The war in Ukraine is heading to a dark place...
The conflict between Iran and Iraq between 1980/88 – which involved trenches, little to no advances, deep fortifications, human wave tactics, was mostly about a waterway and ultimately achieved nothing – was one of the longest land wars of the 20th Century. So naturally they called it “The Whirlwind War.”
Which is exactly what the War in Ukraine is starting to look like – and not in the positive way – thanks the West’s strange policy of giving Ukraine enough aid to stay in the fight, but not enough to win it. And in that sense, the US has achieved its aims. And not in the positive way, either. Without enough kit to carry on the war through last winter, the Russians were able to fortify their positions enough to make it near impossible to move them once dug in. Now, for the first time, Ukrainian forces are digging in for the winter as well – with artillery running low they are fortifying for the Russian offensive that will likely happen in the spring.
It's worth noting that Vladimir Putin waited until after the Senate blocked further Ukrainian aid to be “asked” to run for president this March – which would keep him in power until 2030. Understand that the election won’t tell us a thing, if the man runs he wins. The question was if he would run. After the gonzo Wagner coup attempt when the man’s grip on the tiller had slipped – that was the time for the West to double down on support.
What we now know is that the confederacy of gangsters keeping the man in the big chair are still backing him. Why not? Russia’s economy is on a war-footing, with Goldman Sachs reckoning a growth of better than 3%, the chances are good that they can wait NATO support for the war – and possibly US support for NATO.
There are issues though, with military spending at 6% of GDP, and welfare spending almost as high – Russian’s are flush with money at precisely the point where supply of almost everything from goods, services and labor is short. Inflation is going nuts – which does tend to trigger revolutions in those parts. Just not fast enough to do Kyiv, and possible Europe any good.