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Thread: Ukraine (closed; covers till August 2014)

  1. #461
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    Firn--Merkel's speech today in Parliament before she left for Brussels was a hardening in her tone---something new for her and I think in general German politics. She also indicated that if the talking with Putin does not go anywhere Germany is prepared to go to hard sanctions even if it hits them.

    When she spoke of the coming G8 meetings she stated what G8? and no G8 meeting as long as the surrounding politics do not allow it.

    They have stopped all military sales to Russia which included new vehicles and a 140M USD simulation enter the Russians were counting on to improve their C&C and the CA fire and move element which they are still in from the 50/60s.

    The UK has stopped their military sales as well which was a lot and the French are delaying the two carriers for Russia and Russian just demanded penalties if they do not deliver the first one on time.

    Not sure Russia calculated this quick of a total stop to military sales as it was a planned part of their military rebuilding efforts especially the naval vessels with French technology.

    Reference Die Linke -- Zeit newspaper article---they were pushing to join in a future political coalition with the SPD and Greens (red, red, green) and with their fallback into cold war rhetoric and their matching of Putin's Crimea arguments they basically killed that notion for the coming years as being politically kind of in an isolation mode with their views. Die Linke is a holdover of the former GDR Communist Party as well the former West German CP and is while a minority relativity strong % wise in the former GDR.
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 03-20-2014 at 01:30 PM.

  2. #462
    Council Member Firn's Avatar
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    At least Italy send only a 'ndrangheta buddy honestly interested in the money or Russian asylum. Germany came up with two useful ideological idiots who seem to really believe their drivel.

    Bloomberg TV got a knowledgable interviewee, he pretty much confirmed what was mentioned earlier in the thread. The Russian budget and the trade facts were quite revealing even without in-depth knowledge.

    Putins mate Schroeder sold himself dearly on North Stream, he must be a most popular man in the Baltics.

    And yes Merkel sounded surprisingly tough and there has been some actions in the 'defense' business.
    Last edited by Firn; 03-20-2014 at 01:43 PM.
    ... "We need officers capable of following systematically the path of logical argument to its conclusion, with disciplined intellect, strong in character and nerve to execute what the intellect dictates"

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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    Firn--Merkel's speech today in Parliament before she left for Brussels was a hardening in her tone---
    my emphasis

    Surely we are a long way past the need for a change in tone but rather in need of some action?

    But good for her and Germany for showing more balls than contained in the current White House.

    Before the focus on gutlessness stays only on Obama we need to remember that George Bush's bottle went with the Georgia crisis back in 2008 which sent a message to Russia. The Russians can be forgiven for interpreting the continued US draw down of troops in Europe as a withdrawal to avoid confrontation.

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    Default What to do with this a..hole

    Russia’s moves in Ukraine are ‘wake-up call,’ NATO’s Rasmussen says in speech

    “We live in a different world than we did less than a month ago,” Rasmussen said in a previously scheduled Brookings Institution speech that was adjusted to reflect a sudden crisis that he called Europe’s “gravest threat . . . since the end of the Cold War.”
    No true... it is just that some were delusional.

    Fire this guy... now.

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    JMA---IMO I view the US troop draw down as a not to subtle signal to Russia that the US was in fact no longer interested in the European area. If you look at the European NATO countries they have all gone to volunteers and reduced their size and military spending as "peace and stability had broken out" and although they did support in some ways in Iraq and AFG they were on a glide path of military reductions overall. Couple that with the US pulling out and couple that with a complete Russian military rebuild with new weapons and a professional army you have in effect the creation of a regional superpower that has nuclear weapons and that can indeed threaten all of Europe as the so called "unipolar" US was not in a position nor did it really want to play any longer the strong man in Europe so we are where we now are.

    When the largest standing Army in Europe is now the Turkish Army then we are in real trouble.

    If you notice there is nothing on the military card being played outside of proposed and or actual planned exercises-and talk--only the movement of aircraft which was responded by the Russian AF stepping up their activities---so really not much in the way of military card---all even including Germany have shut out a military response out of fear of triggering something that is uncontrolled breaking out.

    This is historically the second time that the US has signaled to Russia ie the Soviet Union that US interests/intentions did not expand to specific areas.

    If I recall ---not sure which major Allied Conference---believe it was Yalta then the US signaled that Korean was not in 'it's sphere of influence"---to which a startled Stalin asked twice for clarification.

    Some say this in fact triggered the NK invasion as Stalin felt we were not interested in the outcome of Korea.

    By taking troops, depots, material out of Europe we indirectly/inadvertently signaled basically the same thing.

    Straight diplomacy alone ---and I am going out on a limb here has not achieved anything on any specific world political problem since 1999---if one looks hard it has been in combination with military force and or a tight set of economic sanctions.

    So I am hard pressed to understand why this WH thought diplomacy was all one needed for soft power.
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 03-20-2014 at 02:32 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    JMA---IMO I view the US troop draw down as a not to subtle signal to Russia that the US was in fact no longer interested in the European area.
    Exactly

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    To all it is rather interesting to track Russian viewed news items on Interfax.com---------

    Here is just a few interesting tidbits----

    15:01 Moscow perplexed by OSCE/ODIHR's non-inclusion of its candidate in Afghanistan mission

    Sometimes I am even surprised by what the Russians are thinking.

    14:18 Russia against "higher ante" in Iran negotiations because of Ukraine events – diplomat

    Again just what did they expect to happen?

    13:23 Lukoil doubts domestic fuel delivery quota idea will be implemented

    Sounds as if they are planning for actual sanctions and want to protect local fuel supplies.

    12:51 RZD not much interested in Crimean ports - Yakunin

    Now this goes to something Firm stated previously as well as did David.

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    I have been interested in understanding just why China has been so quiet on the Russian violation of national boundaries as that is the key corner stone of Chinese foreign policy since the 80s.

    Maybe it has to do with China receiving over 690M USD in weapons exports from the Ukraine last year and maybe in supporting very quietly Russia they want to ensure those weapons continue to flow.

    Does anyone have a view on just what the Ukraine was supplying China with in the way of weapons?

    There is some chatter that both countries are slowly nudging closer together politically/militarily as a combined superpower against the US/EU ie in general anything western.

    So again did the US underestimate badly both China and Russia in its soft power thinking?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Outlaw
    So again did the US underestimate badly both China and Russia in its soft power thinking?
    Absolutely. Even with the War on Terrorism, the last decade-plus has been spent idealizing "soft power" and "smart power" while second tier powers continued to build their military strength. When measured on military manpower, budget, and nuclear weapons, Russia is second only to the United States, and has about double the combined strength of France (#4), United Kingdom (#7), Germany (#19), Turkey (#23), and Poland (#29).Even while the Russian Armed Forces undergoes its transformation, it still maintains approximately 49% of the world's nuclear weapons to provide strategic cover for their military and political policies.

    When the Yanukovych government collapsed, none of the NATO powers were in any position to unilaterally or collectively respond to defend Ukraine's territorial integrity. And I don't think it was even politically feasible, given the internal political dynamics of Ukraine as well as the hesistancy of NATO in the face of what would of course be a very strong Russian rebuke. Aside for "democracy promotion" in Kiev for many years, there were no other efforts to build a strong civil faction that could control the rest of the country or resist external threats. Ukraine is 25th in military strength on the account of its size, but not its quality, leaving it with about 3% of the military capabilities of Russia.

    Given these facts, the outcome is a foregone conclusion and it was missed not because Putin is some evil mastermind but because we in the West failed to fully appreciate the entirity of the situation and to do basic long-term analysis.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    So I am hard pressed to understand why this WH thought diplomacy was all one needed for soft power.
    None of us here can, especially guys like you and JMA. You come from a different world than they do, a wholly different world. What you guys know to be true about the world because you've seen it and smelled it, they have never seen or even read about. If they did read about it they wouldn't believe it.

    Our problem is Putin and the Red Chinese understand them perfectly.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  11. #471
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outlaw
    Still question why there was a disconnect between the military I&W and the decision makers---that was the purpose behind the creation of I&W---to have no disconnect--- and from your comment it seems to not have happened.
    Because Washington policy-makers live in a bubble, and so do the political parties as well as the political appointees and media that fawn over them. Washington is still living in the "end of history" and can't possibly fathom that there are credible and serious challengers to American power abroad; much less formulate any kind of long-term policy to deal with it. And this is certainly reflected in everything from Congress, defense acquisition, and foreign policy. It's comforting to think that the American global position is unassailable, but when this assumption is made on the basis of ideological principles, we leave ourselves vulnerable to surprises by the decisive actions of others.
    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

  12. #472
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    A slightly different take on the matter, but not entirely uneconomical...

    Clauswitz, Book 1, Chapter 2:

    In like manner the conquest of the enemy's provinces is quite a different measure if the object is not the destruction of the enemy's army. In the latter case, the destruction of the army is the real effectual action, and the taking of the provinces only a consequence of it; to take them before the army had been defeated would always be looked upon only as a necessary evil. On the other hand, if our views are not directed upon the complete destruction of the enemy's force, and if we are sure that the enemy does not seek but fears to bring matters to a bloody decision, the taking possession of a weak or defenceless province is an advantage in itself, and if this advantage is of sufficient importance to make the enemy apprehensive about the general result, then it may also be regarded as a shorter road to peace.

    But now we come upon a peculiar means of influencing the probability of the result without destroying the enemy's army, namely, upon the expeditions which have a direct connection with political views. If there are any enterprises which are particularly likely to break up the enemy's alliances or make them inoperative, to gain new alliances for ourselves, to raise political powers in our own favour, etc., etc., then it is easy to conceive how much these may increase the probability of success, and become a shorter way towards our aim than the routing of the enemy's army.
    That describes pretty much the current situation. Russia wants of course peace now and de-escalation after having annexed unopposed a weak and defenseless province because it's politicians, lacking power and military means, (rightly) feared a bloody decision and an even worse outcome.


    But a measuring of strength may be effected in cases where the opposing sides are very unequal by a mere comparative estimate. In such cases no fighting will take place, and the weaker will immediately give way.

    If the object of a combat is not always the destruction of the enemy's forces therein engaged—and if its object can often be attained as well without the combat taking place at all, by merely making a resolve to fight, and by the circumstances to which that gives rise—then that explains how a whole campaign may be carried on with great activity without the actual combat playing any notable part in it.

    That this may be so, military history proves by a hundred examples. How many of those cases had a bloodless decision which can be justified, that is, without involving a contradiction; and whether some of the celebrities who rose out of them would stand criticism we shall leave undecided, for all we have to do with the matter is to show the possibility of such a course of events in war.

    We have only one means in war—the battle; but this means, by the infinite variety of ways in which it may be applied, leads us into all the different ways which the multiplicity of objects allows of, so that we seem to have gained nothing; but that is not the case, for from this unity of means proceeds a thread which assists the study of the subject, as it runs through the whole web of military activity, and holds it together.
    I think this underlines that with a focus on the great conflicts in our history we tend to miss those 'bloodless' decisions* which military history (back then) 'proves by a hundred examples'. This does of course take nothing away from the fact that:

    The combat is the single activity in war; in the combat the destruction of the enemy opposed to us is the means to the end; it is so even when the combat does not actually take place, because in that case there lies at the root of the decision the supposition at all events that this destruction is to be regarded as beyond doubt. It follows, therefore, that the destruction of the enemy's military force is the foundation-stone of all action in war, the great support of all combinations, which rest upon it like the arch on its abutments. All action, therefore, takes place on the supposition that if the solution by force of arms which lies at its foundation should be realised, it will be a favourable one. The decision by arms is, for all operations in war, great and small, what cash payment is in bill transactions. However remote from each other these relations, however seldom the realisation may take place, still it can never entirely fail to occur.
    *Not all of them Small Wars, I would say.
    Last edited by Firn; 03-20-2014 at 06:25 PM.
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  13. #473
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    I'm currently working on a quantitative assessment of national power (political, economic, and military) with an optional extended scale of science and social (soft power) dimensions. The intent is to capture the full breadth of a state's power. I've only included United Nations members. The methodology enables me to see what percentage of the global power pie that each state owns. These are the top five:

    National Power
    1. United States (16.23%)
    2. China (7.47%)
    3. Russian Federation (6.20%)
    4. Japan (4.23%)
    5. France (2.98%)
    ...
    41. Ukraine (0.44%)

    However, when looking at economics, the USA drops to #2 while Russia drops to #10. And when looking at military power, the USA and Russia occupy #1 and #2 respectively. Whereas the United States has 34.14% of the 'military pie', Russia has 15.27%. NATO military strength is 46.17% while CIS/CSTO is 15.75%.

    So, a couple of insights bearing on this situation:

    1) Russia is a 'great power' in the traditional realist sense. It is capable of exercising hard power on its neighbors. I suspect when I complete the extended scale, it's rank will decline on account of its underdeveloped 'soft power'.

    2) Ukraine has no hope of defending itself alone against Russia.

    3) NATO deterrence is only effective when the alliance operates in unison - the split positions diminishes NATO power. The combined military strength of NATO countries bordering Russia or Ukraine (Norway, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia) amount to 0.706%. That's hardly a credible threat to Russia. France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, and the UK have 10.02% military strength compared to Russia's 15.27%. In other words, an effective military option is dependent on the United States, but as we know, the importance of Crimea and Ukraine varies between Washington, Berlin, and Warsaw.
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    For a country that claims it can resist the sanctions being levied against it this came up today on CNBC. Looks like the US understands the Russian economy (who has influence as an oligarch) better than Putin does. Maybe the NSA was right after all in pursuing their surveillance concepts overseas.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin is calling on billionaires to pay taxes amid fears that a new wave of Western sanctions against the country over the annexation of Crimea may hit businessmen.

    At a meeting Thursday with Russia's richest men in Moscow, Putin said businesses "ought to register on Russian territory and pay taxes in our motherland."
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 03-20-2014 at 08:49 PM.

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    American Pride:

    That is an interesting concept. I think it is useful only in a like vs like sense. What I mean is if you compared Pakistan to the US the US beats Pakistan on every measure, yet the Pak Army/ISI beat us in Afghanistan (or will have barring a miracle). If Ivan went into the rest of Ukraine and the US and frontline NATO states embarked upon an Unconventional Warfare campaign I don't think the Russian economy could handle that, especially combined with economic sanctions over a period of years.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
    I'm currently working on a quantitative assessment of national power (political, economic, and military) with an optional extended scale of science and social (soft power) dimensions. The intent is to capture the full breadth of a state's power.
    I'd be interested to see what you use for assessing power and how you integrate the various elements to get an overall ranking.

    I find interesting that you do not use the same factors of national power that the US uses --DIME vs. your PEM(SS).

    I'd also like to point out that "power" rankings are often of little predictive value, as Ohio State and Cincinnati found out today in their NCAA Men's Hoops tourney games with Dayton and Harvard.
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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    American Pride:

    That is an interesting concept. I think it is useful only in a like vs like sense. What I mean is if you compared Pakistan to the US the US beats Pakistan on every measure, yet the Pak Army/ISI beat us in Afghanistan (or will have barring a miracle). If Ivan went into the rest of Ukraine and the US and frontline NATO states embarked upon an Unconventional Warfare campaign I don't think the Russian economy could handle that, especially combined with economic sanctions over a period of years.
    Carl,

    You bring up a good point. My intention is to measure capability for the purpose of providing an analytical context for understanding state actions and outcomes. Context, execution, the availability of information, position and posture, etc all influence outcomes. So of course while Iran, for example, may rank higher than Bulgaria, I don't realistically expect Iran to ever succesfully attack (or attack at all) Bulgaria.

    Quote Originally Posted by wm
    I'd be interested to see what you use for assessing power and how you integrate the various elements to get an overall ranking.
    The first version uses these factors:
    Political - EIU's Stability Ratings, KOF Globalization Index
    Economic - GDP, FOREX, Government Revenue
    Military - Manpower, Budget, Aircraft Carriers, Nuclear Weapons
    Scientific - Global Innovation Index, # of Patents, (# of Degree Holders and/or Universities)
    Social - Social Progress Index, Human Development Index, Population

    These are not the final factors I will be using in the model, since there are others I am considering adding and some of these listed may be subject to removal also. I'm also debating about how complex to make the model - the issue will be how much information is actually available.

    The reason why I chose not to use the DIME factors is because I want a quantitative rather than qualitiative measurement in order to measure each state in the same way.

    EDIT: As to the methodology, each category has several factors (listed above). The score for each state is given as a percentage of the category that state owns; i.e. Russia owns 48.81% of the world's nuclear weapons. These factors are then averaged for the index of that category; and then those categories are all averaged together for the overall rating of the state.

    Initially, I was going to rank each state in each category and then average all the rankings, but I think that approach was to disconnected from the quantitative factors I was using.
    Last edited by AmericanPride; 03-20-2014 at 11:51 PM.
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  18. #478
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post

    The first version uses these factors:
    Political - EIU's Stability Ratings, KOF Globalization Index
    Economic - GDP, FOREX, Government Revenue
    Military - Manpower, Budget, Aircraft Carriers, Nuclear Weapons
    Scientific - Global Innovation Index, # of Patents, (# of Degree Holders and/or Universities)
    Social - Social Progress Index, Human Development Index, Population

    These are not the final factors I will be using in the model, since there are others I am considering adding and some of these listed may be subject to removal also. I'm also debating about how complex to make the model - the issue will be how much information is actually available.

    The reason why I chose not to use the DIME factors is because I want a quantitative rather than qualitiative measurement in order to measure each state in the same way.

    EDIT: As to the methodology, each category has several factors (listed above). The score for each state is given as a percentage of the category that state owns; i.e. Russia owns 48.81% of the world's nuclear weapons. These factors are then averaged for the index of that category; and then those categories are all averaged together for the overall rating of the state.

    Initially, I was going to rank each state in each category and then average all the rankings, but I think that approach was to disconnected from the quantitative factors I was using.
    A couple of thoughts on a few of your factors:

    Nuclear weapons have value only insofar as the will exists to use them and a delivery platform exists to get them where one wants/needs.

    Why aircraft carriers; why not boomers and attack subs instead? Is this meant to be a measure of force projection capability?
    In a previous century, battleships proved to be a rather useless measure of power as neither side (in WWI at least) seemed willing to risk them very much. And , as the War of 1812 showed, size isn't all that matters--the frigate based US Navy was qualitatively superior although numerically inferior--better seamanship was only one of the reasons for the disparity. The sheer number of British ships and American risk aversion were significant factors in the turn around of the naval campaign in the latter part of the War of 1812, probably more so than the number of 1st rate ships of the line that Britain had.

    Another thing for your consideration. Intangible and immeasurable things play a part in determining power. As the short little Corsican allegedly said, "In battle, the moral is to the physical as three to one." Things like "home field advantage" count.
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    The original on Youtube (60 sec. video).



    This week's Russian version, from Reuters, Russia can turn US to radioactive ash - Kremlin-backed journalist (by Lydia Kelly, Mar 16, 2014):

    [Video here]

    MOSCOW, March 16 (Reuters) - A Kremlin-backed journalist issued a stark warning to the United States about Moscow's nuclear capabilities on Sunday as the White House threatened sanctions over Crimea's referendum on union with Russia.

    "Russia is the only country in the world that is realistically capable of turning the United States into radioactive ash," television presenter Dmitry Kiselyov said on his weekly current affairs show.

    Behind him was a backdrop of a mushroom cloud following a nuclear blast.

    Kiselyov was named by President Vladimir Putin in December as the head of a new state news agency whose task will be to portray Russia in the best possible light.
    Yup, Mr Kiselyov certainly has a way with words and images - especially with Americans - to show Russia in its best possible light - how many lumens are there in a 50 megaton air burst ?

    As Wm correctly points out:

    Nuclear weapons have value only insofar as the will exists to use them and a delivery platform exists to get them where one wants/needs.
    and that the sawed-off Corsican also had it right:

    In battle, the moral is to the physical as three to one.
    Mr Kiselyov and the two Chinese colonels have reminded us all that the future is as likely to be about unrestricted warfare as about anything else - which renders Article 2 of the UN Charter humorous at best and dangerous to non-aggressors at worst.

    So, reaching back into history, a decade before 1964, we find the 1954 Jimmy Doolittle Report (bio, Wiki, report):

    pp.16-17
    The second consideration is less tangible but equally important. It is now clear that we are facing an implacable enemy whose avowed objective is world domination by whatever means and at whatever coat.

    There are no rules in such a game. Hitherto acceptable norms of human conduct do not apply. If the United States is to survive, long-standing American concepts of "fair play" must be reconsidered.
    1. What do you think the EU-NATO community would say about Doolittle's statement ?

    2. What do you think the USG would say about Doolittle's statement ?

    3. What do you say about Doolittle's statement ?

    Next, another (more recent) historical piece for your consideration, The Security and Defense Agenda (Future of NATO) (as Delivered by Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, Brussels, Belgium, Friday, June 10, 2011); the whole speech is worth the short read, but here is the key point:

    With respect to Europe, for the better part of six decades there has been relatively little doubt or debate in the United States about the value and necessity of the transatlantic alliance. The benefits of a Europe whole, prosperous and free after being twice devastated by wars requiring American intervention was self evident.

    Thus, for most of the Cold War U.S. governments could justify defense investments and costly forward bases that made up roughly 50 percent of all NATO military spending. But some two decades after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the U.S. share of NATO defense spending has now risen to more than 75 percent – at a time when politically painful budget and benefit cuts are being considered at home.

    The blunt reality is that there will be dwindling appetite and patience in the U.S. Congress – and in the American body politic writ large – to expend increasingly precious funds on behalf of nations that are apparently unwilling to devote the necessary resources or make the necessary changes to be serious and capable partners in their own defense. Nations apparently willing and eager for American taxpayers to assume the growing security burden left by reductions in European defense budgets.

    Indeed, if current trends in the decline of European defense capabilities are not halted and reversed, future U.S. political leaders– those for whom the Cold War was not the formative experience that it was for me – may not consider the return on America’s investment in NATO worth the cost.

    What I’ve sketched out is the real possibility for a dim, if not dismal future for the transatlantic alliance.
    1. Did this speech (and similar speeches by Bob Gates' successors, cited in the article linked by Mark Adams on Rasmussen) give the EU-NATO community fair warning of a drastic shift in US involvement ?

    2. What has the EU-NATO community done in response to those US warnings ?

    Finally, a read for this situation is John LeCarre's The Looking Glass War, a very sad book because it shows that agencies cannot live in the past and expect to survive - snip from a review of the book:

    A profound anatomy of moral deterioration, March 23, 2007

    ... For my part, it is the one book of Le Carre's that remained with me and troubled me the longest ...
    ...
    The plot itself is simple: a small, practically defunct British spy agency with a mandate for military targets that has been lagging on aimlessly since WWII, gets one more shot at mounting an intelligence operation. WWII was their best of times, the source of their pride and nostalgia: since then, stripped from financing, backwards on technology, they are no more than a bureaucratic specter.

    But the gods of warfare reward their zealots, and out of the blue, the agency is offered to retrieve some crucial information about military installations beyond the iron wall (I'll be stingy with details so as not to spoil too much). Everybody wakes up. As they do not have even a single operational agent (nor a radio, weapons, vehicles etc.), they must recruit one, hastily train and employ him; but they need to constantly lie to him, else he might realize how reduced they have become.
    ...
    So much is Leiser involved in his new life, that his common sense does not reveal to him the amateur nature of the preparations. The radio technology he is expected to use is outdated, cumbersome and easy to intercept; there is no clear plan of action, really, except for getting him in; certainly no one gives serious thought how to get him out. The readers suspect this since a totally mundane assignment that Avery embarked on earlier, which was botched for lack of preparation and professionalism, is praised by his superiors as a success; so utterly afraid of facing their own incompetence they have lost that all-important ability of learning from mistakes.

    The Circus, their rival agency where Smiley works, of course realizes this. Firmly in the grasp of Control, with Smiley as his lieutenant and sometimes conscience, the Circus observes and keeps its distance .... However, neither Control nor Smiley will deny the specter team the rope that they require to hang their own agent when everything, of course -- goes wrong.
    In the present context, the US is still the Circus; without the US, EU-NATO is something of a "specter team" - although it doesn't have to be that way.

    Thinking stuff.

    Regards

    Mike
    Last edited by jmm99; 03-21-2014 at 05:51 AM.

  20. #480
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    JMM---reference the Gates comments---when a superpower uses the economic card as an argument in order to withdraw fully overlooks the concept of power projection that has been say for the last 500 years the corner stone of what countries perceive power projection to be.

    We pulled out of Europe and it is in fact hidden between the lines in his comments---"since the fall of the wall there has been peace"--when one argues this way it does not sound so brutal to one's allies that 1) we do not have any more money ourselves and 2) we are now going to soft power ie diplomacy.

    What this WH and for that matter the previous WH did not fully understand is that when one rejects the military power projection ability then one must be prepared to use the economic power card to it's fullest---why---with military projection you get the opposition's attention in a hurry as he then has to factor in the use of violence and how will it affect him.

    With the economic card---it is much much slower and the opposition has to think hey I can hold out in this game and that is where Putin/Russia is at the moment.

    Unless one is fully prepared to truly inflect pain via bank collapses and entire industrial stoppages which will as the world is totally netted via globalization --- the hurt will to a degree come back against you---but if the goal is not to use violence in order to achieve a political goal then the returning pain can be accepted.

    The core problem to this is one's own business world and the workers in one's country which make up a vocal population if they are hurt---can they take the pain and that pain always at least in the West translates to lost elections and again Putin/Russia understands this as well.
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 03-21-2014 at 06:42 AM.

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