A Sunk-cost Fallacy

Joe Biden not long ago insisted that sending tanks and fighter jets to Ukraine would be the start of World War III. Now he has promised to send tanks and there is talk of sending F-16s.

If conditions in Ukraine are as Doug Macgregor describes them, Joe Biden will be throwing good money after bad.

Ukrainian losses — at least 150,000 dead including 35,000 missing in action and presumed dead — have fatally weakened Ukrainian forces resulting in a fragile Ukrainian defensive posture that will likely shatter under the crushing weight of attacking Russian forces in the next few weeks.

Ukraine’s materiel losses are equally severe. These include thousands of tanks and armored infantry fighting vehicles, artillery systems, air defense platforms, and weapons of all calibers. These totals include the equivalent of seven years of Javelin missile production. In a setting where Russian artillery systems can fire nearly 60,000 rounds of all types — rockets, missiles, drones, and hard-shell ammunition — a day, Ukrainian forces are hard-pressed to answer these Russian salvos with 6,000 rounds daily.

Elsewhere, Macgregor estimates that Russian casualties (dead plus wounded) total 65,000.

There is some hope (but little certainty) that Biden’s active duty generals will save the U.S. from their commander’s incontinence. On the other hand, one never can predict what a crazy old man will do.

12 thoughts on “A Sunk-cost Fallacy

  1. The Sunk Cost Fallacy is very much at work here, and very deadly.

    My Dad, who left LSU 2 weeks after Pearl Harbor and never finished his engineering degree, was initially a supporter of the Vietnam War, but by the time I was old enough to be drafted (1968) he saw we weren’t in it to win, and advised me to avoid getting involved. He saw no point in putting me, or anyone else, at risk in a war that was already lost.

    He recognized a sunk cost fallacy at work even if he didn’t call it that. Had his opinion been accepted widely, we would have saved about 30,000 lives lost in the next 6 years for no gain.

    The same is true of Robert E Lee, who disobeyed Jefferson Davis’s orders to fight a guerilla war in the Virginia mountains after Richmond fell, to surrender at Appomattox. With no hope the South would prevail, he would not waste another life on either side for a lost cause.

    To continue to throw Ukrainian and Russian lives away just to further weaken Russia for our purposes is cynical and evil.


    1. There is no parallel with Robert E. Lee or the Vietnam disaster. We did not start this war. We are not throwing away lives. That would be the fascist dictator Putin. He is the one who is cynical and evil and yet you want him to prevail?

      We have two choices. . .
      1. Stab Ukraine in the back.
      2. Give them the help they ask for to expel invading Russian forces from their country.

      It is up to them when to end the war and on what terms. It is not our decision to make.

      Russia can have a very prosperous future as a leading member in the family of law-abiding nations. It just cannot have that so long as it is lead by Putin or anyone like him.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. The sunk coat fallacy should be top of mind for Putin. He is the failed invader who just won’t let go no matter the cost in lives and equipment. And those costs have been astronomical for Russia. He has no military worth a plugged nickel so he uses Wagner thugs, better trained hit men really, and fill their ranks with conscripts and prisoners.

      He is the one who is a pariah and the world should have no reason to tolerate such behavior from a nation. He is killing both Ukrainian civilians and his own citizens hoping he has more bullets and cannon fodder to absorb Ukrainian ammunition.

      That Putin has reneged on treaties, used his nukes to extort through fear and kills indiscriminately any opposition worldwide. A win for Putin would leave Europe, and the rest of the world for that matter, with a looney, fanatical and bloodthirsty loose cannon closer to European borders who will be much more dangerous in the future. And a “win” won’t really be anything more than continuing insurgencies in the bread basket of much of the world.


      Liked by 2 people

  2. MacGregor again? Useless panderer to Putin. I don’t buy any of his assessments as being truthful or legitimate. I have said it before, but here you go posting his “ANALysis.”

    “To continue to throw Ukrainian and Russian lives away just to further weaken Russia for our purposes is cynical and evil.”

    The Ukrainian people are fighting for their freedom. There are no “our purposes” involved.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: “I don’t buy any of his assessments as being truthful or legitimate.”

      I do.

      You are welcome to explain your thinking, but without an explanation there is no reason for me to stop posting about Macgregor.


          1. Then why do you continue to defend him when I call you out for posting his horse hockey.

            Including this little tidbit you mentioned above. “Macgregor estimates that Russian casualties (dead plus wounded) total 65,000.”


            I’ll take the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs assessment over MacGregor’s every day of the week and twice on Sunday. And that was from over a month ago.

            Liked by 1 person

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