Is the Russia-Ukraine War Sputtering to an End?

Let the killing stop and the healing begin

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Reprinted from Bracing Views with the author’s permission.

A report from Sy Hersh suggests that the Russia-Ukraine War may finally be sputtering to a diplomatic conclusion. The senior generals on both sides seem to be the main actors, but who really cares as long as the killing stops and the healing begins?

Conflicts and wars often exhibit a horrifying form of logic. Military hardliners, convinced of their own righteousness, claim that victory will come only on the battlefield when the enemy is totally defeated by force of arms. Armchair warriors at home and abroad glom on to this, cheering for their side and calling for no compromises, no negotiations, just more killing. Think here of “bomb’em back to the stone age” slogans heard in America during the Vietnam War, or expressions of apocalyptic destruction like “make the rubble bounce.”

Call it a total war fixation, the idea that victory can only be achieved by erecting one’s flag on a mountain of skulls. Here, anyone arguing for ceasefires or peace must be an agent or sympathizer for the bad people, in this case a “Putin puppet.”

To armchair warriors, the idea that people might simply prefer peace to war seems unfathomable. This is often true of wars everywhere. Those furthest from danger, those from whom no sacrifice is required or even asked, are those most likely to bray the loudest for more killing and more war. To the warmongers, they are the tough ones, the hardheaded realists, and those who disagree with them are disreputable and weak.

Here in the USA, there’s another element to this: the fact that the U.S. government, in the people’s name, has provided massive amounts of weaponry to Ukraine in a pursuit of decisive victory. Many still favor a Ukrainian fight to the death against Russia, though America in general is showing growing reluctance to pay for it all.

Is Ukraine’s senior general naive in supporting a ceasefire and negotiations? Allegedly, evil Putin will take advantage of any ceasefire to rearm and prepare yet more devastating attacks. Yet this “logic” of war could be applied to any conflict at any time in history. At some point, all wars come to an end.

After almost two years of fighting and hundreds of thousands of casualties, it’s high time to give peace a chance in Ukraine. War, as we can see from current events in Gaza, has no lack of chances to thrive in this world.

William J. Astore is a retired lieutenant colonel (USAF). He taught history for fifteen years at military and civilian schools. He writes at Bracing Views.

9 thoughts on “Is the Russia-Ukraine War Sputtering to an End?”

  1. It will be great if the war in Ukraine comes to an end. It’s too bad it is taking the war in Gaza to end that war. Zelensky feels neglected because of that.
    Russia’s wars do not go on forever like NATO’s wars do. NATO talks as if Russia is such an aggressive warmongering nation when it is NATO that lets its wars go on forever and says it is promoting democracy and prosperity around the globe.

    1. You’re just angry you didn’t get any Afghanistan money. “It’s a big club, and you’re not in it.” (George Carlin)

      Edit: this is a joke.

  2. So, we were told that winning was possible, that there was some cause to fight for… We were told that Ukraine was winning, would win.

    And… it was all a lie.

    But profit was made. On to the next war.

    1. Money grows on trees for the MIC. It spends it like water. Companies like Raytheon and Lockheed- Martin make tons of money at everyone else’s expense. They are lucky no country is destroying America nor Israel.

  3. As I am on record here saying since the war started, there will be no “negotiations”. Russia will present unconditional surrender terms and Ukraine will accept them.

    After which Russia will do what it needs to do with Ukraine – which is remove the current government, alter its legal status as a state to incorporate present day Ukraine into the Russian Federation or the CSTO, begin rebuilding (with China and Central Asian state assistance) and finally, put a new Military District in western Ukraine opposite Poland and Romania to counter the NATO Aegis Ashore installations and NATO buildup (if any) in the West, so that the West can never again threaten Russia.

    This was the goal all along, except for an apparent plan by Putin and Lavrov at the beginning of the war to “scare” Ukraine into negotiations – negotiations which would have failed further on than they got or would have been abrogated and reneged on just like Minsk II. Fortunately, the Russian General Staff realized that and convinced Putin to have an alternate operational plan – which has now succeeded.

    1. How do you feel about NATO expanding into Finland and Sweden? That kind of instantly makes this entire exercise counter-productive

      1. This is why Russia is building Military Districts in northern Russia opposite Finland, as well as integrating Belarus’ military into the Russian military under the Union State.

        Russia is building an “Iron Curtain 2.0” from the Black Sea to the Arctic. NATO will have to resort to nuclear missiles to attack Russia in the future – and Russia is prepared for that, too.

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