The Cost of War with Scott Ritter

This is a summary of an interview with Scott Ritter, a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer and chief weapons inspector with the United Nations in Iraq. Ritter discusses the military situation in Ukraine and argues that Russia is winning a strategic victory against the Ukrainian army and the forces of the collective west. He notes that Ukraine has become a de facto proxy of NATO, and that despite Western support, Russia is prevailing. Ritter also argues that Ukraine cannot win the fight and that a Ukrainian Spring offensive is unlikely to succeed without the necessary expertise and preparation.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. discusses the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia, stating that if Bachmut falls, Ukraine will be compelled to seek peace with Russia. He acknowledges the bravery and tenacity of the Ukrainian soldiers but notes that Russia has mobilized a large number of well-trained troops and Ukraine is running out of ammunition. He then argues that NATO’s military assistance to Ukraine was a game changer, but also led to Russia’s mobilization and suggests that Ukraine will likely lose the war due to its lack of resources and the strength of the Russian military.

The Russian military has superior firepower, numbers, and combat capacity compared to the Ukrainian army. The Ukrainian special forces have lost 80% of their troops and the replacements lack training and physical fitness. The Russian military has a devastating artillery system and good assets, including trained pilots and an integrated air defense system. Electronic warfare is also a significant factor in the conflict. The level of violence and sophistication of warfare is beyond imagination. Without a dramatic change in force structure and capacity, Ukraine will likely lose the war.

Ritter and RFK then discuss the unforgiving nature of war and the high number of casualties in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. They also highlight the potential for a full-out war between NATO and the Soviet Union if Ukraine collapses. The speaker emphasizes the need for proper training and preparation for combat against a near-peer opponent like Russia, which has had a year to adapt and learn from its mistakes. They also raise concerns about sustainability and the ability to replace units and troops in the event of high casualties. The speaker questions the authority and justification for NATO involvement in the conflict and suggests that NATO may only be able to authorize conflict under Article Four, which requires a determination of a security threat.

Poland is unlikely to get unanimous consent from NATO for a military intervention in Western Ukraine, and their army is not well-equipped or trained for large-scale ground combat against a Russian-style enemy. Russia’s objectives in Ukraine include recognition of Crimea as part of Russia, Ukraine’s commitment to never join NATO, demilitarization of Ukraine, and the removal of far-right, ultra-nationalistic parties from the Ukrainian government. Russia has no desire to acquire additional territory but requires demilitarization, and Ukraine’s army must pull back 150 km from the new Russian border.

They then discuss the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia, with Russia offering to give Ukraine certain cities in exchange for an end to the war. The article also highlights the new alliance between China and Russia, which is not limited by a formal structure and has no weaknesses to exploit. This alliance creates a world-beating team in terms of economy and resources, which the United States and Europe need to be aware of.  They then address the economic impact of the pandemic and the blowback from the sanctioning of Russian energy, which has created havoc in the European economy. The trans-Eurasian economic union that Russia and China are creating is a self-sustaining economic engine that operates independently of the United States and Europe, which should concern anyone in America.

RFK then argues that the United States’ reliance on sanctions to influence other countries is counterproductive and damaging to economic relations. He points to China’s success in building relationships with countries in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia and Iran, by promoting stability and economic growth, then suggests that the US’s focus on creating a “Shia crescent” to counter Iranian expansion has been a failed strategy and that China’s approach of negotiation and cooperation is more effective. The author predicts that Saudi Arabia and Iran will continue to move towards closer ties and that the US and Israel will be left out of this new alliance.

Ritter then argues that the US is losing the battle for global influence to China because the Chinese promote economic prosperity and peace while the US promotes death and destruction through its military power. The US has spent a lot on weapons while the Chinese have spent on development without strings attached, which has allowed them to gain control of natural resources and win friends. He goes on to recommend that the US needs to change its approach and extend a genuine helping hand without strings attached, which will engender goodwill and make people view the US as a friend. He then argues that the US needs to tap into the American heart, which is unbeatable and untouchable, to do what is necessary to do the right thing and stop perverting it by turning it into war. RFK reminds us how his uncle, President Kennedy, warned against the domination of the military-industrial complex and the loss of democracy and friendships around the world.

They go on to discuss the foreign policy of President John F. Kennedy, highlighting his reluctance to use military force and his focus on humanitarian aid and development. The text also mentions the Bay of Pigs invasion, which Kennedy refused to support, and his decision to send only advisors to Vietnam. Kennedy’s approach to foreign policy earned him widespread admiration and respect around the world, as evidenced by the many buildings and landmarks named after him in Africa and Latin America. The author also notes that Kennedy’s legacy lives on through programs like the Peace Corps, which promotes selfless service and humanitarian aid.

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