Thursday, May 12, 2022

Rising stakes in Europe

News this morning is that Finland is set to join NATO asap and Sweden will likely follow suit. Exactly the opposite of what Putin wants. Meanwhile, Russian forces are reportedly being driven back in the north of Ukraine around Kharkiv.

This goes to show how badly the Russian dictator has miscalculated outcomes after his attack on Ukraine on February 24. Based on bad military advice he greatly overestimated the effectiveness of the Russian armed forces in the face of a well equipped and trained enemy.

History should have taught him that the winners of wars are usually those that have access to ongoing war supplies and so can wear down the enemy, as the Soviet Union did, with Western help during WWII. And that supply of war materials is now available to Ukraine.

Putin completely miscalculated the reaction of Ukrainians to the “special operation” because of his limited perspective on how the people in that former Soviet republic feel about their present lifestyle, as compared to one under Russian domination.

He is also faced with increasing unrest among young Russians, who have developed a taste for the Western lifestyle and don’t necessarily listen to their parents very much. And they are being sacrificed in this war to appease the dictator and the mindset of his cohort.

Now, Putin is feeling the steel ring of NATO closing around his neck and his reaction is becoming increasingly unpredictable. The outcome is that the will and mood of one individual determines the fate of millions of people, as Europe and the rest of the world found out the hard way in WWII.

The big winner in all this? As always, the financial/military/industrial complex on both sides of the conflict. Losers? The rest of us.

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