I taught martial arts for thirty years in west London. Before I chose that role I had the good fortune to spend fifteen years of my life as a soldier. Understanding violence and possessing an ability to inflict it efficiently, gave me a rare ability to see the problems that people had to cope with when confronted with extreme aggression.
Many of my adult students were high achievers. Many had taken the opportunities to do well in life. Most had never experienced an extreme threat or violent attack. They believed that most people could be reasoned with and a problem could be resolved with reason or skill.
They never understood violence, partly because they had no personal experience to build upon and partly because they believed that if they looked deeply enough into a subject a solution could be discovered. They were too clever and too nice for their own good. When nice people are confronted with extreme aggression they retreat into submission and shock. The Ukrainian government has a great advantage over most European leaders. They understand their opponents and they understand Putin.
Russian foreign policy is.
I believe you are weak.
I want what you have.
I ask you to give it to me.
I offer to pay a low price for it.
I steal it.
I threaten violence.
I take it by force.
I offer to allow you to keep some of it in return for ‘peace’.
I withdraw temporarily.
I still want what you have.
I kill you.
I try again.
Give them what they want or
Stop them from taking it.
The only way to prevent them is from a position of strength. The only way to defeat them is from a position of strength. The only way to ensure it never happens again is …
When confronted with violence you can run or you can fight but you can’t run forever.
Putin wants to talk? Where is that on my list?
Who Dares Shares
Comment from Dmytro Semenov:
Brilliant! That’s a great explanation why it’s impossible to negotiate with russians.