By Colonel (ret) Douglas Macgregor

When the Combined Chiefs of Staff Conference in Casablanca, Morocco ended in January 1943, President Franklin Roosevelt and Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill held a press conference. Toward the end of the press conference, FDR told the correspondents that the Allies were determined to demand the “Unconditional Surrender” of Germany, Italy, and Japan.

FDR later said that Ulysses S. Grant’s 1862 ultimatum of “Unconditional Surrender” to the Confederate garrison holding Fort Donelson in Tennessee was his inspiration. Grant was trying to speed the capture of an isolated fortress and avoid unnecessary casualties on all sides.

But FDR’s policy of “Unconditional Surrender” during a destructive global war was unwise and costly. It stiffened German resistance, lengthened the war, pushed violence to its utmost limits and rejected any resolution to the conflict other than the opponents’ complete annihilation—the kind of result that Stalin and Hitler called “victory.” Sadly, there is no evidence that anyone in the White House or the Pentagon studied the policy’s psychological impact on the German or Japanese peoples before it was announced.

Biden’s speech on March 26 in Warsaw removed any doubt in Moscow’s governing circles that Washington’s goal was Russia’s destruction: “…that’s why I came to Europe again this week with a clear and determined message for NATO…—we must commit now to be in this fight for the long haul…and for the years and decades to come.” In case there was any lingering uncertainty, Biden added, “For God’s sake this man [Vladimir Putin] cannot remain in power.”

President Biden’s policy in Ukraine seems equally thoughtless and it’s having a similar effect on Russia and the course of the war. Since Biden delivered his speech, Russian control of Ukrainian territory has jumped from 5 to and estimated 22%, the same portion that provides Ukraine with 85% of its GNP. Moscow abandoned the “fight and negotiate strategy” of the “Special Operation” for a new one: extend permanent Russian control over the Russian-speaking areas in Eastern Ukraine from Kharkov to Odessa. When the fighting ends, Moscow will likely control roughly 30-35% of Ukraine’s former territory.

Meanwhile, Moscow mastered Washington’s economic sanctions and, as James Rickards notes, continues to reduce the supply of natural gas to Western Europe with has resulted in Germany, Europe’s economic powerhouse, relying on its energy reserves as winter approaches and Russian supplies dwindle.

At home, inflation will cost the average American household more than $5,200 this year. A few days ago, Dr. Ron Paul described the situation: “Inflation is a tax on middle class and poor Americans. The wealthy—like those who run Raytheon and Lockheed Martin—always get the new money first before prices go up. The rest of us watch as the dollar buys less and less.” As Washington celebrates the commitment of more and more dollars to fighting Russia in Ukraine, the rest of America struggles with open borders and rising criminality in its major cities.

The timeless lesson is that emotionally charged speeches should never frame national policy, but Biden is in good company. Lyndon Johnson talked himself into a similar dilemma in Vietnam when he insisted, “If we are driven from the field in Viet-Nam, then no nation can ever again have the same confidence in American promise, or in American protection.” Eventually, LBJ was trapped by his own rhetoric.

He discovered what Biden is discovering in Ukraine. LBJ found out the hard way that the North Vietnamese were far more committed to “victory at any cost” than were the American people. In the aftermath of North Vietnam’s Tet Offensive, American support for the war dropped dramatically and the specter of defeat plunged the Johnson administration into a crisis of legitimacy.

Biden has forgotten that a lost war, even a proxy war, weakens the right to rule of those who govern the nation. The Biden administration is ignoring the fundamental truth that proxy wars like the one Washington is waging against Russia in Ukraine are not exempt from war’s iron discipline: all wars put national existence, power and prestige at risk, making victory or defeat the only real options.

Like the North Vietnamese, Moscow is far more committed to victory in Ukraine than Washington or its European allies. Once again, U.S. support for ongoing operations in Ukraine is razor thin and growing concern in the U.S. and Europe is that Biden’s unlimited war aims could involve the use of nuclear weapons to reverse Ukraine’s defeat.

Of course, the idea of using nuclear weapons in this way runs counter to Eisenhower’s fundamental point that nuclear weapons are weapons of last resort in defense of the nation. Whether tactical or strategic, nuclear weapons have no other rational application in modern warfare. Frankly, their use for any other purpose is suicidal. Anyone inside the Biden administration or Congress who is considering their use in Ukraine should be locked up.

The price of gratuitous self-righteousness is always high. Moscow will never again allow Washington and its allies to transform Eastern Ukraine into a launching pad for offensive military operations against Russia proper. Washington’s distorted view of the world and the realities of twenty-first century warfare will not alter Russia’s control of Eastern Ukraine.

President Biden’s insistence that Russia must be defeated regardless of how long it takes or how much it costs the Americans, Ukrainians, and NATO members is worse than FDR’s unconditional surrender demand. It endangers the American people, and eventually, if carried to its logical extreme, this policy stance will induce our allies and strategic partners to abandon their alliance with Washington.

Colonel (ret) Douglas Macgregor, U.S. Army, is a decorated combat veteran, the former senior advisor to the acting secretary of defense in the Trump Administration and the author of five books. His most recent is “Margin of Victory: Five Battles that Changed the Face of Modern War” (USNI, 2016).

SOURCELibertarian Institute

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31 COMMENTS

  1. I will continue to speak out about Uncle Joe since he got selected because I knew that nothing that came out of his mouth can be held on to. Is this the best America can do,apparently. I looked at the choice I had in 2016,Trump and we came we saw he died cackle, cackle, clackle and I could not do it. Then I looked at the last choice, Trump or Uncle Joe so I chose the Greens.
    Uncle Joe has a very long history if one cares to to look. Would the situation have been different in Russia/Ukraine if Trump had won,I doubt it. If this is the best America can do them we are doomed. All our politicians are bought and paid for mostly by that little country in the ME and it’s not going to change. I guess most who supported Uncle Joe will not see when he rams the SS America into a rock and it sinks to the bottom of the ocean.

  2. Awhile back i commented that the sudden ramping up of anti-Russian propaganda and “aid” had an air of now-or-never desperation. The West was circling the drain; it had to finish off Russia before BRICS could consolidate.
    Another possibility occurs to me: Given the lack of public pushback against 911 and now Covid, the NWO (or whoever is running the show) feel unstoppable; the populace will do no more than bleat ineffectually no matter the hardship and they can go ahead with the long term goal of finishing off the last man standing…
    This war – the decades long poking of the bear with a stick called NATO, the prepared suddenness of the propaganda response when it finally lashes out (see ! see there? what an evil, violent creature it is !) – anyone still doubt a conspitacy of the elite?

    I hope the people running Biden aren’t foolish enough to consider “accidenting” Mr. Putin, and that there are continuity plans for when he eventually does leave office. In light of the recent assassination maybe now the Russians will finally take the gloves off; who among us would shed tears if a Kissinger, Gates, Soros or a Rothschild or two (pick a villain – many to chose from) – should meet with an unfortunate “accident” ? – perhaps at the hands of one of those crazed lone gunmen we Americans seem to manufacture in such numbers?

  3. The colonel in movies and literature is “the backbone of every army.”
    Though Italian I feel I agree with everything except what he argues about American “supremacy” instead of “harmony” among peoples.

  4. End the Bloody Conflict! Ukraine must receive the same treatment, splitting up, as what was given to Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Soviet Union! Why is that not on the TABLE, why is that not considered as an Option?? WAR is a RACKET! Who are the Demonic Creatures, holding the STRINGS to this ongoing ‘Crime Against Humanity’? The many Suffer and DIE and the Satanic Chosen Few are making $$$s! There are Russians, Polish, Rumanian, Moldovan, Tartar, Gypsy, Jewish, Hungarian people by the hundreds of thousands who with their Territories should be reattached to their Homelands! Ukraine is an Artificial Entity, created by Political Expediency! Ukraine has no Future in its current shape, form! Do JUSTICE!!

  5. “the kind of result that Stalin and Hitler called “victory.” Sadly,” But none of them bowth nuked anyone!!! The hypocrsy when talking of Stalin as if it was the most vile! Did the americans left one building in Mossul?

  6. The only letter Khomeini wrote to a foreign leader was to Gorbachev in January 1989.He wrote: “If you hope, at this juncture, to cut the economic Gordian knots of socialism and communism by appealing to the center of Western capitalism, you will, far from remedying any ill of your society, commit a mistake which those to come will have to erase.”
    “For if Marxism has come to a deadlock in its social and economic policies, capitalism has also bogged down, in this as well as in other respects though in a different form.”

    Who can argue with that ..

  7. For all you Biden blamers, did you miss the years of that trash Trump family crimes and the neocons he called his entourage all lodged deep in the back of Likud so deep that to have a war with Iran was Ali most happening. It would have dragged Russia and maybe China in it … did you miss all of that ?
    Likud cannot stand Biden especially after last week’s JCPOA work to get it done which is getting its way in the sane circles of Washington.
    Likud is doing everything possible to stop it so Trumpsters can have their war.

    Ukraine is Likud getting a sore butt and a divorce from Russia. Lol.

  8. Well I have been beating the Biden drums since the day he got selected to much mocking and redicule that evenn now most cannot accept. We have floods destroying many neighborhoods the latest being Jackson Mississippi and they can expect next to zero help. Joe Biden and the rest of the gang have no problems sending the Nutzies billions just about every week, now calling on Congress st send billions to Taiwan while having zero for suffering Americans.
    Sad but may Americans will never see the light even when the ship rams into the rock and sinks.

    • Consent and opinion are both engineered in the US. They will happily sink to the bottom thinking the ship will rise and float! It’s called brainwashing and Tavistock has done it well for years.

  9. To discover what is scary about recent talk about the use nukes, we must, of course, go back to 1945 to find the answer. The excuse at the time was to end the war and save lives. But that’s a lie. The war was over, Japan’s suit for peace was rejected just so they could use the BOMB. The need was two-fold. 1. To frighten the public and cement America’s supremacy. 2. To field test the weapon. This second reason should scare everyone, and here’s why: the development of new weapons is always used at the first available conflict. OK. Nukes passed that test long ago. What hasn’t been tested, on a live target, is the 100- 5oo megatons ones. Good news. There is no shortage of psychopaths who want to see these monsters in action. Where? It doesn’t matter, the inventors just have to see it to believe it. However, they need a really good excuse. What better excuse than the demise of their banking system.

    • Only problem with your set-up is that it is the Russians are the ones with the really big ones. Their nuclear robot torpedo they claim has a 100 megaton cobalt jacketed warhead. Any place it detonates wold be unlikable for

  10. We put ourselves on the list of civilizations that need to be eliminated when we dropped the Bomb on another nation. Until the knowledge of the awesome universally destructive nature of weapons like these are fully understood as completely unacceptable and removed from any potential deployment, we sign our own surrender as a sovereign nation representing Humanity. Spreed freedom all you want. In the end it is just another F word: maybe the worst.

    • Exactly what Trump had in mind with his tripling the war budget and hustling NATO. But instead he sent Rudy to collect dirt on Hunter. Orders from above.

    • The Biden Crime Family is not in the same league with the Trump Crime Family. But, they sure are trying to catch up.

  11. Embarrassing how misguided & deluded our American leadershits have become. As if ZelinsKY and his hollowed out force’s are going to extract an uncondition victory over a well armed & self sustained hyperpower with some charity hand outs from Europe. Such reckless talk will only lay in wait for them as more crazy talk just in time for the midterms & his run in 2024.

  12. The Jews don’t like to lose. So if it causes the death of JewUS, Jewropean, Jewkrainian, even everyday Jewish, and Russian citizens so what so the elite Jews can push on with their Jew World Order. After all, the rest of us are just goys and that includes non elite Jews.

    • They are in for a surprise this time, they will lose any hold on Ukraine they had, because Vlad is going to cause Ukraine to disappear as a viable Nation/State. Ukies Air Force is gone, as is any Navy and they are reduced to getting teenage Girls to confront Russian Combat troops in battle while that little Yid maggot Zelensky is counting the Millions he has in Swiss and Cayman Banks. What Vlad is doing is De-Jewing Ukraine and not before time. Meanwhile Europeans are in for a miserable winter, no food and no heat. This is the stuff that brings forth revolutions.

  13. “Unconditional Surrender!” That remark by our hapless president was made solely for his Zionist masters who are desperate for a catastrophic war with Russia that will totally reshuffle the economic deck. Here we are, $30 trillion in debt, the dollar about to cease being the world’s reserve currency, and the only thing we’re still good at is nuclear warfare. Heaven preserve us all from the wrath of the chosenites.

    • We are not really all that good at nuclear war these days either . A $1.5 trillion “Modernization” reported to make our nuclear weapons more dependible, also lowerd throw weight (blast) of them which deminishes deterrence. Any real & true information on what was done is clasified. Russian’s nuclear robot torpedo is claimed

    • The USA is very good at dial-a-yield nukes like the B-61 which can be set to between 0.3 and 340 kilotons. Gordon Duff has reported that this bomb has been used in both Iraq and Syria. Also, Israel blew up Beirut harbor with one, so we’re very good at keeping it a secret from the MSM.

    • America is between a “rock,” and a hard place.
      When Babylon is no more, make sure you have fallen on the “rock,” and the “rock” has not fallen on you.