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27 February 2014

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William R. Cumming

Was not the Georgia intervention by Russia skillful employment of Combined Arms?

VietnamVet

WRC

50% of the DOD budget is for military contractors. The problem the American Empire is that besides military officers needing war to get promoted, there are all the contractors and their paid politicians who are pushing for war in order to be paid. On top of this, are the vulture capitalists on Wall Street seeking chaos to implement shock capitalism. Not to mention, true believers seeking paradise and the End of Days.

In other words, Ukraine is ripe for plucking. But, a war with Russia is like closing the Straits of Hormuz, it is sure to crash the Western Economy and crush the Oligarchs. Most likely Ukraine will be another Mash-Up with millions suffering starvation, lawlessness and mob rule while they are looted.

We are living the Last Days. Empires have to win wars and bring law and order (peace) to survive.

Fred

Rick.
Obama can send the Power, Rice and Nuland brigades, armed with this administration's favorite weapon - the jawbone. They will certainly never run out of recruits.

Fred

Matthew,
You mean the EU is going to screw 5 million Ukrainians the same way they did to the Greeks?

nick b

The Ukrainians might want to ask their Cyrillic language brethren in Greece how it feels to be bailed out by the EU. The Greeks and the EU had to do it, as the Euro banks held too much Greek debt (among the other PIGs) and default would have destroyed their capital base, and the Euro banking system with it.
The largest holders of Ukrainian debt are believed to be Russian banks Sberbank and VTS. The Russian government is the majority stake holder, or outright owner of both. Any EU bailout of the Ukraine is essentially a bail out of these Russian banks. This is something that the Russian govt must realize. Complicating things is the fact that a decent portion of Ukrainian debt is dollar or euro denominated. The Ukrainians have been burning their foreign reserves propping up the hryvnia in the open market. The Russians have been doing the same for the ruble. Neither country can afford this default without economic consequences in terms of balance sheet and future borrowing cost. Further, Russian investment in the Ukraine is quite large. Russian companies, some state owned, hold big market share in the Ukrainian oil, mobile telephone, and retail gasoline markets among others. From an economic standpoint, it might make sense for the Russians to hold back and wait for a western bailout. Once the Ukrainians have had a good taste of EU austerity they may not be quite so enamored with the "EU lifestyle". At that point it would make sense for the Russians to make their move. They might be able end up economically in tact (or not hurt so badly) and keep the Ukraine in their orbit.

As an aside, check your retirement accounts for holdings of Franklin Templeton global bond fund. If you own it, you have Ukrainian bond exposure too.

phil cattar

In a word, Syria.Russia may have most of the good cards in the Ukraine but we have many cards in the area of Syria that we could play to make Putin think twice about any bold actions.BTW I live very close to Ft Desoto Park.Great place.

Charles I

$70 billion out of the country in the last ten years according to the evening news.

Charles I

Who cares about Kiev? Wait for the Crimea to fall from the rotten bough and tell the Tatars they can move west from the new country.

greg0

Luck has it that Cocoanuts is playing all season in Ashland, OR at OSF. http://www.osfashland.org/en/productions/2014-plays/the-cocoanuts.aspx
BTW, thanks for the insightful Ukraine related comments. It's a big world out there, and the MSM doesn't do it justice.

rjj

Is there any way Antonov could come up for grabs as a result of all this?

jonst

Can someone point me to good, or at least, reasonable, material on why Nikita K 'returned' Crimea to Ukrainian 'control' in 1954? Or, anyone care to speculate?

Fred

All,
It looks like the President of Ukraine hasn't resigned after all.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/01/world/europe/russia-ukraine.html

Returning to the liberal's favorite leaker, Mr. Snowden. Just what documents related to the funding of the Ukrainian opposition might he have stolen before fleeing to Russia? Just curious to see if Russia already knows who knew what and when they knew it in regards to this 'revolution' (at least up to the time Snowden fled).

Alba Etie

All
MSM is reporting Russian forces have seized airports in Crimea.Perhaps the partition of Ukraine has started .Yep lets have Ms Nuland/Kagan jack around in Russia's Near Abroad - what could possible go wrong ?

bth

Q1: How much of Russia's available military resources are required to cleave and hold the Crimea? Has it been sealed off now by land, sea and air?

Q2: A long-term economically viable Ukraine would seem in all parties' interest. This would depend on natural gas access, freely flowing sabotage free pipelines across the Ukraine to the EU, a Ukrainian customer able to pay most of its gas bills. That would mean keeping the industrial base of the eastern Ukraine intact, in commercial intercourse with Russia and in the Ukraine.
Is this a military option for Russia or is it an outcome only achievable by all parties through diplomacy and threat of military action?
It is one thing to send in a couple hundred forces in new unmarked uniforms to hold two airports and some government buildings in the Crimea, it is another to take and hold the eastern Ukraine by force.

Q3: What is the status of the Ukrainian military and intelligence service? Crimea, excluded, can it/will it hold ground in the eastern Ukraine?

505thPIR

NK was the communist party boss in the Ukraine during WW 2. I am sure the move finds its genesis there.

oofda

I went to a CSIS seminar last eventing : it was titled "Journalist Roundtable:National Security & Foreign Policy Flash Points". Headed by Bob Scheiffer, it had David Gregory, Jake Tapper and the CBS correpondent for the State Dept. The first item discussed was Ukraine, and they all had the same group-think- expressing comments like "Putin is poking his finger in the US' eye" and "Putin is on a power grab." No recognition of the import Russia places on the region, especially the Crimea. And these are the media people that help form US public opinion.

Jonst- this piece gives some insight into the 'gifting' of Crimea to Ukraine. It appears to have been the brainchild of Nikita Sergeyevich and the Russians don't know the exact reasons.
http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2014/02/27/283481587/crimea-a-gift-to-ukraine-becomes-a-political-flash-point

LeaNder

Yellow Hordes

I love this Babak, maybe since I never did really look into the larger paranoia scenario in this context, but I am vaguely aware of it.

turcopolier

GregO

Many years ago there was a stage musical production of the Cocoanuts at Washington's Arena Stage. It was magical, better than the Marx Brothers film. It was so good that it was held over for three months after it was supposed to go off the boards. So far as I know this production was not filmed. What a shame! pl

Babak Makkinejad

I think Russia will intervene by any means necessary to prevent Ukraine joining NATO.

This is analogous to the situation in Taiwan; if Taiwan declares independence, China will invade Taiwan.

LeaNder

Thomas, so the Yellow Hordes don't matter that much anymore. I agree, I would put them in the second to last century from Russia's perspective, but I may be wrong. But Petrograd group? Are the headquarters of any prominent oil or gas enterprise based in St. Petersburg/Petrograd/Leningrad. I would put both Grazprom and Lukoil more in or at least close to Moskau. So what exactly do you have in mind with the "Petrograd Group"?

In any case this "curious nitwit" is more wondering if this is not some type of "cold war" revival which may explain b's fast take on matter.

But I also wonder about William R. Cummings suggestion of German financier's special interest. Any one in particular?

LeaNder

Fred, I somewhat are on Thomas side in other words I am never quite sure what he could do if there weren't strong counter forces. Much less sure by the way then I am sure what, if he were given a more free reign, what the outcome would be. ;)

Babak Makkinejad

All:

From Stratfor -

http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/ukraine-turns-revolution-recovery

Joe100

All -

Some most interesting views of last night's events in Crimea from Saker:

http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/2014/02/what-really-happened-overnight-in-crimea.html

It appears that some real professionals were involved. Curious what TTG and others with relevant experience think of this?


Charles I

Speaking of the delusional, here's Charlie K indulging, as usual in a . . . folie a un, one might say, over the sheer indignity of it all. He suggests "a naval flotilla to the Black Sea". It is not clear whether the bombing should begin in five minutes or economic prowess alone will suffice to redeem the shame.


Charles Krauthammer: American inaction leaves Ukraine naked to Russian intervention

Whether anything Obama says or does would stop anyone remains questionable. But surely the West has more financial clout than Russia's kleptocratic extraction economy that exports little but oil, gas and vodka

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/02/28/charles-krauthammer-american-inaction-leaves-ukraine-naked-to-russian-intervention/

jonst

Forgive me 505th for asking a question, and then mildly, and respectfully, disagreeing with the proffered answer. That is bad form on my part. But I am dubious about your suggestion....most of the time, especially back in 54, K et al, based decisions on what was happening, or not happening, in the Politburo.., and deadly back alleys of Party Politics.

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