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Ukraine

#21 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-March-04, 13:47

View Postcherdano, on 2022-March-04, 13:24, said:

No, easy decision. You don't enforce a no-fly-zone if it means opening a logical path to escalation to a nuclear WW 3.


A bit back I noted that I understand nothing of what is going on. But let me pose a question. I mean it seriously.

Suppose (and we can discuss whether this suppose is correct) Putin figures that we are reluctant to risk WW 3. From this he concludes that he can absorb Ukraine into Russia. Maybe he can't do it easily but he believes he can do it.

Then what?

The answer we would like is to stop this from happening but to do that without risking nuclear war.

Can we do that?

I don't mean this question as just for you, your post just provided the impetus.

The idea of going to the edge to see who backs down is seriously ominous. Letting Putin take Ukraine is an awful price.

I'll repeat, and repeat again. This is all way over my head. I hope we do what is right, I have no idea what right is.

I am very glad to see the substantial cooperation that is taking place

This is one hell of a mess and a wrong step can go very wrong.
Ken
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#22 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2022-March-04, 15:24

View Postkenberg, on 2022-March-04, 13:47, said:


Suppose (and we can discuss whether this suppose is correct) Putin figures that we are reluctant to risk WW 3. From this he concludes that he can absorb Ukraine into Russia. Maybe he can't do it easily but he believes he can do it.

Then what?



1. You strangle the Russia economy.

No more Western good.
No more Western credit.
No more parts to fix all those oil rigs and gas pipelines.

2. You do as much as is humanly possible to insulate Western Europe from the Russian energy market.

More nuclear
More Liquid natural gas terminals

And then you wait and try to make sure that you have a strong stomach, the next couple years are going to be ugly to watch
Alderaan delenda est
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#23 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-March-04, 15:49

The only way out that I can imagine is to put enough pressure and negative consequences on those surrounding Putin, oligarchs and others, for them to remove Putin from power. I believe this would require shutting off U.S. purchases of Russian oil. Then the question is are we, and the rest of the Western world, willing to pay that economic price?

Then, how much pressure Putin is willing to withstand is impossible to determine. Is there a genuine chance he would start a nuclear exchange? Is there any way to really know this? And if the threat of nuclear action is enough to prevent stopping him, what is the democratic world to do when any other nuclear armed autocrat decides to act?

The truly horrible conclusion is that it looks like the West must be willing to match the threat level and be willing to go to all-out war, not anxious to, but willing to.

If I am way off base, someone please correct me, This is only how this situation appears to me.

Edit: Just after I posted this I read this:


Quote

WASHINGTON — There is bipartisan consensus on Capitol Hill that punishing Russia for its war on Ukraine would be worth risking more inflation.

Top Republicans and Democrats this week called on the Biden administration to ban Russian oil imports, which have been carved out of economic sanctions in order to protect European and U.S. consumers from higher gas prices.




"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#24 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2022-March-04, 17:09

View Postkenberg, on 2022-March-04, 13:47, said:

Suppose (and we can discuss whether this suppose is correct) Putin figures that we are reluctant to risk WW 3. From this he concludes that he can absorb Ukraine into Russia. Maybe he can't do it easily but he believes he can do it.

Then what?

The answer we would like is to stop this from happening but to do that without risking nuclear war.

Can we do that?

I think that the US made a mistake by not defending Ukraine militarily. At the risk of using reusing the domino strategy, where does Putin go next? Former parts of the USSR like Georgia and Kazakhstan (which has huge oil deposits)? Independent Finland? Or what about NATO countries like Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland? Maybe Putin will stop at Ukraine, but where does the US draw the line? Putin's mental health seems to have devolved closer to Trump's. A megalomaniac bully who has stopped listening to anybody who doesn't agree with him with his trigger on a massive nuclear stockpile.
Now that it looks like the Ukraine will be completely occupied by Russia, we'll never know if not defending Ukraine was a mistake.
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#25 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2022-March-04, 18:49

View Postkenberg, on 2022-March-04, 13:47, said:

A bit back I noted that I understand nothing of what is going on. But let me pose a question. I mean it seriously.

Suppose (and we can discuss whether this suppose is correct) Putin figures that we are reluctant to risk WW 3. From this he concludes that he can absorb Ukraine into Russia. Maybe he can't do it easily but he believes he can do it.

Then what?

The answer we would like is to stop this from happening but to do that without risking nuclear war.

Can we do that?

How do borders between countries work? After all, if troops from country A moved a little into country B, why would country B risk war about some fields of corn? Well, if country B always thought that way, everybody would start doing that to country B. Hence country B develops a credible policy that means any military intrusion into its territory leads to an escalation, even if that might ultimately lead to war.

It's not that different with nuclear weapons. For more than half a century, NATO and the Russian/USSR alliance have each developed a credible policy that lays out what would lead to nuclear escalation. The policy has always been that helping your enemy with financial or diplomatic support or by supplying weapons is tolerated, a bit like moving your troops close to the border. But directly using your military to attack my military is answered with an escalation even if that might lead to nuclear weapons being used. When would the line to using nuclear weapons being crossed? Well, Russia's current military doctrine says Russia reserves the right to use nuclear weapons in response to the use of nuclear and other types of weapons of mass destruction against it or its allies, and also in case of aggression against Russia with the use of conventional weapons when the very existence of the state is threatened. I prefer not to find out what that means precisely, even if that would "only" mean the use of tactical nuclear weapons - initially.

"Fun" fact: in February 2018 in Syria, Russia dared to stretch that line when Wagner group troops (google them if you can stomatch it) - i.e., a private military company under contract from Russian government - was directly involved in fights with US forces. US seems to have decided to let it go, and hence we haven't all died from nuclear war yet.
The easiest way to count losers is to line up the people who talk about loser count, and count them. -Kieran Dyke
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#26 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-March-05, 00:13

Another nuanced view, from Sir John Sawer (head of MI6 under Blair).
Speaking at the Oxford Union a few days ago after the start of Putin's invasion.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek.
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#27 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2022-March-05, 03:15

As always I run the risk of having a ton of bricks dropped on me from a great height. That's nothing like an unnecessary war

I don't know enough really to comment but despite the Russians being seriously uncompromising in defence of their interests, I ask all the other empires/hegemonies represented here how they would act to some of the rumoured aggressions, threats, on their borders and people.

Also I hope there is bit more informed discussion on the history of that area than what we have heard so far from global media

Don't pick on the people ever, no matter what is going on

But I get scared at very one sided global narratives. Always. Sometimes they are justified

I know I shouldn't keep doing this (adding stuff) and its risky. Imagine any other alliance trying to push into California or Pennsylvania or even Washington DC

I really don't know enough about the history of that place, ancient and immediate to know what is going on at all

But all my principles and ideals are torn. You all know how I feel about freedom and authoritarianism

PS Apologies as always. I don't like populists. I don't like any use of ad hom. I don't like a world. I guess I'm old fashioned and wars should not be determined by social media. More accurately I don't trust anyone depending on any form of populism because of the interests that may influence them. And maybe this says something about me but I don't trust media stars, entertainers, heroes, people who put their ego ahead of people's interests. And I hate to sound selfish but I never know when I will be silenced on any/ all platforms simply for expressing a well informed but personal opinion. I don't like being bullied, threatened, defamed by someone/anyone who thinks they are that important. Sorry for preemptive defense but freedom can deal with alternative points of view. It doesn't need Gulags. Hope that request for decent behaviour and lack of arrogance from some is not seen as motive for a war. Some of us defend ourselves from known threats very early. I said I hated ego and "its about me" but its not. People are being silenced and hurt. Innocent people. Be careful. I think I am entitled to be pre-emptive here. Some others need to be more carful their behaviour and attitude
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#28 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2022-March-05, 09:15

Personally, I

Opposed

The Second Gulf War
The Surge
US Invasion of Panama
US invasion of Grenada

Favored

The First Gulf War
The US invasion of Afghanistan
US military action in Kosovo

Confused
US actions in Syria

As a rule, I think that one of the big problems that the US has is not necessarily its willingness to act militarily, but rather its unwillingness to be serious about "Nation Building" (yes, I know that is a dirty word). In some cases, I think that we aren't willing enough to do the opposite. For example, if we were serious about going into Iraq, we should have partitioned it (created a Kurdish state, a Shia state, and a Sunni state)
Alderaan delenda est
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#29 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-March-05, 11:32

View Posthrothgar, on 2022-March-05, 09:15, said:

Personally, I

Opposed

The Second Gulf War
The Surge
US Invasion of Panama
US invasion of Grenada

Favored

The First Gulf War
The US invasion of Afghanistan
US military action in Kosovo

Confused
US actions in Syria

As a rule, I think that one of the big problems that the US has is not necessarily its willingness to act militarily, but rather its unwillingness to be serious about "Nation Building" (yes, I know that is a dirty word). In some cases, I think that we aren't willing enough to do the opposite. For example, if we were serious about going into Iraq, we should have partitioned it (created a Kurdish state, a Shia state, and a Sunni state)


Personally, I think the U.S. has often not understood the limits of military might, that all such action should have a political position as its ultimate goal. It’s not enough to free a country unless you are willing to stay and teach them how to self govern. Without that commitment, the void is always filled but usually with unintended consequences.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#30 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-March-05, 14:53

Russians have a history of underestimating the resolve of the west (Kruschev and Cuban missile crisis comes to mind), so I don’t think it unreasonable to believe Putin has boxed himself in with a gross miscalculation and all his blunder now is an attempt to bluff his way out. People don’t suddenly go crazy unless there is some cause of delusions. I am beginning to think that Putin’s weakness is in direct correlation to his belligerence. I think the reason he won’t sit closer to his oligarchs is that he fears an et tu Brute moment. (Notice he was all snuggly with the Aeroflot flight attendants)
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#31 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-March-06, 07:03

Maybe the right comparison is to Europe in the 1940s after the second world war. Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, others, were all unhappily dominated by the USSR. We didn't go to nuclear war on behalf of Hungary, but it is when NATO began. There was the West and there was the Societ Bloc, soon to be the Sino-Soviet bloc, and we wanted nothing to do with them.
In the 1990s the USSR fell apart and there was, for a while, a thought that perhaps Russia and the West could work together on various matters. A nice optimistic thought that has now vanished.
Back to MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) as our fundamental relationship?
Sure, MAD never really went away but there was hope that we could also work together. No more.
I doubt that this is just a short-term glitch in relations.
Ken
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#32 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-March-06, 10:01

I am concerned with my own ignorance of the imperialistic aims of China now that they have their own version of a Putin. If both of these countries decided to start eating smaller countries where and how would it end except in either expansion or a nuclear exchange?
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#33 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-March-06, 14:27

View PostWinstonm, on 2022-March-06, 10:01, said:

I am concerned with my own ignorance of the imperialistic aims of China now that they have their own version of a Putin. If both of these countries decided to start eating smaller countries where and how would it end except in either expansion or a nuclear exchange?


Most of the Fab's are in Taiwan and South Korea.
Which is why it was unsurprising that Biden spent time in the SOTU speaking glowingly about a new foundry in the USA.
His speech was all about pulling up the drawbridges and circling the wagons.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek.
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#34 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-March-07, 16:20

Adam Something's take on the "Special Military Operation".
Not going quite as well as the "Operators" hoped.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek.
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#35 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2022-March-08, 05:29

View Posthrothgar, on 2022-March-05, 09:15, said:

Personally, I

[....]
Favored

The First Gulf War
[...]


I was initially in favour also, and maybe I was to the end, but I was a bit worried in retrospect because I thought that I had been seduced by some strange kind of blood craving (or what you call it). Like, when Sadam was pictured as the big monster it was tempting to make up pseudo-rational justifications of the war.

Then I thought that maybe it was a bit overkill to engage in war on behalf of a rather insignificant country that was not very democratic anyway (maybe women's and non-Muslims' rights in Kuwait would even be better under Iraqi rule?) and that there wasn't a very good plan for what should happen after the war (the endless sanctions on Iraq did a lot of damage to Iraqi society).

Of course the no-flight zone in Kurdistan was a positive but that was more of a spin-off. The justification was more about protecting Saudi Arabia against further Iraqi expansion which seems backwards, as I view the Saudi Arabia regime as one of the two most evil regimes on Earth.

I am curious what your thoughts were/are.
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#36 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2022-March-08, 07:57

View Posthelene_t, on 2022-March-08, 05:29, said:

I was initially in favour also, and maybe I was to the end, but I was a bit worried in retrospect because I thought that I had been seduced by some strange kind of blood craving (or what you call it). Like, when Sadam was pictured as the big monster it was tempting to make up pseudo-rational justifications of the war.

Then I thought that maybe it was a bit overkill to engage in war on behalf of a rather insignificant country that was not very democratic anyway (maybe women's and non-Muslims' rights in Kuwait would even be better under Iraqi rule?) and that there wasn't a very good plan for what should happen after the war (the endless sanctions on Iraq did a lot of damage to Iraqi society).

Of course the no-flight zone in Kurdistan was a positive but that was more of a spin-off. The justification was more about protecting Saudi Arabia against further Iraqi expansion which seems backwards, as I view the Saudi Arabia regime as one of the two most evil regimes on Earth.

I am curious what your thoughts were/are.


At a high level, I think that the US should have done everything we could to ween ourselves off fossil fuels starting 30 years back. (Most significantly taxing the hell out of oil / gas / coal / etc) The main reason that I favor this is climate change, but equally significantly, we need to make sure that we aren't dependent on petro-states.

With respect to te first Gulf War, this was an unprovoked war of aggression on the part of Iraq (and this sort of thing that can not be allowed). Iraq didn't have nuclear weapons so the US (and allies) we willing / able to roll this back with a conventional military operation. Russia does, so their economy gets destroyed instead.
Alderaan delenda est
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#37 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-March-08, 09:01

I regard Richard's comments as realistic and therefore good.

One more thought about the Gulf War. I recall GHW Bush making a brief speech after Iraq invaded Kuwait, saying "This will not stand". Of course war, world politics etc, are very complicated. But I credit GHWB with saying that we would drive the Iraqis out of Kuwait and then bringing that about. At least on this part of it, he realistically assessed what could be done.
Nothing is ever one line simple, I get that. But he did say "This will not stand" and then he saw to it that it didn't stand.
Ken
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#38 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2022-March-08, 18:52

View PostWinstonm, on 2022-March-05, 14:53, said:

Russians have a history of underestimating the resolve of the west (Kruschev and Cuban missile crisis comes to mind), so I don’t think it unreasonable to believe Putin has boxed himself in with a gross miscalculation and all his blunder now is an attempt to bluff his way out. People don’t suddenly go crazy unless there is some cause of delusions. I am beginning to think that Putin’s weakness is in direct correlation to his belligerence. I think the reason he won’t sit closer to his oligarchs is that he fears an et tu Brute moment. (Notice he was all snuggly with the Aeroflot flight attendants)

In fairness to Putin, he kept his shirt and pants on during his Aeroflot press meeting.
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#39 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-March-08, 19:44

What Russian Officials Think of the Invasion of Ukraine by Farida Rustamova translated by Ilya Lozovsky
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#40 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-March-09, 11:35

Ezra Klein Interviews Fiona Hill is very good.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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