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The Economist Rolls Out 'Nuland's Plan B,' And It's A Doozy
First of all, I agree with the guys at The Duran that the Op-Ed article at The Economist has all the earmarks of a Nuland screed—more on that below.
To be honest, when I first read it, I wasn’t sure whether it was intended seriously or simply as part of a blame shifting scheme. The idea would be to present a totally out of touch Plan B, then when it didn’t work shift the blame to the Ukies and Euros, claiming they screwed up the implementation, or never really tried it. That would fit in with what we’ve been told about the Spring-Summer-Fall and now Winter offensive—the Ukies are to blame for the abject failure of an offensive that was doomed from the start. Because they didn’t follow NATO’s directives—directives that played totally into the hands of Russia’s ready and waiting defenses.
The article is simply jaw-droppingly delusional, and for that reason I suspect it’s intended seriously. It’s the product of minds who habitually maintain that, This (latest) disaster can’t be our fault, can’t really even be a disaster, because we’re smarter than everyone else. So someone else screwed up—it wasn’t our genius plan that was to blame.
Here’s what I mean. I’ve done a transcript of the quite brief presentation at The Duran. However, to set the stage for that, here’s a tweet that sums up Zelensky’s trip to the US:
Zelensky visited the US in person, made a speech at the UN, and came home with an amount of ammo so small the Pentagon won't give numbers and a handful of the worst air defense systems currently in use by a major power.
In the Army we called this "getting thrown under the bus." pic.twitter.com/f8hFVstDud
— Armchair Warlord (@ArmchairW) September 22, 2023
Keep in mind, especially, the part about air defense, because it will be directly relevant to the excerpts from the article that will follow the transcript.
One thing I need to say before the transcript. Alex Christoforou and Alexander Mercouris make no attempt at all to hide their incredulity at the opinions expressed in the article. And yet it’s far from a laughing matter. The depth of depravity of the people, like Nuland, who pushed the Ukrainians into wholesale and ghastly slaughter in a war that never needed to happen, who ordered them to back out of the reasonable peace deal that Putin offered Ukraine and Ukraine accepted, is difficult to fathom. Presented now with human carnage on an industrial scale, they appear desperate to keep it going.
So, first from The Duran …
When she said 'F the EU' she really meant it.
Our take on The Economist article so many people are talking about.
Another title could be 'Nuland's Plan B for Ukraine.'
Its backers should pray for a speedy victory—but plan for a long struggle
[Transcript begins. Broad smiles and incredulous laughter throughout.]
AC: Toward the end of the article in The Economist they give it away--they say it's time for Europe to start paying for everything.
AM: I'm gonna tell you what I personally think about that article, because I actually think it's slightly more interesting than that. I think it reflects the Victoria Nuland Plan--the Victoria Nuland Plan B.
We go onto the defensive in Ukraine because we can't sustain an offensive any longer. That's actually what the article says! Ukraine lacks the manpower to go on the offensive. So, we'll build up Ukraine's economy, we develop vast fleets of drones and missiles. We strike Russia in every single place--and, of course, we get the Europeans to pay. That's essentially the Victoria Nuland Plan.
And you'll notice that she came back from Kiev and she was basically saying something like that herself. She actually said, ‘What needs to happen is there needs to be strikes in every part of Russia where the Russians are so we can keep the offensive going that way.’
And notice that Milley came along at the same time that Nuland was saying that--there's a report now that Milley said to Zaluzhny that, if you use American weapons to carry out these deep strikes, I, Milley, will not be pleased. And this allegedly happened after the drone strike on the Kremlin, so you can see, again, that Milley is trying to distance himself from this New Nuland Project.
But this is what I think it is. It's Plan B, Nuland's Plan B: Take the war to Russia in this kinda fashion! Because The Economist is very plugged in to that kind of thinking.
AC: Commander Nuland.
AM: Yeah, Supreme Commander Nuland! There was a time when people were actually saying that this offensive--this one that's failed--I even saw back in spring a reference to it as Vicky Nuland's offensive. Supposedly she actually came up with a plan for this one and, of course, she said that it would be 'meticulously planned.' So if you don't succeed with one way you keep going with another.
That seemed to me what this Economist article is saying. The key admission is that the offensive has failed.
AC: There's no doubt about it, when you read that article, they want to throw everything to Europe. 'Europe, you deal with this. You fund it. You fight it. This is your problem now.' And if there's one person who's really fond of Europe, who has a really warm spot in her heart for the EU, it's Nuland.
[Side splitting laughter.]
Now, to show that the guys at The Duran were totally fair in their appraisal of the article, here are excerpts. It defies rational belief:
The counter-offensive that began in June was based on the hope that Ukrainian soldiers, equipped with modern Western weapons and after training in Germany, would recapture enough territory to put their leaders in a strong position at any subsequent negotiations.
This plan is not working.
Yeah, no sh*t. “Not working” is putting it so mildly that it amounts to a lie. This is an “offensive” that never got going. And anyone who paid any attention to the grabbag of mostly not-fit-for-purpose equipment that was pushed off on the Ukies, anyone who took note of the abbreviated training in disparate NATO countries that was provided, anyone who was aware of Russian preparations, knew that this would be the result.
Vladimir Putin shows no sign of wanting to negotiate ...
Why would he? He’s winning! Why would he stop winning to talk to the losers? Putin will undoubtedly be willing to negotiate—once the losers accept his terms. That’s how things work when you totally screw up and need a beating to stop.
The next sentence is priceless. For how long have we been hearing that Russia is waging a war of attrition—and Ukraine and its Western supporters are just now “coming to realize” this? How can that be serious? How many dead Ukies did it take to come to that realization? Estimates that look increasingly reliable suggest that the current death toll is around 400K. The sheer evil that the Neocons have perpetrated in Ukraine should shame all decent Americans.
Both Ukraine and its Western supporters are coming to realise that this will be a grinding war of attrition. ... Instead of aiming to “win” and then rebuild, the goal should be to ensure that Ukraine has the staying power to wage a long war—and can thrive despite it.
The first recalibration is military. Ukraine ... lacks the manpower to sustain a ... counter-offensive. ... New tactics and technologies can take the fight to Russia. Ukraine’s tech-savvy entrepreneurs are ramping up drone production ... Many more strikes are likely, to degrade Russia’s military infrastructure ... Don’t expect a knockout blow. Russia has also scaled up its drone production. Still, Ukraine can hit back when Russia bombs it, and perhaps even deter some attacks.
Whose fault is it that Ukraine is now—400K dead Ukies later—facing a lack of manpower? And after this catastrophe Ukraine is being urged to “take the fight to Russia”? After total failure on a colossal scale, the Ukies are supposed to take the fight to Russia. They’re “ramping up” drone production—from something near ground zero. The news, meanwhile, is full of stories of the enormous scale of Russian war production and mobilization. Anyone with an ounce of contact with reality will be “coming to realize” that the worst, for Ukraine, is yet to come. Pinprick strikes, in which the majority of drones and missiles are thwarted, will not deter anything.
More than anything, a long war requires better air defence. ... why squadrons of F-16s and more missile-defence systems are essential.
It’s a bit later for that, now. When was the last time your heard of Patriots in Ukraine? Does that suggest why F-16s aren’t being sent?
An economic recalibration is needed, too.
Ukraine’s economy needs to shift from relying on aid to attracting investment, even as the conflict keeps raging.
Attracting investment to a war zone—how does that work? Well, according to the Nuland plan investment can be attracted to “the calmer parts of the country in the west.” Well, “calmer” is a relative term—calmer that what? is the question that begs to be asked. And what businessman will invest on that basis, knowing that the state of purely relative calm remains so at the total discretion of what looks like the most powerful military on the planet?
For that to happen a shift in mindset is needed in Europe. It has committed as much weaponry as America and far more financial aid. Yet it needs to step up further. ..., Europe will eventually need to carry more of the burden.
Right. Those concluding lines look like a dead giveaway that this article reflects an American perspective. Let the Euros do it—and when they fail we’ll blame it all on them.
Just shameless. But that’s where we stand for now. I have a suspicion that Putin will have his say in the not too distant future.
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