“A US-Russia war over Ukraine would be catastrophic”

“As a former Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) officer and specialist in Russian doctrine and strategy who participated in dozens of war games that simulated a U.S.-Russia conflict, I am gravely concerned about the high risk of Washington going to war over Ukraine.  

If you thought $2 trillion and 6,000 American lives were a steep price to pay for a no-victory outcome of a 20-year engagement in Afghanistan, you ain’t seen nothing yet.  Video

U.S. costs and losses in a war with nuclear Russia would be catastrophic. Such a war is unwinnable, and it is not worth sacrificing American lives to wage. 


Russia’s elevated force posture along the Ukrainian border – including 114,000 soldiers, special forces, intelligence operatives and heavy weaponry, counting tanks – is reminiscent of Putin’s 2014 invasion of Ukraine. This, along with recent high-risk encounters between U.S. warships and the Russian navy in the Black Sea, and Putin’s warning on Nov. 13 about the U.S. throwing down the gauntlet to Moscow, constitute what’s called in the intelligence business “indications and warnings” of an impending crisis.Video

Concerned about the high probability of Russia’s outright invasion of Ukraine, U.S. intelligence has warned European allies that there is but a narrow window of opportunity to deter Putin. 

Predictably, Washington “experts” discharge advice that is not grounded in reality, in this case that while Ukraine is part of Russia’s vital interests, it is not part of America’s. Some advocate accelerated acceptance of Ukraine into NATO, which in their “expert” view would guarantee Ukraine’s security by virtue of obligating the U.S. and NATO to step into a Russo-Ukrainian conflict on behalf on Kiev. Others call for troop deployments into the region to deter KGB spymaster Putin.”  foxnews

Comment: This woman speaks common sense. pl


This entry was posted in government, Russia, The Military Art. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to “A US-Russia war over Ukraine would be catastrophic”

  1. Sam says:

    Off-topic but George Carlin saw it clearly.


    Contemporary Americans are not what their ancestors were. We have become a people so easily frightened and fearful that the ruling class exploit it over & over again. It is such a reliable tactic.

    Could Americans withstand prolonged adversity?

  2. TTG says:

    Here’s a little background. Ukraine gained independence in 1918 from Russia for a short time, like a number of peoples then under Moscow’s rule, before becoming a Soviet Republic under Moscow a few years later.

    After the fall of the Soviet Union, Ukraine again declared independence. She tried to unlock the nuclear weapons on her soil. Given the level of corruption that followed, we can all be thankful those efforts failed and the weapons were returned to Moscow’s control.

    The Orange Revolution of 2004 was a much more organic and democratic Ukrainian revolution than the Maidan revolution of 2014. Yanukovych was Putin’s man, but when he lost to Yushchenko in 2004, Putin was caught off guard. From that point Ukraine began moving towards a European orientation. Putin helped Yanukovych return to power in 2010, but the best he could hope for by then was a nonaligned Ukraine. The Ukrainians were no longer content to be Moscow’s satellite. Putin was content with nonalignment.

    We weren’t content with that. We got greedy and started training and instigating Ukraine’s own deplorables to carry the revolution a step further. We ended up with Euromaidan and nazi battalions trying to exterminate the Russian Ukrainians.

    Naturally, Putin was alarmed by our audacity and he seized what was in Russia’s true national interest – the Crimea and the strategic bases at Sevastopol. He couldn’t risk Sevastopol becoming a NATO base, which I think was Hillary’s and Elena’s true goal. He lent massive support to the people of Donetsk and Lugansk to prevent a slaughter. It was Moscow’s R2P, a justified R2P in my opinion. I’m still amazed Putin didn’t roll his army to the Polish border or at least to the Dnieper back then. After all, we started it. He could have destroyed the Ukro-Nazis quickly and withdrawn before NATO could do anything. The Ukrainian Army was damned near nonexistent at the time. Putin displayed a lot more restraint and finesse than I would have.

    And now we’re here. We want what we want. Moscow wants what Moscow wants. And the Ukrainians are in the middle. Hell of a time and place to have a young comedian as the head of state.

    • Ishmael Zechariah says:

      re:“Hell of a time and place to have a young comedian as the head of state.
      Is Zelensky the only comedian?
      Ishmael Zechariah

    • English Outsider says:

      TTG – that’s the perfect brief and authoritative summary of the whole Ukrainian mess. Thank you.

      The unanswered question is to what extent Europe including the UK was also responsible. I stress “including the UK” because as well as being aligned with the American neocons, we were in the EU at the time and strongly supportive of Germany in other areas of policy.

      Sakwa’s work on the 2013 EU/Ukraine trade negotiations is highly critical of the whole sequence of events that led up to the denouement. That denouement being Mrs Merkel left flat-footed by the Ukrainian decision not to accept the deal and complaining she was like a bride left standing at the altar. But unlike most jilted brides she doesn’t seem to have called it a day at that.

      What Sakwa does not go into and probably doesn’t have sources for is the extent to which Lady Ashton’s team was involved in events thereafter. The Nuland phone call plus Lady Ashton’s own call leaves no doubt that her team was heavily involved with local players at the local level in Kyiv at the crucial time.

      In so many interventions – one need only instance Libya and Syria – there’s always a doubt as to whether the Euros pushed the US or vice versa. The Ukrainian tragedy is usually laid solely at the door of the US; but until the extent to which the Europeans helped it all along is determined I believe that might be too simplistic a version of events.

      • English Outsider says:

        All that looks a little vague so yesterday evening I spent some time hunting around for solid references. The internet is a most ephemeral means of storing information and it’s now difficult to get at references to what was happening at that time.

        But when it comes to references there are none more solid than those unearthed by Dr North, who’d been following the doings of Brussels from a European perspective for some time. A hunt through his old blog produced the following references to the actions of the EU in Eastern Europe:-

        There should thus be no mistake. These agreements are not about increasing trade in sunflower seeds and walnuts. They are an attempt by the EU to become a regional force that can project power, right up to the Russian border. Just don’t expect the BBC or other British media to tell you.

        The Daily Telegraph, for instance, also omits the defence pact details. It simply reports on the “landmark economic trade pact”, the signing prompting “a furious response from the Kremlin”. Even the US press doesn’t get it. It talks of an “economic pact” and then has Grigory Karasin, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, warning in rather vague terms of “serious consequences”.

        The Russian news agency, ITAR-TASS, however, is more informative. It has the Russian Foreign Ministry stating that: “the EU counterparts failed to prove the association agreements’ advantage”, expressing concerns that “the rupture of trade and economic relations with our neighbours can damage the Russian economy”.


        (on EU expenditure)

        “The extent of funding to the Eastern Partnership is colossal. Between 2011 and 2013, just EU spending on Ukraine was €389 million with €13,524,357 given to single beneficiaries in 2012. As much again was given to multiple recipients. But even more sinister is the way money was parcelled out to NGOs in relatively small packages, making a little go a long way.”


        (on the Association Agreement)

        “Go back a little, to December 2011, and you can see the game the EU was playing with its Association Agreement. The aim was, it said, “to accelerate the deepening of political and economic relations between Ukraine and the EU, as well as Ukraine’s gradual integration in the EU Internal Market including by setting up a deep and comprehensive free trade area (DCFTA)”.

        The Agreement was a “concrete way to exploit the dynamics in EU-Ukraine relations, focusing on support to core reforms, on economic recovery and growth, governance and sector co-operation”. It was also seen as “a reform agenda for Ukraine, around which all Ukraine’s partners can align themselves and focus their assistance”.

        Thus the EU saw itself as the spearhead around which western penetration could be organised, including US aid.

        But this was always much more than a series of isolated association agreements with individual countries. It was very much part of a concerted programme to detach Russia from its allies, under a programme called the “Eastern Partnership policy”, encompassing Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.


        I had not seen those contemporaneous references before writing the above since I was not following Dr North’s blog at that time. But I’m glad I managed to dig them out. They do show past doubt that the US was not the only player in that Ukrainian tragedy.

        • TTG says:

          Thanks for the research. I knew the EU was on board with the Ukraine project, but I didn’t know they were that fully invested. We didn’t hear much about it on this side of the Atlantic. On the contrary, the talk of the town here was Nuland’s “F*ck the EU” phone call with Pyatt.
          I did hear about the outsized contribution made by the Baltics. Not surprised about that at all. Given their long history with Moscow, it’s no wonder they would give the Russians a little kick when the opportunity arises. But keeping those old animosities alive aren’t doing them any favors.

  3. Jim says:

    Def. Sec. Gen. Lloyd James Austin III, retired United States Army four-star general just said:
    “We’re not sure exactly what Mr. Putin is up to.” I heard him say it myself.

    Since his retirement from military service, Mr. Austin served on the Boards of Directors for Raytheon Technologies, Nucor, and Tenet Healthcare.


    Rebekah Koffler
    “Is Ukraine among America’s vital security interests? Is America’s safety, security, territorial integrity and long-term survivability even remotely reliant on Ukraine? The answer to both questions is a resounding ‘ no.'”

    Koffler on Twitter this morning:
    [[Clueless Pentagon Chief Lloyd Austin, who surrendered Afghanistan to Taliban, said this about Putin’s massive military build up near Ukraine:

    “We don’t know what Mr. Putin is up to.” @PentagonPresSec

    Sir, read my book that your DIA staff tried to censor.]]


    If someone put a gun to my head, I’d say, based on post-“Maidan” historical $$ exports from USA to Ukraine, that Austin’s non-statement statement is more bluffing and/or posing. Pretending to make off US is going to actually step right into the Ukraine [Dog SH*T].

    Based on export data, the US is not going to be doing any war in Ukraine, which will not stop the bluffing and the BS, including out of the mouth of Austin.

    Since Obama/Biden 2014 orchestrated coup in Kiev — and Victoria Nuland’s “F**K the EU” performance circa 2014 — the following exports to Ukraine from US [appx.]:

    2015 $800 Million
    2016 $1.1 Billion
    2017 $1.75B
    2018 $2.5B
    2019 $2.4B
    2020 $1.8B

    As of data through nine months this year,
    2021 = $1.7 Billion.
    Assuming 2021 monthly export average of ~ $190 Million, then [add Oct. Nov. Dec.]
    2021 estimate = $2.2B — $2.3B.

    Should export data from US to Ukraine spike wildly upward, in Oct. Nov. and Dec. 2021, then, perhaps this would mean a US something or other in Ukraine; however, current data does not indicate any such major changes for past several years, from 2018 peak of nearly $2.5 Billion exported to Ukraine.




    Austin had this to say on Afghanistan:
    Via his Twitter, [with video] Nov. 20: “As we wound down the 20-year war in Afghanistan, the world witnessed again the power of our network of partnerships. When America asked for help, our friends stood up. Leadership from region helped us to evacuate 124,000 people from Afghanistan.”


    No comment.

    • Sir, read my book that your DIA staff tried to censor.]]

      Koffler is overselling herself so dramatically, that even this current fact of her being largely correct, cannot obscure her utter lack of what she states she has–knowledge of “Russia’s strategic culture”. She is a graduate of Moscow’s Pedagogic Institute as an English language teacher and she never was in any professional capacity near any Soviet/Russian military-intelligence operations and has absolute zero military background (not to mention the fact that she never had any clearance in USSR/Russia to have access to to documents constituting this very Russian “strategic culture”). But she is a perfect example of “sources” on Russia in the US, including the living proof of why the US has very little clue on Russia and lives in the world of made-up narratives about Russia and her history.

  4. Ed Lindgren says:

    It was hard to justify all those big-ticket defense items (CVNs, SSNs, F-22s, F-35s, etc) when Islamic State, the Taliban, and the like were the ‘big’ threat on the block.

    The re-creation of a threat that centered on ‘peer’ adversaries was like manna from Heaven for the MICIMATT (to use Ray McGovern’s expansion of Eisenhower’s classic MIC). The Pentagon decided that 20 years in the wilderness was enough.

    The late COL John Boyd USAF famously said:

    “People say the Pentagon does not have a strategy. They are wrong. The Pentagon
    does have a strategy. It is ‘Don’t interrupt the money flow, add to it.’”

    ‘Defending’ Ukraine and Taiwan will keep the taxpayer spigots wide open. Let the good times roll!

  5. Aletheia in Athens says:

    A have seen a video in Telegram of a military convoy in Germany going Eastward…

  6. d74 says:

    The whole Ukraine is not worth the hide of an American rifleman.
    The loss of Ukraine will not make any diamond fall from the US crown.

    Even Putin (of the KGB) does not want it. Too expensive. Donbass yes, likely.

  7. walrus says:

    Please, please read “Bloodlands” by Timothy Snyder. The whole belt from the Baltic to the black sea, including Poland, was the scene of unimaginable carnage and atrocity starting pre WWII under Stalin and continuing through WWII under Hitler and Stalin. It is axiomatic, in my opinion, that no one in that entire region is purely rational when it comes to foreign policy discussion and we are thus meddling in and stocking ancient quarrels and vendettas that are likely to explode in our faces at the worst possible time.

    As either or both Snyder and Tony Judt points out, there are few natural barriers in this region and the kingdoms, again from the Baltic to the black sea, are mere creations of the forces of arms and balance of power at the time. There is no “ancient” kingdom of Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, etc., especially not with proud traditions and mythologies. All this land has been fought over, depopulated and repopulated, segmented, traded, annexed, etc. for a thousand years. That makes any statements regarding things like “historic destiny” fatuous drivel.

    To reprise Bismarck; The Baltics and Ukraine aren’t worth the life of a single American infantryman.”

  8. Personanongrata says:

    “A US-Russia war over Ukraine would be catastrophic”

    Yet another in a long line of contrived emergencies being promulgated by US/NATO “experts” who are clearly afflicted with a thermonuclear death wish.

    US/NATO “experts” have skipped their medication and slipped their straight-jackets while in the throes of a deluded psychosis where Russian armed forces operating within Russian territory are a threat while at the same time US/NATO armed forces operating hundreds/thousands of miles from home constitute a benign presence.

    US/NATO lunatics truly have run of the asylum.

  9. fanto says:

    I read one of Snyder’s book – The Road to Unfreedom – and was shocked by his biases; I will never again buy any of his books…Snyder is popular with the US “nomenklatura”, and professor at Yale

    • walrus says:

      Yes, Snyder doesn’t like Russia or Russians and his book portrays “Russiagate” as true – we now believe it to be fiction.

Comments are closed.