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Well, as I wrote, this was aired after the beginning of Gulf War II, when the lies of the USA were discovered, and trust in the statements of the US government was pretty low.

And being angry doesn't make you being right.

The Dutch know what war can do to citizens, something the US didn't really experience before (parts of the South in the Civil War excepted), which makes many Americans talk about waging war in a way that is not always appreciated.

I dunno I suspect 3000 dead civilians in NY gives us a better idea than Holland does. And it isn't about being emotional or being under a magnifying glass. I opposed and still view the invasion of Iraq as illegitimate and stupid. Afghanistan however was a distinctive case of a nation harboring an avowedly terrorist organization. There was no way the Taliban was ever going to consider an international court or a request for extradition of Osama. Anyone who suggests they would have probably thinks Chamberlain was right in Munich or that Putin is honestly trying to implement the Minsk agreement. The US would not, could not and should not have sat on it's a** trying to find some international court or legal mechanism to attack Al Qaeda. It was an act of war by a terrorist organization launched from Afghani soil by an organization known to and allied with the Taliban gov't. Sorry, that is grounds in any legal argument for a military response. And in fact Al Qaeda eventually did claim credit so it isn't like we didn't know and it was wrong. We attacked the force that was responsible and I don't believe for a moment that Mullah Omar was not aware of Al Qaeda involvement probably even prior to the attack. Keep in mind Al Qaeda had been launching terror attacks on the US for years and claiming them. It wasn't like 9/11 was some kind of bolt out of the blue by a new organization. Or are folks forgetting the history that preceded 9/11? Here go read up.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Qaeda#Refuge_in_Afghanistan

As to the Netherlands, you are a member of NATO and are obligated by treaty to defend against an attack on any member state. NATO wasn't created just so we would protect you, you are also expected to help us against those who would attack us or is that not convenient? Article 5 was invoked. If the Dutch are not prepared to live up to their treaty obligations perhaps they should quit NATO.

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I suspect some USA forumers are getting emotional now that their state is being under the magnifing glass. A fresh change from previous Russian emotional responses here. What this shows we are all bloody beneath our skin. :)

In your opinion have I offered any emotional responses? I tend to view myself as quite detached from emotion regarding politics and international relations.

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The start of the Afghan invasion is way too off topic. However, the charge Hister made that it was an "illegal" war is *factually* incorrect. One can argue that there are alternatives to war that could have been tried, but that is a side issue. It is also a horrifically naive and historically ridiculous suggestion to make.

Unfortunately, I'm seeing the same sort of complacency, naiveté, selfish interests, and appeasement logic throughout Europe that obligated the United States to straighten out more than a few European messes in the last century. How many times must genocide take place before Europeans "get it" that inaction also comes with costs.

The logic I see sometimes makes me weep. I get the feeling that some think that

WW2 could have been avoided if someone had asked Herr Hitler, politely, to give their countries back to them after they were taken by force.

Steve

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I suspect some USA forumers are getting emotional now that their state is being under the magnifing glass.

No, we just don't like being accused of doing everything wrong just because we do some things wrong. You live in a tiny, although beautiful, country with no responsibilities in the world to speak of. You have the luxury of not being judged.

Steve

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In your opinion have I offered any emotional responses? I tend to view myself as quite detached from emotion regarding politics and international relations.

I certainly do not view your opinions as emotional responses. In fact, of the thousands of posts by Russians I have read since February... I'd say yours are amongst the most level headed, introspective I have come across. We do not agree on all points, but I see that your brain is engaged. You, sir, are no Putinbot :D

Steve

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Unfortunately, I'm seeing the same sort of complacency, naiveté, selfish interests, and appeasement logic throughout Europe that obligated the United States to straighten out more than a few European messes in the last century. How many times must genocide take place before Europeans "get it" that inaction also comes with costs.

Unfortunately so. In Germany, there are major political parties who still claim that it was wrong to intervene in ex-Jugoslavia. In my experience, inaction for the sake of being "anti-militaristic" is commonly found among leftists (in Europe, at least).

Funilly this perception saves my post here from being off-topic: we can see the same thing happening right now. At the moment, leftists in Germany are branding everyone who criticises Putin as "warmongers". Sad to see, really.

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Unfortunately, I'm seeing the same sort of complacency, naiveté, selfish interests, and appeasement logic throughout Europe that obligated the United States to straighten out more than a few European messes in the last century. How many times must genocide take place before Europeans "get it" that inaction also comes with costs.

The logic I see sometimes makes me weep. I get the feeling that some think that

WW2 could have been avoided if someone had asked Herr Hitler, politely, to give their countries back to them after they were taken by force.

Steve

As a Rightpondian, I feel the same as you. There has been a major commemoration of the efforts of the Allies to overthrow the Third Reich, this year, with the anniversary of D-Day, but it doesn't seem like anyone has been reminding us of anything other than the loss and sacrifice; the reasons for putting down the Fuherer aren't emphasised anywhere near as much as the cost, so the lesson taught is "War is bad because it costs lives", rather than "Sometimes the cost in lives lost in war is preferable to the alternative."

It's all too messy and we're all too comfortable. And Ukraine isn't a historical ally, or even an entity we instinctively recognise, having grown up with the big red blob on the other side of the Iron Curtain. Mobilising public opinion in favour of involvement would be a monumental task. It would take the Russians cutting off our gas, I think. At least.

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It wasn't like 9/11 was some kind of bolt out of the blue by a new organization. Or are folks forgetting the history that preceded 9/11? Here go read up.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Qaed...in_Afghanistan

As to the Netherlands, you are a member of NATO and are obligated by treaty to defend against an attack on any member state. NATO wasn't created just so we would protect you, you are also expected to help us against those who would attack us or is that not convenient? Article 5 was invoked. If the Dutch are not prepared to live up to their treaty obligations perhaps they should quit NATO

.

I read that wiki article just prior to making that post. I admit I wasn't reading much on the topic before, just what I read yesterday gave me the impression USA was trigger happy and had no will to try to solve their problem other way then the way they did causing a chain of events that caused multifold more innocent victims and suffering in Afghanistan then what was caused in USA. I know human nature is like that. If you get hurt you will retailate proportionally more then what was caused to you if you have the means to do so. What I would like to see bettered here is a discipline and responsability from a global boss to react to different events with a more cool head. Then I will personally be even more happy that I have USA for my boss then I currently am.

Being a global boss entitless you with a great amount of burden but also boni. It's a mixed bag. I'm more then just happy that I don't have to carry such responsibility and get to criticize Russia and USA from my tiny safe heaven. I'm glad my country isn't able to get into conflicts all over the world. If it could it would same ad USA currently does as human nature and the rules of how things function pertain to every state.

The problem of being a NATO member currently is you have to send your soldiers to conflicts you've got nothing to do with. Conflicts where main protagonist is USA foreign policy tryinh to gain or maintain it's interests. Isn't it ironic seeing a leg of a Slovenian soldier being blown off in Afghanistan? Of course you can say the same for USA soldiers that were killed in Europe during WW1 and WW2 but there is a defenite difference - USA became a global boss with it's involvment in Europe and is trying to remain boss with it's current actions.

Again I say that I rather have USA for a boss then any other currently powerful state that would have the means to do so! By all points having USA for a global boss is waaaay better then having any other potential bidder.

On a micro soldier level USA sacrifices in WW2 were genuine but on the macro government planning USA gained a lot and still reaps the benefits.

In case of my country we can hope nato will protect us if a stray Russian missile heads toward our tiny state. ;) That's a joke. I know very well things can get fubar any day and war happens. History at least teaches us that peace and war are neverending cycle. Maybe our puny neighbors decide to attack us or we get into a civil war - then I will be happy foreign soldiers that have nothing to do with me or my state are risking their mental health and lives to protect me and my family.

Issue is as a member of Nato Slovenian soldiers get sent wherewer USA makes a mess following it's strugle to remain number one. It's not ok guys, it's not no matter what you say for Slovenia doesn't gain but lose. Ok, our soldiers gain combat effectiveness and better skills and better tools since government is pressed to provide it for them instesd of devoting it for wellfare back home but that is pretty much it in hope someday nato will be there to protect us.

In your opinion have I offered any emotional responses? I tend to view myself as quite detached from emotion regarding politics and international relations

You were handling it better then some of you fellow nationals. :) I meant in general, wasn't pointing my finger to individuals.

The start of the Afghan invasion is way too off topic. However, the charge Hister made that it was an "illegal" war is *factually* incorrect. One can argue that there are alternatives to war that could have been tried, but that is a side issue. It is also a horrifically naive and historically ridiculous suggestion to make.

Unfortunately, I'm seeing the same sort of complacency, naiveté, selfish interests, and appeasement logic throughout Europe that obligated the United States to straighten out more than a few European messes in the last century. How many times must genocide take place before Europeans "get it" that inaction also comes with costs.

The logic I see sometimes makes me weep. I get the feeling that some think that

WW2 could have been avoided if someone had asked Herr Hitler, politely, to give their countries back to them after they were taken by force.

Steve

OK Steve, your authority and knowledge is hard to beat. Especially since I have an outmost respect for you based on what you said. Labelling it illegal was a pushover on my side. Iraqi war was illegal while Afganistan one wasn't. I will restructure my statement - USA's invasion of Afghanistan caused all sorts of illegal events happen afterwards. It caused a very bad chain of events that after 14 years don't seem to run off it's course.

Are you so sure no other more optimal course of action could have been taken? I know there isn't much point in debating what happened. BUT:

At least future engagements should learn from past mistakes and model possible outcomes of the engagements. In case of Afghanistan I don't believe much thought went into thinking "and what then?"

If I'm horrifically naive then how would you call other people who are more "challenged" then I am? ;)

No, we just don't like being accused of doing everything wrong just because we do some things wrong. You live in a tiny, although beautiful, country with no responsibilities in the world to speak of. You have the luxury of not being judged.

Steve

Wow, who said I accused USA of doing everything wrong? I didn't!

About the luxury of belonging to a state like mine is - I admit, I love it! Being tiny defenitely has it's pluses.

Does this prohibit me from commenting on states that have more on their shoulders then my country does? I don't think so.

There's always room for improvement especially in the way global politics are lead.

Unfortunately so. In Germany, there are major political parties who still claim that it was wrong to intervene in ex-Jugoslavia. In my experience, inaction for the sake of being "anti-militaristic" is commonly found among leftists (in Europe, at least).

Doing things differently then a full scale invasion should not be called passivity.

I appologise for triggering offtopicism here.

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USA's invasion of Afghanistan caused all sorts of illegal events happen afterwards. It caused a very bad chain of events that after 14 years don't seem to run off it's course.

Yes, it's a cruel mess as wars are apt to be. But does the US bear the sole responsibility for it? Your statements suggest that you believe so. If that is not the case, I would be grateful for a clarification.

How about the Taliban? Well before 9/11 they had shown their hand as intolerant totalitarians who were firmly allied with self declared terrorists. They wanted to hurt people and they were successfully pursuing that goal in Afghanistan, and their allies outside of Afghanistan. To me, that places them pretty close to the Nazis who in the '30s were persecuting their own nationals and then turned to aggressive international warfare. Shouldn't we have learned anything from that episode?

You say you resent Dutch soldiers being sent to fight where the Netherlands has no interests. But is it not of some interest for the Netherlands to oppose totalitarianism wherever it arises, given its tendency to spread? This is not an argument that such opposition should always take the form of armed conflict. I quite agree that other avenues should be explored first so long as time allows. But at some point armed intervention may be required to prevent an even greater evil. "All that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing."

Michael

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As to the Netherlands, you are a member of NATO and are obligated by treaty to defend against an attack on any member state. NATO wasn't created just so we would protect you, you are also expected to help us against those who would attack us or is that not convenient? Article 5 was invoked. If the Dutch are not prepared to live up to their treaty obligations perhaps they should quit NATO.

Well, The Netherlands went to Afghanistan and Iraq, right? But why did we go to Iraq?

"...if such an armed attack occurs, each of them...will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith...such action as it deems necessary...to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area."

NATO Article 5 - http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/official_texts_17120.htm

It's pretty vague and can be debated on what it means and what it should apply to.

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Corrections:

Na Vaske = Russian

Hister = Slovenian

The Netherlands went to Iraq because of geostrategic reasons, IIRC article 5 was not invoked.

Yes, it's a cruel mess as wars are apt to be. But does the US bear the sole responsibility for it? Your statements suggest that you believe so. If that is not the case, I would be grateful for a clarification.

How about the Taliban? Well before 9/11 they had shown their hand as intolerant totalitarians who were firmly allied with self declared terrorists. They wanted to hurt people and they were successfully pursuing that goal in Afghanistan, and their allies outside of Afghanistan. To me, that places them pretty close to the Nazis who in the '30s were persecuting their own nationals and then turned to aggressive international warfare. Shouldn't we have learned anything from that episode?

We should indeed have learned something from that episode. However, why does it need a few airplanes in the Twin Towers to get this kind of response? There is plenty of other groups in power around the world with on their agenda the hurting of people amongst other things, however they are not intervened upon. Congo, Rwanda, Liberia, Sudan, etc. What to think of Saudi Arabia? It's extreme laws are not that far away from the Taliban, but because of some liquid in the ground the The West deals with them as friends. A large part of people in the Middle East loathe western governments for their hypocrisy when dealing with the Middle East states. (Almost) all are dictatorships, although some more than others ;)

You say you resent Dutch soldiers being sent to fight where the Netherlands has no interests. But is it not of some interest for the Netherlands to oppose totalitarianism wherever it arises, given its tendency to spread? This is not an argument that such opposition should always take the form of armed conflict. I quite agree that other avenues should be explored first so long as time allows. But at some point armed intervention may be required to prevent an even greater evil. "All that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing."

Michael

I agree that at some point armed intervention may be required to prevent an even greater evil. If employed on consequent basis (no hypocrisy) and with MUCH more emphasize on post-intervention strategies, I am not opposed to armed intervention in area's were the regime's are hostile upon it's people.

While I think the League of Nations and subsequent the UN was created partly for this sort of thing, they have always been a toothless institution. Having been on meetings with more than 15 people sitting in, I do NOT wonder why that is. So acting outside of the UN is IMO permissible in certain situations. However operating outside International Law is a dangerous route to thread and can create a 'dangerous' precedence where hypocrisy comes around the corner.

Now the (postulated) fact that most US armed interventions since and including Vietnam have caused the greater evil instead of preventing it, coupled with the host of clandestine operations, makes me believe that 'preventing evil' is not on top of the US agenda when deciding an 'armed intervention' must take place. So, all in all it's not much more than warmongering to me. Obviously I understand reasons to push allies in helping with the warmongering effort ;) And the interests the various industries have in continuing this warmongering is surely notable on media and in politics around the world.

All leaders are judged upon by those they lead. As the leader of the West/World the US has many peers and thus is judged by many people. Like always failures are more emphasized than successes. Now some may not like that, but good leaders take responsibility and deal with the criticism. Nobody ever said it's nice to be a leader :)

To conclude that Hister said it very well: although I dismiss some of it's actions, I'd have US world boss over any other current candidates.

I dare not even speak of the EU, which barely is able to govern itself let alone global events.

Please forgive my effort derailing this thread even further :D.

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Well, The Netherlands went to Afghanistan and Iraq, right? But why did we go to Iraq?

"...if such an armed attack occurs, each of them...will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith...such action as it deems necessary...to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area."

NATO Article 5 - http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/official_texts_17120.htm

It's pretty vague and can be debated on what it means and what it should apply to.

New York is in the N Atlantic area. By the way I live on the West Coast, I object to being left out of that treaty! :D

Hister good post, I can't say I disagree with any of it. There are times I do wish I lived somewhere that didn't have all thes global ties, responsibilities and yes a sense of "ownership" or being boss however you want to term it. But I agree at the moment someone has to do it. I do not trust China's intent nor Russia's. I do wish the US was more consistent, Saudi and Pakistan as some of our big allies in the war on terror is a bitter joke too hard to swallow. And yes there are times when US policy unfairly drags our allies into a mess not of their making and frankly not part of the issue they joined us in the fight against terror (Iraq). Politics is messy and I think the Bush administration callously destroyed some very important trust between the US and it's allies.

Anyway back to Ukraine and Russia. Seems the US congress is pushing the president to provide military aid. On the one hand I really am glad, I want to see Ukraine in a position to defend itself and it's territorial integrity. On the other I think it is short sighted, the sanctions are working I am not sure military aid at this point does too much for Ukraine's capability rather than changing the focus of the conflict. I hope it simply ends up making clear to Putin the West's resolve and that maybe it be the thing to make him work for a way out. Not sure if it simply isn't too late for him, but one can hope.

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On a positive note: it is great that people from various parts in the world can share their opinions in a civilized way, from their own home.

Back to Ukraine: thanks Steve for your answer two pages ago ;)

The current winter will surely have it's affect on the coming events in the Donbass, I would say. Another thing is the effects the sanctions, combined with the low oil price, seem to have on the Russian economy. If the ordinary man of Russia starts to feel those, I'm not sure how long Putin's clique will remain in power (or be able to get away with things like Ukraine).

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On a positive note: it is great that people from various parts in the world can share their opinions in a civilized way, from their own home.

Absolutely. And I understand it is why we go off-topic so easily. It is tempting to have larger debates than our product's topics because it is a great group of people to have a debate with. Still, we are going way too off topic and I'm going to ask people to drop the Afghanistan/Iraq debate. It is an interesting one to have, for sure, but it's not really related.

One comment about America's power viewed through current and past historical examples. Many years ago someone summed it up best when he said (paraphrasing):

"It is not amazing that America abuses its power. It is amazing it doesn't abuse it more than it does".

It is important to judge nations and peoples based on the real world conditions of the time and make allowances for imperfection. Because holding a nation or a people to a "Utopian" standard is pointless since there is no such thing and likely never will be. The United States is a flawed country... we should be all thankful it isn't flawed more than it is.

Please get ourselves back on topic, OK? I really don't want to lock up this thread.

Steve

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Did I miss somethig. :confused:

Not really :) A previous post seems to got a few people confused and the attempt was to clarify the situation. But it was actually confusing Hister as being Dutch, not Russian. Therefore, the clarification might have added to the confusion. But no harm done!

Steve

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Please get ourselves back on topic, OK? I really don't want to lock up this thread.

Steve

I'm betting a few more bones is more likely to do that than anything else. :D We go off topic when there isn't something better to keep our attention.

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To get us back on topic...

Back to Ukraine: thanks Steve for your answer two pages ago ;)

The current winter will surely have it's affect on the coming events in the Donbass, I would say.

Yup. Not least of all the Human suffering that is going on within the DPR/LPR. In a fairly recent interview with Girkin he stated, very clearly, that separatists never intended to create functioning states. They were tasked with seizure only. The state institutions were supposed to be either created/maintained by Ukraine ("Federalization" plan) or by Russia ("Novorussia" plan). Unfortunately for Russia, and by extension the people of Donbass, both plans were total failures. Which means there is a thin layer of government in DPR/LPR that is insufficient to meet the basic needs of the people even without winter temperatures. That is not a sustainable situation.

The result, not surprisingly, is increasing civil unrest. There have been a few confrontations between citizens and the separatists since Spring of 2014, but now that it's clear the separatists are not interested in the rule of law and basic Humanitarian concerns the tensions are increasing. This week there are reports of a significant problem in Krasnyi Luch, but I've not seen confirmation of it yet. There have been others that were confirmed, though.

In short, Russia is now finding itself in the same situation that the US found itself in with Iraq. As Colin Powell put it, "if you break it, you own it". Russia, like the US in Iraq, has no plan for current circumstances. Which means Russia has no control over events in DPR/LPR until it develops a plan to address the situation.

Another thing is the effects the sanctions, combined with the low oil price, seem to have on the Russian economy. If the ordinary man of Russia starts to feel those, I'm not sure how long Putin's clique will remain in power (or be able to get away with things like Ukraine).

The stability of Putin's government is a very complicated topic. For sure Putin's popularity has been closely tied to the major improvements in Russian standard of living, availability of consumer goods, and a sense of regaining prestige on the world stage (something that is very important to the Russian psyche). Like many authoritarian states, when times are good the opposition to the state is low.

Times are no longer good and they are going to get a lot worse. This will produce an ever increasing "storm" that will feed on itself until either the Russian state (as we know it today) ceases to exist or the economic situation stabilizes at a sufficiently high level to prevent further decline. I see no indications of the latter happening.

The short of it is Russians have been supportive of Putin because he's made life better. This meant Putin hasn't needed to overtly suppress the average Russian, just specific "trouble makers". Over the past few years economic improvements have leveled off and corruption has remained too high. So repression has increased, but economic standards didn't fall which meant most people were content to support Putin vs. an unknown alternative. However, as economic conditions worsen people are going to lose faith in Putin. Since Putin won't give up power voluntarily, he will have to resort to ever increasing amounts of repression on the average person. This will make the average person more resentful of Putin, which means he has to repress more, which means more resentment, which means more repression... all the while the economy will get worse or at least not improvement in any dramatic way. This is what we call a "death spiral" for regimes.

Putin can likely hang onto power for a VERY long time. But Russia will increasingly look more like the Russia of 1980 than Russia 2010. It only delays the inevitable change of power, it doesn't prevent it.

Steve

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Lethaface, sburke, thanx for your support. It's nice to see someone support you when your statement get's labelled the way it was from such an authority as Steve is. What you both wrote I fully agree with.

Steve, thanx for not sanctioning me for going offtopic. If you would be Putin I would get banned, I would receive a couple of threats over a phone and mail and all your products I would want to buy would cost me 100% more. Nah, Russians being not so economically wise they would not allow me to buy their game. ;)

Will stay on topic now. If someone wants we can discuss this further via pm's.

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As Colin Powell put it, "if you break it, you own it". Russia, like the US in Iraq, has no plan for current circumstances. Which means Russia has no control over events in DPR/LPR until it develops a plan to address the situation.

A plan that is going to be extremely difficult to come up with, since gaining that control would mean putting an occupying Russian force into Ukraine at least to begin with, something that would cause great wailing and gnashing of teeth... Even if the internal politics would stand it, simply washing their hands of the problem and letting Ukraine grapple with it (potentially fouling it up beyond all recognition) probably wouldn't wash with the international community, either, though it might be the most Russia would concede.

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As to the Netherlands, you are a member of NATO and are obligated by treaty to defend against an attack on any member state. NATO wasn't created just so we would protect you, you are also expected to help us against those who would attack us or is that not convenient? Article 5 was invoked. If the Dutch are not prepared to live up to their treaty obligations perhaps they should quit NATO.

New York is in the N Atlantic area. By the way I live on the West Coast, I object to being left out of that treaty! :D

You misunderstood. The point is that the agreement is rather vague and it's up for debate when it applies and to what. So don't be surprised when people/countries question Afghanistan and Iraq, they are within their rights to do so.

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Putin can likely hang onto power for a VERY long time. But Russia will increasingly look more like the Russia of 1980 than Russia 2010.

Actually, it is starting to look more like 1910. Putin for czar.

It only delays the inevitable change of power, it doesn't prevent it.

See above.

Michael

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A plan that is going to be extremely difficult to come up with, since gaining that control would mean putting an occupying Russian force into Ukraine at least to begin with, something that would cause great wailing and gnashing of teeth... Even if the internal politics would stand it, simply washing their hands of the problem and letting Ukraine grapple with it (potentially fouling it up beyond all recognition) probably wouldn't wash with the international community, either, though it might be the most Russia would concede.

Russia's options have diminished greatly. Worse, the penalties paid for past actions are here to stay no matter what. Specifically that nobody trust Russia *at all* and the markets view Russia as an unreliable business partner. Even with sanctions lifted, both of these things will remain.

For now I see Russia maintaining the status quo of arming and supplying the separatists, allowing free passage over the Ukrainian border (at least into Ukraine, out of Ukraine they are clamping down), providing some economic assistance, specialized military services (artillery, jamming, counter battery fire detection, air defenses, etc.), and special forces. Over the winter Russia will likely continue it's process of making the separatists into a more viable fighting force and getting rid of "problem children" that directly interfere with Kremlin direction.

The big question comes in Spring 2015 when Ukraine's military forces go on the offensive. There is no question in my mind that Ukraine can crush the true separatist units within a relatively short period of time. Certainly before the end of the Summer, but I suspect much sooner than that.

Assuming that Putin can't work out some sort of face saving deal between now and April, he has two choices in front of him:

1. Let the separatists be defeated and Ukraine regain control of all previously lost territory

2. Intervene militarily on a scale that is so large that Russia won't try and hide it like August 2014

If he opts for #1 then he's got a major domestic problem on his hands. The people behind the Novorussian "project" are a powerful group and they will not take kindly to being defeated. The military won't likely be happy with the result either. Unless sanctions are lifted the average Russian will likely also be unhappy because the whole mess will have been for nothing except Crimea.

If he opts for #2 then he's really screwed. The war will go very badly for Russia in military and economic terms. Lots of Russian conscripts will die and it is unclear to me if it will make much of a military difference beyond the possibility of holding Donbass. There will be no drive on Kiev, there will be no establishment of Novorussia. And long term, even if Russia does secure a land bridge between Crimea and Russia it will not be governable (i.e. partisan warfare and long exposed flank). Since the Russian opinion is already solidly against a war in Ukraine, even with months of a 24/7 falsified case for war (i.e. genocide by Ukie Nazis marching towards Moscow), the population will not be at all happy about hundreds of dead, Billions of Dollars spent, and no clear victory in sight. Not to mention what will happen on the international stage.

Yup, I don't see any good way out of this mess for Putin. Even if he can get a sort of political settlement between now and April (he had better be working on one!) it won't be pretty for him domestically. But I think it would be better than the other two alternatives.

Which one do I think Putin will choose? Unfortunately every time I've laid out choices like this in the past 10 months Putin has almost always chosen the worst options. Hopefully he'll surprise me.

Steve

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I can't believe that no one has responded at all to my No. 408 in which I clearly stated the Ukraine Freedom Support Act, which authorizes as much $350 million in lethal aid (AT weaponry explicitly listed) to Ukraine, unanimously passed both the Senate and the House and is awaiting presidential signature. Here's another version of that information.

http://www.inquisitr.com/1677329/ukraine-lethal-aid-and-350-million-in-weapons-included-in-ukraine-freedom-support-act-russia-claims-blackmail/

It hasn't been made public yet, but what my well-informed contacts are telling me is that Obama's already said he'll veto it.

Regards,

John Kettler

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I can't believe that no one has responded at all to my No. 408 in which I clearly stated the Ukraine Freedom Support Act, which authorizes as much $350 million in lethal aid (AT weaponry explicitly listed) to Ukraine, unanimously passed both the Senate and the House and is awaiting presidential signature. Here's another version of that information.

http://www.inquisitr.com/1677329/ukraine-lethal-aid-and-350-million-in-weapons-included-in-ukraine-freedom-support-act-russia-claims-blackmail/

It hasn't been made public yet, but what my well-informed contacts are telling me is that Obama's already said he'll veto it.

Regards,

John Kettler

It was made public about a week ago when the whole fiasco with another possible government shut down was going on over said spending bill, your contacts are a little slow on the uptake John.

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