Putin’s on the Brink

https://tinyurl.com/5xp7rfwx

In this opinion piece the writer lays bare what sort of disaster Putin is bringing down on his country. It is not a pretty picture.

Lest anyone dismiss this piece because, you know, leftists this man is a lifelong Republican who was the National Security adviser to Newt Gingrich and on the staff of Senator Grassley.

18 thoughts on “Putin’s on the Brink

  1. RE: “In this opinion piece the writer lays bare what sort of disaster Putin is bringing down on his country. It is not a pretty picture. ”

    Opinions are like bellybuttons; everybody has one. The writer summarizes the main points of his bellybutton as follows:

    “In less than six months, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war of choice has had catastrophic consequences — for Russia itself. It has resulted in at least 60,000 Russian casualties, more than the total number of fatalities suffered during the 10-year Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. It has led to a long-term Russian loss of political influence and energy leverage in the West. It has helped resuscitate the NATO alliance, which just a few years ago seemed to be on its last legs. And it has inflicted severe, long-term damage on the Russian economy, effectively erasing all of the gains made since the Soviet Union’s collapse.”

    I doubt Russia has suffered 60,000 casualties (dead and wounded), because the writer’s own source points out that nobody knows the real number. I’ve seen estimates as low as 12,000 Russian casualties compared to 90,0000 Ukrainian casualties. I wouldn’t presume to know the actual counts unless they were reported by the Russian and Ukrainian militaries themselves and verified by independent sources. Put another way, I wouldn’t pretend to know the actual counts unless I was trying to fool someone.

    Both the “long-term Russian loss of political influence and energy leverage in the West” and the resuscitation of the NATO alliance are rather funny. The first is no great loss to Russia and the second is inconsequential, since NATO has no stomach to fight Russia face to face.

    Finally, the “long-term damage on the Russian economy” probably won’t be “severe” because Russia is spearheading the development of a new world order with the BRICS+ nations. In any case, economic gains Russia made since the collapse of the Soviet Union have not been eased. It remains the only economy in the world that is totally self sufficient in terms of food, fuel and minerals. To grasp this reality, compare the Moscow subway:

    with the Manhattan subway:

    Or, look at the vehicles Russia builds at home

    Or contemplate Russia’s advanced technology. A hypersonic missile (which we don’t have):

    Space rockets for, say, visiting the International Space Station (which we couldn’t do before Elon Musk came along):

    Like

    1. I seem to recall several missions to the ISS before Musk came along.

      One lie kills the rest of your rant. But if you think things are so great in Mother Russia, please feel free to move there. I am sure your service to Putin will be well received.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Nobody is using the Russian subway whereas NY’s looks busy with workers, tourists and shoppers.

          Russia does have nice clean subways. Or used to. They were touting those decades ago.

          Musk is private enterprise, the benchmark of a capitalist society. NASA did all the groundwork for decades and now the benefits have borne fruit.
          You should be proud of that and not denigrate us in favor of state sponsored rockets in Russia.

          Same with Mars. Private enterprise is now picking up where NASA left off, or will eventually.

          What is more quintessentially American?

          Liked by 2 people

        2. RE: “You should be proud of that and not denigrate us in favor of state sponsored rockets in Russia.”

          Don’t be ridiculous. I haven’t “denigrated” anyone, only pointed out a few factual comparisons.

          Like

          1. Yes you did.

            “ …which we couldn’t do before Elon Musk came along)”

            We made it possible for our capitalists to succeed.

            But enough of the semantic arm wrestling.

            Here is an article that tells most folks that Russia is desperate. The mercenaries of the Wagner Group are now combing prisons and reducing physical requirements for this elite quasi Russian military institution.

            https://www.wsj.com/articles/wagner-mercenaries-enter-the-spotlight-as-russian-troops-struggle-in-ukraine-11660826515

            Liked by 1 person

          2. RE: “We made it possible for our capitalists to succeed.”

            We couldn’t deliver American astronauts to the ISS until our capitalists succeeded. That’s why we used Russian rockets. Do you disagree?

            If you want a commentary on the WSJ piece, why not post it as a topic? My comments in this thread are in response to The Hill piece at the top of the thread.

            Like

          3. Who was taking astronauts to a space station long before ISS. Space shuttle ring a bell?
            Then as time went by, we let private enterprise take the reins. Same as our drug companies. We, taxpayers, cover the basic research, then off they go and make pills and big bucks.

            That is something to admire or at least, particularly for conservatives who want government out of everything, except when they don’t.

            I posted it because you indicated that Russia may not have lost as many men as Western sources have estimated.

            According to the WSJ, they are desperate. When a country has to empty prisons and pay mercenaries $60-70K per year plus huge bonuses while their own soldiers are being slaughtered, underfed and not paid.

            Liked by 2 people

          4. RE: “Who was taking astronauts to a space station long before ISS?”

            Who built the space stations the Shuttle visited?

            RE: “When a country has to empty prisons and pay mercenaries $60-70K per year plus huge bonuses while their own soldiers are being slaughtered, underfed and not paid.”

            Employment of the Wagner Group doesn’t indicate that Russia is desperate. It indicates that Russia has options other than using regular military personnel.

            Besides, WSJ describes Wagner Groups operations in Ukraine and Syria as reliably effective.

            Like

          5. They are “recruiting” prisoners with minimal training. This is something one might expect if you are defending the homeland against an invader. Not as an instigator of an elective war.

            Speaking of homeland, the US has never had to defend its homeland against invaders crossing borders with massive armies and equipment. People tend to get prickly about defending where they have centuries of roots, families, businesses, culture and friends.

            Generally, I would suggest that most Americans have no idea about defending the homeland. We have always fought wars on somebody else’s property, then gone home.

            Suggesting that Ukraine and Russia should just settle their disagreements is a bit disingenuous. Especially since Putin has dismissed Ukrainian sovereignty.

            Liked by 2 people

          6. Space technology – from the past – has virtually nothing to do with the article I posted. I will agree that Russia was doing very well by many measures BEFORE the ruinous war-mongering and the effect it is having took hold. Such is the folly of war.

            But, while you are busy trashing our country because we chose to work with Russia on one phase of space exploration, I would remind you that BY FAR the most significant space technology deployed so far has been by the United States. I am not referring to advanced robots exploring Mars – which Russia does not have. But rather to the Hubble and now the Webb telescopes which have radically changed our understanding of the Universe. It does not get more important than that.

            Liked by 1 person

          7. RE: “I would remind you that BY FAR the most significant space technology deployed so far has been by the United States.”

            I don’t care. It’s a dumb metric, and misses the point that the photos reveal: In terms of infrastructure, consumer products and advanced technology Russia cannot be described as a backward county.

            Like

          8. “I don’t care. It’s a dumb metric”

            Uh, I think it was you who cited Russian space technology as a rebuttal for the claim that its economy has been severely damaged by war. In that respect, it is indeed a very dumb metric.

            And nobody described Russia as “a backward country.” The point was that its economy has been and will continue to be badly damaged because of Putin’s war.

            Liked by 1 person

        3. …”in ad hominem attacks that have no basis?”

          I stated my basis. Based on damned near every post concerning Russia, you have been pro-Putin, and pro-Russia. In your mind it appears Russia and it’s authoritarian leader can do no wrong.

          If I hit a nerve, maybe it is because you know I am correct.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: “Ooooh! Pretty pictures!”

      Glad you noticed, since you wrote, “It is not a pretty picture.” Well, obviously, it is!

      Like

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