Last Week on Earth with GARI podcast

Russia's strategy of cognitive dissonance & what will Putin & NATO do next?

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  • What is surprising about the Russian aggression toward Ukraine?
  • Is it possible Putin didn’t have contingency plans for partial or total failure?
  • Russian doctrine of power and success
  • Did the Russian intelligence community really get it wrong or did they try to please Putin with their assessment?
  • The problem of cognitive dissonance
  • What will be the biggest challenge now for Ukraine and the Western allies?
  • What will NATO's worth be for countries in Europe if NATO doesn’t react?
  • What will happen next?
  • Is there a development in the Ukrainian public opinion? Greater resilience or exhaustion? 
  • What are the unlikely developments? What is inevitable.
  • There are a lot of structural conditions that point to a strong possibility that there will be further decoupling and deglobalisation.  Will there be a breaking point?

What are the 3 things to watch in the next few weeks to watch in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine?

1. Use of chemical weapons by Russia won’t make any difference to NATO - it didn’t in Syria.

2. The Russians won't use a tactical nuclear weapon at this stage. They want to maintain a tactical war of attrition. Nuclear Weapons are not the sort of things you’d use in that. 

3. Putin wants to reach some sort of victory by the 9th of May. The question is what can constitute victory? - Maybe a Russian defeat of Donbas - a mass levelling of Ukrainian cities at a much greater level than now, can precipitate a reaction of other countries to give some air defence to Ukraine. Intercepting Russian aircrafts from neighbouring countries. 

4. Another possibility for a shift, would be a situation in Moscow where somebody will suggest to Putin to change course and instability in the Kremlin would have a lot of impact. But destabilisation within the Kremlin will put pressure on Putin to take more drastic action, to achieve victory at any cost. That is where tactical nuclear weapons will come in. The US will have to raise the nuclear alert. 

Shmuel Bar:
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