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John Kettler

Stupendous ammo dump explosion at Krasnoyarsk

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Let me start by saying I am well aware that the US pushes its own agenda and wishes on the rest of the world quite assertively.

2 hours ago, IMHO said:

I meant that the view of today of US establishment is every country on this planet is bound to act according to US interests irrespective of their own.

Are you saying that the US government has been forcing / convincing other countries to act according to US interests instead of their own more than previous governments?

If so that's not true. The opposite is happening - more countries are moving away from some cooperation with the US because the US government has become more self centred than before. Just look at the example of Iran. There were two separate initiatives to protect shipping in the strait of Hormuz (seems like the US lead one will actually happen and the German lead one may not - but EU members are still saying they will not join the US lead mission - which would have been unheard of 5 or 10 years ago) and the P5+1 nuclear deal where all the other countries in that deal continue to try to keep it alive against the US government's wishes.

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1 hour ago, DerKommissar said:

Speaking from recent experience with NK and Iran, sanctions only seem to motivate increased aggression. Instead of winning hearts & minds, the West is doing the exact opposite.

IIRC 2012/13 US was shipping NK foodies and imploring them to desist from their missiles & nuke testing when they promptly banged off a nuke 

https://edition.cnn.com/2012/02/29/world/asia/north-korea-nuclear-deal/

https://edition.cnn.com/2013/01/23/world/asia/north-korea-nuclear-test/

https://edition.cnn.com/2013/02/12/world/north-korea-nuclear-reax/

 

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50 minutes ago, Wicky said:

Triple post!

Hat trick! ;)

51 minutes ago, Wicky said:

IIRC 2012/13 US was shipping NK foodies and imploring them to desist from their missiles & nuke testing when they promptly banged off a nuke 

If my memory does not fail me it was US who broke up its side of the bargain well before the nuclear test. US failed to keep the oil shipment to the agreed volume, US didn't lift sanctions as was set in the agreement and KEDO LWR was not built within the agreed deadlines. To be balanced NK was always suspected of cheating on enrichment ban as well but surely US was a far cry from an honest executor of the agreement.

PS It's now an eternal problem with trying to make any kind of agreement with the US. Another guy comes into the White House, Congress changes hands and any kind of agreement with the US is not worth the paper it's printed on.

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2 hours ago, DerKommissar said:

Much like giving a loaded gun to a person with a history of deranged, and unpredictable behavior -- what if they shoot at a cordial country (South Korea or Isreal)

I believe if one looks closely at the history of Middle East then Iran will come out as the most peace loving nation in the region. Never started a war in 20th century, never bombed someone else's nuclear reactor, never funded a bunch of head choppers.

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43 minutes ago, IMHO said:

KEDO LWR was not built within the agreed deadlines.

That was 2003 after "DPRK's revelation of its nuclear development program in September 2002" after North Korea committed not to develop nuclear weapons.  US supplied Oil was meant to tide them over until LWR came on line.   https://www.nti.org/learn/treaties-and-regimes/korean-peninsula-energy-development-organization-kedo/

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59 minutes ago, IMHO said:

I believe if one looks closely at the history of Middle East then Iran will come out as the most peace loving nation in the region. Never started a war in 20th century, never bombed someone else's nuclear reactor, never funded a bunch of head choppers.

Maybe not head choppers, but they sure funded, trained, equipped and gave intelligence to a lot of bomb vest wearers.

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8 minutes ago, Wicky said:

That was 2003 after "DPRK's revelation of its nuclear development program in September 2002" after North Korea committed not to develop nuclear weapons.  US supplied Oil was meant to tide them over until LWR came on line.   https://www.nti.org/learn/treaties-and-regimes/korean-peninsula-energy-development-organization-kedo/

  1. There were agreed milestones on LWR activities. Partners to the Agreement Framework started to miss them pretty much right after the start.
  2. The issue is not what the oil was meant for but rather that there was an iron cast number of tons of oil that US agreed to supply to NK. And US simply didn't keep its obligation in many cases.

Again there was considerable suspicion that NK cheats on uranium enrichment yet the real life is far far from a black-and-white picture of "bad NK" and "good US".

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Splinty said:

Maybe not head choppers, but they sure funded, trained, equipped and gave intelligence to a lot of bomb vest wearers.

Name them. Seems you may fell prey to US propaganda. Most (if not all) bomb wearers of Middle East origin are fighters for the Sunni cause and mortal enemies of Shia Iran. Bomb wearers are financed by the "best friends" of America in this region - Saudi Arabia et al.

Edited by IMHO

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5 minutes ago, IMHO said:

Name them. Seems you may fell prey to US propaganda. Most (if not all) bomb wearers of Middle East origin are fighters for the Sunni cause and mortal enemies of Shia Iran. Bomb wearers are financed by the "best friends" of America in this region - Saudi Arabia et al.

Hamas, the PLO,and Hezbollah. To name a few.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Splinty said:

Hamas, the PLO,and Hezbollah. To name a few.

In case you missed the last few years all of the organizations you listed are official governments in their respective regions. You may as well call a bomb wearer a US Air Force pilot executing his combat orders.

Edited by IMHO

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, IMHO said:

In case you missed the last few years all of the organizations you listed are official governments in their respective regions. You may as well call a bomb wearer a US Air Force pilot executing his combat orders.

And ALL of them are still using terrorism as a tactic, and are STILL funded by the Iranians. AND all of the became "official governments" through those same tactics. Ask the Lebanese.

Edited by Splinty

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Splinty said:

And ALL of them are still using terrorism as a tactic, and are STILL funded by the Iranians. AND all of the became "official governments" through those same tactics. Ask the Lebanese.

Hezbollah came to rule in Lebanon through a solid win in democratic parliamentary elections though it looks like I'm arguing with "Stars and Stripes" editorial :)

Edited by IMHO

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IHHO you are both correct.

Yes Iran caused the US considerable grief in Iraq, yet their behaviour is still an order of magnitude less contemptible than the takfiris and their sponsors in the gulf states.....Personally I'd trade the Iranians for the Saudis as allies, any time!  ;)

But we seem to have come a long way from Krasnoyarsk.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Yes Iran caused the US considerable grief in Iraq, yet their behaviour is still an order of magnitude less contemptible than the takfiris and their sponsors in the gulf states.....Personally I'd trade the Iranians for the Saudis as allies, any time!  ;)

Moreover before the current state of Iraq Iran was the only democracy among Gulf States. With considerable caveats yet having competitive elections, real opposition etc. Plus Iran is multi-ethnic state with respect for other religions and nationalities. Compare this to Israel where one does not even have the basic right to marry if one's not Jewish, Muslim or does not belong to a locally recognized branch of Christianity.

Edited by IMHO

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15 hours ago, DerKommissar said:

Mayhaps even hand over the technology to a geopolitical competitor (China)?

Chine does not need Russian technology much. They'll catch up all by themselves sooner rather than than later in those few areas where they're behind Russia.

15 hours ago, DerKommissar said:

RF's establishment benefits from US economic pressure. More domestic demand, means less competition for state-owned companies

Sanctions hit Russian economy pretty hard. However much state propaganda may put a brave face on a sorry business the reality is the economic impact was very significant. And it'll have a lasting effect for many years to come even if sanctions are lifted miraculously.

15 hours ago, DerKommissar said:

It is a mess-free way to prevent Pepsi diplomacy, oligarch opportunism and pro-Western sympathies.

Nothing has changed on the ground. Russian elite still belong more to Monaco, Switzerland and London. They're fervent patriots in words but not in deeds. The most anecdotal story was with the former head of Russian Railroad monopoly - biggest employer, biggest recipient of state subsidies and one of the... errr... least transparent ;)companies in Russia. So this former head is an ex-KGB, Putin's personal friend of decades etc. When he was finally pushed off his seat for gross incompetence he transferred his personal wealth into a "charity" fund called "The Center for the Protection of Russian Heritage". Suffice to say the fund is Swiss-based and incorporated in the canton of Zug - least taxes, as much confidentiality as possible for bank operations and shareholder privacy.

16 hours ago, DerKommissar said:

Judging by the results, sanctions have only increased RF's military adventures

Nope, sanctions did really worked, they severely limited budget allocations to the military. Actually the Russian affair in Syria was initially thought of as an attempt to connect with US not to defy them. The idea was that Russia can be helpful to fundamental US interests in combating Islamic extremism.

 

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, IMHO said:

What do you mean "covered by security provisions"?

Seems like we're speaking different languages. The Treaty is the ban on nuclear tests PLUS the verification mechanism to prove the signatories do no conduct banned test covertly. So yes, you're right testing nuclear rocket engine is not prohibited but the Treaty contains the verification mechanism in the form of monitoring stations to collect data to ensure this one was a rocket engine test and not a A-bomb's. Monitoring stations network surely provide information of intelligence value but that's EXACTLY why they exist. The Treaty does not ban the collection of intelligence information - on the contrary it facilitates it. Like Open Skies treaty exists to provides a legal framework to collect intelligence data not to ban it.

Means that you can restrict the data provided etc.

The verification measures were intentionally limited during the treaty write up due to the security concerns regarding other activities, this is why those provisions are in the treaty.

Now you can argue that this weakens the verification regime, but this is how it was intended and writen.

Edited by ikalugin

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, IMHO said:

Chine does not need Russian technology much. They'll catch up all by themselves sooner rather than than later in those few areas where they're behind Russia.

Sanctions hit Russian economy pretty hard. However much state propaganda may put a brave face on a sorry business the reality is the economic impact was very significant. And it'll have a lasting effect for many years to come even if sanctions are lifted miraculously.

Nothing has changed on the ground. Russian elite still belong more to Monaco, Switzerland and London. They're fervent patriots in words but not in deeds. The most anecdotal story was with the former head of Russian Railroad monopoly - biggest employer, biggest recipient of state subsidies and one of the... errr... least transparent ;)companies in Russia. So this former head is an ex-KGB, Putin's personal friend of decades etc. When he was finally pushed off his seat for gross incompetence he transferred his personal wealth into a "charity" fund called "The Center for the Protection of Russian Heritage". Suffice to say the fund is Swiss-based and incorporated in the canton of Zug - least taxes, as much confidentiality as possible for bank operations and shareholder privacy.

Nope, sanctions did really worked, they severely limited budget allocations to the military. Actually the Russian affair in Syria was initially thought of as an attempt to connect with US not to defy them. The idea was that Russia can be helpful to fundamental US interests in combating Islamic extremism.

 

Sanctions were the least important factor in the recent economic downturn.

I guess you know more about what is happening in Russian elites than the Russian elites themselves, heh.

How did sanctions limit budget allocations to the military? Spending has been fairly stable in the past ~5 years.

Edited by ikalugin

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51 minutes ago, ikalugin said:

Means that you can restrict the data provided etc.

Is there a language on limiting data exchange in some cases?

54 minutes ago, ikalugin said:

Now you can argue that this weakens the verification regime, but this is how it was intended and writen.

Hardly will I. These days when no one on the other side of negotiation table takes pain to factor in Russia interests...

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, ikalugin said:

Sanctions were the least important factor in the recent economic downturn.

1. If I'm not mistaken analysts' best guess is minus 1-1.5% off GDP growth. Now we're 0 to 0.5% of "real" GDP growth for the coming decade and the "old normal" was 1.5-2%. That's a lot even for the currently kleptocratical and inefficient structure of the Russian economy. By "real" I mean if one takes blatant economic propaganda that comes out of the Russian Ministry of Economy with a healthy dose of scepticism. They don't care any more about glaring inconsistencies in their "optimistic" reporting. Or rather they have run out of means on how to plausibly fake detailed economic statistics.

2. What's even more important are sometimes open and in many cases behind-the-doors restrictions on technology transfer. Russian budget is very deoendent on oil and gas revenues. To fill in budget obligations we pump oil like crazy - having inconcievably lower deposits than Saudi Arabia we're exporting more oil than them. So we're very depending on efficient extraction technologies for hard-to-use oil fields. Restrictions on Arctic and sea bed explotations will limit oil production and budget revenues in the coming years.

1 hour ago, ikalugin said:

Spending has been fairly stable in the past ~5 years.

No, share of military spending in GDP is falling. Real military spending with inflation factored in is falling for the past 2-3 years. Nominal military spending is falling starting from the last year and the plan is to cut them further. R&D and purchases have been cut as well. There will be no hordes of Armatas and Su-57 anymore - we're left with a bunch of very expensive half-baked projects.

Edited by IMHO

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Looks we've drifted way out of the realm of discussing the game and falling down the political rabbit hole. I'm trying to decide if I should move the thread out of the CMBS folder or just shut it off.

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Posted (edited)

I vote shut.  I actually agree with things being said by both sides ( or several sides as this thread has really become adrift) but these discussions never really go anywhere here except in circles and get more acrimonious as they go. This is not a political events forum, keep it in context of the game or go to a political forum.  

The thread was never relevant to begin with, JK needs to keep this stuff in the general forum or his omnibus post. 

Edited by sburke

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