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[W:#149]An interview if you want to understand Putin's thinking behind the war

Craig234

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This is a very informative interview with a specialist on Russia. It's a bit long and has very good parts. If you don't watch anything else, watch the last 2.5 minutes starting at 45:00 explaining why Putin WOULD use nuclear weapons.

 

EMNofSeattle

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Who is being interviewed? Is it somebody who actually understands Putin? Or is it some feminist chick who’s ignorant and think she’s boss babe?

This is not a serious interview at all and she makes no good points because she’s ignorantly “educated” in western schools and sees nothing from a Russian frame of mind
 

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This is a very informative interview with a specialist on Russia. It's a bit long and has very good parts. If you don't watch anything else, watch the last 2.5 minutes starting at 45:00 explaining why Putin WOULD use nuclear weapons.



No question that nukes are on the table for Putin -- mainly because he thinks they are off the table for us.
 

Craig234

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No question that nukes are on the table for Putin -- mainly because he thinks they are off the table for us.
Did you watch at least that 2.5 minutes?
 

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Did you watch at least that 2.5 minutes?

I did, and I agree with what she said, word for word. But as I said, a huge part of his calculus is that he assumes the United States and allies won't get physical. Putin knew we would use harsh sanctions. Probably did miscalculate the extent to which some of the other countries would join us, but he knew sanctions were coming. His real miscalculation was the resistance in Ukraine and the competence and capabilities of his armed forces, particularly those on the ground.

But he has calculated, over and over again, that the U.S. is too fearful of a hot war to use military force to confront him. This is an important part of the calculation because as long as he's right about this, as long as we prove again and again that Putin's right, that we won't use military force to stop him, then those who might be in a position to refuse cooperation with him have no reason to oppose him. That includes his senior commanders. That includes his thugs within the FSB & GRU. And that also includes other countries that could influence him, like China or Israel.

If the U.S. were to make it clear that they're done staying out of conflict, I can't guarantee Putin's thinking would change on its own, but you'd see a lot more urgency by those I just mentioned above. Putin's not insane but he is obsessed and myopic. He can't see that he's making bad judgments. But others around him can. Others around him don't necessarily want to go down on his sinking ship. They know that this war is disastrous on many levels but they're afraid to challenge him because they know there's a chance Putin could draw down forces, end the conflict, pull back and end the pressure against him and Russia, and it's unclear if they'd have enough momentum to take him out. But if the U.S. and allies were to change the calculus, to show not only Putin, but others who have the ability to influence him, that it's not Russia in control of the dynamic, but that the U.S. is now also willing to escalate, I think you'd see change pretty quickly.

Putin acts, and we react. Putin acts because we know we're afraid of him, and he's not afraid of us. Because others around him see this pattern, he projects power, and he makes everyone else fear him, and they fear Putin's enemies less because he appears stronger than they are. The only way to stop him is to change this dynamic. We have to make everyone else afraid of the United States, not our sanctions but afraid of the awesome, real power to end civilization.
 

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But others around him can. Others around him don't necessarily want to go down on his sinking ship. They know that this war is disastrous on many levels but they're afraid to challenge him

She estimated his inner circle who can talk to him is down to 2 or 3 people. She mentioned they're all scared of him.

But if the U.S. and allies were to change the calculus, to show not only Putin, but others who have the ability to influence him, that it's not Russia in control of the dynamic, but that the U.S. is now also willing to escalate, I think you'd see change pretty quickly.

Whatever scenario you are coming up with, the risk of nuclear war is too high. It might seem like that gives Putin too much freedom to cause harm. It does. Other solutions need to be found. One option is to get those with access to him to have reason to stop him, without doing it in a way that escalated him to use nuclear weapons first.
 

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She estimated his inner circle who can talk to him is down to 2 or 3 people. She mentioned they're all scared of him.

Not surprising, Putin's a scary man. He has no problem killing people.

Whatever scenario you are coming up with, the risk of nuclear war is too high. It might seem like that gives Putin too much freedom to cause harm. It does. Other solutions need to be found. One option is to get those with access to him to have reason to stop him, without doing it in a way that escalated him to use nuclear weapons first.

I know what I'm proposing is counter-intuitive, and you have to understand, I've long been a proponent of sanctions and 'measured' responses. But the more I read those who have a really good read and understanding of Putin, it's clear that 'measured responses' haven't worked, and we've waited far too long to apply real pushback. Putin has gotten used to sanctions, and as I said earlier, he probably anticipated economic pain. Putin knows that people are going to start getting demonstrably angry before long, but he prepared for that - at least in the short-term.

There's certainly a risk that military involvement pushes him to escalate, but here's where I'm going with this: Putin will eventually escalate no matter what we do. Why? Because he assumes he's in control, and he assumes he can use his bombs - and our fear of them - as his golden key to do pretty much anything he desires to do. People make the argument that if we back him into a corner militarily he'll use weapons, but guess what? Economic sanctions and political isolation will also back him into a corner and make him desperate.

I'm obviously not saying we should fly into Russian airspace without provocation, but we have to take the gloves off. Our adversaries don't fear us because they assume that we're bound by rules and that we're too concerned with our stock markets and other economic indicators to wage a war. They heard about Obama's red line, and saw absolutely nothing in response. They saw Obama tell Putin to 'cut it out' after meddling in our elections - as he was days away from leaving office, lol. Putin, Xi Jinping, Kim Jong Un all looked at our pullout of Afghanistan and saw a country that's tired of war. They looked at the 2016 election and saw a country that wanted to withdraw from the geopolitical scene. Our adversaries are unafraid of us. That needs to change.

We need to scare the shit out of our adversaries. Start by challenging Russia's air force - knock their fighters out of the sky and enforce a no-fly zone immediately. Tell Belarus that if they fire missiles into Ukraine, they're going to get the shit kicked out of them, and that if unconventional weapons are fired from Belarus, they'll likely get destroyed. And tell Russia that we'll then give them 72 hours to start leaving Ukraine and that remaining forces that are in the non-Donbas part of Ukraine will get slaughtered. Believe me, that will get Russia's attention, and not just Putin's. It'll also get China's attention, and Iran's, and everyone else's. Everyone will awaken to how quickly this could get out of control and urgently push for a cease-fire and negotiations.
 

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Not surprising, Putin's a scary man. He has no problem killing people.



I know what I'm proposing is counter-intuitive, and you have to understand, I've long been a proponent of sanctions and 'measured' responses. But the more I read those who have a really good read and understanding of Putin, it's clear that 'measured responses' haven't worked, and we've waited far too long to apply real pushback. Putin has gotten used to sanctions, and as I said earlier, he probably anticipated economic pain. Putin knows that people are going to start getting demonstrably angry before long, but he prepared for that - at least in the short-term.

There's certainly a risk that military involvement pushes him to escalate, but here's where I'm going with this: Putin will eventually escalate no matter what we do. Why? Because he assumes he's in control, and he assumes he can use his bombs - and our fear of them - as his golden key to do pretty much anything he desires to do. People make the argument that if we back him into a corner militarily he'll use weapons, but guess what? Economic sanctions and political isolation will also back him into a corner and make him desperate.

I'm obviously not saying we should fly into Russian airspace without provocation, but we have to take the gloves off. Our adversaries don't fear us because they assume that we're bound by rules and that we're too concerned with our stock markets and other economic indicators to wage a war. They heard about Obama's red line, and saw absolutely nothing in response. They saw Obama tell Putin to 'cut it out' after meddling in our elections - as he was days away from leaving office, lol. Putin, Xi Jinping, Kim Jong Un all looked at our pullout of Afghanistan and saw a country that's tired of war. They looked at the 2016 election and saw a country that wanted to withdraw from the geopolitical scene. Our adversaries are unafraid of us. That needs to change.

We need to scare the shit out of our adversaries. Start by challenging Russia's air force - knock their fighters out of the sky and enforce a no-fly zone immediately. Tell Belarus that if they fire missiles into Ukraine, they're going to get the shit kicked out of them, and that if unconventional weapons are fired from Belarus, they'll likely get destroyed. And tell Russia that we'll then give them 72 hours to start leaving Ukraine and that remaining forces that are in the non-Donbas part of Ukraine will get slaughtered. Believe me, that will get Russia's attention, and not just Putin's. It'll also get China's attention, and Iran's, and everyone else's. Everyone will awaken to how quickly this could get out of control and urgently push for a cease-fire and negotiations.
Playing poker with the fate of the world, not smart.

If he folds, yes we get the pot, but what we gain is pennies compared to what we stand to loose if he calls our bluff.
 

Craig234

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I've long been a proponent of sanctions and 'measured' responses. But the more I read those who have a really good read and understanding of Putin, it's clear that 'measured responses' haven't worked, and we've waited far too long to apply real pushback.

Define 'worked'. If you mean worked to prevent nuclear war, they have. If you mean 'worked' to prevent him behaving aggressively, that's not the purpose of avoid escalation to prevent nuclear war. Here's the fact you didn't seem to hear: guy with 6,000 nuclear weapons can do bad stuff. It's terrible but that's the problem. You don't deal with them like a normal person on threats and escalation.

What you want to see is someone who has respect for the issue also. If you do, then you can work out 'fair' agreements you both stick to to deal with conflicts. That's what we've done with the Russians since they got nukes as we had proxy wars.

The situation here is, what do you do when their person wants to instead exploit their nuclear weapons for more power, to do more harm, recklessly, like Putin is doing?

Here's what you don't do: you are upsetting me so I'm going to send my military at your military and we'll see if you have the guts to use nukes. We need to avoid nukes despite terrible harm, while looking for other ways to remove that person from power because they are a menace to the world having nukes. And we have to do it without their feeling threatened to use nukes. That's it.

And our economically sanctioning those who are close to him and keeping him in power is one way to do that without breaking 'the rules' long established on military use. It's still dangerous but less dangerous.

Putin has gotten used to sanctions, and as I said earlier, he probably anticipated economic pain. Putin knows that people are going to start getting demonstrably angry before long, but he prepared for that - at least in the short-term.

He tried. Our previous sanctions weren't that strong. These are still limited but much stronger. He's going to be affected. Experts are stil suggesting he can withstand them, but experts are more likely to have some discretion around the idea of pressuring his inner circle to betray him, unlike Linsey Graham.
 

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We need to scare the shit out of our adversaries.

You don't know what we need, sorry to have to put it that way. But you are showing some of the danger of why we need to get rid of nuclear weapons, because they're a constant risk to two sides who do things like 'feeling they need to scare the shit out of their adversaries' leading to their use.

You're thinking we're the 'weak' ones here. Think about that for a minute. Think that maybe Putin feels like he's the one who hasn't done enough to look strong to his adversaries? Things have been going our way, as NATO has expanded to his border and former Soviet buffer countries are all joining the west. In other words, your logic fits HIS situation a lot better than ours.

Countries who 'feel' like you talk about are how you get nuclear war. Who push things into a corner and can't get out of escalation.

JFK and Khrushchev had private communications and each confided in the other that they had right-wing military pressures that might get out of control. Khrushchev said it was like pulling a knit tighter and tighter until it couldn't be loosened. Human tendencies about "we need to scare the shit out of our adversaries" are unacceptable in nuclear chicken. But people who 'feel' that way have a hard time with that.

Start by challenging Russia's air force - knock their fighters out of the sky and enforce a no-fly zone immediately. Tell Belarus that if they fire missiles into Ukraine, they're going to get the shit kicked out of them, and that if unconventional weapons are fired from Belarus, they'll likely get destroyed. And tell Russia that we'll then give them 72 hours to start leaving Ukraine and that remaining forces that are in the non-Donbas part of Ukraine will get slaughtered. Believe me, that will get Russia's attention, and not just Putin's. It'll also get China's attention, and Iran's, and everyone else's. Everyone will awaken to how quickly this could get out of control and urgently push for a cease-fire and negotiations.

And Putin responds saying, "US warship F you. If you do anything, tactical nuclear weapons will be used in Ukraine." And he means it. And what then? We proceed and he uses them? Bad idea. So you have just added another of the 'Obama said red line and didn't back it up' stories to the list INCREASING the danger. This is why red lines need to be used carefully and we have to accept a lot worse things than we'd like to avoid destroying the world.

That, as I've been saying, is the cost of our deciding to keep nuclear weapons in existence.
 

Craig234

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There's certainly a risk that military involvement pushes him to escalate, but here's where I'm going with this: Putin will eventually escalate no matter what we do. Why? Because he assumes he's in control, and he assumes he can use his bombs - and our fear of them - as his golden key to do pretty much anything he desires to do. People make the argument that if we back him into a corner militarily he'll use weapons, but guess what? Economic sanctions and political isolation will also back him into a corner and make him desperate.

I've been saying some of those points also. We need to look for that 'middle' that says, we won't push him into a corner where he is militarily under threat unless he uses nukes - in which case he will, perhaps local tactical nukes, which can easily escalate. On the other hand, we've decided that if he's simply a reckless madman, he could just launch nukes right now; so we're counting on his having some deterrence, and there's a long history of 'the rules' we agree to, which allow proxy wars and economic sanctions but not military conflict.

Your point is right, that we've decided the economic sanctions need to not be the 'we sent a message' type we've done but stronger, and the dilemma is that as they are effective at really pressuring him, he does have that option to turn to nuclear blackmail to demand anything he wants. That's why this is so delicate. On the one hand we need to prevent destroying the world, on the other to not dimply let him destroy much of it with nuclear blackmail. And in my opinion, that means even sacrificing a country like Ukraine, but we can't say that for political reasons. People would be appalled. But we have little choice, but need to instead recognize him as unfit to wield nuclear weapons and look for ways to change that discreetly enough not to make him use them in response.

I'm obviously not saying we should fly into Russian airspace without provocation, but we have to take the gloves off. Our adversaries don't fear us because they assume that we're bound by rules and that we're too concerned with our stock markets and other economic indicators to wage a war. They heard about Obama's red line, and saw absolutely nothing in response. They saw Obama tell Putin to 'cut it out' after meddling in our elections - as he was days away from leaving office, lol. Putin, Xi Jinping, Kim Jong Un all looked at our pullout of Afghanistan and saw a country that's tired of war. They looked at the 2016 election and saw a country that wanted to withdraw from the geopolitical scene. Our adversaries are unafraid of us. That needs to change.

Not exactly. Two sides acting 'tough' at each other trying to win that way is playing chicken with nuclear war and that is not the way to do it. That's the way to have nuclear war.

I posted a thread on this with lessons from the Cuban Missile Crisis that show the challenges as JFK dealt with his political needs for an unreasonable public that demanded too much, while preventing nuclear war, which VERY nearly still happened despite the two leaders being determined not to.

But how could Khrushchev not follow your advice, and let the US put missiles on his border while he couldn't do the same? He needed to follow your advice and have some more fairness. See the problem?

We need to scare the shit out of our adversaries.

You don't know what we need, sorry to have to put it that way. But you are showing some of the danger of why we need to get rid of nuclear weapons, because they're a constant risk to two sides who do things like 'feeling they need to scare the shit out of their adversaries' leading to their use.

You're thinking we're the 'weak' ones here. Think about that for a minute. Think that maybe Putin feels like he's the one who hasn't done enough to look strong to his adversaries? Things have been going our way, as NATO has expanded to his border and former Soviet buffer countries are all joining the west. In other words, your logic fits HIS situation a lot better than ours.

Countries who 'feel' like you talk about are how you get nuclear war. Who push things into a corner and can't get out of escalation.

JFK and Khrushchev had private communications and each confided in the other that they had right-wing military pressures that might get out of control. Khrushchev said it was like pulling a knit tighter and tighter until it couldn't be loosened. Human tendencies about "we need to scare the shit out of our adversaries" are unacceptable in nuclear chicken. But people who 'feel' that way have a hard time with that.
 

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Start by challenging Russia's air force - knock their fighters out of the sky and enforce a no-fly zone immediately. Tell Belarus that if they fire missiles into Ukraine, they're going to get the shit kicked out of them, and that if unconventional weapons are fired from Belarus, they'll likely get destroyed. And tell Russia that we'll then give them 72 hours to start leaving Ukraine and that remaining forces that are in the non-Donbas part of Ukraine will get slaughtered. Believe me, that will get Russia's attention, and not just Putin's. It'll also get China's attention, and Iran's, and everyone else's. Everyone will awaken to how quickly this could get out of control and urgently push for a cease-fire and negotiations.

And Putin responds saying, "US warship F you. If you do anything, tactical nuclear weapons will be used in Ukraine." And he means it. And what then? We proceed and he uses them? Bad idea. So you have just added another of the 'Obama said red line and didn't back it up' stories to the list INCREASING the danger. This is why red lines need to be used carefully and we have to accept a lot worse things than we'd like to avoid destroying the world.

That, as I've been saying, is the cost of our deciding to keep nuclear weapons in existence.
 

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Playing poker with the fate of the world, not smart.

If he folds, yes we get the pot, but what we gain is pennies compared to what we stand to loose if he calls our bluff.

If all he wanted were Ukraine, I'd agree. I would acknowledge it's sad that Ukraine has to be destroyed, but it's not our fight. The problem is, Ukraine is just the first domino. Putin wants to undo 'the West' as we know it. Ukraine probably isn't worth fighting for in and of itself, but preservation of the US/Western alliance and global geopolitical system most certainly is.


Mystery surrounds a report from the authorities in Croatia this Friday, March 11, that a Russian-made drone crashed in Zagreb on Thursday evening. It allegedly left Ukraine, before flying over Romania, Hungary, and finally Croatia – three EU and NATO countries – without ever being intercepted.

The drone wasn't armed, but that's not the point. The point is that Putin is going to test to see what NATO is really made of, and we are required under Article V to defend any country that is attacked with force by a hostile nation.
 

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If all he wanted were Ukraine, I'd agree. I would acknowledge it's sad that Ukraine has to be destroyed, but it's not our fight. The problem is, Ukraine is just the first domino. Putin wants to undo 'the West' as we know it. Ukraine probably isn't worth fighting for in and of itself, but preservation of the US/Western alliance and global geopolitical system most certainly is.

Ukraine is absolutely 'worth fighting for' in my opinion. But it's not worth destroying the planet for. This is the harm of nuclear weapons.
The drone wasn't armed, but that's not the point. The point is that Putin is going to test to see what NATO is really made of, and we are required under Article V to defend any country that is attacked with force by a hostile nation.

I don't think the issue is 'what if Putin attacks a NATO country'. I think that's a firm line. Rather I think it's how we deal with a rogue nuclear power on non-NATO countries. Today, it's one man, Putin. Tomorrow it could be a huge group of millions, the Party ruling China.
 

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If all he wanted were Ukraine, I'd agree. I would acknowledge it's sad that Ukraine has to be destroyed, but it's not our fight. The problem is, Ukraine is just the first domino. Putin wants to undo 'the West' as we know it. Ukraine probably isn't worth fighting for in and of itself, but preservation of the US/Western alliance and global geopolitical system most certainly is.




The drone wasn't armed, but that's not the point. The point is that Putin is going to test to see what NATO is really made of, and we are required under Article V to defend any country that is attacked with force by a hostile nation.
If if we assume he will succeed and bring the USSR back, and we back to the cold war, preventing that isn't worth the risk of doomsday.

And I doubt he can succeed, he doesn't that the economic means to get it, much less hold it together.
 

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I read your posts, Craig, and they were solid rebuttals even if I don't agree with all of it.

Ukraine is absolutely 'worth fighting for' in my opinion. But it's not worth destroying the planet for. This is the harm of nuclear weapons.

Here's the thing: I don't think Russia is going to launch nuclear weapons the moment we get involved. I *do* think they'll threaten to escalate, and in some cases, they might actually escalate. There's that risk, and we certainly need to consider all of the possible ways in which they could escalate and how we'd respond *before* entering Ukrainian air space. But there's also the risk that they escalate if we do nothing, and I argue that doing nothing actually *encourages* Putin to escalate, particularly since we're waging a financial war against him already.

I wouldn't suggest bombing Russian forces right away - at least that wouldn't be the intent going in. I'd start off by enforcing a no-fly zone. Yes, Russia will get angry, but we are talking about defending a sovereign country and millions of civilians against war crimes. We could try to make a deal with Russia in advance that the air defense would be strictly to allow civilians to flee the country.

As I said, we'd only need to seriously escalate, as they escalate. Now if they start shooting at our fighter jets and bombers, we fight back within Ukrainian air space. The big question is how we'd respond if the missiles came from Russia. That part I certainly wouldn't mention publicly in advance.

I don't think the issue is 'what if Putin attacks a NATO country'. I think that's a firm line.

I guess that's where we disagree. Putin is thinking "They won't defend Ukraine because they're afraid of my nukes. They're not gonna be any less afraid of my nukes if I go into Latvia and Estonia or Poland." And he's right: we won't. We'll still be afraid of his nukes and bombs and bioweapons. Think about what would happen if Putin, God forbid, sent a tactical nuke into a NATO country - you know, a less important one like Poland or Latvia. We say he wouldn't, but again, every time we've said 'he wouldn't'...he does. Putin thinks the same about us. "They wouldn't." And every time he thinks we wouldn't...we don't. That's the problem. And that's why Ukraine is basically a heap of concrete and up in smoke now.
 

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If if we assume he will succeed and bring the USSR back, and we back to the cold war, preventing that isn't worth the risk of doomsday.

It is worth the risk of doomsday, but that's admittedly hard to demonstrate right now. Regardless, I don't think Putin and his gang want doomsday. They don't have a death wish. They want to remain in power.
 

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I guess that's where we disagree. Putin is thinking "They won't defend Ukraine because they're afraid of my nukes. They're not gonna be any less afraid of my nukes if I go into Latvia and Estonia or Poland." And he's right: we won't. We'll still be afraid of his nukes and bombs and bioweapons. Think about what would happen if Putin, God forbid, sent a tactical nuke into a NATO country - you know, a less important one like Poland or Latvia. We say he wouldn't, but again, every time we've said 'he wouldn't'...he does. Putin thinks the same about us. "They wouldn't." And every time he thinks we wouldn't...we don't. That's the problem. And that's why Ukraine is basically a heap of concrete and up in smoke now.

I don't think you understand this well, including the history. I think you're a reasonable person trying to figure it out from scratch.

Putin knows there is a huge difference between NATO and non-NATO, and that the doctrine has been to have clear lines drawn, and that that line has been drawn for NATO, and he has no doubt the US would fully battle and defeat him.

Now, he might try to find some weaselly way to look for 'sneaking around' the red line, just as he found 'sneaky ways' to send in troops without uniforms to Crimea, or to use false flag attacks to put forces into Eastern Ukraine. But he likely knows he can't do it.

It's that simple, except for the fact of the ultimate launch of nuclear weapons. At the height of the cold war, JFK and his defense secretary made a private agreement only the two of them knew to not launch nuclear weapons in response to hearing of an incoming attack; the deterrence value was in Russia not knowing that. But that doesn't really matter here.

We are dealing with a very dangerous, slippery, complicated situation we can't control, with the stake nuclear war.

A plan with a 1% chance of nuclear war is too dangerous. Having to try to contain someone who has 6,000 nukes is not easy. It's not about normal 'brinksmanship'.
 

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I don't think you understand this well, including the history. I think you're a reasonable person trying to figure it out from scratch.

Nope, I understand it pretty well. There were 15 members by 1955. Between 1999 and 2020 that membership grew by another 14 members, all of which were from the former Soviet/Communist bloc nations.

That's why this is different. Not just because Putin doesn't like NATO expansion, but because NATO membership has grown so large that it includes a much broader spectrum of nation-states, each with its own unique spin on democracy. And some of those are, shall we say, less than liberal democratic - Hungary and Poland in particular.

But more than that, if you're Putin, you're not crazy to wonder whether or not voters in the United States and other places are really, truly willing to confront nuclear-tipped Russia if they invade 'unimportant' NATO countries, like Latvia or Lithuania. Yes, Article V states that we attack, but what if the polls make it clear that fighting for a piss-ant little country is highly unpopular? Ukraine isn't a NATO country, but clearly most Americans recognize it's an independent, sovereign, European country that is trying to join NATO and the EU and wanting to join the West, and yet it's beyond clear that making a move against Russia there is not getting a lot of support here, which is why Putin thinks he can bomb and maim as he pleases.

Yes, I know what the NATO charter says -- that doesn't mean that when push comes to shove, we're necessarily going to follow through and act on that pledge. Article 5 is a piece of paper.

Putin knows there is a huge difference between NATO and non-NATO, and that the doctrine has been to have clear lines drawn, and that that line has been drawn for NATO, and he has no doubt the US would fully battle and defeat him.

Putin knows there's probably a huge difference between Ukraine and France, Ukraine and Germany, Ukraine and the UK, and Ukraine and the United States -- yes, a huge difference. But he's much less certain if there's a huge difference between Ukraine and Lithuania, Ukraine and Latvia, or Slovenia, or Estonia. Assuming he's not overthrown and survives sanctions, he'll test the strength of that alliance. Of that, I am sure. He will provoke. He already has.
 

multivita-man

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We are dealing with a very dangerous, slippery, complicated situation we can't control, with the stake nuclear war.

Yes, we are, and the sooner Putin gets the message that we're not going to just let him use his military as he pleases, he'll recognize that we have boundaries. It's counter-intuitive. Everyone thinks that because Putin has nukes and threatens to use them that we're powerless to stop him other than with sanctions. But sanctions doesn't destroy tanks. Sanctions doesn't take out missile batteries. It doesn't blow up convoys.

There's a risk of a nuclear escalation if we confront him militarily, but there's also the risk of a nuclear escalation if we don't. Putin can misjudge our reticence to fight as an unwillingness to fight. He can then make decisions assuming that we're unwilling to confront him when in fact we are more than willing to do so -- miscalculations can go both ways. Sorry, but the conventional wisdom that we just let a nuclear armed nation run amok is wrong, and dangerous.

A plan with a 1% chance of nuclear war is too dangerous. Having to try to contain someone who has 6,000 nukes is not easy. It's not about normal 'brinksmanship'.

No, encouraging someone with nuclear weapons to double down on his bets that others won't fight him encourages him to push the envelope until we're in a situation when we literally have no choice but to fight him. I get it -- you and many others want measured responses.

***Think of it this way, we have different weapons of war, and we have different types of war. We have information war. We have cyber war. We have economic war. We have diplomatic war. And we have military war. Right now, we're fighting mostly an economic and political war. But in both cases, diplomatically and politically, we are not using small weapons -- we are using the financial and political equivalent a nuclear bomb right now -- why? Because we didn't confront Russia nearly hard enough earlier. We waited and waited and waited until we got into a position in which we felt like we had to respond, in which we had to over-respond.

Now apply that to the military theater. Right now, we're waiting and waiting and waiting. We're showing restraint. We showed restraint in Syria when he leveled Aleppo as the Syrians used chemical weapons like sarin, chlorine, and mustard gas - no financial, cyber, political, or military consequences. We showed restraint in South Ossetia. We showed restraint as he took Crimea and the Donbas republics, and oh by the way shot down a civilian airliner murdering 240 people from all over the world. And of course we're sitting on our hands watching a peaceful European country get absolutely leveled. If we don't confront Putin militarily, we're going to find ourselves in a situation in which we feel compelled to confront him with all out force.

As dangerous as things are now, it would be one hell of a lot more dangerous if he were to end his Ukraine campaign with his sights set on former Soviet NATO members with the belief that we're just too chickenshit to deal with his nuclear threats. It would be the worst mistake we could make.
 

Razoo

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No question that nukes are on the table for Putin -- mainly because he thinks they are off the table for us.
time to send in navy seals to disable the Russian nuke weapons systems for many many years

Every nuke country should disable their own systems and never reactivate
 

Craig234

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There's a risk of a nuclear escalation if we confront him militarily, but there's also the risk of a nuclear escalation if we don't.

Putin could start a nuclear war today if he wanted. The risk us hugely higher with a military war than without.
Putin can misjudge our reticence to fight as an unwillingness to fight. He can then make decisions assuming that we're unwilling to confront him when in fact we are more than willing to do so -- miscalculations can go both ways. Sorry, but the conventional wisdom that we just let a nuclear armed nation run amok is wrong, and dangerous.

Which is why we've needed to be clear. We've made it clear that a NATO attack would be met with a full military response, and that other attacks will be met with other responses like sanctions.

***Think of it this way, we have different weapons of war, and we have different types of war. We have information war. We have cyber war. We have economic war. We have diplomatic war. And we have military war. Right now, we're fighting mostly an economic and political war. But in both cases, diplomatically and politically, we are not using small weapons -- we are using the financial and political equivalent a nuclear bomb right now -- why? Because we didn't confront Russia nearly hard enough earlier. We waited and waited and waited until we got into a position in which we felt like we had to respond, in which we had to over-respond.

Those aren't the rules. Military conflict -> military escalation -> nuclear weapons. Non-military war can cause great pressure and pain but is understood not to escalate to nuclear weapons - unless someone decides it does, and there's little to do about that except to let Putin do anything, which we don't want to do.

Now apply that to the military theater. Right now, we're waiting and waiting and waiting. We're showing restraint. We showed restraint in Syria when he leveled Aleppo as the Syrians used chemical weapons like sarin, chlorine, and mustard gas - no financial, cyber, political, or military consequences. We showed restraint in South Ossetia. We showed restraint as he took Crimea and the Donbas republics, and oh by the way shot down a civilian airliner murdering 240 people from all over the world. And of course we're sitting on our hands watching a peaceful European country get absolutely leveled. If we don't confront Putin militarily, we're going to find ourselves in a situation in which we feel compelled to confront him with all out force.

As dangerous as things are now, it would be one hell of a lot more dangerous if he were to end his Ukraine campaign with his sights set on former Soviet NATO members with the belief that we're just too chickenshit to deal with his nuclear threats. It would be the worst mistake we could make.

I'll repeat what I said. Avoiding military conflict has resulted in not destroying the world. It does not result in deterring non-nuclear wars. And I'll repeat that Putin understands very well that he cannot attack a NATO country without a full military response that will defeat him.
 

Craig234

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But more than that, if you're Putin, you're not crazy to wonder whether or not voters in the United States and other places are really, truly willing to confront nuclear-tipped Russia if they invade 'unimportant' NATO countries, like Latvia or Lithuania. Yes, Article V states that we attack, but what if the polls make it clear that fighting for a piss-ant little country is highly unpopular?

Too bad. Our policy is clear and we'd act on it. FDR led this country to WWII kicking and screaming, and any president but trump, who would side with Putin, would do the same for NATO, and Putin knows it..

Ukraine isn't a NATO country, but clearly most Americans recognize it's an independent, sovereign, European country that is trying to join NATO and the EU and wanting to join the West, and yet it's beyond clear that making a move against Russia there is not getting a lot of support here, which is why Putin thinks he can bomb and maim as he pleases.

That's simply not true. We have been very clear where the US and NATO will use military force. And everyone in NATO knows that some 'less important NATO countries won't get defense' is absurd and won't happen, and that that WOULD question NATO support for any country, so NATO will stick to it for any member. That's the point for there not to be a question, to deter attacks.
 

multivita-man

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