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06 March 2014

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turcopolier

walrus

You are down in Melbourne on the beach. My wife and I have had good lives. we would not even see the flash. pl

The Twisted Genius

All,

Another few steps on the ladder:

The Pentagon plans to send six additional F-15 fighter jets, and a Boeing KC-135 refueling Stratotanker, to beef up the squadron of four F-15 currently flying air patrols over the Baltic states. These fighters will be flying out of Šiauliai Air Base in Lithuania. Sure, demonstrate to the Russians exactly why we want to move NATO into Ukraine.

The USS Truxtun, a U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer, is heading to the Black Sea. The Navy says this is a preplanned deployment, which is plausible. Why not just stop for a port call in Istanbul?

The Pentagon signaled it will conduct an unplanned military exercise in Poland. This is a direct response to the Ukrainian crisis. This is after we screamed bloody murder over the Russian military exercises.

Do our leaders really think this will change Putin's mind or the minds of the people of Crimea? These pompous ignoramuses are risking war just to hurl schoolyard insults and convince themselves they're a bunch of Billy bad asses. Colonel Lang, you are right. We won't even see the flash.

toto

I thought Obama had made it clear that he has no interest in staying in Afghanistan. Karzai's refusal of an immunity agreement may well provide a convenient pretext for a withdrawal that he was wishing for anyway.

OTOH Russia has plenty of ways to make life difficult for the US - not to mention the Europeans!

toto

Pretty sure you have the wrong link...

The actual piece is easy to find by googling the extracts you provide, but I'll be damned if I give the link myself.

turcopolier

TTG

Yes, it may well be "on." The Russian SIOP is unknown to me but the Soviet Red SIOP called for something like 2 10 megaton weapons in a low air burst over DC. The redundancy was to compensate for CEP. The estimate was for something like 25 to 40 million dead on each side. You would not want to survive the attack. I was at the USAWC in 1984 where the Army general staff was to be re-created as we tried to re-establish control. I was slated to be the head of CI for CONUS. I take this shit seriously and I have not told you the worst about government survival plans. pl

Mark Kolmar

Gentlemen, U.S. and allies pay <3% down and almost 0% interest on Putin's reality adjustment of rental property. So what? Ceremonial barking.

Next steps from Russian side toward the same direction would be new, difficult questions.

toto

Putin will not invade Western Ukraine because the cost/benefit just isn't there. The Europeans would go for broke, take the pain and cut economic relations - and he needs their money at least as much as they need his gas. The Balts would ask for NATO (read:American) bases, and would probably get them.

And for what? Who cares what the peasants in Lviv do, as long as they don't join NATO? And they obviously won't, as long as the East remains part of Ukraine: even if Kievans asked for it, there's no way NATO would accept to set up bases in a country with Russian-dominated areas.

That last point is also a very good reason *not* to take over Eastern Ukraine. Ukraine with the East is a sick, ungovernable country, with a direct channel for Russian influence, that will never join NATO and may even be prevented from joining the EU. Ukraine without the East is a unified, hostile country that will inevitably join the EU and ask for NATO bases all along its border - and will probably get them.

By and large, IMO, the perpetual destabilization from keeping the East within Ukraine has both a lower cost and a larger benefit than acquiring Eastern Ukraine outright.

As for Crimea, neither the US nor the EU will take any really painful action on Crimea alone. They're (mostly) Russians, we get it. We'll mumble, groan, and then eventually find something else to groan and mumble about.

If the above is roughly correct, the "hot" phase of the situation is behind us. The new normal has been reached.

nick b

Col.,
In early 1980s when I was in high school, my family hosted a professor from the Soviet Union, through the American Field Service (AFS). It was a great experience. I remember quite clearly discussing the possibility of nuclear war. What he told me was that WW2 was unbelievably horrific for the Soviets. He said there was no one who did not lose a relative or loved one to the war, including himself. It was his feeling that because of horrors of WW2, antiwar sentiment among the people of the Soviet Union was so strong, that nuclear war would never happen. As a young man, I took great comfort in this. Has so much time passed that this may have changed? Was it ever true?
Gennadi kept in touch with my parents for almost twenty years after.

turcopolier

nick Gennadi was not in charge. pl

georgeg

Nevil Shute.....

John Minnerath

The drums in the distance beat louder. The Russians sink a ship to blockade a harbor, words like "a diplomatic solution" are bandied about and violations of sovereignty.
Wars have been started with less saber rattling. We've seen these same mindsets lead us to the brink before.
Too few people today realize how quickly things can go to far and what the consequence could be.

nick b

I believed him, because I wanted to.

Anon1

I was a SAC minuteman maintenance officer at Minot in the mid-80s and one of my ancillary duties was on the Wing Reconstitution Force. It was a farce, and was only used to rate us on SAC IG inspections. The RF had no connection to reality and we would have never survive a Soviet first strike on our missiles.

I later became a Russian and Chinese missile analyst. The Russians have greatly improved the accuracy of their warheads and they no longer need to compensate yield for accuracy. They basically have about the same accuracy as our RVs these days.

William R. Cumming

The 1976 National Emergencies Act is a procedural statute only and authority to take any action must be found elsewhere and identified to the public!

That statute sun-setted a National Emergency declared in the Korean War by Truman and other statutes.

Little additional legal authority is actually given to the President by such a declaration and in fact Congress has allowed most statutes triggered by such a declaration to lapse.

Augustin L

@ Toto, the de facto partition of the country by Crimea means that the eastern and southern russophone and orthodox populations will now constitute a perpetual minority inside Ukraine. Their opinions and vote didn't matter whent they were numerically on par with those from the western part of the country. It will now become almost unbearable for them to live under the yoke of pravy sektor and svoboda who have now formed their versions of military commisars (in charge of morale and purging the ukrainian officer corps from ''traitors'') and comité du salut public ransoming the populations. Can Moscow even control those ethnic russian zones from doing what seems to not be in their best interest ? Shades of Yugoslavia with the serbs...

TO ALL the bad times are here to stay...
Since the 1970s, patient, alliance-building ideologue-adventurers, think-tankers and journalists,have crept up through the institutions, using and being used, joining the fantasies of redemption, revenge, plunder, and
control over the world, into an action program for employing American power.The style betrays the character. Since the ambitions of these ideologues are much larger than their education, they flatter themselves into believing they are the New Romans, that they write history on a even greater scale than Titus Livius; and their vanity expects awe, not reason. But they are acting out the grand guignol version of empire whose points of reference might be Sallust, Petronius or Procopius, those who castigated or ridiculed or despaired at the corruption and the pretentions of its personnel.
It is the remarkable lack of decorum, the intentional staging of bullying language, rich in threats and insults, the resentful hypocrisy, the slightly unhinged display of bad faith when diplomacy and suasion are the order of the day, that has convinced even some of the "just-a-bad-patch" hopefuls that the bad times are here to stay. I hope we don't see the flash ! At this point I'm not hopeful.

The beaver

TTG

Has Turkey given permission for the USS Truxtun?
Remember the Montreux Convention and this is not a NATO exercise.

Fred

VV,

Obama can't with Ukraine, look what's happening down in Mexico:

US Embassy and Godaddy conspire to censor dissenting Mexican political site
http://boingboing.net/2014/03/05/us-embassy-and-godaddy-conspir.html

Fred

TTG,

Are they asking for nuclear war? Meanwhile the Senate is busy trying to approve Senator Gillibrand's political commissar bill to screw up the combat effectiveness of our armed forces. This is perfectly asinine.

Jane

Some related points:

1)It has been reported that the Russians have run exercises which show that conflict in this region rapidly escalate to where things go boom. Nonetheless,Putin moved to force in response to the elected leader being turfed out. Why? Why wasn't Putin of the opinion that this was a place for excess caution?

2) One of President Obama's greatest weaknesses is his belief that his opponents will rationally assess the odds.

3) Romney was convinced of Russia's bad intentions. Why was this? Was it just an ideological hangover or did he learn something that President Obama did not and if so, where did he learn it from?

4) Is there anything in the way the West has reacted that is apt to have surprised Putin? Aren't we reacting exactly as he ought to have anticipated?

Grimgrin

I'm going to be torn between being grimly amused and annoyed if, 100 years after the start of the First World War, we have an actual war to end all wars because of some damn fool thing in Russia's near abroad. Well, for whatever time I have in that event. I don't know if Canada's pacific fleet still rates a Russian nuke or if it'd be fallout from targets in Washington state being hit that'd do it.

David

Since the only way to reach the ISS is via Russian
Soyuz Space crafts, Putin could embarrass the US
by canceling future NASA flights, Imagine, a 20 Billion dollar space station and no way for the US
to reach it for at least a couple of years.

William Herschel

Here's how it might go down.

Background: "The acting Ukrainian prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, roundly dismissed the referendum. "This is an illegitimate decision. This so-called referendum has no legal grounds. Crimea was, is and will be an integral part of Ukraine," he said. "In case of further escalation and military intervention into Ukrainian territory by foreign forces, the Ukrainian government and military will act in accordance with the constitution and laws.""

1) Crimea votes to secede from Ukraine and become part of Russia. Note, this has already occurred at the parliamentary level.

2) Ukraine sends its army to Crimea to take it back.

3) That army meets with effective and probably victorious resistance from armed forces in Crimea.

4) The West/Allies/Coalition of the Willing/United Nations say that the armed forces in Crimea are actually Russian troops which have conquered Crimea.

5) To assist the poor, overwhelmed freedom fighting Ukraine troops, Western/Allied/Coalition of the Willing/United Nations troops are inserted into Ukraine to turn the tide of battle.

6) At the very, very least you have Korea II.

The only question is who will play the role of MacArthur requesting nuclear strikes against their opponent. And who, if anyone, will play the roles of Truman relieving MacArthur of his command and subsequently Eisenhower saying, "I declare this war over."

The beauty of this scenario from the point of view of the neo-cons is that all the questions about the legitimacy of the Ukrainian government disappear in the smoke of war. Nazi thugs? No elections? Who cares. There's a war on.

YT

Jacob's ladder?

Col., I find your metaphor most interesting...

YT

RE: "A POTUS should aspire to "run the world", even if the end point is separate, different, complete harmony."

Mark,

http://paragkhanna.com/?p=264 ??

YT

Nick,

Let us pray that the Russians will never have to again experience major conflict on their native soil...

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