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Dr. James Holmes: The Naval Diplomat

Will Vladimir Putin Know When to Stop in Ukraine?

T-90 Tank
T-90 Tank. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Putin: King Pyrrhus of Moscow?: Over at Geopolitical Monitor, Julian McBride wonders whether Vladimir Putin has come to a “Pyrrhus of Epirus moment.”

Maybe so.

What McBride is really asking is whether Putin has frittered away his nation’s human and material resources through constant misadventures—most recently, and most egregiously, his misbegotten invasion of Ukraine. Losing is expensive, obviously; so is winning. It’s unclear which Russia is doing. Even if Putin recoups his fortunes after losing Kharkiv oblast over the past week, will momentary success beget grand-strategic failure over the long term?

The issue remains in doubt—but Yes is a distinct possibility.

McBride poses a worthwhile question, but who’s this Pyrrhus of Epirus fellow he invokes? Well, he’s a figure from the classics; and since the classics aren’t in common parlance these days, it’s worth peering back into antiquity to enrich our quest for an answer. King Pyrrhus ruled Epirus, a kingdom straddling the present-day Greek-Albanian frontier, in the third century B.C. He fought a string of wars, most prominently against the Roman Republic. The Greco-Roman biographer Plutarch portrays his life as a parable. Plutarch classifies Pyrrhus as a tactical and operational virtuoso afflicted with a chronic, severe case of strategic indiscipline.

He never knew when to stop making war—and he exhausted his kingdom’s resources through endless campaigning. Which is why the warlord of Epirus lent his name to the metaphor “Pyrrhic victory.” You can lose through winning. No contender boasts limitless martial resources. Wise contenders husband finite resources, doling them out sparingly in ventures of compelling importance. Self-restraint is their watchword.

Now, it’s easy to flout the principle of self-restraint, mistaking tactical and operational wizardry for strategic skill. If you’re awesome, why not keep going?

That was Pyrrhus’ dilemma. He had raw ability aplenty when bestriding the battleground. Fellow soldiers esteemed him. Indeed, Plutarch reports that the Carthaginian commander Hannibal—himself rated among history’s ablest captains—exalted Pyrrhus as “the foremost of all generals in experience and ability.” By implication, he was greater even than Alexander the Great, acclaimed, well, the GOAT among commanders. Hannibal, the terror of Rome, deemed himself third best after Scipio Africanus, who smashed Hannibal’s army to close out Rome’s second titanic war against Mediterranean nemesis Carthage.

And yet despite Pyrrhus’ battlefield genius and the laurels it brought him, he never knew when to consolidate his gains or cut his losses. Win or lose in some campaign, he flung his army into a new theater or campaign. Over time he bled his army and country dry through ceaseless soldiering. And he knew it. After triumphing over Roman armies at the Battle of Asculum in 279 B.C., Pyrrhus retorted to a comrade’s congratulations: “If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined.” (His words are often rendered in pithier and more memorable phrasing: “One more such victory and we are undone.”)

Quite so.

When facing Rome, in short, Pyrrhus faced a foe that could refill the tank faster than his host could. The Roman legions opposing Pyrrhus boasted superior reserve strength, and could make up heavy losses where his army could not. Superior resiliency meant Rome could outlast him. Then as now, strategic victory tended to go to the combatant that was better able to regenerate battle power. Strategic incontinence is why, to this day, Pyrrhus’ name is shorthand for tactical success that bankrupts your resources and sets back your cause strategically and politically.

Defeat, obviously, is even worse.

Strategist Edward Luttwak calls the tendency to overextend and subject yourself to ruin an ironic “reversal” of fortune. Yet it’s human nature to keep going when you’re on a run. Why quarrel with success? To avoid such a turnabout leaders must humble themselves, attuning themselves to the rhythms of the battlefield. Otherwise commitments may outrun resources to catastrophic effect—as they did for King Pyrrhus, the master of overstretch.

Prudent strategists, then, guard against the proclivity to double down on any battlefield result, positive ot negative. Boldness is a virtue, while an overabundance of skepticism toward new undertakings could give rise to timid strategy and thus underperformance. There are no guarantees of success, but cultivating the habits of introspection and humility improves your chances of forging wise policy and strategy. Commanders and political chieftains must weigh the costs and perils of new efforts against the possibility of accomplishing great things at a stroke.

So sure, I think the Kremlin may be approaching a Pyrrhic juncture. Defeat in Ukraine would indeed constitute a setback, but even an effort that regained the momentum there could cost Russia dearly over the long haul. It could waste resources Putin finds hard, if not impossible, to replace.

Precious weaponry—especially precision-guided munitions—expended in Ukraine isn’t available for great-power strategic competition against NATO, and it’s neither easily nor quickly restocked amid economic sanctions. There are heavy opportunity costs to attempting military conquest of Russia’s neighbors.

But it’s not just Russia that confronts a Pyrrhic quandary. The Ukrainian Army is on the march at the moment, but it remains the weaker antagonist in material terms. It too could overshoot, and lose in the course of winning. The story of Pyrrhus should give Ukrainian commanders pause, lest they outrun their resources and leave their nation worse off than before the current counteroffensive. They, too have limits—and must abide by them.

Or, for that matter, why not turn a Pyrrhic mirror on ourselves and take stock of America’s seemingly endless roster of commitments? There’s something about being a world power. It primes political and military leaders to take on commitments everywhere. Both the U.S. Defense Department and State Department divide the entire globe into “areas of responsibility.” The world is a big place. Trying to manage it all says something about the dangers of overspending your resources.

Putin

Russian President Putin. Image Credit: Russian Federation.

Maybe we should all emplace a statue of Pyrrhus of Epirus on our desks to rebuke us when we contemplate doubling down—either on defeat or on victory.

Mine is on order—how about you, Vlad?

Expert Biography: A 1945 Contributing Editor writing in his own capacity, Dr. James Holmes holds the J. C. Wylie Chair of Maritime Strategy at the U.S. Naval War College and served on the faculty of the University of Georgia School of Public and International Affairs. A former U.S. Navy surface warfare officer, he was the last gunnery officer in history to fire a battleship’s big guns in anger, during the first Gulf War in 1991. He earned the Naval War College Foundation Award in 1994, signifying the top graduate in his class. His books include Red Star over the Pacific, an Atlantic Monthly Best Book of 2010, and a fixture on the Navy Professional Reading List. General James Mattis deems him “troublesome.” The views voiced here are his alone. Holmes also blogs at the Naval Diplomat

Written By

James Holmes holds the J. C. Wylie Chair of Maritime Strategy at the Naval War College and served on the faculty of the University of Georgia School of Public and International Affairs. A former U.S. Navy surface-warfare officer, he was the last gunnery officer in history to fire a battleship’s big guns in anger, during the first Gulf War in 1991. He earned the Naval War College Foundation Award in 1994, signifying the top graduate in his class. His books include Red Star over the Pacific, an Atlantic Monthly Best Book of 2010 and a fixture on the Navy Professional Reading List. General James Mattis deems him “troublesome.”

30 Comments

30 Comments

  1. Barnett Lerner

    September 15, 2022 at 11:05 am

    While there is some sense in the thesis, it goes too far in it’s absolutism.
    Smaller, weaker countries, can, indeed, defeat larger, more populous countries.
    All else equal, the smaller country fights at a disadvantage. However, “all else” is rarely equal. There are distinctions in organization, industrial capacity and efficiency, technical prowess, political will, and, of course, the relative skill of each military establishment. The author ignores these many and normal complications to craft a thesis based on raw size, alone.

    Taking his logic at face value, we prove that Israel was and is impossible. A handful of Jews living in a hostile ocean of Arabs, and Muslims.

    See the problem?

    So, is the relative disparity in size between Russia and Ukraine and important
    factor? Of course. Is it the only factor to consider? Of course not. Is it the decisive factor? Remains to be seen.

    What we can be certain of is that, after the war is over, there will be essays published explaining how the result, whatever it may be, was inevitable.

  2. Pitosga

    September 15, 2022 at 11:54 am

    I think Barnett Lerner missed the idea of the text.
    It’s not about sizes, it’s about spending more than you have. What’s the point of winning, if victory represents our downfall.
    The text is about that. It’s about putting in what you have and what you don’t have, hoping for a victory, and in the end being defeated.
    Defeat and misery together are a scenario to consider.
    It will be like spending all our resources and still borrowing, to make big plays in a casino, and even with a few wins here and there, at the end of the night we end up alone and ruined.

  3. TG

    September 15, 2022 at 12:24 pm

    “The story of Pyrrhus should give Ukrainian commanders pause, lest they outrun their resources and leave their nation worse off than before the current counteroffensive.”

    Indeed. Unless, of course, the Ukrainian commanders don’t care.

    It is at least plausible that after the 2014 military coup in Ukraine, Ukraine is now de-facto controlled by the western elites. These elites likely don’t care about Ukraine per se, but only want to bleed Russia dry. If Ukraine is turned into a devastated wasteland, but Russia is at least humbled if not dismembered, Mission Accomplished!

    If al of this could have been avoided back in February by Ukraine agreeing not to join NATO and stay neutral, would not that have been far better for Ukraine than what’s going on now? And apparently in April, Putin was willing to pull back to pre-invasion borders and give up – think how much misery and destruction the Ukrainians could have avoided by a return to the status quo, but the western elites said no.

    It may be that, at this point, the west will not accept any option other than the complete destruction of the Russian Federation. Perhaps Putin is continuing the war because he has no viable options left.

  4. Dr. Scooter Van Neuter

    September 15, 2022 at 1:17 pm

    Russia is the 240 lb bully standing over the bloodied child that just unexpectedly dazed him with a sneaky left hook. Anyone thinking that Putin is going to exit because of this setback obviously knows nothing about Putin or the Chechen war that lasted 9 years.
    Despite its losses, Russia remains immensely powerful and capable, and Putin remains Putin – a brutal autocrat.

  5. Tomb

    September 15, 2022 at 1:44 pm

    Not really clear why you show
    Diagram of tank …..
    This is not article of design
    Of t90 tank at all…

  6. Jon

    September 15, 2022 at 2:05 pm

    If Putin had any sense, he’d declare victory (pick a reason) and go home. So, no, he doesn’t know.

  7. Yrral

    September 15, 2022 at 2:38 pm

    Why should he stop,when nobody has intervene to make him stop,the rate he going Ukraine will be back in the stone age,Biden do not want to label him as a state sponsor of terror,why should he not stop terrorizing the people of Ukraine

  8. GhostTomahawk

    September 15, 2022 at 3:17 pm

    I think we can all agree that the Russian military has vastly overestimated their abilities and over promised their results in order to please their superiors. The Russian army seemingly has no clue how to use combined arms tactics to gain the advantage they clearly have. I’m dumbfounded at how clumsy their leadership is. Either way a war of attrition is clearly still a war they will win. Who knows maybe they’re rope-a-doping Ukraine to fool them into a winner take all battle??

  9. Jacksonian Libertarian

    September 15, 2022 at 3:29 pm

    Ukraine’s resources are what they can convince the deep pockets West to give them. Russia on the other hand must pay to replace some of the weapons it has wasted losing the war in Ukraine.

    Combat Power rule of thumb: 1 smart weapon = 500 dumb weapons

  10. 403Forbidden

    September 15, 2022 at 3:58 pm

    Putin will stare down the 80-yr-old piece of democrat neoconized dross at Bali and ask the dementia riddled old man “Are you ready for armageddon?”

    That’s when the puck stops over the proxy war in Europe.

    The old man won’t dare risk Detroit or Berlin or Oslo for zelenskiyy’s lair in Kyiv.

    Meaning old man will say “go on and do what you want and let’s end this charade cuz I have to deal with trump and the GOP after bali.”

    It is the end of the road for zelenskiyy after bali. You can’t depend on an old man with late stage dementia.

    (Bali G20 meeting is in mid-november 2022.)

  11. HAT451

    September 15, 2022 at 4:10 pm

    This is a classic military question, “When does a nation in a conflict reach a culmination point and has to cease combat operations?” Let’s stipulate that the conflict started with a coup in 2014, by some referred to as the Maidan Revolution.

    This means that Ukraine has been in a civil war, while Lugansk and Donetsk republics have been in a war of independence. Both Lugansk and Donetsk beat back two Ukrainian military offenses, one in 2015 and one in 2016. This is the third one. Only this time, Ukraine is supported by western countries in organizations and Lugansk and Donetsk’s is supported by Russia. Russia is currently using about 15% of it’s military potential in Ukraine, with Lugansk and Donetsk using 100% of their military power, while Ukraine is using 100% of it’s military, with assistance from EU, British Commonwealth nations and USA.

    The this same question can also be posted to the EU, British Commonwealth nations, and the USA, of how longer are they willing to politically support Ukraine. I access that if international support for Ukraine diminishes, Ukraine will fairly quickly have to concede defeat.

    Mismanagement of this regional conflict may turn into an escalation precipitating WW III. NATO has it’s article 5, but at the same time China and Russia have been increasing their military cooperation ties since 2001. If anything the conflict in Ukraine as accelerated pushing both countries to closer economic and military ties.

  12. john

    September 15, 2022 at 5:16 pm

    Well, at least Pyrrhus had tactical genius.
    Putin has neither strategy nor tactics.

  13. pagar

    September 15, 2022 at 8:47 pm

    People, esp western media, auto connect ukraine with Putin & Russia.

    It’s like wholly missing the big forest for the trees ! ! !

    Ukraine proxy clash is a completely and totally serious symptomatic infection of a very DEADLY disease now directly threatening mankind.

    Ukros are foot soldiers (or cannon fodder army) of an army 1,000 times more lethal than Genghis army of 13th century.

    Biden aided by deep state (aka shadow agency/shadow govt) and NATO wants to control the world, and Ukraine is the first step to control eastern Europe.Later to be followed by other regions.

    This very massive deadly disease MUST be stopped now, and Putin is doing the right thing, but sadly using feeble method or wrong method.

    Putin, when he spoke on march 1 2018 showed so clearly he knew what’s confronting mankind.This very dangerous illness.Concocted by deep state with big aid from NATO.

    We see Ukraine as a bloody bloody war. The really very truly bloodily appalling war is yet to come. The war where it’s GAME OVER for those who disagree with uncle Sam.

    Thus remember or think of the forest, don’t be blindsided by that tree in front of you.

  14. Yrral

    September 15, 2022 at 9:03 pm

    If people had mercy for Ukrainain,the west would invoke the mercy rule,and call for negotiation,do it now , instead of later, now the government of Kiev saying they been invaded by aliens, Google Kiev

  15. xheavy

    September 15, 2022 at 10:28 pm

    Hes going to have to let go of Ukraine.

    They fought well and the Western Powers are equally responsible for that little Saloon Fight.

    Putin being Putin will be too stupid to stop. His First Gaurds Tank Army was destroyed as a effective force. None of the three original objectives were met, Odessa still stands free with signs saying FO and GTFO to RU troops.

    The death of the Soviet way of war is apparent this year. Along with most of the war fighting material. It will take years for Putin to get his military back. He will not live that long.

    NATO will be smart to hold fast. They cannot get aggressive now. There is no reason to. In fact there is no reason to keep a 70 plus year organization anymore. Let Europe do their thing.

    We have been in 30 plus years war. All of our Military is worn out, ammo depleted and soldiers fucked up by jabs and woke policies that destroy Unit Cohesion and so on.

    But Putin must let go of Ukraine. He cannot be that stupid to keep doing what is not working. Not without a full formal declaration of War against UKR and the resulting mandatory mobilization of his entire Nation against UKR who suddenly will have a problem when several new Gaurds Armies begin to roll into western UKR and the UKR leadership decapitated.

    NATO and USA will have to put up or shut up. The end result would be nuclear war.

    Ive lived my life 30 minutes between heaven and hell by missile for over 55 years. I cannot be bothered to give a damn to worry about that anymore. It will be such a waste.

  16. David Chang

    September 15, 2022 at 11:37 pm

    God bless people in the world.

    If nuclear triad is Queen, Russia President Putin may do that.
    The Shortest Checkmate in Chess: The Fool’s Mate.

    God bless America.

  17. xHeavy

    September 16, 2022 at 2:09 am

    It does not matter.

    Putin is Putin.

  18. Gary Jacobs

    September 16, 2022 at 11:04 am

    Yrral + Pagar… it’s still funny watching you two searching for any way possible to blame Ukraine and the west for Russia’s naked aggression… and then threatening like the bullies of Russia that there will be or have already been dire consequences… for what? Ukraine wanting it’;s freedom from Russian oppression?

    As well, you seem to forget that most of the EU didnt believe Russia would be so insane as to invade in this way, and they were appeasing Russia right up until Feb 23. With most expecting Russia to win in a matter of days, and Biden himself offering Zelensky safe passage out of Ukraine. Zelensky’s response will go down in history as one of the most brave and epic of all time, ‘I dont need a ride, I need Ammo’.

    And while the west has given HIMARS, HARMS and a lot of other weapons and ammo. Ukraine is still denied western tanks like M1 or Leopard, and they are still denied ATACMS, among many others.

    It is always Ukraine asking for the means to fend off Russian aggression, and willing to do the fighting and dying on their own.

    Your phony notion that Zelensky is a puppet of the west flies in the face of all factual evidence. You should stop that pretense. Every time you claim it…you just look more and more foolish to anyone who pays the slightest bit of attention to what is actually going on.

  19. Jiri Novacek

    September 16, 2022 at 12:41 pm

    Discussion full of russian trolling and nonsense. Russia is the weaker of the two, getting weaker everyday, and begs for negotiations in order not to loose all the occupied territory. But russia is ruled by criminals and nothing short of victory would guarantee a lasting peace, no agreements, no concessions, no territory given. Appeasement does not work, never worked and will not work. USA exists only because Kennedy and alike were ready to go head to head with USSR.

  20. Yrral

    September 16, 2022 at 1:34 pm

    Gary,you generally reap what sowed, Ukrainain saw fit to spread death and destruction in other countries,by selling their weapon for profit,why were they not held accountable by Ukrainain,now that they need these weapon Google Ukraine Arm Sales Too Rogue Government

  21. Gary Jacobs

    September 16, 2022 at 4:37 pm

    Yrral,

    I never said Ukraine was perfect. The post Soviet Era saw a lot of arms sales from former USSR countries because the fall of the USSR left them with almost no relevant skills in the modern world.

    It’s so ironic that in one post you ask ‘has the US ever turned a whore into a housewife’ as you claim Ukraine is a lost cause because their system was based on Russia’s and now you are completely blaming Ukraine for selling off the Russian weapons that Russian government left behind. You cant even keep up with your own arguments.

    Let’s clarify it for you: Russian domination of Ukraine is the original sin that accounts for the vast majority of why Ukraine was a basket case. Pure and simple.

    As well, Russia is the single largest supplier of weapons to rogue regimes and terrorists in the world. Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, etc. Iran is #1 on the State Dept.s list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. Before 9/11, Iran’s proxy Hezbollah was the terrorist group with the most American blood on its hands in the world, and Russia fought side by side with them in Syria. Among many Russian made or designed weapons, The most advanced Russian Kornet ATGMs are used by Hezbollah and Hamas against Israel. Often used to fire at school buses and other civilians.

    Bottom line: Spare me your game of blame Ukraine for everything and Russia for nothing. Russia has always done worse. BY FAR.

  22. xheavy

    September 16, 2022 at 6:00 pm

    It is imagined by those who wear tinfoils that the UKR problem dates to about 2014 when the proper elections gave them a president that the People would do well with.

    The USA CIA went in and overthrew the President and installed a leadership that twice broke the Minsk Accords. Then burned it all.

    Fast forward here we are.

    Do I buy into that mess? Not any more. Have I? No. Does the CIA? They have nothing to gain except RU Nuclear Missiles special delivered to their facilities. Takes 20 minutes. So why would they do such a silly thing.

    I consider Putin to be dangerous. However I respect the man in some ways because he as a leader has a better draw than our own Presidents from years past ever did. Made the USA look like a bunch of fumbling woke messes.

    No wonder RU by Putin decided enough was enough and invaded. The problem with War is sometimes it really ends one era of what is unknown, introduces what is now known and then offers a variety of futures based on the outcome of such a war whatever it might be.

    We have a hell of a Pale Horse coming this winter. Putin should let go of Ukraine. Otherwise there is a old General known as Phryrus. (Spelling) Which we take the term Pyrrhic victory. Because the RU does not let go.

    UKR has every motivation and absolutely every right to fight. Never mind the old tired tinfoil stuff prior to the invasion. None of that matters anymore. And no one will really know. Not in a way that will influence the future.

  23. David Chang

    September 17, 2022 at 5:09 am

    To people who support Ukraine but hate Russia:

    God bless people in the world.

    Russia and Ukraine are both socialism countries and don’t obey Ten Commandments, they all want to make n-war, so endanger United States and allies.

    Recently, many Asia politicians promote n-weapons deployed in Asia. They are like Ukraine government officers to deceive people.

    However, former Japan Prime Minister Abe tell people that after Japan is attacked by n-weapon, people in Japan should consider fighting back with n-weapon hold by America.

    Mr. Abe imply that Japan military bases and U.S. military bases in Japan will be attacked by WMD.

    So Mr. Abe is the only Asia government officer who speaks the truth to people.

    God bless America.

  24. Gary Jacobs

    September 17, 2022 at 1:09 pm

    xheavy –

    No one needs to ‘wear a tinfoil’ for Ukraine to know that their problems from Russia go back a lot further.

    -to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia in the 18th century.
    -The Pale of Settlement imposed by Catherine
    -The famine that Stalin artificially created to tamp down Ukrainian nationalism which left an estimated 3.9 million dead Ukrainians. The rest of the Soviet era wasnt much better for Ukraine.

    Then when they finally got their independence, Russia still exerted undue influence, and when they saw that slipping… they outright poisoned a Ukrainian presidential candidate with Dioxin in 2004.

    As well, you can go on pretending that what happened in 2014 is all the fault of the CIA…but you are simply fooling yourself. Ukraine was set to sign a trade deal with the EU, Russia exerted pressure for Ukraine to not only not sign that deal, but to sign one with Russia instead. As if Russia has something comparable to the modernity in the EU? Not. Even. Close.

    So the Ukrainians came out in the streets to protest…eventually deposing Putin’s lackey. I dont really care if the CIA had anything to do with it after that. The original sin is Russia meddling in Ukraine for centuries. Before, during, and after 2014.

  25. Ivor

    September 17, 2022 at 2:23 pm

    Russia bemoan being ommited an invite for Queen Elizabeth 11 funeral,now why would a civilised Nation UK offer a invite to a Terrorist Designated State Sponsor of Terrorism Russia an evil isolated pariah State of evil atrocity committing savages just the other day over 450 bodies were found in a massive grave some with ropes around their necks from being g tortured before slain, now tell me again why would the UK invite walking Russian scum to attend one of the greatest Queens ever probably the best ever? Well I will tell you, you are barbarian Russian savages and a Russian probably will never ever set foot on their soil ever again.Russia is not a loss to 99 percent of the world its a blessing.Go play with China before they gasump Russian lands and see how you feel when annexed by China, this is the beginning of the end for Russia thank good Ness. Ukraine 🇺🇦 God bless.

  26. David Chang

    September 17, 2022 at 10:53 pm

    xheavy, Gary Jacobs, and Ivor, critical race theory is wrong.

    In the beginning, God created whole world, so people in the world are children of God, every people is not a specific race.

    From 10 century, Kyiv is the center of market in Ukraine-Russia.

    But Ukraine and Russia don’t obey Ten Commandments in 20th century, some people join USSR, and some people join German.

    So Ukraine and Russia should confess sin and repent to God.
    And Ten Commandments should be the policy in Constitution.

    Moreover, Pitosga talk that rational.

    Rationality is calculating income and costs, n-weapon is a cost of war, but prevent from acquiring n-weapons is about morality, not rationality.

    So people in Ukraine and Russia should confess sin and repent to God.

    God bless America.

  27. xheavy

    September 18, 2022 at 7:28 am

    There is no pretending what happened in 2014 or whatever year fairly recently in the Ukraine.

    Governments were overthrown. Then the Minsk Accords were blown twice. Shredded. Then ignored.

    Took years for the people to settle. Then RU under Putin staged around the Nation for a very long time threatening invasion that no one believed will happen.

    I dont pretend anymore. What I do is consider what happened, find the Turk at the bottom of it (Paraphrasing) and then solve it.

    There is another term coming out called Submerged. Meaning a voter who does not participate or speak publicly about anything opposed to the current “Approved”narrative that includes discrediting or hooting down and silencing those who wear tin foil hats.

    Once you have silenced everyone and your opinions are still in some cases found to have issues as well as mine and everyone else… you consider that everyone has one. For better or worse.

    History has a way of coming out with facts behind the rest of the story in due time as Paul Harvey used to say. His Radio Program “If I was the devil” from the mid 60’s was the frame work for our eventual destruction.

    Myself? I simply dont care anymore. My life has run it’s course and aside from God there isnt much of value. The sun comes up and eventually the sun goes down. Nothing new under it. The sun will still repeat it’s pattern for another 5 billion years after I am gone. The words evaporated to the wind.

    I can always fight what I can think is coming. If there is a solution. Otherwise I dont give a damn. And that is part of the problem in society during peace and war. Always some Turk under the pile.

    I accumulate friends and enemies equally. Abuse them equally too if need be. But frankly its better just to quietly sit here and read the evolving news feed each morning and go mhmm. Thought so. And here we are.

  28. Gary Jacobs

    September 18, 2022 at 10:47 am

    xheavy

    Not sure exactly what to make of your rant, but yes ‘governments were overthrown’… the Russian puppet in Ukraine had it coming. The people of Ukraine got it going, and if the CIA had anything to do with it later, I simply dont care. As an American, it might even make me smile a bit knowing we helped freedom seeking people fight off the Russian bully. I’m fine with that either way as long as the Russian puppet went away. Russia has been Ukraine’s bully neighbor for centuries, and Ukraine wants to be free of them. They have tried repeatedly and Russia continues to bully them into submission. This time Ukraine finally has something close to the support it needs to really fight back.

  29. xheavy

    September 22, 2022 at 11:53 pm

    The earth is no longer big enough for two bullies. The USA and Russia.

    At some point one will take the other out and that will be that. Or both destroy each other and all with them in total war. What comes after depends on what few survivors do then. Not our problem anymore.

  30. Quartermaster

    September 29, 2022 at 8:40 am

    TG, there is no civil war in the Donbas. The actions in the Donbas were started by Girkin’s work and he brought in a number of Russian troops to carry out that part of the Russian invasion. He played a large part in the Crimean portion of the invasion. The Donbas is not fighting a war for independence. There were large numbers with Russian sympathies in the Donbas, but from what I’ve been seeing, that evaporated long ago.

    Now that Russia has been completely exposed for what it is, the Ukrainians are being welcomed as liberators. Putin does have viable options. They all start with getting out of Ukraine. he is doing nothing but squandering his military in Ukraine and will end the war as a shadow of what his country is now. He does not have the required population to fight the war in the manner he is fighting it. By trying it, he is insuring that this is Russia’s last war. Like Rome, the Russian Empire will fall apart.

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