Putin’s Move

 

Hard to say, of course, but Putin seems to be far on his back foot.  The “referendum,” partial mobilization, and lack of effective counter-counter-attack so far are the things that make me think so.  I do not believe that the referendum or the mobilization were in the works as anything but potential future things before the Ukrainian counterattack.

The laughable referendum sounds like an attempt to create the appearance of a fact on the ground, and will of course be used the same way China waves about its maps with a nine-dashed line encompassing the Vietnam Sea.  The mobilization is tricky because a full mobilization would simply advertise that suddenly Russia must go to war on a national footing just to accomplish knocking over a few counties of Ukraine.  The strategic damage to Russia of merely declaring a full mobilization seems considerable.  So “partial mobilization” it is.

Ukraine seems to have gained a bunch of important ground, which is after all the point, but the meat in this sandwich is the effectiveness of Russian troops on Ukrainian soil, which looks poor.  I know Russia has a two-commander problem which is stupidly cross-threaded (the senior commander is in the south, but the northern one gets priority *when Russia’s border is in question*, which is just a recipe for command confusion.  From the outside, and squinting through a lens of near apathy, I would say that this is the chief problem for Russia.  There is of course the Napoleonic maxim about morale and materiel, a metric that also greatly favors the Ukes.  And the Russians have had no answer so far for the advance made by Ukraine.  Not a good look for a supposed superpower.

I recall some ops research which was breathtaking in its simplicity of structure yet complexity of result.  I have tried to find it off and on for about twenty years, but it went something like this:

Simulate two opposing forces which attrite each other (slightly probabilistically, based on the ratio of force remaining) on two fronts — so each force has two units deployed, and each of those units fights its counterpart.  Each side has a single reserve, and may deploy that reserve to either front (one controllable variable) and at any time (the other controllable variable).  Allow a computer to run the simulation, and to select both decision points; repeat many thousands of times (Monte Carlo) to see how the results shake out.  The high number of repetitions accounts for the “dice” introduced via “probabilistically.”  The results were chaotic across most of the domain, with only small islands of generally good combinations of decision points, the opposite of what you would expect.

Lesson learned — predictions are for suckers, and the more anecdata recruited to the prediction, the less likely it is based on anything at all.  Still, decisions must be made, and advice must be given.  The most valuable part of any such briefing or set of orders could be collected under the heading “unknowns.”

The (naval) Battle of Salamis featured a superior force squeezed into an awkward area, thereby able to bring only a small part of its force to bear at any time.  They should have withdrawn — instead they were defeated, and the remnants sailed for home at daybreak.  There is a corollary here that all of the aid from the West must still be deployed by the hands of Ukrainians.  This is a choke point on a different sort of map, a sort of phase space salient.

I remember back when the Russians were going to carve up Ukraine as easily as peeing a hole in the snow (learned a Finnish adverb today).  The Russians should have been able to wipe out the archers before the stockpile of arrows mattered.  Yet the Russian effort is hampered internally as well as externally, and good ol’ Russian incompetence and corruption are having their way.

After the Ukrainian advance in the east, it seems that the following can happen to/by them; endless victory all the way to Vladivostok, overextension, stasis with or without consolidation, withdrawal or pushback, or destruction by Russian counterattack.  Personally, I hope that on that front, they are able to consolidate while keeping Ivan on the hoof.  Depends how much force they have available.  Presumably Putin’s logistics get much better across the border, where (presumably) you can simply order up more fuel and trucks will bring it.  It would be very easy for Ukraine to overextend and get rolled up.

I very much *like* the idea that Putin just failed with his best, and now will try with the rest.  I hope it’s true, and this goofy referendum seems to be a Hail Mary attempt to legitimize the invasion — let us hope that nobody here falls for it.  And mobilization?  I saw a reference to a thing: “Go ahead.  Draft me.  Put a gun in my hand.  See what happens.”

Your move, Putin.

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  1. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    YouTubers: Niki is still in St. P, while Zack and Natasha have fled.  Arrests at last night’s protest in STP.

    • #61
  2. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    BDB (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Are the Ukrainians fighting for freedom in Crimea or Luhansk or Donetsk? Or the other Russophone areas? It’s really not so clear cut.

    Yes it is. The Russian simps in those areas are dining above the bones of millions of starved Ukrainians, whom they replaced.

    As if we aren’t doing the equivalent in Australia and North America.

    They are Stalin’s transplants. There’s a lot of Russia for them to return to.

    Zafar, you may make me a Uke nationalist yet.

    I think you’ve bought the bridge, congratulations.

    • #62
  3. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Zafar (View Comment):

    BDB (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Are the Ukrainians fighting for freedom in Crimea or Luhansk or Donetsk? Or the other Russophone areas? It’s really not so clear cut.

    Yes it is. The Russian simps in those areas are dining above the bones of millions of starved Ukrainians, whom they replaced.

    As if we aren’t doing the equivalent in Australia and North America.

    They are Stalin’s transplants. There’s a lot of Russia for them to return to.

    Zafar, you may make me a Uke nationalist yet.

    I think you’ve bought the bridge, congratulations.

    Reparations for our Neanderthal cousins next?

    • #63
  4. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    BDB (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    BDB (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Are the Ukrainians fighting for freedom in Crimea or Luhansk or Donetsk? Or the other Russophone areas? It’s really not so clear cut.

    Yes it is. The Russian simps in those areas are dining above the bones of millions of starved Ukrainians, whom they replaced.

    As if we aren’t doing the equivalent in Australia and North America.

    They are Stalin’s transplants. There’s a lot of Russia for them to return to.

    Zafar, you may make me a Uke nationalist yet.

    I think you’ve bought the bridge, congratulations.

    Reparations for our Neanderthal cousins next?

    Just be consistent.

    • #64
  5. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Zafar (View Comment):

    BDB (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    BDB (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Are the Ukrainians fighting for freedom in Crimea or Luhansk or Donetsk? Or the other Russophone areas? It’s really not so clear cut.

    Yes it is. The Russian simps in those areas are dining above the bones of millions of starved Ukrainians, whom they replaced.

    As if we aren’t doing the equivalent in Australia and North America.

    They are Stalin’s transplants. There’s a lot of Russia for them to return to.

    Zafar, you may make me a Uke nationalist yet.

    I think you’ve bought the bridge, congratulations.

    Reparations for our Neanderthal cousins next?

    Just be consistent.

    I support my friends and the rest can drop dead.  Consistently.

    • #65
  6. ToryWarWriter Reagan
    ToryWarWriter
    @ToryWarWriter

    Im going to try and be polite about this.  But this entire post is Maximum Copium.

    The referendums have been planned for months.  For the legalistic Russians, it will mean that those territories will be part of Continental Russia.  Like Continental USA.  Which means when the ‘Ukrainian Himars’ next attack civilians in Donestk, it will be considered an attack on Russia and giving the Russians all the reasons to expand the war and strike with the same force that the USA would do if someone bombed Tampa.

    The mobilization itself of 300 000 reservists, immediately said to me Occupation Army.  Remember the amount of territory that those few ‘Ukrainian counties’ is, is as big as the entire country of the United Kingdom.  That sounds pretty impressive.  I was there a few weeks ago.  Remember when Colin Powell said in order to occupy Iraq the US would need an army of 500 000.  I do. 

    Ukraine occupied a bunch of cow fields.  The Russians were in fact evacuating the cow fields when the Ukrainians attacked a thousand-man garrison with 10000 men.  The Ukrainians by all measures lost 2000 dead attacking, gaining those cow fields.  I don’t mean to disparage them it was the first victory they have had since Kiev, but still. 

    Also, the UKA got that army by stripping out the garrison at Bakhmut.  Which is apparently the lynchpin and headquarters of their army in the south.  The Russians captured the city center of Bakhmut yesterday.  Do you think that was a fair trade?  Cowfields or your lynchpin.  I don’t know about you but I know what I would have been defending.

    Read the choke point stuff I get what the writer is saying.  Kind of irrelevant.  Ukraine is not and has never been a choke point.  Its more a black hole for the west, where we pour in our hopes, and dreams and there is always something more.  It’s a money pit.  You know like Afghanistan.  Which we lost just a while ago.  Hmm.  Could we have traded one money pit for another for the Military Industrial complex?  Let me check my Raytheon stock…

    The Russians have learned the lessons of their adventure of Afghanistan and the US/UK failure of Iraq.  Defeat and destroy the opposing army in the field.  That way they cant form a resistance.  In the initial 79 invasion the Russians were busy occupying Kabul, while the Afghan army mutinied and fled with all their equipment into the hills.  The USA/UK ordered the Iraqi army to disband, before they took that equipment.  Thus, we had a resistance.  The Russians are just destroying the Ukrainian army.  Cant have much of a resistance when all your fighting age males are dead or crippled, just ask the Germans around 1945.

    The concluding paragraphs are massive copium that reminds me of twitter posts.

    Here’s a question for the author.   How is your country going to make it through this winter?  Do you expect to have enough food?  I keep reading about how 75000 people are refusing to pay their energy bills.  That 1 in 7 pensioners are choosing to eat or heat their homes this winter?  That you’re cutting the army by another ten thousand soldiers. 

    I really wish I had your optimism.  But I live in the real world.  Where Russia is about to have a golden age, while Europe is going to be Palestine. 

    Sigh…Russia has conscription already.  600 thousand Russians willingly do their call ups every year. 

    I think Putin is very comfortable putting guns in the hands of Russians.  He has plenty of videos of Ukrainians torturing Russian soldiers on RT everyday, while showing clips of Lindsay Graham talking about carving up his country.  Or Liz Truss threatening to nuke his people.  That’s plenty of motivation.

    As to the USA, from Sonar21s blog.

     

    The Army’s second-in-command for all things training said Thursday that the service saw a 10% drop in aptitude test scores during the pandemic, and that dipped further to 13% this year. Other Army data showed that up to 70% of potential recruits interested in Army service are disqualified in the first 48 hours due to obesity, low test scores or drug use.

    Previously, that disqualification rate was between 30-40%.

    The challenges are big — more of the recruits can’t meet weight standards or academic standards, more are using illegal drugs or military-banned substances such as cannabis, and few know much about the Army. And what they do know isn’t flattering.

    The Army will not meet its end strength goal for this fiscal year, which ends this month.

    https://www.armytimes.com/news/2022/09/15/test-scores-drop-disqualification-rates-rise-at-army-recruiting-shops/?SToverlay=2002c2d9-c344-4bbb-8610-e5794efcfa7d

    I am sure this terrifies the Russians. What is more dangerous than a bunch of weapon toting fat men and women addicted to drugs? I am certain that Russian military planners are struggling to figure out how to deal with a NATO army that caters to the unintelligent, the obese, the sexually confused who are hooked on drugs. I bet those subjects were not covered in Russia’s War College.

     

    • #66
  7. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):

    Im going to try and be polite about this. But this entire post is Maximum Copium.

    Typical.  And it’s just as well you didn’t understand what I meant about choke points.

    • #67
  8. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    BDB (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    BDB (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    BDB (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Are the Ukrainians fighting for freedom in Crimea or Luhansk or Donetsk? Or the other Russophone areas? It’s really not so clear cut.

    Yes it is. The Russian simps in those areas are dining above the bones of millions of starved Ukrainians, whom they replaced.

    As if we aren’t doing the equivalent in Australia and North America.

    They are Stalin’s transplants. There’s a lot of Russia for them to return to.

    Zafar, you may make me a Uke nationalist yet.

    I think you’ve bought the bridge, congratulations.

    Reparations for our Neanderthal cousins next?

    Just be consistent.

    I support my friends and the rest can drop dead. Consistently.

    • #68
  9. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Zafar (View Comment):

    BDB (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    BDB (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    BDB (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Are the Ukrainians fighting for freedom in Crimea or Luhansk or Donetsk? Or the other Russophone areas? It’s really not so clear cut.

    Yes it is. The Russian simps in those areas are dining above the bones of millions of starved Ukrainians, whom they replaced.

    As if we aren’t doing the equivalent in Australia and North America.

    They are Stalin’s transplants. There’s a lot of Russia for them to return to.

    Zafar, you may make me a Uke nationalist yet.

    I think you’ve bought the bridge, congratulations.

    Reparations for our Neanderthal cousins next?

    Just be consistent.

    I support my friends and the rest can drop dead. Consistently.

    This is surely the best comment in the thread.

    • #69
  10. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    There is a difference between Russian reservists and reservists in the US, Finland, and other western countries. The Oregon Air Guard in Portland has about 27 F-15’s. Klamath Falls in the southern part of the state trains F-15 pilots from Air Guard units across the United States. They take part in military exercises in Europe with any number of NATO nations. This does not count the exercises with active-duty Navy and Air Force pilots in the US. They fly on a regular basis.

    This does not count the Blackhawk pilots, C-130 pilots, and artillery units in Oregon who train on a regular basis. 

    The Oregon Air Guard is responsible for air interdiction missions from the Canadian border to northern California.

    Russia’s call-up of 300,000 reservists will be made up of former conscripts that have had one to two years of military experience, and no more than that. They do not have an active reserve that trains once a month, and two weeks of summer training like the US. They will be cannon fodder. 

    • #70
  11. Locke On Member
    Locke On
    @LockeOn

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):

    Im going to try and be polite about this. But this entire post is Maximum Copium.

    The referendums have been planned for months. For the legalistic Russians, it will mean that those territories will be part of Continental Russia. Like Continental USA. Which means when the ‘Ukrainian Himars’ next attack civilians in Donestk, it will be considered an attack on Russia and giving the Russians all the reasons to expand the war and strike with the same force that the USA would do if someone bombed Tampa.

    You’ve been parroting the Kremlin line since before the start of the war. How’s that working out for your credibility?  Oh, yeah, the ‘planned’ fallback from Kyiv after squandering the Russian elite formations. The ‘planned’ rout out of Kharkiv oblast leaving behind multiple brigades worth functioning equipment and ammo supplies for the Ukes. And rather than taking Bakhmut, yesterday the Russian troops were driven further away from it. Who is it that’s inhaling copium in mass quantities again? Even Girkin has the honesty to fess up when things aren’t going right, but you can’t manage that.

    Russian laying claim to places like Kherson makes as much sense as the US claiming Jamaica or Puerto Vallarta because they are regular overrun with our people – except we come with money instead of guns and torture, of course. Russia has shot through its inventory of smart weapons and is down to buying them from Iran. Now Putin rattles his nuclear saber again, which jeopardizes the existence of his country.

     

    • #71
  12. DonG (CAGW is a Scam) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Scam)
    @DonG

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):
    Other Army data showed that up to 70% of potential recruits interested in Army service are disqualified in the first 48 hours due to obesity, low test scores or drug use.

    This is easily fixable by changing the criteria for qualification.   Forget physical ability, measure pronoun use and the use of woke signaling on social media profiles.   I am sure Gen. Milley can 90% when the criteria are updated.

    • #72
  13. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):
    I really wish I had your optimism.  But I live in the real world.  Where Russia is about to have a golden age, while Europe is going to be Palestine. 

    I can envision different outcomes for Russia but a “golden age”?  A negative birth rate, not even in the top 50 in GDP per capita, and largely incapable of a rapid economic takeoff because of corruption and the complete absence of a solid civil law tradition.  A puppet of China?  A pale almost-democracy after the riots that will oust Putin?  

     

    • #73
  14. DonG (CAGW is a Scam) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Scam)
    @DonG

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):
    I really wish I had your optimism. But I live in the real world. Where Russia is about to have a golden age, while Europe is going to be Palestine.

    I can envision different outcomes for Russia but a “golden age”? A negative birth rate, not even in the top 50 in GDP per capita, and largely incapable of a rapid economic takeoff because of corruption and the complete absence of a solid civil law tradition. A puppet of China? A pale almost-democracy after the riots that will oust Putin?

     

    I guess “golden age” is all relative.   Nobody is going to have a golden age until the eco-commie movement is destroyed.

    • #74
  15. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):
    I really wish I had your optimism. But I live in the real world. Where Russia is about to have a golden age, while Europe is going to be Palestine.

    I can envision different outcomes for Russia but a “golden age”? A negative birth rate, not even in the top 50 in GDP per capita, and largely incapable of a rapid economic takeoff because of corruption and the complete absence of a solid civil law tradition. A puppet of China? A pale almost-democracy after the riots that will oust Putin?

     

    A golden age of the sort being brought to us by Biden,  where the government opponents are in prison, or have been shot on the streets, or have jumped out of upper story windows. 

    • #75
  16. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    I can envision different outcomes for Russia but a “golden age”?  A negative birth rate, not even in the top 50 in GDP per capita, and largely incapable of a rapid economic takeoff because of corruption and the complete absence of a solid civil law tradition.  A puppet of China?  A pale almost-democracy after the riots that will oust Putin?  

     

    A negative birth rate? Do you mean below replacement birth rate? While that’s true, few countries have above-replacement birth rates. https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/RUS/russia/fertility-rate#:~:text=The%20current%20fertility%20rate%20for,a%200.05%25%20increase%20from%202021.

    Here’s Russia’s growth rate. https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/RUS/russia/gdp-growth-rate

    Considering Russian prices are 1/2 to 1/3 of what American prices are, beware.

    A puppet of China? Try, a puppet of no one. That’s a large part of the problem with the US.

    A pale-almost democracy? Russia has never been a democracy. 

    As for riots ousting Putin, that is a western (or American) wet dream. But frankly, it has no basis. Putin is popular. Far more popular than Biden. It’s a regular lie in the western press that Putin is unpopular and about the be ousted by the people, oligarchs, or whoever. Unlikely. Russians remember the 1990s. Putin brought them out of that. What lies ahead after Putin is the great uncertainty, but we have no idea what they will be. And I certainly wouldn’t believe ANYTHING the American press parroting American government officials would have to say about this. 

    • #76
  17. DonG (CAGW is a Scam) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Scam)
    @DonG

    Hang On (View Comment):
    Putin is popular. Far more popular than Biden.

    That is a low bar. 

    • #77
  18. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):
    Europe is going to be Palestine

    Yeeks.  That’s pessimistic.

    • #78
  19. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Hang On (View Comment):
    As for riots ousting Putin, that is a western (or American) wet dream. But frankly, it has no basis. Putin is popular. Far more popular than Biden. It’s a regular lie in the western press that Putin is unpopular and about the be ousted by the people, oligarchs, or whoever. Unlikely. Russians remember the 1990s. Putin brought them out of that.

    It’s a mistake to claim that autocrats cannot be popular and authoritarian at the same time.

    Wrt these referendums, two things:

    1 They are to move the needle of public opinion in Russia, to support further mobilisation etc.  It’s one thing to fight to defend the DPR or LPR.  It’s another thing to fight to protect Russia.

    2 It means that the only way for Ukraine to take back Crimea, Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, Kherson is militarily. (Duh, right?)  France etc. can say they don’t recognise the referendums today – but look at Morocco and Western Sahara.  Morocco occupied Western Sahara in 1975.  The US refused to recognise that as legitimate until they needed countries to sign onto the Abraham Accords – and voila, US recognises Morocco’s claim, Morocco grants Israel diplomatic recognition.  Same thing will happen with Russia and (let’s call it) Novorossiya.  The US won’t recognise it until it needs something from Russia, when a deal will be made.  (And sooner, if we’re speaking of the EU and Germany.)

    • #79
  20. Unsk Member
    Unsk
    @Unsk

    This war is careening from very Bad to much Worse. 

    Russia is starting these referendums  in four Ukrainian regions of which they will likely win overwhelmingly particularly since :

    A. These four areas have large ethnic Russian populations

    B. Ukraine, according to  most international observers, killed over 14,000 of these ethnic Russian prior to the War since 2014 in these provinces.  Would you vote to stay with a government that has killed that many of your people?

    C. Our great hero Zelensky has threatened any Ukrainian citizen who votes in these referendums with a 5 year prison sentence. Gee that’s so smart! Now only pro-Russian voters will likely vote and once these regions become a part of Russia the population will then fight to the bitter end not to be a part of Ukraine again. 

    The battle lines are hardening quickly.  Negotiations which would have greatly benefited Ukraine are becoming further and further from reality. 

    Whether you think Ukraine has gained some military ground and can push Russia around or not, the reality is that  Russia will likely up the ante much more with their still considerable military and will fight even harder.  The truth may be that Russia will have difficulty raising  a huge number of effective troops, but on the other hand our military advisors also say that we too are running out of our military hardware and the support for this war in Europe is collapsing very quickly which could undermine NATO support.   Seven percent of the Czech Republic demonstrated all at once in downtown Prague the other day. The likely new Italian government is ready to say thumbs down  to the war because Italy has been wrecked by this war.  Greece and Spain are not far behind. 

    A long term stalemate is most likely, but one in which Russia fortifies these new regions with better armed bases against assault from NATO. Meanwhile the ugly consequences of this war continue on with more destruction, more death and an even greater destruction of the European economy and perhaps the EU itself, with some ugly consequences for America as well.  This war has destroyed the post Bretton Woods political, economic and trade architecture  in a way in which the entire world will likely really suffer for decades. 

    I really have difficulty imagining what a “victory” by Ukraine that so many of you want would mean.  First of all it is not  particularly bright to force a Russian Nuclear Bear into a corner.  Bad, very Bad  things would likely ensue. A nuclear exchange  which is not out of the realm of possibility  would be a disaster for all concerned.  There should be some real concerns for the consequences of a greater war but too many here just have not thought through how a greater war would affect the interests of American and the greater world. 

    • #80
  21. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Unsk (View Comment):

    This war is careening from very Bad to much Worse.

    Russia is starting these referendums in four Ukrainian regions of which they will likely win overwhelmingly particularly since :

    A. These four areas have large ethnic Russian populations

    B. Ukraine, according to most international observers, killed over 14,000 of these ethnic Russian prior to the War since 2014 in these provinces. Would you vote to stay with a government that has killed that many of your people?

    C. Our great hero Zelensky has threatened any Ukrainian citizen who votes in these referendums with a 5 year prison sentence. Gee that’s so smart! Now only pro-Russian voters will likely vote and once these regions become a part of Russia the population will then fight to the bitter end not to be a part of Ukraine again.

    The battle lines are hardening quickly. Negotiations which would have greatly benefited Ukraine are becoming further and further from reality.

    Whether you think Ukraine has gained some military ground and can push Russia around or not, the reality is that Russia will likely up the ante much more with their still considerable military and will fight even harder. The truth may be that Russia will have difficulty raising a huge number of effective troops, but on the other hand our military advisors also say that we too are running out of our military hardware and the support for this war in Europe is collapsing very quickly which could undermine NATO support. Seven percent of the Czech Republic demonstrated all at once in downtown Prague the other day. The likely new Italian government is ready to say thumbs down to the war because Italy has been wrecked by this war. Greece and Spain are not far behind.

    A long term stalemate is most likely, but one in which Russia fortifies these new regions with better armed bases against assault from NATO. Meanwhile the ugly consequences of this war continue on with more destruction, more death and an even greater destruction of the European economy and perhaps the EU itself, with some ugly consequences for America as well. This war has destroyed the post Bretton Woods political, economic and trade architecture in a way in which the entire world will likely really suffer for decades.

    I really have difficulty imagining what a “victory” by Ukraine that so many of you want would mean. First of all it is not particularly bright to force a Russian Nuclear Bear into a corner. Bad, very Bad things would likely ensue. A nuclear exchange which is not out of the realm of possibility would be a disaster for all concerned. There should be some real concerns for the consequences of a greater war but too many here just have not thought through how a greater war would affect the interests of American and the greater world.

    A nuclear exchange would be disastrous, no doubt about that.

    As a Trident II reenters the atmosphere at speeds of up to Mach 24, it splits into up to eight independent reentry vehicles, each with a 100- or 475-kiloton nuclear warhead. In short, a full salvo from an Ohio-class submarine—which can be launched in less than one minute—could unleash up to 192 nuclear warheads to wipe twenty-four cities off the map. This is a nightmarish weapon of the apocalypse.

    Putin can kiss his own rear-end goodbye. Xi of China, Kim of North Korea. and the Iranian Mullahs should understand this as well. If you want enriched uranium, it can be delivered at 32 feet per second per second at the time of our choosing.

    • #81
  22. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Unsk (View Comment):
    There should be some real concerns for the consequences of a greater war but too many here just have not thought through how a greater war would affect the interests of American and the greater world.

    Ditto with sanctions against Russia.

    Sanctions have become the ‘no cost to us’ go to tool for the West, and maybe it works that way against countries like Iran or Somalia.  Using them against Russia has been a different experience.

    • #82
  23. Unsk Member
    Unsk
    @Unsk

    Doug, are you serious?

    Sure a nuclear exchange would kill most of Russia  but also most of America as well.  Think about that for a moment. 

    You clowns are playing with fire and for what? What do you hope to achieve? We  had a very bad hand in Ukraine from the gitgo .  You don’t go to war with such a bad hand for it was never going to work out well for us, except it was great for the WEF  and their lackeys Senile Joe and Boris all of which who wanted to bring Europe and then America to it’s knees  to create pre-revolutionary chaos and boy has that worked out well for them.  So how’s it feel carrying water for Klaus Schwab and Georgie Soros?

    • #83
  24. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Unsk (View Comment):
     So how’s it feel carrying water for Klaus Schwab and Georgie Soros?

    Well, I’m no expert, but I figure it feels about like carrying water for Putin and Xi.

    • #84
  25. Unsk Member
    Unsk
    @Unsk

     

    Excerpted from Zerohedge and “Conditioned for War with Russia’ by Ray McGovern:

    “Most Americans are oblivious to the reality that Western media are owned and operated by the same corporations that make massive profits by helping to stoke small wars and then peddling the necessary weapons. Corporate leaders and Ivy-mantled elites, educated to believe in U.S. “exceptionalism,” find the lucre and the luster too lucrative to be able to think straight. They deceive themselves into thinking that (a) the U.S. cannot lose a war; (b) escalation can be calibrated and wider war can be limited to Europe; and (c) China can be expected to just sit on the sidelines. The attitude, consciously or unconsciously, “Not to worry. And, in any case, the lucre and luster are worth the risk.”

    “Absent a miraculous appearance of clearer heads with a less benighted attitude toward the core interests of Russia in Ukraine, and China in Taiwan, historians who survive to record the war now on our doorstep will describe it as the result of hubris and stupidity run amok.”

    Thanks to U.S. media, a very small percentage of Americans know that:

    • Fourteen years ago, then U.S. Ambassador to Russia (current C.I.A. Director) William Burns was warned by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that Russia might have to intervene in Ukraine, if it were made a member of NATO. The subject line of Burns’ Feb. 1, 2008, Embassy Moscow cable (#182) to Washington makes it clear that Burns did not mince Lavrov’s words. It stated: “Nyet means nyet: Russia’s NATO enlargement redlines.” Thus, Washington policymakers were given forewarning, in very specific terms, of Russia’s redline regarding membership for Ukraine in NATO. Nevertheless, on April 3, 2008, a NATO summit in Bucharest asserted: “NATO welcomes Ukraine’s and Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations for membership in NATO. We agreed today that these countries will become members of NATO.”
    • Eight years ago, on Feb. 22, 2014, the U.S. orchestrated a coup in Kiev — rightly labeled “the most blatant coup in history,” insofar as it had already been blown on YouTube 18 days prior. Kiev’s spanking new leaders, handpicked and identified by name by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland in the YouTube-publicized conversation with the U.S. ambassador in Kiev, immediately called for Ukraine to join NATO.
    • Six years ago, in June 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin told Western reporters of his concern that so-called antiballistic missiles sites in Romania and Poland could be converted overnight to accommodate offensive strike missiles posing a threat to Russia’s own nuclear forces. (See this unique video, with English subtitles, from minute 37 to 49.) There is a direct analogy with the 1962 Cuban missile crisis when Moscow put offensive strike missiles in Cuba and President John Kennedy reacted strongly to the existential threat that posed to the U.S.”
    • continued on the next post
    • #85
  26. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    • #86
  27. Unsk Member
    Unsk
    @Unsk

     

    continued from previous post:

    • “On Dec. 21, 2021, Putin told his most senior military leaders: “It is extremely alarming that elements of the U.S. global defense system are being deployed near Russia. The Mk 41 launchers, which are located in Romania and are to be deployed in Poland, are adapted for launching the Tomahawk strike missiles. If this infrastructure continues to move forward, and if S. and NATO missile systems are deployed in Ukraine, their flight time to Moscow will be only seven to 10 minutes, or even five minutes for hypersonic systems. This is a huge challenge for us, for our security.” [Emphasis added.]
    • On Dec. 30, 2021, Biden and Putin talked by phone at Putin’s urgent request. The Kremlin readoutstated: “Joseph Biden emphasized that Russia and the U.S. shared a special responsibility for ensuring stability in Europe and the whole world and that Washington had no intention of deploying offensive strike weapons in Ukraine.” Yuri Ushakov, a top foreign policy adviser to Putin, pointed out that this was also one of the goals Moscow hoped to achieve with its proposals for security guarantees to the U.S. and NATO. [Emphasis added.]
    • On Feb. 12, Ushakov briefedthe media on the telephone conversation between Putin and Biden earlier that day. “The call was as a follow-up of sorts to the … December 30 telephone conversation. … The Russian President made clear that President Biden’s proposals did not really address the central, key elements of Russia’s initiatives either with regards to non-expansion of NATO, or non-deployment of strike weapons systems on Ukrainian territory … To these items, we have received no meaningful response.” [Emphasis added.]
    • On Feb. 24, Russia invaded Ukraine.”
    • “Unprovoked?

      The U.S. insists that Russia’s invasion was “unprovoked.” Establishment media dutifully regurgitate that line, while keeping Americans in the dark about such facts (not opinion) as are outlined (and sourced) above. Most Americans are just as taken in by the media as they were 20 years ago, when they were told there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. They simply took it on faith. Nor did the guilty media express remorse — or a modicum of embarrassment.”

    • “It’s worse now. Russia is not Iraq. And Putin has been so demonized over the past six years that people are inclined to believe the likes of James Clapper to the effect there’s something genetic that makes Russians evil. “Russia-gate” was a big con (and, now, demonstrably so), but Americans don’t know that either. The consequences of prolonged demonization are extremely dangerous – and will become even more so in the next several weeks as politicians vie to be the strongest in opposing and countering Russia’s “unprovoked” attack on Ukraine.”

      “Humorist Will Rogers had it right: “The problem ain’t what people know. It’s what people know that ain’t so; that’s the problem.”

    •  
    • #87
  28. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Sorry, I’m not going to live in fear of some little Russian man that has dreams of granduer.

    • #88
  29. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    BDB (View Comment):

    • #89
  30. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Zerohedge makes Alex Jones look like Edwin R. Murrow.

    • #90
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