No Time to Go Wobbly in Ukraine; Major Military Expansion by China
Author: Greg Valliere
June 7, 2022
* The Russians always seemed likely to capture this area, with its flat terrain, but Moscow’s losses — its troops, generals, tanks, helicopters, etc. — have been staggering.
* Ukraine is about to receive sophisticated new rockets and other supplies from the U.S. and the West, a potential game changer.
* Guerrilla warfare is increasing in areas Russia has captured, with car-bombings and assassinations. Sounds like Afghanistan, where Russia couldn’t contain the insurgency.
* Dissent is increasing in Moscow, as the standard of living plummets and the public is now fully aware that this is a vicious war, ineptly run.
YET, INEXPLICABLY, there’s talk of negotiations by Western leaders, including Emmanuel Macron and Joe Biden, both of whom have raised the prospects of a deal. Is it any wonder why Vladimir Putin reportedly believes he can win a war of attrition?
THIS HAS BEEN A WAR OF MOMENTUM, with Ukrainian setbacks in recent weeks as its troops suffer from a lack of the basics — not enough bullets and extra magazines for their rifles, according to an article this weekend in the Toronto Star that describes Ukrainian soldiers charging into battle in running shoes and mismatched uniforms.
THE SUPPLY DEFICIENCIES WILL BE ADDRESSED, and we expect the tepid Russian offensive will stall before its troops reach central Ukraine. Russian troop morale will sink further in a stalemate, as Ukrainian guerrillas extract a terrible toll.
THIS IS NO TIME FOR WESTERN LEADERS TO GO WOBBLY, to paraphrase Margaret Thatcher. Russia cannot win this war — even if it turns its artillery fire on Kyiv, which would simply stiffen Ukrainian resolve.
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CHINA IS SECRETLY BUILDING a naval facility in Cambodia for the exclusive use of its military, with both countries denying it “and taking extraordinary measures to conceal the operation,” the Washington Post reports this morning.
A GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY is scheduled for Thursday for the facility, which would be adjacent to Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base on the Gulf of Thailand.
THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A CHINESE naval base in Cambodia — its first in the strategically significant Indo-Pacific region — is part of Beijing’s strategy to build a network of military facilities around the world in support of its aspirations to become a true global power, analysts told the Post. China already is establishing a foothold in the Solomon Islands.
TWO IMPORTANT IMPLICATIONS: First, chances of an easing of tensions between Beijing and Washington are still unlikely; we don’t expect tariffs to be eased any time soon. Second, the clear signs of Chinese military expansion will boost U.S. defense spending close to an astonishing $800 billion in the coming year, with an emphasis on ship-building.
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