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Author Topic: [Ukraine] Crimea River  (Read 1245 times)
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Ironrod
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« on: March 01, 2014, 05:23:44 PM »

So...how about that Ukraine? Is Russia going to annex Crimea? How concerned should we be about that, what should US policy be? Will Putin stop at Crimea or go for all of Ukraine's ethnically-Russian east?

Events are moving so fast, and my knowledge of the area is so slight, that I don't have strong opinions about any of those questions.
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« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2014, 01:16:04 AM »

I say we mind our own business and stop trying to be the world police.

We shouldn't be preaching to other countries to respect others sovereignty and that only "Ukrainians can decide their own future" when we are in the business of invading countries and installing new governments ourselves.
   
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« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2014, 01:26:54 AM »

Ukraine was stupid for giving up Nuclear weapons and believing we would care about them.

Few other nations will make that mistake again.

Let the proliferation begin.

Get your nucs while they are hot!
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Ironrod
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« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2014, 04:00:55 AM »

Crimea was part of the Russian Republic until Kruschev redrew some internal USSR boundaries in the 1950s, so it's a historical accident that Ukraine got it. Both states have historically belonged in Russia's sphere of influence -- Putin told Bush that he didn't consider Ukraine a state. The Russians have an important naval base in Crimea and agreements in place about troop movements. Crimeans mostly identify as Russian; if put to a vote they would switch sides. One can make a good case for Crimea being Russian and Putin would be a fool if he didn't seize this opening.

OTOH, the West wants to integrate former Soviet republics into Europe, and that's how Ukraine's national government rolls. We naturally look askance at any Russian maneuvers to reconstitute the USSR.

The question seems to be whether Ukraine, as currently constituted, is a viable state, or if partition would be in its best interests. I think that's how it's ultimately going to play out. So...does Ukraine (and the EU) let the Russian provinces go to Putin's welcoming embrace, or does it fight to preserve its borders? And if Kiev won't relinquish territory without a fight, does Europe (with US backing) come to its aid?

This simplification is complicated. Europe needs Russian energy and Russia needs that market, and the pipes flow through Ukraine, so both sides want stability there. I think Crimea ends up being a gimme. If Putin goes for the rest of eastern Ukraine, we might be facing the beginning of Cold War II.
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« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2014, 04:54:38 AM »

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/03/putins-reckless-ukraine-gambit-104125.html?hp=l2#.UxK2UvldWSo

Quote
Vladimir Putin’s surprise decision to ask for a Russian-style War Powers resolution from his parliament dramatically ups the ante in the Ukraine crisis and positions Russia for full-scale military action. It also signals Putin’s commitment to use all necessary means—many of which have already been in use in Crimea—to keep Ukraine in Russia’s orbit. If Putin follows through on his threat to invade Ukraine, he will signal yet again that the post-Cold War era that began with the “Velvet Revolutions” of 1989 has ended. The damage to Russia’s relations with the West will be deep and lasting, far worse than after the Russian-Georgian war. Think 1968, not 2008.
President Barack Obama’s handling of the Western response to the Ukraine crisis is now arguably the biggest test of his presidency. It is a crisis that no one anticipated and that the West has been frustratingly divided over since the European Union’s original, misguided attempt to force Ukraine to make an either-or choice about going east or west. For too long we have heard U.S. officials says repeatedly, “The Europeans are taking the lead.” That needs to stop.

Quote
Post-revolutionary Ukraine is in bad shape. Its economy is wrecked. Government institutions broke down completely after the Yanukovych government disappeared overnight. Corruption and criminality, Ukraine’s twin scourges, remain basically intact. Thanks to Russia’s unexpected moves in Crimea, the West will now have to put Humpty Dumpty back together on its own. These tasks demand that the president designate a senior point-person for coordinating Ukraine policy in all its complexity. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, one of America’s ablest diplomats and an old Russia hand, is the obvious choice.
The break in the West’s relations with Russia is bound to be deep and lasting. The G-8 will be its first casualty with the Western powers likely to reconstitute the G-7 in its original form as a direct rebuff to Putin. Other important international mechanisms —the U.N. Security Council, ad hoc diplomatic efforts on Syria, the P5+1 process on Iran, the Six-Party talks on North Korea, and so on—will be filled with renewed acrimony and dysfunction. Some may break down entirely. Inevitably, there will be congressional calls for sanctions against Russia, which the White House will be hard-pressed to resist no matter how much it may want to preserve the shreds of cooperation with Russia on Iran, Syria or Afghanistan. The West and Russia are in uncharted waters.




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hepcat
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« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2014, 01:58:59 PM »

On the surface, it looks like a clear cut case Cold War mentality on the part of the Russians a la Afghanistan.  But I was listening to the news reports on this matter on the way into work this morning and numerous sources are saying that the areas that the Russians have marched into have been almost welcoming due to a large part of the population that considers itself Russian to begin with.  The real test will be whether or not they continue their march into eastern Ukraine, which is the primary source of industry for the Ukraine and which, if lost, will almost completely decimate the Ukrainian economy.
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« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2014, 04:18:25 PM »

Everyone seems to be getting caught up with the ethnic plurality of this conflict and IMO that's a mistake. The fact is, ethnic Russians are only a SLIGHT majority of the Crimean population. Out of the roughly 2 million people living there, here's the ethnicity breaks down:

58.32% Russians
24.32% Ukrainians
12.10% Crimean Tatars
5.26% Other

The Tartar population would be a bigger percentage if it wasn't for their forced exile from the region under Stalin's orders in 1944. Out of the 238,500 that were deported almost half died in the process.  I don't think it serves any purpose saying that this is a lesser or somewhat justified invasion by a foreign force because a SLIGHT majority in the invaded territory happen to be of the same ethnicity of the invaders. The Tartars are hated in Crimea, just as followers of Islam are in most parts of Russia. Mark my word, if Russian gains Crimea they'll be an ethnic cleansing of Tartars from the region. I guess it's just me, but I'm not particularly keen on seeing the next chapter of genocide played out.
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hepcat
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« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2014, 04:36:37 PM »

That's a bit larger than a "slight majority" when compared to the next largest group.  
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Ironrod
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« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2014, 04:43:51 PM »

The point is most likely moot.



Ukraine can't match Russia in a shooting war and it's highly unlikely that the EU would fight alongside them.

The question of the hour is whether Putin will stop at Crimea or overplay his hand.
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kronovan
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« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2014, 05:26:10 PM »

Quote from: Ironrod on March 03, 2014, 04:43:51 PM

Ukraine can't match Russia in a shooting war and it's highly unlikely that the EU would fight alongside them.

The question of the hour is whether Putin will stop at Crimea or overplay his hand.

You're only presenting part of the picture there.  No one's arguing against the fact that Russia's military dwarfs the Ukraine's. However, claiming the conflict is just an EU Vs. Russia issue isn't accurate. Five countries that border Ukraine are members of NATO and all 5 of those just happen to be former Soviet sattelites that don't exactly view Moscow favorably. I can't imagine the leadership of any of those are happy or comfortable with this invasion.  NATO is already on the record as having stated that Russia's invasion of Crimea violates their mandate on European security.

Putan has already overplayed his hand - if you don't see that they you haven't studied enough history. It may not be so apparent now, but a decade or 2 from now Putan or his predecessors will be losing this game.
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hepcat
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« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2014, 05:45:38 PM »

If Putin stops where he is and continues no further, I think this will wind itself down (even with the slap in the face to Obama that was the incursion the day after our president says "don't!").  If he continues into eastern Ukraine though...well...
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« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2014, 06:22:49 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on March 03, 2014, 05:45:38 PM

If Putin stops where he is and continues no further, I think this will wind itself down (even with the slap in the face to Obama that was the incursion the day after our president says "don't!").

I'm not convinced it will be a winding down. The big gain Russian can make from the occupation of Crimea is a significant increase in their Black Sea Fleet. Did you by chance notice today that Russian forces in Crimeria are demanding that the Ukraine navy surrender 2 warships to them? With the previous splitting of the BSF between itself, Ukraine and Georgia, Russia naval superiority took a hit due to there being longstanding treaties on the max allowable tonnage of naval ships on the Black Sea. Remember when Bush sailed some US Navy ships into that sea in 2008 during the Georgia-Ossetia crisis, and Plutin warned against violating tonnage treaties? Taking Crimea is a step towards working around those limits.

What I see next up for Putan is the annexation of Abkhazia and South Ossetian Georgia - those are after all other regions that Moscow has claimed the citizenry are highly pro-Russia. With a bigger navy, concerns about blockades from NATO and opposition from the Georgian navy won't be nearly as threatening - especially if Putin follows through on his existing threat to violate treaties and add new ships to the BSF.  As well, once the ethnic Russians in Crimea start cleansing the Tartars, terrorism in Chechnya and Dagostan will blow up again. So yeah...I don't necessarily see much winding down in the region for a while.
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hepcat
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« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2014, 06:32:03 PM »

We'll have to wait and see.  I just don't see Putin going on a frenzy of incursions.  The trigger for this is first and foremost their holdings in Crimea.  To use that as justification for incursion into other areas just seems a bit far fetched.  

But, who knows.  He could be that aggressive and his need to restore some semblance of Soviet Union era Russia so great that he could.  God help us if that's the case.
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« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2014, 06:45:15 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on March 03, 2014, 06:32:03 PM

I just don't see Putin going on a frenzy of incursions.  The trigger for this is first and foremost their holdings in Crimea.  To use that as justification for incursion into other areas just seems a bit far fetched.
You do realize that Russia already made incursions into those Georgian regions in 2008 - right? They did everything but take up permanent residence - heck Russia even sent its tanks beyond South Ossettia and attacked Georgian cities. I'm not saying they annex Abkhazia or S. Ossettia this year or even next year, but that it's likely within a decade - especially if they, or their puppet government, controls Crimea.
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Ironrod
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« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2014, 06:53:09 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on March 03, 2014, 05:45:38 PM

If Putin stops where he is and continues no further, I think this will wind itself down (even with the slap in the face to Obama that was the incursion the day after our president says "don't!").  If he continues into eastern Ukraine though...well...

Agree. I think Putin gets Crimea with only a slap on the wrist and a long-term loss of trust (to the extent that he was trusted before this) IF he stops at Crimea. But events are still unfolding quickly and bloodshed could change the equation. 

Quote from: kronovan on March 03, 2014, 06:45:15 PM

Quote from: hepcat on March 03, 2014, 06:32:03 PM

I just don't see Putin going on a frenzy of incursions.  The trigger for this is first and foremost their holdings in Crimea.  To use that as justification for incursion into other areas just seems a bit far fetched.
You do realize that Russia already made incursions into those Georgian regions in 2008 - right? They did everything but take up permanent residence - heck Russia even sent its tanks beyond South Ossettia and attacked Georgian cities. I'm not saying they annex Abkhazia or S. Ossettia this year or even next year, but that it's likely within a decade - especially if they, or their puppet government, controls Crimea.

Russia can afford to play the long game. Of course they want their old empire back...or at least a comfortable buffer zone in their west.
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kronovan
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« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2014, 07:15:37 PM »

Quote from: Ironrod on March 03, 2014, 06:53:09 PM

Russia can afford to play the long game. Of course they want their old empire back...or at least a comfortable buffer zone in their west.

If by long game you mean then military game, then I agree. However, they won't win the political or economic game - all of this will seriously pooch the Russian economy and eventually they're going to be faced with internal dissent and terrorism in Crimea and the Caucasus. Hence my earlier comment that  10-20 years from now they'll have lost the the game. Meanwhile a number of UN member nations will have had their sovereignty seriously violated in the process.  Continuing along this path, the only thing that could save them economically would be a highly favorable trade agreement with China, but Bejing is looking across the Pacific and to the EU for its trade future.

I guess it comes down to whether you're comfortable with a Russia that's engaged in a convoluted attempt to live out the dreams of Peter and Catherine the Great in the 21st century - I know I'm not.
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« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2014, 07:26:36 PM »

Maybe the UN can fix this.

 icon_lol icon_lol icon_lol icon_lol icon_lol

US needs to stay out. Let Europe deal with it.
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« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2014, 07:33:33 PM »

That's the simple answer, yes.  But unfortunately we don't live in a simple world.

Forbes has a great breakdown of the situation.  The most disturbing portion to me is this:

Quote
There is also the matter of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, in which Ukraine agreed to give up its nuclear weapons and Russia vowed to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity.  By violating the treaty, Putin is signaling that all agreements signed during Russia’s period of weakness in the 90’s are null and void.
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« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2014, 08:18:30 PM »

I also think everyone's underestimating the military capability and the shear determination and conviction of the Ukrainian people.  Just in case anyone's memory needs refeshing, here's a reminder   icon_cool
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« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2014, 07:08:07 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on March 03, 2014, 01:58:59 PM

On the surface, it looks like a clear cut case Cold War mentality on the part of the Russians a la Afghanistan.  But I was listening to the news reports on this matter on the way into work this morning and numerous sources are saying that the areas that the Russians have marched into have been almost welcoming due to a large part of the population that considers itself Russian to begin with.  The real test will be whether or not they continue their march into eastern Ukraine, which is the primary source of industry for the Ukraine and which, if lost, will almost completely decimate the Ukrainian economy.

It appears that way because all the people in Crimea that don't want the Russians there are hiding in their houses. If you didn't want them there what would you do? Only a fool would go out and try to antagonize them.
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« Reply #20 on: March 04, 2014, 07:11:40 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on March 03, 2014, 04:36:37 PM

That's a bit larger than a "slight majority" when compared to the next largest group.  

It is also unwise to assume that just because those people speak Russian or are ethnic Russian that they want the Russians there. There are a substantial number of ethnic Russians that want Ukraine to be independent of Russia and have no desire to rejoin the empire.
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hepcat
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« Reply #21 on: March 04, 2014, 07:19:52 PM »

From more than a few news reports it would seem the Russian speaking citizens of Crimea have always identified more with Russia than they have Europe though.  Thus the relatively violence free incursion at the moment.
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« Reply #22 on: March 04, 2014, 07:20:18 PM »

Quote from: kronovan on March 03, 2014, 06:22:49 PM

Quote from: hepcat on March 03, 2014, 05:45:38 PM

If Putin stops where he is and continues no further, I think this will wind itself down (even with the slap in the face to Obama that was the incursion the day after our president says "don't!").

I'm not convinced it will be a winding down. The big gain Russian can make from the occupation of Crimea is a significant increase in their Black Sea Fleet. Did you by chance notice today that Russian forces in Crimeria are demanding that the Ukraine navy surrender 2 warships to them? With the previous splitting of the BSF between itself, Ukraine and Georgia, Russia naval superiority took a hit due to there being longstanding treaties on the max allowable tonnage of naval ships on the Black Sea. Remember when Bush sailed some US Navy ships into that sea in 2008 during the Georgia-Ossetia crisis, and Plutin warned against violating tonnage treaties? Taking Crimea is a step towards working around those limits.

What I see next up for Putan is the annexation of Abkhazia and South Ossetian Georgia - those are after all other regions that Moscow has claimed the citizenry are highly pro-Russia. With a bigger navy, concerns about blockades from NATO and opposition from the Georgian navy won't be nearly as threatening - especially if Putin follows through on his existing threat to violate treaties and add new ships to the BSF.  As well, once the ethnic Russians in Crimea start cleansing the Tartars, terrorism in Chechnya and Dagostan will blow up again. So yeah...I don't necessarily see much winding down in the region for a while.

The Ukranian navy is largely irrelevant. The only major ship they have is an outdated Krivak frigate. The remainder are corvettes, minesweepers and a couple landing craft and a single ancient foxtrot submarine that you would have to have huge balls to even submerge in let alone fight with. The most valuable thing the Ukranian navy has is the bases themselves.
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« Reply #23 on: March 04, 2014, 07:26:50 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on March 04, 2014, 07:19:52 PM

From more than a few news reports it would seem the Russian speaking citizens of Crimea have always identified more with Russia than they have Europe though.  Thus the relatively violence free incursion at the moment.

I wouldn't put too much into the lack of violence. Form a post by paulbaxter over at OO.

Quote
This is from a friend in the state dept who is working in Kiev now. FWIW.

The Kiev International Institute for Sociology has been measuring ethnic and national sentiments in Ukraine for a long time. They just did a study on the opinions of Ukrainian regions (states, provinces) about uniting with Russia. Even "Pro-Russian" Crimea came in at only 41%, by far the highest response.

Here are the full results:

According to the latest public opinion survey conducted by KMIS between February 8 and 18, the number of people supporting joining Russia is under 26% in all macro-regions.

West 0,7%, Center 5,4%, South - 19,4%, East - 26%.

Oblast data has a large margin of error, but the number of those who support joining Russia is the following:

Crimea 41%
Donetsk Oblast 33,2%
Luhansk 24,1%
Odesa 24%
Zaporizhzhya 16,7%
Kharkiv 15,1%
Chernihiv 14,8%
Dnipropetrovks 13,8%
Kirovohrad 8,3%
Kyiv Oblast 6,4%
Chernivtsi 5,4%
Kyiv city 5,3%
Zhytomyr 5,2%
Poltava 4,3%
Kherson 4,2%
Mykolayiv 3,7%
Vinnytsya 2,7%
Zakarpattya 2%
Sumy 1,8%
Cherkasy 1,7%
Khmelnytskiy 0%
Ternopil 0%
Rivne 0%
Lviv 0%
Volyn 0%
Ivano-Frankivsk 0%

While I have no idea just what the error factor in these number are they are certainly not just fabricated.
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« Reply #24 on: March 04, 2014, 07:28:15 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on March 04, 2014, 07:19:52 PM

From more than a few news reports it would seem the Russian speaking citizens of Crimea have always identified more with Russia than they have Europe though.  Thus the relatively violence free incursion at the moment.

Identify with != want to rejoin Russia.
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« Reply #25 on: March 04, 2014, 07:48:22 PM »

Quote
The security situation in Crimea has civilians worried for their safety. “People are scared of armed people and [concerned] over military troops in the city,” Vdovichenko said.

Vdovichenko believes a majority of people in Crimea want the region to remain part of the Ukraine, but many are afraid to voice their opinions.

“We are scared to say we want to be a part of the Ukraine," Vdovichenko said. "Demonstrators who are pro-Russia are free to say that, but we are not.”

Those supporting Ukrainian nationalism and culture risk being bullied by those backing Moscow.

“If I am in the center of my city and I carry a Ukrainian flag or I’m going to speak Ukrainian on my phone for example … they [pro-Russians] will try to stop me,” Vdovichenko said.

Vdovichenko has participated in demonstrations in Crimea, but acknowledges doing so comes with a risk to her safety. She hopes the Russian troops will leave soon.

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/03/04/witness-in-crimea-scared-to-say-support-ukraine/

So while there may be a substantial number of people in Crimea who support the Ukranian government and want the Russians to leave don't expect to see them marching in the streets and talking to reporters, wisely so I would suggest. I would even go so far as to say any referendum that happens while armed Russian soldiers are controlling everything are very unlikely to actually be representative of the true desires of the local people.
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« Reply #26 on: March 04, 2014, 07:50:14 PM »

Got shouted down at OO again, eh?   Tongue
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« Reply #27 on: March 05, 2014, 12:41:55 AM »

Quote from: hepcat on March 04, 2014, 07:50:14 PM

Got shouted down at OO again, eh?   Tongue

Not hardly, I am posting over there more profusely than here. Although there is certainly far less people trying to shout people down since I haven't seen you there in awhile? Coincidence?
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« Reply #28 on: March 05, 2014, 02:30:39 AM »

The way you're treated in R&P by most folks there makes my disagreements with you positively friendly, my boy.  I took a break on my own accord after realizing a few folks were getting under my skin.  You weren't one of them though.  

P.S.  Your wording is a bit off there.  Unless I'm multiple people and I'm not aware of it..   icon_wink
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« Reply #29 on: March 05, 2014, 03:04:44 AM »

Quote from: hepcat on March 05, 2014, 02:30:39 AM

The way you're treated in R&P by most folks there makes my disagreements with you positively friendly, my boy.  I took a break on my own accord after realizing a few folks were getting under my skin.  You weren't one of them though.  

P.S.  Your wording is a bit off there.  Unless I'm multiple people and I'm not aware of it..   icon_wink

So say you. You know how many people you are.   Tongue

I tend to invite aggressive disagreement. I have no ability to sugarcoat my positions, my strategy for making sure I am never drafted into be Secretary of State. Tis the price a conservtive pays for pissing in the cereal of liberals both there and here. If I wanted a bunch of people to lend support to my opinions I would find a church to go to. Of course you guys have poisoned me so much that I would likely even get their feathers all ruffled up.   nod
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« Reply #30 on: March 05, 2014, 02:30:37 PM »

The shameful way some sections of the conservative movement act, I would have thought you would be pushing your libertarian side far more and downplaying the conservative bent.
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« Reply #31 on: March 05, 2014, 06:06:10 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on March 05, 2014, 02:30:37 PM

The shameful way some sections of the conservative movement act, I would have thought you would be pushing your libertarian side far more and downplaying the conservative bent.

Except that foreign policy is the key place I disagree with Libertarians. I love much of the rest of their platforms but as this situation is showing the isolationist approach is just foolhardy. The thugs of the world respect nothing but strength and the world is becoming harder to isolate yourself in more and more. I would be to the right of pretty much every party when it comes to military strength and foreign policy. On the bright side we wouldn't have much of an unemployment problem because we would need all the soldiers we could get our hands on.

In fact I would have told Patton he was clear to gas er up and continue on and to give me a call when he reached Moscow.
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« Reply #32 on: March 05, 2014, 06:07:51 PM »

Quote from: Rip on March 04, 2014, 07:20:18 PM

The Ukranian navy is largely irrelevant. The only major ship they have is an outdated Krivak frigate. The remainder are corvettes, minesweepers and a couple landing craft and a single ancient foxtrot submarine that you would have to have huge balls to even submerge in let alone fight with. The most valuable thing the Ukranian navy has is the bases themselves.

You're missing the point - the prize for Putin isn't some obsolete Ukrainian navy ships, it's the potential tonnage he can bank if he decommissions them and replaces with modern ships. The tonnage restriction on the Black Sea is a real pin the eye for Russia's aspirations for their BSF.  The Russians have even previously made threats to replace a ship for a ship regardless of tonnage differences - acquiring more ships makes that threat that much larger. For sure acquiring other naval ports in Crimea is a boon to to Russia, since Sevastapol is Russia's only warm water naval port. The real importance of those ports though, is  being able to sail the BSF from them and consequently have a year round naval presence in the Mediterranean.  That presence amounts to squat though, if it's pint-sized and made up of outdated ships.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2014, 06:09:38 PM by kronovan » Logged
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« Reply #33 on: March 05, 2014, 06:56:12 PM »

Quote from: kronovan on March 05, 2014, 06:07:51 PM

Quote from: Rip on March 04, 2014, 07:20:18 PM

The Ukranian navy is largely irrelevant. The only major ship they have is an outdated Krivak frigate. The remainder are corvettes, minesweepers and a couple landing craft and a single ancient foxtrot submarine that you would have to have huge balls to even submerge in let alone fight with. The most valuable thing the Ukranian navy has is the bases themselves.

You're missing the point - the prize for Putin isn't some obsolete Ukrainian navy ships, it's the potential tonnage he can bank if he decommissions them and replaces with modern ships. The tonnage restriction on the Black Sea is a real pin the eye for Russia's aspirations for their BSF.  The Russians have even previously made threats to replace a ship for a ship regardless of tonnage differences - acquiring more ships makes that threat that much larger. For sure acquiring other naval ports in Crimea is a boon to to Russia, since Sevastapol is Russia's only warm water naval port. The real importance of those ports though, is  being able to sail the BSF from them and consequently have a year round naval presence in the Mediterranean.  That presence amounts to squat though, if it's pint-sized and made up of outdated ships.

This is true but it also plays with angering NATO and more importantly on this front Turkey who has a great deal of latitude about what goes in and out of the Black Sea. All they need to do is decide they feel threatened and that is the end game. Of course he could try to play hardball with Turkey but there is little doubt that playing this game with Turkey would bring about a military confrontation with NATO, which I doubt he wants.

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« Reply #34 on: March 05, 2014, 07:32:52 PM »

Quote from: Rip on March 05, 2014, 06:56:12 PM

Quote from: kronovan on March 05, 2014, 06:07:51 PM

Quote from: Rip on March 04, 2014, 07:20:18 PM

The Ukranian navy is largely irrelevant. The only major ship they have is an outdated Krivak frigate. The remainder are corvettes, minesweepers and a couple landing craft and a single ancient foxtrot submarine that you would have to have huge balls to even submerge in let alone fight with. The most valuable thing the Ukranian navy has is the bases themselves.

You're missing the point - the prize for Putin isn't some obsolete Ukrainian navy ships, it's the potential tonnage he can bank if he decommissions them and replaces with modern ships. The tonnage restriction on the Black Sea is a real pin the eye for Russia's aspirations for their BSF.  The Russians have even previously made threats to replace a ship for a ship regardless of tonnage differences - acquiring more ships makes that threat that much larger. For sure acquiring other naval ports in Crimea is a boon to to Russia, since Sevastapol is Russia's only warm water naval port. The real importance of those ports though, is  being able to sail the BSF from them and consequently have a year round naval presence in the Mediterranean.  That presence amounts to squat though, if it's pint-sized and made up of outdated ships.

This is true but it also plays with angering NATO and more importantly on this front Turkey who has a great deal of latitude about what goes in and out of the Black Sea. All they need to do is decide they feel threatened and that is the end game. Of course he could try to play hardball with Turkey but there is little doubt that playing this game with Turkey would bring about a military confrontation with NATO, which I doubt he wants.

Agreed - Turkey is the real Naval presence in the region. In fact, if the Russian forces aren't out of Crimea by the end of the March, I'd be in favor of Turkey sailing a portion of their fleet out of the Sea of Marmara into the Black Sea of a size that violates the tonnage treaty by exactly 1 ship. If Putin's willing to play his bullshit game around the naval treaty, let him know that NATO will not abide by it either. After all, with Bulgaria and Romania NATO members since 2004, the majority of the Black Sea coast is bordered by NATO nations. And with Georgia likely joining sometime in the next few years....well, it starts makes sense why Putin's desperate enough to pull off something like the Crimean invasion.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2014, 07:35:51 PM by kronovan » Logged
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« Reply #35 on: March 14, 2014, 08:04:05 PM »

Anyone else reads the title of this thread as Ukraine: CryMeARiver?
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« Reply #36 on: March 14, 2014, 08:28:43 PM »

I thought that was the pun he was going for, to be honest.
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« Reply #37 on: March 14, 2014, 09:00:39 PM »

I felt like that joke has been made before, but it is kind of funny that you picked up on it now. 
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« Reply #38 on: March 14, 2014, 10:19:35 PM »

lol wtf
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« Reply #39 on: March 15, 2014, 05:36:03 PM »

 nod
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