Summing up - What does Russia want?
Many history academics have a view that Putin has a desire to rebuild what was his beloved USSR, and go down in history as some kind of 'Putin the Great. Other commentators could take a view that Putin possibly wants to stabilise or expand Russia's borders AND get more money for its natural resources. This would help the Russian state, Putins image and in theory a trickle down benefit for the average citizen. Many commentators would assert that the majority of gains will go to the
No end in sight
Russians have a long history of endurance and resilience. In recent years its' armed forces have been augmented with cyber attack capability and it has already proved to be a force in the dissemination of false information, and meddling in social media and the functioning of other modern infrastructure.
There appears to be little appetite by either Russia or America to threaten the use of nuclear force (and what might become guaranteed mutual destruction). Russia it would seem is backed by China economically - while overall, the situation may seriously test alliances in the West, at a time when the credibility of European and American leadership is strained.
On top of the impacts of the Covid pandemic, civil unrest and disruption to supply chains, economies and the finance system, it is in no ones interests to have a long and bitter conflict - except that Russia already has the least to loose.
Recently (but old news now) from geopolitical expert George Friedman on 19/2/22, commenting on Americas (weak) posture.
We are now facing a potential conflict in Ukraine. The American president claims daily that the Russians are prepared to invade Ukraine, but if it does, the U.S. will not defend Ukraine but destroy Russia’s financial system instead. The simplistic sense of security from a distance is gone. The sense that our enemies might strike
us at any moment is missing. The post-Cold War belief that war is over and replaced by a universal desire to buy investment houses is gone. Being able to screw with the enemy’s investment house is an illusory form of deterrence, but at least gives the illusion of action without cost.
The bottom line is that we are not a nation prepared for war. We are exhausted by the preemptive war and contemptuous of the nuclear balance. It is all very well for American culture to move beyond war, but it is to be hoped that our fellow humans feel the same way. At the same time, we can take comfort in the rage of our
fathers, 10 minutes after they heard about Pearl Harbor. As Leon Trotsky said, you may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.
For us here in New Zealand?, it probably means petrol and diesel prices wont be going down any time soon and that our Kiwi saver or other financial investments have already taken a hit.
This weeks quote:
Do not expect that once taking advantage of Russia's weakness, you will receive dividends forever. Russian has always come for their money. And when they come, do not rely on an agreement signed by you, you are supposed to justify. It is not worth the paper it is written on. Therefore, with the Russian is to play fair, or do not play.
― Otto van Bismarck, German statesman 1815 - 1898
Grant Symons - The Transition Guy