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Thread: Ukraine (closed; covers till August 2014)

  1. #421
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    The US, France, Germany and the UK have a combined GDP of about 24 trillion. Russia's is 2 point something. Yet we wring our hands and moan about all the things we can't do when we have twelve times the economic resources. What clowns we are. So sad. Unsuspecting 10 year olds are on a playground right now, ignorant that we are signing their death warrants by our inaction.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  2. #422
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    jcustis:

    Nothing would happen. An unspoken premise is wrong in your scenario. No matter what Mr. Obama says, he will not stand by anybody, anytime. He knows it. Everybody knows it.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  3. #423
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    illusory maybe ... like the US behaving - verbally - as if anyone is still listening?


    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    The bottom line is Art. 6:



    Those parties have consulted (last Friday) - commitment met.

    Another "Agreement" - Art. 4 and Art. 5 of NATO:



    As any rookie contract student should be able to tell you - these are illusory contracts; and were intended to be so from the gitgo.

    Regards

    Mike

  4. #424
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    JMA---basically yes------

    When the US decision makers in the last ten or so years decided to go to soft power ie diplomacy and away from military force they forgot that at times unless you are really super serious about economic warfare as a middle option in soft power then you are in a serious jam when you get called out as has Putin done.

    At the beginning of this Germany pushed for talking and the none use of the military threat out of fear of it escalating---which in the end failed and it has escalated.

    So now what do you have left to impress anyone with?

    There is a possibility mentioned last night by a Russian businessman that if in fact the western banks limited and or shortened the lines of credit that the Russian companies literally live on then in a rather short fashion their economy would come to a stand still---right now Russian companies must service existing western bank debt due in April of over 206B and they are struggling to keep from declaring bankruptcy.

    The Russia economy is struggling and may in fact have zero growth this year and is in a deep recession and it would not take much to tilt it over the edge and for all the bluster coming out of Moscow---they indeed know that.

    But is the West truly willing to stand up for what they signed---really do not think so---this reminds of the slide into 1914 or even worse the "fake war" in 1939 when the UK/France had signed agreements defending Poland and what did they initially do?

    I have talking about the failure of this concept of soft power over on the other side from the very beginning of this and called it exactly has it has happened.
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 03-18-2014 at 10:42 PM.

  5. #425
    Council Member wm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    Well, two weeks of warm weather and we are now being pounded with snow
    Stan,
    Are you sure you aren't in New England?
    Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit
    The greatest educational dogma is also its greatest fallacy: the belief that what must be learned can necessarily be taught. Sydney J. Harris

  6. #426
    Council Member Firn's Avatar
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    We will see in a couple of years, maybe ten or more who has 'won' for the time being. Earlier in the thread I stated that Putin has got for now the Crimea but he might have lost the rest of Ukraine, and possibly a good part of the Russian economy. That depends largely on the European willpower although American help, especially financial one is highly welcomed.

    Interestingly the NYT has a nice article about the 'economic miracle' of South Ossetia, which fits neatly with the papers I found about the great economic success of Abkhazia. Transnistrias economic history does make the economic triumph of Russia's 'frozen occupations' complete. Note the debt level and the link to Gazprom&Co. They certainly put their earnings to good Samaritian use.

    Expectations are now too sky-high in the Crimea, pumped up with propaganda and promises, promises and promises. Even with the best policies and vast help from Russia it will difficult to fulfill those dreams...
    ... "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

  7. #427
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    Default The strong rule; the weak drool ...

    ..."In times of peace and prosperity cities and individuals alike follow higher standards, because they are not forced into a situation where they have to do what they do not want to do." ... (3.82)
    ...
    "To fit in with the change of events words too had to change their meanings. What used to be described as thoughtless act of aggression was now regarded as the courage one would expect to find in a party member." ... (3.82)
    Thucydides, The History of the Peloponnesian War (any Crawley trans. edition).

    Words (the lofty rhetoric of politicians), whether written or oral, have no real meaning unless linked to acts. "By their acts, you shall know them."

    Regards

    Mike
    Last edited by jmm99; 03-19-2014 at 01:30 AM.

  8. #428
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    JMM--nice news today in Europe--looks like the US is finding their thinking again ---there will be a large land maneuver with substantial US troops on the ground in the Baltics in the coming days---clear message is now what does it feel like when equals are across from each other.

    Ukraine late last night informed Russia that if their companies are nationalized in the Crimea then Russian companies inside the Ukraine will become Ukrainian and that includes the Gazprom gas networks/steel mills/mines and banks.

    Moldavian ex President stated yesterday that Russia should think twice about expanding his "protect the Russians" thinking towards them and that Moldavia is increasing their ground forces training and asking for NATO assistance in that training.
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 03-19-2014 at 07:45 AM.

  9. #429
    Council Member Firn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post

    Words (the lofty rhetoric of politicians), whether written or oral, have no real meaning unless linked to acts. "By their acts, you shall know them."

    Regards

    Mike
    Indeed and this goes for everybody involved. The political will of one guy has been revealed now we will see how things are on the other sides. It is very early times, we will see if.

    If meaningful economic sanctions get put in place by Europe & Co and kept firm, time will not be on the side of the Russia economy. The big question is the 'if'.

    P.S: There are a lot of guys saying that 'sanctions don't work'. They might not have caused the desired political change, but in cases like Iran and Iraq they have beeen pretty good at wrecking the economy. It should work at least decently at creating economic havoc in that large northern Gulf State.
    Last edited by Firn; 03-19-2014 at 07:46 AM.
    ... "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. #430
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    Firn---think the reality of potentially damaging targeted sanctions ie bank lines of credit and specific products are starting to worry the Russian business elite.


    Rossnefts' boss is in Japan and at first said sanctions they can live with/not an issue and then about four hours later during an interview basically the nerves came through and he indicated they will be hurt.

    Think if comments coming out of DC this morning in Germany that the US is really ready to pull economic triggers regardless of what the US banks think is an encouraging sign that they see specific weak points as well.

    Will really be interesting that when the glory/shine wears off for the Crimean's and they see that nothing really has changed and they will see that it has not changed---will they hit the streets as they did in the Maidann?

    It has just dawned on the current Crimea leadership late yesterday in a few local comments that now all food etc must come via ships as the land routes are blocked and nothing has been organized---you will start to see shortages in about ten days since the Russian Army did not plan to support 2M people with the day to day basics.

  11. #431
    Council Member Firn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    It has just dawned on the current Crimea leadership late yesterday in a few local comments that now all food etc must come via ships as the land routes are blocked and nothing has been organized---you will start to see shortages in about ten days since the Russian Army did not plan to support 2M people with the day to day basics.
    If there will be no to little international trade directly with the seperatist territory the capacity of the Russian ports in the area could also be a bottleneck apart from the more obvious Crimean ones.

    The gravity model of trade flow plus the very specific trade routes (no bridges to Russia), the (former) status as part of Ukraine and the general European flow of trade, explain why the stuff was moved as before of March 2014. The adjustment costs of almost completely cutting the current net of trade interactions and trying to weave them anew should be pretty impressive and mean no smooth ride for the economy...

    This is just on top of the other, almost entirely negative shocks coming after it. I don't know how bad it will be but it seems pretty likely that it will be rather bad.
    Last edited by Firn; 03-19-2014 at 02:14 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

  12. #432
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    My visit to the Crimea was a few years ago, but Kerch was then hardly a busy port. In fact I cannot recall on one full day seeing a single ship arrive. The roads from Kerch into the peninsula are of limited capacity, being mainly two-track and slow. If there was a working railway I missed it, the only train we saw was the twice daily service to Kiev and the line into Sevastapol is single track.
    davidbfpo

  13. #433
    Council Member Firn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    My visit to the Crimea was a few years ago, but Kerch was then hardly a busy port. In fact I cannot recall on one full day seeing a single ship arrive. The roads from Kerch into the peninsula are of limited capacity, being mainly two-track and slow. If there was a working railway I missed it, the only train we saw was the twice daily service to Kiev and the line into Sevastapol is single track.
    Good to read direct impressions. Sounds like it would be interesting to look a little bit deeper into that matter. Right now I can think of hardly any incentive which would have made the transport of goods from Russia over the Kerch straight more attractive then the trucking through the Ukrainian mainland.

    Perhaps in a couple of days I will know more.
    ... "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

  14. #434
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    Off the subject---the Crimea Tartars refused to participate in the elections in the Crimea and yet the Crimea government rep stated it was 30%.

    Putin claimed yesterday in his speech that their language/and they themselves would be protected.

    One of their top community leaders who was pro Ukrainian "disappeared" two weeks ago and was found dead yesterday with his hands and head taped.

    Check this article that came out today from Crimean reporting---now one sees just how Russians control everything--so much in protecting minorities:http://en.ria.ru/world/20140319/1885...-Official.html

    MOSCOW, March 18 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine’s breakaway region of Crimea will ask Tatars to vacate part of the land where they now live in exchange for new territory elsewhere in the region, a top Crimean government official said Tuesday.

    Crimean Deputy Prime Minister Rustam Temirgaliyev said in an interview with RIA Novosti on Tuesday the new government in Crimea, where residents voted Sunday to become part of Russia, wants to regularize the land unofficially taken over by Crimean Tatar squatters following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    “We have asked the Crimean Tatars to vacate part of their land, which is required for social needs,” Temirgaliyev said. “But we are ready to allocate and legalize many other plots of land to ensure a normal life for the Crimean Tatars,” he said.

    Temirgaliyev emphasized that members of the Tatar community could receive senior political positions in the new government, in an apparent move to ease ethnic tensions in the region.

    “I think that Crimean Tatars will be well represented in the government and parliament,” he said.

    The Crimean Tatars, a historic people of the region, were deported en masse to Central Asia by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin 70 years ago. Although many of them returned in the early 1990s, they were unable to reclaim the land they had possessed before their deportation.

    Many Crimean Tatars have taken over unclaimed land as squatters by building houses, farms and mosques. Ukrainian authorities have in the past failed to settle the land disputes.

    The Tatars, who make up 15 percent of Crimea’s population, remain amongst the staunchest supporters of the new government in Kiev that ousted President Viktor Yanukovych last month.

    Crimea, a largely Russian-speaking autonomous republic within Ukraine, was part of Russia until it was gifted to Ukraine by Soviet leaders in 1954.

    Putin signed a decree Monday recognizing Crimea as an independent state, following a referendum Sunday that saw voters on the peninsula overwhelmingly support secession and reunification with Russia.

    Nearly 30 percent of Crimean Tatars voted in favor of reunification with Russia at Sunday’s referendum, Temirgaliyev said.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-19-2014 at 08:32 PM. Reason: Add link and fix quote

  15. #435
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Now I am learning something.

    So if you are short of cash or risk losing deposits and don't have troops in the area you can just laugh off the agreement?
    Hey Mark !

    I wished it could sound better than you just put it, but the reality is just like you put it (well, almost).

    Funding is driven by State and used by every Tom, Dick and Harry. We, the military can ask and justify all we want. But, no cash, no troops, no deal.

    Reality (see link above).

    Regards, Stan
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  16. #436
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    Default The Agreement(s) to Consult

    should have been laughed off when it was (they were) made.

    But, that is not the Athenian Way, is it ?

    Regards

    Mike

  17. #437
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    Default VP Biden, Our Ironclad Monitor

    @Outlaw
    JMM--nice news today in Europe--looks like the US is finding their thinking again ---there will be a large land maneuver with substantial US troops on the ground in the Baltics in the coming days---clear message is now what does it feel like when equals are across from each other.
    I read VP Biden's lofty rhetoric as carried on the AP wire yesterday; e.g., Pushing back on Russia, Biden vows more sanctions (by JOSH LEDERMAN,
    Associated Press; Published: Tuesday, Mar. 18, 2014 - 10:04 am; Last Modified: Tuesday, Mar. 18, 2014 - 10:47 am) (emphasis added):

    WARSAW, Poland -- Denouncing Russia's actions in Crimea as "nothing more than a land grab," Vice President Joe Biden warned Russia on Tuesday that the U.S. and Europe will impose further sanctions as Moscow moved to annex part of Ukraine.

    With limited options, the United States was seeking ways to show it won't stand idly by as Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty for the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea to join Russia. So far, Putin has been undeterred by sanctions and visa bans levied by the U.S. and the European Union, and there's no U.S. appetite for military intervention.

    "Russia has offered a variety of arguments to justify what is nothing more than a land grab, including what he said today," Biden said in Poland, which shares a border with both Russia and Ukraine. "But the world has seen through Russia's actions and has rejected the flawed logic behind those actions."
    ...
    In a clear warning to Moscow not to test other nations along its border, Biden said the U.S. commitment to defending its NATO allies is "ironclad." He promised more sanctions would be coming, along with new NATO training and exercises that will take place in Poland.

    The vice president said the U.S. was considering rotating American forces to the Baltic region as a step toward ensuring the collective defense of NATO allies. Those forces could conduct ground and naval exercises, plus engage in training missions.
    Or, were you speaking of real acts (which I missed) vs. rhetoric (which I didn't miss, but should have) - such as orders having been cut for 44 maneuver battalions to deploy to the Eastern Front. Do we still have 44 maneuver battalions ? You probably remember them from 1964.

    It appears to me that some choices (for good or bad; and each person will have his own opinion as to those choices) have been made as to "the front". A US "Two Front" effort was well deceased by 2009, when Jim Cartwright was laconically honest about it; e.g., Pentagon to Change Two-Front War-Fighting Strategy - Marine Gen. James Cartwright said the old two-war plan is extreme (by Paul Bedard, July 29, 2009, Washington Whispers):

    The Pentagon's two-front war-fighting strategy is going the way of the battleship: to the junkyard. A recognition of shrinking budgets and the reality that World War II isn't likely to repeat itself, the emerging plan will be a big change for the military. Marine Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, got the buzz rolling this month when he suggested that the developing plan would be to have the capability to fight smaller wars like in Iraq and Afghanistan and only one with a major "peer competitor" like China or Russia. The old two-war plan he dubbed an "extreme."
    I'll wait for acts (by both sides, as Firn suggests).

    Regards

    Mike
    Last edited by jmm99; 03-19-2014 at 08:06 PM.

  18. #438
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default Saber Rattling

    Hey Mike,

    Sounds a bit like saber rattling like we do every year in Korea under the guise of annual training.

    The skies over the Baltic States have always had fighters from just about every NATO nation patrolling. Nothing new, just a ton of jet A1

    The Baltic States have and continue to invite and create a NATO base. Hasn't happened in spite of massive reconstruction projects.

    Mr. Biden says those forces could conduct ground and naval exercises and engage in training missions.

    Hmmm, we already do and have done so since 95

    Bravo Sierra !

    Regards, Stan
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  19. #439
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Boy do I get tired of hearing about how limited the options for the US are.
    Here are some from the top of my head, large numbers of which come from Firn and Outlaw 09.

    1. Tell the Poles and the Czechs the missile defense system is back on.

    2. Put an entire squadron of F-22s and supporting tankers in Poland next week, permanently. EF-18s too.

    3. Rescind landing rights for any Russian airplanes in the US. Stop all flights originating in the US that go into Russia.

    4. All visas for entry into the US for all Russians will be stopped. None will be renewed.

    4a. Exception to above. Any Russian who has a doctorate in a hard science, engineering, has very extensive experience in those fields or is a physician, will get an automatic green card upon application for one and $40,000 to help them relocate in the US.

    5. Start shipping as many ATGMs to the Ukraine as you can put on anything that floats or flies, even the Dragons if they are still around.

    6. Do the same thing with any SA-18s we can get hold of. And do the same thing with any of the Libyan SA-24s that we may have picked up.

    7. Tell Boeing no more spare parts for aircraft are to be shipped to Russia. Same thing for the engine and avionics makers.

    8. Freeze all Russian assets in the US.

    9. Put an obvious close tail on every single Russian naval vessel at sea every minute they are at sea.

    10. We had better have some intel on how much money Putin himself has overseas and where it is for all the money we spend on intel. Publish it.

    11. Tell the oil companies to bring all their guys in Russia home.

    12. Tell the oil companies that if they want to apply for a LNG export terminal tomorrow, the approval will come next week.

    13. We have M-1 tanks surplus to our needs, maybe Poland and Ukraine would like some.

    And on and on. These are things that we can do on our own without the west Europeans. Firn would know of various financial things that we can do on our own. The point is there are a lot of things we can do, if the genii Athenians inside the beltway stop talking themselves into helplessness.

    This is very worrying to me. We have three more years of this administration and if they don't stop shoveling they may dig a hole for us so deep we may not get out.
    Last edited by carl; 03-19-2014 at 08:42 PM.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  20. #440
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    Default Carl:

    1. Any or all of the acts you suggest would be better than lofty rhetoric - if no acts are really intended, then our Beltway should STFU.

    2. Your suggestions beg the question of which EU-NATO states are willing to step up to the military plate - are there any; and, if so, how far are they willing to go ?

    3. To what extent does the US provide "matching assets" ? I'd suggest that the EU-NATO inputs into Iraq and Afghanistan would be good precedents for the % of US involvement (a secondary effort, as EU-NATO has been in our two wars) to a European crisis (where EU-NATO should take the lead, not the US). They've helped us out in the very recent past; we should help them to the same extent - reciprocity !

    4. If EU-NATO is up to the task of confronting Putin-Ivanov, then it will gain its spurs - perhaps, it then could become the pre-eminent hegemonic power. If it is not up to that task (not taking on the task is the same thing) using primarily its own power and methods, then that is a good thing for Americans to know.

    5. I'm willing to be patient and let the EU-NATO hand play out (as Firn suggests). I'd as soon not hear our politicians talk up all the bad things they are going to do to Vlad and his Russkies.

    Regards

    Mike

    PS: here's one for you, Carl - a daymare - three more years + 8 of Billary !!

    I also realize that patience is difficult in the face of headlines such as this, Calls to escalate Russia sanctions leave EU in a quandary (by Luke Baker, BRUSSELS Mar 18, 2014):

    (Reuters) - Mocked by Moscow, the European Union needs to impose far tougher sanctions over Crimea to make President Vladimir Putin sit up and pay attention, but its ability to agree them is limited - and consensus may not be achievable at all.
    ...
    Some EU foreign ministers quietly agree and are frustrated. They wanted harder-hitting sanctions, but EU restrictions have to be agreed unanimously, which means the measures are only as strong as the country with the deepest reservations will allow.

    Austria is among the doubters. "Sanctions don't solve problems," said Chancellor Werner Faymann. "The solution can only be getting to negotiations." ... (much more "quandaries" in story)
    Last edited by jmm99; 03-19-2014 at 10:13 PM.

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