“What the West has, and has had for some time now, is a single-shot military. One serious campaign, whether finally won or lost, would disarm the West for a decade.”
This, folks, is the simple truth of the matter.
The US simply could not, at this moment — nor at any time in even the medium-term future — mount and sustain a campaign the size, intensity, and duration of what we have seen in Ukraine for the past 18 months.
US logistical chains would have long-since broken down; losses in men and equipment — including LOTS of cargo ships and their warship escorts — would have been calamitous.
Oh, sure, there’s the huge chorus of people who are gung-ho convinced that US air and naval power would overcome all obstacles in a matter of days, bringing the presumptuous Russians to their knees.
That’s not what would happen, you dopes.
What would happen is that, despite a few spectacular successes to stuff the first 24-hour news cycle, the “full-spectrum dominance” everyone believes the US wields would suffer severe immediate losses across the entire military spectrum.
Dozens of US aircraft of all types would be shot down in the first 100 hours of war. Several US ships would be damaged or sunk. US bases in both Europe and around the globe would be struck. US airborne ISR assets would be aggressively targeted; military and communications satellite arrays would be disabled.
Within literally just a few days, the US would start to experience severe stand-off strike munitions shortages, greatly exacerbated by the high interception rate Russian air defenses would achieve.
The Russians have already demonstrated, over the past 18 months, that they can shoot down ANY manner of strike missile the US can field against them — not all of them all the time, but most of them most of the time.
No other military on the planet has previously attested this level of capability. The US does not have it, and is almost certainly at least a decade away from developing it.
And, make no mistake, if the US were to strike at targets on Russian soil, the Russians would strike back at targets on US soil. I do not believe they would launch a nuclear “first-strike” against the US, but I can guarantee they would use their submarine fleet and conventional long-range airstrike capability to hit strategic targets on US soil.
It would be a shocking exhibition of 21st century great power warfare.
Both sides would be hurt badly, but the Russians would not be even severely depleted, let alone defeated, whereas the US would be hurt in a fashion it has never experienced in its history, only to then look around and discover itself in a state of acute logistical crisis after only a fortnight of high-intensity combat operations.
That will be the moment of decision; the last stop before Willoughby, as it were.
And, if the scenario I have sketched were to actually develop, there will come a moment, fairly early on, when saner heads within the halls of empire — those who have, hitherto, acquiesced as this catastrophe unfolded — well, they will have to choose to finally act to stop the madness, or stand idly by as they and all the rest of us are acted upon by events that spiral out of control.