Friday, February 28, 2014

Crimea open thread (Updated 3/3/14)

It appears that t The Russian Federation may be is in the process of taking military action in the Crimea region of Ukraine. What military action exactly and what precisely this action portends is uncertain, as is the response of the Ukrainian government, the EU, the U.S., and all the other usual idiots.

I won't pretend to have any particular insights into what the hell is going on. So consider this a round of free drinks to discuss the whole business.

Mind you, the LAST bunch that tried to invade the Crimea came to a pretty bad end...

Update 3/3: I see that my comrade Seydlitz is preparing a column on this little fracas, so we're going to have that in just a bit.

But until his post is up I'd like to pose a question for the readership.

The U.S. Right is practically spastic over the current adminstration's "lack of response" to this (for a perfect example see Fred Hiatt's ridiculous editorial in today's Washington Post) but, as in Hiatt's case, cannot seem to actually come down on the side of "Let's be Germany in 1914 and use our Green Lantern willpower to demand our Ukrainian ally force an unacceptable ultimatum on the Crimea to see if the Russians are willing to have a go at us".

I'm NOT suggesting that anyone come up with a reason for the U.S. to "do something" about this; if for no other reason than I don't see how farkling about near the borders of another power is a good idea.

But I'm genuinely curious because I can't really see a way for the U.S. to "do" much of anything that actually has a chance of working to restore the status quo ante with Ukraine/Crimea/Russia. So I think the posturing of the U.S. Right is just that; it's not a genuine geopolitical idea with the force of reason behind it, just another attempt to swiftboat the Kenyan Usurper.

But maybe that's just because I lack imagination. Anybody else here see a series of political/economic/military moves that would premit the U.S./EU/anyone else to convince the Russians to back off here? If so, I'd be fascinated to hear, and discuss, your ideas just to see if we're smarter than the people currently running things in the U.S. power structure...

Update 2, 3/3/14: Shit just got real.

"Russia's military has given Ukrainian forces in Crimea until dawn on Tuesday to surrender or face an assault, Ukrainian defence sources have said."


  1. I don't think this is that dramatic. The Russians have military bases there anyway; you can get whatever kind of military photos you want from there on any normal day.

    I didn't look it up yet, but I think I remember some kind of multi-powers sovereignty guarantees for Ukraine back from the time when they gave Soviet leftover strategic weapon systems (including nukes) to Russia.

    I doubt that Putin would go all in with a coup de main on the Crimea these days - especially with overt Russian troops. It would basically mean to give up the remainder of the Ukraine, and that's too close to Moscow for comfort. He won't grab the Crimea at the price of all else joining NATO.


  2. Well, that was my thought, too; "What would benefit Russia to grab the Crimea at the cost of making a hard enemy of Ukraine?", especially after Putin had put a lot of effort into coaxing Ukraine back into Moscow's orbit.

    The Orange Revolution crowd fucked up before, and you'd think that Putin would have been patient enough to wait them out. If this IS a coup de main designed to separate Crimea from the rest of Ukraine it seems highly shortsighted.

    But then the question I come back to is "What IS this, then?" Is it just intended to pressure the Kiev government into allowing the eastern portions of the country a plebiscite that would let them return to Russia? Is it just some sort of temporary measure to ensure calm in southeastern Ukraine? Is it a form of pressure on Kiev to back away from the West?

    A tend to agree with you that a full-on military move into the Crimea seems counterproductive for Russia. But that just leads me into the sort of "12th dimension chess" sort of speculation; what's the motive behind the motive behind the apparent motive..?

    1. So far there's no reason for us to assume that whatever happens in the Crimea is what Putin wants to happen there. There are enough minorities (local majorities) on the Crimea to pull off much without outside support in an Ukraine which has a national-level security forces breakdown or paralysis.
      And it's not unheard-of that Russian officers act on their own initiative in sensitive conflicts. Remember; modern-day Russia was basically re-created during a coup and there's been no lack of frustration build-up among Russian officers for two decades with little relief.

    2. Yes, but the present Russian Army is far from the shitshow that the post-Soviet forces were. Moscow has gone a long way towards re-establishing central control over their guys.

      And as I observed in the comment below; even if this IS a rogue action, why not play a waiting game and deny responsibility? Then if it fails you're clean and if it success you quietly take advantage of it.

  3. I don't think that the matter is limited to Crimea

    Whatever happened to the Feb 21 agreement? Do enough citizens of Ukraine believe that the revolution is done and finished? (The western press sure does).

    Buckle up folks, it could be a rough ride.

  4. "I'm submitting a request for using the armed forces of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine pending the normalization of the socio-political situation in that country," Putin said in a statement released by the Kremlin.

  5. We should not have done the Kosovo War, we should not have done the Kosovo War, we should not have done the Kosovo War.

    Long-term stupid or not - during an intervention he's going to be able to claim he does the same minority protection as NATO/EU did in Kosovo, and will be able to exploit UNSC veto power protection just as we did.

  6. I can't honestly see NATO getting pulled into this; the logistics would be a nightmare, to begin with, and I also don't see how Ukraine benefits from getting into a shooting war with Russia over the Crimea that would tend to pull NATO in to begin with.

    But I'm still kinda baffled about what the Russians think to gain. Even if this was initiated by rogue unit commanders in Crimea (and while the marines on the road from Sevastopol can be reasonable attributed to that sort of thing the guys at the airports can't; that's a Spetznaz kind of action, and for all that the "regular" Russian army may have some independence of action their special operations people should be reliably under Moscow's control) there's no reason for Putin to confirm (per the statement Al cites) that this IS an official Russian action.

    A truly clever, if ruthless, statesman would claim that these WERE unauthorized actions so if they failed he could elude responsibility for them. If they succeeded simply quietly take advantage of them.

    Instead this seems like a clumsy piece of opportunism, and one that could well backfire. But I also agree with Sven that the only thing stupider would be for NATO or the US to get involved...

    1. For Russia it is not a matter of gaining something, it is a matter of not losing something you already own.

  7. The distance Kreml-Ukrainian border is about 450 km. That's less than the lower range limit of the ballistic and cruise missile ban.
    The Russians will go crazy if the Ukraine joins NATO and it will lead to entirely unnecessary hostility, rivalry and spending.
    We really can make much better use of all that attention and government revenues in the next decade or two!

  8. Chief-

    The Crimea is semi-autonomous and very pro-Russian. The situation there is "developing" as rapidly as in the rest of Ukraine, and developing towards a referendum for "full autonomy", although it is not clear to me what that means. Since the bulk of the population in Crimea is Russian speaking, and Russia has significant military bases there, I would imagine that Putin is acting as "protector" of an autonomous province, which in reality means what Ael said.

    1. No argument that 1) the Crimea is more "Russian" than "Ukrainian", or that 2) the Russian interest here is in controlling a valuable portion of the Black Sea coast.

      What baffles me is the crudeness of this. This is sort of old-school-Kremlinism, the Big Stick in the near abroad. You'd think that with the Russian majority in the Crimea that it would have been REAL easy for Putin's guy Aksyonov to have claimed a state of emergency, openly used his coppers (who are more-or-less-paramilitaries like most former Soviet coppers) to "maintain order", and then - using the unrest in Kiev as a pretext - ginned up a plebiscite to join Russia.

      The way this is going just seems clunky, with a lot of downsides for the Russians. No argument that what is happening is what you're saying is happening - Putin's Russia "protecting" a majority-Russian province - but the way he's doing it seems guaranteed to put the back up every former Soviet republic.

      The only reason I can see to act this hastily was is Sven's conjecture is correct and the new Kiev government was planning to go openly and thoroughly into NATO. That seems to me to be a real big stretch; while I can see Kiev possibly moving closer to the EU the presence of their big neighbor to the East seems to make a Finnish strategy of cautious accomodation more sensible.

      Not that governments ARE sensible, just that getting into a hot war over Crimea seems risky and pointless for everyone involved...

  9. Here's the thing:

    I see this as likely to be Russia sending a "message" not just to Ukraine but to all the other former Soviet republics in their "near abroad"; you need to make nice with us, because we can use the Russian population inside your borders any time you get frisky as a pretext to slap you around.

    And I get that, that's power politics 101 and most Great Powers have done that from time to time.

    But in this particular case it assumes that 1) the West won't take the bait and step in, and 2) the former republics will be intimidated and fall into line.

    And if either or both of those things happen it could be pretty dicey for the Russians and for stability in the near abroad.

    So my guess is that Russia feels pretty confident that neither WILL happen.

    They may be right. But, then, Austria-Hungary was pretty damn confident that they could bitchslap Serbia in August 1914, too. I'm NOT saying that this is 1914, but just that countries have grossly mistaken political conditions before. Whether this is an example of that I have no idea. But it seems at least like the possibility is there...

  10. No way we or NATO will intervene militarily. I don't see a modern day Sir James Scarlett charging uphill to victory with a heavy cavalry brigade as at Balaclava.

    And the Ukrainian business moguls in Odessa will certainly apply pressure on the new Kiev administration and what is left of the Orange revolutionaries.

  11. I tend to agree that NATO and the West are unlikely to intervene.

    I should amend my above comment.

    I think that this is an opportunistic attempt by Russia to send a message to the near abroad.

    I think that Putin and his people have a pretty good idea that the West WON'T get involved, and therefore such a message will get through.

    I think the only real danger is, as it was 1914, that the various actors will mistake their opposite numbers and assume that courses of action will dovetail and be wrong.

    I think that's not highly likely, but, as with anything in human affairs, is POSSIBLE.

    So very likely this will peter out in a Russian political victory. But there's still a possibility that someone will guess wrong and things will get out of hand...

    1. I doubt the West won't be involved.
      We were able to ferry military gear and training to insurgents in the Arab world recently.
      I bet heavily on someone sending at least trainers and equipment to the pro-European Ukrainian forces during a shooting conflict with Ukrainian Russians, Russian unofficial black forces and possible Russian intervention regular forces.
      I'm not sure the situation will remain controlled in the Baltic, that would be utmost tempted to rid themselves of the Russian inhabitants in case of an armed conflict along ethnic lines in the Ukraine.
      Igniting the powder keg in the Ukraine can have the Baltic as a collateral and in the Baltic, EU and NATO armed forces will be directly engaged, creating Eastern Front WWII Second Edition.
      The situation has a very dangerous potential and will always have a foul aftertaste of ethnic Russian inhabitants serving as Moscow's proxies.

  12. I don't think the revolutionary outcome in the rest of Ukraine is nearly as settled as everyone in the west hopes. If it heats up into a civil war ..

  13. Can the unknown uniformed men on Crimea be Russian Ukrainians staging a silent, but effective counterrevolution?
    They do take control of key spots and roads to the Crimea and thus have the ability to deny it to forces under the control of the current Ukrainian gouvernment. That is a simple declaration of secessionist ability. It is not bolsted by large public demonstration, but by learned efficiency of security forces.
    The Crimea is easy to control, has an overwhelmingly pro-Russian population and an important geostrategic position for Russia.
    Taking up armed positions there does not mean that other parts of Ukraine are not supportive of these measures. The situation might be on the brink of a civil war or is at least made to appear like that. There can be little doubt that Russia would bolster Russians in Ukraine during any such conflict with arms and trained manpower. Laying the legal grounds for direct military intervention is sound diplomacy in order to threaten the EU and the USA from putting too much skin into that game. Legal preparation for a move is not the same as execution of a move and does actually help to lessen the risk of a confrontation that is greater than the participants anticipate. It also means anticipating a non-minor shooting conflict in Europe again.

    A major backlash of the presence of these supposedly pro-Russian forces on Ukrainian ground would be a total reevaluation of the nuclear arms issue.
    Would a country disarm its nukes if it is afterwards threatened by a powerful neighbour with territorial disintegration?

    Will the Russians be able to remain in the Baltic states when civil war breaks out in Ukraine between Russians and natives?
    Same goes to a lesser extent for Central Asian states such as Kazakhstan.

    Are Moldova and Transnistria a model for the Ukrainian question? They had a civil war and are divided into a native and a Russian section. Without this situation, Romania and Moldova would be tempted to unite and be part of the EU.

    Last but not least care somneone look at the biography of Vitali Klitschko. He was born in Central Asia and is a Russian, who immigrated with his family to the Ukraine. Now, he tempts to be a leading figure of the new protests. That is certainly a new flavour, because it offers a way out of the ethnic clash of Ukrainians and Russians. If successful, Vitali Klitschko could create a support base that stabilizes this country divided by ethnic boundaries. I interpret the current situation as a sign that the interpretation of this possible role of him is taken very serious as a threat to the Russian divide and rule that hinders human development in the Ukraine.

  14. Well, at least it's good to know that Chuck Krauthammer's geopolitical instincts are as razor sharp as they were when he was touting the Third Gulf War as a piece of Metternichian military/political brilliance:

  15. The thing you bring up that makes this whole business kind of fraught for all the other ex-Soviet-republics is the problem of their own Russian minorities. If any time there's unrest in the country and Russia has an immediate finger in the pie and Russians-in-danger can be a plausible Russian casus belli? Those Russians have become a sort of ticking bomb, haven't they?

  16. The Russian Empire/Soviet Union was a Great Empire. Great Empires generally don't come unstuck without rivers of blood. I was surprised at the adult leadership displayed in 1991 and grateful at how peaceful it all went. Looks like we get to watch the next generation of leaders ride a tiger.

    1. ride a tiger, shoot a bear, crash with an eagle.
      I should start to make a wishlist of what I want to do before the great war in Europe starts.

  17. Eh, call me when the shooting actually starts.
    From the article - 'Ukraine mobilizes troops after Russia's 'declaration of war''

    "Amid signs of Russian military intervention in Ukraine's Crimean peninsula, Russian generals led their troops to three bases in the region Sunday, demanding Ukrainian forces surrender and hand over their weapons,"

    What is that? Amid signs? A general says surrender...

    Things may in fact light up soon, but they have not yet and i doubt that they will to a serious degree. Putin is getting to apply all the stress of a war to the Ukrainian government and military without the killing that allienates a nation.

    If Ukraine's government folds up, which, now that military members are defecting, seems possible without a shot fired, Putin wins big. He also wins if a limited war starts where Russia takes over, but much less.

    The US should stay out, Ukraine isn't important to national interests and there's no humanitarian problem here warranting starting a possible nuclear war.

    PF Khans

  18. I agree with PFK that we should stay out. If the people of the Crimea want to be completely independent of Kiev it is not the business of the US or Europe to intervene. Even if they decide to become part of Russia it should not be any skin off of our nose.

    This is mainly an internal ethnic conflict. The majority are tired of what they call the Moscolies (rude Kiev slang for Russian-speaking Ukrainians according to my ex sister-in-law from Rochester) and their corruption. The Russian speakers are deathly afraid of a phoenix-like rebirth of Ukrainian ethnic zealotry ala Stephan Bandera when the UPA massacred Russians along with Poles and Jews. No matter that the Soviets responded by a factor of ten (or perhaps a thousand) later in the war, the fear is still there.

    If Pooty-Poot wants to play the saviour of his tribal brothers and sisters within the Crimea, let him. We are always preaching to the world that 'freedom to choose your government' is a right of all the worlds people.

    Hmmm, I wonder if the Donetsk basin region will follow Crimea?

  19. It's an interesting situation. I have received emails from conservative friends blasting Obama for not standing up to Putin more "forcefully" (whatever that means), suggesting that it is better that a Ukrainian government be forced upon the primarily Russian population of autonomous Crimea.

    Point is that Crimea has a varied history which really does not lend itself to being painted as Ukrainian "homeland". It's current status is really an artificial construct arising more from anti-Soviet sentiment than anti-Russian. Once the Russians were no longer "Soviets", local sentiment changed quite a bit. Not to mention the current economic advantage of being "Russian" versus "Ukrainian".

  20. To all,
    It'll be 100 years this Aug for ww1 start of hostilities.
    What have we learned as a result?
    Alliances and all that. Do we have any strategic interests that would be enhanced if we poked the Russians? This is not about Putin and Obama, it's about America and Russia and it's hard to see how an American horse fits into this race.
    Christ we can't provide for the welfare of our citizenry and i'm supposed to be concerned with what's happening in someplace that we Americans wouldn't even visit if it were not for cheap sexcapades.So if we want cheap disposable brides then let's risk a Bay of Pigs scenario, and we won't gain in a nuc showdown in that ao.
    Why won't we admit /acknowledge that Russia has legitimate security concerns that are historic and realistic?
    BTW i fail to see how this situation triggers a Nato response and it doesn't pay to screw with the Rusn hockey team on their ice.
    jim hruska

  21. Al: I'm seeing a ton of that Right-wing fulminating, too. Love the fact that, as Jim points out, 100 years after a bunch of idiotic mistakes, misunderstandings, postureing, and Great Powers playing chicken with each other over "some damn thing in the Balkans" managed to yank Europe into a devastating global war the usual idiots want to see the U.S. playing the part of Germany to Ukraine's Austria-Hungary to Crimea's Serbia to Russia's...Russia.

    jim: The only argument I'd make is that I don't see this as having anything to do with "Russia's...legitimate security concerns". There was absolutely zero evidence that the new government in Kiev intended to screw with the arrangements the Russians had regarding the fleet base in Crimea (it's only "security concern" in the joint) or, for that matter, dick around with the Russian Ukrainians in the south and east that were all spun up over the defenstration of Their Man in Kiev. ISTM that this is pure opportunism on Putin's part along with a chance to put a chill up the spines of the other former republics in the Near Abroad.

    That said, I don't see how playing military reindeer games with the Russians on their own doorstep is a good idea for the U.S. or the EU.

    I think the wild card right now is Ukraine. If they fight, this maybe blows up into something - what I don't know; maybe just a Russian walkover a la Georgia back in 2008. My guess is that they don't fight; they work out an arrangement that gives Russia de facto control over the Crimea that gradually becomes de jure over time (after the Crimean puppet government arranges a vote to reunite with Russia).

    Still, you never know; Sven's rogue colonel might just be on the Ukrainian side. His guys start shooting, the Russians move in and butcher them, and you've got a nasty little shooting war along the Russian border...

  22. Chief,
    Let me amend legit security to legit regional concerns.
    After all we did flood Texas with gringos and then steal Texas , and that not being enuf we stole the SW from Mexico in a later war.
    Now we can criticize the Rusn's!!?
    Also we invaded Canada a few times.
    Let's not forget all the friggin' nations we've invaded in our short life time.
    I think to be a true patriot one needs to put their brain into a Greyhound station long term storage locker.

    1. You're a little bit late...

    2. If being pure of heart and kind to all were a prerequisite for diplomatic finger-wagging no nation outside Andorra and Luxembourg would be able to say boo to another. Yes, the hypocrisy is irking but it's hardly unexpected. I'm a little surprised that the Russians themselves haven't used Iraq as a "What about the Negroes in the South?" distractor, though. Maybe saving it for the real crisis moment...

      I'll buy your amendment. Ukraine is, in effect, part of Moscow's "Monroe Doctrine"; internal affairs in its neighboring states do matter to Russian politics. This seems an exceptionally crude way of expressing that concern, but we (the U.S./EU) would be fools to pretend that there SHOULD be no concern on Russia's part.

    3. Let's see.
      Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Costa Rica, Brazil, Surinam, Switzerland, Sweden, Ireland, Austria, Finland, Bulgaria, Tunisia, Guinea, Madagascar, Malaysia, Philippines, ...
      Do you really want a complete list?
      It's certainly not just Andorra and Luxembourg.

      Actually, the vast majority of the world's countries have the moral high ground over any great power and that's only in part because of lacking opportunities or capabilities to cause trouble.

      It's a sad and cruel joke that the great powers have such a prominent role in the UNSC when they're among the biggest troublemakers themselves.

  23. I can't tell if this is media over-hype or if the Russians and Ukrainians are just really masterful at war.

    It's a war without any shooting and a massacre without any deaths.

    I mean seriously, what the hell is this?

    They're not even facing one another! They're just standing there. This seems like either the set up for a sucker punch or just absolute buffoonery. Or maybe this is '5th gen war' or something that isn't war but is dressed like it.

    This doesn't quack like a duck or walk like a duck. It's not a duck.

  24. Chief: I though that the revolutionary Ukrainian government had as its very first act revoked Russian minority language rights. Talk about kicking the bear in the balls.

    PF Khans: You seem disappointed in the lack of cordite smoke.

    1. Ael: They did that. But I think more as a reaction to the original imposition of Russian as an accepted "official language" by the deposed Yanukovych. Think what the U.S. federal government would do, for example, if a Mexican-American U.S. President from Arizona made Spanish the official language of the United States; it would seem more like a revocation of the deposed President's apparent intention to reunite Arizona with Mexico than an assault on Mexican-Americans...though it might be that, too...

      Definitely agree that this whole thing has more to do with Moscow's dissatisfaction with an apparent rejection-of-Russification by the new government in Kiev than "worries about Russian safety".

      PFK: I think that what you're seeing is a Ukraine being VERY careful not to give the Russians an excuse to start shooting. It's a duck, but a duck that is being goddamn careful not to quack so as not to give the bear an excuse to slap it's little ducky head off for being noisy.

      As Sun Tzu said; the most excellent strategy is to subdue your opponent without actually fighting him. Once the iron dice roll they might not come up the way you want them. So far Russia appears to be applying just enough military pressure to attain their political ends. We'll see if they can continue this through a more permanent change in conditions...

    2. I interpret the 2nd official languages act's repealing differently. Keep in mind Yanukovich's party is called "party of the regions"; it styled itself not only as a pro-Russian party, but as a kind of pro-federalism party.
      The repealing signalled a centralisation effort more than an assault on Russian (or other minorities') culture or direct interests.

      The Russian minority could most likely be more easily convinced to follow a state known as "Ukraine" if it's not a very centralised state than if it is very centralised.

  25. Disappointed is the wrong term I'd use. I'm just skeptical. If people use the term "war" to describe a political situation, there should be bloodshed. It's not a desire for it; it's just a dictionary definition in my opinion.

    But hey, how are we not "at war" with Iran if all it takes is posturing? Or Pakistan because we are actually killing people there.

    If this is war, then war can be just about everything and if it's everything then it's nothing. And I know and people here know, war is something.

    PF Khans

    1. This may be the silliest thing I've heard you say, PF, and you're not a silly guy.

      War is all sorts of things, including wars where nobody shoots ever ("The Cold War") or wars where everybody goes a long time between shots ("The Phony War/Sitzkrieg") or even the run-up to the actual shooting part. Most historians, for example, would consider the period between the assassination of Franz Ferdinand on 28 JUN to 1 AUG 1914 to be part of WW1, even though no actual shooting (other than by Prinzip) was happening.

      And I didn't see anyone here - and I'm not saying that nobody ELSE is calling this a "war" - using the term "war". We've talked about "military action" and you know as well or better than any of us that that term covers everything from OOTW to actual shootin' wars.

      Yes, "war is something", but it is also something more than just kinetic energy. This may very well be the run-up to an actual war. Or it may not be. But - at least in my opinion - to define "war" down to just the bangety-bang parts is to simplify it to excess.

    2. Chief,

      Thought about this some more and you're right, my position is silly, but honestly, this situation is silly!

      As far as I can tell this is the military equivalent of the Occupy movement. I think the Phony War is a great reason to deride these actions as something strange and slightly comical.

      I don't think that Putin is a mastermind, most likely a fool. But I'd be honestly really surprised if there's actually any fatalities that result from this.

      Seems most likely that the Russians stay until an Ukranian election they can manipulate and then they leave. And in the mean time, some grass dies under some BMPs and some Russian joe gets a STD or two from a Crimean girl. Sunrise, sunset.

      Am i not taking this seriously enough? Maybe. It seems more likely that we, as a nation, and group of nations is taking this too seriously.

      So my war is something is based on my hunch that this really is a whole lot of nothing pretending to be something.

      Guess we'll see, and I'll be sad at it but happy to admit my mistake if the time comes.

      PF Khans

  26. I just saw a flying pig.

    McCain has met an opportunity for war he didn't want the U.S. to take.
    At least not with troops.

    The magic of nukes; it helps pigs fly.

  27. To go along with Sven's flying pig, here's some more little piggies who don't want their slops cut off:

    "Britain's attempts to ensure any EU action against Russia over Ukraine would exempt the City of London were embarrassingly revealed when a secret government document detailing the plan was photographed in Downing Street. The document said Britain should "not support, for now, trade sanctions … or close London's financial centre to Russians"."

    Can't have the hedge funds separated from that sweet, sweet Russian oligarch cash, eh? So much for "fighting on the beaches..."; if it comes down to showing their disapproval of this little fracas the British financial sector doesn't even want to go short a prawn sandwich or two or, worse, risk cutting off that nice, toasty Russian gas.

    This just points up, again, the real lack of any sorts of "good options" for the West here. I think that if Ukraine is hoping for Western support they're just gonna have to take whatever they're handed by Moscow.

    Whether or not you think it would have been a good idea, the French and British are not going to land in Calamita Bay this time.

  28. To all,
    I'm back to ww1. If we keep pushing nato up to the borders of Rusa and persist in allowing former Warsaw Pact members into the ranks then we are not out of the Cold War and are just repeating ww1 thru 1989scenarios. Imagine if the ukraine were in nato right now.Imagine that the US would go to war for my ancestral homeland of Slovakia and /or for the Ukraine.
    Now for aggression. The US sent troops to Rusa for real combat as a result of ww1 etc. The Rusns never sent troops to interfere in our affairs, but yet we brand them the bad guy.Always.
    Is the cold war over or are we in desperate need of a new boogey man?We need a fall guy to keep OUR security state in business. The MIC needs a target beyond the pathetic AQ types.
    I sit and stay confused. If we allow the German Luftwaffe and panzer grenadiers to run amok in Bosnia then why should the Rusns be restricted from playing the same game in the Ukraine?
    thanks for the link ,but i don't read other sources as i try to rely on my own prejudices for my comments.
    As for the west-isn't it time for them to clean up their act without US help?I'll say this til the spetznatz go home-THE US SHOULD NOT HAVE FOUGHT in WW! and we should butt out in the Ukraine and Europe..
    What do we have to gain, and what to lose?
    It's a mistake to always take a anti rusn stance.I for one known NOTHING about the legitimacy or not of the Ukrainian gov't , nor do i know if they should be supported at all.I read a lot about anti-semitism re;Ukraine.
    How many fires do we want to throw our irons into ,and more importantly who or how can we pay for or fight a theater level war in region?Do we even have a theater level force structure any more?Or are we gonna send the Belgium Bn at nato to the front?
    Sorry if i ramble , but i tend to do that as chief often points out.
    jim hruska

  29. To all,
    Running nato up to the borders of Russia is as offensive as Russias actions in the crim.
    We see it in them , but we won't own our own actions.

  30. Well, you had to know this was coming: "Putin seemed to place blame for the events in Ukraine on the United States, Washington had backed the protesters. He also said the recent volatility of European and Russian stock markets was the fault of the U.S., and implied that Washington was hypocritical in its criticism of Russia.

    "Let’s remember what the U.S. did in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Libya,” he said. “We believe we are completely legitimate in what we are doing."


    And I have to add that Russia is invoking what is in effect their version of the Monroe Doctrine. Jim's point is worth considering; one of the reasons the U.S. went to war in 1917 was evidence the Germany was canoodling with Mexico. How would a U.S. government react to unrest in Mexico or Canada, and the evidence that one of it's rival powers was trying to influence matters there?


    1. Yes, he could still use the Grenada excuse...