Why it is impossible to deliberately underestimate the duration of the war
Recently, scenarios-forecasts.-strategies for Ukraine after the victory have been increasing. This is necessary and important if it does not become hype or political technology.
What the Experts Missed
More importantly, forecasting-strategy only makes sense if realistic time frames are understood. That is, “when”? When will the war end? After how many years will Russia not be able to finance the war?
Now we can only say the following.
1. In their forecasts in the first months of the war, after March-April 2022, the most authoritative experts both in Ukraine and in the West were unacceptably wrong. They exaggerated the rapid negative impact of sanctions, including energy sanctions, on the Russian economy. Well, politicians in general, in some places, have become naive dreamers.
2. Lack of understanding of the criminal-totalitarian nature of the modern Russian regime has led to the fact that the strength of the Russian economy and the ability of Russian business and the public sector to get out, quickly adapt, and find loopholes in sanctions networks have been greatly underestimated. This they have thanks to the habit of criminal schemes, which was laid back in the days of “wild capitalism” in the 1990s.
3. For some reason, no one, even the stars of economic science, did not assume that the multiple growth in Russia of state defense orders for the war and, accordingly, military production has a significant impact on the entire socio-economic sphere. This compensated for the “peaceful” industries that sank as a result of sanctions restrictions, investors leaving, and so on.
4. The desire of Asian countries to take advantage of the situation and make money in the new world situation was underestimated. This is in particular about more than 7,000 kilometers of Russia's border with China and Mongolia.
Realistic arguments required
This is a big conversation. Right now, the most optimistic scenario seems to be:
- the liberation of all occupied territories, that is, the 1991 borders;
- the war continues for several more years (the main uncertainty is how long) along the entire front line. We are talking about rocket-artillery and aviation warfare, the war of constant exits of sabotage groups and local offensives;
- normal, that is, “peaceful”, economic and investment activity (well, political too) on about half of the territory of Ukraine, to put it mildly, is significantly complicated.
So, dreaming is good and useful. But the main super-task of the experts is to provide Ukrainian and Western politicians and diplomats with realistic and reasoned estimates of the time (the duration of the war). Here it is possible to err only in the direction of overestimation of these terms.
Too much depends on these assessments – both in Ukrainian and in world life.