People really do like seeing their best friends humiliated; a large part of the friendship is based on humiliation; and that is an old truth, well known to all intelligent people.
- Ukrainian acquisition of the TB2 may have provided one trigger for the current crisis, as it gave Ukraine a new upper hand against separatists in the Donbas region, and also made manifest the problem that growing Ukrainian military power could pose for Russia.
- Jacqueline Whitt and Ron Granieri talk about the role of reputation and credibility in the Ukraine crisis. Lotta dumb folks talking about how withdrawing from Afghanistan precipitated this crisis, which is obviously wrong just from the timeline. The lit on reputation and credibility has become larger and more nuanced over the past few years, though, and probably shouldn’t be dismissed with terms like “credibility fairy,” as I have often been wont to do.
- Fiona Hill’s long NYT essay probably gives too much credit to Putin’s strategerizing, but it’s still worth a read.
- Here’s a good, quick account of the major differences between the situations of Ukraine and Taiwan. Who knows what lesson China will take if Russia is allowed to eat Ukraine, but Xi probably shouldn’t conclude that Taiwan is now fair game.
- Russia really bringing everything it has, including Iskander missiles and Ropucha amphibious assault ships.
- Let me second Cheryl’s recommendation of Michael Kofman’s deeply alarming assessment in War on the Rocks. There’s lots of reason to believe that Russia quite seriously intends to use a mechanized offensive along several lines of attack to cut off parts of Ukraine and install a new government in Kiev.