I have always shared this analysis, but I think we have to go one more step and consider our allies. First, Europe - especially the former Soviet satellites - would not be thrilled if we left Ukraine hanging. In a confrontation with China, despite Macron, we would be looking to those allies for support - perhaps ships, aircraft, and missiles, but most definitely to enforce a sanctions regime against China. We need them onboard.

Second is the consideration of our allies in the Western Pacific. They are also judging our resolve to help Taiwan through observation of Ukraine. China is doing the same...and has been given a bit of a wake up by the whole thing. The "Wolf Warrior" nonsense and jingoistic arrogance the the Chinese War Boys of the 50 Cent Army was emblematic of where they were. Now they see things might not be so easy - and they might lose - which would be the end of the CCP.

So we are attriting the Russian military, giving a boost to our allies and pause to China. All good.

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"It is not unreasonable to surmise that suddenly ending US support to Ukraine would also severely damage America’s alliance relationships in Europe and Asia, as many countries have spent significant treasure and political risk to support Ukraine’s success. Lastly, such an abandonment would communicate a lack of US resolve to stand firm against authoritarian imperialism—a message that would certainly be received with gladness in Beijing."

Our allies and our enemies know what we did in Maidan. They know about the money laundering. They know how we pushed NATO expansion past the point of reasonable moderation. They know that we (both Dems and NeverTrump) have demonized Russia for partisan domestic political advantage. They now know with the intel leak (from an 21 year old air nat guardsman with no NTK (LOL)) that we are backing the weak horse and flailing logistically, strategically and tactically like an addict going through withdrawal. So, cutting our losses and realigning our objectives with reality can only help us at this point. Our "allies" might even be happy about that. Maybe not the Poles and the Lithuanians.

Ukraine isn't about resisting authoritarian imperialism. Yes, Putin is an authoritarian. Yes, Russia has some revanchist predilections. But WE made this happen. We accelerated it. By WE I mean the US Nat Sec "Great Minds" that run our "Inter-agency" rats' nest. We should de-escalate this and contain the bushfire that we set. Taiwan is much more important to "resisting authoritarianism" than the morass we've made around the Dneiper.

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Bravo, Sal. Bravo.

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Russia could've been the NATO eastern flank. Or NATO could've been dissolved.

Instead, NATO expansion had everything to do with providing the left an anvil to push US domestic policy alignment (downward) towards Euro social/green lunacies and nothing to do with actual national defense. The proof is the 2020s reaping of the 1990s sowing.

Everything terrible is traceable to a Clinton-ite.

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I am sorry to say I don't have a dog in the Ukraine vs Russia fight. The facts are the Black Sea is a large but contained body of water, hard to maneuver in with a very small entrance and exit for blue water ships. The only thing to be gained by a Ukraine win would be blocking the Black sea ports for Russian shipping and Navy, that they will fight hard for and as long as it takes. Another Forever war.

All that is necessary to take Taiwan is a solid sea and air blockade, and the way to war is for the US to try to run that blockade. The answer there lies in the Government, Citizens, allies as to whether Taiwan is worth fighting for in a very big war with most likely large casualties and as in Vietnam, finally the Chinese own it.

My view is Ukraine is not worth it, all we gain is Ukraine as a NATO partner and a blockade of Russia to the Med.

As for Taiwan we lose the Western Pacific west of Hawaii.

Quite a pickle we are in right now.

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"The Ukrainians are putting up a hell of a fight and in the process are eliminating Russian conventional power for decades to come or the length of her present republic" -- except, who cares because the war revealed "Russian conventional power" was a chimera.

"One war at a time" -- except the enemy gets a vote in that.

"I have seen no serious person who has outlined any scenario where a triumphant Russian Republic in the war in Ukraine serves the USA or her European allies well." -- there's no scenario where Russia emerges from this war triumphant. At some point (maybe even right now) we should decide we've thrown enough resources at making Russia bleed. No need to overinvest in that when our resources are not unlimited and a huge, growing problem in the Pacific is staring us in the face.

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Apr 26, 2023Liked by CDR Salamander

Wee done, Sal! Spot on.

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Or even more cynically, give Ukraine enough aid to tie up Russia in fighting, and too busy to get more pipelines built to go East and South.

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Sorry, I could care less about Ukraine, said to be the most Corrupt Nation in the region, connections to Hunter and Joe, CIA plots to regime change enacted by the US.

I don't need or want anything they sell and we can get it elsewhere and even get it again after Russia wins, if they do.

I want my Nation to stop all aid. I watched Vietnam unfold the same way this is going, from Jr. High school till I was fighting there myself. Eight years, 58,000 US lives, 150,000 Wounded, 1.9 million Vietnamese dead a land polluted by agent orange and UXB and dang, ya know what?

We just sailed away, left 2,000 MIA's there and then spit on us Vets.

That is what Ukraine means to me, another F___en Vietnam debacle.

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Apr 26, 2023·edited Apr 26, 2023

I don't understand why the Mearsheimer Realists are not chafing at the bit to turn Cuba into a US territory, and dominate Venezuela...

But say that it's a matter of 'Realistic' geopolitics to cast Ukraine into the maw of Russia. That it's our fault Ukraine got invaded in the first place

Yet then are also ready to come to the aid of Taiwan against China with no objection.

Why does that "Realism" turn different shades depending on the angle it's applied.

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The problems the west (i.e. the US) is having in supplying ground weapons to Ukraine are the same problems the west (i.e. the US) would have in supplying Taiwan...The weapons would be different but the limited supplies and slow production rates are the same.

Add to the Taiwan issue the difficulties in supply across 5000 miles of Pacific ocean, without the numbers of warships needed to protect ships (we lack the numbers of warships needed to protect Capital warships).

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Excellent analysis. Now, if only we had maintained an industrial base worthy of a first rate power.

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It's almost like the "Taiwan Firsters" aren't on the level.

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Read the latest analysis by Jeff Nyquist.

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I understand the reasoning, but fear that the follow-on to the Ukraine campaign will be a renewed fixation on Europe...at the expense of the Pacific theater.

If the Ukrainians are successful, there will be a push to get them into NATO...and American forces into Ukraine. If the Russians come out on top, there will be a push to increase American forces in Europe to protect our NATO allies. Either way, we will be looking at demands to allocate resources to Europe. And we desperately need those resources to reinforce the Navy and Air Force for a Pacific fight.

Matters are not helped by the dominance of the Army in the Goldwater-Nichols era, nor by the fact that Europe is much more appealing as a deployment location (or a diplomatic posting) than the Far East.

The only way this works out as anything but a disaster for the United States is if we start telling our European "allies" that the United States is limiting our commitment to NATO...or withdrawing from it entirely. The European NATO members dispose of at least three times Russia's population, five times (or more) Russia's finances, and have parity (at least) in technology. Time for them to man up. The USA has business elsewhere.

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I was poking around the gulf war history and saw that we fired a 2.5 hour prep before the ground phase started. And in 2.5 hours we fired 90,000 rounds of artillery. About 1/2 year of current production fired in 2.5 hours of combat.

You see the same with the 48 LRASMs per year the Navy has been buying. Every sortie uses up a year of production.

The problem isn’t Taiwan vs Ukraine, it’s that the US military has forgotten how wars actually work. If we don’t fix that we can’t win anything against any reasonably capable opponent.

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