A Failure of Deterrence

Dominick Cummings explains

When Pearl Harbor happened, Washington was in shock. Unprovoked attack!

What had really happened?

America had tightened economic warfare against Japan including shutting down oil. Then it suddenly confiscated Japanese assets held in America. Japan won’t do anything, said the high status Washington insiders, because rationally they know attacking America will be fatal.

But in Japan they reasoned differently: America has clearly decided to destroy our regime so we should attack and try to change the balance of forces.

Washington’s ‘insanity’/‘irrationality’ was Tokyo’s rational calculation.

Why is this relevant?

America has many virtues but its ruling class does not have a long culture of imperial success and it has not developed a ruling class that generates leaders good at judgements about other regimes. Britain had people like Lord Cromer ruling the Egyptians — a very smart, cold, calculating cynical aristocrat with empire in his blood, a sort much better suited to imperial politics than the output of American graduate schools who dominate Washington and repeatedly, naively misjudge other countries. We’ll bring democracy to Afghanistan… We’ll stop corruption in Afghanistan… We’ll bring LGBTQ+++ to Afghanistan… Argh we gotta flee Afghanistan…

Even very smart and able Americans such as Dean Acheson were not good at assessing other regimes. Imperial politics is not the same as democratic politics. Also notice that when Tyler Cowen interviewed Brennan, a former CIA director, and asked about the Tetlock project, by now known in outline to many in politics, Brennan didn’t even know what it was — a very telling detail. If the CIA director doesn’t know about the most interesting project to counter intelligence failures, what else doesn’t he know?!

In the Cold War we saw Washington make repeated errors. The Vietcong are about to fold, they said, year after year. Turned out the Vietcong defined their priorities and rationality differently. America had to retreat.

Just last year we could see how bad the trillion dollar network of DoD and intelligence agencies were on Afghanistan and the Taliban. America had to retreat.

And now Washington’s high status insiders are confidently declaring what it would be ‘rational’ and ‘crazy’ for Putin to do.

Given their complete inability to correctly anticipate what Putin – or pretty much any of their other enemies – was going to do previously, what are the odds that they have gotten it right this time? More importantly, most of the people making decisions about the use of US military force have no loyalty to nor concern for the American people or their national interests, so they’re much more willing to take risks than actual Americans would.

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The Idiocy of Expansion

Even neutral parties grasp that joining NATO is a foolish action by Finland and Sweden:

NATO membership won’t make Finland and Sweden more secure, but would likely see them fighting somebody else’s wars and hosting American bases, Dr. Jan Oberg, director of the Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, has told RT.

“It’s a disastrous decision,” Oberg said on Sunday, following an official declaration by the Finnish government that it is planning to join the US-led military bloc. Hours later, a similar announcement was made by the ruling party in Sweden. The two Nordic nations stayed out of NATO during the Cold War, but their governments said Russia’s military operation in Ukraine has become a game-changer.

Finland and Sweden have failed to carry out “long-term consequence analysis,” he added. “Nobody seems to ask whether NATO is the right thing to join. After all these years since 1945, NATO has proven that it’s not able to deliver what taxpayers are paying for, namely stability, peace and security… and then Finland and Sweden say: ‘We’ll join this failed organization,’” he remarked.

One has to be almost completely ignorant of military history to conclude that joining a military alliance makes war LESS likely. The history of war is literally the history of military alliances, from the Delian League and the Latin League to the League of Cambrai and the Triple Entente. Only neutral nations such as Spain, Switzerland, and Ireland managed to stay out of WWII, which is why it is absolutely counterproductive for formerly neutral nations such as Switzerland to impose sanctions on Russia and totally insane for formerly neutral nations such as Finland and Sweden to voluntarily sign up as co-belligerents to engage in a war against both Russia and China.

Because that’s what they’re signing up for, even if they don’t realize it yet.

UPDATE: Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

Russia appears to have started moving nuclear-capable missiles to Finland’s border just a day after the country announced it will bid to join NATO. Video posted on Russian social media today shows trucks carrying Iskander ballistic missiles – which can be tipped with nuclear warheads – moving through the country, reportedly on a highway to Vyborg, on the Finnish border. ‘As soon as the president of Finland said they were joining NATO, a whole division of Iskanders, seven of them… is moving towards Vyborg,’ the video’s narrator says.

UPDATE: Sweden boards the geopolitical short bus.

Sweden has said it will join Finland in bidding for membership of NATO, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted an ‘historic’ shift away from decades of neutrality. Magdalena Andersson, the Swedish prime minister, announced the move on Monday – just a day after Finnish counterpart Sanna Marin tabled her own bid. Andersson said the move was being made in conjunction with Helsinki and marks ‘a historic change in our country’s security policy’ which has relied on a pledge of neutrality to deter attacks since the Napoleonic era.

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Quelle Surprise

It’s not exactly shocking to have The New York Times confirm, only 44 years late, that three-time New York City Mayor Ed Koch was a homosexual.

Edward I. Koch looked like the busiest septuagenarian in New York.

Glad-handing well-wishers at his favorite restaurants, gesticulating through television interviews long after his three terms as mayor, Mr. Koch could seem as though he was scrambling to fill every hour with bustle. He dragged friends to the movies, pursuing a side career in film criticism. He urged new acquaintances to call him “judge,” a joking reference to his time presiding over “The People’s Court.”

But as his 70s ticked by, Mr. Koch described to a few friends a feeling he could not shake: a deep loneliness. He wanted to meet someone, he said. Did they know anyone who might be “partner material?” Someone “a little younger than me?” Someone to make up for lost time?

“I want a boyfriend,” he said to one friend, Charles Kaiser.

It was an aching admission, shared with only a few, from a politician whose brash ubiquity and relentless New York evangelism helped define the modern mayoralty, even as he strained to conceal an essential fact of his biography: Mr. Koch was gay.

The Secrets Ed Koch Carried, The New York Times, 7 May 2022

So a Jewish politician pretending to be an American was also pretending to be straight? Lawsy, will the totally shocking surprises never cease? Just think, sometime around the year 2052, The New York Times – or rather, the single media amalgamation that has swallowed The New York Times – will report that Barack Obama was a homosexual and “Michelle” Obama’s real name was “Michael”. And we will all pretend to be surprised.

The so-called conspiracy theorists aren’t always right, but they are far more often correct than the media that claims to “debunk” them.

I’m old enough to remember when people would say things like, “Ed Koch can’t possibly be gay, for crying out loud, he dated Miss America!”

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You Don’t Say

The former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO says the quiet part out loud.

“I think we are in a proxy war with Russia. We are using the Ukrainians as our proxy forces.”

Philip Breedlove, former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO

Meanwhile, the Russian Foreign Minister let a little something slip out too.

“So what if Zelenskyy is Jewish? The fact does not negate the Nazi elements in Ukraine. I believe that Hitler also had Jewish blood. It means absolutely nothing. The wise Jewish people said that the most ardent antisemites are usually Jews.”

Wait, what?

Oh, that’s right. Of course Hitler is Jewish. After all, we’re all one race, the human race.

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This Could Not Be Verified

Not only is it impossible to verify Ukraine’s claims of Russian losses in the Special Military Operation, it is impossible to take them seriously on a statistical basis.

The scale of Russian troop losses in Ukraine has tipped 21,000 as Putin’s war rumbles into its third month today.

The latest statistics, published by the Ukrainian Land Forces this morning, suggest 21,800 Russian fighters have been killed amid bitter resistance from Ukraine’s armed forces and territorial defence units – though this figure could not be verified.

Meanwhile, the land forces claim to have dealt massive damage to Russia’s military equipment and machinery.

A total of 873 tanks are said to have been destroyed, along with 2238 armoured vehicles, 179 planes, 154 helicopters and 408 artillery systems.

According to the same article, “On February 24, Russia’s land army consisted of 280,000 full-time active soldiers compared with Ukraine’s 125,600.”

Now, the number of casualties in war is always a multiple of the number of fatalities. For example, the USA lost 407,316 KIA during WWII and 671,846 WIA out of 16.4 million troops, for a Cas/Fat ratio of 1.65. As medical science improved, this ratio increased over time, to 2.6 for Vietnam, 7.2 for Iraq, and 8.6 for Afghanistan.

So, if the most recent US war is a reasonable comparative, the Ukrainian claims would indicate an additional 180,600 wounded Russians for a total of 201,600 Russian casualties, which would mean that the Russian casualty rate of 72 percent exceeds that of the German, Japanese, and Soviet militaries during the entirety of World War II. And at 7.5 percent, the fatality rate is three times the US WWII fatality rate of 2.5 percent in just two months.

In other words, we can state with certainty that these reports are highly improbable, and logically conclude that they are false.


You Have to Wonder

AC raises a pertinent question for even the most devoutly secular historian:

You have to wonder why so many disparate civilizations all over the globe and throughout time, all came to the conclusion that if they brutally tortured/murdered children/babies, as a “sacrifice” to some unseen other, the unseen other would look kindly on their gesture of fealty, and bestow great things upon them, almost magically.

You do indeed. And then ask yourself what religion happens to posit a fallen world ruled by a wicked immortal spiritual creature, and how the present rulers of this world happen to regard that religion. I found the subsequent excerpt from an 1805 inquiry into the fall of nations, which compares the historical accounts of Rome and of Carthage, to be somewhat suggestive in that context:

All the historians that give us the character of the two nations were Romans and of the victorious party; yet most of them are more equitable than the historians of modern times, for they had not seen their own country in its last state of degradation and misery. Those who now make the comparison have proper materials; and it is the business of the writers of history to free it from the errors into which contemporary authors fall, whether from prejudice, or from want of knowing those events which happened after their days.

In the case of the Roman historians, the error arose from a combination of three different causes. In the first place, they compared Rome in its healthy days and its vigour, to Carthage in its decline. They were, next to that, led into an error, by not knowing that all countries that have been long rich are liable to the same evils as Carthage. And, last of all, they wrote with a spirit of party, and a predilection in favour of Rome. These three causes are certain; and, perhaps, there was another. It is possible they did not dare to speak the truth, if they did know it.

One wonders what that truth, which historians know but of which they dare not speak, could possibly have been?

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The Five Fronts of Imperial Collapse

A fascinating interview with Sergey Glazyev, who points out that events of the sort we are witnessing “only happen once a century”.

Among the Russian elite there are many opponents of an alliance with China. At least, before the special operation in Ukraine, it seemed to these people that American and Western culture is more understandable and closer to us than hieroglyphic Chinese wisdom, and that we will always find a common language with our “Western partners”.

– You know, back in 2015 I wrote the book The Last World War. The USA is Starting and Losing, which you mentioned at the beginning of the conversation – everything was thought out and justified there. The United States embarked on a worldwide hybrid war – started with the Orange Revolutions to disrupt regions of the world it did not control – in order to strengthen its position and weaken the position of geopolitical rivals. After the famous Munich speech of President Putin in February 2007, they realized that they had lost control over Yeltsin’s Russia, and this seriously worried them. In 2008, the financial crisis broke out and it became clear that the transition to a new technological order was beginning, and the old world economic order and the previous management system no longer ensured sustainable economic development. China was now leading the way. Well, then afterwards the logic of deploying of a world war happens, only not in the forms that existed 100 years ago, but on three conditional fronts – monetary-financial (where the United States still dominates the world), trade-economic (where they have already lost superiority to China) and information-cognitive (where the Americans also have technologies that are superior to ours). They use all three of these fronts in an attempt to keep the initiative and maintain the hegemony of their corporations.

Well and finally, the fourth front is the biological one, which opened with the advent of the coronavirus from the US-Chinese laboratory in Wuhan. Today we see that a whole network of biological laboratories existed in Ukraine. So the United States has long been preparing to open the biological front of the world war.

The fifth, and most obvious, front is, in fact, the front of combat fighting – as the last tool for forcing the states that they control into unquestioning obedience. Today, the situation on this front is also escalating. That is, active operations are underway on all five fronts of the world hybrid war, and the result can be predicted. The Americans will not be able to win, just as the British did not succeed in their time. Although Britain formally won World War II, they lost politically and economically. The British lost their entire empire, losing more than 90 percent of the territory and 95 percent of the population. Two years after World War II, where they were the winners, their empire collapsed like a house of cards, because the other two winners – the USSR and the USA – did not need this empire and viewed it as an anachronism. Also, the world will not need American transnational corporations, the American dollar, American monetary and financial technologies and financial pyramids. All this will be a thing of the past in the near future. Southeast Asia will become the obvious leader in world economic development, and a new world economic order will be formed before our very eyes.

God blessed America, and Americans threw away that blessing in favor of hedonism, sin, tolerance, and world domination. Now Americans are ruled by women and foreigners, and the world is passing it by, just as it has always forgotten the past hosts of The Empire That Never Ended.

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A Eulogy for Boomers

A lot of Boomers think I’m too harsh on them. They have absolutely no idea how history is going to regard them. Or how many members of the succeeding generations consider me to be a squishy moderate on the subject. But this summation by Ivan Throne should give them a clue.

It seems the sole and total purpose of Boomers was to groom the entire Western world into solipsistic death with its ankles in the air on a mattress stained with bloody andrenochrome and the flopsweat of Klaus Schwab.

What a filthy generation.

It shat on a thousand years of heritage and damned its descendants to slavery under the most grotesque, befouled, and hideous collapse imaginable.

Is it fair? Not entirely. But since when was recorded history ever fair? And no generational description can ever address the behavior of a single individual. Nevertheless, if one is concerned about one’s legacy, then perhaps one should live with an eye to how those who will be judging it are likely to regard it.

After all, there is no spin coming from the grave.

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Russia Will Go Nuclear… if necessary

Dominic Cummings points out that US nuclear strategy has always rested on false and self-serving assumptions.

In the Cold War America based its nuclear strategy on an intellectual framework that was false.

It defined standards of ‘rationality’ then concluded the Soviets would not use nuclear weapons in many scenarios. There was a governing tautology: rational leaders would be deterred otherwise they would be irrational. Given this tautology, more vulnerability improves ‘stability’ (e.g submarine launched weapons), while better defence is ‘destabilising’ (e.g missile defence).

The Cold War was won. The West concluded ‘we were right’. Many in the world of policy concluded: there is a reliable theory of nuclear strategy that allows us to send carefully calibrated signals, like ‘escalate to de-escalate’. You can see this false confidence in many politicians, journalists and academics over the past month. E.g Professor Elliot Cohen’s calls for America to attack Russian forces because he’s confident Putin is bluffing.

After the 1991 collapse some scholars went to talk to those actually in charge in Russia. They read documents. They discovered that we’d been wrong in crucial ways all along. Actually the Soviets planned early and heavy use of nuclear weapons in many scenarios including outbreak of conventional war in Europe.

The theoretical basis of some of the west’s analysis, such as game theory from the likes of the economist Schelling, had been disastrously misleading. More important (I think) was the development of a theory that encouraged leaders/strategists to ignore an eternal lesson of history: one story after another of people risking death in ways opponents or observers thought ‘irrational’, ‘crazy’.

Despite being a game designer, I would not hesitate to declare that history is a much more reliable guide to anticipating human behavior than game theory. Because humans are irrational creatures and game theory relies upon something that is observably rare, to the extent it can even be said to exist at all, which is to say human rationality.

Cummings also points out that the globalist narrative concerning the Russian leader flies directly in the face of these strategic assumptions.

The more you think ‘Putin made a terrible blunder in invading Ukraine, he’s lost the plot, isolated by covid fear, the institutions around him don’t work, he’s fed lies by sycophants’ — which is the standard view in London and DC today — the more sceptical you should be that simplistic ideas from the Cold War about ‘rationality’ and deterrence would work as planned.

Fortunately, the globalist narrative is entirely false. Which, no doubt, is why Cummings has reached the correct conclusion that should be shared by every Christian, every defender of Western civilization, and anyone who cherishes the Good, the Beautiful, and the True.

If you care about ‘preserving western values’, I strongly advise that you focus on regime change in London and Washington, not in Moscow. Putin is less dangerous than our own idiocracy.

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Truth is the First Casualty

Ukraine reports Russia’s losses, but not its own.

12,000 Russian troops have now died fighting in Ukraine, while 300 tanks have been destroyed along with more than 1,000 armoured vehicles, 48 planes, 80 helicopters and three boats.

That’s after 12 days of combat. Let’s compare the enemy-reported losses to the self-reported losses from some famous historical battles:

  • Normandy: 87 days. 20,668 US KIA. 2,000 tanks destroyed.
  • Tarawa: 3 days. 1,009 US KIA.
  • Iwo Jima: 35 days. 6,862 US KIA. 137 tanks destroyed.
  • Battle of the Bulge: 40 days. 19,246 US KIA. 733 tanks destroyed.

So, if the Ukrainians are to be believed, they are killing 3.45x more Russian soldiers per day, in an invasion that is advancing faster than Desert Storm, the Six-Days War, or Operation Barbarossa, than the US military lost in four of its bloodiest battles of World War II.

My estimate of Russian losses after 12 days is 2,850 KIA, 9,250 wounded, and 220 tanks lost.

This is considerably higher than the 1,100 KIA I would have estimated due to the Russians utilizing their second-line troops and refraining from making efficient use of their artillery and air power. But the Russian generals are clearly saving their first-line troops and equipment for a potential future engagement with NATO forces, while taking advantage of the situation to blood and level-up the second-line soldiers. And, to Vladimir Putin’s credit, he has decided to accept a higher rate of Russian military casualties in order to reduce the number of Ukrainian civilian casualties by at least an order of magnitude.

You may wish to note that my first estimate was 250 to 500 KIA at a time when the Ukranians were reporting 9,000 KIA. The Russians subsequently reported 498 KIA for that period. The reason I set the range too low was because at the time I calculated the estimate, I did not know that the Russians were relying upon second-line troops or that they would eschew artillery and air support for the first five days of the operation.

The lesson, as always, is this: the past is prelude.

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