Ukraine: A War Of Bluff And Bluff Called - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Saturday, March 12, 2022

Ukraine: A War Of Bluff And Bluff Called

The Daily Crucible | Saturday, March 12, 2022

By Vitus Ozoke

The decision to invade a sovereign nation, especially one that is not hostile to you, and the detailed planning and logistics that go into it, are not ones that are taken overnight. They take years. Putin saw an opportunity in Donald Trump. In Trump he saw what the Russians call a useful idiot. He meddled in the 2016 U.S elections with one thing and only one thing in mind: the invasion of Ukraine and a wider Soviet revanchist irredentism.

The military campaign would have occurred during Trump's term in office, except that Donald Trump was caught up in series of domestic scandals, including two impeachments, all kinds of legal troubles, including those involving prostitutes. And don't forget that Trump's first impeachment was over Ukraine. Those were major distractions that forced Putin to shelve the invasion plan for later. If you wanted to poke hole in my theory, you would argue that Trump's and America's distration would have been the perfect strategic opportunity for Putin to invade Ukraine. That would be a valid point, but it would also be wrong.

Had Trump not been bugged down in series of domestic scandals, Russian troops would not have been the only boots in Ukraine. American boots would have been fighting alongside the Russians, and Ukraine would have surrendered without a single shot fired. Donald Trump, as both the commander-in-chief of the United States military and a Putin puppet, would have ordered U.S troops into combat duties in Ukraine. That was Putin's expected return on his 2016 investment. From geopolitical and realpolitik calculations, the idea of such investment was generally sound. The only problem was that Putin invested in a risky stock. 

Vladimir Putin knew that the only country that could quell Europe and NATO resistance of a Russian incursion into the sovereign territory of Ukraine was the United States. He was not going into Ukraine in the scale he planned unless he had active American support or, at least, disinterest. When Donald Trump and his January 6 criminal insurrectionists were kicked out of Washington, and Biden was inaugurated, you would have thought that would have put a lid on Putin's invasion plans. Well, that would have, except for six major reasons:

1. The decision had already been taken, and planning had reached advanced stages.

2. America had never been so polarized in its entire history as it was in the immediate post-Trump presidency.

3. The pandemic was wreaking a major economic and political havoc, not just in America, but in Europe.

4. NATO was still reeling in the massive mission and morale damage inflicted on it by the traitorous Trump administration.

5. China has not only become a major global economic power, President Xi seems to have some soft spot for a fellow dictator in the Kremlin.

6. Newly elected Joe Biden only late last year fumbled and bungled his Afghanistan troops withdrawal in ways that suggested American weakness to some people (not me). 

The above combined to mislead Vladimir Putin into the dark path of very costly strategic miscalculations. Putin saw a world in complete disarray, and he miscalculated. He miscalculated on core American value. Washington is still 90 percent white men of European ancestory. An invasion of Syria would not have provoked as much reaction. But Putin invaded a European nation, the tribe of Washington white men. With that, Washington, Republicans and Democrats alike, sheathed their swords and closed ranks.

The pandemic was on a dramatic decline, thanks to Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson. The world was resurging, and nations were rebuilding and reconnecting. Joe Biden came into 2022 with the Afghanistan troops withdrawal chip still on his shoulders. For President Biden, Ukraine presented an opportunity to reset and reassert America's power and global leadership. It was also an opportunity to strengthen NATO alliance. Apart from its pacifist Confucian orientation, which makes it war averse, China's money only serves China's interest. Beijing didn't seem to see any strong strategic interest in aligning with Moscow to invade a sovereign Ukraine. China is an investor not an invader.

Look, Vladimir Putin is KGB. He is a master strategic chess thinker and tactician. There was no way he didn't know those realities. So, Putin's miscalculation was not due to his ignorance of those realities, it was in spite of those realities. Putin bluffed, but Washington and Brussels called his bluff. And so he went to war. Today, Putin is a man without friends. Russia's economy is in a free fall. And he may win the battle, but Vladimir Putin has already lost the war.

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