The Margin of Victory and a Just Peace

Col. Douglas MacGregor, U.S. Army (ret.) is a TV and media commentator, author, and consultant. He has most recently been interviewed by Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham on Fox News, and Judge Andrew Napolitano on YouTube.  

MacGregor is a 1976 engineering graduate of the United States Military Academy and received a PhD in International Relations from the University of Virginia in 1987.

Col. Douglas MacGregor, U.S. Army (ret)
Col. Douglas MacGregor, U.S. Army (ret)

In February 1991, MacGregor, led a squadron of 19 tanks and 30 other combat vehicles through a desert sandstorm and destroyed over 70 Iraqi Republican Guard armored vehicles at the Battle of 73 Easting (a battle phase line). He achieved this without a single American casualty. This battle has been called the last great tank battle of the 20th Century. In November 1993 Army battle gaming exercises, Lt.Col. MacGregor distinguished himself by “vastly outperforming” his peers. According to journalist Thomas Ricks, MacGregor quickly gained a reputation of one of the Army’s leading planners and thinkers on innovation. He became prominent in 1997 after publishing Breaking the Phalanx, which proposed a radical reorganization of U.S. land forces to cope with modern realities. This was backed by several top Army officers and Defense Department cabinet officials, but ran into political trouble, which blocked his path to Brigade commander and Brigadier General. He retired in 2004 and has since acted as a consultant to the Israeli Defense Force. President Trump tried to make him Ambassador to Germany, but the nomination was stalled in the Senate. He served for the last three months of President Trump’s term as an advisor to the Acting Secretary Defense. MacGregor has written five books in all.

Douglas MacGregor is one of those rare treasures of American leadership and public service who insists on speaking the truth, because truth and reality are absolute necessities in all important decisions. Ignoring truth, change, and reality are existential threats to any endeavor, cause, institution, and to national security, peace, and liberty. He is one of those people, like Rush Limbaugh, who says just what you were thinking but were hesitant to say yourself. I myself disagree with him on some things, but I know his opinions are almost always based on industrious, many-sourced, thorough research, on-the-ground experience, seasoned judgment, and clear reasoning.  

One of the curses of mankind, however, is that we so easily allow self-interest or wishful thinking to blind us to reality. Yet truth and reality are the margin of victory in war and lasting peace. The only lasting peace is a just peace. Truth combined with courage is the seed of many victories and secure peace, but this combination of reality and courage has many political enemies.  

MacGregor is unpopular with most of the mainstream media and the progressive establishment of both major political parties because he is tough-minded on the Mexican border, realistic about the nature of Islam, opposed to the ideological interventionism of the last 25 years, opposed to making the Armed Forces into social justice political organizations, and brave enough to call out serious past mistakes and question the logic and consequences of counterproductive current policies.

MacGregor has been an outspoken critic of American diplomacy and military strategy in the Ukraine War. Much of this criticism has been that the Biden Administration and its Obama Administration predecessors do not understand, nor have they tried to understand, Putin, Russia, European energy economics, and the ethnic situation in Ukraine. Seventeen percent of Ukrainians are native Russian speakers and identify with Russian culture and Russian Orthodox religion. They predominate in eastern and southern Ukraine. The Biden Administration continually demonstrates its unfamiliarity with economic, cultural, military, and diplomatic common sense. Biden and the secularist media are also blind to the moral and cultural issues that Orthodox believers fear in a woke infested Americanized Ukrainian culture.

There is also trouble brewing over China’s ambition to annex Taiwan, and MacGregor is concerned with our diplomatic and military thinking on that.

A great deal of MacGregor’s concern is the destruction of U.S. military capabilities and readiness by forcing Critical Race Theory (CRT) on the military. When Laura Ingraham asked him, if the U.S. was prepared to fight a war against China, he answered that “right now we couldn’t fight our way out of a white paper bag.”  Indeed, CRT is creating tremendous recruiting and retention difficulties in the military that cannot be ignored for long. We may be only months from the utter destruction of military morale and unity by CRT. Lower mental and fitness standards have already resulted.  A politicized woke Armed Forces would without doubt be a serious handicap to military effectiveness and national security and even a threat to American freedom.   

On the other hand, MacGregor pointed out to Judge Andrew Napolitano that the Chinese fear U.S. Navy nuclear submarine capabilities. They could destroy every Chinese Naval base from 150 miles out with little warning. However, we must keep those submarines manned with highly qualified and highly motivated teams, or they would have a high failure rate. 

MacGregor is not optimistic about Ukraine’s chances of defeating the Russians. The Russians already occupy most of the eastern and southern parts of Ukraine, and Ukrainian casualties are mounting as they are unable to compete with Russian artillery barrages and much greater ammunition supplies. According to MacGregor, 13,000 to 15,000 Russian soldiers have been killed, but superior Russian artillery firepower volume and accuracy has raised the death toll in the Ukrainian Army to between 60,000 and 80,000.

As always, there is also a propaganda war going on. So who do you believe? My experience leads me to believe MacGregor.  MacGregor believes the Russians want to win before the rain and mud come in early September. They may even try to take Odessa, leaving Ukraine a land-locked country.

McGregor also points out that much of the equipment being sent to Ukraine never gets in the hands of Ukrainian soldiers. Corruption sifts much of it off to other countries. 

MacGregor also uses the phrase that Eisenhower once used as a danger to America: “The Military-Industrial Complex.” But MacGregor uses the phrase “Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex,” which he says was in Eisenhower’s original notes, but his advisors told him he had already made enough enemies in Congress.  Not all the $70 billion plus Congress has authorized for Ukraine is military equipment, but he explained to Napolitano how it works. The equipment is mostly already in use by the U.S. Armed Forces, and is shipped to Ukraine, although the accounting is terrible and leads to corruption. Meanwhile our own equipment and ammunition is in possibly dangerous shortage. Congress then authorizes the money to be sent the U.S. Defense contractors for new equipment. The Defense Industry keeps supplying Congress with generous political donations.

I disagree with MacGregor’s dissent on Sweden and Finland becoming part of NATO. I believe that the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, which border Russia and have Russian minorities withing their borders should be protected, and that Sweden and Finland offer more formidable protection than the rest of NATO except Poland. Russia invaded Finland in the “Winter War” of 1939 and 1940 with disastrous results to the Russian military. The Russians “won” some Karelian territory but did not occupy mainland Finland. According to former Russian Premier Nikita Khrushchev’s biography, over one million Russian soldiers froze to death in Finland. MacGregor admits that the Finns are extraordinarily well prepared to fend off another Russian invasion. Both Sweden and Finland provide much more capability and assets to NATO and especially Baltic defense. We must also remember that the Russians have a major naval base at Kaliningrad, sandwiched in between Lithuania and Poland. MacGregor believes Poland has the most formidable fighting force in NATO.    

MacGregor also points out some disturbing realities of the politics of Taiwan. The present Pan-Green majority coalition led by the Democratic Progressive Party leans to independence from the People’s Republic of China (PRC), although they feel an ethnic kinship to them.  They received a substantial 57 percent majority in the 2020 Presidential Election. But the Pan-Blue minority coalition led by the KMT Party favors eventual re-unification with the PRC and got 39 percent of the votes in 2020.  So it is possible that Taiwan could eventually vote itself into the PRC. PRC Chairman Xi had a planned date of 2049 to consolidate Taiwan into the PRC and PRC State Capitalism. The Chinese are very patient and long term in their goals, but Biden blunders and diplomatic confusion may offer a shortcut political plum to Chairman Xi.   

MacGregor has a website and a YouTube channel, but YouTube has begun removing “controversial” editions. I watched an excellent review of the Ukraine, China, NATO, Iran, and CRT problems last night, but it had already been removed by morning. MacGregor is a necessary resource for the public to cut through all the Biden Administration propaganda.  MacGregor’s latest book is Margin of Victory, published by the Naval Institute Press in 2016.

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