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How many wake-up calls do we really need to wake up?

Rogue Valley

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Linas Linkevičius: How many wake-up calls do we really need to wake up?

9bc4e6919145e4d25566dfb508b2eeea.jpg

The parents of Ukrainian sailors kidnapped by Russia.

By Linas Linkevičius
12/5/18

The main value that dictatorships preach is stability. But their stability is often confused with stagnation, which is no value in itself. On the contrary, dictatorships are extremely fragile and once they fail – and they always fail, sooner or later – they risk the lives of thousands, if not millions, of innocent people. Responsibility for these innocent lives lies not only with the dictators. Passive bystanders who just silently watch the crimes happening and tell others to shut up are no less responsible. The current generation of European leaders seems reluctant to learn from the mistakes of the past. Take acquiescence with Russia’s aggressive behavior as an example. Vladimir Putin’s sporting of weapons and his “great power” claims have long ago given way to actual land grabs and other systematic violations of international law. Failure to withdraw Russian troops from Transnistria; occupation of the 20 percent of Georgia’s territory; occupation and annexation of Crimea; ongoing aggression in eastern Ukraine… all these cases only point to Russia’s growing appetite. As a countermeasure, we present a statement, joint or independent, wherein we express our concern, sometimes our deep concern, and in particular moments our very deep concern over these hostile actions. The Russian leaders couldn’t care less. The price we make them pay for the systemic violations of international law remains negligible. Once the initial outrage subdues, Western leaders start lining up for an audience in the Kremlin.

Such behavior offers the Russian leadership a golden opportunity to demonstrate to its people that Russia cannot be isolated, that nothing in this world can happen without Russia’s nod or direct involvement. If someone wants to make a decision, he or she will have to come to the tsar and ask. And the outcome is further aggression, further land grabs. Russia’s activities in the Sea of Azov last week is just a case in point. Three Ukrainian ships have been seized and several Ukrainian sailors shot and wounded and illegally detained in the waters where the principle of free passage applies. Furthermore, Russia seeks to present this act of open aggression against Ukraine as the ‘violation of its territorial sovereignty’ by Ukraine, since the events took place off the Crimean coast, which Russia wants to be recognized as its territory. What matters now is not Russia’s next move but that of our own. As usual, we have issued a statement condemning Russia’s unacceptable behavior. But shall we stop here? Can’t we do anything more to make the aggressor pay the full price? All scheduled meetings with Mr. Putin must be postponed. Such a response would be timely and much more justified than another working group or joint commission to establish the ‘true’ definition of aggression and whether it happened or not in the Sea of Azov. Failing to do that, we may one morning wake up to the televised images of Russian military ships docked in Mariupol.

Linas Linkevičius is the Foreign Minister of Lithuania.

DtVH_TcXQAArdFa.jpg

Russia kidnapping sailors on the high seas.
 

KevinKohler

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Ukrain should go to war.
 

Hawkeye10

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The rules are changing fast, what Russia is doing is much like what China does and China is the new cop in town, so Russia is fine.
 

ecofarm

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cpwill

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Linas Linkevičius: How many wake-up calls do we really need to wake up?

9bc4e6919145e4d25566dfb508b2eeea.jpg

The parents of Ukrainian sailors kidnapped by Russia.



DtVH_TcXQAArdFa.jpg

Russia kidnapping sailors on the high seas.

Well. At least the U.S. isn't throwing their weight around anymore. This new world where Russia conquers territory through military might, China cracks down on religious minorities, and weapons of mass destruction are regularly employed in Syria is much better than back when that mean ole U.S. was acting all imperialist and stuff.
 

Lord Tammerlain

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Well. At least the U.S. isn't throwing their weight around anymore. This new world where Russia conquers territory through military might, China cracks down on religious minorities, and weapons of mass destruction are regularly employed in Syria is much better than back when that mean ole U.S. was acting all imperialist and stuff.

You mean like the US is not involved in Syria, Iraq, who knows how many different countries in Africa, Afghanistan, the occasional bombing in Pakistan etc.

Heck if the above is not examples of the US throwing its weight around, what is?
 

cpwill

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You mean like the US is not involved in Syria, Iraq, who knows how many different countries in Africa, Afghanistan, the occasional bombing in Pakistan etc.

Heck if the above is not examples of the US throwing its weight around, what is?

IIRC we drew a big fat red line in Syria... and then did.... nothing.... about it, critically undercutting the U.S. security guarantee and giving the green light to much of the above.

And left early and came back too late to Iraq, allowing space for some group named after an Egyptian goddess (weird, right?) to become some kind of a Thing.

And "Led From Behind" in Africa, 'cause we didn't want to be, you know, overly-forward. I'm sure Libya's doing fine, now.





The world runs on Prison Rules. When a hegemon(s) refuse to enforce order, Liberal or otherwise, then there isn't any.
 

Rogue Valley

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Now would be the perfect time for world leader Merkel to tell Putin to stick his gas pipeline to Germany where the sun doesn't shine.

For no doubt the first time ever, we actually agree on something.

I can't fathom why Merkel continue's to welcome the Russian noose that is NordStream 2.

There has to come a point where German national security trumps corporate profits.

But then again, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder is a Board member of Gazprom, Russia's state-owned energy monopoly.
 

Helix

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Now would be the perfect time for world leader Merkel to tell Putin to stick his gas pipeline to Germany where the sun doesn't shine.

The US should announce a thirty year public / private moonshot with the goal of replacing oil as a transportation fuel and converting a large portion of our energy production to renewables / non-fossil fuel. then we should start taking serious steps towards that goal. that would pull the rug out from under several troublesome countries. the effect on oil futures would be immediate and significant. also, that would be a great opportunity to put those who are currently mining coal to work building the new infrastructure along with those who are being laid off from manufacturing.
 

Lord Tammerlain

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IIRC we drew a big fat red line in Syria... and then did.... nothing.... about it, critically undercutting the U.S. security guarantee and giving the green light to much of the above.
The US is in Syria, bombing, arming and fighting. Not nothing.
And left early and came back too late to Iraq, allowing space for some group named after an Egyptian goddess (weird, right?) to become some kind of a Thing.

And "Led From Behind" in Africa, 'cause we didn't want to be, you know, overly-forward. I'm sure Libya's doing fine, now.
Bombing and arming again, certainly the US was throwing weight around in causing regime change in Libya. It would have been doing better had the US not thrown its weight around don't you think
The world runs on Prison Rules. When a hegemon(s) refuse to enforce order, Liberal or otherwise, then there isn't any.
 

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A Foreign Minister of an irrelevant little tin pot Russia hating state offering advice ...... let's stop talking to the leader of a Permanent member of the UNSC.


:roll::roll:
 

Evilroddy

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Ukrain should go to war.

KevinKolher:

Ukraine will lose such a war, badly. The West will not come to its aid if it initiates war with Rusdia and the West will likely not come to its aid if Ukraine is attacked by Russia. War will not be the solution to this struggle.

Cheers.
Evilroddy.
 

cpwill

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The US is in Syria, bombing, arming and fighting.

Yeah - later we had to come in to combat the explosive growth of ISIS. The Junior Varsity... who somehow became a Billion-Dollar-A-Year Terrorist-State.

Turns out "non-intervention" often just means "Later we'll have to do more, bigger, intervention, because it will have become even more atrocious".

Bombing and arming again, certainly the US was throwing weight around in causing regime change in Libya.

:lol: with the "lead from behind, don't actually try to achieve any policy goals, just provide a bit of air support to rebels" non-policy policy?

No. We didn't cause regime change in Libya. We did our best to be bit players in a coalition enabling the end of one regime in Libya, but didn't want to, you know, throw our weight around, and bother to assist any new government in actually standing up.

So.... Libya is still in a civil war, years later, and it looks like a military dictator is winning. Huzzah.

It would have been doing better had the US not thrown its weight around don't you think

OTC, a world in which the U.S. doesn't throw it's weight around (and/or, at least, is perceived as being unwilling to) is a world in which Assad gasses his own citizens without recourse, in which Putin seizes land and redraws borders in Eastern Europe through military conquest, and in which Libya remains an ongoing disaster. That's what the world looks like when the U.S. retreats and pulls back from "throwing it's weight around".
 

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KevinKolher:

Ukraine will lose such a war, badly. The West will not come to its aid if it initiates war with Rusdia and the West will likely not come to its aid if Ukraine is attacked by Russia. War will not be the solution to this struggle.

Cheers.
Evilroddy.

I was being sarcastic. My point was, what should they (or we) do? Russia obviously wants attention. But something tells me grounding them for a couple weeks won't work...and spanking them could ultimately involve violence on a massive scale.
 

Evilroddy

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I was being sarcastic. My point was, what should they (or we) do? Russia obviously wants attention. But something tells me grounding them for a couple weeks won't work...and spanking them could ultimately involve violence on a massive scale.

KevinKohler:

What to do? Ukraine became vulnerable when under both Western and Russian pressure it agreed to de-nuclearise itself. In exchange for that disarmament, Russia agreed to respect Ukrainian territorial sovreignty and to help defend Ukraine in the event of an attack on it. That agreement which Russia signed at Budapest was broken by Russia in 2014. Thus Ukraine is no longer bound by the agreement either. Therefore the West should help Ukraine re-nuclearise very rapidly (quite literally over night) sometime in the near future, unless Russia withdraws from all the Ukrainian territory it occupies or has annexed or unless Russia negotiates a bilateral agreement with Ukraine which both states can live with in order to keep Crimea. This possible nuclear rearmament would pressure Russia to negotiate a peaceful settlement with Ukraine or it would place a hostile, nuclear-armed state in Russia's immediate near-abroad. This rearmament is also necessary so that Ukraine can fully protect itself once again, using a nuclear balance of terror with Russia to keep the larger state at bay. The training, infrastructure building and actual rearmament would have to be done covertly in order not to trigger a Russian pre-emptive attack on Ukraine before the weapons were in place and operational. About 600 nuclear weapons plus short range and long range delivery systems would be involved. This would not be nuclear proliferation but rather resetting the clock to the pre-Budapest days when Ukraine was a responsible and sophisticated nuclear power. Possessing a credible nuclear arsenal is the only way that Ukraine can assure its own sovreignty without bankrupting itself by buying very expensive conventional kit for a large conventional army.

Cheers.
Evilroddy.
 

Rogue Valley

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What to do? Ukraine became vulnerable when under both Western and Russian pressure it agreed to de-nuclearise itself. In exchange for that disarmament, Russia agreed to respect Ukrainian territorial sovereignty and to help defend Ukraine in the event of an attack on it. That agreement which Russia signed at Budapest was broken by Russia in 2014. Thus Ukraine is no longer bound by the agreement either. Therefore the West should help Ukraine re-nuclearise very rapidly (quite literally over night) sometime in the near future, unless Russia withdraws from all the Ukrainian territory it occupies or has annexed or unless Russia negotiates a bilateral agreement with Ukraine which both states can live with in order to keep Crimea. This possible nuclear rearmament would pressure Russia to negotiate a peaceful settlement with Ukraine or it would place a hostile, nuclear-armed state in Russia's immediate near-abroad. This rearmament is also necessary so that Ukraine can fully protect itself once again, using a nuclear balance of terror with Russia to keep the larger state at bay. The training, infrastructure building and actual rearmament would have to be done covertly in order not to trigger a Russian pre-emptive attack on Ukraine before the weapons were in place and operational. About 600 nuclear weapons plus short range and long range delivery systems would be involved. This would not be nuclear proliferation but rather resetting the clock to the pre-Budapest days when Ukraine was a responsible and sophisticated nuclear power. Possessing a credible nuclear arsenal is the only way that Ukraine can assure its own sovereignty without bankrupting itself by buying very expensive conventional kit for a large conventional army.

A very rational and sensible evaluation. Strangely enough, it strongly coincides with my own sober assessment.

I could be mistaken of course, but I tend to believe that this is a recent epiphany on your part?
 

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KevinKohler:

What to do? Ukraine became vulnerable when under both Western and Russian pressure it agreed to de-nuclearise itself. In exchange for that disarmament, Russia agreed to respect Ukrainian territorial sovreignty and to help defend Ukraine in the event of an attack on it. That agreement which Russia signed at Budapest was broken by Russia in 2014. Thus Ukraine is no longer bound by the agreement either. Therefore the West should help Ukraine re-nuclearise very rapidly (quite literally over night) sometime in the near future, unless Russia withdraws from all the Ukrainian territory it occupies or has annexed or unless Russia negotiates a bilateral agreement with Ukraine which both states can live with in order to keep Crimea. This possible nuclear rearmament would pressure Russia to negotiate a peaceful settlement with Ukraine or it would place a hostile, nuclear-armed state in Russia's immediate near-abroad. This rearmament is also necessary so that Ukraine can fully protect itself once again, using a nuclear balance of terror with Russia to keep the larger state at bay. The training, infrastructure building and actual rearmament would have to be done covertly in order not to trigger a Russian pre-emptive attack on Ukraine before the weapons were in place and operational. About 600 nuclear weapons plus short range and long range delivery systems would be involved. This would not be nuclear proliferation but rather resetting the clock to the pre-Budapest days when Ukraine was a responsible and sophisticated nuclear power. Possessing a credible nuclear arsenal is the only way that Ukraine can assure its own sovreignty without bankrupting itself by buying very expensive conventional kit for a large conventional army.

Cheers.
Evilroddy.
Fair and square.:thumbs:
 

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Nuclear arms are only useful in so far as your potential enemy believes you will actually use them. Tell me, if we, or the UN, helped them to rearm, would Ukraine, alone, have discretionary power to use them? Doubtful. At this point in the game, I view nuclear arms from solid, stable countries, as being paper tigers.
 

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A very rational and sensible evaluation. Strangely enough, it strongly coincides with my own sober assessment.

I could be mistaken of course, but I tend to believe that this is a recent epiphany on your part?

Rogue Valley:

Not a recent epiphany at all. This exact strategy was detailed months ago by me in another thread about how to solve the Russia-Ukraine deadlock and Westphalian went apoplectic when I laid my case out then. Throughout 2015 and 2016 I made the same case on a miniatures wargaming forum. I am not anti-Russian but nor am I blind to the need for a balance of force to restore Ukraine's territory or allow it to negotiate that territory away on terms either fair or favourable to Ukraine.

I differ with you on where the weapons should come from. You have argued that Ukraine will develop and build them themselves. That will trigger a pre-emptive attack by Russia which could end Ukraine. I propose that the international community build all the infrastructure for a completely functional nuclear deterrent system for Ukraine outside of Ukraine secretly, store it secretly outside of Ukraine until deployed and secretly train Ukrainians on the systems outside of Ukraine. While this is happening it should be made known to both Russia and Ukraine that they have a certain amount of time to bilaterally settle their issues before foreign intervention of some sort takes place (no mention of nukes at this point however). If they do, great, no nukes deployed and they remain in secret storage outside of Ukraine until no longer needed. If no bilateral deal is made then they are secretly and rapidly moved into Ukraine, dispersed, deployed, hidden and then put under Ukrainian control for an instant nuclear deterrent. These would all be mobile systems of minimal size to better hide and protect them. Some of the systems would initially have to be placed in major population centres, at least for a time, while the whole system was established. This would be necessary in order to make it much harder for the Russians to destroy them without committing genocide. The prospect of both protracted urban warfare and Ukrainian guerrilla warfare should deter conventional attacks until the whole system is up and running. Then the nuclear deterrent is established and the launchers in the cities can be dispersed to rural areas.

Cheers.
Evilroddy.
 

Evilroddy

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Nuclear arms are only useful in so far as your potential enemy believes you will actually use them. Tell me, if we, or the UN, helped them to rearm, would Ukraine, alone, have discretionary power to use them? Doubtful. At this point in the game, I view nuclear arms from solid, stable countries, as being paper tigers.

KevinKohler:

Yes. Sole Ukrainian discretion on their use; but a very serious warning that a nuclear first strike by Ukraine against Russia might bring a retaliatory strike by the West if abused and circumstances warranted it.

Cheers.
Evilroddy.
 

Rogue Valley

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Not a recent epiphany at all. This exact strategy was detailed months ago by me in another thread about how to solve the Russia-Ukraine deadlock and Westphalian went apoplectic when I laid my case out then. Throughout 2015 and 2016 I made the same case on a miniatures war-gaming forum. I am not anti-Russian but nor am I blind to the need for a balance of force to restore Ukraine's territory or allow it to negotiate that territory away on terms either fair or favorable to Ukraine.

I am not anti-Russian either. But what the Kremlin did in 2014 is unconscionable, and they have since doubled down on their duplicity and hybrid warfare against Ukraine.

I differ with you on where the weapons should come from. You have argued that Ukraine will develop and build them themselves. That will trigger a pre-emptive attack by Russia which could end Ukraine. I propose that the international community build all the infrastructure for a completely functional nuclear deterrent system for Ukraine outside of Ukraine secretly, store it secretly outside of Ukraine until deployed and secretly train Ukrainians on the systems outside of Ukraine. While this is happening it should be made known to both Russia and Ukraine that they have a certain amount of time to bilaterally settle their issues before foreign intervention of some sort takes place (no mention of nukes at this point however). If they do, great, no nukes deployed and they remain in secret storage outside of Ukraine until no longer needed. If no bilateral deal is made then they are secretly and rapidly moved into Ukraine, dispersed, deployed, hidden and then put under Ukrainian control for an instant nuclear deterrent. These would all be mobile systems of minimal size to better hide and protect them. Some of the systems would initially have to be placed in major population centres, at least for a time, while the whole system was established. This would be necessary in order to make it much harder for the Russians to destroy them without committing genocide. The prospect of both protracted urban warfare and Ukrainian guerrilla warfare should deter conventional attacks until the whole system is up and running. Then the nuclear deterrent is established and the launchers in the cities can be dispersed to rural areas.

Such an operation would require the [overseas] training of many hundreds of Ukrainian technicians. It may be difficult to innocuously paper-over this facet.

Personally, I have no doubts whatsoever that Ukraine has the technical ability to fabricate nuclear weapons (she already fabricates ballistic missiles for space launches). But GRU agents do operate in-country (the recent arsenal detonations etc).

Your gambit is a difficult (though not impossible) operation. The world would howl. But the world has had five years to stop hoping Putin will amend his ways. He only respects one military resource ..... nuclear weapons.
 

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KevinKohler:

Yes. Sole Ukrainian discretion on their use; but a very serious warning that a nuclear first strike by Ukraine against Russia might bring a retaliatory strike by the West if abused and circumstances warranted it.

Cheers.
Evilroddy.

I just don't see the point. What happens? Russia pushes Ukraine to the point of using nukes? And they use them. And Russia will, what, not retaliate? No. Military intervention from other nations will happen long before that.

MAD.
 

Evilroddy

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I just don't see the point. What happens? Russia pushes Ukraine to the point of using nukes? And they use them. And Russia will, what, not retaliate? No. Military intervention from other nations will happen long before that.

MAD.

KevinKohler:

More likely, with MAD in place, Russia will be forced to fight a protracted and very expensive limited conventional and hybrid war in Ukraine with conventional weapons. Russia will have to bear the blood price and economic costs of the war as well as struggling under international sanctions and boycotts. Ukraine will fight the war with money grants, loans and subsidies from the West. Russia will eventually come to terms before it is bankrupted. Unfortunately many, many people on both sides will die, be maimed, or lose everything but that is the cruel nature of war. No rational power will perpetuate such conditions if it has other options. Ukraine has no other option but Russia does.

Cheers.
Evilroddy.
 

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KevinKohler:

More likely, with MAD in place, Russia will be forced to fight a protracted and very expensive limited conventional and hybrid war in Ukraine with conventional weapons. Russia will have to bear the blood price and economic costs of the war as well as struggling under international sanctions and boycotts. Ukraine will fight the war with money grants, loans and subsidies from the West. Russia will eventually come to terms before it is bankrupted. Unfortunately many, many people on both sides will die, be maimed, or lose everything but that is the cruel nature of war. No rational power will perpetuate such conditions if it has other options. Ukraine has no other option but Russia does.

Cheers.
Evilroddy.

My thought exactly, which is why I don't think nukes are the answer. The answer is international support for Ukraine. But how to do that without rocking the boat too much.

I'm surprised no one is discussing "regime change" as we have (unsuccessfully?) In the mid east. IMO, assassination can be a public service.
 
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