever again. Even Putin must know this.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Jan 25 2022 0:38 utc | 85

Roger @67--

Thanks for your reply! Yes, there's something to be said about that problem, but look at Macron's behavior ever since Melenchon came out very publicly/vocally and to huge acclaim that France must reset its relations with Russia. I see a free preview exists for Creating Russophobia: From the Great Religious Schism to Anti-Putin Hysteria I'll take advantage of. Interesting that as I recall Said didn't have much to say about Russophobia in his classic Orientalism. It's difficult to say how many saw through the Anti-Communist Crusade waged by the Anglos; of Europeans, IMO the French were the most discerning; but then, I've never discussed that topic with anyone face-to-face.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 25 2022 0:48 utc | 86

You people must be kidding! All this ink used up to talk about a stupid idiotic lie told by the neo-fascist Anglo-Zionist rulers. You are all caught up and the madness. What we need is sanity.

Posted by: Ali | Jan 25 2022 0:57 utc | 87

By the way, on the topic of Russia forcing subjugation to Kiev on the Donbass Republics, I would dearly love to know who really murdered Motorola, Givi, and Zakharchenko. I'm pretty sure it wasn't the Nazis, if only because they would all have been on guard against assassination attempts by the Nazis.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Jan 25 2022 0:57 utc | 88

Not much discussion since mine @15 regarding the sort of demonstration Russia might provide. What will we discuss next while we await the Outlaw US Empire's written responses?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 25 2022 1:00 utc | 89

Ali @86--

Do please enlighten us on how sanity might be arrived at?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 25 2022 1:01 utc | 90

Posted by: dh | Jan 25 2022 0:33 utc | 81

'But the foreign policy baffles me.'

Nothing to be baffled about. Chrystia, Trudeau's minder, works for Soros (and thus the Atlanticist Global Elites).

Posted by: dh-mtl | Jan 25 2022 1:01 utc | 91

@83 "It's the old three shells and a pea problem..."

And who is going to operate these Club-K missiles? There are plenty of Cuban dissidents ready to tell US intel where to look.

Venezuela/Cuba/Nicaragua could all be ruined with a dozen US cruise missiles. And they know it.

Posted by: dh | Jan 25 2022 1:04 utc | 92

Hello karlof1

I think we can see this already.

The Russian Navy has deployed to somewhere off the coast of Ireland.

In terms of flight time that is about the same as what NATO is trying to achieve.

London and Moscow to be the goats at the stake.

NB She skipped town by helicopter the day before yesterday.

She's apparently gone to Sandringham.

That means she has probably gone to Balmoral.

As far away as she can possibly get from the threat she herself has brought down on the people.

Posted by: John Cleary | Jan 25 2022 1:26 utc | 93

Another Ukraine news item. Now that they got some cash from EU (see previous comment #18 above), the relevant parties can be given consolation payments for the economy getting trashed by Zelensky administration's policies.

I don't pretend to know the first thing about the ins and outs of the Ukraine's backstage politics, but $100M seems like a pretty minimal gesture, in relation to all the trouble that's been caused. Anyway, if there's to be a climb-down, one would think Poroshenko should be next.

Posted by: ptb | Jan 25 2022 1:28 utc | 94

PS- following the link within the above piece, apparently there's more. the $100M was just for DTEK's 2020 year's claims.

Posted by: ptb | Jan 25 2022 1:31 utc | 95

@92 The British Navy will want to monitor those exercises. Let's hope some ambitious young Drake-wannabe doesn't get too close.

Posted by: dh | Jan 25 2022 1:50 utc | 96

I love the succinctness of the lines "The 'western' media buildup for war in Ukraine was launched 63 days ago on November 22; Nothing has happened since; The sheer size and scope of the Western information operations right now regarding Ukraine and Russia in my opinion dwarfs what was done in the lead up to the second invasion of Iraq."

However, I must wonder if the military exercises in Belarus, and the 140 vessel naval exercises in the Mediterranean, NE Atlantic, Pacific, and the Sea of Okhotsk do not fit the description of "something" happening. IMO these two events are a show of strength in an effort to be taken seriously by UncleSam.

Posted by: Jackie Barron | Jan 25 2022 2:02 utc | 97

ditto dh-mtl @90 comment............

Posted by: james | Jan 25 2022 2:03 utc | 98


I think Russia has the edge on US but wunder weapons is doubtful. More a matter a playing their cards right and sticking to the plan. Putin believes in evolution, not revolution. Xi wants to see the world remain stable.Russia China and Iran continue planning peaceful development. Asian countries will see this and I think the likes of France and Germany see that. Very strong contrast now with one only offering and talking about war, the other infrastructure development.
Perhaps not so much the utter confidence that comes from having a god like weapon, rather part of a strategy.
Everything I see about the Russian leadership is they know they have the edge over the US but also know that things can go wrong.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 25 2022 2:04 utc | 99

. . .from TASS--
Kiev actively preparing for forceful resolution of Donbass conflict, DPR says

Ukraine continues its attempts to destabilize the situation in Donbass and is actively preparing to resolve the conflict by force, Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) People’s Militia deputy head Eduard Basurin stated Monday.
"Ukraine not only continues its attempts to destabilize the situation in Donbass by shelling settlements, and preparations are well underway to resolve the conflict by force. The People’s Militia command strongly urges its adversary to drop its criminal intents," says the emergency statement, published in the People’s Militia’s Telegram channel.
The People’s Militia registered Ukrainian Armed Forces’ (UAF) inside the Kiev’ force operation in Donbass preparing for an offensive. According to Basurin, the Ukrainian command is pulling the UR-77 self-propelling minesweepers to the contact line, and military vehicles are being prepared for combat. Vacations for all personnel in individual battalions and brigades have been suspended, while all commanders were ordered to remain in their temporary deployment locations. In addition, commissions arrived in tank battalions from brigade headquarters to supervise the preparation of weapons and combat vehicles. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 25 2022 2:05 utc | 100

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