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In The World: Russia

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Yes, gutting the military.  With the latest rounds of cuts proposed, we'd only be spending as much as the next 13 countries combined on that gutted military.

 

Should be at war with Iran right now, EVD?

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It's public relations. We project weakness when we announce to the world we a paring down our defenses. Do you really think it was just a coincidence that this invasion came so quickly after this was revealed? Putin doesn't care about diplomacy. Hasn't that been obvious for ages??

 

Who said anything about going to war with Iran? Talk about a giant leap of illogic!  :drunk:

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What do conservatives believe should be done about Ukraine from the US side beyond economic sanctions? Military aid? Intervention?

 

They can't say.  They have to wait for Obama to do something prior to taking the position that whatever he did was the wrong move.  Until then, you will hear them simply say that he has to do "something" or attempt to construct some type of failure  :roll: which allegedly already occurred, the absence of which would have surely avoided this crisis....... keeping in mind that this is not so much a crisis to them as it is an fantastic opportunity.

 

Do you seriously think that Obama's international weakness contributed nothing to Putin's calculations?

 

Care to expand on Obama's international weakness?  Not picking, I just want to know where this came from.

 

What do conservatives believe should be done about Ukraine from the US side beyond economic sanctions? Military aid? Intervention?

 

They can't say.  They have to wait for Obama to do something prior to taking the position that whatever he did was the wrong move.  Until then, you will hear them simply say that he has to do "something" or attempt to construct some type of failure  :roll: which allegedly already occurred, the absence of which would have surely avoided this crisis....... keeping in mind that this is not so much a crisis to them as it is an fantastic opportunity.

 

Do you seriously think that Obama's international weakness contributed nothing to Putin's calculations?

 

Ironically, just about the only good thing that I could see coming out of this is that it might get not only the US, but the EU as well, to reverse some of the shortsighted defense cuts that have been posited as ways of freeing up ever-increasing amounts of cash for the demands of the welfare state, as well as the reinvigoration of NATO (which had become basically moribund).

 

Rusty, I don't know how other conservatives would answer your question, but I would propose something along the lines of the following:

 

(1) Strengthen the integration of the post-Cold War new NATO members into the alliance, including the placement of joint allied forces in the territory of any alliance member who welcomes them, up to and including those with direct Russian borders, to make it somewhat less likely that Putin could repeat Ukraine with Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, or potentially even the former Yugoslavian countries.

 

(2) To the extent the host countries remain willing, restore the plans to build eastward-facing facilities in Poland and the Czech Republic.

 

(3) Approve all necessary facilities to allow the U.S. and Canada to export natural gas to NATO member countries.

 

(4) Arrange loan forgiveness and economic aid to Ukraine, to the extent that it somehow preserves its independence over the next few weeks (maybe months), as needed to keep the lights on.

 

(5) To the extent that a genuine indigenous resistance in Ukraine forms, support it exactly as we did the USSR's indigenous Cold War adversaries, and make Russia pay at least as much to take and hold Ukraine as it did to take and hold Afghanistan.

 

I'm sure I could think of a few more.

 

Those all make sense.  A ton of sense.  I'd add an immediate offer to Ukraine to join NATO, as they were on the verge of doing in 2008.

 

Unfortunately, as you say the root of the problem is a President who, to put it mildly, lacks testicular fortitude. So we're stuck with this crap for another three years or so. 

 

Obama rather famously chided Romney that "the 80s are calling, they want their foreign policy back." during the 2012 debates for suggesting that Russia might be a geopolitical threat.  I wonder if that's Neville Chamberlain on the phone....

 

Care to expand on the President's lack of "testicular fortitude"?  Again, not picking, just interested in where your viewpoint comes from.

 

I wonder exactly what people would want the President to do in this scenario; our country has been involved in wars for over the last decade, we're approaching $20 trillion in national debt, and Russia isn't a small third-world country.  If Mitt Romney were President right now, I don't see him having every possible scenario on the table against Russia given the circumstances our country is facing right now.  Under these circumstances, does the President have any other choice BUT diplomacy or sanctions in coordination with other other European nations which are active trade partners with Russia?

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What do conservatives believe should be done about Ukraine from the US side beyond economic sanctions? Military aid? Intervention?

 

They can't say.  They have to wait for Obama to do something prior to taking the position that whatever he did was the wrong move.  Until then, you will hear them simply say that he has to do "something" or attempt to construct some type of failure  :roll: which allegedly already occurred, the absence of which would have surely avoided this crisis....... keeping in mind that this is not so much a crisis to them as it is an fantastic opportunity.

 

Do you seriously think that Obama's international weakness contributed nothing to Putin's calculations?

 

Care to expand on Obama's international weakness?  Not picking, I just want to know where this came from.

 

(1) Breaking previous agreements for deeper security cooperation with Central European countries (Poland & the Czech Republic) that are bellwethers for how seriously we take the Russian threat.

 

(2) Allowing previous, recent Russian aggression against smaller post-Soviet states to be essentially utterly free of diplomatic or economic consequence.

 

(3) Pursuing his risible "reset" diplomatic strategy.

 

I wonder exactly what people would want the President to do in this scenario; our country has been involved in wars for over the last decade, we're approaching $20 trillion in national debt, and Russia isn't a small third-world country.  If Mitt Romney were President right now, I don't see him having every possible scenario on the table against Russia given the circumstances our country is facing right now.  Under these circumstances, does the President have any other choice BUT diplomacy or sanctions in coordination with other other European nations which are active trade partners with Russia?

 

In the next month?  Probably not.  And possibly not ever in Ukraine proper, depending on how events unfold there in the next few critical weeks.  Certainly not with our own forces.  And we had even less room to maneuver directly on the ground in Georgia and Armenia.  But I outlined some longer-term strategies above that could be adopted by a president who takes the Russian threat seriously.

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It hasn't helped that over the past few years we've basically thrown anyone seeking freedom in repressive regimes (like Iran) under the bus. These people still see the US as a beacon of democracy (perhaps naively so at this point) but we do nothing to support them. I fear we're going to do the same with Ukraine. It certainly doesn't help either that we keep gutting our military. What kind of message does that send to Putin?? He and all the other megalomanical despots of the world are laughing at us while we continue to become more and more irrelevant on the world stage.

 

On the other hand, the US asserted itself strongly in Iraq and Afghanistan and we found both of these small countries to be pretty well ungovernable. We've pretty much given up in Afghanistan - Al Qaeda and Taliban keep coming back like bedbugs or roaches. Iraq is still on the fence. Russia is a problem many times larger. Nuclear strike? "Dead hand." Russia is not to be messed with.

 

The US actually has a very long tradition of throwing freedom fighters and former alliances under the bus. South Vietnam, etc. Nothing new.

 

So suppose we support Ukraine militarily? That almost certainly puts the west and Russia at war.

 

Pragmatism here could be framed as cowardice. Or just as self interest. So we do nothing, Russia takes Ukraine. And later, it's, say, Estonia. But by then it's considered somewhat acceptable because the Russian frontier has moved westward several hundred miles.

 

I don't know what the correct response is. Ideally Russia should bow to international pressure, but they see it as a national pride and self determination thing.

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Hey KJP when you were repping your Cavs shirt did anyone ask you about the Ukraine Train aka Vitaly Potopenko?

 

Not a one. However, while I was walking through a busy park that same day, I thought I was getting paranoid by thinking people were staring at me. So asked Irinia if people were looking at me. She said "yes, because they know you're an American." I asked her how they knew that. She said, "because you act like you own everything."

 

Ha ha! How true.

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It's public relations. We project weakness when we announce to the world we a paring down our defenses. Do you really think it was just a coincidence that this invasion came so quickly after this was revealed? Putin doesn't care about diplomacy. Hasn't that been obvious for ages??

 

 

Defenses? You mean offenses.

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It's public relations. We project weakness when we announce to the world we a paring down our defenses. Do you really think it was just a coincidence that this invasion came so quickly after this was revealed? Putin doesn't care about diplomacy. Hasn't that been obvious for ages??

 

 

Defenses? You mean offenses.

that's no way to talk about John Kerry!

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It hasn't helped that over the past few years we've basically thrown anyone seeking freedom in repressive regimes (like Iran) under the bus. These people still see the US as a beacon of democracy (perhaps naively so at this point) but we do nothing to support them. I fear we're going to do the same with Ukraine. It certainly doesn't help either that we keep gutting our military. What kind of message does that send to Putin?? He and all the other megalomanical despots of the world are laughing at us while we continue to become more and more irrelevant on the world stage.

 

On the other hand, the US asserted itself strongly in Iraq and Afghanistan and we found both of these small countries to be pretty well ungovernable. We've pretty much given up in Afghanistan - Al Qaeda and Taliban keep coming back like bedbugs or roaches. Iraq is still on the fence. Russia is a problem many times larger. Nuclear strike? "Dead hand." Russia is not to be messed with.

 

There are endemic corruption problems in Ukraine, certainly, but (a) no one is proposing that we attempt to "govern" Ukraine in anything close to the fashion that we did in Iraq and Afghanistan, and (b) even if we did wield a significant amount of political influence there by virtue of a military "tripwire" presence, I think we'd find that Ukraine (or at least western and central Ukraine) is nothing like post-Ba'ath Iraq or post-Taliban Afghanistan.  South Korea was largely a corrupt, authoritarian state at the time of the Korean War armistice; they've done all right for themselves over the succeeding generations.  South Vietnam ended badly for us, of course, and its government was corrupt and authoritarian as well, but it was still not a parallel to Iraq or Afghanistan.  (That said, I don't want to minimize the fact that it did end badly for us.)

 

The US actually has a very long tradition of throwing freedom fighters and former alliances under the bus. South Vietnam, etc. Nothing new.

 

QFT.

 

So suppose we support Ukraine militarily? That almost certainly puts the west and Russia at war.

 

Does it?  It didn't put us at war with the Soviets when we supported the Islamic fighters in Afghanistan.  That came back to bite us decades later, of course, but it didn't result in open war with the USSR (and while 9/11 was a horrible and scarring experience, let's not compare it to what an open war with the USSR would have been).

 

Pragmatism here could be framed as cowardice. Or just as self interest. So we do nothing, Russia takes Ukraine. And later, it's, say, Estonia. But by then it's considered somewhat acceptable because the Russian frontier has moved westward several hundred miles.

 

This is a false dilemma, though.  There are many intermediate options between direct military intervention in Ukraine's defense and doing nothing.  I haven't seen anyone in this thread yet suggest direct American military intervention in Ukraine.  Heck, I haven't heard anyone suggest direct NATO military intervention or any other direct Western military intervention there.  I certainly haven't, and I think that so far, I'm probably among the most hawkish on this thread.

 

I don't know what the correct response is. Ideally Russia should bow to international pressure, but they see it as a national pride and self determination thing.

 

True, which means that both they and their leader probably don't care about "international pressure," or at least, not of the kind that only involves words.

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Guys, who cares about the last five years. Real weakness is sitting around and arguing about who should have done what with the clarity of hindsight. This is happening now.

 

I've been seeing tweets from international news agencies that Poland is now worried they're next if Russia takes back Ukraine. Their fears may not be unfounded. There are reports that the Russian navy's Baltic group out of Kalinigrad (spitting distance from Poland) is doing live-fire exercises with 3,500 troops. Granted that's not a large mobilization/exercise, but the activity isn't helping the already nervous Poles.

 

So why does western Europe care about any of this?

 

Bh1CIOHCYAAGX1C.jpg:large


"Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous -- an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that that war is criminal or that accepting it is a criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering" --Dalai Lama

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Guys, who cares about the last five years. Real weakness is sitting around and arguing about who should have done what with the clarity of hindsight. This is happening now.

 

I've been seeing tweets from international news agencies that Poland is now worried they're next if Russia takes back Ukraine. Their fears may not be unfounded.

 

Reading the responses here has made me about 10x more worried. Put this way, this situation feels one hell of a lot more imminent than any of the crap we instigated in the Middle East in the 2000s.

 

Christ, we could get WW III out of this. Regardless what NATO and the US do about it.

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Read Ukranian news in English here:

http://www.kyivpost.com/

 

EDIT: And here......

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/david-ignatius-putins-error-in-ukraine-is-the-kind-that-leads-to-catastrophe/2014/03/02/d376603e-a249-11e3-a5fa-55f0c77bf39c_story.html?hpid=z1

 

....is an excellent column on the situation in Ukraine, and why we should all be concerned about Putin's attempt to stop Ukraine from turning towards the west rather than stay in Russia's sphere of influence. How far will Putin go to keep this from happening, and how far will the west go to stop Putin? If Putin isn't stopped in Ukraine, do we really think that thiis his last stop considering his reverence for reconstituting the old borders of the Soviet Union to preserve Russian power?

 

 


"Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous -- an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that that war is criminal or that accepting it is a criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering" --Dalai Lama

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So my friends in Ukraine may be in danger and you think this is a good time to tease me? The story is far more important. Leave me out of it, please.

 

As I hope my other posts made quite clear, I take this situation very seriously.

 

in other news, the Russian stock market & ruble plummeted today with likelihood of economic sanctions...

 

I'll be interested in seeing just how far this goes.  On paper, Russia should be one of the most impervious countries in the world to economic sanctions.  It has tremendous natural resource wealth (mineral and agricultural) and is a net exporter of the natural gas that not just Ukraine, but much of Europe, relies upon.  There are other things we can deny them, of course, but Russia should have the ability to sustain itself more than most countries in the face of such threats.  That doesn't mean it necessarily does, because it's let its infrastructure degrade substantially outside of its largest and most strategically important cities (and even there, truth be told), but it should, and it could.

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Guys, who cares about the last five years. Real weakness is sitting around and arguing about who should have done what with the clarity of hindsight. This is happening now.

 

I've been seeing tweets from international news agencies that Poland is now worried they're next if Russia takes back Ukraine. Their fears may not be unfounded. There are reports that the Russian navy's Baltic group out of Kalinigrad (spitting distance from Poland) is doing live-fire exercises with 3,500 troops. Granted that's not a large mobilization/exercise, but the activity isn't helping the already nervous Poles.

 

So why does western Europe care about any of this?

 

Bh1CIOHCYAAGX1C.jpg:large

 

They should probably worry just as much about what insurgent Ukrainians might do to those pipelines if they feel the west is pushing them under the proverbial bus.  They see an entity that during the last century has "provided" them with a man made famine and a radioactive mess in their heartland.  They're not going to be inclined to play nice.

 

As for Poland, along with the Baltic states, that's NATO.  If we're not willing to back them to the hilt, we might as well just give up on something that's been a foreign/defense policy cornerstone since the 50s.  The mere fact that Poland is so concerned about this speaks volumes, though admittedly this is mitigated by the pro-GOP bias the Poles aren't shy about displaying.

 

As for discussing recent history. it's relevant when we're not entirely talking about hindsight.  It's not like Iraq, where the "concerned" Democrats have contradictory quotes in their past.  Palin and Romney in particular called this well in advance.  It's more like the end of 1979, when even Jimmy Carter realized his approach wasn't working.  One of the smart things he did then was replaced Vance with Muskie.  Obama should do something similar.  Kerry is ineffectual, even Hillary was better.

 

Barring joining NATO, the best think Ukraine could do is form an alliance with Israel, which would be one of the best things either side could do.  It's unfortunate the effect idiotic religious biases can sometimes have.

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Guys, who cares about the last five years. Real weakness is sitting around and arguing about who should have done what with the clarity of hindsight. This is happening now.

 

I have to agree with that.  Because there's plenty of blame to go around - I mean, look at Georgia in 2008, when Putin did this EXACT SAME THING, and Bush did nothing.  We chose President Obama (twice!) since that time - did we think we were choosing a more aggressive foreign policy with him?  He explicitly ran on NOT being a cowboy, and we said, "I'll take two of them!"  I'm a huge Bush fan, and I'm disappointed with President Obama on many fronts, but the fact is, he really doesn't have any good options to confront Russian belligerence.

 

I hope we do everything we can publicly and behind the scenes to neuter Russia and its oligarchy financially - a second "Soviet collapse" may be one way to save the rest of Ukraine and eastern Europe without bloodshed - but beyond that, I'm pretty dubious about what we can do.  I mean, if I were king of the forest, I'll be all about a trip wire force, but if you want a trip wire force, you've gotta have a claymore sitting behind it...and are we willing to get in a shooting war with Russia?  I'd wager the answer to that is HELL no, by probably a 10-1 margin.  And if you aren't willing to get in a shooting war, the last thing you want is a trip wire force.

 

Terrible times...

 

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Poland requests more NATO consultations over Russia

BRUSSELS Mon Mar 3, 2014 3:19pm EST

 

(Reuters) - NATO allies will hold emergency talks on the crisis in Ukraine on Tuesday, for the second time in three days, following a request from Poland, the alliance said on Monday.

 

In calling the meeting, Poland, a neighbor of Ukraine, invoked a NATO rule allowing any ally to consult with the others if it feels its security, territorial integrity or independence are under threat, the so-called Article 4.

 

"The developments in and around Ukraine are seen to constitute a threat to neighboring Allied countries and having direct and serious implications for the security and stability of the Euro-Atlantic area," the alliance said in a statement.

 

NATO meetings under Article 4 are rare. Only Turkey has used the option before, calling for consultations three times, once during the 2003 war in Iraq and twice, two years ago, over the Syrian conflict.

 

READ MORE AT:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/03/us-ukraine-crisis-nato-meeting-idUSBREA221VS20140303

 

Russians and Ukrainians aren't necessarily interested in fighting each other. Consider #Ukraine's flag flies again as #Russians let 10 #Ukrainians jointly guard #Belbek AFB from 'extremists' #CrimeaInvasion

Bh4x71eCEAIYQpf.jpg:large

 

 

A map in multiple languages showing where those killed at Euromaiden had lived as of Dec. 2013......

Bh4nRYeCEAACanl.jpg:large


"Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous -- an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that that war is criminal or that accepting it is a criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering" --Dalai Lama

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Barring joining NATO, the best think Ukraine could do is form an alliance with Israel, which would be one of the best things either side could do.  It's unfortunate the effect idiotic religious biases can sometimes have.

 

How do you figure this?  Israel cannot project sustained power at range; surgical strikes are about the limit of their capabilities, and they're certainly not going to antagonize Russia and risk deeper Russian strategic ties with Iran (and other Arab regimes).  Israel's entire defense architecture and philosophy are both built around close-quarters defense.  "Turtling," to borrow a video game term, with long-range capabilities basically only designed and used to take out threats to the homeland defense (e.g., the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak).

 

Ukraine, likewise, couldn't be of much use to Israel if Israel were attacked by any of its neighbors, particularly given the problems Ukraine itself is dealing with right now.

 

I don't see how this alliance could ever happen.  A trade agreement of some kind, sure.  But an alliance?  I'm not really following the logic at all, sorry.

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Poland requests more NATO consultations over Russia

BRUSSELS Mon Mar 3, 2014 3:19pm EST

 

(Reuters) - NATO allies will hold emergency talks on the crisis in Ukraine on Tuesday, for the second time in three days, following a request from Poland, the alliance said on Monday.

 

In calling the meeting, Poland, a neighbor of Ukraine, invoked a NATO rule allowing any ally to consult with the others if it feels its security, territorial integrity or independence are under threat, the so-called Article 4.

 

"The developments in and around Ukraine are seen to constitute a threat to neighboring Allied countries and having direct and serious implications for the security and stability of the Euro-Atlantic area," the alliance said in a statement.

 

NATO meetings under Article 4 are rare. Only Turkey has used the option before, calling for consultations three times, once during the 2003 war in Iraq and twice, two years ago, over the Syrian conflict.

 

I wonder what Poland is hearing at these meetings that it called.  Obviously, Ukraine is not part of NATO, or this would be an Article 5 issue, not an Article 4 ... not to be overly melodramatic, but it would basically be WWIII.

 

I also wonder if Poland would dare offering assistance to any Ukrainian resistance without running it up the NATO flagpole in advance.  Poland doesn't have America's resources, of course, but it may have somewhat more motivation--and it does have a land border with Ukraine (and that border borders the areas of Ukraine most hostile to Russia).

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Guys, who cares about the last five years. Real weakness is sitting around and arguing about who should have done what with the clarity of hindsight. This is happening now.

 

I have to agree with that.  Because there's plenty of blame to go around - I mean, look at Georgia in 2008, when Putin did this EXACT SAME THING, and Bush did nothing.  We chose President Obama (twice!) since that time - did we think we were choosing a more aggressive foreign policy with him?  He explicitly ran on NOT being a cowboy, and we said, "I'll take two of them!" 

 

Eggsactly.  It never ceases to amaze me that people still cannot understand that major component which led to Obama's elections.  Maybe they are blinded by the "it was because he is BLACK!" line of thought.  But, in reality, it was as much a desire put somebody in the oval office who is was not a Cowboy in foreign policy as anything else.

 

It seems to me that this is as good an opportunity as any for Germany to take significant steps to restoring its sway in the region.  At least in dealing with Merkel, Putin would have something to talk about as they both have boobs. 

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It seems to me that this is as good an opportunity as any for Germany to take significant steps to restoring its sway in the region.  At least in dealing with Merkel, Putin would have something to talk about as they both have boobs. 

 

12930088864_30bd7c1bd0_o.jpg


"Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous -- an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that that war is criminal or that accepting it is a criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering" --Dalai Lama

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Israel has an advanced defense industry, top notch commanders, well trained technicians, and of course nuclear weapons.  It also could use a few more friends in the region.  The Ukrainians have land and people.  Space to drill and develop, ironically like the Nazis did in Russia before WWII.  There’s a good chance they still have nukes, but not necessarily the ability to maintain them properly.  They complement each other well, and each has enemies nearby. 

 

The time may be passed for it, but like the Croats after the Americans and Germans helped them, they would have been in better shape to reply.

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Israel has an advanced defense industry, top notch commanders, well trained technicians, and of course nuclear weapons.  It also could use a few more friends in the region.  The Ukrainians have land and people.  Space to drill and develop, ironically like the Nazis did in Russia before WWII.  There’s a good chance they still have nukes, but not necessarily the ability to maintain them properly.  They complement each other well, and each has enemies nearby. 

 

The time may be passed for it, but like the Croats after the Americans and Germans helped them, they would have been in better shape to reply.

 

Well this saying has helped me personally and professionally.  I use this all the time. 

 

..............The enemy of my enemy is my friend!

 

All the players in this have to be think the above.

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I saw that on Twitter this morning. She's at least out of a job, as that is state-run TV.


"Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous -- an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that that war is criminal or that accepting it is a criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering" --Dalai Lama

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The downside of all these sanctions is that Russia is a big oil & gas exporter.  Sanctions against them will raise the price of fuel around the world and everyone pays more. 

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Israel has an advanced defense industry, top notch commanders, well trained technicians, and of course nuclear weapons.  It also could use a few more friends in the region.

 

Israel does have all of those things, but it is unlikely to be able and willing to provide any of those to the Ukrainians.  I can't even realistically see Israeli technicians helping out with Ukraine's own equipment, and that would be the least incendiary of those things that Israel could provide.  As for Israel needing a few more friends in the region, they probably need some that aren't largely impoverished nations in Russia's crosshairs.

 

The Ukrainians have land and people.  Space to drill and develop, ironically like the Nazis did in Russia before WWII.

 

Those would indeed be assets to peaceful trade, and this is why I said that I could easily see Israel and Ukraine as trade partners, but that's a very different thing than military allies.

 

There’s a good chance they still have nukes, but not necessarily the ability to maintain them properly.  They complement each other well, and each has enemies nearby.

 

A Ukrainian nuke would be a game-changer.  But I strongly, strongly doubt it exists.  Conventional wisdom can be wrong, I understand, but the strong conventional wisdom consensus is that Russia transferred all nuclear weapons (and just about everything else remotely related to nuclear weapons) out of the former Soviet republics as the USSR was dissolving.  Even the notion that Ukraine has a dud nuke that could be somehow restored to operational status by the Israelis has the ring of a Tom Clancy novel, not a serious basis for contemporary policymaking.

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Also, while it's interesting to see a state-owned Russian TV anchor (even if it's just their English-language channel ... if it's anything like Al Jazeera, the English and native-language channels can be very different) publicly disapprove of the invasion, I'm conflicted about it.  The woman is a 9/11 Truther ... Martin is so far out there that she was basically calling out Rachel Maddow(!) for covering for Republican lies to justify invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.  In fact, I'd guess that that conspiratorial mindset is probably what originally attracted her to RT.

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Israel has an advanced defense industry, top notch commanders, well trained technicians, and of course nuclear weapons.  It also could use a few more friends in the region.

 

Israel does have all of those things, but it is unlikely to be able and willing to provide any of those to the Ukrainians.  I can't even realistically see Israeli technicians helping out with Ukraine's own equipment, and that would be the least incendiary of those things that Israel could provide.  As for Israel needing a few more friends in the region, they probably need some that aren't largely impoverished nations in Russia's crosshairs.

 

The Ukrainians have land and people.  Space to drill and develop, ironically like the Nazis did in Russia before WWII.

 

Those would indeed be assets to peaceful trade, and this is why I said that I could easily see Israel and Ukraine as trade partners, but that's a very different thing than military allies.

 

There’s a good chance they still have nukes, but not necessarily the ability to maintain them properly.  They complement each other well, and each has enemies nearby.

 

A Ukrainian nuke would be a game-changer.  But I strongly, strongly doubt it exists.  Conventional wisdom can be wrong, I understand, but the strong conventional wisdom consensus is that Russia transferred all nuclear weapons (and just about everything else remotely related to nuclear weapons) out of the former Soviet republics as the USSR was dissolving.  Even the notion that Ukraine has a dud nuke that could be somehow restored to operational status by the Israelis has the ring of a Tom Clancy novel, not a serious basis for contemporary policymaking.

 

The author that speculated, in 1996, that a commercial aircraft might be used as an anti-structure missile?

 

The breakup of the Soviet Union was very chaotic and corrupt.  I'd be very surprised if a few nuclear weapons didn't get "misplaced".  Whether or not they are servicable today is an open question.

 

The Israelis have Dolphin class submarines which can deploy nuclear weapons, meaning that even if the nation is somehow overrun it can strike back.  Having a presence in Ukraine increases this deterrent capability by an order of magnitude. 

 

I'm not saying it's likely, but it's truly something that makes sense.

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There’s a good chance they still have nukes, but not necessarily the ability to maintain them properly.  They complement each other well, and each has enemies nearby.

 

A Ukrainian nuke would be a game-changer.  But I strongly, strongly doubt it exists.  Conventional wisdom can be wrong, I understand, but the strong conventional wisdom consensus is that Russia transferred all nuclear weapons (and just about everything else remotely related to nuclear weapons) out of the former Soviet republics as the USSR was dissolving.  Even the notion that Ukraine has a dud nuke that could be somehow restored to operational status by the Israelis has the ring of a Tom Clancy novel, not a serious basis for contemporary policymaking.

 

I would hope that Ukraine adhered to the Budapest Memorandum and didn't keep any nukes. There's always a chance that some mobster and/or corrupt public official kept one or three nukes stashed away someplace for nuclear blackmail. But that doesn't mean they'd be readily available to the current crop of political leaders and activists who are trying to rid Ukraine of its corrupt past. Their opponents may be more likely to have them, I would think.

 

Interesting reading.....

http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/04/opinion/pifer-ukraine-budapest-memorandum/


"Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous -- an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that that war is criminal or that accepting it is a criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering" --Dalai Lama

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The downside of all these sanctions is that Russia is a big oil & gas exporter.  Sanctions against them will raise the price of fuel around the world and everyone pays more. 

 

It seems Europe is hemming and hawing on sanctions and account freezes for pretty much this reason.

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There’s a good chance they still have nukes, but not necessarily the ability to maintain them properly.  They complement each other well, and each has enemies nearby.

 

A Ukrainian nuke would be a game-changer.  But I strongly, strongly doubt it exists.  Conventional wisdom can be wrong, I understand, but the strong conventional wisdom consensus is that Russia transferred all nuclear weapons (and just about everything else remotely related to nuclear weapons) out of the former Soviet republics as the USSR was dissolving.  Even the notion that Ukraine has a dud nuke that could be somehow restored to operational status by the Israelis has the ring of a Tom Clancy novel, not a serious basis for contemporary policymaking.

 

I would hope that Ukraine adhered to the Budapest Memorandum and didn't keep any nukes. There's always a chance that some mobster and/or corrupt public official kept one or three nukes stashed away someplace for nuclear blackmail. But that doesn't mean they'd be readily available to the current crop of political leaders and activists who are trying to rid Ukraine of its corrupt past. Their opponents may be more likely to have them, I would think.

 

Interesting reading.....

http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/04/opinion/pifer-ukraine-budapest-memorandum/

 

That's a good point about the opposition, except for the fact that they are pro-Russian.  Even if they had their own reasons for keeping them, there's somewhat more likelihood that one of their own would snitch to the Russians.

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People are giving a lot of credence to the "pro-Russian" line when it comes to describing Crimea and many of Ukraine's eastern provinces.

 

How reliable do we think that information is?

 

Given the choice between living under the haplessly corrupt regime in Kiev or the ruthlessly corrupt regime in Moscow, I'm not convinced that everyone who speaks Russian as their native language would want to be part of Russia itself.  I get that Russian nationalism is a pretty potent cultural force, though.

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People are giving a lot of credence to the "pro-Russian" line when it comes to describing Crimea and many of Ukraine's eastern provinces.

 

How reliable do we think that information is?

 

Given the choice between living under the haplessly corrupt regime in Kiev or the ruthlessly corrupt regime in Moscow, I'm not convinced that everyone who speaks Russian as their native language would want to be part of Russia itself.  I get that Russian nationalism is a pretty potent cultural force, though.

 

That's a good question. I've met some in Ukraine who think highly of the Russians. Specifically I met someone who lived in Sevastopol where Russia has its Black Sea naval base (albeit greatly diminished from the Soviet Union's presence there), and they liked having the Soviets/Russians there. They were good for the local economy. But my friend Irina is ethnic Russian and also a Ukranian nationalist. She doesn't dislike Russia, but Ukraine is her home. She was born there. Her parents were born there. She is proud to be a Ukranian.


"Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous -- an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that that war is criminal or that accepting it is a criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering" --Dalai Lama

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