Posted BY: Earl J. Catagnus, Jr.

Here I sit, a middle-aged academic who lived and studied war, suffering daily from wounds received in a battle that has long since been forgotten, struggling to make sense of the West’s strategy in Ukraine. What are we doing? Are we waging a proxy war simply to bleed Russian military resources with the bodies of Ukrainian warriors? Do our leaders really have no understanding of the Ukrainian and Russian people and their long, distinguished history of strategic “stubbornness”? What about the Russian Federation’s brutal effectiveness in Chechnya, Georgia, and Syria? Are our leaders, particularly our military commanders, lacking strategic empathy, and the ability to disassociate from oneself and assume the “mind of the other”? The evidence suggests that they are.

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Recently, Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley declared that Russia has “lost strategically, operationally, and tactically” in Ukraine. This, quite simply, is bombast, borderline propaganda, possibly even rising to the level of disinformation. We are continually led to believe that it is only a matter of months until the whole Russian Army collapses. Almost a year ago, some of our political leaders, military strategists, and media pundits wildly claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s reign would end due to his “special military operation.” There were even allusions that Putin was near death.

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