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Nato won’t win a long war in Ukraine An Afghanistan-style conflict could cripple Europe

American support is starting wane (RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP via Getty Images)

American support is starting wane (RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP via Getty Images)


October 4, 2023   6 mins

As grand acts of foreign diplomacy go, Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s recent trip to Washington will make the history books for all the wrong reasons. From the moment his jet touched down, the Ukrainian president was greeted with a lukewarm reception, and was even denied a request to address a joint session of the US Congress. Then, at the weekend, the GOP-dominated Congress decided to strip any additional funding for Ukraine from a last-minute emergency spending bill aimed at avoiding a government shutdown.

It is a significant setback for Biden, who had asked Congress for an additional $20 billion for Ukraine — on top of more than $60 billion in aid already sent to the warring ally, including more than $40 billion in direct military assistance. In response, Biden sought to reassure Ukraine and Nato allies that the funding will be approved through a separate vote.

But even if that happens, the White House will still face an increasingly uphill struggle in mustering political support for its strategy of open-ended assistance to Ukraine. Not only is Trump, with his anti-war stance, continuing to rise in the polls, but even the more hawkish elements of the US and Western establishment are starting to rethink their stance on Ukraine. Indeed, it seems to finally be dawning on them that, as one leading commentator wrote in Newsweek, “there is no realistic basis to believe that Ukraine has the capacity to attain its stated strategic objective to reclaim all its territory, including Crimea”. A correspondent at The Wall Street Journal, meanwhile, recently noted that Ukraine’s goal of retaking all the territory it lost now “appears a distant prospect”.

This shift is largely a result of the failure of Ukrainian’s eagerly anticipated counteroffensive. “Ukraine has liberated less than 0.25% of the territory that Russia occupied in June,” reports The Economist. “The 1,000km front line has barely shifted.” In fact, not only does Russia now control nearly 200 square miles more territory in Ukraine compared with the start of the year, but, as The New York Times noted, in the first two weeks of the counteroffensive, “as much as 20% of the weaponry Ukraine sent to the battlefield was damaged or destroyed, according to US and European officials”. Meanwhile, everyone agrees that Ukrainian casualties have been massive — potentially in the tens of thousands, according to the BBC.

Yet perhaps the greatest tragedy of the counteroffensive is that its shortcomings were entirely predictable. As John Mearsheimer wrote: “A look at the lineup of forces on both sides and what the Ukrainian army was trying to do, coupled with an understanding of the history of conventional land war, made it clear that there was virtually no chance the attacking Ukrainian forces could defeat Russia’s defending forces and achieve their political goals.”

Does this mean that the West is finally coming round to the need for a diplomatic solution? Unfortunately not. “Asking for a ceasefire or peace talks is pointless,” according to The Economist. “Vladimir Putin shows no sign of wanting to negotiate and, even if he did, could not be trusted to stick to a deal. If Ukrainians stop fighting, they could lose their country.”

That is a questionable assertion ― Russia claims it is open to negotiations, while there is some evidence that Putin made several attempts to reach a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine crisis in the months and weeks leading up to the war, and even in the weeks following the invasion. But it is certainly true that reaching an agreement now is much trickier. This is because the derailment of peace talks in the early days in the war has allowed Russia to gain a tactical advantage, which now makes a negotiated settlement much more difficult to achieve. Even US officials now admit that the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, “had a point” when he called for Kyiv to make the most of its gains by suing for peace late last year, and that “we may have missed a window to push for earlier talks”.

However, this is no excuse for the West to not even consider sitting down at the negotiating table. So why is there no diplomatic solution in sight? Part of the problem is that this war isn’t perceived as an existential struggle only by Ukraine, but also by Russia and the US: they both know that the outcome of this conflict will have massive geopolitical ramifications. Military defeat is therefore not an option, but neither is a settlement that may be interpreted as an admission of defeat.

And then, to make matters worse, there are those in the US establishment who want this war to continue, no matter what, because they view it as beneficial to their interests. Consider Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who recently tweeted: “Standing with our allies against Russian aggression isn’t charity. In fact  —  it’s a direct investment in replenishing America’s arsenal with American weapons built by American workers. Expanding our defence industrial base puts America in a stronger position to out-compete China.” Last year, he claimed that “the most basic reasons for continuing to help Ukraine degrade and defeat the Russian invaders are cold, hard, practical American interests”.

As the Democratic Senator, Richard Blumenthal, recently put it, America is therefore getting its “money’s worth” in Ukraine: “For less than 3% of our nation’s military budget, we’ve enabled Ukraine to degrade Russia’s military strength by half… All without a single American service woman or man injured or lost.” But the conflict is also serving US interest by bolstering Nato, and therefore America’s military control over Europe. Thus, in the middle of Ukraine’s bloody counteroffensive, David Ignatius had the nerve to claim in the Washington Post that “overall, this has been a triumphal summer for Nato”. The Bill Kristol-led group “Republicans for Ukraine” even released a TV ad claiming: “When America arms Ukraine, we get a lot for a little.” It was further proof that calling the conflict a proxy war is no longer just a “pro-Russian talking point”.

If, however, there is no realistic basis to believe that Ukraine has the capacity to attain its stated strategic objective of reclaiming all Russian-controlled territories, but peace (or even a ceasefire) is not an option, what options are left? Once again, the answer is provided by The Economist: “Both Ukraine and its Western supporters are coming to realise that this will be a grinding war of attrition… Instead of aiming to ‘win’ and then rebuild, the goal should be to ensure that Ukraine has the staying power to wage a long war — and can thrive despite it.”

As Nato’s chief Jens Stoltenberg recently stated: “We must prepare ourselves for a long war in Ukraine.” This now seems to be the consensus in Western establishment circles. “The US and its allies in the Group of Seven now expect the war in Ukraine may drag on for years to come and are building that possibility into their military and financial planning,” Bloomberg reported. Even America’s ultra-hawkish US Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland conveyed a similar message to Kyiv, saying that the US must help Ukraine “accelerate the process of thriving in parts of Ukraine that are not occupied”, implying that the territories under Russian control would remain so for a very long time.

This means shifting from battleground operations aimed at taking back territory to measures aimed at bolstering Ukraine’s defences (to the benefit of Western arms manufacturers), coupled with increasingly brazen attacks on Russia or Russian-controlled territories, especially Crimea, which have a marginal effect on the military balance of power. Indeed, for the first time, the Biden administration is now considering sending ATACMS long-range missiles with the capability to strike deep inside Russian territory — a policy which the US has been unofficially supporting for months, and which it is now officially endorsing.

The prospect of an Afghanistan-style war of attrition is worrying for a number of reasons. Firstly, because, if Ukraine had little chance of winning a blitzkrieg-style counteroffensive, it has even less chance of winning a long-term war of attrition, given Russia’s advantage in manpower and its ability to produce more artillery and ammunitions than Ukraine and the West combined (Russia’s current ammunition production is seven times greater than that of the West). “If the war goes on for long enough with this intensity, Ukraine’s losses will become unbearable,” a senior French official told the Wall Street Journal in February.

And second, because as the conflict drags on, and potentially escalates, direct Nato involvement in the conflict — and thus the risk of an all-out war between Nato and Russia — will inevitably increase. Europeans should be especially worried by the prospect of a long war: if American military assistance starts to wane, Europe will need to carry more of the burden. Indeed, it would appear that the EU has already taken its cue from events on the other side of the Atlantic. On Monday, two days after the no-deal in the US Congress, the EU’s foreign ministers paid a surprise visit to Kyiv to express their unwavering support for Ukraine.

Whatever happens in the US, “from our side, we will continue supporting and increasing our support”, the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said. To this end, there is even talk of allowing the European Investment Bank to start financing defence project. The fact that Europe, unlike America, has nothing to benefit, neither economically nor in security terms, from a permanent militarisation of relations with its nuclear-armed neighbour doesn’t seem to be an issue.

On the other hand, it’s hard not to conclude that this “Europeanisation” of the war — with Germany as the vassal-in-chief, as foreseen by Wolfgang Streeck — would represent a double win for America: it would allow it to disentangle itself from the conflict, politically and financially, while continuing to indirectly preside over the region, via the EU. In other words, the EU would end up fighting a proxy war on America’s behalf, almost entirely to the latter’s benefit — the ultimate act of vassalisation.

If this seems foolish, let alone dangerous, we can find some solace in the fact that reality would appear to be standing in the way of this plan. There is, after all, simply no way for the EU to plug the gap — in military, financial or political terms — if Washington scales back its support. For those of us who yearn for peace, the EU’s dysfunction might be, for once, a silver lining.


Thomas Fazi is an UnHerd columnist and translator. His latest book is The Covid Consensus, co-authored with Toby Green.

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Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
6 months ago

Very sobering assessment of the situation. What a bloody mess.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Agree. But TF has done an excellent job. Re learn lessons of Great War; defence rules. Stop the Somme like battering against entrenched defence. We must shore up Ukraines own defensive capacity massively. Then bait sting and hurt the Rus with long range rockets till they work out that they are not gaining one more inch; they will pay a big butchers bill and that their Crimea and strategic assets like munitions factories and mil bases in Russia will taste fire and smoke.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
6 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Good ideas

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
6 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

The only problem is – no one reads military history seemingly not even the military. Both world wars were ones of ‘attrition’ – whoever has the most resources and could last the distance won, excepting catastrophic weapons like the bomb. Germany literally ran out of everything – food, wool, etc. Russia has land mass, oil and a population 6 times Ukraine…unless the West throws in soldiers of their own, Russia will continue to have the upper hand. This will not end well for the West.

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Be careful what you wish for; long range weapons fly in both directions..

Fred Oldfield
Fred Oldfield
6 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

The Russians never had any intention of occupying all of Ukraine. Why would they? Their actions were to secure the Russian enclave in the east and to send a signal to Nato that they are serious about NATO expansion. Ukraine has already lost the land war.

PS Russia has never actually declared war on Ukraine – as far as I know. If it had, Ukraine would have been overrun in days.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Remember how the US pulled the plug on South Vietnam

Mary Bruels
Mary Bruels
6 months ago

Not to mention Afghanistan. Still raw in our memories.

Will K
Will K
6 months ago

Sane minds must put a stop to this war, because Zelensky won’t. Trying to talk to Zelensky, is like trying to persuade a mad dog to stop its frenzy. Stop feeding him.

Last edited 6 months ago by Will K
Billy Bob
BB
Billy Bob
6 months ago
Reply to  Will K

Do you believe Churchill was a mad dog for refusing to give in to the Germans, even after things looked incredibly bleak after Dunkirk
The point is Ukraine is fighting for its homeland, therefore they will have a very different view on the conflict than all those sitting behind their screens in faraway countries smugly telling them they should simply give Russia what it wants and hope they don’t come back for round 2 in a few years time.

D Walsh
D Walsh
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The longer the war goes on the worse it will be for the Ukraine, fighting to the last man is not a good plan

Billy Bob
BB
Billy Bob
6 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

Why will it? Nobody knows what the long term outcome of the war will be. They realistically can’t keep trying to push through the Russian lines in the manner they have been, but that doesn’t mean they should simply give up and accept being a Russian colony like Belarus. If they want to fight to the last man then that’s their choice, and frankly I wouldn’t blame them if that’s the option they choose.
Also as signatories to the Budapest Agreement I think the UK and US does have a moral obligation to assist them, of course to what degree is open to discussion

D Walsh
D Walsh
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The Russians will achieve their objectives, they are winning now, and will win in the end, people like you are delusional about what is happening

John Davis
John Davis
6 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

I don’t think there is any evidence to support that claim. Russian progress towards its objectives has been negligible for months.

D Walsh
D Walsh
6 months ago
Reply to  John Davis

Objective no 1 is to disarm the Ukraine, and they are, the last 4 months has been a total disaster for the Ukrainian army, and their is plenty of evidence to support this claim

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  John Davis

Depends what you think Russia’s objectives are doesn’t it? Hint: Russia spent vast sums building impregnable defences!

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
6 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

What are those objectives? Seeing as at the beginning of the conflict the aim was to depose Zelensky, install a puppet government and bring Ukraine under it’s influence they don’t look like anywhere near achieving their aims. All they’ve done is carved off a bit more territory around the parts they’ve been in de facto control of anyway for a decade

Last edited 6 months ago by Billy Bob
Jon Barrow
Jon Barrow
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Current objectives would be something like: 1. Keep hold of Crimea as part of Russian Fed. 2. Set up puppet state/states in Donbas. 3. Maintain the ability to interfere in/destabilise Ukraine. 4. Try to make Russia look important/powerful in the world (esp as seen by the Russian pop). 5. Use the conflict to strengthen ‘Putinism’ and try to find ways to build up an anti-USA/Western bloc with Russia in a leading role. Stuff like that.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Jon Barrow

On that basis it appears Russian objectives are all being met.. you could add in..
6. Reduce dependency on Western financial system and convince China (+other BRICS+) to set up their own reserve currency.
7. Win influence in Africa and help to topple tyrannical puppet regimes there, eg Mali, Burkino Faso, Niger and counting..
8. Denude the West of offensive weapons (not least to protect its ally China)..
…if your Russian what’s not to like (apart from the dreadful loss of life of course! ..on both sides).

Kathy Hayman
Kathy Hayman
6 months ago
Reply to  Jon Barrow

The United States is doing an excellent job of separating the European Union interests from the US. They’ve destroyed any chance of cheap gas for Germany from Russia having blown up 3 Nord stream pipelines and are continually pushing Europe to take on the heavy lifting of sending arms to Ukraine. the European leaders seemed utterly supine and pathetic going along with this even though it’s not in Europe’s interests, so Russia really doesn’t need to do very much just sit back and watch this complete charade.

Kathy Hayman
Kathy Hayman
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The opposite is true. Victoria Nuland, and John McCain and others were in Ukraine in Kyiv in 2014 egging on the deposition of Yanushenko who was legitimately there and was broadly speaking more pro-russian. they had to get him out so that they could get their man in who obviously wasn’t Zelensky at that time, but pro NATO so the whole thing has had an undercurrent of Western infiltration and Influence for a very long time indeed since the end of the Cold War. Watch Ukraine on Fire by Oliver Stone. Also any of Jeffrey Sachs talks on this act of sabotage by US hawks

Jon Barrow
Jon Barrow
5 months ago
Reply to  Kathy Hayman

They (the Americans) didn’t have ‘a man’. I was there in Kyiv during that whole Maidan Revolution and your analysis is wrong, the whole thing was not top-down but started with small-scale street demonstrations coming out of general unrest and unease (with Yanukovich’s govt) in the city.

Kieran P
Kieran P
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Realpolitik doesn’t do morality.

rob clark
rob clark
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Perhaps the UK and US should have been a bit more proactive in keeping the Minsk agreements in place. The same agreements that Zelensky admitted were “impossible.”
As a US citizen, I do not believe there is any moral obligation for the American people to allow this war to continue without end!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  rob clark

Indeed there is a moral obligation on the US to STOP this war, and all its other wars, coups, sanctions and interference all around the world!

Buena Vista
Buena Vista
6 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Another American here. I agree with Liam. The best chance the world has of this is if the next President is either Ron Desantis or Donald Trump, and I am not being flippant.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
6 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

No need to. Dig in and maintain a low level conflict for decades. Mire them in it like in Afghanistan.

D Walsh
D Walsh
6 months ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

That’s a better plan than what they are trying to achieve now, but it does have problems, first Zelensky would in effect be admitting they can’t take back Crimea ect, also the Russians have the ability to break any Ukrainian defensive line

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
6 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

Wait until they start drafting Americans and Europeans…at some point this will be necessary..will the crazies keep waving their Ukrainian flags?

Harry Mason
Harry Mason
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Ukraine was already one of the poorest and most corrupt countries in Europe. Getting conquered by Russia probably won’t make a meaningful difference, they’d just be switching out their Ukrainian oligarchs for Russian oligarchs.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
6 months ago
Reply to  Harry Mason

It obviously makes a meaningful difference to the Ukrainians otherwise they wouldn’t fight it

jane baker
jane baker
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Watch YouTube Pavlo from Ukraine and you’ll see most of them aren’t fighting. Pavlo is into interior design.

David Weare
David Weare
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Ukraine will be owned lock stock and barrel by the US at the end of this war.
There will be no independent Ukraine left

Carlos Danger
CD
Carlos Danger
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Ukraine fighting against Russia over 15% of its territory is nothing like the UK fighting Germany after it had conquered Europe.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
6 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

It’s only 15% because the Ukrainians fought so successfully at the start of the war, otherwise it would have been the whole country. If they stop now why should they believe Putin wouldn’t simply try again in a few years once he’s had time to rearm? He’s already shown that he’s willing to ignore the Budapest agreement signed by Russia after all so what can Putin offer that would guarantee their sovereignty?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

“….once the Russians have time to rearm”? You obviously missed the part where the author told us Russia’s arms production is 7 times the entire West’s production! ..snd growing!

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

You could also argue there are a bunch of hawks in the west sitting behind their screens clamoring for war while the bodies pile up in Ukraine.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

It’s the Ukrainians begging for weapons though so as they are able to defend themselves. If they thought the price being paid was too high they’d surrender tomorrow, but they clearly prefer to fight than lose their sovereignty

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Have you asked the half million dead what their preference is? Ukrainian fighters are conscripts! Nobody asks them either!

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

You manage completely to ignore Ukrainian agency in all of this. To people like you, whether hard right or hard left, Ukraine does not really exist. It’s all about NATO and the drunken conscript rapists aka Russians, and the Ukrainians are always patronisingly viewed as mindless pawns. You haven’t a clue.  

Katalin Kish
Katalin Kish
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Some of us find it impossible to live with gross injustice. I am one of those.

I guess Churchill felt similarly, Neville Chamberlain did not.

In barbaric Australia might = right, always was and will likely remain for a very long time to come.

Australia never had functional law-enforcement. Vulgar untouchable criminal Victoria Police officer bikie thugs like Graeme MAYNE and Mario MARCUCCI show off what they get away with, like toddlers show off a new puppy.

When in 2019 corrupt Victoria Police forced me to fight at court as an accused criminal in an admitted silencing attempt and offered to drop all charges if I stop exposing Australia’s absurd crime reality, I became committed to fighting them no matter how long it takes, no matter what price I am forced to pay.

It may not achieve anything in objective terms, but the alternative is simply unacceptable.

And, I am not living in an objective world.

In my world people need to know what to expect from barbaric Australia, before they sacrifice as much as I did for the privilege of living here.

People need to know that they are on their own at best when they suffer a crime in Australia.

People need to know before they come to Australia that we are not even allowed to carry pepper-spray for self defence, while the likes of Michael EREMIA are free to graduate to murderer.

Last edited 6 months ago by Katalin Kish
andrew.iddon
AI
andrew.iddon
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

It’s a little more complex than “Ukraine is fighting for its homeland”. This goes back to 2014 and the rise of Ukrainian nationalism that alienated and disenfranchised the russian-speaking Eastern ukrainian people from the Kyiv regime. A nation is based on people, not territory – territory is a function of people.

Last edited 6 months ago by andrew.iddon
Billy Bob
BB
Billy Bob
6 months ago
Reply to  andrew.iddon

So referendums in the Donbas and Crimea on whether to be Ukrainians or Russians, with the rest of Ukraine able to join the EU and NATO if it pleases would be a fair outcome? If it is solely to do with protection of those who wish to be Russian, then what the rest of Ukraine does (who have proven quite strongly they want nothing to do with Russia) is none of the eastern areas business surely?

D Walsh
D Walsh
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Billy. The Ukraine won’t be joining NATO, if you don’t understand that much by now, there is just no helping you

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
6 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

Ukraine, you mean. Showing your colours there, Vlad

D Walsh
D Walsh
6 months ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

I was in Czechia last weekend, and I had some lovely Chicken Kyiv, next week I might go to Turkiye

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
6 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

By calling the country The Ukraine you reveal your bias my friend

Andrew F
Andrew F
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Stop repeating Russian propaganda about Donbas and Luhansk wanting to be part of Russia, even if responding to Russian stooges.
In 1991 Ukrainian independence referendum they both voted over 83% for being part of Ukraine.
Even Crimea voted 54% for it.
So all arguments for Russia deserving this or that are based on this basic lie.
Since when will of 17% should override will of 83% of population?

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

You may mot be aware of it but 1991 predates 2014 by no less than 23 (peaceful) years.. When your own government bombs and shells you for 8 years and kills 14,000 of your neighbours; and when Russia supports you so that the genocide is halted that may change your mind about who to opt for? You forget: in 1991, opting for Ukrainian overlordship was in the context of excellent relations with and support from, Russia being part of the deal! Had it not, I’m sure the result would have been very different in 1991!

Last edited 6 months ago by Liam O'Mahony
Peter Rechniewski
Peter Rechniewski
6 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Now you are repeating Russian propaganda. Of those 14,000 dead about 10,000 were combatants and 4,000 non-combatant civilians on both sides. That’s according to the UN but perhaps you have better sources.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Since we want to compare Russia to WW2 Germany, could you remind us when the Germans unilaterally withdrew from France, Poland and Belgium, and allowed Sudetenland and Austra to peacefully separate?

Because that’s what Russia did in 1991.

And was followed by a continuous eastward creep by the US block / NATO right upto their borders, and (what triggered this war) eventually led to talks of Ukraine joining NATO and the potential of US missiles and troops next door to Moscow.

Ukraine is not fighting for its homeland – it’s fighting for the right to threaten Russia and subjugate the Russian speaking minorities of Donbass who clearly want nothing to do with them.

Andrew F
Andrew F
6 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Russia collapsed economically in 1990s and could do nothing about collapse of puppet governments in former Soviet Block.
Your so called “creep of NATO” was desire of neighbours of Russia to gain protection from genocidal Russian imperialism.
Even Sweden and Finland joined NATO for the same reason, seeing what happened in Ukraine.
Your claim about Donbas and Luhansk wanting to be part of Russia is blatant lie.
In 1991 Ukrainian independence referendum both voted over 83% to be part of Ukraine.
Crimea voted 54% for it.

Last edited 6 months ago by Andrew F
Samir Iker
SI
Samir Iker
6 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

“desire of neighbours of Russia to gain protection from genocidal Russian imperialism”
So, the Eastern European countries joined a block that was invading countries in the middle east, to protect itself from a Russia that has no army and had willingly, peacefully moved out of East Europe?

“claim about Donbas and Luhansk wanting to be part of Russia is blatant lie.
In 1991 Ukrainian independence referendum both voted over 83% to be part of Ukraine.”
True. And the Russians allowed them independence. We didn’t see my g sign of “genocidal Russian imperialism” for two decades.
Until 2014.
What happened in 2014?

And that 83% was in 1991.
After which, Ukraine violently overthrew the president they had supported and lawfully elected, burnt alive dozens in Odessa, bombed civilians in Donbass, cracked down on local political parties there and the use of Russian language…..
You know, I am not sure it’s going to be 83% at this point.

“Even Sweden and Finland joined NATO for the same reason”
Sweden and Finland stayed out if it, all through the cold war, even through the Soviet regime was genuinely evil, and despite Hungary 56 and Czech 68.
Because they were serious people and knew there was no reason for the Soviets to threaten them.
That hasn’t changed. What has changed us that Sweden and Finland now have non serious virtue signalling airheads in charge.

Ian Johnston
Ian Johnston
6 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

A wonderful set of rebuttals.

More and more people are coming to their senses and it’s great to see.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
6 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Nope. I fully agree with Putin on the existence of WMDs in Iraq, the need to devastate Libya, the justification for attacking random civilians in Afghanistan.

From your own cited piece:
“each sovereign state is free to choose its own alliances.”
Except when it’s Vietnam or Cuba, eh? If Mexico allied with China and allowed Chines ballistic missiles on its soil, next to the US, Ms. Kristina Spohr and the US government will be all for it, right?
Right?

And it doesn’t really matter whether the US agreed or not to expand NATO.
What matters is that they did.
And what matters is that Russia would object, for absolutely valid reasons, and unlike Iraq and Libya, this time the West messed with the wrong nation.

Last edited 6 months ago by Samir Iker
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Spot on, again!

Peter Rechniewski
Peter Rechniewski
6 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Perhaps you might have a look at why NATO ended up going east. No-one except clients in those parts trusted/trusts Russia. Perhaps you could give them reasons to change their minds.

Since NATO didn’t have missiles or even large additional forces in Poland or the Baltic States just when was Russian security ever threatened?

Gorbachev wanted that promise about NATO not marching east not to secure Russia but to fend off the hardliners within the Party and the Soviet military. You know, the ones wh staged the attempted coup a few years later.

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Spot on!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Have they communicated?

Peter Buchan
PB
Peter Buchan
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Rather than sprouting the now very tired British Bulldog circa 1940 tropes from the comfort of your couch, Mr B, why don’t you rather engage with – and more specifically, counter and/or refute – the points and references Fazi raises. Like, for example, the fact that there is not, nor was there ever, any reasonable prospect for Ukraine, or indeed Europe/NATO, to prevail in a war of attrition with a country that is not only the most autarkic on the planet, has the lowest external debt in the developed world, and whose economy now exceeds that of Germany in PPP but which, for its own reasons, sees the issue as existential and will therefore not – ever – capitulate (come on man: how much more evidence do you need of this?).
Another example: it is a plain, provable fact that Russia tried to resolve/end the war in Istanbul on terms that, against what unfolded next, seem eminently reasonable and humane. But, no. The West (and you, Sir) took a bet that Russia and its economy would “fold”. Many better-read persons than you, people with a sense of history, warned that this was hubris. They have been proven right – in spades and at the costs of God knows how many Ukrainian and Russian lives. All so preventable.
By the way, did you see Stoltenberg recently admit, after 2 years of denial and prevarication (and publicly to boot), that the trigger for Russia’s decision to start the “SMO” was in fact – and specifically – NATOs rejection of a draft agreement not to follow through with expansion into Ukraine?
Give it up, Sir. Why don’t you rather come live in the Real World with the rest of us peaceniks. There’s lots of room. Promise.

Last edited 6 months ago by Peter Buchan
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter Buchan

Well put!

Frank Freeman
FF
Frank Freeman
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

If that is what you believe than you should join the Ukrainian Army. Why should only Ukrainians die for western objectives?

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
ER
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Crimea is not part of the Ukraine

Ian Johnston
Ian Johnston
6 months ago

Krim Nash!

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

You would imagine, would you not, that if Ukraine was interested in defending its homeland it wouldn’t have attacked its own homeland and murdered 14,000 of its own citizens over an 8 year period? No Russian invasions in all that time!
I wonder if Mexico, anxious to protect its homeland would murder 14,000 US expats (immigrants!) in Yucatan Province say, and not expect the US to invade? ..for 8 years? I’m guessing the US military would invade after maybe 8 minutes!

Frank Farrell
Frank Farrell
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The Germans weren’t entrenched on a quarter of the UK land mass. And Putin isn’t Hitler and Zelensky ain’t Churchill.

Tom Conroy
Tom Conroy
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The situation after Dunkirk seemed bleak but was not really so. The situation for Ukraine seems more bleak than that, there may be some cause for optimism that I don’t see however; I’m certainly not an expert but it does look like their only hope is a collapse in Russian morale. The bellicose attitude of the west does not particularly help that.

Kathy Hayman
KH
Kathy Hayman
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Russia wants above all, a neutral, NATO free Ukraine. This is and was the main reason for carrying on the war that started in 2014 because America would not listen, rather than acknowledge that Ukraine in NATO was the final straw for RUSSIA, after having pushed NATO into countries along its borders since 1991, they carried on as usual ignoring reality and being arrogant and aggressive.

You only have to look at a map to see where all those NATO bases are situated. America has NATO bases in 850 locations in the world against something like 80 for Russia. Tell me who is the aggressor which country is always seeking conflict somewhere? Where are all the companies that make vast amounts of dollars out of more and more military hardware. You know the answer.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
6 months ago
Reply to  Will K

OK, so he’s insane because he doesn’t want his country carved up and ruled by the drunken rapists? You need to send back your moral compass mate, it’s not working

P Branagan
P Branagan
6 months ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

McCusker, from everything you have written in UnHerd over the years it can safely be asserted with 99.999……% certainty that you’re a racist, hate-filled, odious, disgusting human being.

Barry Dank
Barry Dank
6 months ago
Reply to  Will K

Trying to talk to Putin is like trying to talk to a mad dog to stop it’s frenzy.

Nell Clover
Nell Clover
6 months ago

As the article alludes, we’ve spent next to nothing building a defence system for Ukraine to defend any eventual peace. All foreign military investment has been staked on an offensive counter attack and the total collapse of Russia. The counter attack has failed, and Russia isn’t collapsing.

This makes a reliable peace agreement impossible no matter the territorial concessions by either Ukraine or Russia. Fundamentally, Russia will remain a real or imagined threat, and Ukraine cannot theoretically deter that real or imagined threat. An uneasy peace is just war deferred. Ukraine joining NATO to stabilise any peace is a high risk option for all sides, and one that would need a large deployment of Western NATO forces in Ukraine, NATO forces that don’t actually exist thanks to steep reductions in man power.

Ukraine is thus either trapped in a forever war or a forever unstable peace. The opportunity to build a viable defense of Ukraine that would decisively secure Ukraine’s residual territorial integrity has been wasted on an offensive that was never going to succeed.

Last edited 6 months ago by Nell Clover
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

“an uneasy peace is just war deferred”? ..its working fine in Korea.. what is it now? 70 yrs?

Last edited 6 months ago by Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

..a simple way to deter an imagined threat: wake up to reality and grow a spine!

Paul Devlin
PD
Paul Devlin
6 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

You going to volunteer, Liam? Ukraine certainly needs men….

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
6 months ago
Reply to  Paul Devlin

Of course he wouldn’t, the cowards didn’t even join Europes fight against the N**i’s in the Second World War and chose instead to punish their citizens that did, and sign the book of condolence for the dictator at the end

D Walsh
D Walsh
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

So you must be on your way soon Billy, best of luck

Billy Bob
BB
Billy Bob
6 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

I’ll be in the trench opposite yours clearly

D Walsh
D Walsh
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Say hello to Martin Logan when you get there

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
6 months ago

Let me give a few comments from my perspective and experience as a longtime dealmaker.
First, there’s a deal to be made here.
Ukraine would be willing to give up Crimea. It didn’t ever make a serious effort to get it back after Russia annexed it in 2014. And if Ukraine did get Crimea back, it has planned an ethnic cleansing that would be a disaster.
Russia would be willing to give up the Donbas. It’s more trouble than it’s worth. As long as Ukraine was willing to give the Donbas some autonomy, Russia would be just as happy as having it part of Russia.
NATO membership for Ukraine would not be possible, but security guarantees would. It’s six of one, half dozen of the other.
Second, Donald Trump would be the ideal person to make the deal work.
Few politicians are good at making deals. Their talents lie in other directions, and they get no experience doing it. Same with most executives. They tend to think like litigators, and litigators are terrible at making deals.
Donald Trump is different. How he dealt with Kim Jong Un was a master class. He could do the same with Volodymyr Zelensky and Vladimir Putin. Contrary to what most people are saying, both leaders are looking for a way out of this war. Any dealmaker can smell that.
That’s not to say that a deal will be made, or won’t be made. Predicting the future in a case like this is a fool’s game. But to not try to make a deal? That’s a fool’s game too.

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
6 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

I am no fan of Trump, but my intuition tells me that if he had won the last election, this war would never have happened. I think either he or RFK Jr are the best hopes of ending this war.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
6 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

May I ask why you think Trump would have prevented the invasion?

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

As president Donald Trump was active in trying to defuse the situation in Ukraine. In 2018 Donald Trump went to Europe and reinvigorated NATO by demanding that laggards like Germany contribute more to the joint defense.
He met with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki to discuss how Russia might work with the West. (For which he was derided by the foolish John McCain, who bears a lot of responsibility for this war.)
He lectured Germany for putting its neck in a noose by relying on Russia for its energy (and was laughed at by the Germans for his prescience). He pushed for Russia to be put back in the G8.
Leading up to the war Donald Trump would have been talking with Vladimir Putin to try to stop an invasion. He would have used flattery and threats. He’s a master at knowing what buttons to push. Even now he makes sure to stand as an honest broker working to end the conflict. (Joe Biden, on the other hand, is hopelessly out of his depth and doing nothing.)
I can understand those who think that it is no use negotiating with someone like Vladimir Putin, but that position makes no sense. Negotiating doesn’t mean capitulating. People like you need to stop thinking of this as a zero-sum game. It’s not.
Even out of office Donald Trump has both sides interested in what deal he would propose. I think he would quickly find a deal that worked. There’s no reason for this war. Even America’s top general Mark Milley said last year that Ukraine should have found a way to end it by diplomacy.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
6 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

One guy thick, the other guy deranged. Good luck with that

P Branagan
P Branagan
6 months ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Cripes! I was wrong – there’s a 99.99999999999….% chance that you’re a racist, hate-filled, odious human being.
But it’s not 100% , so, maybe, if you shut up for a few months there’s still that 0.000000000001…% chance that you’re a human being with at least one redeeming feature – that of silence.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
6 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

Didn’t Ukraine already have a security guarantee signed by Russia, promising to respect its sovereignty in exchange for Ukraine giving up its nuclear arsenal? Why would Ukraine trust Russia to abide by a different written agreement going forward?

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I think there was a clause in that agreement stating “but if you invite the US to orchestrate a coup, topple your freely elected govt., install a N¤z¡ govt., commit genocide against ethnic Russians, the deal is off”..

Billy Bob
BB
Billy Bob
6 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

This Jewish President of Ukraine is a well known N**I sympathiser after all. What a load of tripe!

Bernard Davis
Bernard Davis
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

In Israel, Zelenskyy is called “Kapo”. If you don’t know what that means, sorry I can’t help you.

P Branagan
P Branagan
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Yep and he shakes hands and celebrates with a 98 year old 14th Division Waffen SS Galetien veteran – one Yaroslav Hunka. And in the Canadian parliament of all places!
(The main purpose of the Waffen SS was the extermination of anyone considered undesirable by the Third Reich – Jews, Gypsies, nationalists, gays, Communists etc.)

Andrew F
Andrew F
6 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

Problem with your plan is that it is completely unrealistic.
What you propose Russia already had before invading Ukraine.
What Russia really wanted was to repeat genocide in Ukraine like they did already in 1930s.
Kill all independence minded Ukrainian leaders and middle classes (like they did with Poles in Katyn and other places).
Destroy Ukrainian culture and turn Ukrainians into Russians.
That was clearly outlined in writings of Dugin and other Russian nationalists.
If you read Putin musings before invasion it is all there.
Basically Russians don’t accept that Ukraine is independent nation.
Let’s remember that former Western colonial powers had similar approach to their, now former, colonies.
That is why France fought bloody wars in Indochina and Algeria.
Portugal in Angola etc.
But that was 50 years ago.
Unfortunately Russia for variety of reasons still maintains this colonial mindset.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

I thought you were better than that.. that’s utter garbage Andrew; get real will you!

Jim Veenbaas
JV
Jim Veenbaas
6 months ago

So when exactly is democracy restored in Ukraine? Does Zelenskyy get to rule forever?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Britain didn’t hold elections during the war, are you suggesting Churchill’s leadership was illegitimate? Zelensky was at least voted in to start with unlike Winston.
By the way this isn’t an attack on Churchill, I’m just keen to see if you think it’s ok for one country to do it and not another

Samir Iker
SI
Samir Iker
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

So, did Chamberlain have to flee for his life after being attacked like Yanukovich (who was legally elected), and did Churchill ban his main opposition party and bomb those parts of the country that didn’t support him? Were Chamberlain’s supporters burnt alive?

Just keen to see if you think Britain 1940, fighting an expansionist Germany, is the same as Ukraine 2019 wanting to invite NATO to the borders of a Russia that peacefully wound down their empire and allowed Ukraine to separate.

Last edited 6 months ago by Samir Iker
UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
6 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

I’m not sure Chechens would agree with the “peaceful separation” bit.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
6 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

I think Britain fighting an expansionist Germany is similar to Russia fighting an expansionist Russia yes

Kieran P
Kieran P
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Perhaps when everyone with ‘dissenting’ opinions has been purged?

Andrew F
AF
Andrew F
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

So when exactly is democracy even introduced to Russia?
Does Putin get to rule forever?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Here’s a fact: In a recent survey carried out by a GB think tank (very right-wing btw) the question was put to US and China citizens (in a secret vote): “Do you believe you live in a democratic?” The results were..
US: YES 39%
China: YES 70%

Carlos Danger
CD
Carlos Danger
6 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Russia’s government has its faults. But the country is more democratic than it has ever been in its history. Vladimir Putin is more popular in Russia than his western counterparts are in theirs. He plays close attention to public opinion. Russia is nothing like the Soviet Union or the Empire under the tsars.
We ought to be treating Russia and China as friendly nations with big problems rather than enemies. Like Donald Trump does, not like John McCain did.

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago

No mention of the lying, reneging, treachery on the part of the US and NATO (esp Germany & France) as a possible cause of lack of trust on Russia’s part! Instead we have a throwaway remark that Putin is not to be trusted to keep his word!
Also it seems, if the US invests heavily in arms manufacturing that’s great for the US economy but Russia doing the same is bad for its economy. Go figure as the Yanks say.
Thirdly, no mention of the huge European anti war, pro peace, pro good relations with Russia movements that will (indeed already have) topple current EU State governments.. and who knows: maybe Trump or RFK Jnr will do likewise in the US?
Apart from that the piece is perhaps interesting if not very well thought through.

Last edited 6 months ago by Liam O'Mahony
andrew.iddon
AI
andrew.iddon
6 months ago

Leaders are the problem – we need direct democracy to make them what they should be – people who work in their electorate’s service and best interests – not this corrupt and narcissistic façade

Tyler Durden
TD
Tyler Durden
6 months ago

The current American political and military-corporate establishment doesn’t care what happens to Europe. The same ideologues in the State Department are directing policy as they did under Bush and Cheney’s orders.
There’s been continuation all the way through to Biden excepting the Trump administration. Take the North Africa migrant crossing crisis – Gadaffi was paid by European leaders to manage that coastline but Hillary Clinton preferred him removed.
As far as peace goes, Russia might accept autonomous republics of Luhansk and Donesk but Zelensky would have to go and support be severed for Azov and its militias that formerly terrorised the region.

Ian Johnston
Ian Johnston
6 months ago

Unherds Ukraine arc has been quite the ride.

Delusional fantasy from Patrikarkos to bitter realism from Fazi.

Citizen Diversity
CD
Citizen Diversity
6 months ago

Will the estimable President Zelensky have to stay in office for the rest of his life?
Who will thrive from the thriving of free Ukraine if all the men and women have been killed or maimed? How will the refugees from the occupied parts return to their homes?
Will there be another ‘Serbia’?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
6 months ago

Ukraine isn’t Russia. Zelensky was fairly voted in to his position, and once the war is over it will be up to the Ukrainians whether they vote to keep him or go with somebody else.
Putin on the other hand….

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Zelenskyy promised peace with Russia and then set about murdering Russians and reneging on Minsk2. When you break your no.1 election promise you cease to be legitimate.

Billy Bob
BB
Billy Bob
6 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

So the Ukrainians were justified in uprising against Yanukovich then, as he was elected on a ticket of closer alignment with the west only to backtrack completely and pivot towards Russia instead?

Kieran P
Kieran P
6 months ago

I seem to recall some polling in Ireland earlier in the year (2023) suggesting that upwards of 50% have no intention of returning.

Last edited 6 months ago by Kieran P
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Kieran P

It won’t be their choice.. they are in Ireland temporarily.. and would have to apply for residency or asylum to stay.. that will eork for a small proportion only.. for the rest it will be deportation..

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
6 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

What’s even more amazing is that the armchair supporters of Ukraine still cannot see that the Americans have us (Europe) right where they want us, what Fazi pointed out: “the conflict is also serving US interest by bolstering Nato, and therefore America’s military control over Europe.” It’s comical, especially watching the German economy go down the toilet purely to help Washington. They totally ignore it, can’t even see it. The Americans are no ally; we need the USA – its bases, its troops, its weapons, its nukes – out of Europe.

Colorado UnHerd
Colorado UnHerd
6 months ago

As others have noted, an intelligent and sobering assessment. Thank you.
Americans are wearying of providing open-ended aid to Ukraine as the war drags on; I don’t think a logistical shift to supporting defense will help. I am geopolitically ignorant, and I understand early opportunities for a negotiated peace were squandered. Still, if all the money and effort Western allies are investing in arming Ukraine were instead expended — in a time-limited all-out effort — to secure a reasonably reliable peace now, would that not be preferable? If Zelenskyy has become too ego-identified as an heroic wartime leader to voluntarily sit down at the negotiating table, he must be made to understand he hasn’t other options unless he wants to go it alone. Why not take Russia at its word about negotiating, and bring the best Western diplomats to the table as well?
In addition to ending the ongoing suffering of the Ukrainian people, a negotiated peace would protect the UK and Europe from going it alone in supporting Ukraine’s war effort, should Trump retake the White House. That possibility seems increasingly likely, given Biden’s unpopularity and visibly diminished capacity. (I’m for Kennedy, who has always supported a negotiated peace, but his chances are slim, even as a thirid party candidate.)

Last edited 6 months ago by Colorado UnHerd
Tony Buck
Tony Buck
6 months ago

The only choice regarding Ukraine, seems to be between continued war (perhaps long and attritional) and an unsatisfactory peace deal.

It’s not a happy choice.

“This is not a fragrant world” (Raymond Chandler).

Carlos Danger
CD
Carlos Danger
6 months ago
Reply to  Tony Buck

True, but the words of Cicero still apply: “As for me, I cease not to advocate peace. It may be on unjust terms, but even so it is more expedient than the justest of civil wars.”

A Reno
A Reno
6 months ago

Foreign Affairs; Now a Word From X; George Kennan. May 2, 1998 NYT
“I think it is the beginning of a new cold war. I think the Russians will gradually react quite adversely and it will affect their policies. I think it is a tragic mistake. There was no reason for this whatsoever. No one was threatening anybody else. This NATO expansion would make the founding fathers of this country turn over in their graves.
“We have signed up to protect a whole series of countries, even though we have neither the resources nor the intention to do so in any serious way. NATO expansion was simply a lighthearted action by a Senate that has no real interest in foreign affairs. What bothers me is how superficial and ill-informed the whole Senate debate was..
“Don’t people understand? Our differences in the Cold War were with the Soviet Communist regime. And now we are turning our backs on the very people who mounted the greatest bloodless revolution in history to remove that Soviet regime.
Of course, there is going to be a bad reaction from Russia, and then NATO expanders will say that we always told you that is how the Russians are — but this is just wrong.”
George Kennan was absolutely correct in his analysis and our political leaders refused to heed his advice. Here we are 25 years later as NATO drains the wealth of so many nations while it is unable to do anything with this Ukraine morass except pour gasoline on the fire.

A Reno
AR
A Reno
6 months ago

.

Last edited 6 months ago by A Reno
A Reno
A Reno
6 months ago

.

Last edited 6 months ago by A Reno
Duane M
Duane M
6 months ago

Yes, it is an existential struggle for both the US and Russia. Russia has been clear about this while the US has equivocated, pressing the notion that its only desire is to support Ukraine’s freedom. A majority of the US public still do not accept that the US is waging a proxy war against Russia, and most of those who do accept that are in favor of more war. And yes, the existential nature of the struggle makes escalation not only very hazardous but highly probable.
In Congress the Democrats are full-on supporters of Ukraine while Republicans are somewhat split; some want more aid for Ukraine while others would rather skip Russia and pivot toward war against China. Taken together, all the Congressional representatives actually opposed to war could sit comfortably around a family dinner table.
The US empire is at a crisis, as it faces the prospect of a global economy in which the US dollar loses its coercive power. Read the recently published Underground Empire for an overview of how the dollar’s power is wielded as a weapon in the information-based global economy. And note that the authors, Henry Farrell and Abraham Newman, are pro-US academics. Farrell, for example, is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Hardly a radical outfit.
Economic pundits such as Paul Krugman broadly dismiss the strategic importance of the US dollar and the threat posed by a BRICS-sponsored currency for international transactions. But behind closed doors they are probably quaking in their boots.
We live in an interesting time!

Last edited 6 months ago by Duane M
Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
6 months ago
Peter Mott
Peter Mott
6 months ago

❝Contrary to what most people are saying, both leaders are looking for a way out of this war❞ opines a commenter below. Of course Putin wants a way out, that way is victory. He is not beaten, Fazi and his ilk say he is unlikely to be beaten, so why on earth should he negotiate?
He is setting up the narrative for a long slog, a “forever war”. (google it).
There are only two policy options for the West: (a) continue the present policy of supporting Ukraine militarily with such force as required to prevent a Russian victory (b) taper the support and permit Putin to conquer Ukraine.
Fazi fudges this – but he obviously favours (b) as is typical for “realists”.

0 0
0 0
6 months ago

Fazi is a useful idiot and a typical western leftist as well as a useful one for Russia. He would rather support the worst regime out their just to see the west nocked down a few pegs out of spite, born out personal and ideological bitterness. He always blames the west. By the looks of things, Russian propagandists must keep tabs on this guy because when he posts , their trolls often come out force. They are piggy backing of him, not saying he is working with them, but some ones who work they can use for their purpose. I don’t know why Unherd allows this guy to post, his style is superficial and inflammatory, as well disingenuous.

Last edited 6 months ago by 0 0
Gordon Arta
GA
Gordon Arta
6 months ago

Anyone wondering why Unherd continues to publish Fazi and his all too predictable Putinist propaganda need only look through the comments. Dozens, possibly hundreds, of Putin trolls, and their subscriptions, that’s why.

Jim McDonnell
JM
Jim McDonnell
6 months ago

“If Ukrainians stop fighting, they could lose their country” is not a questionable assertion. They may very well have to settle for less than they have a right to insist on. This could turn out like Korea in 1953. That is one possible outcome. They will decide that question for themselves when the time comes. In the meantime I would regard any attempt to pull the rug out from under them as morally reprehensible as well as unconscionably stupid and strategically shortsighted. Force the Czechs/Ukrainians to make some territorial concessions to the Germans/Russians and we’ll have peace in our time, right? Didn’t work in 1938, won’t work now.

Peter Mott
Peter Mott
6 months ago

Fazi, as is usual with these “Realists” advocates no policy because the one he wants – to abandon Ukraine to Russia, is so morally abhorrent that he dares not articulate it.

Katalin Kish
KK
Katalin Kish
6 months ago

Might = right. Putin is in the process of teaming up with a similarly unscrupulous predator: North Korea. China will follow. The story is the same with barbaric Australia’s bikie criminal Victoria Police officers and out of control hackers with day-jobs at the Australian Signals Directorate. Dogs bark, the caravan moves on. Some of us fight back all the same.

Last edited 6 months ago by Katalin Kish
Frank McCusker
FM
Frank McCusker
6 months ago

Fazi is a traitor

Doug Mccaully
DM
Doug Mccaully
6 months ago

I’m not sure the Afghan war comparison is a good one. Russia lost in Afghanistan before we did. Everyone knows, but can’t openly say yet, that a negotiated compromise will end this war, but we’re all getting good value for our money. Putin’s Russia is an existential threat to us, and Putin’s army is being chewed up by the Ukranians, thus negating the threat to us. All this without losing a single man. Time to push on, negotiations later.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
6 months ago
Reply to  Doug Mccaully

Russia is far from an existential threat to the West. They couldn’t even conquer Kiev.

Doug Mccaully
Doug Mccaully
6 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

They can’t now

Andrew F
AF
Andrew F
6 months ago

Usual pro Russian drivel from Fazi.
Let just allow Russia to genocide Ukraine and all problems are solved.
When did we hear it last time re Germany?
At Munich conference in 1938.
Maybe Fazi can write article explaining how successful that approach was.
At least he quotes McConnell which clearly outlines benefits of killing Russians and destroying their equipment.
All this nonsense about Europe militarization of relations with Russia.
We did it during cold War and eventually Soviets folded.
His delusions about Russian industrial capacity are another blind spot.
Ruble was 50 to a dollar after invasion started.
It is now 100 to a dollar.
Without Western technology Russia oil and gas industry is tanking already.
That is why Russian stooges like Fazi want quick finish to invasion of Ukraine.
As for his “yearning for peace”?
Solution is simple:
Russia leaves Ukraine territory.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
6 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

I suspect your lack of articles, while charming, gives the game away, my Ukrainian friend.