There is no finer writer on military-strategic affairs in Australia

But nobody would publish Gray Connolly’s latest analysis of the war in Ukraine. The truth hurts:

For we in the West, there is a stark contrast between Russia’s valuable acquisitions in mere months versus our years of stupid wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan. The West expended blood and treasure for 20+ years in the perverse belief that we could occupy and remediate Arab and Afghan societies brutalised by centuries of foreign and local tyrannies. The Russians have simply applied force, next door, to gain more ethnic Russians, as well as resource-rich lands and Black Sea coastal areas.

So many Western delusions about the true state of this war result from commentary by our own failed Generals and ex-government officials, whose only successful conquests have been of TV cable news green rooms – and who, in Thucydides’ time, would have been exiled in disgrace. Absurd tales of ‘ghosts of Kiev’ and ‘martyrs of Snake Island’ were consumed by journalism’s rubes, who clearly learned nothing from the lies told last year when Afghanistan’s regime was obviously collapsing.

Wrap your scraps in the zombie op-edders of Endless War. Read Connolly’s piece instead: here.
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37 Responses to There is no finer writer on military-strategic affairs in Australia

  1. Cassie of Sydney says:

    Connolly says it best. Meanwhile, because of the West’s delusions, Ukrainians die. I’m beginning, though, to sense a shift in sentiment in the West.

  2. Petros says:

    Thanks for drawing my attention to Connelly’s article, CL. Great stuff. Ultimately I think Putin will be very happy if he gets all the Ukrainian coastline and a fair bit more of the wheat belt. Whether Kiev falls is hard to tell. That and Lviv will be landlocked and poor. Russia and Turkiye will have the Black Sea largely under their control. The Europeans will have to choose energy over Ukrainians eventually. Eat or heat won’t be a tolerated choice for much longer. It’s amazing how much people want to believe certain fantasies.

  3. Mantaray says:

    No. The journos “lapping up the lies”: “rubes who have not learned anything”are not rubes (foolish gullibles), but straightforward liars who are just as much part of the great deception as their masters…

    Same deal with all other Marxist narratives from CO2 fantasies to last years’ Chinese ‘flus to kids in cages on the US/Mexico border. They know the realities…..see the realities…and then spread the lies as per usual. Only 50 seconds of video sums it all up…

  4. Not Trampis says:

    It appears Connolly does not understand what Putin wanted although Putin was quite open about it.
    It was the WHOLE of Ukraine incorporated into a new Russian empire.

    How’s that going Gray. while you are cogitating on that what about the Russian economy?

  5. Mantaray says:

    NT (8.46am). it’s the whole of Europe which will be incorporated into the Russian empire…then Asia…then afrtica…then, um…well “G’day Cobbers”!

    BTW: Why don’t you tell us about the Russian economy?

    Ruble is up by about 25-30% since the start of "special operations". Indicating what?

  6. Tel says:

    With due apologies to both George Orwell and Hubert H Humphrey … foreign repression is really domestic repression with its helmet on.

    When modern Western powers go to war, the purpose is not to gain any territory … the only plan is to have a war and draw it out as long as possible. This was demonstrated in Afghanistan where the original stated intent was quick-in-quick-out grab the bad guys in Al-Qaeda and bring them to justice … they could have done that but then accidentally-on-purpose they let Osama Bin-Laden get away. Immediately the narrative switched and the Taliban were the bad guys, then it was nation building, then schools for girls and anything else they could come up with. When finally pushed to withdraw, the military brass did their level best to screw up the whole thing in the most expensive way possible, in order to embarrass both President Biden and President Trump. Golly … let that be a lesson to politicians who try to back out of our quagmire.

    Europe’s enriching of Russia would, the Berlin consensus thought, make for peaceful times on either side of the Dnieper River, and no one, especially not Angela Merkel (who grew up in Soviet occupied East Germany!), thought becoming Russia’s energy hostage was unwise. That so much of Germany’s political class has been the Kremlin’s human resources department is seen as economic integration – not foreign corruption.

    Ahhhh … who shut down the Nordstream 2 pipeline? Was it Russia? No wait, I think it was Germany. The Germans are holding themselves hostage … they shut off their own gas supply! Russia never wanted to be sanctioned, it was the Western powers who thought they would prove a point by refusing to do business with Russia. Then right after imposing these tough sanctions they claim “hostage” when Russia doesn’t supply the goods that the Europeans loudly declared that under no circumstances would they pay for.

    Europe is fighting against Europe … the leaders would rather have 100% control over a cold and impoverished population, than a small amount of control over a healthy and flourishing population … energy policy is their way to achieve this. Keeping the population weak and frightened is a power grab, and nothing more.

    The USA is happy to bleed both Russia and Europe … it’s business for them. Endless war brings endless war powers, and war budgets, plenty of self justification and a great option for who to blame when things go wrong. Biden constantly blames Putin for US inflation … and you wonder how Putin managed to make the Fed print so much helicopter money, but the answer is simple … look over there!!

  7. Tel says:

    It appears Connolly does not understand what Putin wanted although Putin was quite open about it.

    The Russians have always been entirely open about wanting NATO not to move East, and their red line was when NATO missiles were placed on their border. This has been known for decades.

    I think the one place where the greatest consternation would be caused in the short term, for admission – having nothing to do with the merit and preparedness of the countries coming in – would be to admit the Baltic states now, in terms of NATO-Russian, US-Russian relations

    — Senator Job Biden, to the Atlantic Council, 1997.


    Classified By: Ambassador William J. Burns. Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

    (C) Summary. Following a muted first reaction to Ukraine’s intent to seek a NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) at the Bucharest summit (ref A), Foreign Minister Lavrov and other senior officials have reiterated strong opposition, stressing that Russia would view further eastward expansion as a potential military threat. NATO enlargement, particularly to Ukraine, remains “an emotional and neuralgic” issue for Russia, but strategic policy considerations also underlie strong opposition to NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia.

    Diplomatic cable from Russia to the USA, 2008.

  8. C.L. says:

    Trampo, you forgot to add that Putin thought the whole campaign would only last three days. That’s another rube favourite.

  9. Not Trampis says:

    Yes Putin thought it would be a very short war and his army is now embarrassed by their poor performance.

    The Russian econmy is imploding and it will get worse.

    Ukraine was never getting into NATO. Germany said so at the time so that is a furphy.

    Pretty soon Russia will be in hock to China

  10. C.L. says:

    Tucker Carlson mentioned this in passing last week…

    The Biden ‘administration’ has quietly repealed a law requiring the State Department to annually account for all weapons sales and destinations.

    Not hard to figure out why.

  11. Buccaneer says:

    Since the US pulled out of Afghanistan, they have pretty much guaranteed forever wars, what enemy would not look at the feeble resolve of american leadership and not conclude that if they just stick at it for long enough, the US will leave in a shambles forgoing masses of hardware and military secrets, enough to make whoever fills the power vacuum a regional force to be reckoned with.

    Thanks Joe Biden.

  12. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    Putin thought it would be a very short war and his army is now embarrassed by their poor performance.

    A short victorious war?
    The echoes from 1904 are interesting. We shall see if there will be echoes from 1905 too.

  13. Not Trampis says:

    I see bucco knows as much about Afghanistan as he does about graphs.
    The hardware etc left by the USA was made inoperable.

    Bidan was following trump’s plan. That should have told him it was never going to end well

  14. Buccaneer says:

    Sure it was. That’s why you had to call it all Trumps fault. The guy who said the adults would be in charge, didn’t think to examine Trumps plan to evacuate Afghanistan and ensure it was going to work before he fast tracked it.

    Too dumb to go back to the graph and realise you were wrong.

  15. Baba says:

    I’m beginning, though, to sense a shift in sentiment in the West.

    The European citizenry aren’t going to tolerate freezing for Zelensky. He’ll be lucky to make it to Christmas.

  16. Boambee John says:

    Non Mentis

    I see bucco knows as much about Afghanistan as he does about graphs.
    The hardware etc left by the USA was made inoperable.

    Proof? The reporting at the time (for what it might have been worth) said the opposite.

  17. Not Trampis says:

    What proof. We even had TV coverage of what was left behind.

    It was Trump’s plan. It was stupid.
    As for graphs ratios never tell you if debt is rising or not. Duh. Too duma to realise what the graph said and it wasn’t even about the subject.

  18. Boambee John says:

    Non Mentis

    We even had TV coverage of what was left behind.

    Oh, it was on the Teeev, that proves it.

    You idiot.

  19. Buccaneer says:

    You truly are an illiterate dipstick err Trampo. The second graph included current account numbers, showing not only did the debt not go up but neither did the current account deficit. Until of course the ALP got into power. Your stupid argument that ratios don’t work actually worked against your argument. Because, da da da, a falling GDP means that spending also needs to fall for the ratio to stay the same and not increase when the figure is negative. Same deal for Debt, it needs to go down for the ratio to remain the same not increase.

    For example, if the deficit is 1mill and the GDP is 10 mill in year one the ratio is 10% If the deficit is 1 mill in year 2 but the GDP is 8mill then the ratio is 12.5%.

    Same deal with debt to GDP. Your argument was arse about, because you are stupid.

    No wonder you are such a lefty schill, too obtuse to actually understand your own arguments.

    Even dumber, if Trumps plan was so dumb, why did Biden fast track it? Makes him no better, except it wasn’t Trump’s plan, Biden changed it to be hopeless.

    I actually expect you won’t read or understand this but just do your usual double down on idiocy.

  20. dover_beach says:

    Gray doesn’t say whether he tried to publish this here or o/s but if it was the former, it’s a curious turn that Fairfax is no longer interested in articles that are disposed towards resolving conflict.

  21. Not Trampis says:

    Yeah it showed they were inoperable. The government said the sane thing at the press briefing.

    Bucco your graph was not about the current account! Indeed they could have been
    Trump’s plan was b dumb and biden’s even dumber!

    Connolly was wrong. russia went to Kiev to get it and were humiliated. Then they went to russian speaking areas.

  22. Buccaneer says:

    err Trampo, Yes it was as anyone can go back to the post and see. Your credibility suffers everytime you post here.

  23. Diogenes says:

    Germany was leaned on by the US to close Nordstream 2 … State department fact sheet lays out the case or this Reuters report .

    The tldr opposedto protect the billions of dollar-bucks paid the Ukraine, of which I am sure more than a little flowed to US lawmakers including the “big guy”

  24. Chris M says:

    Weird how some conservatives have gone all pro-commo.

    The Russians have simply applied force, next door, to gain… resource-rich lands.

    Yes as has been pointed out it’s a good old land-and-resource grab including apparently untapped gas reserves paid for with the lives of the young on both sides. But because some of we conservatives don’t like the Ukraine government (yes they are as bad as ours) it’s a greaaaat invasion and no way should anyone even dare to shoot back lest we offend Putin who is the sole rational and patriotic world leader and not at all a ruthless dim thug.

  25. Boambee John says:

    Non Mentis

    Yeah it showed they were inoperable. The government said the sane thing at the press briefing.

    .1 Every item of a reported $8 billion worth of equipment, aircraft, helicopters, armoured vehicles, artillery pieces, small arms, radios, trucks and so much more was clearly seen on the Teeev, and was clearly inoperable? You might believe that, but no sane person would.

    .2 And “the government” had absolutely no reason to fudge the reporting to make the disaster look less important than it might otherwise have been perceived?

    That bridge is still for sale, and for the right price I can also provide an opera house nearby.

  26. C.L. says:

    it’s a greaaaat invasion and no way should anyone even dare to shoot back lest we offend Putin who is the sole rational and patriotic world leader and not at all a ruthless dim thug.

    I’ll need a link to anyone saying that, Chris.
    The West has been ginning up a war in Ukraine for at least a decade.

    When somebody writes its history, Play Stupid Games, Win Stupid Prizes could be a working title.

  27. Petros says:

    Chris have a look at the long Putin video of him explaining why he went in. He appears depressed or exasperated about the whole thing. It was a decision long in the making and the bioweapons labs, admitted to by Victoria Nuland, as well as the NATO membership and oppression of the Donbas peoples, were strong factors in his actions. It should never have come to this. A genuine tragedy.

  28. Buccaneer says:

    Pointing out the west’s complicity in provoking this war and pushing it to be an extended arrangement doesn’t make one a cheer squad for Putin. Both the original incursion in Donbas and the full scale war that is now raging happened under feckless and weak democrat administration, that isn’t a coincidence. It seems the industrial complex needed another sinkhole for government expenditure after the debacle of Afghanistan.

    It’s been pointed out here many times, that, like all the Middle East engagements, there seems no good outcome here. An outright Ukraine victory and Russian surrender is not going to happen. So either Russia takes back the territory they see as theirs or there is an ongoing conflict with little resolution.

    Worse, the nordics have now applied for NATO membership which effectively doubles the nato border to Russia. This basically guarantees instability for an extended period.

    This whole expedition is a rolled gold failure of US diplomacy at a time when the US has record debt and is at a very low ebb on foreign relations. The irony, that they are protecting the Ukraine border more effectively than their own (the uk are too), will play poorly when the dust settles and a post Marxist history is written.

  29. Tel says:

    Germany was leaned on by the US to close Nordstream 2 …

    I recognize that Germany has been an occupied nation since they lost the war … but Russia at least is one country no longer an occupier of Germans.

    Connolly makes the claim that energy is being used by Russia as a “hostage” situation (his choice of word) … but the only hostages here are the ordinary people of Europe under the thumb of their nutty leaders and Green agenda. Admittedly, many Germans (and French, and others) voted for this … but the leaders have a responsibility to accurately inform the people about the options and quite frankly the Germans were lied to. They aren’t about to transition to solar cells and windmills … they are going to sit in the cold … not because Russia is holding them hostage, but because their leaders pulled them down this path to zero. Hopefully, by the end of this perhaps a few of them will have time to rethink and reflect.

    Germany has plenty of coal, and nuclear, the German leaders could use that if they want to. They also could simply stand up the to USA … heck the sandal wearing beardy guys in Afghanistan could do it. They have some control over NATO, they have a veto vote, they could have said, “Wait! This might be a bad idea!”. Ordinary German people expect their leaders to show a bit of wisdom … they depend on that.

    They have a drought right now … maybe we can sell off some of those useless desalination plants that we were scammed into paying for. But oh, they would need electricity to run those.

  30. dover_beach says:

    C.L., I’m very jealous of your tab symbol.

  31. C.L. says:

    I’ve always loved the Chi-Rho and Constantine’s story, Dover.
    This blog was originally registered as The Milvian Gazette.


    Because that’s where we are now. On that bridge again.

  32. C.L. says:

    the Germans were lied to

    Isn’t that “if only the Fuhrer knew” in reverse, though, Tel?

    By every electoral measure, weren’t they making it plain to their leaders for years that they wanted to believe the lie?

  33. C.L. says:

    This whole expedition is a rolled gold failure of US diplomacy…

    It always seemed obvious to me that the Ukraine proxy war (and AUKUS) were just massive copes after the Kabul airport humiliation.


    Sheridan says the pope is “grievously in error” for not accepting the narrative that Ukraine’s (and America’s) leaders are wholly innocent:


    Related: Pope Francis and Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow Will Not Meet in Kazakhstan.

  34. False Equivalence says:

    Cassie: does Russia have missiles called “West’s delusions”?
    CL: yet more propaganda for Putin.

  35. Boambee John says:

    Falsies seems to be a very badly programmed troll-bot, with nothing of substance to add to any discussion.

    See also his latest trolling on the “extremist Victoria” thread.

  36. False Equivalence says:

    BJ: I am reading many things without the need to comment on all. Sadly I find too often that people are simply mouthing slogans. In this case banal tropes from those who project values of the “West” while at the same time abusing the “West”. Essentially, Putin propaganda that treats Ukrainian lives as expendable.

  37. Boambee John says:


    Perhaps you could point me to statements I have made to that effect? Or isn’t your programming capable of that?

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