While from the beginning I wanted tough measures against Russa, I also believe we need to leave an off-ramp open. I'm not an expert on how to craft diplomacy and negotations, the off-ramp clearly CANNOT be at the expense of Ukraine in any way shape or form. But I think there should be, now that most of the world has condemned and placed tough measures, there should be a call for a conference at a neutral site (of which therer are increasingly few) between Ukraine, Russia, key western countries, and India and China. Maybe Egypt or something.
We need to get people talking, this is not a signal of weakness, it is an alternative that should always be pursued.
It might not work on Putin, it could on those around him, who he his no doubt blaming for his own plan going so awry.
The look on his Defense Ministers face when Putin made his nuclear threats.
They’ve all done well out of him, the mansions, yachts, bling, power, travel to the best luxury holiday spots, now look at their situation. Cannot spend, nor travel and the boss might be going off the deep end and blow up the world.
Either that or China puts immense pressure on Putin.
(I bet their desires on Taiwan are being recalibrated too).
They could be the ones to try and engineer a face saving ‘out’ for Putin.
Though Putin will be aware that the last great Soviet reckless adventure, prior to Afghanistan but unlike that, with a East versus West and nuclear component, Cuba in 1962, the man behind that, after a decent face saving period, was forced out. At least he was allowed to retire rather than be shot.
Not that there is a restraining Politburo in Putin’s Russia, he made sure of that.
If you read section 3, the Cuba missile crisis was more of a score draw.
For context, when the crisis started, the Jupiter missiles in Turkey were already due to be dismantled, apart from the political tension they created, they were deemed to be erratic to the point of being useless. Those accounts of accidents were bad enough.
Some accounts say the JFK was surprised to hear they were still there and not already in the process of being dismantled.
Likewise the dual key (with the RAF) Thor missiles in the UK and also Jupiters IN Italy, were always a short term counter to the Soviet IRBM's, until more of the new Polaris subs were deployed to the European area. And the Kennedy Administration had Polaris building and deployment on overtime.
The operation on Cuba was contingent on having the IRBM's operational and then revealing them, to 1) make a US invasion of Cuba impossible, 2) even up the 17 to 1 advantage the US had in deliverable weapons to the Eastern Bloc, for all the boasts of the General Secretary, (US spy sats had already shown a huge disparity in both bombers and even more so, ICBMs, compared to the US), until Soviet ICBM production finally ramped up after many delays and a notorious accident, 3) Use the weapons to extract concessions, most likely on the status of Berlin, which had almost caused a direct conflict the previous year and had been since the late 40's, the real running sore in East/West relations.
Once they were uncovered before being operational, the game was up, the ships on their way to Cuba started to be ordered back even before JFK's announcement and declaration of a blockade.
That is a myth, the whole 'eye to eye, they (the Soviets) blinked'.
Castro was not even told about the Soviet missiles being withdrawn until he heard it on the news.
But things are very different now, not really a Politburo to restrain Putin, he is the most reckless leader since Stalin, since when he tried to starve out Berlin, not only was the response the famous airlift but also B-29's were forward deployed to the UK, in public.
However, despite the tests and use twice, in 1947/8 the US atomic weapon stockpile was tiny and would take time to assemble into actual weapons, whether Soviet spying told Stalin that or not, he was still taking a hell of a risk with Berlin if he escalated, two years before even the first Soviet bomb test.
The Cuban plan was a rather desperate operation but made but an otherwise rational man.
Not sure that Putin is the second, not now anyway.
You could argue that almost unreported for many years, Putin has created his own highly threatening missile system and deployment with the Iskander.
Noting like that in NATO's inventory. Since the Cold War was supposed to be over, the INF treaty was signed even before that.
Which wasn't a huge issue until the K and M versions of this weapon were developed;https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9K720_Iskander
Last edited by GDB
on Mon Feb 28, 2022 7:22 pm, edited 3 times in total.