Ukraine: Outcomes Pt 1

To be honest, a lot of the ‘oh my goodness this needs to happen or we’re all going to diiiieeeeeee’ reeeeing I’m seeing is annoying. To be polite. It’s almost all about emotions and using emotions for partisan political near-term advantage. There is almost nothing long-term being considered in the hysteria. There is almost no basis in fact, history, etc. being presented. So, let’s take a minute or ten, and take a look at the situation as it exists, possible outcomes, and the dangers of each.

As I’ve said before, history rarely truly repeats itself but it sure does seem to like to rhyme. There are a lot of people trying to push a 1930s/Nazi-era take on things, particularly a Chamberlin/Churchill analogy with Vladimir as Hitler. Facile, but it does have elements of truth to it. Though it would have held up better if not for Vladimir’s effective annexation of Georgia and previous invasion of elements of Ukraine.

Though one can find some parallels going back to the Greek/Asia Minor wars, some far better analogies can be found in both sieges of Vienna (and what led to them) and the 30-Years War. That said, I think the best analogy to the current situation lies in the 1912-1914 timeframe and what led into World War I. The web of secret and open treaties, alliances, partnerships, economic networks, ambition, corruption, and out-of-touch and incompetent leadership class focused on maintaining the lucrative status-quo (for them) is a far better framework for understanding today. There are books to be written on the topic, but for now we hit just some high points.

Russia, aka the Russian Federation, is a huge territory rich with resources, and without the ability to effectively extract or process them. That this is a self-inflicted wound is not acknowledged by the Russian government or people. The system is corrupt beyond the belief of most of those in the West, leadership or general public. The inability to grasp that the Russians are not ‘just like us but speak funny’ extends pretty much to every segment of leadership not just in the West, but the world IMO.

Russia is allied with Belarus, which has a number of historic implications. For all that they are allies, there is a lot of contention given that at one point the leader of Belarus was, according to some, considered as the supreme Russian leader so as to fully integrate Belarus with the new Greater Russia, aka Russkiy Mir. Geography also makes this important to Russia in regards re-absorbing the Baltics and Ukraine into the new Greater Russia.

The next most important ally for Russia right now is Iran. Two pariah states, they are linking banking and other systems as they don’t have anyone else to lean upon. Both have ties to Syria and other countries, but only Iran has the arms and manufacturing (and ports and a few other things) that Russia needs. That Iran, like Russia, is heavily dependent upon technology from the U.S. and Europe that just happens to conveniently get by sanctions (cough, cough) is a point worth noting.

The third most important ally right now is, of course, China. China is not first because whatever Xi the Pooh may wish for, neither Vladimir nor others in leadership are stupid enough to fully trust or become dependent upon China. They are closer to that than they like as it is. Not being stupid, they know very good and well that if China sees them go down or get weak, there is a lot of disputed and not-disputed resource-rich territory China would love to have. Territory that it can be argued that Russia only nominally controls.

The fourth is India. India is a wild card in many respects, but do not underestimate the ties that have been cultivated by both sides. India has needs with which Russia can help, including an escalating border dispute with China. Again, this is just the high points and you can write a book or books on this situation and each of the alliances.

While not an ally per se, you have North Korea in the mix. While reports of weapons sales to Russia may or may not be accurate, they have supported Russia and to an extent Vladimir. Wild card, but a most interesting one given both nuclear and missile capabilities.

Now, those are the open and acknowledged things. If you think there are not clandestine treaties, agreements, and alliances in place, again I have that bridge for sale. For purposes of this exercise, treat them as a given. Treat it also as a given as that some are going to be a surprise when and if they come out.

Now, let’s look at Ukraine to get a better idea of some of the players involved on that side. I think it worth noting that there is a difference between the concept of “The West,” NATO, and those supporting Ukraine in its resistance to being invaded. In fact, I would treat NATO as a fractured entity at this point. In fact, there is a pretty large schism between those who were a part of the USSR at gunpoint and the original NATO members. The newer NATO members have a very different take on things, to be polite.

Now, keep in mind that when Ukraine became independent again, it agreed to give up the nuclear weapons on its soil as the U.S. and others agreed to safeguard and defend them. Such guarantees were given.

It is worth noting at this point that all prior Russian invasions, of Georgia and Ukraine, occurred under the Obama/Biden administration. The response of EU leadership to those is worth noting as well.

Now, the primary ally of Ukraine is the United States. The U.S. provided security guarantees and more, and has been a trading partner. U.S. and Ukraine business and other interests are heavily entwined, to be polite. There are a number of impolite things I would like to say, but we will leave things here for now.

While NATO and the EU are allies (de facto or de jure) of Ukraine, it is worth noting that such is not evenly reflected by the position of major member countries. The United Kingdom has been a good ally on many fronts, as have a number of the former USSR countries. France has been middle of the road, and for some reason the word opportunistic pops to mind. Germany has not been a good ally, but given how German leadership (corporate and political) climbed into bed with Putin and Russia on energy and other topics (cough, techtransfer, cough), it is not surprising. Again, I could say a number of impolite things, but will not do so at this time.

The web of alliances, treaties, agreements, and such — open and covert — put those of 1914 to shame. They cover not just Europe, Scandinavia and such, but most of the world. Keep in mind that economic alliances are likely to be much more cohesive and strong than military or political ones.

Now, don’t forget the Asia/Pacific area. While not necessarily allies to Ukraine, Japan, Korea, and other countries have been following things with a very close eye. They not only have Russia as a neighbor, and an interesting history, but they also have China, who is being very aggressive militarily and otherwise. They have North Korea who is aggressive (to be polite). The levels of aggression are such that Japan has taken steps to boost its defense capabilities and alliances. Nor is Japan alone in doing so. Again, open and covert treaties, agreements, and alliances throughout the region.

To close out today’s post, let’s take a quick look at so-called key leadership around the world. Remember, preventing war depends on stable, informed, and intelligent leadership.

In the U.S. we have the Biden Regency and the demented meat puppet. A regency that is shedding some interesting members. In Canada, we have PM Castreaux (nee Trudeau). The United Kingdom has Charles and Sunak. Germany has Scholz, France Macaroon, and the EU is a mess of bureaucrats. Russia has Vladimir who is having medical and political challenges. China has Xi, who faces serious challenges from within and without. Japan has Kishida, and frankly he may be the most stable politically of them all. Korea has Yoon Suk-yeol. North Korea of course has Kim.

Stable, competent, reasoned, intelligent leadership. Lord, your mercy on us all.

The above is an honest prayer. For we do need mercy and guidance now and in the days ahead. Where we are now makes 1912-1914 seem simplistic. Tomorrow, more on outcomes and risks.

UPDATE: Thanks to Rich Lowe for pointing me towards this excellent examination of Biden and the Biden Regency as Carlos II. Robert Oscar Lopez does a masterful job of comparing the two, and the comparison is far more apt than many will care for. The War of Spanish Succession had far-reaching consequences, and what is happening now will have far-reaching consequences for the Republic and the world as well.

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