By Ray McGovern, Jan 17, 2023
What follows is part of a recent 45-minute interview linked below:
I don’t think President Putin wants to occupy all, or even most, of Ukraine. That would be the kind of really stooooooped thing Cheney/Bush/Rumsfeld would try to do.
But, if the U.S. really wants to avoid war with Russia, it must realize that, barring the use of nuclear weapons, Russia is not only determined to prevail but has the means to prevail. What has gone on in Ukraine over the last nine years poses an existential threat to Russia. It will not tolerate an existential threat.
Putin is not paranoid. He has heard from U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin that:
“One of the US’s goals in Ukraine is to see a weakened Russia. … The U.S. is ready to move heaven and earth to help Ukraine win the war against Russia.”
Russian military intelligence (like all military intelligence) must weigh CAPABILITIES, more than intentions. Can the U.S. achieve Austin’s goal? No. Not without using nuclear weapons. President Biden says he doesn’t want to do that, because that would mean WWIII.
Thus, there is a gapingly large conceptual disconnect. Biden and his sophomore advisers do not seem to “get it”, and this makes it exceptionally dangerous.
Simply, the U.S. cannot have both: “win the war against Russia” AND avoid WWIII. This has been clear for many months. The fact that the sophomores don’t “get it” puts the Russians on high alert – prepared for anything. How far west into Ukraine they will go, depends on some sanity and flexibility in Washington, of which there is not a plentiful supply.