Ill-Equipped, Ill-Supplied Russian Military
Putin’s clear-cut but unambiguous invasion should have decapitated the government in Kyiv., allowing Putin to annex the eastern half of Ukraine. The rest is history, continues VDH.
It was poorly led, with a high percentage of low morale, conscript troops. Russia had no viable strategic plan to capture, much less hold, the Ukrainian capital. Ukraine was Russia’s version of our Kabul–but tens of thousands of deaths added to the equation.
Putin’s 2008/2014 Aggressions Went Unpunished
Why did Russia’s Putin not invade Ukraine between 2017 and 2020? Mr. Hanson asks. Apparently, it’s not to be asked in “polite company.” Hanson speculates that Putin’s good behavior in those years was due to fear of an unpredictable U.S. presidential response.
To Vladimir Putin, by 24 February 2022, the Western alliance had clearly lost any power of deterrence, continues Mr. Hanson
The catastrophic rout and flight from Afghanistan and utter abandonment of an embassy, and billions of dollars in sophisticated weaponry to the Taliban, suggested to the Russians that the current U.S. military had adopted different objectives from its once feared past. It appeared to some in Moscow that the Pentagon was starting to resemble former Soviet armies, where ideology trumped military preparedness and lethality.
President Biden Enhanced Putin’s Interpretation
- Biden slow walked initial shipments of offensive weapons to Ukraine.
- Biden asked Putin to tell his hacker to be more selective in their attacks on U.S. Targets.
- Biden begged Putin to pump more oil at a time when the U.S. was cutting its own production.
- Biden hinted that the U.S. response would hinge on the size of the “inevitable” Russian invasion.
- Biden lifted sanctions on German-Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
- Biden sought to suspend the East/Med natural pipeline project into Europe in what Mr. Hanson calls “perhaps the stupidest foreign policy move of Biden’s administration.” Was Biden thinking Europe did not need more natural gas, or that Cyprus, Greece, Israel were enemies and not friends? Perhaps he thought high natural gas prices in Europe would incentivize more windmills and solar panels?
- Biden was vice president in the disastrous Obama administration’s “reset” and “hot mic” appeasement of Russia, which led to the 2014 invasions of eastern Ukraine and Crimea and ‘the Hunter Biden syndicate’s interference in corrupt Ukrainian politics to leverage millions of dollars into the Biden family coffers.”
Serious Considerations for U.S. Leaders
Will Russia be forced to pay reparations to pay for the damage it did to the Ukrainian people? Mr. Hanson thinks it’s not impossible to see Russia humiliated and forced back to its 2014 lines. At that point diplomats can use “ongoing sanctions to leverage plebiscites on the future of these disputed territories.”
An alternative is to unleash the Western-supplied Ukrainians to up their border incursions and to sink much of the Russian Black Sea fleet with American missiles and to expect an unhinged and likely ill dictator with 6,000 deliverable nuclear weapons to concede that he destroyed the Russian military by guaranteeing the loss of majority-Russian–speaking lands he had claimed he was defending–and as desert ruined the Russian economy.
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