Tuesday 21 June 2022

Colonel Douglas Macgregor says 'The war has been lost a long time ago'

Good readers, Borges said, are very black swans indeed. I am lucky to have such a swan in Toma, who posts fascinating things here in comments.

He reminded me of Colonel Douglas Macgregor, whose stuff another friend sent to me at the start of the war. Col Macgregor was nominated by Donald Trump to be ambassador to Germany and it sounds like he would have made a good one, but the Senate did not ratify the appointment.

I found this recent interview with him on the net.

Plenty I disagree with in it, but quite a bit that is probably right. 

I am confident Putin wanted to take Kiev originally. Colonel Macgregor like Scott Ritter (until he changed his mind for a moment) always argued Russia would win easily. 

Unlike David Goldman, who thinks Putin intends to destroy Ukraine, Colonel Macgregor thinks Putin wants to remove a threat that Ukraine and the USA would try to recapture the Crimea.

'The Ukrainians had been very straightforward about their determination to re-conquer the Donbas and then, subsequently, to regain control through conquest of Crimea. If you're a Russian and you're looking at that — and you're seeing the enormous buildup of weapons and equipment in Ukraine, particularly Eastern Ukraine, and you reckon that the United States at some point is going to move strike assets in terms of medium, intermediate-range missiles into Eastern Ukraine that could reach very important targets in Russia in a very short period of time — you make the decision to go in or sit and do nothing.

'The calculus [for Russia] was very simple: “If we do nothing, what happens? Well, the situation in Ukraine becomes more and more dangerous with each passing month and year to Russia. If we do something, we'll be condemned by everyone, but we can at least destroy the threat.”

'Ultimately, they came down on the second option. It's not the best, but it was the only one they saw because they saw no evidence that we or anyone else was going to listen to them.

'Now, the question is, “What is the United States' strategic objective in Ukraine? What do you want the situation to look like when the fighting ends?” That question was never asked, and it's never been asked in any of the interventions we've conducted over the last 30, 40, 50 years.

'...I think that NATO is weaker than ever. The unity you're seeing is a facade, at best. Macron was absolutely right, and he was not the first to make those statements. The United States does not have allies in Europe. It has military dependencies. There is one country in Europe that is capable of fielding significant military power and dominating the scene if necessary, and that is Germany. Germany, today, is what it was before World War II and World War I. It is the dominant power, regional power, and, to a large extent, an international power.

'....Russia is not afraid of the Europeans and never was. Russia always saw the European states as entirely subservient to, and dependent upon, Washington. NATO is the United States-led alliance. As long as we are seen as the dominant power in Europe and unambiguously hostile to Russia, then, yes, Russia is going to view what happens under the broad title of “NATO” as an existential threat to Russia.'

What do I think? I just don't know and nor does anyone. I do think sanctions are going to be more painful for the West than for Russia and will not affect the outcome of the war. I do want peace soon. 

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