October 27, 2022

In 1799, Marshall Alexander Suvorov led a Russian army and all its cannons across the Alps in the dead of winter. A plaque near Gotthard still commemorates this epic military feat.

In March 1814, Russia’s emperor Alexander I entered Paris at the head of his Imperial Guard, ending Napoleon’s rule.

In 1945, Russian forces under Marshalls Zhukov and Konev fought their way into Berlin. The Red Army destroyed 75% of all German and Axis forces.

Russians are great warriors. They are courageous, often heedless of death, and masters of the art of war.

So, what has happened to the Russian Army in Ukraine? It has fought poorly, moved at the speed of ox carts, blundered around and suffered heavy casualties and heavy loss of armored and air forces.

Start with Russia’s military hierarchy. It’s led by a civilian, Sergei Shoigu, a crony of Putin and a man without any military training or experience. But he’s loyal to Putin.

He reminds me of poor, old Egyptian field marshal, Abdel Hakim Amer, Nasser’s buddy, who misled his nation’s armed forces into the 1967 catastrophe. When Israeli warplanes attacked, using US satellite data, Amer was smoking dope in his airplane.

Putin was a KGB officer. He had no military background beyond ruthlessly crushing the second Chechen uprising – with US help. Chechen chief Ramzan Kadyrov has blasted Shoigu and called for his head. There has been far too much political interference with Russia’s military.

Putin wanted a limited ‘military action,’ not a full-scale war against what was not so long ago an integral part of Russia. Hence the once formidable Red Army was kept on a leash, deprived of Russia’s most modern weapons, and ordered to go easy on the rebellious Ukrainians.

Russia’s artillery, the Queen of battle, ran out of ammunition. The Red Air Force was ordered not to risk its expensive Sukhoi fighter-bombers. Its space-based targeting was jammed or degraded by the US and NATO.

Equally important, the conflict in Ukraine has already turned into a mini-World War Three as the US and its key allies struggle to deliver the coup de grace to the Russian federation.

This war is not about freedom for Ukraine – as potent western propaganda incessantly tells us. It’s about crushing the last remnants of former Soviet power and turning the fragments into docile mini states dominated by Washington and London.

Since CIA overthrew Ukraine’s pro-Russian regime in 2014 – which cost an estimated $50 billion – Moscow and Kiev have been at daggers drawn. Putin’s Russia refuses to recognize Ukraine as an independent state. Kiev, backed by tens of billions of dollars and a massive arsenal of arms from the west, rejects Russian hegemony.

The US wants to see the Balkanization of Mother Russia. The next targets may be Russia’s Far East or the Russian Urals. The war party in Washington, Republicans and Democrats alike, appears determined to crush the life out of what’s left of Russia and achieve the strategic goal of America’s neocons of eradicating any potential military opponent of absolute worldwide US power. Once Russia is laid low, China will be the next target – in fact, it likely already is.

The Biden administration has already poured close to $100 billion of aid and huge amounts of arms into Ukraine, a staggering and risky sum for a nation with a $31 trillion deficit. Add billions more from Canada and US allies in Europe who would prefer to see this war end.

The current wave of high inflation has been ignited in large part by Washington’s reckless spending over Ukraine. This is money the US Treasury does not have, and must borrow, fueling roaring inflation.

A decade ago, President Putin proclaimed that Russia would cut conventional military spending and increasingly rely on nuclear arms.

Yet we are surprised now that the Kremlin is rattling its nuclear weapons. We should not forget that before the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union, Ukraine held and produced substantial numbers of nuclear weapons and delivery systems. These were supposedly all junked, but Ukraine probably holds a few nukes in secret.

Meanwhile, western forces are openly operating in Ukraine against Russian forces. The full panoply of US power is witnessed there: space intelligence and air-born intelligence; naval operations blocking the Russian Black Sea Fleet; vast amounts of artillery, electronic warfare, conventional land warfare conducted by special units from Poland, the US, Britain and Germany.

As this column has been saying for years, the prime duty of the United States, the world’s premier power, is to avert any possible nuclear confrontation in Eastern Europe. Diplomacy, not more arms, is the answer.

The answer is clear: stop trying to draw Ukraine into NATO, stop trying to fragment Russia. Let the rebellious Russian-speaking regions of Ukraine join Russia if they so desire. Pull western forces out of the region and resume quiet diplomacy. Let France lead this sensible effort.

Copyright Eric S. Margolis 2022

This post is in: Russia, Ukraine

9 Responses to “STOP WORLD WAR III – NOW”

  1. Don’t overthink things and spend too much time looking at RT Tv. Really 1799? Sounds romantic. Glory or should we say gory history shows us the truth. Russia never had a particularly noble military or political class- its casual disregard for life , murder of its own soldiers, civilians and ethnic minorities alike consigns it to trash heap of failed empires. Poland and Russia’s neighbours and federation allies knows well the behaviour of their “friend” Russia. Given a choice today people would pick the corrupt capitalistUSA m over the kleptocratic criminal oligarchs running Russia. McDonalds wins any day over cold borscht with an FSB agent pointing a gun at your back.

  2. But what about the question on everyone’s mind? Isn’t WW3 a euphemism for nuclear war? I think so. Or will this conflict burn on as a proxy war for 20 years, conventionally? If a nuke is used, and now Eric, you have raised the geopolitical risk ante exponentially by musing about the quite logical likelihood of Uke Nukes in the mix, it’s anybody’s guess as to the future of Europe (if not the world). You describe a Russian reality that is desperate. Desperate men do desperate things. I think that is already in evidence now by Putin’s systematic destruction of Ukraine’s eastern cities: “If we can’t have it, nobody can”. That plays well to your scenario; of a long-term bankrupting conflict that can only help the UK-US aims you describe. But what has Putin got to lose? The West plays a risky game with all our lives and now at a weapons’ destructive scale and caliber that threatens the earth’s ability to sustain life at all. Tripping this conflict into a thermonuclear contest cannot have any winners and so it cannot have any losers either. ‘Cause who will be there to point that out to Putin or Nato, for that matter, the day after, that someone won?

  3. oldcanuck says:

    Eric, do Imperial Superpowers ever have Allies save of necessity?

    Are not these Dangerous times indeed because of warring 4-cornered Imperial hubris between Russia, America, China, and the motley post-Brexit Europeans?

    The United Kingdom only began listening to ‘Colonials’ and to Americans when those Colonials & later those Yanks were all that stood between disaster & survival. Similarly, America will not listen to France, Germany, nor to the UK now. Has America ever listened to France, Germany, the UK, Mexico or Canada unless it was America’s idea to do so?

    While Biden is smarter and vastly more able than the former, and possibly future Orange Mussolini Wannabe, America would be Bankrupt were it not home of the the World’s Reserve Currency.

    America’s post Depression economically imbecilic rich had to pay massive taxes to pay for WW2. That was 1941 – 1945. Now Biden is trapped by a 1% who will not pay their taxes. Is it starting to smell like 1848 on a Global Scale yet?

    • You forgot to include possible effects caused by climate change. Drought ‘ravaged’, starving people could have a real inpact on the geopolicial makeup of the world. I have no idea of how severe this could be, but it could get really ‘ugly’.

    • chessandonions says:

      The relation between Russia and Ukraine is not that of colonialism but of common history. Kiev is the cradle of the Russian culture. This is practically a civil war.

      Similarly Canada is a vassal of the USA, but since USA is rich, it suits us just fine to lick their shoes.

  4. chessandonions says:

    As crazy it may sound, the only prevent the nuclear war is to have Republicans in charge of the White House. But once they settle in, they will continue this idiotic war.

  5. I understand that Alexander Suvorov was a brilliant military strategist, like Bonaparte… and received numerous awards. I also understand that he came into conflict with royalty and at the end, was ‘cast aside’.

  6. Statecraft aside, pretty clearly the Ukrainian people do not want to serve as vassals of Putin and his cronies. There is a huge amount of corruption in the west – Canada is a leader here – as Putin claims but he is so very much worse.
    His ambitions for a Greater Russia are primitive and boundless. Think Ontario’s Doug Ford with a huge army. Putin has to be stopped because if he wins, he will become bolder. If Hitler had won over Russia, would his ambitions have stopped there?
    Stopping Putin seems expensive but even in the short term, it is the cheapest defense option we have.

  7. Joe from Canada says:

    Thanks Mr. Margolis.
    Yours is a rare call to reason and thinking outside the box.
    Many will agree, but dare not speak aloud in fear of social ostracism.
    One hopes that Macron and the pope will continue to work for peace.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.