Russia- The True Price Is Yet To Come
The Naval Battle at Port Arthur- Russo-Japanese War
There seems to be quite a bit of agreement that Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, a country one fifth the size of his own, will be remembered among the great military humiliations of all time. His army, widely thought to be the second most powerful on Earth, has been revealed to be a hollow shell, eaten away by the sort of corruption that is an inevitable characteristic of dictatorial governments. He seems destined to fail at a military campaign that should have been easily won.
This failure is going to plague Russia for many years to come; however there is, I think, likely to be some massive fallout from Putin's collapsed adventure that practically nobody has been talking about. What I mean can be explained as follows:
I have virtually never seen this discussed, but I think it is important to note how often revolutions and the collapse of empires follow the draining of military power. A classic example of this is the wasting by France and England of their military might, over a period of forty years in the 1700's. It was this military weakness that allowed the American colonies to break away in a war that would have otherwise been unwinnable, and for the French people, a decade later, to crush out of existence the French monarchy.
Another, perhaps more stark, example of this is what followed on the obliterating of European military power in the single greatest example of squandered military might in all history, the First World War. In its aftermath, the German monarchy was destroyed, the Austrian and Ottoman empires obliterated, the Irish gained their freedom from England, and most significantly, revolution swept away the centuries long iron rule of the Czars in Russia.
I will not use terms like squandering to refer to the allies' efforts in World War II, as that fight was hardly optional, but in short order, after that war, India gained its independence from England, the Chinese government was swept away by revolution, and a whole load of other countries began their refusal to accede to colonial rule.
Well, let me get to my rather obvious point here. I think that there is a very strong possibility, maybe even a probability, that Putin and his country are going to suffer very real consequences over the next year or so, due to the perceived, and very real weakness they have shown. This may take the form of tremendous instability in the breakaway republics of central Asia, signs of which we have already seen, and even of a loss of control in parts of Russia itself. Maybe this is just wishful thinking on my part, but losing a war you should have won (e.g. the Russo-Japanese war of 1905, which paved the way for the Bolsheviks) is a sin that rarely goes unpunished.