And Plan D...
Really nicely written, succinct and perceptive analysis. This will be very useful for some of my students in their Contemporary World Problems class. I always appreciate good, clear, and insightful writing. Thanks for writing this.
What would happen if some of the leaders of the Orthodox Church who may not be under Kremlin influence (e.g. His Holiness Bartholomew I) condemned or even ex-communicated Putin?
"It is now as likely that there will be regime [change] in Moscow as in Kyiv."
Machiavel also wrote that it is worst of all for a prince to be despised for corruption and offenses against women. And guess where Putin is now.
They've tried to destroy Ukrainian aviation, but thanks to US, NATO's intelligence Kyiv was aware about the launch of rockets prior and at the same minute they've been launched. That helped Ukraine save their fleet and most of the mobile radars and anti-aircraft launchers. Yes, Putin's plan is insane. To try a blitzkrieg without protecting your lines of communication and provision is madness. Also he made the mistake that any self-respected drug dealer doesn't do, Putin got high on his own propaganda. Instead of flowers he got Molotov's. Another stupidity is to start a war at the end of winter. Every tank or armoured vehicle's driver knows, driving on mud off-road you use more gas and have I high risk to stuck in it. Finally, how one Ukrainian journalist has said, Russian army has no experience of modern warfare, just colonial ones. The leveling up of Chechnya's cities and villages that almost brought annihilation to this nation or the same experience in Syria.
Thank you for this preview of tomorrow's traditional media talking points. It must be frustrating for you to be plagiarised in the way I'm seeing your work lifted, without attribution.
I would love some recommendations from this newsletter of other information sources on the war, especially on the ground, that we might be able to trust.
The West now needs to engage in a holding pattern with Putin for the medium term. He won’t be in power for ever he is 70 years old. Some concessions now that stop the bloodshed and then revisit in a decade. What we can’t do is get too drawn in and I’m glad Liz Truss was shut down over volunteers and a no-fly zone has been squarely rules out. A nuclear war helps no one.
Plan E: Putin is terminated and the assault ends. The most important lesson of human history is that evil individuals risen to power inflict horrifying, widespread suffering. The most important lesson of the last two centuries is that self-rule with representative, constitutionally-defined government and limited, separated powers thwarts evil individuals from inflicting great damage.
clear at this point that Putin must be stopped, as he has no intention of doing so himself.
"It is now as likely that there will be regime change in Moscow as in Kyiv."
How about Caracas?
This is superb.
But does he want to win? A prolonged war means Ukraine not joining NATO for a long time.
Oh the pitfalls of hubris. Putin, a short little fart, has such abundance of pride --that it's smothered out the tiniest thread of wisdom he may have possessed at one time. PS: Also, he's got tiny hands. (I am sorry that many lives will be lost because of this fat-on-ego monster.)
In the words of the GOAT Mike Tyson… Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth. ...
This is very a intelligent opinion piece, but it is still an opinion piece. There is a perfectly viable opposing argument that carries equally viable logic, but is much more unpalatable. There is little evidence that Putin is losing popular support in Russia. There are substantial protests against him but I've been on protest marches in London against Nuclear Weapons, Student Grant Cuts, the first Gulf War, the Second Gulf War, Poll Tax and Trump's visit. All those protests were notable failures and that's in a democracy where leadership popularity matters. Protests in Moscow and St Petersburg mean absolutely nothing.
President Putin will remain in control until someone opposes him with more power and control than he has and currently there are no reports of anyone with anything remotely resembling sufficient power to dislodge him. That doesn't mean they don't exist, but it would be rash to assume they do.
One British leader said of the American military that they always find the right way of doing things, usually by trying every other way first. This may also be true of the Russian military. Just because they have fucked up in Ukraine, does not mean they will lose, it simply means they will take time to bring their numerical and logisticial superiority into effect. The longer it goes on, the more brutal and indiscriminate they will become, but Putin has not even begun to enter the stage of murdering generals who refuse to carry out his will. But we should be under no illusion, he will do that if he had to.
In the absence of specific intelligence indicating that there is some form of growing opposition to Putin either within the political classes or among the general population, we should assume that Putin's grip on power is unchallenged. While he remains in charge, he will simply increase the level of force used against Ukraine until, if need be, the country either surrenders or is utterly destroyed. As a result of that, he may have to murder tens or hundreds of thousands of Russians to control the domestic backlash but there is no indication that he would hesitate from that level of tyranny. Vladimir Putin does not take notice of opinion polls. Until there is something to stop him, nothing will stop him.
Freedman sure knows how to write. Awesome piece