Thursday, June 13, 2024

How I think the Ukraine Conflict would end

Ukraine affects us all at the existential level. 

We see that both sides—NATO with Ukraine as proxy vs Russia—can’t see peace happening. 

  • If Kiev gives up, NATO could crumble which means the West itself as we know it. 

That hundreds of billions have vaporised towards sustaining a faraway regime would enrage citizenry enough to uproot governments the elections of which are due in Ukraine and the US in less than two years. 

Right wing forces would be unstoppable, the nationalistic fervour would deal a death blow to European Union (EU), already beset with refugee crisis from the Middle East and Africa,  and now millions of Ukrainians pouring in across the borders. Inflation and recession, the economic haemorrhage…I leave it to your imagination. 

  • If Russia runs out of men and weapon, the hordes would surround Moscow in a blink; it could disintegrate into pieces and a civilization would sink into dark ages. The Muscovites would rather put everything on line, including a mutually assured Nuclear destruction than to let it happen.

So let’s look into the future and take an educated view on how this all would pan out.  

War, to West and East, mean two completely different things. 

Russia which has seen many a times in its history Moscow being surrounded, razed and burnt to the ground, look at its protection from not just a military point of view. 

It sees war as an existential matter, involving political, economic, social and even civilizational cost.

It’s prepared to burn itself down—like it did with Napoleon—to ensure the enemy gets nothing and loses all its vitality. 

The Eastern Front, the deadliest, most brutal and the greatest conflict on land in human history during the World War II, was decisive in ending the Third Reich and giving the world as a trophy to the West even though none suffered more than Soviets who lost 30 million of its men, mostly citizens. 

So here is this thing to remember: War to Russia is not just its army. Its citizenry know the implications and are prepared to lose everything. 

And like it happened in 1814 and 1945, it’s prepared to chase the enemy all the way to Paris or a Berlin, to ensure the serpent isn’t left with venom for a long, long time. 

To the Russians, A War isn’t better than just a battle if the long-term objective isn’t factored in. 

Their long-term objective in this Ukraine Conflict, to my mind, is leaving NATO exhausted and exposed, and the Western economies in a mangled state for its citizens to bring about a fundamental change in how their elites and media have duped them thus far. 

It would shape a new world, like it did after 1945, not in the image of a Hegemon but the one of a multipolar order in which Russia could rightly claim to be its architect. 

China having sustained it economically, and India with its courage and buying spree, would be judged by history to have been of invaluable asset in this quest.

The Western approach to War, in contrast, is completely different. 

But for the two World Wars in 1914 and 1945, they have never had to mobilize a large land force and resources. 

They went out for their objectives, rarely had to defend their borders, a prerequisite for Russia with thousands of kilometres of vulnerable borders. 

The West thus has never been forced to raise a large army, relied rather on technological superiority and quality of its weapons, and depended on proxies, peacekeeping missions, small expeditionary forces etc to achieve its objective. 

Yes, it got bogged down in Vietnam, in Algeria or Angola, but it was all away. Beyond a point it wasn’t prepared to lose the flower of its manhood once it realized the hopelessness of its mission, like it recently happened in Afghanistan. 

It thus appears in Russia’s interest to bog the West-NATO down in Ukraine till the latter sees the hopelessness of its mission for Russia to shape its borders, Europe and the World to its advantage. 

Russians are in no hurry to end the Ukraine Conflict. 

The way it fights its war is to lose its men and ammunition but ensure that the enemy is left with it neither, and since it has more men prepared to die, and more ammunition, it’s they who are left standing in the end. 

West fights its wars not for its borders but to satisfy the unlimited greed of its military industry. 

Russia in contrast has all its energy and sinews geared only towards the protection of its borders and society. 

Russia ensures the war materials and investments are for the State and its safety.

The West on the other hand does it for a private sort of caucus which takes precedence over nation’s well-being. 

The West fight its wars for its billionaires. Russia for its people. 

Russia is being mocked for its old weapons which is both hubris and stupidity. 

Russia always looks to have weapons which could be operated by conscripts or new recruits without much loss of time or advantage. The turnover is seamless. 

The West in contrast goes for weapons which are complicated and need dexterity and experienced hands to be effective and once this corpus is exhausted, a like-for-like replacement isn’t possible in a short time. 

So even if the US-NATO spends 20 times more than what Russia does on its military budget, the former can’t spare the number of men or long enough for that qualitative advantage to sustain itself over a long period of time. 

So Russia is waiting for the West to reach that moment of helplessness and futility for it to give up on Ukraine. 

West had thought it would suck Russia dry of its economy for the citizens to rise in revolt and replace Vladimir Putin but none of the sort has happened. 

Once US give up on Ukraine—be sure it would not be without war clouds on Serbia or Taiwan with the shameless Media shifting the humanity’s attention elsewhere—it would be the moment for Russia to demand and get what it wants. 

From what one has gathered from the peace proposal it sent to the West before it put its boots on the Ukrainian ground, Russia would ensure Ukraine ceases to be a military threat for many decades.

Anyone can see that the reconstruction and rearming for Ukraine, as well as for the new manpower to emerge, would take years as it is now. For its infrastructure to be put in place, investment to come in—nobody could bet on it as nobody could if the Ukrainians would ever return to the wastelands which was once its home. 

Russia, thereafter, would surely go for its other hostile neighbours, NATO or non-NATO, to be neutral henceforth. Where Poland and Baltic nations could have their armies but not significant enough to be a trouble in future. 

The West, it seems, knows nothing about Russia. Erich von Manstein, the best general of Hitler, once said that only when you think you’ve killed all the Russians, another bunch comes over the hill.

Napoleon too learnt at the cost of losing everything.

Otto von Bismarck, the maker of modern Germany, had a warning for those bullish and foolish enough to take them on: “Don’t fight with Russians. To every stratagem of war, they react with some unforeseeable brutishness.”

So be ready. Ukraine conflict isn’t getting over in a hurry. 

But whenever it would be over, it’s Russia which is likely to achieve its goals—at a tremendous cost of course. 

But then it’s nothing new. 

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