War and defence

Those who think about the war in Ukraine see four possible out turns. The most likely is the current brutal war marches on with little change of territory, with Western cash and weapons supplied sufficiently to sustain brave Ukrainian resistance. In the last week the West has produced another $50 bn loan. The USA has signed a 10 year defence partnership and has relaxed its rules on use of Western weapons.

Some think both sides will be brought to see the need to compromise. If neither side can deliver a knock out blow it is possible they could agree a new border for Ukraine. To date Ukraine has been firmly against this. There is the option of NATO offering membership to the new Ukraine to emerge from such an Agreement, along with full security guarantees. One of Ukraine’s reasons for not wanting such a peace would be the threat that Russia could come back strengthened to try another invasion. Many Ukrainians and allies do not like the idea of ceding land to Russia as reward for an invasion.

Some think NATO should intensify its financial and military aid to increase the chances of a Ukrainian victory. Given the Russian war time economy  and willingness to accept large losses of troops this would come at a price but offers the best deterrence against future Russian aggression.

The fourth outcome is Russia taking more territory and forcing an even more favourable peace for itself.

Some military experts think going all out for victory by Ukraine would be best. It would avoid the costs of early future conflict and reduces the security need. The more that is ceded to Ukraine the more aggressive Russia might become.


The Ukraine war has made clear the inadequacy of NATO weapon stocks and the need for much more western weapons and ammunition manufacture.When will this be put in?

The West is considering using Russian money held in Western banks to help Ukraine. This poses legal issues which still have not been resolved.

What should NATO do now about Ukraine? Which outcome do you expect?


  1. Mark B
    June 19, 2024

    Good morning.

    If you want to end this there are two possible solutions:

    1) Cut your losses and make a deal.

    2) Flood the oil and gas market and crash the Russian economy.

    The Russians know the value of “Bread, Peace and Land.”

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      June 19, 2024

      The Russian economy is now the 4th largest ppp in the world.
      We tried to crash the Russian economy but can’t.
      That leaves 1 option.
      Putin is going to propose a whole new architecture for the security of Europe. That will be the basis of the agreement – imposed or agreed – the west’s choice.

      1. Lifelogic
        June 19, 2024

        I suspect you are right.

        1. Lifelogic
          June 19, 2024

          So 882 boat people arriving just yesterday escorted over no doubt. “We are stopping the boats” sure Sunak not even trying and legal immigration levels far worse still.

      2. Hope
        June 19, 2024

        Listening to former left wing one nation type defence minister Geoff Hoon this morning he appeared full of praise for Starmer!

        You always want to do the opposite of what Slimy Cameron advocates. Therefore stop wasting our taxes by the billion on a corrupt regime that is of no strategic importance to our country whatsoever. What was the benefit of Afghanistan after all the rhetoric by politicians? Loss of life, loss of limb, destitution, mass immigration and Taliban back in charge after a month! What was achieved for the sacrifice and cost to our nation? Your party led/encouraged it for years. Please tell us JR.

        How is the war helping the planet? All those weapons, planes, tanks, vehicles etc. What are they powered by?

        UK buying Russian energy by the back door pretending it has sanctions on Russia! Which party was buying coal from Russia when we have 300 year supply under our feet? Tory nutters think it helps the planet to produce energy elsewhere and transport it around the world here. The most stupid example being Drax where US forests are cut down by diesel machinery, transported by diesel lorries, trains and ships to be burnt here! It ticks a box but does not help the planet or their dopey fixation on net stupid one not!

      3. Hope
        June 19, 2024

        41,000 criminals entered our country from France since Sunak declared he would stop the boat people.

        Under Sunak 68,000 criminals who entered our country from France were given amnesty- a historic record. This is a war your party and govt should be fighting to provide a secure safe border to protect our nation state, our people, our way of life and culture. Why is your party content to put us at risk from foreign invaders? Manchester Bomber free to come and go from France nearly cost Treacherous May the election in 2017 and was saved by DUP for her to betray them!!

        1. jerry
          June 19, 2024

          @Hope, Meanwhile voters in the UK are more worried about how they are going afford a few birthday treats for their children, or perhaps just how to feed them, non of which has anything what so ever to do with the “migrant crisis”…

          The cost of the UK shopping basket carries on getting more expensive month-on-month, despite the recent 0.3% fall (more by luck than judgement, Mr Sunak), +2% last month, compared to +2.3% the previous, this following 1970s style double digit inflation during 2022-23, meaning the cost of living crisis is far from over as wages for many have not risen to compensate. Many prices are not even static, never mind falling back to their pre-2022 level.

          No wonder some on the right only ever want to talk about illegal migrants, not the countries economic record following (their support for) a 45 year economic experiment.

          1. Martin in Bristol
            June 19, 2024

            The biggest increase in our population in the last twenty years in the UK’s history, and you dismiss it with a little wave of your liberal minded hand Jerry.

            Effectively city the size of Southampton needs to be built every year.

      4. Mitchel
        June 19, 2024

        President Putin has already proposed a new security architecture for Europe(and,indeed,the whole of Eurasia) ;that was the document he presented to NATO just before the invasion -it was turned down.

        The British Establishment did not like it-it represented the eradication of the last vestiges of British influence.

    2. agricola
      June 19, 2024

      To achieve (1) Russia has to see it as a realisric option. To achieve (2) the UK would need to fully exploit its own resources at home and in the Falklands. You need a resolute government and US cooperation to achieve that solution. I do not see it happening.

      1. Mickey Taking
        June 19, 2024

        Tension building over Falklands all over again….President Javier Gerardo Milei starts large build up of forces.

        1. graham1946
          June 20, 2024

          Not surprising when our military has been decimated by the Tories. He knows we could not send a task force now and will have free rein to attack when he wants.

    3. Ian Wraggg
      June 19, 2024

      Russia must be defeated at all cost
      If not Putin will continue to move westwards starting with the Baltic States. The Russian economy is turning into a basket case and eventually there will be resistance from within its own borders.
      Like Nazis, he must be defeated.

      1. glen cullen
        June 19, 2024

        Agree – the western world is woke and appeaser ….Putin knows that

      2. MFD
        June 19, 2024

        your Brain washed Mr Wragg!

      3. James1
        June 19, 2024

        We learned a salutary lesson in the 1930’s – appeasement doesn’t work

        1. Bill B.
          June 19, 2024

          James, we’ve learned a salutary lesson in the 2020s – sanctioning Russia doesn’t work.

      4. R.Grange
        June 19, 2024

        OK, but you don’t say how, Ian. Also, you might want to know the Russian economy is growing faster than ours and other Western countries’. Or then again you might not.

        1. Ian Wraggg
          June 19, 2024

          The Russian economy is growing from a very low base and military spending accounts for most of the growth.

          1. Lynn Atkinson
            June 19, 2024

            Ah, easy then, I wonder why the 14 packages of sanctions have so far failed?

          2. R.Grange
            June 20, 2024

            Wishful thinking, Ian. The IMF says Russian economic growth is promoted by “robustness in private consumption” within Russia, alongside strong exports of oil. (BBC 16 Apr 2024)

      5. John Hatfield
        June 19, 2024

        Ian you don’t seem to understand the background to this war. There must be peace talks. Enough young men and no doubt civilians have died already. Let Russsia have the land it has occupied which is mainly Russian-speaking territory and Russia wil be satisfied.

      6. formula57
        June 19, 2024

        @ Ian Wraggg “Russia must be defeated at all cost” – so including at the price of the wholesale destruction of the U.K.?

        Why ever would be bear that, or any cost at all well short of that just to stop Russia in Ukraine? If he wants a slice of E.U. territory, let the E.U. respond with no more than our best wishes.

    4. JP Mallen
      June 19, 2024

      Which Western Power has the resources to flood the market?

      Ukraine is a moral obscenity, the single greatest Western diplomatic and moral failure since WW1. Every death was avoidable by accepting Russia’s *legitimate* security concerns.

      Critiqued brilliantly by Douglas McGregor and John Mearsheimer Ukraine is the collapse of the unipolar era of liberal globalist hegemony.

      The fantasy is coming to a close in a nightmare.

  2. Javelin
    June 19, 2024

    We no longer have an army that is fit for any purpose.

    Nobody wants to join the army to fight for our country because our country is not a British country any more. It’s a country full of the people we would be fighting.

    You can’t conscript anybody because they either have mental health problems, they are unfit, they hate this country for colonialism or their religion hates our country or they are simply travelling locusts who are here to earn money.

    You can’t fight a war because we are neither energy or food or manufacturing self sufficient. All our potential enemies supply us. They even supply us with the batteries for the golf buggies we are told to drive and our military uniforms.

    When the Conservatives start to recognise the enormous, and I mean off the scale, damage they have done to this country then the acceleration into the abyss might slow down.

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      June 19, 2024

      +1 the option for the Conservatives to atone has expired. They must now be destroyed.
      We can destroy Labour later if need be.
      Do what is to hand!

    2. BOF
      June 19, 2024

      For all those reasons the UK should in no way be involved financially or militarily. Nato too, is on a hiding to nothing.

    3. Hope
      June 19, 2024

      Spot on.

      Tories stopped our country manufacturing steel! But advocates pointless wars!! Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya what purpose was served, what did it achieve? We could have had tax cuts instead of wasting billions on war, mass immigration which also contributes to destroying our way of life and culture at the hands of the Sunak/Cameron types! How did it help their net stupid?

    4. Ian B
      June 19, 2024

      @Javelin – trooping the colour and boosting flooding defences are all that is left

    5. Hope
      June 19, 2024

      The irony of Slimy Cameron making defence cuts cosying up to the pandas, slags off Trump and then goes with his begging bowl to ask for money from Trump for corrupt Ukraine!

      Meanwhile Obama helps incapable Biden by leading him off the stage. The leader of the free world clearly not knowing or understanding what is going on around him. It is cruel, he should be in care not the White House!

    6. Berkshire Alan
      June 19, 2024

      Strong words but they echo some of my thoughts. The very best way to stop immigration, especially the illegal type, is 2 years mandatory service in the military, (the old National Service) only problem with that is we no longer have enough troops, equipment, or accommodation to train such numbers properly. those conscripted would outnumber the regular Army by more than 2-1 minimum.

      1. jerry
        June 19, 2024

        @BA; Except we do have enough accommodation to house such immigrants, hence all the NIMBY protests when the Govt wants to use it, such as a closed RAF WW2 bomber base, and I’m pretty sure there has been the suggestion of a few closed Army bases too, that get nowhere due to protests.

        I also assume you meant illegal migration, I’m sure you would not want millionaire investors, wishing to set up and live in the UK, to be subjected to two years National Service! The best way of preventing illegal migration is to create legal routes, processing/approval done before arrival (like it used to be?).

        1. Martin in Bristol
          June 19, 2024

          Any room for these desperate newcomers in your home Jerry.
          Come on do your bit.

      2. Lynn Atkinson
        June 19, 2024

        Oh so we can get the people who have come to replace us really fit and armed – and have a 2 to 1 advantage against our own armed forces.
        Sounds like a Sunak plan to me.

        1. Berkshire Alan
          June 19, 2024

          The armed forces have ways to sort these people out if they prove they are no good.
          Both my Grandfather and Father served our Nation, both in War and in peace.
          Afraid those who are bad people seem to be able to get whatever supplies they want now.
          And yes Jerry I was talking of the illegals.
          No need to stop all immigration because some of our own population choose to leave the UK, so if we have a balanced net migration of Zero (Reform policy I am informed) then the millionaire’s can still choose to come, (if their application is approved) although with taxes going up we may find more leave than arrive.

          1. Lynn Atkinson
            June 20, 2024

            The Armed Forces have never been comprised of 2/3 aggressive-to-Britain-aliens. They have been comprised of people who swear and oath to King and Country and are prepared to lay down their lives in a heartbeat for same.

    7. Original Richard
      June 19, 2024

      Javelin :


    8. Old Albion
      June 19, 2024

      Spot-on ‘Javelin’

    9. jerry
      June 19, 2024

      @Javelin; “our country is not a British country any more. It’s a country full of the people we would be fighting.”

      In didn’t realize so many Soviet/Russian migrants had come to the UK, or have I missed the ongoing wars with our commonwealth friends.

      The largest groups of immigrants into the UK since 1945 are of the same cultures that offered to join our armed forces during the two world wars, especially during WW2, helping the British Empire defeat both Nazi Germany and Imperialist Japan.

      Our armed forces are not weak due to immigration, they are weak because of years of cuts; pulling back from East of Suez, UK Naval dock-yards, RAF airfields, Army bases closed; tanks, ships aircraft, personal not replaced; much of our own independent deference industry hollowed-out or allowed to be sold to foreign buyouts; Govt R&D cancelled, TSR-2, our own truly independent nuclear defense system, as examples. Time to stop looking for scapegoats, time we British tried looking in the mirror instead! 😡

      1. jerry
        June 19, 2024

        In case my first reply to @Javelin falls foul of censorship that wasn’t in place at the time of posting.

        I’ve removed all possible contentious words and paragraphs;
        Our armed forces are not weak due to immigration, they are weak because of years of cuts; pulling back from East of Suez, UK Naval dock-yards, RAF airfields, Army bases closed; tanks, ships aircraft, personal not replaced; much of our own independent deference industry hollowed-out or allowed to be sold to foreign buyouts; Govt R&D cancelled, TSR-2, our own truly independent nuclear defense system, as examples. Time to stop looking for scapegoats, time we British tried looking in the mirror instead!

    10. Michelle
      June 19, 2024

      I second that.
      I have been shocked to hear and read former servicemen say this is not the country they once wore the uniform for and gladly served, and they’d unwillingly serve it now.

  3. Lynn Atkinson
    June 19, 2024

    There is another reason to sack the Conservatives. Whoever runs out of bullets first loses.
    The Labour Party could well be much more sound on the undesirability of War with Russia and China.
    The Conservatives are not even at the beginning of understanding of the realities of what has been done in OUR name.
    Ian Duncan Smith made a total fool of himself in a long article yesterday. When it is read in hindsight it will prove to be one of the most out of touch documents of all time.
    Putin knows that shortly he will be dealing with totally different people leading the west. The incompetents are being sacked left right and centre. Zelensky, according to the Ukrainian Constitution, is illegitimate – not that the lawless west bothers with that sort of detail.
    So you have done it Sir John. The bigger the Labour majority the more likely the Corbyn wing will assert pressure to forego the war. It’s our only chance, so I will vote Labour.
    I’m a decided at last!

    1. Mickey Taking
      June 19, 2024

      oh dear!

    2. Ian B
      June 19, 2024

      @Lynn Atkinson – yes you have it in one, the Conservative Government destroyed the Conservative Party and while they were at they took down the Country and its People. As a 1 Party Socialist State, why are we having elections

    3. Everhopeful
      June 19, 2024

      But yesterday I believe you were saying that “deals” are done behind the scenes and that in some circumstances Sharia could be promised. The Labour Party might just approve of that and then where would we be? A peaceful, happy nation? One prominent ex Labour bloke seems to be forming a Muslim party.
      I’m banking on a total schism-led Labour melt down. Rats in a sack! All the factions are keeping pretty quiet at the moment….just waiting to spring.
      BTW…I am fully cogniscent of the terrible jab mandates and certainly those forced will obviously now be angry…assuming they are still able to be. But here, at least, people were VERY scared and as I said…nobody likes to be made a fool of.

      And I was very scared..not by some “virus” but by the appalling “tar and feather” attitude unleashed in minor officials and even shop girls which reminded me why the past 40 or so years of “levelling up” have been so disastrous for this country. Now nothing gets done because no one is capable…but give them a sack of feathers and a pot of tar….and empower them with a load of rubbish, pc gobbledygook…the only things they have ever bothered to learn in their lives..and Phew!

    4. Berkshire Alan
      June 19, 2024

      Reform for me, certainly may end up with the same result (a Labour Victory) but at least I am still voting for some Conservative principles.
      Afraid my thoughts are, Labour will simply tax and waste more than the present lot, can only hope I am wrong !

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        June 19, 2024

        Reform are committed to overturning the 2011 Referendum on PR. It was a supermajority (67%) AGAINST.
        How can they complain if Labour/Tories/Lib Dems want to overturn the Brexit Referendum result – what was NOT a supermajority?
        Reform are dangerous in a number of ways, not least because Mr Gold pointed out that Farage owns 52% of it – so a nice little earner I’m sure.
        If Soros establishes a wholly owned party, can we complain having accepted that Farage and Friends can own a party and perhaps a government? Will you EVER be able to select candidates? In UKIP the highest bidder (Farage 3as ‘skint as he told the world on the front pages) got the place on the party list.

        1. Berkshire Alan
          June 19, 2024

          I just want our Country sorted out, and at the moment Reform, in my mind, are the only Party talking anywhere near common-sense.
          I refuse to vote for the status quo or an even more expensive version of the same, and that is what you will get with all the others.
          Just my personal thought, others can do as they please, no problem with that at all.

        2. Donna
          June 19, 2024

          The Referendum wasn’t offering PR. It was the Alternative Vote system …. and intended to entrench the Westminster Uni-Parties.

          1. Lynn Atkinson
            June 19, 2024

            So let’s entrench the Lib Dem’s and Greens as Kingmaker instead?
            If the majority don’t get their way through the ballot box, they will get it by other means. If democracy does not deliver the greatest part their way, then it is a perversion of Democracy.

            Reform can easily win. They just need to get the most votes in the most seats. Just like everyone else,

    5. Lifelogic
      June 19, 2024

      Bullets or, perhaps more likely, suitable and motivated soldiers and funding!

  4. agricola
    June 19, 2024

    As it was in Afgahnistan the cost to Russia should be made intolerable. Achieved in Afgahnistan by the Americans training the afgahnis and supplying them with modern weaponry. Ultimately the enemy of my enemy is my friend theory did not work out. Afganis and Americans being totally incompatible. 9/11 ensued and America found itself at war in Afgahnistan, ending in Biden’s cut and run at the expense of its uninformed allies.

    If we continue this in Ukraine we must have an end of game plan, such as Macarthur in Japan or Marshall in Europe. A winning vacumn in Ukraine would become a playground for a variety of unpleasant factions, witness Iraq.

    Failure to continue support for Ukraine would be seen as a weakness to be further exploited by a rogue state Russia.

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      June 19, 2024

      Being thrashed on the battlefield will be seen as weakness too.
      And it is inevitable should we be so stupid as to put our sons in harms way.
      Mind you it is a means of killing those that swerved the CV19 jab bullet. So the Tories might go all in!

    2. Bloke
      June 19, 2024

      Ukrainians should be able to buy what they need for defence.
      Such defence may involve hitting parts of Russian territory responsible for killing Ukrainian citizens.

      If a deadly bug is approaching, stop it BEFORE it enters your body!
      Why wait defenceless until it has done its damage inside?
      Merely swallowing a pill internally after that event is hopeless.

    3. Hope
      June 19, 2024

      Russia will win. It is a pointless exercise from the west for regime change of Putin which will fail.

      1. Wanderer
        June 19, 2024

        @Hope. +1. Well and succinctly put.

        We are just enriching our arms suppliers, empoverishing our taxpayers, supporting the killing/maiming of huge numbers of people. Minsk accords dusted off and updated, then end the war.

        To those who say Putin’s next target will be a NATO country, the nuclear deterrent will….deter. And when it comes to unaligned non-nuclear countries, since when was Russia more expansionist than the US? Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan…

    4. Mark
      June 19, 2024

      Afghanistan was the Soviet Vietnam in many ways. Probably the biggest destroyer of their troops efforts was addiction to hard drugs which also destroyed the lives of so many US soldiers in Vietnam and afterwards. The brutality of the Ukraine war will have similar effects on the soldiers of both sides.

    5. Mitchel
      June 19, 2024

      There is no bigger rogue state than the USA-look at its record since WWII.De-dollarisation* will destroy its ability to cause trouble across the world.The sooner,the better.

      *That and the realisation,now seen on the battlefield,that its weaponry is becoming obsolete.Look at how the US aircraft carriers dare not get too close to the Houthis.

    6. Hat man
      June 19, 2024

      Ten years ago the US/NATO started training Ukrainians and supplying them with modern weaponry, as you say was done with the Afghan Al Qaeda fighters, who then defeated the Soviet Union.

      This time with Ukraine, it hasn’t worked. But you’re right that NATO needs an end of game plan. The one it did have, the weakening and possible destruction of the Russian Federation, is clearly bust and needs to be replaced. Why not both sides save lives and agree to a ceasefire while the Pentagon is trying to think of another one? Or better still, it just memory-holes project Ukraine.

  5. Peter
    June 19, 2024

    What should NATO do now about Ukraine? Which outcome do you expect?


    The fourth outcome – Russia taking more territory and forcing an even more favourable peace for itself.

    Ukraine is running out of troops and their country is being destroyed.

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      June 19, 2024

      There are now 2 full battalions in the Russian Army comprised of Ukrainians taken prisoner in this war. Russia has 30,000 volunteers a week. It has 700,000 ready (fully trained and equipped) for front line fighting (200,000 deployed, 500,000 in reserve should NATO send in troops).
      Ukraine voted for Zelensky because he campaigned on a ‘peace with Russia’ ticket.
      The WAPO published the peace agreed in Istanbul and scuppered by Johnson after the agreements were initialled. They also published the chronology of events leading up to the provocation in Ukraine.
      Please read it Sir John, because when I write same you reject all the facts provided.
      The Russian elections (presidential and others) and the referenda in Novorussiya, were scrutinized by international, disinterested parties.
      Can the same be said for the 2020 US Presidential election? What about the forthcoming Presidential election – one candidate too senile to stand trial, so not indicted – but just fine to lead the ‘free world’.
      This is madness and it cannot and will not continue.

      1. glen cullen
        June 19, 2024

        Its also reported that Russia has lost over 300,000 killed or injured …thats 3 times the size of the entire British army

        1. glen cullen
          June 19, 2024

          Update – UK Defence Journal 27 Apr 2024
          ‘Britain estimates that 450,000 Russian military personnel have been killed or wounded’ https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/britain-estimates-450000-russian-troops-killed-or-wounded/#google_vignette

          1. Mitchel
            June 20, 2024

            Britain also said that Russia was running out of missiles in April 2022.

        2. Richard II
          June 19, 2024

          Reported where, Glynn? There are no reliable reports, only estimates of casualties on both sides.

          All we can say for sure is that most of them would still be alive today, if Ukraine had been allowed to make peace (on very favourable terms) in Turkey in March 2022.

          The whole thing is tragic, and disgraceful for NATO politicians who stopped that happening.

          1. Lynn Atkinson
            June 19, 2024

            That figure is not supported by The Institute for the Study of War, they count obituaries in. Oth Russia and Ukraine. Putin himself has given numbers recently. (Look it up)
            In addition there is a triangular memorial to Wagner killed in Bakmut. Their numbers are printed. You can count the numbers. (Again look it up so you don’t need to argue with me).
            Zelensky needs 30,000 per month to replace those lost. He has announced this.

          2. glen cullen
            June 19, 2024

            BBC 17th April 2024
            ”Russia’s military death toll in Ukraine has now passed the 50,000 mark, the BBC can confirm”

      2. PDHV.SeniorYr
        June 19, 2024

        Lynn, your comments and arguments might have more weight if you were to quote the sources for your analysis.
        Otherwise it can always be said they are biased. Why not be transparent?

        1. Lynn Atkinson
          June 19, 2024

          All open source. Do some research. JR will not post my sources.

  6. John McDonald
    June 19, 2024

    Most ordinary people who think about the War in Ukraine ask why did it start.
    The fact that Sir John you never ask this question is why the war continues funded by the West. And why your published writings on the subject help to promote the march to WWIII. You are being very dishonest in never pointing out the part that the US,EU,NATO and UK played in starting and continuing this conflict from as early as the fall of the USSR and then the period just before 2014. You never mention the Kiev Government starting the conflict by killing its own ethnic Russian citizens in the East of Ukraine and this “civil war” went on for 10 years until the ” unprovoked” invasion by Russia. Which was technically illegal of course. No defence in trying to stop ethnic Russian Ukraine’s being killed by their own Government. So much for the West’s support of Democracy.
    The only thing that this Conservative Government (supported by Labour and the rest) has managed to do is bring us nearer to WWIII, making no effort to pull us back from the brink. Well Done Sir John and the Conservative Government and indeed most of the ex-MP’s who were Parliament.
    Who to vote for – WWIII or Peace ? PS. You can want a strong military without being a war monger. No need to manufacture false fear to justify a strong Military. There are enough persons in power around the world who think war is for profit and to solve commercial and political issues at home.

    Reply I have in the past discussed the 2014 events and the role of the EU. This piece does not make a recommendation.

    1. BOF
      June 19, 2024

      J M. Good comment.

    2. Donna
      June 19, 2024

      Correct J McD. They deliberately poked The Bear and carried on poking until they got the reaction they wanted.

  7. Bloke
    June 19, 2024

    Fixing our defence budget as solely a percentage of GDP loses grip on what is appropriate: potentially reckless. We should spend according to what is essential to our protection, and more.
    If we need weaponry but can’t obtain it just because GDP goes down, rigid-minded politicians put us at extreme risk.

  8. Hat man
    June 19, 2024

    There comes a time when even the dumbest politicians realise they can’t keep throwing good money after bad. Ukraine is losing the war, and it’s a war of attrition, not of territory. All the resources poured into it are being wasted away, whether it be weapons, air defence systems or money disappearing into the pockets of Ukraine’s corrupt oligarchs and generals. The Russians have the advantages of air superiority, close logistical supply chains and high motivation for an existential conflict. Ukrainians of all ages are having to be press-ganged to fight for their country. The outcome is as much of a foregone conclusion as the British general election, I’m afraid. Ukraine will have to negotiate if it wants to survive in any form at all, and on Russia’s terms. In answer to your question, Sir John, what NATO wants is now irrelevant. All that matters now is how much more Ukraine wants to lose in terms of dead and wounded before it sits down at the negotiating table. That’s how wars usually end.

  9. Bloke
    June 19, 2024

    Using Russian money to pay for and reduce the death and destruction it causes is morally right.
    A law that prevents or delays that is wrong and needs remedy itself.

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      June 19, 2024

      Undermining the trust in Western Financial institutions will be the final nail in the coffin of the west. Stealing is stealing. Period.
      Funny that it’s the German EU demanding ‘reparations’ – they have also said that they will not be involved ‘the USA and U.K. will take the interest from the Russian deposits they hold.
      Particularly funny as most of the frozen Russian assets are in Belgium – do you think we are being set up by the Germans again?

  10. Lynn Atkinson
    June 19, 2024

    NATO has said EXPLICITELY on several occasions that Ukraine needs to beat Russia before it can join NATO.

    If Ukraine can beat Russia then really why would it join NATO, which can’t beat Russia?

    1. Michelle
      June 19, 2024

      Are you sure you haven’t overdosed on UK Column, Scott Ritter, The Duran etc. They don’t know everything, and have limited access to intelligence and real on the ground access. They can be just as blinkered and bias as the BBC etc. I’m amazed at the amount of people I know who take the Scott Ritter word as law, yet look at me with blank faces when I mention Wagner Group!!!
      I’ve often been accused of being a Putin fan girl, because I think on many issues he’s been correct.
      However, I’m not so sure on the Ukraine issue (and both sides have been at fault) There was a part of his interview with Carlson where I’m almost sure he may not be quite as sharp as he once was. A momentary drift off, coming back with a ramble. I’ve seen it in those losing mental capacity before.
      As for NATO not being able to beat Russia, well they’ve been giving arms and some training to Ukraine in bits and bobs, they haven’t put boots on the ground or gone all out, so we can’t really know any NATO outcome can we.

  11. R.Grange
    June 19, 2024

    What would victory for Ukraine look like? All Russian troops are forced to pull back to Russia’s 2022 borders. How to achieve that? Perhaps a full-scale NATO attack on Russia from the numerous US bases dotted along Russia’s frontier, from Latvia to Turkey. Result: immediate use of tactical nukes, with an uncertain outcome. Then escalation to intercontinental nukes? No thank you, I live about 10 miles from an atomic weapons establishment guaranteed to be a target if WW III breaks out.

    What would victory for Russia look like? What Russia has said it wants: a demilitarized Ukraine shorn of several eastern Russian-speaking areas, and a denazified regime in Kiev that can join the EU but not NATO. Of the two, I’d go for the second option.

  12. John McDonald
    June 19, 2024

    perhaps then a good time to reprint your article. but it is not just the EU. NATO, the US and and UK are a party to the conflict in the past and present.

  13. James
    June 19, 2024

    We need to prepare for War with Russia now in the hope of avoiding War with Russia.

    1. Mitchel
      June 19, 2024

      You clearly do not understand geopolitics.Whoever controls the bulk of the Eurasian landmass (with its massive resources and direct trade routes) will be the dominant player on the planet.Russia with China* and Iran do just that.All they have to do is defend -and develop-what they have already got.

      The west is trying to stop that Eurasian agglomeration (or rather break it up-it’s already come about) and is the aggressor-notice all the wars on the edges of Eurasia.Europe is just the peripheral appendage of Eurasia,and the UK the periphery of the periphery.

      *historically Germany would have been the other key component but Germany,now left way behind by China,and de-industrialising is largely irrelevant.

    2. Lynn Atkinson
      June 19, 2024

      We are at war with Russia – Ian Duncan Smith said so in the Telegraph yesterday.

  14. Philip P.
    June 19, 2024

    SJR To your credit, you’ve tried to take an impartial position in your post, but you’ve still made a couple of false assumptions: Russia is not (yet) a ‘wartime economy’ and it is not willing to ‘accept large losses’. I gather its military spending in 2023 was 5.9% of GDP, compared with US 3.4%, not a huge difference. Everyday life in Russia as reported by neutral observers goes on much as before, unlike in a war economy as normally understood. Also, its slow progress in winning territory is thanks to wanting to minimize its own casualties. Russia would probably not be willing to accept the hundreds of thousands of dead that Kiev’s defend-to-the-last-ditch policy has imposed on their hard-pressed army. What that means is that as long as the war of attrition grinds on, with very unequal casualty rates on the two sides, Ukraine gets nearer to defeat. NATO should not prolong the war and so put Ukraine in the position of ultimately having to accept a worse outcome.

  15. formula57
    June 19, 2024

    Surely the key question is rather what should the U.K. do now. That, whatever maladroit manoeuvres N.A.T.O opts to make, should be to keep out of direct involvement. If only we had the comfort of a Johnson-Lavrov non-aggression pact.

    Ukraine will not be restored to its pre-invasion borders. It is a nonsense to pretend that Crimea is not properly part of Russia: conceding recognition of that may assist any negotiated settlement. That is the outcome I expect, vastly favouring Russia but presented in the West as equitable.

    President Xi was recently reported as saying the United States had tried to trick him into invading Taiwan but he was not going to take the bait. My strong suspicion is that President Putin was not so wise over Ukraine.

    1. Mitchel
      June 19, 2024

      Putin had no choice;Ukrainian forces were massing to attack the Donbass republics just before he invaded.No comparison with Taiwan;more like Georgia/South Ossetia where the Georgian army had invaded the autonomous republic of S Ossetia whose population is not Georgian and did not wish to become part of a nationalist Georgian state.The President of Georgia who launched that invasion is currently in jail in Georgia-and rightly so.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        June 19, 2024

        Massive HIMARS attack in central Donetsk in the last hour. Bodies of civilians all over the place. A war crime.

  16. Donna
    June 19, 2024

    The only way Russia will be defeated is a massive nuclear first strike which destroys most of the country. Ain’t going to happen.

    Some people are making a very pretty penny from the ongoing war of attrition, and they want and expect to continue making a very pretty penny in the future. So they’ll keep the Ukrainians hoping and, crucially, fighting as long as they possibly can by drip-feeding weaponry which is sufficient to keep the fighting going, but insufficient to force the Russians out.

    And then, eventually, they’ll withdraw support and tell Zelensky that he has to do a deal.

    It’s what the people in the shadows, who are making a very pretty penny from other peoples’ misery, do. Over and over again.

  17. James4
    June 19, 2024

    I don’t see politicians in other countries writing pieces like this as if they have some God-given right or responsibility to mix it with trouble going on in countries far away – remember we instigated the Balfour Declaration in 1917 and see how that turned out – everywhere we go we leave trouble – we should instead stay at home and mind our own business.

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      June 19, 2024

      Would be great if our political class could mind our business – they can’t even manage that!

    2. Mitchel
      June 19, 2024

      “we instigated”?

      Take a look at the Balfour Declaration; It’s only a letter with a few paragraphs.Take especial notice of to whom it is addressed.

  18. Lifelogic
    June 19, 2024

    So Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has complained of a “total failure to appreciate” the Tories’ “superb record” of 14 years in Government since 2010. In an audio recording from an event in April, the Chancellor also states that if his party loses the General Election it will be because the public “do not want to vote for a divided party” and “it will be our own stupid fault”.

    Do they conduct lobotomies on PPE students. The Tories record since 2010 is the deliver almost the complete reverse of what was promises to fool. On immigration, a botched Brexit, highest taxes for 70+ years, gross incompetence over lockdowns, the net harm vaccines (still unequivocally lying over this) and on top of this the insanity of net zero, the wars on motorists, small business, landlords, the self employed, bloated inept and wasteful government, an appalling NHS after Hunts 5 years (see the dire Cancer stats. today)…

    A divided party is better than one united behind the deluded 180 degrees out Hunt/Starmer globalist/socialist/net zero lunacy.

    1. Lifelogic
      June 19, 2024

      In Cambridge yesterday and today. I read that:- A so-called Cyclops roundabout with more than 30 sets of traffic lights around it is set to open in Cambridge, despite local fears that it amounts to “insanity”. Residents slammed the installation of the lights around the roundabout on Milton Road, which was part of a two-year, £24 million road upgrade project.

      The residents are exactly right, money just pissed down the drain and vast disruption while doing this. But fixing potholes, providing housing, competent policing… is beyond them. So is this total insanity from local government or corruption, crony capitalist, a mad deluded new religion or what? Anyone with even half a brain would be against it. £24M would build about 1,600 three bed houses. But they preferred an insane roundabout.

      1. Lifelogic
        June 19, 2024

        Doubtless they will spend abother £3 million a year just maintaining this roundabout. Roundabouts are indeed better than socialist goverment knows best traffic lights, as JR well knows, but one with 30 sets of traffic light too?

      2. Lifelogic
        June 19, 2024

        Sorry 160 three bed houses rather!

      3. PDHV.SeniorYr
        June 19, 2024

        £24M/1600 that £15k per house. Not surprising that the house developers swim in money in the UK.

    2. Michelle
      June 19, 2024

      Fully agree. I’m left speechless almost at times by the complete inability for some to see that it might just be their policy of not carrying out their policies that is the problem, It’s got nothing to do with personalities or rifts.
      The party could be fronted by the most grey, boring dried up individual on the planet, I don’t care, but I care that they at least try and do what they were elected to do and not try and be a facsimile of the opposition party.

  19. Bryan Harris
    June 19, 2024

    The West could have negotiated a peace if it had been willing, but the war machine demands that ever more money be thrown at the attempt to damage Russia almost beyond repair. The madness of this continuing conflict is reflected in the way that Western leaders give so much money to arm Ukraine while their own people are taxed so heavily and suffer the consequences of irrational governance.

    What is the war really about?

    It is about:
    – Russia defending it’s people in Ukraine from being slaughtered;
    – Russia defending its borders;
    – The USA deep state interests;
    – Illegal US installations in Ukraine;
    – The expansion of NATO up to Russia’s borders, with no buffer zone;
    – Money – these things are always about money and influence.

    The world will breath a sigh of relief if Trump is once again in the Whitehouse, and he will show within a very few days just how that conflict could so easily be resolved. The current US administration have no willingness to stop the fighting.

    1. Bryan Harris
      June 19, 2024

      In 2014 Ukraine borrowed 17 Billion from the World Bank (IMF). In return they had to lift the ban on private sector land ownership in the country. Since then Monsanto, BlackRock and Vanguard have purchased over 20 million hectares or 70% of all Ukraine farmland.

      There goes a lot of good farmland to be used for what new purpose.

  20. Dave Andrews
    June 19, 2024

    As long as Ukraine wants to keep fighting, support them with military hardware. Once they give up, the Russian army will storm across them with rape and pillage.
    No settlement can be relied on with Putin.

    1. Mitchel
      June 19, 2024

      Like US Secretary of State James Baker’s assurance to Gorbachev that NATO would not “move once inch to the east” you mean?

      Government propagandists don’t have to try very hard with the likes of you!

  21. Ian B
    June 19, 2024

    Sir John
    I am more interested that the UK has a defence capability that can respond to situations as they arise. It doesn’t.
    The UK’s capabilities have been decimated, an Army that couldn’t fill Wembley Stadium, a depleted Air Force and a Navy that has zero capability beyond it ageing deterrent. In every situation those that have been making the decisions much like the NHS are not those that have to do the job.
    Pure 100% Government miss-management.
    This Conservative Governments attitude is that if the UK gets into problems they hope we have friends and allies that might bail us. Not realising all the time that is also at great cost,

    1. glen cullen
      June 19, 2024


  22. Michael Saxton
    June 19, 2024

    The war in Ukraine is effectively yet another US Overseas proxy war sacrificing Ukrainian lives whilst exposing Europe to great danger. Many US Senators think sending weapons and money to Ukraine is good value for US taxpayers especially as no American lives are put in jeopardy! This avoidable conflict has its gestation several generations ago when NATO expansion became part of American foreign policy. Ukraine joining NATO is a red line for Russia just as the USSR placing missiles in Cuba was a red line for America. The war needs to stop and stop now because continuation risks nuclear conflict in Europe and more death and destruction in Ukraine. Money, weapons and technology are fine but the problem facing Ukraine is manpower.

  23. Ian B
    June 19, 2024

    ‘Sunak: We will cut taxes further now inflation is at 2pc’ says the man whose inability to manage caused the rise in inflation when he heaped costs on industry and society as a whole causing inflation to kick off in the first place. Says the man that has already announced and put in place more tax rises in the coming years than any of our money he will let us keep – give back.
    Sunak/Hunt have the same tax, tax mentality as Starmer/Reeves. Taking money out of the economy without managing the spend. That is destruction, it is not building on anything other than the Socialist Doctrine of Control

  24. Rod Evans
    June 19, 2024

    The Ukraine conflict or war if we wish to be descriptive, has taught all involved some important lessons.
    The most significant is traditional warfare does not get you very far.
    With infantry men now more than able to knock out tanks at long distance. and drones able to take out ships at even longer distance the rules of battle are in urgent need of review.
    Peace negotiations are two years late thanks in part to Boris and the costs are mounting.
    On the plus side we are learning some valuable lessons of war.

  25. Ralph Corderoy
    June 19, 2024

    Lord Ashcroft has just written his view of the situation given supporting Ukraine doesn’t win votes in the US presidential election. He doesn’t think Ukraine will be offered a NATO position even with the war over; just ‘security guarantees’. It’s short and worth a read. https://www.lordashcroft.com/2024/06/express-commentcolumnists-homecommentexpress-comment-taylor-swift-you-could-win-up-to-1m-on-this-summers-big-football-tournaments-with-a-new-free-to-play-game-families-warned-of-council-tax-r/

  26. Ralph Corderoy
    June 19, 2024

    There’s no public appetite in Western Europe for its servicemen to lose their lives fighting Russia over Ukraine and so no political appetite. Obviously, in Poland and similar border countries, reality intrudes. Even if NATO limited its support to sea, air, and missile, so no boots on the ground, planes can be shot down and ships hit. And NATO support would still require large numbers of Ukrainian troops to capture NATO-attacked territory. Large troop numbers isn’t something we think Ukraine has, given the ‘press gangs’ checking that men on the street are registered in the potential-call-up system. Though there’s a chance that Poland and neighbours may chip in boots, being on the potential front line.

    It’s not a rosy outlook. ’Anyone but Trump’ gave us Biden and the manner of withdrawal from Afghanistan which showed enemies the USA was a duffer. The West should have acted with a bigger stick earlier, but short-termism is all and we’ve just kept the fire going with kindling.

  27. glen cullen
    June 19, 2024

    USA – The Berry Amendment (USC, Title 10, Section 2533a), requires the Department of Defense (DOD) to give preference in procurement to domestically produced, manufactured, or home-grown products
    UK – Buy anything from bullets to uniforms from China or your mates

  28. Ian B
    June 19, 2024

    NATO should seek to bolster its Defences and capability. It should not keep expecting the US to bail it out when they don’t contribute on equal terms.

    In perspective the US overall has growing economy in part because they manage spend. Energy use in the US is not punished and penalised as it is required to drive the machinery of business and commerce, it doesn’t raise costs. People in the US are not taxed at a 70 year high, they have money flowing around the economy causing the economy to flourish. The US is not hampered by the UK’s NetZero Laws – they are not subsiding foreign powers to keep the lights on. As such the US looks like the West saviours once more, but they wont keep doing all the while we keep shooting ourselves in the foot. Its an endless list, so crossing ones fingers and hoping, thinking that the like minded Socialist in this New cabal of the unelected unaccountable will help, is a mistake, a massive mistake. Pull your own weight contribute equally leave the begging bowl behind.

    1. Ian B
      June 19, 2024

      The weird one, while as individuals our money is taken in taxes to help Ukraine, UK Business continues to keep the Russian wheels and commence turning – Unilever among the many(200 million euros). House of Commons Library “Overall energy imports from Russia in the year to January 2023 were £1.34 billion, 76% of this was oil imports, 12% coal and 12% gas.” Isn’t that more of ‘shooting ourselves in the foot’? UK Oil and gas has to stay in the ground because UK Oil and Gas is bad and the same from everywhere else is good.

      In perspective there is no-one at home when it comes to managing the UK

      1. Lifelogic
        June 19, 2024

        In time of war, we blockade our enemies in order to prevent them from getting goods from us. In time of peace, we do to ourselves by tariffs what we do to our enemy in time of war. Friedman also makes this very important observation: Protectionism is enacted to benefit a small group at the expense of a large group

  29. RDM
    June 19, 2024

    If, IF the Russians want more territory? More then the Ethic Russian parts of Ukraine, they already have? I don’t they will bother!

    The trouble NATO has is they are a defensive organisation, but one that is configured to fight an old war!

    Some problems we have know about for some time;

    Ammo manufacture, supply, and logistics, they have tried to coordinate and standardise the supply’s, but to what?

    There is not as much agreement as you might think!

    E.g Standard issue round (5.56mm or NATO 7.62mm). Neither, are anywhere near up to standard, which is why the USA has (already !!) moved to the Sig LM7 and a 6.8mm Fury round! Lots of lies going on, currently, because the Europeans manufacture a crap/cheap 5.56mm round! They are known not to be able to penetrate body armour, at quite short distances! SF like to use them (5.56mm), they don’t have much recoil, very light weight, and they use them quite close up! Not what Front-line troop need to do, we need a tactical advantage (off set numbers)!

    But, it’s more then that!!! The best performing round, by a long way, is the Creedmore 6.5mm, used with a good (16in,18in,20in) length barrel (light-ish weapon)! More then double the accuracy range, penetration at range, and reliability!

    This size round was tested over a hundred years ago, and used ever since, by the Swedish/Norway Army’s. The 6.5 x 55 aka mauser round! They did the Science!

    It’s embarrassing GB is always way behind these developments!

    RMC has recently tried to move to a KAC KS 1, 6.5mm CM platform!
    A superb platform, so we done something right!

    My point; Where, and how many, rounds (6.5mm CM) do we manufacture, in this country?
    Why aren’t the rest of NATO moving (because they don’t what the cost of manufacturing new weapons), supplying?

    GB won’t/can’t be on the main front (Eastern) line, With Poland/Germany/France/USA, and there is no point contributing more MBT, then we already have!

    Our domain is the Northern Flank, Sea, Air, and a small contribution to the North Eastern country’s!
    It would take many years to build up a force to do any more!

    The same issue with the 155mm Artillery shell?
    It’s no good having kit that fires 155mm Excalibur, if we can’t manufacture enough to fight a prolonged war!
    We can’t manufacture enough standard/dumm 155mm shells?
    We haven’t got the mobile artillery needed. Archer 2 is available, but is Swedish made!

    Boxer ? Atlas ? Drones?

    GB will need many new regiments of them (Mobile Artillery)!

    We have tried to expand the numbers of trained Front-line troops, adding the Rangers, but they are lacking the numbers?
    RMC, Airborne, SF, all need to be far larger!
    Conscription of front-line troops would dilute the quality of the BA, and be resented!

    We are building for a War with Russia/China, that will use numbers against us!

    Where is the manufacturing industry, why aren’t Politicians talking about an increase, to match, the industrial base?

    We need to overcome years of being run down!

    Do we have enough Ground Attack aircraft? Will F35B perform well enough?

    So on,…

    But there is another issue; Our Cultural! We don’t have a well enough established Gun cultural!

    Our People need to be exposed to handling, maintaining, firing weapons!

    Politicians need to change the Gun Laws, the Police block far too many People, based on Guesses!

    Someone Mentally Ill, someone isolated, and some one with access to a weapon (even a knife), is going to be a problem! People need to get use to using Ranges, understanding the Science! Etc,… Or, you can forget Conscription!

    Using a KS 1 or the like, take practise, using a scope/ballistics, takes practise, and using Range rules need to embed in! This needs to be done, ASAP!

    Don’t forget to challenge Labour, ASAP!



  30. Ian B
    June 19, 2024

    Sorry Sir John ‘War & Defence’ when the Conservative Government gives us this

    19/06/2024 – The Conservative Election Campaign
    Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said Labour could be in power for “a very long time” if Sir Keir Starmer won by a landslide.
    Mel Stride(The Work and Pensions Secretary) warned Labour could win the “largest majority virtually in the history of this country” if current polling holds until election day.
    Sunak guarantees he will serve as MP for five years if Tories lose election

  31. Ian B
    June 19, 2024

    822 migrants crossed Channel yesterday
    Some 882 people were detected crossing the English Channel on Tuesday, the highest number on a single day so far this year, the Home Office said.

  32. RDM
    June 19, 2024

    One more point;

    Gun Cultural;

    If you don’t change the Licensing Laws, Police must recognise they are blocking too many People, and allow People to use Ranges, under supervision, they will end up going abroad to buy a weapons, and use it in the local field!

    We must get them using a modern weapon!

    People see there is trouble coming!



    1. RDM
      June 19, 2024

      Did you receive my initial post, to this post?

      Not too sure this post makes sense without it?

      Was it too long?



  33. David Andrews
    June 19, 2024

    Putin will continue to fight the war to secure the oblasts he already claims. If successful he will seek to resume the conquest of more territory in the future to secure Russia’s borders. He has domestic support for the war which some consider/claim is existential. He probably thinks he can outlast the willingness of the West to support Ukraine indefinitely.

    Zelenski will continue to fight the war so long as his manpower lasts and so long as funding and munitions are supplied by the West. Key NATO members on Europe’s eastern border are fully committed to supporting Ukraine. It seems they might continue to do so even if the USA faltered. For them the threat from Russia is existential.

    We thus face a war of attrition. It has exposed the inadequacies of UK military preparedness (and, apparently, we can no longer produce artillery barrels). The end will either be determined by the inability of Ukraine to sustain it’s campaign because of insufficient manpower or it runs out of funds because the West pulls the plug. The UK should remain committed to support Ukraine along with those key NATO allies on Europe’s eastern border.

    1. R.Grange
      June 19, 2024

      So you’re saying, David, that either way Ukraine loses. In that case, should we be pouring more billions of £££ down that black hole?

  34. glen cullen
    June 19, 2024

    UPDATE – 882 illegal aliens /boat people arrived yesterday from the safe country of France …..and you expect to win an election, go on Sunak tell me again that immigration is down …this is the real battle-ground, we’re being invaded

    1. Donna
      June 19, 2024

      “Stopping the boats” is going to go down in history as one of the most moronic slogans a sitting PM has ever come up with.

  35. Iain Hunter
    June 19, 2024

    Sir John, the war in Ukraine is an American proxy war provoked by the US State Department and the CIA. From the 1990s the Americans have badly mishandled relations with Russia. From the end of Soviet communism we could have had an era of friendship and co-operation with Russia but no, it was not to be. All The Powers That Be in the USA wanted to do was exploit its natural resources just as they have in Ukraine. The Russians saw this and decided they would have none of it.

    The Eastern expansion of NATO against Russia’s warnings, the toppling of an elected government in Ukraine in 2014, and the fomenting of the civil war in Ukraine in which 14,000 Russian-speaking Ukrainians were killed, have all been the Americans’ doing with, no doubt, some aid from us. They kept on ‘poking the bear’ and finally the bear attacked.

    This war could have been over in April 2022. Boris Johnson was sent to stop Zelenskiyy signing the peace agreement brokered by the Turkish. Two years on we have over 500,000 dead men and women and many more physically and psychologically broken on both sides. It is a tragedy for both Russia and Ukraine whose history has been intertwined for over 1,000 years. It is all so unnecessary.

    And I don’t wish to hear that we are ‘defending democracy’. What democracy? We have none here. Going to the polls once every five years is not my idea of democracy and it is the party political, manifesto-trick, corrupt system we have which has got us into the mess we are in.

  36. Kenneth
    June 19, 2024

    Neither Russia nor Ukraine is in NATO. We are not in the EU.

    None of our business

  37. glen cullen
    June 19, 2024

    Energy imports via interconnectors from france are at 17.7% ….just think about that in terms of UK security & defence
    ‘In 2022, UK LNG imports hit a record high of 25.6 bcm, representing 45 per cent of UK natural gas imports’
    ‘According to data from the UK government, the majority of wood pellet imports, approximately 60%, came from the US. The other leading imports were sourced at 18% from the EU and 16% from Canada’
    ….increasing year on year imports of steel from China

    1. glen cullen
      June 19, 2024

      ‘In the first half of 2023, 96% of new BEV registrations in the UK were imported vehicles’

  38. Original Richard
    June 19, 2024

    The Russians are not going to attempt to invade us, yet.

    Their fifth column saboteurs are already destroying the UK from within. Hundreds of invaders arrive across the Channel daily to demoralise the nation and to insert sleeper cell terrorists. The Net Zero Strategy will impoverish, de-industrialise, de-militarise and leave us totally exposed with chaotically intermittent electricity, impractical devices and an energy system which is hackable and capable of being easily destroyed by above and below water drones as well as being reliant upon China for its infrastructure, a country described by our security services as “hostile”.

    The Russians will come when civil war breaks out.

    1. Mitchel
      June 19, 2024

      The Russians will not come when “civil war breaks out”;they’ll have a right old laugh at home!

  39. Bert+Young
    June 19, 2024

    Russia has reached a stalemate condition with Ukraine and a territorial compromise is out of question . The world must not be dominated by the ” Putins ” ; democracy is paramount and must remain so .

  40. RichardP
    June 19, 2024

    While we are obsessing about Ukraine, which isn’t a NATO member, has anyone given thought to the Falkland Islands? I’ve been reading, on the Danish MOD website, about Denmark signing a letter of intent on the possible sale of 24 F-16s to Argentina.

  41. Roy Grainger
    June 19, 2024

    What NATO should do first is expel members who don’t meet the 2% GDP target for military spending next year starting with Germany (currently 1.5%) and Canada (1.4%). Let them take their chances with Putin. Not sure why UK (currently 2.1%) has to pick up the tab for freeloaders like them and guarantee their security.

    1. Peter D Gardner
      June 21, 2024

      You seem not to have noticed that Germany’s defence budget was set in June 2022 to double by 2030. On current trends it will then be around a third higher in money terms than the UK’s. Scholz has vowed that Germany will by then have the most powerful armed forces in Europe.

  42. Hat man
    June 19, 2024

    You could have mentioned the US election factor. Biden won’t want another pull-out fiasco on top of Afghanistan to wreck his re-election chances, so Ukraine won’t be allowed to surrender before then. But once the US election is out of the way, things will be different, whether or not Trump wins and quickly brings the curtain down on this murderous sh*tshow. American strategists are increasingly turning to the perceived threat from China, and Ukraine will become yesterday’s story. Rather like Covid, and for the same reason: sooner or later reality wins out.

  43. Mickey Taking
    June 19, 2024

    off topic.
    Illegal immigrants – now 884 in a single day.
    I’ll stop the boat people……yeah.

    1. Michelle
      June 19, 2024

      I assumed there would be a huge surge not just with calmer weather but also because of the election.
      The traffickers are better informed than most who will be blindly voting, because I personally think they get a lot of help information wise from these shores from certain quarters.
      They will be betting on a Labour victory and despite what Starmer says, the fast tracking and removals will be of very few people. It is part of his ideology and we’ve seen it with the civil service, Labour MP’s and Lords, charities and of course the font of all knowledge our celebrity cadre. Am I expected to believe they will do an about turn on their ideology.

  44. The Prangwizard
    June 19, 2024

    Russia can set its own timetable on expansion. Donetz and Crimea have been established. Now more territory has been acquired. It can now pause to establish what they have recently taken.

    Maybe in a year or two they will take more after they have built back up.

    Our useless leaders do nothing much on the ground. We here can’t make enough bullets and shells because our industries have been destroyed by the Tories, like many others. They see no point in doing things in defence which might upset their friends.

    They like to brag about money, but it is useless as they don’t understand anything.

    Where are the bullets and shells, where are our soldiers, sailors and airmen? We’ve got nothing of consequence.

    Thanks Tories. Go back to your elite debate places which is what you think is the main activity and let our country get weaker and weaker.

  45. Lynn Atkinson
    June 19, 2024

    My husband has been nominated for a Peace Award by the Ghandi organisation, along with Tucker Carlson and others. I’ll post the link if JR will allow.

    1. Everhopeful
      June 19, 2024

      Just wonderful!
      All the things that were whispered at the beginning of all this madness but were quickly shot down as you-know-whats ( conspiracy theories indeed!!).
      I just could not understand why people refuted the evidence of their own eyes.
      So glad that someone was working on it all!

    2. Theopompus
      June 19, 2024

      It is not the Gandhi Foundation nor is it the Harmony for Peace organisation.
      Check for yourself.

  46. Richard1
    June 19, 2024

    The future of the disputed parts of Ukraine should ultimately be determined by the principles of democracy and self-determination. The problem is that can’t happen during a war and occupation. The reasonable offer which could be made to Putin and the people around him is a ceasefire and withdrawal against referenda after a reasonable time under international supervision. For the rump Ukraine – should the populations of Crimea and / or Donbass vote to become part of Russia (perhaps less likely now) should be membership of NATO (and perhaps the EU).

    Meanwhile Trump if he wins should force a huge increase in defence expenditure by the free-riding countries.

    Voters in the U.K. election might want also to bear in mind that having someone as PM who was until about 5 minutes ago for unilateral nuclear disarmament means we in effect don’t have a nuclear deterrent anymore (as our enemies know he would never use it).

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      June 19, 2024

      The referenda in Novorussiya were internationally scrutinised, (supermajorities to return their land to their homeland – bit like Monmouthshire not wanting to be ‘gwent’) so was the Russian Presidential election.

      You do know that Ukraine ceased the water supply to Crimea? It cut a million people off water – do you wonder that they wanted to return to their ancient homeland?

      What we want is scrutiny of the US Presidential election. Oh, and Russia no longer has a ‘airforce’ it has an ‘aerospace force’. Yes, that’s how far behind we are.

  47. Ian B
    June 19, 2024

    Today Wednesday 19th, just this week since Monday in a household of 2 we have now received 5 personalized letters and 3 ‘flyers’ from the Liberal Democrats. Pushing like mad.

    1. David+L
      June 19, 2024

      The total amount of paper being recycled in Wokingham must increasing like crazy. And most of it is libdem propaganda! I expect they’ll be bragging about it on July 4th.

  48. paul
    June 19, 2024

    It’s all about resources like rare earth metals and others located in the East of Ukraine, according to the American Senate, Ukraine is worth 15 plus trillion dollars 11 trillion is located in the East.
    The Americans have played a good game in fooling the Europeans with net zero while the Americans produce as much oil and gas as they like to send to Europe and Europeans are still buying gas from Russia.

    China is next on the list for the Golabalist to shut down you have to buy from them or go without that if you can afford it.

  49. Mark
    June 19, 2024

    The reality on the ground post 1991 was laid bare by elections time and again. Even Putin remarked on the Hungarian dress of the population in Galicia (near the Hungarian border) that he saw as a KGB officer in Soviet times. Eastern Ukraine, including the areas around Donetsk and Luhansk, and the Crimea are overwhelmingly populated by Russian speaking and sympathising people. That is the local reality.

    The strategic reality is more complex, with most of the coal and other resources in the pro Russian segment, and major grain growing in the West. Who comes after Putin will be a key issue. Ensuring there is an adequate counterweight to Chinese colonial ambition is an existential question for the West, which has impoverished its military capability. Inflicting defeat on Russia seems distant: this is not 1856. A negotiated settlement reflecting the local reality looks like the only sensible course.

    The West has to unwind a lot of bad policy to contemplate anything else, including deindustrialisation, net zero, massive destabilising immigration.

  50. Derek
    June 19, 2024

    The Ukraine war has exposed the past blatant apathy amongst members of NATO. We are now close to be included in that list, which has been growing for decades. It seems the end of the old “Cold War” initiated a lowering a defence standards, despite the obvious needs during the actions in Iraq and Kosovo, et al. None of the aggressors were Soviets, so I presume the NATO members used that as good reason to cut their defence expenditure.
    NATO members are contracted to provide at least 2% of their GDP for Defence budgets. At the time, POTUS Trump found that just five of the near thirty members honoured that commitment. He felt, quite rightly, that too many were leaning on the USA to provide more than their share to cover their own shortfalls. His threats resulting in many of them upping their game, including Germany who, despite being the richest nation in Europe, had not provided the minimum defence budget of 2% of their GDP.
    The post cold-war apathy could have signalled to Mr Putin that NATO were weak and indeed, he tested their resolve by successfully invading the Crimea in 2014, without any military penalty.
    Who knows what he would have then tried had Mr Trump not re-enforced the NATO alliance?
    However with a change of administration in the Whitehouse, the perceived strength of the USA was severely diminished and no doubt provided Mr Putin and probably Xi of China, the reason to flex their muscles. Their imperialistic ideals have to be stopped before they are escalated and the first step in doing so, must be to ensure victory for Ukraine! Whatever it takes.

    1. Peter D Gardner
      June 21, 2024

      “NATO members are contracted to provide at least 2% of their GDP for Defence budgets.”

      That is not true. 2% is nothing more than a guideline for member states. In 2014, after Russia’s annexation of Crimea, it became a target for all members by agreement. It is not binding. NATO has no legal power to bind its members to anything. NATO is an alliance of sovereign nation states. Sovereign means each makes its own decisions. That is one thing that distinguishes it most clearly from the EU, which seeks legally binding treaty powers to impose and enforce its decisions on member states. There is no such thing as sovereign independence in the EU, other than the right to leave it.

  51. Trod
    June 19, 2024

    NATO should look for a peaceful solution, and stop wasting money, and lives, on a war it cannot win.
    Without negotiation with Russia there will be no peace.
    In 2022 Russia offered a peace deal in Istanbul, which was accepted by Ukraine. Why did NATO block the deal?
    Putin put forward Russia’s position again last Friday.
    I expect the war will continue for as long as NATO continues to try to win back the areas under Russian control.

  52. Ian B
    June 19, 2024

    Latest Telegraph Poll
    ‘Rishi Sunak is predicted to become the first sitting prime minister ever to lose their seat at a general election.’
    The refusal to manage, refusal to react to anything other increase taxes by the Conservative Government. Then then Conservative Party refusing to act, logically means they set out to destroy this once great party. We have their desired outcome – a one-party Socialist State.

    Just don’t anyone involved in this malicious unwarranted destruction blame the Voter. This all happened at a time when we have had the worst Labour Party on record.

  53. Peter D Gardner
    June 21, 2024

    The inadequacy of NATO weapon stocks is an interesting problem and a difficult one to solve. Technology changes quickly. Stock quickly become obsolete so investment in too large a stock is not only a waste but also leaves the rmned forces no alternative but to fight with obsolete weapons for lack of anything better. And politicians won’t throw them away and buy newer stuff because the bean counters, cry ‘Waste’.
    Another aspect is that it isn’t just stocks that are low. Manufacturing capacity is also low and slow to ramp up, which is the reason for stockpiling. Commercial enterprises have applied modelling – yes, anti-lockdowners, modelling can be good, accurate and effective – to get the balance right. The military have similarly applied analytical methods to get the right answer but but are not in control of all the key variables, unlike commercial enterprises in a free market.
    The hardest argument to make in defence to get funds allocated released is that something is needed only if war actually starts. The answer is always, well there isn’t a war, the gvernment has no intention of going to war, and we have the nuclear deterrent so we won’t be attacked so there are better uses of these funds.
    in every transition to war exercise I have taken part in supplies run out (as they did in the Falklands where some artillery guns had only two rounds left on the morning of the Argentine surrender) and that is one factor in causing escalation to use of nuclear weapons.
    Success in warfare rests on mobilisation of a country’s resources to the full and that is only possible if the population is united in that resolve. Mrs Thatcher achieved that in the case of the Falkland Islands (her back stiffened by Admiral Lewin). Companies themselves shared the risk and produced the goods taking Mrs Thatcher’s word that they would get paid. Of course they were.
    It is always like that. Transition to war is always a whiole country mobilisation and without manufacturing capacity it cannot happen. Politicians make commitments to defence of others without a full realisation of what delivering on such promises entails. It has ever been thus – Mrs Thatcher a very rare exception, but only once the war had started. Blair was parsimonious in Iraq and Afghanistan. Labour tied the military’s hands behind their backs in Aden. Wellington wrote about the enemy in Whitehall.
    Politicians like to rattle sabres but don’t want to pay (albeit wth other people’s money) for the commitments they make. Cameron declared he would like to see the EU expand eastwards to the Urals while simultaneously reducing UK’s defence budget to the then risible level of Germany’s. For his efforts he has been elevated to Lord Cameron – of Remain and Palestine.
    Todays Tories have Wokified the Armed Forces, allowed Wokery and anti-British brain washing to prevail in education and now profess bewilderment that the Forces have a recruitment problem.
    Nationl Service will only exacerbate the problem. it will enable the truly authoritarian Woke to accuse conservatives of authoritarianism – and they will be right.
    The Tories followed Blair in rotting British culture. This is the result.

  54. Peter D Gardner
    June 21, 2024

    What is meant by defence? There are many more ways to defeat a country than the use of armed force. The Russian threat is easily identifed and the answer is military force. But the more effective and immediate threat is not russia but political Islam allied with the Woke Left. It is well and truly established inside the gates and it is winning by eating away at British culture, British institutions of democratic government and the rule of law. There is no frontline of defence against this threat because it is everywhere, like a cancer in the body, although defence of Israel is the necessary first step. Beside this threat Russia’s military threat – arguably limited to former Russian possessions and satellites (Russia is nothing without its empire, Zbigniew Brzeziński, Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global Power) – is irrelevant to the future of the country.

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