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Biden’s Ukraine Strategy Could Start a Nuclear War with Russia

Russian Road Mobile ICBM
MAY 9, 2018: An RS-24 Yars mobile intercontinental ballistic missile system rolls down Moscow's Red Square during a Victory Day military parade marking the 73rd anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War, the Eastern Front of World War II. Sergei Bobylev/TASS.

Ukraine: The Spark for a Nuclear War? One would think it beyond question to state that in any foreign conflict to which the U.S. is a party, the Pentagon and White House would reflexively do two things:

1) set objectives that benefit our country and;

2) have a reasonable chance of success.

It should alarm every American to learn that, unfortunately, Washington’s current strategy related to the Russia-Ukraine War does neither.

In an impromptu visit to the city of Izyum last month after Ukrainian troops had retaken the population center as part of their Kharkiv offensive, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that his troops were marching “towards victory” and that the Ukrainian flag that once again flew in Izyum would soon be flying, “in every Ukrainian city and village.”

Two days later Biden seemed to agree with that objective, telling 60 Minutes that “(w)inning the war in Ukraine is to get Russia out of Ukraine completely and recognizing [Ukrainian] sovereignty.” On Monday in response to a new wave of missiles blasting scores of Ukrainian cities, Biden said the attacks would “only further reinforce our commitment to stand with the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes.”

Biden’s Dangerous Ukraine Strategy

It would appear from context that Biden’s “as long as it takes” vow means the United States will support Ukraine until Ukraine has victory, defined by driving Russia out of all territory – and therein lies America’s strategic problem.

Back in May, CIA Director William Burns said that he thought Putin was “in a frame of mind in which he doesn’t believe he can afford to lose.” Last month, Tobias Ellwood, Chair of the British Parliament’s Defence Select Committee, added that “Putin is now in a corner; this is arguably when he is at his most dangerous.”

Pushing into a corner the man with sole launch authority for a country that possesses the largest nuclear warhead arsenal on the planet is not a wise course of action. Yet that reality is apparently lost on some of the highest officials and retired generals in the West.

In conjunction with his announcement that Russia would unilaterally annex portions of eastern Ukraine, Putin declared he would not hesitate to use nuclear weapons if he believed Russian territory was threatened. The pushback from the West was understandable and immediate. It was not, however, well thought-out.

Former General and CIA Director David Petraeus argued the United States should lead a NATO “effort that would take out every Russian conventional force that we can see and identify on the battlefield in Ukraine and also in Crimea and every ship in the Black Sea.” EU Policy Chief Josep Borrell warned that if Russia ever used nuclear weapons in Ukraine, the collective West would respond with a “powerful answer” with conventional weapons such that “the Russian Army will be annihilated.”

How A Nuclear War Could Start

To underscore the threat to Putin’s rule, the former commander of U.S. Army-Europe, Ben Hodges said that the West should help Ukraine to defeat all Russian troops on Ukrainian territory, including Crimea, saying the “the goal, of course, is the total restoration of Ukrainian sovereignty.” There is a strange and troubling disconnect between the strategic objectives the United States is pursuing and a recognition of what “winning” might produce.

If the enemy under discussion were equivalent to the Taliban, the Iraqi insurgency, ISIS, Qaddafi’s Libya, or al-Shabaab terrorists, then the West could pursue any military objective of their choice (irrespective of the wisdom of such an action) and there would be nothing the opposition could do to prevent the exercise of such a campaign. Western military power might not eventually succeed – as was the case with the Taliban – but as with each of those historical examples, there would never be more than small tactical risks at stake.

What too many of our current leaders and enthusiastic Washington hawks somehow fail to recognize, however, is that unlike all our military opponents of the past several decades, Russia’s possession of nuclear weapons means they can, in a moment of desperation or fear, initiate a nuclear war that could quite literally wipe the United States out of existence.

Let that sink in for a moment.

This should not be hard to understand: if the U.S. and NATO finally provides enough firepower, intelligence, and training to Ukrainian troops that will enable them to physically drive Russian forces completely out of all Ukrainian territory – especially the highly charged emotional areas of Donbas and Crimea – Putin will be forced into a corner where he has to choose between allowing his entire force to be completely defeated or escalate to the use of nuclear weapons.

HIMARS in Ukraine

HIMARS. This is similar to what is being used in Ukraine.

Let me flatly state what should be obvious: there is nothing in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine that is worth the loss of one NATO or American city to a nuclear blast.

Period. Full stop.

This reality should immediately inform a reevaluation of Washington’s policies and the adoption of new objectives. The Constitution places no higher obligation on Congress and the President than to defend our country and protect our ability to prosper as a nation. Courting an avoidable nuclear disaster – especially when our security is not threatened – should never be on the table.

Now a 1945 Contributing Editor, Daniel L. Davis is a Senior Fellow for Defense Priorities and a former Lt. Col. in the U.S. Army who deployed into combat zones four times. He is the author of “The Eleventh Hour in 2020 America.” Follow him @DanielLDavis.

Written By

Daniel L. Davis is a Senior Fellow for Defense Priorities and a former Lt. Col. in the U.S. Army who deployed into combat zones four times. He is the author of “The Eleventh Hour in 2020 America.” Follow him @DanielLDavis1.

43 Comments

43 Comments

  1. Friend

    October 15, 2022 at 11:52 am

    Russia is a dying demography. It also has beyond shit land with meagre agricultural yields and no capital vale. All rivers in russia flow in the wrong direction, which makes low yield problems worse by aggregating them with high transport costs. Basically, they only have Volga or Volgograd, which is Stalingrad, that could produce goods, but the land yield is so poor that Russia could never muster 100 million population. It’s why you need an armed mafia to run the army to protect the borders. But russia no longer can sell gas. LNG in the US costs 0 dolalars
    In russia, once you industrialize a russia village like the communists did, there’s no recovery. Russia is dead. The death of Russia is the premiere victory of Satan, which is really a Democratic party

    Russia has no security. There are currently nine geographical spots from which Russia could be trashed within hours.
    It wants an empire it can’t have.
    Nukes also don’t work on mountains, punk, nuclear blasts only spread in a straight line. That’s why both US nukes were thrown on the flatmost part of Japan. Both the US and the EU can survive nukes, Russia can’t.

  2. Kevin Powell

    October 15, 2022 at 12:00 pm

    Give them Ukraine, and the Baltic states. Dissolve NATO, submit to the greater power of Russia. They want their empire back. Give it to them. Anything to allow them to continue holding the world hostage to energy and nuclear weapons. Same thing with Taiwan and Korea and Japan. None of these are important to the security of America. Capitulation to the Iranians, capitulation to the Saudis after 911. Capitulation to the Taliban and of course, capitulation to the Russians. All in the name of “energy security”.
    New objectives being the destruction of NATO and the EU.

  3. Gary Jacobs

    October 15, 2022 at 12:12 pm

    Near zero rational people buying your fear tactics. As well, Putin is the only one threatening Nuclear war…precisely because it is his failed policy of naked aggression that is leading to massive failures on the actual battlefield. I disagree with Biden on pretty much everything but support for Ukraine…it isnt his policy leading to escalation. He has consistently denied Ukraine even ATACMs which have 190 mile range. Russia is 11 time zones. 190miles barely scratches into that, and still Biden wont provide ATACMs.

    It’s hard for me to believe after being wrong about basically everything he has ever posted about this war that 1945 or any other outlet still allows this guy David to publish anything. I understand having contrarian points of view to debate over…. but there comes a point where being so consistently wrong should disqualify you… and Davis is far beyond that point.

  4. Arash P

    October 15, 2022 at 12:17 pm

    Senile US leaders and propagandized, brainless, zombified American population, addicted to sugar and Junk food and junk reality TV, are playing with fire.

  5. ross

    October 15, 2022 at 12:48 pm

    Uhm, it’s Putin’s choice to use or not use a nuclear weapon. Let’s stop blaming the west for Putin’s choices. He chose to start this war he can choose to stop it. He’s not the victim, the Ukrainians are. “He had no other choice” is not correct. He may not like the other choice but so what? Just because he doesn’t like the other choices would not be a justification to use a nuclear weapon.
    All this would do would increase the number of countries who have nukes and increase nuclear blackmail from autocratic regimes, “Give me this or I will nuke you.”

  6. Dr. Scooter Van Neuter

    October 15, 2022 at 1:01 pm

    Again, referring to the current US strategy (or lack of one) as Biden’s totally ignores the fact that Biden is little more than a demented meat puppet being operated by unelected individuals, not excluding “Dr.” Jill, Barack Obama, and Susan Rice.

  7. Yrral

    October 15, 2022 at 2:05 pm

    American will be paying Ukraine 1.5 billion a month for free, while American that suffering from disaster and payed taxes ,have got nothing in return,while funding a corrupt Ukrainian government

  8. Fred Adams

    October 15, 2022 at 2:39 pm

    According to this author, Putin should have whatever he wants, because he may launch a nuclear attack otherwise. If he wants Ukraine, let him have it. If he wants Poland, let him have it. Likewise, Germany, then the rest of Europe. Putin’s nuclear brinksmanship is apparently unanswerable.

    That philosophy is unacceptable. Either stop Putin, or decide upfront that he can have whatever he wants.

    The damage of this war must be brought home to Russia – fighting it on Ukrainian soil is doomed to failure. The long term incapacitation of the land from nukes due to residual radiation must unequivocally occur in Russia as well, if Putin uses nukes on the Ukraine. This is the only possible deterrent to a man who’s willing to use nukes in the Ukraine.

  9. aaall

    October 15, 2022 at 2:59 pm

    “…Russia’s possession of nuclear weapons means they can, in a moment of desperation or fear, initiate a nuclear war that could quite literally wipe the United States out of existence.”

    And the U.S./NATO possess a nuclear capability that could far more easily wipe Russia out of existence. We are not likely to initiate any serious conventional actions without putting strategic forces on alert.

    Check out the population density in Russia. Russia is large but most of the Russian population is concentrated in a relatively small area. Take out Moscow, St. Petersburg, and the immediately surrounding territory and Russia is done. I’m sure the ruling elites understand that.

    Perhaps that is why even though (from their point of view) Russian territory is being invaded, Ukraine seems to have put out the lights in Belgorod, and Crimea has been attacked multiple times, the promised responses haven’t happened.

    Also Armenia and Azerbaijan are talking amongst themselves, Kyrgyzstan canceled joint CSTO military exercises, Tajikistan’s president recently lectured Putin on respect, and China laid down a marker on the territorial integrity of Central Asian nations.

    The last thing China and India need is Russia normalizing the use of nuclear weapons.

    Lastly, given the recent performance of the Russian military as well as the endemic corruption, how many of those strategic nukes are actually operable? While we don’t want a real time test, I’m sure that possibility has occurred to the folks who control and would actually launch the weapons.

  10. cobo

    October 15, 2022 at 3:47 pm

    Russia will lose to Ukraine and ultimately NATO. Its military will be hunted down and destroyed. Its federal states will be liberated. Traitors will receive the usual reception.

  11. Jack Hughes

    October 15, 2022 at 3:47 pm

    All I can say is thank God that Davies has never been in charge of policy regarding Ukraine he’d be quite happy for Russia to win and threaten the rest of Europe

  12. Goran

    October 15, 2022 at 4:24 pm

    Davis grouping countries in two categories: the ones with nukes and the ones that don’t matter, is an insane approach that would make every country on the planet start working on obtaining nuclear weapons.

    If Putin cannot beat Ukrainians through conventional warfare, maybe Putin shouldn’t be starting wars in the first place. There can be no precedent established that a country that has a nuke wins by default, it would turn this planet into a powder keg.

  13. Gary Jacobs

    October 15, 2022 at 4:41 pm

    This author Davis should take a page from the growing calls in the Russian Ultra Nationalist propaganda space / Military blogger community that is finally starting to openly contemplate Russia losing this war…without escalating to use of nuclear weapons.

    There is a growing amount of commentary describing the possibility and consequences of defeat. In particular, these fears are being voiced by participants in the country’s foremost propaganda show, Evenings with Vladimir Solovyov.

    On the show defeat is painted as a historical disaster, and not just for Russia. One participant on the show, director Karen Shakhnazarov, stated on air at the end of September that the West does not understand the consequences it would suffer if this happened. In her view, the West’s dreams of gay pride parades on the streets of Moscow would be disappointed, and instead “we will see the bloody disintegration of a country stuffed with nuclear weapons, the consequences of which will be unpredictable.”

    Likewise, the website of Russia’s main news agency, RIA Novosti, in an article entitled “Russia Can’t Afford to Lose”, stated that mayhem would result. “any past weakening of Russia was accompanied by bloody conflicts at its borders,” the author wrote, recalling the post-Czarist Russian Civil War and conflicts inside the failing Soviet Union around the time of its collapse. The West, it stated, would without question seek to exploit Russia’s weakness and create new bloodshed.

    Russian propaganda can — and often does — look absurd to outsiders. The falsehoods are so transparent that there is no need for individual refutation. And yet events, conceived and executed by the Kremlin leadership can be self fulfilling. If before 2022, or especially 2014, the West never considered the need for war — or even in its wildest dreams — victory over Russia, now it does. The desire to defeat Russia is the implicit goal of most NATO states’ efforts. So the threat to the regime which so recently seemed only the fruit of the imaginative mind of Vladimir Putin, now threatens to come true. His mobilisation of conscripts has only made the rot inside Putin’s Russia all the more clear for Russians themselves. No country needs to call up 300,000 conscripts if your claim of winning is accurate, and you have only lost 6000 troops out of 150,000 in your original invasion force. Math is not that hard, even for people with little education.

    This trend of contemplating defeat is clearly reflected in an article published by Readovka, one of the popular pro war Russian Telegram channels, under the headline, “Woe to the vanquished. What happens if we lose.” Unlike previous propaganda myths, some consequences of a Russian defeat are described in quite realistic terms.

    Readovka says that defeat will mean the loss of Donbas and Crimea; that Russia would have to “surrender for trial a large number of people,” including “militiamen and journalists” who represent “the most energetic and active part of the country.” There would follow a shortage of money and technology; the country would be forced to admit guilt for its past behavior [in other words, a “de-Nazification” campaign..but for Russia], as well as accept a process of decolonization, meaning a pull back from the lands the Kremlin refers to as the near abroad.

    The West and the Russian opposition face a complex mission: to assist Russian society to accept the inevitable consequences of defeat and to explain that these are not as terrible as the propagandists say [at least for ordinary Russians.]

    But in the end, it must also be stated that countries which wage wars of aggression against their neighbors must accept that they have lost, and that this is no one’s fault but their own. This is not merely a whim of the victors, but a natural consequence of the crimes of the Putin era.

    After WWII Nazis engaged in an insurgency for 7 years, the Nuremberg Trials were a gut wrenching truth commission for German culpability, and still decades later Nazis were being brought to justice. Dont be surprised if something similar unfolds with Russia over decades.

  14. 403Forbidden

    October 15, 2022 at 5:17 pm

    The world has been divided by the insiders cabal into two halves, one with the mark of the beast and the other without.

    The path forward is clear – use your nukes now or lose them forever.

    One mushroom cloud, and the cabal will have to decide whether to go for broke or cease the ballgame for now.

    Looks like Biden will soon have to sit behind his desk without his clothes on while holding his sardine and banging his balls.

    Time for Harris to take over.

  15. Jim

    October 15, 2022 at 6:58 pm

    I find it amusing, the commenters, here, are never satisfied.

    This opinion piece is an implicit concession that his prior prognostications haven’t worked out as he thought.

    (Although, Russia does stand in possession of roughly 20% of Ukraine’s territory and have formally incorporated 4 oblasts into the Russian Federation.)

    With this opinion piece, Lt. Col. Davis seems to have fallen in line with many experts & pundits who forcefully (some less so than others) assume Russia is on the run and like a cornered rabid dog lashes out with a tactical nuke.

    If I was a Davis detractor, I’d be giving high fives all around, as it seems Davis is finally seeing the light (from his detractor’s perspective) that Ukraine is on the march and in position to make Russia desperate… fevered desperation… waking up in night sweats…

    In my opinion, I’m more worried about a black op by the CIA as a false flag.

    As far as Russian media goes… a bunch of nervous nellies… as well they might as this is on their front porch.

    I will say Lt. Col. Davis doesn’t base his turnaround on much in the way of evidence… more of a feel, I would say (perhaps even pressured by the logical force of his would be detractors).

    War is fickle business… twists & turns, a few more to go, I would expect.

    Russia has not been fighting this war in the same manner as it would with a foreign invader because Putin doesn’t look at Ukraine as foreign, more like part of the Slavic family (indeed, a former part of Russia)… and is hoping for a (relatively) normal & stable border relationship, afterward.

    The Russia haters commenting, here, never acknowledge that dynamic.

    Now they will see if Russia can shift to a higher gear.

    Or…ahmm…take the gloves off and fight bare knuckles… isn’t that what everybody wanted to see… right?

    Don’t kid yourself, nobody knows how it will go… that’s why you bought the ticket in the first place.

    Be ready to cheer & shout … or quietly sit with composure.

    And take the consequences.

  16. June

    October 15, 2022 at 7:17 pm

    I believe there is a small chance that a tactical nuclear weapon can be used in Ukraine but it won’t change the outcome of the war. Ukraine will not surrender. Although the author claimed that Russia has no choice. The same is true for NATO. North Korea and China are watching. If Russia uses a tactical nuclear weapon, NATO has no choice but to respond by destroying Russian military forces in Ukraine or Black sea. I believe this is the policy of NATO. So, tactical nuclear weapons are not very useful to achieve a war objective in Ukraine but cause more humiliation to Putin showing how powerless Russia can be against NATO.
    A global nuclear war means the end of Russia. Russia cannot even shoot down GMLRS missiles from HIMARS. Thus, 99% of ballistic nuclear warheads will penetrate the Russian defence systems. No Russian military asset will survive this nuclear war. On the other hand, the US and NATO have three layers of ballistic missile defence systems and may shoot down more than 70 to 80% of the nuclear warheads from Russia. After the global nuclear war, the remaining NATO force will occupy Russia for decades and hunt down anyone responsible for the nuclear war. Putin himself will be remembered as Sadam Hussain hiding in a den instead of Catherine the Great. This is not the outcome Putin wants.

  17. Bobby

    October 15, 2022 at 7:21 pm

    More Davis drivel.

  18. WillLongfield

    October 15, 2022 at 7:24 pm

    There are lot of very emotional and somewhat immature comments on this board “Well, he shouldn’t have started the war, should he?” and demands that Russia basically be ended as a state. There seems to be little understanding that a single nuclear attack on a city in the west would kill hundreds of thousands of people and effectively destroy the country for a generation. This is not TikTok.

    The author is pointing out that Russia sees victory in this war as critical for its survival and will do whatever it takes to win, including using Nuclear weapons. The author points out that the Donbas and Crimea are strategically vital to Russia, but matter little in military or strategic terms to the USA and NATO.

    There are also inferences that NATO will destroy Russia’s conventional military capability if needed. Please remember that during the middle to late-Cold War period, NATO had a doctrine of “first strike”, i.e. they expected that the Warsaw Pact would crush NATO’s conventional military capability in days or weeks, and that NATO would therefore use nuclear strikes to respond. We should expect Russia to do the same.

  19. Goran

    October 15, 2022 at 8:47 pm

    Jim: “This opinion piece is an implicit concession that his prior prognostications haven’t worked out as he thought.”

    Well, the prognosticator of prognosticators doesn’t really care how Putin comes out on top, as appearing so strong that resistance is futile, or appearing so desperate that he shouldn’t be messed with. All Davis cares about is that Putin gets his way, a rather large piece of Ukraine and a right to dictate the Ukrainian foreign policy. If Davis comes to the conclusion that Putin will win if we start to simultaneously pinch our left nipples and right ears, Davis will serve us with an analysis of why it only makes sense to be pinching our left nipples and our right ears at the same time. And the worst part is that besides not wanting to see this through the prism of what is right and what is wrong, he is refusing to see it through the prism of what is pragmatic and what is not, all he cares about is how to be on the opposite side from Biden. Like a party line really matters in a crucial moment like this.

    WillLongfield : “The author is pointing out that Russia sees victory in this war as critical for its survival”

    I may say that having a threesome with Shakira and Jenifer Lopez may be critical for my survival, but there is no reason to believe that I am correct nor that the two ladies should bite a bullet in order to ensure my survival. Why the hell should the territorial integrity and sovereignty of an internationally recognized European country be trampled upon just on the basis of what the Kremlin dwarf says?

  20. Marvin

    October 15, 2022 at 8:54 pm

    I doubt that this is his point. His point being: The objectives of the West should be: Make sure the Russian Empire does not resurface and make sure Russia does not control the larger part of Ukraine and make sure the war is painful for them so they don’t even dare to attack any NATO country.

    All this can and is being achieved as we speak. The maximalist view – that is: Create the 1991 borders again is however an Ukrainian Agenda and should not receive full backing of the West because it’s too dangerous.

    I’m not sure if you know this: But the majority of the population in Crimea is ethnically Russian and Crimea has been Russian for the larger part of the past centuries. It only became a part of Ukraine (which is roughly 100 years old and means the outskirts or borderlands), due to a certain Sowjet leader at that time. It was not the decision of the people who live there. They wanted to join Russia even before 2014 but were not allowed to do so.

    The territory of Ukraine – especially in the far east and Crimea is far from historically or ethnically or linguistically clear. Hence it is a problem which should concern the people who live there as well as Kyiv and Moscow – but we in the West cannot and should not go “all in” in regards to those rightfully contested areas and by doing so risk being Nuked.

    This is his point, mate.

  21. aaall

    October 15, 2022 at 10:19 pm

    WillLongfield, there is no indispensable Western city. On the other hand Russia is defined by Moscow and St. Petersburg and they are not that far apart. Check out a population density map of Russia – I’m sure the cabal who will chuck Vlad out that window have.

  22. Little Vlad

    October 15, 2022 at 10:32 pm

    News from near Belgorod has Russian conscripts carrying out live fire drills on real people with good success: 11 dead and 15 wounded. It was felt that murdering other soldiers would prepare the new troops to indiscriminately kill on command. Bring your own Tampex for those pesky bullet holes.

    This afternoon class will cover raping women and children during combat operations. Extra credit for previous experience. Immediately after the last class you’ll be free to forage for your own dinner.

    Russian Code of Military Conduct…thinnest book in the world.

  23. Jon

    October 15, 2022 at 10:45 pm

    This entire war is on Putin’s initiative. He wanted it, he’s got it.

    He says we’re in a new Cold War. He started it, he can have it.

    Putin threatens nuclear war. He can start it, but he won’t determine where it ends.

    A smart guy knows when not to ante up, take his winnings, and leave the table.

  24. Mario

    October 16, 2022 at 1:34 am

    Oh no, Putin gave me a dirty look! I’m going to give up!
    What kind of U.S. officer can even think that? Daniel Davis.

    On the other hand, the Russian aggressors do have an alternative: unconditional surrender, handing over the guilty to the International Criminal Court and paying war reparations. On the other hand, I like to believe that a full-scale attack would be ‘strongly discouraged’ by China. Too much at stake. Among others, the succulent American and European markets without which China would be nothing more than a giant village, as Russia is now.

  25. Ti

    October 16, 2022 at 2:43 am

    Russian demise is written in their currency they will be destroyed and Russia reduced to rubble. Rubles desist and russia desist as Rubles turn to Rubbles a b for barbarians is added and their demise imminent bye bye Russian inhumane and scum of the universe.

  26. Mark R Holcomb

    October 16, 2022 at 3:57 am

    A. We must let both Uktaine and Moscow know if pre-2014 Russian territory proper is attack, all aid immediately ceases.

    B. If Russia uses any WMDs in Ukraine, We will unleash a tornado of MOABS on Russian forces in the UKraine. Russia Pre-2014 territory proper will not be attacked. This must be told to be Putin and Zelensky.

    C. If Russia leaves Crimea and Ukraine, all sanctions and embargoes will end. This must be told to both Ukraine and Russia.

    If these things are done, it will significantly reduce the chance of nuclear warfare.

  27. Spirit of '76

    October 16, 2022 at 4:29 am

    There is a fundamental flaw in Lt. Col. Davis’ (ret.) argument.

    By meekly capitulating to Putin’s demands (as Davis appears to be advocating) in the face of a potential Russian nuclear strike America, NATO, and the collective West would be sending the wrong message to potential future adversaries such as China, North Korea, Iran, or any other nuclear armed state. What would prevent these countries from also using nuclear blackmail to threaten other nations into submission in order to get what they demand? And who would ever trust America again to come to their defense in the future?

    Now, let that sink in for a moment.

    Let me flatly state what should be obvious: the type of appeasement that is being advocated by the author is breath-takingly cowardly.

    Period. Full stop.

    I only hope that the spirit of independence and the values of freedom and liberty that earlier generations of Americans fought so hard to achieve from the same type of tyranny that Ukrainians are currently confronting remains strong within active American service personnel.

  28. bob

    October 16, 2022 at 4:37 am

    personally i like there this russian disinformation campaign is going. at first it was: russia will win in 3 days, better surrender now! it evolved to: russias massive reserves will win the war immediatly once it really tries! better surrender now! to: poor putin in corner. russia losing, but still nukes. please let us have land corridor?

  29. Simon Beerstecher

    October 16, 2022 at 4:42 am

    Desperate plea from a Russian mole.

  30. James Yohanna

    October 16, 2022 at 6:17 am

    Ukraine per se, has no value to the US. This is a proxy war against Russia and Russian people, at the cost of Ukrainian people being slaughtered on the battlefield. The US must understand that it cannot destroy Russia through Ukraine or with American boots on the ground. The US must understand and remember at what cost did Russia shatter Nazi Germany: more than 27 million Russian lives was the price! The US must also understand that for Russia the current conflict is a civil war. Russia is aiming to uproot the Ukrainian Nazis that the US trained, and is supporting now. If Russia wanted to overtake Ukraine, that would have been a matter of a week at most. The best policy for the US to adopt towards Russia would be to refrain from meddling in Russia’s national affairs. I hope that there are a few people with cool heads in Washington to take control of the country.

  31. Freeborn John

    October 16, 2022 at 7:10 am

    Davis has to be on the Kremlin payroll to write this drivel.

  32. Gary Jacobs

    October 16, 2022 at 11:00 am

    Jim,

    You continue to post things that are demonstrably false, and easy to prove if you get yourself some better sources of information.

    -On Russia “formally incorporated 4 oblasts into the Russian Federation”… they dont even control all of any of those Oblats.  How can they be formally incorporated?  That’s pure Putin delusions of grandeur.

    They continue to lose ground by the day.  The Russian Milbloggers are quite hysterical at this very moment about a new stage of the Ukrainian offensive in Kherson.  There is a high likelihood of a new round of Russian defeats coming soon.  The NASA images from FIRMS show major blazes visible from space near Mylove… and there are no structures in that area.  The only thing that can cause that much fire is a large amount of Russian equipment going up in flames.  

    As well, this comment from you is perhaps one of the most absurd things I have read on the subject in a while:

     “Russia has not been fighting this war in the same manner as it would with a foreign invader because Putin doesn’t look at Ukraine as foreign, more like part of the Slavic family (indeed, a former part of Russia)… and is hoping for a (relatively) normal & stable border relationship, afterwar”

    If by Slavic Family you mean a big brother [Russia] raping his little sister [Ukraine]…then maybe you have a point.  There are so many instances of rape from Russians in this war, not to mention torture chambers, mass graves, and Russians firing indiscriminately on civilian apartment buildings… it feels like you are reporting from another planet, not just a different war.

    Putin himself has said repeatedly that Ukraine isnt a real country.  How does that mesh with having neighborly relations?

    I can handle the Putin trolls like 403whatever, and Yrral… but it’s people like you and Tamerlane who likely actually live in the US and  pose as actually paying attention to what is going on when you really dont.  And what you do pay attention to gets distorted in really bizarre ways.

    Thankfully the polls in major western countries show huge margins of opinion in favor Ukraine at this point, and your BS is not infecting too many people yet.  Even in countries where public opinion is less in favor of Ukraine, the vast majority of the leaders are still either for Ukraine…or at least not with Russia.

  33. Maarek

    October 16, 2022 at 11:17 am

    As far as I’m concerned, Daniel is just about the only real combat officer of all the authors on this site. And because he has seen war for real, and is a combat officer with real experience, his articles are filled with a deep sense of reality. Unlike the bravura texts of his colleagues, and the imbecilic enthusiasm of commentators, he understands the importance of such things as economics, logistics, and resources. I read this site just for the sake of his articles, to know that there are still sane people in America.

  34. Jim

    October 16, 2022 at 1:54 pm

    Gary, Russia haters like you (and there are plenty more commenting, here) don’t have credibility.

    Your hatred blinds you, robs you of sensibility, moral balance and intellectual honesty.

    If America lets “the haters” like you control American Foreign Policy, we will be no better than the Banderites in Ukraine: motivated and inflamed by hatred.

    A government marinated in hate (like Ukraine’s) … often leads to a bad ending for that government… history tells us so.

    Please, Gary, tone down the hatred… mirroring the Banderites’s hatred in Ukraine is a poor reflection’on you.

    Gary, hatred is dangerous… it corrodes the individual and society…. Your Russia hatred is un-American.

    And, unhinged.

    Look what happened in Nazi Germany… hatred took over… and we all know what happened… ultimately it led to its downfall… rightly so.

  35. Gary Jacobs

    October 16, 2022 at 5:36 pm

    Jim,

    1st of all, dont pretend you have the slightest ability to lecture me on Nazi Germany. Parts of my family died in the Holocaust, while others died or were ethnically cleansed by Russian pogroms. One was a victim of the Holocaust in part from being ethnically cleansed form the Pale of Settlement by a Russian pogrom, only to end up in Germany as a poor Jew.

    There is likely a grand total of zero people posting on this entire forum that understand more about Russian or German history than I do.

    That said, I also understand there were Germans that tried to save Jews, and some tried assassinate Hitler. Since then many Germans have tried to make amends for what happened during WWII. Germany and Israel have fairly good relations.

    I am optimistic enough to hold out the same hope for Russia’s reentry into the realm of civilized nations. But that likely wont happen under Putin. You pretending that I have some kind of blind hatred for Russia is absurd.

    I see Putin’s Russia for what it is… and I also understand the deep history of Russian atrocities towards all of its neighbors, including and especially Ukraine. Part of that is having good sources on current events, which you clearly do not.

    Part of that is being a student of history, and understanding that it will take a long time to untangle the mess that has been made of Russian society by a series of leaders with imperial dreams.

    Contrary to your faux notion of me being a ‘neocon’, I understand the reality of Russia and I know it will take a long term strategy to drag Russia into the 21st century…There is no quick fix. I do not seek to sugar coat anything the way the neocons did. Nor do I seek the occupation of Russia as some neocons did in Iraq.

    Russia can be defeated in Ukraine without Putin resorting to nuclear war. And then Russia should be sanctioned into withering further.

    Putin’s mistakes are accelerating the disintegration of Russia’s faux notion of itself as a great power, and now the former Soviet countries are talking bluntly right to Putin’s face at internationally televised meetings.

    The acceleration of other sources of NatGas and renewable energy for the EU will further undermine Russia’s ability to have leverage on its neighbors. This era of Putin’s bully tactics are coming to an end, and I am glad that the US is helping see to that.

    If the Iranian women can lead to a change in their terrorist regime, that’s 2/3 major sources of instability in the world gone…and then the rest of the free world can focus on keeping China and N. Korea from invading Taiwan and S. Korea.

    Biden actually just did the 2nd thing I’ve agreed with him on in his entire presidency besides Ukraine when he moved to use US leverage of microchip manufacturing technology to cripple China’s advanced chip sector.

    Bottom line: its a complicated world out there, and there are a lot of countries led by bad people trying to remake the world in not good ways. For all the mistakes the US has made over the years, You should be far more concerned with them then your stated worry about ‘CIA false flag, black ops’ or whatever.

  36. Bertram

    October 17, 2022 at 11:49 am

    If Putin is defeated militarily in Ukraine, and loses his political power in Russia as a result, he can be allowed to go into exile with some of his stolen billions.

    If he uses a nuclear weapon, he dies.

    His choice.

  37. Jesus

    October 17, 2022 at 12:19 pm

    @Jim – thank you for bringing some much-needed sanity to this Russophobic comment section… Your valiant effort is unfortunately in vain – KJB Matthew 7:6 comes to mind – “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces”

  38. Tamerlane

    October 17, 2022 at 3:44 pm

    These neocons in the comment section have been wrong on every major foreign policy question in 30 years, let they have the incredible gall to crawl out of their holes and seek to again push American intervention into an area of non-existential interest to the American people or to our national interest.

    Guys like Gary, are so blinded by personal animus and hate that they cannot perceive how their policies advance the deterioration of American power and of our country’s ability to protect the people it actually has a duty to protect—our people. Our government has no duty to protect any Ukrainian from anything. They are not our ally, nor do we have any moral duty to go to nuclear war on their behalf. He seeks, because something happened to someone related to him, to shut down discussion and to intimidate, yet he himself is the foolhardy and ignorant shill here, seeking to destroy American capacity for self defense. He is so hubristic that he refuses to comprehend that other countries also get a vote on their own security, and that they will take action to protect it, as they see it. His desire to engage in nation building and regime change in Moscow is literally insane. He’s been consistently wrong on every major issue here since this war began. He has zero combat experience, zero command staff experience, and zero strategic experience. If adopted, his escalatory “strategy” would see the United States in a thermonuclear war. He is actively seeking the destruction of American power and sovereignty.

    As for “spirit of ‘76”, your spirit is more the “spirit of ‘92”—that is, of the Jacobin utopian “conquer the world to make it free” French Reign of Terror. Our service members here in the United States are not keen to embark on global crusades to “make the world safe for democracy” in your radical progressive vision. Sorry pal, and your “unpatriotic conservatives” bs was bs back when David Frum wrote that hack article back in 2003. Why would we come to Ukraine’s defense? They are no ally of ours…

  39. Gary Jacobs

    October 17, 2022 at 6:08 pm

    Tamerlane,

    as usual your arrogance gets the better of you. You should really go back the the prior Daniel Davis article where your feeble attempt to cling to one fringe poll from the leftist Quincy Institute gets utterly dismantled by multiple sources.

    As well, your use of “neocon” as a pejorative in a completely incorrect context is a microcosm of your inability to understand the reality of Russian history or how to deal with Russia’s naked aggression in the current imperial iteration of Putin’s Russia. Just as I said to Jim, your posts lead me to believe you dont even know what the actual definition of a neocon is.

    And Just like Daniel Davis, You have been wrong about almost everything you have ever posted on this forum. Perhaps it’s time you consider a new approach.

  40. Tamerlane

    October 17, 2022 at 7:28 pm

    Gary, you’re the only leftist here amongst the two of us—seeking to use the power of the state to remake mankind in your image—you. Only you here want to try to impose this utopian vision abroad and haven’t openly said you wish to do so here, as the open AOC progressives do.

    That poll is accurate, and certainly reflects the opinions of the vast majority of fellow veterans I know anecdotally. I have no reason to believe the American people have suddenly repudiated their post 2005 shift against neoconservative warmongering regime change/nation building wars. I am well aware of what they are, having studied under some of their most senior luminaries and read their works…. Perhaps you should do the same. How many Irving Kristol/Leo Strauss/Harry Jaffa works have you digested? I’d wager none. I’d wager you didn’t study under some of their most articulate recipes at the AWC either? I suspect you didn’t write published articles opposing American intervention in Iraq in the spring of 2003, arguing that it would turn into an internecine quagmire, yet here you are, in the dizzying heights of hubris, pompously declaring that you and you alone of all those here understand what is transpiring in Ukraine and Russia and what our American path forward should be. Your neoconservatives have been wrong on every major issue in 30 years, and I have no reason to believe them to have improved with age.

    You personally have been entirely wrong in every major prognostication over the past 6 months, yet you here again shill for escalation and the deaths of millions of Americans to satiate your blood lust. How much of a pound of flesh do you require before your familial claim is satiated?

    Davis has been and remains correct, though you are too infantile to comprehend it. Your policy prescriptions would, if implemented by your chosen savior Biden, see our own country destroyed. I can’t countenance that, which is why I expose your moronic babblings from time to time when I take the time to read their rabid expostulations.

    I posed a long list of questions to you a week ago in a thread, and reposted it for your convenience, only to see you shit all over the board, knock down the chess pieces, and declare yourself victor.

    The ground situation is clear, and if Russia loses conventionally, they will almost assuredly escalate. If this is responded to by the west with escalation on behalf of a non-ally Ukraine, Russia will escalate further, as it has its own survival as a sovereign state on the line. The his little hellscape of Eastern Europe is not of existential interest to us, but it is, and is increasingly so, to Russia. Acknowledging this isn’t “wrong” or somehow “unpatriotic”, it is prudent and wise—two attributes you didn’t get as progenitor from your capable ancestor Solomon. David Frum was wrong, entirely, when he tried to use this same angle of attack in 2003 in his “Unpatriotic Conservatives” screed, and you are here today as well.

  41. Alex

    October 19, 2022 at 9:40 pm

    WOW! So much collective hatred towards Soviet Empire and towards Putin.
    Communist regime collapsed,can’t you people move on?
    We have bad politicians, some of them really stupid presidents but their voters still can’t accepted that they made a mistake,and Joe Biden’s cognitive decline ignored by everyone. Because he is old and obviously sick people they won’t accept and they won’t allowed him to loose face. That is perfect scenario together cornering Putin that he can see that only option is going Nuclear,my question is,how come I can see that and I am supposed to be ordinary person but nobody else see it,but then again,talking about ordinary person,you can’t get more ordinary than Trump and he is still believe he is President. Talking about we are living dangerously.

  42. Alex

    October 19, 2022 at 9:53 pm

    Ukraine invasion planned by Biden and if anyone can’t see that,must be brain damaged or brain washed.
    Just like proxy war with Soviet union,they done it in Afghanistan and now with Ukraine.
    Security of Russians conserne is real if Ukraine joined to NATO and Americans keep interference on Ukrainian political issues since 2014, as it was with America’s in Cuban missile Crisis 1960 ties.
    Why on earth people won’t see that?
    Then again,very same people voted for Trump and still fallowing him,and now President with cognitive decline collectively silence.
    All the signals there for Putin to considered nuclear option.

  43. John

    October 20, 2022 at 5:30 am

    This entire article is based on your premise that: “There is nothing in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine that is worth the loss of one NATO or American city to a nuclear blast.”

    Strangely enough, you make no effort to substantiate the correctness of this premise. Your article has become worthless.

    I dare say your premise is wrong!!!

    Nuclear threat is there for a reason. And it is useless if you are not willing to bear the consequences. War is not for scared little people!!!

    You must understand that Putin will not stop at Ukraine unless we prove to him that he can never again successfully attack territory.

    We should have realized that when he invaded Crimea.
    We didn’t handle that well. Because we were scared little people! And the problems have only gotten worse.

    In short, if Putin even somewhat gets his way in Ukraine, it will only bring full-scale nuclear war closer.

    I’d rather have a limited nuclear war. As awful as that is.

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