Merry Christmas and welcome back to the Hyphen-Report! This has been a wonderful year for conflict entrepreneurs everywhere but Hyphen-Enjoyers have had a rough one, being given only one article to chew on in twelve months. We are looking to fix that in 2024 with weekly articles all year long (or until I burn out and delete Telegram for the fifth time). Without further ado, let’s get to the reason for good cheer this season: the total meltdown of US credibility worldwide.
To begin our 2023 roundup of beady-eyed globalist failure, we dive at snorkel-depth into another excellent article by Simplicius over at his Substack. Simplicius has been a treasure trove of good takes and publishes every two or three days. He also happens to be a crypto-Justice Report reader, sharing this screencap in his November article, “Israel and America’s Growing Zugzwang.” Thanks big guy, very cool!
The kernel of today’s 2023 H-R recap is his December 22nd article, “Breaking Down Thinktank-land’s Latest: Estonian MoD & ISW Analysis.” Here ISW refers to the Institute for the Study of War which was founded by Kimberly Kagan (née Kessler) who runs it to this day with contributions from husband Frederick Kagan. The Kagans are well-connected to the US permanent state through Frederick’s brother Robert and his wife, Victoria Nuland, a key architect of US policy. The nepotism here is really off the charts, even for them.
Simplicius discusses Frederick Kagan’s December 14th report, “The High Price of Losing Ukraine” which is perhaps the most hair-on-fire, sky-has-fallen take produced by ethnic neocons yet. There is every type of fanciful treat for Hegemon Disrespecters: Russia taking all of Ukraine, America going bankrupt, American industry being kaput, and NATO nations ignoring Article 5. It really is almost too good to be true. In fact, it probably isn’t true, at least as far as Frederick Kagan is concerned. His whole point in leading the team of writers to produce this fanfic is to do what several Rand Corp studies have done: push NATO nations to spend more now. The article focuses on two war outcomes only: Russia with no 2013 Ukrainian cities, and Russia controlling 100% of Ukraine. Both scenarios are unlikely.
I don’t think we need to go into why Russia cannot and will not go back to the 2013 borders after being victorious on the battlefield, dominant in the diplomatic space, and modifying their constitution to treat eastern Ukraine as Russian clay but the other theoretical outcome is worth a few words. Russia going to the borders of Poland would remove any neutral space between NATO and could create an insurgency problem or at least a cultural schism between Galicia and Russia. While Russian planners may feel increasingly confident, it is doubtful they would feel comfortable with the lack of no man’s land that has been key to Russian-Western relations since the fall of the Soviet Union and which created the conflict in Ukraine.
Kagan and Co. understand that the best outcome for Russia will probably include all territories east of the Dniepr plus Odessa and certainly not the two scenarios discussed. They use (or rather abuse) a dreamy image of total Russian victory to make the case that stationing more stealth planes in Europe will be necessary and much more expensive than just giving Ukraine what they want immediately.
The ISW article is much more convincing for the target Congress Critter than the hopium and sunk-cost arguments presented to the Western public but it is much too little, way too late for the Kagan clique. The ISW released a second part to this story in which they correctly point out that Article 5 is not binding in any way for NATO member states. It’s really shocking to see it being openly discussed. One imagines their small hats feel extra tight right about now and threats both real and imagined seem to be all around. What will they do with the walls closing in so tight? Kick the last gentile out of the Biden White House? The options are none too good.
I intended this one to go a lot longer into a true recap of 2023 and where we stand today but frankly I’ve ran out of time in the Christmas pre-dawn slot. We didn’t even get to go into what Israel is up to, particularly right now over the Christmas news lull with their extra doses of instigation in Lebanon. This is just a guess but given that Israel is expanding their targets in Southern Lebanon to include Hezbollah command centers since December 23rd, they may be using the Christmas break to sneak in a war provocation and then cry bitter tears over whatever follows. It won’t work.
Fortunately, we all have better things to do than really drag out this article. I, for one, am going to eat Santa’s cookies before the Little Pajeets wake up. Merry Christmas, Good Yule, and Death to Israel!