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The NATO vs. Russia Proxy War in Ukraine Could Become a Real War

B-1B Lancer
A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer attached to the 34th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, prepares to park as the sun sets at Anderson Air Force Base, Guam, June 8, 2022. Bomber Task Force missions strengthen the collective ability of the U.S. and our allies and partners to maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Chris Hibben)

Blueprint for Disaster; Confusing a Proxy War and a Direct War with Russia in Ukraine: The United States has been waging a proxy war against Russia since Vladimir Putin’s government launched its “special military operation” in Ukraine in late February. Washington has spent billions of dollars to flood Ukraine with increasingly potent weaponry. At the same time, the Biden administration has emphasized repeatedly that the United States will not become a direct participant in the fighting.

Nevertheless, the line between proxy war and direct war in Ukraine is becoming dangerously thin.

In addition to the deluge of weaponry that the United States and some of its NATO partners are pouring into Ukraine, Washington is providing Kyiv with extensive military intelligence on the deployment of Russian forces. Such intelligence appears to have helped Ukrainian forces score some impressive victories, including the downing of a Russian troop transport plane, the assassination of several Russian generals, and the sinking of the Moskva, the flagship of the Kremlin’s Black Sea fleet. There are even credible reports that U.S. special operations forces are now operating inside Ukraine.  Russian complaints about U.S./NATO actions are getting louder and angrier. Washington is running a growing risk that its current proxy war, dangerous as that gambit is, may culminate in something far worse: a direct war between Russia and NATO.

The model for the Biden administration’s current approach appears to be the strategy that Washington pursued against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989. Both the Carter and Reagan administration provided financial and military aid to Afghan mujahidin fighters who were resisting the Soviet occupation of their country. Washington’s goal was to bleed Soviet forces without becoming a belligerent in the war, relying instead on its Afghan proxies to inflict serious damage.

Most members of the U.S. political and foreign policy establishment still consider Washington’s proxy war in Afghanistan to have been a smashing success, since it caused significant damage and frustration to America’s superpower rival without direct U.S. involvement in the fighting. The disruptions that the war caused even appeared to have played a role in the subsequent political implosion of the Soviet Union itself. True, assisting the mujahidin empowered Islamic extremists in Afghanistan and throughout the Muslim world, but that danger was not easily discernible at the time. In the short term, Washington’s strategy achieved its objective without leading to a direct military clash between the United States and the Soviet Union.

What U.S. officials and members of the foreign policy blob do not seem to grasp is that Ukraine is far more important to Moscow than Afghanistan ever was. That difference explains why there are more and more dark hints emanating from the Kremlin about the possible use of tactical nuclear weapons if Russia faces an overall military defeat in Ukraine. As I’ve written elsewhere, Ukraine is a vital security interest to Russia, and the Putin government will do whatever is necessary militarily, including using tactical nukes in Ukraine, to prevent such a humiliation.

Nevertheless, hawkish and even some centrist foreign policy pundits have proposed a variety of reckless U.S. responses if Russia crosses the nuclear threshold in Ukraine.  Most of those proposals obliterate the distinction between a proxy war and a direct war between the United States and Russia. Joe Cirincione, a longtime expert on nuclear warfare and supposed moderate, mused that the United States “could destroy the Russian forces in Ukraine in a matter of days” with purely conventional weapons.

Destroying Russia’s Black Sea fleet using conventional air and missile strikes if Putin violates the nuclear taboo, has long been a favorite “solution” of Max Boot, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.  In early May, he stated confidently that “even without resorting to nuclear weapons of their own, NATO could launch airstrikes that would rapidly sink the entire Russian Black Sea fleet and destroy much of the Russian army in and around Ukraine. That would shake Putin’s criminal regime to its foundations.” Boot remained equally confident in late September.  “President Biden needs to deter Putin by signaling that the response to any nuclear attack would be devastating. It would not even require a nuclear response; NATO air forces could probably destroy the Russian army in Ukraine with conventional munitions.”

Both Cirincione and Boot implicitly assume that Moscow would view a direct U.S. attack on the Russian military as no more provocative than providing weapons and training to Ukrainian forces who are fighting Russians.  It is an illogical and extremely dangerous assumption. The former carries excessive risks to defend a country that is not even remotely a vital U.S. interest, but the latter would be a blatant act of war against the Russian Federation.  Russia is not likely to cower and slink away from such an existential threat.

Even if Moscow uses tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine, the ongoing war—awful as it is—would remain a bilateral Russia-Ukraine conflict. A U.S. attack on Russian targets changes that equation totally.  Such a dramatic escalation means war between two major powers armed to the teeth with both tactical and strategic nuclear weapons. What starts out as even a limited war between 2 nuclear powers entails an awful risk of escalation to the thermonuclear level, bringing Armageddon into play. It is shocking that supposedly knowledgeable foreign policy experts can’t grasp such a crucial distinction.

War in Ukraine

War in Ukraine. Image Credit: British Ministry of Defense.

Washington’s current proxy war already is alarmingly dangerous, but a direct war in Ukraine could be catastrophic for the American people. The recommendations of pundits advocating the latter course must be summarily rejected.

Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow in defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute and a contributing editor at 19FortyFive, is the author of 13 books and more than 1,100 articles on international affairs.  His latest book is Unreliable Watchdog: The News Media and U.S. Foreign Policy (forthcoming, November 2022).

Written By

Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow in security studies at the Cato Institute, is the author of 12 books and more than 900 articles on international affairs.  His books include (with Doug Bandow) The Korean Conundrum: America’s Troubled Relations with North and South Korea (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2004).

33 Comments

33 Comments

  1. 403Forbidden

    October 11, 2022 at 7:20 pm

    Yes, the proxy war initiated by biden & stoltenberg using zelenskiyy as their convenient puppet could well turn into the next world war.

    What russia only needs to do now to force biden & stoltenberg into a truly unwanted situation is by unleashing a few tactical nukes at zelenskiyy.

    Biden & stoltenberg will end up banging their balls very hard or super hard, dithering on whether they need to take the proxy war to the next level or see their puppet vanish in a mushroom cloud of smoke.

    Biden is the more unpredictable of the two super duper rascals, his dementia-addled brain might possibly led him to order retaliatory nuke strikes against russia.

    In that case, rusria will unleash its strategic missiles at US cities, causing biden to go off the edge and bringing his democrat-planned armageddon to the whole world.

    US democrats are the fascist wing of america, the GOP being the imperial or imperoalist wing. Be in thebknow.

  2. Dr. Scooter Van Neuter

    October 11, 2022 at 7:24 pm

    A hopelessly clueless and demented president and breathtakingly dysfunctional administration is a recipe for nothing less than a disaster. So far, everything Biden has touched has turned to sh*t and left to his devices, I fear this will be no different – only in this case tens of thousands of innocent people could die. Freaking scary.

  3. Ben Leucking

    October 11, 2022 at 7:33 pm

    The author says that supporting Ukraine is “not even remotely a vital U.S. interest.” For someone who has written 12 books and more than 900 articles on international affairs, he is stupifyingly ignorant of the significance of who controls Crimea. If Ukraine regains control of this penninsula, Russia effectively loses control of the Black Sea and, by extension, the ability to impose its will on the Mediterranean Sea and North Africa. Losing the Black Sea reduces the Russian navy to Arctic and Western Pacific ports. This is every bit as important as events in the Baltic, where Finland and Sweden have joined NATO, giving the ability to choke off the Russian Navy.
    Mr. Carpenter’s 900 article must have been written for MAD Magazine.

  4. Jacksonian Libertarian

    October 11, 2022 at 8:19 pm

    Nobody cares if Russia thinks Ukraine is part of its security interests, screw those corrupt authoritarian a-holes. It’s what the Ukrainians think of their sovereign nation that is important, and clearly they are willing to fight for their right to self-determination. The 1st world has no choice but to support their rights, or see the basis of international borders evaporate into anarchy. And if this means destroying the Russian ability to bully neighboring countries, and throws the fear of the 1st world into Authoritarians everywhere, then that’s just gravy.

    As for the Nuclear Blackmail, Mutually assured destruction should be reinforced with, a publicly announced plan to destroy 30% of Russia’s population (largest cities), should they detonate a Nuke on foreign soil. The only way to deal with uncivilized bullies is with ruthlessness.

    “Once you have paid him the Danegeld, you will never be rid of the Dane”

  5. pagar

    October 11, 2022 at 8:22 pm

    The situation in Ukraine after the Feb 2014 putsch could have been diffused by negotiations, in fact, by Minsk agreement itself, but US and NATO weren’t interested in ‘negotiation’ at all but only proxy fighting.

    The approach by US and NATO is similar to Japan’s choice to go directly for pearl harbor instead of more negotiations even though the infamous hull note was a fast-closing trap in guise or form for tokyo.

    Similar or exact approach was also made by Germany when it foolishly declared war on US mere days after pearl strike despite its tellingly fatal defeat in the battle of Britain just one year earlier.

    Thus US and NATO in choosing war are making same mistake as Japan and Germany did in ww2.

    Looks like US and NATO are shepherding world to ww3.

  6. Steven

    October 11, 2022 at 8:23 pm

    Our nukes negate Russia’s nukes. It doesn’t matter how many times you can destroy the world, once is enough. Once you take away Russia’s nuclear threat through MAD, All that is left now of Russia is nothing. Then you talk about a war with NATO? The war has just been fought and Russia lost. A lot of people need to wake up to this fact, including Putin. Putin is finished and everyone knows it.

  7. Tony Odunukwe

    October 11, 2022 at 9:12 pm

    The whole world should fold their hands because no one wants to challenge Putin because Russia has nuclear weapons;if Putin attacks Ukraine with nuke, let there be a retaliatory or even more devastating response from Nato in which case Russian will not recover to attack the US or any other Nato members

  8. John

    October 11, 2022 at 9:34 pm

    We better get our act together.
    Our allies need to realize that the US nuclear umbrella for them is eroding.
    Europe needs to have its own expanded British French nuclear deterrence paid with German Money. Australia SK and Japan need to have their own deterrence. Our US leadership is in denial about the threats we face babbling about the merits of soft power and claiming that Russia is in compliance with New Start despite no inspections for 30 months. What happened to our national fact checkers?

  9. Tomb

    October 11, 2022 at 11:08 pm

    “….could become a real war”

    Never got past the callous title !
    Wow.
    The war is plenty real to the
    Ukrainian military and widows and
    Orphans….

  10. Joe Comment

    October 11, 2022 at 11:28 pm

    I don’t think we can afford to ignore a nuclear attack in Ukraine. That would not be only a Russia-Ukraine problem.

    Besides environmental concerns, which are major, it also would break a taboo that has stood for 75 years and leave us open to a nuclear free-for-all. Soon every country might decide it needs a nuclear arsenal, while those who already have it might decide to take out their foes before they get it too.

    It’s a nightmare scenario, we have to take a strong position against it, and if it happens, we have to make a strong response. One hopes countries that have remained neutral such as India will be prompted to pick a side.

  11. Goran

    October 11, 2022 at 11:40 pm

    The U.S. should not get involved militarily, that much is true. However, assisting Ukraine by providing it with intel and conventional weapons systems is an absolute must for numerous reasons, some moral, some strategic, yet all converging into a solid foundation for Putin’s defeat at the hands of freedom loving Ukrainians.

  12. monkfelonious

    October 12, 2022 at 1:18 am

    Oh just stuff it with the obligatory mushroom cloud and all. Another ‘Oh My God!” clickbait piece of crap. Sport, EVERYBODY in the world knows this is a possibility, doh! Go into your garden, plant and thus save us from this sophomoric codswallop fer gawds sake.

  13. Brad Arnold

    October 12, 2022 at 1:45 am

    The Russian ivasion of Ukraine has turned into a we facto war over if going forward it is still a unipolar world order, or if it will become a multipolar one. Russia will hold their fortifed lines and have an annual winter offensive, while bombarding critical infrastructue from long range. The cost to Western govts will be very large, but the cost to Russia keeping it going will be small. Ukraine will eventually be like living in the 19th century. Meanwhile, Ukrain is in ruins, a basketcase, totally dependent upon Western charity. Why on earth wouldn’t Putin love that, so why nuke? No,the status quo is too sweet. A lot of minds will change this winter.

  14. Enfield

    October 12, 2022 at 4:20 am

    The entire NATO and EU coalition is hostage to one man. A person who was successful in comedy circles poses and controls EU/US politicians today.

    If the Red Giant can’t replace him, the US will make a move on the matter when the battle is over.

    A gigantic mistake for the US to put this man at the helm, but no one can turn the tide as quickly as a politician and this man will realize that as well when the end is near.

    Sacrificing a completely innocent people to fight the freedom of Western countries is perhaps the biggest lie of the century.

    The politicians within the NATO coalition are so busy waging this war that they no longer know what peace means.

  15. Mario

    October 12, 2022 at 6:32 am

    “The NATO Vs. Russia Proxy War In Ukraine Could Become A Real War”

    Bad premise! This is a war BETWEEN russia and Ukraine. NATO (and non-NATO) countries just sell, lease or lend weapons. As any other nation could do. The russian agressors are borrowing weapons from Iran and North Korea and nobody talks about a proxy war of Ukraine against the three rogue states…

  16. Where are Alex and all other rus bots at?

    October 12, 2022 at 7:42 am

    ah yes, here this bum Ted being paid by china to let ruzzia free this time around :))
    still waiting for similar piece from Daniel Davis

  17. GhostTomahawk

    October 12, 2022 at 10:47 am

    I wonder why the worlds bad actors waited until Trump was gone to start acting the fool?

    Seriously. If you were Iran China or Russia which western leader gives you pause?

    Say what you want about Trump but he wasn’t going to take people’s mess and he said as much on tv… and you believed it. The only thing I believe about Biden is that he’s not in control of this country.

  18. Tallifer

    October 12, 2022 at 11:35 am

    This completely amoral essay tries to twist a defense of a small democracy against invasion, annexation, war crimes, corrupt influence and dictatorship into a proxy war between empires. I have lived in South Korea, and I can thank God that the United Nations defended her against North Korea and its allies, otherwise South Koreans today would be living under the same horror as their northern kinsmen.

    As for Afghanistan, the West tried and failed to support a brighter future for her citizens, but tribal traditions and radical Islam within destroyed her.

    History will harshly judge any man who supports Putin’s claims and demands.

  19. Roger Bacon

    October 12, 2022 at 11:51 am

    Well, the upside of Armageddon (never thought I’d say that), is that most of the deaths will be Urban areas. They all vote Democrat. A hundred years later we might just have paradise on Earth.

  20. Bertram

    October 12, 2022 at 12:40 pm

    Russia has already lost.
    The only open question is how badly they will lose.

    Provide Ukraine with a nuclear deterrent. Problem solved.

    Russia will be allowed to leave Ukraine peacefully, Crimea included, and if they do so, there will be no attacks on their retreating troops, or attacks across the border once they do leave.

    It is Russia’s fault that Ukraine has been turned into an enemy of Russia. They can bray all they want about the tactical importance of Ukraine to Russia. No one cares.

  21. OIF Combat Vet

    October 12, 2022 at 1:56 pm

    Ya think??? Zelenski is a tyrant, but he is our tyrant…and our feckless government is willing to commit bipartisan suicide to defend our tyrant.

  22. Fred Adams

    October 12, 2022 at 2:09 pm

    “not even remotely a vital U.S. interest.” This is a ridiculous statement, repeated mindlessly everywhere. It is most definitely not in our interest to allow Putin’s blackmail of the world to continue. Where would it end ? At the toppling of the Ukraine ? Think again. Rewarded by success, Russian aggression will know no bounds. As long as Russian aggression is not decisively defeated, there will be no peace in the world.

    People who argue that a Ukrainian victory is “not even remotely a vital U.S. interest” are speaking in support of Putin and unfettered Russian aggression. Know thy enemy.

  23. Tamerlane

    October 12, 2022 at 2:48 pm

    Ukraine isn’t our ally, and the United States has zero strategic interest in waging a war over Russia defending their own existential regional interests there.

    The only thing which would be accomplished if we “gave” Ukraine nukes would be to ensure nuclear war—also, the Russians would rightly understand the origins of those weapons and would justifiably strike the source.

    Only fools don’t take into account the primacy or importance of issues to one’s opponent. Russia cannot and will not leave Ukraine armed and within NATO. It would be a betrayal of the Russian people to allow them to be completely undefended against an expansionary, regime change imposing alliance like NATO.

    And no, NATO is not acting merely to sell weapons, it is acting as a direct participant, engaging in multiple casus belli (targeting, intelligence, live command and control assistance etc., not to mention the economic embargo which is under international law an act of war).

    “Freedom loving Ukrainians”? Haha! The most corrupt European government on the continent! Come on Goran.

    “Our nukes negate Russia’s nukes”… that doesn’t matter if our conduct is an existential threat to their existence. Even were mutually assured destruction guaranteed, Russia would still use nukes directly against NATO were that necessary to prevent an existential threat to them like Ukraine within NATO from occurring. Why do you believe Russia would just accept complete destruction instead of destroying those (like these Ukrainian troll commenters) who openly seek her destruction on the way out. The one way to guarantee nuclear use is to seek the destruction of Russia.

    Non-Jacksonian Non-libertarian Biden backer: “Nobody cares if Russia thinks Ukraine is part of its security interests, screw those corrupt authoritarian a-holes. It’s what the Ukrainians think of their sovereign nation that is important”—no, this is entirely wrong. The only perspective here which does matter is whether Russia thinks Ukraine is part of its security interests. Also—it is. It isn’t part of ours as Americans.

    “[the author] is stupifyingly ignorant of the significance of who controls Crimea. If Ukraine regains control of this penninsula, Russia effectively loses control of the Black Sea and, by extension, the ability to impose its will on the Mediterranean Sea and North Africa.”

    Leucking, no. The author is aware of this, and is unlike you, aware that the Russians are also aware of this, and that they will go to nuclear war/total war to prevent Russia and its ability to project power from being destroyed. We would do the same thing here in the U.S. Russia will go to whatever lengths are necessary to prevent this from happening, particularly against a non-NATO, non-American ally like Ukraine. The longer this war goes on, the greater the odds of Ukrainian demise.

  24. Jim

    October 12, 2022 at 2:49 pm

    As long as U. S. government leaders get down on their knees and let Zelensky slap them, things will go down hill.

    I feel humiliated as a citizen of this great country seeing our leaders prostrate themselves to a series of lecturing, hectoring, insults and demands.

    (loose talk about nukes from Zelensky)

    Europe is downright suffering with inflation, shortages, and psychological trauma.

    America is hurting, teetering on deep recession & markets are faltering… everyday folks can’t keep up with their bills.

    Damn it, how much more injury is the U. S. foreign policy blob willing to inflict on the American People?

    How much more damage are they willing to inflict on America’s international standing (and relations with the global south… does India matter, how about Indonesia….. …. Saudi Arabia)?

    We are losing them… the metrics on this operation stink… the blob has failed by their own metrics.

    Do we have to end up standing in ashes?

    Or do we stand up for what is in the American People’s best interest?

    And it ain’t this Ukraine Operation.

  25. Gary Jacobs

    October 12, 2022 at 5:20 pm

    Jim,

    You should be humiliated by the post you just laid out in public. India is being lost by …Russia. Modi just gave Putin a public rebuke about Putin’s war on Ukraine at their recent Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meeting. “I know that today’s era is not an era of war, and I have spoken to you on the phone about this,” Modi told Putin at a televised meeting.

    The leader of China wasnt much better to Putin.

    India is slowly but surely cancelling or threatening to cancel major military programs with Russia. And last I checked the Boeing F18 was being strongly considered for their next purchase. After they already bought a bunch of planes from France.

    That said, the devil does get his due as Russian propaganda has been successful in other places… including with people like you.

    As for Zelensky, one does not have to always agree with the way he asks for help or even what he asks for to know that if his warnings and requests had been listened to a lot sooner there would be a lot less dead Ukrainians, and they would have had more battlefield success a lot sooner.

    After Russia’s recent missile terror attacks on schools and playgrounds…all of a sudden Germany delivers SAMs in a few days instead of the expected months. That’s a microcosm of the foot dragging that has gone on in many cases, and it is therefore quite understandable for Zelensky to express his frustration with the slow pace of aid when he knows that also equals more dead Ukrainians at the hands of Russia’s imperialist aggression.

    You being upset with Zelensky being upset by his countrymen dying and his pleas for help says a lot more about your distorted view of the situation than it says about Zelensky. Stew on that for a bit.

  26. Gary Jacobs

    October 12, 2022 at 6:37 pm

    Jim,

    further evidence in today which contradicts the point you were attempting to make. The UNGA voted today on Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine. UNGA adopts resolution condemning Russia’s attempt to annex Ukrainian regions.

    143 of 193 members voted for Ukraine – more than in March with that resolution condemning Russia’s war. There were 29 abstentions this time as well. Including China and South Africa.

    Only 5 countries – Russia, Belarus, Syria, North Korea and Nicaragua – voted against support for Ukraine

  27. Jim

    October 12, 2022 at 8:52 pm

    Gary,

    Per CNN, Sept. 17, 2022

    “I know that today’s era is not of war and we have talked to you many times over the phone on the subject that democracy and diplomacy and dialogue are all these things that touch the world,”

    — Modi told Putin during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in the city of Samarkand in Uzbekistan.

    I welcome the statement as well as many others because the faster peace can be achieved the better.

    And I am not surprised as India has a long history of opposing violence as a principle of Indian foreign policy… which is a principle I also support.

    However, where rubber meets the road, trade & currency exchange, Rupees for Rubles, India maintains its diplomatic & economic relationships with Russia.

    India continues buying Russian oil at a vastly increased level from that which they purchased before the war started. That’s what Washington wanted to stop… and has not, so far.

    In terms of military purchases… time will tell.

    Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials don’t help themselves with their arrogant statements, as I stated above… it reveals their mind set:

    “You owe us”… No, the American People owe Ukraine’s government nothing.

    And every report of another inartful or rude statement by Zelensky or his ministers… is another nail in his political obituary.

    As far as the United Nations General Assembly, again I welcome the result because I’d like to see pressure for a Peace Conference.

    It’s Zelensky and his government that refuse to negotiate with Russia as long as Putin is president.

    If that is a pre-condition for participating in a Conference, it’s as good as a declaration on continuing war… which really is all Zelensky has done since the Istanbul peace negotiations fell through in late March… supposedly on orders (through Boris Johnson) of Washington… because Russia hadn’t been made weak enough… or Washington was still hoping for “regime change.”

    (Personally, I suggest that was a head fake because my suspicion is that Ukraine wasn’t interested in real peace just as much as Washington… after all, they have never been interested in peace, only war. Remember the Minsk Agreements, and how former president Poroshenko let the ‘cat out of the bag’ and said Minsk was just a buying time maneuver, not entered into in good faith)

    Very hard to trust anything Zelensky or Ukraine’s government officials say at face value.

    Unless they”re gloating about some war achievement.

    No matter, Ukraine’s agreement to attend a Peace Conference is what I care about.

    As I stated above (and what you conveniently skipped over):

    “Europe is downright suffering with inflation, shortages, and psychological trauma.

    America is hurting, teetering on deep recession & markets are faltering… everyday folks can’t keep up with their bills.”

    You don’t have an answer for that and you should be ashamed of yourself.

    The American People is what I care about… but you don’t seem to give a fig about them… all you care about is Ukraine… that witch’s brew of politics, corruption, and black market activity… no classical liberal democracy is Ukraine’s government…

    I wouldn’t give a bucket of warm spit for the human vipers in Ukraine’s government.

  28. KerenskyRepublic

    October 13, 2022 at 12:32 am

    The small, but very influential, cabal of of US based Neo-Con Jews (most publicly visible in PNAC think tank head Robert Kagan and his wife Under Sectary of State Victoria Nuland) want direct wars with BOTH Russia AND Iran. This is for illogical and irrational reasons, based in emotional thinking, and bound to their ethnic background. The name Neo-Conservative is a complete and contrived ruse. They are actually descendants of far left Trotskite grandparents, and remain complete ideologues. Their ideological focus is on targeted and aggressive military interventionism, meaning they remain committed to far left principle of political violence, and just like their grandparent’s guru, Trotsky, they see international level political violence as the answer and means to full spectrum global control. They do NOT believe in traditional statecraft or diplomacy, because they do not believe in the political philosophy that underwrites such moderation or international interdependence. They are radical ideologues with an Armageddon Complex: basically a modern day fusion of the ancient Jewish Zealots and twentieth century Jewish Troskyites. The is NO off ramp with this small cabal of US based war mongers.

  29. Scottfs

    October 13, 2022 at 1:04 am

    Everyone seems to forget how deeply involved the Russians were in Vietnam. They supplied sophisticated weapons to the Viet Cong, which led to the deaths of thousands of American.

    This is the same. Time for turnabout. Putin has nothing to complain about

  30. Frank Breut

    October 13, 2022 at 5:51 am

    The various comments above suggesting USA first-strikes against Russian Federation shows just how poorly educated the western public has become since the end of the Cold War. In the mid 1980’s the Soviets devised a self-initiated, full scale strike, nuclear missile response system. Designed to auto-respond if the Kremlin, and Red Army command and control, were knocked out by a surprise first-strike US nuclear attack. Basically, they have a closed network computer system that requires the nuclear division of their military to log on and ‘check in’ over set hours in the day. This is also securely linked to input data from all the electronic and seismic sensory stations, for both electronic spying and weather reporting, across the whole country. If this software system detects no ‘check ins’ over a set period, combined with nuclear level seismic activity, plus some other key related data inputs, it initiates itself, and then launches three very unique intercontinental ballistic missiles. This is the Soviet legacy Deadhand System. The system’s name is self explanatory. Those three missiles head in three separate directions, their nosecones have no weapons payload, rather they are jammed with advanced electronic communications systems. Once in flight, these missiles constantly transmit the required nuclear codes, to underground automated receiving stations below, that then initiate ballistic missile launches from ALL the silo districts in their three respective flight paths, spanning the whole of the Russian territory from Europe to Asia. This is unstoppable once it commences. There is no turn off sequence. The Russians have around 6500 nuclear ballistic missiles, which target every NATO base in Europe, and all the major bases and major coastal cities of USA. This sort of basic Geo-strategic information was actually taught to college kids in the late 1980’s, at height of Cold War, apparently not anymore. Just to make it even more serious, since then, the Russian’s have developed some extra nuclear hardware. The Zircon hyper-sonic missile, that does not travel in a predictable arc, making it near impossible for surface to air interceptor missile systems to have an algorithm capable of predicting its flight path to intercept it. It also travels at hyper sonic speeds using scramjet engines, meaning it can outrun standard interceptor missiles. Then there is the Poseidon nuclear torpedo, more an underwater intercontinental ballistic missile than a traditional torpedo. Launched from a submarine it’s undetectable after the launch. It is designed to travel to a preset coastline and detonate offshore, the result is a radioactive Tsunami wave, that will swamp over a targeted coastal land mass with devastating impact on everything in its path. The point being, a USA offensive nuclear first-strike, without receiving full retaliation is LITERALLY impossible against the Russian Federation. That is the whole reason why the USA is pursuing a hybrid war against Russia in first place, via a proxy war in Ukraine. Anyone suggesting otherwise is either poorly and dangerously ill-informed, or an outright reckless liar. Period.

  31. jeff davis

    October 13, 2022 at 11:55 am

    Hysterical delusion, the result of the overwhelming dominance of “The Western Narrative” ie propaganda, rules the broken minds of the West, from Prime Ministers on down. Then there is REALITY.

    Putin remains calm and and deliberate and will not rise to whatever provocation. Russia is half way to completing the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine. Winter will bring the complete Russian conquest of Ukraine and an end to EU/NATO resolve. Hungary, Bulgaria, Serbia, and now Italy are already gone.

    Germany will bail on the parasitic EU and join the Eurasian future.

    Six months from now this will all be over and no amount of propaganda will be able to be able to disguise that reality.

  32. Zelen Churchill

    October 13, 2022 at 12:45 pm

    Max Boot is a jerk, that’s not news but Jacksonian Libertarian has it correct. It’s bizarre seeing how so much weakness from those who swallow Putin propaganda whole.

    As JL wrote, “It’s what the Ukrainians think of their sovereign nation that is important, and clearly they are willing to fight for their right to self-determination. The 1st world has no choice but to support their rights, or see the basis of international borders evaporate into anarchy. And if this means destroying the Russian ability to bully neighboring countries, and throws the fear of the 1st world into Authoritarians everywhere, then that’s just gravy.”

    It’s utterly bizarre how people OVERLOOK the concept of nations, sovereignty and international law. They actually think Putin can throw away decades of international law and just say, “War of the jungle, me want Empire. Let me or I nuke you.”

    Which shows you no matter the education, stupidity of people will often prevail.

  33. John Donkey

    October 13, 2022 at 2:23 pm

    I don’t think Putin will drop a nuke in Ukraine, as he still wants to stay in the good graces of China, India, Brazil, South Africa, and the “global South,” all of whom have ignored NATO sanctions. At least he will refrain unless NATO becomes directly involved.

    I am thinking we are more likely to see sabotage of EU energy sector this winter. Which of course could trigger NATO article 5, which could lead to the above circumstances where he would use nuclear arms.

    All in all, folks in the West should be looking for a way to bring this conflict to a close instead of prolonging it, but we all know that isn’t part of the Gloperialists playback. At least they have their fallout bunkers in case things go south.

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