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Thread: Ukraine (closed; covers till August 2014)

  1. #641
    Council Member Firn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    In short: the US has every reason to be concerned, no reason whatsoever for fear, panic, or hysteria. I don't think it's at all likely that Putin can be forced to give back Crimea, but it is likely that he can be deterred from taking another bite... unless he's presented with an irresistible opportunity, which should be avoided. The US needs to work closely with Europe, urge them to adopt harder sanctions if needed, but not try to dictate what the response should be. I think bluster is pointless and counterproductive and that no demands should be made that we haven't the will or capacity to back up with action.
    So Putin called Obama to reach a “diplomatic resolution”. Earlier I wrote, looking at Russias short economic legs and Clausewitz that:

    Russia wants of course peace now and de-escalation after having annexed unopposed a weak and defenseless province because it's politicians, lacking power and military means, (rightly) feared a bloody decision and an even worse outcome.
    Now, as you have pointed, nobody knows if Putin wants to grab another piece of land and create that 'worse outcome'. But it is very likely that the costs in blood and Russian wealth will be considerably higher if he decides to invade Ukrainian mainland and that Putin knows it. However if he is able to get peace now the patriotic victory should not lose too much glory at home and in some abroads.

    On the other hand he should know that even a mighty Empire with the largest mechanized army the world has ever seen can implode in the circumstances of economic catastrophe and collapse...
    ... "We need officers capable of following systematically the path of logical argument to its conclusion, with disciplined intellect, strong in character and nerve to execute what the intellect dictates"

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    Speech at the Kriegsakademie, 1935

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    Council Member Firn's Avatar
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    Taht Klitschko endorses Poroshenko is of course important news for the presidential race. Poroshenko has of course much baggage.

    "The only chance to win is to nominate a single candidate from the democratic forces. Let's leave the principle 'two Ukrainians - three hetmans' to other politicians. During the last year I had been insisting on nominating one candidate... It should be the candidate who has the greatest support of citizens. I offer the only candidate from the democratic forces Petro Poroshenko be supported in the presidential elections," Klitschko said at a meeting of the UDAR Party in Kyiv on March 29.

    "I have made the considered decision to run for Kyiv mayor," Klitschko said. "I want to make Kyiv a really European capital, and we should do our country a truly European country. All the reforms and all initiatives start in the capital."
    I admired in the past his smart way to box, playing the game disciplined and cooly in his comfort zone. Of course he had the physical abilities under his mental strenght to allow him to win this way, but that tactical discipline*...

    This support is of course part of a political deal. Instead of searching unlikely presidential power he tries to get the pretty likely mayor of Kyiv. It is still good to see that his tendency to moderation extends also the election campaign. Maybe he thinks that he get his opportunity later after a difficult economic transition, maybe he mostly wants to avoid dangerous disunity. Who knows, but I think that for Ukraine it is an excellent move.

    *Look at my signature
    Last edited by Firn; 03-29-2014 at 12:49 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

  3. #643
    Council Member wm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    wm---if you were I&W then you know the term indicators---many here and other places deride open source but in fact open source can and does provide up to 80% of most intel leads/tips then one just has to look harder for confirmation points.
    I do not deny the value of OSINT. What I asked for was additional sources that might confirm or deny the "facts" in the sources you did provide--"trust but verify"--I'd really prefer not to undergo a nuclear version of the guns of August because of some decisions made as a result of unconfirmed I&W--the US has already made a similar mistake this century
    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    What you missed on the next generation types in Russia comment is shown much by their Facebook and other social media mentions which surprisingly has been both positive and support of Putin's moves. He is at a high of now 80% popularity up from 54%.
    I discount much of the postings on social media as well. The fundamental nature of the internet is one that promotes a culture of deception. I am sure you are aware of efforts to artificially increase a website's "hits" to get its Google score up and thereby have it show up earlier in a Google search. Go back and look at how folks have responded to mirhond's posts on this thread as a possible example of deception and attempted perception (or, perhaps more accurately, misperception) shaping. For all we know, you might be an agent provocateur trying to stir up a knee jerk reaction by western nations with your "Sky is falling" posts.

    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    Open source articles can in fact be great indicators when one sees mentioned small items that parallel each other but from different sources.
    Provided that the sources really are different. See how many times a Google search that produces thousands or millions of hits is at root just just the same story reposted/republished on multiple web pages.

    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    And yes when we watched the Soviets' ---it was exercises by types, numbers of personnel, followed by number of bridging units, followed by supply abilities with weather overlaid on the whole thing. Do open searches for old newspaper articles released prior to every major Soviet exercise in the 70/80s that were held in central and eastern Europe on a regular yearly basis-you will many open mentions similar to what I find and point out.
    How many Russian/Soviet/WP invasions occurred after those press releases? I do not remember any.
    Press releases seem more like disproof than proof of a pending invasion. I suggest you look at how many press releases Russia sent out in summer 2008 prior to its invasion of South Ossetia/Abkhazia/Georgia or in the summer of 1968 before the invasion of Czechoslovakia. In fact they were at pains to hide their initial incursions into the Crimea, not tell the world they were getting ready to take over the peninsula in an Interfax PR

    If you want to look at historical indicators, you might note that both the 1968 and the 2008 invasions occurred in August. Troop training and replacement cycles, as well as weather play a significant part in military operations planning.
    I no longer watch Russian military training cycles so I do not know whether they are using the same training/rotation schedules that their Soviet predecessors did. I would be surprised if they have changed it too much, though, because of things like the Russian weather and the fact that much of the current senior leadership was trained under the old Soviet system--Check out this OSINT site for some bios of those guys.
    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

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    wm---then I am assuming you have never worked OSINT and driven OSINT into the other INTs.

    If my math was and is correct at the height of the Cold War the KGB/GRU had over 25,000 personnel focusing just alone on OSINT.

    One of the actual clashes verbally and politically between the USW and then SU came from an actual crossing of OSINT articles that led the SU to development first the SS20 and then we developed the cruise missile with deployment abilities inside NATO.

    There was a rash of open source articles concerning Russian troops being to close to the border followed by the Kerry/Russian FM telephonic conference followed by reports of the Obama/Putin concerning the same subject then followed by the Interfax statement from the Russian FM that they will not ross the border----all by different sources but all chattering basically the same messages.

    Governments often communicate with each other in this fashion so that they intentions are understood.

    Back to social media---one has to these days watch it like a hawk---during Iraq we often knew of new insurgent TTPs and weapon systems far faster via their websites long before we saw it on the battlefield---so yes chatter has to be monitored they problem is inherently most Americans feel it is "propaganda".

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    Dayuhan---interesting comment and my even more interesting response.

    "I don't know what Putin plans, and I don't know his future. Neither do you. Neither does anywhere else here. There's a wide range of skills and knowledge represented here, but clairvoyance and telepathy are not among them."

    Dayuhan---it does not take a clairvoyant to read text reporting quoting Putin nor any other Russian political figure these days. It is out there for all to read and understand or maybe not understand.

    If you track Interfax on a daily basis you would have seen a reported meeting between Putin and his National Security Council two days ago and high level Duma reps where he gave them the tasking to analyze all of the "color" and "spring" events in order to understand how one must "protect" the Russian population from such neo radical, neo Nazi, Nazi and nationalist influences.

    And he noted that whatever changes where to be made concerning Russian law they "should not" interfere with the Russian population's civil liberties.

    So again to my point ---he "was not" concerned about the Ukrainian "street's influence" washing over his citizens in the coming years------BUT he was "concerned" enough to give a verbal tasking to his security council AND publicly have that tasking reported via Interfax---come on Dayuhan.

    How nice it is of him to would respond to his "protection" of Russian civil liberties.

    Secondly---search the web and one will find at least on five occasions since 2005 he has made virtually the same comment ie it was a disaster when the Soviet Union broke apart and it should have been left as a whole unit.

    Now is that being clairvoyant or just a good reader when one now looks at actual events and one can place previous comments made by Putin into clear text context?

    Dayuhan---now go to this link and tell me what you assume Putin in fact was alluding to---does not take a clairvoyant?

    http://eng.kremlin.ru/news/6936
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 03-29-2014 at 03:44 PM.

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    Default The land that supports the politics

    A short article 'Ukraine: Divvying Up The Breadbasket Of Europe':http://registan.net/2014/03/27/ukrai...egistan.net%29
    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    wm---then I am assuming you have never worked OSINT and driven OSINT into the other INTs.
    That is definitely a poor assumption on your part. I wonder what basis you have for that assumption given what I have posted, to include a link to data from the US federal government's Office of the Director of National Intelligence's (ODNI)Open Source Center in my last post.

    The guiding principle of intelligence analysis must always be a healthy dose of skepticism. Analysts must always remember to consider the source, to include the analysts themselves. Publishers/producers of so-called open source data often have agendas of their own. To consider the published information in any article found in the NY Times, Hurriyet, BBC, Pravda, Allgemeine Zeitung, Paris Match, Asia Timeset. al. as without an agenda and, therefore, distortion free is the height of folly in my opinion. Analysis should include assessing the motivations of those behind the data sources. Quite often open source stories and "leaks" are targeted at a country's own populace more than at the rest of the world.
    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

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    Unless of course that skepticism is as a result to the deductions/conclusions not being what you want to hear.

    Important to always remember this:

    If a man is offered a fact, which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something, which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way. – Bertrand Russell

    Quote Originally Posted by wm View Post
    That is definitely a poor assumption on your part. I wonder what basis you have for that assumption given what I have posted, to include a link to data from the US federal government's Office of the Director of National Intelligence's (ODNI)Open Source Center in my last post.

    The guiding principle of intelligence analysis must always be a healthy dose of skepticism. Analysts must always remember to consider the source, to include the analysts themselves. Publishers/producers of so-called open source data often have agendas of their own. To consider the published information in any article found in the NY Times, Hurriyet, BBC, Pravda, Allgemeine Zeitung, Paris Match, Asia Timeset. al. as without an agenda and, therefore, distortion free is the height of folly in my opinion. Analysis should include assessing the motivations of those behind the data sources. Quite often open source stories and "leaks" are targeted at a country's own populace more than at the rest of the world.

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    David---interesting article for a number of reasons;

    1. Russia has in fact been blockading Ukrainian and even Polish fresh meats and processed foods for now over four weeks---they started the same drills on the Crimea border three days ago.

    2. Russia announced via Interfax yesterday that the Crimea will be able to export 2M metric tonnes of grain to Russia this year.

    3. The EU in removing all customs on Ukrainian products literally opening the door for the Ukraine to shift their traditional trading markets westwards and not towards Russia and or China ---since there is not for 2014 any customs on any of their products they will be able to earn more than fair market price inside the EU---there is strong EU talk to extend that customs relief well into 2015 as a stabilizing factor.

    Wondered why the Chinese yesterday here in Berlin mentioned a number of times that international borders are not to be changed.

    My concern is not the trade side but more importantly what will the West "allow" for Russian input into their new government and constitution as the Russians are making strong noises about what has to and what cannot go into the documents (from Interfax today)---will be interesting to see if the US lets the Ukrainians do it on their "own" or with a "little help from friends".

    Russian suggested input still follows what they at first "suggested" to the "illegitimate" Ukrainian government as a possible solution at the start of the Crimea event.
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 03-29-2014 at 04:07 PM.

  10. #650
    Council Member wm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    If my math was and is correct at the height of the Cold War the KGB/GRU had over 25,000 personnel focusing just alone on OSINT.
    OSINT efforts against an open society tend to be much more productive than those against a closed society. It stands to reason that the KGB/GRU would have had a very large OSINT effort during the Cold War era--think of such publications as Aviation Week, Jane's Defense Weekly, and the AFCEA Journal , not to mention all the military doctrinal literature and technical manuals available for the asking in a US library or bookstore.
    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

  11. #651
    Council Member wm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Unless of course that skepticism is as a result to the deductions/conclusions not being what you want to hear.

    Important to always remember this:
    I spoke to this concern in my post as follows:
    Quote Originally Posted by wm
    The guiding principle of intelligence analysis must always be a healthy dose of skepticism. Analysts must always remember to consider the source, to include the analysts themselves.
    Emphasis added in the requotation

    Richards Heuer writes on analytic bias in his seminal work on analysis as well.
    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

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    Dayuhan---various open reporting tends to discount a lot of what is being throw around by the Russians ie disinformation and outright propaganda.

    This article destroys a much published Russian myth at the at beginning of the Crimea event and just after the Maidan demos.

    Actually Radio Free Europe broadcasting and reporting via the Czech Republic is just as good as it was during the period prior to the breakup of eastern Europe as they pull info from a number of sources not controlled by the KGB/FSB.

    http://www.rferl.org/content/ukraine.../25313128.html

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    Just when Obama gets untracked with the EU, China and especially Merkel ---der Spiegel Online is now carrying a NSA story from today that they collected over 300 reports from her cell.

    That will go over like a lead balloon with her and the German public.

  14. #654
    Council Member wm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    Russia announced via Interfax yesterday that the Crimea will be able to export 2M metric tonnes of grain to Russia this year.
    Compare this with the following 25 March story from ITAR-TASS
    Russia’s Agriculture Ministry considers ways of subsidizing seasonal agricultural work in Crimea, a source in the agriculture ministry told Itar-Tass.

    Ways of supplying Crimean agricultural workers with farm machinery and fuel for sowing are considered, said the source.

    He said the complexity of providing agricultural equipment lies in the fact that in the previous years Crimean agricultural producers received equipment from the south of Ukraine.
    Tough to do much grain exporting if the farmers don't even have the equipment and fuel for sowing the grain to be exported in the first place.
    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

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    wm---tells me there is a distinction lack of unified messaging being done between TASS and Interfax which is actually unusual since they are both State controlled and to a large degree State owned.

    There is a section that double checks the messaging---probably and I will go out on a limb---the first one is the correcter of the two and the second one is laying blame on the Ukrainians if in the fall the 2M tonnes do not get delivered.

    Kind of a preventive act for the fall.

  16. #656
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    wm-----Originally Posted by wm
    "The guiding principle of intelligence analysis must always be a healthy dose of skepticism. Analysts must always remember to consider the source, to include the analysts themselves."

    Something I have seen in the last 40 years or so of intel work and up to 2013 is one simple fact---not many intel analysts even understand they own personal biases especially military analysts.

    Second thing I have learned is that there are just not many intel analysts that speak more than English these days. Especially the languages of eastern Europe.

    Third thing I have learned is put 15 analysts in a room with one report and you will 15 varying opinions---even lucky to get a quorum on just one opinion.

    In the years preceding the fall of the Wall DLI stopped teaching German and or even French as it was felt the Cold War was over---even Russian went into a slow walk and then after 9/11 it was all Arabic in multiple flavors.
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 03-29-2014 at 06:52 PM.

  17. #657
    Council Member Firn's Avatar
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    Ukraine exported on average over the last five years roughly 10M tons of grain, according to this paper. 2M tons of grain export out of Crimea seem to be fantasy numbers, perhaps even if they export all the produced grain and import some back. In 2001 they got 1,4M tons according to this this thesis.

    With a bit over 4% of the area of Ukraine Crimea produced roughly 3% of it's grain in 2001. Perhaps I will find some more data specific to the occupied territory.
    Last edited by Firn; 03-29-2014 at 07:24 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

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    About OSINT. 2 Putin's meetings with FSB officers. He warns about Westerns plans to disturbe his integration projects. In Russian. Moderates feel free to delete

    February 2013 http://izvestia.ru/news/544959
    December 2013 http://oko-planet.su/politik/politik...opasnosti.html

    + 1 In the beginning of December Russian front organisation of compatriots in Crimea received already tasks about Eurasian Union and future of Ukraine http://www.ruvek.ru/?module=articles...n=view&id=8622

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    kaur---these go to support the theory that I linked to previously ---an article from a former Russian national security council member/advisor that stated openly there were always plans for the Crimea in the cabinet and secondly the Russian Army never moves without a plan---what appears on the surface to be speed is in fact based off of a long term plan that has been practiced.

    What concerns me is that it is now evident that both the Russian Defense Minister and the Foreign Minister do not make a move without full approval by Putin much like in the Communist days.

    So when the Russian DM/FM both declare they are not going into Crimea--does one believe them or not?

    Yesterday I linked to a article released in the States about the intelligence being seen by the US from Foreign Policy---basically the analysts were saying the same thing---this is what we see but it does not match what we are hearing so we cannot make a decision one way or other.

    Putin is honestly weighing his options and he is not above going into the Ukraine.

    Yesterday Bill M over on the blog provided a solid insight into the Russian Nationalism that is driving Putin which many here seem to brush over as secondary---but with Putin it is not secondary it is his primary driver.

  20. #660
    Council Member Firn's Avatar
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    We have already quite a few posts on the energy aspect of this conflict, but I think it is worth to take a look at this paper which supports what some have already written here and in the energy security thread:

    Conclusions: A revolution, not a panacea

    Our analysis suggests that commentators and policymakers need to better distinguish between the ways in which the US shale gas boom constitutes a ‘revolution’ and the ways in which it does not. The US unconventional energy boom has reversed the decline of domestic production, significantly lowered oil and gas imports, reduced gas costs for consumers, and created a political space for tougher regulations on coal-fired power plants. But it is not a panacea. Even if current estimates of production turn out to be accurate, the benefits to the US economy in the long run are relatively small, and the benefits to manufacturing competitiveness in most sectors are even smaller. In the longer term, US energy security and climate goals will still require a strong role for public policy frameworks. Improving energy efficiency and promoting low-carbon technologies will be just as important as before. For the EU, given its more limited known reserves of unconventional oil and gas, these conclusions are likely to be all the more relevant.
    In this areas Germany has led the way among the large European nations, perhaps partly a reflection of the lack of ressources and the war-time experiences. It is no coincidence that Japan has overall the most similar approach amon the big industrial powers.

    In Europe's case a better integration of the energy infrastructure (pipelines, gird), more strategic storage (gas, oil,), 'battery' capacity (pumped-storage hydro, etc) and LNG terminals are additional, important means to achieve long-term energy security.
    ... "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

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