So – I quite like playing Civilisation. Probably a bit too much. But one of the things that happens in the game, even when I want to play peacefully (win through culture or science or religion… normally the latter 🙂 is that I get attacked by another player. Which is fine, it is a fun part of the game.
But – assuming I win that fight, and as I get better at the game, that’s what happens more often – at the end of that conflict I have an army. Moreover, that army was expensively accrued, has accumulated lots of XP points, and is cheap to run, especially if they raid or pillage, in which case they become net positives on that asset score.
Of course, I could hold to my original intention and disband the army, but that would be quite a waste of resources.
I ponder this because the risk of Putin winning in the Ukraine is non-trivial (by winning I mean being allowed to continue in possession of some area of Ukrainian land). I think it’s non-trivial because the Western governing classes are generally crap, and because Putin can hold on until Trump comes in, and Trump… well, Trump is Trump. Europe needs to think about it’s own defence.
If Putin wins, he will have a large army. How will he play it?
I think Poland has already worked this out, and at least part of the UK defence establishment is fully on board. It feels like 1938 all over again 🙁
This is not a conflict in a far away land of which we know nothing. Putin has to lose, and be seen to lose. The sooner the better.