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27 February 2014

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William R. Cumming

Highly accurate comment with which I agree.

Matthew

Kunari: thanks for the pop psychology.

I imagine that few Ukrainians will be willing to fight and die for the US/EU chosen oligarchs either.

Matthew

Thomas:

Saker's analysis is convincing. The Ukrainians clearly want a better life and can see that in the EU lifestyle. But since the EU cannot afford 5 million Ukrainian economic migrants, the EU will need to impose a "shock doctrine" on the country.

CK

They would pay the penalty of being demonized by the regnant hostile intellectual minority in the US. Now on the upside, should the Russ successfully reintegrate Ukraine, the A-10 program would not be cut from the defense department budget. Russian success means more money for the MIC, Russian failure means more money for MIC to fight the next Japanese inspired war against the World's Creditor China. It's a win win.

CK

I believe you have successfully restated the German opinion of the Russ just before June 22, 1941. Dumb kulaks will never fight for mother Russia because Robin Williams finds the idea funny.
So many peasants so few patriots? The oligarchs are mostly in the UK and the US owning sports franchises and wintering in Gstaad.

CK

To ask is to answer.

rkka

"2. During a summer of tit-for-tat provocations, Russia invaded Georgian territory only in direct response to Georgian military action. The destruction wrought by the operation seems in retrospect to have been well calculated and proportional to Russia's political objectives - "

Precisely. This was an example of a well-considered military operation for clearly achievable political goals, of the sort the good Colonel got upset at me for pointing out that a couple generations of blinkered, clueless US presidents have failed to achieve, largely because of our brainless drooling over sexy hardware.

CK

There is only one back that any dual national neo-con will ever have and that is Israel's. The rest is smoke, mirrors, lies and bad theatre.
There will never be a Kagan or that ilk in the front lines of Ukrainian absorption into the EU.

CK

Once upon a time, there was the Holodomor.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor
Most of the West has never heard of it; it was the trial run for the Shoah. So 8 or 9 months from now, natural gas will be necessary for Ukraine winter ( bupkis would be a high estimate of Ukrainian energy resources) . I am sure, beyond a shadow of doubt, that the US neo-cons and Obama-cons will ship the gas from the Bakken and the Marcellus to Kiev on the US taxpayer's dime and against the US citizens needs for energy to prevent another Trotskyite mass murder of Ukrainians.
On the other hand, given the treatment of the Ukrainians during WWII by the Germans, maybe the Ukrainians will welcome their new German overlords. I so love foreign affairs.

turcopolier

rkka

"the sort the good Colonel got upset at me for pointing out" You will have to remind me. pl

turcopolier

All

"Russian peasant soldiers?" "Decrepit?" 'Tactical nuclear weapons?" Some of you seem to be living in another era. First - time moves on and forces change and evolve. Second - The Russian Army is nearing the end of a process of re-reorganization that closely resembles that of the US Army. Their forces now are now manned 70% by volunteers. The equipment is new and there is a lot of it. Third - the only function of nuclear weapons in a US/Russian crisis is at the strategic level where Russian capabilities cancel out those of the use - not for use but rather for projection of a threat. pl

turcopolier

WRC

Defense budgets are not a sufficient way to judge military capabilities. Nevertheless, by your figures Russian budgets are greater than any of our allies. pl

turcopolier

jonst

Exquisite. I think her best role was in 'Coconuts." I suppose that you would have to explain to Mika B who MD was. pl

Matthew

WRC: The Saudi numbers are stunning. How can the Kingdom spend that much money but be incapable of defending themselves?

Matthew

CK: Why do the Russians need to commit mass murder? Ukraine, the Argentina of the East, may be simply ungovernable. Their government is a revolving door of gangsters with different patrons.

Matthew

Col: I suspect that the Russians don't need to spend as much on their military because their international commitments are substantially less. Aren't we the only power whose force levels are supposed to be adequate for two simultaneous wars?

Matthew

jonst: Best exchange--

Dumont: Oh, I'm afraid after we're married a while a beautiful young girl will come along and you'll forget all about me.

Groucho: Don't be silly. I'll write you twice a week.

See id.

different clue

Even if rather few Russian soldiers would die for a foreign land or cause, if they consider Crimea and maybe adjacent East Ukraine to be Russian or nearly Russian land then they would be willing to die and kill for it.

kao_hsien_chih

I think a vast proportion of US military budget goes towards expeditionary and force projection capabilities across oceans, especially the navy and the strategic air capabilities (including transports). My understanding (very limited) is that no other country can match that.

But, with regards Ukraine, Russians are not talking about long distance expeditions. Kiev is only 500 miles from Moscow. It should not be difficult for Russians to pour in tens of thousands in fairly short order, if they decide to do so. Location, not just overall military expenditure, matters.

turcopolier

Matthew

Our defense expenditures are an outlier caused by our insistence on assuming imperial missions abroad. The Chinese expenditures are also outliers caused by remarkable growth in their navy and air force. pl

nick b

WRC,

Not that it changes the proportions that much, but I believe $150+ billion of the US number is for the VA, DHS, DOE, DOJ and construction.

turcopolier

All

In the background in this discussion of a possible Russian intervention is the mistaken belief that what are called conventional forces have been supplanted in importance by SOF. As Basilisk pointed out, sometimes what is needed is hard hitting conventional air and ground military forces. pl

Medicine Man

One of Col. Lang's previous threads on this subject included a slide that had an estimate of Russia's total military personnel. The estimate was one million personnel and 220 thousand officers.

Under the circumstances you would think that sabre rattling would be reserved for issues of obvious national interest or to head off such issues down the road, but apparently common sense is not so common.

William R. Cumming

There are currently about 30M residents and citizens of S.A. The Royal Family even stretching
kinship under 20,000! I discern the Saudi National Guard a loyal and credible source for the Royals.

Over 5-10 million non-Arab guest workers!

The Saudi Royal family riding the proverbial tiger?

Even more disturbing many Saudi women insisting on learning how to drive?

William R. Cumming

Actually PL agree with you because currency exchange rates make a fiction of the wiki list I posted. With the Ruble at its lowest level ever Russia probably would not make the top ten.

And as most know nuclear weapons deteriorate over time. Yes even the US arsenal. Tritium has a shelf life. Maintaining a nuclear arsenal may make trying to use economics a farce in managing modern economic life where any of the nuclear priesthood rules.

And why is Obama visiting SA? If the Saudis decide against the dollar [even as part of a basket of currencies] the US economy is finished. And so may China's economy!

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