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55 minutes ago, Immaculate Vibes said:

Interesting piece here. The cultural difference in conflict resolution is pretty telling. 
 

https://unherd.com/2022/01/what-the-west-gets-wrong-about-putin/


 

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In 1999, Vladimir Putin suddenly sprang from bureaucratic obscurity to the office of Prime Minister. When, a few months later, Yeltsin unexpectedly resigned and Putin was voted in as President, governments around the world were taken by surprise yet again. How could this unknown figure have amassed national voter support with so little media attention?

I had first met Putin seven years before and was not surprised by his rapid domination of the new Russia. We were introduced by Yevgeny Primakov, widely known as “Russia’s Kissinger”, who I had met in Moscow multiple times during the Cold War years when I advised Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Ford. Primakov was a no-nonsense thinker and writer. He was also a special emissary for the Kremlin in conducting secret discussions with national leaders around the world.

When Yeltsin tasked his advisor Anatoly Sobchak with identifying and recruiting Russia’s best and brightest, Putin, then a local politician in his hometown of St Petersburg, was top of his list — so Primakov took Putin under his wing to tutor him in global power and security issues. Eventually, Primakov introduced Kissinger to Putin, and they became close. That both Primakov and Kissinger took time to coach Putin on geopolitics and geosecurity was a clear demonstration that they saw in him the characteristics of a powerful leader. It also showed Putin’s capacity for listening to lengthy lessons on geopolitics — as I was soon to learn.

 

In 1992, I received a call from a meeting organiser at the CSIS think tank inviting me to join a US-Russia St Petersburg Commission to be chaired by Kissinger and Sobchak. The purpose would be to help the new Russian leadership in opening channels of business and banking with the West. Most of the Western members would be CEOs of major US and European companies, as well as key officials of the new Russian government. I would attend as an expert. I was told that a “Mr Primakov” had personally asked if I could make time to participate. I could hardly refuse such a request, and I was intensely curious about the emerging Russian leadership, especially about Putin.

Arriving at the first meeting, I saw several people gathered around Kissinger and a man I was told was Putin. An official identified himself to me and said he had been asked by Primakov to introduce me to Putin. He interrupted the conversation with Kissinger to announce my arrival; Putin warmly responded that he was looking forward to chatting with me about how I see the world from inside Washington.
 

We spoke on several occasions between meetings, and he arranged to sit next to me at a dinner, accompanied by his interpreter. At that dinner, he asked me: “What is the single most important obstacle between your Western businessmen and my fellow Russians in starting up business connections?”

Off the top of my head, I responded: “The absence of legally defined property rights — without those there is no basis for resolving disputes.”

“Ah yes,” he said, “in your system a dispute between businesses is resolved by attorneys paid by the hour representing each side, sometimes taking the dispute to the courts which normally takes months and accumulation of hourly attorney fees.”

“In Russia,” he continued, “disputes are usually resolved by common sense. If a dispute is about very significant money or property, then the two sides would typically send representatives to a dinner. Everyone attending arriving would be armed. Facing the possibility of a bloody, fatal outcome both sides always find a mutually agreeable solution. Fear provides the catalyst for common sense.”

He used his argument in the context of disputes between sovereign nations. Solutions often require an element of fear of disproportionate responses if no deal is struck. The idea of forcing adversaries to face horrific alternatives seemed to excite him. In essence, he was describing to me the current Ukraine impasse between the US and Russia. Putin knows Russia cannot afford a prolonged ground war with Ukraine. He also can see Biden is facing crucial midterm elections with a domestic congressional impasse, and cannot afford a major foreign crisis distraction. The two sides have no choice but to strike a deal.
 

On a different occasion, Putin asked me how decisions are really made in Washington, with its complex division of Presidential and Congressional powers. He said Kissinger could explain the broad parameters of a Presidential policy decision, but could not clarify how political consensus was achieved between the House, Senate, and the Executive Branch.

It was evident he had been given a deep intelligence brief on my career. He said Kissinger enjoys the public theatre of powerful people meeting in elaborate dinners or meetings with many aides ready to guide them. And he told me he had been informed that I preferred backroom meetings to shape consensus and provide room for negotiating details.

I tried to explain the elaborate process of balancing the interests of the many players in Washington, including Congress, the major agencies, and the intricate business arrangements that might be affected by any decision. I told him of my first personal meeting with Nixon, who had said he was impressed that I had strong personal support from leaders of both major parties. However, he added, this raised worries among his staff in the White House — so he really needed to know whether I was a Republican or a Democrat. To which I replied: “Yes.”

When Nixon asked what that meant, I explained that I was not a partisan warrior, but rather a problem solver. To get a solution I would always be ready to work with key players of both parties depending upon the specific problem. This seemed to amuse Putin.

The impression of Putin that I was left with was of a man who was more intelligent than most of the politicians I had met in Washington and in other capitals around the world. I was reminded of my childhood: I grew up in a predominantly Sicilian neighbourhood, with a mafia maintaining order. No disorganised crime allowed. Putin did seem to have the instincts of a Sicilian mafia boss: quick to reward but quick to pose mortal risk in the event of non-conformity to the family rules.
 

On a different occasion, Putin asked me how decisions are really made in Washington, with its complex division of Presidential and Congressional powers. He said Kissinger could explain the broad parameters of a Presidential policy decision, but could not clarify how political consensus was achieved between the House, Senate, and the Executive Branch.

It was evident he had been given a deep intelligence brief on my career. He said Kissinger enjoys the public theatre of powerful people meeting in elaborate dinners or meetings with many aides ready to guide them. And he told me he had been informed that I preferred backroom meetings to shape consensus and provide room for negotiating details.

I tried to explain the elaborate process of balancing the interests of the many players in Washington, including Congress, the major agencies, and the intricate business arrangements that might be affected by any decision. I told him of my first personal meeting with Nixon, who had said he was impressed that I had strong personal support from leaders of both major parties. However, he added, this raised worries among his staff in the White House — so he really needed to know whether I was a Republican or a Democrat. To which I replied: “Yes.”

When Nixon asked what that meant, I explained that I was not a partisan warrior, but rather a problem solver. To get a solution I would always be ready to work with key players of both parties depending upon the specific problem. This seemed to amuse Putin.

The impression of Putin that I was left with was of a man who was more intelligent than most of the politicians I had met in Washington and in other capitals around the world. I was reminded of my childhood: I grew up in a predominantly Sicilian neighbourhood, with a mafia maintaining order. No disorganised crime allowed. Putin did seem to have the instincts of a Sicilian mafia boss: quick to reward but quick to pose mortal risk in the event of non-conformity to the family rules.

Looking back to those times of growing disarray in Russia’s leadership, I can recall the prolonged, multi-year paralysis of the Brezhnev Presidency, which was followed by the brief Presidencies of Andropov and Chernenko. Gorbachev was not strong enough to impose his will. Yeltsin had good ideas but was easily distracted and lacked follow through. Russia was in urgent need of a strong leader — and so Putin stepped in.

As for how Putin sees himself, he did bring up several times his admiration for Peter the Great, so much so I was convinced he sees himself as his incarnation. I have not been a guest of the Kremlin since 1988, but I am told Putin had portraits of Peter the Great hung in several important meeting rooms there — rather than portraits of himself, as would be more customary. What this means for Biden, Nato and Ukraine is slowly becoming clear. There is more to Putin than meets the eye.

 

 

 

It's always been a flex of opportunity when the west is perceived as weak and is disarray and unwilling to act.  Putin's always wanted to be "the guy" that brought back the glory of Russian dominance and influence.  

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Damn fascinating thread in Reddit. It puts a human perspective on this shit. Unless we have break out in Civil War (crazy to think we may get there), I don't think this is something people in the US will see. Click on the box to go to the thread. Yes I know Reddit has a shittastic format for reading.

edit: Holy shit that is a sobering read.

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level 1

·19 hr. ago
GoldStarryBravo!Helpful7& 16 More

As a war survivor (4 years Sarajevo siege) I can tell you that you can't plan that shit because every war is different, but if you have to, then firstly I'd put duct tape or similar tape on your windows in a triple cross pattern directly onto the glass. If the windows shatter due to the blast the tape will keep them more or less in one piece and this will prevent injury to a certain extent. In case of close military conflict in the area you need to close all the gas to your house at the main valve. Find one of those hanging wallets that you put around your neck and keep all your documents there, passport, IDs, etc.

If you have any valuables try and stash them in a good place (honestly, I'd dig them somewhere outdoors and share the location with someone i trust in case I don't make it)

Depending on where you live (block or a separate house) and if you are civilian or military, you will need to know the place where to hide in case od shelling, usually underground. Be it ready made facilities or basements/underground parkings etc., and you need to have a kit of items with you at all times: flash light, small radio receiver with good batteries (remember that most probably everything will be cut including TV and the internet, and your only source of information will be radio, high calorie, no expiry food such as nuts, dark chocolate, dried meat, cans etc., candles, a lot of candles, good lighter or even a few of them, batteries, board games, playing cards (sometimes the emergency lasts for days and it can take a lot of time between the attacks), also it would be good to have some kind of small weapon with you even if you are just a civilian.

One of the things I remember we missed a lot during the war was yeast for bread making. We used to burn books from our private libraries to cook meals, and also burn wooden flooring to cook and heat.

Not sure what your situation is, but try avoiding alcohol, during those times, even though it will be tempting.

I dunno what else to say except that wars are horrible and there are no words to describe the horror that is left in souls and hearts of those who survive them. I truly hope the situation will de-escalate and that you will not have to do any of the things mentioned above.

 

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As someone who's gone thru something similar also in Eastern Europe in the 90s here's some practical advice to get you thru:

  1. A running joke at that time but also 100% accurate is: "You just need 2 things to survive, your life and your passport".

Have your documents ready. Passport is king, but university/high school/education diplomas/immunization records...Anything that vouchers for who you are what you have accomplished will help you get thru borders or refugee camps or visas. If you leave your place and you can carry only one thing it's documentation.

2) Fill up your bathroom tub with water. You can drain it as needed for personal hygiene as long as you have running water but always have it full afterwards if you do not know when you're going to lose it.

3) go get gasoline. Fill up your car if you have one. And buy canisters and fill them up. Gas is worth more than gold when stations run dry. And they will. People will kill each other over it so hide it and don't tell anyone you have it. You can use it for your own needs, you can sell it later, you can trade it. Cash won't be worth much as inflation is going to render cash worthless. Gas will be the new cash. And if you did put it in your vehicle someone will siphon it out quickly. So hide the car too :)

4) go get candles. Better and cheaper than batteries. Can be somewhat reused as long as you keep the wax.

5) go buy a tub of lard. It's winter so it'll keep for a while if power runs out and shouldn't be expensive now. Get lots of crackers and if you can, paprika powder. Crackers + lard + paprika = tons of calories and tastes ok. You can also take this stuff with you if you need to make a getaway.

6) list is getting long and there are many nice to haves but your life is most important so if you can get one more thing get bags of nuts. Walnuts/peanuts/whatever-you-can get-your-hands-on nuts = calories (and they won't spoil)

Now you have water and calories and light. With gas and paperwork you're better off than most people in the same situation. So be careful who you share that with.

Last note to hopefully put your mind at ease, the invading force will go after militarily targets first. Stay clear and you'll be relatively safe. If you find that you must run...lie, cheat and trust very few (if any) as you make your run. Unless there are genocidal atrocities (rare, but happen) you will make it.

This sucks. I hope it doesn’t happen to you. But you will make it. Good luck to you my friend.

 

Edited by crash_davis
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1 minute ago, crash_davis said:

Damn fascinating thread in Reddit. It puts a human perspective on this shit. Unless we have break out in Civil War (crazy to think we may get there), I don't think this is something people in the US will see. Click on the box to go to the thread. Yes I know Reddit has a shittastic format for reading.

 

I'll be at the ranch.  Five miles off a dirt road in the middle of nowhere surrounded by crusty old ranchers we've known for decades.  With a house, a steady source of water and close to 40+ head of cattle.  Let's go.....

9iic.gif

 

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if war came to the US, it would be nuclear. the US is too damn big for anyone to try to take over. If war came to us, it would be towards total destruction. everyone's pew pew machines won't do shit. if people survive, it'll help to fend off the absolute insanity which will follow when every man turns on each other for survival. but this is a great topic for another discussion.

i see post nuclear war US as being portrayed in The Road by Cormac McCarthy. not sure i want to live through that bullshit.

Edited by crash_davis
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14 minutes ago, crash_davis said:

if war came to the US, it would be nuclear. the US is too damn big for anyone to try to take over. If war came to us, it would be towards total destruction. everyone's pew pew machines won't do shit. if people survive, it'll help to fend off the absolute insanity which will follow when every man turns on each other for survival. but this is a great topic for another discussion.

i see post nuclear war US as being portrayed in The Road by Cormac McCarthy. not sure i want to live through that bullshit.

245full-jeffrey-dean-morgan.jpg

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24 minutes ago, crash_davis said:

if war came to the US, it would be nuclear. the US is too damn big for anyone to try to take over. If war came to us, it would be towards total destruction. everyone's pew pew machines won't do shit. if people survive, it'll help to fend off the absolute insanity which will follow when every man turns on each other for survival. but this is a great topic for another discussion.

i see post nuclear war US as being portrayed in The Road by Cormac McCarthy. not sure i want to live through that bullshit.

https://www.northstarmissilesilo.com/

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Maybe Putin sees himself as the great Russian uniter, re-claiming land Russia once had under Peter the Great. Maybe he's pursuing a One Russian goal similar to China's One China. I bet he's banking on the slow response in the US because we'll be arguing whether or not we should get involved because they'll swamp our social media on why it's a bad idea and continue to spam content to poke both "sides" so that this country remains divided. He's probably banking on NATO not doing shit because there's no way all it's member countries will agree on a coordinated response. In other words, Ukraine is fucked. 

Xi is eagerly sitting back seeing how the US and NATO respond. Taiwan to China may happen in his lifetime.

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https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/news_191040.htm

In the past days, a number of Allies have made announcements regarding current or upcoming deployments. Denmark is sending a frigate to the Baltic Sea and is set to deploy four F-16 fighter jets to Lithuania in support of NATO’s long-standing air-policing mission in the region. Spain is sending ships to join NATO naval forces and is considering sending fighter jets to Bulgaria. France has expressed its readiness to send troops to Romania under NATO command. The Netherlands is sending two F-35 fighter aircraft to Bulgaria from April to support NATO’s air-policing activities in the region, and is putting a ship and land-based units on standby for NATO’s Response Force. The United States has also made clear that it is considering increasing its military presence in the eastern part of the Alliance. 

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German Chancellor: Russia's threats to Ukraine will cost it dearly

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Macron says France, Germany 'united' on need for Ukraine deescalation

 

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Macron warns Russia will pay 'very high price' if Ukraine will be attacked

Is this a signal that Germany is getting in line with other NATO members on possible sanction or just platitudes? 

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12 minutes ago, SimonBolivar said:

 

Is this a signal that Germany is getting in line with other NATO members on possible sanction or just platitudes? 

I'm afraid they're getting in line for more than that.  And also kind of pleased about it at the same time.

A straight up violent military invasion and conquest of a sovereign nation within Europe is, to put it simply, the kind of bullshit that future targets -- and there are many of them -- can't accept.  I am quite afraid that if Putin wants a big-time shooting war, he may get one.  The airpower of NATO - or at least some NATO allies -- may come into play.  Of course, making that MORE likely....also makes the prospect of war LESS likely.  Showing up ready to fight can make the fight less likely to actually happen.  See how Putin is used to negotiating -- only when EVERYONE brings a gun, creating the chance for a full-blown shootout, can sensible talks take place. 

This would not be the first time in the Cold War that assets operated directly by one of the true powers were deployed in a regional conflict against the other power (there were Russian pilots flying MIGs in Korea, for example).  Now that we're in Cold War II, Putin's Boogaloo, the same may happen again.

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3 hours ago, MillerEP said:

https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/news_191040.htm

In the past days, a number of Allies have made announcements regarding current or upcoming deployments. Denmark is sending a frigate to the Baltic Sea and is set to deploy four F-16 fighter jets to Lithuania in support of NATO’s long-standing air-policing mission in the region. Spain is sending ships to join NATO naval forces and is considering sending fighter jets to Bulgaria. France has expressed its readiness to send troops to Romania under NATO command. The Netherlands is sending two F-35 fighter aircraft to Bulgaria from April to support NATO’s air-policing activities in the region, and is putting a ship and land-based units on standby for NATO’s Response Force. The United States has also made clear that it is considering increasing its military presence in the eastern part of the Alliance. 

Woo, NATO allies sending a whopping half-dozen assets to the conflict zone.  Granted, those aren't the big players in Europe, but still.

I know it's mostly been a Trumpian thing of late, but those bastards have been freeloading on us for security for far too long.  Most especially Germany.  And then you throw in Germany prioritizing its economic interests** over its own security and that of its NATO and EU neighbors, and Russia getting pretty froggy in the bargain  . . . . 

Assuming we get past this relatively unscathed, I'm kind of thinking that NATO needs a re-think, big time bro.

**Specifically referencing its energy policy here, but its lack of defense spending, also.

Edited by TwiceHorn
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.@USEmbassyKyiv: ~300 Javelins. 79 tons of security assistance for Ukraine's armed forces. Tonight, the third shipment of $200 million in assistance authorized by President Biden arrived at Boryspil Airport in Kyiv

That's a lot of Javelins for a country who already has Javelins.

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3 hours ago, MillerEP said:

https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/news_191040.htm

In the past days, a number of Allies have made announcements regarding current or upcoming deployments. Denmark is sending a frigate to the Baltic Sea and is set to deploy four F-16 fighter jets to Lithuania in support of NATO’s long-standing air-policing mission in the region. Spain is sending ships to join NATO naval forces and is considering sending fighter jets to Bulgaria. France has expressed its readiness to send troops to Romania under NATO command. The Netherlands is sending two F-35 fighter aircraft to Bulgaria from April to support NATO’s air-policing activities in the region, and is putting a ship and land-based units on standby for NATO’s Response Force. The United States has also made clear that it is considering increasing its military presence in the eastern part of the Alliance. 

Stankonia is willing to drop bombs over Baghdad

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1 hour ago, SimonBolivar said:

That's a lot of Javelins for a country who already has Javelins.

People talk about using the Javelins against tanks/APCS, but if the Russians are relying on land-based supply lines, those Javelins can wreak a helluva lot of havoc on convoys - they give the Ukrainians some distance between them and the vehicles they are attacking, allowing them to get away, or they can be used against the vehicles in the front and back of a supply column, stopping that column and opening it up to being wiped out/raided/etc.  

At the very least, like I mentioned earlier, it would really force the Russians to pull front-line troops into defense of those convoys - even just the idea of one or two Javelins being used against convoys would force the Russians to have to put massive resources into guarding those convoys - imagine hitting a few lead vehicles on a highway and all of the sudden the rest of the convoy is stuck in the open.

That's why I'm leaning against the Russians attacking on a broad front or in a lot of areas or going too deep - it would be far too easy for the Ukrainian resistance to make things miserable for the Russians in a lot of areas.  Russian military leaders these days would have been junior officers in the 1980s and familiar with the Mujahideen wreaking havoc on Russian convoys in Afghanistan.

And that's before we get into MANPADS.

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2 hours ago, TwiceHorn said:

I know it's mostly been a Trumpian thing of late, but those bastards have been freeloading on us for security for far too long.  

... I'm kind of thinking that NATO needs a re-think, big time bro.

Trump’s efforts in trying to prod NATO members to spend more money gained attention mainly because of his typical and undiplomatic heavy-handed approach. The reality is that most administrations and many influential political leaders from both parties have, over the years, sought to persuade our allies to contribute more to their own defense—with little success.

This unequal sharing was even recognized by Eisenhower in the 1950’s:

Quote

The broader problem for the Eisenhower administration, however, remained: how could Washington induce its NATO partners to accept a much larger share of the collective security burden, thus reducing the enormous costs being borne by the Americans?

The fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 only exacerbated the unequal burden sharing. As the threat from Russia subsided, NATO members were able to cut defense spending; grow social programs; and make other domestic investments—and let us assume yet more of the burden.

Yeah, NATO needs a big re-think.

Edited by Cacti
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Yep. Let me set up a hard point with Javelins and a few infantry and you can own the field. Augment that with mortars to keep their infantry away and you shut down a road. The Talib wreaked havoc on them and us with RPG's using that tactic. 

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1 minute ago, Cacti said:

Trump’s efforts in trying to prod NATO members to spend more money gained attention mainly because of his typical and undiplomatic heavy-handed approach. The reality is that most administrations and many influential political leaders from both parties have, over the years, sought to persuade our ‘allies to contribute more to their own defense—with little success.

This unequal sharing was even recognized by Eisenhower in the 1950’s:

The fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 only exacerbated the unequal burden sharing. As the threat from Russia subsided, NATO members were able to cut defense spending; grow social programs; and make other domestic investments—and let us assume yet more of the burden.

Yeah, NATO needs a big re-think.

It does. But they have also carried weight in other places and were with us in Afghanistan. Up until a few months ago France ran the counter terrorist ops in Mali. They pulled out but the plan was to be replaced by an EU mission. Coup fucked that up and now we got Wagner Group boys running across the Sahel. 

Just had a fun call with my dad. He told me the pellet gun I have was the one he and his team used in Berlin to fuck with Russian guards. Would not penetrate their greatcoats but was fun to piss them off. Knowing this might have to get it mounted with a picture of him and his team. 

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45 minutes ago, Cacti said:

Trump’s efforts in trying to prod NATO members to spend more money gained attention mainly because of his typical and undiplomatic heavy-handed approach. The reality is that most administrations and many influential political leaders from both parties have, over the years, sought to persuade our allies to contribute more to their own defense—with little success.

This unequal sharing was even recognized by Eisenhower in the 1950’s:

The fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 only exacerbated the unequal burden sharing. As the threat from Russia subsided, NATO members were able to cut defense spending; grow social programs; and make other domestic investments—and let us assume yet more of the burden.

Yeah, NATO needs a big re-think.

[nocr] Trump wasn't pushing for NATO member contributions in good faith in my opinion. There's been a wealth of reporting that he sought to break up NATO. He had a decades long history with the very people who instigated and profited off of the corruption in Ukraine, often to the benefit of Russia and Putin specifically, and helped his own rise to power here in the US with the same tactics used in Ukraine. [/nocr]

Geopolitically, the whole point of funding those efforts was to prevent Russia/Putin from being the most influential entity in eastern Europe.

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9 minutes ago, Captainant said:

[nocr] Trump wasn't pushing for NATO member contributions in good faith in my opinion. There's been a wealth of reporting that he sought to break up NATO. He had a decades long history with the very people who instigated and profited off of the corruption in Ukraine, often to the benefit of Russia and Putin specifically, and helped his own rise to power here in the US with the same tactics used in Ukraine. [/nocr]

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2 hours ago, InkaUtexas said:

Yep. Let me set up a hard point with Javelins and a few infantry and you can own the field. Augment that with mortars to keep their infantry away and you shut down a road. The Talib wreaked havoc on them and us with RPG's using that tactic. 

Hit one or two vehicles with Javelins - couple in the front, couple at the rear, then have a few snipers picking off those getting out of their vehicles.

And Ukraine has plenty of areas that are fantastic for concealment.  And we've got an easy pipeline to get those weapons into Ukraine, versus the Soviet/Afghanistan days.

I never got to fire a Javelin (before my time, we still had Dragons), but friends who have used it swear by it.

And that's before we talk about IEDs being used against the Russians.

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3 hours ago, atomheartbevo said:

People talk about using the Javelins against tanks/APCS, but if the Russians are relying on land-based supply lines, those Javelins can wreak a helluva lot of havoc on convoys - they give the Ukrainians some distance between them and the vehicles they are attacking, allowing them to get away, or they can be used against the vehicles in the front and back of a supply column, stopping that column and opening it up to being wiped out/raided/etc.  

At the very least, like I mentioned earlier, it would really force the Russians to pull front-line troops into defense of those convoys - even just the idea of one or two Javelins being used against convoys would force the Russians to have to put massive resources into guarding those convoys - imagine hitting a few lead vehicles on a highway and all of the sudden the rest of the convoy is stuck in the open.

That's why I'm leaning against the Russians attacking on a broad front or in a lot of areas or going too deep - it would be far too easy for the Ukrainian resistance to make things miserable for the Russians in a lot of areas.  Russian military leaders these days would have been junior officers in the 1980s and familiar with the Mujahideen wreaking havoc on Russian convoys in Afghanistan.

And that's before we get into MANPADS.

I don't revel in the prospect...but I wanna see how our Apache's do against Russian T-whatevers.  The tank-killing helicopter has never really been proven.

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36 minutes ago, Parliament said:

I don't revel in the prospect...but I wanna see how our Apache's do against Russian T-whatevers.  The tank-killing helicopter has never really been proven.

I think you may be referring to the Mi-28NM. I believe they call it the “Night Hunter." We call it “Havoc.”
I may be wrong though. 

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6 hours ago, SimonBolivar said:

That's a lot of Javelins for a country who already has Javelins.

It is a commentary on my Texanness that I consistently read this as "javelinas" and am always surprised (if only for an instant) that the Ukrainians have a bunch of javelinas.

4 hours ago, atomheartbevo said:

People talk about using the Javelins against tanks/APCS, but if the Russians are relying on land-based supply lines, those Javelins can wreak a helluva lot of havoc on convoys - they give the Ukrainians some distance between them and the vehicles they are attacking, allowing them to get away, or they can be used against the vehicles in the front and back of a supply column, stopping that column and opening it up to being wiped out/raided/etc.  

At the very least, like I mentioned earlier, it would really force the Russians to pull front-line troops into defense of those convoys - even just the idea of one or two Javelins being used against convoys would force the Russians to have to put massive resources into guarding those convoys - imagine hitting a few lead vehicles on a highway and all of the sudden the rest of the convoy is stuck in the open.

That's why I'm leaning against the Russians attacking on a broad front or in a lot of areas or going too deep - it would be far too easy for the Ukrainian resistance to make things miserable for the Russians in a lot of areas.  Russian military leaders these days would have been junior officers in the 1980s and familiar with the Mujahideen wreaking havoc on Russian convoys in Afghanistan.

And that's before we get into MANPADS.

I agree that the Russian play is to make a thunder run to the left bank of the Dnieper and demand honorable surrender.  They'll get there in a week and have Kyiv under their guns.  And then they'll demand cession of Crimea and maybe the Donbas.  And a constitutional amendment codifying neutrality.  Probably the right to base troops there.  And perhaps some constitutional structure that ensures a pro-Moscow government.  

But what if the Ukrainian government says "no."  What if they evacuate the government to Lviv and say "no."

I get that that's a tough answer.  And it's probably the irrational answer.  But sometimes in war belligerents do the irrational thing.  Like sometimes, they just say "Nuts."

In that case, what the fuck do the Russians do?  Conquer the entire country?  That's going to be a tough one, given that it'll be a country with an active insurgency that is outfitted with a 21st Century version of Lend-Lease.  It's not something that can't pull off.  But it's also something that probably requires Russia to devote such a large percentage of its ground forces as to make any further aggression impossible.

I don't know, pooty--take your shot, bro.  But there are a lot of ways that this could go south.

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On 12/9/2021 at 5:17 AM, Nice Guy Eddie said:

Russia can’t risk a war with the rest of Europe. It would destroy them financially. If Europe decided to go another direction for natural gas, and cut off trade with Russia, Russia would lose a large chunk of their gdp immediately. Russia isn’t exactly a financial powerhouse and almost all of their financial trade is to the west.

Russia's GDP is $1.7 Trilion.

Texas's GDP is $1.9 Trillion.

California's GDP is $3 Trillion.

 

Russia is definitely not a financial powerhouse. They can choose guns or butter, but not both. I don't know enough about the Russian economy, but my guess is they are spending a good chunk on the military that could b used to improve the quality of life for their people. A prolonged shooting war would be a financial disaster for them - but it could also galvanize the Russian people against Europe. Does the US and NATO have the will to find out?

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On 12/7/2021 at 4:01 PM, Harrison Bergeron said:

The fun really is going to be when we realize Ukraine and Taiwan is inter-connected.

Best case, Putin executing a dry run for China to map the U.S. response.

Worst (likely) case - Putin goes into Russia and China goes into Taiwan concurrently.

My parents live in Taiwan and my dad follows China / Taiwan relationship pretty closely. He doesn't think there will be a shooting war within the next 5 years. By then, he'll be 86 and not really give a shit.

That said, I don't think the US would get into a fight with China over Taiwan. Even with closer relations with Taiwan the past few years, the most likely scenario is they sell Taiwan more advanced weaponry to counter a Chinese invasion, maybe send in some "advisors" to have a presence there, but there won't be any shots fired directly at each other.

Taiwan's probability of fully repelling a Chinese invasion is 0%. China has a bigger air force which can take out Taiwan's air force, navy, anti-ship missiles in a blitz. They can mine the ports and strangle Taiwan's imports and exports. They may lose a few planes and ships along the way, but they can overwhelm the island with numbers.

At this point, the US is at a disadvantage. China has more economic leverage on the US than the other way around. China controls a lot of the rare earth and other metals needed for batteries; they have a trading surplus with the US because we can't get enough of their cheap iphone cables. They are also investing heavily in South America and Africa which can absorb some of their exports. The Chinese people are pretty patriotic at this point, and would support the government if they do decide to invade Taiwan. My hope is when that happens, the US will be open to Taiwan "refugees", I'm saving up money to take care of them in case they ever have to move here.

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15 hours ago, SimonBolivar said:

 

Is this a signal that Germany is getting in line with other NATO members on possible sanction or just platitudes? 

I think it is very likely that the US and the French/German/Italian "consortium" are getting closer to a potential “post-invasion” sanctions package that is digestible for the consortium, but mainstream German-language media is explicitly reporting this morning that NS2, O&G and bank sanctions remain firmly off the table for the Germans, as well as weapons shipments to Ukraine.
 

The English-speaking media seems to be interpreting the result of the discussions between Macron and Scholz yesterday as indicating some movement from the Germans, but I really don’t see how they are getting that from the press conference they are referring to. I listened to the whole thing yesterday and Scholz really didn’t say anything that he hasn’t already said; mainly that Russia should de-escalate, serious consequences of invasion, diplomacy is the only way blah blah. He was extremely firm in defense of Germany’s blocking weapons to Ukraine. It was just same old shit. 
 

But both of them kept coming back to a commitment to continuing to working directly with the Russians to resolve this without increasing the chance for large-scale military hostilities. What is also being left out in English speaking newspapers is just how much the French and Germans (and Josef Borrell, chief diplomat of the EU) see the US and UK as overdramatizing the immediate risk of war by evacuating embassies. 
 

Translation of the top story from today’s national daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Gazette, above the fold both online and in print edition:
 

Quote

How Macron wants to save peace with Russia

Is there a European way out of the Russian escalation spiral? French President Emmanuel Macron is convinced there is. He traveled to the Spree on Tuesday with the intention of winning Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) over to a demarche called "de-escalation" in the Elysée Palace. The desire for more unity among EU partners, which American President Joe Biden produced in his video conference in an unusual format, was shared in Paris. It has also led to frowns in the Elysée, as Chancellor Scholz found it difficult to consider the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline for possible sanctions in the event of military aggression. The German debate on arms exports to Ukraine is also met with incomprehension in Paris. But Macron also did not appreciate how the British government rushed out with maximum dramatization in the crisis. According to the Elysée, it is not helpful when worst-case scenarios are spread in public. One must beware of the "self-fulfilling character" of such narratives.


https://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/ausland/macron-will-frieden-mit-russland-retten-gespraech-mit-scholz-17750571.html

 

French senior officials also leaking to local journal/pundits that their position is that there is unsupported "alarmism" in the Anglosphere:
 

Quote

 

A rift is emerging between US-UK and their allies on how soon Russia could invade Ukraine

Mujtaba Rahman, the managing director of Eurasia Group, tweeted Monday that that a source in French President Emmanuel Macron's office told him: "There is a kind of alarmism in Washington and London which we cannot understand. We see no immediate likelihood of Russian military action."

….

Intel gaps?

The split between the US and Britain and their allies "points to a gap in assessments of Russia's likely courses of action," Keir Giles, a senior consulting fellow on the Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House, told Insider.


"There is a history of the US trying to convince its European partners that the threat is imminent, based on the sources and intelligence it has, and they [Europe] apparently, do not."

"It may be that after several weeks of this being repeated, Russia's partners in Europe, particularly the major members of the EU are placing less credence on what they are being told by Washington," he said.

In a Monday interview with BBC Ukraine, Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council, said the US and UK withdrawals were contributing to panic and playing into President Vladimir Putin's hands.

https://www.businessinsider.in/politics/world/news/a-rift-is-emerging-between-us-uk-and-their-allies-on-how-soon-russia-could-invade-ukraine/articleshow/89119764.cms

 

 

Call that the legacy of the WMD fiasco, but I just don’t see anyone getting closer to a unified, robust military deterrent here. The French and Germans clearly do not agree with the US intel analysis, a feeling which was also referenced in local media a couple of days back after CIA Director Burns and Olaf Scholz had a unannounced meeting last week in Berlin that got essentially zero coverage in English-langauge media. Der Spiegel reported that it was a “tough meeting” discussing the existing US intel between CIA Director Burns, Chancellor Scholz, and the head of the German BND (equivalent to CIA).
 

But I do think we may be moving into the deal-cutting phase. Something feels like that, IMO. We will see after the US delivers its responses to the Russians, which apparently the US has asked to remain secret upon Russian receipt. The Russian diplomatic response to that will speak volumes.

 

Final point of note, French, German, Ukrainian and Russian technocrats will sit down today for the first time since this whole thing started in 2021. This is part of the Normandy Format, which has not been particulary productive, and which begat the poorly adhered-to “Minsk II” agreement, but it is significant in the sense that this is the only forum in which purely multi-lateral discussions occur with the potential belligerents. Good summary of this in today's Foreign Affairs Morning Brief:

 

https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/01/26/france-talks-russia-ukraine/

 

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1 minute ago, SimonBolivar said:

Russia is screwed now!

Germany to ship 5000 military helmets to Ukraine amid tensions with Russia, German Defence Minister Lambrecht says

Top comment on German twitter right now is "People may laugh at this, but it is going to be quite an accomplishment for the Bundeswehr to find 5,000 working helmets!"

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  • immamac changed the title to Russia declares independence on behalf of the Ukraine so it can protect the Ukraine or something like that
  • immamac changed the title to Русский корабль - иди нахуй

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