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It is not our fight to fight -
But it's also wrong to stand back and watch.
We aren't even fighting. We're just giving essentially token moral support.

Russia is not going to start shooting down NATO aircraft. That would be a clear escalation and would brook reprisals. Russia must know that they can't win this war if it escalates, they are far outmatched by NATO. Any overtly hostile action against NATO will lead to rapid demilitarization of Russia using conventional means. Russia, if it were wise, would try wrap this up keeping Crimea. They are in danger of losing that strategic position. The longer this drags out, the likelier Putin is to suffer a coup.
 

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I think it would be exceedingly bad idea to capitulate to Russia's sabre rattling about nuclear weapons. Showing other bad actors that threatening to use nuclear weapons to extract concessions from the West is effective would be a very bad idea in terms of avoiding further proliferation. Reward it and give Iran more reasons to sprint for nukes. Not to mention that abandoning Ukraine is a clear signal to others that feel threatened by nuclear powers that they should pursue their own nuclear deterrent. Countries like S Korea, Japan, Poland, Saudi.
 

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Capitulating to regimes like Russia I think increases the risk of miscalculation. It makes it difficult for regimes like Russia to know what crosses the line for the West when they are flouting international law. They may take action that they think they can cow the West into inaction over by waving some nukes, only to overstep the boundaries and brook direct intervention and escalation. Russia has long wanted to snatch Gotland from Sweden, and China would like to take Taiwan. Making it clear that these are likely to lead to a lot of pain is a good way to prevent future wars.
 

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That Perun video I linked earlier is pretty good. I suspect that Ukraine is not in such a bad position as it might seem at the moment. The biggest winner of this situation is probably China. The West is making out pretty well. We are, if nothing else, greatly depleting Russia's capacity to wage war by forcing them to dig deep into legacy stocks of arms, as well as forcing Europe to embark on a path to gain their independence from Russian energy. Ukraine and Russia are the big losers.
 

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War in Ukraine is chump change compared to Iraq and Afghanistan, and American kids aren't coming back in body bags. The commodity disruption is more painful, but would have happened regardless of the stance the West took on Russia's actions.

The West can sustain this war far longer than Russia can. It's a modest inconvenience for us, and Russia is lying to mothers about where their children are.
 

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In my view the sanctions were put in place so that Russia would back down and that did not happen. The EU's move away from Russian energy longer term will have a huge impact to Russia. It is likely Russia will see further decline as a nation. It's population will suffer as a result of Putin's insane attempt restore the great Russian Empire. A few questions that remain for me are:

1) Will the Ukraine maintain its borders and and be admitted to the EU
2) Will the EU be able to prosper post conflict due to a lack of energy certainty/price concerns
3) Is there a chance that a global conflict arises with Pelosi's visit to Taiwan?
Russia has made it untenable for Europe to maintain any interdependency. It is a matter of domestic security that Europe develop alternatives to Russian supply for all strategic goods and resources. Regardless of whether Russia capitulates, Europe has to ensure their domestic security.
 

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That's just a symptom of helicopters being of extremely limited use in this theatre, with neither side able to achieve air superiority and being threatened by widely dispersed MPADs on both sides. For helicopters to survive they have the fly extremely low, engage at the absolute extreme of their range and GTFO.
 

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Just watched “Top Gun Maverick” yesterday and I know it’s a movie. But they also had to fly F-18 ultra low and below the radar.
I also know that Ukrainian pilots using the same ultra low flying strategy were able to reach besieged Mariupol (100 km plus from the front line) and also carry out a strike into the russian territory.
Not saying that helicopters are completely useless in this war, just that many of the missions helicopters are intended for are not viable due to the threat of being shot down. I don't think many people a year ago would have expected a Russian offensive to have shown the absolute vulnerability of tanks against infantry, the importance of drones in spotting, and how much of the fighting has boiled down to an artillery duel.
 

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A really long watch/listen, but pretty engaging if you find these things interesting:


Highlights/TL;DR of his analysis:
  • Russia is boned
  • A lot of Russian O&G production and distribution is going offline for the long term
  • Russia is unlikely to capitulate in this war. Russia fights until they run out of men for the meat grinder.
  • US/North America will deglobalize and disconnect from global energy markets (I am skeptical)
  • China is in big trouble demographically
  • He expects China CCP regime to collapse in the near term (I am skeptical)
  • Ukraine war shows that China's plans for Taiwan invasion are hopeless. Taiwan is less accessible geographically and better prepared for invasion than Ukraine. A quick fait accompli invasion is not in the cards.
  • Energy prices to skyrocket in Europe and particularly Asia.
  • Renewables are not viable (not sure how this jives with his opinion that oil/gas prices are set to skyrocket in Europe and Asia). I don't think this jives with the explosion in renewables development globally.
  • Famine is coming for a lot of the world due to disruption in inputs. I hope this is not the case.
 

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Perhaps the general public in NATO countries will push their politicians to implement a diplomatic solution to end the hostilities in Ukraine.
Support for Ukraine is very high, and attitudes toward Russia are very low in the West. Ukraine won't be facing pressure from allies to sue for peace. Ukrainians overwhelmingly think they can win the war and are not in the mood to capitulate.
 
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