Kremlin spokesman Peskov: "That wretch over there is writing all sorts of garbage about us."
How to fake a scholarly argument — Abrahms in The Atlantic
March 8, 2023 This article caught my eye because its author, Max Abrahms, charges that there is "frequent disconnect between international-relations scholarship and common espoused views in Western media about the war." Now, I do not know why common views should reflect IR scholarship necessarily, but I do have an issue with the claim that … Continue reading How to fake a scholarly argument — Abrahms in The Atlantic
How not to reason about the war — Allison in The Washington Post
February 28, 2023 Graham Allison, one of the most cited political scientists and respected analyst, has published an op-ed in the Washington Post that has one scratching one's head in bewilderment. It is a mashup of unexplained and unsupportable assumptions presented as fact, and sloppy reasoning that hides its shortcomings behind rhetorical flourishes. I am … Continue reading How not to reason about the war — Allison in The Washington Post
NYT publishes another call for Ukraine to surrender
February 7, 2023 This morning I woke up to an email from Hein Goemans and a link to an op-ed in The New York Times by Christopher Caldwell. It is yet another call for the US to abandon Ukraine in order to force its surrender to Russia, dressed up as a call for negotiations. I … Continue reading NYT publishes another call for Ukraine to surrender
The Gerasimov Offensive isn’t “coming” — it’s here
January 30, 2023 (This entry collects, and expands upon, several FB posts I made over the past few days.) Ever since the news about the appointment of Gerasimov, the Chief of Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, to command the Russian forces in Ukraine, everybody has been expecting a large offensive by VSRF. I do … Continue reading The Gerasimov Offensive isn’t “coming” — it’s here
The turning point in the war happened today
January 24, 2022 Just four days after I worried that the West might fail Ukraine, I can report that it did not happen. In fact, today we are seeing some seismic changes in foreign policy that I consider the turning point in the war: the West committed to Ukrainian victory by sending Western tanks. You … Continue reading The turning point in the war happened today
Western Support & the Gerasimov Offensive
January 20, 2023 The West is at risk of failing Ukraine. It seems strange to write this amid all the hoopla about unprecedented levels of military aid that the collective West has committed to Ukraine, but it's a case of a too little, too late. Or, hopefully, not too late, but late enough to make … Continue reading Western Support & the Gerasimov Offensive
Nuclear Weapons and Ukraine: The Deterrent that Never Was
January 9, 2022 I had drafted this post a while back because I have often heard the argument that "had Ukraine not given up its nuclear weapons, this war would never have happened." It always takes a while to explain why this is not so -- and yes, once again, Mearsheimer was wrong about this … Continue reading Nuclear Weapons and Ukraine: The Deterrent that Never Was
Send the tanks!
January 7, 2023 Why has the West "suddenly" decided to cross the "red line" with Western-made tracked IFVs (Bradleys, Marders, etc.)? Putin and Lavrov both confirmed what I had been saying forever: Russia is not interested in any peace that does not give it conquered territories -- all that nonsense about NATO expansion and protecting … Continue reading Send the tanks!
Putin wants total war
January 4, 2023 Putin has ordered civilian hospitals to be prepared to accept soldiers wounded in Ukraine for treatment. This means that the Russians are expecting heavy casualties that the military hospitals will not be able to handle. Since heavy casualties usually result from offensive operations, this implies that VSRF will try -- as expected … Continue reading Putin wants total war
Chronicles of Mordor, part 1
Originally on FB, December 20, 2022 - January 3, 2023 A brief synopsis of recent developments in Russia that are pertinent to the war, collected from FB posts I made over the past month or so. Economy & Sanctions Putin is unhappy with the inflation rate in Russia, and as a result Rosstat, the agency … Continue reading Chronicles of Mordor, part 1