‘Looking back on the war through some writings: 2022 in retrospect’: Phillips P. O’Brien (from a newsletter I subscribe to)

I subscribe to an email newsletter from Phillips P. O’Brien. A Dec. 31, 2022 newsletter is entitled: “Looking back on the war through some writings: 2022 in retrospect.”

I became interested in reading commentary from this writer when I was active on Twitter. The Dec. 31, 2022 newsletter reads:

With 2022 ending in a few hours, I thought it might be interesting to go back through a few published articles (and in one case an article that was rejected for publication) as a way of discussing how I analyzed the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The weekend update tomorrow will be on ways that Ukraine can successfully bring the war to a conclusion, and as I was thinking about this, it occurred to me that it might be worthwhile looking at how, imho, the war has developed as it has to this point. In other words, how Ukraine has ended up doing so much better than was expected, and what stands out about Ukrainian success.

Pre Feb 24 writings. One thing that the Russian invasion revealed is a extraordinary groupthink that seemed to exist in much of the analytical and academic communities. This group think had two major elements. The first was that the Russian armed forces were extremely strong and would conquer Ukraine easily and the second was the realist argument that Ukraine should be sacrificed to Russian whims because of Russian strength. Both of these arguments seemed frankly bizarre to me, based on the flimsiest of evidences and the weakest of ethical constructs. I published my first piece on this in January 2022, in The Critic.

A previous post is entitled:

I enjoy reading a newsletter from Phillips P. O’Brien; the most recent one I’ve read is entitled: “Weekend Update #7: Some ideas on how the war is being presented and analyzed – oldies and not goodies.”

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