Page 14 of 97 FirstFirst ... 412131415162464 ... LastLast
Results 261 to 280 of 1935

Thread: Ukraine (closed; covers till August 2014)

  1. #261
    Council Member Firn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1,297

    Default

    Voting fraud secured pro-Russian majority in Crimean parliament

    I think this is a pretty interesting article as "Aftenposten’s correspondent interviewed a dozen members of the regional assembly, and talked to a number of central players and eyewitnesses. The conclusion is that the people’s will is far from deciding events in the Crimea. "

    If one looks at how the events unfolded the Crimea (rump) parliament only called for Russian 'help' after Russian troops had already infiltrated and invaded. Under huge pressure, armed Russian gunmen only a minority was present when the voted.

    Too few present

    Rules require that at least 51 representatives be present in order to hold a qualified vote. The new goverment says 61 members of parliament took part. Aftenposten’s research shows, however, that only 36 were present.

    - The system which registers who voted, and what we voted for or against, shows I did cast a vote. But I was not there. Neither were a large majority of my colleagues, says Sumulidi. Representative Irina Klyuyeva also participated in the vote, according to the official records, but she was not present either.

    - I didn’t want to go, because I knew what was going to happen. Only pro-Russia representatives were present, and they numbered far below 50. In other words, a legal vote was not possible, she tells Aftenposten.
    Those informations fill in some detail into the story of Russian aggression to make the processes and events of the invasions clearer. In at least another article I read how a Crimean parliamentarian considered pro-Urkainian was denied entry into the house. The big story does of course not change, but the case against the aggressor only becomes clearer.

    This BBC article does also fit into the pictures on the streets, with pro-Soviet/Russia crowds being generally considerably older then the pro-Ukraine ones. It is of course difficult ot know the average age of the Russian 'tourists'.

    @kaur: I will try to look at it if time permits.
    Last edited by Firn; 03-09-2014 at 08:36 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"

    General Ludwig Beck (1880-1944);
    Speech at the Kriegsakademie, 1935

  2. #262
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    1,007

    Default

    I'm just wondering why John Schindler didn't suggest in his post about Special war Mitrokhin's book "The World Was Going Our Way". He has mentioned this book before, but Ukraine topic is just like case from 21. century. This time you can follow influencing activites in internet and cable tv, that where missing back then. For example http://rt.com/politics/intelligence-...ng-social-619/

    Book http://www.amazon.com/The-World-Was-.../dp/B0017HSXXQ

    To continue topic " Deterring Putin, Part I" i'd like to suggest this paper.

    http://www.ifri.org/downloads/pp40morgan.pd

    Firn, this kind of voting is nothing new in Uraine

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9o2j0WmxQvs

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kEIYjcjELdU

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cG4VtDuBqBw

    And in Russia too.

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XctKOIpYNCE
    Last edited by kaur; 03-09-2014 at 09:18 PM.

  3. #263
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,349

    Default 'We are informed enough'

    I noted on Twitter a report that General Michael Flynn had stated there was strategic warning, oddly few have noted this.

    From his interview with NPR, a good section was on Mr Snowden. It starts with:
    I think for easily seven to ten days leading up to the Russian troops as we see them now in Crimea, we were providing very solid reporting on what I would describe as just strategic warning, where we move from one level of sort of a condition of warning, which I would just describe for the audience as sort of moderate, to one where we believe things are imminent. And we did that about a week prior to the events that unfolded really last Friday.
    Shortly afterwards:
    Well, I mean obviously the things that we' re watching in the Crimea, some of the naval activities, you know, up around the key bases — we saw, you know, we see some of what has been referred to as an exercise inside of Russia and we are paying very close attention to any additional activities of some of their key military forces that they do have, particularly in the southern military district that is in that region that we are all concerned about right now. So — there is a lot of activity. What we are trying to pay attention to is: are they being true to their word about it's an exercise versus something else.
    Link:http://www.npr.org/2014/03/07/287037...-michael-flynn

    One of the odder, possible signs I spotted was the arrival in the Black Sea of a Russian Navy amphibious transport - from the Baltic Fleet - which has now unloaded a number of heavy trucks etc.
    davidbfpo

  4. #264
    Council Member TheCurmudgeon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Woodbridge, VA
    Posts
    1,117

    Default John Schindler's Special War is nothing new

    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    One should then read Schindler's, The Coming Age of Special War (September 20, 2013); and also his reference to Wiki's Active Measures, as one facet of the SW diamond. What he says is not new (he doesn't claim it is); and can be found in these samplings of the literature: Qiao Liang & Wang Xiangsui, Unrestricted Warfare; Beaufre - e.g., Introduction to Strategy and Deterrence and Strategy; Liddell-Hart, Strategy: the indirect approach; and Luttwak, Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace.
    I read this and, again, did not see anything new. We conducted Special War all over South America in the 70's and 80's. So I don't think that what Schindler discusses is anything new (and you clearly state that he does not claim that).

    First, I must say that what is going on the the Crimea is not Special War as defined by Schindler. A key component seems to be deny-ability, something I don't think the Russian's care about. They are playing a different card (or cards). Domestically, this is a mission to protect ethnic Russians with a not so subtle subtext of restoring Russia to its former imperial glory. That card also plays to the Chinese, who did much the same in Tibet. To Westerners, who have a different perspective on legitimacy in international action, they will play the R2P and the "will of the people".

    There are two ways to respond. The first the "instant gratification" option - fight fire with fire. Move everything the US has into the area and threaten to start blowing things up unless they withdraw and allow in a UN Peacekeeping Force based on the numerous violations of international law (I always have to giggle when I use that term "international law"). We could probably do that except that, the reality is that we cannot support it logistically without diverting resources from Afghanistan. Luckily, bunch of that supply line is already in place. Politically, we must have the will and the funding to do this. Reality here is that, it would bankrupt us to begin another large scale military operation when when we have yet to pay for the last two and no one is in the mode to raise taxes. Plus, it won't be us who feels the pinch immediately. It will be the EU who will have its Natural Gas cut off. At least we are headed into spring.

    The second option is the "slow as steady" option of economic sanctions. They do work, but only over the long haul and only if you are willing to stick to them. They also have to be universal, something we were able to do with Iran but are unlikely to be able to do with Russia.

    Where does that leave us ... heck, I don't know. I am thinking it is going to have to be a little of both. Rebuild NATO along with sanctions. I don't think we are going remove the Russians from the Crimea. I do think we can establish the conditions to deal with Putin the next time he acts.

    I do agree with Schindler that the US has created an expensive military of limited utility. We can do a big war better than anyone else, but that is of little use when our enemy know that so they avoid big wars. So we end up paying way too much for a military that is not flexible enough to provide what we need.

    OK, I have ranted enough. I will return this string back to the professionals.
    Last edited by TheCurmudgeon; 03-09-2014 at 10:28 PM.
    "I can change almost anything ... but I can't change human nature."

    Jon Osterman/Dr. Manhattan
    ---

  5. #265
    Banned
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Durban, South Africa
    Posts
    3,902

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    "the strong do what they have the power to do and the weak accept what they have to accept."
    Exactly, now we wait to see if Russia has misculculated (on the extent of her power) or not.

  6. #266
    Council Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    4,021

    Default Power: Russia vs EU-NATO,

    with a much smaller US component than the EU-NATO states are used to. None of this should surprise anyone - and I'll posit that no one is too surprised.

    From an American standpoint, the wall's been written for the last 2 years - of which, the following are typical:

    US will pull two brigades from Europe by end-2014 (AFP; Jan 27, 2012):

    WASHINGTON — The United States plans to complete the withdrawal of two of its four army brigades stationed in Europe in 2014, the Army chief of staff General Ray Odierno said Friday.

    "We will decrease our European footprint by two heavy brigade combat teams, with the first one coming out of Europe in 2013" and the second in 2014, Odierno told reporters.

    The two units are "heavy brigade combat teams" that will not be re-stationed in the United States, in line with plans announced this week to streamline the number of active duty forces, he said.
    ...
    Each of the heavy brigade combat teams includes 3,800 troops, a spokesman for the army's European command told AFP. In addition to the 7,600 soldiers heading home, nearly 20,000 of their relatives will also be repatriated.
    Moving ahead more than a year to Rapid Response Force Relies on Permanent U.S. Base in Europe (by Brian Slattery; October 17, 2013):

    The U.S. Army’s 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team (BCT) recently established an Army Contingency Response Force—a rapidly deployable company-size unit—to respond to crises in Europe and Northern Africa within a day.
    ...
    The 173rd BCT is one of a dwindling number of permanently based U.S. brigades in Europe, which the Obama Administration and some in Congress have tried to remove, decrying them as wasteful Cold War relics. Two of the four BCTs have already been deactivated and removed from Europe. The justification given by the Obama Administration is that the BCTs will be replaced by a rotational battalion based in the U.S., a tiny force compared to one BCT, let alone two. This is not a legitimate substitute. ...
    and finally from late last month, Army Drawdown and Restructuring: Background and Issues for Congress (CRS, Andrew Feickert, Specialist in Military Ground Forces; February 28, 2014):

    Summary

    On January 26, 2012, senior DOD leadership unveiled a new defense strategy based on a review of potential future security challenges, current defense strategy, and budgetary constraints. ...

    As part of the Administration’s original proposal, two armored brigade combat teams (ABCTs) in Europe were to be eliminated out of a total of eight BCTs that would be cut from Active Army force structure. The Army had originally stated that it might cut more than eight BCTs from the Army’s current 44 Active BCTs. Army end-strength would go from 570,000 in 2010 to 490,000 by the end of 2017. As part of this reduction, the Army would no longer be sized to conduct large-scale, protracted stability operations but would continue to be a full-spectrum force capable of addressing a wide range of national security challenges. The Army National Guard and Army Reserves were not targeted for significant cuts. ...
    The cuts in fact turned out larger, with three brigades scuppered on the Euro front (two down, one to go) says the Pentagon (CRS, pp.11-13):

    On March 1, 2013, DOD announced a series of force structure changes for the U.S. Army in Europe from the period 2013 through 2016. The text of the news release is as follows:

    DOD Announces U.S. Army in Europe Force Structure Changes

    The Department of Defense announced today that Germany-based elements of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team will relocate within Germany and to Italy in summer 2013.

    A total of four battalions will be relocated. Two battalions will relocate from Germany to Italy; the brigade’s headquarters and one infantry battalion will relocate from Caserma Ederle in Vicenza, Italy, to the Army’s new facility in Del Din (formerly known as Dal Molin) in Vicenza. The other two battalions will relocate from Schweinfurt and Bamberg, Germany, to Grafenwoehr, Germany.

    In addition to the previously announced inactivation of V Corps Headquarters and the 170th and 172nd Infantry Brigades, the disposition of 2,500 enabling forces are provided as follows:

    In 2012:

    170th Infantry Brigade, Smith Barracks, Baumholder, Germany – Inactivated
    ...
    In 2013:
    ...
    172nd Infantry Brigade, Grafenwoehr, Germany – Inactivates
    ...
    In 2014:

    Headquarters, 18th Engineer Brigade, Conn Barracks, Schweinfurt, Germany – Inactivates ... [followed by a list of engineer, signals and military police units].
    While part of this RIF belongs to budget deficits, it also belongs to a shift in US foreign policy which spans at least the four last presidencies (Bush I, Clinton, Bush II and Obama). That shift was popularized by the "Pacific Pivot"; but that pivot has been going on for at least a century. One must also take into account that the US has had four major campaigns since WWII (counting Gulf I and OIF as one) - all Asian ground wars. The lack of US success in those efforts suggests that we Yanks should limit our Pacific pivots to sea-air battles and island hopping.

    Writing somewhat along these lines, we find Ondrejcsak, The United State´s Strategic Shift Towards the Pacific – Continuity and Change, (in Majer, M. – Ondrejcsak, R. – Tarasovic, V. (eds.): "Panorama of global security environment 2012", Bratislava: CENAA, pp. 25-41; 2012):

    Abstract:

    The goal of this paper is to analyze the global-scale trend of American strategic shift towards the Pacific and East Asia. This development will be one of crucial trends of international relations in the foreseeable future which will have a determining effect on the global security environment.

    While immediately following the release of new U.S. Strategic Guidance in January 2012 it was referred to in the media and discussions as “something new,” in fact it is quite to the contrary. The most important driving forces and reason of this change started to emerge at least 2-3 decades ago.

    The realization in the old continent came late due to “Eurocentric worldview” that was temporarily overwhelmed by events in her neighborhood and by the US engagement in Europe´s conflicts (wars in South-Eastern Europe as a most prominent example), but the rest of the globe realized it a long time ago.

    Moreover, Obama administration´s steps toward Pacific and East Asia are to a large extent based on changes initiated or realized by previous administrations, particularly that of G.W. Bush. From that point of view Obama´s “Pacific shift” is a combination of both continuity and new elements based on long-term historical/strategic trends. On the whole, we are witnessing more of an evolution than revolution in US strategic positioning.
    ...
    Historic and strategic trends

    The United States possesses simultaneously both an Atlantic and a Pacific vector of its global strategy. The primacy of the Atlantic vector in foreign policy and strategy – with European allies as most important partners in world affairs – was based on “Europe first” tenet made during the WWII. That decision was based on strategic assessment that Germany represents a more serious strategic threat than Japan as well as on United Kingdom´s special relationship as the US most important ally. The emergence of the Soviet center of power, which decisively focused on Europe during the Cold War as well as in the post-War strategic environment, extended that strategic approach. Because of that primacy, the Atlantic vector secured its dominant position for half century in American foreign and security policy and strategies.

    The collapse of the USSR and the diminished strategic rivalry in Europe, as well as the dramatic current self-demilitarization of European allies, compounded with American disappointment with them ‒ are among the most prominent sources of current trends. The financial austerity which has a decisive impact on the US military budget is also putting significant pressure on the prioritization of sources. We also have to take into consideration the non-existing multilateral regional security mechanisms in East Asia, and the inherited instability this causes.

    As the central player of current world order, the United States has to react to the ongoing trends if wants to maintain its position. While the relative power of other-than-Western centers is rising, the United States still possesses sufficient capabilities as well as the will of its leaders to remain the main centre of power for decades to come. ... The US will not share the “destiny of the Netherlands” (by Paul Kennedy) – that once was the world´s leading power, and now is a small European state without decisive influence on global affairs – despite the rise of other centers of power.
    Once upon a time (when the Pentagon confidently spoke of fighting 2-1/2 major wars), the US could be confidently expected by the EU-NATO states to back up its NATO "obligations" - regardless of its engagements elsewhere (e.g., in Vietnam). Such expectations today are delusional - or perhaps, the mental state could be called "excessive hopefulness".

    Regards

    Mike
    Last edited by jmm99; 03-10-2014 at 06:32 PM.

  7. #267
    Council Member TheCurmudgeon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Woodbridge, VA
    Posts
    1,117

    Default

    I am trying not to pull this thread off target, but I have to scream out loud sometimes...

    As part of this reduction, the Army would no longer be sized to conduct large-scale, protracted stability operations but would continue to be a full-spectrum force capable of addressing a wide range of national security challenges. The Army National Guard and Army Reserves were not targeted for significant cuts
    Prior to our entanglements in Southeast Asia, the Army managed to conduct a moderate scale, protracted stability operations in the Balkans without dipping deeply into the Active forces. They turned the mission over the Guard. This was the ideal mission for the guard since, being a protracted operation over a static territory, it lent itself to the type of long term planning of rotational units that Reserve forces are ideal for. I laugh evertime I see that statement in bold above because the Active Army was never reorganized to conduct large-scale protracted stability operations. It just adjusted the FEBA to the edge of the wire and conducted search and destroy missions.


    On the other hand, Active forces, which need to be called up on a moment’s notice, should be forward stationed IF your intent is to be a worldwide power (as opposed to only concerning yourself with homeland defense). This is particularly true of the Army since it is slow to move if not placed somewhere that is close to the fight. For example, you would never keep the forces needed to defend Korea at Fort Lewis. Since we are moving to regionally aligned forces, maybe they should be regionally placed as well.
    Last edited by TheCurmudgeon; 03-10-2014 at 06:52 PM.
    "I can change almost anything ... but I can't change human nature."

    Jon Osterman/Dr. Manhattan
    ---

  8. #268
    Council Member Firn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1,297

    Default

    @kaur: Yes, in general the voting does not go as smoothly as in more Western countries, but I doubt that masked, foreign known un-known gunmen controlling the place is all that common. As the sources say they denied access to the large majority which was against the seperation and impressed the more strongly Pro-Russia forces into supporting the mini-party of the current leader.

    It is not clear whether the parliament was seized that day on his orders. On the one hand, the masked gunmen identified themselves as members of Crimea’s “self-defense forces,” all of which are, according to Aksyonov, directly under his control. On the other, he claims the seizure of the buildings was done “spontaneously” by a mysterious group of fighters. “We only knew that these were Russian nationalist forces,” he tells TIME in an interview Sunday. “These were people who share our Russian ideology. So if they wanted to kill someone, they would have killed the nightwatchmen who were inside.”

    Instead, they let the guards go, sealed the doors and only allowed the lawmakers whom Aksyonov invited to enter the building. Various media accounts have disputed whether he was able to gather a quorum of 50 of his peers before the session convened that day, and some Crimean legislators who were registered as present have said they did not come near the building. In any case, those who did arrive could hardly have voted their conscience while pro-Russian gunmen stood in the wings with rocket launchers. Both of the votes held that day were unanimous. The first appointed Aksyonov, a rookie statesman with less than four years experience as a local parliamentarian, as the new Prime Minister of Crimea. The second vote called for a referendum on the peninsula’s secession from Ukraine.
    ... "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"

    General Ludwig Beck (1880-1944);
    Speech at the Kriegsakademie, 1935

  9. #269
    Council Member Firn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1,297

    Default

    Some interesting details about the Crimean economy, or it's dependence on the Ukrainian mainland. It is good to see that the author picked up an issue about I wrote more the a week ago. While I got the water and electricity pretty right, I was wrong about the natural gas 'imports'. The gas fields around the Crimea allow it to cover it's need all but in winter.

    Crimea relies on the rest of Ukraine for 80-85 percent of the water that it consumes, 82 percent of electricity and 35 percent of gas, according to Mykhailo Honchar, a leading energy analyst at Kyiv-based think tank Strategy XXI. Access to these vital resources will loom prominently amid diplomatic discussions this week ahead of the so-called referendum.

    ....

    “And Crimea doesn’t have its own supply of coal and oil products to speak of,” said Honchar.
    The infrastructure between the occupied Crimea and Russia sustained didn't transport most of the goods and must be highly strained already by the military built-up. Critical nodes will be the the ferry service(s) in the Kerch straight and the ports, mostly Sevastopol. As far as I could tell goods still flow through the the land-bridges with Ukraine, but the checkpoints manned by self-declared milita and the increasingly sorry state of the security and rule of law must have taken it's toll. Needless to say for Ukraine it would be easy to stop the traffic there completely.

    In general I think it was a pretty smart, likely lucky non-decision, not to cut the occupied territories off at once. This has allowed the seperatists to cut themselves into their own flesh by their actions and checkpoints.


    Economically, Crimea cannot survive on its own without money from Kyiv. It requires some $700 million in financial assistance from the state to meet its annual expense budget. Vesti daily reported on March 11 that Crimea would need an estimated $5 billion in investments to integrate its economy and infrastructure with Russia. But for the time being, it remains reliant on Ukraine.
    There is little doubt that the Crimea contains a relative high amount of retirees, among them a disproportional number of ethnic Russians which tend to be older then the overall populations. This is certainly one of the reasons why the Crimea takes more from the Ukraine then it pays in.

    The unpaid supporters of the Russian invasion tend to be both old and ethnic Russians. Cutting off the pensions after the illegal 'referendum' will hit them hard, but allow the Russians to step in forcefully. The question is if this matters, and likely the Urkaine is better off by shutting off payments sometimes after it, if the situation does not change much. The same goes for the electricity, easy to do and it hits hard.

    The author did not mention the demand shock in tourism. I saw it earlier as one of the biggest problems for the Crimean economy, as one of the two big pillars looks like it will crumble. The Kyiv Post had interesting recent numbers on that.

    Overall the seperatists have certainly already inflicted massive damage on the occupied territory. Kviev can easily add to it greatly. Russia will likely pour in billions but there are of course many elements of an economy which can not be fixed in the short term. Plus with 'Goblin' the (ex?-)criminal leading a regime one can count on an greatly increased amount of curruption and missmanagement. The other occupied lands locked in 'frozen conflicts' by Russian are not exactly shiny examples of wide-spread economic growth and rule of law...
    Last edited by Firn; 03-11-2014 at 04:12 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"

    General Ludwig Beck (1880-1944);
    Speech at the Kriegsakademie, 1935

  10. #270
    Council Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    4,021

    Default Nuclear Escalatory Ladders and Limited War - Part 1

    Kaur:

    HT; your link to Morgan, Dancing with the Bear: Managing Escalation in a Conflict with Russia (IFRI Proliferation Papers, No. 40, Winter 2012), is interesting theory. Of course, in the area of nuclear escalation and deterrence, everything is theory because the only practitioner has been the US (a point made more than once by the Soviets during the Cold War) - and, in 1945, Japan was not in a position to escalate !

    Morgan (from RAND) sums himself:

    "Escalation", the tendency of belligerents to increase the force or breadth of their attacks to gain advantage or avoid defeat, is not a new phenomenon. Systematic thought about how to manage it, however, did not crystallize until the Cold War and the invention of nuclear weapons. Given the limitations identified in these Cold War approaches to escalation and the profound changes that have affected the strategic environment, a new framework for thinking and managing escalation against nuclear adversaries is needed. It should lead to a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of escalation: its dynamics, forms, and the motives that drive it.

    This paper attempts to fill a gap in the current strategic literature, and explores the challenges that NATO would face in managing escalation in a military conflict with a major nuclear power such as the Russian Federation. Escalation management is about keeping wars limited. In a war against Russia, Western leaders would need to weigh their interests in the issue at stake and adjust their war aims and efforts accordingly. They could secure success only if it is defined and pursued in ways that ultimately allow for compromise and do not threaten the survival of the Russian state or its leaders.
    Morgan et al did a RAND study, Dangerous Thresholds - Managing Escalation in the 21st Century (2008):

    Escalation is a natural tendency in any form of human competition. When such competition entails military confrontation or war, the pressure to escalate can become intense due to the potential cost of losing contests of deadly force. Cold War–era thinking about escalation focused on the dynamics of bipolar, superpower confrontation and strategies to control it. Today's security environment, however, demands that the United States be prepared for a host of escalatory threats involving not only long-standing nuclear powers, but also new, lesser nuclear powers and irregular adversaries, such as insurgent groups and terrorists.

    This examination of escalation dynamics and approaches to escalation management draws on historical examples from World War I to the struggle against global Jihad. It reveals that, to manage the risks of escalatory chain reactions in future conflicts, military and political leaders will need to understand and dampen the mechanisms of deliberate, accidental, and inadvertent escalation.

    Informing the analysis are the results of two modified Delphi exercises, which focused on a potential conflict between China and the United States over Taiwan and a potential conflict between states and non-state actors in the event of a collapse of Pakistan's government.
    Along the way, Morgan has also considered the "escalation ladder" in hypothetical conflicts with Iran and North Korea. See "Conclusion" to 2012 monograph (pp. 47-50 pdf), bringing all together:

    All of this suggests that effective threshold management will be crucially important in an armed conflict with any of the aforementioned states. Western leaders will need to assess the balance of interests and identify each side’s critical thresholds. They will need to illuminate these thresholds to opponents in ways that deter deliberate escalation and reduce the risks of inadvertent escalation. They will need to manage their forces firmly to avoid escalatory accidents, and they will need to calmly evaluate and respond to the accidents that will inevitably occur over the course of the war. Most of all, they will need to restrain their objectives and settle for limited gains, which will most likely amount to defeating the opponent’s aggression in ways that simply preserve the status quo.

    Thankfully, the world has never witnessed a major conventional war between nuclear-armed adversaries, much less one in which nuclear weapons were exchanged. Studies late in the Cold War raised serious doubts whether the latter could be kept limited, or even prosecuted in a coherent manner, given the massive disruptions in communications and physical, mental, and emotional dislocations that would occur at multiple levels of command once nuclear weapons began detonating on each side. Although a handful of analysts continued to lobby for counterforce, nuclear war-fighting strategies to the very end of the era, the ranks of those who accepted Kahn’s thesis that nuclear wars could be fought and won had by then grown exceedingly thin in the West and were substantially diminished in the East. The near consensus was that any nuclear war would likely be uncontrollable, resulting in consequences so tragic that victory, however defined, would be pyrrhic.

    The implication of such a conclusion is that for any escalation management framework to be viable, it must inform strategy making while the conflict is well below the nuclear threshold. Further, it must face up to the uncertainties inherent in war – the lack of perfect information and perfect control; the subjectivity of perception; the inevitable miscalculations that result from incompetence, fear, and fatigue; and the general unpredictability of human behavior – and offer realistic approaches for managing these factors to the extent they are manageable. Cold War-era approaches to escalation management failed to meet those criteria. As a result, decision makers on both sides of the East-West divide abandoned them and relied instead on conflict avoidance.
    - to be cont. -

  11. #271
    Council Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    4,021

    Default Nuclear Escalatory Ladders and Limited War - Part 2

    All that (in Part 1) recalls the differing viewpoints of Herman Kahn and Hugh Everett. Kahn popularized his "escalation ladder" and other thermonuclear war concepts in a number of books. See John Wohlstetter's Herman Kahn: Public Nuclear Strategy 50 Years Later - A Compendium of Highlights from Herman Kahn’s Works on Nuclear Strategy (Hudson Institute, September 2010), a brief survey (29 pp.) of four of Kahn's books:

    On Thermonuclear War (1960) ...
    Thinking About the Unthinkable (1962) ...
    On Escalation: Metaphors and Scenarios (1965) ...
    Thinking About the Unthinkable in the 1980s (1984, posth.)
    and Herman Kahn: Applying His Nuclear Strategy Precepts Today (Hudson Institute, October 2010, 17pp.).

    Hugh Everett was far more pessimistic than Kahn; and wrote very little (most still classified) about his involvement in WSEG (which, via WSEG Staff Study No. 46, informed the 1961 Kennedy-McNamara Flexible Response Policy) - from Everett's Wiki:

    ... Everett was invited to join the Pentagon's newly-forming Weapons Systems Evaluation Group (WSEG), managed by the Institute for Defense Analyses. ... In 1957, he became director of the WSEG's Department of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. After a brief intermission ..., Everett returned to WSEG and recommenced his research, much of which, but by no means all, remains classified. He worked on various studies ... [e.g., Hugh Everett III and George E. Pugh, "The Distribution and Effects of Fallout in Large Nuclear-Weapon Campaigns", in Biological and Environment Effects of Nuclear War, Hearings Before the Special Sub-Committee on Radiation of the Joint Congressional Committee on Atomic Energy, June 22–26, 1959, Washington, D.C., U.S. Government Printing Office, 1959.
    ...
    Of those studies, Linus Pauling said: [They] permit us to make an estimate of the casualties of such a war. This estimate is that sixty days after the day on which the war was waged, 720 million of the 800 million people in these countries would be dead, sixty million would be alive but severely injured, and there would be twenty million other survivors. The fate of the living is suggested by the following statement ...: 'Finally, it must be pointed out that the total casualties at sixty days may not be indicative of the ultimate casualties. Such delayed effects as the disorganization of society, disruption of communications, extinction of livestock, genetic damage, and the slow development of radiation poisoning from the ingestion of radioactive materials may significantly increase the ultimate toll.' ..."
    Regardless of whether one leans toward Kahn or Everett, one finds no certainty in the "nuclear escalatory ladder". Kahn himself recognized that and more (from Wohlstetter, Oct 2010):

    NUCLEAR TABOO

    Allied powers in the West have long stressed the “firebreak” between conventional and nuclear use. Some emerging powers show no signs of recognizing this. Kahn did, and warned that consequences of crossing the nuclear line again and thus ending the taboo carry unpredictable, potentially horrific dangers.

    Kahn stressed the value of the nuclear taboo:

    That other “easily recognizable limitations” exist is clear; but it remains true that once war has started no other line of demarcation is at once so clear, so sanctified by convention, so ratified by emotion, so low on the scale of violence, and—perhaps most important of all—so easily defined and understood as the line between not using and using nuclear weapons.[32]
    On weakening the nuclear threshold:

    Nevertheless, I believe that two or three uses of nuclear weapons would weaken the nuclear threshold, at least to a degree where it would no longer be a strong barrier to additional uses of nuclear weapons in intense or vital disputes. There would ensue a gradual or precipitate erosion of the current belief—or sentiment—that the use of nuclear weapons is exceptional or immoral. The feared uncontrolled escalation would be rather more likely to occur at the second, third or later use of nuclear weapons than as a consequence of first use.[33]
    ...
    On the difficulty of restoring the tradition and custom of nonuse after nuclear use:

    More important, in a world in which there is no legislature to set new rules, and the only method of changing rules is through a complex and unreliable systems-bargaining process, each side should—other things being equal—be anxious to preserve whatever thresholds there are. This is a counsel of prudence, but a serious one: it is not often possible to restore traditions, customs or conventions that have been shattered. Once they are gone, or weakened, the world may be “permanently” worse off.[35]
    32 OE, p. 95.
    33 OE, p. 98. Strategists call “first‐strike” starting nuclear war from scratch; “first-use” escalates an ongoing conventional conflict, as America did in 1945.
    ...
    35 OE, p. 133.
    OE = Kahn, On Escalation: Metaphors and Scenarios (1965)

    That brings us back to the topics of "Special War" and "Limited War". Morgan cites Strachan, Are European Armed Forces Only Able to Wage Limited War? (2011), in one of his footnotes:

    Abstract: For a long time, Western armies were organized to fight total war. Since the end of the Cold War, they have been reduced, but have been engaged in conflicts requiring large deployments. European societies no longer know what type of war they have to conduct. Indeed the very concept of limited war and its instruments need to be rethought.
    ...
    If the Cold War in Europe had become hot, it would not have been limited except in one respect: it would have been short. Armies became smaller because they were not expected to sustain resistance for more than a few weeks. Germany in particular ... wanted to keep the ladder of escalation to nuclear release short and steep. North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) war games tended to end with a nuclear exchange within days.

    Those less close to the inner German border, and particularly the United States, wanted the ladder to be longer and the process of ascent more gradual. Their interpretation of the strategy of "flexible responseʺ, adopted by NATO in 1967, stressed the initial use of conventional military capabilities as much as the final sanction of nuclear release.
    ...
    With the end of the Cold War, and the removal of the immediate threat of a major war of self-defence within Europe, that hope – implicitly at least – has become even more fervent. ... They cannot command the man-power for ʺtotal war". The question that is more pressing is whether they can command the manpower for long wars of lower intensity.
    ...
    At the heart of Europe’s problem is the lack of a unifying conception of war – a conception which can tie the armies of Europe and their parent societies into a common narrative. ... The European folk memory of war is still shaped by the Second World War, by "total warʺ. Two consequences follow.

    The first is that armies exist only for purposes of direct national self-defence in what the English language no longer calls ʺtotal war", but "major warʺ or increasingly ʺexistential war". The corollary of a war for national survival should be an expectation that in such a war armies should be both conscripted and large, reflective of their parent societies in terms of their social composition and even more in values.

    The second is the obverse of that position. Given the destructiveness for Europe of modern war, and particularly of the two world wars, war is not in fact a continuation of policy by other means. War represents the failure of policy, and so has no political utility.

    Today Europe’s armies are designed less to fight and more for diplomatic leverage. Small contingents are a means by which a state pays its dues to the international community and to the multilateral organisations, principally the European Union, NATO and the United Nations, in which most modern, westernised and democratic nations invest their hopes of a stable international order.

    This "tokenismʺ can extend to bilateral relations, particularly given the possible long-term need to call in aid from the United States. The real military strength of NATO lies with America, and by sending forces to Afghanistan other states are investing in a favour bank with the US if their security is threatened in the future. Alliances help keep armies small and serve to constrain the circumstances in which they may be used.
    The question for NATO's future is exactly what account balance is now on deposit in the US "favour bank". Unless that account is very large (in relation to other "favour bank" accounts), EU-NATO should probably be planning on relying on its own resources to do whatever jobs it believes must be done.

    Both sides of the pond might elect, re: "Special-Limited War", to learn how to eat soup with a knife; or how to make toothpicks with a shovel. The latter seems to me a more practical skill, but what do I know about practicality.

    Regards

    Mike

  12. #272
    Council Member Firn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1,297

    Default

    The conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine printed an article from Svetlana Alexievich, a noted belorussian author with partial Ukrainian roots. A good deal of her work was on aspects of WWII and the Soviet war in Afghanistan. I think the article does a fine job at painting the various different moods in this conflict.

    ---

    What is at stake in Crimea? is a mostly political piece on this site usually devoted to economic research. Earlier they wrote about the emergency economic measures for Ukraine, which I missed.

    Their call for a debt restructuring caught my eye:

    One step is to bring in the IMF as well as other donors (EU, USA, etc.) to bridge the short-term gap in foreign currency reserves.

    These funds are essential to avoid a drastic immediate fiscal contraction in the immediate future. They are necessary to enable authorities to inject capital into Ukrainian banks. The amount of required support is likely to be in tens of billions of dollars. Moreover, a restructuring of some of Ukrainian debt is necessary to avoid outright default.

    1) Most of Ukraine’s external debt was accumulated under the previous corrupt regime.
    2) The new leaders have little moral obligation to commit to reimburse that debt, and creditors have little moral standing to demand repayment: they knew who they lent to.
    Last edited by Firn; 03-11-2014 at 08:22 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"

    General Ludwig Beck (1880-1944);
    Speech at the Kriegsakademie, 1935

  13. #273
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    1,007

    Default

    I think that USA has very good knowledge how Soviet Union /Russia manages their problems.

    http://jmw.typepad.com/files/state-d...propaganda.pdf

    Today there are very few communist parties left, but there is new (appeared right after collapse of SU) lever in the CIS and Baltic states space - Russian compatriots. Russia used arms in Georgia and in Crimea because he felt that compatriots are in danger. As far as I do understand Russia is carrying out same kind of active measures that are listed in that paper. It is also deja vu, when I hear Russian side talking that in Ukraine there is battle between US and Russia (EU is just US proxy + Nuland's "#### EU"). The same motivation was used during Soviet adventures around the globe during Cold war (Mitrokihn's book). If you understand Russian, then here head of Crimean compatriots talks about US action. This statement was made 3 months ago.

    http://vksors.org.ua/video/v-vseukra...vennikov-video

    Firn, i'm sure that Aksenov was brought to power through the same compatriots network.
    Last edited by kaur; 03-11-2014 at 11:05 PM.

  14. #274
    Council Member AmericanPride's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    "Turn left at Greenland." - Ringo Starr
    Posts
    965

    Default

    Firn,

    Just a quick comment about Ukraine's debt. According to this site and this site, Ukraine's debt was in decline until 2007 and has been increasing year over year ever since. The majority of the debt was accumulated between 2007 and 2009 as a result of the global recession and during the presidency of Yushchenko. Corruption appears to be a bipartisan activity in Ukraine.
    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

  15. #275
    Council Member mirhond's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    372

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Firn View Post

    If one looks at how the events unfolded the Crimea (rump) parliament only called for Russian 'help' after Russian troops had already infiltrated and invaded. Under huge pressure, armed Russian gunmen only a minority was present when the voted.
    Those informations fill in some detail into the story of Russian aggression to make the processes and events of the invasions clearer. In at least another article I read how a Crimean parliamentarian considered pro-Urkainian was denied entry into the house. The big story does of course not change, but the case against the aggressor only becomes clearer.
    So, there is no evidence which could possibly change your belief into "pro-Ukranian Crimea" and any piece of infirmation you stumble upon would just reinforce it? Confirmation bias as it is.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias

  16. #276
    Council Member Firn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1,297

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mirhond View Post
    So, there is no evidence which could possibly change your belief into "pro-Ukranian Crimea" and any piece of infirmation you stumble upon would just reinforce it? Confirmation bias as it is.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias
    I'm very aware of that sort of bias, this is why I generally go first for the facts before I comment and use to cast a very wide net, from Moskva to Washington in four languages. But please, if you have anything intelligent and meaningful to add, make your case by good, even some arguments. So far I have waited in vain...
    Last edited by Firn; 03-12-2014 at 01:41 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"

    General Ludwig Beck (1880-1944);
    Speech at the Kriegsakademie, 1935

  17. #277
    Council Member Firn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1,297

    Default

    Ukraine has the lowest energy efficiency worldwide a short paper claims:

    Summary:
    Ukraine has the lowest energy efficiency worldwide. While the industry sector is slowly going to improve, the communal services are still very inefficient and demand side management is not seriously taken into account yet. Reforms on the national level are slow, implementation and control is poor. Tariffs do not cover the real costs and with rising gas prices the subventions are growing on national and communal level. The biggest pressure is exerted on cities to quickly react on the challenges but there is a lack of knowledge, management capacity and financing capability. A German-Ukrainian technical assistance project implemented by GTZ will assist the
    national Government and four pilot cities to develop implementation strategies for energy saving in the building sector in an international interdisciplinary team. Together with the Association of Energy Efficient Cities in Ukraine a learning city network will be established for knowledge exchange and dissemination of achievements.
    Now a Russian might obviously see that cooperation as a cunning strategic move by a US proxy to undermine the economic relationship between the brother nations of Ukraine and Russia.

    Many changes have happened in Ukraine since soviet economy and relevant ideology collapsed in 1991. However, the supply side oriented mentality fed for a long time by an artificial economy and created an according lifestyle taking no care on energy consumption is still alive in this country. While the industrial sector is slowly reducing its energy consumption and becoming more energy efficient, the communal services, predominantly heating, are still very inefficient. Outdated systems in poor condition and high losses due to insufficient maintenance as well as no possibility for heat adjustment are the main reasons for the bad performance.
    On a more serious note it the results of those bad incentives set up by the high subventions, rooted partly in the SU, have been quite obvious and terrible. We discussed something similar concerning the situation in Saudi Arabia in the energy security thread. There is no doubt at all that those subventions have to come down a great deal in the long run but one has to be careful to avoid a big fallout in the short term. A far more energy efficient economy should considerably reduce the economic leverage of the Kremlin over Ukraine even if demand goes up overall due to economic development.

    This presentation is quite interesting as it contains a lot of relatively recent data in sometimes great graphs about the current energy situation. Most projectations are for now best ignored.

    PS: I just realized that it is a .fi address. Shocking, now even the Finns (in this case one of the Swedish minority), are in the subversing business united with Ukrainian elements.
    Last edited by Firn; 03-12-2014 at 01:40 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"

    General Ludwig Beck (1880-1944);
    Speech at the Kriegsakademie, 1935

  18. #278
    Council Member carl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Denver on occasion
    Posts
    2,460

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mirhond View Post
    So, there is no evidence which could possibly change your belief into "pro-Ukranian Crimea" and any piece of infirmation you stumble upon would just reinforce it? Confirmation bias as it is.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias
    Mirhond:

    If you guys are going to troll here as "Mirhond" work a little harder and have just one person do the trolling. When you switch off the quality of the written English and the sentence construction is wildly variable. Have a little respect for us and at least try to make it look good.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  19. #279
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    1,007

    Default

    Analyze this.

    Correspondence of US Army Attache Assistant in Kiev.

    We have hacked e-mail correspondence of US Army Attache Assistant in Kiev Jason Gresh and a high ranking official from Ukrainian General Staff Igor Protsyk.

    appears that they are planning to conduct a series of attacks on Ukrainian military bases in order to destabilize the situation in Ukraine.

    Particularly, Jason Gresh writes to Igor Protsyk that it’s time to implement a plan that implies “causing problems to the transport hubs in the south-east of Ukraine in order to frame-up the neighbor. It will create favorable conditions for Pentagon to act”, says Jason Gresh.

    In his turn, Protsyk writes to some Vasil and tells him to arrange an attack on an airbase of 25 aviation brigade of Ukrainian air force stationed in Melitopol.

    This Vasil is responsible for arranging the details of the attack, gathering of the gunmen and providing them with a map of sites that are chosen to be attacked.

    We strongly recommend everyone to look through these documents. There you will find all the details. (anon)
    http://marina-yudenich.livejournal.com/1077483.html

  20. #280
    Council Member carl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Denver on occasion
    Posts
    2,460

    Default

    kaur:

    That is WWII stuff. It would be comical if there wasn't a chance that a lot of people will get killed.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 457
    Last Post: 12-31-2015, 11:56 PM
  2. Replies: 4772
    Last Post: 06-14-2015, 04:41 PM
  3. Shot down over the Ukraine: MH17
    By JMA in forum Europe
    Replies: 253
    Last Post: 08-04-2014, 08:14 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •