Ukraine War, December 20, 2022: Ukraine’s algorithm advantage; Things are moving in a hopeful direction; Clear war aims

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To see a list of previous articles, enter “Ukraine” in the Search Box on the upper right, and you will see a list in chronological order.

To understand the broad context within which current developments in Ukraine should be considered,see

“Ukraine War, October 26, 2022: The context for analysis of current developments; The “dirty bomb” as a Russian propaganda distraction from current war crimes,” The Trenchant Observer, October 26, 2022.


1) David Ignatius, “How the algorithm tipped the balance in Ukraine
Image without a caption,” Washington Post, December 19, 2022 (10:20 a.m. EST);

2) David Ignatius, “A ‘good’ war gave the algorithm its opening, but dangers lurk,” Washington Post, December 20, 2022 (7:30 a.m. EST);

3) William Hague, “Ukraine must be given long-range missiles; Putin is intent on winning and believes the West daren’t raise the stakes; Future security depends on proving him wrong,” The Times, December 19 2022, 6.00pm GMT);

William Hague was British Foreign Secretary from 2010-2014 and Leader of the House of Commons from 2014-2015.

4) Doyle McManus, “US policy makes Ukraine fight by rules Russia doesn’t follow,” TimesLeader, December 14, 2022u

5) “Emmanuel Macron maintient sa position sur les « garanties » à la Russie,” dans “Guerre en Ukraine, en direct : Volodymyr Zelensky attendu mercredi à Washington; Les dirigeants russes sont divisés sur le lancement d’une grande offensive hivernale, estime Washington. Un haut responsable américain a précisé que les Etats-Unis « ajusteraient et adapteraient rapidement » leurs objectifs si c’était le cas,” Le Monde, le 20 décembre 2022p (22:20);


Emmanuel Macron has confirmed again that he is an ego-driven lone freelancer who can only hurt the war effort by giving Putin false hope that he can exploit divisions among Western leaders. None of Macron’s bright ideas are going anywhere because he is not a team player and the other members of the team no it.

His recent reiteration of his appeasement idea that the West needs to provide security guarantees for Russia is beyond absurd, when Russia has launched a war of aggression against Ukraine that is characterized by its barbarism and rejection of the most basic precepts of humanity and international law.

Talk of a “New European Security Order” is intellectually flabby garbage. We have an excellent international security order in the form of the United Nations Charter and the United Nations, buttressed by regional security organizations such as NATO. The biggest flaw in the system is the veto held by Permanent Members of the Security Council, including Russia. No new security arrangements involving Russia will remove this flaw.

The highest priority for reform efforts must be elimination of the veto. 77 years after the adoption of the U.N. Charter in 1945, new thinking and new efforts are necessary to reform the world’s international security order, building on the U.N. Charter.

The problem is that other nations need to be protected from Russia, not that Russia needs international security guarantees.

Macron needs to be reeled in by NATO, and freelancing by him and other leaders needs to be brought to a halt. By his latest reiterated call for security guarantees for Russia, Macron has demonstrated that he has nothing positive to add to efforts to bring the war to an end. If he wants to do something constructive, Macron should greatly increase French deliveries of advanced weapons and other munitions to Ukraine.

Looking beyond Macron’s latest diversion, Ignatius describes the extraordinary use Ukraine is making of advanced computer algorithms and technology on the battlefield.

What is remarkable is the degree to which NATO countries are fully engaged in providing Ukraine with real-time targeting information on the battlefield. In effect, NATO is actively assisting Ukraine in identifying targets in Ukraine’s war of self-defense against Russia’s war of aggression.

Both Ukraine’s and NATO countries’ actions in individual and collective self-defense, respectively, are fully authorized under international law and Article 51 of the United Nations Charter.

Pressures are  mounting on Biden to relax U.S. and NATO restrictions on the transfer p to Ukraine of weapons that can attack targets in Russia and on their use.

The German Foreign Ministry has stated unequivocally–and correctly–that Ukraine has the right to strike targets in Russia in exercise of its right of self-defense under international law and Article 51 of the U.N. Charter.

The articles on “algorithm warfare” by David Ignatius make clear that NATO is already directly engaged in the conflict with Russia by providing real-time targeting and other information to Ukrainian troops who are actively fighting Russian troops in battlefield situations.

The mere fact that the Biden administration allowed U.S. intelligence sources to provide Ignatius with highly classified information on the degree to which NATO forces are actively engaged in fighting the Russians on the battlefield can be viewed in part as a response to these pressures.

Putin hasn’t reacted by using nuclear weapons yet, and he is most unlikely to do so.

Putin has threatened to use nuclear weapons so often, and failed to do so so many times, that Washington and NATO no longer need to take his threats as seriously as they did in the first few months of the war.

It is clear now that there is not going to be a negotiated ceasefire or peace settlement within the foreseeable future. It is clear that given the constraints of international law and the U.N. Charter, those ceasefire or peace settlement terms cannot contain “territorial concessions”.

It appears equally clear that Putin will not accept such terms unkess they do recogize lands secured by Russia through military conquest.

In our view, no ceasefire or peace settlement will be possible so long as war criminal Vladimir Putin and his accomplices remain in power.

In these circumstances, the logical war aims of Ukraine should include the following

Rational War Aims:

Unconditional withdrawal.
Full payment of war reparations.
Trial of all war criminals.

Future scenarios are therefore hopeful.

Ukraine’s “algorithm war” advantage should help Ukraine win the battles on the battlefield.

The fact that NATO countries are actively involved in waging war against Russian forces should make restrictions against striking targets in Russia seem increasingly ludicrous.  Pressures to drop them appear to be influencing Biden’s oolicies and decisions.

It is clear that the U.N. Charter and international law cannot be successfully defended unless the three war aims set forth above are achieved.

America is moving toward understanding that victory by Ukraine is the only way the rational war aims set out above can be achieved. As more and more governments come to this realization, momentum toward uniting behind these three war aims is growing.

All in all, things are moving in a positive direction.

There is reason to hope that this war will turn out the right way with a Victory by Ukraine, upholding international law and the U.N. Charter, the fundamental values of humanity in the 21st century, and our entire civilization based on reason and law, and not on state barbarism and military conquest.

The Trenchant Observer