Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 21, 2023

How Will The Biden Administration Cope With Its Loss In Ukraine?

While this piece will touch on the war in Ukraine it is more about the U.S., and the Biden administration, and how they will cope with their  defeat in their war on Russia. Please keep that in mind when commentating.

Washington's moment of recognizing the defeat in Ukraine, and its consequences, has yet to arrive.

In his latest piece (archived) Seymour Hersh reports on the state of the war and of significant differences of opinion between the U.S. intelligence services:

There are significant elements in the American intelligence community, relying on field reports and technical intelligence, who believe that the demoralized Ukraine army has given up on the possibility of overcoming the heavily mined three-tier Russian defense lines and taking the war to Crimea and the four oblasts seized and annexed by Russia. The reality is that Volodymyr Zelensky’s battered army no longer has any chance of a victory.

The war continues, I have been told by an official with access to current intelligence, because Zelensky insists that it must. There is no discussion in his headquarters or in the Biden White House of a ceasefire and no interest in talks that could lead to an end to the slaughter. “It’s all lies,” the official said, speaking of the Ukrainian claims of incremental progress in the offensive that has suffered staggering losses, while gaining ground in a few scattered areas that the Ukrainian military measures in meters per week.
The American intelligence official I spoke with spent the early years of his career working against Soviet aggression and spying has respect for Putin’s intellect but contempt for his decision to go to war with Ukraine and to initiate the death and destruction that war brings. But, as he told me, “The war is over. Russia has won. There is no Ukrainian offensive anymore, but the White House and the American media have to keep the lie going.

“The truth is if the Ukrainian army is ordered to continue the offensive, the army would mutiny. The soldiers aren’t willing to die any more, but this doesn’t fit the B.S. that is being authored by the Biden White House.”

The differences between the current CIA and the more neoconned Defense Intelligence Agency extend to their view on China:

A byproduct of the Biden administration’s neocon hostility to Russia and China—exemplified by the remarks of Secretary of State Tony Blinken, who has repeatedly stated that he will not currently countenance a ceasefire in Ukraine—has been a significant split in the intelligence community. One casualty are the secret National Intelligence Estimates that have delineated the parameters of American foreign policy for decades. Some key offices in the CIA have refused, in many cases, to participate in the NIE process because of profound political disagreement with the administration’s aggressive foreign policy. One recent failure involved a planned NIE that dealt with the outcome of a Chinese attack on Taiwan.

I have reported for many weeks on the longstanding disagreement between the CIA and other elements of the intelligence community on the prognosis of the current war in the Ukraine. CIA analysts have consistently been far more skeptical than their counterparts at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) on the prospect for a Ukraine success. The American media has ignored the dispute, but the London-headquartered Economist, whose well-informed reporters do not get bylines, has not.

The DIA is still saying that the Ukrainian army has a chance, a small one though, to break through the Russian lines. The White House still seems to believe in that. The CIA knows that the Ukraine is done.

Alastair Crooke, in a talk (vid) with Judge Napolitano, says that the moment of truth will only arrive in November.

But what will happen when everyone recognizes and acknowledges, if silently, that the war on Russia has failed?

Michael Brenner argues that the US Can’t Deal With Defeat:

Ukraine, today, has suffered huge losses of even greater (proportional) magnitude [than the German Wehrmacht in the Battle of Kursk], without achieving any significant territorial gains, unable even to reach the first layer of the Surovikin Line. That will clear the road to the Dnieper and beyond for the 600,000 strong Russian army equipped with weaponry the equal of what the West has given Ukraine. Hence, Moscow is poised to exploit its decisive advantage to the point where it can dictate terms to Kiev, Washington, Brussels et al.
The Biden administration has made no plans for such an eventuality, nor have its obedient European governments. Their divorce from reality will make this state of affairs all the more stunning — and galling. Bereft of ideas, they will flounder. How they will react is unknowable. We can say with certainty one thing: the collective West, and especially the U.S., will have suffered a grave defeat. Coping with that truth will become the main order of business.
Here is a menu of options for handling it:
Redefine what is meant by defeat, victory, failure, success, loss, gain. There is a new narrative that is scripted to stress these talking points: ...
This narrative already has been given an airing in speeches by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Acting Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland. Its target audience is the American public; nobody outside the Collective West buys it, though — whether Washington has registered that fact of diplomatic life or not.

Retroactively Scale Back the Goals & Stakes
Cultivate Amnesia
Next: China

It is likely that the administration will use all four options to make the pain and memory of defeat go away. Declare victory over Russia  because Russia was stopped at the border with Poland. Then forget about all the details and consequences and move towards war on China.

That could end catastrophically.

The focal shift from Russia in Europe to China in Asia is less a mechanism for coping with defeat than the pathological reaction of a country that, feeling a gnawing sense of diminishing prowess, can manage to do nothing more than try one final fling at proving to itself that it still has the right stuff — since living without that exalted sense of self is intolerable.
The U.S. was fortunate, in the case of Vietnam, that the United States’ dominant position in the world outside of the Soviet Bloc and the PRC allowed it to maintain respect, status and influence.

Things have now changed, though. The U.S. relative strength in all domains is weaker, strong centrifugal forces around the globe are producing a dispersion of power, will and outlook among other states. The BRICs phenomenon is the concrete embodiment of that reality.

Hence, the prerogatives of the United States are narrowing, its ability to shape the global system in conformity with its ideas and interests are under mounting challenge, and premiums are being placed on diplomacy of an order that seems beyond its present aptitudes.

The U.S. is confounded.

Major offices in the CIA, according to Hersh, have recognized the danger of such plans. It may well be the reason why the CIA's informal spokesmen, David Ignatius, and others wrote that Biden should step down.

If he doesn't the neoconservatives around him will have a great incentive to move on China as fast as possible. As Biden will have difficulties in winning next year's election he needs some objective that can unify the country. A war that he can claim the U.S. will win is one. Some hostile naval exchanges with China will follow.

(Please don't use the comments of this thread for details from the war in Ukraine. The current thread for such is here.)

Posted by b on September 21, 2023 at 17:05 UTC | Permalink

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Biden's a cypher.
In 1988 he plagiarised Neill Kinnocks speeches during his presidential run.
It was revealed and he slunk away.
Everyone forgot what a stupid lying creep he is.
And here he is today running the US to the abyss.
How will the 0.1% control the remainder of the US population is the question.
The Ukrainian is just another loss of face to be forgotten.
The state of the US economy over next 18 months is the real issue.
Paying more on debt than defence isn't going to continue for long.

Posted by: jpc | Sep 21 2023 17:15 utc | 1

Intriguing piece, many thanks! So the CIA sees enough urgency to go public: I consider Ignatius and Hersh as mouthpieces of the CIA.

Having no interest in global war, I hope that their faction is strong enough to prevent the worst (much worse than some "naval exchanges").

I still lack the fantasy to see why neocon faction the settled on Biden for the elections. Usually this happens if you need to buy time: the classical example is when the papal conclave can't agree on a candidate and they settle for some really old guy for the time being. I get that with Biden at the helm, the US government has no desire for peace in Ukraine but the war is still lost and they need to find a way out.

Posted by: Konami | Sep 21 2023 17:27 utc | 2

How will the Biden White House deal with defeat in Ukraine?

Just a wild guess: Stir up trouble in Armenia and Georgia. Maybe bomb Sochi, just for the heck of it.

Posted by: wagelaborer | Sep 21 2023 17:29 utc | 3

@SwissArmyMan #2

The attrition of the Ukrainian Armed Forces at the “Surovikin Line” may work for now, but at some point Russia will have to launch an offensive. And there are still many things that must be improved in the Russian Armed Forces before an offensive can succeed with acceptable losses.

Posted by: S | Sep 21 2023 17:38 utc | 4

Maybe the US elites eill reassure themselves to be the one and only suprrpower by invading another hyperpower like... haiti.

Posted by: Orgel | Sep 21 2023 17:44 utc | 5

The US knows how to "lose" wars. The Deep State can lose every war it wages and still "win" because the main (but not only) cause of every major war since Korea has been to enrich the MIC. The war in Ukraine has already been won. It's causing Europe to spend more on "defense" and the pressure will be enormous to dramatically increase the "defense" budget in the US--a clear win for the ruling elites. All this neocon BS is just a convenient ideology for numbskulls like Blinken and the think-tank types to feel morally superior to the rest of us since they honestly believe they are fighting evil. This speaks to the incredible failure of the US university system to educate the ruling class. Thus, by process of elimination, it is the hustling or arguabley the criminal) class that has supplanted the managerial/intellectual class as the true ruling .

Posted by: Chris Cosmos | Sep 21 2023 17:44 utc | 6

Considering the neocons started a pandemic to win the last election, it would be incredibly unsurprising if they started a world war to win this one. Unfortunately, with NATO down a lot of ammunition after the Ukraine debacle, and with less than a year to a year before Biden would start a war to win the 2024 election, there would be no time to replenish stocks, so in addition to the U.S. most likely losing said war because it's much too far away and the U.S. Navy is outdated in an era or hypersonic weapons, the US and west Pacific allies would even more likely lose due to lacking ammunition.

Posted by: Cthulhu | Sep 21 2023 17:46 utc | 7

The other observation.
It not like there's any other choice.
The question is will the realisation finish with a bang or a sigh of resignation?

Posted by: jpc | Sep 21 2023 17:50 utc | 8

Regarding the question raised by b, my answer is that the Biden Administration will not recognize any loss in the Ukraine while the front line stays where it is now. The losses in Ukrainian lives will be hidden. They will say: “It was a great success! We have kicked the Russians from Kiev, Kharkov and Kherson, and we have stopped them in the southeast! Ukrainian freedom and democracy have been saved! We will never recognize the occupied territories as part of Russia! Russia will crumble one day anyway under the weight of its kleptocratic regime, and that’s when these territories will be returned!”

Posted by: S | Sep 21 2023 17:51 utc | 9

One has to wonder where this disaster will end. What is the globalists and elites drive Putin to something drastic like tactical nukes. What will their puppet Biden choose to do? Send troops, provide Zelensky with tactical nukes? The insanity of the Military Industrial Congressional Complex is actually frightening. Time will tell how bad the bad decisions of Puppet Biden end up.

Posted by: GaryB | Sep 21 2023 17:51 utc | 10

Cultivating amnesia will work with the American public but it will not work globally … although the folks at State and in the WH will proceed on the assumption that all the world’s media is the NYT and CNN. The point in the block quote about how the US could be defeated in Vietnam with catastrophic reputational loss because it was a different US and a different global context is important.

And so we return to the fundamental error Biden made in spring 2022 when he pushed Zelensky to fight on and make this an existential conflict for American power. He can’t walk away from it cleanly. The best play was to let Ukraine sign a negotiated settlement then and maintain pressure on Russia. But now Biden is in too deep. Which of course leaves the US and the world in a dangerous spot: to what degree will Biden gamble on Ukraine?

I don’t see abandoning Ukraine for a pivot to China. Too much personal prestige is involved and Biden’s state department are Russia hawks first and less concerned about China at a personal opinion level.

Posted by: Lex | Sep 21 2023 17:53 utc | 11

When idiot Biden forces Putin to use tactical nukes, Biden will demand America and Europe respond in kind, then we will see the globalists in Europe slink back to their pedophile parties.

Posted by: GaryB | Sep 21 2023 17:53 utc | 12

I think it is a correct assumption that most of the propaganda cope is intended for the domestic USA audience and perhaps some of the EU. There are also a few other spheres that are tipping out of balance (so to speak) and there is no amount of information control that will prevent them from becoming apparent to all but the most brainwashed denial types. When this happens it is often a trigger for a gargantuan false flag of some sort which will eclipse the current problems and trigger a massive reset across the board. We are entering conditions where that will become increasingly likely.

Posted by: Chevrus | Sep 21 2023 17:55 utc | 13

Putin should begin a mass immigration effort from regions in Russia to Europe, once 10% of Russia's population of 15o million stream into Europe things will get interesting.

Posted by: GaryB | Sep 21 2023 17:55 utc | 14

I personally dont vibe w the 2 factions take. Its just more divide conquer stuff. The SMO in the ukraine was a victory from the start as it was launched based on actual realities and needs as opposed to delusions of grandeur and a manaiacle desire to address 'beefs' from a time that predates the Russian revolution.

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Sep 21 2023 17:58 utc | 15

most interesting b.. thank you...

a few things.. was the actions of the usa in syria, afganistan, libya and iraq a defeat?? clearly some in the usa profit from all this death and mayhem.... but regarding the issue of respect for the usa - that is falling rapidly and i am not sure this can be altered... as for biden continuing on, it seems that the whole business is the ukrainegate of tomorrow where biden will be pilloried... the problem is - who to replace him??

Posted by: james | Sep 21 2023 17:58 utc | 16

Strange how Brenner overlooks the most obvious course of action:

Double down.

The Bidens are hip deep in Ukrainian corruption, and the Hair-Sniffer-in-Chief is facing not only an election campaign but a profoundly hostile Republican House of Representatives. He can’t afford to lose this one.

Posted by: malenkov | Sep 21 2023 17:58 utc | 17

How Will The Biden Administration Cope With Another Defeat …

No problem for Joe … in his 50+ years doing American lacking foreign policy the wars have been neoconned defeats … Joe personally has a long losing streak after 9/11 … w one foot in the grave, who cares … Zelenskyy and the UA will implode.

Posted by: Oui | Sep 21 2023 17:59 utc | 18

Talking about the pivot toward China and rattling sabres of various sorts is all well and good but just how can these remedial "brain trust" geniuses even remotely model this as being remotely possible?! China already demonstrated in real time exactly what they would do in the case of Taiwan: Blockade it and wait for more sensible politicians to be installed. The USA Pacific fleet is in no position to enforce anything in Chinas territorial waters. They cannot defend against a Sunburn much less a Brahmos missile! Their vaunted patriot system just got trounced in Kiev, as well as a slew of other NATO weapons. As I have said before: Metal talks and Bullshit walks. Sure they can attmept to sabotage and destroy as they always do, but something tells me that the general response from the ROW is going to be less "passive" than it has been in the past.....

Posted by: Chevrus | Sep 21 2023 18:02 utc | 19

Biden will be fine. He's not going to lose any votes because of Ukraine. Remember that things couldn't have looked worse for the democrats before the midterms, and they survived.

Posted by: catdog | Sep 21 2023 18:05 utc | 20

It will be the stages of grief. Denial, blame, anger etc. Zelensky will eventually be "exposed" for the crimes they've helped him commit all along. Maybe zaluzhny gets to steer the sinking ship or maybe someone not so public.

It's all over but the crying

Posted by: Cresty | Sep 21 2023 18:06 utc | 21

Biden is not a cypher but a profoundly corrupt product of the, profoundly corrupt, political system. It doesn't matter that he has no ideas of his own because he never did- for him politics is about winning elections and making money out of office. In a word he is a Clinton Democrat.

The answer lies in our hands, regardless of whether we are Americans or otherwise inclined. Toppling this system begins at the individual level and leads directly to community involvement: we simply have to start a movement from the bottom upwards.
On Canada, I believe, this begins with calling for disengagement from NATO and setting out to regain national sovereignty from the US and Vote Bank emigre lobbies (including the Ukrainians, and the Israelis), which dominate Foreign Policy decision making because most Canadians regard foreign policy as being beyond their purview, leaving it to the 'experts' (Five Eyes and NATO agents).

The idea is that Foreign and Domestic policies are separate and that domestic matters are much more important. This is the first idea that has to be debunked- as is evident in Europe and the UK an economic crisis bred of the war and exacerbated by sanctions and aggression towards China (and India?) is gradually getting worse. Living standards are falling and will fall further. If people leave this up to the government, much more strongly influenced by both the US and fascistic russo- and sino- phobes, than they are by the distant bleeting of the people (now devoid of anything approaching a free press) things will get much worse.

Tonight I will be taking part in a meeting-calling for Peace- in conservative rural Ontario. If Biden and Trudeau are not trembling they ought to be.

Incidentally one thing that I will be commending to the attention of the people coming to our meeting will be Karlofi's rendition of Lavrov's speech to the UN, which is otherwise unavailable in our corrupted media.

Posted by: bevin | Sep 21 2023 18:07 utc | 22

Thanks b , I admit I always feel a bit queasy about Hersh’s sources, a CIA that tells the truth?
He doesn’t get ostracised like Assange or other whistleblowers or hounded like Brand…
What pisses me off most is the UN representatives of countries which have been colonies of various Euro empires.
They are obviously traitors to their own histories and exploited Peoples.
Where will they go now?
What will they say about their massive failure to be on the right side of history?
How can they live with their collusion with xenophobes who have no regard for them.
Especially the Africans.
They will be shunned for the quislings they are , death is too good for them, only a total confiscation of their wealth and privileges will be justice.

The rest of our rat pack of Media, Industry, Bankers, Owners and yes even the majority of our peoples are heading for our new Dark Age. For them it should be daily pillory as they shut us behind a purdah, whilst they jetset with multiple passports.

Licking their wounds, breeding more future natzos, for another attempt at World Domination.

A War with China!

That’s worse than demented!

We can’t even contemplate a full on war with Russia of a few hundred million. Never mind a China of a billion. Well we can have a pretend war but with zero chance of winning conventionally and equally with a MAD nuclear one. Though I am sure there are enough mad natzo general Jack D Ripper types (Milley, Bolton etc.) and many mad professor Dr Strangeloves (Measlyhammer type) and even Mengeles (the list of vaxxer professors is long).

On the other hand bring it on! Having a million Chinese boots ready to liberate us from our fascist regimes will probably end the madness of the ages and we can have an equitable old age without worries. I’m willing to learn a bit of Chinese and Russian to get by.

Posted by: DunGroanin | Sep 21 2023 18:07 utc | 23

I would still like to see evidence of rebellion against the daily slaughter in Ukraine - because it looks unabated. The daily loss of 500 - 1000 men goes on.

There's a few more surrenders but nothing massive. A few men who fight off conscription gangs. Where's the fragging? Taken all together, it looks weak - such that there's no end in sight. The Ukr. military will mutiny? Where? When? Total mobilization is next. Drive them to the contact line and give them bullets at the last moment ( so they won't commit suicide, supposedly).

There's an answer to "how long can this go on?". It's "Until it can't go on". And that's what we'd like to see.

Posted by: Eighthman | Sep 21 2023 18:11 utc | 24

Seymour Hersch’s intelligence contact exemplifies the often quoted line :

If it were not for double standards, the U.S.A./west would have no standards at all.

How about feeling disgust at U.S. presidents for Yugoslavia, irag, Lybia and Syria to name but a few?

Or maybe it’s because Russia is showing up the U.S. and NATO weaponry for the rubbish it is when confronted by a peer adversary.

The west started it. Russia will finidh it. Time for the infantile western politik to grow up.

Posted by: Beibdnn. | Sep 21 2023 18:14 utc | 25

Amelikan elites are ahistorical so cannot recognize imperialist overreach until smacked in the face. Not one yankee doodle in a million has read Mackinder or even The Twelve Caesars by Suetonius detailing the conversion of the Roman Republic into a blood thirsty degenerate despotic empire. Or even read Gibbon's classic Decline and Fall. Payback is a the yankee doodles are about to discover. The chances of a decadent effeminate island imperialist Amelika conquering (or even penetrating) the World Island are nil. Mackinder is now smirking from the great beyond.

Posted by: 24ouncer | Sep 21 2023 18:14 utc | 26

Indeed. Still, it ain't over until it's over. Some thoughts:

1. As others have pointed out, the military industrial complex has made and is continuing to make massive amounts of cash. Mission accomplished! How is this failure, for the people in charge? And sure, living standards for the average person are falling, but all this asset price inflation is boosting the bottom line of the elites.

2. Perhaps Ukraine will hunker down in a defensive posture, launch increasingly nasty attacks in Russia proper, and dare Russia to launch a massive "big arrow" attack where the advantage will shift back to Ukraine. Ukraine can be supplied with long range missiles indefinitely and keep launching them at Russia even if Ukraine itself is turned into a hostile moonscape.

3. If the western elites have used up Ukraine in attacking Russia, perhaps that's just the opening move. Maybe the west will manage to corrupt the leadership of some outer countries - Poland, Georgia, whatever - and go for round 2.

4. Of course, as the United States is being invaded by the third world, all of this is largely moot to me.

Posted by: TG | Sep 21 2023 18:19 utc | 27

The Ukrainian side is run by media oligarchs put in power by media disinformation. They seem to think that all is required to achieve an aim is to 'win the narrative battle' (ie: lie). After all, this is what brought them to power. A series of lies that persuaded that the government that was taking a better offer from Moscow was 'selling them out'.

Unfortunately, lying is their only ability. The Ukrainian soldiers have laid down their lives, limbs and minds for lies. The Ukrainian people have suffered for lies. At some point, these lies will be exposed and the Ukrainians will have the choice of either doubling down on the lies or punishing those who lied to them.

Posted by: Jim | Sep 21 2023 18:20 utc | 28

The attrition of the Ukrainian Armed Forces at the “Surovikin Line” may work for now

Russin strategies have been easily decipherable since the initial pullback from Kiev. Western 'experts' who read a few books about war and have convinced themselves of their own superiority have been telling us how wrong-headed the clearly effective Russian approach was. Seems one side was correct. Myself I'm not convinces any offensive will come..more like a liberation of territory following state collapse.

On topic we are at a dangerous inflection point. Ironically it is the potential of war with China that is preventing WW3 from starting, in my view. Maerica doesn't know how to accept loss and animals are at their most dangerous when cornered.

Posted by: Doctor Eleven | Sep 21 2023 18:22 utc | 29

Remember that, in the Nuland/Pyatt 2014 phone conversation, it was said Biden was willing to make some calls and pass out "atta boys" to those working against the Yanukovych government. Biden was involved in this debacle from the very beginning. It's hard to see him giving up on it now. He's an old man, can't let the cold war go. And he's a danger to the world.

Posted by: Cesar Jeopardy | Sep 21 2023 18:23 utc | 30

Loss? The United States/NATO don't see Ukraine losing at all. In fact, the US is sending more equipment and about 24 billion in funds soon :

Posted by: bored | Sep 21 2023 18:26 utc | 31

Biden just set the trap to provide the exit ramp:

Biden just demanded $24 billion in additional new military aid in the legislation to keep government operating and increase the debt ceiling. He did this while making a UN speech and dropping a dime on Zelinski's lies in the NYT story.

Biden knows that Republicans will oppose this, so he will use it as a bargaining chip in the deal to raise the debt ceiling.

But he also will use this as cover to blame the Republicans for not funding - and losing - the war.

Exit ramp narrative foundation just laid.

Posted by: bill wolfe | Sep 21 2023 18:30 utc | 32

The effect? Loss of world dominance. The USA’s reputation and standing in the world has been utterly ruined. This ‘destroy Russia’ war, instigated and funded by cabal in US, has left people all over the world in no doubt, the extent of insidious evil driving the governments of the west, and includes devil groups such as WEF and demon’garchs such as Soros, Gates, Bezos etc. This cabal now has the blood of three quarters of a million folks in Ukraine / Russia on its hands. This does not include the blood on their hands of the Russian revolution, which resulted in the death of millions. Let’s not even get started on Libya, Iraq, Palestine, Baltics.

Posted by: Áobh O’Sheachnasaigh | Sep 21 2023 18:31 utc | 33

I think, instead of pivoting to China immediately, they're going to turn to Latin America (not explicitly the southern border) like so:

- keep fanning the nativist hate of the migrants by leaving the border open, with campaigns to recruit Venezeulans especially to make the trip;
- give temporary work permits to the migrants who make it, esp those who were part of the country-specific recruitment campaigns;
- after Sheinbaum is elected in Mexico, ramp up the 'Let's Bomb The Cartels' campaign;
- give the landed migrants a path to rapid citizenship by military service in the southern campaigns

The 'war distraction' will be against "the cartels causing the migrant invasion" and give the military and military manufacturers time to practice and replenish stocks. China will be saved for post-2028.

Posted by: super extra | Sep 21 2023 18:33 utc | 34

Konami@2.... Obama handed off the Ukraine file to Biden, all future money trails of graft from the Ukraine end in the White House with Mr 10%. How much is the graft from transit fees? Enough to start a war over to get them back? Enough to start a war to partition Russia and secure her resources......still for sale to the Chinese.....bidness you know. In for a gallon, in for a tanker.......

Cheers M

Posted by: sean the leprechaun | Sep 21 2023 18:36 utc | 35

The attrition of the Ukrainian Armed Forces at the “Surovikin Line” may work for now, but at some point Russia will have to launch an offensive. And there are still many things that must be improved in the Russian Armed Forces before an offensive can succeed with acceptable losses.

Posted by: S | Sep 21 2023 17:38 utc | 4

I find the above useless rhetoric.....
More useful.....
A discussion of the improvements (sic) needed for Russian success in an offensive...
Together with....
The credentials of the protagonist.... supporting the assertions...
I'm of the opinion the Russians won't move until they are convinced the Ukie military machine is on the ropes...
Commenters... please explain why the Russians should risk all and act sooner...


Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Sep 21 2023 18:38 utc | 36

Hopefully, the absolute realisation that Ukraine has been defeated will affect the Biden regime and all the neocons so badly that they all decide to take a cyanide pill each and at the same time on the front lawn of the White House and commit suicide while been viewed and streamed throughout the world next Monday morning just before I head out the door to work.

Posted by: Eoin Clancy | Sep 21 2023 18:40 utc | 37

I would like to know which Michael Brenner is quoted as per the Consortium News?

There are more than one that come up in a net search. ie

Michael Brenner (born 4 January 1964) is a German historian

Michael J. Brenner
Professor Emeritus of International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh

Michael Brenner
Distinguished Professor of History and Abensohn Chair in Israel Studies
Department of History

I always like to check sources if possible in order to assess the value of their input.

I used to visit Consortium News regularly and considered it a good source when it's founder Robert Parry was still alive, but after he passed away the heirs to the site didn't impress me much. Their unwarranted attack on Robert Fisk after he died was the ultimate of journalistic cowardice in my view.

Attacking a man who was one of a very few who still went to front line areas to form his reports, was indeed most uncalled for. Fisk lived in Lebanon for a long time and reported on the Syrian proxy war. He did so by striking an accord with Assad's people so he wouldn't suffer the same fate as some other freelance journalists who got too close to the West's good rebels who often kidnapped them, held them for ransom or simply disposed of them.

Syria wasn't Fisk's first dance either..I miss him.

Posted by: bubbles | Sep 21 2023 18:44 utc | 38

Something that so far in this thread is not getting enough attention is the fact that the US is heading into an election cycle. There's a significant faction in the Republican party that is critical of the war itself, and also will play the debacle off the Hunter scandal. The administration will try to attack that Repub faction, and the Repubs generally, for being too weak in support for Ukraine. While the sheer impact of the Ukraine failure at a mass level will not be completely reworked and muffled as this political combat plays out, it will distract from awareness of its real geopolitical impact. As far as China goes, both sides have incentives to push that conflict, and the Repubs will try to bang on it to deflect the charge that they are unwilling to "defend the national interest" in central Europe.

Posted by: dadooronron | Sep 21 2023 18:47 utc | 39

Posted by: bubbles | Sep 21 2023 18:44 utc | 38

It's the guy from Pittsburgh.

I also miss Fisk and his insights.

Posted by: farm ecologist | Sep 21 2023 18:49 utc | 40

A major part of the debacle and humiliation the West is currently facing in everything, from military to economics and international politics is the inherent dishonesty of its quoted spoke-persons. Seymour Hersh's former spy, for example, laid the blame for the war in Ukraine on Putin. Isn't that rich?

And Michael Brenner wrote of "Russian army equipped with weaponry the equal of what the West has given Ukraine." Arrant nonsense! Russian Army is equipped with weapons far superior to anything the NATO has in its stock!

When you have shyster "influencers" like the ones quoted above, being touted as some kind of voices of reason you don't need to dig further to unearth the cause of the decay in the society.

Posted by: Steve | Sep 21 2023 18:50 utc | 41

@Doctor Eleven #29:

Myself I'm not convinces any offensive will come..more like a liberation of territory following state collapse.

Yeah, thanks, I still remember how we were told that the Ukraine was going to collapse any minute now—in 2015, in 2016, in 2017, in 2018, in 2019, in 2020, in 2021… While in reality the regime has been successfully brainwashing Ukrainians with ever increasing levels of Russophobia and arming to its teeth, preparing to crush Donbass. Truth is, there won’t be any collapse while the West continues to subsidize the Ukraine. With 100,000 KIA/year the regime can stay in power for decades. The demilitarization and de-Nazification of the Ukraine will have to be achieved by force.

Posted by: S | Sep 21 2023 18:52 utc | 42

Posted by: Beibdnn. | Sep 21 2023 18:14 utc | 25

Agents not senior enough to speak their true opinions, won't, because they don't want to risk the cushy job and pension

Posted by: Cresty | Sep 21 2023 18:52 utc | 43

Excellent piece. Best barkeep in the west!

The easiest thing to do is blame it all on the liar Zelinsky (he lied to us) and Biden (an old man taken advantage of by the evil Zelinsky). They did a lighter version of this on Bush and Co. in the wake of the Iraq debacle.

Then of course they arrange Zelinsky's death and put some other lesser known Nazi in his place who can stay on the new message. If Biden resists (he may be compromised and driven by Zelinsky) his arranged death could be credibly attributed to age related health issues.

With these two scapegoated and out of the picture, the new victory narrative of stopping the Russian invasion of Europe could be rolled out and the whole disaster painted as a painful but ultimately necessary operation.

If there are any sane people left in the imperial government, they would be wise to elevate someone like Mershheimer to the status of the court foreign policy intellectual for a new era, ala Brezinsky in the post cold war boom period, then at least take a few years break to think things out a bit before running full retard at China.

That is of course if the visions of their certain doom haven't driven them all barking mad....

Posted by: Ahenobarbus | Sep 21 2023 18:54 utc | 44

I place my bets on coping by escalation (or doubling down as Malenkov tell's it) which we have seen the past 1,5 years.

The combination of those four scenario's seem very optimistic to me.

Given the magnitude of a defeat and what has already been sacrificed by the EU I'm betting on an escalation that pales the Moskva, Nord Stream, Kerch bridge, Kakhovka dam, the assassinations and attacks on the Zaporizhzhia NPP, ... . For now I also don't see the US empire able to goad China into a war where economic and diplomatic ties would be cut with let's say Europe which is already in a very bad shape and needs cheap goods to keep the populace docile. Apps and Netflix just won't do it.

Posted by: xor | Sep 21 2023 18:56 utc | 45

Bevin22. Zelinsky just sprayed shit all over poland. Wont be long before even the most hardcore canadian polish immigrant poulation changes their mind. This will help w conservative canada 100%.

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Sep 21 2023 19:00 utc | 46

Vietnam loss was acknowledged when Johnson fired McNamara

Ukraine loss will be acknowledged when Biden (or whoever) fires Nuland.

Posted by: earl | Sep 21 2023 19:01 utc | 47

@Dr. George W Oprisko #36:

Commenters... please explain why the Russians should risk all and act sooner...

I didn’t say that Russia should move sooner than it is ready. I said that there are many things that Russia should do to get ready so it can move.

Posted by: S | Sep 21 2023 19:02 utc | 48

Those who led us into disaster must be fired, and new people must set a new course.

It may be too late for Biden to do that, but if he could possibly have time, that is rapidly shrinking away.

To save himself, Biden must defenestrate the neocon cabal who led his Admin into this, "U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Acting Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland."

If Biden picked the right people with the right policy, he might yet still have time to sell it as a better repair of disaster than anything on offer from Trump. However, his limited options are rapidly closing.

Posted by: Mark Thomason | Sep 21 2023 19:04 utc | 49

It's the guy from Pittsburgh.

I also miss Fisk and his insights.

Posted by: farm ecologist | Sep 21 2023 18:49 utc | 40

Thanks, at least now I know where to spend my research time.

Should have added to that post Fisk and Hersh were on the same page, and as if Hersh needed more creds than he had already earned, his Red Line and the Rat Line expose was one of his best. It was completely in step with reporting from the now nationalized Turkish news venue, The Daily Zaman which reported twice on terrorists in Turkey being arrested with propane tanks containing Sarin several weeks before the gas attacks in the suburbs of Damascus that were blamed on Assad's people.

Their second brief article informed that Turkish police had released the suspects with no further action taken. Which is in keeping with Erodogan's heavy handed manipulations of the press and support for terrorism that works for his personal agenda.

Posted by: bubbles | Sep 21 2023 19:07 utc | 50

In a very recent Judge Napolitano video, Alistar Crooke states:
There are two wars going on simultaneously... The war in Ukraine.... The war to reformulate world government...

It seems to me and to Alistar that the second is of much greater import...

That said....

Did Russia just stop all petroleum product == gasoline == diesel exports???


Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Sep 21 2023 19:16 utc | 51

Just a wild guess: Stir up trouble in Armenia and Georgia. Maybe bomb Sochi, just for the heck of it.

Posted by: wagelaborer | Sep 21 2023 17:29 utc | 3

Exactly - I listened to a BBC show th other night from Georgia on the topic of joining the EU.

The propaganda foundation has been laid and the polarization is extreme - strong indicators of upcoming color revliutioon or some such.

The abandonment of EU integration was the pretext for Maidon 2014, if I recall correctly.

Posted by: bill wolfe | Sep 21 2023 19:16 utc | 52

Let us start by asking what the Winners will do.

As examples look at the royal welcome to the Syrian president and his wife in Beijing. Bands, Mustered troops on parade, dancers, "mascots" and marches. (Sovereign Country and a leader)
Second example the panic in the west when MbS of Saudi arabia said that if Iran gets nukes they want some too. (Sovereign Country and a leader)
Even Raisi of Iran talking to (anti-zionist) Jews at the UN.
Venezuela - Maduro suggesting to a Chinese interviewer, when he couldn't find an English translator, that he speak in Mandarin as things are different now.

Compare these with Ursula Fond a Lyin' when she visited Beijing and did not get welcomed as she expected, going so far as having to find her own ticket for the plane back.
Or Binken and meals. etc.

The RoW is watching and laughing. Laughter is a good therapy for chasing demons.

What am I leading up to? That the US and EU will simply be shoved aside, no longer invited to Capitals or worthy of any Diplomatic courtesy. Exclusion from the RoW.
Biden wouldn't even go there as he might get on the wrong plane or fall up the steps again. (Falling UP is supposed to be better luck than falling down them).

What will the "leaders" caught with their tails between their legs do? Isolate themselves, Protectionism, barriers all around (except perhaps for migrants, or are they going to be one of the reasons for the walls going up?)
Hang desperately on to the "Acquis" (things gained) as everything slinks away out of their hands.
Increased cyber "security" and policing to keep the urban rabbits in their cages.

It is still going to take quite a long time until the walls are finally torn down as in Berlin.

Posted by: Stonebird | Sep 21 2023 19:16 utc | 53

A great piece from B, but rather depressing. Poland is now the first NATO country to break ranks and cancel supplies to Ukraine. I read the Hersh substack piece and although it contains alot with which I agree, he continues to repeat "Putin was not rational" when he launched the SMO. I do not agree like I am sure many barflies. What choice did he have?

Posted by: Stierlitz | Sep 21 2023 19:16 utc | 54

As the article is about end game, I guess it well within topic.

Just yesterday I mentioned reading, in a uk newspaper quoting twitter, the budget request from the finance minister for indemnities for russian KIA,
at 7.4 million rubles a pop, the amount for 2022 was a bit under 37.000 dead
(which is fine according to excess mortality and compatible with inheritances assuming a 4 month delay from notifications or bureaucracy) ,
but the amount for 2023 was for 97.000, and the same calculation that gave me the 37.000 has only 12.000 for the first 6 months of 2023.
That leaves 85.000, even if Russia suffered 10.000 during these unknown 3 months of counteroffensive...

That leaves a budget for 75.000 dead THIS YEAR, that would need two months as bloody as the first week of the SMO, and there are only three months to go...

That would mean 200.000 casualties in the first month (only 75.000 permanently out of combat but even the others unlikely to continue right away) same for the second month.

What would this need? no less than a 2 month full frontal assault with no less than 600.000 soldiers

If I had to bet I'd choose army day start of October....

Posted by: newbie | Sep 21 2023 19:17 utc | 55

Truth is, there won’t be any collapse while the West continues to subsidize the Ukraine. With 100,000 KIA/year the regime can stay in power for decades. The demilitarization and de-Nazification of the Ukraine will have to be achieved by force.

Posted by: S | Sep 21 2023 18:52 utc | 42


Posted by: Ahenobarbus | Sep 21 2023 19:17 utc | 56

My crystal ball for Ukraine:

Ukraine will get funded until the end of the year… to be evaluated in January: $12-14 Billion

No ATACMs… need for China

Germany will approve Taurus missiles.

Scrounging up AD systems, as many as possible.

Zelensky has “Elections” as scheduled & is gone.

Ah… the ball has gone dark…
That’s all for today…

Posted by: Trubind1 | Sep 21 2023 19:18 utc | 57

This article seems to imply that the CIA isnt entirely just a group of homicidal maniacs subservient to a pathological Western Elite driven by endless greed. That is newsworthy.

Posted by: Turk 152 | Sep 21 2023 19:20 utc | 58

If Biden picked the right people with the right policy, he might yet still have time to sell it as a better repair of disaster than anything on offer from Trump. However, his limited options are rapidly closing.

Posted by: Mark Thomason | Sep 21 2023 19:04 utc | 49

Biden doesn't pick the underwear they put on him in the morning.

Posted by: Ahenobarbus | Sep 21 2023 19:20 utc | 59

"Russia" sanctions are a tool of The Crime Family

Stephen McIntyre (@ClimateAudit on Twitter) just posted a long thread on the timeline of the firing of Ukraine's Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin in 2015 and Hunter Biden's corruption scheme. A "Trump will win!" account responded with a video of a press conference in Kiev in October 2019 by Ukrainian politicians and former prosecutors known collectively as "NABU-leaks".

The video on Rumble is a fourth generation copy of a copy in thumbnail-size quality, so I went looking for the original. I soon found out that almost all of the original material had been scrubbed from the Internet. The first result that comes up on a Google search for NABU-leaks are two pages by U.S. Department of the Treasury from January 11, 2021 about sanctioning Ukrainian politicians and former prosecutors.

Treasury Takes Further Action Against Russian-linked Actors - January 11, 2021

Former Ukrainian Government officials Konstantin Kulyk, Oleksandr Onyshchenko, Andriy Telizhenko, and current Ukraine Member of Parliament Oleksandr Dubinsky have publicly appeared or affiliated themselves with Derkach through the coordinated dissemination and promotion of fraudulent and unsubstantiated allegations involving a U.S. political candidate. They have made repeated public statements to advance disinformation narratives that U.S. government officials have engaged in corrupt dealings in Ukraine. These efforts are consistent with and in support of Derkach’s efforts, acting as an agent of the Russian intelligence services, to influence the 2020 U.S. Presidential election.

Kulyk, a former prosecutor for the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine, formed an alliance with Derkach to spread false accusations of international corruption. Onyshchenko, a fugitive from Ukrainian justice due to charges of corruption, provided edited audio tape copies of purported audio recordings of conversations between former Ukrainian and U.S. officials, which Derkach released between May and July 2020 to discredit U.S. officials and influence the U.S. elections. Telizhenko, a former low-level Ukrainian diplomat, orchestrated meetings between Derkach and U.S. persons to help propagate false claims concerning corruption in Ukraine. Dubinsky, who serves alongside Derkach in Ukraine’s parliament, joined Derkach in press conferences designed to perpetuate these and other false narratives and denigrate U.S. presidential candidates and their families.

Kulyk, Onyshchenko, Telizhenko, and Dubinsky are being designated pursuant to E.O. 13848 for having directly or indirectly engaged in, sponsored, concealed, or otherwise been complicit in foreign influence in a United States election.

The NABU leaks documents and Hunter Biden's laptop are the two original sources uncovering the corruption scheme that is likely to lead the Joe Biden's impeachment. It now seems clear to me that the sanctions against "Russia" are a tool of the Biden Family to hide their corruption and crimes.

I tried to reconstruct as much as possible of the NABU leaks material from Internet archives and other web mirrors. The links I found are now listed on the NABUleaks section of my old "Joe Biden and Ukraine" wiki page.


To answer your original question, how will the Biden Administration cope with its loss in Ukraine? The same way they always do. By a narrative management and a totalitarian media regime. U.S. Treasury sanctions on whistleblowers, news organization and Internet resources are a key part of this media regime.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Sep 21 2023 19:26 utc | 60

First, what is the primary policy goal of the Outlaw US Empire? To attain full spectrum dominance. How will the defeat in Ukraine affect that goal? It will certainly be a setback, but it's clear other options are already in the works as events in Armenia and Azerbaijan show. However, what the Ukraine ploy has done is to marshal most of the world against the continual lawbreaking and neocolonialism of the Outlaw and its vassals. Cunningham's SCF essay about the rise of a new Iron Curtain I linked to on the open thread shows that the NATO Bloc will likely retreat into its own enclave again. What will happen to the Outlaw's Empire of Bases is it will shrink as it finds it must now pay for their upkeep out of its own budget as Super Imperialism is now being rapidly degraded. It appears there's a political faction that's unwilling to do that, and what we'll see as the POTUS election approaches is a debate between Nationalists and Imperialists--Rs vs Ds. Recall the ratio figure I supplied of assets to debt for the USG, 1:9 Trillions, that prove the national government is bankrupt. IMO, that too will become a political issue: How can a bankrupt government continue to try and conquer the world? How much longer can the Establishment Narrative stand?

In his UNSC speech, Lavrov was keen to document the entire recent history of the War against Ukraine waged by NATO that began with the first coup in 2004-5 that too many have forgotten. That didn't gain NATO's objective, so the ground was recultivated and about ten-years later a different approach was tried that somewhat gained NATO's objective, although it was thwarted in Crimea and Donbass. The peoples residing there are now legally part of Russia, which is a fact recognized by 75-80% of the planet. Also, the reasons for Russia's SMO are also seen as legitimate by a similar amount regardless the number of lies Biden and his team deliver at the UNGA.

Recall, the current #1 policy was launched by Clinton, who was clearly a "closet" neocon as what was enacted was merely the Wolfowitz Doctrine on steroids. Similar "crazies" were clearly present within the Washington DC apparat going back to the 1930s and got a great boost during WW2. My point is we must look at what might happen next in light of the longer historical context, not just the past one or two decades. With the clear formation of two antagonistic Blocs having very different philosophies and policy goals, how will it be possible for the Outlaw US Empire to continue its policy? Geoeconomically, it's dependent on China, Russia, and the RoW except for foodstuffs. Soon, by 2040 most certainly, lack of available energy nationally will become a problem as oil and gas reserves more rapidly deplete (IMO, this will happen sooner, by 2030). Nothing of consequence is being done to deal with that looming crisis. The vast majority of energy producers are joining Russia's side in this affair and will enjoy its protection. Plus, one thing the SMO has proven is NATO weapons systems and the industries that produce them are junk.

When China announced the BRI ten years ago, I wrote the best move the USA could make is to join it, not fight it which became the policy choice. Neoliberal/Neocon doctrine has created the current crisis; it will only be solved with its total repudiation and extinction. And that's the political task for all US citizens.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 21 2023 19:27 utc | 61

after Sheinbaum is elected in Mexico, ramp up the 'Let's Bomb The Cartels' campaign;

Posted by: super extra | Sep 21 2023 18:33 utc | 34

They already tried that with Calderon in 2006, which created such a backlash, AMLO has become the most powerful president in a generation.

Posted by: Ahenobarbus | Sep 21 2023 19:27 utc | 62

well biden knows how to get peace with russia

give alaska back :D

Posted by: Macpott | Sep 21 2023 19:27 utc | 63

Posted by: Cesar Jeopardy | Sep 21 2023 18:23 utc | 30

So glad you ,mentioned the Biden "atta boys" remark from the Nuland "F the EU" call. Very few have emphasized that and Biden's role from the get go, at least in the narrow circles I read (newbie here).

Posted by: bill wolfe | Sep 21 2023 19:31 utc | 64

RE: Posted by: Stonebird | Sep 21 2023 19:16 utc | 53

“Let us start by asking what the Winners will do.”

Good post Stone. Find myself reading all kinds of foreign newspapers & magazines and thinking… gosh, this is “normal” life with “normal” people. They’re enjoying life.

Feels like 30 years ago I was orphaned and then catapulted into a degenerate dysfunctional family system full of drama, pretense & violence with no way out.

Anyways, well written.

Posted by: Trubind1 | Sep 21 2023 19:31 utc | 65

B understands ‘coping with the loss in Ukraine” as a propaganda problem – that is, talking to the American public. This, however, is the least of anyone’s concerns.

The dim reality is that the US has been exporting troubles to their allies. And that is how empires fall - they no longer generate value but problems.

Who is going to pay for Ukraine? Who is going to disarm what will be left of Ukrainian army? How all the weapons are to be removed so that they do not find the way to criminals? Where will all these people, many with real fighting experience, go? Look at Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan – no real government, no economy but gangs fighting over control. And now scale it up and move to the heart of Europe.

Posted by: SergeT | Sep 21 2023 19:33 utc | 66

When the war will be over the US will make the following excuses to hold to it's pride: "We fought by the rules and preserved soldiers' lives while the Russians were like a zombie horde", "We fought with our hands tied unrealizing our overwhelming potential while Russia was pushing itself beyond the limits" "F-16, this and that wonder weapon and Captain America did not come early enough" "We destroyed the Russian army and thwarted their plans to capture Paris in day 70, our own countries remain peaceful only thanks to our intervention in Ukraine" "Russia lost 30 million men and is doomed to fall in 20 years"

Posted by: T6 | Sep 21 2023 19:35 utc | 67

The answer lies in our hands, regardless of whether we are Americans or otherwise inclined. Toppling this system begins at the individual level and leads directly to community involvement: we simply have to start a movement from the bottom upwards.

Tonight I will be taking part in a meeting-calling for Peace- in conservative rural Ontario. If Biden and Trudeau are not trembling they ought to be.

Incidentally one thing that I will be commending to the attention of the people coming to our meeting will be Karlofi's rendition of Lavrov's speech to the UN, which is otherwise unavailable in our corrupted media.

Posted by: bevin | Sep 21 2023 18:07 utc | 22

Hear, hear! Good luck with the meeting. I hope it's a great success.

The wage slaves have no government in the west. It's power is stopping the economy and making universal political demands drawing the whole population into their struggle.

First demand: end all imperialist wars starting with the war on Russia in Ukraine. Second demand: use the trillion dollar military budget to rebuild the infrastructure of the country.

Posted by: Ahenobarbus | Sep 21 2023 19:39 utc | 68

Biden doesn't pick the underwear they put on him in the morning.

Posted by: Ahenobarbus | Sep 21 2023 19:20 utc | 59

Exactly, even Obama didn’t choose his cabinet. He received the names of his entire cabinet already one month prior to his election by CFR Senior Fellow (and Citigroup banker) Michael Froman:

Posted by: Zet | Sep 21 2023 19:43 utc | 69

Posted by: Chris Cosmos | Sep 21 2023 17:44 utc | 6

I know you wrote (but not the only) main cause of every US war has been to enrich the MIC, but even with your disclaimer, it's not really true.

Certainly the enrichment of the community of contractors who make and weapons and other physical systems, sell outsourced services to the DoD, and advise them from think tanks and other non-governmental organizations is a huge impetus for making war. But another one, likely even bigger, is the need to either pry or keep open access to resources and markets for the Wall Street and City of London elite and to sow chaos in regions of the world where there is a longer term strategy to obtain said resources and prevent others from controlling them. The USSA doesn't have to "win" wars because it's a "win" to successfully create chaotic conditions on the borders of or within "adversarial" nations (meaning those who do not kowtow to the financial and extractive elites who pull the puppet strings in D.C., London and Brussels).

IMO, enrichment of the MIC is at best a side game to the main one, but also one that tends to perpetuate itself and create the perception that it's, in fact, the main one.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Sep 21 2023 19:44 utc | 70

Courage b, speak out - the likelihood is that defeat is really out of the question for the leading figures in the West, not just the u.s..

There is an obvious alternative - escalate, everyone loses, only radiating piles of rubble are left. The nihilistic tendencies in contemporary Western culture are very pronounced. People like Biden have already lived their lives. We have to expect the worst.

Posted by: Pnyx | Sep 21 2023 19:46 utc | 71

If Biden administration recognize it has lost the war in Ukraine, it will not only seal its defeat in the coming presidential election, but it may shatter the exceptionalist myth of an already fractured US society. On top of that what is going to happen with allies ? European for instance have sacrificed their economy, budgets and military ressources to end up in this predicament. How are their constituancies going to react ? As for the rest of the world, wouldn't it see that the Empire is severely weakened ? They would conclude that if Russia can beat the whole West in Ukraine, it should be able to protect them if they openly take the other side. Dedollarization then is less threatening.
So, it's absolutely impossible to recognize defeat in Ukraine.

But then, the US is left running a show no one with a mind can believe. Forced to manage all sorts of crises (political, economical, financial, cultural and geopolitical) while pretending to be in an alternate reality. Which makes the situation even more intractable.

As a gambler on a loosing end, the only winning option in sight, however stupid and foolish is another higher stakes gamble, whatever the odds.
That is China.
A victory against China would erase all past losses and turn the table back. But they'll have to do it in the worst possible situation.
All-in !

Posted by: Saracen's Head | Sep 21 2023 19:48 utc | 72

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 21 2023 19:27 utc | 61

How can a bankrupt government continue to try and conquer the world? How much longer can the Establishment Narrative stand?

I cannot even guess the answer to the second questions but on the first one there's the argument (you are definitely familiar with this) that world-conquering must go on because it is the base of the cycle feeding the US establishment. The bankruptcy you mention may make more war the only feasible option. Of course, wars don't have to be won to be profitable. Julian Assange: "The US goal is an endless war, not a successful war."

On the other hand, Ukraine is different from the previous US wars (Iraq, Syria, Libya etc.) in several regards:

1. While still profitable (by this I just mean that someone makes money off the war), it has much worse (for US/NATO) side effects: losing grip on the rest of the world; open alienation of countries like Saudi-Arabia; China's new role in world politics was helped by the Ukraine war.

2. Losing in Ukraine is way worse than losing in Afghanistan: it undermines NATO. In military terms (everyone watches a huge NATO-supported army lose) but then also ideologically.

3. The traditional Dem/Rep truce --rallying behind the president in war times-- didn't last long.

I've come to the realisation that the unexpectedly peaceful demise of the Eastern Bloc (even if you take into account what happend in Romania etc.) is unlikely with the mindset of the current Western leadership. This empire seems poised to go with a bang rather than a whimper.

Posted by: Konami | Sep 21 2023 19:48 utc | 73

Very good post, b. High time to begin thnking about this. As you say, there are a number of possibilities. Hre are a few:

1. The US and NATO could just slink off like a dog with its tail betweeen its legs. Abandon Mr. Zelinski and his merry band because they are corrupt and have been lying all the time about attrocities (beginning already). I don´t thik this is too likely due to the US elections and the actual Rusofobia among many of the NATO members. Pivot to the next impossible dream: conquer China.

2. Throw some crappy little country up against the wall. Pay no attention to the blood running out from behind the curtain over there. This would be a decent electoral strategy, but it would take a couple of months to gin up the outrage to the point that it would be supported by the masses of the US. Likely subjects are countries in South America and Africa. Maybe even Mexico. I suspect that some other countries with chops would come to the aid of Mexico, but not so sure about the others.

3. Double down. This is the option that the Russian government has been afraid of since the beginning, the reason they have been going slow and holding a lot in reserve. The problem here is that the current conflicts among the NATO members would complicate their enthusiastic suppport. In the beginning, it would probably be supported by all until the body bags began to come home. After that, not so much. After the elections in Poland, if the rusofobs win, it could happen. An advantage (for the Poles) is that this could result in the annexation of some Ucranian (former Polish, etc.) lands into the madre patria. The US (NATO) has a lot to lose with this one, the most dangerous from the nuclear perspective, but maybe cooler heads would prevail.

4. Drag it out and drag it out via ¨diplomacy¨. Tio Joe could lean on Zelinski to go into talks with Russia with the objective of freezing the conflict which, as you and others have noted, will go nowhere.

5. Russia just goes ahead and moves on Kiev and Odessa. I, in my ignorance, do not believe that the Russians would actually assault the cities, nor that the populations of those places would put up much resistence given the overall circumsatnces. It could get bloody among the ¨defenders¨. This would lead to an unconditional surrender of the current Ucranian government. Lands would be divided up. The Fascists responsible for the Odessa atrocities would be prosecuted along with others. Z and his cohorts would find refuge in Isreal or Britain. NATO would disolve. It would probably take a long time for the sanctions to be reversed and the Nordstream pipelines to be repaired, but eventually it would happen.

My preference is #5, but the RF probably has a betteerr handle than me as to the potential reactions from the US. #5 could lead to #3. Given the upcoming US elections I think #2 is most likely. Time will tell, all we can do is wait and watch.

Posted by: c | Sep 21 2023 19:53 utc | 74

It is wag the dog phase until re-election or until the Ukraine is freed from the grip of the imperialist executioners.

Posted by: SlowDL | Sep 21 2023 20:00 utc | 75

Never forget the first casualty of war is the TRUTH!

The war will be over when Zelensky gets on his jet and bolts to his bolt hole in Paris or wherever to enjoy the hundreds of MILLIONS he has pocketed. When will this occur? Perhaps when he realizes that the Russian tanks and trucks are about to roll down the streets of Kyiv.
He has a real problem it appears, without any ability to know for sure that, the supply of artillery shells and other ammo is dwindling to who knows how much.
His current trip to the USA to beg for more money that he can steal personally is perhaps an indication of some desperation, as he can sense that the USA is tired of the debacle.
For sure the Biden / Nuland neocon warmongers MUST keep the positive spin propaganda going to keep the delusion of possible victory alive.

Posted by: ursel doran | Sep 21 2023 20:02 utc | 76

respect for Putin’s intellect but contempt for his decision to go to war with Ukraine

It is obligatory within the US government and among most Congress critters to condemn Putin for his unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. It is a meme, no different than the the emperor's new clothes. Non-obeisance to that mantra gets you sidelined.

The entire military community knows that Ukraine went to hell in a handbasket. The CIA, as Biden's DoS spokesperson can background brief NYT. WaPo is stuck what DoD is willing to say in public. Since DoD has to serve its civilian masters just expect less publicly expressed discontent. After all, Defense budgets have to be defended against all attackers and there is this persistent interservice rivalry thing.

Biden gets an easy out, he defers to his Cabinet, and admits that has optimism was based on Zelensky and the latter stooges. The may have been sincere and had good intentions but apparently they were fooled. Blinken, using NYT, is throwing Z et. al under the bus.

Sorry to see it go this way. We will provide assistance and aid where we can.

Posted by: Acco Hengst | Sep 21 2023 20:03 utc | 77

Just to add to my 'Pivot to Latin America' theory above, I think the real goal is to be able to get the military in place for attacks/coups on Venezuela and maybe Colombia or even a post-Millei or post-BRICs Argentina - like Karlof1 says above, they're going to be hitting that limit on energy, they need more oil. There is no way the half a million recent Venezuelan arrivals are here because conditions are so bad under Maduro but god knows the psychos running things in State want the embittered working classes in the US thinking that so when they keep moving south after bombing the cartels in Sinaloa (just some red meat for the base pissed off about fentanyl and the border) they have an excuse. Some large portion of those migrants getting the work permits will be willing and able to do military service and they'll already speak spanish, unlike the US kids who are too fat and busy with video games and unwilling to serve.

Posted by: super extra | Sep 21 2023 20:04 utc | 78

To save himself, Biden must defenestrate the neocon cabal who led his Admin into this, "U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Acting Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland."

If Biden picked the right people with the right policy, he might yet still have time to sell it as a better repair of disaster than anything on offer from Trump. However, his limited options are rapidly closing.

Posted by: Mark Thomason | Sep 21 2023 19:04 utc | 49

You presuppose Biden gets to pick.

Think of it as theatre, where the producers pick actors they prefer.

Did you follow the Podesta / Clinton campaign exposé? A shocking example of how the gamesmanship is all that matters, which sadly, makes the concept of democracy a farce.

I wish it weren't so.

Posted by: bubbles | Sep 21 2023 20:07 utc | 79

That leaves 85.000, even if Russia suffered 10.000 during these unknown 3 months of counteroffensive...

Posted by: newbie | Sep 21 2023 19:17 utc | 55

Earlier, I reported Mediazona's analysis of Russian KIA during the June - Sept period...
As posted by Brian Berletic's Twitter channel...

Russia lost 3508 Kia....

Earlier analyses give total Russian KIA = ~ 25,000 for the entirety of the SMO....

I suggest one use other sources than those located in the UK, the primary protagonist of the Ukrainian War... when looking for accurate figures...


Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Sep 21 2023 20:08 utc | 80

A wounded animal (America) is at its most dangerous.

Nonetheless, I look forward to Cujo meeting its inevitable end.

Posted by: LoveDonbass | Sep 21 2023 20:10 utc | 81

“Sorry to see it go this way. We will provide assistance and aid where we can.”

Posted by: Acco Hengst | Sep 21 2023 20:03 utc | 78

Who’s “we”…?

Posted by: Trubind1 | Sep 21 2023 20:13 utc | 82

Russia has no one to talk to in the west.

It's up to Ukrainians to decide what they want to do. Russia will finish off the remnants of the, oh, 6 months ago what were touted as elite Nato brigades in Zaporozhye and after that eventually move and take Zaporozhye. Combined with moves in Sumy, Kharkov areas, it will compromise AFU in all areas east of the Dnepr river.

Perhaps, before that happens, localities will start passive resistance against Kiev regime. It will simply have to be taken apart, piece by piece.

What is US reaction? Loiter around and declare victory, a la Kabul. "The Russians didn't reach Poland, victory is ours!"

Posted by: unimperator | Sep 21 2023 20:18 utc | 83

I think the problem for the institutions behind the Biden mouthpiece and its puppet entourage is that Ukraine is just one block in a Jenga Tower of lies. From; election ‘fortification’ to The Great Reset, to the Trump prosecution, to Hunter Biden to COVID responses and the Jan 6th ‘Insurrection’ all the blocks are interdependent for the stability of the structure. Should one block fail all are at risk of collapsing, or at best making the tower totter dangerously. It’s the reason why they cannot give ground, cannot compromise, cannot accept defeat, because these common reactions, to oncoming dangers, are unavailable. As a result, their attitude to the Ukrainian intervention follows a very similar pathway to their domestic agenda difficulties, I.e. deny, lie, obfuscate, threaten, redirect, redefine, misinform, divert and double-down. What they can never do is admit the truth, and that is their Achilles heel.

Posted by: Milites | Sep 21 2023 20:19 utc | 84

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Sep 21 2023 19:44 utc | 70

I've been following US wars since the 60s and have worked and lived in Washington most of my life and am familiar with the "scene" there and money is the name of the game. Yes, the finance oligarchs do benefit from US foreign policy but as far as war is concerned their "take" is marginal. Look at the sheer size of the US "security" budget its an almost astonishing in scope. You're talking a trillion a year of the "real" budget and at least half of that is due to fraud. For example, have the bankers really made more money from the war or would they have made even more money from increased trade between East and West which is now tanking. I suggest the better policy is to go for peace and higher trade volumes, lower energy prices and so on. Note that I consider the MIC to include intel and organized crime which is another discussion.

Posted by: Chris Cosmos | Sep 21 2023 20:20 utc | 85

America deals with defeat by:
1) creating another usa-Tragedy, false flag, terror against it's own people, big enough to flood the media for a couple weeks
2) declare victory, military support, "stopped Russian advancements"
3) more endless lies hiding behind logo's, corporations and lawyers
4) start a smaller conflict easier to handle
5) set off Pakistan v India war, nuke scare mongering. We have to get involved.
6) textbook imperialist war101 on anything native looking
7) racism war at home, helps dems make cons look racists
8) handover POTUS second term to two females, who wageendlesswar. Dare criticize females, how dare you.
9) splitting the democrats
10) runaway government desperately looking for an exit pushing china taiwan closer together
11) Biden campaign will ignore Kiev failures.
12) they create more fake polls and fake statistics
13) force lockdowns, mailin ballots
14) china taiwan in direct communication, have already united against instigation of war. Plus china manuevered attack ability within distance the hill
15) blame the weather
16) if all else fails, they sacrifice babies

Posted by: Eleven bravo | Sep 21 2023 20:33 utc | 86

Konami | Sep 21 2023 19:48 utc | 74--

Thanks for your reply. I don't know what will result from our Patreon chat with Dr. Hudson this afternoon relative to this topic, but he's on record saying this will be a two+ decade struggle. I see the geoeconomic equation as the ultimate key along with the fact that the two oceans no longer protect the USA as was once envisioned. In some ways, war has already been brought to the USA via the Trump and Biden Trade War with China then Russia. The four paragraphs I wrote weren't nearly enough to properly answer b's questions. I thought about turning my initial comment into a longer substack article, but I doubt I'll have the time today. I'm going to watch the Crooke-Napolitano chat now then it will be time to prepare for chatting with Dr. Hudson.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 21 2023 20:38 utc | 87

@Ahenobarbus #56:


Wow, what a great argument, you have totally convinced me!

Posted by: S | Sep 21 2023 20:41 utc | 88

Cope is already in motion
We severely weakened Russian armed forces and stopped putin's plan to invade nato states and stopped Russian from destroying Ukrainian statehood

Posted by: A.z | Sep 21 2023 20:45 utc | 89

The trouble for the Empire of Lies is just beginning. With the aura of Goliath's invincibility slain ordinary Europeans are going to start saying out loud who destroyed Nord Stream. The logic is overwhelming for this and they will insist that trouble making Americans must leave.

As an American, the best advice I can offer to foreigners is never, ever, under any circumstance, trust an American. You'll regret it.

Posted by: chunga | Sep 21 2023 20:45 utc | 90

The first thing of note that will happen is that Biden will step down around November. Kamala will take over and do exactly what she's told, basically that she's going to focus on the middle classes, climate, diversity, and no mention of Ukraine.
Foreign affairs will not be mentioned by the new administration, a group of people no one has heard of will replace blinken et al, Ukraine will barely be discussed and the great big new thing will be COVID.
Ukraine and Russia will sit down together and Russia will get what it wants while Europe, also gripped by COVID, will move on avoiding any talk on Ukraine.
The UK will introduce COVID too and not mention Ukraine.
By March the western elites will have totally forgotten about Ukraine and will of course be embroiled in the next big world disaster.

Posted by: Eoin Clancy | Sep 21 2023 20:49 utc | 91

@SergeT / 66

I am afraid that you are touching con the biggest future problems for the current nazi helpers, when the survivors will transform into a kind of I(U)SIS and transfer their activity to the helpers' territories. Once these fighters realize that their motivations were not also the motivations of those in charge from near and far and that they do not need to penetrate Western Europe - they are already here.

Posted by: nc | Sep 21 2023 20:52 utc | 92

My money is on a mission accomplished thing ala baby bush. Some type of peace treaty win that Russia w eventually break as it was never party 2 anyways. For domestic audiences of course.

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Sep 21 2023 20:53 utc | 93

nato/us will continue exactly the same way. There still is enough Ukr army left, Russia doesn't move to its new borders, so why would nato change anything? More tanks, missiles, drones, planes, cluster ammo etc.

Posted by: rk | Sep 21 2023 21:02 utc | 94

If the US had even a nominally sane foreign policy, one that is informed by reality, the government would realize that Russia and China are peer competitors. That's a simple reality that one would expect adults to come to grips with. The US is far from that stage. A foreign policy built on delusional thinking does not have an easy glide path down to the ground, more like Wily Coyote running off the cliff's edge, levitating for a brief second, then crashing down to the rocks below. I'm sure that some people in the government recognize that the US economy, a house of cards, depends on total global primacy and control over global finances that emanates from such hegemony, or the whole thing comes crashing down. From that viewpoint, in the short term it sort of makes sense to continue trying to maintain world domination. It's just putting off the inevitable though, and the US' quest for continued world dominance is a fool's errand. The Biden regime is in way too deep to find a comfortable way out. There are numerous scenarios where this can turn out very badly, while we try to conjure a few scenarios where it won't be so bad.

Posted by: Mike R | Sep 21 2023 21:03 utc | 95

Posted by: GaryB | Sep 21 2023 17:53 utc | 12

When idiot Biden forces Putin to use tactical nukes, Biden will demand America and Europe respond in kind

Putin's new hobby is to find something in the depths of the ?? Moscow ?? archives, search there for weeks, tell that he found something very very very importent and then disappear into the archives again for weeks. He work to much there and have no plans about tactical nukes.

tactical nukes is more the hobby from this 150cm assistent.
He love paint thick redliens evrywhere and talk about Stops and NOGOS and small Nukes, big Nukes --- nuke evrything 1 or 2 times .... Did you mean him? If yes, Hillary ask Bill evry morning if this sweet assistent stay in the Kremel or anyone send him in the Center of NoWhere ... till now she start evry day with a "ALL OK kitty" from Bill

Posted by: GaryB | Sep 21 2023 17:55 utc | 14

Putin should begin a mass immigration effort from regions in Russia to Europe, once 10% of Russia's population of 15o million stream into Europe things will get interesting.

You mean send overweight assistents to NoWhere? take care Hillary maybe dislike this idea

Posted by: theo | Sep 21 2023 21:06 utc | 96

A wounded animal (America) is at its most dangerous.

Nonetheless, I look forward to Cujo meeting its inevitable end.

Posted by: LoveDonbass | Sep 21 2023 20:10 utc | 82

So long as you aren't personally impacted by the explosion I presume.

I was going to post something about cornering an entity, and what to expect by doing so. There are no guarantees the cornered entity will go quietly into that good night, and America's lot are most unlikely to do that. 5 stages of grief and all that.

That said, what guarantee is there that a brave new world which may emerge will be superior to the arrogant hegemony? After I saw what I thought was as a pro China post from Karlofi recently, I asked him a simple question; would he like to live in China? If he answered, I didn't see it.

Posted by: bubbles | Sep 21 2023 21:11 utc | 97

Recent events suggest an on-going purge of senior Ukrainian officials - probably instigated by Z. One assumes he is trying to put loyalists in place. Of course it might not be his doing at all, as many regard him as some sort of puppet. Purges are the name of the game just now.

Anyway I mention this because in the blame game Z has to come top of the list. Diem anyone? Of course Putin will be blamed.

So in a double down scenario Z might survive or might not but I would say hot; in peace talks no; in a catastrophic defeat aka Saigon or Kabul(my prediction) Z definitely will not - unless he flees. And even then it is not the Russians that want him silenced.

So how does the US cope with defeat? Well it was the dastardly Russians who decapitated the regime's saintly man who led the gallant Ukrainian democracy until his wicked demise and the fall of this beacon of freedom, standing bravely against the forces of tyrrany. Or some word salad along those lines.

That is one thread anyway.

This is a story waiting to be spun. We won really, or would have done but for ....

But one way of coping will I think be the passing of Z.

Posted by: marcjf | Sep 21 2023 21:21 utc | 98

Throw some crappy little country up against the wall…

Posted by: c | Sep 21 2023 19:53 utc | 75

My guess would be Eritrea / Ethiopia:

Posted by: Zet | Sep 21 2023 21:22 utc | 99

Future Defense Visions carries text of an interview of Col. Douglas MacGregor...
It’s been about 600 days since the SMO started, all NATO aids have proven useless and have been
mostly destroyed. There is not much left in the stocks of all the European countries.
What are NATO’s chances of survival following these rates while running out of all our
resources? Is this equipment replaceable and in what time frame?


Equipment is only as good as the Soldiers manning it. In addition, no weapon system whether a
tank, a mortar or an infantry fighting vehicle is effective if the operational framework for
employment is unsuited to warfighting environment. Ukrainians are not adequately trained.
They are not organized to fight properly with integrated air and missile defense, real-time
intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. The Ukrainian force, like NATO forces, is
organized to refight a version of WW II. This is a recipe for certain defeat. NATO is in
trouble. It was never designed for offensive warfare. Its original purpose was to deter
Soviet Military Power from attacking Western Europe. After 1991, most US and European
officers through the NATO Military Structure was designed to ensure no future wars would
break out on European Soil. Events in the Balkans in the 1990s and NATO’s proxy war against
Russia in Ukraine have altered the original purpose. At this point, alliances involving 32
Nation States with very different interests are unprecedented. Such a large, fragile grouping
like NATO is unlikely to endure in the current environment.


If you had the same men and means at your disposal as you did in 1991, do you think you would
be able to break through Russian lines?

NO! New technologies show that complex anti-tank systems are no longer needed to destroy a
tank; a few thousand dollars drone is often enough.


Does the West have anything ready among its arsenals to be able to respond even minimally to
Russian superiority?


At the moment, the Ukrainians confront conditions similar to the German Army in 1944-45. The
Anglo-American forces had 5,0000 fighter aircraft in the air over their ground forces in France
when the entire German Air Force was defending German cities against US and UK Bombers. German
forces had no tactical fighter coverage or air support. As a result, German Formations could
move only at night and never in daylight. Even then, movement was dangerous. This effectively
robbed the German ground forces of the opportunity to maneuver.


how long would our planes last against Russian air defenses and fighters? Does the West has any
possibility to win if the conflict expands further?


The real question is not what we will accept, but what the Russians will tolerate.


Could the United States accept a partition of Ukraine or would it be inclined to end this game
at the expense of the Ukrainians, at any price, including neighboring European nations?


German air defenses between 1942 and the end of the war in 1945 shot down 18,000 bombers that
tried to penetrated Germany’s homeland air defenses. Today, the West has too few aircraft to
fight and defeat such a threat. The best way to fight Russian integrated air defenses is a
combination of missiles and drones (unmanned aircraft) with advancing ground forces. The Israeli
Defense Forces experienced similar problems in their fight against Soviet Air Defenses in Egypt
during the 1973 war. In most cases, Egyptian Air Defenses were destroyed by Israeli artillery
and tanks. I suspect the same would happen to Russian Integrated Air Defense today, but the
operation would require thousands of missiles, rockets and drones, as well as robust ground
forces protected by effective air and missile defenses as noted earlier.

A view point worth listening to...


Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Sep 21 2023 21:24 utc | 100

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