…Russia’s objectives in this thing – and this is what Russia has said, a permanently neutral non-NATO Ukraine, linked to the strategic objectives that were outlined by Russia. I believe, on 17 December, when they provided two draft treaties, one to the United States, one to NATO, that said that Russia finds the existing situation in Europe this to be NATO and Russia unacceptable and it goes beyond simply Ukraine, beyond simply saying no to the eastward expansion of NATO. And it includes that NATO must work with Russia to redefine what European security looks like and that the new European security framework needs to include NATO’s withdrawing back to the 1990-1997 lines. Now, this is Russia’s stated objectives.
And now we have the United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin speaking about using this conflict to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia by inflicting so many casualties that Russia becomes weakened to the point that it can never again carry out an operation like this in Europe.
That’s a completely different objective than what the United States was saying at the beginning. And NATO is bought into that objective. So my point is, when Russia finishes phase two, they’re still going to be confronted with a hostile Ukraine that is more closely linked to NATO’s today than they were when the conflict started. And with a NATO that is not willing to roll over and accept Russia’s demands regarding a new European security framework where both sides can live in peace together, but rather which is focused on destroying Russia and Ukraine through continued nonstop combat operations. Which means that Russia better have a phase three in mind because this war isn’t over when they finish with phase two.link
I am a Buddhist Bayesian American pragmatic probabilist, so I take everything with a grain of salt. The only psycho-sensory information I believe I can reliably rely on is information coming from my FIML partner. Below is a talk from Gonzalo Lira on why he does not trust Scott Ritter. I would also take what Lira says with a grain of salt. What Ritter says in the interview linked above makes pretty good sense; his views have changed because conditions have changed. ABN