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02 February 2015

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mac

I understand this to be an attempt to use the 'discussion' of arming Kiev as leverage, but nothing more. That said, IMO that is a foolhardy approach to the growing Ukraine conflict. I cannot believe BHO would not know this.

Ex-PFC Chuck

"I cannot believe BHO would not know this."

I can. And I can believe he doesn't have the stones to kill the idea.

FB Ali

Ever since Dempsey went out of his way to give Israel a clean chit with regard to their brutal Gaza campaign I have started having some doubts about the General. Maybe commentators at SST have been indulging in too much wishful thinking (I certainly hoped the image being painted was true; some glimmer of sanity in that madhouse was desperately needed).

As for Ukraine, it seems that the US believes that so long as the war continues, it won't have to deal with the reality of the desperate political and economic conditions of that country.

Re "mac's" comment: interesting to find someone who still thinks BHO is up to making decisions different from the consensus of his advisers.

ISL

Dear Colonel:

I am amazed at the level of strategic planning (or rather lack thereof) of our client's in Kiev compared to Moscow's clients in NovoRussia. Either the plan is for Ukraine to collapse, drive a massive destabilizing emigrant wave into a Europe in the throws of a Great Depression () or the US advisors have become so used to guerrilla war that other warfare knowledge has atrophied in group think. I mean Kiev's forces are caught in a cauldron again!

Or were our advisors given a mission impossible by the shaved apes?

I think it reasonable to presume Dempsey will do whatever he can to distance himself from the oncoming foreign policy failure. Since that involves minimizing US actual exposure (As opposed to the yammering of the shaved apes, it is also clearly the right choice.

Re: Rebel air strength, Colonel Cassad is reporting that a ballistic missile was shot down suggesting Russian air defenses now cover NovoRussia.

Hopefully Kerry and Rice will join or better still lead the attack with the shiny new heavy weapons - Ukrainian soldiers really seem to lack Kerry's motivation.

VietnamVet

TTG

Howling baboons would have gotten the message by now to back down. Russia has shown amazing restraint. They’ve supplied just enough aid to push the neo-Nazis back from their borders.

Splitting Ukraine in half and placing the new Iron Curtain down the banks of the Dnieper River would assure mankind survives Cold War version 2.0. The trouble is the rulers of the western world who got away with the world’s greatest heist by transferring trillions of their bad debt onto sovereign nations and forcing austerity on to us, now want to control Russia’s resources; not some half ass rump country seized by racist psychopaths almost as crazy as they are. They are going for the whole enchilada; killing us, paroles, in the crossfire.

The military knows what is happening, more war means more promotions, but a war with Russia means no world to return to. SSN Scorpion from “On the Beach” is out of mothballs.

Aka

dear sir,
currently Ukraine economy is in very bad shape (almost bankrupt). As Soros pointed out, Ukraine needs at much as 50 Billion to get bailed out. Current package is way less than that. I hope non in EU and US is insane enough to follow Soros's advice.

So unless these US military aid can be used pay wages and buy things, Ukraine is in deep trouble whether or not pro-Russians would be offensive.

Poul

"...one official said. There is concern that providing heavy weapons to Ukraine would only escalate the fighting and increase instability."

Indeed. I would not be surprised if the Russian responds would be Little Green Men in air planes.

turcopolier

fb ali

I, too, now have doubts about Dempsey. pl

William R. Cumming

A great comment with which I whole heartedly agree.

IMO, the Ukrainian people given the chance have largely failed at self-government.

Are there any open source books on Ukrainian history and the present value of the Ukraine to the EU and US as compared to the Russian Federation?

What happened to the effort to reduce the number of U.S. Flag Ranks and their slots?

Tom Welsh

The Pentagon might not be keen on equipping the Junta Repression Forces with American weapons, as they might be shown up in combat against Russian weapons. We have probably all seen pictures of shattered Kiev tanks sitting in gigantic craters. A few photos of Abrams M1s in similar condition would not do much to enhance respect for the USA's carefully constructed image of military invincibility. After all, the M1 (like much US hardware) is getting quite long in the tooth - wasn't it around in the 1980s?

Babak Makkinejad

Before that military aid arrives, Ukraine will have been occupied by ethnic Russian forces and the new Novo Rossiya Republic declared.

Babak Makkinejad

I would think that Russians will not wait either...

Dismayed

Pat, my apologies this post is OT. No need to post, I just wanted to bring it to your attention. Cheers

Netanyahu’s Congress invitation raises eyebrows among some US generals

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/2/2/netanyahu-visit-concerns-american-generals.html

“There’s always been a lot of support for Israel in the military,” the officer said, “but that’s significantly eroded over the last few years. This caps it. It’s one thing for Americans to criticize their president and another entirely for a foreign leader to do it. Netanyahu doesn’t get it. We’re not going to side with him against the commander in chief. Not ever.”

Matthew

Brigadier: When General Dempsey, echoing his predecessor, said his best foreign friend was the IDF chief of staff, he revealed the political climate in DC. What are the chances that two successive CJCS would so befriend two successive IDF chiefs?

Because everyone knows, the Israelis are the most charming people....

Matthew

VV: The "plan" seems to be "the Russians will blink." Sigh. So which one is Kaiser Wilhelm?

JohnH

The folks I talk to say that we have to do something, since Russia invaded Ukraine. To my knowledge there is no evidence of such ...zilch. But they remain convinced, just like they were convinced that Saddam was working on a nuke.

My best salvo is that the CIA has never said that Russia invaded. If an invasion had happened, and the CIA would have confirmed an invasion, and an NIE would have been issued. Its absence is very telling.

Does anyone have anything better?

Chris Bolan

Sadly, despite the disastrous outcomes in Iraq and Afghanistan, neither US political leaders nor the Washington DC-based foreign policy community can admit to the limits of American power and influence. In this case, Russia's (local) geopolitical dominance virtually ensures Putin's ability to dominate the escalation ladder at every turn.

And yet the insatiable need to appear 'tough' as 'leader of the free world' in order to bolster US 'credibility' (whatever that is or however it is measured) constantly demands further US action, deepening involvement, and increased investment in a contest we have little prospect of 'winning'. This unfortunately is this the state of much US foreign policy debate these days -- stand by for more of this dribble as the 2016 Presidential campaigns get into full swing. I hope the American public demands better.

The Moar You Know

We're done. Put the whole mess down and walk away.

Also, while we are at it, stop treating Russia like they're just another one of the 'Stans. Yeah, they're not a place I'd want to live under any circumstances but they have guns, men, experience and nukes, so America needs to wise up and at least respect that.

Matthew

Tom: the Pentagon might not want to shoved into a half-hearted struggle and then left to take the blame by the civilian leadership.

IMHO, that's a more fair appraisal.

Matthew

Dismayed: What a great article. This quote was painful to read, however:

"'Serving uniformed officers are loath to comment on an inflammatory political question — 'You’re inviting me to end my career,' one senior Pentagon officer told me when asked to comment on Boehner’s invitation to Netanyahu, 'but, if it’s all the same to you, I’d rather not.'”

LeaNder

did I miss anything essential here, about why Chuck Hagel is leaving his post?

Imagine

MI. Ukraine is cursed with too much OIL. That means taxpaying peasants are superfluous. The second main source of income is potential foreign aid. No one drafts 55-yr-olds to break a truce and start an offensive that they hope to win. IMO Ukr. goals are: (1) look pathetic so US will fund; (2) divert population attention away from flat-lined economy for as long as possible; (3) decrease the surplus male population so food/people balance evens out; (4) decrease the surplus Right Sector population to attrite opposition in the coming disgusted counter-revolution coup attempt against Por'k slated for this spring. Por'k is now fighting for his life, and he knows it.

US goals are to f things up for as long as possible without having to come to terms with reality; succeeding. US is willing to fight Russia to the very last Ukrainian (substantial moral hazard, no downside). Thus the cannon fodder continues to march. Expect an exponential increase in fragging.

grizziz

It can be speculated how this tit for tat conflict in the Ukraine started, yet I am curious in how much BHO's attitude toward Russia changed after they gave Snowden refuge.

Imagine

I don't see the Novo Russians going beyond their east side borders, do you?

David Habakkuk

All,

Throughout the Cold War, Soviet accounts used to give great prominence to a remark made by Truman on 22 June 1941, two days after Nazi Germany embarked on its invasion of the Soviet Union:

‘If we see that Germany is winning we ought to help Russia and if Russia is winning we ought to help Germany, and that way let them kill as many as possible, although I don’t want to see Hitler victorious under any circumstances.’

I am not a Russianist – do not know the language, have never lived there. But I think there is strong reason to believe that despite what the Soviet propaganda machine said – not infrequently indeed because of it – memories of the ‘Grand Alliance’ left an underlying legacy of goodwill among many Russians towards Americans which lurked beneath the surface throughout the Cold War.

By mid-Eighties, moreover, it was clear to intelligent people throughout the Soviet Union that the 1917 Revolution had led them all into a dead end. At that time, it seemed natural enough for many Russians to conclude that, in that conflict, the enemy for the West had been communism, so that the Soviet Union was unequivocally in the wrong.

Suppose, in 1989, I had wanted to devise a strategy designed to persuade people that those who put their trust in the United States had been gullible fools – ‘mug punters’, as we say in England – and that the actual enemy the West had in its sights throughout the Cold War had not really been communism, but Russia.

I do not think I could have done better than to propose the strategies adopted by the West over the past twenty-five years. And if you really want to persuade Russians that the West is their eternal enemy, I have difficulty thinking of a better way than to ally with ‘banderistas’ who dream of eliminating Russian culture in the Donbass.

Somewhere down in Hell, perhaps, the old Georgian gangster is laughing.

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