Discover more from The View from the Front. By Stan R. Mitchell.
The Stan R. Mitchell report for 3/8/22.
Happy Tuesday, everyone! Hope you’re week is off to a great start!
Since my last newsletter on Friday, things have hardly changed in Ukraine. It appears a stalemate is increasingly beginning to happen.
But speaking from a high-level perspective, it seems that Russia is losing on two major fronts right now.
First, speaking from a military perspective, the Russian Army is losing a lot of vehicles and troops. Take a look at the below video. The losses the Russians are sustaining is difficult to put into words.
Second, from an economic perspective, the punches keep coming, too.
Such as this:
Imagine what such a move would do to the American economy if it happened tomorrow? And while we’re on the topic, there’s this:
And just prior to hitting the publish button, this broke, as well.
The banning of purchasing of oil will have a devastating impact on Putin.
But until something changes, the toll is still horrendous for the civilians living in Ukraine. It’s almost impossible to even explain.
Americans have rallied behind the Ukrainians, and it’s mostly been bi-partisan, across-the-board support. Some Americans are going there to volunteer and fight. Others are assisting in ways such as this.
It’s impossible to see how this war might end. (And certainly, it’s not ending anytime soon.) But here seems to be one possibility.
Besides the Russian Army melting away, another possibility is that Russian mothers of dead soldiers might start protesting. It’s much harder to arrest and jail mothers, as you might guess, and mothers of dead soldiers from the Russian invasion of Afghanistan helped play a role in the ending of that war. (I couldn’t find a quick link on this, but I’ve heard and read of this in the past, so you’ll have to just trust me and also trust your common sense on it.)
I hesitate to share this next thing, but this is a newsletter on foreign policy, and as such, here was an idea the former president had for ending the conflict. (And since he’s either the leading, or at least top 2, contender for the nomination, his words still matter.)
I guess you might call that the food-fight expansion plan.
Sling some food across the room, point at someone else as the instigator, and watch the two fight. (I think this might work in a restaurant, but I’m going to say it’s likely to fail with countries that have first-rate intelligence resources and a bit of common sense. Also, it’s important to remember that Russia and China are closely aligned, and that Russia has radar throughout the area; but I suppose American fighters could fly through Chinese air space to launch those raids.)
While I’m the subject of things I object to, I got some push back a week or so back, regarding my frustrations that some of the political leadership in the GOP had been too pro-Putin before the war… In the conversation back-and-forth, I sent the person some links, but it’s clear that there is continuing (and possibly growing) evidence that things haven’t changed with some on the right.
Take, for example, this video below. It’s one of the most despicable takes of the past few days. Props to the Fox host for pushing back against him.
I keep hoping that absurd takes like this will go away, but after he said these words, Tucker Carlson brought him on for a prime-time spot, so we’ll see.
Clearly, the Republican Party remains divided between its more Reagan-like roots of the 80s (that stood up to the Russians) and the more isolationist, let’s-not-be-the-world’s policeman side of the party.
I confess the isolationist stand is a tempting one.
And I further confess I flirted with it myself about fifteen years ago.
But I learned then, what I should have always known: when we retrench, others push out. And the countries that do so are absolutely nowhere near as ethical as America. Not that we’re perfect, but I’d put us up against pretty much any country but Switzerland.
As I heard a week or two ago…
While it’s true we don’t want to be the world’s policeman, if we’re not, then either Russia or China is going to be the world’s policeman.
And that’s something we certainly don’t want. In the end, it’s much better for America to lead coalitions of like-minded countries who seek peace, tolerance, etc.
Sorry for the sharing of personal views, but you should know where I stand and why.
Back to the subject of Ukraine, for now, America and the world continues to arm Ukraine, so that the country might defend itself.
And let’s end our Ukraine discussion with two broad points.
First, the subject of territory taken/seized.
Some maps, especially those you see on TV, look like this:
But defense analysts are increasingly arguing, as well as increasingly leaning toward, that maps such as the one below are more accurate.
The idea for the latter map is that that Russia controls some of the road and routes, but is struggling to actually control the ground because their troops are universally hated.
And this is an important concept because should negotiations begin, Russia will try to negotiate based on what land it “controls.” Whereas in reality, almost none of those in Ukraine actually want to be made a part of Russia.
The second broad point came from reader input. (I absolutely have the smartest audience out there.) I have mentioned in previous newsletters that the idea of a southern land bridge that connects Crimea to Russia is a big goal of Putin.
A reader, Peter DeCamp Haines, said that he was talking with a co-worker about the idea of a "Southern Strategy” for Russia. And Haines said that the bigger goal for Russia might be the Southern ports, with the stalled column outside of Kyiv as a decoy/threat.
And Putin will negotiate when they have conquered the South/East, letting go of the country with Kyiv, but keeping the ports with a connecting corridor to Russia.
Of course, as Haines noted, Putin clearly underestimated the Ukrainians’ will to fight and the fact that the Ukrainians are unlikely to accept being a landlocked country, unless the demolition of their cities is simply too high a price.
Definitely an interesting concept by Haines.
I think at this point, Putin has thrown a punch, he thought he’d land a knockout, and he’s starting to realize he’s actually in a fight and he didn’t plan beyond that first punch.
Let me drop one final thing before we end with some motivation and wisdom. Just because I know that many keep talking about (and certainly worrying about) Putin using nukes.
If you want to rest a little easier (a lot?), read on a tad longer.
Andrei Kozyrev, the Foreign Minister of Russia from 1990-1996, says he thinks Putin is acting rationally, and then lays out the reasons why.
This is actually a great, short thread. You can read the entire thing at the link below, and if you’re worried Putin might try to launch a nuke, I think it will help put your mind at ease, as it discusses the likely mis-calculations that started the entire invasion: https://twitter.com/andreivkozyrev/thread/1500610676926005251.
Apologies for such a long newsletter today. Thanks to those new subscribers who have signed up. And let’s end with some motivation and wisdom! (The best part of every edition.)
That’s it for this edition. As a reminder, please be kind and endeavor to love your fellow Americans. We need to pull this country together, and that starts with all of us.
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Stan R. Mitchell
P.S. Don’t forget to check out my books. I’ve written a CIA/Marine sniper series, a detective series, a private investigator series, an action-packed Western, a leadership/biography book, and two realistic war novels: one about World War II and one about Afghanistan.
About me: I am a prior infantry Marine, who earned the rank of Sergeant and a Combat Action Ribbon in 1997, and I’d love to do my small part to unite this country. I’m also a proud independent author, who used to own a small weekly newspaper for nine years that was probably (in hindsight) too generous on pricing to my advertisers and too lenient on my collection terms (I’m honestly just almost too nice). I also sought to downplay controversy, understate headlines, and never create panic, all of which is a terrible way to sell newspapers (but a responsible way for a media outlet to act). Looking back, it’s clear I had (and have) a big heart and that I wasn’t made to be some kind of cut-throat business executive. It’s this same streak in me that prevents me from signing any book deals, even big ones. I just don’t trust ruthless business executives at the big publishers. And even if I did, that very same company that I trusted could be bought and purchased overnight. Sorry, but I’ll pass on that. The truth is that while I’ve relented and signed some distribution deals, such as the one I did with Audible for my Nick Woods series, I’m just not willing to be owned by any of the big publishing houses. If I want to speak out on China? I will. If I want to send free books to military members? I will. (And I have.) I don’t ever plan to be owned by some New York publishing house. (The only person I answer to on this earth is my wife and I plan to keep it that way.) My success to this point has been made by doing it the right way: gaining one new reader or one new subscriber at a time. So join me on my journey. Let’s build a community of like-minded Americans, who believe in this country and in our fellow citizens (even those on the other side of the aisle). People who believe in small businesses and independent dreamers on their own journey, whether it’s owning a small farm or staying autonomous in their creative fields. And when it comes to politics? No name-calling. No screaming. Just honest discussion and a genuine search for the truth. In the end, we truly all want the same: good government, unity throughout our land, and ethical leadership.
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