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Thread: Ukraine (closed; covers till August 2014)

  1. #1141
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    I read once that the purpose of NATO was to keep the Germans down, the Americans in and the Russians out. That is why the frontline countries like Poland wanted to be part of NATO. Now it looks looks as if the only thing still standing of that three legged stool is the Germans down part. The Americans have left and NATO doesn't look as if will keep Russia out of anything. So I think if this continues NATO is finished. NATO may already be finished even if everYthing stops right where it is for a few years.

    That is a brilliant achievement, if it happens, by Vlad, one for the ages. A relatively weak country achieves with the deployment of less than 100,000 troops the fragmentation of a military alliance many times stronger in just a few weeks with only a handful of shots fired. I can't think of an equal in history.

    Now with NATO broken up what can be expected to happen? We can only guess at what. Our imaginations can't span the breadth of the possibilities, our modern imaginations anyway. But if you went back some hundreds or thousands of years you might be able to come up with something.

    One thing I think will happen, and will happen quickly, is that France and Great Britain will be joined in the nuclear club by several other European nations. I'm guessing Poland and Sweden first, then who knows? They really have no other choice if they want to stay sovereign. They will only be able to depend upon themselves and if that be the case, they need nukes. Israel came to the same conclusion as has North Korea. It won't be hard. They have the money, the brains and the need.

    This will not end well if Vladie-buck's adventure isnt frustrated.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    The current utility of NATO is to keep EU and USA from becoming rivals.

    It's a very cost-efficient way to keep this from happening.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post

    One thing I think will happen, and will happen quickly, is that France and Great Britain will be joined in the nuclear club by several other European nations. I'm guessing Poland and Sweden first, then who knows? They really have no other choice if they want to stay sovereign. They will only be able to depend upon themselves and if that be the case, they need nukes. Israel came to the same conclusion as has North Korea. It won't be hard. They have the money, the brains and the need.
    The more likely version for me is that France and UK, which have both economic problems to pay for a not hollow military force, will outsource the nuclear components to the EU. The nuclaer arsenal is of very limited value within a conventional strategy and can be out-sourced without losing too many options.

    Your overall assumption still is that Putin/Russia has tested NATO/EU and the occupation of Ukraine would undermine these, here, I completely disagree, you mix apples and oranges.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    The current utility of NATO is to keep EU and USA from becoming rivals.

    It's a very cost-efficient way to keep this from happening.
    What rivalry would this be?

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    Default Outsourcing Anglo-French nukes

    Quote Originally Posted by Ulenspiegel View Post
    The more likely version for me is that France and UK, which have both economic problems to pay for a not hollow military force, will outsource the nuclear components to the EU. The nuclaer arsenal is of very limited value within a conventional strategy and can be out-sourced without losing too many options.

    Your overall assumption still is that Putin/Russia has tested NATO/EU and the occupation of Ukraine would undermine these, here, I completely disagree, you mix apples and oranges.
    There is no chance either France or the UK 'will outsource the nuclear components to the EU' for a host of reasons, not least of which is politics. Some within the EU bureaucracy may see this as a future option for the Greater EU state, but then Brussels has some strange ideas.

    Even the very limited Anglo-French nuclear cooperation took a long time to evolve and get agreement. 'Outsourcing' would take a very long time to reach agreement.
    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ulenspiegel View Post
    The more likely version for me is that France and UK, which have both economic problems to pay for a not hollow military force, will outsource the nuclear components to the EU. The nuclaer arsenal is of very limited value within a conventional strategy and can be out-sourced without losing too many options.
    And give Germany access to nuclear weapons? You can't be serious.

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    Stan, I missed the background to your reference to McCain. Can you direct me please?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    Mark,
    Correct me if I'm wrong herein, but other than not seeing what was already pre-planned in Moscow, and, Crimea practically OK with the invasion, what more should we as a collective society have done ?

    When McCain was told to send in 50,000 troops and provide a 5 million dollar guarantee immediately he nearly fell over. The sad reality is, 50,000 troops and logistics for a month will more than likely cost the American public 50 million.

    Whilst McCain died from laughing, he was right.
    Who is going to fund this boondoggle when it seems that half of the Ukraine is getting by with MREs and running at the first sight of a military skirmish.

    In Africa it took decades to be fed up.

    How long will it take the Ukrainian people to become fed up and revolt. Does not appear that enough of them are fed up.

    Regards, Stan

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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    I read once that the purpose of NATO was to keep the Germans down, the Americans in and the Russians out. That is why the frontline countries like Poland wanted to be part of NATO. Now it looks looks as if the only thing still standing of that three legged stool is the Germans down part. The Americans have left and NATO doesn't look as if will keep Russia out of anything. So I think if this continues NATO is finished. NATO may already be finished even if everYthing stops right where it is for a few years.
    NATO is finished. The US have lost the will and collectively NATO will not be able to counter the Russian movement westwards taking one step at a time slowly.

    Germany does not have a military worth much and that is correcty so but they should be contibuting their 2% of GDP to NATO and not using it on a sub-standard military.

    The states that most want NATO membership are those who are most at risk from Russian expansionism... but sadly the US and original members of NATO have lost the resolve for any possible military confrontation with anyone let alone Russia (even if its military has limitations).

    Germany and other thought they were being smart thinking they could create stability through economic interdependence with Russia over Russian energy imports. In the wake of Crimea this has proved to a massive miscalculation of epic proportions. Initial German embarrassment is slowly turning into anger. See: Germany's Merkel Gets Tough on Russia. But with 350,000 German jobs depending on trade with Russia one should not expect too much other than Frau Merkel behaving like a jilted lover.

    That is a brilliant achievement, if it happens, by Vlad, one for the ages. A relatively weak country achieves with the deployment of less than 100,000 troops the fragmentation of a military alliance many times stronger in just a few weeks with only a handful of shots fired. I can't think of an equal in history.
    Not brilliant, merely astute. The signs have been there since before Georgia but nobody was listening. From the fact that most Americans and Europeans crap themselves when the N-word is mentioned means they believe Russia would use them. Nobody believes anyone else would. So as long as Russia marches westward one bite at a time with pauses so as not to cause Europe to act in unison there is nothing to stop them.

    Have mentioned the Russian approach of 'two steps forward and one step back' before. They threatened the whole of Georgia and settled for South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The US (Bush) claimed victory in saving the rest of Georgia. Russia are hoping to take Crimea and maybe more and let Obama claim vistory when they step back from taking the whole of Ukraine.

    This geo-strategic game is not that difficult if your opposition is incompetent.

    Now with NATO broken up what can be expected to happen? We can only guess at what. Our imaginations can't span the breadth of the possibilities, our modern imaginations anyway. But if you went back some hundreds or thousands of years you might be able to come up with something.
    One slow deliberate step at a time... first wrap up all the non-NATO territories... then test NATO. The US can see this coming and I guarantee you that they are figuring out how to get out of NATO before they have to act in accordance with Article 5. That will open the door for Russia.

    One thing I think will happen, and will happen quickly, is that France and Great Britain will be joined in the nuclear club by several other European nations. I'm guessing Poland and Sweden first, then who knows? They really have no other choice if they want to stay sovereign. They will only be able to depend upon themselves and if that be the case, they need nukes. Israel came to the same conclusion as has North Korea. It won't be hard. They have the money, the brains and the need.
    Yes indeed and they would be crazy not to.

    This will not end well if Vladie-buck's adventure isnt frustrated.
    He is too smart for Obama and Frau Merkel.

    You think this 'Geneva Deal' was anything more than a device to ward off meaningful sanctions?
    Last edited by JMA; 04-19-2014 at 11:38 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Stan, I missed the background to your reference to McCain. Can you direct me please?
    Mark,
    Sorry about that.

    This one in English and the routine stuff from the American Embassy.

    Still trying to find out what Latvia, Lithuania, and Moldova proposed or complained about. Thus far only local language stuff available.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    You think this 'Geneva Deal' was anything more than a device to ward off meaningful sanctions?
    Mark,
    The Kremlin has always found time to attend such deals and meetings and it has always been doubtful that much would come from said. However, now that the Ukrainian govt. has openly stated that they will consider more autonomy to eastern regions, they just literally opened Pandora's box.

    It may have sounded like a small concession, but Vova will read it anyway he desires.

    09 May is Victory Day. I sure hope the Ukrainians get 10s of thousands of foreign troops real soon, or they will be looking a a huge version of Estonia in 2007.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    We haven't been tested. They're playing games in their backyard, which we didn't even bother to declare to be our backyard so far.
    That argument rings a bell from 70 odd years ago.

    Definition of appeasement:

    Appeasement, the policy of making concessions to the dictatorial powers in order to avoid conflict...
    Germany and the EU may not have been tested militarily but certainly psychologically.

    With Georgia being round one, Round two to the Russians (in Ukraine).

    Remember this?

    To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence. -- Sun Tzu
    But it is supreme excellence when nobody will admit you have done anything worth getting excited about while you chew up territories one at a time.

    The Ukraine is in the geographical Europe, but it's not in the institutional Europe; it's neither EU nor associated nor NATO. Eurovision Song Contest; I think they participate in that. And European sports championships. Can't remember them participating in European football competitions, though.
    An attack on them is not an attack on Germany, France, UK, Poland, Romania, Italy, Spain, ...
    Yes, yes, yes... I'm sure you can come up with 100 reasons why what happens in Ukraine has - will have - no impact on Europe... (just like we heard what happens in Syria will have no impact on the Middle East).

    You're working on the assumption that "security policy" matters, that is the messing around with military strength in various places. The folks who mistake the small European air tanker capacities for a defence weakness make the same mistake.
    This paragraph is incomprehensible...

    "security policy" isn't "defence policy". "security policy" is messing around, while "defence policy" is about securing oneself and one's allies (the actual ones, which signed and ratified an alliance treaty).
    What do you mean by messing around?

    What I will say is that in the case of Germany this is no ability to defend against any military threat either to Germany itself or any NATO or EU ally. So obviously Germany will always underplay the threat and then seek so other solution to the threat - (see appreasement definition above).

    Our defences were never tested. We prove to be relatively disinterested in playing games abroad, sure - but that's no "defence" failure or "defence" weakness by a long shot. In fact, it would be a failure if we wasted more resources on preparing for and playing such games than we already do.
    If your defences were to be tested - militarily - what would you be able to do about it (without the help of the US)? Zip, nothing, nada.

    What is clear from Russian actions in first Georgia and now in Ukraine is that there is indeed a potential military threat - more to some than others - from Russia right now.

    Does Germany accept that such a threat exists, to itself or other European states? If so what deterrent does Germany have to prevent any Russian military adventurism? I put it to you that this is the reason why Germany underplays the threat from Russia - as there is nothing they can do about it (without begging the US to help them).

    Look at the Americans; they fool around a lot, spend insanely every year on their baseline military budget, spend insanely most these years on additional mil budgets, and what do they get?
    The best and most capable militray in the world.

    An economy that's failing them, thousands dead, ten thousands crippled, trillions wasted on a pointless war (one of several), avoidable hostility in much of the world, a distraction from challenges at home.
    Military expenditure is the scapegoat for 'social' expenditure which is spiralling out of control. But yes misguided wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have not helped.

    And then they go on and whine how they foot the bill that almost nobody else wants to exist in the first place. And they complain about how everybody else didn't go nuts as much as they did and paid as insanely as they did on what's largely unnecessary government consumption.
    "American spending comprised 72% of all NATO defense expenditures in 2013"

    Little wonder they are pulling out...

    It's time for Europe to grow up and start to take responsibility for their own defence.

    So our defence was not tested; at most our motivation to fool around in East Europe was tested.
    Not militarily maybe... but your resolve was and collectively Europe failed. Disgraceful.

    Just as the Americans' motivation to fool around in Russia's periphery was tested during the South Ossetia conflict.
    ... and they (the US) and Europe failed... and set the scene for Ukraine - McCain warned you as did Romney/Palin and you laughed at them. Whose laughing now?

    Fact is, Western "security policy" folks have become too greedy and moved to too many places. Some fools took them seriously and actually believed that Westerners were (even) more into the messing around hobby than they actually are. But Americans wanted Georgia as a make-believe part of a faux coalition and as auxiliary troops providers. they never intended to actually help Georgia.
    Georgia had and still has the right to national self-determination just as Germany does. In an act of cowardly appeasement the US and the EU/NATO turned their back on them in their time of need.

    the peom by Martin Niemller reminds us of the cowadice of German intellectuals back then... seems not much has changed.

    Nor are West Europeans fans of the idea of going to war with Russia over a non-allied petty territory such as the Crimea where about 90% of the population prefer Russia over the Ukraine. We did low-level messing around with support for some pro-Western/pro-"democracy" political movements there, and that's about it.
    LOL... you mean you bought the results of that referendum? You serious?

    The Russians are merely calling some bluffs at times.
    As the Germans once did ... and aslo getting away with it.
    Last edited by JMA; 04-19-2014 at 01:18 PM.

  12. #1152
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    And give Germany access to nuclear weapons? You can't be serious.
    Try to understand the concept of latent nuclear powers and try to understand the reasons why these latent powers have not become actual nuclear powers.

  13. #1153
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Have mentioned the Russian approach of 'two steps forward and one step back' before. They threatened the whole of Georgia and settled for South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The US (Bush) claimed victory in saving the rest of Georgia. Russia are hoping to take Crimea and maybe more and let Obama claim vistory when they step back from taking the whole of Ukraine.
    While some similarities exist between the operations in Georgia and those in the Crimea, I think what the US was hoping to attain is very different from what Russia suspected was going on.
    In my opinion, getting Georgia as a NATO partner was not really about NATO. Rather it was about getting US foreign bases. to be prepared for Iran. I believe US operations in Afghanistan and Iraq had a similar goal. Georgia in NATO has positives that are lacking in Uzbekistan (site of former US used Karshi-Khanabad AB) and Kyrgyzstan (site of currently used Manas AB), Unlike the recent and current arrangements in these two very tenuously available locations, having Georgia in NATO would have provided a treaty tie as well as seaborne access for forward basing. However, the pieces retained by Russia after its incursion into Georgia placed Russian control in such a way as to easily cut off forward-based Western forces in Georgia that might seek to invade Russia.
    With the loss of Georgia as a meaningful US foreign basing option, the Russians perhaps looked at the next place the US could forward base in preparation for an invasion of Russia. Lo and behold, the Ukraine, and particularly Sebastopol in the Crimea popped up. What other meaningful combinations of sea- and airport capabilities exist on the Black Sea? Putin mentioned this issue in the post from Kaur
    Needless to say, first and foremost we wanted to support the residents of Crimea, but we also followed certain logic: If we don’t do anything, Ukraine will be drawn into NATO sometime in the future. We’ll be told: “This doesn’t concern you,” and NATO ships will dock in Sevastopol, the city of Russia’s naval glory.

    But it isn’t even the emotional side of the issue. The point is that Crimea protrudes into the Black Sea, being in its centre, as it were. However, in military terms, it doesn’t have the importance it used to have in the 18th and 19th centuries – I’m referring to modern strike forces, including coastal ones.

    But if NATO troops walk in, they will immediately deploy these forces there. Such a move would be geopolitically sensitive for us because, in this case, Russia would be practically ousted from the Black Sea area. We’d be left with just a small coastline of 450 or 600km, and that’s it!
    It may be the case that the Russians and Americans are both thinking along the same lines: trying to win the 21st century version of The Great Game, with Russia viewing occupation of selected parts of Georgia and the Ukraine as necessary steps to pre-empt US options. However, I don't think so.
    I'm inclined to believe instead that the two nations are actually operating from different places and with different goals. For Russia, that goal is protection of Mother Russia by building out its control over buffer states (a return to Warsaw Pact-like thinking). For the US, the goal is putting itself in a position to take down Iran if/when that becomes necessary (a forward basing strategy similar to its 1950-90s efforts in Germany).

    Since neither side is likely to believe the other, the problem will continue.
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    There is no chance either France or the UK 'will outsource the nuclear components to the EU' for a host of reasons, not least of which is politics. Some within the EU bureaucracy may see this as a future option for the Greater EU state, but then Brussels has some strange ideas.

    Even the very limited Anglo-French nuclear cooperation took a long time to evolve and get agreement. 'Outsourcing' would take a very long time to reach agreement.
    While I expected this answers :-) I do not see how you provide any solution for the basic problem in France and UK: The combination of an ailing economy and the current political environment does not allow to maintain a full spectrum conventional force and to maintain at the same time a useful nuclear component.

    If you have to choose the lesser of two evils, a EU (conventional) army/navy/airforce or a EU strategic nuclaer component, what would you choose?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Georgia had and still has the right to national self-determination just as Germany does. In an act of cowardly appeasement the US and the EU/NATO turned their back on them in their time of need.
    A couple of points:

    First, the existence of a people's right to self-determination does not entail a correlative duty on others to ensure those people are able to exercise that right. In fact, on some definitions of a right, one only has rights insofar as they are able to exercise them without the help of others.

    Second, I replaced Georgia from JMA's post with people--Georgia as a nation is not a people--it is a collection of different peoples. The nation of Georgia may have a right to territorial integrity and political sovereignty, but again, having that right does not entail that other nations have a duty to protect the exercise of that right. The correlative duty only exists when other nations have made pledges/promises to defend infringements of the right. The NATO treaty is an example of such a pledge or promise, but it extends only to the treaty's signatories/member nations.

    The "responsibility to protect" (R2P) justification that the US and Russia have both used recently is not universally binding, either morally legally. Acting on this responsibility is only permissive, not required. On both the Syria thread and this thread, some have claimed that the US has failed in its duty/responsibility to protect. Why is it only the US that must act on this responsibility? Is this a 21st Century version of the 19th Century "White Man's Burden" argument (which by the way was used to override the very right of self-determination now being touted)? If R2P is a required action, why are not Austria, the Republic of South Africa and every other nation in the world not also required to ante up? Why are these other nations not equally derelict in their responsibilities to the rest of the world's people? Absent a prior promise to help, which in the US means a treaty ratified by the Congress, R2P is just a bunch of feel good mumbo jumbo.
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    There is no chance either France or the UK 'will outsource the nuclear components to the EU' for a host of reasons, not least of which is politics. Some within the EU bureaucracy may see this as a future option for the Greater EU state, but then Brussels has some strange ideas.

    Even the very limited Anglo-French nuclear cooperation took a long time to evolve and get agreement. 'Outsourcing' would take a very long time to reach agreement.
    Maybe the other option: the EU member states outsourcing their protection to a combined UK/French nuclear umbrella, thereby replacing the umbrella provided by the US, is an option.
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    This is just a minor thing, not germane to WM's main point but with regard to this statement

    Quote Originally Posted by wm View Post
    Second, I replaced Georgia from JMA's post with people--Georgia as a nation is not a people--it is a collection of different peoples.
    so is the US, so is Canada, so is Switzerland, so was Rome etc.
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    Putin's being a genius or being astute, maybe one, maybe the other, the result is the same. And it goes back to events of 6 or so years ago in Georgia and our decision not to put a ABMs in Poland and the Czech Republic. I think at that time Putin looked at the West and at the US in particular and decided that he could base a strategy of conquest upon nothing more than a read of the psychology and therefore the very likely reaction of NATO. NATO would do nothing.

    That NATO would do nothing was particularly based upon a read of the United States and its chief executive. Whether we like it or not and complain about it or not, whatever physical and especially moral strength NATO has or rather had is given to it by the US. Without the US, no NATO. But the US is a disciplined representative republic and in foreign affairs the strength, especially the moral strength of the US depends upon the character of our chief executive. Our system is structured like that and it won't be changed anytime soon.

    I think that Putin decided back then that the chief executive of the US had no moral strength. No matter the degree of the provocation, that lack of moral strength of our chief executive would prevent any response. Events in the years since have only confirmed his assessment.

    Putin as I said built a strategy upon that, it is a pretty safe strategy and almost foolproof. Just push, but push slowly and wear a mask. That is exactly what he is doing, and will continue to do (though he's only human and may get excited and push faster, a mistake that would be). It is a simple strategy and it is based upon something simple, an astute judgment of your enemy's character. But I think the genius is to take decisive action based upon that. There are not many who will do that and not many who can do it successfully. That is where the genius comes in.

    With the above in mind I don't think Maidan had much at all to do with this. I think they have been building their forces in accordance with this strategy in mind and were waiting for the appropriate time to begin to implement it, as that time will always come.

    This situation will exist for at least three more years. The hole we will be in at that time will be very deep. As I said at the Journal, professional military men in the US had better start doing some hard thinking about what we are going to do and how we are going to do it. The front line states have already started I'll wager.
    Last edited by carl; 04-19-2014 at 03:14 PM.
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    ..... its good to see the world whilst wearing the other chap's moccasins.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ulenspiegel View Post
    Try to understand the concept of latent nuclear powers and try to understand the reasons why these latent powers have not become actual nuclear powers.
    ... and why they may need to obtain weapons for use at their own discretion and how long it would take have the weapons and delivery systems in place and operationally ready?

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