To understand what just happened, we need to look at two things: how Russia chose to communicate her demands and then the contents of the demands themselves. However, before I do that, I want to recommend two other points of view, both of which are, in my opinion, very helpful:
- Andrei Martyanov’s https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2021/12/people-asked-i-respond-on-run.html
- Bernhard’s https://www.moonofalabama.org/2021/12/russia-details-secruity-demands-to-us-and-nato.html
I recommend you read them before we continue. This being said, let’s look in more detail at just what happened.
First, this was clearly an ultimatum. Second, it was a public ultimatum.
This is absolutely crucial, as it marks, at the very least, a total break with normal Russian (and Soviet) diplomatic practice.
It is also pretty obvious that both the form and the substance of that ultimatum would be unacceptable to the USA and the US colonies in Europe.
Which begs the question: what are the Russians trying to achieve here?
Some will say that the Russians (or Putin personally) are simply stupid and that they are too arrogant to realize that their ultimatum would never be accepted. Well, if the USA (the only part of the “West” which matters because it has actual agency) ignores that ultimatum and then merrily continues on the path it has been on since at least Bill Clinton, and if the Russians (or Putin personally) do nothing, then those who believe that the Russians are stupid will be proven right.
Now let’s look at what else might happen.
The first thing we need to understand is that Russia holds all the military cards (read Martyanov for details I won’t bother repeating it all here). So let’s quickly worst case: “Biden” ignores Russia and Russia replies by deploying weapon systems, including hypersonic weapons, which will threaten the US not only in Russia, but in Belarus, the Arctic, and the mid-Atlantic. Then the US will feel the same way Moscow does: 5 minutes away from annihilation. Will that be good for “Biden”?
Let’s imagine that “Biden” decides to play tough and creates some kind of incident that will force the Russians to either sink a USN ship or shoot down a USAF aircraft. That would mean war. Here “Biden” would have two options: keep the war below the nuclear threshold and lose that war (the NATO military infrastructure would be gone) or go nuclear and risk a nuclear holocaust. Will either one of these be good for “Biden”?
Now let’s say that “Biden” agrees to negotiate with Russia (while, of course, keeping up with all the pretenses about “consulting with partners and allies”) and the two sides come to some kind of deal. How would that deal manifest itself? Well, that is quite obvious – NATO would have to give up its expansion while Russia would have to provide verifiable guarantees that she will not attack any NATO country. I know, I am skipping over a gazillion of details in which, as the expression goes, the devil lies, but for our purposes this is sufficient. Then, again, I would ask the same question as above: would that be a good outcome for “Biden”?
We need to look at this possibility even further:
First, some of the US EU vassals would be incensed and they would do two things: verbally protest as loudly as possible and engage in whatever action they could come up with to force the situation and create a crisis. And no, that would not be good for “Biden” at all. But, consider this: first, “Biden” can tell the EU vassals to shut up and behave. But even more importantly, that “bad option” will look “less bad” to “Biden” than either one of the two options mentioned above (place the entire USA 5min away from destruction or face a full-scale war).
Remember how I said that Russia holds all the military cards?
Russia also holds much stronger political and economic cards than the USA which has close to nothing. Politically, Russia is now “more than an ally” to China, she is a close partner to India (to the fury of the White House) and politically, she is much less isolated than the USA! Even the map on the right does not give the full measure of the situation. Why?
Because most of the “international community” which “supports” (well, obeys) the USA is the EU, which itself is in a terminal crisis on too many levels to count here!
Compare the red and the grey zones on the map, and ask yourself these questions: which zone has the most powerful military? Which zone has the most natural and human resources? which zone has the most promising trading routes? Which zone has a real GDP, as opposed to a purely FIRE one? Which one is literally dying spiritually under the trans-national “Woke” ideology and which one has retained the willingness and ability to fight for its spiritual, cultural, and civilizational values? Finally, which zone has a viable vision of the future?
I could go on and on with many more such questions, but I think that you see my point: the USA is not only losing militarily, but it is also losing on all fronts!
Next question: what does the USA need most?
Well, there are plenty of things the USA need, but I would single out one: time. Why? Because the truth is that the USA has only two options left: a “Kabul style” retreat from Europe or an orderly, negotiated “rearrangement” of the European collective security system (which, let’s not forget, the USA screwed up all by itself, a true disaster for which the USA is now totally responsible for).
[Sidebar: there is not such thing as unilateral security. All real security is always collective. That truism is now a dangerous political heresy in the West for which folks get (figuratively) burned at the stake for. Unilateralism is just a trigger for insecurity and, eventually, war.]
If there is no war, then NATO will survive, at least politically. If there is no war, “Biden” will be able to say that the West’s “firm and united” stance forced Russia to make concessions: remember how the Cuban missile crisis was presented by the USA as a US victory when, in fact, it forced the USA to withdraw missiles from Turkey? It has been many decades since the Cuban missile crisis, yet something like 99% of the people in the US and EU sincerely believes that the US “won”! The AngloZionist propaganda machine can easily repeat that once more. Except for a “small” problem: this time around, Russia presented her ultimatum first and made so very publicly.
Why did the Russians choose this method?
Well, I don’t know, I cannot read the Kremlin’s mind, but my guess is that Russia wants way more than just a “draw” (which is what the Cuban missile crisis was). Russia wants a full victory which she would define as “defanging NATO“, at least in Europe. Why?
Now let’s look at Russia’s options:
Do nothing aka “more of the same”: that means full surrender to the West, followed by a partition of Russia and a US attack on China. To say that this is unacceptable to Russia would be an understatement.
Gradually step down from the demands of the ultimatum: that is a more interesting one and it is again a case of “the devil is in the details”. For example, the existence of NATO by itself means nothing to Russia. Ditto for the EU, by the way. All these are in reality are irrelevant Kaffeeklatsch pretexts for politicians with no future, and countries with no agency. The biggest mistake made by both the EU and NATO was its “glorious” expansion to the East only to find out that all this achieved was irreparably weaken both the EU and NATO as the newcomers were, how shall I put it politely, quite terminally stupid, corrupt and infantile. When I listen to EU and NATO politicians, I think of a Kindergarten on crack cocaine or something equally insane (see here for a perfect example).
So one option for Russia would be to “creatively revisit” the terms of her ultimatum and then keep the substance while jettisoning the hostile tone and giving the West some symbolic “concessions”. Would that be a good option for Putin? Well, it all will depend on the mentioned “devil in details”. If at the end of the process NATO is defanged, then yes. If NATO remains as aggressively hostile as it is today, then no.
Which begs the question: what will Russia do in such a case?
Here we need to at least consider one option: a Russian recognition of the LDNR justified by Kiev’s total rejection (de facto and de jure) of the Minsk Agreements and the constant Ukronazi provocations and attacks on the LDNR: remember two things Putin said recently. He spoke of “not yet recognized republics” and he spoke of “genocide“.
“Responsibility to protect” anyone?
Of course, the Ukronazis would have to attack (even at least symbolically), which would allow Russia to make a military move against the Ukraine, free the LDNR and deploy Russian forces inside these republics, fully backed by Belarus, of course, and, possibly, even China (politically). Notice I did not say “invasion”. Let’s imagine that Russia will use her standoff weapon systems to defang the Ukies, liberate the LDNR, and then will turn to the rest of Europe with a “smile” strongly suggesting the following “which of you guys wants to be next?” This would result in a total panic in Europe, especially in Mons, Brussels, and Warsaw.
And here is the beauty of that option: Russia can easily strike Mons and Brussels (or Warsaw) with conventional weapons and leave most of these cities in mint shape. And if the EU/NATO decides to strike back, then Russia will wage a full-scale war against the EU/NATO and she will win it.
What about the “Biden” administration in such a scenario? The Pentagon knows what Russian missiles can do to it and any other military objective in the continental USA. I very much doubt that the US deep state will be willing to commit mass suicide just to try (and fail!) to protect the EU. Besides, the Russians have no intentions or capabilities, to invade the EU anyway, so why destroy the USA for a threat which does not even exist?!
Does “Biden” want to go down in history as “the President who lost Europe”?
Would “the President who triggered a nuclear holocaust” sound any better?
So by making her demands public, Russia has (for the first time and finally!!) also sent a message to the people of the West. This message can be summarized like this: we don’t want war, but if you insist, we will oblige.
And, for the first time since 1991, Russia does have the objective means to achieve these goals.
So there, we have it, I think.
Now we also need to address the elephant in the room: the US War Party and, even more so, the EU infantiles on crack cocaine. For them, defanging NATO would be utterly unacceptable…
… or would it?
The US War Party is just that, US-based. And while some of the talking heads on the idiot tube do sound like real “hawks”, the military professionals in the US armed forces know the real score. Not only that, but the “smart wing” of the War Party understands that the USA desperately needs time and an orderly draw-down, even if just a temporary one! Their game is, as I said many times, a game of what I call “nuclear chicken” but, crucially, a game short of actual nuclear war which they don’t need at all (if only because they would likely die themselves).
Which leaves the EU infantiles on crack cocaine. Here I am going to say something terrible, and I feel really bad for writing this, but I only see one method to get the Europeans back from la-la-land to the real world: Russia has to defeat them militarily, yet again, as she did over and over in her history. Somehow, the narcissistic megalomaniacs who currently administer the European continent on behalf of the USA won’t read history and won’t rein in their deep sense of racial superiority over the subhuman Russian Asiatic hordes. These modern wannabe Kulturtraegers and assorted Herrenvolk still hate Russia for defeating Hitler, Napoleon, and the rest of them, and for them, their phobia (in the sense of both hate and fear) of everything Russian is now part of their identity, something quite sacred to them and to hell with those who think otherwise!
The only effective way to bring the European Master Races back to reality is well-known (see picture).
I would argue that such an outcome goes directly against the interests of BOTH the USA and Russia. And, most obviously, it goes totally against the interests of the people of Europe.
But if the latter does nothing to prevent such an outcome, then it is for the USA and Russia to prevent it.
And if the USA won’t prevent it, then Russia will deliver.
As for the notion that boycotts, sanctions (even from hell!), or the cancellation of NS2 will stop the Russians – it is truly beyond ridiculous. Last time around, Russia lost 27 million people and then rebuilt her economy in a decade.
This is no Russian bluff but a real ultimatum. In fact, it is so real that it was made public for two reasons I believe: first, of course, to try to appeal to the people of the West and, second, to morally “untie the hands” of Russia should it come to full-scale war.
Analysts in the West always assume that public gestures are somehow exclusively aimed at them. They are wrong. This ultimatum is also addressed to the Russian people and Russian armed forces and says this to them: “people of Russia, we tried all we could to avoid this, we pleaded and begged for decades, and we retreated on many fronts, yet in spite of that, the West keeps pressing on. We will never allow a June 22nd to happen again. Prepare for war“.
I will end with three quotes by Putin himself:
“As a citizen of Russia and the head of the Russian state I must ask myself: Why would we want a world without Russia?”
“Fifty years ago, the streets of Leningrad taught me one thing: If a fight’s inevitable, you must strike first”
“Any aggressor should know that retribution will be inevitable and he will be destroyed. And since we will be the victims of his aggression, we will be going to heaven as martyrs. They will simply drop dead, won’t even have time to repent,”
UPDATE: according to the Russian media citing “diplomatic sources”, China has given her full support to the Russian demands. What that actually means or implies is unclear, but this is the first indication that the Russian ultimatum was coordinated with the Chinese and that China will have some kind of role to play in the next move of the Russians if the US rejects the Russian demands.
This is a case of the “chickens coming home to roost” as Malcolm X once said on so many levels. Internationally the US has pretty much run out of countries it can bully and bum rush. All they can do effectively is the usual threats, assassinations, call in the loans of the IMF World Bank, economic destabilization and “color revolutions”. They have tried that on Russia, China and India it didn’t work. So now you have a scenario where the bully is face to face with a guy determined not to allow him to take his lunch money any more and the bully sees it in the other’s eyes.
Domestically the US is in implosion mode, the financial system is corrupt, the government (the shadow cabal) has stolen and pilfered over $21 trillion dollars from the people’s pensions and government agencies, the polarization and factionalism are obvious to the point there are serious concerns about armed conflict and as one poster said US citizens people don’t trust their government at all (look at the divide here around COVID).
This is not a good place for the bully he has no real backup other than the other “Five Eyes” tag alongs, the EU is in a bad position they need outside oil and gas, they are tied to an illusionary on the brink of imploding financial system and they have no real fighting forces to take on a serious adversary (Russia is not Afghanistan or Libya). All in all things do not look good for Uncle Sam and Dementia Joe.
I value your articles but your bias is obscuring one simple game. The US and EU want Russia to respond, they provoke them all the time with salami tactics. If Russia does , then they will call aggression and impose a cuban/Iran type of embargo which will hurt both Russia and the west, but the USEU hope it will hurt the russkies more.
Russia won’t attack militarily the whole of Europe, you overestimate their capabilities. The Syrian intervention showcased how Russia’s army is small (the modernised part at least). Show large scale military options are not feasible both politically and militarily. I think NATO calculates on some partition in Ukraine
“your bias is obscuring one simple game.”
Facility is often a facilitator of bias.
Analysts and strategists adopt different roles.
Hence a caution of strategists is: Of the 2 choices I choose the 3rd, or the 4th, or the 1st and the 3rd and the 4th …….
I read what saker wrote about possible responses. Most of them are playing on the “decoupling” field that the western nations are already into. Europe could subsidise gas prices while claiming that they should implement green policies and decouple from Russian gas. QE is already there. It will be harsh, but remember EU sheeps have endured so many restrictions with no complain, bad Russia won’t change that easily. Lost revenue for Russia is also a concern, they don’t have the capacity yet to redirect all that gas to China AFAIK. Please don’t make sweeping statements that are factually incorrect. Mod.
Talking about hazy options that a strategist will take doesn’t help. Maybe Putin and lavrov have some ace up their sleeves but I can’t see many that don’t play the decouple tango. That’s why I am inquiring and seek for possible answers
“I read what saker wrote about possible responses. Most of them are playing on the “decoupling” field that the western nations are already into.”
“Facility is often a facilitator of bias.
Analysts and strategists adopt different roles.”
In non-professional circles this is often rendered as “Hammers often see nails” which others suffix with “as a function of their design”.
“Talking about hazy options that a strategist will take doesn’t help.”
You are mistaken – speculation increases the noise to signal ratio increasing doubt in those whose (lack of) facility encourages them to interpret notices of intents with “ultimata” facilitating another iteration of reliance on belief.
In another thread “The Saker” includes an interpretation of data that Mr. Putin shared with a number of military practitioners in which he included – “Good afternoon, comrade officers”. Try removing all direct military references including Mr. Putin’s framing and read this “edited” version of “The Saker”‘s interpretation of Mr. Putin’s datastream including but not limited to ” the annual expanded meeting of the Defence Ministry Board”, ”
“This was due to their wrong assessment of the situation at that time, due to their unprofessional, wrong analysis of probable scenarios.” and “US advisors worked in the Russian Government, career CIA officers gave their advice”.
” I can’t see many that don’t play the decouple tango. ”
You are not alone – that was part of the purpose and likely informed the register of Mr. Putin’s datastream.
One of the more recent mantras of “representative democracy” is everyone is entitled to their own opinion, a lateral projection of a previous mantra “We the people hold these truths to be self-evident..” which contributes to “That’s why I am inquiring and seek for possible answers” which some truncate by reliance on belief to attain/maintain believed/perceived self-significance.
Hence Mr. Putin’s point ” A lot depends on their knowledge, experience, personal qualities, and those who make truly unconventional decisions win battles.”, not Mr. Napoleon’s mantra that – Every soldier carries a Marshal’s baton in his backpack – ergo they are all the same but co-operate more fully before they become Marshal’s than they do after they become Marshal’s – the retreat from Moscow 1812-13 refers.
Why has no one considered that Turkey–not Europe–is the objective? If the US/NATO force Erdogan to face Putin, what would happen? Greece, Syria, Armenia, Cyprus all win. What is currently happening to the Turkish Lira?
Ithink if NATO is stupid enough to attack Russia over Little Russia and China have Russias back, then NATO could in a worst case scenario, for then, be fighting a 4 front war.1: Russia over Ukraine 2: China over Taiwan 3: Iran over the entire Middle East and 4: Nortth Korea over South Korea
You have mentioned that the u.s. has some need to “attack china”. Are you kidding me?
EVERYTHING we purchase comes from China!
I think it might be a stretch of unfounded allegations that are baseless toward pointing that the U.S. is even considering such a stupid move.
I’m NOT against Russia either. There’s more to that war that incenses both sides (U.S. and Russia).
I bothered to present the most credible “news” I could find and quite frankly, Russia appears in the right on more than a couple of levels (when your immediate neighbors are killing your kinfolk, it’s time to kill the neighbors that aren’t your kinfolk…or something like that).
But also there was a treaty (and I don’t recall hearing of any amendment to that treaty either).
However this was the big clincher: https://springfieldohio.live/war-war-war/war/ukraine-civil-war.html
While our western news is propagating one thing, my eyes, ears, and limited intellect are short but not liars.