Get Ready for ‘Ukraine War into the 2030s’

Demanding Russia end its aggressions without the west agreeing to end its own aggressions that led to this conflict is demanding Russia submit to being ruled and dominated by the western empire, says Caitlin Johnstone.

U.S. airman prepares weapons and other equipment bound for Ukraine during a foreign military sales mission at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, Jan. 21, 2022. (U.S. Air Force, Mauricio Campino)

By Caitlin Johnstone

Listen to Tim Foley reading this article

Western officials and media pundits are now directly acknowledging that Ukraine’s much-touted “spring counteroffensive” has been a catastrophic failure, but rather than seeing this as a reason to reconsider the mainstream political consensus on this war, they are instead telling everyone that the counteroffensive’s failure means we must commit to the status quo of bloodshed and nuclear brinkmanship for years to come.

In a recent article titled “U.S. and G-7 Allies Expect War in Ukraine to Drag On for Years,” Bloomberg reports that the U.S.-centralized power structure expects to be backing its proxy conflict against Russia for a very long time, potentially into the 2030s. 

Bloomberg reports:

“The U.S. and its allies in the Group of Seven now expect the war in Ukraine may drag on for years to come and are building that possibility into their military and financial planning.

“A senior official from one European G-7 country said the war may last as much as six or seven more years and that allies need to plan financially to continue support for Kyiv for such a long conflict.

“That’s much longer than many officials had expected earlier this year, but slow progress in Ukraine’s counteroffensive in recent months has tempered expectations.”

In a recent interview with CNN, outgoing Joint Chiefs chair Mark Milley said that achieving Kyiv’s official goal of fully recapturing all Ukrainian territory is going to require “very significant effort over a considerable amount of time.”

“I can tell you that it’ll take a considerable length of time to militarily eject all 200,000 or plus Russian troops out of Russian-occupied Ukraine,” Milley added. “That’s a very high bar. It’s going to take a long time to do it.”

In a recent interview with German newspaper Berliner Morgenpost, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also pounded home the point that this war will drag on for a very long time.

“Most wars last longer than is expected when they first start. Therefore, we must prepare ourselves for a long war in Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said.

“We are all wishing for a quick peace,” Stoltenberg added. “But at the same time, we must recognize: If President Zelensky and the Ukrainians give up the fight, their country would not exist anymore. If President Putin and Russia laid down their weapons, we would have peace. The easiest way to end this war would be if Putin withdrew his troops.”

You see this claim from empire managers and their apologists all the time: that the only obstacle to peace in Ukraine is Russia refusing to leave. This of course ignores the many extensively-documented western aggressions which are known to have provoked Russia’s invasion, a fact that Stoltenberg himself admitted to earlier this month

Demanding that Russia end its aggressions without the west agreeing to end its own aggressions which led to this conflict is just demanding that Russia lie down and submit to being ruled and dominated by the western empire. It’s not a call for peace, it’s a call for the total victory of Washington and its cohorts.

Stoltenberg reinforced his point that this war will drag on for years by affirming that Ukraine will gain NATO membership when this war is over, which is effectively a message to Moscow that if it still finds NATO membership for Ukraine unacceptable it must either annex Ukraine into the Russian Federation entirely or keep this war going on forever.

“Ukraine will become a member of NATO — all allies have made that clear,” Stoltenberg said, adding that Ukraine will need NATO protection when the war ends, otherwise “history could repeat itself.”

The western media are conveying the same message. Notorious empire propaganda rag The Economist has a new article out titled, “Ukraine faces a long war. A change of course is needed,” featuring a Ukrainian flag with the words “TIME FOR A RETHINK” scrawled across it.

If you didn’t know anything about The Economist you might assume at first glance that this was an article about rethinking the approach of backing an endless proxy conflict — especially after its opening paragraphs acknowledge that “The plan is not working” and “Ukraine has liberated less than 0.25% of the territory that Russia occupied in June.”

You would be wrong though. What The Economist means is that we should switch from thinking of this as a war that can be won in a timely fashion to one which will continue for the foreseeable future:

“Both Ukraine and its Western supporters are coming to realise that this will be a grinding war of attrition. President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Washington this week for talks. ‘I have to be ready for the long war,’ he told The Economist. But unfortunately, Ukraine is not yet ready; nor are its Western partners. Both are still fixated on the counter-offensive. They need to rethink Ukraine’s military strategy and how its economy is run. Instead of aiming to ‘win’ and then rebuild, the goal should be to ensure that Ukraine has the staying power to wage a long war — and can thrive despite it.”

So western empire managers and their agenda-setters in the mass media are making it as clear as could be that the U.S.-centralized empire has found itself in yet another endless war, another “grinding war of attrition” featuring unfathomable destruction and suffering with no exit strategy, which once again pours vast fortunes into the coffers of the military industrial complex. The only difference is that this time it comes with the added bonus of the threat of nuclear annihilation.

All for what? To advance the U.S. empire’s goal of total planetary domination, a status quo that it can only maintain by brandishing armageddon weapons at its enemies with increasing hostility year after year. 

When it comes to the war in Ukraine it is definitely time for a rethink, but not by the same monsters who thought us into this horror in the first place.

Caitlin Johnstone’s work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following her on FacebookTwitterSoundcloudYouTube, or throwing some money into her tip jar on Ko-fiPatreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy her books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff she publishes is to subscribe to the mailing list at her website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything she publishes.  For more info on who she is, where she stands and what she’s trying to do with her platform, click here. All works are co-authored with her American husband Tim Foley.

This article is from and re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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56 comments for “Get Ready for ‘Ukraine War into the 2030s’

  1. AA from MD
    September 25, 2023 at 14:27

    In light of continuing attacks on Crimea, I am nor sure why Russia doesn’t take the territory all the way to Odessa and cut Ukraine off from Black sea altogether. That would be the quickest way to bring Ukraine to the negotiating table. US did Shock and Awe with carpet bombing of Iraq on false pretenses. Russia has been very circumspect. They said they are going in to protect the Donbas region and have been true to their word so far. But if the war is to end quickly, Ukraine needs to lose more territory, so that they get serious about negotiation. I am not a geo-political strategist but I think if Ukraine feels they will lose more territory, they will negotiate.

  2. Mike
    September 25, 2023 at 13:56

    It’s my understanding that the Russian people are anxious to step up the pace of the war and get it over with. They don’t want this dragging out any longer than necessary. The West seems to think it has something to say about he pace and duration of this war. It’s a lame (half assed) proxy war without an off ramp. I suspect Russia will be creating an off ramp soon enough. Some of us would like that to be a peaceful path, but as you at least imply, a peaceful path would need to be a comprehensive peace plan between the West and Russia. Russia has lost a lot of lives – as the West had hoped – and I fully expect that they plan to cash in those lives for their future security.

  3. Laurie Holbrook
    September 24, 2023 at 18:42

    Thanks Caitlin, et al who keep us in the loop with reality and the facts. The Ukraine war into the 2030s – I wonder who will be left to fight this war into the 2030s with the current death toll of Ukrainian soldiers into the hundreds of thousands. I only hope the people of Ukraine (whoever is left) will throw this current government out of office before it’s too late. I am ashamed of my own country (Canada) for being such an enthusiastic participant in this debacle. There is not one opposition voice regarding this war in the Canadian parliament – not even the Green Party.

  4. robert e williamson jr
    September 24, 2023 at 16:44

    The war in the Ukraine was contrived, a confrontation planned for years, the authoritarian neocons waiting for their chance while plotting a course for NATO.

    A war of choice at a a time of great peril for the entire world, peril created by man’s wanton rape of the planet.

    The U.S. after beating the Russian economy into the ground by excessive spending on all things “High Tech” to make war and temporarily ending the cold war.

    Never to be satisfied with their job security the generals and neocons always looking for a fight, found one in the Soviet, Afghanistan conflict. Once the Soviets committed the U.S. left no stone unturned aiding the Afghans.


    So the much touted “Peace Windfall” expected, developed instead into a massive increase in military spending. assisted along buy record high prices for oil, because of the perceived unstable oil supply threatening the world economy.

    So at the beginning of the 1990’s instead of redirecting funds top develop mitigation plans for global warming the Greed Heads opted for even higher profits, less regulation and more war.

    Fighting wars of choice in such times of such perilous environmental dangers has been insanity.

    Biden and company have proven to be even more dangerous to the survival of mankind than almost any of the neocons previous rivals.

    These idiots need to go, now. Time is running out.

    Thanks Caitlin and the CN crew.

  5. CaseyG
    September 24, 2023 at 14:31

    OMG, JOE Biden, are you braindead? What are you doing? Did you notice that parts of the planet are running out of water, and YOU want a war??? What is wrong with you? Besides that creepy little Zylenskyy does not seem to be filled with any kind of honesty—a lot of greed though.

    In this time of climate change Biden, Blinken and that awful Nuland person, are all creepily insane about what they create. We have the one planet and you insane people want to blow up part of the world?

    No Joe Biden, you should not run for President—you mentally can’t do it. I am so frustrated about the wimpy elected ones of both parties. Perhaps GAIA will take pity on us all and we the People can learn to get along,

    America, you don’t need to have wars all over the planet! It’s the only home we’ve got, so STOP with your war games —-many voters like myself, do not believe that wars solve anything—-they only make certain parties richer.

  6. TimD
    September 24, 2023 at 11:46

    It seems to me that each and every day that this war continues the stock in Joe Biden depreciates in value. The Ruble is not rubble, and nobody is talking about retaking Crimea any more. Biden thought that Russia could be the bad guy that would cause Americans to unite behind him and put that Russia-loving dog Trump back in his kennel. But, every day it gets harder to sell and finance the war and every day Americans are losing interest in it. Not doing anything to prevent this war is looking like a Yuge tactical blunder.

  7. RWilson
    September 23, 2023 at 21:08

    Blinken’s recent speech preparing the public for endless war with Russia and China is contrasted with JFK’s famous “peace speech” in this excellent discussion at The Duran.
    The Blinken Doctrine: A two front war with Russia and China

    Blinken, of course, is the US Secretary of State who has been brazenly lying to the American public about NATO’s attack on Russia via Ukraine. He also covers up Israel’s steady stream of war crimes. I can’t help wondering if all this is somehow connected to his step-father being friends with Robert Maxwell, the Mossad spy who was the father of Ghislaine Maxell, who was the manager for Jeffrey Epstein’s Mossad honeytrap to blackmail VIPs.

  8. Renate
    September 23, 2023 at 16:53

    UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER is an American trademark, they never negotiate honestly. It is as American as apple pie, and as long as they have proxies to die for them they will fight until it ends in annihilation. If it does not work, they turn their backs and go home and impose sanctions as happened in Afghanistan. It does not look like it will work with Russia this time. The Russians may annihilate the US hegemony if not more.

  9. herm
    September 23, 2023 at 16:37

    Thanks for this! Seems to me this “war into the 2030’s” they are talking about is just more propaganda. There is no way this war lasts that long. Who can afford it? It is way to expensive for everyone – not just the costs of the fighting itself, but the economic aspect which has had a global impact. And the costs won’t stop once the fighting ends – the economic rebuilding will be costly for everyone, and so will the inevitable Cold War-style economic divisions. We are already too deep in the whole, we can’t keep digging for the next couple of decades.

    • Burt
      September 25, 2023 at 17:15

      But it is not expensive for the architects of these wars. They’re spending YOUR money to protect theirs.

  10. J Anthony
    September 23, 2023 at 16:05

    There is little chance they can drag the slow destruction of Ukraine onward into the 2030s. I see them collapsing long before that. But that doesn’t mean another proxy-war elsewhere won’t be ignited.

  11. murash
    September 23, 2023 at 15:18

    “Nothing is politically right which is morally wrong.”

    – Daniel O’Connell

  12. rosemerry
    September 23, 2023 at 15:14

    This behaviour of USA/NATO is absolute insanity. NATO is supposedly defensive, but there is no evidence that Russia has been the enemy that the USA insists it is, and the addition of more “nations” into it after reunification (gobbling up of the GDR) of Germany was pretence that these were in danger from Russia. Why? For at least 15 years President Putin has explained the need for Russia to be part of the security arrangements for Europe but has been shut down. Disagreements from 2013 about Ukraine’s treatment of its Russian minorities were arranged by legal means as Russia patiently went through the procedures including UN resolutions, and 8 years of this showed no willingness on Ukraine’s part to cooperate with its neighbour. Surely even Stultifyingberg(sic) can see that Russia is right next door to Ukraine, is big, powerful, determined, with a strong leader supported by a large majority, very advanced weapons, a history of overcoming invasions and it is an existential matter for its own survival. Ukraine has chosen NOT to have any form of agreement and relies on others who are NOT in existential danger. How is Ukraine likely to benefit from now on ? If it is part of NATO and keeps Russia as an enemy? The west has already tried to destroy Russia and it has failed and will continue to do so. Russia and the majority of countries and people in the world want peace and cooperation NOT senseless wars like this one.

  13. Rob
    September 23, 2023 at 14:55

    The war in Ukraine, in the long term, will be more destructive to Europe and the US than to Russia. Already, European nations are heading for recession, and Germany is facing deindustrialization. Hence, I think that European—and maybe even American—citizens will turn against the war well before 2030 and demand that it end. At least that is my hope.

    • Renate
      September 23, 2023 at 17:04

      Rob, you have lots of company, people with even a pea-sized brain hope.
      Germany needs real leadership, there are leaders ready to take over, and the sooner the better, Orban will do his part they can count on him and there are smaller nations ready to join as soon as a spark ignites the NATO implosion, they are not suicidal.

    • September 23, 2023 at 20:53

      I believe the US citizens are done with this war. I was never for it as the USA had started it several years ago. It’s the so-called elected representatives that refuse to listen to us and keep giving money we don’t have to try and keep this going.

    • Anon
      September 23, 2023 at 23:57

      Germany previous to this round fun & games basically fireplugged EU… Stuck now overpaying for basic energy to continue market leadership positioning… US citizenry are sadly next in line (as if not suffering enough already)… It’s the nature of elite controlled world politics!

    • AA from MD
      September 25, 2023 at 14:31

      Based on one Geo-Political expert I was listening to, The global leaders of Finacialized capital have made a determination that Europe is a dying continent and can be let go. The market is in Africa and Asia; that’s where the young people are. Based on what is going on in Europe, it looks that way.

    • Rob
      September 25, 2023 at 15:57

      I should add that another limiting factor for this war is the fact that Ukraine is running out of soldiers to fight in it. Evidently, women are now being recruited, if not conscripted, for frontline duty. That, alone, tells you that they are at the end of their rope. Only the introduction of Western troops can provide more bodies to extend the fighting, but I see no appetite for that in the US or any other NATO country.

  14. bardamu
    September 23, 2023 at 14:42

    One factor of 80’s Perestroika that rides high in neocon mindsets is the Soviet involvement in Afghanistan. There are various views within the company, as usual, but for most of Washington, the idea of war into the 2030’s is completely intentional.

    Some imagine it inevitable. Some see it as profitable. Some recall the American lead in manufacture after WWII and expect to disable Russia by an economic attrition. All of the talk in Washington about “weakening” or “disabling” Russia falls in or around this bucket. Whatever the confusion, the West has no victory to hope for in Ukraine, yet Washington again forbids peace.

    But not all resources are so easily printed or manipulated as money, and one wonders in what sense the West might “run out of Ukrainians.” Surely its undercover advisors and mercenaries will not finally constitute an army. And it is difficult to imagine that Russia will not respond to long range missiles reaching into its borders with some attempt to disable this.

    A nuclear response would disable it in some sense, but at the usual cost. So what do you do?

    The Russians have so far abstained, but one wonders whether the decision does not get made to just level the Ukraine’s infrastructure with conventional weapons, accepting an up front cost in the hopes of reducing the long term expense of subduing and policing it.

    But at that point, what? The threat to Russia is the West, ultimately, and Ukraine only as a function of Western flailing to retain hegemony. To date, it appears that the political costs to the West have been the greater. Perhaps Ukraine will just be allowed to burn.

  15. JonnyJames
    September 23, 2023 at 14:06

    The bloodthirsty oligarchy that runs the empire might want to continue the war long-term. After all, they are willing to fight until the last drop of Ukrainians’ blood. However, Ukraine is a hollowed out, corrupt failed state – the likelihood of Ukraine’s ability to be “combat effective” decreases by the week. The likelihood of the current Ukraine regime collapsing grows by the week. Ukraine would have probably collapsed months ago if it were not for the “west” propping it up financially and militarily.

    The folks at the Atlantic Council, CFR, NSC, Rand etc. (aka the “foreign policy elite”) want to “Overextend and Unbalance Russia” in a long-term, expensive, and politically damaging proxy war. The plan does not seem to be working, in fact it is backfiring. As usual, the war/weapons/aerospace/surveillance industries are making a killing. No matter what happens, 100s of billions of public resources are given to private interests. It’s a form of Mass Kleptocracy as well.

  16. Robert
    September 23, 2023 at 13:33

    Common sense tells me that the war will end before year end; that the Ukraine request for its next $24 Billion dollars will be rejected by the House of Representatives; that Ukrainian Generals will overthrow Zelensky; that German citizens will march in the hundreds of thousands against Sholtz, Baerbock, etc; that American citizens will march in the tens of thousands against Biden, Blinken, Sullivan and the odious Nuland. But it’s not happening. The last two decades of propaganda and dumbing down of citizens of Western countries has taken its toll.

    It now seems likely that Lindsey Graham will get his wish to see the last Ukrainian soldier die in battle and Mitt Romney’s wish for an even greater return on our “investment” will materialize .

  17. Jeff Harrison
    September 23, 2023 at 13:17

    You are, of course, correct Caitlin. All that they are saying is SUBMIT which we all know the Russians aren’t going to do. It’s not going to last into the 2030s though. The Ukraine is rapidly disappearing both in terms of habitable territory and population. Furthermore, “The West’s” economies are built on sand, or, if you prefer, debt. Russia is doing to “The West” what the US claimed we did to the old USSR, allowing them to destroy themselves economically. So. Either “The West” loses or if they go nuclear in an attempt to maintain power, we all lose as we end civilization as we know it.

  18. September 23, 2023 at 12:47

    I think Westerners tend to buy into the expectations of NATO and US simply because they are not getting information about the war.
    I note that only Western and Ukrainian sources were quoted herein. The Russian sources aren’t talking about the expected length of the war, but they are reporting accurate information on the progress.´
    I read the Western press daily, with emphasis on the daily missile strikes on Ukraine, and they are extremely destructive, killing military personnel and wiping out whole military installations.
    I send out a newsletter focusing on these strikes and other war progress. By reading them, you can get ahead of the game and stop worrying about a war lasting many years.

    • Don Hank
      September 23, 2023 at 13:14

      Sorry, meant to write “I read the Russian press daily.” Got to excited.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      September 23, 2023 at 13:46

      I listen to Scott Ritter, Brian Berletic, the Duran, Garland Nixon and others to find out what’s going on. The Duran in particular reports from a point of view outside of the U.S. echo chamber. I eschew western mainstream media completely because it’s nothing but empire propaganda and lies. The western press exaggerates the destruction resulting from Ukrainian drone strikes. They are not harmless, but they are pinpricks compared with what serious artillery could do and this has been confirmed by various sources outside of the west. This war must end and end soon. To force its continuation is immoral and heinous.

    • Roger Milbrandt
      September 23, 2023 at 22:04


      You make a very important point. Thanks.

  19. Francis Lee
    September 23, 2023 at 11:47

    Fools rush in …

    I would have thought that any war against Russia would, for the west, be a suicide note. Interesting to note at how the would-be conquerors of Russia are girding up their loins for the ‘ultimate battle’ and victory over the barbarians in the East. But NATO has always been something of a travelling circus in this respect. Please to note that these would-be imperial victors have been somewhat slanted toward there own overrated prowess. Try to imagine Stoltenberg alongside Attila the Hun!

    It should not need pointing out that the military problems of invading Russia have, through the years, been manifold. The Swedish, King Charles II then, in order of time, Napoleon and Germans, all fancied their chances with the Russians, firstly with Hindenburg and then Hitler. The campaign of Charles and Napoleon and finally Hitler were bought to nought because the objectives for which they strove had little or no substance. The invaders were simply not adequate for the task at hand and underrated the Russians.

    Let us hope that no-one will ever be tempted to emulate King Charles, Napoleon or Hitler in posing a military solution of a kind that history have shown must fail, and which may well bring nuclear annihilation to mankind.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      September 23, 2023 at 13:47

      Just remember the ends of King Charles I, Napoleon and Hitler.

  20. James White
    September 23, 2023 at 11:21

    Ms. Johnstone is better than any other reporter at dissecting the political aspects of events like the war in Ukraine. Her persuasion and interpretation of what it all means is routinely powerful and relevant. There are limiting factors, however in continuing the war in Ukraine indefinitely. The most prominent is that Ukraine is running out of troops to feed into the slaughter. Ukraine has already lost about half a million boots on the ground. Russia has lost a fraction of that amount. Likely fewer than 100,000. It can be said that Putin has been casualty-averse. Putin also thinks ahead to the post-war Ukraine and avoids pushing the war too far, too fast. He knows that Russians and Ukrainians will eventually have to live together again as neighbors. The neocons are threatening a forever war and/or post-war insurgency. But like every action taken by NATO so far, this is just another bluff. Putin has already outlasted Merkel, Hollande and Boris Johnson. It is doubtful that a majority of Germans are fully behind Olaf Scholz and Annalena Baerbock’s stubborn and ruinous policy toward Russia. Macron and Rutte are lame ducks. Biden and his neocon 3 stooges of Blinken, Sullivan and Nuland look weaker by the day. NATO countries have a short attention span and the patience of a 5 year old. Biden had this cool idea to look tough against Russia and the European vassal states went all in. By now the subterfuge is wearing thin. A majority of U.S. voters want to end funding for the Ukraine war. The corrupt Military-Industrial-Complex funded Congress has run out of excuses for spending $Billions more in debt in a losing cause with no defined military objective. Europe is likewise war-weary and cracks have appeared in the European ‘solidarity’ on continued funding and arming of Ukraine. Poland’s decision to halt arms flow to Ukraine is a harbinger of things to come in Europe. A majority of Poles oppose going to war with Russia. The upcoming election in Poland may signal a change in policies. We are now in the election cycle for 2024 in the U.S. and Europe. Putin weighs that he can likely do no worse than the current NATO leaders. Russia can afford to wait until after the 2024 elections and to see what leadership changes they will bring. Tough times don’t last but tough people do. Weak leadership collapses on its’ own. Victoria Nuland’s 15 minutes of fame are already overextended and finally coming to a close. The blame game is already underway. Zelensky’s global P.R. campaign has finally run out of gas. Russia has proven that it can defend all territories it has gained. It can push further toward Kharkiv and Odessa whenever it chooses to do so. Ammunition and equipment stocks in NATO countries are already depleted to critical levels. Above all, Zelensky gambled with the lives of Ukrainian troops and lost badly. Putin has kept Russian losses to a minimum while consuming Ukraine’s forces at unprecedented rates. The war will likely continue for another year at the most. Even Zelensky now admits that Ukraine will collapse once funding dries up. Ukraine’s remaining troops could mutiny at any time and the knives are out for Zelensky. The U.S. Congress may be dumb enough to throw another 25 Billion dollars down the drain. But Europeans are more parsimonious and will now be hesitant. Every quarter, Biden will have to beg Congress for yet another $25 Billion for a cause that is clearly lost. The BRICS have overwhelmingly rejected the neocons wet dream of a ‘rules based international order.’ Realpolitik has upended the neocon propaganda Psy-Ops. The people will finally get their say and puts the brakes on the weak and pathetic adventurism of Klaus Schwab, George Soros and the rest of those deranged oligarchs. The price of their vanity is half a million dead Ukrainian souls and counting.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      September 23, 2023 at 13:48

      Please learn to paragraph. This is extremely difficult to read. But your points are well taken.

    • Piotr Berman
      September 23, 2023 at 17:37

      “Poland’s decision to halt arms flow to Ukraine is a harbinger of things to come in Europe. A majority of Poles oppose going to war with Russia. The upcoming election in Poland may signal a change in policies.”

      Elections are in three weeks, and deputies will come from five “coalitions”. two “right wing”, of which “United Right” currently has narrow majority and Confederation, two centrist and one “left”. In the last 10 or so polls, half predict majority of the right, half for the others, and only one majority for “United Right”. But Confederation persistently opposes engagement on the side of Ukraine and hostility to Russia, so the only way for UR to form a government once more was to make 180 degree turn, 90 degree turn in opposing agro imports, and completed turn around “provoked” by Ukraine. Hard to predict what with happen in October/November (forming government will by tricky in almost any prediction), but the point is that popularity of Ukrainian cause is waning. And it is the case even so in Slovakia, and possibly in Bulgaria, Croatia and Montenegro, where anti-Russian traditions are absent or weak. So the consensus is most wobbly in Slavic NATO members where the population has a reasonable idea what is going on, belligerent are not abstractions that can be painted in the colors of imperial choosing.

      This is another weakness of Neo-con strategizing: they “discover” long-term enmities and pick the sides, nominating good guys to prosper/win, and bad guys to suffer/loose. Sunni/Shia (Yemen and Syria selected to suffer), Ethiopia/Erithrea, Venezuela and right-wing governments in Latin America, India/China, Mainland/Taiwan and so on. But the actual relations between the sides are complex and increasingly often, they evolve in ways that in unpleasant to Neo-Cons. India deprecates China but refuses to provide arms to soldiers on the line of contact. Gulfies are open for reconciliation with Iran, Ethiopia and Eritrea find a common cause, right-wing enemies of “Communists” in Venezuela+Nicaragua loose elections etc. So the constant efforts to inflame these conflicts in themselves cause reactions, unlike chess pieces, countries change.

      And to increasing segment of American public, all those games are expensive and tedious. Abstract pictures painted in cheerful/grim colors are not refuted but provoking “but what about it? should we care?” (more altruistic reactions are not as frequent, but that may change to).

      • James White
        September 23, 2023 at 21:42

        Piotr, (and thanks Joe Wallace and Jack Lomax)
        Your insight into Polish politics and the upcoming elections is appreciated. You also may have described an awakening of Slavic people living across Eastern Europe. They may have remained mostly silent since the war started. The ‘Russia is evil’ narrative, promoted by NATO likely had a chilling effect on anyone speaking up in favor of Russia, until now. Forgotten in Western Europe is the bond that exists in shared though varied history of Slavic nations. Including Ukraine, of course. Most people in the U.S. understand very little about Eastern Europe. Even our diplomats, who were once traditionally chosen from among the best and brightest, are neither of those now. This creates a situation where the people who hold power over other nations are the least competent to perform the role. The tragedy of a half million dead souls is hard to accept. The lack of interest, let alone any remorse from the U.S. State Department and White House for the deaths they have caused is beneath human dignity. How are these people any less sociopathic than the Schutzstaffel? Half a million dead already meets the threshold of a genocide. The Neocons fund, persuade and cynically lure Ukrainians to walk into their own extinction.
        There is a documentary film about the friendship between Henry Kissinger (WW2 Jewish-American GI) and Helmut Schmidt (WW2 soldier in the Wehrmacht). Asked how they could later become such close friends after WW2, Schmidt replied: ‘Don’t forget that we (Germany) were once the world leader in humanitarian philosophy and the enlightenment before -these guys, (the Nazis) got into power.
        In the U.S. ‘these guys’ have found their way into power once again. They are delivering similar results. We have a nice Republic in the U.S. But it depends on the good will of the people in power to do the right thing Too often now we have people in power who are driven to win at all costs. That is how evil people have managed to put themselves in power. The whole world is paying the price of our weakness and inability to control the impulses of those madmen, i.e. Neocons. The only encouraging aspect of this is that the rest of the world is clearly moving on from this ship of fools.

        • Onlooker
          September 25, 2023 at 08:01

          > “Even our diplomats, who were once traditionally chosen from among the best and brightest,”

          Ahem! For several generations, ambassadorships were (and still are, to some extent) traditionally awarded to big campaign donors, and recently, some top State Dept. positions have gone to political powermongers and warhawks with no special knowledge of the countries concerned. There may have been a scattering of “the best and brightest” among them in the post-WW-II period, but that seems to be an exception, rather than the rule.

    • Jack Lomax
      September 23, 2023 at 18:03

      James , it is true that part of the price is half a million dead souls and counting -which is drifting towards a WW1 bloody battlefields horror . But even worse it is accelerating catastrophic climate change which will count billions of inocent souls and counting towards the end of all life on earth.

    • Joe Wallace
      September 23, 2023 at 18:12

      James White:


    • Piotr Berman
      September 23, 2023 at 21:22

      A nit-picking critique of mine is that Russian military advantage is nowhere as significant as to “finish the war within a year”, although the balance of human losses is critical and in Russian favor. (Footnote A).

      Second nitpick is that it is very speculative and questionable that military planning of Russia gives weight to “election cycle in the U.S. and Europe’, especially in terms of timing. What is more important: elections in Poland and Slovakia (bordering Ukraine) or in USA (far away, Biden beholden to advisors as he outsourced mental function, Trump with proven track record as an ineffective leader (e.g. “boldly” starting dialogue with North Korea and putting Bolton in charge of details). General trends matter, but this is like relying on hurricanes and typhoon being stronger as global warming increases. They will happen, but the timing is literally in the hands of heavens.

      Footnote A. Brusilov offensive in the Summer of 1916 was a bloody campaign, mostly in Galicia and Volhynia, with quite a bit more than million casualties which was won by Russia. It had very positive effects for Entente: Austria had to stop its own offensive in Italy, Germany had to decrease pressure in France, Romania was emboldened to joint the war on Entente side. And all three empires involved in that campaign collapsed, starting from Russia in 1917. Soldiers are first impressed, the as the deaths mount, they get depressed, and eventually they revolt, notwithstanding successes if any.

      • James White
        September 24, 2023 at 10:47

        There is at least one more existential threat to continuing the war in Ukraine. In addition to Ukraine’s critical manpower shortage, Zelensky himself admitted this week that Ukraine would collapse directly if U.S. funding were to end. That funding is under pressure in both the U.S. and Europe. Ukraine burns through NATO weapons stockpiles faster than they can be replaced. I have no doubt that Putin is cognizant of the election cycles in the U.S. and Europe. NATO has put on a good front that they are united and determined to keep up the funding ‘for as long as it takes.’ But if the U.S. cuts off the funding, will Europe step in and make up the deficit? That is very unlikely. Western media reports of the performance of the Russian forces so far have been cartoonish. The reality is that Russia’s army is far more advanced and modern than the Russian army that fought WW2. No army in the world can match Russia’s proficiency right now with the use of drones for surveillance and targeting with artillery and missiles. Whenever Ukraine sends a column of armor toward the front, Russian drones provide GPS coordinates that are relayed to waiting artillery, missile and aircraft strikes. It has gotten to be so bad that Ukraine recently abandoned armored assaults and now only sends small groups of soldiers on foot to attack. Ukraine is still a large country that would be a long slog to occupy in total. But the tactic of waiting for Ukraine’s forces to reveal their positions and subsequently be wiped out, continues to deplete Ukraine of personnel. At least half of Ukraine’s forces are already dead. Between the dwindling ammunition and equipment supply, deaths of troops and potential loss of funding and/or arms deliveries, some kind of collapse is imminent. References to WW1 are more relevant in terms of the web of alliances that precipitated WW1. That stupidity was re-enacted by NATO after WW2 and has now precipitated the present war. Everyone in the West suffered collective amnesia about the causes of WW1 once the war fever was ginned up again for the Ukraine conflict. War is war, but I don’t think the mindset of today’s Russian soldier is quite as dark as it was in WW1 or WW2. Russia is doing everything possible to avoid casualties, with a good deal of success in doing that. The large numbers of deaths are parallel to WW1 and WW2. But the carnage is heavily weighted on Ukraine’s losses, which are at least 7-1 in favor of Russia overall and often 10-1. Both WW1 and WW2 were more evenly matched in casualties on each side. Zelensky’s decision to go to war with Russia rather than settle with Russia was doomed from the outset. With each day that passes the mismatch only grows more extreme. Zelensky has compounded his error by feeding Ukraine’s forces into their certain deaths. Zelensky’s green uniform cannot hide his incompetence as a military strategist. The great tragedy is that Ukrainians don’t seem capable of grasping that they are being used and destroyed by the NATO countries who only pretend to be their allies. When they finally realize how they have been used by NATO, there must be a horrible reckoning. Poland has long had an axe to grind with Russia for past wars. But even the Poles are figuring out that this has been a grievous error by NATO. Russia only grows stronger and the future existence of NATO is now an open question.

  21. Eddie S
    September 23, 2023 at 11:18

    If these damn neo-con war-hawks were in power back in the mid-1960’s, we wouldn’t have to worry about the Ukraine War because we’d STILL be fighting the Vietnam War!
    For the sake of all the reluctant combatants in this Ukraine War, and all the innocent civilians, I hope these high-level assholes promoting endless war are mostly posturing and positioning, and that the EXPENSE (in dollars or euros or political office, the only ‘cost’ those amoral shit-heads care about) is actually starting to be a problem, so that a peaceful solution can come about asap!

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      September 23, 2023 at 13:49

      I agree.

    • Phil DeGraves
      September 23, 2023 at 15:32

      This war, and all the others, are all about business. It is about keeping the funding, and the weapons and soldiers, and ships and planes, and all the other materiel moving, and just keeping it all going. For the military and most politicians there is no money in peace. A life without death and destruction (Anybody but theirs) is pointless. It’s all business. It’s all the fault of capitalism. All of the US and NATO leaders should be put on trial; Nuremberg Trial. That’s what I think. Maybe the US is the “good guys”. Anyone think so?

      • Piotr Berman
        September 23, 2023 at 21:41

        There is business component, but it is easy to exaggerate. After all, there are other business opportunities too. In rounded numbers, USA spends double on healthcare compared to Australia, with worse outcomes. Were the USAian spending at par with Australian, the difference would cover big majority of military spending. This is the biggest identifiable chunk of USAian GDP that goes to “excess profit”, i.e. looted. However, medical corporations operate rather stealthily, the ideological component is rather minor.

        However, military-industrial-intelligence-propaganda complex generates ideology and power, glamor and importance. It is our aristocracy, our herd of sacred cows.

  22. Adam Rose
    September 23, 2023 at 10:26

    Perversely and paradoxically, an “endless” war in Ukraine may very well be in the interest of those who oppose US hegemony. As John Mearsheimer has observed, from a “realist” perspective China has a vested interest in the Ukraine war continuing because it prevents US/NATO/West from fully focusing on / committing resources on “containing” China. Thus, as I have previously observed elsewhere, a shrewd Russia would/could/should actually trade Ukraine-war-prolongation to a shrewd China in exchange for a range of reciprocal benefits (including weapons, technology, financing, etc.)

    In short, US/NATO/West have committed a “strategic own goal” if not “strategic suicide” in Ukraine by thinking they could easily roll up #3 in preparation for the big confrontation with #2. In the actual event, however, #1 will/may be stuck in a #3-quagmire allowing #2 to continue its rise less opposed than otherwise. At some point, #1 stops being #1. (Especially if there is a #1 “populist” revolt against endless funding of the quagmire at the expense of domestic needs. “Go, Freedom Caucus! Go, Rand Paul!”)

    All, of course, assuming nuclear Armageddon can be avoided throughout.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      September 23, 2023 at 13:52

      You think that U.S. is #1 outside of its own delusions? Seriously? China’s technology is years ahead of the U.S. and combined with Russia, it outshines the lazy coupon clippers that are the U.S. tech and manufacturing plants, to whom the proper costs of advancing technology to serve humanity are considered outrageous.

      • Adam Rose
        September 24, 2023 at 14:17

        Obviously it depends on the metric selected, but I don’t think there is any serious disagreement about the current overall rankings among the world’s great powers. Just because the USA is not all that it thinks it is does not mean that it is nothing or negligible. I’m pretty sure both the Russians and the Chinese know/believe that. Perhaps 10 years from now it will be different.

  23. mgr
    September 23, 2023 at 09:57

    Always excellent. What the West is saying is that it has no way out without the Western leaders who have brought on this carnage in Ukraine stepping down. Thus, Ukraine must kill another couple hundred thousand of its people so as not to interrupt their (Western leader’s) gravy train. Honestly, don’t look for any deeper meaning than that. There should be a special word invented for their feckless pathology. You could post it over their door in hell.

    In reality though, the US and NATO are stuck in the tar-baby up to their gills. As Russia might say at this point, “Yes, you’ve got us. Right where we want you.” The US wanted to give Russia its own (second) Vietnam but it gave it to itself (and NATO too) instead. As Ukraine bleeds, so does the West.

    Neocons are stupid. Their ideology makes them so. They have proven this again and again since their grand, public entrance in the Bush admin. The cDP neolibs thought, them being “the smartest people in the room,” that they were going to show those incompetent Bush necons how it’s done. But for neocon/libs, “stupid are us” regardless of party affiliation. And so, castles made of sand fall into the sea, eventually (Jimi Hendrix).”

    The cDP certainly seems to have a knack for elevating corruption to power, see Bob Menendez. Pointing out Trump’s flaws, as real as they may be, is starting to pale in comparison. After all, try as his advisors might, Trump did not lead us into a nuclear confrontation for no fucking reason whatsoever. Apparently, no small thing and getting bigger moment by moment.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      September 23, 2023 at 13:53

      Hear, hear. Well stated.

    • JonnyJames
      September 24, 2023 at 11:49

      Re: Trump. I don’t fully agree. We need to separate the media BS and Trump’s BS blah blah. (after all he is long time bullshitter and conman) He continued to support the Ukraine regime, continued acts of war (so called sanctions), continued to try and regime change Venezuela, continued the war crimes in Syria, Iraq. The assassination of Gen. Suleimani was supremely reckless act that could have escalated into a massive war. DT’s massive lies and war rhetoric toward China was no different. His racist, anti-China rhetoric was truly disgusting, just as disgusting as any DC asshole. Let’s keep it real

      Some of Trump’s BS might have been less warmongering than Biden, but his actions

      It is a very sad state of affairs when folks think that we can “vote” for a pile of excrement that is less stinky than the other. That one pile of sheit is going to save us. Like the US is a democracy or something.

      No matter who is selected as the next Puppet Emperor, the US will continue

      • J Anthony
        September 25, 2023 at 06:45

        Good comment. Let’s not forget, too, the assassination of one of Iran’s most beloved generals in early 2020. That was clearly an act of war, and if Iran wasn’t already so boxed-in, they may have retaliated. So yes while Trump may not have gone as far as others, this notion that “at least he didn’t start any more wars”, as if it’s some kind of positive for him, it wasn’t for lack of trying, and just doesn’t fly, no matter how many times it’s repeated.

  24. Arch Stanton
    September 23, 2023 at 09:29

    Correction to my previous comment, the ATACMS Biden has promised are of the Cluster variety and not Unitary, which could pierce concrete structures like the Kerch Bridge.
    I’ll give it 3 months before WW3 Joe supplies the unitary ones, it’s just a process of escalation as far as his neocons are concerned

  25. Arch Stanton
    September 23, 2023 at 05:55

    Today, I read that Diapers Joe has agreed to supply ATACMS to Ukraine, this now means the Kurch bridge will probably be destroyed. This is an escalation too far and unless Putin reacts appropriately then Biden will take us to WW3 sooner rather than later.

    For Russia this surely means enough is enough, a small tactical nuclear weapon is now needed from Putin to stop these neocon maniacs, guns & tanks alone aren’t working as NATO looks longer-term wanting to bleed Russia dry.

    Weapons that were considered off limits for fear of Russias reaction 12months ago are now fair game, this is only going to end one way.

    I really think there is no other option, the neocons have crossed so many of Russias redlines that they think they can do what they please, supplying ATACMS is one step below supplying a nuclear missile, it’s a step too far.

    This fight is as close as it gets to good and evil, the US unipolar hegemony cannot be allowed to continue.

      September 23, 2023 at 13:10

      But a launch of even a tactical nuke will likely not be the last.

      • Valerie
        September 23, 2023 at 13:36

        Is there really such an animal as a “tactical nuke”?

      • James White
        September 23, 2023 at 22:37

        Depleted uranium is already being spread all over Ukraine via NATO supplied tank shells. What kind of government would poison its’ own lands and people with radiation? What kind of NATO military alliance would supply the use of poisonous munitions for use on their own allies lands. How can Ukraine export food products around the world that may be contaminated with radioactive particles? How is the use of depleted uranium not a war crime? Where are the environmentalists while this poison is being dispersed? What kind of lunatics play with radioactive poisons at war?

      • WillD
        September 23, 2023 at 23:39

        The use of any type of nuclear weapon (except depleted uranium shells) by either side would give the other side the excuse / justification to launch their own nukes. The risk is far far too high, and certainly Russia knows it – although I’m not sure the US does.

        Therein lies the danger – that the US hard line neocons prevail and either launch openly or create a false flag nuclear attack and blame it on the Russians. So far, Russia has shown restraint and cool headedness, but the US hasn’t. And since the US caused the conflict in the first place, I expect them to use nukes first if they get that desperate.

      • Tony
        September 24, 2023 at 09:51

        And would be devastating in its own right.

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