Saturday, August 27, 2022

Scott Ritter On Mearsheimer.

Thanks to my friend Mike Krupa who pointed my attention to this piece by Ritter. But first, if you type "Mearsheimer" in the search bar in this blog, the results which will be found containing Mearsheimer's name will be numerous and going back as far as 2015-2016. Well, I am on record that not only most of what passes for the American 'realism' in geopolitics is not really a realism, but it is also as ignorant and exceptionalist as aggressive neoconservatism, which is a euphemism for American imperialism. Most representatives of the 'realist' school in the US are not only just softer less insane version of exceptionalists, most of them are absolutely ignorant on the main tool of geopolitics which is military-industrial power, or, in broader terms--what are those, now proverbial, 14 points by Jeffry Barnett (not to be mistaken with great late Correlli Barnett). 

Just a few days ago (namely 9 days ago) I wrote about Mearsheimer, again:

Mr. Mearsheimer, for all his accomplishments, continues to demonstrate a complete ignorance of the realities of modern warfare in his piece in Foreign Affairs. Mearsheimer, having no clue about what the current state of military balance in Europe is, speculates how the US can get involved directly into the conflict.  ...Mearsheimer, a graduate of the USMA at West Point in early 1970s is still stuck in... 1945 and continues to drink Kool-Aid from US media, not understanding what state the VSU are in and not understanding that Russia maintains an overwhelming escalation dominance and ability of a strategic maneuver by force.

Read the whole piece. But Mearsheimer's sophomoric "forecasting" rubs the wrong way not only me. Scott Ritter wrote an excellent take-down of Mearsheimer's military-nuclear fantasies for RT this week.

Fears that the Ukraine conflict is now bogged down into some sort of stalemate which risks dangerous escalation from the parties involved in order to achieve victory are misplaced. There is only one victor in the Ukraine conflict, and that is Russia. Nothing can change this reality. Renowned American intellectual John Mearsheimer has written an important article about the conflict, entitled: ‘Playing with Fire in Ukraine: The Underappreciated Risks of Catastrophic Escalation’. The article paints a dark picture about both the nature of the war in Ukraine (prolonged stalemate) and probable outcome (decisive escalation by the parties involved to stave off defeat). Mearsheimer’s underpinning premises, however, are fundamentally flawed. Russia possesses the strategic initiative – militarily, politically, and economically – when it comes to the war in Ukraine and the larger proxy engagement with NATO. Moreover, neither the US nor NATO is in a position to escalate, decisively or otherwise, to thwart a Russian victory, and Russia has no need for any similar escalation on its part. In short, the Ukraine conflict is over, and Russia has won. All that remains is a long and bloody mopping up.

But this is the fact, which Mearsheimer doesn't get. He doesn't get it for two reasons:

1. Despite his initial military background, Mearsheimer spent too much time dealing with political science at the expense of serious geopolitical analysis based on facts, not chimeras. 

2. In terms of knowledge of modern warfare he is still stuck in 1970s and, as it is obvious with most US "experts", drinks the Kool Aid of the Desert Storm, not understanding that to be in shape geopolitically, one needs to constantly keep oneself updated on warfare matters, and especially in terms of C4ISR. It is, after all, 2022, not 1975 or even 1992. 

Not only Ritter, correctly, demolished Mearsheimer's "theory" of escalation, especially towards nuclear threshold, but he stresses:

The fact is, while US government officials may make bold statements about the need to inflict harm, via proxy, on the Russian military through the provision of billions of dollars’ worth of weapons to Ukraine, it is the US which has had defeat inflicted on it in terms of the ongoing losses of its Ukrainian proxy military and the destruction of the equipment provided in support. The US, like its NATO allies, has proven to be very good at making bold pronouncements about goals and intent, but very bad at putting them into practice. This is the state of American ‘ambitions’ vis-à-vis Ukraine today – all rhetoric, no meaningful action. Any fear of a US and/or NATO military intervention in Ukraine must be weighed against the reality that hot air does not generate cold steel; US politicians might be adept at filling the pages of a compliant mainstream media with impressive-sounding words, but neither the US military nor its NATO allies are able to generate the kind of meaningful military capability needed to effectively challenge Russia on the ground in Ukraine.

In general, it is an excellent take-down worthy of our attention and it is absolutely necessary to remind people who pass in the West for 'realists' that they better learn subject before offering their, largely incompetent, opinions on serious matters such as large scale combined arms operations and nuclear escalation. Otherwise, their alleged 'realism' looks awfully similar to neocon exceptionalism, which is a euphemism for residing in the alternative universe of the America's omnipotence, which in reality is long gone, if there ever was one. As Mike Krupa stated 10 days ago, Mearsheimer should concentrate on writing about America's Israeli Lobby--he is really good at that. 

In related news, now hypersonic Kinzhal is carried not just by updated MiG-31K, but by a fully modernized and capable of delivering Kinzhal to launch point in fully automatic mode MiG-31I is what now is deployed to Kaliningrad Oblast. This modification, evidently, also has an anti-satellite capability (in Russian). Also, rumor has it, the land-based Zircon will be ready by the end of this year and will begin to arrive to first line units. In conclusion, about Russian Armed Forces expanding its personnel size--not just personnel, but billets, positions, and that means fully new personnel--it is all about:

1. Integrating already existing LDNR units into the Armed Forces of Russia;

2. The expansion of "techno" troops such as additional Air Defense, Missile Troops, Tanks, Navy etc. 

3. It has nothing to do with Russia's losses in Ukraine. Because filling billets of servicemen killed is NOT the EXPANSION. 

In this case, however, we are talking about cadre expansion, which will make already impressive Russian Armed Forces even stronger. We will have answers to some questions starting from August 30, when Vostok-2022 will begin. Chinese Army already has its troops in place (in Russian). So, here it is--your primer for the weekend.

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