At the moment, the discussion is polarizing as to whether we are in a situation of a new Cuban Missile Crisis, an imminent Armaggeddon or at least limited nuclear war should Putin be pushed in the corner too much, which is why the Merkelians are arguing for peace negotiations and for concessions to be made. The comparisons of the Ukraine war range from Afghanistan 2.0, to Vietnam, to WW 1 and the Cuban Missile Crisis, and in turn are logically connected with each other.
“Is Ukraine Russia’s Vietnam? – analysis
MIDDLE ISRAEL: In the Ukraine War, Russia is repeating the Western powers’ mistakes in what the French called Indochina, and the Americans called Vietnam.”
One should not forget that during both the Korean and Vietnam wars, the USA also threatened to use nuclear weapons, but did not do so even though they did not win the wars. As a representative of the Merkelians, the theory of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the danger of a world war, the former military adviser to Merkel, General Vad commented the article in the Jerusalem Post:
“Thanks for the good article from the Jerusalem Post. A second Vietnam: This could happen militarily for RUS if the war drags on. But such a comparison ignores a major difference: the Americans could simply go home after Vietnam – as they could after Iraq or Afghanistan – without having to give up their status as a world power. If the Russians leave Donbass and Crimea, they can no longer be a world power. They lose everything It would be akin to the US giving up the Caribbean and the Panama Canal to RUS, or China giving up control of the South China Sea or Taiwan to the US. RUS has its backs against the wall geopolitically with the Ukraine war. That’s what makes the situation so dangerous. The many friends of increased arms deliveries do not understand that they are leading us willy-nilly and with good intentions into World War III. Therefore – if you do not want that – there is indeed no alternative to an early political solution.(…) “ Comparable with 1962 in that the USA could not agree to a missile deployment on Cuba than RUS could agree to Ukraine joining NATO. The mistake was that in Bucharest in 2008, NATO maintained Ukraine’s NATO perspective and then massively upgraded it, especially after the annexation of Crimea. That paved the way to war. What would you have done in Putin’s place? And : as chancellor – in contrast to Scholz – and certainly in close coordination with Macron, the “fuzzy” Merkel would have constantly commuted between Berlin and Washington and would have annoyed Biden until a political initiative or something similar had been launched. In fact, we don’t do anything politically and our Foreign Minister likes to be Minister of War. Oh well. I’m no longer the chancellor’s office and I can’t do anything more than give advice from the loden coat squadron/“Lodenmantelgeschwader“….“
The Jerusalem Post article comparing Russia’s Ukraine war to Vietnam begins by pointing out differences between the two theaters of war, albeit less in political significance. Conversely, let’s not forget how the US put forward the domino theory back then: If Vietnam. falls after China, then also Asia and with it the world power USA and the West. And also in the Vietnam War, the USA often considered the use of nuclear veapons, as before during the Korean War – not only McArthur, but also Eisenhower threatened Mao after the death of Stalin and peace negotiations and a stalemate quickly ensued. The domino theory was probably a bit exaggerated. General ret. Naumann, on the other hand, believes that the use of tactical nuclear weapons would by no means mean a war with NATO or even a global world war and that the situation could not be compared to Cuba in 1962, as General ret. Vad or Bernd Greiner do. That would be thought too „strange“, also with regard to nuclear deterrence and it would only remain a „bluff“. Ultimately, however, the question is what German diplomacy can do to change this. He thinks that the decisions as to whether there will be negotiations – and he assumes this – will be made in the USA-Russia and Ukraine triangle and not by the EU or even Germany, also as far as the arms deliveries that are crucial to the war are concerned, in which Germany compared to Poland/ South Korea, USA and GB would supply rather negligible quantities. What could Germany do apart from appeals?
With the Cuban Missile Crisis, it is always forgotten that the USA questioned the nuclear detterence strategy Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) as result of Kissinger’s programmatic writing „Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy“, in which he supported the new idea of limited nuclear wars and considered brinkmannship as blackmail on the nuclear abyss. An expression of this was the test deployment of the Jupiter nuclear medium range missiles in Turkey. The Soviets then deployed their medium-range missiles in Cuba. It was also about spheres of influence, but also about a change in nuclear strategy and the military threat, while Ukraine is not about changing NATO strategy or nuclear deterrence, even Ukraine’s NATO membership would not pose a direct military threat to Russia, neither Poland but this time it is about spheres of influence and imperial claims between the USA and Russia. The rest of the Cuban Missile Crisis is well known.
But the question is: is Putin only interested in Ukraine and its NATO membership or not? Was it maintaining the NATO perspective or Merkel and Macron’s veto on Ukraine and Georgia’s membership? Was it strength or weakness versus Putin? It probably wouldn’t have been a military threat, because the first NATO soldier to cross the Russian border would have been met with a massive nuclear attack. The spheres of influence remain. It is always argued that these are a relic of the 20th century, occasionally it is ignored that the USA sees the entire globe as its sphere of influence and not only Ukraine But even if we define the concept of spheres of influence more narrowly, the question remains: First, should we accept them? Secondly, is Putin only concerned with Ukraine? Or does he only see Ukraine as the first step of something more: Specifically: A new world order in which Russia and China want to push the USA out of Europe and the Indo-Pacific. For the latter speaks:
1)Putin’s Bundestag speech in 2001, in which he not only talks about the establishment of a Eurasian economic area, but also about a Eurasian military alliance with Europe (against the USA).
2) The Sino-Russian strategy paper envisaging a new multipolar world order ( Jamestown Foundation „New Type of Great Power Relations“)
3) Putin’s political activities in support of Trump, Brexit, the 40 million for the National Front, intending to paralyze and crush the EU and NATO, paving the way for fragmentation of the EU into small nation states and Eurasian axes to establish a “ European peace order“ without US influence, but under the rule of what will then be Russia’s largest nuclear power.
4) The self-assessment of imperial greatness with the idea of a „conservatism of values“ to be exported to Europe as a counter-model to the evil, value-liberal EU with Moscow as the 4-Rome, Eurasian culture and Novorussia as the center and an ideological hybrid that, for the purpose of expansion intentions, arbitrarily incorporates Soviet Union nostalgia and alleged anti-fascism, who gives birth to his own fascist ideology and wants to wage an anti-fascist war of liberation against the US and EU Nazis and mixes with the Tsarist Empire.
5) The draft treaty before the Ukraine war, which calls for a completely illusory rollback of NATO to the pre-1997 borders. The latter was also the point at which General Naumann switched after he co-signed a de-escalation call from Prof. Varwick and only regarded this as „brazen“.
5) Does Putin fear not so much NATO, but rather the EU and its association with Ukraine and its orientation towards democracy – more of a systemic contradiction as a cause of war? In any case, the eastward expansion of NATO and the eastward expansion of the EU were not a military threat, but a systemic threat to the authoritarian Putin system, as well as to his own imperial ideas, which now collide with the imperial ideas of the USA and the Europeans in their convoy in a proxy war.
Well, it’s not that simple, especially since. I myself had before advocated EU-Russia cooperation, including with an article on the website of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s think tank RIAC „Why I as a liberal democrat support EU-Russia cooperation“. That was perhaps naïve in terms of systemic conflict, but also something in the sense of Mearsheimer and Schönbaums against China and Islamism, as well as an ecological cooperation for climate protection and the preservation of the Siberian forests and the Artic. The question is whether the US goal is to bleed Putin out and perhaps weaken Russia in this way or even bring about regime change, or whether they are willing to engage in peace negotiations. In the latter case, however, that would only be credible if the US build a military base in the rest of Ukraine in the event of a division of Ukraine and enter into a defense treaty like with Japan and not like the non-binding Budapest Declaration or a Taiwan Relations Act with strategic ambiguity, or even NATO membership for the rest of Ukraine, so that Putin would advance further in Ukraine was ruled out in principle after a short period of recovery as a result of a peace treaty.
Hard to say what the US wants. At the moment some claim that Putin’s referendum and the annexation is not a qualitative change, since Crimea is also Russian territory and the Ukrainians, despite all the threats of nuclear war and escalation, are carrying out attacks on Crimea, so it’s all just a bluff. Still, General Vad could be right, should Ukrainians really retake Crimea or Donbass, whether Putin would leave that unanswered. But the two questions that arise from this are: Is it at all conceivable from a military point of view and following on from that: Do the USA want to divide Ukraine and then credibly secure it, or delay the war for as long as possible in order to bleed Putin out and continue to force the formation of blocs and maybe topple him? And a third question: Would the possible US defense guarantees still exist in the event of a peace treaty, should Trump or a similar Republican be re-elected instead of Biden, or would they then also agree to a neutral rest of Ukraine without US protection as a deal, with which Putin then again has free way for the occupation of the whole Ukraine after a recovery period?
At the moment the question is whether there can be negotiations. Erdogan seems to be probing in the direction of a peace treaty – as a continuation of the grain agreement. Nevertheless, the sultan does not calculate without himself as the host. Erdogan has played a very constructive role so far, but he wants the Aegean Islands back by next year at the latest when the Lausanne Treaty expires. He claims that the Aegan islands would be like Hong Kong. Either belligerently, although he hopes that the USA and NATO will behave as passively as they did in Cyprus in 1974, or that they will put pressure on Greece to make concessions, also with regard to the pending Turkish approval of Sweden and Finland’s NATO membership. In any case, he no longer sees Putin as a strong man, also because of Armenia and the Caucasus, and now wants to seize the opportunity. It also reains to be seen how the UN, China and Russia in the UNSR will react to the questioning of the Lausanne treaty. In addition, Erdogan has not yet completely forgiven the humiliating Canossa trip to Moscow because of the incident with the Russian fighter aircraft
Selensky in turn. declared that he would not negotiate with Putin. This can an mean three things: he hopes for victory and doesn’t want any negotiations. Second, he doesn’t want to negotiate personally with Putin and only with negotiators (Erdogan?). Third, he wants Putin to be toppled and negotiate with a new Russian government/president. But Biden and the US have the final say, even though they are officially reticent. Biden also retracted his Armageddon and Cuban crisis comparison yesterday. But it may also be an indication that the US administration is not so clear about the war goals themselves.
Former Putin acquaintance and Gazprom advisor Dr. Alexander Rahr said:
“With today’s bombing of Ukrainian civilian infrastructure, Putin wanted to demonstrate that he has greater potential for escalation than Ukraine – above all, more deadly weapon systems. In conventional warfare, the forces are seemingly equal, which only prolongs the war further. A further escalation would be Belarus‘ entry into the war on the side of Russia, which would provoke calls in Poland for direct war intervention. The West would have to understand this danger of escalating the war. If I understand Erdogan correctly, Russia is secondary to Ukraine. Putin wants a new security treaty with the West, perhaps exploratory talks should be held in this direction, if they are effective, the Ukraine problem can also be tackled more easily. „
Any concessions by the USA or NATO in the direction of the Russian draft treaty of a rollback of NATO to the borders in 1997 is completely illusory, no matter how Putin will continue to escalate. Biden no longer believes in Armaggeddon and the 12 Russian sites of tactical nuclear power are under good observation. Anyone who still has this hope in view of the disastrous developments in Ukraine for Putin should settle to Moscow and hide in a nuclear shelter with Putin. In view of the decline of Russia, which China and Erdogan also see in this way, he is no longer able, despite all the rhetoric of escalation, to make any demands for an international security architecture, a multipolar world with a major Russian role, which is not even credible among his allies and realistically seen or even as a starting point for negotiations. Putin has dwarfed Russia himself, made itseöf a dwarf as a partner of his last allies and can only escalate militarily, but NATO and the USA too, which his allies fear – and they tend to believe that Putin will give in, since he will not commit suicide. Putin should simply demand the Donbass and Crimea, in extreme cases only Sevastopol as a garrison city for the Black Sea Fleet and otherwise shut up and hope that Erdogan can convey this to the USA, although he would probably not get a neutral rest of Ukraine, but a rest of Ukraine based on one US military treaty with the rest of Ukraine based on the model of Japan and a US military base as an expansion inhibitor against Putin’s desire for expansion, which he apparently has not yet been written off, especially since the rest of Ukraine has access to the sea and Odessa and the south and south-east. But it is questionable whether these negotiations will come about and, if so, whether Putin still has hopes for the political consequences of the gas winter, hopes for the US midterm elections and Trump’s re-election and delays them, insofar as he still has enough time.