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Thread: Ukraine (closed; covers till August 2014)

  1. #1121
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default As we are quoting Kissinger...

    Mark, There's a million more such as

    Diplomacy: the art of restraining power.
    Not that I agree with that one, rather this one considering where we are with the Ukraine and American admin...

    Leaders are responsible not for running public opinion polls but for the consequences of their actions.
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    Luttwak has it just about perfectly right:

    The paradoxical logic of strategy contradicts the logic of everyday life, it goes against all normal definitions of intelligence we have. It only makes sense if you understand the dialectic. If you want peace, prepare for war. If you actively want war, disarm yourself, and then you’ll get war. Virile and martial elites understand that kind of thinking instinctively.
    And for the yanks by the yanks...

    "To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace."
    - George Washington

    "I never advocated war except as a means of peace."
    - Ulysses S. Grant

    "Peace, above all things, is to be desired; but blood must sometimes be spilled to obtain it on equable and lasting terms."
    - Andrew Jackson

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    Mark, There's a million more such as

    Not that I agree with that one, rather this one considering where we are with the Ukraine and American admin...
    Last edited by JMA; 04-18-2014 at 08:05 PM.

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    Default SACEUR says

    From FP email:
    The Pentagon's top commander in Europe just called out the Russians. Gen. Philip Breedlove took to the blogosphere yesterday and called Russia's use of armed, masked men to assert control over Ukraine in recent weeks. In a post titled "Who Are the Men Behind the Masks?" he asserted the following: "It's hard to fathom that groups of armed men in masks suddenly sprang forward from the population in eastern Ukraine and systematically began to occupy government facilities. It's hard to fathom because it's simply not true. What is happening in eastern Ukraine is a military operation that is well planned and organized and we assess that it is being carried out at the direction of Russia."
    On what did Breedlove base his conclusion? Several things. Among them: The "activists in eastern Ukraine "exhibit tell-tale military training and equipment and work together in a way that is consistent with troops who are part of a long-standing unit, not spontaneously stood up from a local militia." They also handle their weapons with great care, coordinate the use of tear gas and stun grenades, under the control of specific commanders on the ground, launch coordinated operations, and carry weapons and equipment that is primarily issued by the Russian army. "Any one of the points above taken alone would not be enough to come to a conclusion on this issue, but taken in the aggregate, the story is clear," Breedlove wrote
    Taken from NATO website:http://aco.nato.int/saceur2013/blog/...the-masks.aspx

    It also has four links - about to view them. One article (the 4th link) refers to a Ukrainian website that looks interesting:http://ukraineinvestigation.com/arme...-in-slovyansk/
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-18-2014 at 08:35 PM.
    davidbfpo

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    David, Breedlove is too honest and outspoken for the good of his career... the current WH is not big on honesty.

    Interesting comment:

    In my blog last month I spoke about the importance of identifying the Russian troops in Crimea. Today, the Russian president has finally admitted that Russian troops were there after denying it repeatedly early on. Also today he claimed that the idea of Russian forces in eastern Ukraine was "rubbish.” I would ask that you keep this in mind as you consider your answer to the question "Who are the men behind the masks in eastern Ukraine, today?”
    the question is, how long can an honest man keep his job in today's America.


    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    From FP email:

    Taken from NATO website:http://aco.nato.int/saceur2013/blog/...the-masks.aspx

    It also has four video links - about to view them. certainly better than the wife's TV "soaps".

  5. #1125
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Actually, he got his info from Estonia in 2007 and just last week from McCain's visit.

    Odd, how many times does one need to repeat the same thing before someone else actually gets it.

    We told the Ukrainians and Americans to slam the borders shut and find the Kremlin's money.

    Too easy
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    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    And for the yanks by the yanks...
    You are preaching to the choir Mark.

    23 years of active duty, and only in Sierra.

    The Ukraine however is not Sub-Sahara and the jungle rules of our days may not apply, nor, for that matter, the BS that a bunch of dead presidents drummed up at the white house.

    We should be handling Putin like an African dictator, but, we can't manage to handle our creations in Africa either.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    You are preaching to the choir Mark.

    23 years of active duty, and only in Sierra.

    The Ukraine however is not Sub-Sahara and the jungle rules of our days may not apply, nor, for that matter, the BS that a bunch of dead presidents drummed up at the white house.

    We should be handling Putin like an African dictator, but, we can't manage to handle our creations in Africa either.
    This is what is hilarious about the Crimea/Ukraine situation... everybody is saying what should not be done, but none saying what should be done, other than to just let Putin do what he wants. A watershed moment in history.

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    And to think the current US policy was aimed at maintaining peace:

    Is Ukraine about to go nuclear again?

    The actions of Russia and Ukraine over the next few weeks have the potential to alter the global nuclear weapons dynamic in a profound and extremely dangerous way.

    One probable and immediate consequence of a Ukrainian choice to "go nuclear" would be that Belarus, a Ukrainian neighbor and close Kremlin ally, would also choose to return to its pre-treaty nuclear weapons status through the development of indigenous weapons or, even more likely, invite the placement of Russian nuclear weapons within its borders.
    Japan would be well advised ....

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    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    This is what is hilarious about the Crimea/Ukraine situation... everybody is saying what should not be done, but none saying what should be done, other than to just let Putin do what he wants. A watershed moment in history.
    Mark,
    Correct me if I'm wrong herein, but other than not seeing what was already pre-planned in Moscow, and, Crimea practically OK with the invasion, what more should we as a collective society have done ?

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

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

    In Africa it took decades to be fed up.

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

    Regards, Stan
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    Well done, entertaining and funny!

    Quote Originally Posted by wm View Post
    As JMA may be aware, the origin of the phrase he quotes is Edward Luttwak's article describing Luttwak's position on what the US should do vis--vis Syria; the first part of that quoted section is a paraphrase from a Roman writer. One might note that Luttwak is an academic who, other than apparently undergoing some form of British Army basic training while going to public school (perhaps like high school Junior ROTC in the US), has never served in the military in uniform, only doing gigs with various defense agencies and think tanks as a consultant.

    Instead, we might consider what happened to the Romans and others who have chosen this path of preparing for war to achieve peace.

    The source for the first part of the Luttwak quotation is Vegetius, who wrote sometime between 383 and 450 AD. As students of Roman history are probably well aware, the reign of the last Western Roman Emperor ended in 476. So, Rome prepared for war to ensure peace and managed to last less than 100 years after Vegetius gave his advice. A more modern example is Rhodesia--preparing for war to achieve peace was an extremely successful tactic for Ian Smith's government as well: the Rhodesian Republic lasted from 1965-1979. Yet another case in point is the "glorious" Third Reich of Adolf Hitler--its lifespan was 1933-1945.

    Successfully preparing for war does not necessarily mean that one must engage in a military buildup. The French preparation for another war with Germany during the 1920s and 1930s by building the Maginot Line was another classic "fail." The post-WWII Soviet Union managed to last about 50 years once it turned to a military build up as its approach to continued existence in the face of perceived external threats.

    As the last sentence of JMA's quotation from Luttwak makes clear those who "think" with their testicles find this approach to be the right course of action. "Think" is in quotation marks because instinctive understanding is not conscious behavior, thus not really thinking nor really knowledge. It is more like blinking one's eye when sand is blown into it. A response based on thinking might be to put on goggles to protect one's eyes from blowing sand.

    I suspect that those who think with their brains will not engage in knee-jerk arms races or precipitate military action. They will probably choose other paths, paths that produce much longer term positive results. Taking a rational approach is rather unfortunate for those backward-looking "dinosaurs" with testicle brains who eschew rational thought--the quality that sets humans apart from the rest of the animals--and can be expected to be met with animalistic grunts, roaring, bellowing, and flatulence. But, as happened to the French knights at Agincourt from their failure to learn and change after Crecy, that route may well result in their ultimate extinction.

  11. #1131
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    And to think the current US policy was aimed at maintaining peace:

    Is Ukraine about to go nuclear again?

    Japan would be well advised ....
    Mark,
    To even remotely use the term "treaty" in this part of the world is a joke.

    The former east block is but a transit point for fissile materials from Russia.

    We are not maintaining much more that the status quo and dearly expensive.

    Case in point. If the reporting Tom and I did on Viktor Bout in the early 90s only recently put him away, two decades later, what would we hope to achieve now with Putin?
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    This is what is hilarious about the Crimea/Ukraine situation... everybody is saying what should not be done, but none saying what should be done, other than to just let Putin do what he wants. A watershed moment in history.
    I am, not quite sure that folks are saying just left Putin do what he wants.

    I would include Putin among those dinosaurs I mentioned here. One way to get rid of creatures with such voracious appetites is to take away their food source. Putin's food seems to consist of money and power. The West's economic sanctions directed against individuals in Russia is part of that food source removal process--reducing Putin's access to money; some of his income is also being spoiled by such things as raising Gazprom's rates and sending aid to the Crimea. A well-placed campaign of discrediting the man's public utterances (such as Breedlove's press release quoted by Davidbfpo) is the start of one way of undercutting his public support, AKA power base. Turning back Russian visitors to the Ukraine is another way of pointing out the limitations to his power.

    However, dinosaurs take a while to starve and could still cause damage before they succumb. Some other things, like putting a BMD frigate in the Black Sea, are a valuable tool to limit the collateral damage the dinosaur can cause as it thrashes around in its death throes.
    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

  13. #1133
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    Mark,
    To even remotely use the term "treaty" in this part of the world is a joke.

    The former east block is but a transit point for fissile materials from Russia.

    We are not maintaining much more that the status quo and dearly expensive.

    Case in point. If the reporting Tom and I did on Viktor Bout in the early 90s only recently put him away, two decades later, what would we hope to achieve now with Putin?
    As a follow-on to Stan's second point, how likely is it that Russia will provide fissile material to the Ukrainians?
    You can have all the technological know how you want, but you aren't building a nuke without the right kind of fission or fusion precursor matter.

    This pie chart is rather instructive


    And as far as known locations with enrichment facilities, Wikipedia gives us this:
    The following countries are known to operate enrichment facilities: Argentina, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Iran, Japan, the Netherlands, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.[19] Belgium, Iran, Italy, and Spain hold an investment interest in the French Eurodif enrichment plant, with Iran's holding entitling it to 10% of the enriched uranium output. Countries that had enrichment programs in the past include Libya and South Africa, although Libya's facility was never operational.[20] Australia has developed a laser enrichment process known as SILEX, which it intends to pursue through financial investment in a U.S. commercial venture by General Electric.[21] It has also been claimed that Israel has a uranium enrichment program housed at the Negev Nuclear Research Center site near Dimona
    and this link identifies know breeder reactor sites.
    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; the big problem with si vis pacem para bellum is that those who use the quote the most fail to see when enough is enough.

    Recently I blogged about the power balance between the Russians and the EU; the Russians are inferior in conventional military strength (and very much so in their Western Military District; massing a couple ten thousand troops was treated as a huge deal in the media, but that's about all they're actually capable of in the short term!).

    Such facts don't help, though: There are gazillions of "Europeans cannot fight their way out of a wet paper bag" blokes around.

    You've never prepared enough in their world. It's always more, more, more - because they have no concept of how much is right - they always think "more" is right.


    By the way;
    "„Qui desiderat pacem, bellum praeparat“
    Renatus in de Re militarii, generations before Vegetius.

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    Default What leaflets?

    On Twitter from Roberty Mackey (NYT):
    Video obtained by (BBC reporter) @antelava of masked man handing out threatening flyers to Ukrainian Jews outside Donetsk synagogue just broadcast on BBC
    Link and you have to scroll down:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-27081271
    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by wm View Post
    I am, not quite sure that folks are saying just left Putin do what he wants.
    Then you need to have a second look at what is and was happening.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    wm; the big problem with si vis pacem para bellum is that those who use the quote the most fail to see when enough is enough.

    Recently I blogged about the power balance between the Russians and the EU; the Russians are inferior in conventional military strength (and very much so in their Western Military District; massing a couple ten thousand troops was treated as a huge deal in the media, but that's about all they're actually capable of in the short term!).

    Such facts don't help, though: There are gazillions of "Europeans cannot fight their way out of a wet paper bag" blokes around.

    You've never prepared enough in their world. It's always more, more, more - because they have no concept of how much is right - they always think "more" is right.


    By the way;
    "„Qui desiderat pacem, bellum praeparat“
    Renatus in de Re militarii, generations before Vegetius.
    I think we are in violent agreement except for your "By the way." As far as I know, Renatus and Vegetius are the same guy, namely Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus. What are your sources for a different guy "generations before Vegetius"?
    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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    You can blog as much as you like but the simple truth is that the US and the EU have been tested by the 'inferior' Russians and have been found wanting. So you don't have an argument.


    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    wm; the big problem with si vis pacem para bellum is that those who use the quote the most fail to see when enough is enough.

    Recently I blogged about the power balance between the Russians and the EU; the Russians are inferior in conventional military strength (and very much so in their Western Military District; massing a couple ten thousand troops was treated as a huge deal in the media, but that's about all they're actually capable of in the short term!).

    Such facts don't help, though: There are gazillions of "Europeans cannot fight their way out of a wet paper bag" blokes around.

    You've never prepared enough in their world. It's always more, more, more - because they have no concept of how much is right - they always think "more" is right.


    By the way;
    "„Qui desiderat pacem, bellum praeparat“
    Renatus in de Re militarii, generations before Vegetius.

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    Putin's answers ro Russian audience 2 days ago. A lot of thought that express his worldview, but I picked just couple.

    Tone of the event set by moderator.

    here is no doubt that we’ll discuss developments in Ukraine’s southeast and the genocide that was unleashed in this region. Ukraine is sliding into civil war.
    About Crimea and NATO.

    I’ll use this opportunity to say a few words about our talks on missile defence. This issue is no less, and probably even more important, than NATO’s eastward expansion. Incidentally, our decision on Crimea was partially prompted by this.

    Needless to say, first and foremost we wanted to support the residents of Crimea, but we also followed certain logic: If we don’t do anything, Ukraine will be drawn into NATO sometime in the future. We’ll be told: “This doesn’t concern you,” and NATO ships will dock in Sevastopol, the city of Russia’s naval glory.

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

    But if NATO troops walk in, they will immediately deploy these forces there. Such a move would be geopolitically sensitive for us because, in this case, Russia would be practically ousted from the Black Sea area. We’d be left with just a small coastline of 450 or 600km, and that’s it!
    About Russian people.

    VLADIMIR PUTIN: I thought for a long while about whether to answer this question at all. It is not a question that would fit in a blitz Q&A section. This is a philosophical question. I’ll read it out. This question was asked by Yekaterina Shcherbonos from St Petersburg: “I’m asking you as a politician but I’d like to hear your personal rather than political opinion. What is the Russian people to you? By virtue of your position you’ve probably been to all countries of the world. You’ve seen a tremendous number of nations and ethnic groups and learned about their cultural traditions, national habits, cuisine and arts. In this context I’d like to ask you: In your opinion, what does it mean to be Russian? What do you think about their pluses and minuses, their weaknesses and strengths?”

    Well, some specialists believe that the people as a community do not have specific features, that only individuals have them. I find it hard to accept this position because if people are using the same language, live in a common state, on a common territory with a certain climate, if they have common cultural values and history, they are bound to have some common features.

    As for our people, our country, like a magnet, has attracted representatives of different ethnic groups, nations and nationalities. Incidentally, this has become the backbone not only for our common cultural code but also a very powerful genetic code, because genes have been exchanged during all these centuries and even millennia as a result of mixed marriages.

    And this genetic code of ours is probably, and in fact almost certainly, one of our main competitive advantages in today’s world. This code is very flexible and enduring. We don’t even feel it but it is certainly there.

    So what are our particular features? We do have them, of course, and I think they rely on values. It seems to me that the Russian person or, on a broader scale, a person of the Russian world, primarily thinks about his or her highest moral designation, some highest moral truths. This is why the Russian person, or a person of the Russian world, does not concentrate on his or her own precious personality…

    Of course, in everyday life we all think about how to live a wealthier and better life, to be healthier and help our family, but these are still not the main values. Our people open themselves outward. Western values are different and are focused on one’s inner self. Personal success is the yardstick of success in life and this is acknowledged by society. The more successful a man is, the better he is.

    This is not enough for us in this country. Even very rich people say: “Okay, I’ve made millions and billions, so what next?” At any rate, everything is directed outward, and oriented toward society. I think only our people could have come up with the famous saying: “Meeting your death is no fear when you have got people round you.” How come? Death is horrible, isn’t it? But no, it appears it may be beautiful if it serves the people: death for one’s friends, one’s people or for the homeland, to use a modern word.

    These are the deep roots of our patriotism. They explain mass heroism during armed conflicts and wars and even sacrifice in peacetime. Hence there is a feeling of fellowship and family values. Of course, we are less pragmatic, less calculating than representatives of other peoples, and we have bigger hearts. Maybe this is a reflection of the grandeur of our country and its boundless expanses. Our people have a more generous spirit.

    I don’t want to offend anyone by saying this. Many peoples have their own advantages but this is certainly ours. An intensive genetic, informational and cultural exchange is going on in the modern world. There is no doubt that other peoples have precious and useful things that we can borrow, but we have relied for centuries on our own values, which have never let us down and will stand us in good stead in the future.

    http://eng.kremlin.ru/news/7034

    Window on Eurasia: Defining Who is a Russian Difficult and Dangerous, “Nezavisimaya” Says

    http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.be/...ng-who-is.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by wm View Post
    I think we are in violent agreement except for your "By the way." As far as I know, Renatus and Vegetius are the same guy, namely Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus. What are your sources for a different guy "generations before Vegetius"?
    Damn, it's late here and I got fooled by the different estimates about the time of origin of this treatise, sorry. I even read that overlength complaint about how the forefathers were so much more disciplined, better trained and so on twice and still got this wrong...

    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    You can blog as much as you like but the simple truth is that the US and the EU have been tested by the 'inferior' Russians and have been found wanting. So you don't have an argument.
    We haven't been tested. They're playing games in their backyard, which we didn't even bother to declare to be our backyard so far.
    Nothing resembling a united European defence has been tested since Lepanto 1571 (at sea) or Wien 1683 (on land).

    The Ukraine is in the geographical Europe, but it's not in the institutional Europe; it's neither EU nor associated nor NATO. Eurovision Song Contest; I think they participate in that. And European sports championships. Can't remember them participating in European football competitions, though.
    An attack on them is not an attack on Germany, France, UK, Poland, Romania, Italy, Spain, ...

    -------------

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

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

    Our defences were never tested. We prove to be relatively disinterested in playing games abroad, sure - but that's no "defence" failure or "defence" weakness by a long shot. In fact, it would be a failure if we wasted more resources on preparing for and playing such games than we already do.


    Look at the Americans; they fool around a lot, spend insanely every year on their baseline military budget, spend insanely most these years on additional mil budgets, and what do they get?
    An economy that's failing them, thousands dead, ten thousands crippled, trillions wasted on a pointless war (one of several), avoidable hostility in much of the world, a distraction from challenges at home.
    And then they go on and whine how they foot the bill that almost nobody else wants to exist in the first place. And they complain about how everybody else didn't go nuts as much as they did and paid as insanely as they did on what's largely unnecessary government consumption.

    So our defence was not tested; at most our motivation to fool around in East Europe was tested. Just as the Americans' motivation to fool around in Russia's periphery was tested during the South Ossetia conflict.

    Fact is, Western "security policy" folks have become too greedy and moved to too many places. Some fools took them seriously and actually believed that Westerners were (even) more into the messing around hobby than they actually are. But Americans wanted Georgia as a make-believe part of a faux coalition and as auxiliary troops providers. they never intended to actually help Georgia.
    Nor are West Europeans fans of the idea of going to war with Russia over a non-allied petty territory such as the Crimea where about 90% of the population prefer Russia over the Ukraine. We did low-level messing around with support for some pro-Western/pro-"democracy" political movements there, and that's about it.

    The Russians are merely calling some bluffs at times.

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