Larry posted a great piece by Helmholtz Smith. After setting up a strategic framework, Smith concludes:
In short, the Western plan is not working. The sanctions cost the West more, it’s running out of weapons to send and there are signs of softening. If Moscow’s plan was to move slowly and wait them out, then it’s working.
One should not rule out the possibility of a negotiated settlement and it may be that NATO realizes in time that it has painted itself into a corner from which that is the only exit. But it’s hard to see, given all the hyperbole, how the West’s present rulers could admit to such an enormous failure. Electoral replacement, while happening, is too slow. And why would Moscow ever trust anything the West says? A unilateral surrender by Kiev is possible but the only way I could see it is if Zelensky were overthrown. Therefore I rate a negotiated ending as not impossible at the moment but of very low probability. But time is on Russia’s side and October’s improbability may be March’s desperate desire.
More likely to me is, to use a World War II analogy, that now that Kiev’s Operation Citadel in the Kursk Salient is petering out, it’s time for a really powerful mechanized offensive accompanied by strikes deep in the rear with no holding back. One must remember that Putin said they hadn’t really started – I think we’re about to see what he meant. And sooner, I would guess, rather than later. I can’t imagine that anyone in Moscow wants this thing still going on next February.
It is a great piece, especially in illuminating a background of it all and reminding, that Ukraine is just one piece of a truly global puzzle. Per those echelons, saw them myself--huge number of armor and other equipment is being moved by Russia. This is from yesterday--150 kilometers from Ukraine's border.