Great thoughts, Ryan. I agree that a true ground war won't break out. What is going to happen is Israel will kill another 5000 or so Palestinians and then withdraw, and things will go back to the way they were - Hamas lobbing rockets every couple of days with Israel shooting most down. The world will forget again, probably because a Kardashian is dating someone new.

Expand full comment

Also, I think it's dead wrong to say it's about the democrats needing the votes of coastal elites not affected by immigration. The polls and politics are quite clear that border security is a vote winning issue -- even for democrats. The issue is what the left (and all the interns, PAs, campaign staff etc) believes about immigration not what gets it votes.

Unfortunately, we end up with the worst of all worlds. A world where the non-crazy left manages immigration is one where asylum seekers arrive at airports and ports not the border and we substantially open up the avenues for legal immigration and allow these people to spread out across the country, pay taxes and integrate into the economy. A world where Republicans or right leaning Dems impose a truly effective deportation and e-verify system is one where far fewer migrants show up at our borders.

Instead, we get a world where we keep millions of people in a kind of legal limbo where they can't put down roots, they burden border states and live in constant fear. But like all tough issues, no one wants to unilaterally concede and give the other side the win.

Expand full comment

Why do you think Peter Zeihan is a better geopolitical expert? Lots of what he says isn't an area I have any expertise in -- but when he talks about an area I know something about he speaks with complete and total confidence and gets almost everything wrong.

When he opined on the Huawei chip and China's ability to fab semiconductors he confidently insisted that without EUV machines China couldn't hope to fab anything close in performance to modern chips -- not seeming to realize that even the newest chips still do most layers using DUV immersion and multipatterning and lots of high performance chips still aren't made with EUV -- and that was just the tip of the iceberg.

When he discussed inflation and macro-economics he confidently opined that inflation caused decreased output -- and while there is a thing called stagflation the classic economic downturn happens because money is too tight and all reputable economists agree that you increase growth in that situation by inflating the currency. Yah there are all sorts of complications and exceptions but he couldn't even get the basics correct.

Maybe he knows his shit in a few areas and just opines on many others but it gives me pause. I fear that Zeihan is mostly just regurgitating little nuggets his friends he meets flying around the world share with little hard research to back it up.

Expand full comment

You don’t have to be a “geopolitical strategist” to know that in 1948 the Arab countries attacked Israel and THAT caused the expulsion of many Palestinians. Even so, what “the Israelis did” is not symmetrical to the hypothetical removal of “every single Jew” from Israel. A lot of Arabs live to this day in the Israeli proper. You stated correctly that political history is not your field of expertise, and went into it head on. But it’s your channel and you don’t need my 5 bucks. Wishing you a better intellectual discipline.

Expand full comment

Ryan, you have a future in the advertising world! I like your substack because it is intelligent and logical. I like your bunker branding ads because they are cool.

Expand full comment

I keep forgetting you're local. As a geopol nerd in MoCo a beer sometime would be quite dope

Expand full comment

"China and Russia use the Israel-Hamas war to claim the moral high ground" WallStJournal

I wonder how and when the US is going to regain the "moral high ground"?

Expand full comment

So agree with all your analysis.

I guess we have to stop thinking about individual happiness and pain, and just focus on the species.

I was really hoping we were past all of this as humans, but nope, it's worse than ever.

Thank you Ryan

Expand full comment

Fantastic analysis Ryan. Really good points that most people are aware of that can hold major influence over peace and war. In my experience most people I encounter think that all you need for war is to be angry and have a gun.

Now, in your assessment of armies I noticed Canada wasn't mentioned. Is this because we unified air force, navy, and army all as The Canadian Armed Forces? Or is it due to our numbers, and lack there of? I was also hypothesizing that it could be due to our current status as a dictatorship and international laughing stock. However, what would you classify the force of yesteryear that has a sizable resume and some distinction for capability despite smaller size?

Lastly, you were discussing the factors of a "Regional War". What are the criteria that define a "Region" per se, and are there other designations of wars and conflicts based off geopolitical criteria? What would officially fit the criteria of a "World War"?

My genuine appreciation, as usual. Keep up the good work brother.


Expand full comment

I can think of two more large-scale successful counter-insurgency operations.

1. The post-Second World War suppression of the Ukrainian insurgency by the Soviet Union.

2. The 1950's suppression of the Tibet insurgency after Chinese military invasion and occupation of that country.

Expand full comment

I've been concerned myself about this, but you explained why it is highly unlikely to escalate past what it is now and it made sense I'm not nearly as concerned... However, there is still the factor of stupidity that can be difficult to calculate... And although it is still a long shot I hope to someday see a Palestinian State that is self governing and not radicalized... But as long as there are Religious Extremists on both sides I doubt this will ever pass...

Expand full comment