What are the options for Ukraine?
In shock like most of us, I am trying to play out the various options for Ukraine and the west. None are good. What others can you suggest?
Ukraine quickly surrenders, Putin installs puppet government. Much repression, modest insurrection, if that, as in Crimea.
West wimps out: Russia walks away with success, looks for next target. Extreme sanctions: Russia toughs it out, or Russia capitulates, restoring a battered Ukraine. Or Russia goes nuclear.
Heavy damage and carnage in war, Russia still wins and installs puppet government. Strong resistance and insurrection. High cost on both sides. Ukraine in ruins.
- It works, like for Afghans and Soviets. Russia eventually retreats.
- It persists long term. West wimps out -- see above
- It persists, but west makes extreme sanctions -- see options above
Resistance is inspired by refusal to surrender (good) but country left in ruins (bad.)
NATO and other forces call Putin's nuclear bluff. Long or short war until Russia forced to retreat. Major damage, cost and casualties for Ukraine, allies and Russia.
Or: Putin is not bluffing, uses nuclear weapons. Minor escalation until Putin capitulates or is deposed. Megadeath. Or possibly Gigadeath in full nuclear exchange if Putin is mad.
During any of these plans, Russian people revolt and unseat Putin. How likely is it? Russian officers refuse nuclear orders. Possibly very good outcome, and more likely the harder the fight in Ukraine or with west.