Supplements – How Federal Health Agencies Should Promote Low Carb & High Fat Diets & Lower Iron Levels

The word “should” does not, of course, mean they will.

Federal health agencies should also have never recommended people wear masks outside because there was no evidence the coronavirus could spread merely by having people walk by eachother, except in very crowded urban environments.

Federal health agencies should also have never recommended vaccinated passengers wear masks on planes (and, possibly, not even unvaccinated passengers) because there was no evidence planes, with their excellent air filtration systems, were hotspots for transmission.

Nevertheless, the dietary policy change that should be implemented is to encourage Americans and food producers to switch to low (or moderate) carb diets that are high in all types of fat (except trans-fats because trans is always stupid) and medium to high in meat because the past dietary recommendations to increase carb consumption and reduce fat and meat intake caused the obesity crisis.

Obesity is not caused by fat and meat consumption, anymore than salt (which the FDA once recommended be reduced from the diet) was harmful.

In fact, high salt intake turned out to be safe because the body easily expels excess salt in urine and sweat before an excessive amount can accumulate in the body.

The worst that can happen from consuming a large amount of salt is vomiting, and even that would require an unusual amount of salt intake and result in the excess not entering the blood stream.

As was true of salt, the FDA was also disastrously wrong about reducing fat and meat intake in favor of carbohydrates.

In turn, the obesity epidemic made Americans (especially minorities) more at risk of dying from the coronavirus relative to other First World nations.

This dietary change led to people overeating because the recommended FDA, which is high high in vegetables and carbohydrates at the expense of meat and fat, is not something most Americans can stay on for long because it is unappetizing.

The recommended diet, although it can result in weight loss, is also not, on balance, healthy because it starves the body of a wide variety of amino acids the body can best get from meat such as threonine which is needed for the immune system, arginine which is needed for the nervous system and proper mitochondrial function, and taurine for the brain.

In addition to greater kidney problems caused by obesity, FDA scaremongering reduced egg consumption among the “health conscious” because of pseudoscientific fears of “egg yolks.” Unfortunately eggs are the best source of biotin which is a vitamin that is best sourced from eggs and which cannot be easily replaced from any other food source. Biotin is needed for proper kidney function and processing of proteins.

Since I don’t get a chance to eat eggs very often I take 1,000 micrograms (or 1 milligram) of biotin every month because that is roughly equal to having two to three eggs every day for a month.

Unless one is taking a supplement that reduces biotin stores (like alpha lipoic acid) one should not take more than 1,000 micrograms of biotin a month or else it will cause skin rashes.

All this speaks in favor of adopting a low to medium carb diet.

Anyone who goes on a low or medium carb diet (all of the variations from the Mediterranean diet to the Atkins diet are at least 90% the same) can see for themselves that two weeks of consuming meat and fat while sidelining carbohydrates results in rapid weight loss.

It is also easier for the average American to stay on because meat and fat are more satisfying to stay on than “healthy” diets.

The most difficult part of a low carb diet is replacing potassium levels after reducing one’s intake of potatoes, french fries, and potato chips.

Although high potassium potato products, and all other high potassium foods, can be consumed safely in large amounts in the short term (aside from the long term problems associated with weight gain) potassium supplements are dangerous for the heart if taken frequently.

Since potassium supplementation from capsules is complicated to do safely another food source must be found.

What I have used as a potassium substitute ever since I went low/medium carb years ago are salted, roasted, sunflower kernels.

Sunflower kernels are high in potassium, other nutrients like B Vitamins, and other electrolytes besides potassium.

They are also a reasonably tasty, salty snack that go well with a diet coke or wine.

The FDA should also recommend that food producers and restaurants reduce the amount of sugar and carbohydrates their customers eat.

Some menu proposals would be –

  • Restaurants (ESPECIALLY fast food restaurants) should offer other sides besides french fries like mozzarella sticks, pork rinds, chicken wings, and sweet potato fries and potato chips (which are lower carb than regular fries and potato chips).
  • Use thinner buns for sandwiches and subs.
  • Pizzerias should offer more thin crust options if they don’t already.
  • Use lower hypoglycemic breads for sandwiches and subs such as pumpernickel, rye, and sourdough.
  • Reduce sugar in all sweets and desserts by at least half from their current, egregious amounts, and offer more options for zero sugar sweets that use Splenda/sucralose as a substitute (and not sugar alcohols because they cause diarrhea).
  • Increase the proportion of fat in all types of bread and desserts.
  • Encourage Americans to eat fish two or three times a month (assuming they have no fish allergies) to get omega-3 fats into their system because fish is the only significant dietary source of omega-3 fat. But they should avoid excessive fish consumption to avoid excess Mercury intake.

Iron levels are also too high in the American diet because it (unlike Europe’s diet) is fortified in foods such as cereals.

See the various health problems caused by excess iron intake here and here.

In reality, the body gets along fine with minimal amounts of iron (which all cells need to use their DNA) while still avoiding anemia.

The levels where iron is admitted by doctors to be toxic are at levels that are only moderately above where the FDA considers to be an acceptable range – or, at least, toxic to every human cell except cancer cells which are known to have very high iron demands relative to normal cells because cancer cellular mechanisms require iron to use their DNA at a more rapid rate than what healthy cells need from iron in order to use their DNA.

Aside from cancer, high iron levels are also associated with a variety of chronic diseases such as arthritis.

The health recommendation of the FDA should therefore be –

  •  Food producers of all grain products (especially cereals that are currently fortified with iron) should implement processes to filter out iron from their goods.
  • Red meat producers should look for ways to reduce iron in the diets of their animals so that the amount of iron in red meat is reduced (high iron levels in red meat are likely a major factor in why red meat consumers develop more health problems relative to those who eat more poultry and fish which have lower iron proportions).
  • Americans should take iron chelating/reducing supplements like IP6 about 2 to 3 times a week, although they should cut back on it if they experience symptoms of low iron. Fortunately low iron is usually very easy and very quickly corrected with greater iron take.
  • Assuming their doctor says it is physically safe for them to get their blood drawn (i.e., they have no significant cardiovascular problems that would make a blood draw dangerous) all Americans should be recommended to get a whole blood draw at least once every two years, but no more than twice a year for men or once a year for women (who naturally lose iron from menstruation).

They can get this done by going to a blood donation center (I myself am an American Red Cross blood donor who donates whole blood once or twice a year to keep my iron stores at the lower end of the safe range).

Or, if they don’t qualify as a blood donor, then get a therapeutic whole blood draw from a hematologist at least once every two years. They will draw the same amount of blood that would be taken at a blood donation center except that the blood will be disposed of instead of being sent to a blood bank.

Remember to always ask for a whole blood draw, and not a platelet donation, because only a whole blood draw will reduce iron levels.

A Game Theory Based US Deterrent Posture in Ukraine as the War Enters the Second Phase

As the war in Ukraine enters its second phase the following are the best game theory derived options for the US to adopt (followed by the reasoning for them) –

1) The US announces that the US Air Force will intervene as a full aerial combatant in Ukraine in the event Russia uses chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine. To enhance the credibility of this deterrent the US should move extra air power to Europe.

2) The US announces that we will “probably retaliate with nuclear weapons” (in exactly those words) if Russia uses tactical nuclear weapons against Ukraine. The US should say nothing else about what, exact, form this potential nuclear response might take.

Continue reading “A Game Theory Based US Deterrent Posture in Ukraine as the War Enters the Second Phase”

A Belarusian Invasion of Ukraine is Probably Off the Table

I’m going to take a wild guess that the Belarusian Army is not going to be sent to take Kiev.

If the Belarusian military (which is small) was reluctant to go in during the first two weeks when it was more plausible that Russia would eventually reach Kiev then they certainly are not going in by themselves after Ukraine just shattered some of the most elite Russian formations.

Since Ukraine has demonstrated so ably that invading their country is an excellent way to get oneself killed I know that if I were a Belarusian soldier I would take my chances with mutiny instead of entering that tiger cage.

The Screen Credits of Russia’s 2022 Invasion

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Supreme Theater of Operations Commander – Colonel Kurtz

Principal Logistics Officer – Colonel Klink

Commander of the Russian Air Force – Robert Stack (Neutralized in mid-production by Ukrainian snipers while directing emergency landing traffic at Kherson airport)

Head of Russian Intelligence – Lieutenant Frank Drebin (formerly of the Los Angeles Police Department)

Supervising Consultant to Russian Talk Show Hosts – Larry King

Music Editing – Pink Floyd

Manager of Occupied Ukrainian Nuclear Facilities – Homer Simpson

Chief Financial Officer of the Russian Armed Forces – Diamond Joe Quimby

Director of Humanitarian Relief Corridors – Hannibal Lecter

Minister of Chechen Propaganda Videos – Nelson Muntz

Lead Hostage Negotiator – Hans Gruber

Attorney General of the Russian Federation – Lionel Hutz

Disaster Recovery Specialist – Dr. Strangelove

Chief of Russian Special Operations Forces – Larry David

Kremlin Spokesman – Troy McClure

Casting Director – Vladimir Putin

Why Destroying Iran’s Nuclear Program Would Enhance America’s Containment of China

The strategic reasoning for why the US Air Force should destroy Iran’s nuclear program is perfectly obvious.

Of course, since the order would have to be given by Joe Biden the actual task of destroying the Iranian program will, in practice, probably have to fall to the Israeli Air Force because the Biden Administration excels at not doing what it should.

For example, the Biden White House should have given Polish Mig-29s to Ukraine because it makes absolutely no sense for America to, on the one hand, be giving Ukrainian forces most of the US military’s inventory of Javelin and Stinger missiles while, on the other hand, drawing an arbitrary line at giving Ukraine fighter jets.

Yet, in an impressive display of pure Progressive stupidity, the Biden Administration refused to give Ukraine extra Mig-29s while at the same time it continues to send Kiev billions of dollars worth of other weapon systems.

Unfortunately, the Israeli Air Force cannot destroy Iran’s underground nuclear facilities nearly as easily as American bombers can.

Nevertheless, Israel should take close note of how Ukraine is showing the world how a determined military can perform brilliantly despite facing seemingly impossible odds.

Just because a successful strike on Iran’s nuclear program is harder to execute for Israel than it would be for America is no reason for Israel to be complacent.

All that means is that Israel’s war planners and corps of engineers need to be extra creative at overcoming the various hurdles to an airstrike – very much like Ukraine’s military has been extra creative in their challenging campaign.

But whether Iran’s nuclear ambitions are stopped by Israel or America does not change the fact it is very much in the strategic interests of the United States for the the risk of a nuclear Iran to be destroyed permanently, not deferred with a weak nuclear agreement.

The reason is quite simply that destroying the possibility of an Iranian bomb will make it easier for America to build a strong deterrent against China.

This is because Iran without nuclear weapons is much easier to contain than an Iran with nuclear weapons.

If Iran acquires nukes (and even if it has no intention of ever using them) they will be able to engage in the type of nuclear blackmail and brinkmanship that Russia and North Korea have engaged in for decades.

Nuclear weapons would give Iran the power to threaten to use them in order to gain extra negotiation leverage for its bad behavior, much as Russia is using the mere threat of a nuclear strike as negotiation leverage to minimize how much support NATO is willing to give Ukraine.

If Iran had this extra leverage the United States would need to divert extra military resources to the Middle East to deter a nuclear Iran because Iran would be able to engage more freely in non-nuclear terrorist and conventional attacks in the region because their arsenal would give them much greater freedom to engage in all sorts of mischief and threats (like Russia and North Korea) while being able to deter American conventional retaliation.

This extra deterrent in the Middle East would draw US forces away from Asia and would have to be significantly larger than what America already has deployed across the Middle East.

But if Iran’s program is destroyed before they develop nuclear weapons then America would be able to free up extra resources to buildup its forces around Japan, Australia, and other friendly Asian nations, in order to deter China; although the US should keep a moderate level of forces in the Middle East in order to prevent a strategic power vacuum from developing in this oil rich region of the world.

And the best way to maintain a strong deterrent against China is for either Israel or America to destroy Iran’s nuclear program, instead of relying on a flimsy, short term nuclear deal that Iran will constantly try to avoid abiding by whenever possible.

With an airstrike that obliterates Iran’s nuclear facilities America will not need to rely at all on a completely untrustworthy Iran to keep its word because Iran will have no power to create them.

Time for Israel to Ignore the Foreign Policy Consensus & Bomb Iran’s Nuclear Program

The reason Israel should ignore the Progressive foreign policy consensus that says Israel should not bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities for fear of starting a “regional war” is because these are exactly the same Progressive geopolitical “experts” who helped create the economic conditions for Russia to wage war on Ukraine.

The primary way these Progressive “experts” facilitated Putin’s invasion was via their veering away from diplomacy and into climatology when they encouraged America and Europe to transition from stable nuclear and hydrocarbon sources of energy in favor of very unreliable wind and solar energy.

Almost all of these Progressive foreign policy analysts cheered Europe’s transition to unreliable energy sources, which in turn made the continent more and more reliant on Russian hydrocarbon fuels.

Today the Russians are using the trillions of dollars Europe have paid for Russian oil and gas to wage war on Ukraine.

Better still, Europe’s dependence on Russian energy remains so complete (because wind and solar are such worthless energy technologies) that most of Europe cannot risk banning purchases of Russian oil and gas despite the ongoing war.

Now, what do these same Progressive foreign policy analysts have to say about the possibility of Israel bombing Iran’s nuclear program?

These same Progressives whose preferred energy policies helped finance Putin’s war machine are the same Progressives who say it is too dangerous for Israel to bomb Iran because of the risk it would spark some kind of a regional war.

Israel should ignore this military advice just as completely as Germany should have ignored the Progressive foreign policy elite’s advice on energy policy.

The simple fact is that an airstrike against Iran (with or without support from the Biden Administration or the renewal of the JCPOA) is Israel’s best option because Israel does not need to worry about Iran retaliating with a “regional war” because Iran does not have the ability to wage a regional war.

Any Iranian missile retaliation against Saudi Arabia by Iranian Houthi proxies in Yemen would mostly be stopped by Saudi Arabia’s Patriot missile systems.

An attempt by Iran to stop the flow of oil tanker traffic through the Strait of Hormuz with anti-ship mines would result in the US Navy destroying the wildly inferior Iranian Navy and clearing any mines that were laid out of the Strait with minesweepers.

The only serious retaliation option for Iran would be to order its Hezbollah allies to attack Israel.

But even in this case Israel would be well positioned to defeat any hostile action out of Lebanon.

In a couple of weeks Israel’s military superiority would suppress any attacks launched by Hezbollah, most likely losing only a couple hundred civilians and soldiers.

Hezbollah would also be fighting mostly alone because Syria’s military is exhausted after years of civil war and Iran is too poor to provide significant logistical support to its favorite proxy terrorist group.

Even if Hezbollah managed to drag out a conflict for a couple of months Israel would eventually win and the Iranian nuclear program would still be destroyed.

None of these retaliatory options would amount to any kind of regional war anymore than wind turbines have any chance of replacing fossil fuels.

Iran might be able to restart the engineering work for a new nuclear program but this would take years and Israel can always just bomb any new nuclear installations periodically once every couple of years, as many times as necessary.

With a destroyed Iranian program there would be no risk of Iran developing a bomb, an outcome that would be favorable to the United States (whether Biden realizes it or not) because Iran is MUCH easier to contain without a nuclear bomb than with a nuclear bomb.

If Iran never gets the bomb (and therefore cannot engage in North Korea-style nuclear blackmail/brinkmanship that would divert significant American deterrent resources to the Middle East just as North Korea’s brinkmanship diverts American forces to defend South Korea) then America can more easily divert moderate resources from the Middle East (without abandoning the region completely) to other parts of Asia such as Australia or Japan in order to deter China.

The hardest part of an Israeli airstrike is not that Iran would start a regional war that it clearly doesn’t have the resources to fight but in somehow delivering sufficient Israeli munitions to destroy hardened, deeply buried, nuclear facilities.

But this is a problem of military engineering and planning for the Israelis to solve, and as the Ukrainians have demonstrated a bit of military creativity and raw determination (not to mention a willingness to ignore the foreign policy experts who said Kiev would fall in a week or less) can carry a nation under threat a long way.

The Nuclear Deescalation Case for Giving Putin a Diplomatic Offramp if Russia’s Invasion is Outright Defeated

Before Putin declared war the consensus about Ukraine’s military was that while its combined regular and insurgent/territorial defense forces were numerically superior to the over 150,000 Russian soldiers that were poised to invade, the Ukrainians were nevertheless overmatched by Russia’s qualitative edge in equipment and training.

Continue reading “The Nuclear Deescalation Case for Giving Putin a Diplomatic Offramp if Russia’s Invasion is Outright Defeated”

Ukraine Should Offer to Suspend its NATO Membership Bid To Drive a Negotiation Wedge Between Russia & China

Ukraine’s best strategy is to offer to drop its NATO membership bid (unless Russia at some point in the future drops its objection) in order to secure a cease fire.

Once the cease fire is secure Ukraine should spend the next few years acquiring more defensive weapons from the United States, Britain and the EU.

Ukraine should especially use the ceasefire to acquire Western weapons that would close the capability gaps between the Russian and Ukrainian militaries in areas where Russia presently has the advantage such as fighter jets, artillery, cruise missiles, and anti-aircraft systems.

Since Ukraine put up such a tough defensive fight against Russian forces the Kremlin will probably be reluctant to try to interfere directly again while Ukraine conducts an arms buildup, at least for a few, crucial years.

The reason why this is Ukraine’s best move is that China’s position on the Ukraine conflict is that, while they agree with Russia that Ukraine should not join NATO, they also prefer that this be handled through negotiations.

If Ukraine offered this proposal to Russia then it would be harder for China to tolerate Russia’s offensive because it would satisfy China’s official position on Ukraine.

Additionally, this would put China in a more difficult diplomatic position because they don’t want to be seen cheering a war by their increasingly suspicious neighbors in Asia who study closely every Chinese statement on military affairs.

They also seem to be a bit uneasy about the potential economic effects a war launched by a major energy producer could have on global markets, especially the lucrative European market where China has substantial business interests.

The odds that China would suddenly make more demands is also low since Ukraine is not considered a priority to China and because their diplomats usually do not engage in the wild negotiating tactics that Russian diplomats do. The general tendency of Chinese diplomats is usually to hold onto a negotiating stance without pulling late surprises.

All of this means that if Ukraine offers a major concession that seems to satisfy China’s diplomatic stance on the conflict it would be harder for China not to press Russia for an end to hostilities.

This would place Putin in a position where it would be harder for him not to agree to a peace deal that gives him a key Chinese and Russian demand.

If he were to continue with the attack he would be pressing his attack, even after China’s demand had been met, then he would be risking a more serious break with China by not negotiating.

And if he risked a break with China, an ally Russia must have on board to weather the affects of Western sanctions, then Putin would be at significant risk of being removed from power by Russia’s military and intelligence agency elites.

Best of all, Ukraine would be sacrificing nothing because the promise of Ukrainian NATO membership is a completely empty one.

It is impossible for Ukraine to join with an ongoing border conflict and NATO leaders have refused to give a timetable for Ukraine’s entry.

So the ‘open door’ policy of NATO is a completely empty slogan that provides Ukraine with no strategic advantage at all.

But by using NATO membership as a negotiating chip Ukraine could gain the strategic advantage of time by spending a few years gaining more powerful weapons to deter Russia in the future.

These extra defensive weapons would be what would secure Ukraine’s freedom, not the empty promise of NATO membership.

Game Theory on Why Military Alliances Like NATO Should Never Have an ‘Open Door’ Policy

We will never know if Putin would have decided against attacking Ukraine if he had been offered a deal where NATO (or at least a major Alliance member) agreed not to admit Ukraine unless the Russian Government formally approved of it.

Nor will ever know if Putin would have come up with another excuse to attack, because no one offered it to Russia.

Perhaps not even Putin knows what he would have done if he had been offered this deal earlier.

But what is clear is that making that offer at least wouldn’t have harmed Ukraine’s defensive position any more than it already has been by NATO holding out an empty membership offer that could never be fulfilled because no applicant can be admitted if it has an ongoing border dispute.

Also not helpful was the fact almost everyone in the United States arguing in favor of better Russian relations sounded like a cheerleader for Putin.

We now know, in hindsight, that not offering this deal to Putin had, exactly, a 0% chance of preventing a Russian attack on Ukraine.

Since offering it would have had a greater than 0% chance of placating Putin (or, delaying an invasion years into the future which would have given Ukraine more time to strengthen its defenses) the better option would have been to offer some sort of mechanism where Russia would have a veto over Ukrainian entrance to NATO.

In exchange for indefinitely postponing their NATO membership (except for the very unlikely event Russia changed its mind anytime before the distant future) Ukraine would be given more and more defensive weapons to better deter a potential Russian invasion.

Ukraine would certainly have been better off because the weapons they would have received under this deal would be usable right now against Russia.

These weapons would be very unlike the empty promise of NATO membership, which at this very moment is sitting somewhere at NATO headquarters on laptops and document stacks gathering dust.

As has been pointed out on this site a number of times there was no benefit to Ukraine or NATO in holding onto the ‘open door’ policy when Ukraine could never have joined NATO so long as it was dealing with an ongoing Russian occupation of Crimea and parts of Donbas.

A broader topic would be why did the idiots in the West who call themselves “foreign policy analysts” not realize, and still do not realize, that NATO should not have any ‘open door’ policy at all?

The reason is that the West’s foreign policy analysts are Progressives who do not know how to engage in the activity known as ‘thinking.’

Progressives do not know how to think.

Progressives only know how to create more and more useless bureaucracy.

Perhaps foreign policy talking heads should try thinking instead of creating useless bureaucratic rules like mask mandates and they will avoid more problems.

Problems such as praising Angela Merkel who was, during the Trump era, called “The Leader of the Free World.”

How do Leader Merkel’s decisions look in retrospect?

First, the great stateswoman left the German military badly underfunded throughout her widely praised 16 year tenure.

To make matters worse, Merkel put Germany completely at the mercy of Gazprom by stupidly endorsing German legislation that shut down half of her country’s nuclear power (the only known, completely reliable, 100% carbon free energy technology in the world) at the end of last year and which will close Germany’s remaining nuclear plants at the end of this year.

Reliable, carbon free, nuclear energy was shuttered in favor of completely unreliable wind power, electric cars, and (except when used in deserts) solar power.

The green policies Merkel implemented in Germany were copied by Western Europe and, under Biden, in the United States with America shutting down the Keystone pipeline and Britain banning fracking on its own soil.

The result of the West “transitioning” from stable nuclear power (which produces no carbon at all) and gas power to unreliable “renewables” has meant that 40% of European gas supplies come from Russia.

All of the green energy policies that led to European overdependence on Russian oil and gas were praised to the rafters for decades by the same Progressive foreign policy “elite” that also insisted on maintaining an open door policy to Ukrainian NATO membership, despite the fact it was legally impossible for Ukraine to join so long as Russia occupied Crimea and areas of Donbas.

Like Progressive foreign policy, Progressive energy policy is devoid of the act known as ‘thinking’ because they despise the only 0% carbon source of energy that is reliable, proven, and abundant (nuclear) in favor of completely unreliable “non-carbon” sources of energy that do not work.

Progressive should try thinking for once and then maybe they will be able to speak credibly on energy policy.

Once Progressives learn how to think about energy policy, then they may at last be ready to talk about foreign policy.

But let’s drop Western green energy policy (which is another Progressive marvel of pure, unadulterated, stupidity) for now and pivot back to foreign policy.

Let’s try thinking about foreign policy by using game theory.

As mentioned in previous articles one of the advantages of understanding game theory is that one can acquire the ability not to just see various options an actor may take, but also to see how an entire scenario is structured/designed, as a complete, interactive system.

What is the structural/design flaw of NATO’s open door policy for Ukraine from the perspective of John von Neumann’s game theory concepts?

The overall design flaw here is that it creates a scenario that is both pointless and unstable between the various actors involved in the Ukraine drama.

It is pointless because there was no legal way for Ukraine to enter NATO so long as Russia occupied parts of Ukraine.

It is unstable because the ‘open door’ policy greatly incentivized Russia to keep the occupation going indefinitely in order to (among other Russian objectives) block Ukraine from entering NATO.

And as long as Russia’s occupation kept going the risk that one side or other would miscalculate and use force to attain certain objectives increased over time.

Pointless and unstable is the perfect description not only of Progressive foreign policy but also of Progressive energy policy; indeed of every Progressive policy.

What this structural analysis means, when translated into diplomatic terms, is quite simply that no military alliance should ever have an ‘open door’ membership policy because of the nature of military alliances, in general.

Military alliances are not humanitarian agencies.

Military alliances are not international economic organizations.

NATO is not Doctors Without Borders.

NATO is not the World Trade Organization.

NATO is not the International Red Cross.

NATO is not the Eurozone.

NATO is a military alliance which means that whenever it adds new members it will naturally run the risk of encountering some kind of a hostile response by any power that feels threatened (however rightly or wrongly) by that military alliance.

Is there anything wrong with NATO running risk?

In game theory there is NOTHING wrong with taking on risk if – ***IF*** – one can AFFORD to take the risk.

But NATO members have made clear they are not willing to take the risk of defending Ukraine directly, a country with no legal mechanism to join NATO because of an ongoing border dispute.

In which case, under game theory logic, NATO should never have offered Ukraine membership in the first place because of the high risk of making the offer and zero chance of Ukraine joining NATO.

But knowing whether NATO could afford the risk of insisting on a purely theoretical Ukrainian entry into NATO that could never actually happen in reality (short of NATO militarily forcing Russia out of Crimea and Donbas, which was a risk NATO was not willing to take) simply did not occur to Western foreign policy “experts.”

This because Progressive foreign policy “experts” are trained in bureaucracy, not diplomacy, and so they held onto a stupid rule (without minor qualifications such as what the reaction of a potential enemy might be) that says anyone can join NATO.

Moreover, bureaucrats never ask whether stupid rules should exist in the first place because their job is to simply create more stupid rules like mask mandates for the triple-vaccinated.

The actual foreign policy rule that should have been followed by actual diplomats should have been that a NATO member should only join IF there is some advantage or advantages to their entrance that outweighs the risk of a negative reaction by a hostile power.

But understanding this would require ‘thinking’ which the foreign policy pundit class has no grasp of just like the “trained physicist” Angela Merkel had no idea of the fact that the only technologically viable form of zero-carbon energy is nuclear.

Ukraine’s Best Option is for Germany or France to Offer a Five Year Pause in Ukraine’s NATO Bid

The best move for Ukraine to make would be for Germany or France to offer Russia a five year suspension in Ukraine’s NATO membership application in order to give more time for diplomacy.

Although the Ukrainian Government could almost certainly not make this offer itself because it would be seen as weakness, either Germany or France would be doing Ukraine a favor if they offered this medium term deal to Russia.

There are a number of reasons why this would be beneficial for Ukraine.

The first reason is simply that Ukraine would lose nothing under this proposal because it is impossible for any nation to join NATO if it has an ongoing border conflict because, if it were to join, that would mean every NATO member would technically be at war with whatever nation the new member was fighting with.

By offering a five year suspension to Ukraine’s application bid Germany or France would be “conceding” a NATO ascension for Ukraine that can not happen even with just the existing border disputes in Crimea and Donbas.

The second reason is that the offer would throw off a number of Putin’s potential goals.

The Russian forces arrayed against Ukraine are not enough to fight a multi-year insurgent warfare campaign in Ukraine’s cities if Putin intended a full-scale occupation of at least half the country.

At least 500,000 Russian soldiers would be needed to occupy and hold the Eastern half of Ukraine, a number that is probably not politically sustainable among the Russian public or something Russia’s military could keep going for an indefinite period of time. It would be so large that Russia’s military would have little reserves left to handle any kind of military situation that occurred outside of Ukraine.

Hence why Russia’s deployment is less than half of what would be realistically needed.

If Putin were absolutely determined to go with a full-scale attack and annex half the country, no matter the military and economic consequences, then he wouldn’t be going “cheap” with the number of Russian forces deployed.

This leaves two main options for Russia.

One is that Putin is still trying to pressure Ukraine and the West for diplomatic concessions.

The recognition of the breakaway provinces in Ukraine might have been an attempt to divide NATO over a “grey area” of what constitutes an invasion.

And the continued military pressure on Ukraine could be an attempt to weaken its economy enough to force the Ukrainians to make concessions.

To keep up this economic pressure Putin simply needs to continue to hold the threat of war up for months, but has no need to launch a campaign.

The other option is that he intends a narrow attack, possibly seizing and holding a few more provinces. The size of the Russian force is sufficient to do that without having to worry much with insurgent warfare and would be able to throw back any Ukrainian counter-attacks.

Their existing forces could also invade quickly and target major Ukrainian military positions, but then withdraw instead of trying to hold land in the face of urban warfare insurgency.

Toppling the Government in Kiev is not realistic because a puppet regime installed by Russia would have no legitimacy in the eyes of the Ukrainian public or in the diplomatic arena.

In either case, offering a five year suspension would be useful regardless of which of the two possibilities Putin is most likely aiming for.

If Putin intends to go with a narrow attack then this would undercut his justification for launching a war by giving some leeway on a key demand of his.

At a minimum it would make it harder to justify to the public the economic and military costs of an attack would impose on Russia if there is officially no immediate chance of Ukraine entering NATO.

This proposal would also make it more difficult for Russia to justify their actions to China because Beijing has recently signaled that, while they agree with Putin that Ukraine should not join NATO, they also want to see this demand met with diplomatic agreements, not warfare.

The reason China announced this is probably because they do not want to be seen cheering a land invasion since their Asian neighbors would interpret Chinese support for an invasion to mean China is considering territorial expansion in their own neighborhood.

If Ukrainian NATO membership is put on hold it would serve to drive a further wedge between Russia and China on Ukraine because China could see some progress in what they see as a legitimate Russian request that Ukraine not join the Alliance and this concession would have been made without war.

If Putin still wanted to attack after this offer is made it would be even harder for Russia to get support from China, which still has never recognized Crimea as part of Russia.

And if Putin is actually trying to use the threat of war as diplomatic leverage then he could sell this proposal as a “win” for Russia on a major goal that will then open the way for deescalation.

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