1/ What's really behind conflict in Ukraine - a thread

The U.S. is engaging Russia in three wars. Let me discuss them in increasing order of importance and the likely repercussions on the U.S.-led global order.
2/ The first is the military war taking place on the ground in Ukraine. Then there is the propaganda war taking place at Western media outlets like CNN and on social media platforms like Twitter.
3/ Finally, and most significantly, there is the economic war which may accelerate the destruction of the US-led power structure that has dominated the world since the end of World War II.
4/ The only reason an extended military conflict in Ukraine is possible is because it has been instigated and perpetuated by the United States. Without the endless and growing torrent of weapons and other supplies,
5/ such as Stingers, Javelin missiles, Switchblade drones and the years-long surreptitious military training and likely intelligence support provided by the U.S. and its enablers in Europe, even an abbreviated military conflict in Ukraine would be unlikely.
6/ Instead, there is widespread destruction, loss of life and growing refugee crisis that are directly and inescapably caused by U.S. intervention. But as tragic as this is, the military war is the least significant from a geopolitical perspective.
7/ Concurrent with the military war is the propaganda war. Led by CNN and other corporate media stenographers for the U.S. government, there are two angles of attack.
8/ The first attack claims Russia's military operation in Ukraine is an unprovoked attack that is failing. The second attack vector is that U.S. and its Western European enablers are indivisibly allied against Russia, and world stands with these so-called defenders of freedom.
9/ However, neither is true. Regarding the first line of attack, George Kennan, Henry Kissinger and John Mearsheimer have all warned against crossing Russian redlines in Ukraine.
10/ But these warnings have been either inadvertently or deliberately ignored. Also, some military analysts have compared the Russian action favorably with the Nazi blitzkrieg, which is hailed as an example of a rapid and successful military offensive.
11/ Regarding the second vector of attack, what is ignored or downplayed are the number of countries that do not support U.S.-led sanctions against Russia.
12/ These countries include not only China but India, Iran and several other geopolitically significant nations. Indeed, from the nations of OPEC to South Asia, Africa and even Latin America, Russia has many more friends than Western media is letting on.
13/ And this leads me to the third war, the economic one, which I believe will be most significant. The sanctions imposed on Russia are unprecedented and are meant to shock and awe the country's President Vladimir Putin into submission.
14/ However, they are not working as intended and have set forces in motion that may accelerate the destruction of American primacy in the global order.
15/ As such, it brings to mind something then-U.S. President Barack Obama is alleged to have said about Joe Biden, "Never underestimate Joe's ability to eff things up." Specifically, freezing Russian central bank assets have shown the world
16/ that not only is the U.S. an unreliable political actor that can engage in 180-degree policy shifts driven by the four-year presidential election cycle but that its stewardship of the global financial system is not only suspect but now demonstrably untrustworthy.
17/ Russia's demand for payment in rubles for its energy may only be the beginning of the flight away from the dollar. The loss of dollar hegemony will be both catastrophic for the U.S. and a cause for celebration in much of the rest of the world.
18/ Europe imported 5.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas from Russia in 2021. Disruption of these supplies and even significant prices increases will be disastrous for Europe, especially as the year progresses and cold weather returns.
19/ And this may be the seismic fault line that shatters unity of U.S.-led coalition against Russia in irrevocable ways.

Specifically, Germany may publicly debate whether its economic fortunes are better aligned with Russia rather than under the boot of American "leadership."
20/ Again, the U.S.-led sanctions have unleashed forces that may ultimately undermine U.S. interests far more than its instigation of the conflict in Ukraine was intended to solve.
21/ In summary, it is not at all clear Russia is losing these three wars. In fact, there are signs this latest US-instigated conflict may be another strategic defeat like Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. But Ukrainian conflict may be one with far longer lasting damage to US.


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More from @andymok

Oct 24
Besides the Standing Committee, worth noting is elevation of He Weidong to CMC vice chair (via @SCMPNews):

He Weidong, who has had three promotions in a decade, was commander of the Eastern Theatre Command from 2019 to 2022.
Just five years ago he was not even a Central Committee member but now he sits on the Politburo and is ranked No 2 two in the world’s biggest fighting force – one of the most dramatic promotions at the 20th congress.
He boasts extensive experience in military operations in the Taiwan Strait and is said to have been a key planner of the unprecedented military drill encircling Taiwan in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the self-governed island in August.
Read 4 tweets
Aug 28
Is the US fighting a losing battle trying to stop China’s advances in semiconductors?

“Five years ago, China’s EDA offerings essentially unusable. Today, they are very competitive, with limitations.”
Hutcheson said his EDA comments are based on private conversations with industry executives. China’s best, most visible EDA players are Hejian, Amedac, Aerdai, and X-Epic, he added.
He said he heard Chinese firms have reached “a level where they are very competitive at 28 nm and above and competitive down to 14 nm.
Read 4 tweets
Jun 21
1/5 US Air Force suffering from reverse Moore’s Law: On avg, successive generations of warplanes cost 2.5x more to acquire than those they replace. In a great-power conflict, it will lack the superior aircraft numbers (mass) to win long and destructive war of attrition.
2/5 The F-22 Raptor cost approximately $250 million apiece, far more than the $65 million F-15 Eagle it replaced: nearly a 400 percent increase.
As a result, American warplanes have become more capable, but the overall fleet size has gotten smaller.
3/5 Nearly four decades ago, Norman Augustine, former undersecretary of the Army, commented wryly: “In the year 2054, the entire defense budget will purchase just one aircraft.
Read 5 tweets
Jun 2
1/18 Why are there so many mass shootings in US?

Here's a surprising explanation:

In China, citizens have high expectations of their government and those expectations being met. In US, Americans have low expectations of their government and those expectations, too, being met.
2/18 In Uvalde, Texas last week a troubled teenager shot and killed nineteen children and two adults at Robb Elementary School. But there are many more victims than just those so tragically murdered that day.
3/18 On May 25, @nytimes published an article titled "An Age-by-Age Guide to Talking to Children About Mass Shootings" by Catherine Pearson. Here is the first sentence of that article:
Read 18 tweets
May 27
1/11 Deeply reported piece by @NikkeiAsia on challenges facing TSMC in Arizona and why its semiconductor fab there may end up a costly disappointment. Key points 👇👇👇

2/11 Construction costs and delays: Simply finding enough workers to build the facilities has already proved a challenge…and Arizona — where summer temperatures average 38 C — has always struggled to recruit construction workers in sufficient numbers.
3/11 TSMC originally planned to start moving chip production equipment into its facility by around September this year but has told suppliers this will be pushed back to the first quarter of 2023 due to construction delays
Read 11 tweets
May 19
1/8 Earlier this week @CCG_org I hosted a discussion about China's recently announced National Unified Market.

This is a pretty big deal and here's why it matters:

China's market may be big but it's not yet strong. If this new policy succeeds, it will be both.
2/8 He Weiwen, a former Chinese diplomat, offered a historical perspective: China today is like a fragmented Germany in the 1800s before unification. And the impact of a national unified market in China may have similar far-reaching and long-lasting economic effects
3/8 Clare Pearson, International Development Director @DLA_Piper, emphasized that this policy affects not only big business but individuals and small businesses, especially in the developing world, since they will share in the benefits of a more accessible China market
Read 8 tweets

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