John Mearsheimer on the current state of the Ukraine-Russian War

The Committee for the Republic hosted John Mearsheimer this week to update his views on the current situation of the Ukraine-Russian War.

Mearsheimer argues twin themes: First, we are in a war where both sides – Ukraine and the West versus Russia – see the other as an existential threat. That makes a workable peace agreement beyond reach. The best possible outcome is a frozen conflict that is likely to have a variety of terrible consequences. The worst possible outcome is a nuclear war, which is unlikely but cannot be ruled out. Second, Russia is going to win the war, although it is not going to decisively defeat Ukraine. It will end up, however, conquering a large swath of Ukrainian territory and making it part of Russia, while at the same time turning Ukraine into a dysfunctional rump state.

10 thoughts on “John Mearsheimer on the current state of the Ukraine-Russian War”

  1. while at the same time turning Ukraine into a dysfunctional rump state.

    Sorry Vlad but Joe beat you to it.

  2. March 21, 2023 Breaking: “Second Russia Offensive” (SRO): Vladimir Sharpens the Cleaver; Volodymyr Fattens the Calf

    The Second Russian Offensive to the imminent Fall of Bakhmut. The Russo-Ukrainian War’s 800-kilometer front bisects the Donbass with a 240-kilometer incision. The SRO engages a segment of Donbass-situated line, with the Russian-held city, Donetsk, at its strategic core. The SRO’s operational theatre contiguously connects 5 small Ukrainian-held cities: (north-to-south) Bakhmut, Chavis Yar, Avdiivka, Marinka and Vuhledar

    1. LOL. Love the twisted/morbid humor in “Vladimir Sharpens the Cleaver; Volodymyr Fattens the Calf.” Except, I feel all the humans will become the calves in this scenario. You know, with both NATO and Russia armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons. (Sarcasm)

  3. Mearsheimer: wrong like everyone else is on whether there will be a “rump state”.

    Idiots. Russia’s security concerns can not be achieved with ANY part of Ukraine remaining outside Russian control.

    Here is my Moon of Alabama comment on this and Andrei Martyanov’s latest:

    Mearsheimer is an idiot. So is Ray McGovern as revealed in this Napolitano video:

    Putin’s Plan for Ukraine Now – Ray McGovern

    McGovern thinks he knows “Putin’s plan”. So does Mearsheimer. Bullshit. Here is Andrei Martianov’s comment on McGovern:

    But Was Putin Really Duped?

    I am talking about Ray McGovern on Judge today when they discuss the issue of Minsk Agreements, or rather lies of Western leeaders behind those agreements.

    I think, the whole premise is wrong. There is no doubt that Putin “milked” the issue of treachery by the West to the full extent, as any shrewd statesman would do, but I doubt, even against the background of Putin’s admission, that he was duped. The reason being of Russia getting ready for clash with NATO as there is no tomorrow since 2014. Nation which is “duped” and still “trusts” Western “partners” doesn’t undergo a de facto revolutionary re-industrialization within 8 years and doesn’t launch real revolution in military affair.

    We should not mistake tactical foreign policy adjustments for fundamentally correct strategy which from the inception saw the clash with NATO as inevitability. The best proof of it is the December 2021 Ultimatum to the combined West. It is one thing to make a speech in Munich in 2007 talking about general vision, totally another–to issue specific demands in 2021, including the ones which are deliberately formulated as to be unacceptable for NATO. That’s a huge difference. Including in the levels of power of Russia in 2007, 2014 and 2023–they are dramatically different with Russia of 2023 fully returning to herself the status of global power.

    Is Ray correct that when Russia takes all of the left bank of Dnieper she will be ready to talk? Certainly possible, but a lot will also depend on how Russia reshuffles her exports and how the Eurasian economic integration proceeds. In this case Mikhail Mishustin’s official visit to China and his meeting tomorrow with Comrade Xi are very important in this respect. Now per those “hypersonic missiles” that NATO still doesn’t have. Russians, as facts have it, put themselves again in a deliberately “worst” position and developed everything from the assumption that at some point of time NATO will have those hypersonic gliding vehicles. So, what do you do then? Well, you develop the Air Defense capable of intercepting those. And this is what Russia was doing since mid-2000s. Judging by what is coming (rumored) in this AD, or rather air and space defense field, we are looking at a complete remake of world order which even our wildest imagination cannot perceive.

    Here is my comment to Andrei on that post:

    John Mearsheimer talks about Russia leaving part of Ukraine as a “rump state” and McGovern talks about Russia not going past the Dnieper.


    As I’ve said repeatedly at MoA, Russia’s security concerns vis-a-vis Ukraine will not be met until Russia controls all of Ukraine up to the Polish and Romanian borders (and Transnistria), and has placed a Military District in western Ukraine with 250,000 Russian troops, 1,500 tanks, air bases with Mig-31Ks with Kinzhals, Zircons, Avantgardes, a naval base in Odessa protected by Bastion anti-ship missiles, the whole nine yards.

    Then Putin can call up whoever is the US President and say, “You know those Aegis Ashore installations in Poland and Romania? We just countered them – as we promised we’d do if you ignored our December, 2021, treaty proposals. And we hope you don’t like it. Now what are you going to do about it?” (albeit in more diplomatic language from Lavrov).

    What happens then is up to the West. Russia will be ready for the reaction, however it goes.

    Andrei is wrong when he says Russia doesn’t want western Ukraine. It’s not a question of “feelings”. It’s a question of what Russia HAS to do. After the war is over, thousands of GRU, SVR and FSB agents will clean house in western Ukraine, detain and deport anyone capable of causing trouble for the new “Unified State of Ukraine” fully integrated into the CSTO, just like Belarus.

    All this is what I would do. And I’m not smarter than Putin and his team. But I do believe Putin is smarter than Mearsheimer, McGovern and even Andrei. So I’m confident Russia will do as I’ve said.

    1. Richard – I am not confident that you are right.
      I am certain that you are right. You deserve more commentary.

      The present nightmare of existential crises for the present Axis of The Hapless, the Washington – London – Brussels Thought Leadership, such as it is.
      There really only was only one lever in their toolkit: smash non-compliant states and all weaker states.
      Does not work with Russia and China.

      The Russian Armed Forces are not known to flag their strategies to the Editorial Board of The Guardian nor The Hill. What they don’t know they invent.

      Jens Stoltenberg was right – “We cannot afford to lose this conflict”. The admission that dare not receive much coverage. They lost.
      NATO will face into the Russian Armed Forces from just across the West Ukrainian border.
      Backed by an end-to-end, fully battle tested Russian Industry War Machine.

      Outcomes diametrical to the stated intentions of The Axis of The Hapless.

      Comparable conclusions drawn here and in greater number . . .

      Remember what they said, remember all that was written, especially the London Mainstream Media, for if a fraction of it was true, Russia would have collapsed.
      The lesson of The Ukraine – Act as a Washington vassal, be destroyed.

      Narrative Collapse – – –
      Only when the last American artillery shell has been fired in The Ukraine, only when the last Ukrainian soldier has been killed in The Ukraine and only when the last of Ukrainian state territory has been irretrievably lost from The Ukraine will The Americans, The Americans and Europeans finally realize that God Favours Russia . . .

      1. I think you are both correct. My only comment is no one could “win.” Neither NATO or Russia could allow the other to “win.” The only possible outcome at the end of this terrible inhumane fantasy is the more inhumane all nuclear war. It’s like when you play a Zero-Sum game, only it’s all loss and Zero gain. Yes, I blame us in the west. We squandered a huge opportunity for peace since the nineties because of our insatiable greed and desire for hegemony. Similar to the definition of resentment, expanding NATO was like taking poison and waiting for Russia to die. Russia finally decided if it was going to die, then might as well take us out in the process. (Sarcasm alert)

        1. Forecast . . .
          – The Russian Armed Forces take Kyiv before the year end, 2023.
          – They proceed to the Western Ukrainian border thereafter and place the region under occupation.

          After that, it’s a harder call.
          The Russian State is in it to remove NATO’s capacity for action and a US presence in Western Europe.
          Doubt any use of nuclear weapons. American generals, in the limit, decide these things and they are not in it for self-destruction.

          Much hot talk continues. All dealt with …

  4. The beltway made a lot of money by destroying Ukraine and now they’ll make a lot of money rebuilding what is left of it.
    The cycle of life in DC….

  5. What could Ukraine have done in this situation since the beginning of Russia attacking Ukraine? What were they expected to do? So many Ukrainian citizens claim as a mater of fact that if they did submit, there’d have been a mass genocide of the Ukraine citizens?

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