America has no Ukraine Plan B except more war – Asia Times

America has no Ukraine Plan B except more war - Asia Times

There last weekend a couple dozen original Cabinet members, older military officers, academics and think container analysts met to examine the world defense situation. &nbsp,

I can say that I have n’t been so scared since the fall of 1983, when I was a junior contract researcher doing odd jobs for then Special Assistant to the President Norman A Bailey at the National Security Council. That was the top of the Cold War and the too- realistic&nbsp, Ready Archer 83&nbsp, exercise roughly set off a nuclear conflict.

Today, the US foreign policy creation has staked its legitimacy on humiliating Russia by pushing NATO’s edges to within a few hundred meters of Moscow, while crushing Moscow’s market through restrictions. &nbsp,

It has pulled every twit it has with Western governments, mobilizing its army of journalists, think tankers and stipended politicians to encourage the Ukrainian surrogate war, with the intent of degrading Russia’s military forces and eventually forcing regime change in Russia.

The communications from the most distinguished participants – former Cabinet users with protection and national security portfolios – is that NATO is also determined to win at any cost. ” The question is whether Russia you make proper reserves”, one rapporteur said,” Its official army is at 50 % power and it has no depth of non- commissioned officers”.

” The Russians are taking massive losses of 25, 000 to 30, 000 a month”, the former official added. ” They ca n’t sustain the will to fight on the battlefield. The Russians are close to a breaking point. Can they sustain their national will? Not if the rigged election]of Vladimir Putin this month] was any indication. Their economy has real vulnerability. We need to redouble sanctions and financial interdiction of supplies getting to Russia. The Russians have a Potemkin portrayal of strength”.

All the above is demonstrably false and known to be false by the rapporteur in question. The notion that Russia is taking 25, 000 to 30, 000 casualties a month is ludicrous. Artillery accounts for about 70 % of casualties on both sides and by every estimate Russia is firing five or ten times as many shells as Ukraine. Russia has carefully avoided frontal assaults to preserve manpower. &nbsp,

The most important fact about Putin’s re- election is that 88 % of Russians voted, a much higher turnout than in any Western democracy. Russians may not have had much choice of candidate but they had a choice of voting or not. The massive turnout is consistent with Putin’s 85 % approval rating according to the independent Levada poll.

Putin’s Approval or Disapproval Rating in the Levada Poll. Source: Statista

Instead of collapsing, Russia has become the focal point for a reorganization of global supply chains and their financing, and its economy is growing, rather than shrinking by half, as President Biden promised in March 2022. &nbsp,

Ukraine is running out of soldiers and ca n’t agree on a new conscription law. One prominent military historian expostulated,” Everywhere you go in Ukraine you see young men hanging around and not in uniform! Ukraine refuses to go all in”.

Russia produces anywhere between four and seven times more artillery shells than Ukraine. Ukraine’s air defenses are exhausted as its old Soviet- era anti- aircraft missiles have been fired and NATO’s stocks of Patriot missiles are dwindling. &nbsp,

Russia has an inexhaustible supply of Soviet- era large bombs fitted with cheap guidance systems, fired accurately at Ukrainian targets from Russian aircraft standing 60 miles (96.5 kilometers ) off. With five times Ukraine’s population, Russia is winning the war of attrition.

Another rapporteur at the weekend meeting denounced Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz and other European leaders for worrying too much about the “nuclear threshold” – the point of escalation after which Russia might use nuclear weapons. He demanded that Germany supply its long- range Taurus cruise missile to Ukraine, with a 1, 000- kilometer range and a two- stage warhead suitable for destroying major infrastructure.

Senior German air force officers&nbsp, last month discussed using 20 of the Taurus missiles to destroy the Kerch Bridge linking Crimea to the Russian mainland, in a conversation covertly recorded and published by Russian media. The conversation also revealed the presence of hundreds of British and other NATO personnel on the ground in Ukraine.

Taking the war to Russia’s homeland and destroying major infrastructure is one way to transform the proxy war with Ukraine into a general European war. Another is to deploy NATO soldiers in Ukraine, something that French President Emmanuel Macron has broached ( but almost certainly does not intend to do ).

Remarkably, not a word was said about a possible negotiated solution to the conflict. Any negotiated outcome at this juncture would award Russia the Eastern Ukrainian oblasts that it has annexed and probably give Russia a buffer zone reaching to the east bank of the Dnieper River – followed by a normalization of economic relations with Western Europe. &nbsp,

Russia would emerge triumphant and American assets in Western Europe would be degraded. The impact on America’s world standing would be devastating: As several attendees observed, Taiwan is watching carefully to see what happens to American proxies.

The rules of the meeting prevent me from saying much more but I am free to report what I told the gathering: Sanctions against Russia have failed miserably because Russia had access to unlimited amounts of Chinese ( as well as Indian and other ) imports, both directly and through a host of intermediaries including Turkey and the former Soviet republics. &nbsp,

But Russia’s economic resilience in the face of supposedly devastating sanctions is only one reflection of a great transformation of world trade. China’s exports to the Global South doubled during the past three years and China now exports more to the South than to developed markets. China’s unprecedented exporting success, in turn, stems from the rapid automation of Chinese industry, which now installs more industrial robots per year than the rest of the world combined.

This is evident, I added, in China’s newfound dominance in the world automotive market but it also has critical military implications. China claims that it has automated plants that can make 1, 000 cruise missiles a day—not impossible given that it can manufacture 1, 000 EVs a day, or thousands of 5G base stations. &nbsp,

The implication is that China can produce the equivalent of America’s inventory of 4, 000 cruise missiles in a week while American defense contractors take years to assemble them by hand.

No one disputed the data I presented. And no one believed that Russia is taking 25, 000 casualties a month. Facts were n’t the issue: The assembled dignitaries, a representative sampling of the foreign policy establishment’s intellectual and executive leadership, simply could n’t imagine a world in which America no longer gave the orders. &nbsp,

They are accustomed to running things and they will gamble the world away to keep their position. &nbsp,

Follow David P Goldman on X, formerly Twitter, at @davidpgoldman