Meet Hal Brands, “a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he studies US foreign policy and defense strategy.” Brands must be really smart because he has the platinum academic credentials:

Dr. Brands graduated from Yale University with a PhD, MA, and MPhil in history. He also received a BA in history and political science from Stanford University. Stanford and Yale. If he had Harvard he would have a trifecta. So, why am I picking on Professor Brands? Because he wrote an obtuse opinion piece for Bloomberg with the catchy title, Ukraine’s Victories May Become a Problem for the US. Despite being loaded to the gills with advanced degrees, Brands apparently was too busy to actually do some research and critical thinking on the war in Ukraine. I am going to give you the Reader’s Digest version of his article. Brands wrote:

Ukraine has notched another big victory in its war against Russian aggression: the liberation of the Kherson without a grueling urban battle.

Huh? Russia withdraws to the other side of the river and is now shelling the Ukrainians troops with such ferocity that Ukraine is recommending people remaining in Kherson abandon the city. Doc Brands does not explain why this is a “big victory.” Russia did not lose thousands of soldiers or vehicles. And Ukraine is now stuck with a city virtually devoid of electricity. How many more “victories” like this can Ukraine endure?

How did Ukraine pull off this feat in Kherson? Brands has the answer:

The Ukrainians pounced, using US-supplied High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems and other weapons to isolate those forces, and then grinding them down with a methodical offensive.

No. Russia conducted an orderly withdrawal, having suffered few losses compared to the masive casualties sustained by Ukraine in trying to approach Kherson. Russia’s General Surovikin saw no value in hanging on to real estate on the wrong side of the Dnieper River without guaranteed lines of communication to keep the Russian forces fully supplied. Russia was doing the grinding by firing five times more shells at the Ukrainians than Zelensky’s troops could muster.

On the one hand, the liberation of Kherson has brought Ukrainian forces within HIMARS range of Russia’s remaining supply lines into Crimea, while troops freed up by this victory can prepare for new offensives elsewhere.

Hello!! Ukraine is running out of HIMARS, in part because Russia has destroyed many of the launchers, and because the United States only sent a limited number of the rockets and has dim prospects for producing new supplies anytime soon.

Putin has threatened to use nuclear weapons to hold five regions he has illegally annexed since 2014. Ukraine has walked right over those red lines in eastern Ukraine and Kherson.

You only need the reading ability of a fourth grader to read the transcripts of what Putin said about the use of “nuclear weapons.” He has not threatened to use nuclear weapons to hold the five regions that are now part of Russia. That is just a flat out lie. And Putin did act to give the people of the Donbas the chance to reunite with Russia prior to 2022.

WARNING — Please sit down and be sure you are not drinking coffee or an adult beverage. The next snippet from Brands ridiculous could cause you to choke (or retch):

Finally, does a protracted conflict help or hurt the US? If this war has imposed terrible costs on Ukraine, it has been a strategic windfall for Washington. Russia’s military is being reduced to rubble. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is expanding and strengthening its defenses.

A “strategic windfall” for Washington? Does he mean the fact that the United States is emptying its stores of weapons and has no immediate solution to produce more in the near term? Is it a “windfall” that the United States is virtually begging South Korea for ammunition that Washington cannot supply to Ukraine? Dr. Brands apparently did not get the word that Russian weapons industry is running 24/7 and, notwithstanding repeated claims by Western pundits and media that Russia is running out of precision missiles, the Russian military continues to hammer Ukraine’s critical infrastructure with an unrelenting barrage.

Does frayed relations with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States count as a “strategic windfall?” And exactly how is NATO “expanding and strengthening” its defenses. Turkey is blocking Sweden and Finland from joining and Turkey is excoriating the Biden Administration for supporting Kurdish terrorists. Brands comment about “windfall” reminds me of the Princess Bride:

To his credit, Dr. Brands concludes his article by acknowledging reality and letting the cat out of the bag:

A long war that exposes how pitifully inadequate the US defense industrial base has become could force the nation to get serious about rearmament. Still, if the situation in the Taiwan Strait is deteriorating as rapidly as American officials say, then the premium on ending the Ukraine  conflict relatively soon may get higher.

In other words, the Russia/Ukraine war is a mere sideshow. The real threat is China. And if you are watching cable news in the United States tonight you are hearing very little about Russia and Ukraine and a flood of reporting about riots in China and the growing threat China poses to the world — at least that’s the meme now circulating in America.

After reading Dr. Brands schizophrenic op-ed, I wonder if he has considered changing his name to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? At least that would provide an alibi for the shallow, inconsistent analysis he provided to Bloomberg.

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