The Man Who Predicted The Ukraine War Analyzes The Israel-Hamas Conflict

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by Portfolio Armor
Monday, Oct 16, 2023 - 12:31
John Mearsheimer
John Mearsheimer speaking to Andrew Napolitano last week. 

The Man Who Predicted The Ukraine War...

A short video clip that went viral after Russia invaded the Ukraine last year was the one in the tweet below, by University of Chicago Professor John Mearsheimer in 2015, predicting the war that would come seven years later. 

...Weighs In On Israel Versus Hamas

In a discussion with Judge Andrew Napolitano last week, Professor Mearsheimer offered his assessment of the current Mideast war, as well as an update on the Ukraine war. Below is a video of their discussion, followed by a brief summary of the key points. Following that, we'll close with a brief note about earnings season. 

Key points discussed include:

  1. Israeli Intelligence Failure:

    • The unexpected scale and nature of the recent Hamas attack on Israel caught Israeli intelligence by surprise. Mearsheimer doesn't think Israel or Egypt really knew what was coming. 
    • This lapse is likened to the 1973 war where Israel was similarly surprised.
    • The failure is attributed to a mix of possible arrogance, reliance on AI over human intelligence, and a misjudgment of the threats posed by Hamas.
  2. Hamas and Israeli Politics:

    • Professor Mearsheimer provides a brief history of Hamas, its evolution from the Islamic Brotherhood, and how some Israeli factions viewed Hamas as a useful entity to undermine the two-state solution approach favored by the Palestinian Authority.
    • Mearsheimer also says that, as with Golda Meir after the 1973 intelligence failure, Netanyahu's political career is likely doomed. 
  3. U.S. Policy and Russian Perspective:

    • Judge Napolitano plays a clip from Russian President Putin where he criticizes U.S. policy in the Middle East, suggesting that the U.S. has failed to facilitate a viable two-state solution. Mearsheimer agrees with this, but given that that a two-state solution isn't Hamas's goal, and Hamas runs Gaza, it's hard to see how this would solve the Israel-Gaza conflict.
  4. Ukraine Situation:

    • The discussion transitions to Ukraine where it's suggested that U.S. support appears to be waning despite previous assurances.
    • The U.S. is seen as leading Ukraine into a precarious situation, with the U.S. now seemingly "at the end of the rope" concerning aid to Ukraine, which may lead to a dire situation for Ukraine against Russia.
    • Mearsheimer says the Ukraine should begin negotiating now, although they can't expect a good deal at this point. 
  5. Looking Ahead:

    • The discussion touches on the difficulty in predicting outcomes both in the Middle East and Ukraine, emphasizing the complex and intertwined nature of geopolitical events and decisions.
    • Mearsheimer says Israel is between a rock and a hard place on Gaza, and suggests Israel not invade Gaza and reiterates his call for a two-state solution, though he acknowledges it's politically impossible for Israel now. 

Q4 Earnings Season Begins

In our last post, we noted this week was packed with earnings reports, and that we'd be spending Sunday analyzing the companies reporting, looking for ones to bet on or against. 

We did that, and identified two names reporting on Tuesday, one we're bullish on and one we're bearish on. We have trades teed up for both; if you'd like a heads up when we place them, feel free to subscribe to our trading Substack/occasional email list below. 


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