by Greg Valliere, AGF Management Ltd.
Insights and Market Perspectives
SEVERAL READERS RAISED AN INTRIGUING issue yesterday, after we reported that war criminal Vladimir Putin might use weapons of mass destruction if his war continues to go badly. “What would his generals do?” readers asked.
THERE’S GROWING SPECULATION in Washington that Putin’s generals are disgusted by him and his inept military strategy. Five or six generals have been killed in action, an astonishing total, along with well over 10,000 Russian dead or wounded among the rank and file, many of whom were conscripts who had been told they would be greeted in Ukraine as liberators.
THE NEW YORK TIMES quotes a retired Russian general who warned several months ago that a war would backfire. It would kill thousands, he said, make Russians and Ukrainians enemies for life, risk a war with NATO and threaten “the existence of Russia itself as a state.” The general stood by those remarks this week.
A BLAME GAME apparently has erupted in Moscow, according to an article in this morning’s Times. There’s growing dissent over poor intelligence; no one in Russia dared to warn Putin that virtually all Ukrainians are prepared to die for their country.
RUSSIAN FORCES HAVE STALLED, nearly out of food, water and fuel. They’re
still a force to fear, as missiles rain down on Ukrainian cities, but some top
military officials — now scapegoats — reportedly are under house arrest in Moscow.
NO DEAL YET: Neither Putin nor Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appear ready to agree on a truce, but the morale of the Russian generals could become a major wild card. They probably won’t object to cyber warfare, but would they agree to use nuclear weapons? Perhaps not. The generals, we suspect, have had enough of Vladimir Putin.
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SUPREME COURT POLITICS: Republicans offered a preview yesterday of their November election strategy: hammer away that Democrats are soft on crime and are determined to indoctrinate pupils with Critical Race Theory. That argument has made the Supreme Court nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson a closer call.
WE THINK JACKSON IS HEADED FOR CONFIRMATION in the Senate, but she may only get 51 or 52 votes; a 50-50 tie, broken by Vice President Harris, isn’t out of the question. Democrats are still reeling from the “defund the police” debacle and the victory of Glenn Youngkin in Virginia last November that made Critical Race Theory a pivotal issue.
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This post was first published at the AGF Perspectives Blog.