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Europe at War

Started by Que, February 20, 2022, 12:59:09 AM

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Que

Ukraine: Russia plans biggest war in Europe since 1945 - Boris Johnson

While the US was busy fighting the phantoms of 9/11 and subsequently went on a course of political implosion, and while Britain was playing Little Empire, Putin was setting the stage for his 1930's playbook. After he annexed the Crimea and supported armed seperatist forces in the South East of the Ukraine, he has now ammased his troops to go for the big prise.

China is waiting in the wings to watch Western influence falter, so it can invade Taiwan and move aggressively in the South China Sea to break the political and economic resistance by the ASEAN countries against its objective of total hegemony in South East Asia.


Que


Que

UK scraps rich foreign investor visa scheme

Too little, too late...

The London City has played the role of Switzerland in the previous century: a safe heaven for dirty money and people with dirty hands.

vandermolen

I think that US retreat from Europe, the chaos at the end of Trump's presidency, the chaos and Anglo-American retreat from Afghanistan and Brexit have all encouraged Putin's expansionist plans. The self-congratulatory NATO response to 'victory' in the Cold War has only antagonised Putin. Putin may have tolerated a puppet state on Russia's borders (as in Byelorussia) but not a democratic one like current Ukraine. Putin will fear the spread on genuine democracy into Russia. I find Boris Johnson's grandstanding and mock-churchillian posturing to be nothing more than an attempt to divert attention away from his incompetent and dishonest leadership.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).


Jo498

Quote from: Que on February 20, 2022, 01:46:00 AM
UK scraps rich foreign investor visa scheme

Too little, too late...

The London City has played the role of Switzerland in the previous century: a safe heaven for dirty money and people with dirty hands.
This Swiss/Channel islands/Bahamas/whatever model is easy money for the collaborators. It would have been very easy for powerful countries (like US or even UK, France, Germany if acting together) to stop this long ago (as well as tax havens), but I guess that too many of the powerful people in these powerful western countries also benefit from this. Just another nail in the coffin of our pathetic civilization...
Tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos, dans une chambre.
- Blaise Pascal

Que

Quote from: vandermolen on February 20, 2022, 02:25:41 AM
I think that US retreat from Europe, the chaos at the end of Trump's presidency, the chaos and Anglo-American retreat from Afghanistan and Brexit have all encouraged Putin's expansionist plans. The self-congratulatory NATO response to 'victory' in the Cold War has only antagonised Putin. Putin may have tolerated a puppet state on Russia's borders (as in Byelorussia) but not a democratic one like current Ukraine. Putin will fear the spread on genuine democracy into Russia. I find Boris Johnson's grandstanding and mock-churchillian posturing to be nothing more than an attempt to divert attention away from his incompetent and dishonest leadership.

It's sad, but the West has dropped the ball and the geopolitical consequences might be grave.

I don't see Putin backing down: the timing is perfect and the risks very limited.

Que

Quote from: Jo498 on February 20, 2022, 02:34:01 AM
This Swiss/Channel islands/Bahamas/whatever model is easy money for the collaborators. It would have been very easy for powerful countries (like US or even UK, France, Germany if acting together) to stop this long ago (as well as tax havens), but I guess that too many of the powerful people in these powerful western countries also benefit from this. Just another nail in the coffin of our pathetic civilization...

Agreed. It's seems that the drive for money in the Western system is stronger than the instict of self-preservation, and of course morality...

k a rl h e nn i ng

Quote from: Que on February 20, 2022, 12:59:09 AM
Ukraine: Russia plans biggest war in Europe since 1945 - Boris Johnson

While the US was busy fighting the phantoms of 9/11 and subsequently went on a course of political implosion ...

Not to exonerate the US entirely, but it's worth pointing out that the political implosion in the US was also a goal of Putin's towards which he worked actively.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Que

#9
Quote from: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 20, 2022, 02:56:05 AM
Not to exonerate the US entirely, but it's worth pointing out that the political implosion in the US was also a goal of Putin's towards which he worked actively.

He worked with fertile ground, but of course it is definitely true that Russia's cyber warfare helped things along.

In a way, Russia declared war on the West years ago but we just didn't (want to) realise it.

Que

For those up for a long read, here is an (very) extensive analysis by the Washington based Centre for Strategic & International Studies:

Russia's Possible Invasion of Ukraine

A pick from the many interesting points touched upon:

"Russian Military Options:

1. Redeploy some of its ground forces away from the Ukrainian border—at least temporarily—if negotiations are successful but continue to aid pro-Russian rebels in Eastern Ukraine.
2. Send conventional Russian troops into the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk as unilateral "peacekeepers" and refuse to withdraw them until peace talks end successfully and Kiev agrees to implement the Minsk Accords.
3. Seize Ukrainian territory as far west as the Dnepr River to use as a bargaining chip or incorporate this new territory fully into the Russian Federation. This option is represented in Figure 2a.
4. Seize Ukrainian territory up to the Dnepr River and seize an additional belt of land (to include Odessa) that connects Russian territory with the breakaway Transdniestria Republic and separates Ukraine from any access to the Black Sea. The Kremlin would incorporate these new lands into Russia and ensure that the rump Ukrainian statelet remains economically unviable.
5. Seize only a belt of land between Russia and Transdniestria (including Mariupol, Kherson, and Odessa) to secure freshwater supplies for Crimea and block Ukraine's access to the sea, while avoiding major combat over Kiev and Kharkiv. This option is represented in Figure 2b.
6. Seize all of Ukraine and, with Belarus, announce the formation of a new tripartite Slavic union of Great, Little, and White Russians (Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians). This option would involve operations represented in Figure 2a as "phase one," with Figure 2c representing "phase two" of this option."


My money is on option 4 as the ultimate goal: annexing the East and the South of present Ukraine and reducing the remainder of the Ukraine to a puppet state. As if the annexation of Odessa region wouldn't be a sufficient wake up call for Romania (!), I think Putin next move would be on Moldova....

Que

The territories that Putin might be after:


vandermolen

Quote from: Que on February 20, 2022, 02:36:31 AM
It's sad, but the West has dropped the ball and the geopolitical consequences might be grave.

I don't see Putin backing down: the timing is perfect and the risks very limited.
Sadly I agree.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

LKB

I was skeptical for a while, but now that the " exercise " in Belarus has been extended and the Olympics are essentially concluded, I suspect Putin will pull the trigger between now and Tuesday.

Hopefully I'm wrong...
Mit Flügeln, die ich mir errungen...

Todd

US hegemony has been fading for years, unity in "The West" has faltered, and the world is moving back to a multi-polar framework.  Post-war institutions are failing, though some or many may linger for years to come.  The US must begin to reassess commitments around the world and determine if it makes more sense to cling so much to the Old World and legacy alliances, or shift focus to more overt hemispheric domination to procure stable physical resource availability and then selectively engage with current allies - and/or "enemies" as needed - to meet shifting economic and security needs.  The US will continue to possess some advantages for years to come, not the least of which are two big oceans, so limited military engagement offshore balancing would serve as a useful possible grand strategy. 

The fate of Ukraine and other individual nation-states may not have a material or even any impact on US security or economic interests.  Taiwan is of course different given the questionable series of decisions that led it to become so crucial a source of critical contemporary resources (eg, semiconductors), but judicious mercantilist policy choices - subsidies, tariffs, and non-tariff trade barriers - can help bolster critical industries domestically.  Nothing happening now necessitates direct American military action, and if Russia does invade Ukraine - and Biden said the decision has already been made to do so - then the decline of relative American power and the weakening of post-war institutions will accelerate slightly, or maybe more than slightly.  Perhaps, if Russia does invade Ukraine and faces only sanctions, retaliatory cyber warfare, and sternly worded memoranda in response (though it seems tactical destabilization policies in the Caucasus and Central Asia could also be pursued), then maybe he eyes the Baltic nations to put NATO to a real test.  That seems like a very European problem.
The universe is change; life is opinion. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

People would rather believe than know - E.O. Wilson

The dollar is our currency, but it's your problem - US Treasury Secretary John Connally to European Finance Ministers, 1971

Florestan

Quote from: Que on February 20, 2022, 03:47:41 AM
As if the annexation of Odessa region wouldn't be a sufficient wake up call for Romania (!), I think Putin next move would be on Moldova....

And I think his ultimate target is actually Constantinople.  ;D

Too much panic and hysteria. There will be no war.
"Art is no excuse for boring people." - Jules Renard

Que

Quote from: Florestan on February 20, 2022, 07:58:12 AM
And I think his ultimate target is actually Constantinople.  ;D

Too much panic and hysteria. There will be no war.

You know best!   ;)

Todd

Quote from: Florestan on February 20, 2022, 07:58:12 AMToo much panic and hysteria. There will be no war.


There is war now, just localized to specific regions of Ukraine, purportedly with 14,000+ dead over the past eight years.  That can continue, it can expand slightly, it can expand a lot, it can recede - there are multiple options for Russia.  There are multiple possible responses for "The West" - not including direct military intervention.
The universe is change; life is opinion. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

People would rather believe than know - E.O. Wilson

The dollar is our currency, but it's your problem - US Treasury Secretary John Connally to European Finance Ministers, 1971

Que

Quote from: Todd on February 20, 2022, 08:06:44 AM

There is war now, just localized to specific regions of Ukraine, purportedly with 14,000+ dead over the past eight years.  That can continue, it can expand slightly, it can expand a lot, it can recede - there are multiple options for Russia.  There are multiple possible responses for "The West" - not including direct military intervention.

Correct.

Florestan

Quote from: Todd on February 20, 2022, 08:06:44 AM

There is war now, just localized to specific regions of Ukraine, purportedly with 14,000+ dead over the past eight years. 

Yes. I think, though, that there will be no all-out war between Russia and Ukraine. As for scenarios regarding massive annexations of Ukrainian lands, as far as the border with Romania (!), I find them far-fetched in the extreme.
"Art is no excuse for boring people." - Jules Renard