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Thread: Ukraine: military (Aug '14 to mid-June '15) closed

  1. #41
    Council Member AmericanPride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outlaw
    So you see they place "great faith" in agreements so why have they been since 2012 constantly violating them?
    Probably because the favorable conditions under which those agreements were made are no longer present.

    Quote Originally Posted by Outlaw
    Back to their holding to signed agreements since 1994---the current hardliners as well as Putin are adamant in overturning all signed agreements since 94 as they view those agreements to have been pushed on a "weak" Russia and not fitting for a superpower.
    And this has already been discussed at length. Again - if Russia has the means (renewed capabilities), motive (desirous of restoring its superpower status), and opportunity (Georgia, Ukraine, et. al), how is Russia's behavior irrational? Even in your own comments you recognize that these conditions for exist yet you insist that somehow Russia's behavior cannot be understood.

    Quote Originally Posted by Outlaw
    a friendly inclined nice to work with country or simply a rouge country which ignores all agreements and one who does not care what the world thinks?
    Those are the only two options in diplomacy? Either a country is friendly with us or it is a rogue country? Who again is making the irrational statements? By the way - if "[ignoring] all agreements" and "not [caring] what the world thinks" constitute a 'rogue country', you should add the U.S. to your list. That's the problem with your descriptions of Russia's behavior; it does not establish how Russia's behavior is uniquely objectionable or irrational, nor puts it in the proper context of the international system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Outlaw
    Now explain to me how you would treat a rouge country as shown above other than through isolation until such time as the current leadership either wakes up and or continues on the path.
    Russia is not a "rogue" country. The strong do what they can - and Russia's strength is obviously higher than many people anticipated. I do not think it's wise policy to fixate on one issue at the expense of all others. Is Ukraine's territorial integrity the highest U.S. security interest? If not - then there's a limit to which this should be pursued. I've asked you to identify the extent that the U.S. should chase this issue and you haven't answered. Is that because you don't have a clear end-state in mind?

    Quote Originally Posted by Outlaw
    What would you have as a functional relationship with a country that is basically a developing second world country which has two raw resources and nuclear weapons -- while claiming they can assist us in the international world problems such as Syria where they even blocked humanitarian assistance, Iran, and North Korea---what as been achieved with Russia assistance---exactly just what agreements have come out of Russian assistance?
    Here's a few: denuclearization of post-Soviet states; building a functional counter-proliferation regime; mutual reduction of nuclear weapons; supplying NATO forces in Afghanistan; Russian ascension to WTO; and other technical agreements in education, science, and space. So - if as you claim that Russia is "basically a developing second world country", why are you hyping it is a major security threat? There's an underlying contradiction in your argument that you have not resolved.

    Quote Originally Posted by outlaw
    They have almost an alternative state of reality with this argument and they have not come off of it.
    It's generally a good idea to take official pronouncements at face value, Russian or others. It sounds like you believe their propaganda more than they do. It's no more absurd than U.S. State spokesman trying to support/not support the coup/not-a-coup in Egypt. It has to be said because it's political - not because anyone actually believes it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan
    It may be true that Russian confidence and relative capacity is growing, but Russian influence is not. If the Ukraine emerges from this with a firmly pro-western regime (with or without Crimea and Donetsk), Putin's only ally on his western border will be the consummate loose cannon that is Lukashenko. Sooner or later he will fall (they all do) and who knows what happens then? Assad may well remain in power, but Syria will be a broken state and as much liability as asset for Putin for years to come. Chinese influence is growing in the 'Stans. Worldwide, nations that find themselves out of favor in the West are increasingly looking to China, rather than Russia, for support and leadership. It's difficult to argue that Russia is in any way ascendant in the global influence derby. Who do they influence?
    That's part of the problem. There's a disparity between Russia's capabilities and desired status with its ascribed status. That gap creates insecurity and frames policy.
    Last edited by AmericanPride; 08-04-2014 at 02:47 AM.
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    AP---seeing how you never seem to have your own opinions---here is a puzzle for you to see just how you would suggest a solution.

    There is an old Turkish saying---"you do not have to burn the blanket to get rid of a flea".

    So AP without burning the blanket just how do you get rid of a single flea?

    Answer that and then we can see your thought processes at work because the way you tend to tear apart anyone's comments does not lend itself to a conversation---use to have some old friends of mine for the German 68 generation at the Berlin Free University do that as a "sign of intellectual superiority during 68" in the meantime they are now retiring as bankers, lawyers, doctors and are the farthest from those days--just ask their children who are now in their 30s.
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 08-04-2014 at 10:39 AM.

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    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    AP---seeing how you never seem to have your own opinions---here is a puzzle for you to see just how you would suggest a solution.

    There is an old Turkish saying---"you do not have to burn the blanket to get rid of a flea".

    So AP without burning the blanket just how do you get rid of a single flea?
    Put the blanket in a dryer and run it at full heat for a little while. No more flea. If you have no dryer, boil a bucket of water and toss the blanket in. Been there, done that, both ways.

    A "solution" in the Ukraine is a lot harder, and I'm not at all sure there is one, at least not in any sure or reliable sense. The current program of focusing on economic repercussions, gradually escalating them, and hoping Russia's economic elite can be hurt badly enough to pressure Putin is hardly ideal, but it has the advantage of being reasonably practical.

    Despite many hundreds of posts, I'm not sure what solution you'd propose either. Enlighten us, perhaps?
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    Put the blanket in a dryer and run it at full heat for a little while. No more flea. If you have no dryer, boil a bucket of water and toss the blanket in. Been there, done that, both ways.

    A "solution" in the Ukraine is a lot harder, and I'm not at all sure there is one, at least not in any sure or reliable sense. The current program of focusing on economic repercussions, gradually escalating them, and hoping Russia's economic elite can be hurt badly enough to pressure Putin is hardly ideal, but it has the advantage of being reasonably practical.

    Despite many hundreds of posts, I'm not sure what solution you'd propose either. Enlighten us, perhaps?
    Dayuhan---ah someone who understands fleas.

    Obama summed it up in the last couple of days outside of oil/gas as a second rate developing country who has nuclear weapons so just really what is the need of Russia for the rest of the global market place and or global political arena? Think about it for a moment if Russia did not have nuclear weapons would we be really all that concerned?

    If you really look at it from that perspective then understanding what to do is easy---what is difficult is understanding who to deal with inside the former and still Soviet Union.

    http://en.delfi.lt/central-eastern-e...d1407158104477

    I have written here often that they are four general legs of power---the following is a far better discussion of the inside groups that control the former Soviet Union ---the West really needs to understand them in light of what is going on in the Crimea and Ukraine.

    Both you and AP had not done me the favor of going back and reading thoroughly the new Russian nuclear doctrine since 2012 and then looking intently at their INF violations and tell me Russia has a sane nuclear policy as stated since 2012?

    Once in agreement that 1) Russia is a second rate developing country and 2) has developed some rather strange nuclear strike thoughts then we can discuss what should be done.

    I am all for far more financial sanctions ie cutting all abilities to get short term credit lines of 90 days are less and cutting the ability to deal in investment quality bonds issued by Russian companies and sovereign fund bonds as a start.

    The latest round of sanctions has hurt regardless of what Putin is telling his population and the Russia western sanctions are a farce---especially when they are stopping items like fruit, milk, pork and chicken which is now in short supply across all of Russia driving prices higher for the average Russian, and the bank sanctions have driven private credit interest to now 22%.
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 08-04-2014 at 03:43 PM.

  5. #45
    Council Member AmericanPride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outlaw
    AP---seeing how you never seem to have your own opinions
    Given your relentless 'coverage' of Putin's information campaign, I would have thought by now that you'd understand that repeating a falsehood incessantly does not make that falsehood true.

    For example - here is my opinion on why focusing on the Russian stock market is problematic. By the way - how has the European market fared with the most recent sanctions?

    Here's my opinion on the cause of the crisis. And my view on a viable political outcome. And my opinion on Russia's foreign policy drivers. And this page contains this post, another post, and this third one describing my views on Russia's intentions. And buried somewhere in these 99 pages are several posts in which I describe a possible political outcome to resolve Ukraine's political and economic crisis.

    Quote Originally Posted by Outlaw
    Think about it for a moment if Russia did not have nuclear weapons would we be really all that concerned?
    Quote Originally Posted by Outlaw
    I am all for far more financial sanctions ie cutting all abilities to get short term credit lines of 90 days are less and cutting the ability to deal in investment quality bonds issued by Russian companies and sovereign fund bonds as a start.
    So your solutions it to plunge a nuclear power into economic chaos? Do you remember all the security concerns about loose nukes and rogue scientists selling their wares the last time Russia experienced an economic calamity? You know - with senior U.S. officials roaming the former Soviet Union inspecting WMD sites only to find stuff missing. Russia's control over its nuclear arsenal (and other WMD) is far weaker than many people realize and I do not think it's a useful policy to test the limits of that control under the conditions you wish to impose.

    I am starting to suspect that your position is less concerned with Ukraine's territorial integrity and more with punishing Russia for diverting from your perception that it ought to stay within the nice political and moral lines you have drawn for it.
    Last edited by AmericanPride; 08-04-2014 at 04:03 PM.
    When I am weaker than you, I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles. - Louis Veuillot

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    Default 'Ukrainian Rebels' Aren't Ukrainian or Rebels

    At first this headline in 'The Moscow Times' puzzled me,, but they do explain they are a Moscow-based, independent English language newspaper:http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinio...ls/504197.html

    No surprises in the content. more that this is available inside Russia:
    Rather than Ukrainian citizens carrying a legitimate grievance against the Kiev government's pro-EU outlook, they are outsiders and usurpers, men with either mercenary or imperial motivations. They are pro-Russian, yes. They are separatists. But these men are invaders — and they are not Ukrainians.
    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    At first this headline in 'The Moscow Times' puzzled me,, but they do explain they are a Moscow-based, independent English language newspaper:http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinio...ls/504197.html

    No surprises in the content. more that this is available inside Russia:
    David---it is actually balanced based on writers/their locations and on occasions even Russian supportive although not Putin supportive.

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    AmericanPride, have you studied those numbers?

    A survey, which was conducted for my research project by Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) in Ukraine, except Crimea, from April 29 to May 11, shows that the representation of separatism in Donbas by the Ukrainian and the Western governments and the media as small groups of Russian military intelligence agents and local “terrorists” or “rebels” who lack popular backing in this region and, therefore, can be easily defeated by force is unfounded. Most residents of Donbas supported different forms of separatism (54 percent).
    The survey results also show that views expressed by the Russian government and media concerning widespread popular support for separatism in all of eastern and southern Ukraine are unfounded. Crimea and Donbas do not represent the entire southeast, because they have much larger ethnic Russian populations and a history of separatism. Minorities of residents of three eastern regions neighboring Donbas (15 percent) and in the south (10 percent) support separatism. Ethnic Russians, who are concentrated mostly in the east and the south, are split on the issue of separatism. Some 44 percent of ethnic Russians support different separatist options, including joining Russia (18 percent), while 40 percent favor preservation of the current unitary system, mostly with expanded powers. Among Russian speakers, who include many ethnic Ukrainians, 24 percent favor secession from Ukraine or regional autonomy in federal Ukraine.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...out-secession/

    About Crimea.

    Forty-one percent of Crimeans in the latest KIIS poll, conducted from Feb. 8-18, said Ukraine and Russia should merge into one state. That percentage has ebbed and flowed in recent years, in part because of the small sample size of any one of Ukraine’s 24 oblasts (provinces) in a national poll. Based on recent years, 41 percent could be an overestimate — just one-third of Crimeans wanted Ukraine to join Russia last year, and fewer than 1 in 4 did in 2012.
    http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/...t-polls-didnt/

    First Putin accomplished coup d'etat in Crimea despite KIIS numbers. From Russian side were involved green polite men (Russian army), cossacks, spezturisty from Russia, Presidential administration election specialist, propaganda specialists etc. Then Putin tried to repeat the same in Eastern Ukraine. Look at the Novorossija rhetoric. Then they just run out of steam or decided to use different strategy that balanced resorces and aims. They were stuck in Crimea with resources, EU/NATO started to react etc. Then they switched to propaganda by deed track. This is going on under Russia's leadership. They have hidden in huge cities of Donetsk and Lugansk and due to Ukrainian armed forces training and equipment, their action is producing grievancies among the Donbas people.

    This paper models a scenario in which an extremist faction considers attacking
    a government in the hopes of provoking a counterterror response that will radicalize
    the population, increasing the extremists' support at the expense of a more moderate
    faction. In our scenario, such radicalization can result either from the economic damage
    caused by counterterror operations or by the way in which such operations change the
    population's assessment of the government's motivations.
    http://www.nyu.edu/gsas/dept/politic...propaganda.pdf
    Last edited by kaur; 08-04-2014 at 07:41 PM.

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Ukraine: military aspects (August 2014 onwards)

    On reflection I have decided to:

    1. Close this the existing main Ukraine (catch all) thread (1991 replies and 99k views)
    2. Create two threads for current matters
    3. First the fighting and military aspects - this thread
    4. Secondly the wider non-military context (diplomacy, politicis, economics etc)
    5. The Russian Info Ops thread is now in the Europe arena
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member AmericanPride's Avatar
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    Kaur,

    From your quotes, the majority of ethnic Russians in Ukraine supported some form of separatism. So - the Ukrainians who have a disincentive to legitimize separatist sentiments and the Russians who have an incentive to legitimize those same sentiments attempted to play down/up the support for that cause. No surprise there.

    Where I disagree with you is that Moscow attempted the same strategy in eastern Ukraine that it did in Crimea. When the Crimea referendum passed (legitimate or not), in a matter of days Russia formalized it and annexed the region. When the Donetsk referendum passed with the same exact platform as the Crimean one, Moscow deferred and was in fact mostly silent about the results. If Russia is in direct control of the separatists, why would Russia embarress itself by hosting a referendum for annexation only to turn it down publicly and damage its credibility with the insurgents?

    I don't think Russia wants to physically govern eastern Ukraine. Instead, I think they want to de-center Kiev's political power and disrupt the new government's ability to actually govern. Destablizing Ukraine weakens its opposition to Russia's aims and makes it more unlikely for NATO members to welcome the country into the alliance.
    When I am weaker than you, I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles. - Louis Veuillot

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    AmericanPride, Eastern Ukrainians lost their "feet" after Yanukovich Party of regions lost their position. If you follow my text, then they you see that they don't support also joining Russia. Then there must be third solution to their problems.

    I didn't say the same strategy like in Crimea. I said that the new ambition was purely too big piece to use exactly the same methods and means. If you follow Russia's problems in Crimea, then you can see that exactly same model is hard to use. There may not be resources.

    Donetsk referendum. They didn't back up the referendum by Kremlin statements, but they provided PR specialists, weapons, cossacks, money etc. At that moment for example even EU started to move his feet. Threat of sanctions was connected with for example not spoiling presidential elections in the end of May.

    I agree with you last points about Russia's aims. This is minimum program for them.

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    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    someone who understands fleas.
    Practical lessons of third world living...

    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    Obama summed it up in the last couple of days outside of oil/gas as a second rate developing country who has nuclear weapons so just really what is the need of Russia for the rest of the global market place and or global political arena? Think about it for a moment if Russia did not have nuclear weapons would we be really all that concerned?
    From a US perspective, we need the Russians to keep selling oil, because they sell quite a bit of it and if they stop or slow down significantly the world price will escalate tremendously, which would hurt the US.

    We could live with a drop in gas sales (gas and oil price patterns are quite different), but we need them to keep selling oil.

    We also need them to not start a nuclear war, for obvious reasons.

    We want them to stop manipulating and invading their neighbors. We also want them to get their criminal organizations under control, bring trade practices into synch with the developed world, be nicer to homosexuals, etc.

    Need and want are of course two very different things. Things you want and things you need are both goals, but they vary in priority and negotiability.

    Clarifying goals is a good start, but it also helps to have a realistic and practical plan for achieving the goals.

    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    I have written here often that they are four general legs of power---the following is a far better discussion of the inside groups that control the former Soviet Union ---the West really needs to understand them in light of what is going on in the Crimea and Ukraine.
    I think we're all aware that the internal power dynamics of Russia are different from those in the West, and of the four pillars you speak of... but again, what specific policy options do you suggest for responding to or managing that internal situation?

    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    Once in agreement that 1) Russia is a second rate developing country and 2) has developed some rather strange nuclear strike thoughts then we can discuss what should be done.
    I agree that Russia is by most metrics a "second rate developing country" and that the Russian government's thoughts on quite a few subjects seem strange to Americans... so what do you, as an expert on the subject, propose that the US do about it?

    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    If you really look at it from that perspective then understanding what to do is easy---what is difficult is understanding who to deal with inside the former and still Soviet Union.
    Ok, so tell us what you think we should do. If "understanding what to do is easy" it shouldn't be difficult.

    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    The latest round of sanctions has hurt regardless of what Putin is telling his population and the Russia western sanctions are a farce---especially when they are stopping items like fruit, milk, pork and chicken which is now in short supply across all of Russia driving prices higher for the average Russian, and the bank sanctions have driven private credit interest to now 22%.
    Yes, there is evidence that sanctions have hurt. The question is how people will respond. Will they blame Putin and start grumbling that this Ukraine affair is not worth the price, or will they blame the West and rally behind Putin? Probably a bit of both, at least initially, but which will emerge as the primary response? Perhaps more important, how much pressure will (or can) the oligarchs bring to bear to get Putin to back off and place their economic interests above the political goals in the Ukraine?

    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
    So your solutions it to plunge a nuclear power into economic chaos?
    I don't think "economic chaos" is the goal of sanctions, and it would take much more aggressive sanctions to even come close to that outcome. The goal appears to be more modest: to impose enough economic pain on the oligarchs that they will pressure Putin to revise his policies. Stretching that to "economic chaos" is somewhat over the top.

    Economic sanctions may not be an ideal response, but what are the options? No response at all would only encourage and complicate further land grabs and make response to those more difficult, and the non-economic response options are risky, impractical, and generally unappealing, unless you have a proposal I haven't seen.

    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
    I am starting to suspect that your position is less concerned with Ukraine's territorial integrity and more with punishing Russia for diverting from your perception that it ought to stay within the nice political and moral lines you have drawn for it.
    Are the "political and moral" lines involved specific to Russia in any way?

    And, because it's irresistible...

    Originally Posted by Outlaw

    Right now Russia is in fact a rouge country regardless of how one wants to define rouge.
    rouge1
    ro͞oZH/
    noun

    1. a red powder or cream used as a cosmetic for coloring the cheeks or lips.


    But on the bright side, if it gets out that Putin is using the stuff, his reputation will be shot forever...
    Last edited by Dayuhan; 08-05-2014 at 12:41 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
    Given your relentless 'coverage' of Putin's information campaign, I would have thought by now that you'd understand that repeating a falsehood incessantly does not make that falsehood true.

    For example - here is my opinion on why focusing on the Russian stock market is problematic. By the way - how has the European market fared with the most recent sanctions?

    Here's my opinion on the cause of the crisis. And my view on a viable political outcome. And my opinion on Russia's foreign policy drivers. And this page contains this post, another post, and this third one describing my views on Russia's intentions. And buried somewhere in these 99 pages are several posts in which I describe a possible political outcome to resolve Ukraine's political and economic crisis.





    So your solutions it to plunge a nuclear power into economic chaos? Do you remember all the security concerns about loose nukes and rogue scientists selling their wares the last time Russia experienced an economic calamity? You know - with senior U.S. officials roaming the former Soviet Union inspecting WMD sites only to find stuff missing. Russia's control over its nuclear arsenal (and other WMD) is far weaker than many people realize and I do not think it's a useful policy to test the limits of that control under the conditions you wish to impose.

    I am starting to suspect that your position is less concerned with Ukraine's territorial integrity and more with punishing Russia for diverting from your perception that it ought to stay within the nice political and moral lines you have drawn for it.
    AP---see again you assume you know the former SU---are you actually proposing that Russia has not been actually in economic tumult since 1994---I would argue they never have come out of it especially since their economy has never moved past a state owned/run capitalist/corporate concept which never did die out.

    Secondly have you again looked out the window and seen the "peacekeeping troops" parked within three kms from the Ukrainian border which first started out to be 4K and now is over 21K and you then tell me you think you are seeing a "friendly neighbor" who just "wants" to help---come on AP.

    You are seeing a rouge state that once it goes down a particular path is incapable of pulling back in the face of reality.

    We use to call that nationalism but that ell out of favor in the 70s.

    Again AP outside of two raw resources and nuclear weapons what does Russia really offer the West outside of a hard time these days?

    This is how crazy Russia is internally--the Office of Transportation threatened to deny western airlines the overflight rights across Russia to Asia WITHOUT understanding that Areoflot gets money for those flights and just the rumor of the cancellation sent Areoflot shares down 8% and then opens the Russian airlines to be denied any overflight rights basically parking all their aircraft on the ground.

    Now AP does that sound like a sane government to you or a government out of control internally?

    So again the question AP outside of oil and gas and that oil is slowly diminishing by 2020 what does Russia really offer the global market and the rest of the world?

    Again AP you make countless comments--what would you personally suggest to Putin is his exit ramp?

    Basically it sounds like you would simply give the entire Ukraine to him, and declare his arguments to be correct and heck why not give back the Baltics, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Poland as well as that is what his view of Russian nationalism is all about.---the recreation of the Soviet Empire as defined by Russian nationalists.

    Come on AP post you suggestions to Putin---you know mine let's see yours?

    Forgot---here is an article written about what Russia produces---author is heavy on the M17 helicopter thing but he forgot that the Russian M17s and most of their helicopters fly with Ukrainian engines.


    We don’t think the president really meant it when he said the Russians don’t make anything. But we still came up with a few items—including those Mi-17 helicopters the Pentagon bought.During an interview this month with The Economist, President Obama made what seemed like an offhanded comment when asked about recent tensions with the Russian government over Ukraine and the failure of his administration’s “reset.”“Russia doesn’t make anything,” the president said. “Immigrants aren’t rushing to Moscow in search of opportunity…And so we have to respond with resolve in what are effectively regional challenges that Russia presents.”That comment is in line with previous Obama statements seeking to diminish the threat that Russia poses to the United States. “Russia is a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors—not out of strength but out of weakness,” he said at a March press conference.Of course, the president wasn’t really saying the Russians make and export nothing; that’s obviously not true, though Russia’s manufacturing sector isn’t all that competitive internationally and is generally geared toward domestic consumption.But if only for the sake of adding to our general knowledge, here are a few things Russia does make and export:*Semi-finished iron *Diamonds *Chemical fertilizers *Sawn wood *Copper wire *Radioactive chemicalsHere’s something else Russia makes that Obama should be aware of: the dozens of Russian Mi-17 helicopters that the Pentagon bought for Afghanistan’s security forces, at a price of more than $1 billion. - See more at: http://www.thedailybeast.com/article....86gohELw.dpuf
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 08-05-2014 at 12:45 PM.

  14. #54
    Council Member AmericanPride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outlaw
    are you actually proposing that Russia has not been actually in economic tumult since 1994---I would argue they never have come out of it especially since their economy has never moved past a state owned/run capitalist/corporate concept which never did die out.
    The conditions of an economy (i.e. "in tumult") and the structure of an economy (i.e. "state owned") are two different things. By nearly all indicators of a healthy economy (e.g. GDP), the Russian economy has significantly improved since 1994, your bias notwithstanding.

    Quote Originally Posted by outlaw
    Again AP outside of two raw resources and nuclear weapons what does Russia really offer the West outside of a hard time these days?
    I've already answered this question.

    Quote Originally Posted by outlaw
    Now AP does that sound like a sane government to you or a government out of control internally?
    It sounds like bureaucracy.

    Quote Originally Posted by outlaw
    So again the question AP outside of oil and gas and that oil is slowly diminishing by 2020 what does Russia really offer the global market and the rest of the world?
    So a country needs to offer something to the "global market" for you to consider it a rational actor with clearly defined interests that should be considered when making policy towards said country?

    Quote Originally Posted by outlaw
    Again AP you make countless comments--what would you personally suggest to Putin is his exit ramp?
    I've already answered that question.

    Quote Originally Posted by outlaw
    Basically it sounds like you would simply give the entire Ukraine to him, and declare his arguments to be correct and heck why not give back the Baltics, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Poland as well as that is what his view of Russian nationalism is all about.---the recreation of the Soviet Empire as defined by Russian nationalists.
    Are you going to accuse me of being a Russian plant next? Anyway - you're confusing arguments here. Understanding Russia's arguments is not the same as accepting them. And if "simply [giving] the entire Ukraine to [Putin]" advanced U.S. security, it's not something I would dismiss from consideration (and to be clear in case you misinterpret my comments again, I don't think that 'solution' would advance U.S. or even Russian security).

    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan
    I don't think "economic chaos" is the goal of sanctions, and it would take much more aggressive sanctions to even come close to that outcome. The goal appears to be more modest: to impose enough economic pain on the oligarchs that they will pressure Putin to revise his policies. Stretching that to "economic chaos" is somewhat over the top.
    I agree - my comments were directed at Outlaw, who seems fixated on destroying Russia.
    Last edited by AmericanPride; 08-05-2014 at 03:43 PM.
    When I am weaker than you, I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles. - Louis Veuillot

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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    Come on AP post you suggestions to Putin---you know mine let's see yours?
    I'd be more curious about your suggestions for Obama. We can all see what the Russians are doing... since you're the expert on the field here, what exactly do you think the US response should be?

    Personally, I don't see many options beyond what's already being done: focus on economic pressure, work in concert with Europe as much as possible, and apply gradually escalating sanctions. Not ideal by any means, but who has a better (and realistic) proposal?
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    I'd be more curious about your suggestions for Obama. We can all see what the Russians are doing... since you're the expert on the field here, what exactly do you think the US response should be?

    Personally, I don't see many options beyond what's already being done: focus on economic pressure, work in concert with Europe as much as possible, and apply gradually escalating sanctions. Not ideal by any means, but who has a better (and realistic) proposal?
    One understands that US options are limited due to the reticence of EU countries to act - especially Germany - where some economic scrifice is required in so doing. But the US inability to 'influence' EU countries to act more decisively is an indication of the steady implosion of US power and influence... which Putin has realised and is exploiting.

    All that said their is serious doubt that the US would have acted decisively anyway. Obama has serious limitations but when one looks at Kerry one can only be horrified how close it was that he became president. Anyone watching China?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
    ... - my comments were directed at Outlaw, who seems fixated on destroying Russia.
    And what exactly is the problem with that?

    Had the collapse of the Soviet Union been effectively managed this would not have happened. Bush #41 must take responsibility for that.

    In the wake of the Crimea / Ukraine invasions certainly the plan must be to emasculate Russia to the extent that it can never again threaten neighbouring states.

    How could that ever be achieved with the current Whitehouse and EU governments is the big question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA
    And what exactly is the problem with that?
    Oh let me count the ways... starting with the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

    Quote Originally Posted by JMA
    Had the collapse of the Soviet Union been effectively managed this would not have happened. Bush #41 must take responsibility for that.
    The Bush administration did not want the collapse of the Soviet Union, recognizing all of the problems that would be unleashed. Events on the ground - the hardliner coup, Yeltsin's nationalism, etc - overtook policy. And how exactly would the U.S. have "effectively managed" the implosion of the USSR anyway? What does "effectively manage" actually mean in practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by JMA
    In the wake of the Crimea / Ukraine invasions certainly the plan must be to emasculate Russia to the extent that it can never again threaten neighbouring states.
    Because that worked so well with the German Empire? How do you propose to "emasculate" a nuclear-armed country?

    You have these broad, sweeping policy ideas but no detail on how it would actually be implemented.

    Quote Originally Posted by JMA
    How could that ever be achieved with the current Whitehouse and EU governments is the big question.
    Whatever their faults, I trust they're smarter than to become involved in the "emasculation" of Russia (whatever that means).
    When I am weaker than you, I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles. - Louis Veuillot

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    One understands that US options are limited due to the reticence of EU countries to act - especially Germany - where some economic scrifice is required in so doing. But the US inability to 'influence' EU countries to act more decisively is an indication of the steady implosion of US power and influence... which Putin has realised and is exploiting.
    Does that really represent an "implosion of US power and influence"? Has there ever been a time when the US could simply compel Europe to accept US-dictated policies that the Europeans do not believe are in accordance with their interests? What Putin is exploiting is less an implosion of US power than a simple divergence of perceived US and European interests. That's actually not working out very well for Putin, as decision to introduce graduated sanctions in graduated steps does seem to be bringing the Europeans on board to some extent. How far they will be willing to go is of course another question, but reaching for too much too soon would have almost certainly left the US with no support at all.

    As Outlaw has pointed out, this is not going Putin's way. His proxies are failing, and he's stuck with a choice between walking away and betraying them or going with a direct intervention with potentially catastrophic consequences for his own economy and for the support he receives from the oligarchs. The oligarchs may be afraid to openly challenge him, but that doesn't mean they can't make their disapproval felt. I don't see how assertive US action is needed at this point.

    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    All that said their is serious doubt that the US would have acted decisively anyway. Obama has serious limitations but when one looks at Kerry one can only be horrified how close it was that he became president. Anyone watching China?
    That would depend largely on whether or not there was an opportunity for decisive action that was likely to accomplish anything positive. If decisive action is poorly thought through it can do more harm than good. I watch China all the time, being in the neighborhood, and I don't see much of an opening for decisive US action that would also be productive.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

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    AP--I am assuming you read this particular sentence in Putin's recent WW1 speech.

    It would be good if we could learn to see at least one step ahead," President Vladimir Putin said recently in a speech on the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I. .

    So AP what is Putin's next step he seems to not be able to see nor understand?

    Particularly telling for a decision maker who controls nuclear weapons is it not AP?

    The sentence tells me he thought he was going to win across the board on both the Crimea and eastern Ukraine and now he has no Plan B.

    So AP since you are good at questioning just what should Putin's Plan B be since he is both arming and sending in irregular fighters -- the EU/NATO

    nor the US did either the last time I checked. The only thing and JMA will agree one can accuse the EU/NATO/US is they were asleep at the wheel in the Crimea nor do they have a plan now if Russian invades under the guise of "peacekeeping".

    Here is Polish views on Plan B---I will offer a third version---invasion under the guise of "peacekeeping" which we all know what happens ie Georgia and Moldavia.

    So if that happens will you finally stop and rethink everything you have previously stated and redefine your thinking concerning "rouge" states.

    By the way Russia is asking the UNSC today for an emergency meeting---here comes the "peacekeeping" invasion ---if the UN does not act then Russia will state that it will--AP you have got to expand your views.
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 08-06-2014 at 10:47 AM.

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