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03 July 2015

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turcopolier

All

The idea seems to be that we won the Cold War 25 years ago, the Russians were weak after that and if we push them they will cave in. This is crazy. pl

mbrenner

What is the formal military procedure for the Commander-in-Chief to tell his subordinate officers: "SHUT UP!"?

turcopolier

mbrenner

A phone call to SECDEF. pl

confusedponderer

God help us all.

The Twisted Genius

mbrenner,

The problem is that the Commander-in-Chief appears to be all in on this madness. He let Nuland run rampant in Kiev and she's still in place at State. He let our troops go to Ukraine to train unrepentant Ukrainian nazis who have been deliberately shelling civilians for over a year. He won't say "SHUT UP!" He's cheering this crap on.

HankP

Col. Lang -

Don't these people study history? Don't they know what kind of savagery is unleashed, multiplied many fold by our advances in science? Don't they realize that as our society becomes more advanced and complicated, the support systems and distribution for things like power, water and food become harder to maintain and easier to disrupt? Where does this madness come from, and why now?

J

All,

Guess it's time to go out and find and buy an old de-commissioned missile silo, renovate it, and stockpile plenty of bottles of scotch and bourbon, and install an ice-maker complete with UHD 70inch plus TVs in every silo room, so one won't miss any future ICBM exchanges.

HOW in the heck did we get such non-thinkers with their thumbs too close to the BIG RED BUTTON?????

Waiter, another scotch please........

alba etie

TTG
And meanwhile recently the Russian Navy & Chinese navy concluded a joint exercise off the coast of the Levant .

FND

It may be he is fully behind the madness, but I get the impression he is missing in action. He just lets the deep state do its thing and is clueless about the dangers.

 Ishmael Zechariah

Col. Lang, SST;
This gentleperson does not seem to have any real combat experience- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_M._Breedlove . He appears to be one of Col. Hackworth's "Perfumed Princes". Could we have a rule that only Army Infantry w/ combat experience could be appointed at such levels?

Happy 4th of July to all US persons. Here is a fireworks link you might enjoy:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9KZ3jgbbmI

Ishmael Zechariah

jonst

That is a very generous "impression " FND. My own take is he smells 'generational wealth' coming at him and family. And he too....like most us, is ready to grab it with both hands.

He is most certainly NOT "clueless" about the dangers. He is gutless about them.

David Habakkuk

All,

An interview with Brzezinski appeared a couple of days ago in 'Spiegel Online'. An extract:

'SPIEGEL ONLINE: Mr. Brzezinski, are we seeing the beginning of a new Cold War between Russia and the US?

'Brzezinski: We are already in a Cold War. Whether it will become hot is fortunately still less than likely.

'SPIEGEL ONLINE: The last Cold War lasted more than 40 years. Will it last that long this time around?

'Brzezinski: I don't think so. Things move much more rapidly. Pressures from the outside are more felt internally. If this continues, and if Ukraine doesn't collapse, domestic pressures in Russia will force whoever is in charge to explore alternatives. Hopefully, Putin is smart enough to know that it's better to explore alternatives ahead of time and not too late.'

(See http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/interview-with-zbigniew-brzezinski-on-russia-and-ukraine-a-1041795.html .)

As the old musical comedy song has it, 'If I am dreaming, let me not be woken.'

Babak Makkinejad

Yes this is the bane of all these strategists and planner since the time of the American Civil War - they all expected a quick victory.

US Civil War
World War I
Japan's War against China
Japan's war against US
Germany's War against USSR
Israel's War against Lebanon in 1982
USSR War in Afghanistan
Iraq's War against Iran
Second US War Against Iraq
EU's economic war against Iran
NATO-Gulfie War against Syria
and more recently the Saudi's War against Yemen

In all of these war, one or bot side expected the matter to be settled quickly.

There were also successes in the sense of a short war:

Crimean War
Franco-German War
NATO wars against Yugoslavia


and very many more...

I think the most likely situation is prolonged confrontation...

Ishmael Zechariah

Here is a link which describes an interesting interview Breedlove gave last February:
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/07/05/america-s-losing-russia-strategy.html
"Breedlove: So what I would say here, Christiane, is that as we saw in late August, when the Russian forces came across the border, when it appeared that the Ukrainian forces were going to be able to effect a military solution. We will not be able to give the Ukrainian forces enough equipment or time in order to defend against the Russians. If the Russians are completely determined to hold the situation in the Donbas that puts Kiev into a bargaining position where they have to come to the table and meet Russian needs, Russia will apply the necessary pressure just like they did in late August. And so we should not attempt to enter into a situation where we try to match their capability to meet that. They simply will not be able to do that."

I wonder what changed in the interim.

Ishmael Zechariah

John Merryman

I think both the Russians and the Chinese understand the western financial system is a bubble and it either expands, or collapses and so they realize it is to their advantage to try to wait it out and join forces as much as possible within Eurasia. I suspect the Russians are actually much better positioned to deal with this situation, than are the Chinese. given that they went through a significant collapse over the last quarter century, while the Chinese turned themselves into China Inc. and rode the financial bubble every bit as recklessly as anyone.
It will only get more interesting.

Ingolf


David,

Yes indeed. The most revealing quote, I thought, was this one:

"He [Putin] has a real sophistication. I wonder why he's almost deliberately antagonizing more than 40 million people in a country next door which, until very recently, were not driven by any hostility towards Russia."

Harper

For whatever reasons, political, psychological, psycho-sexual, etc. Obama has been in the driver's seat in the provocations against Russia since day one of his administration. After a very unpleasant initial meeting of the two, Obama sent professional provocateur Michael McFaul to Moscow as Ambassador, while most presidents wisely sent seasoned diplomats with decades of experience to that crucial posting (yes, George H.W. Bush sent Democrat businessman Robert Strauss, but that was "to do business"). After Bob Gates convinced Obama to cancel to unilateral missile defense deployments, they were reinstated and are now being put in place. That is not to day that Obama was actually the key decision-maker. He has been surrounded by ideological believers in R2P (Responsibility to Protect), humanitarian interventionism and the rest of the utopian fantasies, like Susan Rice, Samantha Power and McFaul. And, yes, of course, there is Victoria Nuland and her husband Robert Kagan (Obama's favorite author).

General Martin Dempsey has lost more sleep over the White House mis-handling of the Russia relationship than anything else, and he is right. Breedlove is one of these Air Force utopians who believes that wars can be won from 50,000 feet, even against adversaries with vast arsenals of nuclear weapons. Makes Strangelove appear almost moderate. With the JCS in transition, with Europe in chaos over the mis-handling of the Greek debt crisis, I worry more and more that the temptation to overturn the chess board through some really mad provocation against Russia is an immediate danger. I spoke recently to a military official from a New NATO member state on the Black Sea, and he confirmed that there is such a density of maneuvers underway this summer in the Baltic and Black Seas regions that the danger of just such an incident getting out of hand is very great. He is sweating it out until September, when the tempo of military deployments is slowed.

David Habakkuk

Ingolf,

It seems clear that Brzezinski, like Samantha Power, really remains in the grip of this fantasy picture of the world as composed of coherent 'nations', longing to topple the tyrants holding them back from realising their dreams of freedom, and throw in their lot with the West.

A problem is that, if one is determined to believe this, one gets caught in consequential errors. Obviously, left to themselves, the Crimea and the Donbass would be willing and enthusiastic participants in a Ukrainian 'nation' in which Stepan Bandera is judged fitted to be a 'Hero of Ukraine'.

The only possible explanation for their resistance has thus to be the malign plans of the ex-KGB man Putin to restore the Soviet Empire. Accordingly, it becomes natural to conclude that, if he succeeds with the Donbass, he will go on to attempt the same with the Baltics: which is BS.

The same delusional frame of mind makes it difficult to make any sense of the actual dangers. As with Iraq, a continued clinging to the delusion that a unified, 'democratic' pro-Western state is possible blinds people to the critical questions, which have to do with how different groups in the country, and realistic outside actors, will react, as the processes of disintegration provoked by Western intervention unfold.

I think there is a great deal of reason to believe that the actual arguments going on in Moscow now have to with the situations which might develop as a collapse of Ukraine which is widely considered close to inevitable develops, and what might be the appropriate responses to them.

It may be symptomatic of how confused these arguments are that an interesting figure called Rotislav Ischkenko has recently given what appear to be two quite different versions of what might be the appropriate Russian strategy.

See:
http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/russias-strategy-beginning-has-been-win-all-ukraine/ri8467
and
http://thesaker.is/the-juntas-only-chance-is-to-retreat-behind-the-dnieper/

It is simply not possible to have a serious debate in the West about how the situation might unfold, how Russia might act, and what the appropriate responses would be, because it would only possible to do so if we were to abandon the kind of ideological blinkers visible in Brzezinski's interview.

But for people to do this, they would have to face up to the role their delusions have had in smashing up Ukraine, and turning the whole of Russian society away from the West and towards China.

It isn't going to happen. And it is in the total intellectual unpreparedness of the West for events which are not actually inherently utterly unpredictable that one of the main sources of the dangers of escalation lies.

David Habakkuk

Harper,

If Robert Kagan is Obama's favourite author, that indeed puts a lot of things into a new light. Is there a source for this?

MRW

I'd like to know a source as well. If true, it cements my opinion that Obama has the judgment of a fool.

William R. Cumming

Chinese bubble now bursting IMO!

William R. Cumming

IMO MENA already melted down by OBAMA FP!

And now most of EURASIA about to do so.

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