Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 27, 2023

Ukraine - RAND Study Sees Risks In Prolonged War

RAND Corp is a government and industry financed large research institute. Founded shortly after the end of the second world war it mostly works for the Pentagon by developing policies and strategies.

In April 2019 RAND published a report about Extending Russia (pdf).


The report summary explained its purpose:

As the 2018 National Defense Strategy recognized, the United States is currently locked in a great-power competition with Russia. This report seeks to define areas where the United States can compete to its own advantage. Drawing on quantitative and qualitative data from Western and Russian sources, this report examines Russia's economic, political, and military vulnerabilities and anxieties. It then analyzes potential policy options to exploit them — ideologically, economically, geopolitically, and militarily (including air and space, maritime, land, and multidomain options).

RAND developed policy options in those four fields. It then evaluated their benefit, cost and risks as well as their likelihood of success.

Here is their summary table for economic measures:


The first three measures were implemented when the war in Ukraine was launched.

The geopolitical measures included an option of providing lethal aid to Ukraine. This would create the risk that Russia would respond militarily and eventually take more of Ukraine than the two Donbas republics:

Taking more of Ukraine might only increase the burden [for Russia], albeit at the expense of the Ukrainian people. However, such a move might also come at a significant cost to Ukraine and to U.S. prestige and credibility. This could produce disproportionately large Ukrainian casualties, territorial losses, and refugee flows. It might even lead Ukraine into a disadvantageous peace.

While they at times underestimate Russia's capabilities RAND people are not dumb. They knew of the likely outcome of a war.

Other geopolitical measure RAND evaluated included more support for 'Syrian rebels', regime change per color revolution in Belarus, to exploit tensions in the southern Caucasus and to reduce Russian influence in Central Asia.

RAND's summary for geopolitical measures:


The Trump and Biden administrations both implemented the measures that seemed to have high benefits as well as high risks.

The use of ideological measures against Russia was seen as having rather low benefits.


There follow more options, mostly in military categories, that the RAND report developed and evaluated. They emphasize industry pork.

The Trump administration took some of the measures RAND provided but seemed not too enthusiastic about them. Its regime change attempt in Belarus failed. The Biden administration changed tact. He endorsed Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the color revolution candidate that had failed the elections in Belarus. Biden also allowed for the delivery of more offensive weapons to Ukraine. The regime in Kiev was encouraged to retake the rebellions Donbas republics. The green light for that was given in early 2022 even as the White House knew that Russia would respond militarily. The consequences for Ukraine that RAND had predicted in 2019 ensued.

The U.S. aim for the war is, as Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in April 2022, to 'weaken Russia':

A National Security Council spokesperson said that Austin’s comments were consistent with what the US’ goals have been for months – namely, “to make this invasion a strategic failure for Russia.”

“We want Ukraine to win,” the spokesperson added. “One of our goals has been to limit Russia’s ability to do something like this again, as Secretary Austin said. That’s why we are arming the Ukrainians with weapons and equipment to defend themselves from Russian attacks, and it’s why we are using sanctions and export controls that are directly targeted at Russia’s defense industry to undercut Russia’s economic and military power to threaten and attack its neighbors.”

That, however, will take a very long time.

Letting the conflict extend longer, concludes a newly released RAND report, is itself a danger. The U.S. must avoid a long war:

The authors argue that, in addition to minimizing the risks of major escalation, U.S. interests would be best served by avoiding a protracted conflict. The costs and risks of a long war in Ukraine are significant and outweigh the possible benefits of such a trajectory for the United States. Although Washington cannot by itself determine the war's duration, it can take steps that make an eventual negotiated end to the conflict more likely.

The study (pdf) argues that Ukraine's retaking of territory Russia controls should not be relevant for U.S. plans. It has little benefits but high costs. Prolonging the war, while having some benefits for the U.S., has even more risk and costs attached to it.


Especially important to RAND seems to be that the war in Ukraine diverts the U.S. from starting a war with China:

Beyond the potential for Russian gains and the economic consequences for Ukraine, Europe, and the world, a long war would also have on sequences for U.S. foreign policy. The U.S. ability to focus on its other global priorities —particularly, competition with China— will remain constrained as long as the war is absorbing senior policymakers’ time and U.S. military resources.
And although Russia will be more dependent on China regardless of when the war ends, Washington does have a long-term interest in ensuring that Moscow does not become completely subordinated to Beijing. A longer war that increases Russia’s dependence could provide China advantages in its competition with the United States.

The U.S., says RAND, can take measures that make a quick end of the war possible. It can press Ukraine to start negotiations and to accept a bad outcome by threatening to stop financing the war. It can encourage Russia to enter into negotiations by offering substantial sanctions relief.

The reports final policy advice concludes:

A dramatic, overnight shift in U.S. policy is politically impossible—both domestically and with allies—and would be unwise in any case. But developing these instruments now and socializing them with Ukraine and with U.S. allies might help catalyze the eventual start of a process that could bring this war to a negotiated end in a time frame that would serve U.S. interests. The alternative is a long war that poses major challenges for the United States, Ukraine, and the rest of the world.

Start working on this now, says Rand.

It is likely not by chance that the previous call for an immediate start of negotiations to end the war came from the U.S. Chief of Staff Mark Milley. That he did so publicly was a sign that he had lost the internal White House debate on that issue. He probably asked for the RAND study to bolster his argument.

But the neocons, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, State Secretary Anthony Blinken and his deputy Victoria Nuland, who together wage their war against Russia, have Joe Biden's ears and can control the information he gets. Milley and other realist will have a difficult stand.

Steady Russian progress in its campaign will be the best argument for them to win the internal war in Washington DC.

Posted by b on January 27, 2023 at 16:57 UTC | Permalink

next page »

I think the question that needs to be asked here is who is really "bleeding" whom? Who is likely to "bleed out" first?

Ms Nuland, I have to say, doesn't look too healthy.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jan 27 2023 17:06 utc | 1

b really grasping at straws by citing 3-4 year old RAND studies, well before the US establishment discovered Russia is nowhere near as strong as it outwardly appeared ('3 days to Kyiv' was a CIA estimate after all).

I've noticed the pro-Russians have gone into overdrive in recent days. They can't seem to make their minds up. Are tank transfers a massive escalation that will prolong the war? - implying these tanks and subsequent deliveries will have a battlefield impact - Or will they easily be destroyed by the technologically superior Russians, in which case, to quote an old Russian Embassy UK tweet... Why Worry?

Anyway, it is nice to see that b is so concerned about the US Empire extending itself and wishes it could just stop those "useless" lethal aid deliveries to Ukraine to focus on China instead...

Posted by: Bernd | Jan 27 2023 17:09 utc | 2

Clancy's last book was about a Russian-Ukrainian war. We have been planning this for ages.

Posted by: JimG | Jan 27 2023 17:09 utc | 3

With every passing day, Russia is showing China just how weak the American Empire and her puppies in Europe really are.
With the American economy 89% Government and Services, with 12% of U.S. GDP "imputed rent" from people who own their own homes, the alleged economic power rests solely in how long the rest of the world remains mesmerized by the fiction of the U.S. dollar.
31 Abrams, a handful of German tanks, and the usual British junk is intended solely to irritate the Russians and kill more Ukrainians.
Gott damerung the pusher man.

Posted by: kupkee | Jan 27 2023 17:12 utc | 4

Oh, things not going according to plan? Surprise surprise. So now the plan is figuring out how to retreat and save face at the same time? Doesn't matter what they do, they gambled and lost. Go slither back under your rock. There will be no negotiations. Russia has them on the ropes and only absolute surrender will end the battle. Talk about biting off way more than you can chew.

Posted by: Watzov | Jan 27 2023 17:14 utc | 5

Posted by: kupkee | Jan 27 2023 17:12 utc | 4

Luckily, Russia is a "real economy" and can mass produce lots of Su-57s and T-14 Armatas as well as advanced technologies right?

LOL no, Russia is just a gas station which exports natural resources and imports finished goods. Might as well be a colony.

China would rather nuke Russia then see America fall and it's main source of revenue dry up as it has no more low-impulse Westerners to sell iPhones to.

Posted by: Bernd | Jan 27 2023 17:17 utc | 6

I see that the moron filter is on the fritz today.

If Russia was a mere "gas station nation" then why does Uncle Scam and Western private oligarchical capital want it so badly? Aren't we switching to EVs? LMAO

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jan 27 2023 17:20 utc | 7

reply to 4

Did you bother to read the latest RAND report before posting?

Posted by: Eighthman | Jan 27 2023 17:23 utc | 8

Backing off on sanctions won't get Russia to stop. Russia won't stop until their security interests have been achieved. That is what western political leaders just don't get. Why should Russia stop when the west is in the process of being demilitarized.

Posted by: Steven | Jan 27 2023 17:23 utc | 9

Thanks for the posting b.

Yes, empire knows that they are losing in Ukraine and want to stall for time by starting negotiations which would of course mean a pause in Russian steady progress.

And all so empire can focus on China.....who they project as a separate challenge from Russia

The RoW know about the China/Russia alliances and deep down so does empire. The reality of the China/Russia and RoW alliances are about to overwhelm the Western media Wag The Dog myth making machine. The fractures are already apparent and we are watching it happen in real!

Back to life in the bubble.....grin

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 27 2023 17:25 utc | 10

The last point is interesting. Russia has to win militarily for the political conditions in the US to change sufficiently to back off and allow for some kind of settlement. By implication, the left should support Russia's war because it (1) overlaps with anti-imperialist efforts to weaken if not end US empire; (2) is the only force capable of creating peace and stability in Ukraine, i.e. ending the civil war started by the US, the Maidan regime and the ultra-nationalists; (3) weakens the political credibility of the entire US ruling class; (4) threatens to break NATO and create demands in Europe for a new security architecture, along the lines that Gorbachev and Putin originally proposed; and (5) accelerates the Rise of the South, multi-polarity, and alternative development models to Neoliberalism. The world working-class movements can only benefit from a Russian victory.

Posted by: Wilbur | Jan 27 2023 17:25 utc | 11

What en excellent analysis/research article. A privilege to be here reading this!

Even Berndt has to use obvious false arguments (b contrasts the old and the new RAND study dummy!).

Posted by: alek_a | Jan 27 2023 17:26 utc | 12

thanks b...

the rand report it is reasonable and well thought out.. my question is why does the usa spend so much time, money, energy and resources on trying to thwart others, instead of building their own country is some productive, rewarding and creative way?? it seems to me the usa lacks any real vision on its direction and purpose in a positive sense.. it is all negative, destructive and operating from this place of always being threatened... what a sad place to be! the fact they are leading so called developed countries of the west into the same ditch would be fascinating, if it wasn't so disturbing.... this will end badly for the usa and friends.. of that, i am sure..

Posted by: james | Jan 27 2023 17:26 utc | 13

"With every passing day, Russia is showing China just how weak the American Empire and her puppies in Europe really are"

Posted by: kupkee | Jan 27 2023 17:12 utc | 4

While G7 State stooges (some of whom are here) mock Russia/Putin... I kinda liken it/him to George McFly (Back To The Future)... slowly clenching his first while everyone's laughing, just before he delivers that knockout punch. Now THAT would be the NEW shot heard 'round the world!

Posted by: xLemming | Jan 27 2023 17:27 utc | 14

Many thanks b for the RAND study.

Of concern,

It is likely not by chance that the previous call for an immediate start of negotiations to end the war came from the U.S. Chief of Staff Mark Milley. That he did so publicly was a sign that he had lost the internal White House debate on that issue. He probably asked for the RAND study to bolster his argument.

But the neocons, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, State Secretary Anthony Blinken and his deputy Victoria Nuland, who together wage their war against Russia, have Joe Biden's ears and can control the information he gets. Milley and other realist will have a difficult stand.

For me, these three questions:

1. Will Jakey, Blinkie, and Cookie (J,B,C) read the RAND document?

2. Does J,B,C understand you can't do a war if your military people are reluctant? The military chiefs [cowards] are unlikely to resign en masse. What a bam, bam!

3. In regards to RAND's suggested "Geopolitical Measures" - did the Researchers of the study take into account the little factoid of Turkey? Because.

Posted by: Likklemore | Jan 27 2023 17:30 utc | 15

I notice that the new RAND report makes risks more clear, and in red highlight. Their previous concerns in the original report were mostly ignored, and that didn't turn out so well. It seems as though RAND now wants to make sure the US doesn't start a nuclear war, and is a bit worried their concerns won't be taken seriously, again.

Posted by: John R Moffett | Jan 27 2023 17:30 utc | 16

Posted by: Wilbur | Jan 27 2023 17:25 utc | 11

I think the mechanisms 1) and 2) are the actual Russian strategy. Lets say what RANDs Russian equivalent will say in their report.

Posted by: alek_a | Jan 27 2023 17:31 utc | 17

Posted by: xLemming | Jan 27 2023 17:27 utc | 14

*fist (not first) - in case that wasn't self-evident

Posted by: xLemming | Jan 27 2023 17:33 utc | 18

Realistic US peace negotiation:

Remove all sanctions first as a goodwill gesture

Then offer to disband NATO.

Exit Syria.

Finally, submit to closing all foreign US military bases.

Bonus apology:

Nuland to re-enact the 'shame' scene from Game of Thrones.

Posted by: andy | Jan 27 2023 17:35 utc | 19

Posted by: andy | Jan 27 2023 17:35 utc | 18

Lookswise Nuland is no Cersei Lannister lol

Posted by: Chris N | Jan 27 2023 17:38 utc | 20

When I was younger (long ago), I worked in the field of water treatment. A large percentage of that work included the appplication of wastewater treatment. My work was hand-on, in the field. I actually liked the work because I saw it as necessary, important, constructive, interesting (believe it or not) and potentially beneficial to the environment. But it was, as one might imagine, distasteful at times - unpleasant, gross, ...

Reading a publication by Rand Institute has all the downsides of that type of work with really none of the upside - it's words by (I'll assume) intelligent but warped and dishonest persons. One cannot work in such a field and be even moderately successful and be honest - mutually exclusive. It's like reading the NY Times. Fortunately, there are people who get paid to do that work and extract the useful information or assess the value of it. Dismal work.

Most of what is said in public is formulated to persuade - deceive (mainly).

And it can be demoralizing/depressing.

Whereas what the Russians (in particular the soldiers) are doing is righteous, uplifting, constructive, necessary. And, thank God, it seems they are not only right, but also winning - I have never been into tragic heroism, I was raised that the good guys win (partly because they are good). The Ukrainians will never know about that.

OK, the point: This event is better understood with the volume turned way down - off.

Posted by: jared | Jan 27 2023 17:38 utc | 21

The RAND reports are for insiders to read and tells more of the real story than the news for propaganda. It was very interesting to see how these reports pissed off the NATO trolls.

While even sensible reports funded by the Defense Department and the military industrial complex call for an end to the endless war in Ukraine, even many self-proclaimed socialists are advocating adding more fuel to this war machine.

This can only be understood in terms of class struggle: without war to divert people's attention, it is not easy for them to tolerate their declining standard of living and the subjugation of the perpetrators that led to it.

For the American ruling class knows full well that their wealth today is built on looting rather than building. The Indians, the blacks and the third world countries they plundered still remember this.

Imagining that the conflict between Russia and China outweighs the dependence between the United States and China is like imagining that the political leaders of Germany will reject American blackmail.

Posted by: Colin | Jan 27 2023 17:40 utc | 22

Sullivan, Blinken and Nuland are the messengers. The issue is how to thwart the masters.

Posted by: Chris N | Jan 27 2023 17:40 utc | 23

Nuland naked..... so much for breakfast.... thanks for that.

Posted by: Watzov | Jan 27 2023 17:43 utc | 24

plus ça change...

Operation Full Court Press - RAND Think Tank plan under Reagan to bring down USSR:

[Operation Full Court Press] ... involved targeting mid-level Soviet bureaucrats with publications and Air America broadcasts pointing to problems they were facing having better outcomes in the US, military provocations when they were considering their budget in order to spend them into bankruptcy, luring them into Afghanistan followed by arming the Mujahadeen with surface to air missiles and such; and fanning flames of ethnic rivalries within the Soviet Union, like by sending publication equipment to Baltic ethnic groups.

Posted by: v | Jan 27 2023 17:45 utc | 25

Alternative: Ukraine - RAND Study Sees Benefits In Prolonged War

Posted by: WhatSpinYouWant? | Jan 27 2023 17:45 utc | 26

TGIF.. [thank goodness it’s Friday]. Quite the week. We had a discussion on the potential of the UKR conflict going nuclear. Yes, I participated. What was a proxy-war directed by US led-NATO vs. Russia was formalized by the German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock when she declared that ”Germany and its allies are at war with Russia.”

Was her announcement pre-authorized? Has Turkey agreed?
NATO cannot conduct a war against Russia without Turkey being on side of the Alliance.

Common sense dictates land mass, sea routes are critical factors. View the maps contained within the following must read articles:
Professor Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, (Canada) Part 1 and 2 of a series..

“Ukraine Had Lost the War Before It Even Started”


In the course of the last 11 months, I have been reviewing on a daily basis numerous carefully documented articles on the unfolding war in Ukraine,

The evolving consensus — after eleven months which emanates from the senior ranks of the US military and intelligence establishment — is that Ukraine “has lost the war”. 

What strikes me in this ingenuous assessment is something which should have been obvious to analysts from the very outset of Russia’s “Special Operation”. 

Ukraine Had Lost the War Before it Even Started

I will start with the obvious, much of which has been confirmed by official sources and analysis. 

From Day One, Russia was involved as part of it’s “Special Operation” in “precision” attacks against Ukrainian military installations, which commenced hours prior to President Putin’s February 24, TV address:
[Putin] “I am referring to the eastward expansion of NATO, which is moving its military infrastructure ever closer to the Russian border. It is a fact that over the past thirty years we have been patiently trying to come to an agreement with the leading NATO countries …In response,  we invariably faced either cynical deception and lies or attempts at pressure and blackmail.”

From one week to the next, Ukraine was without a Navy and without an Air Force, destroyed at the outset in late February, early March 2022.

Part II of this article focuses in detail on another obvious concept, which has not been the object of media coverage or even analysis by the independent media: 

Turkey, NATO’s heavyweight is “Sleeping with the Enemy”. It has a military cooperation agreement with Russia

What this means is that under present conditions a US-NATO war against Russia is an impossibility. 

The Black Sea is strategic. While the Ukraine coastline is in large part controlled by Russia, Turkey controls the entire Southern coastline of the Black Sea as well as access to the Mediterranean. (under the Montreux protocol) (see map below)

Turkey is playing a double game, it is not acting on behalf of NATO in the war theater. It is “unofficially” collaborating with Russia. The March 2022 failed peace agreements in Istanbul were hosted by the Erdogan government.  (my emphasis here)

Part 1 Link

Part II next

Posted by: Likklemore | Jan 27 2023 17:45 utc | 27

Wilbur {11}

Russia has to win militarily for the political conditions in the US to change sufficiently to back off

You must be American. No-one else could be so deluded as to state for the political conditions in the US to change sufficiently . That is NOT going to happen. The US has an electoral system where MOST do not both to take charge of the politicians at ANY level never mind federal.

Americans have FAILED to control their political machine. It has built a War Machine - Reagan turbocharged it - and it sucks ALL economic growth away from normal people to fund The Aristocracy and their War Machine.

Russia can at best carve out its own Territorial Space - China too. It will be the "Other Zone" not under US control. Then US will double down on Europe and Uk and Japan and Australia to lock them into US control - either by forcing US currency on them or integrating their armed forces into US command structures.

There will be a New World Order = US + Colonies vs Rest of World

Ukraine will be a DMZ full of living dead - crippled men eking out a poverty existence without electricity or jobs - and burned out infrastructure. That will be The Wasteland.

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | Jan 27 2023 17:47 utc | 28

Joe Biden definitely wants the war in Ukraine to continue, he doesn't the neo-con/neo-lib uniparty to convince him, nor the 'advice' of White House staff. He knows the Russians will dismantle his family's extortion and money-laundering schemes in Kiev if they successfully conquer the country.

Posted by: Monos | Jan 27 2023 17:51 utc | 29

Jim G@3

Having read exactly one of Clancy's books quite a few years back, I was convinced at the time that he was nothing more than yet another of those CIA OWNED authors/pre$$titutes.

Posted by: aristodemos | Jan 27 2023 17:54 utc | 30

But the neocons, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, State Secretary Anthony Blinken and his deputy Victoria Nuland, who together wage their war against Russia, have Joe Biden's ears and can control the information he gets. Milley and other realist will have a difficult stand.

It's these people, plus the Blackrock and JPMorgan financiers, who actually run things. Every one a sociopath, every one devoid of any morals. They see nuclear war as a fire sale (all puns intended). They worship death.

It's their hands inside Biden, working his brainless puppet mouth.

Posted by: D | Jan 27 2023 17:55 utc | 31

The report appears to overestimate the effectiveness and success rate of hindering Russian oil and gas exports and underestimate the risks.

Despite the Zionist propaganda of Islamophobia and anti-Arab Nazi propaganda that the Palestinians are so-called "Arab colonizers," modern genetic research generally recognizes them (not Jews) as descendants of the ancient kingdom of Israel. Even Israeli and non-Israeli Zionist genetic researchers tend to acknowledge this consensus.

Interestingly, many of those defending the ridiculous Nazi/Zionist narrative are rabidly pro-vaccine, pro-mask liberals who shout "believe in science".

Of course, I've had three doses of the mRNA vaccine, and I recognize that masks are slightly more effective in protecting against viral transmission, but I am against any social insults or put-downs of people who don't get vaccinated and don't wear masks.

In fact, we still don't know if vaccines and masks have a positive effect after all. China's success story comes from precise tracking and isolation, not masks and vaccines.

Posted by: Colin | Jan 27 2023 17:58 utc | 32

I posted in a wrong page. @b Please delete my wrong post.

Posted by: Colin | Jan 27 2023 17:59 utc | 33

A minor military advantage in the current special war but a major military point in general is Russia's implementation hypersonic missiles as weapons into actual combat.

If ever there's a lesson to be learned quickly it's now. All these hypersonic implementations are fast, the fastest Avangard at Mach 27 or ~20,000 mph.

(first successfully tested with a run of 3,700 miles from the south Ural Mountains to Kamchatka, Russian east, way back in 2018).

Obviously, Avangard would be literally overkill for Ukraine, but variants of the same technology have lately been used in Ukraine (this week) in the latest military/energy missile strike.

The now active duty status represents the arrival of a scary, unmasked version of Teddy Roosevelt's "Speak softly but carry a big stick." This big stick is in your face and way too big to ignore.

"This ain't no disco, this ain't no foolin' around." also comes to mind.

Peace cannot come quickly enough. Or Mach 27 / 20,000 mph? Peace declared by the US would be a very much better counterproposal. Saintly.

Posted by: Elmagnostic | Jan 27 2023 18:01 utc | 34

It is about time Putin and his military should finish the job quickly and successfully in matter of few days to teach the Neocon and their friends how to win a war , they should not drag the war , enough is enough , get to Kiev , hit all the centers where the foreign forces , consultants and intelligence officers reside to teach the west never ever to do this kind of work .
They are doing it in Syria with offices in Amman Jordan to help the rebels in Syria , not to mention they are still occupying Syrian territories illegally stealing oil and wheat from the Syrian nationals and their families.
Shame on the US supposedly the peak of democracy, bunsh of robbers and thieves.

Posted by: Bobby | Jan 27 2023 18:02 utc | 35

Great stuff, b, thanks.

So far Russian success has inspired US escalation. Hopefully continued Russian success drives some 'realists' to the negotiating table. The fear is that American Leadership is so out of touch with reality, and so arrogant in their ignorance, that escalation and doubling down on failure is all they know.


Posted by: gottlieb | Jan 27 2023 18:04 utc | 36

Posted by: Bernd | Jan 27 2023 17:09 utc | 2

Do yourself a favor and start thinking while it's still legal.

Posted by: Vikichka | Jan 27 2023 18:06 utc | 37

Gas stations at least serve a useful purpose andbprovide a useful product. Just sayin’.

Posted by: malenkov | Jan 27 2023 18:06 utc | 38

Wow James what a way to see this! It speaks to me well as an artist. I have been all over the world and American art architecture transportation education is dead! Our system is dead. The healthcare system is a failure. Look at our cities ugly falling apart our trains ancient slow. Then go to Shanghai Taiwan Singapore Russia. Look at our schools all they care about are sports the pay coaches millions and use adjuncts so they can get out of having 10 yeared professors actually teaching. Americans and Europeans sadly seem not to care. We

Posted by: Susanm | Jan 27 2023 18:07 utc | 39

Continued from Post 26
Part II
Unspoken Divisions within NATO. “Sleeping with the Enemy”

It should be obvious to the White House, the Pentagon not to mention NATO headquarters in Brussels that: 

You cannot win a war against Russia when the second largest military power member state of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is “sleeping with the enemy”

I am referring to Turkey which is both a “NATO heavyweight” as well as  a firm ally of the Russian Federation.

The “sleeping with the enemy” narrative –which is the object of this article (scroll down) — has never hit the headlines, nor has it been the object of analysis by the independent media. 

Recent Developments. We are at a Dangerous Crossroads

While there are divisions within NATO, Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock  confirmed in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) (January 25, 2022), that Germany and its allies [NATO] are at war with Russia: 

“Baerbock’s comments come on the heels of nearly a year of direct Russophobic narrative, including openly declared plans for war with Russia.

In mid-November 2022, Der Spiegel published a leaked German Defense Ministry document [68 pages], revealing that the Bundeswehr is preparing for war with Russia [See below]

The secret draft titled “Operational guidelines for the Armed Forces” was authored by none other than the German Chief of Staff, General Eberhard Zorn himself.

He stressed the need for a “mega-reform” of the German military and clearly identified Russia as an “immediate threat”. Infobrics (emphasis added) [.]

[Topics covered]
• Turkey is both a “NATO Heavyweight” as well as “An Ally of Russia” Turkey abandoned the NATO Air Defence system in favor of Russia’s “state of the art” S 400 Air Defense System.
That acquisition of Russian military technology is part of a concurrent military cooperation agreement as well an alliance between Turkey and Russia established in the immediate aftermath of the failed July 2016 US sponsored coup d’Etat directed against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
 (Read details below) [.]

•History: US-Turkey Military Clash in Northern Syria
•Failed July 2016 Coup d’Etat against President Erdogan - Ankara Drifts Towards Moscow
•“Our Alliances”: “Sleeping with the Enemy” while “Cooperating with NATO”.

In recent developments, Turkey’s Minister of Defense Hulusi Akar (a former four-star general) candidly stated (Double Speak):

“…[that] Turkey’s role in Nato against criticism that its objections to the Nordic countries’ joint application and  its friendly ties with Russia were harming the alliance. “A Nato without Turkey is unthinkable,” Akar said. …

 “We are a tested nation, a tried army that would never act contrary to our alliances [note plural].  

Turkish fighter jets patrol the skies above the Black Sea for Nato and the government has blocked Russian warships from using its straits during the war in Ukraine. (FT emphasis added)

Hulusi Akar says: “A Nato without Turkey is unthinkable.” I partially concur.  [.]

Geopolitics of the Black Sea

From a geopolitical standpoint Turkey and Russia presently control the Black Sea (and they are collaborating with regard to commodity trade out of Ukraine).

While Russia controls a large part of the Northern and Eastern coastlines, the entire Southern coastline of the Black Sea as well as access to the Mediterranean under the Montreux Protocol is under Turkey’s jurisdiction.
If we go back in history, the Cold War US-NATO militarization was largely dependent on the strategic role of Turkey against the Soviet Union, with a massive US-NATO buildup in Turkey. That is a foregone era.

Moscow and Ankara have developed a bilateral and unofficial understanding. Turkey is not deploying its Navy and Air Force in the Black Sea Basin on behalf of US- NATO.

The March 2022 failed Peace Initiative in Istanbul was hosted by the Erdoğan government in close liaison with the Kremlin.
While it was subject to sabotage by both Kiev and US-NATO, it hopefully remains an option.

What Next: Another US Sponsored Failed Coup d’Etat, Regime Change in Turkey?
Presidential elections in Turkey are scheduled for May 2023:

What can we expect:
Washington’s objective is to destabilize the Erdogan regime (e.g. through color revolution, engineered protest movements, devaluation of the Lira, manipulation of the elections, coup d’Etat?) as a means to reintegrating Turkey as the heavyweight of the Atlantic Alliance and breaking Ankara’s relationship with Moscow.[.]

Breaking and Fragmenting NATO is a Pathway to Peace

(With Video)


Part II Link

Posted by: Likklemore | Jan 27 2023 18:09 utc | 40

Apologies if this has already been posted. It is a link to a Swedish (Tobias Ljungvall) man's experience as part of the effort to regime change the Belarus government. It is very good, and just what RAND is talking about.

Posted by: bevin | Jan 27 2023 18:11 utc | 41

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | Jan 27 2023 17:47 utc | 27
Americans have FAILED to control their political machine. It has built a War Machine - Reagan turbocharged it

Close, but off by over a century,
Americans have FAILED to control their political machine. It has built a War Machine - Lincoln turbocharged it

Posted by: Drifter | Jan 27 2023 18:11 utc | 42

@ Susanm | Jan 27 2023 18:07 utc | 38

thanks susanm... i am a musician myself.. i played a jazz gig last night.. i live in a smallish town on vancouver island..the energy that is being wasted on war and etc. etc. that could be put to so many better purposes is truly shocking and disturbing... there is no leadership in the west.. there are no people with a vision for something better.. here is something better.. the usa could focus on jazz, dance, creativity and some of the exports that are unique to it and that others have embraced.. instead what we see is the opposite.. here is an export that has helped transform others in a positive way! jazz roots 2018- alina- the great show this is just a random example from this morning!

Posted by: james | Jan 27 2023 18:14 utc | 43

Posted by: aristodemos | Jan 27 2023 17:54 utc | 29

That much is well-known.

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | Jan 27 2023 18:15 utc | 44

Posted by: Bernd | Jan 27 2023 17:17 utc | 6

The cute thing about trolling is you can be ridiculous while hiding in your closet.
1. NASA need Russian rockets and engines to get to the Space Station for going on 10 years, while the U.S. was playing nice with Russia.
2. Russia does not lack for Military Technology nor for production facilities. But you already know that.
3. China has tried to muscle into Russia before, but has learned Russia is a far better economic supplier/partner, than a military adversary.
4. You know full well, of the many reasons that the U.S. MIC is muscling in on Ukraine is the well established corruption and laundry operation that parallels the U.S. insider network.
5. If you ever looked at the decline and fall of Empires, Rome, Britain, it is always a stage play at home, while others shed blood. Right up until the shining dungheap on the Potomac eats itself alive.

Posted by: kupkee | Jan 27 2023 18:15 utc | 45

US ran away from Afghanistan because of impending Ukraine war. Blinken said that.

Now Rand wants to run away from Ukraine because of impending China competition?

How can US win any belligerence if American strategists promote run-away strategy due to the fact that failure is a favorable outcome and nobody will bear failure responsibility?

Bad news for US: there is no competition between US and China. US lost it already. All those economic sanctions stuff against China have been like mending a broken fence after the horses gone. US is inconveniencing China right now, but can US hinder Chinese people to innovate, to progress, to revenge, and so have the last word? Nyet.

Posted by: KitaySupporter | Jan 27 2023 18:22 utc | 46

"Especially important to RAND seems to be that the war in Ukraine diverts the U.S. from starting a war with China:

Beyond the potential for Russian gains and the economic consequences for Ukraine, Europe, and the world, a long war would also have on sequences for U.S. foreign policy. The U.S. ability to focus on its other global priorities —particularly, competition with China—"

In my opinion, the sooner the Western elite absorbs the truth that escalating conflicts with China, especially in military dimension, is a folly, the better. Protracted was in Ukraine can be beneficial if it will help here.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 27 2023 18:24 utc | 47

It seem the RAND corporation are short on Khazars, else they would know that their main objective is to get Crimea back - as they constantly remind us.

Posted by: Anne B | Jan 27 2023 18:24 utc | 48


For starters, I have long been anti-ideological. In my estimation, no matter how sound their initial premises; ultimately, ideological perspectives tend towards devolution as events unfold. For those who continue with the left-right polar paradigm, my advise is to consider that the centralization of power into a fascist combine, inclusive of the worst elements of both right and left, eventually ensures that we will have no rights left.

Why I have chosen the acronym "Aristodemos" for my postings some readers likely have wondered if there is meaning behind the name. Meaning here is not particular but multi-faceted. Off the top, most would see the "Aristo" as a claim to an aristocratic background and all that goes with such an identity. Not so in this lifetime. Displaced farmer parents needing at the end of the '50's to move to the big city to find work to maintain the family...thence a somewhat lower end of the working class. So that sets foundational reality.

The Hellenic understanding of the word "Demos", simply means of the common people and its culture. My rural roots make for some basic reality at a ground level, translatable as common sense. Congruent with that, along with the urbanization situation made for the good fortune of experiencing two relatively sound high-schools. Three most useful courses were three years of German and two of French, along with half a year of typing. The languages taught me to escape from particularist American programming at some levels. Typing occurs on this keyboard right now.

Hellenic roots of "aristo" also and initially indicates wearing a beard, a natural man, and in the course of the Hellenistic era in several city states, the wearing of a beard implied an aristocratic status. We live many lifetimes and each of them present opportunities for learning that Shakespeare was straight on when he explicated the ages of man.

Under current American (and derivatively most European) cultural realities) there are huge levels of urbanization and its concomitant lack of common sense and at the same time increasing levels of herd mentalities. Thus, in a particular sense, my rural background forming the grundlage for urban polishing, has succeeded in a separation from the herd and the programming under which its perspective of reality, along with opinions and prejudices are engendered. Ergo: A singular formulation of an aristocracy of realization, one shared broadly amongst a considerable proportion of MoA veterans and regulars.

The Demos side of the equation means that my identity is in the words of Lincoln is "of the people, by the people and for the people". Mission statement then, is to participate in the genuine Great Awakening, ascending from the religious roots of the term here in this ruptured republic, into becoming a voice amongst many which seeks to liberate the "Demos" from its programming by hostile elite forces.

Posted by: aristodemos | Jan 27 2023 18:24 utc | 49

revealing that the Bundeswehr [German army] is preparing for war with Russia
Posted by: Likklemore | Jan 27 2023 18:09 utc | 39

This is not news. At any moment, army headquarters has plans for every conceivable mission their government could ask them. Most of these files are thin - "ask the US to airlift us there"

Posted by: Passerby | Jan 27 2023 18:25 utc | 50

Posted by: Likklemore | Jan 27 2023 18:09 utc | 39

Türkiye, as it is now officially called, is doing the same mistake as Germany. They try to now take a side, until they are forced to take a side. Unfortunately for Türkiye they are not in a military union with Russia and if NATO attacks Türkiye, Russia won't start a war with NATO to protect them.

But once Russia wins in Ukraine, Türkiye might seize the opportunity of weak NATO to act in some way. And this will end badly.

Posted by: Vikichka | Jan 27 2023 18:27 utc | 51

table 3.1 is fallacious. start with harming Russian oil, they missed opec+ is no U.S. tool.

sanction, they are utterly unfocused, Rand that is.

with strategic advice like this china and Russia will excell.

the sweet spot for bearding the bear is past.

Posted by: paddy | Jan 27 2023 18:29 utc | 52

The Chinese government should have every benefit in making sure US loses the Ukraine war. It will help them get a peaceful environment in developing enterprises in mid Eurasia, Middle East and Africa.

Africa will be the next battlefield though. US is very unhappy of France kicked out of Mid-African countries like Mali, Burkina Faso and Central African Republic. If you've looked at the Pentagon and White House statements, and today Joseph Borrel's statement:

"The EU is particularly interested in Africa's rare earth resources" - Josep Borrel

"Of particular interest to Brussels are the reserves of rare earth resources needed to promote the green agenda in Europe" ( )

You can't get any more colonial than that! That's why US is very scared with Wagner. After Ukraine is sufficiently wrapped up, US Marine helicopters and transports and bases might start blowing up around Africa.

Posted by: unimperator | Jan 27 2023 18:31 utc | 53

Rand missed one of the recently most effective means of discrediting Russia... proving that Russia's alleged "most deadly nerve agent ever", Novichok, doesn't work.

That was a slap in the face.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jan 27 2023 18:34 utc | 54


Question being, my interpretation, "why does the U$$A continue on and on engage in acts of national self-destruction"?

We must understand that our ruptured republic has no agency and thus can best be described as a puppet regime of highest, globalist finance.

The Globalists, headquartered in City of London, have as a primary goal, the destruction of the nation state in the interest of a technocratic management elite, under the aegis of highest global finance and their ultimate goal of one world under the imposers of a satanic agenda of total world domination.

My feeling is that we must educate ourselves and each other regarding the deeper roots and implications regarding this war for the ages and for the future of the human race.

Posted by: aristodemos | Jan 27 2023 18:34 utc | 55

There is an irrefutable pattern among the major players involved in project Ukraine that is so ugly it can't be mentioned in polite company. It's a big problem.

Posted by: chunga | Jan 27 2023 18:34 utc | 56

Thank b. I had started reading the report but the troll type rhetoric at the start was a bit much for me.

It has been obvious for some time now that there is two factions in the US. The faction that is fanatical out destroying Russia/destroying Russia first, and the faction that wants to pull out of the operation against Russia and concentrate on trying to take China. Trump was exhibit a of the China faction, wanting detente with Russia, freeing the US to attack China.

The fanatical Russia hating faction in the US and allies with the UK. UK it free to tip the balance through provocations.

A last make or break offensive in the planning for the Ukraine spring, with the desperate hope of inflicting enough of a defeat on Russian forces that it creates turmoil and political breakdown in Russia. The recent cleanup in Ukraine political circles shortly after CIA director Burns visit visit seems to be about loosening UK grip on the Zelensky government by Removing the Zelensky faction and at the same time promoting Zaluzhny.

Zaluzhny looks to be the US choice to negotiate with Russia. It is likely also that US is cracking down on corruption to ensure all materials for the coming offensive is delivered to the cannon fodder instead of being sold on the black market.

US has ordered that all forces are kept together for a single main offensive this time instead of being split into north and and south offensive groupings as occurred last time.This offensive may prove costly for Russia as it appears a large number of suicide drones will be operating ahead of armour and artillery.

Whatever the outcome of the Ukr spring offensive it appears Zelensky will be out and Zaluzhny likely to be the new president negotiating with Russia. It is likely the coming offensive, if Russia does not destroy those forces before, hand is a desperate attempt to gain a better negotiating position.

US sending a tank when you are not sending a tank. Um, urm, we still have to build them, but US saying they would send tanks was required top keep Germany on its path of self destruction and free up German made tanks for this last offensive.

Pentagon is now planning new speaker of the house MacCarthy's springtime trip to ROC following in the footsteps of Pelosi. I assume that will be timed for very shortly after the spring. offensive in Ukraine.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 27 2023 18:36 utc | 57

The grand finale is that the U.S. declares that UFOs are real and they decide to abandon Taiwan and Japan in order to go to (nuclear) war with the big bad communist aliens.

Posted by: Colin | Jan 27 2023 18:36 utc | 58

@ aristodemos | Jan 27 2023 18:34 utc | 54

that is a fair breakdown of where we are now... what it implies to me is the necessity of a complete ideological change.. we have to get beyond this predator thinking and access a more creative part of our identity, both individually and collectively... perhaps once enough people do this, the whole world will witness a shift or major transformation.. until then, i think greed and self interest in the worst sense, will continue to dominate... obviously people being more educated has always been said to be necessary and beneficial, but i think it is more then that.. we have to come from a different place of focus then the self centered one that has brought us to this place of danger... but in danger, there is an opportunity for transformation too.. thanks for your ongoing posts and commentary..

Posted by: james | Jan 27 2023 18:42 utc | 59


A deeply insightful posting. Thanks.

Posted by: aristodemos | Jan 27 2023 18:43 utc | 60

As per the Rand report - this mornings headlines in the local government owned tabloid.
"The global chemical weapons watchdog has found after a nearly two-year investigation that at least one Syrian military helicopter dropped gas cylinders onto residential buildings in the rebel-held Syrian city of Douma in 2018, killing 43 people."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 27 2023 18:47 utc | 62

When I saw a picture of Nuland this morning, I wondered how many Russian babies she had eaten lately 😀

BTW, this site gets a mention in the latest Twitter files article from Matt Taibbi

Also, when I click on the link to MOA in the article, Outlook warned me it was an unsafe link. Can't say I'm surprised.

Tried to email Bernhard but couldn't figure out the address. Please send me it to me.

Posted by: MikeinHouston | Jan 27 2023 18:52 utc | 63


My silent prayers for your protection from having taken the MrNA jabs, while remaining honest in sharing your thoughts and perspectives.

Posted by: aristodemos | Jan 27 2023 18:53 utc | 64

LoL these Rand diagrams are comically simpletonic and more like something a high school student would write up.

And to think these idiots get paid the Big Bucks to "think" up this stupidity.

Glad to know AI will come in and make all these geniuses homeless soon.

Posted by: Comandante | Jan 27 2023 18:53 utc | 65

Posted by: james | Jan 27 2023 17:26 utc | 13

That's a good question that I've often posed to myself. If the US devoted 100 billion to infrastructure projects, rather than to funding the war in Ukraine, its roads and rails would be better, its workers would have more money, its local economies would be richer, etc. But this would NOT serve the interests of the weapons manufacturers as there would be no huge profit in it for them, and because they indirectly control so much of the political process--as Eisenhower warned in his farewell speech--they will never allow the US to focus on domestic buildup. There's no money in it for them.

Posted by: WJ | Jan 27 2023 18:58 utc | 66

peterAU1 61

dogma had some level of anti gravity for the cylinder to soft land.

is usa leading the race for anti gravity or Assad?

Posted by: paddy | Jan 27 2023 19:00 utc | 67

This fat pig contradicted rand today, he suggests war forever to prevent war:

World war would start at the moment Russian tanks appear in Kiev and at European borders, preventing them is only way to stop World War III - Italian Defense Minister Crosetto

Posted by: rk | Jan 27 2023 19:07 utc | 68

Paul Greenwood @43

Thanks for the link. It sure filled out mere intuition back in the 90's on my part. The guy was in much deeper than I'd even imagined. Confession: While stuck in a situation where a modest library was available, whenever I encountered a Clancy novel I implicated the title page with "CIA STOOGE"'

Posted by: aristodemos | Jan 27 2023 19:10 utc | 69

Another fart wants a forever war:

Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna - today is the time to fight, and we must help Ukraine not only to defend itself, but also to restore its independence and sovereignty

Posted by: rk | Jan 27 2023 19:11 utc | 70

I said this before, but I am saying it again: Russia has no willingness to end the war quickly. The main objective of Russia is to cripple the Ukraine in a way that it will not be a threat to anyone, anymore. To do this, Russia must financially cripple the backers of the Ukraine, that is Russia must prolong the war as possible, at least as long as the NATO countries pump money and resources into the Ukraine. A great offensive maneuver is, therefore, counterproductive: it would be costly for Russia, it would force Ukraine to seek negotiations, it would make Western public opinion realize that the war is lost, it would stop the bleeding of resources from Western countries.

Posted by: SG | Jan 27 2023 19:14 utc | 71

It's cool that in 2019 RAND draws up the blueprint for the current conflict. Then in 2023 they offer up concern.

Here is another article on the 2019 report.

RAND - Zero Sum Game

Posted by: Will | Jan 27 2023 19:16 utc | 72

Today I came across a NYTimes piece which has to be some of the worse western prowar propaganda I have yet to see around the SMO. This story a links to another nytimes defector story from the Russian army fighting in Ukraine named Nuzrin which is almost as bad.

A few decades ago I used to read this paper daily. I read it critically but did find it had some good articles now and then. But now they seems to have gone completely off the rails in the lying propaganda department.

Posted by: Toivos | Jan 27 2023 19:18 utc | 73


Thanks for filling us in on the neocolonial assault for rare earths in Africa. It's a multipolar, multidimensional war for sure and its good that posters here are following many a lead. Post-Graduate studies in geopolitical realities are constantly in session. Likely that the free education is having some positive effects on a number of those intel snoopers on the site. Their pre-programming is being constantly and consistently challenged.

Posted by: aristodemos | Jan 27 2023 19:18 utc | 74

"Peace declared by the US" I very recently remarked.

For their politicians, this would be an easy lift if they think it through. Admittedly listening to reason is not at all a high priority for American elites and their politicians.

But bending appearances is first nature to them. They can P.R. their way out of Ukraine as easy as blackbird pie. Inventing a sample winning scenario is easy. But for fear it may be a catching disease, most of the details are left out here.

Turning on ZE would be not only blackbird pie but a piece of cake, too, and very economical. "He's an American-insulting loud-mouth, a beggar" or "We just found out about he's using and all his villas." Ad infinitum. Playing the played victim is easy.

You might wonder almost aloud if the monetary cost of losing this war may indeed exceed MIC receipts. Blame it on the Uks and chalk it up to being too nice.

Lucky for the US, they don't have to be genuinely creative. Just dollars & cents pragmatic. Certainly they realize starting a less expensive war would be something to happy about. And be happy-faced how well the EU heels like an obsequious dog. That's something they're already taking to the bank. Ka-ching!

Congratulations, US. You win! Take a break and celebrate.

Posted by: Elmagnostic | Jan 27 2023 19:26 utc | 75


Zelensky out and Zaluzhny in per CIA mandate? Negotiations by the RF would allow Z2 a peaceful exit into exile after having agreed to a total surrender (with some conditions allowed) on the part of his government. One of the conditions would be for replacement of the current puppet regime with a NovoUkrainia government of those portions of Ukraine which are not the homes of Hungarians, Slovaks and well as ethnic Russians or preferred Russian speaking Ukrainians who would rather live in the RF.

The new genuinely Ukrainian government would disavow all treaties, compacts, contracts engaged in by the puppet regime and seize those resources currently impacted for redistribution amongst the Ukrainian people as well as government. AND of course, Galicia and the Banderite control parts of Volhynia would be divorced and maintained by the three Slavic States as a disarmed protectorate.

Posted by: aristodemos | Jan 27 2023 19:28 utc | 76

peterAU@ 61

You forgot something. That international worry about weapons group is almost exclusively made up of reps from NATO governments...definately with a dog in the fight. The report regarding Syrian governmental involvement in the chemical warfare matter is pure propaganda.

Posted by: aristodemos | Jan 27 2023 19:30 utc | 77

And to think these idiots get paid the Big Bucks to "think" up this stupidity.

Posted by: Comandante | Jan 27 2023 18:53 utc | 64

It is just another kickback scheme. In the last century I worked for government and it was common practice to hire project consultants. The requisitioning department staff would write the report, and the consultant would print it on their paper with their logo. The advent of the word processor allowed this to be done quickly and efficiently.

The consultant could then kick-back a substantial portion to the politicians and/or senior staff.

I guarantee the current McKinsey scandal in Canada was doing the same thing.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jan 27 2023 19:33 utc | 78

SG | Jan 27 2023 19:14 utc | 70

Good logic but the resources used by natostan are small. 100-200bn a year is nothing. And they have zero lives lost. A +10 year war is their bet

Posted by: rk | Jan 27 2023 19:34 utc | 79

Toivos @73:

Suomileinen Poikka: Ja. The Chew Pork Slymes has gradually and almost completely lost all possible credibility. I gave up on it about 10 years ago for its now total lack of objective journalism, but pretending to hold to those standards. The hypocrisy was almost beyond belief. However, they do contain some pretty good crossword puzzles.

Posted by: aristodemos | Jan 27 2023 19:36 utc | 80

The regime in Kiev was encouraged to retake the rebellions Donbas republics. The green light for that was given in early 2022 even as the White House knew that Russia would respond militarily.

I am fa,iliar with this argument, but not following this closely: can this be proved.

So the US intelligence was 'so good' since it watched Russia's reactions to its actions closely?

Posted by: LeaNder | Jan 27 2023 19:37 utc | 81

The borderline comical thing about this report is that RAND was the institution that designed the current war with their previous report 'Overextending Russia in Ukraine'.

Bad luck guys, it's not easy to stop reaping the whirlwind at your leisure.

Posted by: Boo | Jan 27 2023 19:39 utc | 82

Interesting. Double standards at paymasters' behest!

The last time I checked the RAND Corp. offers how to detect propaganda, The yeah but is it completely ignores all USSA 'z' grade poopaganda! The stuff that would have the late master USSA WW2 propaganda writer T (Dr. Seuss) Giesel rolling in his grave.

The quality of all USSA Political Science graduates in the 21st Century. Is so weak, Undoubtedly even a USSA grade school dropout could pass that course. @george washington(cia) u. cue Nelson Ha HA.

Posted by: Big Deal Motors On | Jan 27 2023 19:43 utc | 83

It's plausible that theories of the recent Zelensky administration resignations and "accidents" are indeed CIA taking full control and replacing puppets in all parts of administration to ensure full compliance, according to the planned kamikaze offensive. US doesn't lose anything if it fails, if it succeeds, it's all good. This is actually a threat, since they planned a 3 layer attack (according to Southfront analysis) - territorial defense human wave - "organic Ukie brigades" with Soviet tanks - and Nato corps/brigade with Nato tanks. The point is wear and disrupt the defense with first two layers.

Depending on outcome, one likely endgame IMO is US taking over western Ukraine under guise of Zelensky - Duda anschluss treaty. Nato will then start piling bunch of stuff and air defenses there. Once Russia is finished with decimating the ukie kamikaze attack in the west, they will start blowing up Nato stuff (air defense systems, any base or stockpile compound) they might setup, in western Ukraine with whatever means they have available. If the attack succeeds, it won't be good for Russia.

One of the primary objectives of Nato attack is to cut off and destroy a single Russian grouping and force some kind of decisive fight. Theoretically, Russia might still give ground, if they can seriously wear down the offensive. And deliver final blow. They can do like they did in Kherson, and Lyman. They need a lot of artillery and air support in order to decimate the three designated attack layers. They only must not get in anyway trapped, or into a decisive fight with massive Nato force.

Of course, it's also possible that the mass offensive as envisioned by Nato will not actually materialize. The Russians can whittle down their numbers as they see a buildup occurring. Recently they managed to destroy 2 or 4 S-300 launchers with a single Iskander - they are gradually destroying the most efficient Ukie air defensive means after all, which will be the key in gaining absolute air control and more effective close air support.

Posted by: unimperator | Jan 27 2023 19:44 utc | 84

Posted by: Peter AU1 56

Those two factions are two sides of the same coin, both completely mad. The 'destroy Russia' faction has, up to now, not directly involved US military, at least not overtly. It's strategy is more in line with mainstream US foreign policy - undermine 'unfriendly' (re: not submissive) governments by supporting internal groups with odious ideologies, promote regime change, throw elections, and in the case of Ukraine, support an illegitimate putsch regime that it helped bring to power with military aid, as a proxy to fight Russia. None of that will work in a confrontation with China. The US will not have any proxies to do its fighting for it. The US will have to do its own dirty work, send in its own troops. I doubt that this 'the big prize is China' neocon faction has considered what it will do after China sinks a US aircraft carrier. "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth."

Posted by: Mike R | Jan 27 2023 19:45 utc | 85


The NYTimes is indeed completely off the rails.
I have been a long time commenter there for many years. In the past year I have had numerous comments censored, many of which were censored after publication. All of the censored comments were respectful and well within their stated comment guidelines. The main problem with the comments is apparently the fact that they sited facts to poke holes in Western propaganda regarding the war in Ukraine. The NYTimes staunchly defends free speech - as long as that speech supports their narrative. All other voices are suppressed. This was not the case five years ago. Unfortunately, I believe it is a reflection as to which direction this country is heading.

Posted by: robmd | Jan 27 2023 19:49 utc | 86

@Colin 57

That was indeed their plan in the past, but Eastern relations have degraded so far that neither Chinese nor Russian governments or populations would believe the invasion story. They know all too well that the real invasion already took place and nephilim/aliens are in full control of the West.

Posted by: NJH | Jan 27 2023 19:54 utc | 87

The 3-wave offensive may penetrate the first lines, but I can't see it reaching Crimea, or even part way. It depends on a massive amount of human sacrifice, and if that's the way Ukraine wants to play it, Russia will comply and kill Ukrainian troops en masse. Russia hasn't effectively used its air force for real time ground attack because of Stinger missiles, but if it has to lose some planes it will in order to stop human wave attacks. This plan is more like a last hurrah, betting the farm on the hope that a successful thrust to Crimea, or Melitipol, or the destruction of a Russian brigade, will bring about the vaunted regime change in Moscow that the neocons are obsessed with. If it fails, it is essentially the end of the Ukrainian army.

Posted by: Mike R | Jan 27 2023 20:01 utc | 88

@80 Now how is that a aristodemos would zero in on a F
innish first name. Sounds Greek to me. BTW the S after Toivo ends with "nen".

Posted by: Toivos | Jan 27 2023 20:02 utc | 89

Simply outstanding reporting, B! Thank you for this. I'm sure Brecht would've been proud.

Posted by: Samm | Jan 27 2023 20:02 utc | 90

aristodemos | Jan 27 2023 19:28 utc | 76

It will be interesting to see how this turns out. I assume the US would be looking at negotiating a line of control after the spring offensive that puts the war on pause. At the same time US will be trying to ensure its vassals maintains sanctions on Russia. US is relatively open or easy to see its intentions but not so Russia.

My thought is that after the offensive US (aka whatever puppet is running the show in Kiev) will call for negotiations, Which Putin has been offering) but after that point it's anybody's guess as to what Russia will do. The Russians will always talk. The one thing I am sure of though is that for any negations to occur, the US will have to replace the UK's drug addict with a new face that looks more serious. Russia has made it plain what they think about negotiating with a drug addict.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 27 2023 20:02 utc | 91

@ Peter AU1 Post 56

Re: Negotiations with Russia. Before any negotiations can occur the UKR parliament will have to rescind the law banning such undertaking.

It does appear Russia will have several pre-conditions. If I were Mr. Putin, top of my list before any talks begin:

1. Release theft of RF's foreign Reserves, seizure of Russian properties in USA
2. Implement the 1989 understandings given in respect of NATO's expansion, thus to pre-1991 borders.
3. Reparations for the sabotage of NordStream pipelines. Money in our account for the repairs. Germany to issue the certification for flow of juice.

Once trust is lost. Difficult to restore. The US action in weaponizing the dollar cannot be undone. If they did it to Russia, others are now asking; "Are our US$funds at risk?"

Whether or not the UKR war is further escalated, the US$ is toast. Burnt.

January 18, 2023 Saudi Arabia's Minister of Finance, at Davos Meeting declared being open to accepting other currencies in payment.

January 26, 2023 - Alasdair MacLeod:

Russia’s intentions are clarifying

We have confirmation from the highest sources that Russia and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) are considering using gold for pan-Asian trade settlements, fully replacing dollars and euros.

In an article written for Vedomosti, a Moscow-based Russian newspaper published on 27 December, Sergey Glazyev, a prominent economic adviser to Vladimir Putin who is heading up the Eurasian Economic Union committee charged with devising a replacement for dollars in trade settlements sent a very clear signal to that effect. It appears he will drop earlier plans to design a new commodity-linked trade currency because it has been superseded.

Furthermore, increasing numbers of nations have joined or have applied to join the SCO as dialog members, including Saudi Arabia and other important Gulf Cooperation Organisation members. The economic benefits of discounted energy, China’s investment capital, and sound money are the ingredients for a new, Asia-wide industrial revolution, while the economies of the western alliance sink under rising prices, rising interest rates, collapsing financial markets, and collapsing currencies.

While it will mark the end of the road for the western alliance and its fiat currencies, Putin must be careful not to take the blame. Now that the alliance is racking up tanks and other equipment for the Ukrainians, they are actively promoting a new battle, with NATO getting almost directly involved. It is that action which will drive up commodity prices, undermine western financial markets, undermine government finances, and ultimately collapse their currencies.

Putin is likely to use NATO’s impetuous action in defence of Ukraine as cover for securing Russia’s future as an Asian superstate, which will be the west’s undoing.[.]

Just as the consequences of banning Russia from SWIFT did not appear to have been thought through in advance, the consequences of a new phase of the war over Ukraine are dismissed. In initially at least, in the west a move to gold by
Russia will be seen as a defensive response to protect the rouble and the value of Russia’s pan-Asian exports, and a deliberate attack on western fiat currencies will not be suspected. The evidence will be seen in a gold price which rises beyond expectations.

Russia will not make formal announcements about gold standards, because there is no need. Nor will China: instead it might reveal an increase in gold reserves. And having dropped the EAEU trade settlement currency as the intended replacement for the dollar, the SCO will effectively adopt gold in its place.

Initially, a soaring gold price valued in dollars will not create undue alarm in the western establishments: after all, it has been demonetised. This will be followed by denials of its importance. But as Sergey Glazyev put it in his Vedomosti article, gold will be used to price all major international goods (oil, gas, food, fertilisers, metals, and solid minerals). That being so, these prices will be stable with low interest rates, while prices and interest rates will be soaring in dollars. And it will then become obvious to a wider public that it is not prices that are soaring, but dollars collapsing.

But as fiat dollars, euro, yen, and pounds lose purchasing power against not just gold but all commodities, comparisons are bound to be made between the relative success of the Russia-China axis embodied in the SCO, the EAEU, and BRICS. Driven by Chinese savers, capital investment, discounted energy, and sound money Asia will boom.

And there will be little that America and its NATO allies can do to stop it.

Alasdair MacLeod -
Head of Research, Goldmoney
Alasdair has been a celebrated stockbroker and Member of the London Stock Exchange for over four decades. His experience encompasses equity and bond markets, fund management, corporate finance and investment strategy.

SCO its membership
an intergovernmental organization founded in Shanghai on 15 June 2001. The SCO currently comprises eight Member States (China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan), four Observer States interested in acceding to full membership (Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia) and six “Dialogue Partners” (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey). In 2021, the decision was made to start the accession process of Iran to the SCO as a full member, and Egypt, Qatar as well as Saudi Arabia became dialogue partners.

And keep eyes on these two - Brazil and South Africa joining the other three members of BRICS. Oops and all the countries applying for BRICS membership.

Posted by: Likklemore | Jan 27 2023 20:04 utc | 92

Economic Measures Hinder Petroleum exports
benefit = HIGH, Cost and risk = LOW, Probability of success = HIGH

I guess the boys at RAND did not factor in that we would be attacking 3 major oil exporting countries at the same time. They did not consider creating an oil shortage that would impact the U.S. a risk :-)

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Jan 27 2023 20:04 utc | 93

Posted by: robmd 88

I had the same experience with the Times. My comments were always published until I submitted comments on Ukraine. Then maybe 1 in 4 was published, and they violated no guidelines. I canceled my subscription and told them why. They are still trying to get me to resubscribe. This censorship is now more the rule than the exception across the media.

Posted by: Mike R | Jan 27 2023 20:05 utc | 94

james | Jan 27 2023 17:26 utc | 13

why does the usa spend so much time, money, energy and resources on trying to thwart others, instead of building their own country in some productive, rewarding and creative way??

It's part of their DNA, which is similar to the British DNA (=culture).
What I mean is the psychological aspect: People are not free in the Land of the Free.
The USA is an aggressive, belligerent, destructive society. Just think of George Floyd. or...
- think of the cost of healthcare
- think of the cost of education
- think of the high number of prison inmates
- think of many people being constantly indebted
- think of money always getting priorized over people, it being the yardstick to measure a person's value.
A typical British trait, according to quotes from Evo Morales, is this:
“Superiority is so important to them, the ability to dominate."
"It’s reprehensible that they don’t have a principle of humanity, of brotherhood. They are, instead, slaves to the policies of how to dominate.”

So what the USA implements abroad, mirrors the traits of their own society. Much stronger factors than the above are the following:

- religion (Mt 25, 14-21 plays a major role)
- your upbringing at school
- the way parents treat, or communicate with, their children.

What I mean is, there are those who play the power game with or against their very own children. On the other end of the spectrum there are those who are just happy to see their children healthy, enjoying themselves and responding.

I don't have first hand information on the last two aspects, school and parents, in US society, so I'm just guessing they could play crucial role in answering your question.

Posted by: grunzt | Jan 27 2023 20:08 utc | 95

Mike R | Jan 27 2023 19:45 utc | 86

Re two sides of the same coin. I more envision a drunken lynch mob arguing not over whether they should lynch someone or not, but rather, who they will lynch next.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 27 2023 20:09 utc | 96

Zeihan is now talking about 'a second Holodomor'. Even he realizes where this is going. He predicts deliberate destruction of Ukr agriculture in the spring in addition to the continuing meat grinder eliminating male Ukrainians. Even the Russo phobes are catching on.

Posted by: Eighthman | Jan 27 2023 20:11 utc | 97

BernD[etractor]: I can't help thinking that Mark Twain had someone very much like you in mind when he issued the following advice:

"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."

I would say, "Don't give up your day job", but I assume this actually *is* your day job.

Posted by: JMF | Jan 27 2023 20:15 utc | 98

Likklemore | Jan 27 2023 20:04 utc | 94

Thanks. If that is the case, depending on how far off it is, it is possible Russia would put the war on hold if US, through whatever puppet is in Kiev calls for negotiations. I can hear the howls of anguish from the peanut gallery now if that were to occur.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 27 2023 20:16 utc | 99

The mood where I live is jubilant. After a lifetime of indoctrination everyone is simply thrilled the US is finally putting some hurt on the Russians. Ukraine is romping from victory to victory. Have now heard the kill all the Russians trope a few times. From acquaintances I'd have thought were mild and moderate, possibly even pacific.

If RAND is slightly better -- in the kingdom of the blind the one-eyed man is king. They get paid the big bucks for being the house innalekshuls. The house servants are not going to tell massa he is full of shit. Won't think it either.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jan 27 2023 20:24 utc | 100

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